Pinterest Favorites and Fails {Series}

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Today is a favorite, and it’s a sewing project: Box Pleat Crib Skirt Tutorial

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Image from Hibler House blog ( http://dkhibler.blogspot.com)

When I was pregnant with Ian and working on his nursery, I wanted the color scheme to be sage green and navy blue. The walls were already painted the green, so I wanted to use the navy blue in various accents around the room. There was just one problem: finding baby stuff in navy blue was HARD!

I finally came to the realization that I’d have to make a few things. When I decided the crib skirt would be one of those things I’d be making, I set to Pinterest to find a tutorial. There were a lot on there, but I liked this one the best. It was easy to follow and had lots of clear pictures.

In the end, I wound up with a very nice crib skirt for only a little expense and not too terribly much effort.

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My finished crib skirt

I’ll definitely be using this tutorial again when I make the crib skirt for the new baby (since she’s s girl and her color scheme will not include navy blue).

If you’re looking to make your own crib skirt, give this pin a try!!

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Pinterest Favorites and Fails {Series}

I am a Pinterest junkie.  I admit it freely.  I can’t get enough of the scrolling and pinning. But what I often fail to do is actually USE any of the stuff I pin.  I get inspired looking through the pages of fun activities, recipes, crafts, etc…and then after I’ve pinned it, I forget it.

But, I’m going to make a concerted effort to attempt more of my pins!  And I thought I’d share some of my favorites (and yes, some of my fails) via a weekly series.  So, every Friday keep on the look out for a new addition to this series- we may discover some truly wonderful (or disastrous) things!  And, if you have a favorite pin, share it with me!!  As you know, I’m ALWAYS pinning. 🙂

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Today’s Favorite is a recipe: Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells

OMG these were DELICIOUS!!!  I will admit they are a BIT of work in the prep phase (cooking the noodles and letting them cool, then preparing the filling), but once the prep is done, they are a snap! And did I mention delicious?  Oh, I did?  Well, it bears repeating. 

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Photo from Sweet Dash of Sass

I used canned chicken because I’m lazy, but you could also cook your own chicken and shred it.  Or use the precooked bagged chicken and cut it up.  Whatever you prefer (or have time for).  

I love that this recipe makes a lot, so you can half it if you want- or cook the whole thing and have leftovers.  Either way, you will not go hungry.  My husband even enthusiastically agreed that this was delicious (and he’s always somewhat wary of new recipes I find online, LOL).

So, if you’re looking for a new recipe to try for dinner one night, give this one a shot. And I’d love to hear what you think of it!

Fall (and Halloween) is in the air!

Today is the first day of October, so the Halloween costume countdown is officially on.  And that means I need to get started working on Ian’s costume (and figuring out what he should be)!

His first Halloween, he was only 5 days old- so he wore a Hokie Bird fleece onesie outfit.  It was a gift.  It was adorable.  And he slept through most of Halloween.

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His second Halloween, he had just turned 1, and I knew I wanted to make his costume.  I also was fairly certain I wanted him to be a monster (think “mommy’s little monster!”).  I had no pattern to go by- just an image in my head.  Since I know how I am with projects (I procrastinate, I’m slow, etc etc), I started early… at the beginning of October.  And things were going great.  Except, well, I measured poorly, so my first attempt at a costume was TOO snug.  He was like a stuffed caterpillar.  So I had to redo it.  Which, ok, no big deal (the fabric I bought was pretty cheap), except for one tiny little problem. I had broken my sewing machine. Yep, the costume was too thick, was too much for my little Brother machine to handle. And it broke.  The timing went WAY off…the thread wouldn’t pick up.  Which means no sewing.  So I took it to a sewing machine repair shop, and they took a look and told me- yep, it’s broken!  Fortunately, they could also fix it.  Unfortunately, the fix was around $80 and would take 10 days!  EEP… that meant I would get it back with just a week or so before Halloween.  I crossed my fingers, and sure enough, before 10 days had passed, I had my machine back!  And it worked!  So I got to work making costume #2.  And it was beautiful!  And perfect!  And then… and then… the machine broke AGAIN (yes, I’m a slow learner).  But at this point, it was just a few days until Halloween.  Fortunately, the majority of the sewing was finished, so I decided to just do the last bit by hand.  WHAT A PAIN.  But I got it done.  And OMG did Ian look adorable.  Maybe I’ll post a tutorial later on how exactly I made the costume, in case anyone else wants to make a monster outfit.  It’s pretty easy… as long as you don’t break your machine!  (side note- my wonderful in-laws bought me a new sewing machine for Christmas last year, and it is a beauty!  It’s wonderful, and is so smooth and works flawlessly!)

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Now for his third Halloween, Ian will be just over 2 years old.  But he hasn’t expressed any great opinion on what he wants to wear (I’m not entirely sure he understands the concept anyway).  Which leaves it up to me and Jon to decide.  But that’s the problem- I can’t decide!  This is probably my last chance to inflict my will on his costume, so I don’t want to waste it!  My current prevailing idea is to have him be Mickey Mouse.  He LOVES Mickey Mouse (thank you, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse), so I think he’d really like it… not to mention it would be pretty easy and super cute.  But I go back and forth on ideas every day or two.  Anyone have any suggestions???

