Archive | March, 2011

Thrifty Thursday

31 Mar

Cut your own hair.

Well, not your OWN hair, but get someone you love and trust to cut your hair for free =)

When we were first married, Jared got his hair cut at whatever  hair place was having a sale.  A few haircuts into our marriage, we decided to make an investment and buy some hair clippers.  Something like 20 bucks from Target.

Jared was very patient with me for the first few  cuts.  I had never cut anyone’s hair before and had no idea what I was doing.  The first haircuts ended with us saying, “Well, I guess you can wear a hat for the next few days.

But after the first trainwreck cuts, I got the hang of it.  I have figured out his hair and know how much to take off on top and what clippers to use around his neck.    It is very rewarding.  I love saving money, seeing him not look like a shaggy dog and the complements he gets afterwards.

You can even cut your neighbors hair!

Jared has incredibly thick hair and needs to be cut almost every month.  So let’s say the average men’s hair cut is $20, not including tip.  That is at least $240 dollars a year. In 10 years of cutting Jared’s hair we will have saved $2,400!

A bit dramatic perhaps, but you get my point =)

First Cake Experience

30 Mar

It is a family tradition going way way back that for a first Birthday you get your own cake to do whatever you want with it.  Here is what Sophia Joy did to her cake that wonderful Aunt Lina made for her.

Here she is getting the cake, I love the look on her face.  She is like, Are you serious?  This is awesome!

The next video has Aleah singing in the background, so precious.

This last video is of Sophi flapping her arms and getting cake all over the kitchen.

Happy Happy First Birthday Sophia, we love you so much.

Nursery Pictures

26 Mar

Aleah and I were killing some time in the nursery before Courtney’s Wednesday Lenten Service. I put Aleah in her new plaid coat in hopes we could get some good pictures.

Don’t the pearls just make the outfit?

While we were playing, a precious nine year old girl named Kennedy came to play with us for a little while.  As she was leaving she silently grabbed some chalk, wrote Aleah’s name on the chalkboard and walked out.

After she left, Aleah dragged a little chair over to the chalkboard and began drawing.  I just love how these pictures turned out.  It all looks completely staged but it absolutely isn’t.

The big button on the coat used to be Aleah’s great great grandmother’s.

I am thankful that Aleah and my great grandma were able to meet a few times.  Aleah was only a couple months old when my Gramie B said, “My, she certainly has a mind of her own.”  And boy has that been true.

Spring Plaid Coat

25 Mar

This is perhaps the most ambitious sewing project I have undertaken thus far.

$4.99 skirt from Goodwill

Traced one of Aleah's favorite coats

These are the pieces I cut out of the skirt. Tracing the arms, back and front to get the shape of each area

Aleah in her amazing leopard jammies, helping me before she went to bed

Sewed the back of the coat to the front pieces. After that I sewed about an inch wide on top for her shoulders.

Attaching the arm to the coat

The sleeves were not quite wide enough to fit around her arm so I had to use the last little bit of fabric to finish them off

this is the only fabric I had left after completing this project, I was so nervous I was going to run out

the cuff was the most tricky part of this project but it definitely dresses it up and completes the coat.

The cuff was originally the top part of the skirt.  I had to turn the coat inside out and sew the pieces together and then fold the cuff back into place.

Come back tomorrow for the cutest photo shoot ever.

I am so excited to show you!


A Manse Garden

21 Mar

My older sister is now the head pastor of a little church in southern Wisconsin.

Courtney hard at work

Along with her job came an amazing manse for her and her husband to live in.  For Jared’s spring break we decided to come and hang with her for a few days and help her start her garden since she has never done one on her own before.

It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon.  Both girls were napping for a big chunk of the afternoon so we got a lot accomplished.  The side of her house has a good-sized fenced off area that will be perfect for her up and coming garden.  Since the weather is still a bit questionable we planted the seeds in a seedling flat.

We planted delicious herbs like rosemary, oregano, cilantro and basil.  Some vegetables we planted are tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, lettuce and my personal favorite- sweet peas.  And to attract bees and for aesthetic purposes we planted hollyhocks, giant sunflowers, lavender and cosmos.

Since Jared is graduating in the spring we will probably not be able to use our garden all summer, so we are using Courtney’s garden as an outlet so we won’t be so sad.

Jared tilling the soil, look how dark and rich the ground is!  I only garden with gloves that match my shirt, so fancy.

Happy Gardening to you all.  It is the perfect time to start those little seedlings inside.  You will save lots of money by not having to buy those already grown plants at the store.  And the massive amounts of seeds that sprout will fill up your garden in no time.

Happy St Patricks Day

17 Mar

The big Irish day is here.

Jared and I wanted to do a little something special with the girls.  All the big St Patty’s Day festivities are either during nap time (parade) or during bedtime (concerts, pubs etc) so we decided to make our own fun — Go out for breakfast, all decked out in our green.

Breakfast is the only meal that Aleah will seriously eat.  And boy does she eat!  Since Aleah eats a good breakfast we always have a big one.  Our regular choices include pancakes, oatmeal pancakes, blueberries and oatmeal, scrambled eggs or cinnamon french toast, and  we usually leave the choice up to Aleah.  We have tried giving her cereal for breakfast, but  by 9:30 she has melted down and we remember why we do big breakfasts.

