I ran across these cuties over at A Feathered Nest (love her!) and have been thinking about them all week.

They are INSANELY easy! 

Perfect to make while watching T.V. without feeling guilty.

The chocolate one on my cheetah coat?

Well, the cheetah makes everything I wear a bit better.  It is my true love forever and ever, item of clothing.  Barely below my Havaianas.

The original tutorial used felted wool.  I would have loved to, but I am crazy allergic.  Good thing I live in a warm climate.  The Feathered Nest ones were made from bright and cheery fleece, which I didn't have.  So, I used Ecospun felt (conviently made from plastic soda bottles) from Michael's which has the body of wool felt, without the hives and itching.  Plus, it is about 20 cents a sheet and comes in really fun colors.

I am going to send one of these fun flowers to:


for correctly guessing the name of our baby girl...

Janey Jae!

Hooray and thanks for playing along.

The ideas are brewing.

The bookmarks folder is getting full.
I am going to try to make or buy handmade gifts for all of the people on our list.
Some will be tricky, others really easy.
Each day I am checking here and here for new ideas.

I have quite a few little girls to give treats to.
I wish that I made these, but I found them at Chic Baby Rose.

I am in love.

I even had some made for Lucy and our new little one.
(I am under the strange assumption that she will have hair before her second birthday.)
Can you guess which one is hers?

One lucky person that guesses correctly will get a little surprise (a good one)!

Enjoy your sneak peek!

Pumpkin cobbler?
Yes, please!

So, I am not really a pie crust kind of girl. But give me cobbler and everything changes. My friend Richelle came up with this brilliant and easy recipe and you better believe that it comes with me every Thanksgiving.

(Right click on image to save to your computer.)

I guess it sounds a little tricky...
you are basically making the pumpkin pie without the crust,
baking it halfway so it sets a bit,
adding the cake mix cobbler topping,
baking it again to brown the cobbler part and finish cooking the pie part.



So am I.

Not just by Christmas preparations.  Just by life in general.  How behind so many things have fallen since all of my energy has been focused on the recent boutiques.

On top of that I am basically re-doing two bedrooms and my head is full of so many ideas of things I want to do and make.

So I jumped into a challenge called Tackle it Tuesday.

Today was my first attempt.  I made a deal with myself.  I could do one fun/ crafty project I have been wanting to finish and one necessary household project.

I spent the girls entire nap time cleaning and organizing the garage.  (Sorry, no photos.  I am just too vain and traumatized by this to post any more crazy messy pictures here.  But I did kill three black widows.  Pretty rock star if you ask me!  Wish I had pictures of that!)

Tomorrow my husband is morphing into Clark Griswold in an attempt to get our house on the city's holiday lights tour.  He has patiently asked me for months to create some sort of pathway from the attic so he could get all of the holiday splendor out.  Nothing like waiting until the last minute....
This was my fun project.
I bought this under bed basket when Halley was a few weeks old.  I had meant to make a new liner for it, but 4+ years later it remains the same.  The creamy muslin one it came with is functional, but I am all about fun.  Instead of sewing one, what did I do?  Dye it of course!

Nothing like a little Sunshine Orange Rit dye and Sweet Pea pink spray paint to change everything!  There is just enough room for another one under the bed so tomorrow while Jason works on his holiday extravaganza, the girls are going to my parents' and I am going to Ikea to grab another one.  By myself.  My kind of paradise.  Then off to get my fake blonde on.  Hooray!  Sort of sick of the four inches of roots I have been rocking. Just keeping it real (in an admitting that I am fake sort of way.)

Whether it is true or not... 
I just don't do well when people are mad at me.
Please be my friend!  
I will never ever mention it again.
Stephenie Meyer = Good
Ernest Hemingway = Bad.

Do you forgive me?

Give a sensitive, hormonal, still throwing up daily, 8 months pregnant girl a break!

On to fun, non-controversy stirring adventures.....

We went to Disneyland today for the re-opening of Small World and to see the holiday magic.
I brought my big clunky Rebel for the first time.  Now that I have my fun and cute new camera bag and cozy strap I don't mind hauling it around.

Lulu helped plan our route for the day,

and... she wore ponytails and a clip!!! Without drama!

