Thursday, March 28, 2013

Pinterest Challenge Update

I'll admit I got a little behind in my Pinterest Challenge last week while my sister was visiting. My plan was to knock off quite a few crafts on my list this week, including some from my Pinterest Challenge. However, as life would have it Mia got sick and that left us confined mostly to the house so I had to do projects that I already had the things for. I decided to skip over the wood clock and go for the magnetic paper dolls.

My original plan was to go to Hobby Lobby and see if I could get my hands on the same paper dolls that she found in tutorial HERE from Make it Love it; but since I was trying to use things I already had I decided to try printing my own. I had pinned this website that had tons of printable paper dolls quite a while ago and thought this would be the perfect project to us them!

Mia is on a "Frog Princess" kick lately...ok make that the last couple of months. We watch that movie at least 2-3 a week. So I went with a Frog Princess themed ,magnetic storyboard and paper dolls. I used the printable paper dolls from the website I mentioned earlier and then just looked online for a few more of the characters, accessories and a background.

Then instead of the adhesive magnetic sheets she used on the tutorial I had some magnetic sheets that you can print your picture right onto that I had leftover from a project I did last Christmas. (I got these at Walmart...Avery Inkjet Magnet Sheets 3pk) I used Photoshop to get everything to fit on the 2 magnetic sheets. Then after I cut out all the pieces I mod podged the tops to give them a protective coat. For the background I just printed it out on card stock and mod-podged that to the cookie sheet.

The only thing I went out and bought was the cookie sheet from Walmart for $3 making this project cost a total of just $3!

Mia couldn't wait to get her hands on this as I was making it and when I finally got it all finished she was set for a good hour of entertainment and of course this followed with having to watch the movie.

I'm also working on the braided crocheted scarf...maybe I'll have at least a couple days left to wear it before it warms up too much! So stay tuned for that and the reveal of Livy's nursery which I also finished this week!

Make sure to also check out the Pinterest Challenge updates at my sister's blog HERE as well as my sister-in-laws blog HERE!

Hope everyone has a great Easter Weekend!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Mia's Bed Revealed!

I know this has been a long time coming, but the reveal is finally here! The bed came with no shortage of mishaps and extra trips to the hardware store, but all in all I am really happy with the results and Mia couldn't be happier with her "big girl" bed!

We made this bed and headboard from Ana White's tutorials HERE and HERE. I love how simple her designs are and I loved that this bed was low to the ground to make it easy for Mia to climb into! However, here are some things we learned in the process if any of you decided to get ambitious like us and try something like this yourself!

1.) I feel like anything I've built, the price that it took someone else to build it always seems to cost me almost double. In the scheme of buying a brand new piece of already built furniture, building one yourself still saves a lot of money! Basically just plan on spending a little more money. On her site she said it cost her $150 to build both beds so about $75 a bed. It probably cost us about $120 with supplies and everything to build one bed with the headboard.

2.) Unless you're super on the ball and pay really close attention (unlike me) plan on there being some bumps along the way. I see things like this online and feel like they make it look SO easy and painless and I forget about mistakes that always are made during projects. Our bump along the way of building this bed and not the first time we've had this problem is we had Home Depot make all of our cuts and they are not always super great at making the cuts exactly to the size you want them. This resulted in a few extra trips back to the store to get the right cuts and in one case even having to buy a new piece of wood! So if you're having someone else make your cuts make sure you double check their measurements before leaving the store! We also made a few measuring and drilling mistakes of our own which also called for some more wood so that is also why the price to build the bed was a little higher for us too.

3.) In the tutorial they built the bed and headboard using pocket-hole screws, something we didn't own and it was a little pricey to invest in just for this project so instead we went with countersink screws that screw flush into the wood and then I just filled the holes afterwards. This added a little more work, but definitely worth the savings.

4.) One last little tip if you ever plan on making this bed, especially for a child. For the wood that makes the ledges on the platform bed we got wood that had already rounded corners that would make it a little more safe when Mia would step off and on the bed or if she ever fell out of bed...something which she hasn't done yet luckily!

In conclusion and minus all our little mistakes, this bed was very easy and simple to build. It took us around a half a day to build each of the bed and headboard so about a whole day in total (6-8 hours) and if you're pro at this kind of thing it would take no time at all!...Needless to say we are not!

