No monster-in-law here!

Hello everybody!  I hope you guys are well.  You know the old saying, “When you marry someone, you marry their whole family as well.”  Sometimes that’s a complicated notion for people to understand and accept.  It can be tricky at times, especially if one doesn’t get along with their mother-in-law.  That’s one relationship, where stress levels can exceed the maximum if there’s animosity.  I’m very happy and lucky to say that I don’t have that problem.  There’s no monster-in-law in my life.  In fact, I get along with all my in-laws and it’s a pretty extended family because my husband’s parents aren’t together and his dad remarried.

At my mother-in-law’s (Lucy) house, I feel comfortable because she makes you feel at home.  She’s also a superb chef, and if there’s a gene for that, I believe my husband got it from her! 🙂 I’ve had a long time now to get to know Lucy.  19 years to be exact.  Sometimes I joke with my husband by telling him that I believe I know his mother better than he does.  We often call each other and talk about the kids.  My first daughter was her first grandchild.  I will never forget her reaction when I broke the news.  She made it priceless and I knew she would.  What I appreciate the most about Lucy nowadays is how she shares things about her life with me.  That inclusion means the world to me.  She accepts me, with all my flaws into her life.  She accepts me as the woman who married her son.  She accepts me as her daughter-in-law.  That acceptance is so peaceful.  There’s no animosity.  I wish many could feel the same way.

We recently went to visit Lucy in Pennsylvania where she lives.  She is currently taking extracurricular courses and she told us that she was very nervous when she took her first exam.  She called me last week to share the news that she passed.  I was very happy for her, proud as well and very thankful for the call.

I’m not going to say that our relationship has always been perfectly smooth, because there were hiccups, but nothing too severe, thankfully.  Every relationship is a work in progress.  The thing is, you have to put in the work if it’s worthwhile.

Take care all.  Until next time…

Advertisements

Picture Day

Hello everybody!  I hope you guys are well.  Yesterday, my daughter had a rough day at school.  Poor little thing threw up during lunch.  I got the call and I raced to her school with a change of clothing and to bring her home.  She was REALLY SAD because she didn’t want to leave!  In fact, she wanted to go back to school because her class was going to do an art project and she didn’t want to miss it.  My sweet, little artist.  It broke my heart, but I knew she needed to relax a bit at home.  She has a cough and we have been trying to spit and blow out the germs completely.  She told me the coughing made her throw up.  I advised her for the future, if she ever felt that she was going to throw up again, to try to find the nearest bathroom or simply throw up on the floor instead of on her clothes.  I did my best in explaining things in a funny way to cheer her up and hopefully have my advice stay floating around in her memory bank.  Plus, I told her that she needed to rest because the following day was Picture Day.  That sealed the deal and made her happy.

As for myself, I’m filled with so much anticipation.  I can’t wait to see her first school pictures.  Her portrait and her class picture.  I remember during the first parent/teacher night when her teacher said that school pictures were becoming obsolete due to technology being so advanced nowadays.  I thought, “What?  Obsolete?  No way, I can’t wait to purchase her first package of school pictures, especially Kindergarten.”  My husband was able to take her to school today (Jury Duty calls), which is a treat for my daughter because I always take her.  I kissed her goodbye and said see you later.  With her special, dressy headband on her head, I reminded her to smile really big when the photographer told her to.  I can’t wait to see the results and let the school memories start forming.

Take good care all.  Until next time…

DIY PAPER HEART GARLAND

Hello everybody!  I hope you guys are well.  I wanted to show you another pin from, you guess it, www.pinterest.com, in which I used to make a paper heart garland as part of my anniversary centerpieces.  I absolutely loved this paper idea and I knew I was going to incorporate it one way or another.  Plus I had fun doing this project.

Pin with instructions (Thank you to the creator of this)

My version using turquoise and gold speckled cardstock. I used my Cricut paper trimmer and a paper clip to close the hearts into a circle.

              I made 9 hearts in turquoise and 2 in gold, symbolizing a total of 11 years happily married and the 2 gold hearts for my daughters. 🙂

Take care all.  Until next time…

DIY Banners

Hello everybody!  I hope you guys are well.  Today I would like to share a project with you that has endless possibilities.  I love using banners to decorate, especially for birthdays and holidays.  You can always buy pre-made ones, but I like making my own so I can personalize them specifically.  Using the shapes application on Microsoft Word, I start with a triangle shape, and make it as big as I want.  Then, regarding the theme, I look for clip art online and I copy and paste onto the middle of the triangle.  I enlarge and flip around the images to my desire and then I print on white cardstock.

