Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mother's Day Ideas

No, not for your mother or grandmother, for YOU!  What would you like to receive for Mother's Day?  I've come across several things from Etsy (hint, hint, Tim) that I'd love to have as an expression of motherhood.  

Goosegrease   I just love how you can custom order a family that looks like yours. These could grace your mantle or book shelf.
Sjengraving is another seller I've been admiring. Don't you just love the idea of the engraved rocks in a nest? I can see this sitting on a tall platter or under a bell jar.
Dolamakes has been a favorite for a LONG time. I love this silhouette plate.  Does anyone remember making these in grade school? I have a question into her now and just waiting for a response. I can see these hanging 2 on each side of my dining room window.

Please share with me your ideas for Mother's Day. Maybe I may want it at a later day or for another occasion. 

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Honey-Do List

Buried deep in the fine print of every wedding vow is a clause that legally enables the creation of what is commonly known as the “Honey-Do” list. For those not familiar with it (read: all unmarried men), the “Honey-Do” list is a compilation of tasks, chores, repairs, and improvements that wives would like their husbands to accomplish.

Continuing our quest to remodel and decorate our home I have made a "Honey-Do" list for Tim. He has the NFL Draft at 1pm and then a hockey game with a client at 5pm. Too bad the Sharks couldn't lose ALL 5 games instead of 4, then he'd be home tonight. Do I sound bitter? Yes, I am. Tim's been working hard on a deal for 6 straight months. Long hours, late nights, calls to China in the evenings, not focused on conversations, and very stressed. Crossing our fingers come Monday that all the papers will be signed AND delivered. Morgan has been asking about this deal for weeks. See Tim promised to take a week vacation WITHOUT his cell phone if the deal came through.

Back to our "Honey-Do" List. Do you make one for your husband? I can't live without my lists. My kids know me for writing lists on everything. Back of envelopes, scraps of paper in the car, schoolwork (already graded, of course), backs of magazines, and my notebooks for lists (yes, you read that correctly...more than one notebook).

Today's agenda includes building a sofa table. I don't want people using the windowsill for a place for their drinks and typical sofa tables are too wide for our very small living room. Also, we are repainting an old toybox and making a cushion for the top for storing our shoes and putting them on. Cross your fingers we get it all done AND looks good.

Off to read Five Little Monkeys to one of my other men in my life. So, what's  on your "Honey-Do" List?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Frugal Friday

Over at The Shabby Nest is Frugal Friday. I came across Wendy's blog through a series of reading many other blogs in search of being frugal. 

Our frugality started after lots, and lots, and LOTS of medical bills. Last year, though a great year with the birth of our 4th child, we were burdened with many medical bills. I had pneumonia at the end of the pregnancy, then the delivery expenses (C-Section), then Gregory had a febrile seizure (5 days after Rodger's birth) and rushed by ambulance to the ER, then I had hernia repair surgery, followed by Gregory breaking his arm (the SAME day as my surgery), and then Tim having shoulder surgery with physical therapy. *SIGH* Of course, we thought we were in the clear for this year only to have Bridget need extensive dental work and be under anesthesia, Gregory had an allergic reaction and swelled up like a balloon and Morgan has been hit by allergies and taken to the doc to find some relief. Of course, being a new year we have to hit our deductible. 

So, my quest for repurposing items, using freecycle, shopping Craigslist and thrift stores began. Here is my repurposed silver platter that my cousin and his wife gave us for a wedding gift. It has sat in my garage that entire time. Silver- just not my thing. We are not fancy people. We don't have china (except for my grandmother's which is still packed). Finally, I came across Phillips Phamily Phive. I went out to the garage grabbed my platter, grabbed some chalkboard paint we had and went to town. I didn't even tape the edges. Just went with the flow. I did 5 coats, since there was a pattern underneath and let it cure for 3 days. Placed it on our secretary (Craiglist $150) with a plate holder I already had. I can change the wording for holidays, birthdays or anything else I may fancy. VOILA!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Teacher Appreciation Ideas

I had to laugh this morning. I woke up to an email from my friend, AM, that she had posted to my Facebook page. It said, "Pam....I know I can count on you for ideas, so link me up!" Yes, it is true. I've been bookmarking and jotting down Teacher Appreciation ideas since before Christmas and sending them to Morgan's room mom. Morgan's room mom is AWESOME! Sends monthly emails with updates, took donations at the beginning of the year and shows us how she is spending the money, asks for ideas, and uses them! If I ever chose to be a room mom when I have the boys in school, I aspire to be her.

Some ideas for Teacher Appreciation week that don't require creativity.
  1. Buy her a cup of her favorite coffee/latte.  To take a step further (we did this for the teacher's birthday) include doughnuts for the students and teacher.
  2. Bring her in lunch. No teacher will object to that. Find out their tastes, restrictions. and favorites. One of the moms owns a deli shop. Sometimes when she brings her daughter lunch, she brings the teacher lunch too. I know I would  not object to any food from that deli, it is YUMMY!
  3. Find out her all-time favorite treat. Maybe it is chocolate? Our teacher loves dark chocolate. Another teacher loves a specialty chocolate with raspberries from a local candy shoppe.
  4. You can't go wrong by giving flowers either. Visit your Farmer's Market or your own garden. The children and I clipped roses yesterday and this morning they are beautiful and sweet smelling. In 2nd grade I visited the Farmer's Market for Gerbera Daisies and had each student hand to the teacher as they walked into class. Then another mom and I went in and and put them in a vase for the teacher as she started class. I got this idea from another mom who did it on the 1st grade teacher's birthday.
All these things can be done throughout the week. However, if you want to make something for her I have some more ideas. Bear with me...I'm going to try and figure out how to post pictures and links. Obviously, it didn't work yesterday. I'm sure you all know how to cut and paste though.
  • Flower pens. You've all seen them, maybe in the drs. office. I saw the idea 8 years ago in our office, bought the materials and finally made one this year. Buy your supplies at any craft store or repurpose ones you have around the home. We used an empty soup can, sprayed adhesive on it and slapped one of million sheets of scrapbook paper I have on it. Then Bridget picked out some ric-rak and punched out flowers. We used some glitter glue, Stickles (love that stuff!) and stickers to decorate the can.  We also added a bumblebee, because that is the class mascot.  For the flowers glue (hot glue is best) the tops of the flowers into the pens. After it dries apply florist tape to the pen in a spiral motion.  This will be the stem of the flower. Our tape was sticky on both sides so I applied cornstarch (tad bit) so it wouldn't be sticky to the touch. We did this project days before Bridget's teacher's birthday. Something we learned is that the edges of the tape was peeling up, so we applied some adhesive to keep it from pulling up. We had everything on hand, except the flowers ( I trashed the ones we bought years ago). Also, you'll have plenty of florist tape left over to make plenty more!

