Jun
19

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Fabric Storage

If you are crafty you know how important fabric storage is!

Jun
12

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4 Comments

DIY Crochet Cup & Saucer


 

Cup & Saucer Crochet Pattern

With a size H Hook & 2 colors of scrap yarn

To Make the Cup

Ch 3. Join to form a circle.

Ch 2, sc 2 in each of the 3 chains all the way around, join with a slip stitch

ch 2, sc 2 in each of the next 8 spaces, and join with a slip stitch

ch 2 (sc 1 in each of the next 2 spaces, skip 1) x5 , 1 sc in last space, join with a slip stitch

ch 2, sc in all 12 spaces, join with a slip stitch

ch 2 (1 sc in first space, sc 2 in next space) x6 join with a slip stitch

switch colors

ch 2 (sc 2 in first space, sc 1 in next 2 spaces) x 6

work into the row below with a slip stitch

ch 6 and connect to the bottom row with a slip stitch

ch 1 and turn, working a sc into each space until you reach the end.

Tie off. Cut and hide your thread.

To Make the Saucer

ch 3 and connect with a slip stitch

ch 2, sc 2 in each of the 3 spaces, and join with a slip stitch

ch 2 (sc 1 in the next space, then sc 2 in the next space) x 4, join with a slip stitch

ch 2 (sc 1 in the next space, then sc 2 in the next space) x6, join with a slip stitch

switch colors

ch 2 (sc 2 in each space) x 18, join with a slip stitch

tie off, cut and hide your thread.

Jun
11

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War Horse- Review

war horse

This is a story about dedication told by the many twists and turns that life may bring. Strength and courage are told through this movie. In short, War Horse is a story about a unique horse and World War I. Joey, the original name given to the horse is owned by a boy named Albert, whose father purchased him for more than he could afford. Albert and Joey become companions. Because of hard times and the outbreak of war, the boy and horse must separate. Albert vows to get his horse back. The horse finds himself under the ownership of many owners and wherever the horse goes, people are captured by his remarkable strength and beauty.

My husband was eager to watch War Horse thinking it was fast paced and action packed. To put it very pointedly, it was neither. What? Was it a misleading trailer? Perhaps? But aren’t they all? While it was nothing like we expected, it did have a beautiful story. So, in his words, after watching the preview, “Arnold Schwarzenegger as a horse”, “do not expect an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie in the form of a horse.” I reluctantly agreed to watch the movie with him not knowing much about what the movie was about (other than what the title reveals). He must know that I have a soft spot for horses.

In my opinion, I felt that the movie was quite long and the story could have been told in a shorter amount of time. The movie has some intense graphic war elements and some minor language therefore rated PG-13. This movie is definitely not for young children.

Bottom line: Watch it or not? Thumbs down based on misleading preview. While the story was compelling, the editing and timing/duration was much too long. The preview below is a much better representation of the movie than the one we saw.

 

Jun
8

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Father’s Day Ideas

This is embarrassing, but this is our shed in it's current state!

Last night I escaped to Target after the baby went to bed. My husband was happy to put our oldest to bed and relax while. A friend had mentioned Target had many kid’s clothing on clearance and I needed some items for an upcoming trip, so off I went to look around. While there, I was reminded that Father’s Day is on Sunday. Am I correct in saying that usually the dads don’t get equal treatment in this holiday? I think we mothers expect the full treatment on our day and think the dads won’t care as much about their day. This year I want my kid’s Dad to feel super special. He has juggled a lot and has not neglected to spend quality time with his kiddos. He deserves to feel loved on Sunday. A few ideas have been dancing around in my head, but no real plan or purchase has been to action. While pushing my cart, that was accumulating more items that I went in for, (how does that happen?) I kept looking around hoping that a Father’s Day item would jump out at me. Then it dawned on me, why was I searching for “stuff” when there are so many other practical things my husband would appreciate? Yes, there are some items he would love for the backyard and his office, but I knew the thing that would make him even happier. Having an organized shed!!

This is embarrassing, but this is our shed in it's current state!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had a shed built in our backyard almost a year and half ago and it has yet to be organized. Many things have put it low on the list: A new baby, job promotion, and new outdoor projects like a brick patio and garden. How in the world did we manage those backyard projects without an organized shed? Well, with tripping over sharp objects, and constantly looking for gardening gloves, strollers, baseballs, sand toys and numerous other items. Now, would he appreciate it more if I organized it for him? Or perhaps he would prefer to have the opportunity to boss me around? Would my type A hubby appreciate it more if I gave him the freedom to have an afternoon to himself to organize it according to his plan? Or would he like to develop the plan and tell me what to do? I think B.  He would like the shed organized to his plan with a women’s touch. Well, I certainly have my work cut out for me (see above).

