Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Santa Message 2010

Please. PLEASE. If you have children, go to www.portablenorthpole.tv and make a message from Santa for your kid(s). (You can do it for grandkids, friends, nieces and nephews too) THIS IS THE COOLEST THING I'VE EVER SEEN!!!

I can't embed Sadie's message from Santa, but it's linked here: Sadie's Santa Message 2010 Take a look! That link should work until the end of 2010, I believe.

After you've seen how awesome the Santa video is, check out Sadie's reaction to it:

She was pretty excited Santa knew so much about her and what she wanted for Christmas...Santa's a pretty smart dude, ya know.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sadie's First Sewing Project!

Tonight, Sadie and I were looking for something fun to do. We work on fine motor skills quite a bit, and I knew sewing was just around the corner. I decided it was time to try out a needle and thread. (3 years old isn't too young for pointy, sharp, dangerous objects, right? Quit judging.) She did so awesome!

I showed her how to thread the needle, and then she insisted on doing it herself the rest of the time...she's a natural :)

First few stitches were pink, of course...(check out that form!)

And here's my little sewing girl showing off her finished work of art!

Fabulous, right? I am so proud, I could pop!

Title: Untitled (I'm calling it "80's Looking Laser Thingys")
Artist: Sadie
Media: DMC Floss on Construction Paper

The bidding will start at...nevermind...it's priceless. :)


Friday, November 26, 2010

State Pillow - On the Cheap!

Do you see this North Carolina pillow?
I really love it...especially for the uniqueness and the kitsch factor. Eek! It's so cute! But...because of it's uniqueness and kitsch factor, it's a hefty $149.00.

Do you know what's not a hefty $149.00? This dish towel:
It's only $20.00 and has awesome funky stripes on it. Guess who's gettin' a $20 North Carolina dish towel for Christmas? And guess who's gonna turn it into a North Carolina pillow? I just saved $129.00.

{Happy Dance}


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Errant Thought Roundup 20

I love, I love, I hate, I hate
I like, I wish, for goodness sake...
I hope, I hope, I pray, I pray
I will, I won't, and for today...

I love love love love LOOOOOVVVVEEE this day. Our house is clean and smells like turkey. We haven't had to go anywhere or do anything. We had a lovely, fluffy snowfall. My family is awesome.
I love my family. I am blessed far beyond that which I deserve. Don't worry - I'm fully aware. My husband is precious, and patient, and funny, and affectionate, and my daughter is pretty much the greatest kid in the known universe.
I hate public service announcements on facebook. What a waste of 30 seconds it is to type those out. What a waste of countless minutes it is to think up reasons to be irritated. There's genuine pain and anguish, and then there's public service announcements. Stuff like this: "I do not want to see pictures of your ugly dog. If you have an ugly dog, please refrain from showing him to the world. Just because you think your dog is cute, doesn't mean anyone else does." Whew. That's rough. Do they have any purpose other than hurting someone's feelings? Don't get me wrong...I've done them before. I just hate them.
I hate it when I get passionate about something and someone tells me to 'calm down.' I like to have the freedom to feel the way that I feel in exactly the way that I want to feel it. Please don't try to wind me down - I'm so rarely wound up that I think it's ok if I get a little excited every now and then.
I like that I can get my "hates" out of the way on the Errant Thought Roundup so that I don't have to carry them around with me. They're awfully heavy.
I wish I could find my little cable so that I could upload pictures. Wouldn't you like to see pictures right now?
For goodness sake, why on EARTH would anyone make brownies from scratch when Betty Crocker Triple Chunk brownies exist in a box? There is no good reason.
I hope I get all of my Christmas shopping done online tomorrow. I would love not having to go out at all to shop! If you know of some good online Black Friday deals - send 'em my way, kids!
I hope I don't start a new "project" for a while. I don't have the itch for one and it's kind of nice...I've been getting a lot more of my reading done!
I pray with gratitude that God has given me a very easy kid to raise. He must think I'm too stupid to raise a tough one...and that's ok with me.
I pray that I would remember all of the things I'm grateful for and focus on those instead of on the things that bother me.
I will most definitely eat my two favorite desserts in the world today: Triple Chunk Brownies and Peanut Butter Jumble ice cream. Don't judge me...it's Thanksgiving.
I won't enforce bedtime tonight. What's the fun in having rules if you can't break them sometimes, right?
And for today, I think this is a really special holiday. There's no real commercialization, you don't have to buy things for people, there are no characters associated with it, no songs, and no trappings. It's just about just appreciating what you have. I hope you and yours have (had) a very Happy Thanksgiving!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Thankful Snark

