Thursday, October 29, 2009

2009 Halloween Costumes

In years past, I. has been very specific about the costume she wants, G. really doesn't care too much, and M. doesn't get a say. I spend all of October working on making their costumes. I remember ironing on a 95 to G's red Lightning McQueen shirt after my water had broken and before I went to the hospital with M.
This year, though, I was delighted with what they wanted to be this year. I present to you . . .

Our costumes.

I. is a cat, which involved buying some ears and a tail. She already had a black shirt and black pants. We tried to make a tail, and it was pretty ugly, so we just bought it. $8 later - costume is done. We will draw whiskers and a nose on her face.

G. is a bat. I used a black hooded sweatshirt. I stitched some lines onto black felt to resemble the wings, and I whip-stitched them to the hood. I also added some ears to the hood. There is a 10 of the sweatshirt that I was planning on ironing a bat silhouette over, but G. says it reminds him of Ben 10 and likes it - go figure. He put on black sweats and black gloves and was done.

M. is Tinkerbell - a costume I sewed for I. when she was one. There are wings that Velcro to the back of this that we forgot to put on for the picture. M. can pull of the Tinkerbell's hair better than I. ever could. It has been worn several times by several different toddlers. I bought her sparkly shoes from Target and was done.

We're on our third snow day and feeling a little stir crazy. We'll shovel all the snow for the trick or treaters! Have a Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Triple Pinch Pleat Drapes

You know when you get something just right, it makes your day, week, and month? That is how the drapes are here . . . so perfect I just like to stare.
I'm a fabric swatch girl - rarely do I just buy fabric for my home without getting a swatch and making sure I like it. I've tried on about 15 different swatches in this room, but I finally found "the one." Once I saw it, I knew . . but still asked the opinion of everyone who came into my home.

I ordered it here from After making the lined drapes in my master room, I think I will always line my drapes. It hardly costs more, but they hang so much better. So, these are lined. It is so worth it, in my opinion, to take the time to make these nice. They aren't hard to sew - just straight lines. Anyone can do these and it isn't as time consuming as you might think. I'm just saying, to me it's worth it to spend a little more time and make it really look top dollar.

I bought pinch pleat tape here and watched the video on how to make them. There's a couple of videos - straight forward. I love that they make them a little more special and that they hide the rod.

I still have to hem them, but I like to hang up the drapes and measure while they are hanging.

There is so much I love about them - they are perfect for right here. I can't wait to finish my sideboard, now. I hope to have it done by Thanksgiving.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween Cake AKA Really bad pictures with bad lighting!

You were warned! I've got to take the pictures now, you know, before everything gets eaten. So, it's now with bad lighting or nothing. I'm not offended if you move on.

For I's birthday we made the infamous rainbow cake. We had plans to re-create it. Tonight, we did the Halloween version.

I used a yellow cake mix and gel food coloring to get it a bright orange. Much brighter than it looks here. We used a chocolate for the black.

The best part . . . . having friends over to help us eat it!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Grateful Sunday

Aaahhh . . . Tom is home, he put the babe down for a nap and is playing Lego's with the big kids. I'm laying on my bed, typing away about to fall into a middle of the day nap - I could stop right there and be completely grateful.
But - my little one turned 2 this week and I am grateful for so much that she has brought to me and our family. She's a silly one and knows it. She is a sassy one and knows it. She's still little, but she doesn't know that. She's my little Velcro - always attached to me, and I am enjoying it while I have it. I don't know if the big kids are happy about that trait, but we all have learned to adapt. We all laugh and love her.
I am convinced that so much about mothering is learning to be more Christlike, to make changes that you would never choose to make but are forced to for the well being of your child, and thus becoming a better person. I am so grateful that this little one is in my life and I am a better person because of her.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thanksgiving Quilt Top

I haven't forgotten about Halloween, really. In fact, tonight I'll be staying up late attaching some ears to a hood and stuffing a tail.
Anyways . . I've made Halloween, Christmas, and Valentines Day blankets. Now it's time for Thanksgiving quilts. These were really easy ( I think I always say that). It was inspired by a different quilt which I can't find right now.
Because I make three of these, I always make them as simple as possible. I plan on doing a brown gingham check for the back and binding. I always embroider their name on them and we cuddle with them all holiday season.

all the material was purchased at Joanns. I'll show you the pictures after they're quilted - but I won't get that until after Halloween is over.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pottery Barn Kids Thanksgiving Advent Calendar

Once again, I blatantly copied PB. This one was not for the weak - it's pretty time intensive. My kids chose some easy costumes this year, so I spent time doing this. It is easy, though and was done for less than $20.

