Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Thrifty Finds

This weekend the husband and I actually got to go thrifting sans kids.  They hate the whole yard sale experience and taking them to Estate sales is really hard, since they are crowded.  This weekend we drafted our plans on Friday, wrote down directions, dropped the kids off early Saturday morning and headed out.  Unfortunately it was a rainy day and a lot of sales had been rescheduled.  We still managed to hit a church yard sale, two estate sales, a garage sale and two thrift stores. We had a pretty good day find wise.  Most of my favorite finds of the day came from a thrift shop where I found a set of twenty-two handmade vintage napkins that look like they were never used.  Twenty-two, can you believe it?  I had planned on making some napkins for us to use to cut down on the waste in our house, but this find was so great now I don't have to!  Oh, and they were 4.98 for all twenty-two, plus a 25% off discount that they  had on linens that day!  At the same thrift store I also scored a beautiful handmade stained glass window quilted pillow for 1.98 and a handmade quilted table runner for 1.98.  SCORE!!!  They had several handmade quilts also, but they were in really poor condition.  I also found a few vintage hankies at an estate sale and we got a few books too.  The husband's big score was a giant speaker of some sort that he got for five dollars.  He has big plans and I'm going to try and support them unless they involve an ear piercing home theater.

So now I am off to work on some new updates for my Etsy shop.  Remember the camera bag I told you about yesterday, well I made another, better one last night and drafted a pattern for it.  I added a strap to this one.  I know lots of people sell stuff like this on Etsy, but I have to destash some fabric and mine is different so hopefully I will sale a few.  I'm also going to be making some wristlets and maybe a few other little items. I'm trying to sew at least one thing per day.  So, yeah I'm going to work, but first I will tackle the treadmill because I have to.

What good thrifty finds have you had recently?  What new projects are you working on?  Let me know I would love to hear!


Monday, April 26, 2010

Shiny Purple Vinyl- The Toddler Messenger Bag

This week I set about to finally make a project from "One Yard Wonders" which I got for Christmas.  I had promised Sweets that I would make the "Toddler Messenger Bag" for her to use as a bag for her Leapster, months ago.  I bought the fabric a few months after that and it sat there staring at me until I finally decided to put it to use.  The pattern was really easy, but I have to say that while I consider myself an intermediate level sewer I had a few problems with the instructions, maybe it's just the way my brain works but when I was trying to construct the bag I screwed up a few times because the directions made no sense to me.  I finally just followed the few pictures provided and was able to piece together what I was suppose to do.  I used vinyl for the first time in this project and found it super easy to use and I like the results a lot!  I didn't use the Velcro that it calls for in the directions but opted for a button and buttonhole instead, mainly due to the fact that I had no Velcro.  I'm glad I did though because I like the looks and it makes it a little more secure.  Another tip I have about this pattern is that is is intended for a toddler and has no adjustments on the strap, after making it, it fit Sweets perfectly and she is almost 6.  It's a little too long for Bug who is almost 3.  All in all it was pretty easy after figuring out what they were trying to say and it makes a really cute little bag for kids.  The inside is made from some adorable forest animal fabric that I think is Michael Miller, but I cut off the info so I'm not 100% on that.

After making this I had quite a bit of the purple vinyl left over and set about to make a cute camera bag.  I also had a little scrap of this darling house fabric that ended up being exactly enough for this little pouch.  I used an oversized button and buttonhole for the closure on this too.  Its perfect for my camera and super cute.  I'm working on a pattern to make one that has a removable strap.  If it comes out well I may add a few to my Etsy shop.  I have tons of cute fabric that needs to be used!
Thanks for looking and if anybody knows the name/maker of either of these two prints I would love to know!

Friday, April 23, 2010

I Want.

Just in case any one was wondering what I wanted for Mother's Day here is a suggestion.
TOMS in red canvas.  Really, really want these and they support a great cause.


New boyfriend jeans, these are from Old Navy.


Frozen yogurt

What do you wish for?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

10 Things

I saw this on The Freckled Nest blog and decided to play along. So here are my ten things with pictures.

1. Favorite Hobby
Making insane cupcakes!

2. Favorite T.V. Show

3. Favorite Restaurant Food
4. Favorite thing to shop for

I love shopping for home stuff.

5. Favorite animal

6. Favorite song

7. Favorite word
8. Favorite recent YouTube video

9. Favorite Movie
10.Favorite childhood memory
Spending time with my grandma.

This was kind of exhausting!
All photos found via WeHeartIt.