I have to apologize to you. I have been so snarky over the last few days. Maybe you haven't noticed? I sincerely hope not...I don't like to rub my yucky outlooks onto others, but sometimes I can't help it. I'm sorry. That's a lie. I can help it. But sometimes it feels so good to snark for a minute. Or to say something catty, back-handed, and/or passive aggressive. Oh my gosh...in the moment it feels so good to be a brat. Then afterwards I feel like a dirty dishtowel. Gross and greasy.

Oh wait...you do it sometimes too? Whew - thank goodness we're both human. I was worried about you there for a second. You're kind of awesome. And I'm really sorry if my bad days have ever affected you.

As I sit here eating a bowl full of TGIFriday's spinach and artichoke dip...accompanying my giant bowl of plum tomatoes, and a tasty tub of Peanut Butter Jumble ice cream in the freezer...waiting for it's turn, I am realizing two things: 1) I eat when I'm irritated. 2) I had a bad day today.

But. I am a big girl. It's time to put on my big girl panties and stop being full of nonsense. I promise, I receive Gentle reminders when I'm being a bit of a turkey. Speaking of turkey...tomorrow is Thanksgiving. In honor of Thanksgiving, I would like to have a moment of thankfulness...

I am thankful for the opportunity to be able to whine and moan and groan, for friends who love me despite my shortcomings, and for being able to see clearly enough through the fog of a bad day to realize just how ungrateful I can be sometimes.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Operation Christmas Child

When we went to church this morning, we completely forgot that it was Operation Christmas Child collection day. We didn't even get our boxes put together! Tomorrow is the last collection day, so Sadie and I decided to spend our afternoon putting a box together for a boy and a girl.

Do you know what Operation Christmas Child is?

How to pack an OCC box (instructions stolen mostly from the Samaritan's Purse website...I don't think they'll mind):

Step 1: Get a shoe box! We used these:
Product Image
Step 2: Determine whether your gift will be for a boy or a girl, and the child's age category: 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14. Print out the appropriate boy/girl label by downloading from the Samaritan's Purse website. Mark the correct age category on the label and tape the label to the top of your box!

Of COURSE we did a box for a 3 year old girl and a 3 year old boy :)

Step 3: Fill the box with gifts! Gift ideas include:
small cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, small Etch-a-Sketch, toys that light up or make noise (include batteries), slinkies, etc.

pens, pencils, crayons or markers, stamps and ink pad sets, writing pads or paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, etc.

toothbrush, toothpaste, mild bar soap (in a plastic baggie), comb, washcloth, etc.

Hard candy and lollipops (double bag all candy), mints, gum, t-shirts, socks, ball caps, sunglasses, hair clips, toy jewelry, watches, flashlights with extra batteries, etc.

In a separate envelope, you may enclose a note to the child and a photo of yourself or your family (if you include your name and address, the child may write back).

Used or damaged items, war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures, chocolate or food, out-of-date candy, liquids or lotions, medications or vitamins, breakable items such as snowglobes or glass containers, aerosol cans.

Step 4: Include a donation! It costs a lot to ship the boxes, so they ask for a donation of $7 per box to help offset the cost of getting it into the hands of the children who will be receiving it.

Step 5: Place a rubber band around each box and drop it off at your local collection center. There's a map of collection centers on the OCC info website.

