Tuesday, November 30, 2010

christmas came early!

Taking a picture of a christmas tree is kind of like taking a picture of a sunset. The pictures never really turn out - you just kinda have to be there to enjoy it. (That is, unless you have a really nice camera, which we don't. so there you go.) But I'm just so excited about the ornaments I got that I wanted to share.

When I got down the christmas decoration boxes I realized that all my glass ornaments weren't going to fly this year. Or rather, with Jonas' help, they were literally gonna fly. His new favorite hobby is throwing things on the kitchen floor and watching them bounce or break. Round ornaments would just be too close to his bouncy balls for them to work. So we needed plastic, shatterproof ornaments. I also realized that the hand-cut paper snowflakes that I do every year would only last a few days since... well you know how toddlers are.

So! I went to Target and found these cute shatterproof ornaments for $10. And then (my favorite) these felt snowflakes 3 for $1. For a total of $13 I got everything that I needed! I don't think there's any such thing as a child-proof tree - but this is a pretty good comprimise.

We also got our christmas present for eachother in the mail. Russell talks about it here. He played with it the whole time I was putting together the tree. We were both pretty excited about what we were doing. It really is starting to feel like christmas.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


scratch that last post. Those two punks gave me the stomach flu, which made me dehydrated, which put me into pre-term labor, which sent us to the hospital last night with contractions.

Okay, okay, so I still love them (they are pretty cute). And I'm still grateful for them (it's not their fault they were sick after all). And it's probably my own fault that I was dehydrated (partially).

It's amazing what a difference water makes. I felt kind of silly going to the hospital when it turns out all I needed was a big long drink of water... but with the flu maybe an IV was the only way to get me hydrated enough for the contractions to stop. And hey, maybe this means that she is getting ready to come earlier than Jonas did. crossing my fingers on that one.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


I'm so grateful for my wonderful husband. Yesterday he got the stomach flu. It's the first time in our married lives that he's ever been sick and it was awful! I wanted to help him but there wasn't really anything I could do. Luckily he felt better today, but he stayed home because he didn't want to get anybody sick. I missed him so much all day. It made me realize how much I've gotten used to him being there. It's so nice to be married to someone that I love being around. He makes everything more fun. I really am so blessed to be married to such a great guy.

I'm also grateful for my little baby Jonas - who's not as much a baby now as he is a little boy. It seems like he's just been growing up faster and faster lately. He's constantly learning new things. I love seeing his personality come out (even when it means that he's stubborn and a little too independent) (... sound familiar?). It's been fun to see him playing with extended family all day.

I love my family.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

awesome homemade baby gift set

I love this - it looks so cuddly and colorful. I love all the pieces individually (there are tutorials on this site) but together it's irresistible. I want to make a girl version out of deep purple and grey.

Friday, November 19, 2010

easy & delicious pumpkin chocolate chip muffins

It really doesn't get better than this. Well except for maybe if you add spiced cream cheese frosting on top. This recipe makes 24 muffins and I thought that there's no way we'd eat them all before they went bad. So I froze most of them... and... ahem... before the end of the week they were all gone. yes, even the frozen ones. (They only took like a half hour to defrost, you can't really blame me right?)

Easy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
adapted from Betty Crocker

1 box Spice Super Moist Cake Mix
1 1/2 c Pumpkin Puree (canned or homemade if you want to get crazy, but that would take this from an "easy" recipe to "crazy")
1/3 c water
1/2 c applesauce
2 med eggs

1 bag chocolate chips
1-2 T flour

Combine all ingredients through the eggs. Throw the flour into choc chip bag and shake around to coat the chips (this will help them stay put in the batter and not all sink to the bottom). Stir in choc chips.

Lightly grease and flour muffin tins. (tip - if you use a sandwich bag as kind of a glove and crisco/butter it's really easy to get a relatively even and thin layer. Then shake flour around and hit the back of the pan to shake off excess.) Fill muffin tins 2/3 high.

Bake 350 for 20-25 min

Optional Cream Cheese Frosting:

Combine 1 pkg. cream cheese frosting, softened
3-4 T Butter, softened
splash milk & vanilla

Add powdered sugar until you get the sweetness and consistency you want.

It's really good if you stop right there, but for this recipe adding some spices tasted great. I added about 1/2 t. Cinnamon, and 1/4 t. Nutmeg, Cloves, and Ginger (each).

If you like just a little bit of frosting on each muffin then you would be fine with half the frosting recipe. I kept the frosting in a container in the fridge and frosted the muffins as we were ready to eat them, and I ran out of muffins before we finished the frosting. Shoot. I'll just have to make another batch!

(pic source)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

advent calendar ideas

My mom had a great little cross-stiched advent calendar while we were growing up. I remember being so excited to draw a little ornament out of the bag and hang it up to show that we were one day closer. I'm not ambitious enough to even consider cross-stitching... but I do want to do something. Here are a few ideas that I like:

I think the above is my favorite. Simple - modern - fun. I think I'll do some kind of variation on that.
Cute little matchbox advent calendar

Clever Gum Advent Calendar

Folded paper trees advent calendar

Pocket advent calendar

This one's such a great idea. You could sew these out of any paper, or wrapping paper and it would be easy, quick and cheap.

