Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Too Long

Hi!  It has been awhile since I have posted.... I know there is no real excuse.  I have been busy with an online class I am taking to add an endorsement to my teaching certificates.  I keep all of my teaching certificates current just in case I might have to go back to the classroom (shudder).  The next thing I knew, Halloween was here and then Thanksgiving!  Here are some very late pictures from our fantastic trip to a local pumpkin patch.

Picking pumpkins is serious business and can make a certain little boy cranky when he can't find the perfect pumpkin!

You have to weigh the pumpkin.

Then you have to run around like wild guy and tolerate kisses from your Mama.  Play in some corn and slide down a cool slide.

And lastly.... take a minute to look around and appreciate everything put on this Earth for our enjoyment. Our cup runneth over with the perfectness of the day.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Halloween Fun

I am working on getting LM's Halloween costume finished.  This year should be fun as this will be the first time that he is able to Trick or Treat and actually get the entire process.  We also might begin implementing the Switch Witch this year.  How it works is that after selecting a few pieces of candy, LM will leave his loot out and the Switch Witch comes in the middle of the night and switches his loot for a present that he has been wanting.  In his case, I think it might be a few more matchbox cars.

How do you handle your kid's loot?

Lastly, here is a cool Halloween light show.  I love it but am thanking my stars that they don't live on my street or next door!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Two Sided Bunting Tutorial

Two Sided Bunting Tutorial

So, with the anniversary of 9/11 my team wanted to have an all-American theme this time for our food table to acknowledge the day and our fellow Americans.  Even though I am struggling to pull my life together, my team thinks I have it ALL together and they expect something neat and cool from me for the table. I decided to make a bunting for the day.  I figure I can always reuse it on subsequent Fourth of July celebrations.   Here is my version of the every day bunting that you see ALL over the Internet now.

Marking (the confusing part)
1.     My fabric is utilizing the patriotic theme (or what I call the sale table theme) for this bunting.  I have several different colors, but you want to have at least pieces that are 20 inches wide by 44 (or 42 ) inches long.
2.     Fold your fabric in half so you now have a piece that is 10X44.  If you want, you can press the fold.  I find that this does make it easier.  If you do this, fold it so the WRONG sides face each other.  If you want to iron a bit of stabilizer in between the pieces this is the time.
On one long side, you are going to want to take your water-soluble fabric marker and make a mark 4 inches in from the corner. Then, mark every 8 inches. On the other long edge start FROM THE SAME SIDE AS THE OTHER; continue marking every 8 inches and ending with the last mark 4 inches from the end.  You may have to fudge this depending on if your fabric was 44 or 42 inches.  You will see when you start cutting. 
3.     This is the magic part.  Connect one dot on one side to the dot closet to on the other side so it looks like you are making a zig zag line back and forth across the fabric. You now have your flag triangles for your bunting!  Once again, you might have to fudge this or be ok with having half flags left over for another project.
Cutting (the nerve racking but easy part)
4.     Cut your flags out using the ruler as a guide. You will have 10 flags. You will not be using the half flags from the ends.  If you want more, make more!
Sewing (the fun part)
5.     Sew the two long sides of each flag together, using a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Don’t worry about the flat side as that will be covered.  You can be creative here and use a decorative stitch if you want.  Just make sure you leave enough room to use your pinking shears on the sides for that “special touch”.  Pink after you sew- not when you attach them together with the bias tape.  Don’t ask me why or how I know this.  I just do.
6.     Run and get your 2-inch bias tape. How much do you need, well that depends on how many flags you have.  So you might want to eyeball this ahead of time. 
7.     Sew the first 12 inches of tape- this will be the tie.
8.     Put the open end of the flag on the tape making sure it is up in the crease. Fold over the bias tape and pin if you want.  Lay the next flag down about an inch from the other. Repeat the same process until you have about 12 inches left at the end.  You might have to add more bias tape.
9.     Sew the bias tape closed making sure to catch both sides of the tape.
10.  I found that I really don’t need to pin the flags in the tape as it is easy to just “wing it”
11.  Sew the length of the bias tape as close to the pinned edge as possible. Use the ends as ties to hang your flag bunting.
12.  Hang your bunting in a fun place- I am going to use this one for my tennis match on 9/11.  What a nice way to honor fellow Americans on this day!

