Real Quick...

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hello there.
Yes, I'm still here. I've just had an insanely busy/crazy/good last couple of days at home spending some amazing family time with my kiddies & husband. No, nothing is wrong, and in fact everything is actually fantastic. More on that later.

As you can see we've been real busy doing stuff like this:
(That's daddy on guitar, Lily on keyboard, & Ayden on drums). I'm just the fan.

And this while mommy makes dinner:

And even caught a little sunshine:

Yep, far too busy to do a legit blog! 
 I'm working on getting a few things in order right now & I'll have a better blog update for you over the weekend. 
Hope everyone is doing awesome. 

Anyone reading anything good? I've been taking a short little break while we've all been home together.

Happy Memorial Day!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day! And a big heart felt thank you goes out to all of the men and women serving our country. I think anyone who isn't an army wife or who isn't related to a soldier sometimes forgets what Memorial Day is all about. I saw this on Facebook & it totally struck me.

Sorry if this offends you, but it's totally my type of humor.

I'm not an army wife. None of my super duper close friends are army wives. But I do know plenty of them. I know tons of women who have endured multiple deployments, who have dealt with the stress of raising children with a spouse overseas, and whose families have been ravaged by PTSD after their husbands come back home from war. 

And, here's a little known fact you might not know about my husband. He is former military. As in, he served right before we started dating. He was stationed over in Germany when 9/11 happened & he said everyone over there thought World War 3 was starting. He said it was a very scary place to be in the days and weeks following the attacks because he was like "Oh shit. I have to actually go to war?" When he enlisted in the army he didn't really think anything like that was going to happen. 

I do have a great deal of respect for the men and women serving our country. Over the years there have been times where my husband has toyed around with the idea of re-enlisting, but ultimately it just didn't work out for us. I don't think I could be an army wife. I don't even like when my husband has to work late. (which is every night!) I can not even imagine what it would be like to not see him for a year while he was on the other side of the world doing God knows what with God knows who. It definitely takes a very special woman to be able to deal with that huge hurdle in a marriage. Add trying to raise children to that and you've got supermom. I can't even imagine. 

So in closing, while my husband goes off to work today and I stay home to play with my babies, cook, clean, sew, blog, & do all kinds of fun, trivial things throughout the day, please know that I am also saying a prayer for the men and women serving our country (past and present) and that I am also saying a special prayer for the women and children at home missing their soldiers. 

Also, in case anyone is interested, my Uncle Mike founded this awesome organization in California called San Pedro Packages for Patriots. Basically, he and his wife do all kinds of fund raisers and donation drives & they send care packages to deployed men and women overseas. Check out their website here. It's an awesome group and they can always use donations! 

Happy Memorial Day. Enjoy this day with your family & friends. 

My Quilts For Kids project

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I was so excited to get my kit in the mail that I sent away for from Quilts For Kids. I mentioned them in my last post here about how you can request a quilt making kit. Then when it's done, the quilt is donated to a children's hospital. It's an amazing program and I was really touched after reading some of the stories on their website. It only took about a week to get it in the mail & I was excited to start a little project while my husband was out of town.

Here's what my kit looked like:

It came with all the fabric for a little boy's quilt. It was red, green, blue, and dinosaur print. Super cute! The fabric is all pre-cut, so there was really no prep work required besides pressing everything.

The first step was taking the strips of green & blue fabric & sewing them together lengthwise.

Put the right sides of the fabric together, facing each other. Use a 1/4 inch allowance for everything.

Press open.

There were 3 sets total. Next, we cut them into 3 1/2 inch block sets. 

This is what I ended up with. 

Next, combine 2 of the blue & green block sets to form a pattern like this:

Put them together, correct sides facing in.

Press open. This is your green & blue 6 1/2 x 6 1/2 inch square.

Then all you do is alternate the blocks you just made with the solid 6 1/2 x 6 1/2 inch blocks. Make sure all of the blue & green blocks are facing the correct way. There are different patterns you can make with the squares but I chose the basic layout from the instructions.

After double, triple, quadruple, and maybe quintuple checking your pattern layout, sew the blocks together in rows. Then sew the rows together.

This quilt included 2 borders. One was skinny & one was fat, so I added those but forgot to take pictures in between. I was just really excited about how much progress I was making!

