Looking toward a New Year

If like me,  you are starting think about where the heck all your hard earned money went this year and swearing to do better next year.  Well I have decided to start watching   doing and following my budget for the new year.  In an attempt to get prepared for this, I was searching for a little help and stumbled across this wonderful site
They have this cool ebook
The previous years book got rave reviews and I can't wait to start digging into my self.  Stop by and take a look around the site and download your book  at this link

Read more: 2012 Guide to Groceries under $250 a Month http://www.budget101.com/freebies/142791-2012-guide-groceries-under-250-month.html#ixzz1fSVb3TL0
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

And get a head start on your new years resolutions now.

Santa Photos are in!!!

I just had to share, the photos of my four year old with santa in the Santa Tutu Dress are in and they turned out adorable...though I think for next year, I would make her a green dress for some contrast.  These were taken at the Picture Me portrait studios in Walmart.  I have used them in the past and sometimes it is hit or miss, but in my opinion other than the one of her whispering in his ear ( a little off center), these were a hit. 

Bethany loved her photo session and not having to wait in line for some private time with Santa.  She had a booked appointment, so her special time to talk to Santa.  Although we did have a little too much to show Santa, LOL.  As you may have read in my tutorial, Bethany was not home for the making of the dress and the top was a little loose.  Well needless to say, it fell down at one point and she flashed Santa.  Oh the stories to remind her of when she grows up.  I can tell you that when we picked up the photos today, the photographer was telling me that Santa talked about her cute outfit all week, even telling other parents about her. :)  What more could a non-sewer like me ask for.  This dress is Santa Approved!    Well, she also wants to where is this weekend when we take the train to the north pole on the Polar Express so I guess I better get to adjusting it, possibly even adding some straps! 

A quick search on the computer will provide a listing of railways hosting this special event.  I cannot recommend it as this is my first, but I will be sure to come back and post next week on how it went.

Thanks for stopping by!!

Wow!!! I have received my first award! Kelley at the Grant Life  awarded  me the

Now the rules for this award are:
1.I must tell 7 things about myself
2. pass this on to 15 other bloggers
So, a little about me...
1.  I am a mother to 4, 3 girls and a boy...ages 22, 19, 10 and 4
2.  I love all crafts, but dream about doing more than I actually get done.
3.  I love to cook, but collect more recipes than I could cook in a lifetime.
4.  I love to sew, but everytime I try I screw up the sewing machine and can't use it again.
5.  I move waaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyy too much, 21 cities in 25 years.
6.  I was born in Maryland to two northern parents and have had a southern accent since I started talking.
7.  I actually have made things I have pinned on Pinterest
And now step two - 15 blogs I love!
4.  1+1+1=1
Stop by and check out these fabulous blogs and give them some love...
And Thanks Again Kelley for showing me a little love for my Santa Tutu Dress Tutorial!

Wow what a fall!!!

Sorry for being lost for so long, I promise to do better. 

We moved and got settled and the house we moved to ended up in foreclosure so we are moving again.

I also have become addicted to Pinterest,  If you have not found this sight you have got to check it out!  It is an amazing reminder of how many creative and talented folks there are in this world. 

While on Pinterest I found this cool idea for a cute girls Christmas Dress. Empire Waist Santa Dress

Well I was highly disappointed when I went to the webpage and it was neither a tutorial or for sale. 
Since Bethany had an appointment with Santa to get pictures taken today and I was on my usual own time management schedule and had not gotten it taken care of sooner, I had to put on my middle of the night artistic person hat and create it myself. 

The worst part about it was that Bethany was not home, so I had to use her waistband of a pair of jeans to guesstimate her size, but alas that did not work.  I am sorry not to have pictures of the step by step, but I was just struggling to get it made.

I began by measuring out some strips of 6 in tulle.  I used 100 yards for her dress and it seemed to be just right.  The length will depend on the height of your child.  Roughly double the length from chest to knee and add 1.5 inches. 

I then sewed to ends of 1/2 inch elastic the length that I estimated her chest size to be. ( this is where I screwed up). 

I tied two strands of tulle together to the elastic at the middle and continued the whole way around til all the tulle was tied on. 

I was wanting to give her a little more modesty so I sewed together two beautiful red Christmas napkins and created a tube that I placed inside the tulle and folded it over the top and sewed the elastic with the tulle ties inside. 

I added a fur trim and then couldn't find the perfect Santa Belt, so back to the creative board.  I found a black and silver belt at a thrift shop and with a little gold paint...Voila!  Santa's Belt.  She loved the dress, except for when it fell down exposing her chest to Santa.  But I promised her we would fix the size and add a ribbon to help it stay up.  But she couldn't decide if she was a ballerina or santa...The whole way to the portrait studio, she was showing split personalities.  LOL

  I hope I have inspired you to do some midnight crafting too.

