Wednesday, July 31

Paint the Front Door

Ever since we moved in almost 3 years ago, I haven't been fond of our yucky brown front door. I've thought about painting it for years, but it wasn't until I saw Young House Love's front door makeover last week that I finally decided to tackle it. You know, because I'm nesting and ohmygoodnessthishastohappenNOW.  Husband wasn't in love with the idea, but with me being super pregnant he was powerless to stop me. Well, more like he just stood back and smiled and kept the crazy at bay. Thanks husband! My first step was picking up some paint samples from Lowe's.

Clearly I had no idea what I wanted so I just grabbed anything that caught my eye! I started by eliminating anything that clearly didn't work with the siding or that was the same kind of tone (I wanted something either lighter or darker so it would stand out). Then I taped the remaining contestants on the front door and stood back to take a look. A little boy had to get in on the taping action, can you tell? :)

Monday, July 29

No-Sew Fabric Banner Tutorial

A couple weekends ago was our last trip away from home before we hunkered down to wait for baby day. We headed up north to celebrate my SIL's wedding. It was a fun time with lots of family. Being super-pregnant, there wasn't too much for me to do to help. But I did whip up a no-sew pennant banner for the reception.

  • pennant fabric - I used plain quilting cotton (the amount depends on the size and number of pennants you need)
  • mid-weight fusible interfacing - enough to back the pennants
  • letter fabric -  I used white quilting cotton
  • double sided iron-on interfacing - for attaching the letters to the pennants
  • ribbon
  • hot glue gun
I started by making a template for the pennants. I just used printer paper and folded it to a size that looked good. I think it ended up being about 12" tall and 10" wide. I used the template to cut all my pennants out of pennant fabric. Then I ironed the pennants onto the back of the mid-weight fusible interfacing, then cut out around the pennants. And I have no picture of this. Sorry. You should end up with a pile of fabric pennants with interfacing on the back.

Then I picked a nice fat font (so it would show up across the room) and printed out a sample letter to see how it would fit on my pennants. Once I was happy with the size I printed all the letters I needed and cut them out (remember if you need more than one of a letter, like 2 o's, you still only need to print out one).

Then I went ahead and used my iron to fuse the white letter fabric to the double-sided interfacing (just follow the directions included with the interfacing). After that I traced all the letters and cut them out. I traced on the back of the interfacing to make sure no marks were left on the front, so I had to flip my letters upside down when I traced them.

Then I peeled the backing paper off of the letters and ironed them onto the centers of the blue pennants (I measured up from the bottom of the pennant to make sure my letters would all sit at the same height, I think it was about 4")

Then I was ready to attach the pennants to my ribbon. I left a couple feet of ribbon at the beginning for tying, then used a hot glue gun to attach the ribbon across the top of each pennant. I used a ruler to make sure they were evenly spaced (I did 1 1/4" apart, but you can do whatever you like!). Just be really careful as you go to make sure your letters are in the right order!

I needed more than one spool of ribbon so when one ran out I just lined up the beginning of the new spool and kept on gluing. You can see below where I did that. At the end I left a couple more feet of ribbon for tying the banner up. 

And that was it! We put it up with a rainbow strip curtain (my SIL made it by cutting cheap flat sheets into strips and tying them to a piece of twin) and it was a great backdrop for the head table at their rainbow themed reception.

So let's talk weddings! What's your favorite DIY wedding project? What's the coolest thing you've ever seen at a wedding or reception?

p.s. I'm hoping to have some blogging interruptions in the near future. This baby is DUE! Happy 40 weeks to us all!

Friday, July 26

Beefing Up Our Freezer Stash - Burritos!

B and I pretty much chilled at home this week. I used Monday to beef up my post-baby food stash (I already have a few big crockpot meals in the freezer). I made up a big pile of burritos to add to it. These will be great because we can pull out 1 or 2 and pop them in the microwave when we need something quick. And they are super easy to make. I just laid out a bunch of tortillas and topped them with refried beans, taco meat mix (you can use anything! I use a mix of hamburger, black beans, quinoa, taco seasoning, and salsa. It's great to mix in veggies like corn or zucchini too!), and some cheese.

Then I just folded up the burritos and stuck them in freezer bags. All done!

Wednesday, July 24

Ring Sling Tutorial

I've talked about babywearing before (you can see my posts here and here, and how I made my own mei tai carriers here and here) but it's not something that's come up much since B decided he is definitely too big to be worn around several months ago. But now that we're about to have a new little squishy bundle, I've been thinking babywearing will be better than ever since it can keep both hands free when I need to take care of B! I still have the stretchy wrap we loved when B was tiny, but I started thinking it would be nice to have another option. Something quicker to put on and off when we are in a hurry. So I asked some babywearing friends and the result was pretty unanimous - a ring sling was the way to go! But I was not on board with spending $60 to purchase one... so I started searching for how to make my own!