Extra notes
·      I have heard of people who make a triangle template out of cardboard or paper, but this seems to be one extra step for me.  So I don’t do it.
·      I use a fusible interface between my fabrics so it holds a bit better in the wash, the wind and when making.  I think the pinking shears also make crisper marks.
·      Since this is a two-sided bunting, you really can make the different sides different patterns or different colors.  Just cut two 10X44 inch pieces of fabric and fuse together (wrong sides together) I decided not to do this as you would be able to see the bunting from two different sides (sometimes I am smart like that).

I am linking up to Skip to my Lou and Mady by You Monday

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hag- I mean bag follow-up

Hi- this is not an exciting post, but because I promised and that last 10% is hard for me, here is a post with how I store my plastic bags at work.  Feel free to skip this post :)

I tend to reuse a lot of plastic grocery bags.  I have reusable ones but sometimes I don't have them with me or just want the protection of a plastic bag.  I don't like to throw them away so when I use them to carry my lunch to work (I am classy like that) I need to have some place to store them that doesn't take up space.  He is my very, very, very unclassy way of storing them.
They are small and neat and tidy in my desk.  Here is how you fold them- I know you are excited....

Step 1) smooth the bag out flat
Step 2) fold in half and then half again so it looks like this (yeah, I shop at Wally World!)

Step 3) Take one of the bottom corners and fold it so it makes a triangle
Who's old hand is that.... it can't be mine because all of those veins make it look like my Mom's hand

Step 4) Take the far left point of the triangle and fold it over like your are turning a book page.  This makes the triangle thicker with another layer of bag. It will look  like this.
There is my Mom's hand again (crazy)

Step 5) Keep folding until you get to the handles.

 Can you see where I took my wedding ring off up there?  I ate Mexican and my hands swelled from the sodium (I am very sensitive like that)

Step 6) On the side of the triangle closest to the handle you should be able to see where you can pull out the plastic to make a pocket.  Pull this out.
Step 7) Tuck the handles in and work them around so that you have a nice plastic triangle or a slightly puffy one like this one.

This way, I can throw a couple in my desk or throw them in my purse to take home to use for daycare and they don't take up any space!

Was this awesome or what?!!?? To my one follower ( there are two signed up but it really is only one person with a split blog personality) don't you totally want to sit down and immediately do this to all of your plastic bags?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Spilled Milk

So back when LM was a wee one- a left over, half filled bottle spilled in the barely 3 minute ride from daycare to the house.  Spilled. on. the. carpet. of. the. car- milk.all.over!  Apparently the lid was not on correctly.  We all have had these accidents with those bottle caps!

Lesson learned so now ALL leftover food containers travel to and from in a plastic bag.  I know I drive daycare crazy with this quirk but what ever, I am a nice parent besides this (or at least I think I am, they might say something else about me).  So, now I kill two birds with one stone and recycle grocery bags into daycare food bags.  For the longest time I kept them in a mason jar on my counter so I could get one at any time.  This was cute, but didn't hold many bags and although I like it, I have been searching for a new container.

My temporary solution is to use one of the many wipes cases we have around the house.  However, I am not a fan of 1)the look and 2) having things unlabeled

Here is what I did-
I took some black contact paper (only color I had around)

eyeballed it and started cutting and adhering to the wipes case.
This is what I got
I now need to add a cute but yet streamline label and stuff with bags!

I know I could have gone all out and decoupaged it or painted it, but that just seemed like such a big commitment to a temporary solution.  I am the 90% completion queen and wanted to finish this and move on!

I figure that when I find my final solution I can put latex gloves in it that we keep stored in the garage.

What do you keep your plastic bags in- I want something that the LM can't get into and pull them all out!   Next week I will show you how I store my plastic bags at work!

I am linking up to Skip to my Lou again!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

End of Summer Fun

Well here it is the end of the summer and we are almost out of fun water toys.  I know everyone has probably seen these around the internet this summer as they seem to be pretty popular.  I first ripped this out of the magazine Family Fun, but it is also ALL over Pinterest (if you are not on, you need to be).

Anyway... today was a nice, crazy humid, overcast Georgia day perfect for hitting the pool for a few hours.  Perfect because I wouldn't scorch to death and it would give us a much needed break from potty training.  Prior to going, LM and I made a few of these.  They are super easy!

