Friday, April 29, 2011

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

decorating the baby's room

I am quite proud of one room in our house, and no surprise, it is a room that I spend a great deal of time in. I decided when I was pregnant that the baby's room, boy or girl, would have to be a place that I enjoy since I would be spending most of my time there and this may be my only chance to choose what it looks like till he gets older.

I started looking up ideas on the Internet and saving my fave pics. After twenty or so pics, I zeroed on these four. (there weren't very many cute, jungle rooms). Each one has a different idea that I like and had never seen.

Polka dot walls, vertical placement, stickers, and a set of three pieces over the crib.
I focused on these ideas as I formulated the room. (which took months because I really over-think these things.)

After a hand-me down crib, ikea and world market furniture, I had to set in on color choices and decor.
Boy yes, blue no. Monkey yes... but not too monkey. Let's include some other animals. So I started to take action on some ideas. I loved some of the themed stuff in the stores, but I'm cheap and well, an artist, so I think I can do everything art related. This was much harder than I anticipated.

I did paint the monkeys, no they are not my design. Turns out, I am not an artist who can draw. SO The wonderful thing about art just for you is you can 100% copy someone else's idea and it is okay! It is just for you! SO I found some cartoon monkeys I liked and printed them off so I could enlarge them onto a canvas.

The jungle animals are made out of recycled sweaters, cut up and stapled around a square canvas. The gators, etc are simply cut out and glued on! But it is soft, and is a nice texture on the wall.

I liked these elements but I didn't have it all till I found... the stickers!! Toys R Us had the cutest jungle and monkey stickers last year! You could peel-and-stick to your heart's content, and I got them for gifts and on sale! My twist was adding the picture frames on top of the stickers to make a cute wall feature. I haven't changed the photos yet because I like them so much. (My tip for this project is either go black and white with your photos, or match the colors in the photos to the stickers. It will make it look cohesive! See my matchy matchy blues and yellows.)

Now I love this room. I used to sit and judge my monkeys because some have big heads, some have big feet, but now I love them for their imperfections. And the polka dots make them stand out from the wall. (Another tip, my polka dots don't match the green color of the other walls, but it is okay because the two greens never touch each other! You would have never known huh!)
All the spotty movement adds so much life to an otherwise boring space, even Bradley and the puppy are excited to play in his room!

I suppose it is a bad idea to have another kid just so you can decorate another room.. even if it did take me nearly a year to DECIDE what I wanted in here!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Summer Kicks

Like my little ad? You can tell it is my foot becuase my stupid jeans always do that little flip thing on the bottom edge.
 I love my Rocket Dogs.
My mom gave me my first pair three years ago for Christmas. I now get a new pair every year.
It isn't like they are fancy shoes, or have special "makes you run faster" features. But I love them because I can usually find a really cute, quirky style for $15-25 bucks. They fit like my Jack Purcells of the 90's, but have fun patterns and stitches that don't make me feel like I'm wearing old lady shoes.
We were getting Brad some new shoes one weekend and I spied these out of the corner of my eye..
Please!! I begged Brian. Then I lifted my right foot and bended the toe upward to reveal the warn bottom of my shoe and the many holes that water gets into. Fine, Okay, he says. And boom! New summer kicks!! (Plus a $5 off coupon at Famous Footwear always helps.)

These are last year's model.  
I'm really tough on my summer shoes, so they only last a year and half-ish before I've warn them out pretty far. Hot summers, and impromptu trips outside mean I don't wear socks, and I don't like tying shoe laces. Sadly this year's pair of shoes DO have shoe laces, but you can keep
them tied and still slip your feet in and out just fine.
 Yes, I'm a bare-footed girl who still refuses to constantly tie and untie her shoelaces. You know you don't like tying shoe laces either.
I love my Rocket Dogs. Cute toe swoop, cute brown and yellows, what isn't to love.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Easter Page

I was inspired the other day. I had to scrapbook or else my brain would melt out my ears. I could just feel it.
I was also stranded at home with a half sick, mostly on the mend, but possibly contagious, baby. So maybe I was just going a little stir crazy.

I think it is quite a cheerful page that shows our cute little Easter day!
I used cute printed paper from a variety of places and the Cricut machine to cut the shapes and letters. The letters come from the Alphalicious Cartridge and the birds and butterflies from the Straight From the Nest Cartridge.

