Posts Tagged ‘Jennifer’
Oh Pinterest…how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I fought Pinterest when I first heard about it because the last thing I needed was another piece of social media in my life. I finally joined after a friend sang the praises of bookmarking crafts and recipes without having to book them on her web browser. I love being able to pin craft ideas, recipes, and more and when I am looking for it later I don’t have to dig through thousands of links that are totally unorganized. All the ideas are neatly organized in Pinterest. Not only has it been helpful as a bookmarking tool, I have come across some great ideas I might not have found otherwise. Since joining Pinterest, I have made laundry detergent, dishwashing detergent, vanilla and a number of other things (posts to come soon about each of those!). If you are on Pinterest, follow me!
On to the discussion at hand! A few weeks ago, I came across this picture of several green onions in a drinking glass. The pin said that next time you use a green onion, save the white ends, submerge them in water and place in a sunny spot. Green onions will begin to grow almost immediately.
I love green onion and it is the one thing that did well in my garden this year. It was so nice to cut a piece of green onion off to use in cooking, on a baked potato and more whenever I wanted. When we had one of our only cold snaps, they died and I had to start buying green onion again. Though it isn’t very expensive, I almost always throw half of it away.
Until now! Three days ago, I stuck a few pieces of the white part of the green onion in a glass on my kitchen window. Yesterday, I had fresh green onion on my baked potato!
My 7 year old son is a LEGO maniac. Since he is so into building with his LEGO bricks, I decided to splurge on this:
If you buy LEGO products, you know that it was definitely a splurge…especially since I normally buy the dollar chocolate Advent calendars. Once I decided to purchase this for my son, I knew I needed to come up with an idea for my daughter. I contemplated the LEGO City Advent Calendar for her but I decided that while she would enjoy opening it up and putting the pieces together each day, it would ultimately end up in my son’s room.
I decided that I would make an Advent calendar myself using some of her favorite things. I have to give credit to my friend, E, for the idea. We researched different make-your-own Advent calendars on our favorite craft blogs and Pinterest, but nothing jumped out at us. There is one that we want to sew but we knew that would we would be cutting it close! That is when E saw the idea to tie up the little gifts in a candy roll style and hang it from a hook. We gathered up our goodies and got to work! For my daughter, I bought one package of Squinkies and I had a bag of Polly Pockets I had bought at a consignment store. I also had My Little Ponies in my closet that I used.
E made four of them. In her girls’ calendars, she tucked nail polish, lip gloss and candy. In her little guy’s calendar she used a bunch of Hot Wheels she was regifting from her older son. For her older son, it was LEGO Mini Figures and candy. They don’t have to be expensive items. They can be notes, candies, and more.
Making the Calendar
You need an inexpensive 2 ply with lining paper table cloth. We used a red tablecloth that E picked up at Target for $3.00, ribbon, scissors, and your items.
Cut your tablecloth. We started the project cutting the tablecloth on the short side because we wanted to make sure we got six calendars out of it. Because we cut on the short side, we had to tie two panels together. If you cut the long length, you shouldn’t have to combine more than one panel because it will be long enough. We cut our strip 8 inches wide so that all of the items would fit.
Decide the pattern of your gifts. If you are using all candy pieces, you can skip this step. If you are mixing up candy and toys or notes, you will want to decide how to arrange it. For example, E used 9 gifts (chapstick, nailpolish, Hot Wheel cars) and her pattern looked like this (the T stands for toy and the C stands for candy).
Tie off the top of your strip with curling ribbon.
Place your item in the tablecloth strip.
Twist the tablecloth around the item so that it covers it up and tie it off (kind of like a little piece of candy or sausage links).
Repeat until you have 25 links for the 25 days counting up until Christmas.
Curl the ribbon and hang from a hook. You can make a little card with an initial or name to staple to the top of the Advent calendar.
I knotted the ribbon so that little fingers wouldn’t decide to give it a tug. Each day, I am going to have my kids cut off the next surprise before the tied off ribbon. I hope this becomes a yearly tradition!
It seems as if we are all silently motivating each other to get back to work on our Threaded Together blog! One person posts and all the rest of us seem to follow suit. I hope that we are going to be able to keep up the momentum!
When I got my embroidery machine, the first thing I wanted to make were custom burp cloths for some friends. Kelley made me some when I had Little S and I absolutely adored them. They were the only burp cloths I would use. I got so many compliments from other mothers who were carrying around plain, boring burp cloths. They are so easy to make and are a lovely handmade gift.
I know there are a ton of tutorials out there on how to make these burp cloths, but I am still going to share what works for me. Please keep in mind that I am not a seamstress and my sewing skills are very amateur!
To complete these burp cloths, you will need burp cloths, fabric (I prefer flannel for this project), thread, and your sewing machine.
