I am insane.

I committed to three boutiques. In. The. Same. Week.
Today I finally got around to making a list of what I planned to make, since everything has to be done before the first one.  No room to breathe or restock in between.
Here is a sampling of maybe 5% of what is on that lofty list.  They are only cut out.  Seriously, I am in way over my head.
If I can pull it off and do well, my seemingly unattainable goal of having a craft room just might come true.  I am hoping and planning to make enough extra money to remodel our garage (insulation, drywall, spider-proofing) into a craft/ playroom.
If it all fails... at least I will have all of my Christmas presents made and a super stocked Etsy shop.
Wish me well.

Every year my parents rent a cabin in the mountains for my Dad's birthday.  This year was full of fun adventures.

Hitched a ride

Had a chat

Ate a snack

Saw wildlife

Participated in wildlife clean up

Watched a lady carve an eagle out of a stump with a CHAINSAW????

Fed ducks.

Stole their food

Played horseshoes

Made something amazing.

Happy birthday Dad!  
Thanks for a great weekend!

Something like this would make laundry bearable?
Because for a second today, I sure did.
A local store is going out of business and selling all of their fixtures.  Seriously, how fun would this be?  I would keep it in the garage (aka craft room, aka laundry room, aka playroom, aka black hole, aka spider den) and all of us could throw our dirty clothes in it.  Or, in my fake, imaginary mansion, I would keep it in my ginormous laundry room and elves would do all of the work for me.  Including diapers.

In case you were wondering which Disney princess I was...

Because internet tests are totally reliable....
I am the one with the really high voice and who takes tainted food from strangers.  Perfect.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Pure and trusting. You are a gentle soul who can get along with just about anyone. Everyone you meet instantly falls in love with you. How can they resist? You have a pure, lovable nature that's irresistable. Just don't trust everyone who comes across your path.

Which Disney Princess Are You?
(You know that you are dying to know!)

I never thought we would be a Disney family.  Yes, we have passes, but for Halley's first two and a half years she knew nothing about the insane amount of princess merchandise out there.  Then Christmas came and "the man" got her.  (By "the man" I mean her aunts and grandparents gave her glittery pink gifts with the Disney logo.)  He got her good.  She is a customer for life.  She is equally in love with all of the ladies (even the lame fake princesses) and their perfect little lives.  She wants to get married at 16 because Ariel did.  She is afraid of apples because Snow White is.  She wants to paint the colors of the wind because Pocahontas did.  (How do I make that happen?)
I could go on and on.  If a boy comes over to play they are automatically "the prince" and given specific instructions on how the wedding will play out.  Poor, poor kid.

So, while I am no Disney expert, I am sure there are many exceptions, but what in the heck does Disney have AGAINST MOTHERS AND FAMILIES?
Snow White-  Mom?  Stepmother- evil and murdering.
Belle-  Mom?
Cinderella-  Mom?  Stepmother- evil, plotting and jealous
Jasmine-  Mom?
Sleeping Beauty- parents send her to live in the forest.
Ariel- Mom? (spoiler alert... gets run over by a pirate ship in the prequel.)
Nemo-  Mom?  Have you seen the first scene?  Traumatic.
Jungle Book?  Orphan.
Lilo and Stitch?  Parents?  Dead in car crash.
Monsters Inc.-  Parents?  Don't notice their toddler gone for days.
Enchanted-  Giselle- Mom?  Stepmother- evil and murdering.  Morgan- Mom?

Now these are just the movies I can think of.  Seriously, isn't it sort of weird?

If you need some more princess ponderings and a great laugh head over here.  Trust me, its worth it.

Okay, so this is probably the billionth time you have read about Wordle.  Me too.  But I finally fished the link out of my "places to waste time on" folder and gave it a try.  Oh Wordle, how I love thee, let me count the ways!  It was not a waste of time, in fact it was delightful.  I even learned some dorky new things, like taking a screen shot, saving to a PDF and then making a PDF into a JPEG.  Since I am always just faking it when I do something fancy on the computer, it brings me great joy to figure out things I never thought possible.  (I give 99% credit to my Mac though.)  So anyway, I made this little guy in a few minutes and I am quickly obsessed with it.  I need new price tags and business cards for the shop and upcoming boutiques and suddenly I have them.  Who me?  Did I go to grad school for graphic design? Why, that's so sweet you asked.  Yes, I went to the University of Wordle.  I graduated Magna Cum Laude.  I hear they are enrolling right now for the Fall Semester.  Go over there and apply.  

