Friday, February 26, 2010

Thrifty

I wanted to share my latest bargain! My sister and I took some time to go to the local PTA sale. If you haven't heard of these amazing sales, let me explain. PTA stands for Parent Teacher Association. The mom's in the group rent out the local high school, or rec center and sell their baby/kid items like one maga garage sale or thrift store! You pay $5.00 to get in early (usually 8am) if you want first pick. Most people pay to come early if they are looking for a large item like a stroller or crib etc. An hour later you pay $1.00 to get in. It's worth it to go early. All the money they collect in entrance fees goes directly to the PTA. So it goes to a good cause! I ended up buying Liam some really cute Baby Gap Jeans, Children's Place, Gymboree and Oshkosh outfits for this fall. I try to shop 6 to 12 months ahead. For 1.00 to 3.00 an item, it's worth it! Some of things I bought still had the tags attached! I thought I would share with you my favorite outfit I bought Liam for next summer. I was so excited to snag up such a good deal! He's going to be one stylish kid.



Children's Place Suit jacket $3.00 Shoes $1.00 and Tie .50 = $4.50



Here is my sweet boy,...he's got a long way until he can fit this outfit.



Thursday, February 25, 2010

From Old to New

So I was looking through my bag of give away clothes. Figured I would look through it one more time before I dropped the bag off to goodwill. I found this sweater that is sorta out of date.
I have had it for awhile, but I only wore it once or twice before I sorta umm shrunk it in the wash?! I figured I would try and refresh it a bit. Maybe layer it with something,..so that even though it's short, it wouldn't look silly. I found a few other shirts in the bag that I could use to fix it up! I thought I would share it with all of you. It only took me 20 mins to do, but I like the result! Check it out!

Here is the sweater:




You can see the shirts are a bit wrinkled from being in the bag! ha ha



I added this cute flower (that I cut out and layered from the two shirts) and some new red buttons!!



The end result!



Fashion

So there is another snow storm coming this afternoon. When will the snow end?! I am ready to pull out my warm weather clothes and pack up the fuzzy sweaters. Even though winter gives us a chance to get things done inside because we are forced to stay indoors,...I would love to have one sunny warm day to just take a walk with Liam in his stroller (pram), to just breath in some fresh air. So I have been doing some virtual dreaming. Burberry has a new line out for spring/summer and once again I am wishing I had the money to buy one of these famous trench coats. They are in their own right, walking pieces of art. I could just see myself strolling along in one of these coats, pushing my navy blue pram.






Can't help buy drool over these bags as well! My oh my,...how stylish!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

New Sewing Project

I have been messing around with a few ideas for scarfs and other accessories for my spring wardrobe. Things that I can easily make in a few hours that I can wear with many outfits. I ran across a blog that challenges you to make new clothes out of your old clothes. Recycling things to make them look fresh and new! It really inspired me! I took the challenge.(For 2 months) Basically you commit to 2 months,4 months, 6 months or life, that you will not buy any new clothes, but change the ones you have. I want to see what I can come up with!! LINK TO BLOG I dug out my sewing machine (that I won in an essay contest back when I was a 4-Her) and had some issues with it. It's an old machine and ever since I have had the darn thing, it has never done what I needed it to do. I called up my grandma to ask her what to do and she suggested I trade her for one at her house that actually works. My grandma was the one that taught me to sew in the first place, so I am sure she can fix it. My mom in the mean time let me borrow her portable machine to mess around with. Thanks mom! Yesterday after MOPS I stopped in at Old Navy and picked up some inexpensive large jersey knit tops that were .99 each. Took them home, cut some squares and zig zag stitched them together to make a cute scarf. It didn't turn out exactly how I pictured, but it is cute! I saw a pattern online for a different type of tee-shirt scarf that requires elastic, that I may try next. I am hoping that I have time this week to do a few projects. I have discovered that I am a bit rusty when working with a sewing machine, but hopefully soon I will get back into the groove. I took a few pictures of my project, sorry the picture quality isn't so good. I quickly snapped some pictures in my dim lit hallway quietly in between nap time and feeding time with the two babies (I watch a 4 1/2 moth old little girl 3 days a week). Hope you like it!




