Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Current Situation: Taking photos on the front lawn

So for a long time now, I've admired those bloggers with fancy cameras who take amazing pictures and post them on their blogs.  They look awesome! And mine don't.  Don't try and be nice, but they don't.  So, I recently decided to start trying to learn how to use my new phone (you, know because my kids lost my red point and shoot camera.... and they dropped the blue point and shoot we had and shattered the screen); so the phone it is!  

So imagine that you've just got home from dropping your middle child off at preschool and dropping off library books, when you realize your youngest is sleeping in the car.

It's 10:30am.

So you sit in the car for awhile, turning the key just enough so you can hear the radio, but the car is off so you don't waste gas and hurt the environment (or something). The windows are down, it's 75 degrees, because you live in Florida and it's only really cold for 2 days out of the year. You read a magazine. Search for coupons. Check Facebook for the 10th time that day. Anything on twitter? I'm still not 100% sure how Twitter works, so no go there. Instagram? Again...the beautiful photos!  Argh!!

So you decide that it's time to figure out how to take those great photos once and for all. You get out a white board for the base. a piece of white paper clipped to a magazine holder, and set it out on the front lawn.  You then proceed to artfully arrange a bunch of yarn balls and try to take their picture in the blazing sun while lying on the grass. You can't see the pictures you are taking in your camera screen because of the sunlight, so you blindly snap away, hoping at least one will turn out. Your neighbor across the street comes home. You ignore him, as you secretly hope he's ignoring you laying on your lawn in a skirt, snapping photos of yarn balls.

You realize you left the car windows open, so you go to close them and then you realize that you've left the key in the car, playing music for over an hour and now your car battery is dead. Ugh! And things were going so well too.

Ha!  So this was my day, a little ridiculous, right?  I mean, who takes a nap at 10:30am?  Poor little C's been getting up early with her sister to go to the bus stop (her idea, not mine) and she's getting over a cold, so that might explain the early morning nap. And while I'm thankful for naps, I kinda wish she's nap in her bed so I could get some work done inside the house, instead of hanging out in the car with her. 

The pictures of the dryer balls turned out pretty awesome though, if I do say so myself.  I guess the outdoor sunlight really does make a difference!  



I don't even want to show you my previous photos--scary!



Now, if someone would just buy these, it would totally make up for my laying in the yard and draining my car battery.  Thank goodness for having friends who are willing to come jump my car!  

If you're interested in buying them, check out my Facebook page here

Or not, that's ok too!  I've realized that I like writing and creating, so if no one ever buys anything, that's ok. But what am I going to do with all these dryer balls?!  That is the million dollar question...I already have a bunch more bouncing around in my laundry right. now. They are really fun to make, so I think I went a little overboard, ha! 

Thanks for reading! 

Until next time,
Keep creating!
Patricia



Sunday, February 22, 2015

Surviving Saturday (#1 with no tv)

So my friends, it's that time of year again: Lent. When kids give up candy for 40 days in thanksgiving of Jesus dying on the cross. I'm saving my candy for Easter morning Jesus, thanks!

This year, I decided that my kids should give up screens. But especially our tv screen and Wii screen.  My kids said I should give up my phone screen too, but ironically, that's what I'll using to write this....so I told then I'd cut back and try not to hide and check Facebook while they want to play with me. I'm actually hoping this causes them to play more with each other, because honestly, what else are they going to do?

So usually our Saturday mornings consist of me running out of the house at 9:40 to pick up a box from the produce co-op I'm in, and the kids watch tv from 8am (they are up so early and love tv so much that I had to make the 8am rule or they'd get up at 6, just to watch tv) until I get tired of listening to it and shout at them until they finally shut it off. Then there's a lot of "I'm bored" and "I'm hungry" and "Can we play on the Wii now?". Le sigh. It's exhausting.

So today I was really curious to see how they'd do....And surprisingly, it actually turned out great!

In the morning, instead of watching tv, they painted. Mostly the table, but on paper too. Then they met our neighbor's daughter and her dog outside and chatted with her for awhile. Then lunch. Then begging to go in our unheated pool, and finally playing next to it for a few hours. Their Barbies got to go swimming though, good for them! Then, more playing outside, watering the plants, chalk drawing on the driveway, racing Dad on the road, dinner and then playing a game with Dad, which they were soooo excited about!

Honestly, it was a good day! Once, in the afternoon, they came to me with their best sad faces (they've been practicing-no joke), and asked to watch tv.  But, I was strong and didn't give in, and to my surprise, we lived!  My husband wanted to watch a movie with the kids, but I think he enjoyed playing a game with them, just as much as they did.

So that's Day 4 / 40 technically of no tv, and we've made it so far! Are you giving up anything this Lent?

Valentine's Day cometh

This year the girls got their lists of classmates for their inevitable Valentine's day parties the week of Valentine's. Which is a little strange to me. The teachers know they are having a party, so why don't they hand out the lists earlier?