Still loving this lens!  Loving the crazy faces the girls give me!

Speaking of bows...
the winner of Olive Blue's
Christmas bow wardrobe is:



Thanks again Nicole for the fun giveaway and all of your fabulous bows.

I love Sundays!

Church with the family,
fun lunches,
and football!

Football season means a few quiet hours for me alone to do whatever I want while Jason watches the games and the girls sleep.

Yesterday the bunk beds came.
Today my goal was to buy mattresses.

Have you bought a mattress lately?

Ever had to buy two in one day?


So I turned to my friend Craig, you might know him as Craigslist.
A mattress store nearby had lost it's lease!
Low prices!
Today only!
(Perhaps I am a bit too trusting of free internet classifieds.)

So off I went.
To a warehouse.  Next to what looked to be a limo rental shop/ mafia hangout.
I parked and got out of the van.  I have never been to a more shady (and I don't mean trees) location.

I thought to myself more than once...
"I am about to get murdered."
Is it weird that my default thought in a strange situation goes straight to murder?  That I was going to be on Dateline tonight?  "Craigslist gone very wrong...."  would be their leading story.

A freaky guy was sitting on a bench in front.  I try to be friendly to even would-be murderers, so I smiled and said hello.

He grunted and motioned me into the the "mattress store".

No one was in there.  For a long time.  Then suddenly out of nowhere a man appeared.  I have never shopped so fast.  I hardly even wanted to lay down to try the beds!  I was willing to pay whatever it took to keep my life intact.

It actually didn't take that much.

So with my van full of beds and my heart still beating (extraordinarily fast) I headed to Target for sheets and to calm down.

Part of me is so excited to have the girls in the same room, but the other part of me loves their long, peaceful naps.  Lulu still loves her crib, and yes, I have a four 1/2 year old that still takes three hour naps.  Don't hate me.  It is just how she is made.
In six weeks everything is going to change.  Our life is going to get a lot crazier than my mattress store adventure.  So for today, the bunks are made and empty.  Halley is still in her old room and Lulu is contained in her crib.

Slowly I will work up to it, but for now I am enjoying the peace.

Besides, I still need to sew the chenille.

In life I try my best to be honest.

So here I go...
in spite of the imminent repercussions...
I sadly admit that I have indeed read all of the Twilight books.

So now one of two things happen:

You judge me for reading them....
(Should I have?  Probably not, but I love to read, wondered what in the heck the buzz was all about, got sucked in to aforementioned buzz.  Embarrassed.  Stop hating.)

Or, you judge me for not falling in love with them.

Because I certainly did not love them.
(At all.  I want those hours of my life back.  Just glad that I borrowed the books, or else I would want my $70 or so dollars back.  Stop hating.)

Yes, I am a nerd.  I enjoy fancy literature.  Preferably British.  Ideally over 100 years old.
I like to read books written by authors who actually know how to use a thesaurus.

My favorite book of all time, you ask?  A Farewell to Arms by Hemingway.  (To be fair, I suppose many more people hate Hemingway, than Stephenie Meyer.)  I will take Frederic and Catherine over Edward (ewww) and Bella (yawn) any day.

I felt their relationship was forced, dysfunctional, obsessive and disturbingly possessive.

I have dated an Edward.

A restraining order may or may not have been involved.

It makes my heart sad to think that zillions of little girls look at Edward and Bella to have the ultimate relationship.  More like the ultimate opposite of what they should be hoping for.

Don't even get me started on the scandalous R rated scenes in Breaking Dawn!

So why did I keep reading?

Great question.  Still trying to figure that out.

I read somewhere that perhaps Stephenie Meyer is sprinkling crack in the pages of her book.  

That might explain it.

Read this, this and this for more (humorous) thoughts on this phenomenon.

In place of a movie ticket and a wasted night out, watch this.
(But not in the hallway next to your kids' bedroom while they are sleeping.  They will be awoken by your laughter.  Trust me.  I speak from experience.)

Thanks Kristen for the links!

Now that all of you Twilighters are seconds away from deleting me from your blog list...

I have a peace offering.