Misc. Paper Envelopes Advent Calendar - She also listed all of the activities that she put inside which is helpful for ideas.

Snowing Presents Advent Calendar

There's tons more online (obviously). If you're looking for more I found some good round-ups here, here, here and here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

fine motor skill development

Today Jonas made his first major mess (that wasn't diaper related)... and he also figured out how to twist off caps. I feel better about it when I think of it as a milestone - instead of a pain in the butt. He's growing up - that's a good thing right? right.

Earlier today he twisted off a cap of lotion while I was sitting with him. I was surprised, figured it was a fluke, and didn't think much of it. But then, later today he found the big jug of olive oil and practiced his new skill on that. Man, it was a huge mess. The worst part is that he was in my eyeline the whole time. I was trying to figure out how to sew a button hole on my sewing machine so I was too involved to notice before it was too late. Poor kid was covered almost from head to toe in oil. The kitchen was covered too - but luckily it didn't extend to the carpet.

To complicate things a little bit more he'd just pooped his diaper. In trying to get him into the tub, I found out that it's REALLY hard to change a baby's diaper when they're covered in oil and determined not to get their diaper changed. It was like a greased pig competition - but poop was involved so the stakes were much higher.

All the fun from today reminded me of this website. haha, kids. You've gotta commend all these parents for laughing and taking a picture instead of just getting mad. It's pretty funny to go through and see the destructive things kids do. Some are better (or worse) than others. I don't understand the parents who are put out by their son pulling out all the tissues in a tissue box - but red food coloring all over the house (above)? Yeah, that's pretty bad.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

thanksgiving roundup

I don't really have any kids that are old enough to get excited about holidays yet - but a year or two from now and this stuff is going to come in handy. I could make this stuff now, but Russell would probably just look at me funny, ask me why I was sticking candy corn in cookies, and then ask why we don't eat vegetables more. But, someday, our kids are going to love this stuff. You just wait and see Russell... you just wait and see.

Above is a cute little paper mayflower that you could use as namecards or just for fun.

Oreo Turkeys

Turkey Cupcakes

Cookie Pilgrim Hats

My friend Andrea does Thankful Turkeys every year with her kids. Such a great idea! She has a downloadable template here.

I think this would also be a good template to do a Thankful Turkey. Or you could do what Martha says and use it for Thanksgiving Trivia.

I already have a vase full of branches (which due to some extenuating circumstances is sitting outside... and has been for over a week. I really should bring that in. I will. Sorry in-laws.) so this one would be easy. You can make a thankful tree with colored leaves to write what you're grateful for. Or you could take it a step further and press real leaves between wax paper and hang them on the tree. The wax paper leaves are really cool guys. Check it out!

Turkey paper bag luminaries, that look like this when they're not lit up: (I was always fascinated by stuff like this when I was a kid.)

This one's a little ridiculous, but it could be funny. I propose that you take this idea and this idea, and combine them to make little pilgrim/indian people with your family's faces on it. I think I'm going to make one of Russell with the blonde curly pilgrim hair up on the right.

The top image is a sugar cookie made out of fruit roll-ups and reese's pieces. It's seriously making my mouth-water. To be honest, anything with fruit roll-ups sounds ridiculously good right now. I'm gonna claim a weird pregnancy craving on this one and hope that you guys don't think I'm too weird.

Above left is a Pop!corn (get it?) surprise paper cracker which could be made to look like Indian corn to be a little more festive. And lastly, Indian corn rice krispie type pops. Which if I had one right now I'd just eat off the fruit roll-ups, and give the rest to some little kid. Because, frankly, the rest doesn't look that appetizing right now, but I'm sure that kids would love it. However, they probably wouldn't appreciate that I'd eaten the fruit roll-up part. Maybe I should just go buy a box of those and be done with it. Russell? Wanna run to the store?

Friday, November 12, 2010

freezer paper stenciling

Generally, I've found simplicity is best. I think that I have a tendency to take things too far. One example is pretty much any art project that I did in school (before I became a lazy highschool/college student). I'd work on it forever, keep adding things, until it just got messy. I've been learning that I need to take good ol' Tim's advice and bring and editing eye to everything I do. That said... It's still fun to embellish a little every once in a while.

Like with onesies. I think that people can take embellishing onesies to a crazy level. Just search "onesie" on etsy and you'll see what I mean. Applique, stenciling, stitching, ruffled bums are all great, but individually, not all on ONE onesie. (well maybe except for the ruffle bums, which frankly, I just don't understand. I guess people figure "hey! My baby's bottom is so huge with this diaper I might as well do something to it!")

