Saturday, June 25, 2011

Craft Night! {Bird's Nest Necklaces}

Hi everyone!
Today was a picture perfect summer day
here in my neck of the woods. 
Claire and I celebrated the occasion
with a trip to the zoo with 
some friends!

Love this sweet little hat!

Cutie pies

Riding the "choo choo"

Now, on to the topic of discussion:
craft night!

Last week I had these super wonderful
friends over to make some
sweet little bird's nest necklaces.

Here's the one that I ended up with:

Love :)

Here are some that the other girls created:

Everyone did a great job!
And the possibilities with these little nests
are endless!
One of my friends had the idea
of making a ring out of her nest,
and another friend suggested
making earrings.

Unfortunately I didn't take step by step pictures,
but if you want to make one of
these sweet little necklaces for yourself,
you can find tutorials 
here and here.

Now go, shoo... be inspired!
Go make something cute,
and when you do, 
share it with me so I can make it too :)

Happy nesting!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

{Summer Summer, Summer Time}

Feeling just a tad, OK maybe a LOT excited about 
the fact that my summer vacation is here!

Already, Claire has completed two weeks of
swimming lessons and we have
gone on a short family
vacation to Tennessee!
(Pics to come)
I have also gotten some sweet
garage sale deals which are now proudly
displayed in my home.
(Again, pics to come)
Today I made 6 containers of
strawberry freezer jam.
Summer, how I love thee.

As I think about plans for the rest of my summer vacation,
my mind is brimming with ideas
of things to create, to help improve the look and function
of our home.

Here is a quick list of some items on my summer to-do list so far:

{1} Organize our basement storage space.
(No, this will not be fun. But I think I feel much better about life when it is finished.)

{2} Clean out the garage.
(Again, no fun! But my car has been leaking oil all winter and our garage floor needs some
serious help.)

{3} Re-think our mudroom/laundry room.
Right now it is cluttered and disorganized. It sort of stresses me out every time I see it.
Something must be done.

{4} Build Claire's swing set.
This is really more of a project for Wes. You're welcome dear :)

{5} Hang my sweet vintage chandelier above our stairway.
I found this chandelier a few months back at an antique mall and we've been
too busy to get it hung. Again, this will be more up Wes's alley. I love you husband. :)

{6} Create a "family rules" wall art.
Sort of like the one shown here. Love it!

{7} Install a board and batton wall treatment to our entryway (maybe).

I will probably be adding to this list, especially once I'm able to get these other things
knocked off the list.
Of course, these projects come second to my little munchkin, and will 
probably happen mainly during naptimes.

Because I have a whole different list of the fun things I plan for our family to do this summer!

{1} Go to the zoo.
{2} Go to the dunes.
{3} Take swimming lessons. 
{4} Go to the park.
{5} Go on lots of family walks.
{6} Ride our bikes on the Pumpkinvine Trail.
{7} See fireworks.
{8} Have family and friends over for cookouts.
{9} Family vacation to Tennessee.
{10} Fingerpaint.
{11} Visit the library.
{12} Go to our local flea market.
{13} Ride the carousel at a local mercantile.
(Items crossed out have already been completed)

I will leave you with one of my favorite summertime recipes:

Texas Caviar

This bowl of deliciousness is best served with some tortilla chips,
eaten like a salsa. I take it to practically
every gathering I go to in the summer,
and always get asked for the recipe.

Here's how to make my version:

Combine the following in a large bowl-
2 cans black beans, drained
1 can yellow corn, drained
1 can white corn, drained
1 chopped green pepper
1 chopped red pepper
1 chopped red onion
1 bunch cilantro, chopped

In a small saucepan, bring the following to a boil-
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 t. garlic powder

Cool liquid mixture, and then poor over vegetables.


You know you can't escape without
a quick photo update of our little pickle :)

She pretty much insists on self-feeding everything now,
and it is EXTREMELY messy!
But alas, since I don't really want to have to
spoon feed her for the rest of her life,
I must relinquish my controlling nature
and give her the spoon. :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

No Dads Allowed {What I Made for Father's Day}

If you are my dad, my husband, or my father-in law, stop reading.


OK, now that that's taken care of, here is one of the Father's Day buckets that 
I concocted for each of the dad's in my life.