And I need to give a big thanks to my amazing husband who practically built the whole thing himself with some help from me holding the wood in place for him from time to time. He was also such a good sport, especially when my perfectionist side would come out. I couldn't have done this without him!

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Sunday, March 24, 2013

A New Discovery

Last week was packed with family and fun! Among this week of fun we made a new discovery that was fun for the whole family that I just had to share!

Eric's grandparents and his little brother were out for some doctor's appointments at the beginning of last week. They invited us to join them in going to the Discovery Gateway Children's Museum located in the Gateway Mall in Salt Lake City. I had never heard of it and at first hearing the word "museum" it made me think that this was not something for Mia since she doesn't really like to just sit still and is VERY hands on. Turns out this is the perfect place for children like that...meaning pretty much every kid out there!

What I loved most about this place is that it has SO many things for children to explore and learn from that it will keep them entertained for many hours. It encourages discovery, creativity and pretend play; all important things for a child's development. They also have something for children of all ages as well as the whole family.

A Monday afternoon was the perfect time to go since it wasn't crowded with other kids and it gave Mia lot's of room to run around and explore. It was so cute to see her play pretend as well as discover new things.

Mia making herself a sandwich. I was impressed with how well she knew how to put one together  from just watching me every day. (We both like out daily turkey and swiss sandwiches for lunch!)

I would highly recommend a trip there with the kiddos! You can even find a coupon on their website HERE for $5 admission per person Fridays and Saturdays after 5pm. Plan on being there for a couple of hours of fun as there is a lot to do!

The rest of the week my sister Sara and her daughter Addie came and stayed with us. In the few days that she was here we went shopping (mostly for Sara since I can't fit in anything obviously), went to a movie, visited with friends and went to lunch, got dessert a couple of times, watched some TV shows, and worked on a joined birthday party we are going to have for Mia and Addie. It was fun to have them here, especially since they recently moved to Ely about a month ago so I don't get to see Sara as much anymore.

This is quick picture Eric snapped of the two girls playing. Addie was very tolerant of all of Mia's "tackling" hugs and kisses. I think these girls are going to have some good times together!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Pinterest Challenge Week 1

First off, I need to make a confession...this week's project was a complete failure; as many of my sewing projects seem to be when it comes to sewing something for myself!

If you recall for my Pinterest Challenge line-up HERE, this week was the color-blocked square top.

After going to the fabric store and finding some fabric that I thought would be perfect, I started my sewing project promptly after putting Mia to bed with excitement. Long story short, after 3 hours of measuring, cutting and sewing I was left with on ill fitting square top with a color-block that looked more like a belly band and in the end I  also decided that the fabric was just not me. Needless to say I was a little frustrated and disappointed.

I wasn't ready  to give up completely on this challenge though. At first I thought about getting more fabric and starting over, but I  didn't want to take the risk of having another failed shirt so I decided to try another top that my sister suggested that can actually work while being pregnant.

My inspiration: Cotton and Curl's flattering men's tee shirt refashion (Tutorial HERE)

I knew this project would be a lot easier since I wouldn't be starting a shirt from scratch and since it's one of those projects you can use a shirt you already like as a guideline for the one you're re-sizing to fit better. Another's FREE! So I was off to Eric's side of the closet to look for a shirt he didn't wear. Here is what I found:

I was able to refashion this over-sized shirt into a fashionable fitting one in less than an hour with time to clean the house and relax all before going to bed! Definitely my kind of project! Not to mention I really liked the outcome; so much in fact I did it to another old t-shirt of Eric's!

Now for one more quick confession before I showcase the results...I am NO fashion model (this is already obvious) and have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to being in front of the camera resulting in my awkward posing lol (hence why I'm always the one taking the pictures)!

And a profile shot to mark my 33 weeks of being pregnant!

 Happy pinning and (hopefully) doing!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Just Us Girls

Instead of a girl's night Mia and I had a girl's "day". This wouldn't have been complete without shopping, comfort food, chatting and a chickflick...all of which was included in our day!

