Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The dust has settled

Notice anything different? I sure hope so! I've been working hard on a new blog design and am finally thrilled with how it turned out.

The wonderful Tracie Stroud of Tracie Stroud Designs allowed me to use her digiscrap kits to create a new header and background for Creativelymom. I wanted something fun and fresh. I loved my old layout but it felt much more "cozy" - more suitable for fall or winter.

What do you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hippo Apron!

I made this for a friend of mine's little one. I love this hippo fabric - barnslig from Ikea ;). I used a McCall's pattern for the main body of the apron, then I modified the ties (they're slightly longer and just rectangular rather than angled), pockets (square, double sided, and flipped down to accent), and neck strap (adjustable with snaps!). I wanted it to grow with her kids, it'll fit at least an 18 month old all the way to 6 or 7 years old!

I also whipped up a little "kitchen towel" to match with an aqua terry type fabric and the hippo accent.

Now I need to make 3 more for my girls.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Graduation Day

My oldest graduated kindergarten today. I only got choked up once, after all was said and done and we were leaving the school. She was so proud of herself, so excited to be a first grader now. She's the youngest in her class and the idea of being older than someone else in her school is pretty thrilling for a 5.5 year old.

Congratulations, pretty girl! I'm proud of you!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

More purple paint

When we bought the paint for the toddler bed, my hubby told the paint mixer person we wanted a half gallon. The paint guy said they only sold it in quarts and full gallons. Silly hubby was going to go ahead and buy a full gallon, thankfully the paint guy asked again what size bed we were painting and suggested the quart instead.

It's a good thing! We had nearly 3/4 of the quart left after painting the bed. And I decided to put another small portion of it to use.

My parents bought this table for the girls this past Christmas, since their old table only had two chairs and well, that doesn't work for three kids.

See table here in the center of this picture:

We had an accident a few months ago where the littlest got ahold of some day-glo orange nailpolish. Not only was she covered in it, but she got it on the table and chairs. I don't have a picture of that but you can see it through the first coat of imperial plum paint here:

Another three coats later (yes THREE more, it took a lot to cover that orange!!) and here we are! I'm pretty pleased with it.

And we still have nearly the 3/4 of a quart of paint left. What would you do next?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Fabulous Freecycle

If you're not a member of freecycle, you're really missing out. Not only is it a great way to pass on unwanted items from your home and keep them out of landfills, but you can always get some great stuff - FREE! I try to post "Offers" of items we're no longer using at least twice a month. And every once in a while I'll post a "Wanted". This month, we were in search of a toddler bed for the littlest one. My ad was simple "Wanted - Toddler bed - *my town*" and the description - "Looking for a toddler bed for our daughter, wooden or girly, she loves Dora, princesses, etc. Can travel to pickup!" We certainly would have purchased a bed, but we didn't want to spend a fortune and even the used toddler beds on Craigslist these days are really high priced.

Thankfully, a sweet woman named Carrie answered our ad and we coordinated a pickup time with her. The husband went out this past Thursday and came home with this gem!

Look at the lines, the structure! The beadboard headboard! *swoon*

I just knew this bed was going to be fantastic, it just needed some sprucing up. My initial plan was to paint it white, but after talking with the hubby, we decided to let our two year old pick a color herself. Her choice was Imperial Plum from Olympic (available at Lowe's).

We went with a flat finish by advice from the paint mixer man, since the yellow was a flat finish, he said it'd cover it easily, and we wouldn't need a primer. Last night we washed it down with hot soapy water, let it dry, then put on the first two coats. The yellow was still poking through and we were tired so we left if for the night and went to bed.

Then this morning I touched it up,

and the hubby put the spring part back on. All set up in their bedroom... Voila!

Doesn't it look great? Perfect for this little girl!

Now I just need to make a coordinating bedding set...or should we just buy one? More decisions!

I'm linking up to



Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!!

I have a pretty good relationship with my dad. He's the kind of father who is there for you, but lets you find your own way. Tells you what he would do in any situation but leaves the decision up to you, knowing you'll probably listen to him anyway.

My father and I when I was just a tiny baby...look he had hair!

When we were younger, my parents separated and later divorced. We'd see our dad on weekends and it was almost a ritual to listen to the college radio station Saturday and Sunday mornings. They played EVERY kind of music imaginable. Hip hop, rock, classical, POLKA! Yes polka. We looked forward to it, even if we grumbled out loud about how dorky it was. I sometimes scan the station when I'm out with my girls, hoping to expose them to variety the way my dad did.

My dad and my oldest, Brianna, when she was born in 2004.

My dad has this way of drawing people to him, everyone is welcome. He had this rule, if you were eating dinner with us, you must have seconds. Even if it's just a little bit, he liked to know the people around him were well fed. And that we were, he makes the yummiest meals, ravioli soup, chicken sandwiches, stuffed mushrooms, shepherds pie with cream of mushroom soup. There was that one time he made stuffing that had apples in it. We all tried it, and were completely disgusted, but ate our portion because we were supposed to. Afterward he asked how we liked it and we all told him it was gross! It's easy to be frank with my dad because he's frank with you.

