Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Apple Art

September 26th is Johnny Appleseed's birthday.  Back when I was teaching we would have an entire day dedicated to Johnny Appleseed in first grade.  We would bake, we would do apple related math, apple related art projects, and much more.  Last year little man and I had friends over for a Johnny Appleseed themed play date.  This year, little man was sick for the entire week leading up to Johnny Appleseed.  Therefore, we're going to do some apple activities this week.  Who says it has to be before Johnny Appleseed day?  I make the rules around here. :)

I took this paper plate and cut it into the shape of an apple core


Then I cut down one of the smaller pieces a little bit to make a leaf.  Little man used the dot paint on it.

Then he painted the top and bottom of the core


We use this very old pie pan every time we paint.  I put a little dot of black paint in it and little man used his finger to make a few seeds.

Then he glued on the leaf


Do you want to know the secret to doing crafts with kids?  I always have this handy!

We have these on the counter at all times!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Do-A-Dot Art

We love to use these dot painters for art projects.  I think the box sells for about $10, but I used a Michael's 40% off coupon and got it for much cheaper.  I bought this box for little man over a year ago and they are still working beautifully.  They come in many different colors, and while I would love to have them all, we only have the primary colors.

We use them for coloring sheets

**Again, if you don't have a counter that can be easily wiped down, then you may want to put something underneath.  If the paint dobber is pressed hard enough it does leak through.

We also use it to work on tracing little man's name, letters, numbers, shapes, etc.  This is a great pre-writing activity for toddlers and preschool age children.

We also use them for some art projects.... examples to come.  You can find these at Jo Ann's and Michael's.  Don't forget your coupon!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Muffin Tin Monday (also known as MTM)

If you are a mom of a picky eater, you may want to check this out.  I came across this idea about two years ago and think it is fabulous!  I can't wait to use it for my own kids.  What it is essentially is serving your kid a meal (usually lunch) in a muffin tin.  The idea is that by serving the meal in the cute little compartmentalized tins that it will be more fun and exciting for your child to eat.  Also, there is a blog carnival over at Her Cup Overfloweth that follows weekly themes and shows the fun tins they made.  Some moms use it to just get rid of all of the odds and ends in their fridge and cupboard.  Some moms use it to introduce new foods.  And some moms use it just because it's so stinkin' fun.  From what I understand, the kids LOVE it.  Plus, the moms really get into it as well.  The trick is to choose one day out of the week and do your tin then.  That way it is exciting for the child to eat, and they may be more willing to try something new.  They use fun supplies, such as these....





Wouldn't you have loved to have your lunch prepared like this when you were a kid?

I don't do it every Monday because little man isn't as in to it as I would like.  He has his five foods he wants to eat and that is it.  Half the time he doesn't even want to eat.  I think if I would have started it when he was a little younger, it may have seemed more cool to him.  Who knows.

This is our last muffin tin.  I wish I had some fun supplies, but all I had is this mini muffin tin.  It has twelve spots, but they are so tiny that you can only fit a few pieces of whatever you are using.  I think a six cup regular sized muffin tin would work the best.

Top Row: Marshmellows, goldfish, banana chips, dinosaur fruit snacks
Middle Row: dried cranberries, sliced string cheese, snow snap peas, applesauce
Bottow Row: 1 regular sized hot dog cut up, ketchup

Some of the fun themes I've seen are: colors (i.e. all food orange), shapes (all food cut into squares, circles, triangles), a book theme, numbers, bugs, cars, etc.

It's not always for lunch either!!  I've seen people have ice cream with a tin of toppings, or yogurt with a tin of toppings.  I've also seen it done for breakfast, with dips, or homemade pizza toppings for english muffins.  So cute!

Let me know if you join the Muffin Tin Monday revelation!  I'd love to see what you come up with!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A better solution

Remember this?

I bought this for $3 at a local street fair. I wasn't sure how I was going to use it. I was actually just holding on to it for a while. I wasn't going to do anything until we moved into a house. I got sick of waiting. I don't want to live with my life on hold...

There was a place in my kitchen that I wasn't too pleased with. It's this:

I love our "S". I also love three tiered serving trays like the one above. But when I bought it for that space, I had no idea with was going to block my "S". It helped us a little with our storage issue, but it wasn't aesthetically pleasing to me. It was time for a change.

