March 20, 2011

Mark Your Calendars!

The Hoyem Acres Garage Sale

April 29-30
(Friday and Saturday)

Rain or shine...8am - ?

A whole neighborhood of garage sales 
(or "thrift sales", if you are an original Wisconsonite!).

March 17, 2011

(Un)Crafty - Silhouettes

Last fall I started to notice the trend to have silhouettes of everything...especially your kids.  But, any silhouette: from a vintage chair, to the eiffel tower is an easy statement to make in any room.  Take a look around blogland and you will find zillions of them!  Or, take a look around Etsy and you will find a million versions of signs, frames, and artwork featuring silhouettes.

Naturally, I decided to venture out and see what it takes to make a silhouette.  I have no fancy computer skills, no fancy cutting machines, no photography background.  So, if I am going to make something (I'm UNcrafty, remember??), its gotta be easy to do, cheap, and fast.

I was surprised to find that silhouettes are so easy!  I found Emily's tutorial here and decided to give it a go.  *Admittedly, this project was done a loooooong time ago.  In fact, it was done the same stormy weekend as this and this.  I had the photos but never remembered to post about this project until our friends were over for a playdate yesterday and said, "Where did you have the silhouettes done?"  Ha!  Here it is, Shelly...the easy crafty project.  :)

The first step is to get a profile photo of your kiddos (or whatever your subject may be).  This is the trickiest part because those kids don't want to sit still!  I had them sit in a chair and snapped a few quick photos, then uploaded them and enlarged them.  I have my photos printed at Target, but you could just print them out on computer paper.  Quality will not matter for this project.

1. profile photos
2. black craft paint ($0.49 at Michaels!)
3. foam brush
4. newspaper
5. white tagboard
6. frame
7. scissors

Cut out your child's profile, but don't worry about being too perfect.  The larger the profile, the easier, but small silhouettes sure are cute!  Mine were big to fit an 11x14 frame.  I cut them out carefully and then just started painting.  It took several coats of the paint to make the photos really evenly covered.

Once I had the photos covered well, I let them dry and then cut a piece of white tagboard (matte side facing up) and just glued the silhouette to the tagboard.  Then, frame the tagboard and VOILA!  Your very own silhouette!  Can you even believe its that easy?!

Ours found a home on this wall in our family room.

I've since added more frames to make this a gallery wall of family photos.  The silhouettes add a nice touch!

Happy crafting!

March 15, 2011

our {lucky} friends

Some of our lucky friends - very special people in our lives - are going to get these cute little goodies tomorrow (okay...that is one day early for St. Patrick's Day, but oh well)!  I spent much of nap time perfecting them today and it was a fun little project.  I first saw it here and the downloaded the tag here.

1.  Rainbow Twizzlers (found at Wal-Mart - after looking several places)
2. chocolate gold coins (found at 50/50 Party Supply - after looking many places)
3. tag
4. ribbon
5. scissors
6. treat sacks (Target, Michaels, etc.)

I gathered six Twizzlers together for each bag (one of each color) and cute about one inch off the bottoms of the Twizzlers.  Then I put them in the bag, added gold coins and tied with a ribbon.  So easy and what a cute little gift to make your friends feel special this week!  One bag of Twizzlers will make 5 treats and I added 4-5 coins to each, so plan accordingly if you are buying supplies.

My kids informed me that they "don't like those" so I will have to think of something else to make them feel special this week!

March 14, 2011

Frenchy Brunch

This weekend I hosted my bible study girls for brunch.  I knew I wanted to serve french pastries and fresh fruit and keep the menu light.  As I was prepping on Saturday morning, I got the motivation to create a little french tablescape.  So... I pulled out my french tablecloth and scoured the house for some frenchy things.

These chalkboard coasters are one of my favorite things to use when hosting!  They were tile coasters that I just covered in chalkboard paint.  Now I use them for placecards, labels, etc.

The yellow tulips and lemons in my apothecary jar were the inspiration for the springy colors.

 Besides croissants, and pain au chocolats, nutella is the perfect addition to a french brunch!