Step 6: Pray for the kids who will be receiving the boxes you have packed. We don't know what types of situations they are in, but we do know that there are people on the ground in those areas to support the kids and their families. Pray for them!

Here's our journey for Operation Christmas Child today!
Photo we had printed to include in the boxes...she is cheesin' it big time! I explained to her what we were doing, and she got really excited about being able to help another little girl (not so much the little boy...she was a little ambivalent about him).

Holding onto her boxes!

All the cool stuff for the little boy - she did awesome! :)

Packing the little boy box at home!

Little boy box - finished!

Packing lollipops for the little girl box.

Yeah...pretty much everything she picked for the little girl was pink. Hope little girls in other countries like pink! :)

All the cool stuff for the little girl!

Little girl box - all done!

This is the first charity experience that Sadie has ever had at an age where she could actually semi-understand the impact of what she was doing. I'm very proud of how she reacted when I told her what we were going to do.

First, I showed her this video:

Then we had this conversation:

Me: Sadie, we're going to get some things for a little girl and a little boy who don't have awesome things like you. Just like the kids in the video.
Sadie: [lifting her palms up] They don't even have cool toys??
Me: No, they don't - what should we get them?
Sadie: Can we get the little girl PRINCESS UNDERWEAR!?!?
Me: Sure! Should we get some for the little boy too?
Sadie: Yes. He would like race cars.
Me: Awesome...let's go!
Sadie: [running to get her coat] C'mon, Mommy, we should go!

She didn't even ask for anything for herself. My kid is so cool! :)


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Smoked Turkey

Know how I always like to pretend we have action in our house? Know how I like to say that life's little adventures add up to life's big adventures? WELL...let me tell ya...we've had enough adventure in our house today to last us for a while, I think. Although sewing pillows and painting rugs is exciting, it's not much compared to the excitement we had today...

Ok...let me preface by saying that I have made gorgeous turkeys for seven years running. Not just gorgeous...gorgeous and juicy. Even the white meat! The Turkey I made today for our Thanksgiving feast? Not so much. BUT - I have an excellent excuse.

Me: Honey, can you come pull the turkey out of the oven? I'd really like to flip it...
Eric: Sure...
{bear with me...the next several events happened at what seemed like the speed of light}
Eric: [picks up turkey] Oh crap!
["heavy duty" pan buckles under the weight of our gigantic turkey (21 lbs)]
[stock spills out into bottom of oven]
[GIANT BLAZE forces its way out of the oven in what seems like half a second] (heavy duty my foot.)
[flames rise ~3 feet out of the oven and engulf my husband's head]
Eric: [steady stream of four-letter uncharacteristic unpleasantries]
Me: [kick oven door shut while screaming like a 12 year old girl]
[Sadie runs to the kitchen to find out what happened]
[fire detector does it's job.]
Me: [flinging the door open to let the smoke out] SADIE - I need you to hold the door open, please! [run to windows to open them up so that the billowing fog can disappear]
[Building fire alarm starts buzzing...yay for impressing the neighbors!]
[Fire department shows up...offers Eric an ambulance...he declines as he's pretty sure that there's nothing the doctor can do for charred facial hair]

I have to tell you...I believe that two miracles occurred today:
1. I saw Eric's face disappear in flames and reappear only after I kicked the door shut. Only his hair got singed...his face feels "hot," but he has no blisters, no redness, and no other signs of burns. Thank goodness. He told me today that he's pretty sure he's God's favorite. After what could have happened today, I tend to agree.
2. THE TURKEY WAS FINE! It was on the dry side of fine, but it was FINE. Somehow, while his eyebrows were being destroyed, he managed to hang on to the stinking turkey! Ol' Tom had to sit on top of the stove for about an hour and a half while we cleaned out the juice from the bottom of the oven and prepped it for cooking sans fire, but it was completely salvaged. Our first smoked turkey! (teehee)

Talk about being thankful. We are.

I know - you want to see pics.

Here's my sweet husband in the aftermath.

Notice the little black charred spots on his forehead. He calls this his "instant receding hairline!"

