Friday, October 30, 2009

You say 'Goodbye' and I say 'Hello!'

Yesterday, we said, 'Goodbye!' to this...
And 'Hello!' to this...
That highchair was a great shower gift when #1 was born! It has been put through the ringer, and we are happy to move on to the next phase of #3's life....The Booster Chair Phase. I covered the back of her chair in a vinyl tablecloth. I should probably do that to all 3 girls chairs because they are messy and I can't stand cleaning the slats of those chairs. That's hard work! I might just make that my next project. Scrub down those chairs and make slip covers for them out of the vinyl tablecloths. Hmm! Stay tuned for the update on that. Anyway, now all I have to keep cleaned is the floor around #3's chair. I'm thinking of sticking a splat mat to the floor, but I don't know yet. It's hard to beat the good ole' broom and mop. #3 LOVES sitting in the booster seat, though, and we kind of like having her sitting right up to the table with us. She's growing up fast!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Let's Talk About Kitchen Clutter

So, what's cluttering your kitchen counter/island? Come on, you can tell me. I know you have some. The only person I know that doesn't is my friend, Dayna. Everytime I go to her house, I notice how clutter-free her countertops are. She inspires me to keep reaching for that goal at my house. I really don't know how to keep toys, receipts, various mechanic pocket tools, mail, etc. off of my counter and it's driving me BONKERS!!! (By the way, do you remember that candy... Bonkers?? Wow, it's been a long time since I've had that. Is it still even around?) Pardon my C.I.A.D.D. - Child Induced Attention Deficit Disorder... back to the clutter.... When I moved into this house 2.9 years ago, I found what I believe to be the best idea I've ever seen from Martha Stewart. It was a shelf, which is normally hung around eye-height, with openings for baskets and had hooks on the bottom from which to hang, well, everything. Only she hung it at counter height. Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!!!!! We have a winner! I had been looking for something to go in a space in my kitchen and as soon as I saw that, I knew that would be it. So, the search was on for a shelf with hooks that would fit. Anyway, long story short, we found it at our semi-local Pottery Barn Outlet on clearance and snatched it up right away. Hubs hung it up for me as soon as we got home. Then, I found baskets that actually fit at Big Lots for $7 each and they were lined. Yay me! This shelf had purpose...1) Rid my kitchen countertop of mail, junk, etc. (baskets were assigned for each junk category) 2) Give me a place to put keys, etc. and 3) fill an empty spot on my wall that would inevitably have tiny handprints all over it. Well, although I LOVE my shelf, two of the baskets are full of clutter while the other is full of diapers/wipes and there is STILL clutter on my countertop. Now, the shelf top has clutter on it and it's suppose to only have a couple of things on it. But the hooks on the bottom have been very helpful. They are just the right height for my little chickadees to hang their sweaters/coats/diaper bag on and if I am careful it doesn't get too cluttered. Here's a pic.
Pardon the blinding white walls!!! That problem should be solved in a few weeks! Don't worry - I'll post pics!
My daily quest is to junk the clutter. If Hubs comes home and finds no clutter on the counter, he thinks I have slaved all day cleaning the house. Because to him, if the kitchen is clean, there is peace and calm. If the kitchen is a mess, chaos reigns. And I must admit, I feel the same way. This is what is cluttering my countertop this week. Pretty much sums up my week so far.

Any tips for a clutter-free countertop are welcome!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My Want-To-Do List

Forget the To-Do List for a moment, I made myself a 'Want-T0-Do List'. I got my new Better Homes and Gardens issue yesterday and can't get enough of it. The rust has fallen off my creative wheels that have somehow started turning lately. I just can't stop. All I can think about is 'What can I make next?', 'Wonder what I can make out of these curtains I just took down from my sliding door?' (after I wash them, of course), 'What else can I sew fuzzy ball trim to?'.... Even at 4:41am when I hear my child get up to go potty, my brain starts thinking of all the things I have in my idea file that I want to make or do. Is this some kind of disorder?? Should I eat more chocolate? Maybe that would help. Or maybe I've been eating too much chocolate. That's probably more like it. Anyway, here are a few items on my Want-To-Do List...
  1. Make Pumpkin Soup and actually eat it. It looks so good in the magazine.
  2. Make new stockings for the fam.
  3. Come up with some new allergy-free recipes that the whole fam will enjoy.
  4. Load up my etsy shop with lots of goodies that people will love - and BUY!
  5. Re-decorate my mantle - and pretend like it looks nice and painted as I'm sure it will look in a few weeks or so.
  6. Paint Maggie's desk.
  7. Burn my current couch. (ha!) or maybe just give it away and order a new one. Anyone want a nice blue couch with torn cushion covers? It's a sturdy couch and the only problems with it are the torn seat cushion covers, the misshaped back cushions and the multitude of toys lost in the crevices of the couch. You could reshape the back cushions or just make 5 or 6 big loose cushions for the back, recover the seat cushions and throw a slipcover over the rest of it. It would look like new! Any takers?
  8. Come up with 10-14 new meals that I can rotate for the fam...keeping budget and nutrition in mind.
  9. There are more on my list, but I'm too cold to get up and go get it. And I'm too scared - we're watching a suspense movie and now I won't be able to go upstairs by myself and I'll have to check under my bed and make sure the closet door is closed before I go to sleep. Oh - and keep my hands and feet inside the covers.