I used a 50% off coupon and bought some fun decorative balls. I placed them in the chicken wire pitcher. (Sorry, the picture is a little fuzzy.)

So much better...........

Not only does it not cover our "S" anymore, but we got an added bonus as well. It totally opens up the room. I had no idea that three tiered thing was making the space look smaller. It seemed like such an open and airy piece.

Here's a view from farther away.

So not only is it prettier, but it added a little visual square footage as well.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Who knew?

Who knew that Saturday, September 26th was going to be the busiest day of the year?  Not me.  My life really isn't all that busy... and then all of the sudden everything happens on ONE DAY. 

First, we had to choose Michael's days off for the whole entire year last December.  We randomly chose September 26th as one of his days off.  Great.  A Saturday for us to spend together.  Or so we thought.

Then I found out that my friend's daughter was having a birthday party.  I was looking forward to going and taking Michael too.  I wanted him to meet my friend (we are playdate buddies, so he doesn't know her) and her family.  That was the plan...

The women from my church are also having an outing to amish country.  I thought that sounded fun too.  I would have liked to get to know the women of my church better.

My plan was still the birthday party... but then I found out my cousin was having her baby shower.  Obviously that was a given.  I'll be driving to Ft. Wayne today to celebrate beautiful life with my cousin and family.  But who knew I'd have so many scheduling conflicts?

Oh yeah--- Happy Johnny Appleseed Day! :)  Eat an apple!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Date night

Michael and I went out for a date night recently. We had heard good things about Edamame, so we decided to check it out. It's a super modern sushi grill. Michael had never had sushi, and was a little leery at first. I told him you could get the kind with no raw fish or seaweed (California rolls). We ended up getting these yummy Nutty Almond Rolls. They were crab, shrimp, avocado, almonds, and coconut with some yummy sauce. We also got teriyaki pineapple chicken. It was served in half of a pineapple with our choice of rice and was yummy as well. We'll for sure be back!

We ate on one of the two second levels. This picture doesn't even begin to do it justice. If you live in Columbus, you'll have to check it out!

Michael's attempt at using chop sticks..... (j/k--he was just being his crazy self!)

Who wouldn't want to be on a date with him??

Thanks for the cheesy smile hun! Love you! :)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Totally ahead of the game!

Two months ago my friend and I went to a local street market. There were antique stores, booths full of crafts and food, and some junk. Let's be honest. People try to sell junk. You just have to hunt.

Anyway... I found a few treasures. One thing I picked up was this chicken wire pitcher for $3.

I had no idea how I was going to use, but I thought it was cute.
(Note: It has now been put to use.... pictures to come soon!)

Guess what's in the Pottery Barn catalog that JUST CAME OUT? A chicken wire fruit bowl for $29 and a chicken wire vase for $20. (I tried posting pictures from the PB website, but couldn't get it to work. Sorry)

While on my little shopping adventure I also decided to pick up this...

I decided I wanted to start collecting antique keys. I plan on using them for a wall decoration when we move into our new house.

Guess what's in PB's new catalog? You guessed it. Keys.


This kind of thing has happened to me a few other times as well. Like when my friend Laurie moved into her house a few years ago. I was her "decorating consultant". I suggested buying a bunch of different frames an putting empty frames all of her wall. I started to lay them out on the floor of JoAnn's, but she wasn't seeing my vision. Instead, we came up with a pretty cool compromise. She now has 3 frames (of same color and size), which are without glass, but have a gerbera daisy nailed into the middle. Guess what Martha Stewart came out with soon after.... empty frames on walls. Did I miss my calling? :)

What about this....

I made that lime and rose decoration (four of them) the morning of my wedding. Yes. I'm that crazy. Anyway, I used that wet foam, sliced up the limes, and slid them in between the wet foam and the vase. Then I stuck the roses in the wet foam to create a luscious arrangement. I LOVED them. I wish I would have made more. But anyway... you know what they are selling at Jo Ann's now? A vase that comes with what looks like a smaller vase inside. Only they are attached. There is a thin layer between the two vases so that you can stick your decorations (in my case, limes) in. Why didn't I market that two years ago when I made the original arrangement?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tick Tock Tweet

I went shopping with my sister a few weeks ago. She bought a new house and it is much bigger than her last one. Of course, I tagged along to be her decorating consultant. I had every intent of focusing on her needs and not buying anything for myself. However, I came across this clock and I could not resist.

