Hello Out There!

Hi to everyone out there! I hope you all had a FABULOUS Christmas holiday!!! I'm sure you have been as busy as I have been... {WHEW!} The Christmas whirlwind is over and I'm proud to say that my focus was on my family and kids, enjoying the special moments with them, rather than the usual hustle and bustle I seem to get overwhelmed with. I wanted my kids to get out of their crazy mindset of what they wanted for Christmas, so I had them play "Santa's Helper" for a few other children we know whose parents needed a little Christmas help - and they did great! What a good thing it is for kids to focus on someone else instead of themselves!

ANYWAY...check out this gorgeous cardinal I found perched in a bush outside my back door! Isn't he stunning?! Red is my fave color - so I love when I see splashes of red in the gray of winter.

...So now on to preparing for the new year - lots of excitement to come! { I have this phobia of psycho stalkers who cut babies out of women...so I'm reluctant to talk about my "condition" - but it's going along well! } I'll keep you posted on when the big moment happens, but I've got a little while longer yet, so now I get to focus my attention on making adorable baby stuff!!!

'kay, well have a HAPPY New Year!


Cute Chocolate Cups

Who says you can't have berries in the winter?! They're so gorgeous!

I found these cute Wilton chocolate molds at Jo-Ann's and they are FUN!!! We had a party for a friend today and I couldn't resist sharing my beautiful little chocolate cups & berries!!! They're super easy to use and work up fast, and I love how they look filled with yummy stuff. {{Ahh!}} ...PLUS, you get to eat the dishes, so cleanup is easy...


My Baby is DONE!!!

{AAAKKK!!!} It's done, girls! Can you believe it?! I can't even see from the tears!!! {...give me a minute to compose myself...} I really feel like I've given birth to something here - all of the creation process, time, and patience has resulted in a 3-month ordeal!!! {if only real childbirth were this easy.}

I think I'm going to stitch some snowflakes on the tree, and maybe something cute on the star - but I'm in no hurry! It's up and hanging and I can always add the details whenever I want!

It's gorgeous, perfect, and I couldn't be more thrilled. I almost feel like it needs a name and social security number. AND...how am I going to put this away when Christmas is over?! Guess it has to hang in my bedroom because you just don't treat a living, breathing, beautiful thing like that.

I love you, Santa and Baby Jesus!

And here are some pics of my beautiful Peppermint Tree! Another thing that occupied so much of my time at the beginning of the month - but it has to be done right! You don't MESS with the tree...

This precious little box with the slit in the top is our "mailbox" where the kids can put notes in there for each other! It's become one of our traditions and I love it because it makes them think and look for good things to write about their siblings! {ingenious, I know...}

I LOVE Christmas time!!!



This picture pretty much sums up how I feel! For those of you wondering what on earth has happened to my advent calendar post, it hasn't happened yet...I'm STILL finishing it. OY! I'm still in love with it even though it's now December 4th and my time limit came and went. Because I want to do it right and not slop it together, I'm going to {hopefully} finish it this weekend for good.

We had...Thanksgiving weekend = BUSY, my anniversary {gaspity gasp!} which included a fun-filled, quick trip to Chicago - LOVED IT - we got back on Tuesday night, and this entire week has been full of Christmas decorating {fun!}, shopping, and taking care of kids. My projects have to take a back-seat when it comes to the family, so that's the deal.

How about all of YOU?! Are you enjoying the Holidays and getting things decorated?!


Some things I'm thankful for:

My rich heritage
My relationship with my Savior, Jesus Christ
My amazing husband
Really, really good kids
A strong mother who taught me everything I know
Great friends who uplift & inspire me
A warm home, good food, and appliances that work
Life lessons

...and much more but I've got to get back to cooking our dinner!!!


Advent Calendar - Final Phase!

STILL WORKING!!! {This is exactly why I started this advent calendar way back at the beginning of October.} I'm so close that I can taste it, though - so this is good! Kadie is getting close to finishing hers, too, I can't wait to show it to you!!!

