Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Don't underestimate the Dollar Store!

I had to go the Dollar Tree yesterday to get some things, and I saw these cool little trees. I saw some little trees similar to these last year for about $5 each and I didn't buy them in enough time because they were all snatched up by the time I went back. I planned to make some this year with styrofoam cones and glitter, but when I saw these at my Dollar Tree, I had to buy them because you can't make them for that cheap! I love how they are so simple and cute! So seriously, don't underestimate your dollar store! There are great finds in there!

Have any of you stumbled upon the website, Dollar Store Crafts? It features crafts that you can make using items from the Dollar Store! I think it's so clever!

Here is a picture of our Charlie Brown Christmas tree! We have a tradition of going up into the mountains and cutting down our own tree. They are never lush, but hopefully we are providing some good memories for our kids!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sweater Re-fashion

I love thrift store shopping. I love giving things a makeover, including clothes. I found this sweater at my local thrift store for $0.75! I really liked it as a sweater, but it just wasn't quite long enough...I like my sweaters to cover my bum.

So, I decided to turn it into a sweater vest that I could wear a cute belt over.

I cut off the sleeves.

Hemmed them.

...and now I have a sweater vest!

Then my husband took the leftover sleeves, trimmed them properly and cut two holes for the front legs of our puppy, and now she has two cute new sweaters to wear! :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Please pardon my absence during the month of November...I was feeling very uninspired and not very creative! I need to get my booty back into gear though because I have many Christmas presents to craft and sew for my friends and relatives. I love this time of year. My house has been filled with warm fires in our wood stove, hot chocolate almost every night, and family movie nights watching our favorite Christmas movies. After Balck Friday, I am officially done Christmas shopping for all three of my kids, and now I need to focus on my husband Danny! It feels good to be done with the's easy because they are all so young still.

One thing I wanted to talk about today was color-coordination. Oftentimes, when you see a beautifully decorated room for Christmas, it is usually color-coordinated which makes it look very cohesive. Last year, I decided that I would stock up on Christmas decorations right after Christmas, when they were all on clearance. I wanted a pretty, color coordinated theme, and I went for greens, silvers, and golds (Mom has blue and silver, and I wanted to be a little different). Although we haven't decorated yet, I am excited to bust out all my new decorations I purchased. We always cut down our own tree up in the mountains, and so we don't want to do that too early so we'll still have a tree on Christmas day! If you are having to shop for decorations this year, or are even waiting until the after Christmas clearnance, like I did, then think about a color pallette that you'd like, and stick to buying decorations in those colors. Variations of the colors look nice too. Here are some examples of some different color palletes...

See what I mean? See how pretty it looks when they color-coordinate?

All images courtesy of Martha Stewart

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tutorial: Make Your Own Magnetic Board

We missed one of my daughters' friends birthday party when we were out of town, but I still wanted to make her a fun gift. I had some leftover sheet metal and picture frames from another craft I did, and I thought it would be fun to make her a little magnetic board for her room. When I was recently at Michael's, I saw that they had some packs of Disney magnets clearnanced to .30 each, so I picked up a few packs!!

Supplies needed: Picture frame, craft paint and brush, sheet metal (The 8x10 piece I used cost 55 cents. You can find it from your local hardware store, and you can have them cut it to size for you), glitter, glue or mod podge, and magnets!

Start by painting your picture frame with craft paint, and do two layers. Maya, my daughter's friend has a purple and green room, so I thought this color would work.

Once the second layer of paint is dry, add some mod podge or white glue and the dazzle with sparkles!

Let dry, then add your sheet metal to the frame and add magnets!

Tip: You must buy the galvanized sheet metal, not the aluminum. My hardware store had both.

I also wanted to share a picture of my cute kids from Halloween...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tasty Fall Recipes

Over the past few weeks, I've been bookmarking several yummy looking fall recipes that I can't wait to try!

One of my favorite food blogs, The Ungourmet, had the following 3 recipes on her blog...

Apple Pecan Skillet Cake

Pumpkin & Maple Baked Oatmeal

Pumpkin Molasses Cookies

Over at Me & My Pink Mixer, there is a recipe for thisPumpkin Spice Granola

Whipperdish created these yummy looking Pumpkin Cakelettes

Wingledings shares a healthier muffin recipe with these Starbucks inspired Pumpkin Muffins

The Idea Room shares this recipe for Cinnamon Swirl Cakes

And I saved the best for last, because these these look heavenly! Inside BruCrew Life shares this recipe for Mini Pumpkin Oreo Cheesecakes


Monday, October 25, 2010

Autumn Fun!

