Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving is Coming

I'm on the verge of turkey thawing, pie baking, table setting and house cleaning for our guests who will be here tomorrow! Can it be that close already? Yay! We somehow convinced Ben's family they should come down and visit us for Thanksgiving, and we're so excited. To get in the mood, my friend Cyndi sent out this email. Just had to post it for any who wanted a good thanksgiving laugh:

Ahhhhh The joys of having Girls. My mother taught me to read when I was four years old (her first mistake). One day, I was in the bathroom and noticed one of the cabinet doors was ajar I read the box in the cabinet. I then asked my mother why she was keeping ''napkins' in the bathroom. Didn't they belong in the kitchen? Not wanting to burden me with unnecessary facts, she told me that those were for 'special occasions' (her second mistake).

Now fast forward a few months . . . It's Thanksgiving Day, and my folks are leaving to pick up my uncle and his wife for dinner. Mom had assignments for all of us while they were gone. Mine was to set the table (her third mistake).

When they returned, my uncle came in first and immediately burst into laughter. Next came his wife, who gasped, then, began giggling. Next came my father, who roared with laughter. Then came Mom, who almost died of embarrassment when she saw each place setting on the table with a 'special occasion' Kotex napkin at each plate, with the fork carefully arranged on top. I had even tucked the little tail in so they didn't hang off the edge!! My mother asked me why I used these and, of course, my response sent the other adults into further fits of laughter.'But, Mom, you said they were for special occasions!!!'

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I Spy Fabric Weakness

If I didn't already have a hard time restraining myself from buying cute fabric, these I spy bags have definitely done it to me. At least I only need a little of each so I'm not totally breaking the bank. Here are the options

I Spy Fabric Weakness

If I didn't already have a hard time restraining myself from buying cute fabric, these I spy bags have definitely done it to me. At least I only need a little of each so I'm not totally breaking the bank. Here are the newest options I've bought:

I Spy Fabric Weakness

If I didn't already have a hard time restraining myself from buying cute fabric, these I spy bags have definitely done it to me. At least I only need a little of each so I'm not totally breaking the bank. Here are the newest options I've bought:

Monday, November 10, 2008

Halloween 2008

Batman (Ben), Pegasus (Samantha), Pumpkin (Anabelle), Rapunzel (Alaura), Spider Girl (Talia)

We did a quick trip to a few of the neighbors, then hit the ward Trunk-or-Treat and ended up at a party at the Beaty's where we rocked out to Rock Band, played by the fire and had a great time getting a sugar high and running around with friends. Ben & I dressed up as James Bond and Penny, but since we didn't get any pictures you'll just have to use your imagination :)


"...we each have moments of inspiration and revelation. We must sink them deep into the chambers of our souls. As we do, we prepare our spiritual home storage for moments of personal difficulty. Jesus said, 'Settle this in your hearts, that ye will do the things which I shall teach, and command you.'"

--Elder Neil L. Anderson from the talk You Know Enough.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Budget "A Ha"

How to budget on a flexible income? Ya, that's been my question for a long time, but I think I've finally come up with the solution. How to pay the bills, keep priorities straight, and not feel like I can't spend any money on fun things. I think this budget plan might work... the trial phase is coming this month. If you're like me, I keep it simple... once the bills are paid and savings set aside the rest of the money goes into one big lump where everything an anything comes out of. I tend to run out of money, find good deals or need more groceries and then lean on the credit card crutch with a balance that just keeps expanding. Well I hit my wall and had to come up with a system that would work... so after my long-winded intro, here it is:


pay % for TITHING (best investment you'll ever make)

transfer % for TAXES (since we don't get it taken out) to savings account

deposit amount for FIXED EXPENSES into bank account
(fuel, utilities, insurance, car payment, you know... and make sure to have some personal savings automatically transfered to a savings account... treat it like a bill and only use it for pre-determined purposes)

The remaining money gets pulled out in CASH and divided into ENVELOPES with specific categories based on PERCENTAGES
(these catagories are ones that un-fixed spending occurs on a regular basis... analyze past spending and figure or guess what percentage of the total is spent on each respective category)

Put this money in ENVELOPES and keep a balance ledger of the spending... only buy with cash... divide it into weekly amounts to pace your spending.