 Here is the completed quilt top with both borders. 

I was so surprised at how quickly I was able to put this together. It took maybe 2 1/2 hours total, and that was with me being distracted & having to keep the kids occupied while I tried to sew. Once you make the little blue and green squares the rest just flew by. Despite how simple the pattern is, I've never done one like this. My son likes it a lot and said he would wants me to do his quilt kind of like this. We'll see what I come up with.

Next up I need to add the batting & the backing and quilt everything together. I'm not sure how I want to do it just yet. I don't really want to just stitch in the ditch so maybe I'll do something fun. It needs to be something that will hold up to a lot of washings though, so I need to keep that in mind when I do it. I'll probably head to Joann's for the batting sometime over the weekend. Can't wait to show you what the next step looks like!

What are you working on? Or wanting to be working on?

Quilting for a cause

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I recently heard about this amazing program that melted my heart. It's called Quilts for Kids. They collect and deliver handmade quilts to children who are in the hospital all over the United States. This is just so touching to me because these kids spend days, weeks, and months in the hospital sometimes, and how sweet is it that they could have their own handmade quilt to keep them warm and cozy while they are there?! A quilt is something that takes a lot of time, work, and love to put together and I know that the recipients can feel that love when they receive their finished quilt.

These pictures are from their website:

Aren't those just the sweetest? Gosh, they are cute. I love all of the quilts and you can tell the kids love them too!

If you can sew or quilt you can help out Quilts For Kids too! All you have to do is go on their website & request a quilt making kit. They will send you a package with the fabric already pre-cut and the instructions and everything. The only thing you'll need to supply is the batting (the cottony stuff in the middle) and then the cost to ship your quilt back to the company once it's done. They consider that part (and your hard work) your "donation" to the program. If you use a Joann's coupon you should be able to get the batting for about $5. The one I get is usually about $10 & I always have a 50% off coupon. I can manage $5 and a couple bucks for shipping if it means helping one of these cuties get a snuggly quilt for their hospital stay! 

I signed up online at Quilts For Kids last week and they said I'd get my quilt kit in 1-2 weeks. Well, I got it today! 

I'm so excited to start working on it! I'd like to even make this a more regular thing. Like maybe make a certain amount every year. What a great way to do a good deed...not to mention having fun in the process!

You guys should check it out. If you can work a sewing machine you should give quilting a try. And if sewing isn't your thing but you know someone who does, pass this idea along. They can always use more volunteers!

Weekend wrap up

Monday, May 21, 2012

Blah. That is what I have to say about the mood I am in today. It's Monday, which means I had to wake up early to get Ayden off to school. I also woke up at 3am to say goodbye to my husband for a few days. He went on a hiking/camping trip with his friend and they had to hit the road super early, so I'm sleep deprived and cranky now. I also can't quite decide what to do with myself for the next few days. I'm used to spending long days at home with the kids, but I look forward to seeing my husband after an exhausting day. I'm going to miss him when I'm all alone after the kids go to bed. It will be weirdly quiet. Hmmmm. Should I sit around and read a lot & watch whatever I want on TV, or should I start a quilt and try to get as much done with all of this free time? Right now I'm undecided, so we shall see.

This weekend was kind of a bust for us. Ooooh! One super awesome thing I forgot to mention on Friday happened. I woke up to find an email saying I won a blog givaway. Yay! I love love love entering blog giveaways...I especially love some of the smaller ones because you have better odds of winning something. I've  won a couple of small things before, like a cute little ring and a spa gift basket full of beauty items and goodies. Wanna know what I won this time? It's pretty freaking sweet!

It's a signed copy of The Pioneer Woman's newest cookbook! It's called Food From My Frontier, and it's not just signed by her...Marlboro Man also signed it! (her husband). I'm so pumped to get this. I have her first cookbook and it's one of my absolute favorites. Her mashed potatoes & pot roast have become staple items in this house. I can't wait to try some new recipes out, and how cool that it's signed. Gotta love those blog giveaways! Seriously, if you don't enter them you are definitely missing can win some cool stuff by literally doing nothing more than just following a cute blog. 

Saturday was a drizzly day here in the greater Seattle area, per usual. We stayed home and I read all day. I read Divergent, which as I said here was the next book on my to-read list.