(*I hope both Amy and Meredith are reading this...they share my french aficionado!)

March 11, 2011

(Un)Crafty - Art Display Line

I always love this product for hanging art work and my display line was a little boring at home.  So, I decided it was time to spiff-it-up.


1. clothes pins
2. small wooden discs (JoAnn's)
3. hot glue/hot glue gun
4. embellishments (mine are the little airplanes from JoAnn's)
5. Mod Podge
6. thin gauge wire
7. scrapbook paper
8. command hooks (mine are the small clear ones)
9. yarn/string/twine

I traced, cut and Mod Podged the paper onto the discs...

then hot glued the discs to the clothes pins.

I created a little wire ring and hot glue it to the back of the airplanes.

I placed the clear command hook where I wanted them and then slide the wire ring on the back of the airplanes over the hook.  It covers up the hook and give a cute detail to the display line.  Then hang your children's artwork and enjoy!

March 10, 2011

Favorites - Instant Coffee

To most real coffee drinkers, the word "instant" is not very promising.  It would not have been for me - except that Starbucks has their own instant coffee, VIA.  We are coffee freaks at this house and VIA instant coffee (or "ready brew") has changed my life!

Traveling, on the go, out of coffee, or running late - VIA is the answer.  It tastes like a good cup of coffee with just 8 ounces of hot water and one little packet.  I have them in my diaper bag and I take them on all our trips.

VIA is available in decaf, blends, and flavors...check it out!

March 9, 2011

Command Central Binder

Today is another snowy day...this winter has brought many days with unceasing snow!  Its a great excuse to stay inside and have some fun, rest up, and get some things accomplished.  Let me tell you...this messy house could use a "snow day" to stay in...

Messy house.  Ugh.  And I can't even show you our bedroom, the laundry, or the playspace.  Yikes!  But, let's be honest: what is really the point in cleaning up when you're just going to be inside with the kids all day?  Its just going to end up in the same condition.  Right??  Instead, I worked on a creating a Command Central Binder from  I found a link to a free mini-guide download on Just a Girl last week (I just checked and its still there!) and have been using the little bits of free time I have to begin collecting info for my very own binder.

I just followed the steps in the mini-guide and simply created a place for all our relevant, current information.  Since our children are so young (3 and 1), we don't have too many schedules, sports teams, or school notes to take care of.  Most of my supplies are just items I had around the house (except for the binder pockets for school newsletters and upcoming even invitations - both found at OfficeMax).

My binder is pretty simple with the following sections: family calendar, meal planning and menus, activities, preschool, church, and upcoming events.  The mini-guide even features a link to where you can purchase the supplies you may need.

I didn't have a basket or bin to hold my binder and supplies, so I used this desk organizer that was around the house.  We have post-its, pens, pencils, markers, scissors, envelopes, baby wipes, paper clips, rubber bands and a lint roller in this caddy.

Here it is, in its new home - hidden on the side of the fridge with a meal planning worksheet and corkboard.  Now, I'll just have to find a new place for my stand mixer.  :)

March 8, 2011

Exfoliate Away

I use these facial cleansing wipes.  I love them.  But, there isn't much exfoliating going on.  So, I decided to find something great to exfoliate my face.  Lots of products for exfoliation are getting expensive because they are considered "microdermabrasion" or are high tech to "wipe away" wrinkles....blah blah blah.  I was looking for something more simple and I found this...

Garnier Skin-Renew Brusher Gel-Cleanser

This crazy looking exfoliating tool is a gentle exfoliator and cleanser that has made a huge difference in my skin.  I'm really happy with it and use it daily or every-other-day.  I keep it in the shower and use while the conditioner sets in my hair.  Perfect.  Easy.  (and inexpensive!)

I bought mine at Target and there is a coupon at for $2 off a Garnier skin product, if you're interested!

March 7, 2011


Congrats to Ashley - 

Blogger Ashley said...

The Belle Necklace is the most adorable and classy piece of jewelry I have ever seen. Of course the entire collection falls under these characteristics as well, but the Belle Necklace is captivating! Thank you for sharing your craft. You should sell your stuff at some of the big art fairs this summer :)
March 4, 2011 10:41 AM
the winner of the Caroline necklace from Amy Lou Jewelry Designs!

