20 minute crafter. sweet rainbow. :)

So say you are having an airhead kind of week...and you totally forget that your son was invited to a birthday party THIS Saturday and not next.  And you don't remember it until you read your friends blog post which is all about the cute rainbow party she threw. 
Dang it brain...if only you would work with me.
So to make up for it...I thought the very least I could do was whip her up a cute little rainbow shirt...which I found cute enough to share...hope you like it too...maybe your brain will remind you ahead enough of time that you can make it to take TO the party. 

Here is what you need:
rainbow colored scraps
blank t-shirt (from Target)
wonder under (from Joanns)
cloud looking scrap...chenille or minky like material
sewing machine

Starting with your red scrap...make a square that is about the size that you would like your rainbow to be...
Using that first shape as your size guide make each layer of your "rainbow cake".  Don't try to make it perfect...just make it happy.
Then starting in the center (purple) sew around the edge of each semi-circle/oval...I thought it would be cute to alternate zig-zag and straight stitch with each layer.
When you are done...trace your shape on the wrong side of the wonder under then cut out the shape just inside the line you traced (see photo).
Iron onto the back of your rainbow...we cut the wonder under a bit smaller than the rainbow to make sure we didn't go over the sides and goop up your ironing board...which I am sure is WAY cuter than mine.  I didn't put the wonder under on the red first because you would be doing all of that stitching on top of it and that would just be a pain.  

You also need to iron a rectangle of wonder under onto a rectangle of your cloud material that is about two inches wider than the base of your rainbow...you know, for a good cloud to rainbow ratio. :)
Cut out your cloud shape...
Figure out where you want to place your rainbow and cloud...be sure to overlap the cloud on top of the rainbow.  Iron on...if your cloud material is extra thick you may need to turn your shirt inside out to ensure a good adhesion.
Stitch around the edges to adhere it to the shirt...if you start at a corner where the cloud and rainbow meet you can get around the cloud then the rainbow in one long stitch.  Then I went back in and traced the cloud in blue.  
Cuteness, right?  And you can feel a little better about missing the party...cause if you never missed it then you never would have known to make a rainbow shirt for the birthday girl. 
So there is that. 

Hope you like it...got questions? I'll answer them in the comments. :)



When I was in high school, and all through school actually, I didn't have a ton of friends.  The ones I did have were more on the outer edges of what you would call popular.  There were a few reasons for this...I was not allowed to do any school activities that required any time spent outside of the normal allotted school times...so sports and after school activities were out.  I was rarely allowed to go to the normal hang out spots (aka in my town the skating rink!) or to friends houses...and when I did, I was the one with the parents who would show up to get you two hours early because they thought I was up to something...which, for the record, I never was.  

As a result...I never really got a chance to sharpen my "fitting in and friends makin' skills".  All through high school and college I struggled to fit in.  I could go through the motions and never get the same results that seemed to come so easy to others.  There are those people out there who others seem to flock to...who everyone wants to be friends with.  I'm pretty much on the other side of that spectrum.  

I always kind of hoped that I would outgrow this painful kind of social awkwardness.  That one day I would grow up and be able to fit in and make friends easily.  That you can grow into one of those "flocked to" types of folks.  I have spent years trying to learn this "fitting in" skill...only to end up where I started.  It's tough.  I won't lie.  I haven't outgrown a thing.  I'm still awkward.  I still don't have many friends.  I still have to work REALLY hard in any sort of social situation.  People do not flock to me.  I am not included.  And it still hurts as much as it did when I was five...ten or 15.

I thought that by now...I wouldn't care about being included or well liked or part of a group.  Yet, I continue to find my ineptness everywhere.  At MOPS, at the grocery store, my former life in Radford, even in the blog world.  Every time that one of my hard earned friendly advances goes unnoticed or unreciprocated a little of me is hurt.  Sometimes a lot.  You can ask my poor husband about the many times that I have cried to him...about just wanting to be liked.  Trying desperately to figure out what it is that I lack.  Just WHAT is it about me that makes people move on so quickly.  Why am I always the one in the room that is the first to be forgotten about?   Why can't I be a people magnet too?