So, here's an example:
Income = 2000
Taxes & Tithing = 400
Fixed Spending = 1000
Remaining = 600 pulled out in cash

Food 50% = 300
Non-Food Groceries 10% = 60
Christmas 10% = 60
Clothes 10% = 60
Entertainment 10% = 60
Fun Money His/Hers 10% = 60

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pumpkins and Falling Leaves

Tonight we took grandma to Lynx Lake and discovered that fall actually does come to a few of the trees in this corner of Arizona. After being in Phoenix last year, it was so nice to see some sort of seasons again!

Last night for FHE was pumpkin carving. Ben did a fun treasure hunt to the pumpkins that the kids were so excited about. They handled the guts pretty well.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Pillows & Flowers

More Boutique stuff...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Boutiques & Bows

So I'm officially crazy, but having so much fun :) Here's what I have for the boutique so far, not including the I Spy Bags. I still have flower clips and pillows to go.

This is my note to credit Andrea... thank you again... so much.... for showing me how to make bows. LOL, I was going through my ribbon box and found the bows I'd tried to make a year ago. Just so you can all enjoy my laugh, I've pictured them below :)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Ric Rac Bow Holder

Thank Jessica for totally encouraging me! I'm meeting with a boutique this week to show them a whole bunch of stuff and I'm so excited and nervous. I made up this bow holder to go with the bows I'm taking in and I'm hooked. It's only 8 x 10" but I'm loving the idea of making a collage of bow holder frames. I've got a purple check one under way already :)

Look closely, the ric rac is pink also, so it blends in, but it's there :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

We have the coolest purple flowering bushes in our front yard that attract butterflies and bees. I went out today and snapped a couple pictures :)

Halloween Flashback 2007

About August we start talking about Halloween costumes... the kids love it, and I do to. Some of my favorite memories as a child were the costumes my mom would make us. That probably makes it an even sweeter experience for me when I make them, thinking that my kids may have those memories too. So, in honor of Halloween, I'm going to do a series of flashbacks, leading up to what we have in store this year :)

Tally as a sucker-covered Halloween ballerina :) Savers special!

Girls are easy... princesses, mermaids, you know :) I totally scored at Savers and found all of the girls' costumes for $3 a piece. Alaura's was huge, so that took some altering, but much better than making it all.

It seems every year there's at least one costume that becomes a month-long endeavor... this year it was Ben's Transformer costume. Unfortunately we saw a YouTube where these guys, much to old to be doing this, had made Transformable costumes for the movie opener, and we showed it to Ben and that was that. I cut and glued the boxes together and the bigger Ben did the paint detailing. Who better than a guy to make sure the camo was just right.

Then if the costumes weren't enough, we had a blast with the decorations. We took their costumes from previous years and stuffed them with balloons, dolls and bubble wrap to have full-time "trick-or-treat"ers in our entry. I think this will be a yearly repeat!

Thank FamilyFun.com for this one! They used old tissue boxes painted with black paint... we used our Costco diaper box covered with a black trash bag! The kids helped with the shutters. I think this was one of my all-time favorites!

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Good Read

"The truest mark of your success in life will be the quality of your marriage."
- Gordon B. Hinckley

If you want a good refresher on having love in your marriage, I stumbled upon this article (click these words) that I loved! All about how love is a choice and the things we can do to create love in our marriage. Just one of those things that when you find, it's good to pass along :)

Friday, September 19, 2008

The heart grows fonder...

This weekend my husband gets to fly a helicopter to California and back. So of course, alone on a Friday night I find myself reading, again, about the whole NieNie thing, and read one of the re-posted entries that is just drewlable! Just had to post my Mr. Darcy... cheesy, but I love him.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Going overboard... Not me! More I Spy Fabric Choices

I had to have more fleece options for girls, and since little Ben was with me, the "battlefield" fleece was a must. Tell me if you'd prefer the bright girl stripes in fleece or flannel?

Fleece: Dots, Pink & Brown Flowers, Pink Flower Splash,
and Blue/Green/Purple Flower

Fleece: Sports Balls and Camouflage

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The New I Spy Fabric Options

I am loving the idea of these I Spy bags. Here are the new fabric choices I've come up with so far. So what do you think?