Kyli, my best scrap booking girlie, likes to make fun of my pages because I rarely have any photos sit at right angles. But I like the movement the funny angles bring to the page,

Here is my room of carnage for one little page. I may have a problem. I didn't even use half that stuff on my page!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Food Storage: Stephanie Style

I try pretty hard to convince my husband (and myself) that we really need to work on our food storage.

I must not be very convincing.

*sigh, my mother in law would be so disappointed.

She isn't LDS (latter day saint), but she IS super prepared for disaster! If you go to her house I dare you to look under ANY sink. There you will find flashlights, first aid stuff, and... food! Gold fish crackers are usually hidden under bathroom sinks. But yea, every single place she can hide a bottle of water, a box of canned soup or crackers, you will actually find it there.

Very impressive mother Lou.
She told me once that her idea is simply to buy an extra pack of something at Costco every time you go, and slowly build your stores. Then after five years, go through and donate the ones that have a year left on the expirations and keep going.

From my pitiful display above, you can see I am trying to do that. But I'm also trying to work on our "Three Month Supply," as Heidi labels it. (man who knew she was so on top of things! Cool on you Heidi!) So my three month supply is a combo of Costco boxed items, and items that we commonly use- like chicken broth and Ritz crackers.

We are working on the water supply. But every time I buy an extra thing of water bottles we start drinking them.. So that isn't going great.

However, if toilet paper is what you are looking for, We've got it!! We are completely prepared for disaster when it comes to having extra rolls laying around. Check! (there may have been once or three times that we threw toilet paper in the cart instead of paper towels.. )

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spa Bathroom? Right.

When Brian and I got married one of my first "wifely" orders of business was to elevate our bathroom from cluttered with college crap everywhere, to an orderly, nice, elegant, adult bathroom. Too bad we were living in a tiny apartment. I think organized elegance takes more space than we had at the time. I put my bathroom beauty ideas on hold and simply replaced our soap dish and toothbrush holder with the nice silver ones someone gave us for our wedding.

I still have grand dreams of having a spa like bathroom. 
When we bought our home I was first excited about my new craft room, but second excited about our cool adult bathroom. So much potential...
We have a separate tub and shower, and a nice big soak tub, the sinks are actually IN THE BATHROOM - which is an improvement over our newly wed apartment bathroom.

So Step One, Paint!
I love the blue sea tones.

Step Two, Surface Textures!
Our bathroom came with the average sink and tub porcelain-like surfaces. But Our shower was a definite upgrade, it has these beautiful natural color stones. And our floor is some kind of nicely matching tile. Nothing fancy, no granite. But I still think everything is on the right track. No old wood colors, no old wood 80's trim.

Step Three, Accessories!
Everyone's fave right? Even if you can't paint and you can't change your surfaces, you CAN accessorize! This is what I'm working on.

 I always try to make my accessories useful in the space. Relaxing art.. a place to put our toothbrushes, a place for my makeup, etc. So I gathered accessories to fulfill these needs. Cute cups, bowls and trays to organize our needs.

 Useful, beautiful cups designed and hand crafted by my brother in law. Cute and stylish little makeup tray. Cotton swabs in a little brown cup I made. Cute and simple and most important practical.

Sadly the rest of my counter looks like this. 

THIS LOOKS LIKE MY GRANDPARENT'S BATHROOM, with fewer bottles of pills.
But, I use all this stuff, or at least Brian does. Every day. This is even a really good day! This is as organized as it gets!!! What else do you do? Maybe I need more baskets. But I don't think my hubby would actually put his hair gel, toothpaste, etc back into a basket at 5 am in the morning.

I don't believe spa bathrooms exist in the wild.

I've tried, really really hard! But I just use my bathroom too much to have it be a clear space with clutter-free surfaces. I'm still working on the art work. I'm stubborn and only buy art work from the store if I really like it. So I'm trying to find some cheap frames and put some photos in them. Hopefully this will distract from the messy sink area. I guess I use my bathroom too much to have it be a spa like anything.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Food Storage:Heidi Style!

With all of these natural disasters happening around the world, the economy not being super great, gas prices going up, and for the sake of just wanting to save money in the long run... food storage is a great option to consider!

Food Storage is a good way to help you prepare for the unknowns that seem to come up at unexpected times. Or, food storage is great because it helps you stock up on your everyday foods, and you always have what you need on hand! I love food storage for these very reasons.