Now I have to scramble last minute to get Valentine's at the store, which will look something like this:

1. Go to Target, dragging kids who will ultimately get the case of the gimmies.
2. Walk to the back of the store, putting a few things in my cart that I "really" need in too.
3. Stop at Women's clearance, just to see if there's anything there for me.
4. Stop in baby clearance, you know, just to check.
5. Make it back to Valentine's area, spend too much time trying to decide which Valentine's to get...do I get them both the same ones? Why are they sold in packs of 16? Classes are generally bigger than 16. Tattoos or pencils? Stickers? $5?!?! These are pieces of paper for goodness sake.
6. Finally decide on something.
7. Wonder if I need to get the girls something for Valentine's day. Target seems to think so.
8. Get the girls something they ultimately don't need and will not be interested in a few days later.
9. Stop by the food clearance and that one clearance shelf by dog food.
10. Stop by girl's clearance, marvel at how I need to buy the next size up for G, she's getting so tall!
11. Stand in line for checkout, "No kids, we're not buying the little barbies, or mints or candy. Did you not see the Valentine's I just bought you? You will have plenty of candy on Friday. Relax."
12. Contemplate getting pizza from the in-store Pizza Hut.
13. Get it. Regret it, it's not that good. (Once they sold me breadsticks without the sauce.....I mean really? No sauce? Why even put them out if there's no sauce?)
14. Get everyone loaded up in the car, finally and head home. Whew!

And that is usually what it looks like!

But, this year, I held off going to Target until the last possible day. G, my oldest, couldn't wait to do Valentine's, so she made her own, all by herself, out of construction paper and some (probably old) candy she found in our cupboard.

I couldn't bring myself to buy Valentine's for M's class, so I ended up making those too. I figure, I have all these craft supplies, I should start to use them!

I think they turned out pretty cute!! And thank goodness for Pinterest, I would never have come up with that on my own.

And then when I picked her up from school that day, I realized she hadn't handed them all out.  She said she forgot to give them to the other class (there's only 2 classes), so I just left them there and maybe someone would help her hand them out on Monday. I know my kids; bringing home a bunch of little bubbles is just asking for a big mess and bubbles on the floor!

Here's a pic of Marie's Valentine's. Once I figured out how to make a nice looking heart, the rest was easy. Thank you Sharpie and random bag of little bubbles. I don't know why I have you, but thanks!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Under the bathroom sink organizing!

Last week, I was so excited to go out to lunch with a new friend; I got a babysitter and everything!  And then I got a message that she had to cancel due to work. I read her email at 10:30am, and I was supposed to leave at 11am and the babysitter was already on her way.

What's a girl to do with no plans and a babysitter for the kids?!  Shopping of course!

I ended up going to Bed, Bath ad Beyond, and although I felt like the youngest person in there by 30 years (there are a lot of snowbirds where I live), I found some awesome things!

I got this really cool Two Tier Sliding Basket Organizer for $20, and I used it to organizer under our bathroom sink in the master bath.  I was really proud of myself that I actually used it (sometimes I like to just buy things, lol) and that it really worked well since I didn't measure it or anything!  I also got rid of a bunch of stuff we don't use anymore and cleaned the cabinet.  The drawers slide out really nicely too!



I also got a few clip-on shelves for the girl's beds, hopefully to help keep all their stuff off the floor.  It's so hard to clean when there's stuff everywhere!  I also got a over-the-door organizer, a bathtub storage thingy and a few letter trays.  Oh, and a new shower curtain to go with the new paint color I'm putting up in the master bath this week.  I can't wait for that!  Our bathroom is going to be amazing! 

Stay tuned!
~Patricia



Monday, February 2, 2015

100th Day of School Ideas!

If you're like me, you realized at 8pm last night (during a Super Bowl party) that your 2nd grader has a "100th Day of School" project due. Tomorrow.

My daughter had told me when she brought home the assignment that she wanted to do a gumball machine and when she asked last night if she could have a gumball from her friend's machine.....everything clicked!  It was a late night / early morning, but she (we) got it done!

Whew!  Project completed!

I got the gumball machine from a free printable from PlumAdorable.com.  Here's the link: click here!  I loved the simplicity of it, but it was originally supposed to be printed as a 12 x 8 photo at a place like Costco. Ain't nobody got time for that at 8pm the night before!  I ended up printing it as a Google Drive document at 75% magnification, cutting it out and then gluing it to black construction paper and then to a flat canvas that I had lying around. G did a great job putting the stickers on and adding the title and drawing some money in the slot. The stickers are the kind you'd use in a garage sale to tag items. I think I got them at Target awhile back.

If you find you're in a jam (like I was), I found a bunch of awesome resources for 100th Day of School project in my search yesterday (apparently this is a big thing in schools), and I've put them here for you to look at and find the one that's best for you. I'm pinning my own post for next year! 





Happy 100th Day of School!
Little sister had to do her own project too! 
~Patricia

A gift and a project completed!

You know how sometimes, if you just wait long enough, things turn out? 