What are your littles going to be for Halloween?  Where do you get your ideas and inspiration?

The shed is FINALLY done!

If you recall, a few months ago my husband and I started building a shed. We were really excited when the shed materials arrived, and we made great progress the first and second days.  Then life got in the way, and after some time we made some more awesome progress.

Then it rained. And we got busy. And, and, and. There’s always an excuse.

Well we finally FINALLY got it finished! (As long as you exclude the lattice we are planning to attach to the bottom). And I must say that I am mighty impressed.

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The finished shed!

Doesn’t it look fantastic? I don’t know why we didn’t do this whole project years ago. But it’s done now and we have moved the lawn mowers into it and freed up SO MUCH space in the garage! I’m so excited and super proud of our accomplishment. It feels great to finally finish a big project…now on to the next one!

Have you finished a huge (or maybe not so huge) project recently?  What was it?

Oldies But Goodies link party at Crafty State of Mind

oldies but goodies blog posts

Last week I added my DIY Ring Holder post to Crafty State of Mind’s “Oldies but Goodies” link party.  This is such a neat idea for a link up because it gives you an opportunity to dust off some older posts and introduce them to a new audience. I’m sure almost everyone has an old post that they love that they’d like to bring to the attention of new (and existing) readers. I certainly did!
Jen, from Crafty State of Mind, picks a few posts from the previous week’s link up  and features the on the current link party… and my post was chosen!!! I was so excited and surprised to hear that she picked mine among so many outstanding submissions.  Hop on over to her blog to check out all the great submissions and to add your own post to the link up!

Shed progress

We’d been hard at work getting the shed built.  Here’s a look at our progress to date through pictures!

Starting to apply the tar paper moisture barrier

Starting to apply the tar paper moisture barrier

 

Roof paneling is up- time to attach the drip edge!

Roof paneling is up- time to attach the drip edge!

 

Roofing time...Ian thought he could climb up and help. We disagreed.

Roofing time…Ian thought he could climb up and help. We disagreed.

 

Finished the shingles!

Finished the shingles!

 

Door is done!

Door is done!

 

Door painted and siding is going up!

Door painted and siding is going up!

 

As you can see, we are so close to being done! I can’t wait to finally have it finished and be able to use it!!

DIY: Teacher Appreciation Gifts

 

A few weeks ago at Ian’s day care, it was Teacher Appreciation week.  Ian’s teachers are so fantastic, I knew I wanted to do something special for them… I just wasn’t sure what.  So, as usual, I turned to the internet (Pinterest, Etsy, etc) for inspiration.  There were a ton of cute things, but not much that was appropriate for us.  The “I’m a toddler and even though I have teachers, we don’t take tests or get grades” demographic.  I finally settled on a combination of things I found, and came up with this…I call it the “one smart cookie jar”.

The "One Smart Cookie Jar"

The “One Smart Cookie Jar”

Cute, right?  I love it and love how it turned out… and his teachers did, too.  So I thought I’d share it with you all, along with some instructions, so you can make your own!

 

{{ the supplies }}

+ mason jar
+ cupcake liner
+ colorful paper
+ scissors
+ yarn
+ pen/marker
+ tape
+ cookies

 

{{ the steps }}

1. First, remove the lids from the jars. Take out the metal disk from the lid, place a cupcake liner inside the lid screw ring, and replace the metal disk. Try to center the cupcake liner so it is mostly smooth. Now take the lid apart. You should have a slight indentation on the cupcake liner that roughly corresponds to the size of the lid opening (and metal disk). Cut the cupcake liner in a circle slightly large than the indentation. Place the cut circle back in the lid screw ring and test fit on the jar to make sure the liner is small enough that it doesn’t interfere with the lid closing, but large enough to cover the entire opening. Now set aside the lid. You can discard the metal disk part (or save for a future project)- you won’t need it anymore.

Lids cut

Lids cut

2. Next, take the remaining piece of the cupcake liner (the ruffled edge), and stretch it to encircle the top of the jar, sort of Ike a collar. You will want it to overlap itself a little, but not too much. When you have an acceptable overlap, cut the excess and tape the ends together (concealing the tape).

The cupcake liner "collar"

The cupcake liner “collar”

3. Now it’s time to make and attach the tags. I used colorful scrapbook paper cardstock, but you could use anything, really. I used a flower stencil to trace the shape for my tag. But, again, do whatever shape you want. Write a cute note:

Ms X,
Thanks for making me
one smart *cookie*!
~ child’s name

Punch or cut a hole in the top of the tag, thread your yarn through it, and tie it around the top of the jar. Try to hide the yarn underneath the cupcake liner collar. Add your cookies, and you’re done!!

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I hope you found the tutorial clear and easy to follow. Let me know if you make one of these for your teachers. I’d also love to hear about other teacher appreciation gifts you made or bought!