What do you think?
Do you love it as much as I do?
I didn't even need a clock
It was just too cute to pass up.
And only $16.
You want one now too, don't you?
You can come and visit mine! :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A little annoyed...

Ok, so I'm new to blogger.  I totally knew how to work xanga, and had figured out all it's ins and outs.  I just changed my background, because there was no navigator bar with my last layout.  I spent FOREVER looking for a template I liked, and tried out a few that looked promising.  After finally just being sick of it and deciding to go with this one....  all my pictures and words from prior posts are all whack-a-do.  *sigh*  I don't think I'll be changing this background for a long, long, long time.  Hope you like it! :)

This can't be good!

Michael and I have had our condo on the market now for about three months. We knew going into it that it was going to take a while to sell. It's only a one bedroom, so it's going to take a very specific buyer. Plus, with "the economy" the way it is, the market isn't the best. We've only had a few showings. We've gotten good feedback, but no bites as of yet.

Last Saturday we had a showing at 10 a.m. I wasn't too pleased with having to get up early on a Saturday, getting everything in order, and having to leave. But, you do what you gotta do. We ended up going to Bob Evan's for breakfast.

While we were walking in to Bob Evan's, we heard some sirens. We didn't think much of it. We went about "wasting" an hour. When we returned home, we couldn't get through the street due to a fire truck. Uhh.... not good. Then we tried to go left, and there was another fire truck with the cherry picker hanging above the condos. Not good. It wasn't our condo building, but this whole fire debacle was taking place during our showing. Here's the view from our  front door...

There were five fire trucks, two fire cars, and one ambulance.  Because there are condos on both sides of the building you are looking at, there were fire trucks on the back side too.  I tried to get a picture of that, but the cherry picker was down by the time I grabbed my camera.

Wanna buy a condo? ;)

Monday, September 21, 2009

A little pampering

I had the day off today and decided to do a little pampering. I've had a gift card for a salon and spa since Christmas. I had wanted to get a foot massage. Only, after I got the gift card I couldn't commit to what service I wanted. Then I said I'd just wait and get my feet done closer to summer. Summer has come and gone and I was still holding on to the gift card. Do you do that? Do you hoard gift cards for the "just in case"? I figured I needed to go ahead and use it so that I could get another gift card this year for Christmas! :)

I went with a "grand pedicure" because it included the pedicure, polish AND massage. Plus, it lasted a whole glorious hour.

I sat down and began soaking my feet. My technician, Emerson, asked if I was going on vacation. I told her no, and then she asked me what had brought me in for the grand pedicure today. The conversation went a little something like this:

Me: "I had a gift card and decided it was time to use it".
Emerson: "That's nice. Who gave it to you?"
Me: "My mother-in-law"
Emerson: "OH! You are married?!? You don't look old enough to be married."
Me: "Yep. I'm married. I'm going to be 30 in 3 months."
Emerson: **jaw literally drops and she just stares**

Alright... I get thinking I look like I'm 23, 24, or 25. But not old enough to be married? Really?

Sunday, September 20, 2009


It's time for fall decorations! I love fall. I also love to follow some decorating blogs. While perusing my favorite blogs, I saw a centerpiece for a dining room table that I really liked. Unfortunately, I don't have a dining room table. So I decided I wanted to do something similar on our bar. Hopefully someone will buy our condo soon, and then I can place my lovely arrangement on a dining room table. (Anyone want a condo?... anyone?.... anyone?)

So I set out yesterday with my "adopted mom" to find the things I will need. This turned into a seven hour trip, and most of the time I wasn't convinced I was going to find what I needed. I must say though, that after getting it home and putting all the pieces together, it turned out BETTER than the one I saw on my favorite blog. I love it! Michael loves it! (I love that Michael loves it! :)

The original centerpiece I saw started out with one of those $8 full length mirrors that they sell at Walmart or Target. The blogger took off the cheap frame and added crown molding. I knew I wasn't going to do this. I wasn't sure I could find a cheap mirror that I liked. I looked at TONS of different options to use..... but after a few stores, we ended up at Old Time Pottery. I'm not sure if you have one where you live, but if you do, you must go. I found this fabulous mirror for $14.99!

(Don't mind the fingerprints!) Isn't it fabulous? My plan was to find an ugly but cheap mirror and just paint the frame. However, I struck gold. The mirror was the perfect size, the perfect price, AND it had a good frame. It's hard to tell in the picture, but it's an antique looking silver.

