Friday, November 30, 2012


I've been thinking about getting an electronic cutting tool for a couple of years.  I'm happy to report I am finally the owner of a Silhouette Cameo!

I hope to be able to get some use out of my new machine this weekend.  I see lots of crafts and homemade cards in my near future. :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Painting Tips

Never buy paint based on the paper samples at the home improvement store.  You should always buy a tester/sample and paint directly on your surface at home.  The paint will look different based on the conditions of the environment (fluorescent lighting at the home improvement store vs. natural light at your house, etc). If you are going to paint a wall, don't spend hours looking at the paint sample on a horizontal surface.  The color will look different on the wall than it does on a table or countertop because of the way the light in your home hits the surface of the sample. 

After the hours spent testing colors and hours spent painting your project, don't throw out your hard work, I mean, stir stick!  Your used free stir stick can be a valuable investment. Simply transfer the information from your paint can label. Don't forget to include the room or project the paint was used on.  The paint stick can be a useful tool for taking to the paint store for an additional can of paint or to be used as a color sample when out shopping.  I much prefer to see the actual paint on the stir stick  rather than the paper color sample. 

If I have to run out to the garage and dig through shelves, I'm less likely to do touch ups. Keep touch up paint easily accessible somewhere in your house. I keep touch up paint for my kitchen cabinets right in my kitchen.  Touch up paint for other rooms is stored in a hall closet.  I simply use old jars or tightly sealing plastic containers for my paint.  

I prefer the green Frog Tape over the traditional blue tape.  It makes a much tighter bond that paint rarely seeps through.  I run a very thin layer of paint on my taped off area (almost no paint on the brush) and let it dry for a few minutes before coming back with more paint.  This allows for the paint to create a "seal" to prevent the second layer of paint from seeping under the tape.  *Please note, this usually works great, but not always! 

Don't be afraid to try something new or different.  If you don't like it you can always PAINT over it again.  What colors make you happy or relaxed?  The paint in your house should tell a story about you. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Simplicity. Part 2

Black Friday has come and gone.  

I have been up before dawn to wait in line at Home Depot for a spectacular savings on a cart full of items.  I do not think there is anything wrong with trying to save some money.  In fact, I've had very pleasant experiences with cheerful shoppers.  Thankfully, my Black Friday experiences haven't been like those that show up on the news.

I didn't venture out this year.  I made one online purchase (a super exciting early Christmas gift for myself) before going to bed Thursday.

My Black Friday was spent purging, organizing, and trying to get things OUT of my house.  

You can find my Simplicity goal for this week here.  The following is what was accomplished:

  • I successfully boxed up new and slightly used baby items to take to the local pregnancy center.
  • I boxed up other new and slightly used baby items to take to two young moms in need. 
  • I posted some home decor & books on our local community Facebook Selling page.
  • I even placed some big items at the end of my driveway (2 for a very reasonable price and 2 for FREE).*
Tomorrow I will deliver my boxes and hopefully sell a few of my Facebook & end-of-the-driveway items! 

*Yard sales are very popular in our community.  My favorite type of yard sale is the unmanned kind. We place a few larger items (old appliances, furniture, strollers) with a sign taped to them at the end of our driveway for people walking or driving by to see. 

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.  -Leonardo da Vinci

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Be thankful.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
1 Chronicles 16:34

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sports Party

Our little boy is quite the athlete so it seemed fitting to throw him a sports themed 2nd birthday party.
We decorated the garage door.  I let my husband take the reigns for the design and installation. I think he did a pretty good job!  

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cowboy Birthday Party

Our cowboy turned 4 six weeks before the arrival of little brother. 
We celebrated at a local ranch where our little buckaroos got to see some miniature horses perform some tricks.

He was in a "don't smile when mom asks" phase. Oh well, he's still super cute. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Extra Storage!!

{Please excuse my fuzzy phone photos!}

In our three bedroom house, we decided to convert the third bedroom into a TV-watching-toy-storage-play-room for our boys. We went so far as to even move the doorway from the hallway to the living room to make it feel less like a bedroom and more like living space.  That leads me to the boys' bedroom.  

The boys share a bedroom which means they share a closet. 

In an attempt to obtain more hang-up space for everyday items, we decided to take advantage of a small jog in the wall behind their door to store jackets, hats, belts, school uniforms, etc.  The added storage has been a tremendous improvement.  

The best part is when their door is open (most of the time), it covers most of the new hang-up storage.

Sunday, November 18, 2012



I'm trying to keep this in mind as I continue to clean, purge, and organize my house.  Although we live in a culture of excess and waste, I am trying to reprogram my family's thinking about what we keep in our home.  

Too many toys! 

Too many coffee mugs! 

Too many cords and remotes for electronics we no longer have or use!  

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Batman Birthday Party

A batman party for my little hero.

The Batman Birthday Party was fun for all! Everyone attended in their favorite super hero costume (grandparents too). 

I purchased 4' wide colored paper at a teacher's supply store by the yard.  With the help of my husband and dad, we covered the top half of the garage in blue, then cut out building shapes in black for the lower half.  With the addition of a few yellow windows and a bat signal, the door was ready for the party.  

I made some glossy color copies of Batman comic book pages. Then mounted them on colored card stock, punched holes in the corner, connected them with black ribbon, and created the pennant banner.

I used a yellow lid as a make-shift tray for the cupcakes. Hey, sometimes you just have to use what you have!
 Little brother, dressed as Robin, really liked his cupcake!
The birthday boy started out in his black batman costume, but was pleasantly surprised with a new batman costume during the party. 

I ordered an iron on transfer to transform a simple white shirt into "batmom."

Friday, November 16, 2012

Art Party

First of all, I found a ton of inspiration on these great blogs:

I made a simple 4” x 6” invitation using Pages on my Mac and printed them at Costco. 

It might sound a little strange, but because of our sloped lot, we often entertain in our driveway! It is a nice, flat, large surface for tables and chairs. Therefore, we decorate our garage door! 
The door was covered in color paper from the teacher supply store (4' wide & you can buy it by the yard). 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Creating Christmas Cards

We recently had our family photoshoot by Lizzie Bee Photography.  My friend does a fabulous job at capturing a moment in time and creating a beautiful piece art.  I could not be more pleased with the pictures. 

Now it's time to create for our Christmas card.  

We use Costco to print our cards because it is easy, convenient and most importantly cheap not very expensive!  I prefer to design my own card in photoshop rather than using the predesigned cards Costco offers. I hope to have my card completed soon, but I am still working on it.  That leads me to some great fonts to share with you.  Some of these I've been using a while and some I've stumbled upon recently as I was rummaging through the web. 

Simlply click the link(s) below to download any of the fonts:


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Difficulty Level: High

Why is this so hard for me? 

When my three year old hurts his older brother (words or action) and my seven year old's reaction is unkind, it is easy for me to explain how he handled the situation poorly.  His brother sinned by his actions, but he sinned too with his response. Now, instead of just little brother being in trouble, they both are! 

Seems easy enough to explain, but hard to live out. 

How often have you been offended by the words of a friend or family member and "reacted?"  I'm definitely guilty of "reacting" to the harm done to me.  It doesn't feel very good. How much better would it be to respond gently and not stir up anger? 

This verse is my mission this week. To live out the advice I give my children.  To chose my words wisely.  

Proverbs 15:1
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. 
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