Wednesday, December 12, 2012

tea stained gift tags.

i'm a little obsessed with antiquing paper. i've done it for ornaments, framed art, a cowboy wanted poster,
 and now gift tags for christmas.

i love it because it's easy, cheap, and has such a stunning effect.

in the past i've always used coffee, but i'm not a coffee drinker. i'm a tea girl. i was always under the impression that  tea wouldn't work as well - not the case.

first, i typed up the label in word, changing up fonts and text size for fun. i printed them on card stock and punched them out with my mom's "stampin' up" gift tag punch. 

then i laid them out on my super gross cookie sheet (we switched to stoneware cookie sheets awhile ago, so i pretty much only use this for staining paper. incase you were worried i actually cooked on that greasy thing.)

i boiled about 3 cups of water with a tea bag (the darkest tea i had was a chai. something like sleepytime might not work as well.) for about 15 minutes to get it concentrated. i attempted the same method i used when antiquing with coffee (pouring it all over the paper on the cookie sheet), but the stain was so dark i couldn't read the tag.

i tried to water down the tea, thinking i had boiled it to long, but it still came out too dark.  3rd time's a charm - i dipped the tags in the tea and laid them out on the cookie sheet. perfecto.

you know they're done when the tags start to pull away from the cookie sheet. click here for a visual.

sorry this is a little blurry.
i absolutely love adding personal touches to homemade gifts! i also contemplated gluing the paper to fabric after i stained it to add a layer of texture, but didn't have any fabric on hand that looked right. these would also look neat with torn edges! the possibilities are endless!

love and personalized presents,

Saturday, December 8, 2012

fridge magnet christmas tree.

i'm back in the land of the living! first trimester is over and i'm pretty much functioning like a normal person again :-) SUCH a good feeling! for anyone interested, the accupuncture and magnesium pills saved me - for anyone that deals with Hyperemesis Gravidarum {aka extreme, extreme "morning" sickness}, i beg you to try these 2 things out! i was better several weeks sooner this time than last time!

ok, now onto my reason for posting!

i'm having a blast making emery a part of christmas this year - she's been having so much fun with all the decorating and DiY projects going on at our house right now! this fridge magnet christmas tree is right up her toddler alley...

if you missed it, the tutorial is pretty much the same as the fall magnet tree
  • i taped green paper on the fridge, free-handed the tree shape, and cut it out. 
  • printed off ornament and star clipart on cardstock and cut them out.
  • and laminated it all for 25 cents a foot at Mardel. easy peasy.
{while i was sick on the couch,
emery developed an obsession with being naked.
i hear this is normal, but i don't how she
isn't freezing!}
this is perfect for her to play with while i'm cooking dinner or cleaning the kitchen, especially because the ornaments on our real tree are no-nos :-)

what are some fun ways you make christmas decor kid-friendly??

love and happy toddlers,

Thursday, October 25, 2012

fall art for toddlers.

i'm still not game for much DiYing lately, but i only have 3 weeks left until the end of first trimester! can't wait to be back to myself again!

here's a fun time-killing project emery and i did back in august that she absolutely loved!

crunched leaf art:

my little leaf collector :-)
her loot. 
she helped me crunch them up in the bag.
then we smeared glue all over
our paper with a paint brush.
i love this face!
she got into a groove :-)
as usual, we made a mess,
but as usual, it was worth it!
we made several and delivered them to a few family members. daddy took the turquoise one to work and mommy hung one up on the fridge! they didn't last very long, but it was all about the process, rather than the result!

if i'm feeling up for it today, i'm going to enlist emery's help after nap - our yard is full of sweet gum seeds that i want to make a garland out of and i need an experienced collector.

love and crunching leaves,

Monday, October 15, 2012

DiY banana invitation.

it has been a season for babies in my family and i love celebrating with mommies-to-be! while sitting on the couch this month, i had the chance to do a little prep for decorating a monkey themed baby shower! here's a peek into the festivities!

good ol' pinterest led me to this gem. i knew it was The One when i saw it - i'm not good at making cute traditional style cards on the computer and i didn't want to spend much on invites cause we had a tight budget. these cost 50 cents + cardstock i needed to buy anyway.

there was no tutorial on the site, just a picture, so i thought i'd do a step by step just for fun :-)

  • first, i found a banana image on google and copied it into word. i used multiple text boxes to add the necessary info and make it curve with the shape of the banana. i added a monkey picture for good measure.  no worries if the text box takes away part of the lines - you're going to cut them off anyway.

  • next, i printed off as many invites as a needed + 1. i cut out the extra banana OUTSIDE the black line and used it to trace the banana shape on the pieces of felt.


  •  i cut out all the rest of the paper bananas INSIDE the black line, to be the actual fruit. i glued the bottom half to the felt, centering it on the felt peel.