TIP: When things are on sale, get a couple extra to help stock up! Then one day when you need it, you are ahead of the game and can just replace your "extra". You will always have what you need!

I love when I am ready to cook something, and I can think of my family's staple meals, and I almost always have what I need on hand because I have a good food storage supply in my stairway. (I don't have a pantry, I store all my canned goods on the shelfs by my basement stairs.) So I will grab everything I need for spaghetti (we have a BIG spaghetti supply), and then I don't need to go to the store. Then next time when I go to the store, or when there is a big sale, I replace what I used.

We eat a TON of spaghetti!

Apple Sauce and pasta!
Frozen meat 
Frozen corn and breast milk for the baby!
My food storage stock is more of the short term everyday kind of items. Its been great for my family and comes in handy a lot, especially with saving money and having yummy meals. But long term food storage is very important too, which I'm not very good at yet. I am slowly working on my stock. I have canned (as in I canned/bottled them myself) peaches, apple sauce, pickles and peppers, but when "the world ends" or whatever happens, I don't have any of the essentials yet.

Peaches, Pickles, Peppers, TUNA, BEANS, and all the many other canned things.
Here are some good things to think about:


Store drinking water for circumstances in which the water supply may be polluted or disrupted.
If water comes directly from a good, pretreated source, then no additional purification is needed; otherwise, pretreat water before use. Store water in sturdy, leak-proof, breakage-resistant containers. Consider using plastic bottles commonly used for juices and soft drinks. Keep water containers away from heat sources and direct sunlight.

Build a small supply of food that is part of your normal, daily diet. One way to do this is to purchase a few extra items each week to build a one-week supply of food. Then you can gradually increase your supply until it is sufficient for three months. These items should be rotated regularly to avoid spoilage.

Establish a financial reserve by saving a little money each week and gradually increasing it to a reasonable amount.

For longer-term needs, and where permitted, gradually build a supply of food that will last a long time and that you can use to stay alive, such as wheat, white rice, and beans.
These items can last 30 years or more when properly packaged and stored in a cool, dry place. A portion of these items may be rotated in your three-month supply.

FoodNew "Life Sustaining" Shelf-Life
Estimates (In Years)
White rice30+
Pinto beans30  
Rolled oats30  
Potato flakes30  
Apple slices30  
Non-fat powdered milk20  
Dehydrated carrots20  

Pretty cool huh? I better get started on my long term supply and water supply, because you never know what's going to happen!

Canning peaches. Its SO worth it, imagine all the yummy peach cobbler you can make!

my fave

Ya gotta make your self a little love right?
I couldn't help it! I needed on to show my friends here... who think I'm crazy for loving pictures put on scrabble tile game pieces... what on earth these little cute pendants are like, SO I had to!

Silly smiles are the best.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Hey guys! Ever since Stephanie and I have taken on this new business, we have been looking for a good way to get the word out. Through a friend of a friend or a friend's blog (I'm a blog stalker, what can I say?), I found an old friend's wife's blog. WOW, that was hard to type, is it easy to understand? =)

Anyway- she has a blog about woman's beauty where she has fun posts for every day including, recipes, quotes, profiles, get to know you's, funny stuff from the internet, and GIVEAWAYS! We decided it might be fun to do a giveaway on her blog and get the word out about our new customized pendant products!

So I highly recommend that you go and check it out, it can't hurt to enter. Who knows, maybe you will win! The giveaway winner will be announced Wednesday the 20th!

We Are Beautiful Because We Are Woman: GIVEAWAY!

The winner will be getting one the custom designed pendants with wording and designs! 
Good luck!

Monday, April 4, 2011

quiet book.. shhhhhh I'm sewing!

 This is the project I have most recently been working on. On of the crafty girls at my church designed it and offered to help a bunch of us make our own; so for the last month, eeeevery tuesday, we've been working on our oh so adorable, but slightly complex for non-sewers, Quiet Books.

Never heard of a quiet book? Well, they are fairly self explanatory but I will indulge those whose children are always quiet and would never require such an item.

A quiet book is designed so that each page has some fun activity or works on a motor skill. All the pages are made of felt and all the activities are supposed to be "quiet" so that when my angelic child gets rowdy sitting in sacrament meeting at church, I can hand him this book for some quiet entertainment.