Pretty sad huh?  I wish I was writing this to share that I have had some sort of breakthrough.  But no.  I still struggle with this daily.  I daily pray for me to be happy with ME.  I KNOW that God made me just this way on purpose and that He doesn't make mistakes...but doesn't He know how much it hurts me?  Doesn't He know how much I would love to be included and part for a change? Doesnt' He know how much I would love to have best friends that don't live just in New Jersey and California? 

I'm not saying that I am not richly blessed...I am SO thankful for the friendships that I do have...cause they run SO deep.  I know that they are real and sure and true.  I am happy in a life I don't deserve. I have a husband that is better than the best and kids that are more precious to me than all the world.  

My prayer is that my 30's will make me confident in who I am...and to allow that confidence to sharpen me into what it is and who it is that God wants me to be.  I want to read this entry ten years from now and have a good laugh at myself for being so silly...for having no idea what God had in store for me.  Just as I am.  Awkwardness and all.        


mom stuff.

First of all...I had to document this here...you know, so it will be included in a future edition of my blog books. 
We were playing around in the tennis courts at a nearby playground when one of the poor little guys legs gave out on him...he immediately got the largest gooseegg that I have ever seen on someones head.  It stuck out a good 3/4-1in instantly.  This kid is one tough little man...he was done crying about it before we could get back to the car...and resumed his normal self.  

My heart, I am sure, may never be the same.  

And the rest of this...is just to share.  A couple of my sneaky little mom tricks.  

Both of my boys eat a great healthy breakfast and lunch.  Neither has ever been big on dinner. 
Our general policy is...you eat what you are served at dinner...or you don't eat.  But I refuse to make them eat...I just think that sets them up for bad eating habits in life...but I will include at least one thing with dinner that I know they like.  
Moses knows the deal and he knows that if he doesn't eat what we serve for dinner then he gets nothing else for the rest of the day...and only water to drink...cause this boy could live on milk. 

If they don't eat dinner...I don't worry because I know that what they HAVE eaten that day is healthy and good for them...we try hard not to keep junk in the house (except for the secret mommy/daddy chocolate stash) and we never really eat fast food besides Chick-fil-a or Chipoltle. 

Aaron...well he is still trying to figure out what he does like and what he doesn't like...a favorite one day is hated the next.  But he will always eat yogurt or oatmeal.  And like Moses, everything he DOES eat is healthy...so I don't worry about dinner so much if he doesn't want it. 
But I DO sometimes worry about whether they get enough veggies...especially on the picky days. I have tried to "hide" veggies in other foods...and that never works.  Only recently did we start to let Moses have juice on a regular basis...after doing some research I found these:
Which he loves...has a serving of veggies (which he will only sometimes eat on his own) and a serving of fruit (which he loves in any form) and is low in sugar (which makes me happy).

For Aaron I have found these:
Which is really the same as the juice...but in a yogurt form. A fruit, a veggie and a yogurt.  And this is organic...which makes me happy too. :)

So those are a couple of my tricks...in case you didn't know and could use them for yourself. 

Any good "sneaky mom tricks" to share?

20 minute crafter. how to make a blog header. :)

I have recently received several emails about how to make a blog header...before my sweet blog make-over I used to make new headers all the time...now I just make a new one every so often for my poorly neglected photography blog.  So while it make take you a bit more than twenty minutes the first time...you will get the hang of it and be able to whip up a new one any time you want. :)
You can click on each image to make it bigger. 
First you have to choose a photo...and upload it to picnik.  You can get good use out of the free version.
I usually resize my photos down to 75% to make them quicker to work with...you do this under "edit".
Have fun and mess around with your photo...add text and fun effects to your hearts desire.  When you are done...save it to your desktop.
 Go back to your blog and get to this screen and tab by going under settings.
Click on edit where you blog title is...a little editing window should pop up. 
Click on:
"shrink to fit"
"instead of title"
Get the image that you just made by clicking on "browse"...find it and upload it. 
This is what success looks like. :)  You can preview it to make sure it looks good.
Depending on the size of the photo the thin frame that surrounds your header may be off...the easiest way to fix this is to do the following...
Go under layout: fonts and colors: and change the frame to match the background...in this case I made it white.
 Ta-da!  Personalized cuteness for your blog.  This took me just a few minutes. :)
I will TRY to answer questions in the comments section...but keep in mind I only know what Google has taught me. :)

the story.

