Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

We are so excited to be celebrating our first Christmas in our new home :)  We have been able to reflect on how perfect God’s timing has been in this whole process.  We have needed to do a lot of work on our home, and if we had gotten the house when we wanted it, we wouldn’t have been able to afford it.  Instead we had to wait.. and in the mean time, we saved more money.  God’s timing may not be our timing, but his timing is always better than ours :) 


So we wish you many blessings this Christmas from our new home to yours. 

House, House, House

When we decided that it was time to start looking for a house, we had no idea the ordeal that was ahead of us.  We spend 10 1/2 months in contract on our home before we were finally able to get it.  It was a roller coaster of emotions as we went from thinking we would get the house, to thinking we would never get it and be in our tiny apartment forever.  We would go back and forth, back and forth, practically on a daily basis.

That brings us to last week.  At the beginning of the seat we were planning to cancel our contract on the house.  We kept going in circles and we were so tired of the whole process that we just couldn’t take it any more.  By Friday… we had our house.

I couldn’t believe it!  When Lan called to tell me I kept asking him “are you sure”  That day I had flowers delivered to my work from our relater, and as soon as I got off work, we rushed over to get our keys.  We almost had this feeling of … lets hurry and go get the keys before they can change their minds.


When we first got our keys and took our first walk through our home… the joy began to turn into fear.  It was a MESS!  We were scared.  We already knew that the people that were living there were not taking very good care of it… but it had gotten even worse in the last few weeks.  We had feelings of “what did we get ourselves into”.  Here are a few pictures of what greeted us at our new home…. lots and lots of trash… even a broken big screen TV.


After our relater left, we immediately got to work.  We were on a time crunch.  We got our keys on Friday and then needed to be out by Sunday in order to not need to sign a new lease.  We began by cleaning trash, removing sticky curtains (yes sticky… ewwww), and taking the vacant sticker off of our front window.

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Friday night we did a pre-clean, Saturday we invited all of our friends to help get it in habitable condition (immense amounts of cleaner and scrubbing), and then Sunday all our friends pulled together to help us make the move.  It didn’t seem like it would be possible… but we did it and now we are at home in our house :)

***note… this was written soon after moving into our house and then posted at a later date….. after we got internet :)***

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Cricut and Glass Etching

Sooooooo… this weekend Lan and I were in need of a little retail therapy.

What did you get you ask? a cricut!!! It is like a printer but it cuts stuff out. Now this is something that we have been thinking about getting for a few years… so it wasn’t a total impulse buy.


So I used my new toy to make stencils to do glass etching. It is one of the coolest things ever!

Lan cut out nerdy things that I don’t understand

Step 1: pick what you want to etch… there are these cartridges that you can choose from, or Lan figured out a way to make your own designs on the computer and have it cut those out. Then I had the cricut cut it out from contact paper. If you don’t have a cricut… and are not in need of some retail therapy… then you can make your own stencil or buy them.


Step 2: Put the contact paper on your clean glass surface and apply a thick layer of the etching cream

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Step 3: wait 60 sec.

Step 4: wash it off… and done!


I was so amazed at how fast and easy it was! I made so many gifts last night and it was hours of entertainment. Now the next morning… we are right back at playing with our new toy. We need more things to cut out!

and just for fun…. here is a picture of me all focused playing with my new toys :) I look so worried and confused!


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving Soup

Mmmmmmm Thanksgiving :) Probably my favorite meal of the year. I love when mom sends me home with Tupperware filled with the yummy goodness. This year after partaking in Thanksgiving meal number 3, I decided to try something new with some of my leftovers. I saw a lady do this on TV and it looked yummy… so I made my own version.

First I gathered all my leftovers and some chicken broth. You could also make your own Turkey stock by boiling your carcass in water for several hours and saving the drippings from when you originally cooked it. My mom is making turkey noodle soup with ours, so I just used chicken broth.

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Since I had some onions, garlic and carrots in my fridge I decided to get a little fancy with my soup :) I chopped up some carrot, onion, and garlic and started by sautéing them in some olive oil until they were starting to soften and get some color. I would have used celery if I had it, but I didn’t, so since I had some celery seed in my spice rack I threw in a little for flavor.

