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.