Thursday, October 27, 2011

Awesome site I found - The Dating Divas...(and no its not just for you single gals!)

I was browsing around on Pinterest a couple of days ago and I came across a link to a site that was supposed to have great ideas to strengthen your marriage.
I pinned it, but I didn't get around looking at it until this morning.
I have to say it's an awesome site!
So awesome, in fact, that I felt the need to share their site with all of you...
(and no they didn't ask me to promote them or their site...
I actually just found them and became a follower of their blog today)

The blog is called The Dating Divas.

The Dating Divas is a blog ran by 11 beautiful women
and every Monday they offer a new, completely planned, date idea for your upcoming week.
Throughout the rest of the week they post quick and easy ideas to serve your spouse, unforgettable family outings and activities with the kids, intimate moment ideas to spice up your relationship, and fun crafts!
They definitely seem to have something for everyone.

My husband and I have only been married for 2 1/2 years, but we've been together a total of 11 years. So even though we should "technically" still be in the honeymoon phase, we're not...

This past year has been pretty rough on our relationship, but we're still hanging in there.
Some days it feels like we're hanging on by a thread though, which is why I think this site is great.

I love him more than anything, 
but I'll be the first to admit we don't show each other like we should. 
We tend to get wrapped up in everyday life and its problems, 
and I don't show him anywhere near enough how much I appreciate him and all he does for our family.

I browsed around on The Dating Divas site and I found sooo many adorable ideas for little gifts  
to let him know that he is appreciated, 

cute ways to say I'm sorry,

and a lot of great Date Night ideas!

and since I'm throwing it all out here..I can honestly say...
 I really have absolutely NO idea when our last "date night" was!
Eeek!...Sounds like I need to get to planning!  lol

Hope everyone enjoys the site as much as I did!
They really do have some fantastic ideas! :0)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

F.R.O.G. Shirt - Freezer Paper Stencil Tutorial

My projects this week are mainly going to be centered around  my trunk for our church's 
Trunk or Treat Event. 
I have soooo much still to do! 
I have until Sunday night to get it all finished though so I think I have least I sure hope so!
 Keep your fingers crossed for me!

My theme this year for my trunk is F.R.O.G. -Fully Rely On God. 
 I blogged about it HERE in case you missed it.
There's also other trunk ideas HERE in case anyone needs a last minute idea for their trunk.


Today's project is my FROG shirt.
I think most of you craft bloggers probably already know how to use Freezer Paper to stencil a shirt, but I'm going to go through the steps just in case there are some of you out there who don't know  :0)

To start, I drew out my design and traced it onto Freezer Paper.
Make sure and draw your design on the dull side of the paper.
 You can find freezer paper in your local grocery store in the same aisle as the wax paper, aluminum foil, etc..

Then I carefully cut it out using my x-acto knife.
 Of course I didn't take pictures of these two steps..sorry!

 Once it was cut out it looked like the picture below.
 Place your design on your shirt slick side down, 
and iron it to your shirt using a hot, dry iron.
Pay special attention to your corners, and the small centers of your letters, etc...
to make sure that it seals well to your shirt.
If it doesn't then your paint could run outside of your stencil onto the shirt where you don't want it to.

I prefer to use Tulip paint, but any fabric paint will work. 
For this shirt I used Tulip slick paint in black.

I used Saran Wrap dipped in paint to dab it on my stencil. 
I did this so it would give it a lighter vintage look to the design and also since my sweatshirt has a faded, comfortable, worn look to it. 
Since the stencil outline was so thin in places, and I was afraid the design would turn out too light, I ended up going back over it a second time with paint to darken it up. 
I like the way it ended up dark enough to read, but the paint on the shirt isn't thick at all...
Almost feels like it was printed on there, not painted.

Once I had the painting finished,  I left it to dry.
It's so hard to leave it alone to dry, but I was good and I actually did leave it to sit overnight.

Once your paint is completely dry, carefully peel away your stencil.
If you're extremely careful taking it off you can actually reuse your freezer paper stencil a couple more times. 
I usually end up tearing a piece of the stencil though...
I think it's because I'm too impatient to see if it turned

Once you have your stencil completely pealed off, lay a thin piece of fabric down on top of your design and iron over it to set the paint using a dry iron.
And that's all there is to it!
It's so easy.
I love to use freezer paper to make shirts!

