We’re Still Here!

Hi folks!

We’re still here!! Chelsey and I both have exciting times coming up for us– in the job department… so that means we are swamped with adjusting and prepping…Chels will be teaching music, and I’m switching to 2nd grade (I was currently in SpEd). Exciting, but BUSY! We’ll update soon!!

Good morning! Tutu tutorial!!

Hello! I feel like I dropped off the face of the blogging world! Can we say how fast the end of the school year is coming?! Yikes!! But it’s good too… and theres so much to do between then and now… but it’ll get all done! (Because it has to! ha)

Ok, so I have a tutorial for you that is overdue! I made it in March, for a birthday gift, but it also looked very St. Patty’s day, so I decided to wait.

So I made The Very Adorable Three Year Old (friend’s daughter) a Tinkerbell skirt.¬† We LOVE tinkerbell. Very Adorable Three Year Old is VERY skinny– so my measurements are based on that– measure your own Adorable accordingly.

Supplies:

2 Yards of dk. green tulle

2 Yards of lt green tulle

2-3 Spools of glitter tulle (found at hobby lobby– add or subtract this as you choose.)

1 package of elastic. (there are approx. 2334234 options for this- i’ll point mine out in the following photos.) I used green stretchy stuff that had holes woven into it.

1 crochet hook, about j-k size or whatever you have

1 sewing maching and/or hand needles

OPTIONAL: Green stretch sequin belt, tinkerbell stickers,

Here are what the supplies I used look like, all found at Hobby Lobby, and b/c of sales and coupons, I got lots of glittery ones, so that whole pile cost about $25, half of what it could have been!!

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STEP 1:

Cut out your tulle.¬† Here’s where i goofed– i cut mine too long and narrow.¬† You want it about 5″ wide, and 1/2 the length of your Adorable’s measurements from waist to foot.¬†

Using a rotary cutter is the nicest, but a sharp scissor does the job too. Then cut your elastic to the needed waist measurement of your Adorable, PLUS 1 inch on each side.  Sew together right away.

 

 

STEP TWO: I used about three pieces of tulle per loopРbut you might just use one or two since I had too many skinny ones, but either way, you fold the tulle in half, and put the hook end of your crochet hook in the looped end.  Pull all of it through the bottom loop of the waistband, OR if you are using plain elastic, (no hook) make a slip knot around the elastic, starting at the middle of the elastic. All loops should look similar to this:

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Because I used two different colors, I alternated between the two.  I did all the dark green first, then light.  If you are just using elastic, do them as you want right away- light/dark/light/dark etc etc.

Continue doing this til you get it all the way around the circle.

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Some more photos of the first layer:

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STEP 3: Since I used this loopy stretchy stuff, I did a top layer w/ the glitter.  Which took 3 weeks to vacuum it all up.  Just warning you! Same looping, same idea, just MESSY.

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So that’s the bare bones.¬† Then I hand sewed some sequin trim around the top, and a few tulle bows, to jazz it up.¬† You can literally add anything you want.¬† I used extra elastic to make a headband with a giant glitter tulle bow on it, which of course I forgot to get a photo.¬† But the Very Adorable Three Year Old LOVEEEEEEEEEEEES it, so I was glad!!

Options– yellow for Belle, blue and white for Cinderella, blue or pink for aurora, it’s really endless.¬† It can be any color tulle you can find.¬† I bought Tink stickers to make sure she realized what it was since she is only three.

So my very basic tutorial….Let me know if I missed any directions- I’ll gladly answer them!!

Happy tutu making!!!!

 

Alyssa

Book Study Happening Now!

A few weeks ago I came across an email that announced an online¬†Bible/book study called A Confident Heart; How to Stop Doubting Yourself and Live in the Security of God’s Promises. After checking out Renee’s website and reading about the book, I decided to give it a try. The study started yesterday, April 1, and I have to say I am really excited to completely dive in! I think most women struggle with confidence at some point in their life; I know I have. My parents did a wonderful job of encouraging me and helping me to discover my strengths and do my best as a child, yet I still struggle with confidence in certain¬†areas.¬† Even if you are an extremely confident woman, this book seems like a good reminder of how to remain confident and really lean into the promises of God. I am hoping to learn how to live confidently every day, even if my circumstances seem shaky, the unimaginable happens or I’m just having a really, really bad day.