Sometimes life just isn't fair.  Heather Bailey (don't look at her blog unless your superhero power is resisting jealousy) has way too much talent in her sweet family.  Her sis in law Laura Gunn (don't look at her's either) has come up with an amazing storage solution.  Useful and delicious eye candy all at once.  She has clear and easy directions on how to slipcover ugly plastic storage crates.
I don't know what makes my heart beat faster, the photography, the fabric, or the fact that I recently packed up some of these same crates and dropped them off at Goodwill because they were so yuck.  My plan was to have these done for today's post.  I bought all of the supplies (kind of had them, you know that fabric obsession problem I am dealing with) except the crates.  Wal-mart?  Nope?  Target?  Nope.  Not too sure where to look next, but I am braving errands with Lucy today, it is that important to me.  Insanity, I know, but look at these things! (((Edited:  I found them at Staples!  Hooray)))  I am sure that people with big houses probably struggle with storage too (sorry, I don't feel too bad for you), but I really, really struggle in our humble storage-free house.  
Today is free-dress day at Halley's school.  Well, technically "uniform free" dress day... they always have specific guidelines... today's guideline is "Christian T-shirt and Jeans day."  Well, it is 90 degrees out, so jeans were out of the question, and her jean skirt is a little too scandalous for the "middle of the knee" dress code, thus the leggings.  Love to bring the 80's back!  You can see the ice cream cone embroidery from this post.  I am happy to say that it has survived multiple washings without unraveling.  I totally credit Sublime Stitching for teaching me how to properly secure the stitches.  The hair flowers are from this post.  I broke down and used my Urban Chiks charm pack that I have been hoarding.  It was difficult to cut up, but when I was done I was really happy.  So much cuter in Halley's hair than sitting in a drawer.  Why have it if you don't plan on using it right?  Plus, I gained more storage...   Lastly, Halley isn't really much of a t-shirt girl (probably because her wardrobe-control-freak-mom isn't much of one either) so I made her a I heart Jesus shirt from this post.  She was shouting it all morning!  I am wishing there were more free-dress days.  Uniforms are so easy and super cute, but I miss sewing for her.
Lastly, sometimes I look at my kids and wonder where they came from.  It kind of freaks me out.  How in the world can our genes produce such beauty?  I see my dimple and curly hair (mind you a much better version of it) but beyond that?  Not really looking forward to the teenage years, you know?

Hi, I'm
and yes, my hair is in that stupid Lauren braid again.  My "really shouldn't of cut them" bangs still haven't grown out, and the fact that I attack them with a flat iron multiple times a week sure doesn't help.

But I am really just wanting to fill you in on an exciting new facet of my silly little life.  Somehow, I have brilliantly tricked Kristen and Ali over at Mama Manifesto into thinking that my random crafty and or issue-filled ramblings might have a home at their fabulous blog.  So before they come to their senses, head on over there.  In fact, bookmark the site.  Or, even one step better... get a nifty little widget for your blog.  It will spice up your sidebar and make you look pretty fancy too.

You will find real moms, living real lives, with humor, encouragement, honesty and inspiration.  I have found myself, laughing, crying, relating and changing through every post.

I am so honored, dumbfounded and truly grateful to share company with such amazing ladies.  Will you come join me?

I am having a hard day.  

I have a really bad cold and I am much less tolerant than usual.

But that's not why.

I look at my two little girls and try to remember what it felt like during my years of mourning and sadness, how all that I wanted in the whole world was to be a mom.

Much of me has forgotten that feeling.

Now that I am a mom.

But sometimes it is hard.  I really love them, but it is really hard.

At bible study this morning I was prepared to ask for prayer for patience and for God to do some major work on my heart and on the heart of one of my kids.

But then a sweet woman who just moved to our town and is new to our church asked for prayer for her upcoming in vitro sessions.

My selfish heart broke into pieces.

I have been where she is right now.  The fear, the frustration, the longing, the hopelessness.  The last thing she needs to hear about is my small issues with my two darling daughters, as I sit there with an obviously pregnant belly.