To make things easier and less time consuming, I use my Cricut paper trimmer to cut out my triangles.  Then I simply punch out little holes at the top corners of the triangle and using any string, I like twine, join the triangles together and you’ll have a one of a kind banner.  I like to use painter’s tape (the blue one) to put up my banners because they’re temporary (the banners) and the tape doesn’t mess up the paint on the wall once you take it off.  I usually put it on the back of the first, middle, and last triangles.

I made this banner for my daughter’s 2nd birthday.  The theme was the cartoon from Nickelodeon, Team Umizoomi.  I went to their official website, http://www.nickjr.com, to get some ideas and found a lot of printable material for birthdays including a square banner and a poster, which was awesome.  I couldn’t copy and paste the characters on that website, so I went to AOL search and found a bunch of clip art, which I used on my pennant banner.  On the picture tool bar, I re-colored the images using the color mode to fade the pictures so the letters would pop out more, but you can still see the image of the characters in the background.  There’s really nothing available in stores with this theme, which boggles my mind because kids are absolutely crazy for this cartoon and it’s been on the air for years now, just saying.

I recently did this banner the same way as above.  I found the clip art on AOL search and you can download these cute bats, along with a couple of pennant flags, here:  http://partyplanningcenter.blogspot.com/2011/09/halloween-banners.html

I used black ribbon to bring everything together and hung it up outside my door.  I hope you like this idea.  Of course you can make the banner using squares, circles, etc.  Like I said before, endless possibilities! 🙂

Take care all.  Until next time…

Green peppers in Harrisburg, PA

Hello everybody!  I hope you guys had a good and safe Columbus Day week-end.  My family and I spent it at Harrisburg, PA visiting family.  While there my mother-in-law showed me her green pepper plant.  It’s been about a year since I’ve started eating green peppers and I LOVE them so I was in awe to see the green peppers growing right in front of her house.  She even took a couple of them, they smelled divine, and chopped them up for dinner.  They were simply delicious.  I left inspired to grow some peppers at home, with seeds in tow provided by my mother-in-law.

Take care all.  Until next time…

DIY Word Girl and Captain Huggy Face Costume Halloween 2011

Hello everybody!  I hope you guys are well.  I’m posting this early just in case someone wants an idea on how to make a Word Girl costume for their child.  Last year we asked our daughter, “What do you want to be for Halloween?”  She said, “Word Girl!”  At the time, she had discovered this cartoon character featured on channel 13 (PBS Kids), and that’s what she wanted to be.  I searched for costumes online and found some that were made already, but their biggest size was a 4T and I usually like to buy a size bigger for my daughter.  I also found pictures of DIY Word Girl costumes and I thought, “Well, if they did it.  Why can’t we?”   

Here’s the clip art I used for inspiration and to make sure we had everything covered:

This is Word Girl and her trusty sidekick, Captain Huggy Face as seen on channel 13 (PBS Kids)

            

My daughter, Olivia, as Word Girl with her trusty sidekick Captain Huggy Face 🙂

Here’s the breakdown:

Red long sleeve turtleneck – Old Navy (I couldn’t find a crew neck shirt, but since it was chilly outside the turtleneck was ok)

Red leggings – K-Mart

Shiny, yellow fabric – Lady Jane craft store (absolutely PERFECT for the cape, cut to size and we used a button for closure)

Plush monkey – www.toysrus.com

Red, yellow, and blue felt, yellow and brown craft foam, black pipe cleaner, and white pom-pom ball – A. C. Moore

Black boots – Already had

Between my husband and me, he sews the neatest and is not afraid to tackle something new so he made both CAPS using red felt.  He didn’t use a template or pattern.  Just measured my daughter’s head, cut the felt, and sewed it up!

I used the yellow felt and a template to cut out the STAR and my husband sewed it unto the shirt.

I made the BELTS with the craft foam and used Velcro with double-sided tape to open and close.

I made Captain Huggy Face’s pants and shirt.  I didn’t use a pattern or template.  Just sort of measured the felt on the monkey’s body and started sewing away.  Unfortunately, this method resulted in the shirt coming out really small, but lucky for me stuff toys can be squished.  I squeezed him into that shirt because I wasn’t going to make another one.