I love this time of year. It's my favorite season. I love the changing leaves, the thunder and lightning storms, using our wood stove and being all nice and toasty, apple cider, pumpkins, just all brings so much great fun for my family! Today, I just wanted to share some photos of what we have been up to these past two weeks...

We recently went up to Winston, Oregon and stayed with a friend for a couple of days. There is a Wildlife Safari that you can drive through and literally have
zoo animals at your car window. My kids loved it!

This giraffe was just standing in the road staring at us, and so when we drove around it, we were eye level with its chest. It was pretty incredible, especially since we were a few inches from it driving past it.

I had to take a picture of this little guy, because what the heck is it? I thought it had a really cute face!

They also had train rides that took us around the zoo to see even more animals. My friend Amy is the one sitting next to Sawyer!

Of course we had to buy stuff at the gift shop!

We also recently enjoyed taking the kids to the local pumpkin patch to pick out a family pumpkin and for a hay ride.

We also got a new puppy...see her poking her face out of my daughter's purse?

I've also been canning fruits and veggies like crazy. We went to a U-Pick farm and stocked up on tomatoes, green beans, butternut squash, jalapenos, bell peppers, and pears. I love being able to feed my family produce that was locally grown. Right now, my husband Danny is hunting for Elk in Wyoming, so I'm excited that we are getting all stocked up with organic meats and produce for the winter!

Friday, October 15, 2010


We have this bookshelf made now, but we still can't seem to keep the books on it! Within the past few months, I decided I was so tired of constantly cleaning my kids' rooms, and I realized that I desperately needed to simplify their rooms. They were always messy because they had so much stuff in, dress up clothes, more toys, coloring books, Barbies, and more toys! I couldn't keep up. Once a week, I would have to go in and spend the morning putting their room back together again. I grew sooooooo tired of having to do that! Since I've simplified their rooms, I have noticed a HUGE difference. They are able to keep their own rooms more clean because it is more manageable for them now.

This is my little man's room. I have cut back on the amount of toys that were in there so that they don't become scattered all over the place. Because it is more simple and less cluttery, it stays more clean. This room has really evolved. At first, it was the twins' nursery with the crib. I tease that the wall color reminds me of McDonald's...I never intended for it to be that bright, but it actually works together with the rest of the IKEA stuff that is (and used to be) in there.

The principle of simplifying can be applied to any room of the house, not just children's rooms. When there is too much clutter all around, there is nothing that they eye can focus on and it is not visually appealing. So, I encourage you to look around and find areas of your house that have too much going on, and simplify them!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Design Solution: Bookshelf!

Over the past 6 days, I've had FOUR different families come to town for a visit! I don't know about you guys, but whenever I have people come over, especially for the first time, my house has to look perfect. Everything must be in its proper place! I feel the pressure, because after all, I do have a degree in Interior Design! It gave me some motivation last weekend to get some good, deep cleaning in!

As for this picture I'm about to show you...I'm embarrassed...and I can't even believe I am posting it here! My little two year old twins love to get into their book collection, but don't love to put them back (we're working on it!). In the corner of my little guys' room, there was this horrible pile of books. We've accumulated so many since my first daughter was born, and I needed a bookshelf made.

Here is the horrendous pile before:

As always, my husband came to my rescue and built me a bookshelf using the scrap wood that we had out in our garage (because we're frugal like that!). I painted it dark brown because it shows less smudge marks, which seem to be everywhere around here from all those little busy hands!

And here it is, which now sits in the girls' room:

It's simple, holds all of our children's books, looks more organized, and didn't cost us anything!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Make your own Dry Erase Board

I had a load to take to the thrift store...and amongst the stuff was this heinous looking dry erase board that my sister left, so my mom gave it to us to get rid of. Well, my lil' Payton started having fun drawing pictures on it, and so I told her I would make her a cuter dry erase board, as I snuck it out to the car to take away. Somehow it ended up back in my house, and we have both the one I made, as well as the ugly one. Maybe someday soon I can get rid of it without her caring!

Old one:

All you really need to make your own dry erase board is a picture frame in whatever size you desire, scrapbook paper (cut to size for frame), and some dry erase markers. You could go way fancier than I did and add embelishments to the frame and attach the marker somehow. I just kept this one super simple. The glass from the picture frame acts like a dry erase's easy to wipe off marker.

Here is Payton with it! She still likes the older one because it is bigger!