Flannel: Girly Bright Stripes, Black and Pink Plaid
Fleece: Girly Pastel Stripes

Boy Fleece Options: Frogger, Stripe, Elephants

Boy Flannel Options: Basketball, Animals, Football,
Golf, and Helicopters (of course!)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I Spy Mini Backpack

Ok, due to the overwhelming response to the Hobo bag... ha ha... I had 3 people who liked it :) Anyway, I was in a quandry trying to come up with an equally cute boy version... with handles. I'm not so sure about the whole "man-bag" thing, but my sister said "backpack" and my mind went "zing!" Thus, the Mini Backpack I Spy! Does it come in my size too?

Friday, September 12, 2008

I Spy Hobo Bag

You know those times a project kind of takes on a mind of it's own, well for our ward's Super Saturday I was in charge of making I Spy bags. The project evolved from super simple, to a little extra cuteness, and then this one kinda grew it's own brain :) And to think I probably have half a dozen more kits leftover I could go even crazier!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Grosgrain Fabulous Blog

I could spend all day looking at amazing blogs... one of which is Grosgrain Fabulous.... HOLY COW!!! She makes amazing clothes and then gives them away. I can't believe it! I think I need to join her club... check it out :)
Popcorn Bloomer and Blouse GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Bows & Headbands

While on vacation in Utah my awesome Sis-in-Law, Andrea, taught me how to make these beautiful bows. With a house full of girls, this skill will surely come in handy. So in honor of the 4th of July, I had to make a set of patriotic ones. It's a red sparkly pom-pom for the center... who wouldn't want to wear a firework in their hair? My favorite was the hot pink with the white center. Now I just have to find the outfits to go with them :)

And since my glue-gun was already out... I decided to finish up some headbands I'd started in January. I'd been experimenting with some ribbon embroidery, which I fell in love with when I was in high school. I'm still looking to find a lot of uses for it... ribbon & embroidery... it doesn't get much more fun than that.

Then of course the flower headband is always soooo cute. Of course, when you have such a cute model, anything looks good! Can anyone out there tell me if you're ever too old to wear a flower in your hair, because I'm in love with this one :)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Floppy Flowery Hat

I have revisited crocheting and I love it! I just finished Alaura's hat yesterday and was so proud of myself. Thanks to a big kick start from Karla I got inspired and picked up the hook again and I followed a pattern for the first time. Of course you know me, the queen of adaptation, I had to make a few changes, but I at least learned how to read a pattern. Woo hoo! Now Sammie and Tally are dying for there's to be done. Anabelle can't request one yet, but I may just have to make her the mini version :)

Daffodil Dresses

From my stockpile of fabric I had a bunch of this yellow, crinkly, embroidered flower fabric and being spring time I decided to sew. Really it was one of those 3rd trimester crazy ideas.

So I got one done and the other 2 cut out before Anabelle was born, and since I didn't get them finished, and in honor of having a row of duckling girls, I had to make another one for the babe.

All-in-all it was a good experience with no-pattern sewing. It wasn't exactly how I thought it'd be in my mind, but it was still worth it. I'd thought about making a tiered skirt for me, but that was going a little bit overboard on the matching, so I stopped :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Self Explanatory and So Helpful!

I just have to credit Family Fun Magazine!
A must have subscription!

I Love Crafty Quilters!

I had some of the best friends throw me a shower for Anabelle and I totally lucked out.... HANDMADE QUILTS!!! So I had to post so you guys could see how adorable they are.

Shades To Go

Since we moved into our mint green house, I'd been meaning to make a shade for Ben's room... well, months later I finally got the fabric and cut it out. The day after I cut the fabric, Ben (the dad) came home and announced we'd be moving! Of course... so since there were still a few months before the move, I went ahead and finished it in hopes it might work in the next house. From what I can tell so far, it will work as a nice valance. We'll see when we actually get it in there, but in the meantime, it's been sooo nice to give him a little more light blocking and privacy.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

HI I love the blogging online thanks to Karla

Thursday, April 3, 2008

My 2 Hour Tote

Never let a scrap go to waste! Kim P and I were working on covering her rocking chair pads for her new baby boy.. and with her shower around the corner I got inspired to make her gift with some of the scraps. Thus, the 2 Hour Tote... give or take an hour or 2 :) Because I'm a horder, the only thing I had to buy were the buttons! I'm putting the semi-instructions down below in case you want to make one, or more likely, in case I forget how I did it and want to make another... which I hope to!