For the antennae on the monkey’s cap, we used a black pipe cleaner and affixed a small, white pom-pom ball on top.

I was trying to find some red or burgundy leg warmers to put over my daughter’s black boots, but I couldn’t find any.

I was a little worried that people wouldn’t know who she was dressed up as, but I was worrying for no reason.  After they came back from trick or treating, my husband told me that every kid who saw her shouted, “Word Girl!” and my daughter couldn’t stop smiling.  There were even mothers asking, “Where did you get the costume?” at which my husband proudly proclaimed, “We made it ourselves!” 🙂 We had a great time putting this costume together and my daughter’s face, every time another piece came together and she saw herself transforming into Word Girl, was very enjoyable.

   

We also went to a Halloween party a few days before and my husband and I dressed up as pirates, which we bought at Party City.  I had to make some alterations to my costume because the skirt was too long so I shortened it and the sleeves were too wide so I took them in.  My youngest was a daisy flower, but she fussed nonstop with her costume.

For this year, I’m not too sure if we’re dressing up.  I’m still thinking about that.  I’m looking for something simple for my youngest.  As for my oldest daughter, the costume has been store bought already because she wants to be…stay tuned! 🙂

Take care all.  Until next time…

Here’s Minnie Mouse!

Hello everybody!   I hope you guys are well.  I wanted to share a picture of the newest member of our stuff toy family (lucky for me, she’s pretty small because that family is getting bigger by the day).

My mother, aka Grandma Rose, found this adorable Minnie Mouse at her church’s second-hand sale.  She bought it specifically for my youngest daughter and when she presented it to her, the response was priceless.  My daughter, who’s 2 years old, exclaimed, “My Minnie Mouse, thank you Grandma!” and proceeded to hug my mom.  This was the first time she had ever seen this toy, but she called it hers immediately.  I know, it’s shocking to hear a 2-year-old saying the word mine.  🙂  Her response was so unexpected and endearing.  You never know what you’re going to get or hear with a little kid, but most of the time it’s pretty funny.  Needless to say, my mother was very happy afterwards.  She was also the person who gifted my oldest daughter, who’s five now, her very first Mickey Mouse when she was two as well.  Mickey was also found at the same place and he’s still top doll in my daughter’s eyes so Grandma is pretty good with her rummaging skills and creating new friendships.

Take care all.  Until next time…

Life By Design: A Show about Lisa Leonard, Jewelry, Faith and Family

Hello everybody!  I hope you guys are well.  I wanted to share something with you.  There are several blogs that I follow every other day, but just one that I look at every single day.  It’s Lisa Leonard’s blog, www.lisaleonardonline.com/blog.  She’s a jewelry designer, photographer (she calls herself an amateur, but I would disagree because her pictures are so captivating), crafter, wife, and a devoted mom of two.  I have several pieces of her jewelry, which I simply love, and I’ve given many pieces as gifts.  What keeps me going back to her blog is how devoted she is to her family.  She’s a very inspirational human being and you should take a look at the trailer for a possible show featuring her life.  I’m so happy for her and wish her and her family all the best.

Take care all.  Until next time…

http://www.youtube.com/embed/JJXJq4-2YDE

DIY Paper Gift Bows

Hello everybody!  I hope you guys are well.  Did I ever mention that I love Pinterest?  Oh I did, well I’m going to declare my love for this website (www.pinterest.com) once again because it’s ABSOLUTELY wonderful.

When I saw this pin for magazine gift bows, I thought, “Oh my gosh, I have to try this because if it works, I will never buy a gift bow again!”  Guess what?

                   

It worked!  “I am never buying another gift bow again!”

I used a magazine page, turquoise cardstock, and the instructions from the pin above to make these pretty bows.  I have to admit that I was so giddy after I made them.  I know I’m a dork, but a very happy one.  🙂  So go ahead and follow these instructions (thank you very much to whoever made them) and make a gift bow yourself.  It’ll put a smile on your face and keep your hard-earned money in your wallet (every penny counts).  You’ll be showing some talent, making a gift pretty, and recycling.  A win, win situation.  Happy bow making!

Take good care all. Until next time…

In case you didn’t know…

…it’s Clifford, the big red dog’s birthday.  I didn’t know until my daughter told me last week when her class sang, “Happy Birthday!” to Clifford and received a free Clifford book from her teacher.  How nice is that?  Well, best wishes Clifford!  🙂

Take care!  Until next time…