I have been wanting to get my oldest daughter a dresser for the past few months.  The small IKEA dresser that we painted for her a few years back is just way too small for her "big girl" things.  Or maybe she just has too many clothes. 

I had been searching some local buy-sell-trade groups on Facebook to see if anyone had anything reasonable for sale. Whenever I'd find something good, someone else had always gotten there first, and there was still the problem of moving a dresser, since we don't have a truck. I also thought of going back to IKEA, but the nearest one is 2 hours away, and I didn't feel like putting an entire dresser together.

So....I waited. And then our friends called. They were moving and had a wicker dresser and side table that they needed to give away. For free. And this week. My husband wanted to know if I wanted it and I couldn't help but get super excited.....YES!! 

I was actually going right by their house the next night, without the kids (I am on a board for our local science center and we had a meeting), so I decided to take all the seats out of the van, and pick it up after the meeting. 

So the next day, the babysitter called to cancel. There was no way I could pick up the furniture with the 3 kids in the van.....so I called our other sitter and she was free. Whew!  Then I couldn't get one of the seats out of the van (the second row seats in a Sienna are REALLY HEAVY btw--I had to have the babysitter help me lift it inside the house!). So I just prayed that the rest of the back of the van would be enough to haul this all home. Please let it be enough!  

And it was! I didn't snap a picture because it was late when I got home and I had to have my husband help me trudge everything inside the house, so that I could put all the seats back, install a car seat and throw a booster in there too. 

The furniture ended up staying inside our living room, until I finally had time to go to Home Depot and get some spray paint.  The dresser and night stand were in really good condition, just sort of yellow from age, so I picked up 2 cans of this Rustoleum White Semi-Gloss spray paint (and had to go back for one more later), and it worked so well and so fast, I was really surprised! 



Some before shots! 



I realize that these are just the before pictures of the nightstand, I had to wait until this weekend to paint the dresser since it was kinda heavy and my husband and I could bring it outside together.  It's also sorta hard to spray paint when it's windy.  Just saying.

So right now I'm just waiting for the dresser to dry, then we can bring it in and bring it upstairs.  We'll probably just leave it in the living room until I get G's room finished.  There are boxes of our junk to take out and wallpaper that needs to be removed (so not looking forward to that!).

And while in Home Depot, I picked up some paint for our master bathroom, since it's a disgusting brown color and I just can't.stand.it.anymore! I figure I needed to do something for myself too. :)

Check out more of my home improvement ideas on my Pinterest board: DIY projects for the home

That's all for now~

~Patricia

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Happy New Year!

Hey all!!

After taking the month of December and half of November off (hello family time!), I'm back and ready to share with you some of the things I'm going to be working on / want to be working on this year.  Hey, it doesn't count if I don't write it down, right?

(Plus, I'd love to see what you're going to be working on too! Share in the comments!)

1. Organizing my older daughter G's room.  Right now, it's a mismatched room with red curtains, boxes that belong in storage, a way too small dresser, a crib (I tried to pass it off as a reading nook), and some extra little tables as a makeshift desk.  I would love to get the 2 baseball wallpaper borders gone, repaint the room some fun color, find a big girl horizontal dresser, and make a headboard for the bed.  A new fan might also be in order!  I have found so many good ideas on Pinterest, feel free to follow me and get inspired too!

I can't take any before photos now because she's sleeping, but she's still using this dresser for her clothes, and she'd need about 3 of these to hold all of her stuff now!  I'm thinking of passing this IKEA Rast dresser down to her littlest sister C. She'll love having her own space!



2. Organize my sewing / craft space. It's a hot mess right now. And I just want something organized so if I have 10 minutes, I can just sit down and pick up a project and work on it. But, I also want something opaque, so that when people come over, they can't see all my unfinished stuff, since my sewing space is in the corner of our bonus space in our house.  I organized (mostly) my craft closet, but need to get this done.

Before photo:



3. Finish up a bunch of sewing and craft projects that I've just been neglecting. There's the Little Mermaid lap quilt and a bunch of bibs that I have cut out but haven't sewn together. I have also wanted to make the girls aprons for the longest time, as well as a bunch of projects that I'm sure are just sitting at the bottom of the sewing pile on my table.

The lap quilt:


4. Sell something on Etsy!  I've been making felted wool dryer balls for awhile, and I would love to sell some!  It's a goal!  Come visit my Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TshirtsandTulle

5. Get another sewing machine. Ok, this seems a little weird, since I already have a sewing machine, an embroidery machine and a serger, but the sewing machine I am using right now is this adorable vintage Singer that only sews in straight lines.  I want something that does different stitches!  The other machine that I had was a 1980s machine that was gifted to me by a friend.  I ended up breaking both machines at the same time, right before Halloween.  The black vintage machine had a thread jam (fixable) and the 1980s Singer had a broken gear (fixable, but not worth it).  I am going to do some research and pick a new machine this year!

My awesome vintage Singer:



Well, that's it for right now, but I definitely want to get these things accomplished this year!  Can't wait to get started!  Thanks for reading, don't forget to follow along via email or Find us on Facebook!

~Patricia