The process is the same over and over. Draw your shapes on wonder under - iron onto felt - cut out - iron onto pocket. I put a couple of decorative stitches here and there. I just free-handed all the shapes and had a stencil we used for the numbers. I do have all the shapes, numbers and words, if anyone is interested. I'm sure we could figure out how to scan them and email them to you. - OK, so since I wrote this, my computer has crashed and I lost everything on my hard drive - including these patterns.  So sorry.

I've had some friends come over weekly, and we've worked on this together. Way better this way, but I must warn you again - it's about a 10-12 hour project! It still needs a good ironing, a billion threads trimmed, a dowel through the pocket at top and ribbon to hang it from, and an eye for the turkey. I was too excited to be "done" with this and share.

I plan on putting in a list of things to be thankful for with a little activity . . . similar to this (OK -exactly like this).

So much more worthwhile to count blessings, rather than count candies - don't you think?

Of course, linking this to DIY Day

Grateful Sunday

Over the last 2 months, my 2 older kids have been in running club at their elementary school - and have accumulated 25 miles. I've always put M. in the running stroller and joined them. Yesterday, we ran the last 1.2 miles to complete their marathon. It was a really fun day. It was perfect running weather, it was fun to go to downtown Denver, it was really fun to run as a family. The kids received t-shirts, and medals (one of which was hung on the piggy bank on the shelf of her "special things"). It's through Kids Running America, and it was really a fun event. We can't wait for next year!

Tom's brother and wife came for the week and we had a really fun time with them. We stayed up way too late, consumed too much food, laughed until our cheeks hurt, and were sad to see them leave this morning. Hopefully, we won't have to wait another year to see them again.

After a week of Tom being gone awhile ago, I thought that one week was about all I could do. I was tired and done. He let me know that in December, he'll be gone for 2 straight weeks. There are so many bummer things about this, but I'm thankful it doesn't occur too much. He has a great job, at a company that he loves, that he is good at - I am grateful for that.

Have a great week!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Growth Chart

I am stuck on ideas. I probably have about 4-5 unfinished projects. But today . . . I've got nothing. I started walking around the house. My fall mantle? No . . I don't think that hole in the wall over my fireplace really counts as a mantle. Halloween decor? No . . . nothing original there. Pictures of my unfinished stuff? No. . . I don't want to. A backyard update? No . . . it's too cold to go out and take pictures right now. Finally my growth chart caught my eye.

This is one of my favorite things. My husband made it for me for my birthday several years ago and I love it. It also catches any one's eye that I feel comfortable enough to let them go upstairs.

Tom used a Dremmel and because he is an engineer and a perfectionist at that - I have no doubt that the inches are perfectly placed. I love that it fits our style perfectly - very kid friendly, but subtle.

We've marked where we have lived at the bottom. It's one of the birthday traditions to get marked every year, oh and then not only compare yourself to last year, but also to you little brother and sister and state how you will always be the tallest. Well, maybe that's just I.'s tradition. With every one's birthday, not just her own.

It hangs with 2 eye hooks (is that what they're called) screwed in and picture wire strung back and forth. It's getting filled up quicker than I hoped. Those kiddos don't stay little for too long.

Linking this to Kimba's DIY Day at Soft Place to Land!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Grateful Sunday and an Award

Happy Sunday to you. I am grateful for:

polka dots - how sad would the world be without them?

grubby fingerprints on my piano - and all the sweet people who come into my home throughout the week and play my piano.

black shoes in my foyer - there's so much about this that makes me smile. Maybe that all the men were polite enough to take off their shoes, maybe it's because they are all dress shoes that represent something more, maybe it's the sheer number (this picture is about half of them).

fall weather

Costco's return policy

General Conference weekend

It's finally October! It's "holiday season" for the next three months. Yeah!