The winner was generated from - a random number generator online.  Ashley, please email me ( with your information so we can send your new necklace to you!

March 2, 2011

Giveaway - Amy Lou Jewelry Designs

Welcome to my first giveaway!  My sister is generous enough to sponsor this giveaway with a custom creation from Amy Lou Jewelry.  If you haven't visited Amy Lou Jewelry Designs on must take a look at all the fantastic, trendy, affordable styles!

Meet Amy:
I'm a twenty-something girl from the midwest. I've always loved making jewelry and being crafty. My corporate job hasn't quite been able to satisfy my creative side so after years of talking about it I've finally decided to set up shop. 

I've always felt that fabulous jewelry is an essential part of a fabulous outfit, but my budget hasn't always allowed for me to buy those fabulous pieces so I began making them myself. My aim is to provide affordable, well-made, trendy jewelry so that we can all afford to look fabulous! 

I hope you enjoy my designs!

Today's giveaway is the brand new Caroline Necklace.

The Caroline Necklace is 31 inches long, 
made using green ribbon 
and two strands of silver glass beads.  
The necklace is embellished with a white tulle flower 
and silver glass beads in the center.  
The necklace has a sturdy lobster clasp closure.

How To Enter!
1. Visit Amy Lou Jewelry Designs on Etsy and "heart" you favorite item in her shop.  Come back and leave a comment here about which item you love.
2. Become a follower of valley-mama (on the sidebar) and leave a comment telling me you became a follower.  Or, if you follow already, leave me a comment telling me so!

That's it!  Two simple chances to win.  Giveaway open until 8am on March 7th.  Winner will be announced Monday night on valley-mama!

March 1, 2011

Laundry Room Reveal

Hopefully you aren't too excited about this might let you down!  I have a dream for my laundry room that includes new paint, stacking my front-loaders, hanging new cabinets, adding some open shelves, a drop down drying rack and ironing board...the list goes on and on.

As you may remember in this post, I realized that with some organization and fun color I could revamp my laundry room!  So, five months later, I've finally made enough strides to share with you!  Let me be clear - this room is not exactly "shabby chic" - a little more like just "shabby".  But, its better than it was before and for me that's progress enough for now!

I Think I Canvas Mega Sorter from Land of Nod
This hamper was a hinge-pin in my laundry room.  I had a dilapidated hamper that was the bain of this room.  This hamper is a lifesaver because its great quality and it can serve a double purpose: once clothes are clean, I can load them up in here and easily deliver clean clothes around the house!

The labels used are the ones I mentioned in this post.

The labels on the outside of the cabinets are mostly for Hubby, so he doesn't have to ask "Where....?".  (Maybe.)

Instead of moving and adding shelves, I used an under-shelf basket for a little extra space.

This is my everyday cleaning basket.  Its used mainly for bathrooms, but can help out anywhere in the house.  Contents: disposable wipes, glass cleaner, all purpose cleaner, my magic cleaner, Mr. Clean Erasers, tootbrush, rubber gloves.  I used to use a large bucket full of supplies, but I wanted something that fit better in the cabinet, so I downsized to this Dollar Tree bin.  Because I couldn't fit everything I needed to clean the bathrooms into here, I put a small basket under the sink in each bathroom that includes: toilet cleaner, toilet brush (you can find small scale ones at dollar stores or IKEA), alka-seltzer (foir toilets), glass cleaner, 7th Generation Bathroom Cleaner, Mr. Clean Erasers, and rubber gloves.  I try to do some bathroom upkeep daily and having the cleaning supplies right under the sink helps.  Its also a great idea to work on cleaning the bathroom while your kids are in the bath!

Under the washer.

Dryer pedestal drawer.  If I stack my washer/dryer someday I might miss the pedestal drawers.  
Anyone have an opinion on that?

I made this little ditty last night since the little boy went to bed soooo early.  

That's all!  Hope you are inspired, mamas!