Steps I accomplished in last few weeks:

* Iron on fusible webbing to the backs of each felt square. This gives the felt stability and protects the thread. I cut mine just a shade smaller than my 3 1/2 x 4" squares, pressed them on to the BACKS, and it couldn't have been easier.

* Measure & pin squares where I want them

* Hand stitch squares in place. Yep, one by one, and it did take forever, but wouldn't you agree that it looks MUCH nicer than running a sewing machine over it? After all of my hard work, I was NOT about to use a sewing machine. I've seen both methods and I just didn't like the look of machine stitching on the squares.

This goes to prove that slow, steady, and patience wins overall!

NOW...my next phase this week will include:

* Pick a cute font on computer, print out numbers 0-9. Holding the paper and fabric up to the window, trace numbers onto fabric.

* Hand stitch numbers in black - should not take much time - maybe a couple of hours. {And let's be honest here, I'd LOVE a good excuse to sit around today, watch a good movie, and stitch away.}

* Layer top, some sturdy felt batting, and the bottom together with right sides together. I'll probably use a spray adhesive to help make everything stay sturdy and stuck.

* Sew all the way around; turn right-sides-out; top stitch all the way around the entire tree. When I sew, I'm going to start at the bottom, leaving about 6 - 8 inches for an opening right in the center. IN that opening, after I've turned the tree right-side-out, I'm going to insert my brown tree stump and sew it into that space.

* Attach felt star on top

* Cut out & stitch white felt snowflakes in random places on tree - through all three layers. This will help secure my layers, as well as add more detail.

* Attach hanging hooks on the back

THEN I'LL BE DONE!!! All of this has to happen before this week is over!!! Let's see if I can make it!!!


Blanket / Pillow Snugglie

This is the post I put together for Stephanie over at Somewhat Simple yesterday for our Blog Swap. That was pretty fun!

This project is a *yummy* fleece blanket/pillow that seriously takes 30 minutes start-to-finish. {I'm not kidding} You could give these as gifts, or make a few for the house to warm you up during the Holiday season!

You can use this cozy blanket as a pillow, or you can unfold it and wrap up in it, and tuck your cold toes into the pocket while you curl up with a good book. This one here is nice and long - just perfect for a grown-up, but my kids love theirs that I made them - I just made them shorter for kid-sized legs!

So let's get started...
(just click on each picture below) Again, you might need to minimize your screen a little in order to keep the pictures in a straight line - they'll probably be easier to follow that way.

I forgot to take a "big picture" of the pillow pocket stitched onto the blanket {oopsie} and some people have been confused by this. So pin the pillow pocket in the center of the blanket, lining up the bottom, just like in the picture...

Then SEW the pillow pocket onto the blanket, starting at the right-hand corner, leaving ONE INCH AROUND THE SIDES for fringe, ending in the left-hand corner. And that's it.

Following the last step there, trim all of the fringe on the pillow pocket, and then all around the blanket.

To fold into a pillow, lay the blanket flat, pocket-side-down, fold the length in thirds, then fold down in thirds, wrapping the pocket around.

Blog Swap with Stephanie!!

I am SO excited to be taking over Abby's blog today! Her blog was one that inspired me to start a blog of my own! Isn't her creativity fantastic?!

My name is Stephanie, and on most days you will find me over at Somewhat Simple. I am a wife to my very best friend and mom to my 3 favorite kids in the world! I come to you all the way from sunny Arizona- and yes, it is still very sunny... even in November!My family moved to Phoenix 4 years ago from California and we love living here!

I thought I would share a really cute and very simple project I made for my home a few weeks ago that has been a lot of fun so far. We call it "The Celebration Chalkboard"- its our family's place to write any reason at all to celebrate for the day- it just makes me smile looking at some of the reasons my kids come up with!

(This was MY reason to celebrate last week- our whole family seen by the dentist and not a single cavity in anybody's teeth- even after Halloween! Its a miracle!)