After thinking of the shed make-over present, I thought of many other items that my husband even or other dad’s would appreciate. Some of these ideas could be family outings while others are more “dad-only”.  We will have to revisit this list in a few years once I am done organizing the shed!

 15 Father’s Day Ideas

  1. A few uninterrupted hours to read a good book
  2. A pedicure (No, I am not talking about painting your hubby’s toenails. A nice scrub of the feet, massage, and trimming of the nails will suffice.)
  3. A movie of his choice as a family or on his own
  4. Afternoon bike ride with the family
  5. Dad’s favorite meal night—served restaurant style by the kids.
  6. Time to play video games
  7. Tickets to a local sporting event (great dad-son or dad-daughter bonding time)
  8. Tickets to a concert or play (see above) or check out what free summer concerts are available in your area. We LOVE free summer concerts.
  9. Picnic in the park-bring the frisbee along
  10. A round of miniature golf or big golf!
  11. An afternoon of fishing
  12. A long nap! (Would love that myself)
  13. Trip to Home depot with gift card
  14. Time to go to a coffee shop and bookstore
  15. Time to play instrument

 

I see a theme here….TIME. Time to give them to do something they don’t get to do often.

What are some of your ideas for Father’s Day?

Now that I have my husband covered, onto my Dad and Dad-in-law who are equally great dads.

 

Have a GREAT weekend!

 

Jun
7

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Mommy and Me Class

mommy-and-me-class

I’ve been a parent for over 13 years, but didn’t start out like most Moms. All of my children are adopted and most of them adopted as older children. Learning about developmental milestones has always been a backwards practice for me. I never saw any of my kids take their first steps or say their first words and I never went to a Mommy and Me class. Well that was never until my latest “baby” came into my life.

My daughter Evangeline moved in right before she turned three. She’s the baby of the family, but not about to take a back seat when it comes to fun and activities. Seeing her big sisters in their lessons she wanted to be like them so I enrolled her in a gymnastics class. On the first day we arrived I was informed that this was a Mommy and Me class. Now please don’t judge me, I’ve never been accustomed to these types of Mom activities, but I was actually bummed. I wanted to sit in my little chair and wave to my daughter as she took her turn doing somersaults. Remember I have six kids and lessons are my time to relax and take a break. Honestly, had I known there was adult participation required I probably wouldn’t have signed up… but I’m glad I did.

At the first class my daughter was a little shy and timid, but by the third class there was no holding her back. She would run on the balance beam, swing on the rings then flip over the parallel bars. She enjoyed the power she had to decide what activities she wanted to try and loved even more telling Mommy to “Hurry Up.” I got to watch her conquer her fears and acquire new skills. To see her learn to wait her turn and to interact with her peers. But ultimately to bond with her in a way that would not have happened without this class.

At every class the kids took turns jumping on the big trampoline while the parents sat around them singing the ABC’s. When it came to Evangline’s turn she would jump with a giant smile on her face then look directly at me and shout “MOMMY I LOVE YOU!” Her happiness couldn’t be contained and after that moment neither could mine. In that moment I “got it” why Mom’s sign up for swimming lessons with their babies and Mommy and Me Yoga. It’s not in the hopes to create a child prodigy or to show off that their baby is better than everyone else’s, but to bond with their child in a fun structured environment. If you have a younger child I urge you to spend the money and take your child to at least one Mommy and Me Class. I wish I could’ve had the experience with all of my children.

Jun
1

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How to Dispose Expired Medicine

my collection of expired medicine ready to be disposed

my collection of expired medicine ready to be disposed

Everyone has expired medicine sitting around at home, if you don’t think so, look again. As I was spring cleaning last month, I realized that half of the medicine in our home was expired! While cleaning each room I collected expired medicine, prescription creams, and vitamins in a large Ziploc bag and set them on a high shelf. Remembering my mom mentioning proper ways to dispose of these items, I decided to find out what to do. Simply throwing away medicine is dangerous not only to toddlers or others that could fish it from the trash (my daughter is like a dog with the trash. She loves fishing treasures out and bringing them to me), it is also dangerous to the environment. Trash goes into landfill, medicine leaches into the soil, etc. You get the point. If that is the only option follow the proper steps when throwing away the medicine from the FDA .

