Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Good-bye 2014... It was a great year

As I look back at all the fun, crazy, adventurous, sweet, amazing times we had in 2014 I can't help but smile. We saw big changes in 2014, A and A seemed to have grown up so much this year! The changes from January to now are so dramatic. The most notable life altering change was Big A going to school. We now had Baseball practices, Ballet classes, Basketball games, school programs and dance recitals to attend. We took some amazing vacations (Thanks Mom and Dad!) and visited many fun and exciting new places. Overall 2014 was a very successful year.
Here's to new adventures in 2015!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

It's Cookie Time!!!

It’s that time of year again. We had our annual “Twister” cooking making extravaganza.  It was a GREAT time (as always). Alexander had a blast but ran outta steam earlier this year, Addison REALLY tried at first but devolved into “Monster Cookies” and Mom pulled a fast one and did a batch and a half of dough this year so the “elves” had LOTS to do! One of my FAVORITE traditions!

Cookie Girls!

Cookie Boys!


Monday, December 15, 2014

My feelings on asking for giftcards.......

Just Saying.....


Easy DIY Photo Ornaments

One of my favorite things we do for the holidays is have a mini photo session of the kids with Santa at one of our local photography studios (FotoFly … AMAZING!) The pictures are priceless and I have probably gone overboard using them in my Christmas d├ęcor. One thing that I have loved doing is making ornaments out of them to hang on the tree. At first I had them made at some of the photo sites but the deals kept getting lesser and lesser and the prices kept rising and rising. So I figured, hey I should totally be able to do this myself! So off to Joanns I went and about $2 later I had created several photo ornaments that looked awesome and totally got the job done!
Photo Ornaments


Bare Wooden Shapes or “frames” ($.29 - $1.29 at Joanns or Michaels)
Paint (I prefer spray paint)
Mod Podge (or other adhesive)
Drill w/ small bit
optional: Glitter
Get your supplies together

Paint your bare wood (I think spray paint is the easiest!)

Cut your photo out to either cover the shape or to fit in the open "frame" area.
Drill a small hole in the wood to put ribbon or thread through

**If you are wanting to "glitter your frame or shape apply Mod Podge to your wood ornament and then cover with glitter, let dry. Knock off excess glitter and spray with clear spray paint to set the glitter
**adhere the photo to the wood shape or into the open "frame" area 
**Thread ribbon or Thread through the hole to create a "hanger" for your ornament.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Turkey Tie Tee

I love Thanksgiving time. The Wonderful Food, Being with family, warm festive feelings of love and thanks, what more could you ask for in a holiday?

Well I have one think… a cute “thanksgiving” themed shirt for big A. For girls you can find dressed, tutu’s, embellished tees and accessories all adorned with turkeys and such in all girl sizes. For boys they have cute baby things, and Carters sometimes has holiday things up to 5T but if you’re a boy and bigger than that you’re outta luck. This stinks for a fun holiday loving little guys like Big A who happens to be a size 7/8!

Crafty Mom to the rescue! I created a fun and festive Tee for him that is comfortable, festive and can count as “dressing up” for dinner.

Turkey Tie Tee

1 Solid color tee, black or brown (I got one on super sale at JoAnn’s)

1/8 yard “fancy” thanksgiving fabric (I did a fun brown brocade print)

Felt (or fabric) Scraps in Orange, Red, Black and White

1/8 yard paper backed fusible webbing

Sewing items (Sewing machine or Needle and thread)
Cut out Tie (patterned material), whites of eyes (White), pupils (black) "Gobbler" red and beak (orange)
I just cut them out freehand, make sure your tie fits your tee 

Attach paper backed fusible webbing to all your cut pieces

Tack down the tie using paper backed fusible webbing
**Only do Tie at this point

Stitch around all seams (I used a sewing machine)
**Do each piece in order, tack down Tie and sew,
then tack down whites of eyes and "gobbler" and sew,
last tack down pupils and beak and sew.

The finished product

Big A wearing is Turkey Tee last year

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Pilgrim Pattern Easy, No Sew, and SUPER cute!

I so love creating holiday themed things for A and a, I also love doing “fun” photo shoots for the holidays. I fear one day my kids will be featured on awkwardfamilyphotos.com…. But for now they are cool with it and I love it. When Big A was 3 and Little was a few months old I did a Pilgrim themed costume craft and photo shoot that I still LOVE. Those pics are the center of my Thanksgiving time mantle. Well now Little a is 3 and can fit in Big A’s hand-me-down cuffs and collar so I decided to bring it all back out. I had to do an apron for her and a whole new set for him but it was super easy and the results are SO cute!

What I ended up doing is making cuffs and a collar for each then an apron for her and a belt and a hat “belt” for him. I dressed them each in dark clothes (Him, Navy Sweats and long sleeved tee. Her, Black tights, skirt and long sleeved tee) with the few “pilgrim” pieces it created an adorable total Pilgrim vibe with minimal effort.
The pictures turned out really cute. I threw them into Photoshop to add the sepia tone. I thought it gave it a fun “1621” feel and made the under clothes color difference (blue and black) not really matter.