Who wants my copy of Entertainment Weekly featuring your beloved?
Leave me a comment telling me you forgive my snobbishness and that we can still be friends.

Christmas lights are popping up in my neighborhood,
the stores are all stocked,
Christmas music can be heard wherever I go,
it's time to take those fun family photos for cards...
are you ready?

Nicole from Olive Blue is  graciously giving away a full Christmas bow wardrobe to one lucky winner.  Included in this handmade holiday goodness is two bows, a Christmas tree alligator clip, a bendy clip and a white headband that you can interchange for any bow or clip.

What little girl wouldn't love these?

You ask?

Well, I am happy to report that the past two days she has tolerated pig tails and clips with only minimal drama.  I feel that the days of the Donald Trump Mullet are finally behind us.

Nicole is a girl after my own heart.  She works at her church in the youth department, adores her husband Daniel, has a cutie pie dog named Olive, loves vintage items, bargain shopping, sewing and Christmas!

Pop on over to her shop and take a peek around at all of the goodness.  Then come back here and let me know what your favorite bows are.  You can also get a bonus entry for sharing your favorite color combinations.  I will announce the winner on Monday Nov. 24th.  



My washer survived brilliantly and I went to bed dreaming of Flamingo Pink dye.
The other half of the chenille was begging for some girly-ing up!

I thought that I loved the turquoise, but that all changed 
when this pinkalicious masterpiece came out of the dryer!
This little combo is going to be for the nursery.  
Could you just eat it up?
  Keep me out of your house.  
Hide your whites.  I can't stop dyeing!

Next up...  ORANGE!!!!!
p.s.  I found the dye at Wal-Mart for a whopping $1.97!

Keep on the lookout for a fun 
girly giveaway tomorrow!

Yesterday's post put me over the edge.

It was as if finally admitting my problem led me to make a change.

The table is cleared.

I was able to sew today.  With plenty of room to cut.  Glorious.  Now I will no longer die.
I made this little cutie using this (super easy) pattern from my one of my favorite sites, You Can Make This.  I had been eyeing it for a while, but was sold as soon as I saw these aprons over at Sunnypond Home.  Halley really wants to keep it, but it is going to a dear friend for her upcoming birthday.  Sorry Halley!  I might just have to make her the kid's size version that is graciously included in the pattern.

I was given a huge chenille bedspread and was encouraged by Nichole and Alicia to dye it.  I have always been so fearful of putting dye in my washer, but they convinced me that it would survive and my future loads would be safe.

If I must say, turquoise water sloshing around makes me strangely giddy.  It was torture waiting to see what the bedspread would look like when it was finished soaking.

Just like that, in the time it took to make an apron I had a brand new pile of turquoise goodness.  Wouldn't you know that it perfectly matches the "I paid way too much for it on Ebay" fabric.  This will soon become a duvet cover for Halley's new bed.  I can't wait!

My sweet mailman brought a veritable jewelry store to me today.  Happiness.
These beauties came courtesy of JaneSays and are made by Star Strung Jewels.  I want to run out and buy something yellow just to celebrate.
This gorgeous necklace arrived courtesy of Stella Jade.  I love it so much, especially since it adds a little bit of spice to my normally black wardrobe.  It also reminds me of the Wizard of Oz's Emerald City.  Who doesn't smile when thinking of that movie?

Why can't I get any sewing done?

Meet my craft/ dining room table.
The one that is supposed to be cleared off each day before Jason gets home from work.
Not really cleared off ever lately.
I haven't sat down by my sewing machine for over a week and I am really missing it.  
Missing it almost as much as Diet Pepsi.
(and that is A LOT!)
Is it weird that I really want this poster?
It sort of sums up how I feel right now.

But then again, I don't feel like cleaning off the table...
I would rather kill brain cells watching The Hills on the Tivo.
I might have some priority issues.

So instead of cleaning/ sewing I am bookmarking sites that have projects that I really want to do.  If only I could get to them through the mess of my table.

One of my favorite sites for ideas is 30 days.
She finds the most incredible tutorials and ideas and is constantly having amazing giveaways.

Today's giveaway is by some random, scatter brained, craft A.D.D. afflicted girl named Julie and she is sending a Hooray sign to one lucky winner.