I can't wait to test it out! I tried to talk B into hopping in for a quick hip carry, but he totally didn't go for it. Like I said, he's apparently all grown up or something. So for now I just wait for a little squish to fill it up. In the mean time, I have a tutorial if anyone else wants to give it a try!

  • fabric - 2 - 2 1/2 yards x 30 inches 
    • I used a single layer of 100% linen fabric. I've heard linen is a great choice because it's sturdy but still pretty lightweight and breathable.  
    • From what I've read, something of that weight is fine in a single layer but if you want to use something like a quilting cotton you'll need at least 2 layers to make sure it's sturdy enough. 
    • Also keep in mind that the tail of your sling will show the wrong side of your fabric, so get a fabric without a wrong side if you can or use two layers of cotton with the wrong sides together to make a reversible sling. 
    • If you use a 60" wide fabric you can get two slings out of it! 
  • pair of rings 
    • make sure you get rings that are designed for ring slings and tested to be safe! I ordered aluminum from
    • the size depends on the weight of your fabric and the width of your sling. For my 30" wide linen they suggested the large rings, but be sure to read their recommendations if you are using something different!
  • matching thread
    • use a high quality thread that won't break! I always here Gutterman's is recommended for babywearing projects and available at most sewing stores. 
  • accent fabric (optional)
    • this is just if you want to add a little extra pretty to your sling and can be any kind of fabric. I just used some scraps of quilting cotton.
Got it? Let's get started!

Monday, July 22

31 Day Series Planner {free printable!}

Has anyone else done a month-long series before? I've jumped in on the Nester's link up in October the last couple years (2012 and 2011) and I'm hoping to make it again this year. But with a tiny baby around I know I'll need to do some serious planning to actually make it happen. So I made up this planning guide to help me organize my ideas, schedule, and post details.

And the best part is... I made it printable. So you can start planning too!

Choose a topic or title for your series, use the calendar to schedule a specific post or topic for each day of the month, and use the check box to mark when a post is totally ready to go so you know at a glance what still needs work.

Saturday, July 20

Ready and Waiting?

Should we be doing something? I mean, sure, I have a crazy list of cleaning/organizing/building projects I want to frantically finish up before baby gets here, but should we be doing any, you know, baby things?

We took B shopping to pick out some outfits for new baby.

The tiny clothes & diapers are all washed and ready to go.

Friday, July 19

Black & White Gallery... finally revealed!

You guys love a cliff hanger, right? Turns out I'm VERY good at leaving you hanging with projects. My bad. You probably don't even remember that almost 2 years ago I posted about starting the gallery wall up in our master suite. I left you with a pic of the painted frames up and waiting for pictures that came about a week later. And then I never mentioned it again.

All because of one little thing. See that piece of newspaper hanging in the middle of the collage? I had one little frame that got skipped over in the painting and I didn't want to do a reveal post until it was totally done. Well.... it literally sat on my upstairs railing until I painted it a couple days ago. I don't have a good reason. I'm lazy/forgetful/unmotivated.

But now I can finally say... it's done!!!

And I love it. I love the pictures. I love the black and white against the pale yellow walls.

I love that sweet little boy who sucked his thumb for all of 2 months.

Wednesday, July 17


Last weekend was one of the few times this summer I've really hit the yard sales. And I have the.... well, stuff.... to show for it. I went with my mom & sisters to a neighborhood sale and a church rummage sale. Of all of it, I didn't find one single place selling 3T clothes. Boo. But I did find some other goodies.

$1.00 - two necklaces. Just 'cause they're pretty.
$2.50 - little boy baseball glove (still a little big, but he doesn't seem to mind)

$7.00 - camp stove. Next time we go camping we will have a backup plan and hopefully avoid our fire pit fiasco.

$1.00 - fire trucks to make a little boy smile... or stick out his tongue, I guess. :)

$2.00 - camp grill

$7.00 - a jacket, two tanks, and four wool sweaters (these will be cut up to make diaper covers. I hope)

Friday, July 12

How Do We Feel About a Brick Backsplash?

What do you think? Cool? Not so much? After a little pinterest searching, I decided I think I really like them.

In fact, I decided I like them so much....