 

 What NOT to do with expired medicine:

  1. Do not flush medicine down the toilet. Do you want medicine to get into your drinking water? Didn’t think so. There are certain medicines that may be o.k. to flush down but a general rule of thumb is to NOT flush.
  2. Do not leave your name, date of birth, and dr. info on your prescription medicine boxes or bottles. Tear these off and throw away in a separate trash can.

 What TO DO with expired medicine:

  1. Collect all of your expired medicine and put in a high, out of reach place from your children and/or pets, until you can safely dispose of it.
  2. Contact your local police department or look at their website to see if they collect unused expired medicine. Our local police department has a drop box where you can drop your expired medicine into.
  3. Contact your local pharmacies to see if they take back expired prescription and/or over the counter medicine.
  4. If there are no drop offs in your area follow the instructions on the FDA website.

Goal for this coming week

Collect your expired medicine and take action!

May
29

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Non-Plastic Banana Storage

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I sent my husband to the grocery store today with all three kids. Call me evil but I was secretly rejoicing in the fact that I knew he would have an awful shopping experience! Let’s face it; shopping with all the kids is never fun. They press buttons and lose the total on your calculator, they run off when you’re trying to lift heavy items, they talk to you when you’re trying to read the list of ingredients, they put items in the cart when you aren’t looking, and inevitably someone will have a crying meltdown or have to go potty by the time you get to the checkout.

Knowing all these things I couldn’t blame him for getting a little carried away. He got 4 boxes of cereal when that’s a rare treat. The purchase of 5 loaves of bread was understandable because when the kids are misbehaving you just start throwing things in the cart! But when he came back with 10 bunches of bananas it threw me for a loop. His reasons were good, organic bananas were only 10 cents more at Kroger. But when I buy large amounts of food I have a plan for it. I’ve purchased this many bananas before, but it was to make dehydrated banana chips (which are amazing by the way). But my dehydrator was already filled with tomatoes. I panicked for a few minutes because I’m trying to stop putting food in plastic bags

I watch a lot of documentaries and if you hadn’t heard yet, plastic is pretty scary!

Then I came up with a simple solution.  I removed the peels and placed the bananas in a glass casserole dish with a rubber lid. Simple! I’ve grown so used to using Ziplocs for everything. Now I can pull out as many bananas as I want to make smoothies, banana bread, baby food, and whatever else I feel like making., voila non-plastic banana storage.   Having a full freezer and pantry is a great way to save money because you are never out of food.  You can always make something which cuts down on impulse shopping, and frequent trips to the store for forgotten items.

Do you have any other ways that you store foods to avoid plastic?

 

May
24

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Baby Trend Double Sit N Stand Stroller Review

MeLisa-Lomelino-walking-her-daughters

When I knew that I was going to be bringing home two little toddlers I immediately set out to do research on which stroller to buy. I hadn’t owned a stroller in over a decade and couldn’t believe how much things had changed. To be honest the amount of options was overwhelming. Armed with the internet I let my fingers do the walking and read a plethora of reviews. I quickly saw that no two moms agreed on which stroller was best and no one had my specific situation. (I don’t have to explain that most moms start out with infants).

Armed with the knowledge of which strollers I thought would work best for me I set out to different stores to give them a “test drive”. I weighed down several different models with my purse and whatever other items I could find. I knew that I needed to be able to push the combined weight of the toddlers so the more lightweight the better. Again, I didn’t get to build up to this weight starting with infants. After too much research both in person and online I settled on the Baby Trend Double Sit N Stand stroller in the Green Tea color. I wanted to set the stage for what is now going to be my review after owning this stroller for 1 year.

Overall I have been happy with my stroller purchase and I promise you that I have put the stroller to the ultimate test.

PROS

  • My older kids help push the stroller & it still works (they often run fast & bump into every crack, curb or wall they pass).
  • My toddlers have spilled snacks and juice boxes on the trays and seats repeatedly, but they clean up nice.
  • I’ve opened and closed the stroller a gazillion times and each time it does so with ease.
  • I’ve shown numerous babysitters how to operate the stroller and they’ve all complimented on how simple it is to use.
  • I can lift it by myself to put in the back of my minivan and it can stand upright for more cargo space in the trunk.

 CONS

  • I’ve broken several nails opening the tray to let my child out of the stroller. The latch is a bit tricky.
  • The wheel lock is difficult to unlock when wearing sandals.
  • The backseat lays down easily, but is harder to put upright with the pulley clamp system.
  • The basket underneath is difficult to get to with the main entry point in-between the seats.
  • The wheels are looking very worn after just one year of use.