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After that I deglazed the pan by adding my chicken broth, or you could use your turkey broth if you make it. That would be super yummy. I brought that to a boil and then dumped Thanksgiving into the pot. Now I may have just lost you on that step… but no you read me right. Dump Thanksgiving in the pot. Everything goes in. The leftover turkey (I used the dark meat hat we don’t like as much and gave mine a rough chop), green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, candied yams, stuffing, and even the gravy.

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I added some extra spices at this point. A few dashes of oregano, Italian seasoning, thyme, rosemary, parsley. I don’t really think it matters… I just started putting things in that sounded like they would belong in a soup :)

“WHAT?!!??!” you say.

“Trust me” I say in response.

Let it simmer for about 20 minuets and……


mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm everything that is yummy about Thanksgiving all in one delicious soup. You can even use your rolls to eat with the soup. (you thought I forgot about the rolls didn’t you)

It doesn’t sound like it should work… but boy it does.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Wrist Pin Cushion

When I am sewing, it is always so annoying to try and stick a pin into my pincushion one handed and it scoots across the table.  Oh how handy it would be on my wrist.  I saw this tutorial months ago, and think about it each time I sew.  Since I have been sewing more than usual with making my nephew’s quilt, I decided that today was the day.

Here is the tutorial:

and here is how mine!

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Pretty cute if I do say so myself.  The wrist part is blue (its hard to tell in the photo)  Super cute and even more handy. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Noah’s Puff Quilt Part 1

I am so excited for my little nephew to arrive.  I have started working on this puff quilt for him.  I originally got the tutorial from but have made some changes to make it more functional for me :) 

First step: Buy The Supplies

I went for soft flannel fabrics since I thought it would be cozy for the little man.  I went with 8 different fabrics that were coordinating in patters that were white, blue, green, and brown.  She recommended finding 8 different fabrics but just four colors, so we will see how mine turns out.  I just picked ones that I thought were cute :)

I bought 1/2 yard of each fabric and have extra of each to do some coordinating other projects.

1 yard white muslin, however this was barely enough for the 64 squares, so I may need to go back for some more later

some fiberfill stuffing

I decided to get the rest of the materials once I needed them.

Second step:  Cut


Cut the muslin into 64 squares that are 4 1/2 x 4 1/2

Cut the pretty fabric into squares that are 5x5

Using a rotary cutter, self healing mat, and one of those handy clear ruler things made this a quick task.

Third Step: Sew


Lay the wrong sides together of the fabric, lining up one corner and pin


Then continue to line up each corner with the other one and pin.  All corners should be lined up and it should have a little parachute thing going on.

To sew the sides, you will notice that the top fabric has some extra fabric.  Pinch the extra fabric in the middle of one side, then lay it flat so that the machine will go over it smoothly.  I am visual so just see the picture.


sew three sides

Sew three of the sides using a zig zag stitch, stuff, then sew the last side closed.  I used a zig zag stitch so that I wouldn’t have to use pinking sheers or no fray on all the edges.  Make sure the stuffing is light and fluffy so the quilt ends up squishy for the little one :)


Once I got on a roll, they went fast. 


I am already almost half way through making all of my little pillows!  With any luck I may actually have this quilt done before he is born in February :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

5 minute fall wreath for $5


I started with a wreath I got for $1, some leaves for $2 and ribbon for $2.  Yay sales!


Take the leaves and with wire cutters separated all of the stems.


I take each of the stems of leaves and stick them into the wreath, starting at the top and working your way down.


Then take the ribbon and start wrapping, leaving room at the end so that you can later tie a bow.  Keep wrapping the ribbon between the leaves.  This actually helps keep them  in place.


Tie a pretty bow, cut the ends of the ribbon at an angle so they don’t fray,  and hang!  Super fast, easy and fun :) 


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Night Owl

So I have tons of fabric left over from projects that I had grand intentions to do… but never did, or fabric that was given to me… and have yet to think of something to do with it.  I have no idea why… but whenever I start a project, I go out and get even more fabric!  So today, I used some of it to make an adorable little owl pillow for my Godson.  His room is all forest themed and I have had great intentions of making him a few things since before he was born (like 5 months ago).  Today was the day.