My shirt is plain and simple, but that's what I was going for.
I think it's going to look great with my Knit Frog Hat

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Saturday, October 22, 2011

I Got Featured :0)

I've been up a whole hour today and already its turning out to be a great day!
Just the fact that it was 10:30 before I had to get up was enough to make it an awesome day.
But then to make it even better...
I pull up blogger, 
 I'm checking out the latest posts, 
and I'm scrolling on through the top 25 DIY Projects post from Tatertots & Jello.....
and there was my Headboard Bench!!!!
So Excited!
I . Got . Featured . on Tatertots & Jello!!!
Awesome, Awesome

In case your not subscribed to Tatertots & Jello (then you need too.its and amazing blog!), here's the link to the post if you want to check it out..

Now to drag my lazy butt up and away from the computer this morning and be productive ....
Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Feeling Proud, but Old

I had a birthday a little over a week ago and I turned 32. 
I had a lot of people ask me if I felt older, or if turning 32 bothered me. 
My answer to them was no.

The year I turned 25 has really been the only birthday, that I remember, that has bothered me.
I told them no for a couple of different reasons.
 I don't feel old, and I know people say it all the time but I really believe you are only as old as you feel..
Also I just look at birthdays as another year the Good Lord has blessed me to be here in the world and another year I get to spend with my family and watch them grow up.

That is honestly how I felt...until last
Last night I had a serious conversation with my oldest son Tyler, who is 14, that really left me feeling old.

Yesterday after school Tyler came into my room and was telling me how he made a decision, and that he has decided on going into the Navy.
He has told me  from the time he was old enough to talk that he was going into the military. 
I just really thought he would be like all little boys who want to be an "army man" and that he would grow out of it.
But with him, after 10 years at least, I don't think it's a phase.
The only thing that has changed from year to year is that he's always changing which branch he wants to go into. 
Well he says he's decided Navy now because he wants to go into the Navy Seal program. 
He apparently has been spending the last few days online researching the different programs and requirements.
He informed me last night that he's decided that he really needs to bring his grades up,(YEA!!!)  especially in math and science. 
He said if he would be underwater in a sub he would need to be able to calculate mass and volume, etc...and that he also needs to work on learning another language. 
He also says he wants to go to 2 years of regular college so he can get 2 years of admiral college .
I'm not even sure what that is, but I guess he found it in his research. 
He then continued to tell me how he also probably needs to not be friends with a few of his friends since they could get him into trouble since he knows some of them occasionally drink and do drugs...
and he really needs to work hard to make sure he doesn't get anything on his record, and that he needs to focus more on his friends that are funny like him, and that like to have fun, but that don't get into trouble...
I also found out that he spent the night at a different friends house instead of where he was supposed to be originally over the weekend, (which I knew) but the real reason was because the kid had thrown a party where they were drinking and he didn't want to be around that..(DOUBLE YEA!!)
With him his moods are so different from day to day, but he was completely serious when telling me what all he was wanting to change in his life and accomplish. 

I told him that I thought his goals were fantastic (even though as his mother it scares the crap out of me! ) and that I was very proud of his decisions, but that he was going to have to work very hard because the Seals training is the hardest to go through and they are very selective on who they take.

I know I had my kids really young, and they are a lot older than most of my friends kids, but I just don't think everyday about how much they are growing up. 
Then it hit me last night after our conversation that in 4 years, my oldest son will very possibly not be living with me any more and will be off exploring the world, possibly in the Navy, with me nowhere close by to protect him...

That made me feel very old,
but at the same time so very proud of the young man he's becoming!

Does any of you other moms out there have teenagers? 
I always thought after the teenage years I'd be happily planning the going away to college
but that doesn't seem to be the case :0(
Anyone else feel the same way?
Thanks for letting me ramble  :0)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Frog Hat - My first ever completed knitting project! :0)

First off, I have to say Welcome to my new followers!
And then I have to follow that with an apology.....
I have been such a blogger slacker this past week and a half! lol

I had a bit of a reality check and I realized how close Halloween is, and of course I hadn't done anything yet...
Except come up with my Trunk or Treat idea.

