Friday, September 30, 2011

A little bit of Pinterest

So  I thought I'd do a little post about some of my pins on Pinterest.
I've been pinning away like most of you and while I haven't completed very many things from my creative board, I have started several and I wanted to share them. Some are too small a project to post a whole post on. And some are in the process.

One thing that I have completed was to make a tie for Trey, for my sister's upcoming wedding. He's not in the wedding so I had some freedom with the fabric. I wanted it to complement her blue colors and David and my's clothes (purple/plum). So I found a green polka dot fabric that I knew would look great on him. It's so cute and it was super easy! Here's the pin on Pinterest.

This is another one I've finished. It's a sisal rope wrapped bowl. As soon as I saw this I knew I wanted to make my own version of it. I had an old white ceramic bowl that I never used and thought it would be a good candidate. Here's my version, and I need to get something to put in it....

When I saw this idea of spray painting glass, I wanted to give it a try. Since I love spray painting and I love glass I thought it'd be a fun thing to try. I had this glass bottle that I'd found at a Goodwill and I'd never really found a home for it because it just blended in where ever I put it. I had some green spray paint on hand so this is how it turned out. I have another glass vase I'd like to paint another color but I need to get the paint so I'll have to share that another time.

I also completed (I actually finished more things than I thought!) a cash envelope system for my wallet. We use cash for most things like Dave Ramsey teaches and my old envelopes were looking really bad. So when I found this tutorial I was able to make a new one using scrapbook papers I already had. I also reused the change pouch.

I also helped my mom make a roman shade that hasn't been installed yet and I don't have pics. Here's the pin for the tutorial.

I'm in the process of trying to recover a lampshade for Trey's room courtesy of this pin. So far I'm not ready to share pics but I will when I'm done.

I've also made a gift for a wedding present but I can't show the pic of that yet since I haven't given it but the idea came from Pinterst.

I've found a few ideas for hosting my sister's wedding shower. I used this pin to recreate the invites. And we are using this pin for decorations and this pin for a cute idea to have at the shower.

I love Pinterest and being able to have all my ideas in one spot and being inspired by others. So that's just a few things that I've been able to accomplish and work on lately. And as I make my way through more ideas I'll be sure to share. I think I'm going to start working on some Christmas ideas next!

Do you use Pinterest? Have you actually created or used it for something in real life? Please share!

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

St. Louis

So I know I'm late in posting anything this week. I've been trying to recover from last week. Laundry, cleaning and being creative and getting back into our routine.
Last week David had a business meeting in St. Louis and Trey and I were able to go with him. We drove up and stayed in a hotel right across the street from the Arch. It was a very nice hotel but our room was tiny (because it was business we didn't get to choose the hotel). But we're the kind of people that bring as much food with us as possible so we can still eat good stuff and not only meals out. So 3 of us and a big ice chest makes for cramped quarters for 5 days.
 Sorry these aren't great pics, I took these on the day we left, so I had to make do.

Anyway I wanted to share some pics we took while there, and since the arch was thisclose to the hotel we have more of those. If you don't know, the Arch has a kind of walking park on each side of it and so it was a good place to take Trey (ok and me) to go burn some energy.
This isn't a great pic but I had to show it. This is at one of the bases of the Arch.
This is on one of the walking paths next to the Arch.
This is one of the bridges that is over the Mississippi River connecting Missouri to Illinois.
This is the view from our room and one morning it was super foggy and I just had to take a pic. Here's a better pic.
Me and Trey, isn't he cute!
So, while David was in meetings, Trey and I went out around town. We went to Target and Famous Footwear and picked up a few things. I also found a Homegoods, which is not in OK and I love this store! I picked up a large basket for $15 that I put in the living room to hold our quilts/blankets.

And we also went to 2 local Goodwill stores. I know that sounds a bit weird but we love to look around a Goodwill. The first one I found was in a super nice part of town and I thought that I'd find some great stuff. I found lots of (in different sizes) long sleeved tee's from Target with the tags still on. And they happened to be in a pretty purple color that I really like. I found one in my size and then found a sweater, but that was it.

So I told David and he wanted to go too, which I was happy about because I was kicking myself for not picking up another shirt to use to upcycle the one I'd already bought. So we checked it out and I did pick up the other shirt. Oh, by the way, shirts are $3ea (they're $2.50 in OK, but they don't pay sales tax in MO for Goodwill). We also found 4 Dr. Seuss books that we didn't have for $.50ea in great condition.