I used some of this fabric that I originally bought to make a quilt for Lan back when we were dating.  (That didn’t happen and probably never will… we have plenty of quilts and blankets as it is)

photoI have seen some fun owl pillow/stuffed animals on blogs that I follow, so I just winged it.  Owls are oh so appropriate for the little man since he is a night owl himself… keeping mom up to the wee hours of the morning.  I cut some rough shapes, adjusted, appliquéd (for the first time), sewed, stuffed… and tada!

photo (1)  Pretty cute if I do say so myself.  The fabric is all different textures which will be fun for a curious 6 month old (how old he will be when he visits) to explore.  It is all soft and squishy too :)

*sorry the pictures are all off color.  I was being lazy and didn’t want to open up Picasa to color correct.  Meh *

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Steven James- Holding on to You (FishFest 2010)

My friend's husband is trying to get onstage at Fish Fest! Watch him on Youtube and help :)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Think Baby Shower

Think Baby Shower: They could work as both center pieces, and party favors for about 10 cents each.... well maybe a few pennies more each if you need to buy the fabric. But hey, talk about money saving. Throwing showers is expensive!

I even sprayed them with perfume to make them smell like roses :) That was my husband's idea :)

I think they are even just fun May decorations for my table. Too bad I need to take them to work on Monday. Oh well... I can enjoy them for at least a day.

Pencil Bouquet For Mom

Here is a pencil bouquet for mom! She bought this fabric a long time ago and wanted me to make something for here is a fun little craft. This would also be great for a teacher appreciation gift... just saying :)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Fabric Flowers

Happy May Day!

At school we are studying plants. My partner and I decided to turn our Dramatic Play centers into flower shops. She has tons of fake flowers and I have none. Believe it or not... fake flowers are actually very expensive when you want to buy a bunch. Lucky for me, this weekend I came across a tutorial on how to make no sew fabric flowers... and lucky for you, I am going to share them with you!!!

These are a perfect favor for a garden bridal or baby shower, a flower for your love that isn't going to die and can be made out of cute punk rock fabric, for Mom on Mothers Day (coming very soon), for your Kindergarten class like me, to celebrate May Day (hurry you have only an hour left), or just a fun addition to your home.

Here is what you need:

  • Scraps of fabric that are at least 2x16"
  • pencils, wooden dowels, skewers, or really anything else you want to use as the steam. I used pencils from the 99 cent store (packs of 10).
  • some scrap felt
  • glue gun and extra refills

Cut a length of fabric at least 2x16

Put a strip of glue down on the edge of the wrong side of the fabric.

pinch and glue to the top of the pencil. I like the eracer poking out because I think it looks like the pistol of a flower... but if you don't want to see the eracer, then just start higher up on the pencil. The more you pinch the more gathered and open your flower will look. Play around with it to see the different types of flowers you can make.

cut out a piece of felt in a circle then cut the radius. (yes math term... I know it is shocking) Glue to the bottom of the flower.


A view from the side. You can see how the felt looks.

I made a lot of flowers! 30 to be exact. Once I got started I just couldn't stop. They are truly addicting! So super easy too. (They really do look better in person. I am just too impatient to wait for the sun to come up again to have good lighting and take a picture)
I even made one for my hair :)
Total cost: $3 for 30 flowers How do you like them apples!!!

Happy flower making!

Earth Day.... a little late

As many of you know... I am a fan of going green. So did I celebrate Earth Day? Why yes I did. At school we made recycled paper projects... and at home I chastized those who were joking "I threw my trash on the ground". Duty done. Now for the post. Late is better than never :)

So here is what we did:

You need newspaper and colored tissue paper. Give each child 1 page of the news paper and about a 6x6 piece of tissue. Have them rip up the pieces.

Put it in the blender, cover the paper with water and blend. Yum :)

Pour the pulp onto a screen and have the kids push the water out. This is actually a splatter screen for cooking.

The kids then push the pulp into cookie cutters. Yes I am using scholastic book orders to absorb the water. Hey there is no way I would be able to use all fo the book orders they send. They even send new book orders when you order books. Hello... I just ordered out of this catalog! Yet another way to be green.

This is how they turn out. Cute huh! then just let dry.

You could also do it flat like my partner did.

I think there are totally ways to do this as an adult to make recycled paper.