Brown: 1@ 35 x 16 body
2 @ 13 x 5 bottom
2 @ 35 x 4 straps
Wavey Fabric: 1@ 35 x 11
2 @ 7 x 9 inner pockets
Teal: 1@ 35 x 10 banding
1@ 35 x 15 inner lining

Take brown strap fabric and fold in half and press. Turn long edges in, pin and stitch straps.
Sew wavey fabric band and teal banding into a tube, right sides together, turn and press.
Top stitch 1/4" from side along both long edges with accent colored thread.
Align band on the body fabric 4 1/2" from upper edge & pin along both edges.
Stitch the bottom row along the already done topstitching.
Place the straps in between body and banding 3 1/2" away from the body edges when folded.
Stitch along upper edge, reinforcing strap connection, BUT... don't instead of going in between the straps, sew down from them to bottom of banding then across and up the other strap to make pockets on each side.
Take the other wavey patches and double-turn and stitch each of the edges.
Place those patches on teal liner fabric where you'd like the pockets and stitch on.
Next, fold body in half lengthwise, with right sides together and stitch up side.
Take 2 bottom pieces and topstitch together 1/4" in.
Sew bottom to body, right sides together... good luck figuring it out :)
Fold teal liner, right sides together, stitch down the sides and across the bottom.
Next, create the bottom of the teal by folding it into a triangle and stitching.. lol figuring that too.
Tuck straps into body pockets and take body and liner and stitch right sides together, leaving and opening to turn them back out.
Turn out, press, hand-stitch the opening shut.
Stitch the strap onto the upper banding and sew on decorative buttons to the pockets!

Hopefully by following this, you'll get something similar to the picture :)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

If you think it - Ink it!

There's something amazing and almost magical about writing things down... years ago in seminary my teacher gave me a copy of John Goddard's life list (http://www.johngoddard.info/life_list.htm) and I remember then, thinking that goals are very powerful. Old Chinese proverb says "if you think it, ink it." Then, on my mission at the Oakland California LDS Temple Visitor's Center the Visitor's Center President gave a talk on goals and suggested writing out a timeline for the next 5 years. I did one then, and then 5 years later I did another. At that time I was pregnant with Alaura and but I had her name as Sydney, and I wrote out what would happen with Ben's (the dad) school and then the kids and how old they would be and when we would have more children. Well, I didn't look at that timeline until a couple months ago when I was sorting through some papers and came across it. It had just expired in December and I thought, "hmm, I'll have to look at that and see how things have happened compared to how I thought." Well, to my utter shock I started looking at the kids and the dates and couldn't believe what had happened.... I wrote down that Baby #3 would be born March of 2005.... Samantha was born March 31, 2005. Next one I wrote down October of 2006... Talia was born October 9, 2006. Well, that proved it for me... writing things down makes something happen.

Now, I need to make a new timeline... this one I'm hoping I can really get specific and will my 2 more boys on us :) We'll see how it works out, but I also need to write down a comprehensive list of dreams and goals I want to accomplish. This blog is one of them. I seem to have this sick fascination with coming up with ways I will make my millions... I'm always trying to turn something into a money-making venture. I guess that's what comes from being the bi-product of 2 work-aholic entrepreneurs. But lately I've tried to control myself and realize that it's ok to do things just for the love of doing them. I have so many passions... sewing, crafting, cooking, organizing, decorating, etc. and my life is consumed by my husband and 5 children... it freaks me out admitting I have 5 children :) When I do make the time to work on a project I have an unquenchable drive to share what I'm working on, and that is why this blog was one of my goals, and that is what I intend to share here. For all my friends and family and cyber-world out there... I hope I don't drive you crazy, I hope I inspire some of you, and I hope I can someday have all my dreams come true!