So go visit, enter the contest, be inspired the ideas.

By the way, I am still waiting for my cleaning elves.  Anyone know where they are?

Daisies are my favorite flower.
I am a simple girl.
I love everything about them.

Each year on Joy's birthday I am greeted by them on my porch.
It means so very much that she is remembered and celebrated on that day.
Some are from our friends, others from our families, but some are left there unexpectedly and anonymously.
I have so enjoyed reading about your favorite unexpected gifts.
Such beauty has been shared in so many different ways.
I am inspired.
It was really difficult to chose a winner.  I wish I could send a sign to each one of you.  
Maybe someday, but for today the winner is...

who wrote:

"My best unexpected gift has to be, without a doubt, a plunger! After a really horrible week at work I walked into my office the following Monday to find a plunger (decorated with tons of shiny little ribbons) sitting on my desk. There was also a note, from my oh-so-sweet supervisor, letting me know that no matter how much crap came my way, she would be there to help me plunge through! I kept that plunger sitting on my desk as a reminder of the value of friendships, the importance of support, and the unexpected beauty of challenges (and plungers)... just thinking about it makes me smile!"

I know that I will never look at our plunger the same.  You also better bet that I just might ribbon up a new one for a friend in the near future.

Go do something unexpected today.

You won't regret it.

Okay, so this fun font is available here from Stephanie's Homegrown Hospitality blog.  But here is the deal:  it was supposed to be up for only one day.  So get your clicking hand in gear and head over there and download it before it is too late.

In case you were wondering, who has two thumbs and is using this font to make Christmas tags?

This girl!

Now that the sign shop has taken over the garage and the dining room table it is time for another giveaway.

Who wants their choice of any sign from the shop?

Too bad.  Because it isn't for you.

I want you to think of somebody.
Somebody who isn't on your normal Christmas list.
Somebody who deserves a treat.
Or, even somebody who doesn't deserve one.  I find those are the kind of people who most need one.

Think hard.  I want it to be from your heart.  It is my hope that one of my silly signs could brighten somebody's day in an unexpected way.

You don't have to tell me who it is. 
Just promise that if you win you will give it away to the person in your mind.

Just leave a comment telling me the best unexpected gift (from any time of the year) you have ever received.

I will choose a winner and share mine on Monday.

I can only say that I am awesome in a purely sarcastic way.
If I was serious that would be really annoying.

I am feeling the complete opposite of awesome.
After being extraordinarily productive for weeks upon weeks I have suddenly become quite the opposite.

I suppose the pace that I was working at,
wasn't working.

My ankle is thrashed and my back is a disaster.
So I am laying around, covered in ice packs, sad that things aren't getting done.

It is pretty hard for me to do.

I wish I liked it.
But I also wish that the laundry and cleaning elves would visit.
I wouldn't mind ordering up some sewing elves too.

This is the fabric I ordered to make the girls Autumn dresses.  I planned to sew them when I was in the mountains, but one of the prints didn't come in time.  That is why I made the fun crates instead.  So glad that I did, but then as soon as I got home it turned into crazy boutique prep mode and then Kauai.  So as December draws near, I have resigned to the fact that the dresses have failed to make themselves.

This is the sweet pattern that I intended to try from The Handmade Dress.  Yesterday I stared at it for a good hour.  I could recite it to you I suppose, but that doesn't make the sewing machine go or the scissors cut.
So as I pack the fabric back up in the cupboard, I will always have next year.  Besides, three matching dresses are even cuter than two right?

In my boo hoo, poor me, sulkiness, I stared at the calendar and realized that the girls need (not need, that I want) Christmas pinnies.  Where else do I go to find them than my most favorite pinnie shop in the world?  Lassiegirl.  Love everything about her, the shop, the fabrics, her extraordinary kindness and the Jelly Bellies that come with every order.  If I don't make it to the sewing machine before December 25th rolls around I can at least make it to the mailbox.  Much easier!

Now while I am anti-awesome,  my parents are crazy-awesome!

Look at what is on its way to our house in the next week.