This is the shirt before.




Cut in squares and pinned together.




The end result!

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Highlights of my week

Since the beginning of this year I have been searching for a diary/journal that I could scribble things in whenever I wanted, and not have to feel pressured to write in every day. I have written journals as a kid, but it has never amounted to much. I think that since I have had a baby I have become more sentimental about life. I also have a lot more time to relect on my life as I have transisioned to the stay at home momma role. I am loving my new job and the perks that come with it! Here is the dairy I came across and HAD to have. It's called Philip Keel's Simple Diary. I ordered it online and when it arrived I was overjoyed to begin. Check it out!







Things I am thankful for this week:

1.) The sound of Liam's first laugh. I am convinced that it's the most glorious sound I think I have ever heard. I am so thankful for a happy baby who lights up when I speak to him. If I could bottle up the sound and share it with you, I would!

“When the first baby laughed for the first time, the laugh broke into a thousand pieces and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies”
-
James Matthew Barrie

2.) A cup of my new favorite, Pomegranate Green Tea!

3.) Sunshine - The days are slowly getting longer, showing me that spring is just around the corner. Thank you Lord!

4.) A husband that loves me so much that he brought me home a little box of heaven, for no reason, but to make me smile! Chocolates by Lilly





5.) Spending time with my sisters. Thank you Lord for the woman in my life.

6.) Quiet moments like these:


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Thrifty

Another one of my favorite hobbies is to bargain hunt. Tom teases me all the time about my excitement to try and stretch my dollar farther than the time before. He has been known to call me a fox hound, sniffing out the red stickers. ha ha I have been working since I was 16,... babysitting, scooping ice cream at the local ice cream parlor and cleaning house for family friends to earn extra money. With five kids in your family, money was always tight and it wasn't as if I could ask my parents to buy me a new dress or a pair of shoes whenever I wished. Don't get me wrong, my parents bought me new school clothes, and shoes every year (necessity items). But whenever I wanted something new, I had to buy it myself. I became a working girl so that I could do extra things,...I bought my own car, paid for my own gas to drive it, took a trip to Europe (I saved all summer for that trip) and put myself through college. (With a little help the first semester from the parents)It's always been fun to see how far my dollar can stretch! I am a true believer that if you want something bad enough, you can get it for/close to, the price you want to buy it for. You just need to wait for the appropriate "time" to buy it. With the internet, it's even more so true. Be creative! Right before my wedding I went out and tried on loads of different wedding dresses, found one I loved, but didn't love the price tag (2,000.00) and went on ebay and bought it for $250.00. Same dress, different price! When I knew that I wanted my wedding colors to be red, I went to Target a few days after Christmas and picked up all my silver wedding flower holders, red ribbon etc. for 75% off. Classy, yet affordable! So now that I am no longer pregnant and slowly getting back into my clothes, I am once again out searching for new pieces to add to my wardrobe at an affordable price. Periodically I will post some of my bargains that I have found. This weekend Tom took me out to a few of my favorite stores for Valentine's day (He knew I needed to get out of the house) so we drove out to the East side and I stopped in a few. I was so excited to find that my weight loss isn't a part of my imagination and that the dress looked cute on me, and not just cute on the hanger. Here are a few of the great deals I picked up! Dress, shoes and spring hand bag. *Please note that the handbag doesn't match the outfit, but I threw it in the picture so you could see it.
Total price for all three items: $15.00


Note Cards

So this weekend the weather was anything but ideal. The snow has been falling (which is beautiful, but not to travel in) and I find myself once again finding things in my craft closet to occupy my mind. My dad's Birthday was Friday and after looking through my card box, I noticed that it is slowly looking more empty. I decided to make a few to add to it. If you receive one of these cards in the near future, please take note that it was made with love!