I kind of dove in and put one up in the kitchen. Surprise! It won't be staying brick colored *sigh of relief* but here's my question: All the ones I loved on Pinterest had white painted brick. Should I go with white or should I try something different? I can't decide. I'm planning to prime it so I'll at least get an idea of how white will look before I commit to a color. And I my husband who actually knows how to use photoshop whipped up a couple color sample for me to see if anything tickles my fancy.

Still, I have no idea. What do you think? The walls are yellow now but I'm thinking of going pale green instead. So what would you do???

Wednesday, July 10

Monday, July 8

Last Hurrah

After B had a crazy-good time camping last year, we really wanted to squeeze in a trip again this year. But with baby #2 due at the end of the month, we were running out of time! So last weekend we packed up our sleeping bags and headed to the campground. We went somewhere new this time (no lake for swimming - boo.) but it was down near my parents so we were able to go see my sisters in a play one night and my family got to join the camping fun.

It was the perfect chance to break in N's father's day present - a new tent! It's seriously huge. And awesome. During a couple rain showers we could invite everyone in to play games. And there was much snuggle napping.

We found out pretty fast that we are not as awesome at camping as we thought. At least not on the food front. To start with we brought probably three times as much food as we needed. Oops. And then there was the cooking. Let's look at Exhibit A...

That was a foil packet dinner. It may look empty, but don't be fooled. It started with a piece of chicken in it. If you look closely, you can see the bones. I swear we checked it like 5 minutes before and it was raw. The good news is, to burn something that badly you need a fire... and we had finally figured out how to start one! The first day my pregnant dramatic self was certain we would starve because all the food we brought required cooking and the fire was not happening.

Some things turned out better. These kabobs were delicious! Never mind the fact it took us a solid 3 hours to cook them. Even with the fire started, it took us a good while to figure out how to cook the stinkin' things on it.

But let's not forget the star of the show. B had a fabulous time, just like we hoped. He was a little iffy about sleeping in a tent the first night (he kept asking to go "in-ide, close eyes.") But once he made it through the night he was all on board.

His aunty brought a little pool to keep him entertained at the campsite.

Friday, July 5

Baby Doll Diapers {pattern & tutorial}

I'm in full nesting mode over here. I'm running around like a crazy chicken trying to complete a totally random to-do list. And my poor husband is being a real trooper with all my panicked calls like "WE HAVE 2 BOY OUTFITS AND 3 GIRL OUTFITS AND THAT'S NOT EVEN!" Seriously, guys, I'm a gem when I'm pregnant. But besides washing the baby clothes, prepping the diapers, and generally tearing this house apart, we really want to prepare B as much as we can for his his new role as a big brother. One thing we're trying is a baby doll. We took him shopping to pick one out and have been working on things like being gentle with a baby and telling him mama's going to have a baby too. We'll see if it helps. But a certain little boy realized right away that baby doll was missing something important - and insisted it wear one of the baby's diapers. Ha. So I whipped up a couple little diapers just for baby doll.

  • fabric - you'll need two pieces about 9 x 9" (one for the outside and one for the lining). you can use just about anything but flannel is great because it's cheap, cute, and easy to work with (I let B dig through my flannel stash and pick out a few favorites)
  • thread - I just used white for all my diapers
  • snaps or velcro - I used snaps because I had them already, but velcro would be easier for little fingers
  • pattern - download it and make sure your printer doesn't "fit to page" or your sizing will be off. check that the box on the page is 1" after printing. These diapers fit our basic 13" tall baby doll.

Wednesday, July 3

Yard Sale Catch-Up

I've been really good this summer, guys. Most of the time I've been totally sticking to my guns, searching through yard sales for the things I really need and leaving behind anything else. Which means I've been mostly snatching up any 3T little boy clothes I can find.

Well, any I can find for around $0.50 a piece. I know in my area there are plenty of people who sell kids clothes that cheap and if I'm patient I'll find everything I need for a super-steal! I figure B will probably move up to that size this winter so I'm trying to stock up now rather than have to buy new clothes later.

It's been a slow process so far - it turns out 3T is kind of hard to come by! But piece by piece I'm getting there. I'm still looking for a few more things, but there's still a lot of summer left.

I've also been keeping my eye open for any super-cute newborn clothes. We don't really need much since we saved a bunch of stuff from B, but I've picked up a few things. Especially girl things, just in case. :) But I also know B didn't fit newborn clothes very long so I'm trying to get a few 0-3 month things for girls too.

I also couldn't pass up some soft-soled baby shoes and boots (for $0.50 - $1.00)

Seriously guys, I've limited myself to that kind of shopping all summer. Until last weekend. When I kind of cracked like an egg. There were some really good sales! Here's what I ended up with: