Sunday, August 31, 2014

Skipping the Traditional Mug Shot School Pictures This Year

I'm skipping those nasty school pictures this year.  The kids had to take what I call a "mug shot" for the year book, but for the house wall and to hand out with Christmas cards or whatever, I'm taking over!  No more MUG SHOTS for us!

We had about five minutes at the public library in my hometown--it has a wall of windows--and my camera.  No packed clothes.  Just whatever they were wearing that day.  We did have a hairbrush, so I consider myself lucky.

I may go and try again, but these are the shots I captured with just a few chances.  I still need to work on some editing due to the changing light, but they turned out better than what I could get at school and the kids had a chance to get creative too--"PICK YOUR POSE".

 Loving that I'm starting to feel more confident in my photography skills.  Not 100%, but better.  I love the magic that I can capture.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Fabric Push Pin Tutorial

I got some great organizers from Pottery Barn--more about those tomorrow.  Today, I made some great fabric covered push pins that are super cute and kinda vintage.  I used some scraps from another craft I'm doing for Gwen's room, so really, the fabric was just hanging around waiting for the trash bin.  

I got the 1/2" inch size cover button kit and a refill kit to have plenty of push pins.  

These are standard sized thumb tacks that we found at Walgreens. 

Take the button loop part off the back of the button backing.  I just used a needle nose pliers.  

I did all of my backs at once.  

Pick some fun fabrics with small designs.  I used scraps from another project I'm doing for Gwen's room.  It's about the size of a quarter--actually a little bit bigger.  I didn't really trace around the quarter, but I just eyeballed it.  

Put in the button maker, push the top of the button down, tuck all the ends down.  Trim the fabric if it seems like it's too bulky.  Put the back on and press down.  

Add a good glob of hot glue and then put the thumb tack on the back.  The tack fits pretty well in the back.

That's it!  You're done!  Super easy and really inexpensive!  It makes a plain ol' bulletin board look a little more fun too.  

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Curtains make the Room

We're still slowly moving in.  I think we'll be moving in until at least Christmas, but I think my definition of "moving in" is more about making our house, OUR HOME.  The house got a little more home-y when we hung curtains!

I found a website with great long-length curtains at a great price! has great long curtains and you don't have to sell a child, name your next born child "curtainworks", or even part with a limb to have nice curtains in your tall room!

Here are my before pics (sorry, they're taken with my cell phone because I can't find my little camera's battery charger):

I forgot to pull up the wood blinds.  

Here are the after pictures.  I love the look now.  It makes the room look and feel so much more finished and warmer.

I can't wait to hang some pictures on the wall on the left and to organize and decorate a little bit more. Starting to look and FEEL a bit more like home.  

Sunday, August 24, 2014


Our grass is starting to look like GRASS!  It doesn't have to be bone dry to walk across anymore too!  We've mowed it three times now and it's making a world of difference in how the house looks too.  Now to get those pesky weeds to go away.  Another five weeks and we'll be able to put down some weed and feed.  YIPPEE!!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Our basement shelves are spectacular!

Boone made some basement shelves and they are spectacular!  They hold tons of our junk and we have come so far in our moving of stuff since they've been built.  We have the heavy duty shelves and the lighter duty shelves.  They both rock!

Heavy duty shelves.  Holding tons of stuff.  Still have a few more boxes to go through.  No, I don't have a universal style of totes, like all the pretty pictures.  My totes are all rando, but they work.  

Side view of my heavy-duty storage shelves.  I even hang our half-Christmas tree on the side.  Every space gets used!

Here's the light-duty shelves.  They can hold Gwen (at 55 pounds) without bending at all.  They can hold a LOT of random stuff that we need to get to on a kind of regular basis.  Jello-molds, heaters, blenders, kids art project holders, etc.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Ordered an L-Shaped Desk!

We ordered an L-shaped desk for the office!  I'm super excited because I didn't think we'd ever get to the office and here we are--all ordered!  We didn't go all crazy.  Something cost effective and simple.

This is what we ordered.  Nothing super fancy, see?  We may get the hutch that goes with it, but we're going to start with the basic desk and see how we feel.  I'm just super excited that we have a desk coming!  We got it from Bush Furniture.  Free shipping too!  Sweet.

Soon all the junk that's been sitting in the office will be put away and we'll have an entry room that I'm not totally embarrassed to show people.  Sweet!

Monday, August 4, 2014

When did I become a Fly By The Seat of Your Pants Mom?

As I sit at my computer, I'm making a goal for the day.  Actually, I'm making a goal for the month and I'm wondering when I became a "Fly-By-The-Seat-Of-Your-Pants Mom".  Seriously.  I'm facing each day or week fighting "fires" as they come my way and seeing which fire is bigger to see if I have enough water to just make the biggest fire go down enough to keep the flames from burning me.  Now, I have to admit, things have gotten better as we get more and more settled, but still not where I can sit back and take a deep breath and relax enough to say that I have things under control for the next few weeks.

The last few weeks when I was teaching away at Suzuki camp, it was great for me.  Being surrounded by supportive colleagues that let me know it was okay to step back from the self-imposed timeline to just focus on getting things settled in our home and family before I start my teaching was so reaffirming. I was having so much undue stress and anxiety worrying about how I was supposed to get everything done "in time" to start teaching.  When, in reality, there is no set time for me to start teaching.  Maybe I needed to hear it from my teaching friends that it was okay to stop pushing something that wasn't really there in the first place and to let myself put my priorities in the place that my heart is right now anyway. Getting back to teaching a few months later than what I had thought I may, won't be a regret later on, but pushing too soon may be.  I love how my Suzuki friends are so supportive, thoughtful, and caring to listen, share, and give advice.  Sometimes even just letting me come to my own conclusions too.

Funny thing about this change in plans is that I don't feel like I've lost anything.  With all the changes in the last year, I've always felt a bit like I've lost control.  Lost comforts. Lost identity. Like I've lost choices or stresses have been added to my life.  This time I feel like I've actually changed something to gain something.  I get to be there to be with my kids when they come home and get them settled in to a new school and riding the bus home first time.  I get to help them with homework for the first time. I get to get us completely moved in without the worry of a "deadline".  Don't get me wrong, I love my teaching and it's in the back of my mind.  I will be teaching soon--it is just who I am.  But, for the first time in over a year, I feel like I'm in control, even for a little bit.  I get to make the choice, and it feels a little okay.

So, my goal for the next month, is to become a little more settled, a bit more prepared, and maybe put out a couple of fires completely so I don't feel like I'm flying by the seat of my pants anymore.  Here's to firefighting and less pants flying!  Here's to focus and priorities!  It feels good and I'm just getting started!