So Aaron and I were at Joann's a few days ago...I turned to look at something, as he was sitting in the cart seat...and suddenly he starts to squeal and laugh and giggle.  I turn around to see him holding and cuddling a bolt of super soft, cuddly and squishy minky.  I bought a yard because it made him so happy...if nothing else I thought I would make him a pillow.  
This one is for hoho.  It will be for his Easter basket.  And I LOVE it. 
It was so fun to make...and I had extra SO...of course I had to make more...right?
I made all sizes...and they are all wonky and wonderful.  A very loose pattern.
I call them...happy hoho monsters.  Because my hoho (aaron) is a happy little monster.
I am working on adding them to the shop today...the largest and smallest are spoken for but please ask me if you would like another...I would LOVE to make more and I would LOVE for them to be popular enough to keep in the shop. 
They are cuddly and sweet...and each on has a little pocket for holding treasures.  
I also think that they may stand as a good reminder that you don't have to be perfect to be lovable and wonderful. :)

So what do you think?  Are they lovely...or should I pretend like this post never happened?

20 minute crafter. easy Easter cuteness.

this edition should be called 10 minutes to awesome. 
need some easy and simple cute for Easter?

I found the idea HERE.  And here is how you do it. :)
You need:
a mason jar
chocolate Easter bunny
edible Easter grass
Easter candy in egg shape
I got everything at Target
add your grass to the jar...this stuff is much tougher than i thought it would be...you want to make a little nest for your Easter bunny.   Nestle your little bunny down in there...you can pull off the foil wrapper if you like the naked chocolate bunny look.
add some of your egg candies...cuteness...add as much or as little as you like.  make yourself happy.
see? cute, right?
cut a circle of fabric to fit under the lip of the mason ring...is that what you even call that?
add some ribbon...super fast Easter cuteness. 

have fun. :)

cheaty mc-cheats-a-lot

As far back as I can remember in school, as long as they gave you any choice in your class schedule, I choose art classes.  Art history, art appreciation, ceramics, drawing, painting, etc.  Always.  All through elementary, middle and high school.  Even community college.  All art classes.  
When I got to Radford, for some dumb reason, I thought it would be a great idea to branch out and try something new.  Break away from my art mold and do something different.  
Music appreciation it was.  Never-mind that I have NO natural rhythm or any kind of musical knowledge.  I was in big girl college now and was going to branch out, ok!?

Fail.  Big fat huge fail.  I was terrible at it (surprise!!).  The basic class structure required me to be able to hear a selection of music and be able to name the composer, genre, etc.  
I am certain that I have never studied for a class more. 
In fact I know it.  My entire educational career required very little studying on my part. 
If I showed up, took good notes and paid attention...I could pretty much just review my notes come test time and do great. 
Hours and hours I spent listening and listening.  Only to fail miserably at exam time. 
I was doing my best and still failing.  This would not do.  I would not compromise my awesome GPA for some dumb elective class.  But I was at a loss for how to do better.
Then one day I was talking to a friend, whose mother had gone to Radford and taken the same class.  And had the same troubles.  So how did she get through with an A?
Turns out...that she memorized what songs were on which records and the order that they were in.  So come test time, when the professor would grab the red record and play it...she knew the order of the selections.  Great idea.  Except the class I was in came with two four CD sets. 
I had to work a little harder at it.  But in the end I aced the class.  
I was awesome at THAT kind of memorization.  I knew the play list of each CD, sat at the front of the class and could see which CD he pulled from come test time.  He would put it in the CD player and then I would count the forward clicks.  Hello A.  Good bye bright ideas and back to what I knew...art.

So cheating or not? What do you think?  Not exactly one or the other, right?
I wasn't copying answers or anything like that.  I took advantage of the system.
And that was the closest I have ever come to really cheating on any test.  Ever.
I think this "quilt" is a little like that. 
Not quite quilt, not quite mass produced.
But the result is awesome and desirable.
Even if the means to get it weren't exactly what you would expect.
Eventually I want to make a quilt for my bed...but this lovely will do until then.  I imagine the boys will both be long in school before I actually get to that project.
So I thought outside the box...broke some sewing rules...and got what I wanted.
Something pretty, somewhat handmade and lovely.
All I did was sew some squares on a down comforter we already had.

And I will sleep well under it at night knowing that sometimes you just have to work a little differently to get what you want in life.


UPDATE!:: Here's a link to how I did it! :) Go here to learn how to make your own cheaty quilt!

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