  • This is idea I came across awhile back. Simple, easy, and inexpensive. Great idea if you are doing something everyday. Plus, every teacher needs hand sanitizer. I got this idea from Just a Girl   
  • Another place to look is at the Tip Junkie Blog. Scroll all the way down for tons of ideas to fit your needs.
  • I saw this one at the 2Peas gallery. Cute and well-done. Teacher's Survival Kit by JoSchmo
  • ETA: Personalized Plates by Sugar and Spice Mommy. Wouldn't these be great to use the teacher's monogram and put some brownies or cookies on top? She's also doing a giveaway. Stop by and visit and maybe you could win a plate for your teacher. 
  • Last, but not least....visit my friend Clair. She makes the most wonderful, gorgeous handmade cards. She does custom orders too. We did legal -sized cards this year. Her cards come in all different sizes and shapes. I just ordered 20 cards (10 for B's teacher and 10 for Mo's teacher). You can see some of the cards HERE. I spoke to her back before Christmas for this order. They are going to be end-of-the-year gifts. I may be too lazy to make my own cards, BUT at least I'm organized to order them. ;) I ordered these last year for Ms. R and she LOVED them. Teachers love them for teacher birthdays and parent thank yous.
One last idea, if you are being charitable. Visit DonorsChoose   A gift of one dollar can help a teacher in need. All money goes back to a teacher to buy supplies. You can also donate books. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Shabby Nest

Since I said one of the reasons I started my blog was for giveaways let me lead you to a blog I read.  http://shabbynest.blogspot.com/ If you leave a comment for yesterday's post you can be entered to win a personalized bolster pillow. If I won, we'd have to pick the #13. What number would you pick?

Happy Earth Day!

Woke up to my daughter upset that none of her "green", Save the Earth, Hug a Tree, etc. shirts were clean.  Instead we opted for just a green-colored tee. After last year with Ms. R., Morgan is very much for the movement of going green and recycling. We already were recycling, because of curbside services. However, after Rodger was born we had a tankless hot water heater installed and solar panels on our roof. What a difference this has made!!! We are always looking into new ideas, esp. when your 10 year tells you that the universe is going to collapse if we don't get on board. We may not be 100% green, but we try. We do what we can do. I'm not going to go out of my way to do something if I don't have the time. Call me selfish, but I need to see a (immediate) benefit for me to do something. The two large projects? Well, they save us money and time. How can time be saved, you ask? We don't have to wait 20 minutes after someone takes a shower for us to get hot water. I can run the dishwasher, washing machine AND take a shower all at once!! 

Re-purposing items not only saves the world, saves us MONEY!  Also, I LOVE Freecycle! Have you tried it? You must do it! I find things we can't use, instead of wasting gas running to 5 charities to see if they will take it, I post the item and someone comes to ME and picks it up. Can it get any better? I just place it on the porch and it's gone.  I really enjoy it, when it is a family that really needs the baby clothes or baby items I have. I usually will email if I find something later on just to see if they need it.

So, onto Earth Day...do you have any plans to do something "special"?  The girls and I have a project. Tim laughs when he hears that, because that will mean a mess, a big one at that. I'll be screaming, Morgan will be rolling her eyes, and Bridget will eventually cry over something. We have been collecting paper and shredding it. Instead of recycling it, we are saving it to make garland.  I saw this great idea where you save a bunch of paper, soak it overnight, and make small balls that you paint after they dry.  Then you poke holes in them to string. I think it's a great project for the girls that are always asking for something fun to do, we're recycling paper (junk mail, school papers, etc.), and we're decorating the house!  Once we are done the project, I'll be give you the step-by-step process if interested along with photos.

I'm still trying to tweak things with the blog; picking a template, wondering why some links are not showing, etc.  Frustrating when I only have a few moments to do anything, but I'll get there. Hopefully, you can bear with me.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

New Journey

It has been years since I last posted to my old blog. Looking back at it I was pregnant with Gregory (#3) and was running a business. Now we have #4 and the business is long gone. I've been debating for some time about starting a new blog.  I didn't want to just jump right into it, because I'm not one to follow through. I have a lot on my plate and I find it very difficult to prioritize. Shoot, I can't find time to type a status on Facebook. However, this blog will allow me to journal things about the children (allows family and friends a peek into our lives), enter giveaways, and share ideas on repurposing,  arts & crafts and being frugal. I've learned so much from other bloggers, that I want to give back. Maybe I can share an idea that others may find useful.  Are you ready to go on this journey with me? I'd loved to have you! I just need some time to get photos posted and learn the ins and outs of Blogger. Occasionally, I may need a "push" to blog, post a photo, etc. I give you permission to remind me.