My dream bunk beds are ordered.  Although the logistics of moving the girls into the same bedroom is freaking me out, the fact that they will be sleeping on the best bunk beds ever is calming me a teeny bit.  (No, I haven't started on the quilts either.  Freaking out.)

So, if you can turn back time to September 1st and sew the Autumn dresses for me that would be amazing.

Or if you have any quilting, laundry or sewing elves, send them my way.

Or, if you know anyone who wants to add a room on to our house for free, so the girls don't have to share, that would be okay with me.

Seriously, if you have any good tips about transitioning kids into one room, that would be even better.

Here's to keeping it real.

One month from today my age will have the number five in it.
A two unfortunately will not come before that five.

So what am I to do?

I still sometimes think that I am right out of high school, or at least college.
That maybe I am just the nanny of the wild kids that I cart around.
Perhaps that is what happened when I bought these sunglasses.

But I have an excuse.  I have worn huge sunglasses since before it was trendy to wear them.  The reason is two fold.  I have a GIANT face and head, and I  am basically a mole when I go outside in the daylight hours.  "It's too shiny!"  Is a phrase that I seem to say so often that even Lulu will bust it out on occasion.

So, right before we were leaving for Kauai, Favorite Sunglasses A went missing and Favorite Sunglasses B broke.  I had about 5 minutes before I had to pick Halley up from school and stopped by a local surf shop that I had bought normal sunglasses from before.

My have things changed.
My choices were:
or this green-blue pair. 
I could have gone with the neon, but I refrained.  I thought these were normal enough.  I loved the shape at least, and could find a way to deal with the color.
So I took my mole self back to the car, strapped Lucy in and put them on my huge face.  My eyes were so happy.  I don't even know how I had driven to the store with the amount of squinting that was going on.

But then I looked in the mirror.

Realized that I was not a teenager anymore.  Felt like a dork.  Didn't even wear them to grab Halley.  Too embarrassed.  

Jason the ever encouraging husband told me that they were great.  (Could have something to do with the $10 price tag, or the fact that he works with Jr. and Sr. high schoolers.)  So, I became a bit more confident in my choice.
Until my friend saw me.

"Fun glasses.  Kindyl has those."
(Kindyl is twelve.  I am not.  Not even close.)

So, if I showed up in these would you still talk to me?  If Halley and Lucy were teenagers would they be embarrassed of me?

Favorite Sunglasses A just turned up.

Should I go back to them?

Then there is this.

Look closely at my ear.

I got this done a billion years ago when I was visiting friends in Berkeley.  I suppose that I am lucky that this is the worst thing that I did while I was there.  Back then it was fun and edgy.  Now it is just.... weird and lame.  But for some reason I have a hard time letting it go.  Maybe because I don't know how to take it out.  It will probably involve pliers or a trip to the nearest piercing shop.  Either way, it has to come out within the next month before my C-section.  The question is, do I put it back in?

I admit it.
I repent.
I am a brat.
I am an idiot.
I complained about the heat.  About the lack of Fall.
But I forgot about days like this.
A husband who has Mondays off and a sunny deserted beach.
Add in burritos from my favorite taco stand and a cute kid and I am happy.
I have suddenly forgotten about the heat.
I am glad I don't have to rake leaves.
I couldn't wear flip flops in the snow.
Although I brought my (slow) Coolpix instead of my Rebel,

and Lulu doesn't exactly like to look at the camera,

I wouldn't trade these pictures for anything.  
(Except maybe ones shot by Tonya Joy.)

Do you like my hat?
Look for ones like it in my shop later this week.

But, enough about me and my amazing day.
I bet you just want to know who the winner of Shey's camera strap slipcover is.

who said:
Ohhhh, Shey's camera straps are my FAVORITE!
I love the wood grain, but also the pear one too...
pretty much, I love any of them.
I want a cozy photo session!

You are going to have an awesome day too!
Contact Shey with your details and it will be on its way.

For you sad ones who didn't win, don't despair.  Shey is offering you an amazing deal.  If you hop on over to her shop right now until Wednesday Nov. 12th at 11:59 a.m. you can get a fun FREE stacked yo-yo with a button!!!!!  But don't pick the one I want (it's the leopard in case you were curious).  I am willing to fight you for it.