On another day David wanted to go check out another Goodwill. This one was in a not as nice area but was super big and I found: a cardigan from Banana Republic, a cardigan from Talbots and a long sleeve tee from JCrew, $3ea. I also found a beautiful dresser that I fell in love with but it wasn't meant to be. Anyway, I'll do a post soon on the clothes I picked up on the trip.

We found a great little shop/pizzeria while out exploring. A great little mom & pop place with great tasting fresh food. The shop had some unusual gift type items and wines. The lady at the counter asked what kinds of wines we liked and neither of us has ever found any we like. So she recommended one to try and we liked it. I was really surprised.
This is the bottle we bought.

Well, we had a nice trip but as always we love coming back home. I think our feelings on St. Louis is that we didn't love it but we didn't dislike it either. It had some good qualities and some not so good.

So have you ever been to St. Louis? If so did you like it? Have you ever been to a Goodwill/thrift store in another state? Or on vacation?

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Behavior Problems & Ketchup

Tonight we ate dinner out. We had hamburgers and fries. And of course ketchup to go with those fries. After we finished dinner we walked to the cookie counter (we were at the mall) to get a cookie. Trey got one of the mini sized cookies.

Now I'm telling you this because minutes after finishing dinner, before we even made it to the cookie counter, Trey was hyper. While paying for the cookies David noticed that he was bouncing around and acting a bit crazy. Then we walked around the mall for a while eating our cookies and Trey continued to be hyper, he didn't want to listen or do what we asked. He wanted to jump on everything and was loud and just generally a bit of a terror.

I know that Trey is a 3 year old boy but this is not how he usually acts. He's usually pretty good at listening and generally well behaved for what I can expect for his age.
Tonight Trey had ketchup that had high fructose corn syrup in it and then a cookie with lots of sugar (not sure about the HFCS). I've done a pretty good job of ridding our home of all HFCS and we usually don't buy foods out that I know has it in it. But unfortunately all ketchup at restaurants is loaded with it and he loves it and he's old enough now that he knows where there are fries there is ketchup.

I'm mentioning all this because I found it interesting that as soon as we were done eating he was already reacting to the HFCS in his system. It makes me wonder how many kiddos are diagnosed with ADD or ADHD or whatever else that simply have eaten too much sugar or have been eating HFCS. Actually I notice more of a difference in Trey's behavior when he's had HFCS rather than just sugar. 

I know a lot of people probably think that there isn't much difference between HFCS and sugar or that HFCS isn't that big of a deal. But I know my son and there was a HUGE difference in his behavior after eating HFCS. The problem with HFCS is that it's much more addictive than sugar (are you addicted to something with HFCS in it?) and it's sugar on steroids as far as what it does to our bodies.

I'm not going to go into a run down of HFCS. I just wonder how many kiddos are eating HFCS for breakfast and then going to school and the teachers think they have ADD. And then they have it for lunch or an afternoon snack or dinner and mom and dad think they have ADD. So they take the kiddo to the doctor to get medicated, which they are now adding in another chemical to the kiddo's body.

I'm not saying in any way that this is the case with all kiddos, or that there aren't kiddos that really are ADD. I actually know someone that was/is truly ADD.

I guess this post is sort of a rambling of a thought I had tonight and just wanted to send out there. I'd like to challenge those who do eat HFCS regularly or whose kiddos eat it to do a little experiment. Try cutting it out for a while and then add something back in and take notice of how your feel/act. I know personally that I felt TONS better after cutting it out completely and as I've just explained above, I see what it does to Trey.

Thankfully after a couple of hours and some dedicated running time Trey settled down and was back to normal. And I can tell you that he won't be eating any more HFCS for a long time or ever if I can help it. I know that for our family's health, cutting HFCS was a great decision, I don't think I ever knew how much it was benefiting us until tonight. And it's totally worth it.

I'd love to hear what you guys have to say about this. Do you think this is a problem with most kiddos? Have you noticed a difference in your own children? Or yourself?

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Mama's Got a Brand New Purse!

I know that I already used that title (minus the purse part) on my laundry bag post, but nothing else came to me and it got stuck in my head!

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago one of my creative blogs posted a purse with tutorial and pattern. I had been thinking for a while that I needed a new purse and was wanting to make one, so when I saw this I jumped on it.

Since this blog has detailed instructions and a printable pattern, I'm not going to tell how to make it. If you are interested please go visit her site, it's free. It was very easy to understand and was simple enough. I didn't have any problems with making this and I'm very proud of the way it turned out. Of course I'm usually my worst critic, but I did a great job on this.
So, here it is.