So I spent the last week teaching myself to knit and making my frog hat for my Halloween costume.
For being the first thing I've ever knitted, I'm pretty proud of it  :0)

I used this pattern for the hat that I found here

Here's how I did it...

I used Red Heart -#4 Medium, worsted yarn in color # 0624 Tea Leaf - I bought the huge skein of yarn, the super saver, and I didn't use much of it. I would say 1 regular size skein should be plenty to make 1 hat.
I also used Vanna's Choice #4 yarn in black and white for the eyes and mouth.

Circular needle, 16-in length, size 6 & 7

I don't understand gauge I just knitted it exactly like it said and it worked perfectly. 

Cast on 80 stitches with size 6 circular needles. Place marker. Join, being careful not to twist.

 Cuff: Work k1, p1 cuff for 6 rows
(I actually got mine ribbing off slightly so it really doesn't looked ribbed, but I still like it.)

Switch to larger needles.
Round 1: *k8, m1 ; continue from * to end of round (90 stitches)
Round 2: knit
continue in stockinette stitch until hat measures 8.5". (just knitting-no purls since you are on circular needles)

Switch to dpns when you can no longer work on circulars. 
(I don't completely grasp the concept yet of using DPN's either, go figure, I did mine differently but I'm going to post that separately.I'm currently working on another hat so I'll take pics then of the finishing steps.)

Begin decrease rows
Round 1: *k7, k2tog; repeat from * to end (80 stitches)
Round 2: knit
Round 3: *k6, k2tog; repeat from * to end (70 stitches)
Round 4: knit
Round 5: *k5, k2tog; repeat from * to end (60 stitches)
Round 6: k2tog across all stitches (30 stitches)
Round 7: k2tog across all stitches (15 stitches)

Break yarn, leaving tails about 8" long. Draw yarn through remaining stitches
and fasten off.

Now as for the eyes, I honestly can't tell you exactly how I did them...I  mean, I know how I did them, but doing them and explaining it in the proper crochet terms I just can't do... But I did use crochet for the eyes, then attached them to the hat in the center of the eye with matching black yarn...I googled (A LOT) since I had no idea how to crochet or knit a week ago...There is a lot of great tutorials out there on how to crochet a flat circle, then others on how to incorporate multiple colors and I just tried and combined different techniques until I found something that worked for me..It might not be done the proper way, but it worked and turned out cute, so I'm happy with it...

I don't like not being able to give exact steps though so i wil try harder in the future to be able to write out understandable patterns for all steps.

Also for those of you out there who, like me, are new to knitting...
Here's a couple of helpful tips that I found out by trial and error.

In the round knitting:
Garter stitch - knit 1 round, Purl 1 round
Stockinette Stitch - knit every round
Reverse Stockinette Stitch - Purl every round

These stitches have to be done differently when you are knitting in the round (using circular needles) because you are knitting in a spiral instead of back and forth.

Most of the time it looked like the pattern designers would just write "work all rounds in Stockinette Stitch"  and if you don't know the above rules you will end up with a garter stitch instead of the stockinette stitch...
I did that the first time and it took me FOREVER to figure out what I did
After a lot of googling I figured out my mistake..needless to say I was not a happy!  :0)

Also when buying circular needles, you cannot knit on needles longer than the hat you are going to make...
For instance: If I want the band on my hat to measure 21" then I will need circular needles smaller than 21"...Most patterns specify the length to use, but of course I didn't notice this until I had bought a set of huge circular it's ok. It's just another thing to add to my stash.

One last little tip I  found, and this is more a personal preference, but the bamboo knitting needles are the way to go! I have a bag of misc size plastic and metal knitting needles I found at the thrift store a few weeks ago for $0.50! It was a great deal, but after buying the bamboo circular needles I have found there is a huge difference. The bamboo ones are so much easier and comfortable for me to use.

So this is what I've been up to lately...
I've also just started on a fly hat for Tyler(my oldest) for his Trunk or Treat costume.
I also still have a few other projects in the works that have kind of been pushed to the back burner lately. Hopefully I'll have something else to show you all soon so it won't be so long before I post again!  :0)

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cake Plate Redo

Happy Wednesday! 
Sorry it's been a few days since I've posted..Things have been pretty busy around here.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!
We did.

My dad came in town and spent the weekend with us.
Then I went with my mom and my brother to see the movie Courageous on Sunday afternoon...
It was fantastic! I'm definitely going to have to take all my boys to see it.

I had a lot of projects I had planned to work on this weekend.
Unfortunately, since we were so busy, I didn't get as much done as I would have liked.
But its ok, because to me family time should come first anyways  :0)

I have a couple of big projects in the works, that I should have done in the next few days(hopefully!)
but there's not much that I can actually show yet.

But while I was working on one of my other projects and already had out the supplies,
I decided to sand down and paint my cake plate base.

Remember this Cake Plate from my Thrifty Finds-week 1 post?

Well here's how the base started out:
not so pretty...

Then I sanded the crap out of it...and forgot to take a picture :0).

Primed it:

Then painted it black:

And here's it completely finished...

It looks so much better now!
Not to mention it's hard to beat that for a $1!

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Friday, September 30, 2011

Ottoman...Fail :0(

So I had it all planned out in my head last night...
I had an awesome project that I thought I could do quickly.
I came home last night excited to get started on it, 
and was sure I could get it done and have it to show you all today...

Last week, on my Thrifty Finds Week 2 (that I haven't got posted yet...oops.)
I found this awesome ottoman at one of our local thrift stores for $4!!!

I was so excited because I was sure I could recover it easily and it would look fabulous.
In my head I could see my plans all laid out...
Take it apart at the main seams, cut new pieces the same size as the old ones, 
make piping, sew back together..

Sounds easy right?

Then I started to take off the Mohair top and this is what I found....


Needless to say I was not a happy
That does explain why it was so heavy

So now I'm at a loss on how to save my ottoman. :0(

I could sew it back together and slipcover it...
but there's no telling where this was before the thrift store...and I'm not up for breeding possible creepy crawlies in the living room..eewww.. So the old straw has to go.
Not to mention it would look funny (in my opinion) because of the piping to slipcover it.

I thought about refilling it with new straw, but if I take off the leather outside, 
then I will be left with just a pile of old straw since there is no inside support 
other than the wooden bottom.

Another option and probably the most reasonable is to buy foam to remake the ottoman, 
but then my $4 ottoman project just got a lot more expensive...

So no clue what I'm going to do yet...
Has anyone else ran into this problem?
Any good ideas to fix it?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Head & Footboard Bench Tutorial

I'm so excited!
I have officially finished my first piece of furniture!
I've been seeing a lot of benches that people have made from headboards and footboards and I loved them...So I thought that would be a good project for me to start with.

I grew up watching my dad take old beat up furniture and pianos and completely restore them to absolute gorgeousness! (is that even a word?? lol..If not I guess it is now)

My brother and husband are also quite handy when it comes to building stuff, but I've never had the chance to try to build something myself.

My husband probably won't like to hear this, (so cover your ears, or in this case your eyes, hunny) I'm hooked! Already I have ideas brewing for my next two or three projects...

There's just not enough time or money to get it all done as quickly as I would

So anyways..enough of my's how I made my bench...

The first thing I needed was a solid wood headboard and footboard. I didn't want to spend much on it so I put an ad up on our local Freecycle and within one day I had a this set  for FREE!

I did the majority of the work on the bench myself...but I have to admit I had a lot of help from my husband...He did a lot of supervising and instructing since he was completely convinced I was going to cut off a finger or a body part of some kind. lol

He also helped in drawing up the plans..This is where me and my husband are completely different...I'm more of a pile it all in front of you, scratch out a design on a scrap of paper and start working on it, type of person...He's a little a lot more anal than that..That's not always a bad thing though..
He's a drafter and a instead of my scratched out design he broke out the AutoCad and made me a 3D picture  :0)

Every bench is going to be different since the headboards, sizes, etc will be different so I'm just going to show you how I made this one and you can adapt yours accordingly.

I made a base using 2x4's, with metal support brackets in the corners

Next we cut down the legs of the footboard.

I then attached the headboard and front legs (from the footboard) to the base.

 Next I used the bottom slat of the footboard as the back bench trim and attached 1x6 to the other 3 sides to match the back and to cover the 2x4 base. I then cut and attached all the top slat pieces.

