Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Favorites of 2011

As we are nearing the end of this year, it's kind of fun to see how the year went.  I am amazed at the growth of this little hobby of mine.  Thank you so much for spending a little bit of my life with me!  I looked through the archives and pulled out some favorites from the past year.  These aren't necessarily the ones with the  most hits or the most comments.  Just ones I like, a lot.

Dishtowel into Pillow  - I bought a dishtowel of Colorado, but didn't want it to get dirty.  I sewed it into a pillow and it sits on a bench in our foyer. 

 Bench Makeover - I bought a bench for cheap and gave it a makeover.  I painted the legs, added more padding, covered the buttons and tufted this.  It sits at the end of our bed and we love it.

Green Smoothie - we drink these several times a week.  In fact, after all the Christmas goodies that have been coming into our home, this smoothie is the perfect way to bounce back!

Arts and Crafts Thursday with kiddos series - every Thursday, when my kiddos are out of school, we try to do some art project.  I loved looking back at all the things we've made together.  It's become one of our favorite things to do together.

Ruffle Bag Tutorial - such a pretty bag.

Allowance with our kids - this is the way our family does allowance.  It isn't complicated, it works, and I really think it is teaching them some basics of money.  All kids spent their own money on Christmas presents for each other this year!

Our office - this year, we got moulding up around the room, put in an executive desk, started filling up the bookshelves, and sewed some drapes.  We still have to get a light fixture, something on the walls, replace the office chair and cozy this room up.

Our Baby - yep, we've got #4 on the way.  I'm not sure if projects are going to slow down as I get bigger or speed up as I anticipate no spare time once this little duckling arrives. 

Again, thank you!  You have made our year such an awesome year!  We are very excited for the year 2012 and anticipate another fantastic year!

Also linking to:  Serenity Now, Someday Crafts

Monday, December 26, 2011

Q-Tip Craft

One day this winter break, G. and I found ourselves looking at each other and being bored.  What we came up with is a quick craft that stifled that boredom right away.

I broke the q-tips in half and G. stuck them in a Styrofoam ball.  My original thought was that it could be snowflakes.  By the time we were done, G. called them sea anemones.  We could have spray painted them, we could have added glitter, or at least googly eyes - but we didn't.  I took a cue from my little guy and this is all he wanted to do and was COMPLETELY happy the entire time.

Well, it didn't take long before big sister wanted in on the action.  She used Q-tips precision tips.  They have a pointy edge and are new.

Again, break and stick.

About a half hour later:

I use q-tips a lot with our crafts - mostly for applying paint or glue.  Every kid who has come in our home since has picked these up and gone a bit ga-ga over them.  Who would have known?  Sometimes the simplest craft are the most effective.

This is a sponsored post from Q-Tips cotton swabs.  If you're looking for extra inspiration on how to incorporate Q-tips® cotton swabs into your routine (along with a few laughs), head here to watch this new video, which can also be found on Facebook:

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Grateful Sunday

This is my plan in life, and especially at Christmas time.  I am grateful that I have some time to slow down and really take in what this season is all about.   My kiddos are now off of school and home with me.  We are not traveling, nor is anyone coming to visit us.  That may sound a little lonely, but I am think it sounds simple and will give me the opportunity to show my husband and children that they matter most. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Favorite Things: Fitness Edition

These are a few of my favorite things!  320 Sycamore is having a favorite things party and what a fun party it is!  I've tweaked it a little and only included a few of my favorite fitness things.  I am, by no means, a hard core exercise buff or health nut. It is important for me to live a healthy life and I try to make decisions based around that belief.  I try to be balanced and really don't spend too much time on one thing, including exercise.  That being said, here are some things that I LOVE that help me in my quest for fitness:

My Sole treadmill - we've had ours for four years now and have shopped around a lot.  This baby gets plenty of miles on it each week and needed to stand up to some actual running.  I love it!  My husband leaves very early in the morning and I love not having to go to a gym, or run outside.  This baby has made me one happy mommy!

When I do run outside, I use Nike + iPod.  I put the little transmitter in my shoe and run.  It keeps track of mileage, miles per hour, and can even program songs to pump me up!

I have about 5-6 pairs of shoes that I rotate.  I've tried all brands and like many brands, but my FAVORITES are saucony

I drink water all day long - about a gallon a day.  These Contigo water bottles are my favorite.  They do not leak, they hold plenty and are easy to transport.  Drink your water :)

I've been using the Physique 57 DVDs for several years now and they do not get old!  I don't like wimpy DVDs - I like them to push me and these do, even after all these years. 

Cooking Light is my very favorite recipe magazine.  I like the recipes, my kids eat the recipes and I end up always cooking the way they do.

What are your favorite things?  Looking for ideas - go check out the party!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Pillow Cases

Need a quick, loved-by-all, gift?  Why not a Christmas pillowcase?

We gave them as a family gift this year.  You have to give them early so they can enjoy them for the month of December.

A little trim on the seam is always cute!

There are countless tutorials out there - seriously, try googling it and you'll see the countless.  This isn't a tutorial, just a recommendation!  My kids love getting out their pillow cases.  We have them for every season and I think they are a gift that every one is happy with!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Ruffle Knee Socks

I wore these socks to church on Sunday and have had no less than 10 requests on how to make them - stat!  Those are phone call or email requests, not just the casual bump-into-you-and-compliment-your-socks request.

Right now, with my pregnancy, tights are a little uncomfortable - but it is cold in Colorado.  So, boots it is!  These socks just dress up the boots a bit.

I used this tutorial, kind of.  You can click over and see beautiful photography and give the girl credit for such a fantastic idea, or just hang out here and see what I did.  It is pretty  much the same thing - again, not as pretty pictures, though.

I cut a 2" slit on the back of the sock.  I tried it without cutting, but they did not fit.  I do have "runner calves," though, so it might fit for others.

Line up your trim and your sock.  I back stitched a little at the begining.

Now, leave the trim alone, but stretch the sock as far as you can!  Then sew.  I mean, you sew the trim and the stretched sock together.  The trim will ruffle up the sock.  This is way easier than running a gathering stitch down your trim, pulling the thread, pinning and sewing it to the sock.  Just pull the sock!

See, it ruffles!

Voila - 5 minutes later you have this!

I picked up the knee socks for $2.50 at Target and had all the trim at my home.  Yes, the sock is different than the one I was originally wearing - I didn't plan on making a tutorial the first time.  I just wanted to see if it worked and if I liked it.  Now, all the possibilities are running through my head!

And back to the white ones -

These kind of look like my 4 year old's socks:

I tried to make it a bit festive and hot glued a glitter bow.

And some buttons:

Go ahead - try them!  If the response I received is any indication, you will not be disappointed!  If you make them, I'd love for you to email me and let me know!

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