Here's a view of inside with the pockets. And yes I carry a tape measure in my purse, you never know when you need one when shopping!
This is to give you an idea of how big it is, I'm about 5'5".

For the outside fabric I used upholstery fabric. For the handle, bow, band and inside I used a lightweight quilting fabric.

I really love how it turned out and am very proud of myself for doing it!
Thanks for looking,
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Thursday, September 15, 2011

I Crossed Over

I finally crossed over to the dark side. If you would have asked me 2 weeks ago if I would have done this I would have laughed, well maybe not laughed but I'd have said "no way". I guess that's what happens when you leave yourself open to change and growth and options. I like to live that way, hence my blog title.

Anyway, I'm now officially "crunchy". Why?

I made a batch of granola. And I like it.

There I said it.

Now if you would have asked me a mere 2 weeks ago if I'd eat granola, I'd have said nope. I never liked granola. I don't like dehydrated grapes (ie: raisins), and oats were ok, I don't do other dried fruits either and those are always in store bought granola. Actually I believe I found a store bought one I liked that had almonds and none of the aforementioned items (except the oats which are ok) and then after eating the yummy treat promptly got a massive headache from the High Fructose Corn Syrup in the "healthy" granola.

Well, one of the blogs I follow shared her granola recipe that they make at home. I read over it and it sounded good. So I bit the bullet and decided to make some. It was super easy to make and the whole family likes it. I should said that David LOVES it! And it's, get this, healthy and good for you! Imagine that!

This is the part where I share my pics of the process of making the granola and all the supplies but I was a bad blogger and didn't take pics till it was all done. I wasn't sure we'd like it so I didn't take pics. However I'll just give you the run down. Like I said above this is someone elses recipe but I'll share it anyway.

10-12 Cups of Oats (she didn't say which kind, I used the quick oats but I'm not sure it matters)
whatever nuts and seeds you'd like ( I used pecans, walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds & pumpkin seeds about a 1/4 to 1/2 lb ea)
1 cup oil (she recommends coconut, I didn't have any so I used olive)
1 cup honey
2 Tablespoons Vanilla (I used the real stuff)
1 Tablespoon salt (just a bit under. My pumpkin seeds were salted so I used a bit less)
Cinnamon (just a few shakes)

Now, get the biggest bowl you can find or get 2 large bowls and split it in half or half the recipe cause it makes a lot!
Throw all your nuts, seeds and oats in the bowl and mix.
In a small bowl mix the oil, honey, vanilla, salt and cinnamon together.
Combine all ingredients and mix well. (the liquid holds everything together)
Pour mixture into 2 greased 9x13 pans
Put into 350 degree oven till golden brown (about 20min for me, we have a gas oven)
Then turn oven down to 200-250 degrees for an hour
Then turn oven off and leave it for 8hrs or overnight (we did overnight)
You can then add shredded coconut or dried fruit (we didn't do this)

I took this out of the oven and Trey wanted to try it and then ate a bowl of it for breakfast. The honey and vanilla and cinnamon make it almost like an oatmeal cookie, just drier.
Here's what it looked like after pulling it out of the oven.
Oh and FYI, she said that when she eats it it helps her milk supply and she jokingly refers to it as "Hello-Milk" granola. So for those nursing mamas out there you might try it. But it does taste good!

I'm glad to have found another snack/meal option for Trey who lately is a bottomless pit (visions of him at 14....) and for David who needed a good for him portable snack while at work.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Total Score!

This weekend we hit a neighborhood garaged sale. We like checking them out every once in a while but it's been a while since we'd been to one. We had been out walking the neighborhood on Thursday night and I spotted some boxes of mason jars as they were setting up. So I decided to go check it out the next morning.

Trey and I walked over and sure enough they had 4 boxes of different types of mason jars. As I looked through them I spotted a diamond in the rough, a turquoise Ball jar. I think I snatched it up quick so no one else could grab it! And they were all marked at $.50! Well I also picked up about 4 more.

We've been trying to collect mason jars all year in hopes of using them for canning/storage and some decor ideas from Pinterest. So we have a decent supply right now.

Anyway, I told David about it and he asked why I didn't get more (ran out of cash). So on Saturday David came with us to check them out. They were then marked down to $.25ea and it didn't look like any had been sold since I bought on Friday. The homeowner saw David looking at them and offered him a box for $1. We bought all 4 boxes!
Here's the breakdown:
Total spent $6.50
Total jars- 67
Total Quart size-21
Total Pint size- 34
Total 12oz size -12

That's a little less than $.10 ea.