We then took the two remaining tops from the footboard and cut them here

Then I attached the tops to the front bench legs so that the tops would match the back bench posts

Then it was finally time to start sanding, priming, and painting.
The sanding was by far the worst part of the whole process...
It sucked and it took forever,
but it was worth it.
Chandler came out before he went to bed and wanted to help put on the primer, and he did a great job!
He says he wants to help every time I have to paint

Here it is finished. 
It ended up a little bigger and a whole lot heavier than I had expected it to be, but I really like it. 


It's currently sitting in the ignore the chore board I haven't updated in a few weeks..the kids are still doing chores, I just haven't been writing them down...oops :0)

This is not going to be its new home, but I still have to do some rearranging first.
I also still have a cushion for the bench and pillows to make, but that will be for another day.

Hope the instructions made sense...If you make a bench using this send me a pic and let me know!
Hope everyone has a good night  :0)

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

More Bible Costumes / Trunk or Treat Ideas that I like!

I posted earlier here about the decoration idea that I'm going to use on my van for Trunk or Treat at our church this year.

While I was searching around online I found a lot of other really great ideas too. So I thought I'd post them in case anyone else needed ideas...

So here's some of the other ideas I found:

Guitar Hero - God's our hero - This could be a really cool theme...Dress up as rockstars, and carry guitar hero guitars, but with a God's our Hero sign

D.O.G - Depending on God - Could be done like my F.R.O.G idea but with a dog theme instead

The Bible

Books of the Bible:

Numbers -Carry a book, and attach a bunch of cutout numbers to your outfit
Romans -Easy to make with a sheet and some leaves. Carry a book
Hebrews -Have a man carry a book and a coffeepot...He-brews..get it?
Embarrassing to admit, but it took me a

Noah and the Ark - I loved this one!

Jonah and the Whale - really really loved this one!

You could also wear a bathrobe, look really messy, and stick clumps of “seaweed” (green yarn) all over with a fake fish or two thrown in.  Hold a sign that says, “On my way to Ninevah!”
and you’re Jonah thrown up from the whale! lol

 Lords Army -You could all dress in army outfits and go as the Lords Army - This would be really cool idea for a youth group or a group of friends

Delilah - Dress as a glamorized hair dresser.  Make a big pair of scissors cut from cardboard and wrapped
in aluminum foil.  Stick some sparkly jewels on the scissors for added pizzazz
Walk around all night going after the boys’ hair!  Judges 16:4-21

Lot’s wife - Go as a pile of salt .  Genesis 19!

Queen Esther -Wear a crown and a beautiful queen’s outfit. Her story is in the book of Esther.
What a great role model for little girls!

Put on your coolest spy gear,  and you are Joshua and Caleb.
Read about their ultimate spy mission in Numbers 13-14

Wear a red shirt with a big letter ‘C’ on it!  You are the RED SEA! - Great simple idea!



Daniel in the Lions Den

Veggie Tales...Very cute!

Rock and Roll- Either of the below would work great, dress up as Rockers




Last but not least is the other one me and Tyler debated on doing...
The Gates of Heaven
We still possibly could do this one, but I really think we are going with the FROG idea since it'll be easier and cheaper to throw together....We can always this one next year. :0)

The plan was to remove the back van seat.
Hang a shimmery gold piece of fabric from the ceiling behind the first row of back seats, and shine a light from behind so it would make it appear to glow to the trick or treaters.
We were going to get styrofoam balls and paint them with a pearly paint and use wooden skewers to make a set of "pearly gates"
On the floor was going to be pillow stuffing and our fog machine to look like clouds
Sitting in front of the gates was going to be Tyler dressed as Saint Peter (an old man in robes, carrying keys) holding a huge book (The Book Of Life)
Then I was going to be dressed as an Angel to pass out candy
I LOVED the idea, but the main problem I see is not possibly having access to an outlet to run the lights and fog machine..

Hope someone can get some use out of these great Bible costume/ Trunk or Treat  ideas!

(The pictures above are not mine, and are not being represented as my own. They are pictures I found throughout the web last night while searching for ideas. I do not have referencing sites for the photos so if you are the owner of these pictures and want them removed then please let me know. Thanks!)