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

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.)

Pinterest Tuesday: Puffy Paint and Valentine’s Day Cards

As Valentine’s Day approached, I tried to think of a fun, easy craft to do with the girls.¬† Of course, I turned to Pinterest for inspiration and found this.¬† It was perfect; easy, simple materials, and great for a variety of ages.

A cute handprint card idea... definitely doing this!!

So cute!! We added one twist-puffy paint! I found a recipe in a newsletter from my school district and we went to work.  Now, I saved the newsletter so I could share the recipe with you, and I put it in a really, really, really safe place. How do I know this? I cannot find it. Of course.  But all is not lost! I did find this post which explains how to make it and some fun projects using the puffy paint.

Puffy Paint

1/2 cups shaving cream

1/2 cup white glue

food coloring

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Measure out the shaving cream and glue and mix together. Add the food coloring and mix until you like the results.

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Transfer the puffy paint to empty condiment bottles or use a paintbrush and let the kids have fun!

 

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Yes, this one was mine.

We put our paint on really thick, and it took a long time to dry. Overnight, in fact.  But it was puffy, and the girls enjoyed it. Great for a snowy, cold day.

~Chelsey

 

Pinterest Tuesday: Taco Seasoning!

The chicken was cooking on the stove, homemade tortilla chips were in the oven. I reached into my cupboard for the taco seasoning, only to find an empty space. Uh-oh. I searched every nook and cranny of the cupboard for a hidden packet of taco seasoning only to come out empty handed. What was I going to do? Dinner was ruined! Without taco seasoning my chicken nachos wouldn’t be very nacho-y. Could I turn it into something else? Start over with something completely new? I was in a pickle. Then, I suddenly remembered a recipe for homemade taco seasoning I had pinned on Pinterest.¬† Did I have the right ingredients? Would it taste good? I decided to try it out-I had to save dinner!

After looking at my Favorite Recipes board on Pinterest, I came across this pin.

homemade taco seasoning Homemade Taco Seasoning

Picture courtesy of http://www.5dollardinners.com/homemade-taco-seasoning/

Well, it looked promising! I rummaged around for the ingredients and discovered I had them all! (That NEVER happens, by the way.)

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1 T chili powder, 1 T ground cumin, 1 T garlic powder, 1 T onion powder, 1/4‚Äď¬Ĺ T crushed red pepper. Mix it all together. It is that easy!

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I¬†threw¬†1/8 cup seasoning¬†in with my chicken along with 2/3 cup water, and continued on with my recipe.¬† And you know what? Our chicken nachos were excellent! They were slightly spicier than we usually make them, probably because of the red pepper flakes, but everything else tasted just like the taco seasoning I usually buy in bulk from Sam’s Club.¬† Guess who won’t be making that purchase again? ME!!!

Want to try it for yourself? Use the links above and check out the original recipe. Be a kitchen hero!

~Chelsey

Craftiness… Or…the lack-there-of.

So this last two weeks I have been trying to make this:
hat1

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/phannie

I love Ravelry.com! It’s a free website that has tons of knitting and crocheting patterns. Lots are free, some cost, all are so cool! You just have to sign up (like most websites) but the best part is that you don’t get emails! I’ve spent hours browsing.

So it didn’t work out. It was NOT the pattern. It was me. I am not as good as crocheting as I like to imagine. So I decided to try another pattern. This one, but in a larger size :
hat2

Cute right?! It’s clearly me. This is what my hat looks like right now:
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So…I am breaking what might be a cardinal rule in needlework… I’m starting at the brim and working my way in. I’ll let you know how it looks next week. Wish me luck!!

Alyssa

*This post was not sponsored by Ravelry. I just love the website and enjoy them! All opinions are my own!

Pinterest Tuesday: Clean Microwave!

 

 

EEWWW…my food goes in there?

I have a confession to make. I am a terrible “cleaner”. I don’t think I have a neat bone in my body. I can be organized when I have to be; I was very organized in my college years, especially during student teaching, and I am pretty organized at work, thanks to my ultra-organized mother-in-law (she’s my boss!) However, when it comes to my home, not so much.¬† And I know that organization and cleaning are two separate things, but, I am bad at both. I have a whole board on Pinterest called DIY Cleaning, and today I am going to demonstrate one of the pins I tried:

How to Clean Your Microwave
http://pinterest.com/pin/171207223306281787/

I’ll show you how I did it; prepare to be amazed!

Step 1: Examine your gross, disgusting microwave

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Step 2: Fill a microwave safe bowl with water, add a splash of vinegar (I used a really BIG splash) and microwave until the water boils. I let mine boil for a few minutes, just to be safe. Then,¬†wearing hot pads remove the bowl and using a cloth or paper towel, wipe down your microwave. The gunk should be pretty easy to clean-if some is still stuck on, use a little elbow grease, or, I found that the longer I microwaved the water and vinegar mixture, the easier it was to wipe off all my “crud”.

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Step 3: Admire your handiwork! And never microwave anything ever again. Just kidding, although I now use a cover to keep the really messy food from flying all around. See that nice little burn mark on the top of my microwave? Should I be worried about that? Hmm…

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Now, if I did this once a week, or once a month, I would always have a nice, clean microwave. Try it and see how it works for you!

~Chelsey