  •  once dry, i cut the peel in half, starting at the base of the stem.

how's that for cheap, easy, and adorable? gotta love pinterest.

love and soon-to-be babies,

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

the latest news...

baby #2 is on the way :-) 
due may 17th!

i'm sooo excited - i can't imagine having 2 little loves to take care of everyday! being pregnant is quite the mix of emotions though - we've had baby fever for months and couldn't be more excited but, on the flip side, with emery i had the most awful pregnancy i could have imagined. if it's as bad as last time, i'm going to miss out on the next 3 months of emery's life, pretty much completely.

with emery, i started feeling sick right at week 4 but didn't actually get sick until 6 1/2 weeks. with this one, i started feeling sick at week 3 and got sick for the first time at week 4. not looking good.

one thing that gives me hope is the fact that our life style has changed so much since emery was born. with emery, i used everything the doctor could provide for me {meds, a trip to the ER for dehydration, vitamins, etc} to eliminate my sickness, just short of bringing a nurse into our home to keep me on an IV drip. {they really did offer. i didn't even know you could do that.}

this time around, as soon as i found out i was pregnant, i dove into natural pregnancy websites and blog posts to read all i could about relieving morning sickness. {just for the record, i hate calling it morning sickness. i have all-freaking-day sickness. morning sickness sounds like the clouds have parted, angels are signing, and a glorious gift has been bestowed upon me in the form of a promise that i will only get sick in the mornings. that sounds like a dream. when i say morning sickness, i feel like i'm lying and tell you i've been given that special gift. i haven't.}

this blog post is to track:
  • what i'm reading
  • things i'm trying
  • what worked and didn't work

i plan to update this with more info and keep it as a personal journal for future reference. if anyone else is looking for info on natural pregnancy, check out Modern Alternative Pregnancy. this link is what i've been pouring over for the last few days. 

so far i've already:
  • made some infused water {she said to do lemon water, but i also added ginger slices and crushed up fennel in a tea steeper.} last time i couldn't handle the intensity of the ginger candies, so i'm hoping a little ginger in my water will be enough to ease the feeling.
  • eaten straight fennel . i remembered her mentioning fennel was good for you, so yesterday while i was doubled over in the kitchen with my eyes closed, trying to think happy thoughts, i remembered her praise of fennel. i pulled it out off the spice drawer and ate a small handful. within a few minutes, i was good to go. {i think this will only help for mild nausea. when it gets too bad, things like this don't help me.}
  • increased my protein. 
    1. we picked up sprouted bread and bagels from whole foods last night, along with some organic valley grass-fed cream cheese. it made the perfect breakfast this morning. sprouted grains are also high in vitamin B {i was taking vitamin B supplements with my last pregnancy because it reduces nausea. i'm hoping my diet will eliminate the need for pills this time around.} 
    2. as i'm typing this, i'm finishing up an amazing bowl of lentil soup from my aunt. 
    3. i also got some raw pepitas {shelled pumpkin seeds} from whole foods and plan to cook them in mild spices later today to have on hand to munch. Andrew scouted out the nuts in the whole food bins and said pepitas and peanuts had the highest protien content.
  • worn sea sickness bands. these only help me in the first few weeks, but i'll take what i can get.
  • sipped pregnancy tea. there's a link to a homemade liquid vitamin recipe below that i plan to make this week, but in the mean time, Yogi pregnancy tea contains a lot of the same herbs.
in the coming days and weeks, i also plan to:
  • make homemade chicken broth to sip when i can't eat anything else.
  • make this homemade liquid multivitamin. read her post for the benefits of making your own vs taking a pill. only downer is that it has to steep for 6 weeks.
  • regularly visit the chiropractor. i didn't start going to a chiropractor until after emery was born. i had no idea that simple adjustments can help relieve nausea. i hope this helps!
  • get acupuncture. i hate hate hate needles. but i love my daughter more. if getting acupuncture means that i'll be well enough to have quality time with emery, then sign me up.

you could probably assume this, but if i'm as sick as last time, the blog is going to be pitiful for awhile. there might be a post here and there if i'm able to do things worth blogging about, but for the most part, i'll probably be in the bathroom on my knees. {or making the most of the little moments i can get with emery without loosing my lunch}

anyone else have any natural "morning" sickness remedies?? i'll take any advice i can get! i'll try to keep you posted on how the natural remedies work {or don't work} for me.

love and running to the bathroom,

Sunday, September 9, 2012

cowboy WANTED sign

my husband's love for football always means increased creative time for me. we have a history of chilling out in front of the TV - him engrossed in the game and telling me random facts about players while i get my craft on.

this week i had a rootin' tootin' fun time planning the decor for my husband's cousin's new cowboy bedroom! first project down - 

cowboy wanted sign
  • cardstock
  • coffee
  • oven
  • cookie sheet
  • printer
  • computer
i came across this idea on, but she didn't have a tutorial. stink. i know very little about how to do things like this. i got my game face on and pretended like i knew what i was doing. google has the answers to everything, right? right.
  • i called up benjamin and had him tell me what he wanted his nickname and his crime to be! he had fun brainstorming his elaborate heist, but for space's sake, i had to narrow it down to bank robber and train hijacker.
  • if you want to add the lines {i use word 2010} go to "insert", then "shapes", select "line". once you have it lined up where you want, double click it. a new group of options will pop up at the top. select the down arrow on "shape outline" and then the arrow for "weight" to select the thickness of each line.
  • i originally had a sweet-faced picture of him from easter, but really now, what bad guy wants his smiling face on a wanted poster plastered all over town? not this one. he rounded up his cowboy gear and gave me quite the glare as i stared down the barrel of his gun. i'm super grateful he didn't pull the trigger.

