Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Organizing Tip - Snack Bin

My kids need to bring a snack every day to school, and like every good mother, I make my kids responsible for getting their own snack.

To make it easier, we have a snack bin.  I throw away most of the containers that snacks come in.  I dump the granola bars straight in the bin, I put the applesauce cups in the bin.

What isn't already individually wrapped, I wrap for them.  I buy a lot at Costco.  When I get home, I separate them into snack size bags and throw those in the bin. 

When it is time to go out the door, my kids just reach in the bin and grab a snack!  Plus, if you knew my G., you would know that he is a walking mess.  I'd rather put the pretzels in the bag, then have G.  I guarantee that half would be on the floor! 

Just a little tip that makes getting out the door so much easier!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

My Memories Winner

Congrats to Tricia!  Please email me at laurelmacd@gmail.com!

In addition, for those who did not win and are still interested . . .
I have my very own coupon code that provides a $10 discount on the purchase of the My Memories Suite Scrapbook software and a $10 coupon for the MyMemories.com store - $20 value!  Sweet!  That code is STMMMS24798.
Also, here is a video tutorial that might be helpful.  It includes:

· Software Screen Tour – finding your papers and embellishments.

· MyMemories.com website tour (and description of different types of products on the site)

· Beginning information on album creation

· Introduction to SOME of the tools (and references to the other video tutorials that are available)

Welcome to the Family! from Lisa Jurrens on Vimeo.

Grateful Sunday

Source: google.ca via Laurel on Pinterest

I am grateful for:
  • Tom cut the last brick in the backyard!  Yahoo!  He's been cutting bricks for 6 years and it is not his favorite job!
  • a friend who will walk through Parade of Homes with me.
  • air conditioning
  • we've been running as a family on Saturday mornings.  I love it!!
  • good music
  • movie nights with my hubby
What are you grateful for?


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My Memories GIVEAWAY!!

My Memories is a scrapbooking company that has award winning digital scrapbook software that is extremely easy and fun to use. My Memories Suite helps anyone create digital scrapbooks, cards, calendars, etc. without having to buy expensive programs and then learn how to use the software.

I am not a scrapbooker - at all.  But after playing around with this software, I'm very excited.  There is so much more to do!  Plus, I have had a goal to get a yearly photo book done every year for the past 6 years and still haven't done them.  I've already started working on them with this software!

Last Saturday, I whipped up some quick chore charts - super easy.  They look great - they're a little blurry here, but they don't look  like that at all!  We printed them and laminated them and now they will come out every Saturday!  Love this!!

My Memories is giving away software - My Memories Suite!!  My Memories Suite is rated #1 by amazon and TopTen Reviews for digital scrapbooking software and a $40 value!  Awesome - you are going to love this!

In order to win:
please visit MyMemories.com and look at the digital paper packs or layouts. 
Leave a comment telling me (and My Memories) which is your favorite.

Extra entries:
leave a comment telling me you did.
leave an additional comment telling me you did.

Winner will be drawn on Sunday!  Good luck!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Interview with Executive Chef David Eisel

Chef Eisel knows how hectic back-to-school time can get and that bringing the family together around the dinnertable  can be especially stressful.  He understands the need to make this family dinner a priority.  Last week, I had the opportunity to interview him and he shared a quick meal that is definitely kid friendly:

The "bewitched" hour is definitely tricky around our home.  The only way I get around it is to plan ahead.  I menu plan for a week at a time and I try to do most of the prep work during the day.  If it is 5:00 and I'm not sure what's for dinner and haven't even started, guaranteed we are having quesadillas or leftovers!
Thanks to Chef Eisel and Bob Evans for the opportunity.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Best Decision Ever

If you’ll be my soft and sweet
I’ll be your strong and steady
You be my glass of wine
I’ll be your shot of whiskey
You be my sunny day
I’ll be your shade tree
You be my honeysuckle
I’ll be your honey bee

If you’ll be my Louisiana
I’ll be your Mississippi
You be my little Loretta
I’ll be your Conway Twitty
You be my sugar baby
I’ll be your sweet iced tea
You be my honeysuckle
I’ll be your honey bee
This is a song by Blake Shelton, a cheesy favorite song!