So, what's on your Want-To-Do List?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Turkey Tote

outside pic
inside view

side view

up close and personal with Turkey Lurkey

So, here's the latest of my obsession with burlap. I'm putting it in my online boutique tonight, hopefully. (Unless I decide I need it more than I need to sell it.) So, here you have it... This tote is perfect for all of your toting needs. =] Just imagine all the stuff you can carry in this stylish tote this Fall season. It matches everything and you can be proud to 'tote' it in style.

Living Room Mistreatments

Well, here they are. My husband is pleased so I am very happy with them. He's happy regardless of the way I've been mistreating my windows. Here's the low-down...

  • $7.99 amazing deal on the curtain rod from Hancock Fabrics. Crazy awesome deal! I bought 2. The best part is that I thought I was getting the rods 40% off of $39.99, but somehow they were way cheaper when I got to the register! Love those deals!!

  • Chocolate brown burlap fabric - I am addicted to this right now - Awesome deal on that, as well at Hancock and at Hancock online. I didn't finish the side edges because the outside edges are very clean edges on the selvage side. The inside edges are paperclipped (you heard me) to the inside curtain edges so that they stay together better. I did sew a rod pocket on the top of the burlap and a hem on the bottom, though.

  • Lighter inside curtains are really not curtains at all. They are really a tablecloth. You would have never known if I didn't tell you, right? I found the tablecloth at Target while shopping for a curtain for that spot. Didn't find one I loved, so I scanned the tablecloth section and found one I loved. It works great and even has a little bit of a pattern on it. Perfectly subtle. I bought a 60x104 size tablecloth for $14.99. Cut it straight down the middle lengthwise and finished the cut edge because it doesn't look very nice unfinished. Only one cut and two seams later, I have curtains! Hung them from ring clips instead of a rod pocket because it gives a little dimension to my mistreatment since I opted for using one curtain rod instead of two. I didn't want the lighter curtain to go all the way behind the burlap panels because our room is dark now just from having window treatments, so a little light shining through them is perfect. I still have to hem them, but I love how they turned out!

  • Total cost for this window treatment was less than $40!! I love it when a plan comes together.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Turkey Lurkey

New shirts available from my Jolly Holidays line @ My3Chickadees! More to come, but this is just a preview.

Turkey Lurkey turtleneck shown here with a Happy Dots deluxe marker apron from my PipSqueaks line.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

More from PipSqueaks

Finished another apron after a small fight with my sewing machine. (I won, by the way!) I don't know why, but everytime I run out of bobbin thread the machine wants to refuse to work appropriately. I gave up yesterday after it happened - I just needed to walk away. ha Then, today when I woke up to yet another rainy day, I decided to try again. Took about 30 minutes and some mechanical work, but I fixed it. I was so glad to finish the apron and then made two more products for my etsy shop. A portable changing pad/diaper clutch combo and a matching lap pad. Pics will be on tomorrow, hopefully.

This weekend should be a busy one around here for the miter saw and the nail gun. Hubs is planning to finish replacing the trim around the windows and interior doors and possibly get back to work on finishing the crown moulding. Last weekend was very unproductive because of a 6 yr old's birthday party, Hubs having to work some and Sunday being church. So, we're a week behind schedule. Yes, I said schedule. I've put a deadline on ourselves. =] It gives us something to shoot for. We hope to have all the woodwork done this month so we can start painting first thing in November. All of that needs to be done by Thanksgiving because our new couch should be coming around then and I would like to be able to decorate for Christmas right after Thanksgiving. I'm tired just thinking about it. I just want it all done. I really dread having dust all over the downstairs from having to sand the fireplace surround and all the crown moulding, but the end result will be happy. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go stock up on Pledge.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Window Mistreatments