I think that freezer paper stenciling has a lot of potential to be fun, inexpensive, and still relatively simple at the same time. I'm still not sure if anything can be cuter than plain solid colored onesies on babies - but sheesh, you can't do that all the time right? right. Life needs variety. Now that I've talked myself in circles, here are some cute freezer paper stenciling ideas that I've marked for future reference: (and here's a site with some great tutorials on freezer paper stenciling)

I think this one is great - simple and cute. I really like the idea of white on a colored shirt.

Funny, and a little ridiculous. I'd probably be embarrassed to take my baby out in this just because I'd feel too nerdy. I like the idea someone had of using it as a halloween costume.

And lastly, I seriously love this one. Pacifist. Genius.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

first cognizant snow fall

(I should probably note that Jonas was the one who was cognizant, not the actual snow fall itself.)

no more cups

Why don't I have this? It's so simple and so genius at the same time. And seriously, it would totally cut down on the dishes. I never want to use a cup again.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

favorite song

I'm not sure why, but Jonas LOVES this song. Whenever it comes on, wherever he is and whatever he's doing, he stops, jumps up, and runs over to dance right in front of the stereo. He's a little too excited about it being on to actually dance in this video, but you get the idea. haha, funny kid.

Our flip mino is irretrievably broken so sorry for the crappy video quality. It's kind of disappointing when electronic things just stop working, isn't it? For some reason I would feel better about it if we dropped it or if it gave us some kind of error message. But we were always good to our mino and we just get a black screen to show for it. The tech support people pretty much said that we're just out of luck. I guess it was just it's time. Looks like we're on the market for a new camcorder. Anybody have any suggestions?
This handsewn hanging bassinet is amazing. She said it's just made basically a rectangle box out of a couple layers of sturdy felt with a thin plywood board between the layers in the bottom. I really love the idea of a hanging bassinet and I think that Jonas really would have slept a lot better in one. The only thing that worries me is that it seems like it could fall out easily. I guess that if you use the right hooks, rope, etc. then it would be safe. hmmm...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

cheapo paper decorations

It's not too early to be thinking about Christmas right? Well, maybe it is. Okay, I really shouldn't be posting this. But when I went to Robert's today they were playing christmas music and there was this really cute little girl singing jingle bells being pushed around in a cart and it made me excited. And I may have looked over how Martha Stewart thinks I should decorate for the holiday. I found this easy and cute tutorial and, when the time comes, I'm going for it. But for now, I'm going to focus back on thanksgiving and how absolutely beautiful the fall is.

Monday, November 8, 2010

playing in the leaves

Over the weekend my family got together to play in the leaves in the canyon. Jonas LOVED it. He kept walking around and throwing leaves in the air, which he would probably be happy doing forever. They say that kids have a short attention span - but I think that's just for things that adults want them to do. Things like throwing leaves, pulling stuff out of drawers, and running around the church they could do for hours without any trouble.

haha, this picture makes me laugh. He's lucky to have lots of aunts and uncles who all love to play with him. (thanks to lauren and jon for bringing a camera! We finally found our battery charger so we should be better at that in the future. )

Sunday, November 7, 2010

snickers salad

I know... oxymoron right? But there is fruit involved and it's delicious... so I'm going to let it slide. The only time I've come across this was at EFY at BYU Idaho and I've forgotten about it until now (found here). I'm sure you could do a million variations on this and probably can't go wrong. Just mix chopped up snickers bars with tart apples, and mix it in with whipped cream and a package of dry vanilla pudding mix. Mm-hmm.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

bunk bed alternarive

These hanging beds are amazing, scary, awesome, crazy. She says they're completely stable - but it still kinda makes me nervous. still seriously cool though. What little boy wouldn't love a bed like this!

Friday, November 5, 2010

in the clouds

These are awesome and so do-able. They would be so much fun in a kid's room... up and out of reach of course :). (reminds me of this)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

etsy for baby girl

I'm gonna be honest - I would love to just buy these things and save myself the hassle of making them - but that's not gonna happen. Money... you know. So I've been searching Etsy for things that are replicable. :)

I absolutely love these felt flower headband from here, the one above especially. but they seem like they might be large for a babies head. One of the nice things about making them myself would be making them the exact size that I want.

I like this one above because it's so simple. Just a plain elastic band and a small flower. I think that flowers for baby girls can get way too big way too fast. They look like little cabbage patch dolls or something when they have a flower tied on that's as big as their head. simple, simple.

I've never thought about making booties on the sewing machine, but I think that I could do it. I like the classic look of the ones above, and the ones below could be adapted for what I want for her blessing outfit.

Crocheting is fun. It's something that Jonas will let me do with only a tolerable amount of whining (he doesn't like it when I'm not sitting on the ground, watching him play with his toys... poor kid needs a sibling). I like the idea of the boots above, and I think the pattern below is super cute.

I've already crocheted a hat for Gwen (tutorial here) but I like the all-over scalloped look of the above.

I think the buttoned flap in the front is a cute idea, along with the ear flaps. I'm not sure how it would look on a newborn though. Maybe next year.

And last but not least - I marked this one because of the idea of putting a big button on a crocheted hat. That's got potential. I've gotta keep that in mind!