My father, stepmother, husband and I at our wedding in 2007

My dad moved to Florida a couple years ago. I miss him every day. My sister soon followed as did my brother, leaving just me and our baby sister back home in New Hampshire. In February 2009 I went to FL to visit him and my sister, she was pregnant and I was driving home with her for her baby shower here. It felt so good to be with my dad again, just laughing and talking. Eating (haha). He's been home a couple times as well but it's just not the same.

My father and my stepmother, with my middle, Caylee, in 2006

Anyway, Happy Father's day too all you father's out there. Happy Father's day to my amazing husband, Ian, the best daddy my girls could ever want. And Happy Father's day number 27, Dad, I love you!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Gearing up for Summer!

It's hard to believe this school year is just about over. My oldest finishes kindergarten next Tuesday...that's just 8 days! The middle finished this year of preschool on the 4th as well.

With the end of the year pretty much here, I've been trying to figure out how to keep my bright, active divas busy this summer. Mixed in with lots of free play indoors and out, visits to Grammy's pool, and trips to the beach as a family, I need to offer them some fun and educational activities. Need. Definitely need.

First on our list is the Free Family Film Festival at our local Regal Theater. Every Tuesday and Wednesday at 10am they offer a family friendly movie for free. We went a few times last summer. All the girls loved it, the theater keeps the lights up a bit so that it's not scary dark. Since it's all families, including babies, no one fusses if your child gets a bit noisy (although I try to keep my girls quiet).

Family Film Festival

Also on our agenda, the Free Fun Fridays, offered by the Highland Street Foundation. The program offers free admission to all sorts of great Massachusetts attractions including the Science Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, and Franklin Park Zoo. It's open to anyone, not just Mass residents, which is fantastic for us.

Free Fun Fridays

We've also got plans for a trip to Rhode Island to visit friends and the zoo, a visit to York's Wild Kingdom in York, Maine, as well as a day trip up to North Conway, NH, to enjoy the nature and a little outlet shopping.

That's where my list stands right now. If anyone knows of other economical attractions and events in the New England area, please do share!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Spray & I

Spray paint that is. I've been trying to love it. I sprayed a couple frames a while back to make wall decor, and then I *tried* to spray paint some shutters. It didn't happen so well, probably because I did it in a windy day, so I gave up on that task (for now).

But today I got a bee in my bonnet to spray some frames for some more decorative wall pieces.

The frames before were this weird tannish gold color. Hubby's best friend got me a box to lay them on (before I was using plastic bags...not a good idea!).

I sprayed them (duh) with that pretty oil rubbed bronze that I love and let them dry in the sun.

While they were drying, the littles and I ran to the craft store and picked out some some scrapbook papers to use inside the frames. To be honest I was looking for something with creams, deep browns, reds, and blues, but I couldn't find what I loved. These will have to do though, for now, they remind me of summer holidays.

All framed up and hung on the wall.

And my favorite wedding picture in it's newly painted frame

TYFL! Have an awesome afternoon!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Do you have an internet "home"?

I've been thinking about this the last few days. When I sign online, I open a bunch of tabs and click on my faves. One of the first places I go to is a mommy/parenting forum I joined YEARS ago, in 2004. It's called Baby And Me. I've seen it morph from just a small part of Pregnancy Lounge through a couple different forum boards/servers, etc.

It's a great group of ladies, and I really consider it my home base when I come online. Sure I check my email, play around on Facebook, check out other forums, but mostly I keep coming back.

If you're a mom, or a dad even, maybe you're TTC or waiting to try, or just want to talk with a great group of women, BAM is definitely a wonderful "home". They support you through your ups and downs, congratulate you on your successes and offer *hugs* when you're dealing with all the worst life can hit you. The ladies there are truly my friends, my family, my BAMily!

I invite you to visit my comfort zone, and I'd love to hear what your home is too!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

M & M Teacher Appreciation gifts

I got the idea for these sweet (haha) treats for my girls' teachers from the fantabulous blog Domestically Speaking. Maryann is so stinking creative, she kills me. I love her blog and now you must as well!

The girls each have two teachers. My middle finished her first year of preschool yesterday so I had to have these done for her to give to her teachers at the certificate ceremony.

We bought the mason jars for $.98 apiece at a kitchen supply store. I think next time we'll do smaller jars - these held 3 cups of M&Ms each, which proved to be VERY pricey.

For the notes, we printed out the poem from Domestically Speaking in a pretty curvy font, it ended up being 4"x4" when done. Then the girls wrote "To *teacher* Love *their names*" on one side of a piece of 5"x6" construction paper. We glued the poem to the reverse side and they wrote their names again and the year on the bottom underneath. I wrapped a small piece of packing tape over the top of the construction paper so it was on both sides, about 1/2 inch down, then punched a whole through the tape. I figured the tape would prevent the tag from tearing off easily. We threaded some simple ribbon through the whole and tied it onto the jar.

Voila!! Super easy gifts - took less than 30 minutes for the entire craft.