Now, when I say I sat all day and read this book, I mean I literally sat all day and read this book. I started at about 8am with my coffee and read until about midnight when my eyes could barely stay open. I obviously took breaks to take care of the kids, make meals, clean, and I even did a little bit of laundry too. But for most of the day I was curled up on the couch reading as quickly I could. I couldn't set this book down. I just had to keep going!

SynopsisIn Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris, and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together, they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes-fascinating, sometimes-exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret: one she’s kept hidden from everyone, because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly-perfect society, she also learns that her secret might be what helps her save those she loves . . . or it might be what destroys her.

I went into this book not knowing anything about it at all and I still loved it. Today I'm going to start the next one, Insurgent. So excited to continue the story...

Ok, back to the weekend thingy. Sunday was a gorgeous day. It was all blue skies and it was supposed to be about 70 degrees (that's warm here!) So we headed to the park by Ayden's school. We go as often as the weather will allow it, which ends up being about once a week. First we stopped by Target because I needed some new sunglasses. After I found a cute pair I let the kids each pick out one outdoor toy. Lily chose a big purple bouncy ball and Ayden chose a frisbee. As soon as we got to the park a fight ensued over the toys. I should have made them both get the same thing. Then other kids at the park got in on the fighting. My kids were trying to be nice and share their toys and the other mom kept yelling at her kids for playing with someone else's toy. I kept trying to say it was ok, but apparently it wasn't ok with her. She ended up making them leave (because her son wouldn't stop touching the ball that Ayden let him play with). So she dragged them away from the playground kicking and screaming and was wrestling with her dog on a leash...all while glaring at me. Oops, sorry lady. So then my kids were pissed. They were mad that the kids left and they didn't want to just play with each other. They started bickering and Ayden kept knocking Lily's toy out of her hand. I warned them that we were going to have to leave too, but they didn't stop. We ended up having to leave as well, and Ayden was dragging his feet, jumping up and down, screaming and crying with snot running down his nose the entire way back to the car (which was across a huge field). As much as I wanted to stay and enjoy the sunshine and let the kids run around for a while, I had to take them home and separate them for some quiet time. So our beautiful park day lasted about 20 minutes and then we spent the rest of the day all in separate rooms watching movies and playing alone. It ended up being great because the kids both got a nap, but I sure would have loved to sit in the sun for a little longer!

See? I look like a vampire wearing all black and being so pale. I like my new sunglasses though.

I snuck this picture on Saturday while I was reading.

 I looked up from my book to see this. It was so cute. The TV was off and we all sat and read like this for about 45 minutes. So cute. It almost makes me forget the park tantrum...almost

Don't forget to find me on Facebook now!

A couple of quick things

Friday, May 18, 2012

Hey guys! It's Friday...are you excited?!

Me neither. My husband works looooong hours for the next couple of days, so I dread Fridays.
I just had a couple of things on my mind that I wanted to talk about.

First off, did you watch Grey's Anatomy last night?! Holy Santa Claus shit! It was a biggie. Someone died & I'm sad. I guess I won't spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen it it's too early to talk about it for me...I'm not ready. (sarcastic...I'm not that obsessed...right...) Plus they left us at a ginormous cliffhanger at the very end. More than a few people's lives & careers are on the line at Seattle Grace/Mercy Death (as Christina called it) next season.

I made a Facebook page for my blog! I figured it was a good way to lure readers who aren't bloggers to my blog. So go "like" it here and you can stay up to date on all my crafty stuff and random life crap.

Also, it's a Harry Potter weekend on ABC Family. Even though we own the movies and can pretty much recite them word for word me & the kids always watch it when it's on. Basically the tv just stays on that channel all weekend. We just watched The Chamber of Secrets & now The Prizoner of Azkaban is on. (we missed The Sorcerer's Stone). Tomorrow we will start over & watch them all again I'm sure and then pick up with The Goblet of Fire, and so on. So basically we will watch the first couple of ones like 5 times. And my kids will love it! Remember this post here when I had to scold Ayden for doing the killing curse on his little sister?!

Welp, that's it. Hope you guys have a good weekend. I'm trying to find some motivation to start a quilt but I'm feeling pretty lazy. Hopefully tomorrow!