Below is a printable version of the pattern for the cuffs, collar, buckle and belt… It is sized for a three year old but it is VERY easy to scale it up for an older child (or even an adult,,, hey there’s an idea)
Basic Instructions:

½ yard white felt or fleece

¼ yard brown felt or fleece

(I use anti-pill fleece. It doesn’t fray and holds up WAY better than felt)

Heavy cardboard

Gold paint or spray-paint

2 buttons

Fabric glue

(optional) needle and thread

If you use fleece or felt you don’t have to worry about any hemming as the material won’t fray. It’s an easy cut and go project!


Fold your white fabric in half and then in half again (see diagram)

Follow pattern and cut. Make an addition small slit (1/2 to 1 inch) in the back or the neck hole to get it over the head more easily.


Fold your white fabric in half and place pattern on the fold.

Cut. Use fabric glue or needle and thread and stitch (or glue) button onto the cuff where indicated (I sewed it… easy peasy).

Belt (and Hat belt):

Measure the circumference of your child’s waist and the circumference of the hat you are using (ours was a $5 cowboy hat from Wal-Marts toy department) add about an inch to that measurement. Cut your brown fabric about 2” wide to the length you measured.

 Cut out the buckle pattern from the cardboard and paint or spray-paint it gold.

Glue “buckles” onto your belts.

Glue “hat belt” together and slip onto your hat.

Safety pin your belt onto your child.

Bing Bam Boom… Done J
                                                   click HERE for free printable pattern


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

2 Little Pilgrims


When A and a were teeny tiny (little a was less than a year) I made these cute and easy pilgrim costumes and had a home "photo shoot." The resulting pictures are some of my very favorites. I've blown them up and they are currently the centerpiece of  my Thanksgiving mantle decorations.

Now that little a is 3 she fits into the cuffs and collar that I made for Big A back then so I decided to do an updated shoot. I created a bigger set of Pilgrim accessories for Big A and got the two of them all dressed up and ready to party like its "1621".

They thought it was fun dressing up and I gotta say they look really, really cute! Here's some shots from the new "photo shoot."

I'll share the Pilgrim pattern tomorrow. It's crazy easy and the results are so cute!


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Happy Veterans Day

A thank you to all the Men and Women who put everything at risk so that we can be safe and sound. Our Big A is participating in a bunch of fun activities all week to show our thanks to our veterans and armed forces. He colored this picture over the weekend to help decorate the halls of his school. I know I'm a proud momma but WOW! his coloring has improved! He did this one all by himself! 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Boo to the Zoo

Everyone I know has taken their kids to the zoo. I have heard nothing but raving reviews about the zoo since Big A was a Baby. It’s supposed to be AMAZING. For Big A’s Birthday my Mom and Dad decided it would be fun to take us on an excursion to the Zoo. They too had heard nothing but raves about it. A and A were So excited when we told them that was where we were headed.

 We went, we saw and ehhh. I will preface this with the fact that I have never loved the Zoo, even as a little kid I hated it. The heat, the smells… not my thing. But I was going with a total open mind, I hadn’t been in years and years and was excited to see A and A experience it.  Maybe it’s because it’s fall or something but there were not a LOT of animals really. Lots of big beautiful areas that were empty. The merry-go-round was fun but A and A do that all the time at the mall (and for ½ the price). The Train ride was literally like 2 minutes long and SO not worth the $10. Our Zoo is set at the base of a canyon and it’s a vast sprawling place…. Really a little too sprawling, Big A said “We’ve been walking for EVER!!!” He was totally pooped by the end. Speaking of… The kids FAVORITE thing at the Zoo???? The Elephants went to the bathroom…#1 and #2 right in front of us….

I’m sure one day we will look back fondly at our Zoo trip. It will be remembered as a fun adventure for Big A’s 6th birthday, but I don’t see us going back anytime soon….

The Elephants in "Action"

All tuckered out


Our "Witchy Woo" is a Dancing Queen

Our sweet little A got to play Witchy at a fun performance at Gardner Village. One of our local favorites is the fun and festive Gardner Village. In October the “Village” gets taken over by “Witches” and is filled with all kinds of fun and festive Halloween things. The biggest event is its “Witches Night Out,” that is a kind of fun shopping extravaganza that is crazy popular. This year Little A’s Ballet class was given the opportunity to do a little performance at Witches Night Out. I gotta tell you I can’t think of anything cuter than a group of adorable 3 year olds dancing away. Their costumes were SO cute and their song “Witchy Woo” by the Wiggles was adorable and perfectly bouncy for the little ones.  Little A was NOT at all intimidated or shy. She bounced right up on that stage and did a FANTASTIC job. She shimmied and tapped  and remembered all of her “moves,” it was amazing. She is a natural performer.

At Practice

At the Studio being a goofball!

Headed Back to the Studio after the performance