Saturday, February 27, 2010

Every house needs a SUPERHERO!!!

I have 2 little boys.  J is 5 and C is 2.  Both of them are total boys.  They like cars and bugs and teasing their sisters.  They always want to wrestle and they think bodily functions are hilarious.  J really likes to watch Super Why on PBS.  If you don't know what that is?  You are missin' out!  :)  Anyway, he begged me to make him a Super Why costume for Halloween.  (yes, I realize that was 4 months ago and I am just now blogging about it).  I took pictures throughout the whole process, but didn't realize until about 1/2 way through that there was no memory card in my camera.  I'm cool like that sometimes.  So, I'll do the best I can to explain without all of the pictures.

Target had a sale on long sleeve t-shirts...$3.50 each.  I bought a small and a large.  I also bought a pack of boys underwear with a navy blue pair.  Once I got home, I cut the sleeves off of the Large one and they became the legs for his costume.  I took the blue underwear and sewed the shirt sleeves into them.  Viola!  Superhero pants.

Then I took the shirt and followed this tutorial to make the Super Why logo on the front of his shirt and to make a cape.  Since I was already making the cape, I decided to make it reversible.  One side is plain blue (which he needed for the costume) and the other side is red with a "Super J" emblem on it.  I just made up the "Super J"...I know, I'm so creative.  :)

The last thing I did was take some yellow ribbon and cut it to fit his waist.  Then I burned the ends so they wouldn't ravel and sewed Velcro on them.  This became his belt.  And here is the finished product.  Pretty cute, huh?

Now the only problem is that his little brother won't take the cape off.  I guess I should make him one of his own!

I keep getting spam comments on this post, so I am turning the comments option off.  if you have questions or want to comment, just email me at  Thanks!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Half Bathroom Makeover on a budget

Hello Lovelies!  We bought this house almost 3 years ago.  We got it for a really great price...partly because the last time it was decorated was in the early 80's.  There was enough dusty rose and country blue in this house to last a lifetime!!!  I've pretty much ripped down all of the wallpaper and painted everything in sight.  I thought I would give you all a tour of my house with before and after pics.

This is the first house I have ever painted or done any decorating in whatsoever.  My husband and I have done all of the work ourselves.  I think up the ideas and do all of the painting.  He does the harder crown molding.  We make a pretty great team!  Feel free to offer suggestions, but please (please, please, please) be kind.  My decorating ego is still very fragile.  ;)

So, here is our 1/2 bath on the first floor.  We did the entire bathroom for about $300.

Before:  20 year old curtains, cheap wood, stick-on tiles that don't stick anymore, and ceiling border...what's not to love?!

After:  We were going for clean, relaxing, and welcoming.  How did we do?
The curtains, towels, candles and toilet paper holder are all from Wal-Mart.  I don't remember what each one cost individually, but I know we spent less than $40 for all of it.
The towel rack and shelf we got at IKEA.  Each one cost less than $5.  They were wood, so I just sanded them, primed them, and then spray painted them.  The picture frames are from IKEA too.  $6 for all 4 of them.
We got the bead board and molding from Home Depot.  It was definitely the biggest chunk of our budget.  The bead board comes in 8 ft by 4 ft sheets for about $25 a sheet.  I don't remember how much the molding was.
I did all of the painting.  My hubby did the bead board and molding.  We also re-used some of the old stuff.  Does this mirror look familiar?  It's the same one.  I sanded it down, primed it, and then painted it.  We hung it horizontally instead of vertically and you would never know it was the old one.
This sink we got off of Craigslist for $60.  It came with a polished brass faucet.  YUCK!  So we just re-used the faucet from the old sink.
The tiles are beautiful aren't they?  We could have spent a fortune on tile alone, but neither of us has a fortune, so we went with stick on tile again.  We bought a box of 45 tiles (12 in by 12 in) for $30.  We didn't use all of them, and Home Depot gave us store credit for what was left.  I would have loved to do real tile, but it just wasn't in the budget.  Besides, these are super kid friendly.
We had a wooden seat that actually fell off because it was so old.  I hated it.  My hubby came home with this one and he was so proud of himself because it matches the bead board.  Isn't he cute?!
And my favorite part?  This little beauty.  It is a light sensor.  My kids have major problems with turning the bathroom light off.  So, my hubby found this at Home Depot.  It turns on when it senses motion (like the door opening).  It turns off after so long of not sensing motion.  You can set it for anywhere from 5 seconds to 15 minutes.  Okay, so it really isn't my favorite, but it is pretty cool, huh?