I learned this term from The Nester. Love the whole idea behind it! She coined the phrase 'It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful' and I love that. All that know me well, know that I am not in the least bit a perfectionist. (I think I just heard my sister yell out 'you can say that again' from the hills of TN.) I like to sew and I like doing things but when it comes to doing things right by the book, I just can't scrape up that last inkling of persistence to do it. I use my own rules. So, you can imagine that when I came across window mistreatments that I was just plain excited! I'm the girl that can't even hang a curtain rod level, so this is right up my alley!! Anyway, my first attempt at a window mistreatment was a success in my eyes. I found fabric that I really liked on the clearance table and decided it goes with what I'm trying to accomplish in my downstairs adventure. Then, I decided I would make a valance. Yes, a valance. I cringe saying that word because I'm not necessarily a valance kind of girl, but I didn't want to cover up my kitchen window and didn't want the hassle of making a real roman shade so I just did my thing. Had some leftover ribbon from my monogram wreath hanging so I used it. I may take that off and switch it out with some chocolate brown burlap (I'm using burlap on my other big windows in the LR/Kitchen soon) ties. We'll see. Now, let me explain why this is a doesn't have all finished edges and the ribbon is not sewn on or attached properly. I just made it look like it was. This is something that Hubs had a hard time with at first. I am married to a perfectionist with a capital 'P'. Nevermind that window treatments really don't matter to him all that much. It's just the fact that he knows the side edges are not finished and that the ribbon is pinned up there. This bugs him. It's kind of like the crooked picture on the wall that I have to fix everytime I walk by it, or the mini-blinds (you heard me) that were in our mini-van when we were teenagers that my sister had to rig up so that they would stay completely open. You know the feeling. Anyway, Hubs likes the look of my valance/shade a lot, and is getting over his little pet peeve. I promise you, you would never know that it isn't completely finished because you aren't going to crawl up on my counter and look up underneath it - are you? Now, I'm onto making my living room curtains and then the sliding door ones. The sliding door mistreatments have been a thorn in my flesh. I cannot for the life of me decide what to do with that unfortunate door/window. If I live here long enough, that door will be replaced with french doors. So, if you have any great ideas for the sliding door, I beg you to share them with me. And don't even dare tell me to put on vertical blinds. =]

Above the kitchen sink. Sorry there's no before. Just imagine plain Jane.

Monday, October 12, 2009

When the Answer is 'Not Yet'

Saturday morning did not start out well for us. It had been 2.5 years since #2 had been exposed to cow's milk (to which she is severely allergic) and we were beginning to believe that since we had not seen an allergic reaction in quite some time that maybe she was outgrowing her milk allergy. This is something we've been praying for since she was 7 months old. At the time, we were told she had a 75% chance of outgrowing her allergy by age 3. She's 4 now and Saturday morning during breakfast #2 announced suddenly that her tummy was hurting really bad. Normally, this doesn't mean much except that she has eaten too much or needs to go to the bathroom. This time, it was different. Hubs immediately realized he had given #2 the wrong cereal bowl. (#2 drinks rice milk.) I was instantly alarmed and had her lay on the couch while we watched her reaction unfold before our eyes. A minute later, she began coughing over and over, then choking. Her eyes swelled and she began sneezing like crazy. I gave her a heaping dose of Benadryl as soon as the coughing started. It took several stressful minutes for the Benadryl to stop the coughing and once that happened I got the flashlight and looked in her throat. It was very narrow with hives all inside. Benadryl saves lives. That's why I have it in several places in my house and carry it with #2 everywhere she goes. Had I waited seconds longer to give her Benadryl, I am sure I would have had to use her EpiPen and call 911. Once the reaction calmed down and I was sure that for the moment she would be okay, I was discouraged. It is difficult to live with food allergies, but it's very hard to watch your child deal with food allergies. It's in a sense, a disease. This could potentially take her life and that is a very scary thing. Her life is not only in my hands, but in the hands of EVERYONE around her. Let's face it, food is everywhere and at every function. She's not only allergic to milk, but also eggs and peanuts. This means all baked goods are off limits, most desserts, all casseroles, most breads, vegetables in public places, pastas, etc. For this reason, we do not go to pot-luck meals, churchwide fellowships and other food-involved events. She's still too young to trust her with her own life. She knows she has allergies, but not to the extent that she could resist the temptation to taste what looks delicious. She is aware now, that we pray for God to allow her to outgrow these allergies and she prays for that, as well. I know she doesn't understand that and really doesn't understand why everyone else gets to eat everything when she constantly has to eat an alternative. Thanks to Saturday, she now knows what happens when she eats something 'bad'. I have been begging God to take these allergies away from her. It is very inconvenient and time-consuming to figure out meals and snacks that are free from her allergies, but that is not why I ask God this request. I love her and don't want her to have to deal with this all of her life. I don't want her to have to wonder if what she's putting in her mouth is going to take her life. I don't want her to be 'left out' and feel like the odd ball everytime her friends/classmates are indulging in a delicious snack and she has to eat something different. I want her to be invited to birthday parties and be able to eat the birthday cake. I want her to be able to trick or treat and be able to eat the candy without Mom and Dad having to susbstitute everything in her bag. I want her to be able to pick any restaurant in the city that she'd like to eat at and be able to go there and eat whatever she wants without worry or fear. I want to see the smile on her face instead of the sadness that once again she can't have what everyone else has. BUT, I have had to face the fact that it doesn't matter what I want. What matters is what God wants. I know that His plan for #2 is better than my plan. He doesn't do anything without a reason. He does everything for her good. So, knowing that and having experienced that in my own life, I have to believe that He will work this out for His glory and for her good. Somehow these life-threatening food allergies will work together for good according to His purpose for her life. And Saturday, when I realized that the prayers we have prayed for #2 to outgrow these allergies is still a prayer in progress, God's answer to me is 'not yet', and while that can be discouraging it is a good reminder to me that I need to be more fervent and faithful praying for #2. She's special to God and He loves her more than I do. It makes Him sad to see the disappointment on her face just like it makes me sad. He has protected her every day of her life and I am thankful for that. God has been so good to us and I will continue to praise Him for Who He is and what He has done for me, even if He never sees fit to relieve my girl of these allergies.
Psalm 126:3 The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I have opened a new shop called My3Chickadees.