We gave my mom all the 12oz size and 5 quart size and are planning on keeping the rest.  We will of course have to buy all new lids but I hope to do that a little at a time through the winter and spring to have them ready for hopefully a great canning season and anything else we want to store!

I love getting an awesome deal and this one totally was!

So what was the best deal you ever got at a garage sale or thrift store?

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Monday, September 12, 2011

My 1st Quilt

I can't believe that I actually made a quilt all by myself! I've been reading some sewing blogs and quilts were a popular topic and after reading a tutorial on making a quilt I thought that I could try it for myself.

I bought a bundle of fat quarters from an online fabric store. They create bundles that have coordinating fabrics, so this made the process much easier for me (I have a hard time putting patterns together). I wanted something bright and fun and fresh. They turned out to be brighter than I anticipated but that's ok.

I decided on a simple pattern of rows of squares with a border. And on the back instead of one huge piece of one fabric I wanted to break it up with a strip of another fabric.  Well when I went to cut the fabric for the back I ended up cutting one piece too short so I had to make some necessary adjustments, which just help make it a quilt.

Making the quilt was simpler than I expected but still a lot of work. It is by no means perfect and if you look too close you will see lots of mistakes and irregularities. However I kind of like it that way because that's a feature of most quilts!
It's a lap quilt perfect for the upcoming cooler weather, about 42"x 65". I've seen a lot of quilters name their quilts and I think that would be fun but I haven't figured out what to name it yet. If anyone has any ideas I'd love to hear them!

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Thursday, September 8, 2011


You know, I keep reading blogs about how they are harvesting all these wonderful foods and how well their gardens did this season and it makes me sad and a bit jealous. Anyone in Oklahoma knows that this was NOT the year for tomatoes. The weather got too hot too early and while the plants grew any flowers that did come up fell off so they didn't produce.

We'd bought about 9 tomato plants this year with visions of not buying any all season long and of being able to can/store some for the winter. We had 1 plant that finally started producing in July, it was a golden cherry tomato plant and they were great! And about a week or so ago I noticed that the other plants where getting tons of flowers all over them. I was so excited because I thought we'd finally be able to start getting some tomatoes.

And then it was all over. Just. Like. That.

We'd been watering them but it was 2 days in a row that we watered at night and then when we went out to look at them in the daylight found it all destroyed.
First let's take a look back at what it once was.
This was in March when we planted.
This was in July (we didn't get them caged quick enough so they are all over the place
Here it was when we finally saw it in the daylight. Do you notice anything wrong with this pic? Besides that it's a hot mess all tangled together that is. Here's a close up. Notice anything missing?
LEAVES! There are no leaves! Almost every bit of 7 huge plants (2 of the 9 are in the backyard) have been totally stripped of the foliage due to this.
I'm not enlarging this pic because these things are nasty looking! They were all over the plants and if you haven't seen one in real life they are about 4in long and about as big around as a dime. NASTY!

When I saw the garden and all of these "Tomato Horn Worms" I wanted to cry. There was no way we could get all of them off all the plants because we couldn't reach everywhere. So since there wasn't anything left on some of them we pulled them out. And then pulled worms off the remaining plants.
Here's what we have now.
I'm trying to look on the bright side, and that I can now plant some fall plants: carrots, beets, spinach. But I'm still mourning what could have been and that next year we'll need to be more watchful and ready to kill these things. They give me the creeps.

So, has anyone else been attacked? If so what did you do? Please share all wisdom!

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Monday, September 5, 2011

Burp Cloths & a Ruffled Tee

Lately I've been doing a LOT of sewing and I have a couple of projects to show.

I was cleaning out and organizing some baby stuff that I was storing and came across the burp cloths. Some I didn't like so they went to Goodwill, but I found some that I used with Trey that were more like burp blankets. They were hand-me-downs but I can't remember who gave them to us. Anyway they were very thin cotton and I had just folded them up and used them like that. But I remember that they were a pain to keep folded while using.

SO, I decided to try to make them more burp cloth shaped. I had 2 large cloths that I cut in half giving me 4, then I folded each in half. I ironed them and then picked out some fun colored thread. Since we are planning on having more children I wanted the cloths to be gender neutral.

Oh first I sewed a simple straight stitch on 3 sides of each cloth since the edges were raw & frayed on some of them. Then I turned them right side out, there really wasn't a right side but anyway. I decided on a zig-zag stitch with the colored threads and 2 of them had 3 rows and 2 had 5 rows.