Then, my wonderful husband helped me take off all the staples and hooks off the back so it would lay flat on the bar.

I found these fabulous candle holders at Jo Ann's. I had searched all day for the perfect candle holders. I was having trouble finding exactly what I was looking for. Our last stop was Jo Ann's and the bonus was that these were on sale!

There are nine hurricanes. I very large one, 2 large, 2 medium, and 4 small. You get the same view whether you are looking at it from the living room or from the kitchen. I love that!

Next, I added these fabulous fall beads (that were on sale at Michael's).

I love it already, but I'm not done yet!
I added two more little details that just made the whole thing SO CUTE!
First, I added a few small pinecones. Then, my favorite part. Baby boo pumpkins. I am in love with them. L.O.V.E. I took little man apple picking on Friday and picked up a few pumpkins. I knew these little guys would look gorgous in my fall decorations. They didn't fail me!

Do you love them too? :)

So here are the final results...........

(Note: In case you don't know how blogger works, if you click on the photo, it will blow up to a larger size. This will let you view the details better!)

Here's another white (ghost) pumpkin in use. If you didn't know it yet, let me tell you now... they are all the rage this season. Make sure to pick yourself one up!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Grandparent's Day

Little man and I do many, many art and craft projects. Luckily, we both love to do them! He actually asks to do "awt pwojects" often, so I try to always be prepared. We've made some special things for his family over the past year and a half. Last year for Grandparent's Day we made this:

It was a BIG hit! K loved it so much that she asked if we could make her one as well.

I'm not sure if you can tell, but the stem is made from the side of little man's foot. The leaves are obviously his footprints. The flower is made of his handprints, and the brown seeds are his fingerprints. All of this was painted on an aritist's canvas. He was SO proud of it that he was kissing it and exclaiming how beautful it was and how much Nana and Papa would "love" it. So cute!

So this year I needed to come up with a similarly nice gift. I had a harder time, since I was trying to live up to the picture above. I'm not sure if this years gift is that great, but it's pretty cute nonetheless.

Here's the line up:
  • Small terra cotta pots
  • acrylic paint
  • votive candles
  • stencils
  • sponge paint brushes
  • Acrylic coating

First, I removed the stickers from the bottom of the pots. Then I washed them to get all of the dust off. I dried them off and let them sit for a bit.

Next, I had little man start painting. Usually I don't use a mat or paper for us to paint on. He's very good at keeping himself and his area clean. However, since I knew we would be painting the tops and the bottoms, I laid down a paper towel. NOTE: If you have a counter top that does not have an easy wipe off surface, do not use a paper towel. The paint does leak through.

Eventually I started to hold the pots for him, so that all sides would get paint on them. After doing this for him for one pot, he was able to stick his hand in the middle and hold it for himself the other times.

This is the four after the first coat. Everything in me wanted to make them perfect, but it is a gift from Little Man to his grandparents--not from me. I did brush around and smooth out some of the places that had clumps of paint, but I tried to leave it as authentic as possible. (Even if it killed me!)

This is after the second coat.... looking much better! They probably could have used another coat, but little man was sick of having to paint them cream. He wanted to get on with the fun stuff.

My idea was to put one letter of Nana and Papa's last name on each pot. I bought this stencil and used some painters tape that was in the junk drawer to make it easier for little man to focus on what was suppose to be painted. Unfortunately, because the pots were so small and rounded, it was very hard to actually use these stencils. Little man helped a little with two, but I ended up having to do the other two--plus lots of touch ups. That's crafts for you though. You live and learn. Eventually I just cut the last two letters out of the sheet to make it easier to place up flat on the pot. This improved the letters marginally.

I didn't get a great picture of this part of the process, but we used a little round dobber to add dots to the pots. I had purchased some fun stencils that I had planned to use. Unfortunately, after the letter issues, I decided to go with simple.

We painted green and purple dots.

After I let them dry (and while little man was napping), I took them to the garage and sprayed them with the acrylic coat.

Warning: if you spray the coat on your hand, it may be sticky for the rest of the day. Certainly I would never do such a thing, but if have to hold something to spray it--you may or may not have a sticky situation. I let the pots dry for about fifteen minutes and went back to check on them. The spray does change the color a bit, so when I went and checked on them I saw a few spots that need fixing. I let them dry for a few hours and then wrapped them up. Cute huh?