Please come visit me!

The Grand Opening will be later once I add more fabulous items to my shop. I never have understood why stores that have been opened for a long time have 'Grand Openings.' Weird. So anyway, I'll let you know if I get hit with a tsunami of creativity and load up shop. That has never happened, so don't hold your breath.

I am happy to announce that I have sold my first PipSqueaks Apron, though! YAY!

Monday, October 5, 2009

PipSqueaks Apron

These pockets fit crayons or markers. Perfect for the Pip Squeaks by Crayola.
Backside of apron is all stripes. Two pockets in middle for notepads or other artsy tools.

This is my first PipSqueaks Apron. You may have heard this called a 'crayon apron', but I like it better with Crayola's Pip Squeaks Washable Markers in it. Perfect for little hands. This is a fun apron! I love it! And my girls love it, too. I'll be making a few of these and selling them on a trial run. $25 includes Pip Squeaks markers. $20 without markers. More craftiness to come.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Administrative Assistant Needed

Looking for a smart, organized Admin Assistant whose specialty is multi-tasking amidst chaos.

Job description includes:
*Keeping up with all paperwork brought home by the 1st grader on a daily basis,
must be able to discern which papers to sign and send back, file, display on refrigerator and/or throw away;
*Keep a running list of items Mom is suppose to send into school for the teacher, classmates and said 1st grader;
*Create and keep up with 1st grader's class and school calendar so Mom knows ahead of time when Open House, Field Trip, Chapel, P.E., etc. is so that 1st grader will have the appropriate clothing/shoes on;
*Check online site to get 1st grader's grades, class and school calendar and any school news Mom might need to know about;
*Merge class calendar with Mom's personal calendar and 1st grader's school calendar so Mom can see the big picture and not be surprised by anything at the last minute which is when she is usually ironing 1st grader's clothing and Dad's uniform and making both lunches. (Yes, Mom already knows that ironing and making lunch the night before is much easier, but not always practical.)
Job Requirements:
*Must be proficient in using Microsoft Office and the Printer.
*Must be able to tone out voices of children who think they are starving to death when 1st grader gets home from school.
*Must be able to work calmly and thoroughly with 17 month old hanging onto your legs and crying to be picked up.
*Must be able to organize said papers at the kitchen counter while dodging the mine-field that is the Tupperware dragged out all over the floor as a result of not picking up said 17 month old.
*Must be willing to work for food. No monetary payment will be made, but the benefits are priceless.

*You know I'm kidding, right? Sometimes I am just bewildered with all the paperwork that my 1st grader brings home. It's nuts. Monday, I had to pack lunch, wild animal project, signed friday folder, open house list, library book, little paper booky thing that #1 has to read to me and I sign, AND field trip note signed. Oh, and remember to bring her piano books for lessons after school. I was like, "Seriously?" I need a whole day planner just for #1's schedule. I don't remember 1st grade being so much work for my mom. OK, so maybe that's because I don't remember much about 1st grade except Mrs. Morton, my teacher. Yikes. The stories I could tell. Oh my.... Anyway, back to the subject - what will I do when #2 is also in school next year??