So I cried for her.  Her pain.  Her waiting.  The roller coaster she is on.  Her prayers that have yet to be answered.

I went home, loved on my kids, grateful that I can be their mom.  Even on days like this.

Well the only one having a party in my tummy is this wild baby. She seems to be constantly making campfires. Perhaps to roast smores. She then proceeds to stab me with the roasting forks. But that is another story completely.

Halley is addicted to TV. Lucy watches about 20 seconds before running madly out of the room in search of destruction. I blame it completely on Baby Einstein. Our friend Kristen likened them to baby crack. Halley got a taste of the Einstein drug very early and has never quite shaken it. I never let Lucy watch it, for fear she would need rehab like her big sister.

So I am a mean mom that lets them watch one show a day. By one show, I mean they can either choose from Veggie Tales (for the Christian in me) or Yo Gabba Gabba (for the indie music lover in me.) Twenty minutes. That is all they get. But honestly, I am okay with that.

Because I have found that most kids shows are AWFUL. Horrible. Either they have characters with bad attitudes and no consequences, or they are simply intolerable to me, the mom who sits with them watching.

On vacation we didn't have our much used DVR so we were at the mercy of whatever was on during the alotted time. Halley was in a glazed over stupor. Lucy was climbing up the balcony (standard). I was trying my best to tell my little addict why we don't say those words, or do those things in our family.

Not worth it.

So I am happy to be home to the DVR and thankful that Halley still believes that our TV can't get the same shows that the Bass Lake TV got.

Not a single day goes by where we don't sing some sort of song from Yo Gabba Gabba to help us through toddler issues. If you have never seen this show before, please find it on your TV. A handful of new episodes are airing this week and I can't wait.

This video below is from the very first episode and I have to tell you that this simple, silly song completely revolutionized our girls' eating habits.

I heart you Brobee!

Halley (former bow queen) has suddenly began to rebel against her once beloved hair accessories.  Lulu (aka Donald Trump) is not going to be wearing them anytime soon.  So my plan B is headbands.  Could they possibly be any cuter than these?
Jenn from Take a Bow Creations is giving away ALL THREE of these yummies to three lucky winners.  You better bet that I am planning on being one of them.  Head over to her blog to drool over her photography, and don't even get me started on the RIDICULOUSLY amazing quilt under the headbands.

Thanks for all of the comments and for sharing what things have been on the back burner in your lives.

What we all wish we were doing:

Keeping up on our scrapbooks.  (Depressing.  Thankful for Shutterfly.)

Taking time to pray.  (Would make everything better.)

Making things for ourselves, instead of just gifts.  (Problem numero uno.)
Exercising.  (Rather do anything else.)

Pampering:  massages, manicures, new clothes and shoes, etc.  (Guilty, in fact I have gift certificates that I haven't even used.)

Reading. (Actually a certain four book series written for teenage girls has recently sucked me in.  I may or may not have spent the last few nights reading by flashlight, thus sacrificing my sleep and my much needed good mood in the morning. Don't even get me started on the sore throat I woke up with, or the two remaining books that are calling my name.  Stupid, stupid vampires.)

"Date" our husbands. (Need one right now.)

Travel. (I'm traveled out...)

Take more pics.  (Doing okay.)

Print pics. (Horribly guilty!)

Sew.  (Got a huge stack of projects in the works.  Stupid vampires are keeping me away from them.)

Organizing.  (Don't even get me started.  Wanting a fairy godmother or HGTV to appear at my doorstep and take this one over for me.)

Cook and bake. (Guilty.  Hungry right now.  Too tired to do anything about it.  Stupid vampires.)

Using embroidery machine. (Okay, so mail it to me and it will get used.  I promise.  Seriously.  If I had one?  Are you kidding?  Who needs vampires when you have an embroidery machine!  My address is....)

Which brings me to the winner....

Congrats Bethany! Have fun exercising!
My current workout plan will involve paint, saw, sander and Modge Podge.

My paranoid self just did a little tricky posting while we were away.  Again.