So, what do you think?  Want to see more of our house?  Stay tuned...

I also linked this post to Wednesday Show and Tell at Blue Cricket Design, Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Chic Cottage, and to Saturday Nite Special at Funky Junk Interiors.  Go check out all of the awesomeness that other people are creating!!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

New Hair Cut

When I was drying my hair this morning I noticed that I had a few dead ends (gasp) and I was not very happy.  Time for a haircut!  I've been cutting my own hair for years.  I know my hair better than anyone else, so I know what it can do and what it can't do.  I started cutting hair when I was 11 and have been cutting my own and other's hair regularly since then.  I love it!  Maybe some day I will go to school for it.  We'll see.

I cut about 2 inches off of the back and sides.  Then I layered it, and added some bangs.  What do you think?

Friday, February 19, 2010

How to make a wheat bag

I love wheat bags.  They make amazing heating pads.  They're great for cramps, neck or back aches, or to warm up your feet in bed.  I choose to use wheat because I like the smell of it when it is heated up, but I know others have used rice.  I did some research on it, and apparently feed corn (not pop corn) is the best to use because it holds heat the longest.  Since I'm fresh out of feed corn and have a ton of wheat in my basement, wheat it is!

You can use any material you want, but I think it is nice to have something pretty to comfort you when you feel crummy.  This bag was actually going to be a tote bag, but when I started putting it together I didn't like it, so I turned it into a wheat bag.  So, these aren't the normal dimensions of one.  I'll tell you the proper size in the directions.  Just remember that my pictures will look a bit different than yours.

Color A:  Cut 1 rectangle 11 in. x 9 in.
Color B:  Cut 2 rectangles 11 in. x 5 in.
Color C:  Cut 2 rectangles 13 in. x 4 in. (if you don't want to make the handles, you can use 1 in. grosgrain ribbon.  You'll need 2 pieces that are 13 in. long.
Decoration:  2 pieces of 3/8 in. grosgrain ribbon that are 11 in. long.

1. Lay A right side up so that it is 11 in. high and 9 in. wide.  With right sides facing, sew both B pieces to either end of piece A.  I used 1/2 in. seams.
2.  You can iron the seam open, or you can "finger press" it.  I just used my finger and pushed on the seams.
3.  Turn it over and pin your ribbon on top of the seam.  Carefully sew down both edges of the ribbon.  Since the seams are 1/2 in, you are sewing them flat when you sew the ribbon on.  The ribbon looks pretty, but it also reinforces the seam so it won't come open and let your wheat spill out.
4.  If you are making your straps, you will need to fold each one in half lengthwise and iron the seam.  After ironing the seam, open it back up and fold each side in so that it touches the fold you just ironed in.  Then fold it back in half and iron it again.  When you get done, you should have a 1 in. strap that is quite thick.  Pin it in place, and then sew down each side.  I forgot to take a picture of this step, but I think if you look closely, you can see where I sewed it in the next picture.

5.  Once your straps are done, or if you are using ribbon, fold it in half and lay it on the right side of the fabric.  Line up the edges of the strap to the edge of the bag.  Make sure that you place the straps on the bottom half of your material because you will fold it down over the straps before you sew it.
6.  Fold the bag in half, and pin the straps in place.
7.  Sew the straps in place using 1/2 in. seams.  Then sew down the long side of the bag leaving a 3 in. opening in the middle of the bag.  Make sure your opening is in the middle.  It is much harder to fill it and sew it up if it is on an edge near the handles.  Flip your bag right side out.

8.  Using a funnel, fill the bag about 2/3 full.  If you don't have a funnel, you can roll up paper into a make shift funnel.
9.  Once the wheat is in, very carefully sew up the opening.  Now your bag is done and ready to use.
All you have to do is pop it in the microwave with a glass about 1/2 full of water for 2 minutes and enjoy it's warmth (and yummy bread smell).  These can be quite hot when they first come out.  PLEASE use with caution around children!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


My neighbor's daughters just knocked on the door.  What did they want?  To deliver the GIRL SCOUT COOKIES that I ordered like 2 months ago.  Seriously.  I think I just might shoot myself.  Why is this no sugar thing a good idea????

I think I need help.

