Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Glow in the Dark Pillowcases

What do you get when you cross 2 yards of fabric, left over glow in the dark paint, and kids with a day off of school?  

We made glow-in-the-dark Halloween pillowcases, of course.  I got this great fabric from IKEA.  Then we googled "Halloween Stencil" and found some images that we liked.  I cut them out of freezer paper and the kids ironed it on to the fabric and stenciled away.

This took about a billion coats and it still didn't cover up the black - but it really does look cool when it glows.  It took me less than an hour to sew up the sides and hem the top of four of them (that even included pining it so the stripes matched!).

I caught G. last night shining a flashlight on his pillow and then turning it off to watch it glow - he should have been sleeping :).

We found that the yellow glows the brightest - but the orange is just as cool.  I thought all the little cut outs of G's pirate ship would never look good, but I am pleasantly pleased!

I love crafting with my kids - and it is even better when they turn out so cute and are so fun!

Link parties I participate in: 30 Handmade,  A bowl full of lemons, Be Different Act Normal, Bloom DesignsCraft-O-Maniac, I Heart Naptime,  Lolly Jane Boutique, Ninth Street Notions, Live LaughPositively Splendid,  Serenity Now, Sew ChattySkip to my Lou, Someday Crafts, Tatertots and Jello, Thrifty Decor Chick, Tidy MomToday's Creative Blog

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Grateful Sunday

It is fall and I am excited for everything that comes with it!  I'm grateful to live in a place that has seasons and to have kids that really get into them with me.  I'm grateful that today is Sunday and my family will be together today.  I'm grateful that I don't have to cook dinner tonight!  I'm grateful for freshly cleaned carpets. I'm grateful that I can stop watering the garden.  I'm grateful that there is no school tomorrow!

What are you grateful for?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Advantages of White Furniture

Every now and then, I have a sponsored post.  It helps pay for all the gluten free pretzels and dairy free butter that I have to purchase.  Thanks!

Advantages of White Furniture for Home Offices

I am just a regular person and I assume that most people will immediately think of brown
whenever they hear the word furniture. Furniture, wood, brown. This is how it works!
But if you think outside the box you can find some really attractive design choices! Luckily for me, I have recently discovered white furniture and the advantages of using it, especially for the home office.
You see, we wrongly assume that if it’s white, it will get dirty easier. But furniture is just furniture; nobody is going to jump on to a cupboard or desk with muddy trainers on. At least they shouldn’t anyway!
I agree with people who tell me that mahogany simply cannot be replaced in the dining room, but as far as bedrooms and home office furniture are concerned, I believe that furniture with a white finish design is the best choice. Let me tell you my reasons.
If you have a small home office, it will all of a sudden seem bigger, brighter and fresher. Add a plant on top of the bookcase or hang a painting on the wall for an extra splash of colour. You’ll have one of the choicest office designs! Just like this one, the New England home office range made from wood.

Advantages of white furniture for home offices
  • For mums working from home, white office furniture is an excellent choice. It adds that element of being unique and different that is so very desired. White also conceals dust better than black, so if you don’t have time to dust every day don’t worry.
  • It creates an airy, relaxing atmosphere while remaining functional. This means that the furniture has enough drawers and shelves to cope with various documentation and storage needs, yet your room won’t feel overly cluttered.
  • Another great advantage of white office furniture is that if there isn’t a spare room that can be used as a home office, it can be placed in a corner of the bedroom, without causing too much discrepancy. The beauty and the sense of calm that characterises white furniture will simply match any bedroom.
There are people who say that white furniture has the great disadvantage of showing stains, but serious stains are visible no matter the colour. A hot mug placed directly on a wooden
table will in time damage it.
I think the disadvantage could be turned into an advantage, as once you know white furniture is more prone to stains than the brown or black one, you’ll pay more attention the way you treat it. My black blouse won’t last longer because it’s black, but because I wash it properly. The same can be said for your furniture!

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Truth in my Kitchen

Oh how I wish this was about any decor or improvement project that was going on in my kitchen.  It is not.   This post is about feeding my family and what is really going on here.  I've blogged before about my daughter's allergies.

This little girl is allergic to wheat, eggs, peanuts, tree nut, and shell fish.  Phew - you thought that was a complicated list.  I'll keep going.

This past summer, my favorite little dude was diagnosed with Crohn's disease and the doctor has put him on a special diet.  He can no longer eat any nuts or seeds (including berries, popcorn, etc.) and only low lactose foods.

This cutie pie has just started eating solids, but for months now, he seems to be unable to tolerate any type of dairy that I eat.  He gets a rash on those sweet cheeks - the same sign we noticed that M. had when we were diagnosing her allergies.  

Did you keep track of all that?  My oldest has no issues, but she has to make several sacrifices because of her siblings.  Plus, she's 10 and although I wouldn't call her picky, she definitely has her likes and dislikes. Four kids and four different diets.  I have been in the kitchen a lot lately - honestly, it isn't my favorite place to be.  I am determined to still keep these kids eating healthy foods.  I am having to cook almost everything from scratch and am constantly making substitutions.  

While the rest of you are pinning apple pies and pumpkin bars this fall, I'll be scrambling to try variations of meat and veggies.  We've been thrown into a world with soy milk, coconut oil, xanthum gum, rice flour, almond butter, etc.  It is an adventure.

So that is where my mind is lately and since this blog is a reflection of my life, you might see a lot of allergy-free type recipes and learning to live with-out.  We are looking forward to fall, but have to learn to adapt so many of our fun traditions that are wrapped around food.  
But, I can't think of a better reason than these kiddos!  Wish me luck!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Interior Addict

Interior addict is another one of those online stores that is kind of fun to look around.  They are contemporary and modern - a look my husband leans towards.