What I'm reading

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I took a few days off from reading after finishing the 4 books I blogged about last time

I had said that the next two books I would read would be Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare. These are a new series of prequel books to The Mortal Instruments by the same author. (You can read a little about the books here). 

Well, I eagerly picked up Clockwork Angel and dove into it.
 I was kind of disappointed. 
I think I liked the idea of the prequel, but then when I got into it I quickly realized that I missed all of the characters that I fell in love with in The Mortal Instruments. Most of them are not in the prequels, obviously. I just got a little confused about what was going on, who was who, and I honestly got bored with the plot. I really only finished the book as quickly as I did because I wanted to move on. And I didn't move on to the next book.
I had totally forgotten that the 5th book in The Mortal Instruments came out on May 8th! 

Yessssssss! Those are the characters I know & love! I started it first thing this morning and I'm currently about 60% of the way done. It's pretty dang good! I'm curious to see where the series will end...or if this is the end....who knows for sure really with some of these authors? Next up I'll probably go back to Clockwork Prince just to get it out of the way. I'm really hoping I can get back into it! I want to like it. I really do.

I can't wait to read this next series that was suggested to me. 

I know absolutely nothing about it from the plot, to the characters, to the author, etc. I hadn't even heard of it until just a few days ago and apparently I'm way behind. All I know is that they were recommended to me by  a few people whose opinions I fully trust and are fellow book nerds like myself. They like what I like, so if they're reading it, I should be too!

What are you reading this week?

I better get back to my book while it's still quiet in here!

My top secret project!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

You might remember me mentioning in a post or two before that I was working on a secret project for someone. I couldn't post anything else about it on my blog or facebook because I didn't want the gift recipient to get a sneak peek. It was torture! I love sharing my projects as I go along. 

But now the gift has been given and the surprise part is over so I can share it with everyone.

This is Cooper & his gorgeous mama Jodi all snuggled up together in his first birthday quilt I made him.

This was a very special project for me because I also made a quilt & some other hand made gifts for Jodi's baby shower last year (see here). I had a lot of fabric scraps and remnants leftover and I decided to use them for Cooper's birthday quilt as well. I'm happy to say that this didn't go unnoticed! Mom & dad both recognized some of the different fabrics on the new quilt and they remembered that they were from the baby shower gifts I made. I thought it was cute and made it just a little more special.

Here's a closer look at the quilt.

The back. This is my favorite part I think.

Close up of the fabric on the backing.

I think Cooper likes it!

This was my first time not using a pattern at all. I had a few different ideas I had seen here or there and I just kind of went for it. Thankfully it worked out! 

I hope Cooper gets a lot of use out of his birthday quilt. I can't believe he is a year old already. Time seems to be flying by now so I guess I better start planning his 2nd birthday quilt for next year!

Next up, I'm planning a giveaway for when I reach 75 followers!!! Make sure you are a follower of my blog so you can get in on all of the goodies :)

Linked up to:

Mother's Day

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy early Mother's Day to all of the mommies & mommy bloggers out there!

 I hope you are having a lovely Mother's Day weekend with your family & loved ones.
We finally got some sunshine today so I took my little ones to the park! Sadly, Daddy has to work weekend so it was just the 3 of us, but we had a blast. I slathered them in SPF 50 & brought a blanket, some water bottles, & my Nook to Ayden's elementary school playground. It was fun and they also had a boy's baseball game going on so there were extra kids there to play & we got to watch the game at the same time. 

I got the most precious handmade gift & card from my sweet little guy. He couldn't wait until Sunday (he gave it to me the minute he walked in the door from school!) so I figured I could show you guys before Mother's Day too :)

Here's the picture he drew of me on the front of my card.

And the inside of my card. This made me cry like a little girl.

And my sweet little boy's picture & handmade frame. He put ladybugs on it because he knows they are his sister's favorite.

He told me that he thought of what to write on the inside all on his own. It was so adorably cute and I hugged & kissed him probably 100 times. 

It's things like this that reassure me I am doing a good job at raising my children. I take my job seriously and I honestly question myself when it comes to parenting at times, but this proves that I'm doing something right. Not only are they happy, healthy, intelligent, and funny, but they are also loved and they feel it.

I don't know what our plan is for tomorrow but nothing can top this! 

Happy Mother's Day!
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