Ultimately what I learned was that no one stroller fits all, but there is one out there that will work for you. We’re getting ready to take the back chair off of the stroller so our five year old no longer has to be strapped in. A cool feature of the Sit N Stand allowing your toddler to jump in and out. The combined weight of the girls is getting more than I can push and I’m beginning to notice less outings with the stroller which is sad. Not starting out as babies the window of stroller walks is even shorter than I had hoped. Still, we have photos and memories of going on walks with Mommy and maybe I’ll hold onto the stroller to walk my grandchildren with someday.

*These opinions are my own. I was not paid to write this review for Baby Trend Double Sit N Stand Stroller.

 

May
23

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Goodnight Tweetheart- Review

goodnight tweetheart

I just finished reading “Goodnight Tweetheart” by Teresa Medeiros, and yes it’s a romance novel about Twitter. It features a cute little washed up writer who describes herself as semi agoraphobic. It’s been years since her first bestselling novel was released and she’s afraid she’ll never finish her next book. Her life revolves around Starbucks and her two kitties until one day her agent sets up a Twitter account for her so she can connect with her few remaining fans and start promoting herself.

To start with she’s a total cynic. But then someone takes her under their wing and starts to get her hooked. She starts to have feelings for this man she’s never seen or heard. Is she falling in love with a guy on Twitter?

I’m not going to spoil anything for you. It’s a cute book. Not her best, but still well worth the read. This is also a really short book, thanks largely in part to it being composed primarily in “tweets”. If you want to read with a friend it even has some discussion questions in the back which could be fun. What’s your favorite romantic story?

May
21

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Picking Strawberries

IMG_2922

Wouldn’t you love to have a year’s supply of strawberries in your freezer, waiting for smoothies, dehydrated fruit roll-ups, and more? I answered yes to that question. A few weeks ago my friend and I decided on a whim to go strawberry picking. There is nothing like eating fresh juicy strawberries that you have picked yourself. As an added bonus (in light of our many food allergies) everyone in our family can eat them!! Since our trip was on a whim, neither of us really paid attention to the weather forecast. On our way to the farm it started to sprinkle….then downpour. Since we had gone to the effort of getting three kids into the car, packed snacks, collected our picking gear, etc. we hated to give up and drive home. My friend and I sat in “the mini” longingly looking at the strawberry patches only 25 ft. away. If only I had brought my Walt Disney World ponchos for us!! We talked to the farmer and decided that it was only a light rain at that point and we had come so far.

It wasn’t hard to convince the 4 year olds to get in the rain and I covered my daughter’s stroller with a blanket. So glad we decided to go for it since it stopped raining after 15 minutes and the sun came out. It was so much fun! The four olds weren’t much help picking the strawberries. They preferred eating the strawberries they picked and frolicking in the patches. But that is the great thing about picking your own strawberries–most times the owners allow the kids to tank down as many as they want for free (explained later).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My daughter didn’t like to be stuck in the stroller but did like the kids feeding her strawberries. She would whine until someone would come give her a strawberry..and another….and another… Let’s just say I was worried to change her diaper the next time. We finally let her loose and boy did she like the freedom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After an hour and a half or so we picked twenty pounds of strawberries between the two of us! Our family ate half and froze the rest using the flash freeze method. Aimee on simplebites.net has four simple ways to freeze strawberries.

 

** Tip: The farmer told us to leave any strawberries that had white on them (not fully ripe) out in a single layer on the counter for a day or so before putting them in the refrigerator or freezer. Once you put them in the fridge they will not ripen anymore (like other produce).

 

strawberries drying

 

What to Wear:

  • Long pants- Yes, even if it is hot. Every year I wear shorts and regret it. The tall grasses around the patches are itchy and the strawberry plants give me a rash. Plus, pants are added protection from bugs and critters.
  • Long sleeve shirt- A lightweight long sleeve shirt to wear to protect you from the sun and bugs would be ideal. The pants, in my opinion, are more critical.
  • Closed toe shoes or boots

What to Bring:

  • A big container to bring the strawberries home
  • A small container to use while you are picking (many farms provide these as it is easier to weigh what you have picked) A large yogurt container works. Our friend’s taught us to punch a hole on each side and tie some string to each side. This way you can put around your neck and be hands-free.
  • Bug spray
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Snacks and drinks for yourself and your kids. Save room for strawberries. Many places let you eat strawberries while you pick.

Where to find local places to pick your own fruit and vegetables

http://www.pickyourown.org/

 

Get out and start picking!!



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