Are you interested? You can still sign up! Just visit Renee’s website.¬† You’ll need a copy of her book, which you can¬†purchase as an e-book or a paper edition.¬† Let me know if you decide to do the study-I am excited to hear how it speaks to your heart!

A Confident Heart Online Bible/Book Study http://reneeswope.com/online-biblebook-study/

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Picture courtesy of http://reneeswope.com/online-biblebook-study/

 

~Chelsey

 

Pinterest Tuesday: The Pinterest Blues

Hey.

Just a warning, today isn’t a warm and fuzzy post.

Today is supposed to be Pinterest¬†Tuesday, but I’m not feeling very Pinterest-y. In fact, today, Pinterest¬†did not inspire me, make me want to do great things, or even feel warm and fuzzy. Today, Pinterest¬†made me feel sad. Why, might you ask? Well, I was scrolling through the Pinterest¬†pages and came across a pin with a young mom on the front, standing in front of a gorgeous house. The caption read “love her decorating tips” or something along those lines, so I thought I’d give it a click. Bad decision.¬† Now, I know this woman’s house was staged for the photo shoot, but wow, I mean, wow.¬† It was gorgeous! She really was an amazing decorator, not to mention a mom with small children.¬† With each picture I scrolled through, a deeper sense of “you totally stink” punched me in the stomach. When I was done, I just sat in stunned silence.¬† Then I looked around my own very plain,¬†disaster-stricken¬†home. My kitchen chairs are not lovely, they are falling apart.¬† My countertops are NEVER cleared off. Thank goodness my couches have covers; they are usually covered in crumbs, snot, dog hair¬†and spilled juice.¬† There are rips and¬†tears in my¬†sheet rock¬†¬†from where children have pulled¬†items off of the walls which were¬†held there by those picture hanging strips. In fact, I even have gunk in the¬†peak of my cathedral ceiling that looks like food.¬†How? And how do I even clean it?¬† The finish on my 9-year-old cupboards is starting to do something weird, and my stairs look horrible-most of the finish on them is gone and one is warped. ¬†My house, even on its best day, will never look like hers. Ever. And it made me feel sad. I feel bad about complaining-I live in a beautiful area and my husband I have had the great¬†opportunity to build our own home. We have land, and a gorgeous view of one of the Great Lakes. See that picture at the top of our blog? I took that standing next to my dining room table.¬† I DO have so much to be thankful for, but even so, I am human, and some days I get caught up in focusing on what I don’t have, instead of being thankful for the things I do have.

I just finished a really good book by Jill Savage called No More Perfect Moms.

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Picture courtesy of amazon.com

It was freeing for me-it addressed the issue of the “perfection infection” within our culture, especially among moms, in the areas of ourselves, our kids, our husbands, our homes, and our walk with God. It addressed this very issue of feeling¬†like you “never measure up”. I learned so much from her honest, God-centered words, although obviously I still have some hurdles to jump before I completely rid my life of the “perfection infection”.¬† If you ever feel the way I do, take a moment to check out her book or her blog. She is a real mom with real problems and she relies on her very real God.

So, maybe next week I will find a fun project on Pinterest¬†that I feel like sharing with all of you! But today, I think I am going to boycott Pinterest. Especially the home decor section. I just don’t need that kind of pressure!

What about you? Do you ever feel this way?

-Chelsey

Excersizing in the tundra.

Ok.  That title might be a SLIGHT exaggeration.  Sometimes, it is not.

So I have taken up running when its’ nice out.¬† Which is exactly 2.453453 minutes of each year here. Here’s another piece of info.¬† I HAAAAAAAAAATE running.¬† I’m slow.¬† (because I dont run???) It hurts (because I dont run???) and I am sure I look like this:

Ouch.  Ok I kid.  THIS is me:

Perfect.