String Art

We are now getting semi-settled in our new home and the decorating has begun.  My daughter has decided that she would like to decorate with princesses and butterflies.  Our budget and bank account has been stretched very thin by the move and unemployment.  But kids don't always fully understand this complication.  So I was trying to think of a craft that would occupy Bethany and give her something to decorate her room with that would not cost a lot.  I decided to check the bits and pieces bin at Home Depot to see if there was anything that I could use that would inspire me. 
I found 3 roughly square pieces of hardwood and 1 rectangle.  I also found a foot long piece of dowel rod.  I asked the worker what they would charge for it since it was not tagged.  He told me he would give me all five pieces for 0.51 cents.  WOOHOO!

I remembered reading somewhere on the net about someone doing a string art project.  So I bought a glidden paint tester in pink.  Bethany at just 3 almost 4 years, sat patiently sanding her board. 

Did a pretty good job, if I do say so myself....Then she sat on the garage floor and painted.  I love the Glidden tester because of the built in paint brush, but she did have a little trouble gripping it.

Mike (DH) watched Bethany and I hammering the nails into the poplar and OF COURSE said I can make that easier.  So he broke out the drill and started all the nail holes along the outline of the butterfly outline that we had chosen.

We then hammered the nails the rest of the way into the holes.

Turned out pretty good if I say so myself...

The next step was to take some crochet thread and weave back and forth between the nails.  I will admit this was tougher than I thought it would be for me, let alone my three year old, partly because we chose to put the nail holes so closely together to maintain the butterfly shape.  I may try it again with a simpler shape like a star and see how that works...
We finished it out by painting and decorating the word love across the top to fill the empty space and I didn't like the way the body of the butterfly turned our so I filled the body in with some beads and am really happy with the outcome.  We wrote our names and date on the back and will hang it in her room to remember our first week in the new house. 

If you try this out or have done it before in other shapes, please leave me a note in comments, still have three more boards to try out!!!  Also please stop back to check out some of the other projects that we bought the makings for that we will be making over the next few weeks!!!

Linking up at:

Craft Envy Saturday Spotlight

Local Fun for Kids

It's Official

I have accepted a new job on the other side of the country, so I am trading my beach lifestyle

for the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains!!!

Yup, if you recognized that view, it is...

So, another big move for the family is in the cards.  I will try to post as much as I can over the next three weeks as I fly home to pack the house and drive all the way back across the country.

Some Cool things I found while hanging around the Airport!

Killing time on my 3 hour layovers, I have been cruising the web looking for fabulous finds to share.

I absolutely love the style of these adorable playhouses!!  MissPrettyPretty

Whether for boys or girls, these are creative playhouses that fold up and get put away when not in use.

For the little baker, there is the Cupcakery...

Or a place for the pirates to sail into...

Julie even has accessories...

I am thinking Halloween for this one!!

She even sells the patterns if you wanna make a one of a kind gift for your little special someones.  Go on over and check Julie's etsy shop out today.  MissPrettyPretty

Pool Time!

I am traveling across country today, and will be gone for the weekend.  Today I am sharing some pics of all my children playing together at the pool.  Those of you with college age kids know how hard it is to get everyone together at the same time.  Enjoy my pics and I will be back soon.

You can tell who the camera hogs are!!  Love you girls, the little ones are just too busy to slow down for pictures.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!


Building the Eiffel Tower

Yesterday I shared that I had purchased Eiffel Tower wood puzzles in preparation for Michael's Passport to Fun Day - France, if you missed it you can catch it here: Beach Day

Jump to today and oh boy, what did I get us into...Let me start by pointing out that these say for ages 6+ so I knew I would have to help Bethany, but WOW!!!  I am about 35 years over the minimum age and I had to break out the hot glue gun and work with that to get this thing to hold together.

Step One: You must separate all the wood pieces out of the frame, no problem even the three year old could do this.

Step 2:  Start building the tower by looking at the picture from the ground up.  Sounds easy enough!

It didn't work, every time we would try to put the next level on, the one below would fall apart.  So out comes the wood glue.  We glued and constructed each level individually. 

I love how my kids are so much like me, notice the tongue stuck out!  I think it helps, too :>)!

And then I decided to give the kids a break, and I broke out the glue gun to sturdy these up!

Then we decided to paint them

Who would have known that if you mixed brown and white paint that you would get lavender?!?  Well, Chad didn't complain too much.