Jared and I want a little break from the morning routine so we are treating ourselves and the kids to a breakfast out.

Nana and Papa (Jared’s parents) sent the girls a couple cute shirts a few days ago:

Since we had the shirts, all I had to do was make a couple cute skirts to go with them.  I went digging through my  bins of fabric and clothes I don’t want anymore and found these.

A kelly green sweater from Gap I bought for $4 at a thrift store for Aleah’s skirt.  And a darker green fleece I had from high school that I turned into a skirt for Soph.

Aren’t they so cute and Irish?

Hope everyone has a great day full of tricks, leprechauns, green, family and food!

Luck of the Irish

14 Mar

I married into a very Irish family.

Growing up, the extent of celebrating St Patty’s Day was that I might wear a green shirt to school.  Other than that, life went on as usual.

Although my husband’s last name is not Irish, his maternal side is full of McGuires, McClures and Morans.  My husband and especially my daughter both have flaming red hair.  So, now we celebrate St. Patty’s Day.

Last year we went up to Northwestern Minnesota to see Jared’s cousins, aunts and uncles and stayed with his grandma.  When we were there I ate my first real St Patty’s Day dinner of Corned Beef, boiled red potatoes, and of course some cabbage.  It was a full day of food, family and games.  Everyone was decked out, head to toe in green.

I am lucky to have married into such an amazing Irish family.

I’m glad I now have an excuse to celebrate such a fun holiday.

Jared’s cousin is coming over on Thursday and we are going to prepare our first St Patty’s Day dinner.  I am quite excited about it.  Both our husbands have to work that night so we are going to have our own party.  I am thinking of making the beef brisket in the crock-pot, any other ideas?  I am totally open to pointers.


12 Mar

So this morning Aleah and I headed to the princess birthday part — one of Aleah’s best friends was turning three!

This is Aleah and her good friend Charlie at the party showing off their attire.

The kids decorated crowns with jewel stickers

And then we painted nails

Got on a sugar high from ring pops, nice crowns ladies!

Then proceeded to run around the living room at top speed

Time to blow out the candles on an incredible birthday cake that Aunt Lina and Karla (Charlie's mom) made.

Charlie was so excited when she opened the skirt I made her, she left the party and headed downstairs to change into it!

the shirt before I made it into a skirt for the birthday girl. cut the top off then sewed the sides in so it would fit around her waist

All the other beautiful princesses

Aleah and Charlie dancing at the ball

I am so proud of this dress I made for Aleah.  It turned out great and I am sure glad it did.  She fit right in with the other little princesses.  The total cost of the project was $10 and there was some fabric left in case one of her dolls needs to be a princess too.

My Baby is Almost One

11 Mar

My baby will turn one year old in exactly 16 days! How did that happen?

Not sure where the tradition started but growing up, when someone turned one they got a whole cake to themselves to do what they wished.  We thought Aleah would go crazy with it but she was slightly reserved and was more interested in smearing the cake on her leg than actually eating it.

Sophia will eat everything and anything we put in front of her.  She actually eats more than Aleah, so I think her Birthday cake to herself will be highly entertaining.

I’m working right now on a banner that we will use for all future Birthdays in our household.  Instead of using a new paper one every year I am making a banner out of fabric so that we can store it and bring it out for everyone’s special day.  I will have it done by her Birthday on the 28th and hopefully a cute outfit too.

Speaking of birthdays, tomorrow is the big princess birthday party for Aleah’s new friend.  Aleah can’t stop talking about it and is extremely excited about the birthday cake her Aunt Lina is making.

Hope you all have some fun weekend plans, anyone else going to a princess party?


Princess Party

9 Mar

We have been invited to a princess party this Saturday morning, where all the kiddos are suppose to dress up like a princess.  Shoot.  I mean, how fun!

I can’t just go out to WallyMart and buy her a Cinderella costume.  But how do you make a princess costume?  Sort of nervous about this one because other people will actually be seeing this.  Yikes.  Okay, just breathe- you can do this.

I looked through my stash of fabric.  Not too many princess-like fabrics in there.  And since I don’t have a princess costume in my size that I can shrink down, I might have to go to a fabric store or see what else I can come up with.

I haven’t been to a fabric store in quite some time since I have been in a re-use kick lately.  I am kind of excited to go and use a coupon and see all the beautiful fabric.

A few days and a few sicknesses later…

Here is the fabric-

fold the fabric under a couple times so it will not fray

she was sitting here asking how to spell everyone's name

My little helper

so Aleah would be able to get in and out of her dress easily, I used little velcro dots and sewed them on

cut three inches down into the sides of the dress and then pin and sew the sides down to make a little more room for arms

this is what I had at first and it looked too much like a prom dress and not enough like a princess dress so I had to fix it

some fun sequins on top

cut a triangle out of the front and used the silver fabric to fill the blue hole I just made

added some more fabric to the back so the skirt would be more full

I think I need to add something more to the top.

Will add more pictures from the actual Birthday Party on Saturday with all the other little princesses.