In Bloom

This is normally my favorite time of year. I love being outside, working in the yard, planting pretty things and trying to get/keep our monster of a yard from overtaking us. Things have been a little different this year. I've done almost nothing. If I am outside for more than a few minutes I am miserable. My allergies are terrible this year. I've heard that this will be one of the worst years for seasonal allergies and everyone I know is suffering. I have tried everything and now I'm just trying to make due. The husband bought me some allergy masks over the weekend to try so I can still do some of the yard stuff. I gave them a try yesterday when Bug and I went out and tended to some of the pots. We went to a plant sale over the weekend and I bought a few things, basil, lemon grass, chives, mint, a few woodland plants for the forest and a couple of annuals to help fill out the pots. We did three pots yesterday and it felt so good to get that little bit accomplished. I did my pots a little bit different this year as we have had some issues with drainage in the past. I added a layer of drainage rock in the bottom then my soil and plants. Hopefully this will help some. I'm trying to do a few little things outside each week. So here are some pictures of the pots we have gotten finished over the last few weeks and a couple of gratuitous shots of my lilac that I dug up as a start from my great aunts last year and some cute little white flowers I planted last year called 'Candy Tuft'.
Best helper ever.

Pot prep.

'Candy Tuft'


Monday, April 19, 2010


First things first, this is about the only time you will ever see me get serious on this blog. Second, I really struggled with the idea of posting this or not for a few reasons. Third, this is just my opinion and I need to get my thoughts out, maybe somebody else will find it helpful or at the least interesting. If you are still reading I appreciate that. This blog post is a continuation of my brain as of late.

I have been doing a lot of thinking about happiness and how we get and stay there. This has been a process for me that started about two years ago. I have a lot and so do a lot of other people but that isn't a key to happiness. I realized I was unhappy and for the simple reason that I was allowing myself to be unhappy. When it comes down to it happiness is in internal thing, it's up to us. We simply have to decide to be happy, to choose a path of peace, love and joy. There are things in life that we can't control. One of those things is other people. I have only recently begun to accept this. It was hard for me, I thought I could. If I only showed enough compassion, forgiveness, love, surely I could help them change. Now I realize that free will is what makes us, be that good or bad. Sometimes all you can do is forgive, sometimes forgetting is not good for your own health. I am by nature a person who forgives and forgets, so this is hard for me. I'm not perfect, I don't claim to be and I know I never will be. But I am choosing happiness. If that means making some hard choices to stay on that path for myself and my family, I will deal with that. I am on a journey to wisdom, love and peace. Change happens within. I am not the person I was ten years ago, five years ago or even one year ago. Hopefully I am changing for the better. I feel like I am on the right path, I have more patience, more wisdom, more peace than I have ever known. I hope that I can continue on this path and know true peace someday. When my first child was born I said I would know success as a parent if I taught them one thing, empathy. I have added to that, now I hope to show them how to know happiness within them selves, to seek out wisdom, to know that patience is a virtue and peace a blessing.

This is my mantra:

I am choosing to let go of those things which I can not change. I am choosing to know love and let go of hate. I am choosing to find peace and tame chaos. I am choosing to listen to my heart and hear what the hearts of my children and husband have to say. I am choosing to remember the gifts I am given everyday and to show gratitude. I am choosing to see the beauty in simple things, to cherish moments of quiet and solitude. I am choosing to surround myself with wonderful hearts and beautiful smiles. I am choosing to embrace life, to ride the wave and know that I gave it my all. I am choosing light. I am choosing forgiveness. I am choosing happiness.

So if you have managed to stick with me through all of this, I hope it makes some kind of sense. I wish you joy today and always.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Baby Cakes

Bug woke up with a craving that had to be filled. I heard "I want a cookie" and "I waaaaaant a cookie" and "sniffle, sniffle I sniffle want sniffle a cookie sniffle'. Finally after all of that the fact of the matter was, I NEEDED a cookie too, darn it. So into the kitchen we went to check the cupboards. I've been living like a hermit lately due to the crazy high levels of everything I'm allergic to outside. So I was not going to the store if I didn't have to. We had all the basics, but the only chocolate chips I had were mint and I knew that would only add to the crying so I did some quick thinking. I decided to use my general double chocolate cookie recipe minus the chips and turn them into a sort of sandwich cookie, mini whoopie pie type of thing. And since I don't know of a better combination in the world than peanut butter and chocolate the filling is a peanut butter cream cheese mixture. Pretty yummy and yummy to look at. These make me want to try macaroons really bad just for the look of them. I think that shall be on the agenda amongst other things. Oh and if you look close you will see Bug's sneaky little fingers reaching in for one on the bottom photo. :)