I received this award this week from Kathy at Creative Home Expressions and Tricia at Life At The Zoo. Thank you so much. I need to pass it onto a few blogs: Good Girl Gone Glad, NewlyWoodwards, Tatertots and Jello, and Outside my Kitchen Window. Please take a second to pass it on.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Girly Skirts take 3

I'm so glad I have girls. I can make these.

I made the first version here.

I made the 4th of July version here.

Now it's time for the Halloween version (sure wish she could stand still or I could hold the camera still - or both):

I'll try to get some better pictures, but girls aren't posers - they've got other stuff to do rather than humoring their mommy.

This is a really easy pattern and it goes together quickly. I totally recommend it!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Pumpkin Granola

If you love granola (like I do) and anything pumpkin (like I do) then you might have to stop reading and go straight to your kitchen. I found this recipe on petit elefant and I think I ate the entire batch in one sitting.

Pumpkin Spice Granola
3 1/2 cups rolled oats
2 1/2 cups puffed rice cereal
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
pinch ground cardamom
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup plain pureed pumpkin
1/4 cup plain applesauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
up to 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts
up to 1 cup dried fruit
nut suggestions: almonds, walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds
dried fruit suggestions: cranberries, raisins
Preheat the oven to 325F and line a large baking sheet (or two smaller sheets) with parchment paper.In a large bowl, combine oats, puffed rice cereal. In a medium bowl, whisk together spices, salt, sugar, applesauce (do not use chunky applesauce), pumpkin puree, maple syrup and vanilla. Whisk until very smooth.

Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir with a spatula or large spoon until mixture is evenly coated. Spread on prepared baking sheet(s) in an even layer.

Bake for 30 minutes, then turn over the granola carefully using a large wide spatula. Sprinkle the nuts onto the granola, then bake everything for additional 15 minutes, until crisp and golden. Depending on the size of your baking sheet, the center might not be fully dried if your granola layer is thick, so if necessary remove the edges of the cooked granola to a cooling rack and let the rest cook for another 10-15 minutes until done.

Cool on pan or on a fine wire rack.Break granola up as desired and store in an airtight container. Add dried fruit before serving.
Makes about 8 servings, more depending on add-ins, less if you are me and eat more than 1 serving at a time.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Happy Halloween from Kristi

Happy October everyone! I am excited to be back on Laurel's blog to share some of my ideas for fall and Halloween. I love this time of year, and we get so excited to start decorating the house with holiday items once again! Hope you enjoy!

I just love using holiday candy to help accent my house, so I decided to make a candy corn wreath. I used brown satin ribbon which enables me to use it through November! It is a simple, affordable, fun project: wreath, candy corn, hot glue, and a little ribbon.
This is a metal star that I spray painted black and then mod podged scrap book paper onto it! I love it, and I wish you could see it up close! But to finish of this star, I used glitter mod podge! It is my new favorite type of mod podge glue to use now!!!

This banner is made by my sister (which you can order from her by emailing her at! I now have one for every season and my kids just love it!

Here we took a wooden pumpkin and used spray adhesive to put festive scrapbook paper on it.(of course this paper is by Martha Stewart) My sister dangled these pumpkins all the way down her front door on each side!

Last, but not least, my apothecary jars!! I saw this in the Martha Stewart magazine where you stick the letters in your jars. I used dried black beans (which is now a new favorite to use because I love the black color it brings out for halloween, and it is affordable), glitter pumpkins, and this fake skull from Walmart! I also saw in a pottery barn magazine where they used the dried black beans in a vase with an orange candle in the middle. I hope you enjoyed my ideas and decorations. I will be posting over the next week or so, fun projects and food items to do with kids!! Happy Fall to all of you, you can find me at my blog:! See you soon, Kristi

PS - I'm (Laurel) linking this up to The DIY Show Off. I think it's an awesome post of Kristi's!

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