Friday, July 3, 2015

New Project.....

 This is our playroom....after I cleaned it up and cleaned it out....This was take just about a week and a half ago.

And this is the same room this past week.

My Dad does home remodeling for a living and suggested that it might be time to update our kitchen. Circumstances come up that helped us to save a significant amount of money on the job, and who can deny that fact that having someone do a service for free is a great deal!

Today this project when from big to huge. In the second picture with the ladder, see that wall to the right? Well, we learned today that those beams do not need this wall to support them. So, our kitchen (which used to be that playroom) is going to from being 11x9 to something close to 22x18! Needless to say, I'm overjoyed!

At the same time, I'm just a little bit stressed! I know it will be amazing when it is finished, but in between, it will be a huge mess and mean lots of work for my husband and I. Say a pray for us as we literally bust the walls down with this adventure!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Mario brothers blanket

For Christmas, I made my awesome, game loving husband a quilt. It took me almost three months, but his Mario blanket got finished! Here's just a few pictures of the process.

The most exhausting part of this quilt was cutting all of the squares. It was 15x20 squares, so that's 300 little squares. I've never attempted a quilt before, so starting out, my first thought was that I could cut everything like they did "back in the day". After about 10 squares, I gave in and bought a roller cutter. Things improved quickly!!

I took these pictures of the fabric that I bought and planned to use, because there's nothing worse than starting a project and trying to recall what was bought. I tried to gauge how much of each color that I would need by how often it was used in the quilt, but I did not do the math to figure out exactly how many yards I would need. I also may have forgot to mention that this quilt did not come with a pattern, par say. I simply found a picture on Google of a pixel Mario and followed the squares.

If I had to guess, my order probably looked like this
1/2 yard of black
1/4 yard of yellow
3/4 yard of brown
1 yard of the off white
1 yard of the dark blue
1 yard of red
2-3 yards of light blue

However, I do believe that I did need to go back out and purchase more of the light blue, so my initial order may have been more like 1-2 yards.

As I said, I cut out all of those squares and then I just started pinning and sewing rows together. It I followed my little pixel picture and checked everything multiple times to make sure I didn't sew anything out of order. After a row of squares were sewn to each other, I just added them on to the quilt (I started at the bottom and went up from there)

This picture show how Mario looked when he was all pieced together. I felt pretty awesome when I got to this point, and did not realize how much more work I still had to do to attach the batting and the back.

I used red flannel for the back and I took Mario with me to the fabric store so that I didn't have to buy any more fabric than what I needed.

Once I had the middle and back laid out, I started in the middle of Mario's red shirt and started pinning him with quilting safety pins. I pinned about 40 squares at a time and then I had to sew around each square so that all of the layer would be tied together.

This project started around October and I worked on and off through January to finish it.

After I finished this one, I realized that I was going to be hooked on quilting! So, I bought some material to make a few baby rag quilts. Thank goodness those move along much quicker! I finished one in 2 or 3 weeks working on it very little. Perhaps you'd like to see it?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Happy Pre-K Day!

September 4th was our first day of homeschool Pre-K. I wanted to make it a fun one!

 Luckily, I was able to get myself out of bed before he did! 

First, he had to do the standard picture with the sign...before things got too crazy!

Then we busted out the "one in a lifetime" breakfast of donuts and chocolate milk! Here he told me "No more pictures Mommy, we already did that."

After we ate, he got to open his bag. Presents are always a big hit around here! He LOVED his Lego pencil box, because it was red! He had never had a pencil box before, so we got to explain to him what it was for. See how excited he is to add his pencils? :)

Five minutes later..., finally the pencils are just right!
Daddy is doing Bible time this year. It's a new thing to have Daddy involved with most things school related, but I told him how I thought it was very important for us to do this together and he agreed.
Then we took a break to do a sign picture on the steps. I imagine this happening each year, so I made him move to the far right to leave room for "Baby Grill" when she's a bit older.
Then, we got down to work! Obviously, we need some practice holding a pencil!
We did this listening page and ended with some pot and spoon music time!
Snack time came (he got this snack in his bag) and he wanted to sort....ok by me!

Finished product!

In the afternoon, we went outdoor to compare evergreen and deciduous trees during the summer. We will do this during each season this year.

This was a great first day!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


We have illness running through our house again.

It's been about 5 days of kids with fevers. Last night, my baby broke out with a rash! On Friday, the doctor was thinking hands, feet, and mouth, but since the rash is not on her hands or feet, it actually looks more like roseola.

It's funny though, I keep complaining about being stuck at home and just not doing much of anything, but I have to admit that I am kind of enjoying the peace. I get the feeling that we all are. I have had time to cook, clean, and plan when I'm not holding crying kids.

It's amazing to think of how different I feel from a few years ago when I could not stand to be home for even a few hours to now staying home the better part of a week. Times have changed.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Menu plan with ALL the work done for you!

A few weeks ago, I'd just had it! Sometimes I feel like I am trying to juggle too much, not succeeding,  and feeling discouraged, because I was not able to do 100%.

I call myself a "mildly extreme couponer". That means I strive to save, but if "extreme" means you save 90%+ off your total bill, that's just NOT me! Saving 50% and up is good enough for me. That said, I go in and out of it. Sometimes it's just too much work!

I know that I can also save money by planning out my menus. One thing I've learned about myself is that I am a horrible planner. Okay, not just a horrible planner, but also pretty bad a follow through. As soon as something comes up to derail me (like sudden change of plans when the baby wakes me up at 5am and totally starts my day off on the wrong foot) I'm done!

I'm really trying though. In fact, I stumbled upon this fantastic site! Within it, was just the gem of a plan that I was looking for!


It was like a WAHOO! moment!

Knowing that I could shop and know everything that I would need to make this 7 big meals was great. I added in a few things here and there for breakfast and "lunch" (quotes, because at our house lunch in a big meal because right AFTER lunch is when my husband leaves for work). I knew that a lot of these meals would end up being leftovers, which was also helpful.

I have done week 1 and loved all but one recipe. It was honestly like being on vacation and having someone else cook. Instead of all of the "regular meals" that I make week after week, month after month, I was trying new things and my mouth was receiving totally foreign flavors! I would finish making these and just kinda look at the food on my plate and think..."Hmmm...did I really just make that?" Extra added bonus is that none of these too much effort.

For example, today I made the salmon listed under Week 1 (we went way out of order). It took me about 5 minutes of prep and cook time for the salmon was about 10 minutes total.

Even if you're an "extreme" meal planner, I think that you should take a look at this link. You may find some great recipes! It might also be a great way to toss aside planning for a week and just let someone else do the legwork!

Let me know what you think!