Ok so here’s how I combat those emotions, because sure I’d love to lose some weight, but more importantly for me is to be HEALTHY.¬† And running is very good for that- increase lung capacity, muscle usage, getting outside for fresh (or frozen) air. I use a couch-to-5k app on my cell phone.¬† It gives me weekly challenges to run 3xs per week, and increases it slow enough that I feel successful (instead of impossible standards). I have just used free ones that look good:C25K is a nice app.¬† It has a free and a pay one.¬† So far I haven’t needed to upgrade.¬† How it works: You pick your week/day you are on, and it verbally tells you to walk as a warm up, when to run and so on.¬† Very useful to me.¬† I also then blast the Pandora app to some energetic music and I find more success.¬† My goal is to run a 5k I have coming up in April (Fitger’s 5k) in 40 mins or less.¬† It is a good goal, but still one I definitely need to work at.¬† I’ll let you know how it goes!

Here’s a few more funnies.¬† Because if we can’t laugh at ourselves, others will.

Ok.¬† I’m done.¬† That was wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy to much fun to google.¬† (Running-someecards…. warning-some slip in there that are way naughty.

The one where life took control.

So here’s a phrase we use daily…hourly? “I’m soooooooooooooo busy”.

It’s not a lie, or a falsehood or a misrepresentation of our days.¬† But I’ve noticed it’s become a competition.¬† Like- who can be the busiest.¬† Why?!??¬†

Lately over the weekends especially, I have taken to completely ignoring my cell phone.¬† Meaning I’ll check it just once.¬† Of course, I haven’t really gone all the way and turn my phone off, but keeping it in a room that I seldom frequent is very useful.¬† It may seem silly for something so small, but I find it gives me quite a bit (sadly) of extra time.¬†

One thing people like to share with me is that “You’ll have no free time when you have kids”.¬† Or some variation of that sentence.¬† I do NOT doubt them at all.¬† But the implication is that I have oodles of free time now.¬† Which I do not.¬† It is spent far more selfishly.¬† Which is how that sentence should go.¬† “You’ll not be able to choose what to keep yourself busy with.” As a non-parent, this feels more accurate from my perspective.¬† Feel free to slam me with opposing comments— or I love being correct- you can agree with me too ūüôā

So, what do I selfishly spend my time doing? All sorts of things.¬† Sewing, friend time, husband time, tv, reading, cleaning, laundry, etc etc etc.¬† That’s not the point.¬† The point is to try to eliminate a few things from my life to make it less busy and more specifically good.¬† Slowing down is OK.¬† There. I said it.¬† You don’t have to do it ALL. I know, I know, miss-bossy-pants-has-it-easy-doesn’t-understand-my-life.

Yep.

Again, you are probably right.¬† But for me, I figure if I can learn how to say no to a few things once and while, someday when I have a family, I’ll have created a habit to say no (once and while I’m sure) to the busyness and just enjoy the moment.¬† (Sometimes, I ignore that pile of laundry or that pile of dishes…husband time is rare during tax season, and so I cherish those moments when we have them.¬† I will always have dishes.¬† But I may not have that half hour of enjoying him.)

Clean Microwave…Clean Shower?

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about how to clean your microwave. Do you remember it? If not check it out here.¬† Since then, my microwave has looked great! The other day I made the decision to tackle our bathtub/shower.¬† This is a job I despise-my arm always hurts afterwards from all the scrubbing and it never really looks “clean”. Ugh. As I was preparing to clean it, I had a thought. What if I used the same method that I used on the microwave on my shower? It should work, right? Well, anything was better than a sore arm, so I gave it a try.¬† First I sprayed a mixture of white vinegar and water over the entire surface of my shower. Then I put the plug in, closed the curtain and ran the hottest water I could for about 7-10 minutes, checking on it periodically just in case it got too full. When that was done, I pulled the plug and started to scrub.¬† It was going okay, grime was coming off, but I still had to use too much elbow grease.¬† I remembered that baking soda does a great job of cutting¬† through dirt, so I sprinkled some all over the shower and tub. I let it sit for a minute and then started wiping with my sponge. It. Was. Amazing!¬† All of the grime came right off, with very little elbow work involved! I was thrilled!¬† Interested in trying it yourself? Let me know how it works for you!