The first step is to embroider the burp cloths with your design. If you don’t have an embroidery machine, you can skip this step. They will still be adorable burp cloths and make a great gift. Also, you can check around your local embroidery places and see how much it will cost to have them embroider. For such a small design, it may only be a few dollars.
Next, cut your fabric about an inch bigger (all around) than the burp cloth.
Fold over the fabric to create a pretty edge, iron and pin to the fabric. Here is where I go all amateur sewing skills on you. These burp cloths are sometimes all wacky and making a perfect square will not fit the burp cloth properly. I fold the fabric over the top of the burp cloth as a way to measure it.
Here is my stack all ready to be sewn!
Once the fabric is pinned to the burp cloth, sew all around the perimeter of the cloth. I use a zig zag stitch.
After that, sew up the lines of the burp cloth. This will make the same lines down the flannel fabric giving it a more finished look.
Wrap up with a pretty bow and give to the lucky mother!
This week we had company in town and I didn’t have much time to work on de-cluttering the house. We have been working over the past few weeks painting. We painted the kids’ rooms and then we painted the kitchen. In the kitchen, we now have nice new countertops, scrubbed clean cabinets, and a fresh coat of paint. Then you see this:
This isn’t even as bad as it was before we pulled the fridge out to paint. A bunch of the junk on the fridge fell off and we just piled it on a table until we could clean that up! Now it looks like this:
I will probably clear some more magnets off but, for now, it makes me happy to see some white space on the refrigerator!
What have you been organizing this week?
It is the end of the school year (only two more weeks to go…YAY!) and we have been in and out of town all month so decluttering hasn’t gone as well as I had hoped. I have checked off a few things but I am hoping that once summer is here things will calm down a bit. We have a few trips planned, but I am hoping to have time to continue my decluttering journey and also to craft!! You will probably see more kid’s crafts as I will be trying to find lots of things to entertain my 4 and 6 year old!
This week I tackled a project I had been dreading…two of the three hall closets. This closet contains a number of craft items that as you can see are just thrown in the closet with no organization at all. I broke my foot at Christmas in the midst of a million craft projects and as we put stuff away I just threw them in to the closet.
I couldn’t even find something in there if I tried! I organized all the craft stuff, threw away trash, and put some items to be sold in a garage sale. I am still trying to decide if Christmas Cookie Monster gets to stay…my kids love him. Maybe he can move to Grandma’s house to live with the other singing Christmas toys!
Next, I tackled the second hall closet that I have really been dreading. We affectionately call this closet the crap closet. Some people have a junk drawer but we have a crap closet.
As I was cleaning out the closet, I found that the majority of the junk in the closet were holiday items that we missed while putting them away each holiday. You know when you clean up Christmas you always find that one decoration that didn’t make it into the boxes before they got put in the attic? Well, we should have been calling this closet the Closet of Lost Decorations because that was mostly what was in it! That and trash.
With all this free closet space, my next major project (oh and it will be a major one) is to clean Craft Central out of our bedroom and put it in the closet.
What are you organizing this week? Stop by Org Junkie to see what everyone is organizing!
This little bunny candy dish makes a sweet last minute (and inexpensive, too!) Easter gift! Here is how to make one for yourself or a gift!
What you need:
- one terra cotta pot
- one terra cotta dish that is much larger than the top of the pot (pot will sit in dish)
- white and pink felt pieces
- a straw hat that fits over the bottom of your terra cotta pot
- spray paint/paint of your choice (make sure it is non-toxic or be sure to only put wrapped candy in your dish)
- candy of your choice
What to do:
- Paint the pot. Remember that it is going to e a bunny when it is finished!
- Paint the dish.
- When the pot is dry, paint a bunny face on it.
- Seal the paint.
- Decorate the little hat with bunny ears using the pink and white felt. Attach with a glue gun.
- Fill with candy of your choice and have a Happy Easter!
Even though the last time I posted a Clutter-oholics post was three long weeks ago, I promise I have been doing some organizing. The projects took a little longer than I had thought they would and I just didn’t have the energy to post! The first thing I did was clean out three email accounts. No pictures for that one!
The second thing we did was clean up the kitchen to get new counter tops installed. We just went with a high end laminate because we didn’t want to spend the money on a solid surface. We are very happy with the counter tops!
Now we just need to rip down the old border and paint when we get around to it!
The third thing we worked on were the children’s rooms…cue the horror music now. I give you Big S’s before picture:
I know, I know…the clutter issue runs in the family. And the after picture (ignore the lego pieces…he was playing after cleaning!):
And I give you Little S’s room (look away fast!):
The only thing left is to make the beds! The plan is to paint their rooms as well…we will see if we get around to it. What have you been cleaning up lately?