Today marks the day I've been married to my "strong and steady" for 12 years!   Words can't explain the partnership I feel with Tom and the happiness our marriage has brought me.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Ruffle Scripture Bag Tutorial

A year ago, I made a ruffle bag for my daughter to carry her scriptures to church in.  We've loved it and have only had about a hundred requests for a tutorial ( a bit of an exaggeration).  A year later, I finally got around to it.  Here you go:

I use muslin to sew my ruffles on.  Cut 2 pieces to size (mine were 12x12) and sew the side together.

Next, I cut four different strips of fabric.  Each strip is 3 1/2 inch wide and 44" long.  I zig zagged the long edges, hemmed the bottom edge and ran 2 gathering stitches along the top.

With a disappearing ink pen, draw a line 3" from the bottom on the muslin.

Pull your gathering stitches to fit.  Pin so the top of the ruffle lines up with the line you just drew.  Then draw another line 3" above the ruffle you just sewed.

Keep going

Keep going

There.  All the ruffles are sewn!

Fold it in half, right sides together and stitch up the other side - match the ruffles.  Stitch up the bottom.

I'm going to do my darnedest to explain this.  Line up the side seam with the bottom seam.  I move my ruler up until I can draw a line 3" long.  Sew right along this line.

Trim it and do the same to the other side.  This helps the bag sit flat.

Now, the outside is done!  Yeah!

Next, I cut 3 pieces of 12 x 12" squares out of the fabric for the lining.  One of the pieces I folded in half, laid it on another piece and stitched down pockets for pencils - They are about 1 1/2" apart.

Stitch lining pieces together on the side.  Cut another strip of fabric that is 6" wide and sew it to the top.  I then trimmed it so it was even with both side seams. 

Pin, sew, and trim the corners in the same way you did it before!

Turn it so the right sides are facing each other.  Fold the cuff to the wrong side.  I pressed 1/4" of the long edge of the cuff to the wrong side.

Now, a little hocus pocus happens here.  Stuff the liner into the outside bag.  Shift, shuffle, move until it lines up pretty well.  Fold the cuff over.  Pin, pin, pin.  You want the pressed edge of the cuff to just overlap the raw edge of the ruffles on top. 

Stitch it in place.

Voila - a lined bag.  I sewed a quick strap on and measured my daughter's body so I knew how long to make it.  Then I just sewed it to the outside.

We have several request for this bag.  I. gets asked all the time where to get it.  It takes me about 4 hours from start to finish, which is never in one block!  I hope this helps - Good luck!  If you have any questions, ask in the comments and I will answer!

Links:  Stories of A to Z, The Shabby Nest,  Just a Girl, Serenity Now

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Grateful Sunday

Yesterday, I ran my fourth half marathon.  That's an accomplish that this asthmatic girl who couldn't even run a mile in middle school couldn't even fathom!  Yesterday's half, however, was less than stellar. I crossed the finish line in total frustration. I hurt today more than I've ever hurt.  I've injured my heel and am planning on having it checked out tomorrow.  Today, though, as I've looked at the stats and have thought about it, I'm pretty proud of myself.  I scored 74/249 in my age division.  Although it isn't my best run, it's not too shabby. I'm grateful that I've learned that I run for so much more than time and stats.   I'm grateful that I can even run and I can push myself to do hard things.  I'm grateful that I can finish what I've started.  I'm grateful that my family is on the finish line with water, cameras, and cheers!  So although yesterday used to be a bit of a sore subject, I'm grateful that I know I'll keep moving and keep running and keep getting faster!

What are you grateful for?

PS - I am also super grateful for pinterest, which I avoided for a long time and grudgingly joined.  Now, I LOVE it!  If you want to see what I'm pinning, follow me here.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Halloween Costume Review

We have Harry Potter fever around here - major Harry Potter fever!  I. is on the 6th book, G.is having the 3rd read to him.  The both of them play Lego Harry Potter on the Wii and are forever building legos and playing.  M. always chooses to be Luna Lovegood because she has blond hair.  We've watched the first 2 movies and although they want to watch more, I'm skeptical.  The first two were a bit scary.  Tom and I are planning on watching the final one this weekend (finally).   All in all, as a family, we LOVE Harry Potter!

I had the opportunity to review a costume and knew right away which one we wanted.  There were so many Halloween Costumes to choose from - the selection really was incredible!  We eventually chose the Deluxe Gryffindor Robe Childrens Costume and I am so pleased.  It is plenty warm for those chilly Trick or Treat nights and it looks perfect!  It is well made and we'll have this robe around forever!


