Cardmaking at Its Finest

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A Maddie and Mommy creation

For some reason, since I was in middle school, I have always loved making cards.  Forget about watching TV,  hand me some paper, some type of adhesive (Gludots anyone?) and my paper cutter and I can be occupied for the next two hours.  Just paper and me. Nowadays, card making is seldom, but listen up! I’d like to announce that since baby #3 was born, Maddie and I have managed once to make cards while #2 and #3 were napping. Here’s to some of our beautiful masterpieces. (And yes, those are Cheerios and playdough in the background.) Check out my post on Making Greeting Cards with a Toddler for moreContinue reading

The Juicest Bday Cake for Babies Other Health Conscious Folks

For Samuel’s 1st birthday, I was all ready to give him his first bite of cake.  In trying to make a special cake for his birthday, my husband and I thought about the idea of making a watermelon cake, only because our boy loves watermelon. It was just a thought and I didn’t even know what the end product would be.  Until I went to Pinterest.  The inspiration!! We bought a watermelon and hours before the party, I made the easiest yet coolest cake known to man. I am all about easy. And I all about cool!
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Making Presentable Greeting Cards with a Toddler – Watercolor edition

This beautiful card was her first watercolor greeting card.
Given by “Maddie and Mommy” to my aunt.
I have gone through different fazes, but I have always loved making greeting cards.  Before the “high fashion” scrapbooking craze began, I used Crayola Markers and plain computer paper to do it all.  That was in middle school.
Very truthfully, I sometimes enjoy making cards more than giving them.  When I had my first, Maddie, I was able to squeeze in some cardmaking during naps or after bed, but now with two sweet ones, my “freetime” is usually spent washing dishes or doing “Mommy” jobs, which aren’t usually that fun.  What I used to do to decompress is something that now must be done in the midst of my kids. Or not at all.

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Estate sale finds

Aside from my chairs that were a mere $8.25/chair, I also got a couple of other great steals at the estate sale I went to about a week ago.

Here is my $2 chalkboard ($14.99 at IKEA) and $5 cabinet after finding their new home!

This chalkboard sits above our home office desk and I used the little shelf on it for office supplies.  The plastic containers that I put on the shelf are simply the plastic GERBER food containers. I’ve had them saved up for months knowing that there must be some good use for them!  I feel like the chalkboard fit perfectly in our house.

Here’s the cabinet, when first spotted at the yard sale. Then, after being placed in our dining room for great storage. There are shelves even.

I’ll spare you all and withhold pictures of my cool boxes and yarn!

Call Me Martha

If you know me, you know that I don’t like spending money nor do I have much money to spend. Though I grew up in rich Bethesda, my family always lived a really frugal lifestyle.  I looked like a boy most of my childhood with big clothes and ugly hair, millions of handmedowns and our walls were white, never painted. My grandparents lived with us and I think it was through them that I really thought we were poor. My grandpa had jars of sugar hidden underneath a sheet covering his TV stand and he always had stashes of Coke as if he were still in the war.  We could never throw anyway anything that was remotely reusable because my grandma rummaged through the trash.  When you wanted to throw something out, we waited until my grandparents were visiting my cousins in Canada.

When Kev and I got married, some church friends gave us four IKEA dining chairs they weren’t using.  I love them, but when I was pregnant, one of my sisters told me that eventually I would have to childproof as they were pretty flimsy. Just last month, my niece and the chair toppled over.
So since that conversation, I’ve been on the lookout for sturdy chairs.  The problem? Chairs are really so expensive!  A multipurpose chair at Home Depot costs about $20. Multiply by 4 and I’m $100 poorer and I still have ugly chairs. Really for 4 nice sturdy chairs, it could cost around $200 (which is probably on the low end).
Two weeks ago, I went to the Habitat Restore and chairs there were again $40 and up for used sturdy chairs. I was really thinking of buying chairs there and reupholstering them but I am glad I was patient and didn’t buy ugly chairs for that price because the next day I went to an estate sale (thanks to my awesome husband who took care of baby) and stumbled upon THE AWESOMEST CHAIRS ever.  Umm… I actually went to buy yarn which is why my husband thought I was little crazy when I brought home 4 chairs (which he thought were pretty ugly) and a small thin storage cabinet (with some yarn, some cute boxes, etc.)
The cost?
4 sturdy ugly chairs – $35
1 storage cabinet – $5
5 skeins of yarn – $1
3 cute boxes – $3
1 cute chalkboard – $2
Total – $46
Okay, so lets cut to the chase.  Here is my awesome project!  Props to the Capilis for use of their staple gun and my friend, Joann (last name: Fabrics) for opening up a new store in Wheaton.  And to my husband, for allowing such craziness in our small home.
BEFORE
AFTER
Total cost of reupholstering = around $15 or less
Total cost of cloth and chairs – $50 for 4 sturdy cute chairs!

Crochet Masterpiece

I learned to crochet when I was pretty young, only because my grandma tried to teach me to knit and it was just too hard. Instead of two sticks, she gave me one and since then I have been a crocheting monster.  For years, I’ve only known one or two stitches which has limited me to making scarf after scarf for myself and friends and family (I don’t think anyone is quite that impressed with my scarves anymore).  I always managed to entertain myself by simply changing the yarn color.

My grandma happens to be the crochet guru since she used to be a home ec teacher.  Her skills are so perfected that when she tries to teach me new stitches, I often cannot follow her.  She has macular degeneration so her eyes are not that great, however, if you put yarn and a knitting or crochet needles in her hands, she is a speedy monster in making things!  Her eyes stay closed and she makes things with perfect tension and ease.
While many people have learned to crochet by book and patterns, I’ve had to rely on memory and have worried at times that when my grandma passes away, I won’t be able to remember what she’s passed down to me.  This past year, I made it my goal to learn how to read patterns.  A friend of mine gave me a baby crochet book and that was a sign that I really needed to expand
Problem #1: my grandma doesn’t read English and doesn’t understand the patterns in the book.

Problem #2: neither could I!
So I went to the local library and joined in on one of their weekly crochet clubs.  The group members were super nice and literally after one hour,  I learned the basics of reading patterns.  Mind you, the final product was after many practice runs.
Here’s to cute booties! Happy Memorial Day!