Stop by OrgJunkie to see other people’s messes…it will make me feel better! :-)
Week Two of the 52 Weeks Challenge (Week 10 if you actually started at the beginning of the year!) was a bit of a challenge for me. I was on a roll last week, checking off three items from my 52 Weeks List, and I thought that I would do at least two or three things this week. Nope. Reality check…life, kids, dinner, laundry, and maintaining last week’s items took up an awful lot of time! Even though I only completed one small area, I really learned a lot.
I decided to work on the bookshelf area in our living room. If you look across the living room, it is the first thing that you see when you walk through the front door. We don’t pay much attention to the bookshelf. It is used on a weekly, if not daily basis. It is probably the one area in my house that doesn’t collect a layer of dust on it because books are moved around, taken off the shelf, added to the shelf, etc. I don’t even notice the bookshelf and what it looks like.
Then, I took a picture of it and looked at on the camera screen. AAACCKK!! Is this what people see when they first walk into my house?!?!?!
O. M. G.
Yikes! The cardboard box was put there to catch books as I went through them, but pretty much everything else is exactly what it typically looks like. I went through each shelf, took everything off of it and then sorted it into piles (keep, give away, sell, return to rightful owner). It took days to go through these two bookshelves…ridiculous. What is even more ridiculous is that now that it is done, I have 1.5 shelves of books I haven’t read yet. No need for a library trip right now. I can’t believe all those unread books were hiding on the shelf. I have three bags of books to return or give to three different people and an entire box to take to a used bookstore.
And I laughed out loud when I found this little buried gem!
Now the bookshelf looks like this:
Now that the whole area is cleaned up, I can see what books I have to read and what little things sit on the shelf. There are several little trinkets that we have purchased during our travels that were displayed before but you couldn’t see them through the mess. I am still not sure what I am going to place on the top of the bookshelf, but now I have room to display things that are important to me like this:
This is a copy of the Southern Living blog post when I was named Southern Living Mama Blogger of the Week for my family travel blog. One of my best friends printed off the post, framed it and gave it to me as a gift the day I found out. It has not been displayed because there was nowhere to put it but it is very special to me because it was such an honor!
For more organizing madness, stop by Organizing Junkie for the roundup!
Who knows what we will organize next!!!
This week is going to be a week of using up what is in our fridge and freezer. I plan on heading to the store to pick up a few fresh fruits and veggies and also a few coupon items but we are hoping to keep our grocery budget under 50 dollars this week.
Monday – Lasagna (If I have enough ingredients, I am going to make two so I have one to freeze for later)
Tuesday – Honey Chicken Stir Fry (We love stir fry around here but I am getting tired of the same old recipe. I am looking forward to trying something new!
Wednesday – Parmesan Tilapia
Thursday – Turkey Burgers
Friday – Homemade Pizza Rolls
Saturday -Eat out
Sunday – Breakfast for Dinner (eggs, bacon, pancakes)
Two weeks ago, I shared my list of 52 things I would like to clean, straighten, declutter or get rid of as part of the 52 Week Challenge at I’m An Organizing Junkie. I missed the first week (week 9 of the official 52 weeks) because I was preparing to go out of town so I made up for it with three different spaces this week. The first space I tackled was the kids’ learning time baskets. Each child has a basket that I keep under the coffee table full of crayons, art supplies, coloring books and activity books. This is what the area typically looks like:
This is Little S’s learning time box:
And Big S’s:
Who knows how long the basket has been in two pieces. Little S and I went through the boxes together. We threw out used up coloring books, pieces of crayon, dried up markers, etc. Paper went into the recycling bin and the rest went into the trash. An entire trash bag of trash:
This is what the area looks like now:
Aaaah…that is nice. Now, on to the next area of trouble…magazines. They were in a basket under the same table but I decided to clean this one off in the process:
I cleaned the table off, filed stuff away, and threw stuff away. I went through the magazines too. I kept the cooking/food magazine through January of last year because I love to flip through them for new ideas on a regular basis. All other magazines got recycled. I kept my husband’s magazines from January of this year on. Now it looks like this:
The last area I worked on was the entry way coat and shoe rack. Bleh.
I instituted a new shoe policy. Each person can have no more than two pairs of shoes on the rack in the entryway at a time. The rest of the shoes need to be in the shoe box in his or her room! I put the purses that I am not currently using in their home and hung up the jackets (which will soon be going into the coat closet hopefully…we have had many beautiful days in a row!). It still looks a little cluttered but I am not sure what to do about it.
It does need to be mentioned that less than three hours after I cleaned all those surfaces, they were covered again by coke cans, paperwork, mail, homework and a cell phone. I immediately reprimanded the entire family, made them clean up their mess and it was good as new. I am tired already.
What did you tackle this week? Don’t know where to get started? Join the Organizing Junkie and her 52 Weeks of Organizing Challenge! Next week, I plan on tackling the bookshelf.