In the morning we went with some friends and checked out the new outlets in Lehi. I figured I would be safe from buying anything since I am so pregnant. Although I may have still ended up getting something for myself that I'm hoping will fit post pregnancy :) We went a little bit before lunch time so after doing some shopping we were all ready to get some food and came to find out that there were no food places at the outlets. A little bit of a let down which ended up cutting our shopping short. On our way home we stopped in at an old time favorite...Red Robin for some yummy "comfort" food.

During Mia's quiet time I somehow managed to talk myself off the couch to paint Mia's headboard. Now all I have left is the platform bed which I'm enlisting Eric's help this weekend to paint and then we can finally call this project complete!

For our "chick flick" we settled for a daily favorite of Mia's, The Frog Princess which she likes to call "Froggy". And we ended the evening with even more comfort food of brown sugar, banana pancakes (something I was craving)...

 and a video chat with dad. 

 My "girl's day" was completed with another video chat with my sister after I put Mia to bed. I am so excited that she gets to come out and play next week! We've already got a list started of all the things we want to do. :) Also my sister has joined with me in doing the Pinterest Challenge! She's got a great line-up so make sure to go check it out HERE.

Hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful weather because we are LOVING it!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Pinterest Challenge

Are you as addicted to pinterest as I am? Before Pinterest I was always just bookmarking pages and it was starting to get a little out of hand searching through all my bookmarks to find the site I was looking for. Not only do I love Pinterest because it helps me organize all the different ideas and things I like that I find on the web, but it helps me find new ideas and inspirations! 

However, I'm sure we all get in the habit of "pinning" rather than "doing". So when I came across the Pinterest challenge on Merricks Art Blog I thought it was the perfect solution! What she did was choose six different things from her pin boards that she wanted to do and planned on doing one a week for six weeks.

Here is my line up for the next 6 weeks:

1. If you recall awhile back I made THIS square top as practice before I made one for myself. Depending on what I find at the fabric shop this week we'll see if I end up doing just a plain square top or color blocked. I'm hoping I can make this top turn out, but also have it work to wear being 8 months pregnant too :)

2. I LOVE this homemade clock and have been wanting to make one for sometime now. My sister-in-law beat me to the punch and made one for her sister for Christmas. Take a look! I turned out so cute, it convinced me that I want one for myself! I'm planning on painting one of the wood strips either a muted teal or cream to match my new color scheme for my living room.

Original source HERE
3. Mia loves playing with magnets and it has been a great way to keep her entertained during church. When I saw this on Pinterest I pinned it instantly with Mia in mind. I thought this would be a great addition to the few she already has and possibly even have it be a good entertainment toy for the car.

4. One of my favorite things to get at the mall are some yummy pretzel bites. They are to die for! This recipe was one of the first things I pinned after joining Pinterest with those pretzels from the mall in mind and surprisingly I still haven't tried it so this had to make the line-up!

5. I love scarfs and I like crocheting so this is a perfect and easy DIY project.

6. My sister gave me an old window as decoration for my kitchen a couple months ago. We got it hung, but  so far it's just this plain window on a big white wall. I have been thinking on what I could do to spruce it up. When I was looking through my Pinterest boards I saw that I had pinning this diy dry ease calendar quick awhile ago and thought it would work perfect to add some color to the window and also solve my need for a calendar!

Now that you've seen my Pinterest Challenge line-up, have I convinced anyone else to try this with me :) I would love to see your Pinterest line-up!

And while we're on the subject of Pinterest, Eric and I have been in the process of making Mia this platform bed I found from it and posted about a couple weeks ago HERE. About a week ago we finishing the platform bed and yesterday we finished building the headboard for it! Since it was such a cold and windy day we were not able to get it painted like I was hoping, but this week/weekend is looking like promising painting weather. I'm so excited to get this completed and show you the finished product!

Mia loved being in the middle of all the building and tried to be as much help as possible (regardless if it was helpful or not lol). It was cute to see how excited she was that we were building something especially for her.

Yay we finally finished after a number of mishaps!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Hello Sunshine

Apart from the wind, yesterday was a beautiful, sunny day! We decided to take advantage of the nice weather and head to the park. I can't even remember the last time I took Mia to the park to play so needless to say she was in heaven to not only to get out of the house, but to have a big, wide open space to explore.

This little girl LOVES slides! She spent most of her time at the park on them.