Right now, if you buy three items, you get the cheapest one for free.

It's always kind of fun for me to browse around and this is a fun place to look!

Friday, September 14, 2012

5 Months Body after Baby

Happy Day - I am 1 pound under my pre-baby weight!  Baby J. is 5 months old and my goal was to be here by the time he was 6 months.  The scale is looking good.  Unfortunately, things shift when you are pregnant and although the scale looks good, there is still some more toning to be done.

When I checked in last, I was just beginning Mom's into Fitness 60 Day Slim Down.  After 60 days, I lost 11 pounds.  On the whole, I loved this program - but there were some 52 minute workouts that just didn't get finished.  Also, I usually do my own treadmill work out on cardio days.  And because I love you, I've written down what I do most often on the treadmill.  Yes, I switch it up every minute - it makes the time go faster!  Here you go:

Laurel's Favorite Treadmill Workout
13:00-21:00Start at 5 minutes and repeat cycle1
21-29:00Repeat cycle again1
29:00-30:00Cool down at 4.01

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Shabby Apple's Best Sellers

I love Shabby Apple and have done a couple of giveaways and reviews!  How can you not love their dresses?  

Right now, their best-selling dresses are going quick and they are super cute.
1. Alice
4. Ingrid

I'm thinking #3 will be perfect for Tom's Christmas work party.  I know I am thinking ahead, but they probably won't be around when it is time!  If you are interested, they are offering a 10% site wide with this code: favorite 10!  The code expires 9/14/12 - so act fast. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Vanilla Applesauce

I spent the past week making applesauce!  Everyone in my family loves homemade applesauce, so much that they really won't eat store bought now.  I was able to buy a ton of apples from an orchard and got to work making applesauce!  I am in no way a canning expert and really don't have many special tools for canning.  I just use what I've got and it seems to work!

Core and peel apples - I think I did about 20/batch.  Toss them in a pot with 1" of water and a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice.  Start cooking.  After a little bit, the apples start to get soft.  

I use my immersion blender and blend away right in the pot.  You could transfer to a blender or use a potato masher.  Blend it how smooth you want it.  We like a little bit of chunks in ours.  Our apples weren't very sweet, so I did add about 1/4 cup of sugar to this pot.  Totally optional.

Fill up your clean and sterilized jars.  You should have your lids and rings in a pot of boiling water while you are doing all this.

I think I averaged 5 apples/quart of applesauce.  That is a very rough estimation, so don't hold me too hard to that.

Add 2 tsps vanilla/quart of applesauce.  The vanilla is not only delicious, but it also helps the apples from totally turning brown.  The vanilla is what my kids love about my applesauce.

While you are stirring in the applesauce, run a knife around the edge to release any bubbles or air pockets.

Put on lids and rings.  If you are going to put these in a water bath, only screw them on finger tight.  After they are boiling, then really screw them on.  Put in boiling water for 20-25 minutes.  The water should be about 1" over the tops of the jars.  Let them sit for 24 hours before you move them.

This is one box done and I've got one more to go.  Hopefully, that will get us through until next apple season!
Link parties I participate in: 30 Handmade,  A bowl full of lemons, Be Different Act Normal,  Craft-O-Maniac, I Heart Naptime, Love Bakes Good Cakes,  Lolly Jane Boutique, Ninth Street Notions,  Oopsey DaisyPositively Splendid,  Serenity Now, Sew ChattySkip to my Lou, Someday Crafts, Tatertots and Jello, Thrifty Decor Chick, Tidy MomToday's Creative Blog

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Homework Station

Yikes - who likes to look at ugly spaces?  Thankfully, this is now a before shot.

We have what we call a landing at the top of our stairs.  We have a built in desk and cabinets, which makes it a nice space.  Recently, however, it has become the junk space.

Look at those cabinets - WOWZERS.  Time for mommy to take it back.
Now, it is our new HOMEWORK STATION!!

Look at those drawers (and how many pencils can one family own?)

I put an acrylic hanging file box.  This is for all the homework folders and papers that need to stay at home for the week.

I purged and purged and cleaned up those cupboards.  I think we have a total of 15 composition notebooks.  They come home at the end of the year with only a couple of pages written in them,  so I guess you could say we collect them.

The bins now actually fit the cabinet and they are labeled!  This is what is going to help make this last!

For some fun, I painted a neutral chevron on the wall.  Then added a cork board.  I love how the teal pops!

The picture will get hung up soon.

The chair still makes me happy.

Now this is a place that the kids actually use!  And it's easy to keep clean.

What I'd love to do is top those cabinets with globes - I'm on the look out!  Plus add cabinet hardware - that is awaiting approval from the husband.

Hopefully, now I won't have to hear all the excuses - lost homework, can't find my supplies, can't concentrate, etc. etc.  Just a perfect space for those perfect grades!

Link parties I participate in: 30 Handmade,  A bowl full of lemons, Be Different Act Normal, Blueberry Craft,  Craft-O-Maniac, DIY Dreamer,  I Heart Naptime,  Lolly Jane Boutique, Ninth Street Notions,  NY Melrose FamilyOopsey DaisyPositively Splendid,  Serenity Now, Sew ChattySkip to my Lou, Someday Crafts, Tatertots and Jello, Thrifty Decor Chick, Tidy MomToday's Creative Blog, We Like to Learn as We Go,

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