J, the girls and I headed up to Bass Lake for our annual anniversary trip.  I love the simplicity of our days there.  Wake up, breakfast, play at the lake, lunch, naps, dinner, play in the pool, sleep.  Repeat.  Happy kids, happy parents, happy days.
Throw in a stop to Sonic (there are none near our house, tragic, I know...) on the way there and back and you get the recipe for a perfect week. 
It is so hard to get back to real life.
Sometimes I want to ditch it all and move up there.  
Just us in a little cabin on the lake.
Sounds so tempting. 
Too bad they cost a million dollars.
Think we will stick to visiting a few times a year.

I love tutorials. They are the reason I even started reading blogs and subsequently began my own. The kindness of others to share tips, tricks and skills for no monetary benefit just amazes me. Because of this I am starting a new weekly post called "Tutorial Thursdays". This is where you can help. Have you prepared a tutorial and would like to be a guest blogger? Let me know. Have you tried a tutorial and would like to share your experiences with it? Let me know. I would love to learn new things right along with you. It doesn't have to be fabric, or even kid (girl) related, since I know there are so many of you with different talents and interests than I.
Today I am going to highlight Wisecraft's amazing fabric flower tutorial. I keep on coming back to this simple yet stunning flower. I made this little clippie for my sweet niece and sort of wanted to keep it for myself. We even did a variation of it for our MOPS craft this week. It is a fabulous use of fabric scraps and can be done while you are watching one of Fall's new TV shows.

So send me your links. I look forward to trying something new.

I have made hundreds of these signs.  Every birthday, wedding, Etsy etc.  You would think that I would have made one for our family first.  Ten years.  Big deal.  Mark it forever with a sign.  Well, the signmaker's family has no sign.

To force myself to finally make one I am holding a little giveaway this week.  Tell me what you should do for yourself, but for no excusable reason,  just haven't.  I will make the winner their own custom sign at the same time I make mine.  The winner will be crowned on Saturday.  Hopefully this will get you thinking and get something done that you really should.

Since this little child ceases to amaze me with her antics (check out this morning's picture) I dug up the original email I sent to my friends regarding the inaugural Poopgate 2007.  We were trying to coordinate a girls craft weekend and I was beyond desperate for a break.  Enjoy.

Because before I didn't need to get away bad enough, let me share with you the past 24 hours.  
They are so wonderful.
Put the kids to bed last night.
Woke up early to have my coffee.  Went outside to get the paper.
Notice the MASSIVE toilet paper job bestowed upon our house courtesy of the Jr. High football team.
Thanks to all of the parents who let their children participate.  Nice.  On a church day.
Jason is out of town writing his book.  Guess who gets to clean it up?
Picked up the house and did millionth load of cloth diapers.  (Totally over it.)
Made an eggnog latte.  First happy moment.
Smelled major poop.  Assumed it was Halley's pull-up, no biggie.
Get Halley up.  Change poopy pull-up.  Put her in the costume of the day.  Today it is Cinderella.
Lucy is whining in her crib.  The usual.  Open her door.
OH @#%*!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My little Houdini unzipped her sleeper and removed her ENORMOUS POOPY DIAPER!
Poop everywhere.
Every rung of  the crib.  The walls.  The sheets.  Babydolls.  Blankets.  Carpet.  Turtle that plays music and lights.  Eyes.  Ears.  Hair.  Mouth.  Nose.  Torso.  Arms.  Legs.  
Now Halley is crying because Lucy looks so scary.
Take picture to send to Jason.
Bathe Lucy.
Get them cereal and put on Yo Gabba Gabba.
Use just about every Clorox wipe in the house.
Throw music and lights turtle in trash.  Bye bye $25.
As I am contorting to clean the crib my favorite jeans rip.  Bye bye $50 plus another $20 for alterations.  Now they are in the trash with the poop extravaganza.
It' s only 9 a.m.
When are we leaving?
Seriously... when?

As soon as any one hears we are having another girl they automatically kind of panic.  To be honest, I am so thrilled.  I love my girls so much, I think sisters are the best thing in the world, and I just can't wait so see them all grow up together.  Some other bonuses are:  I don't have to repaint the bubblegum pink nursery and I already have more than enough adorable clothes with so much wear left in them.  

But if I wanted to be silly and extravagant I might splurge for these absolutely unecessary, yet adorable baby goodies.  Why shouldn't she have a great pair of shoes, even if she can't walk?  Then nobody will look at my flip flops and spit up stained shirt.