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Adventures in the Kitchen

So like I said before, I'm going to try and cook more in 2010. I have noticed that my confidence level when it comes to cooking is very low. I think it's because I don't cook as often as I should. I haven't reached that point in my skill level to say I am good at it,...but I'm improving. Tom seems to think that I need to loosen up a bit. I follow the recipe exactly, which bugs the heck out of him. He is the kind of cook that throws in this, or that to taste. Maybe that's why baking is my strong suit. Baking has to be exact, in order to turn out right. Give me a mixing bowl with spoon and I am happy. :)


Well last night I decided to try a new recipe that that I found online for Irish Stew. It was amazing, even Tom thought so. I thought I would share the recipe with you all. The only thing I found that I would change/add is a little bit of water. I found that I boiled down the liquid too much at the end, so I added about 1 1/2 cups of water and it fixed the problem, and didn't change the taste. I baked a loaf of Beer Bread with a little butter to go along with it, and the two went really well together. Bon AppƩtit!

IRISH STEW

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Free Handbag


I would love to win this amazing Kelly Moore bag. Check out her site!
@kellymooreclark is giving away a bag! Go enter to win! http://kellymoorebagblog.com/

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dreaming

So lately I have been itching to fix up our room. We just got an amazing new King sized matress that I love, but no actual "bed" to put it on, just the bed frame. The wallpaper in our room is a bit blaa. The couple that lived here at the house had some interesting taste in wallpaper. Our room needs a face lift badly,..but we have always said that it would be the last room we do anything to, because we are the only ones who see it. I was looking (day dreaming is more like it) at some beds online and came across what would be my "dream bed" from Anthropology. Of course it's out of my price range, but a girl can dream!

















I like this bedding from Dwell Studio's







And there are a few wallpaper designs from Graham & Brown that I like. I am not big on wallpaper, but if you only use it for an accent wall, it looks really classy.





















Or one of these two from Scandinavian Design Center:



Monday, February 8, 2010

Oh Canada,.....

This weekend was spent yet again up in the great north. Tom had to transport a server up to the Michigan office, so he invited Liam and I to tag along with him. We spent a lovely night at a very modern business hotel, and spent all of Friday at the local mall where we shopped and walked around for 8 hours. Shopping can be very therapeutic! I picked up a cute green button up shirt for Liam for Saint Patrick's day and a new pair of GAP jeans for myself. Liam was really well behaved and spent a lot of our shopping adventure flirting with the cashiers and taking cat naps while I went from store to store. We then picked up Tom from work and spent the rest of our weekend in Canada. It seems as if ever since Liam was born we try to go out to visit family more often so that they can see the baby as he grows and he can become familiar with his other set of grandparents. Thankfully he is adapting well to sitting in his car seat. The first few trips we took in the car were a bit difficult, but slowly he is getting used to the long car rides. Tom and I have been going back in forth visiting family for years now. This weekend we were talking about our 6th year wedding anniversary that is coming up next month. I feel so blessed having amazing family and friends that I have grown to love. I still remember the first time I ever visited Tom's family and friends in Canada. Looking back at it, we had only dated one week before he brought me out to meet everyone, and I was nervous.....hoping that they would like me. It didn't take long to feel right at home once I finally met everyone. He has had the same two best friends since grade school and any chance the guys can find to get together they will. Just watching them reminisce about growing up, sharing stories and jokes that only they can relate to and laugh at, shows me how much Tom enjoys our trips out to Canada, and how important it is to continue to do so. Canada has become dear to my heart. I have learned so much in these past years about the country and can even sing the national anthem if asked. :) I am proud to be from the U.S., but would like to extend my pride, by hopefully getting my Canadian citizenship one day so I can be duel. Canada has so much to offer,...here is a a list of things uniquely Canadian that I love:
* Anne of Green Gables
* Tim Horton's coffee
* ROOTS
* Hockey games (even though I am still learning the rules to the game)
* Skating on the local pond
* Celebrating May 2/4 weekend
* All Dressed potato chips and Poutine
* Great Big Sea
* Much Music
* Hudson Bay blankets
* Algonquin Provincial Park
* Canadian Tire