So this is the monster page. He can arrange the monster eyes, mouth and ears to make silly faces. This page wasn't included in all the other books, but I made this page so we could work on eyes and ears and mouth... we are having issues knowing the difference.There is a little pocket on the left to hold all the pieces. (I couldn't figure out how to make the monster a pocket itself, see, really I am not that smart.)

These next two pages are similar. On the left is a boat with water, and there are fish that we can practice counting and colors with. They can go in and out of the boat and water.
The right page is a button flower garden. Each flower is held on with a button so he can practice doing buttons. This is a little advanced for him now, but it will be fun in the future.

 These are my fave pages! Kyli, the girl who designed the books, seriously came up with a shoe!! And you can lace it and everything!! It is so cute. She also did a pencil and notebook page, but I made mine really wide so I could put in the little magnetic sketching pad, paper, aaand crayons. (It totally makes the whole book really fat, but that is okay, it is still cute.)

Bradley's fave page is the lady bug! It has a zipper down the middle that he loves to work on, and he loves taking the spots in and out and putting them on the lady bug! Maybe I should put some numbers on them so we can count. Maybe.

This project was surprisingly hard for me, and really forced me to get friendly with my sewing machine. I am not a sewer! But I can do straight lines, and if I go reeeeeeeealy slow I can do all those little curves. If you look at the front page you can easily see my skills are sub par. But it was really fun! And of course it was so fun to craft in a group together.

I firmly believe all crafting should be done this way.

Want to see more photos of the other pages? Click Here!! (Takes you to our picassa web album. I feel bad posting a million pics, but I know the crafty types like getting closeups for ideas!)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sometimes Home Ownership IS like the Movies... when toilets explode

Do you remember the secene in various commedies where someone says, "hey there's a leak here..." and within the next five minutes all the characters are soaked and running around yelling.
Turns out, when your sewer pipe gets blocked, pretty much the exact same thing happens in real life.

So here's the play by play.

Scene: Bradley, the 1.5 year old boy baby, just woke up and he and Mommy are coming down to the basement to visit Daddy as he is finishing building Bradley's new wood toy box. (I am totally not making this up.)

Steph - "Hey hun there is a leak over here, and it's wet!"
Brian removes ceiling pannel and unveils... nothing but dry pipes.
Brian - "Go up stairs and flush the toilets."
Stephanie goes upstairs and proceeds to double flush the main level bathroom, and the guest bathroom upstairs.
Brian - "Hmm, noththing. Go flush it again."
Stephanie gets half way up the stairs - "Hey Brian, the toilet is gurgling!"
Silence as they both watch another leak on another ceiling pannel form.
Suddenly the ceiling pannel turns dark with wettness and starts bowing with the weight of the water from above.
Steph - "Oh MY GOSH!"
Lots of loud water sounds.
Steph - Oh my gosh oh my gosh what do we do!!"

Now we enter action movie mode.

Brian wildly starts yelling out instructions while stephanie continues yelling oh my gosh and executes said instructions.
Buckets are gotten to catch the water, and the water to the toilet is turned off. Brian runs up stairs and begins plunging the now quiet toilet and Stephanie is downstaris finding more buckets to catch the water now dripping from five or six places from their drop ceiling. A whirring sound in the background... All is quiet while Brian gives more instructions and stephanie goes to find more supplies. Everyone things the worst is over.

The whirring stops, the washing machine begins to empty its water and go into the spin cycle. A fountain of water erupts from the toilet.
Up until this point I had also been on the phone with my dad comicly talking about things as they were happening as we also discussed our upcoming trip. I asked, "Um what do you do when water comes out after you've turned of all the water?" I don't remember his response because Brian started yelling, "Call a plumber call a plumber!!!" over and over.

Brian quickly abandones the showering toiled and runs downstairs to try and save the downstairs carpets from damage.

I can clearly remember feeling fairly abandoned at this point. I walked into the kitchen and stood and thought, what do I do what do I do? (You think and say everything twice in an emergency, just like in action movies.) For some reason I could not fathom calling a plumber while water was rushing around. So I grabbed my nicely rolled yoga mat and shoved it in the door way of the bathroom and reinforced it with three rolls of paper towels. Fairly genius I thought. The water level in the bathroom peaked at three inches. Luckily the toiled stopped shooting water everywhere, and I was able to sop up all the water and begin semi cleaning.

And where is Bradley in all this? Running around up and down the stairs. Eventually when people stopped yelling he came to see if things were okay. What a good boy.

We stayed in a hotel that night.