As the mother of 2 daughters, I'll leave you with one of my favorite J. K. Rowling quotes:"I’ve got two daughters who will have to make their way in this skinny-obsessed world, and it worries me, because I don’t want them to be empty-headed, self-obsessed, emaciated clones; I’d rather they were independent, interesting, idealistic, kind, opinionated, original, funny - a thousand things, before ‘thin’. And frankly, I’d rather they didn’t give a gust of stinking chihuahua flatulence whether the woman standing next to them has fleshier knees than they do. Let my girls be Hermiones, rather than Pansy Parkinsons. Let them never be Stupid Girls." – J.K. Rowling

PS - my daughter made her wand with a wooden skewer and a pipe cleaner - always creative, that one!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

{Giveaway} Crest Dental Care Package

I love doing interviews and this one was no different.  Dr. Salzar is not only a renowned dentist, but also a mother of 4.  I loved the tips that she offered - especially teaching my son all about teeth so that he really understands what he's doing! 

From toddlers to tweens, renowned dentist Dr. Jennifer Salzer offers moms her tips on how to get children to begin and maintain healthy oral care habits. 

Along with this, Crest is offering a dental care package to one lucky reader!  This package is age and gender specific and what you will receive depends on the age and gender of your child.  It includes things like toothpaste, toothbrush, etc. 

To enter, just leave a comment and let me know you'd like to win!  Thanks

Monday, August 8, 2011

Guest Post: Holiday Snobs!

Hey guys!  We are so flattered and excited to be doing a guest post here at Ducks in a Row!  Laurel has such great taste and also happens to be besties with Glitta's sister.  But I'm sure that has NOTHING to do with why she asked us to guest and EVERYTHING to do with our holiday snobbish fabulousness!  (right?)  Laurel:  this is an awesome blog, I just happen to feel more comfortable asking them because I know Glitta personally!
We're two friends from the suburbs of Denver that have a love of the holidays that borders on obsession.  We may or may not be a little out of control when it comes to a party/gift/holiday/cupcake.  And we don't see that changing any time soon!
Oh snobs, can you believe it's back to school time again?  Makes me a little sick to my stomach.  Mostly because it means the pools will be closing here in the Denver area.  I'm not ready to be done with summer!  But.  I did come up with a little back to school craft that I thought was so cute that it kind of took the edge off.
It's this back to school board layered over my red tulle wreath!  I'm all about building anticipation for big events, (if you couldn't tell) and this project fits the bill!  I'll show ya how to make it so you can have one too!
Have you seen this Grade School paper pack by DCWV? 
So cute.  If you have any child remotely close enough to school age and you may be doing any kind of teacher gift, you should buy this.  It's just adorable.  And these paper packs go on sale for 10 bucks All.The.Time. at Joann's or Michaels.  Ok, enough ranting from me, let's move on...
I used a piece of bead board I already had cut and distressed with antiquing gel that measured 15.5 inches
First I made this embellishment with the paper pack and a couple of sheets from a book:
I measured a circle from a cereal bowl on the back of the argyle print paper:
I then made a book page accordion fold circle paper medallion.  I used two sheets, about 1.5 inches wide.

You can watch this youtube video if you need more help.
 Then I layered the argyle circle, paper medallion, and a cute illustration from the paper pack. 

Then I made this cute faux chalkboard:
Okay, okay, so I know that you can buy little craft chalkboards for practically nothing.  Or you can buy chalkboard paint to make your own.  Or even make your own chalkboard paint from regular paint and tile grout!  I however was just using what was already in my house at night after stores were closed.  So paper and popsicle sticks it is! 
Besides, popsicle stick frames seem pretty elementary school to me!  But it still needed something, see?
How about that trendy stand-by the pennant banner??
And the chalkboard needs to be "hanging" from something... I know!  Twine threaded thru a button and hot-glued to the "chalkboard."  And then some gorilla glue so that it never ever never falls off.  Ever.  Never.
Yep.  That's better!  Then I stapled black and white grosgrain ribbon to the beadboard.  Perfectamundo!
Then I just layered it over what is becoming a very versatile red tulle wreath!
Hope this eases you back into school and out of blissfull summer!  Thanks Laurel for letting us crash your blog!  We love it here!
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Thank you SO much!  Make sure you check Holiday Snobs often for the best holiday ideas!

Linky Parties:  Craft-o-maniac, Fun to Craft, I heart naptime, Home Stories A to Z, Making the World Cuter, Just a Girl, Serenity Now
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