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Kitchen Adventures

So lately I have been slowly tackling my kitchen. It seems like ever since we have moved into our house I have been saying that I want it to be organized. But I was working full time at the Preschool, and then as a Nanny, and my house has kinda taken the back burner. Now that I am home with my little guy, I have tried to start organizing in steps. I realize that I will be interrupted by a hungry, needing to be changed, pay attention to me child, so it would be unrealistic of me to expect to get it finished quickly. With a clean organized kitchen, I get the itch to bake. Baking has become a new passion of mine. I enjoy cooking, and I would love to become better at it, but baking is just plain fun! Tom has been hinting about how much he enjoys the pies I make. I think I am going to try and make at least one new recipe a month. I hope to share the hits and misses of my new adventures.I took some time yesterday to make some dark chocolate cupcakes with white mountain frosting for the girls at my bible study (wive's group) and thought I would share the frosting recipe. This was definatly a hit! I love how the frosting is a marshmellow consistancy, that peaks like whipping cream. The result turned out looking so pretty. I topped them off with some cute Valentine's sprinkles.

White Mountain Frosting
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions
1.) In medium bowl, beat egg whites with electric mixer on high speed just until stiff peaks form.
2.) In 1-quart saucepan, stir sugar, corn syrup and water until well mixed. Cover and heat to rolling boil over medium heat. Uncover and boil 4 to 8 minutes, without stirring, to 242°F on candy thermometer or until small amount of mixture dropped into cup of very cold water forms a firm ball that holds its shape until pressed. For an accurate temperature reading, tilt the saucepan slightly so mixture is deep enough for thermometer.
3.) Pour hot syrup very slowly in thin stream into egg whites, beating constantly on medium speed. Add vanilla. Beat on high speed about 10 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Frosts 13x9-inch cake generously, or fills and frosts an 8- or 9-inch two-layer cake. Makes 3 cups of frosting.



Monday, February 1, 2010

Time flies by,...

So today is the first day of February....
Am I the only one that thinks that January flew by? It seems like just yesterday we were celebrating Christmas. I for one haven't yet taken down my (fake) Christmas tree. All the ornaments are tucked away nicely in their red and green boxes, but the tree itself just sits there begging me to take it down. I have been tempted to put some red and pink hearts on it and make it a Valentine's tree. I guess with a baby at home and now that I have taken on the duty of watching a little baby girl (4 months old)as well during the week, everything else just gets pushed aside. Plus the fact that I can't physically drag the sucker up two flights of stairs to the attic by myself. But with all that has been going on, I've been told that I should enjoy the stages that Liam is in, because they go so quickly. In two days, Liam will be three months old! Wow it's amazing how right they were. I am truly taking the time to enjoy him at every little stage he is in. He is starting to giggle now, and loves cooing back in conversational cadence. His smiles just melt the heart and I have to laugh when I see his one dimple (like mine) showing on his cheek. His head doesn't wobble as much and he loves looking around. He has a sweet personality and favors Tom's laid back temperament. It's a relief to know that the curse my mother placed on me "I hope one day you have a kid just like you." didn't stick. Although I better not say that too quickly, because he hasn't hit the talking/walking stage just yet. I guess I was a child who didn't need much sleep and loved climbing out of my bed to see what was going on downstairs. I also talked/sang early (what a surprise!)It's exciting to see what this little life has to offer the world. Will he be shy or outgoing? Will he be an artist or be technical like his dad, fixing computers and things with buttons and wires? Will he like to sing or rather play an instrument? Will he be a good student? Only time will tell. I look back on these past three tiresome months and realize how blessed I am. My dream of one day of being a momma has actually come true. There is no better job in the world. I'll share a few pictures of my little Prince that I took this past month.