  • following the same plan as i did for my Christmas ornaments, i printed this in black ink, tore the edges, placed it on a cookie sheet, poured about 1/4-1/2 cup coffee over it, and stuck it in a 200 degree oven.

  • it typically takes 15-20 minutes. you'll know it's done when the edges are peeling off the cookie sheet.

we're nailing it up on the wall as part of his cowboy decor. from the sound of it, i think he's pretty pumped to show his friends and my husband has declared it to be his favorite of all my projects. i love boys.

love and outlaws,

Thursday, September 6, 2012

fridge tree with magnet leaves.

i'm practically giddy thinking about september 22nd. it begins the seasonal wonderfulness that i look forward to every year and i'm so ready for emery to be a part of it!

i absolutely refuse to decorate for fall 1 day before fall actually begins. that being said, i couldn't help but start this project for emery so i could get it ready in time! if you're looking for seasonal fun for your little one, read on!
incase you want to get into my brain, here's how this project evolved. i was looking through my preschool curriculum, writing down anything that would be age appropriate for my 15 month old. when i got to the Fall curriculum, i remembered i had taped a tree to a cookie sheet for the kids and made magnet leaves for them to place on the tree. i immediately wanted to make one for emery and wrote it down on my list.

a few minutes later, i remembered this 
Felt play Christmas tree!!! Love this
that i found on pinterest from a few months ago and thought was super cute. i loved the idea of making it huge and decided to do it on the fridge. it would save a cookie sheet from being held hostage for a few months, and a bigger tree equals more fun.

being the project-obsessed girl that i am, i immediately got started. {i'm the kind of person that has to start right when i think of it, or it will never get done} 

i taped construction paper to the fridge and then sat on the floor and stared at it in fear for a few minutes. flashbacks of a highschool self portrait came to mind when i tried to draw myself climbing a tree. my eraser was my best friend that semester. 

 after a good 5 minutes, i finally got on pinterest and found this
Pinned Image
thank you, thank you, to whoever made this. my branches don't look as ridiculous now. {i always want to draw trees with the trunk being one massive arrow with awkward branches coming off the side, rather than splitting it halfway up into a few different branches. this gave me a good visual on how to split them.}

i used clear tape and secured each place on the paper where a part of the tree overlapped from one page to the next.

then i got to work, cutting the tree out while it was still on the fridge. i didn't like the idea of wrestling with it and spinning it around as i cut each branch at a different angle. i'm lazy like that.
hmmm. it should be a little taller up top
{i've never seen a flat-top tree in real life}, but overall, i'm satisfied.
i took it off the fridge and tucked it away to keep it safe from curious hands until i could get it laminated. and then i cleaned the gobs of brown paper off the floor so my husband wouldn't know our kitchen had been a disaster.

next, i found clipart for leaves at this link. i printed them off {you should use cardstock. i didnt. it was harder.} and traced them on red, orange, and yellow construction paper. i used markers to highlight them and make them more interesting.

leaf template

{i did 45 leaves.}

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: mardel will let you laminate stuff for 25 cents a foot. true story. i went and got these bad boys and a christmas tree version with ornaments laminated for $2.44. i walked out of the store one happy mamma.

see that fairly innocent bowl of chocolate chips?
i most definitely forgot they were there after emery woke up.
i went to clean the kitchen and came back to this:
good thing you're cute...
 the magnets i had on hand were really thin and i was nervous they weren't going to hold, so i went ahead and broke my "don't decorate early rule" put it all up just to make sure. it was a hit!

we are now sporting a diaper because her
chocolate drenched clothes are soaking
in oxyclean. does chocolate stain?
i dont know, but i keep ruining her clothes
so i wanted to play it safe.

love and leaves,

Friday, August 31, 2012

sports themed garland.

one of emery's favorite buddies turned 1 the other day. we absolutely love him and his family and were super excited to celebrate such a big occasion with them! 

when his mom, kim, told me what she had in mind for his party, i was even more excited! she took the idea from the sewn garland post and gave it a sports twist! i love everything about this party!

she made a sewn garland with his 
name and little footballs!

she created all the circles into different
sports balls before sewing them together!
she used a few extra balls as
labels around the drink table
she filled this with
ice and water bottles

one of my favorite tricks i
learned from my aunt -
draw different pictures
on the caps of water bottles
so you can tell drinks apart!
with 40+ people at a party,
this comes in handy!

the birthday boy!
kim made tommy this super cute sports shirt!
time for cake!

love and first birthdays,