I bought 3 buckets at Michael's for $1 each and used my handy dandy Silhouette
to print the "World's Best Dad" sticker out of vinyl.

Here's a closer look at some of the ingredients inside the bucket:

I tried to create a theme relating to dads:
"pop chips"- I found these at Meijer
Pop Rocks
Life Savers
Mr. Goodbar
Sugar Babies- this one I'm only putting in Wes's bucket,
along with a label that says
"Thanks for helping to create such a sweet baby."
Cheesy? Maybe.
True? Yes.

Above are the labels that I added to a few of the items,
tying them into the father's day theme.
Again, cheesy, I know.
What can I say? I like a little cheese. :)

I was hoping to find "Dad's Rootbeer"
but since I couldn't find that brand,
I found these labels and just covered the root beer bottles
with them.

The travel mugs that I am putting in the buckets
are the kind with inserts that you can decorate.
Here are the photo collages I made that will
decorate the mugs:

Now I just need to figure out the best way
to print them since they are an odd size (4 x 8).
Any suggestions?

Happy nesting,
and happy father's day to any dads out there
(though I don't suspect there are too many of you
reading this)!

P.S. Sorry for the poor quality of some of the pictures!
My camera got thrown into the shower
by my little walking tornado :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Entertaining Angels?

"Don't forget to show hospitality to strangers,
for some who have done this have entertained angels
without realizing it!"
Hebrews 13:2

It was a typical Saturday for Claire and I.
Wes was working all day at the hospital,
and so Claire and I headed out to run the typical Saturday errands.
A quick stop at the bank, some light Father's Day shopping at Target,
and finally grocery shopping at Meijer.

Back in my pre-motherhood days, these errands would have been a fun and enjoyable way to spend a Saturday afternoon. But with a busy toddler, these errands become a game of
"how quick can mommy grab what she needs and go?" while Claire plays "how fast can I try to stand up and jump out of my cart while mommy looks away?" along with several rousing rounds of  "how many packages can I grab out of our cart and bite through?" I'm telling you, Claire is QUICK and BUSY! If you ever see me out shopping with Claire, you will literally probably see me singing and dancing just to try and keep her entertained enough to keep her seated in her cart so I can get my shopping done. It is exhausting! {Please tell me I'm not the only parent who experiences this!}

After successfully completing our stop at the bank and Target, we were finishing up at Meijer. Claire had managed to chew up a package of cheese, as well as throw a container of blueberries onto the floor where they  spilled everywhere. Remember, blueberries are round... so they roll. {The sad part is I picked as many of them up off the floor as I could and put them back into my container to purchase. I needed those blueberries!} Needless to say, I was a bit... frazzled and worn out by this point.

As I was scanning for the shortest checkout line, an older gentleman, probably nearing 80 at least, walked up to Claire and I. He stopped and said a few words to Claire... I can't remember exactly what.
He had a British accent; something you don't hear around our parts very often. I didn't think too much of this encounter until the man started to walk away and then turned back and looked me in the eyes and said "Bless you." Nothing profound, nothing I've never heard before. But there was something about the way he said it; it was like he very sincerely meant it.

Have you ever met someone who, because you know that they care about you, it confirms to you that God cares about you too? This is how this man made me feel. It was truly as if God was speaking directly through him to me. Was he an angel? There's no way of knowing, at least not this side of heaven. Maybe he was simply a human with a godly heart.  Or, maybe he was an angel. But whatever the case, he made an impression on me that I hope to never forget.

There are two things I took away from this man:

A sweet reminder of God's personal, gentle love for me. A reminder
that he sees every detail of my day and cares about every one.

A reminder to be intentional about really SEEING the people that are around me. It is so easy to hustle and bustle my way through my to-do lists all the time, forgetting to slow down and focus on what is truly important: loving the people around me. This even includes those I don't know. Everyone has as story. Everyone has a soul that was created by God. Everyone is important, and everyone needs to feel cared for. Even a smile and a friendly hello can mean volumes, reminding people that they are not alone in this big, often scary world. 

Lord, help me to slow down, and use me to show your love to the people you place in my path. Thank you for using the man at Meijer as a messenger of your love and care for me. Amen. 

Thanks for reading.... and may God bless YOU!

Happy Nesting!

{Now that I'm on summer break, stay tuned for some new projects!
It's time to get crafty!}