Halley and Lulu loved a good swaddle.  Why shouldn't this girl be swaddled in style?

Guess who has these shoes and swaddle blankets?
Celebrities.  Who got them for free.  At their corporate sponsored baby showers.  Elegantly photographed by professionals.  For a magazine.  For free.  In fact, they probably got paid just to show up at their own party.
I am in the wrong business.
Seriously, if anyone could afford luxuries like these, it would be the rich and famous.

I am a stay at home mom who would love some free swag.  I just gave you a blog shout out.  I am not famous, but if I was I would buy your stuff.  With money.  But since I am not, please send it my way.  For free.
j ( an unimportant, non-celebrity who just gave you free advertising.)

Jason left at 4am to drive up to USC for the game today.  Us girls are here at home cheering on our favorite Trojans.  I think Lulu would rather play football than cheer for it.  Loving her old school pigskin pose.

But we have another big cheer for:



The fancy number picking site random.org chose her as the big winner of her own Mimi and Reese bag.

Thanks for all of your comments and great ideas.
I could order a few dozen different bags for every day, season, holiday and occasion.
How in the world could I choose just one?

Happy College Gameday to you!

Ten glorious years ago I became a Mrs.

We were sooooo young!

In-N-Out at a wedding?  
Yes, we are just cool like that.

It was such a beautiful day.  
Just us and 600 of our closest friends.

Off to honeymoon in Hawaii.  Paradise.
We closed escrow on our first house the day we got back.

Here we are now, still kids not wanting to grow up.  
I am one lucky girl.

Looking forward to the next ten...
and ten after that...
and that....
and that....
(you get the idea.)

I can make bows.  I can make clips.  I can make hair bow holders.  What I cannot do is make my darling daughter wear bows or clips.
We have begun to call her Donald Trump (in the nicest way possible).  Can't you just see the resemblance in the hair?  Is it any wonder that her modeling agency had to "let her go"?  Well, actually when she became "unemployed" at 18 months it was because of her lack of hair, rather than her current abundance of Donald Trump / mullet-ness.

So as I return from that digression, here is an easy tutorial on how to make your own hair bow holder.  Hopefully it will be useful for more than a wall decoration that is currently collecting dust.

Pre-stretched canvas in any size (mine is 16 x 20)
Fabric (a bit bigger than the canvas)
Staple gun
Ribbon (5 yards should be more than plenty)

(Click on any picture to see better detail.)
Lay your fabric out and place canvas on top.
Cut a few inches bigger on all four sides.

On one of the edges fold fabric under and then staple in place in the middle.

Repeat on all four edges, in the center, being sure to pull fabric tight and even.

Keep stapling every few inches, alternating sides so the fabric stays straight and even.  Tuck in your corners, cutting away any extra fabric.  Martha would probably faint if she saw my corners, but I am a human, not a robot.  Besides, the back will be against the wall.  Who would ever know?

This is what it should look like when all edges are secured.

Look how cute!  

Lay your ribbon on top of the canvas to figure out how many rows you want to make.  Cut each piece a few inches bigger on the top and the bottom. 

Flip canvas over and staple ribbons to the back, keeping your spacing even.  Repeat this with the bottom edge.

Just like that you are done!

Hooray!  Your bows can now be organized and accessible and your new holder makes a great room decoration.

Now, does anyone have any tips to force Donald Trump into wearing some hair pretties?  I never put anything in her hair (actually, bald head) when she was younger so I think that I missed the opportunity of girly hair training.

There is nothing better than a good tote bag, nothing except a good, cute tote bag that is.  Let me just tell you that bags don't get much cuter than these made by Mimi and Reese.
This week Mimi and Reese will give away one of their sweet pink bags in honor of the abundance of girls in my household.
Just head on over to their Etsy shop, try your best to pick a favorite bag (it will be really hard, I promise) and then come back here to let me know which one would best complete your life in the comments section.
If you have an idea for a bag you can leave that too for an extra entry into the contest.  If you are feeling extra fancy, blog about the giveaway (be sure to let me know the link) for a fun five extra entries.
The lucky winner will be picked on Saturday morning.  
Have a pink day!