I still had an open end on the cloths but I just used the decorative stitches to close it, and you can't even tell it was "open". Then I just started stitching. They came together really fast and I really love how they turned out. They are cute and imperfect and soft and ready for the next baby to use! Oh and they were a fun free project since I used what I had on hand, love those projects!

Here they are. Sorry the pic is a bit over bright. The colors are a bit hard to tell but they are: bright pink, turquoise, moss green, lavender and teal for the 2 with 5 rows. The next on is red, light grey and turquoise and the other one is turquoise, orange and navy blue.

The other project I totally lifted from another blogger icandy handmade and here's her tutorial. If you've never read her blog and you like sewing and crafty things you should go check her out.

Anyway, she did a  ruffled tee and I loved it so I decided to make one! Here's what mine ended up looking like.

You take 2 identical tee's and one is the base and the other is cut to use for the ruffles. I got mine at Target for $5ea. It's not a hard project but it does take a bit of time. You have to fold, iron and sew each ruffle then you can lay it on the shirt and sew them on the shirt. The time it took didn't bother me, making mistakes does.

I did great with sewing the first row on the shirt but then about half way through the 2nd row I noticed that I had just sewn a ruffle going the wrong direction, so when I tried to rip the stitch out it ripped the shirt. It ended up making a hole, so I had to use some scrap fabric and sew a patch then I could start sewing the ruffles on again. Only I still wasn't paying attention and ended up sewing the ruffles the wrong direction the rest of the way. Oh well!

I love the shirt and it's one of my favorites right now. I'd love to make more in different colors and with the ruffles going different directions or something. It was a great way to turn a simple comfy tee into something just a little bit more fun. And I think some cardi's over it will be cute too.

Well that's just a couple of projects I've recently finished. I've really been enjoying sewing lately and have a million things I want to sew. As I finish them I'll be sure to share.

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Vitamin D

This is the next in my series of research on vitamins and minerals. I've covered Vitamin A, B Vitamins, and Vitamin C. This is not a complete scientific study on the vitamins but just a simple study to help myself as well as share what I found.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is made up of several forms of D (D2 & D3 are the most common). D3 is made by the skin when it receives ultraviolet light (UVB) from either sunlight or tanning beds.

Why do we need it?

It aids in bone health, it can prevent rickets in children and osteoporosis in adults. It can reduce the risk of respiratory infections and can help prevent colds and flu. It is also suggested that it helps to prevent some types of cancer.

How much do we need?

  • infants and children aged 0–1 year (400 IU)

  • adults aged 19–70 years (600 IU)

  • adults aged 70+ years (800 IU)

  • pregnant and lactating women (600 IU)

  • obese children and adults (2-3 times more than for their respective age groups)

  • tolerable upper intake levels as 1,000 IU for infants up to 6 months, 1,500 IU for ages 6 months to 1 year, 2,500 IU for children aged 1–3 years, 3,000 IU for children aged 4–8 years, and 4,000 IU for everyone aged over 8 years

  • Where do we get it?

    Fatty fish- catfish, salmon, mackerel, sardines, tuna, eel
    Whole egg
    Beef liver
    Fish liver oils
    Portebella mushrooms
    Sunlight exposure

    Deficiency & Toxicity

    Toxicity from exposure to UVB light has never been reported. To reverse toxicity from over-intake of an oral supplementation, discontinue use. Usually symptoms show after a few months. Symptoms included: weakness, anorexia, vomiting, hypercalcemia, polyuria, polydipsia, pruritus & urinary casts.

    Deficiencies can stunt bone growth, bone malformation (Rickets), bone breakage (Osteoporosis), higher risks of colds, flu and other respiratory infections.

    When using the sun as a source of Vitamin D, it was suggested that light skinned people need about 20 min of exposure, and darker skinned people need more to get adequate amounts of the vitamin.

    I read about using the sun to get healthy amounts of vitamin D, in the spring. So I've been trying to get outside to tan to try to increase my vitamin D amounts. However, if you use sunblock you won't be getting the vitamin. I have very light skin and haven't been using sunblock this year. I've been out for about 20min each side and have gotten a bit of a tan but I'm hoping that it will help me fend off colds this winter. I usually get 1 or 2 colds a year, and I usually burn pretty good or I don't get much sun exposure at all, so not much consistent exposure.


    This is just an overview of the vitamin and by no means is a comprehensive study with all information. Please consult your health care provider if you have concerns & research on your own.

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