Here's how to make your own:

(just click on the pictures if you need to enlarge them)

Some of our reasons to celebrate have been:

-Ethan lost his tooth!

- Everyone did their chores!

- We're going to the Hockey Game for FHE!

- It's Friday!

- Uncle Ron is now a missionary!

... just to name a few!

Seriously, my kids try to come up with something new EVERY DAY!

So make your own "Celebration Board" and you'll always find some reason to be happy, no matter how silly the reason is!

I invite you all to check out what else is going on over at Somewhat Simple- more crafts, yummy recipes, monthly challenges and giveaways. In fact, I am getting ready for a huge giveaway coming very soon, check it out here:


Thanks again Abby for blog-swapping with me today! You're the best!

Have a great weekend everyone!


Making Kittens

I read this on the "In the Motherhood" site today and laughed my brains out!!! Hilarious.

One Sunday morning, when my daughter was 4, I was reading the paper, she was coloring. Our pregnant cat was nearby. My daughter stopped and asked, "Mommy, how do you make kittens?" My mother, a child expert, had always told me that when a child asks a question they're ready for the answer, just make it age appropriate. I took a deep breath and said, "Well, you need a boy cat and girl cat and they sort of rub against each other a little. The girl gets pregnant and in a few weeks she has kittens." I was very proud of myself for coming up with a quick age apropriate answer. My daughter looked at me wide eyed, blinking. After a prolonged silence she finally said, "How do you DRAW kittens?"

{hahaha!} I would totally do that!!!


Squares are DONE!

Twenty Five squares...hours and hours...and they're all stitched and ready to go. And I'm ahead of schedule!!! {aaaahhh!} (that never happens, by the way.) My kids wondered why on earth I wanted to make Christmas stuff during Halloween - and it's because I DON'T wanting to be making Christmas stuff during Christmas!

HERE is the tutorial again on how to cut and stitch your squares if you need. I photographed my squares individually for you to get ideas from, also. They're all done by using the same basic stitches I did in my stitch guide. It's all so simple, really, just time consuming. To be perfectly honest, though, Kadie and I were talking about the fact that this has been such a fun project and we're not ready to be done! weird, I know.

...so now onward with pressing my fabric, mounting my squares, and FINISHING THIS BAD BOY!!!

Oh, and below is my cute green polka dot fabric I'm using for my actual tree. I can't wait to show you the finished product!


Yummy Yarn

I feel so blessed to have access to a fun yarn shop in our cute, tiny downtown area and I'm not gonna lie - I'm a yarn nerd. Okay? I said it and I'm not ashamed. Isn't it SCRUMPTIOUS?! It's like candy to me and I can sit and pet it and pet it.... And now that it's chilly and cold outside, I have SO much more fun playing with my yarn. It's so cozy.

Now, LISTEN. I'm a complete idiot with yarn. My mom and grandmother taught me the basics like how to hold my hook, how to hold my yarn, and how to do the basic crochet stitches that I've walked you through on my blog here - and I know no more than that! But who cares?! I just have fun with what I can do. You CAN do any of my crochet projects here if you just walk yourself through my basic tutorials first. I have NO idea how to do the hard stuff - so if I can do this, so can you!!!

My 7-year-old has been seeing me make baby blankets and nestie blankets and she keeps asking me when I'm going to make something for her. Precious thing. So I started this little hat just like I did with my baby nest blanket - but I just stopped when the hat got tall enough to cover her ears. I didn't measure how round her head is - I just eyeballed it and guessed on how big around it should be. It worked out. Crochet stretches, too, so you really don't have to stress out about getting it just the right size.

THEN...my little fashionista went and found one of her flower clippies we made a while back and clipped it into her hat! Atta girl! She felt all adorable this morning, and I didn't help matters any by squeaking and snapping pictures.

{love her...my daughter is so rad.}

{I love this yarn...}

{....and this yarn....}

This cute little blanket is just single crochet back and forth. SO easy. It's my pick-up project for when I'm sitting and relaxing at the end of the day.