June 27, 2010

Decor Challenge

I have that strange space above my cabinets, but below my vaulted ceilings that I didn't know what to do with...for about three years I tried a couple ideas, but ultimately gave up.  Until last summer...  Then I scrounged together what things I had in storage, painted up some vases, found some items on clearance (Target, TJ Maxx, and Walmart) and came up with this end product.  Some how, it has spurred many-a-compliment and even some shopping trips with friends to help fill their ominous space.  Hope you're inspired, too...

Lanterns in the corner - what a great trend.  Another idea: fill lanterns with *many* candles instead of just one.

Collection of vases, etc.  Hint: add pops of color and abstract shapes for interest.

June 25, 2010

(Un)Crafty - Green Topiaries

Yep, I did another craft...but, again, it didn't take much skill.  YOU can do it, too!

I was in need of some life and a little green above my bookshelf in the living room.  So, with my sister's crafty help, I attempted one of these topiaries.  And - lo-and-behold - it turned out great!  I decided to make a set of three to balance out the shelf and I think they turned out well.

All my supplies were from Michaels (I waited for good coupons!).
1. styrofoam ball - any size (preferably green in color)
2. leaves, greenery, flowers, or sprouts like mine to glue onto ball
3. hot glue
4. wooden dowel
5. raffia
6. pot, vase, or other vessel for base
7. oasis to fill base

Basically, I just hot glued the little green sprouts to the styrofoam ball (which was originally white, so I had to spray paint it green - ugh) until it was packed full.  Then I cut the wooden dowel to my desired length and stuck it in the ball with a little hot glue.  I then wrapped the dowel in raffia to give it a little texture, hot gluing the raffia along the way.  I chose terra cotta pots that I then Mod-Podged with old pages from a book.  Pretty simple, pretty easy.  A good nap-time project for a Mama!

The finished product:

June 18, 2010

Love this....

Finally a bouncer that folds up!

from Parents Magazine June 2010, page 37.

June 16, 2010


We sure do love playing with bubbles at our house!  My boys both get such a kick out of them!  And what an easy activity!  I found the best bubbles this year (with help from my friend, Sarah) at Gymboree.  The "Bubble Oodles" are a special formula that don't pop too easily, which means they sit on top of the grass, sidewalk or your carpet (if you allow bubble indoors...which I do).  I got a few little bottles of the bubbly for my cousins' kiddos and decided to glam them up a bit:

Before and After

I used scrap paper and ribbon from my stash.  I covered the bottle then with matte contact paper so the bubble won't immediately ruin the paper.  I decided these would make such cute little party favors for a birthday or something...don't you think?  They were sooooo cheap and fun to make!  Each could be personalized with a name on the top of the cover.

Two girly and one boyish.

This is the fun bubble maker we got at Gymboree...you can still find it online!

June 14, 2010

1st Birthday Fun

Last week was my son's first birthday!  It was an amazing day full of emotions.  To celebrate while we're on the road, I made these special Cookie Pops!  My sister helped me and we were up until the wee hours of the morning creating our masterpieces, but it was worth it!

My big one year old boy.  His cute "1" t-shirt is from Sweet Pea & Co.

For the complete Cookie Pops recipe, click here.

After baking, we embellished the cookies...that was the fun part:

We stamped little "B"s (B is for Bennett) onto tags...
and cut blue ribbons for each stick.

They turned out so cute.

Then we made them even cuter by packaging each one in an individual bag and tying with a final blue ribbon.  Adorable, if I do say so, myself.

 And my little one year old sure loved his cookie.  Also adorable, if I do say so, myself.

June 5, 2010

Today my baby turns ONE!  So many emotions...I can't really explain, but I just know that YOU, Mamas, understand.  Its such a huge milestone with feelings of:
"Where has the time gone?"
"When did he get so grown-up?"
"What was life like one year ago...I can't even remember?!"
"When is it time for another baby?" (Did I really just say that????)
"Is it time to wean???"
"We did it!  We made it a whole YEAR!"

I took this photo out at a golf course one day, edited it on my iMac and then uploaded to Picnik.com where you can do all kinds of cool editing, etc. Check it out for photo fun!

June 1, 2010

From One Mom To Another

Recently, I had a friend say, "You are such an amazing mom".  Just like that.  I mean - what?  First of all, "Thanks"!  Second of all, I really had been feeling overwhelmed and dumpy about mommyhood in recent days and this completely changed my outlook...so...."Thanks again"!

My friend went on to say that she admires the way I play with my kids and be silly, always with a joyful smile on my face.  I was so touched that she noticed.  Its not always easy to have the energy of my two year old and almost-one-year-old.  Its not always easy to run around looking like a weirdo with my kids.  Its not always easy to be a mom.

This lovely comment from a friend completely changed my outlook and made me feel confident.  It was a simple observation on her part and a simple mention to me, but it was much more than simple for me.  In the week since my friend complimented me, I have focused more on the parts of mothering that I am best at and less on the parts of mothering where I feel inadequate.

I've moved forward feeling as though I'm doing a good job with my kids.  I am not the same as any other mom, but my kids aren't the same as any other kids, either.  I do my best everyday to show my kids how much they are loved and if I focus on that, I can't go wrong.  I'm thankful for my friend's observation and comment and how its opened my eyes to my strengths.  In fact, its made such a difference for me that I plan to pass-it-on by pointing out the amazing qualities I see in other moms.

Way to go, YOU - you're an amazing mom, too.