Mom deserves to have a little fun too, right? :)

Mia found a little friend at the park, which upon finding, followed it around the rest of the time trying to pet it.   Then she had to wave good-bye to the cat as we left.

I thought I'd indulge you all with my "pregnancy" shoe of choice...socks and all! I had a pair of moccasins when I was pregnant with Mia which I wore snow, rain or shine so of course I had to get a new pair for this pregnancy. SO comfortable!
After leaving the park and running another errand, we were almost home and I looked back to find this...

A MIRACLE! I can't remember the last time Mia fell asleep in the car. Even when we're traveling late at night. Since she doesn't take naps anymore either we decided to make the most of it and turned the car around and went to reward ourselves for our hard work of tuckering out Miss Mia...drinks from Sonic :)

Hope everyone enjoyed the beautiful day as much as we did!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Happiness Is...

Recently I read "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin. After realizing that she was going day to day without really making the "most" of life she started to wonder if there were things she could do that would make her even happier. The book is basically her experience through a 1 year happiness project she created for herself by first coming up with a number of things she wanted to work on the would make her happier and then having monthly resolutions to work towards that.

Although I haven't committed to a "happiness" project of my own, since reading this book I have started to think more upon the things that make me happy and what I could do that would make me even more happier. Here are some things I came up with:

1.) Spending time with my hubby :) I've learned a lot over the last year of being a wife of a traveling husband and am still learning! Since Eric started traveling I became so use to entertaining myself and started almost distancing myself from Eric when he was home on the weekends so I wouldn't mind so much when he would leave again as well as not making my best efforts to stay close to Eric when he was away either. However, after the last month of getting to have Eric home I started realizing my huge mistake and how much I missed spending genuine time with him! I feel like we've really been able to reconnect as a couple and especially as friends.

When Eric starts traveling again I want to make a real effort to connect with him everyday. To take time to text or write Eric an email for him to get during a long day at work, to not just video chat for a couple minutes so Mia can see him, but after she goes to bed so we can really talk or maybe even play a game or read together and lastly, make the most of the time we do have together when he is home... especially making time for weekly dates! It's tough sometimes to have a husband that travels a lot, but that doesn't mean you can't be happy and make the most of the situation.

2.) Being a mom! Now anyone who is a mother knows that some days being a mom can be really hard and "happiness" would not be my first word to describe how I feel at that moment. However, at the end of even those long days when I go in to check on Mia at night, my heart still melts as I watch her peacefully sleep and I come out with a smile on my face feeling so lucky to be her mom.

I want to start making an effort finding ways to enjoy being a mother everyday, by letting some things go and remembering that Mia is not even 2 yet and she shouldn't be expected to do everything right, by doing the things necessary for me to be more patient throughout the day, such as getting more sleep and not being afraid to step in a quiet room for a minute and take a breather and to be better about spending some time everyday where Mia can have my full attention so she doesn't feel like she has to compete for it.

3.) Connecting with others and creating things. Eric is always teasing me about how much I like to "visit". I could sit for hours just visiting with people. Whether it's with an old friend, a new friend, family or just someone random I love it and I always come away feeling happier. I feel equally as happy after I finish a project I have been working on and get to step back and admire what I was able to create. Creating things has a number of different forms for me as well, it could include some kind of craft, a family portrait, mastering something on blogger (usually after hours of working at it) or building something.

One thing in particular that fulfills both of those "happiness" things for me is blogging. As you can probably tell I have really come to love blogging. I love having a place to share updates, my thoughts and experiences and connect with you other mothers and wives.

This has led me to my recent thought about starting another blog or taking this one to the next level. I'm not really looking into with money purposes in mind, but a place to put my major of Family Studies to use and share more about where my passion really lies which is families, family life, marriage and children. I would be combining the things I have studies with my own experiences. I would also like to do this to have the opportunity to connect with even more women and hopefully give, as well as get, inspiration and uplifting when needed.

I would love to hear opinions or advice on my idea. Whether it's a good idea; something that others would find helpful and interesting to read. Whether I should start another blog or use this one. Or if I should bother changing something I love and makes me happy already and just stick to my family blog with updates?

I would also LOVE to hear some things that you have thought of that has improved your happiness in your daily lives

Thanks to all my readers for all your support and uplifting comments/blogs which I love reading as well!
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