If you want some and your neighbor's don't bring them to you, you can make them yourself by following this link.

Removing water deposits

Do you get water deposits around your faucet or on the little drip tray under the water dispenser on your refrigerator?  Or do you see them on the bottom of your glasses after pulling them out of the dishwasher?  Have you tried scrubbing and scrubbing and it won't come off?  Want to know how to remove it without hard chemicals?  Vinegar.  Yes, really.  Just saturate it with vinegar for a few minutes and use the scrubby side of a sponge or scratcher pad or a toothbrush and it quickly and easily scrubs off.

I just cleaned our drip tray yesterday, but I forgot to take a picture.  Here is a picture of someone else's faucet with the water deposits on it.  All of that can be gone with some vinegar and a little bit of scrubbing.

P.S.  I survived a day without sugar and I didn't die.  Let's see how today goes.

Monday, February 15, 2010

No Sugar---Day 1

Today is the day!!!  No sugar.  My plan is to clean everytime I want to eat some sugar.  My house will be spotless by bedtime!  :)  I'll let you all know how it goes.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

New You Challenge

One of my very dear friends emailed me this week and asked if I was interested in training for a half marathon (13.1 miles) with her.  She and I live in different states, so the plan is to follow the same training plan, and meet somewhere in October and run the race together.  Each of us have run a half marathon before, but that was at least one kid ago for both of us.

She lives on the east coast and is currently under 20+ inches of snow and I live in the upper midwest where the temps haven't been above freezing for at least a month.  She has 3 kids and I have 4.  Our husbands both work crazy hours, so this training is going to have to happen with the kids in tow.  Luckily we both have jogging strollers, so it shouldn't be too hard.  We figure we will start really training at the beginning of April when it is warm enough to actually take the kids out for extended periods of time.  I know this is way longer than most people usually take training for a 1/2 marathon, but we are doing it that way on purpose. 

I have had 2 reconstructive surgeries on my right knee.  I used to be a hardcore runner before I shredded it.  Since then, I can still run, but I have to work up to it very gradually or I will cause more injury to my already injured knee.  In order to avoid hurting it again, and because we will each be pushing 100 lbs. of kids, we decided to follow the walking schedule first and then move on to the running schedule.  Each one takes 12 weeks, so we are starting at the beginning of April and we will finish at the beginning of October.

We are following these schedules, created by Hal Higdon.  Walking and Running  He also has schedules for more advanced runners, but let's be honest.  We are not going for time, we are going for completion and for the health benefits that will come with it.   We are also shifting the days a bit because we want Sunday to be our rest day.

So what are we doing for the next 6 weeks until we start training?  We are getting our eating habits in check so that the food we eat is helping us in our goal and not hindering us.  We are increasing the amount of water we drink and decreasing the amount of sugar we eat.  We are starting with a sugar cleanse.  I'm sure if you googled "sugar cleanse" you would come up with lots of interesting things to try.  We aren't doing any of those things.  We are just cutting out sugar in all of it's forms.  These include the following:
                 (this is not an endorsement for this website.  I just liked the picture.)
  • white sugar
  • brown sugar
  • cane sugar
  • agave syrup
  • honey
  • stevia
  • maple syrup
  • fruit juice (still eating fruit, but not drinking the juice)
  • white flour (which acts like sugar in the body once it is broken down)
  • sugar substitutes (which are included in sodas, flavored drinks, etc.)
I will still use honey when I bake my 100% whole wheat bread, because yeast can't work unless it has some form of sugar to feed off of.

Why am I telling you all this?  Because saying it out loud and committing to do it means that I have to do it.  And I need your help to keep me accountable.  Are you with me?  Want to join in on the fun?

I'll post how I'm doing on my no sugar and once I start training what I am doing for workouts.  Feel free to join at any time and just post a comment telling me how you are doing each day.  We'll work together to become healthier, and I promise you will become happier in the process.

Ok, so we will start on Monday.  Ready, Set, GO!!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sometimes life gets the best of all of us!!!

I can't believe it has been 3 weeks since I have posted.  I wish it was because I was on a secluded island, lying in the shade of a palm tree with my sweetie and a cold glass of lemonade.  No such luck, but a girl can dream right?

Instead, we have had some of this...

Use one of these...

Lots of this...

Some of these...

And not much of this...

We're all pretty much back to normal, so I should be back to blogging and crafting and giving you lots of good tips soon.