 

~Chelsey

Bacon!

When I hear the word bacon, my brain automatically sends a message to my salvia glands, and I start drooling. I like bacon a lot. My husband also likes bacon. Almost as much as he likes cheese. Same with Taylor. But Emily is another story.¬† Emily has what I would gently call a “refined” palette-she east peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, tortilla shells with shredded cheese, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, yogurt, applesauce and not…much…else. I have struggled over the past five years trying and get her to at least try food, and every time have ended up frustrated, and guilt-ridden. What did I do wrong? Should I have introduced solids in a different order when she was a baby? I hated the feeling of failure, and I worried about Emily’s health. The one thing that gave me solace was my own life-I was born without a sense of smell, therefore, trying new foods has also been difficult for me over the years. It wasn’t until I became an adult that I experienced the joy of potato salad, oatmeal, grapefruit (still working on that one) and many other foods.¬† I am pretty sure that Emily cannot smell, and most of her reluctance to try food stems from the fact that she is judging it only on the way it looks. There are no enticing smells encouraging her brain and.¬† However, Josh and I decided to push her a little, and help her try some of the foods she would never try on her own.

I had made Emily a chart where she could do chores and earn money towards a toy she wanted to buy.¬† She picked Yank, the dog that goes along with her American Girl Doll, Emily Bennett. Josh had the idea to add food tasting to her required “chores”.¬† We explained the rules and started.¬† Each night at dinner, Emily would get a plate with the same food the rest of the family was eating and she had to take at least one bite of each thing.¬† This may sound simple, but in the past it was met with resistance, tears, screams and complete frustration. This time, we tried to be as casual as possible. If she didn’t try the food, she wouldn’t get a sticker on her chart. The first night she cuddled close to me and let me feed her. I can’t even remember what she tried, but she did it, and when she was done, we made a big deal out of it! Lots of high fives and “good jobs!” She was so proud when she put that first sticker on the chart. And so was I.¬† But I wondered, would it last? Day after day, she would cuddle close to me at dinner and let me help her try new foods, and every night another sticker was added to the chart.¬† Then, one night we had green beans.¬† She tasted one¬†and told me, “Hey, I think I like these!” and proceeded to eat every green bean on her plate.¬† Success!! Finally! Since that day we have had green beans several times a week. She has added fruit loops and macaroni and cheese to her list of “likes” and no longer is afraid at dinner to dive in and try something new.¬† And this momma is so happy!

Now back to bacon! One night she was at her cousins’ house and they served pancakes for dinner. Normally Emily likes pancakes, but they were thin pancakes and not what she was used to.¬† Josh’s brother called me up and asked me to come and get her at dinner time, as Emily was crying about the pancakes.¬† I went over and picked her up, asking her why she didn’t like the pancakes.¬† She told me they were different than the ones I make and she was afraid to try new things at someone else’s house. Okay, since this is still new, I didn’t push it.¬† Then, Emily looked at me with a horrified look on her face and in her most anguished voice cried, “And they had…BACON!”

Oh how horrible! ūüôā

Here is Emily with her sticker chart and Yank! She is now working towards Felicity, a retired¬†American Girl doll whom I ordered on E-bay. She has 90 stickers to earn before she gets Felicity. So far she is doing great and I am so proud of her bravery!¬†¬†On the¬†surface it may look like bribery, but ultimately¬† we are helping her cultivate a sense of security in trying new foods and new things in life, which is a big deal for my shy little girl.¬† Who knows, maybe next week she will try “BACON!”

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~Chelsey