No. He hadn't just gotten out of the shower. This is apparently what burned hair does.

Here's a friendly tip for your Thanksgiving dinner: Buy a hard-sided roasting pan.

Have a safe and happy turkey week!!


Friday, November 19, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ripping the Band-Aid

Sometimes in life, you just need to rip the band-aid. It hurts...and then it's over. I don't usually ask for participatory commenting, but I would be ever-so-encouraged if you could send me a sweet note and let me know about a time you had to "rip the band-aid" and then found out that in the end, it was worth it. Seriously...it doesn't sting forever, right? I will respond to you with lots of gratitude!


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I Dyed in the Bathtub!

I admit it. I had rug envy. (I've embedded links...you know, just in case you have half a grand to drop on a piece of carpet).

This one...

This one...

This one...

This one...
Target - $939

And most especially this one...


Alas, at an average cost of $616.60, I could clearly not afford to purchase one of the fabulous rugs that gave me my bad case of rug envy.


I did have this:

This lackluster green Erslev rug from IKEA that somehow manages to blend with the carpet even though it's supposed to be a different color. This is what I had, and using stuff you've already got is free(ish)!

So, here's my quick tutorial on how to Rit Dye a rug in the bathtub.

Step 1. Bleach the bejeepers out of the textile (works best if it's natural fibers...not synthetics). I bleached the rug overnight. 1/2 bottle of bleach to about a half a tub of water.

Step 2. Rinse. Rinse again. Rinse again. Rinse again. (You don't want bleach all over everything do you?)

Step 3. Hang to dry:

Step 4. After you realize you don't like the bleached color. Purchase some Rit Dye. I used two powder packs of Golden Yellow and 1/2 powder pack of Cocoa Brown. I made up the color combo on my own. If you can't handle color mixing, you should probably consult a chart or something before you get started. Fill the tub as LOW as possible (just enough to barely cover the rug) with HOT HOT HOT water. Put on rubber gloves!!!

Step 5. Pour in your colors and mix in the tub thoroughly. I actually dampened the rug before I did this so that it would accept the color better. I learned that trick online. Yay internets!

Step 6. Place rug in the tub and move it around continuously with your (gloved) hands to make sure that every square inch of the fabric gets coverage. The package recommends 10-30 minutes (or however long it takes for the material to turn the hue you are looking for). After about 5 minutes, mine was DONE. Done, done, done, done, done.

Step 7. Rinse. Rinse again. Rinse again. Rinse again. Curse to yourself as you realize you just DYED YOUR BATHTUB. Stop cursing...be thankful that you only filled up the tub enough to *barely* cover the rug.

Step 8. Toss the rug into the dryer. (I just did this because I didn't want to drip yellow all over the place). After about 1 hour, hang to dry the rest of the way.

Step 9. SCRUB the tub. With chlorine bleach. Scrub a bunch. You think you're done scrubbing? You are wrong - keep going. Once you think you're done, fill the tub up halfway, pour 1/4 gallon of bleach in the tub and let it soak for a while. Drain, scrub some more. Repeat until you just give up.

Ta Da! You are now the proud new owner of a yellow rug and a yellow bathtub! Seriously - don't try this with a dark color. Blue would have made it obvious that we've been using the bathtub to dye stuff...yellow just makes it look like we don't know how to clean our tub.

**UPDATE** I was finally able to get all of the yellow out of the tub by using the gel Clorox toilet bowl cleaner...this one:
I squeezed it all around the inside of the tub (you've gotta mix it around so that it won't leave zebra stripes when it's rinsed off). Let it sit for a while, and then scrub 'til it's clean. It worked like a dream for me!

After I finished with all of the coloring and dyeing, my rug envy still wasn't quenched. I bought a stencil and some white fabric paint (you'll notice the white/gold trend in my selection of rug-envy rugs). Here's what I ended up with:

And here it is in the room!

Grand total - $30.98. CHA CHING!

It's not every day you can tell people you dyed in the bathtub ;)

Happy Erslev Dyeing!


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