Supplies- 3-4 sponges, dental floss or any other strong thread or string and scissors

  • Take your sponges and cut into strips- I cut into four strips but you can do five if you want.
You can see I had a little helper in this picture.
  • Stack them on top of each other and tie with string- I don't have a picture of this as someone was grabbing at the strips to practice counting and colors so I had to act fast.
  • Double tie the string to make sure it is as tight as you can get it!
  • Go play and have some fun!

The best thing about these (besides being cool and fun to play with) is that you can just throw them in the dishwasher when they get nasty!!!

Now go out and have some fun with your little ones!

I am linking to Skip to my Lou
and Bear Rabbit Bear

Monday, August 1, 2011


I have been reading a blog called Recipe for Crazy and every week they have a word of the week. You are supposed to link to a photo that you have taken that symbolizes that word to you. I have been lurking on this blog for a LONG time and this is the first time that I really thought of a picture that resonates with the word.... the word is JAM. Well here is my picture.
 This was LM's first birthday and I think it not only captures the word (as in jam it in) but also captures the pure joy that my son felt at this point.  He was sooo happy and sooo messy!  I am proud of us as parents because we were able to hold back the urge to clean him and to let him go crazy!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

MIA and Pickles

Well I have been a bit MIA lately.  We had a bit of sickness in our extended family (all is ok now) and then went on vacation.  I am swamped at work now (summer and fall are my busy seasons) but I have been able to do a bit around the house and managed to document making some pickles!  I am sorry for the crappy pictures- no excuse today for it!

Refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles

1) Clean and sterilize your jars and lids- I don't have a picture of this step because as I was finishing up the thought hit me that I should post this on the blog... sorry about that!

2) Cut up your pickling cucumbers and lay them on a double layer of paper towel and sprinkle with pickling salt.   Regular salt will cause the cucumbers to discolor. Let them sit for about 20 minutes or so.

3) In the meantime, place your vinegar, sugar, pickling spices and pepper flakes in a pan.  Bring to a boil and then a quick simmer for about 20 minutes.  I tied mine up in a piece of cheese cloth.

4) Additionally, place your lids in simmering water so they stay hot.  Your bands can hang out to the side.

5)Cut your onion in this slices and set aside.

6) When your vinegar mixture is ready, take your hot jars, pace your cucumbers in with a few slices on onion, a hot pepper and a pinch of pickling crisp.  Pickling crisp helps to keep your pickles crisp - duh :)

7) Leaving about a 1/2 inch head space ladle in your vinegar mixture.  Use this handy dandy tool to get rid of any air bubbles and to measure your head space.  Head space is very important because as things expand and contract in canning, you want to make sure you always have room.  Check your recipe to see how much head space you should have.

8) Wipe the top of the jar with a moist rag to ensure a good seal.  Put on the lid and screw on the band.  Leave on your counter until cool then put in to fridge.  Wait a few days for the cucumbers to "pickle" then eat within the next few months.  These must be kept in the refrigerator as they have not been properly processed and could grow all kinds of things that might upset your tummy.
A few hints and tips-
Pickleing crips really helps, but not biggie if you can't find any- I got mine at Wally World
Keep everything (jars, lids and liquid) crazy hot!
Try and slice your cucumbers in 1/4 inch slices
Use only pickling cucumbers and make sure to scrub any waxy substance off if you get them from a store
Wipe the top of the jars off so you get a good seal!
Make sure to use vinegar with at least a 5% acity.  It will read like this fancy lable

That is it... leave a comment if you have any questions!  I have peaches to do next!
I am linking to Skip to my Lou...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Thanks and things I have learned today

Today I learned a bit more about using a program called statcounter.  I have been WAY under using it to track just the number of hits to this website and the geographical region that the hits originated from.  I spent a few extra minutes in it today and learned that I have gotten quiet a few referring links from a website called Holiday Snobs.  I went over there to check it out and it turns out that they did a little post on my Easter eggs that I mailed to some nieces and nephews.  It totally inspired her to send a gift card in and altoid tin to her MIL.  It is nice to have actually been part of someone's inspiration!  You should go on over there and check out her site.  It has lots of neat things that make me want to jump up from behind my work desk (Yes you are right, I should be working and I should not be posting now) and make some cool stuff!!!
So THANK YOU Holiday Snobs for not only sending people my way, but for also reinforcing my use of web stats!  I hope my one follower will go over to your side to check it out.

And just because it shows the joy of childhood, swings and playing with friends in the park, here is one of my favorite photos of LM.