Baby Cakes Recipe
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
Mix butter, and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time until blended. Add vanilla. In a large bowl mix remaining dry ingredients together. Add slowly to wet ingredients until combined. Place on ungreased baking sheet, in 1 tbs balls. i like to lightly press down the balls since these don't spread very much. Bake 8-10 minutes. My rule of thumb is to get them out when I smell the chocolate, since it can be hard to tell when chocolate cookies are done.

Peanut Butter Filling
1 package cream cheese softened
1 c. peanut butter creamy
2 c. confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla
milk if needed to get right consistency

Beat cream cheese until smooth, add peanut butter and stir until well combined. Add vanilla and sugar until the consistency of toothpaste. Spread a dollop between two of the fully cooled cookies and sandwich together. Get big cup of milk or if you are like me big cup of Diet Coke and enjoy!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Check It!

Just found this adorable giveaway at this blog and had to share. These are so cute. The giveaway ends May 1st so hurry!

Thrifty Finds

I found it!! After my "Coffee Table Inspiration" post I went to a few of my favorite haunts looking for something that would catch my eye and be easy on the pocketbook. My first few stops were pretty unsuccessful, but then I hit a Peddler's Mall type joint that I've had good luck at a few times in the past. About two aisles in I saw it. This wonderful vintage wicker trunk. It was hiding in an unsuspecting little booth and it's perfect. It is in the best condition and has the most beautiful brass hinges, closure and handles. There are little birds and butterflies engraved into them. I have no idea of the date on this piece, but my guess is maybe 70's but could be older or newer. Best part, it was 30 bucks!!! I couldn't have even bought a cheap wicker ottoman at Target for that.

So after my sweet find I browsed some more and found some great Pyrex bowls. I got three, one aqua colored with an Amish print and two with a 'Gooseberry' print, one yellow and one white. I needed some serving dishes and these are just right. I absolutely adore the graphic style of the prints on these and seriously that aqua is crazy good! So all in all a very successful shopping trip and a happy me with a slightly spruced up house. Sorry about the picture overload.


Friday, April 16, 2010

Coffee Table Inspiration

We need a new coffee table, bad. We have a lovely one right now that we picked up at an estate sale a few years ago, vintage and a perfect fit for our living room. But it has screw on legs that were not meant to withstand the constant torture provided by two kids who have been seen sitting on it, shaking it, moving it, ramming Power Wheels into the side of and using it for the occasional horse barn or dog house. The husband has fixed it a few times now, but it just keeps getting worse. It's currently in a precarious leaning position and looks like it will lose that leg any day now. So I have been daydreaming of what I will get to replace it, I'm going to attempt some shopping this weekend if I can control my allergies for that long. I have visions of a statement piece, something that sort of ties everything together. It has to be sturdy, easy to clean and safe for the kiddos. Oh and a little storage wouldn't be to bad either. So here are a few ideas of things I think might work. Which one is your favorite?
Image from Weheartit

This one from Williams and Sonoma
This lovely blue one found here here
This amazing shadowbox coffee table, that wouldn't last a day with my kids but I still like it
Something like this?
Or this? (Pottery Barn)
I know I won't be buying any of these overpriced tables, but I have a few of my favorite spots to look in for deals and hopefully I can find something that is as inspiring as these. Keep your fingers crossed for me!


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Owl Baby Shower Part 2

I'm finally getting around to posting the items that I made gift wise for my SIL's Owl themed baby shower. As you can probably guess I based my gift theme around owl's also. I was lucky to find a few cute store bought items to help round out my basket, but most of the big items were handmade. My biggest contribution to the basket came in the way of my first serious quilt. I've made some other semi quilts, but this time I actually pieced it, made a sashing and quilted and binded it. I finished a few days before the shower, barely. I learned one lesson from quilting this, quilting is for people with more patience than me and a whole lot of free time. Any way here are the pics and explanations.
Owl themed baby quilt

Hair bow holder
Strawberry taggie blanket
Embroidered owl t-shirt

Monday, April 5, 2010

New Shop Updates

I'm making cute stuff for this summer, check it out. Keep checking the shop for new stuff all this week!