Wednesday, November 23, 2011

DIY Anthropologie Nail & String Letters

I was feeling like it was time for another craft, so I did a search on Pinterest for "DIY Anthropologie". A ton of ideas came up and the two that I loved the most were the DIY Nail and String Letters, and the DIY Anthropologie bedding. I started with the letters because you basically use things you have around the house and it was only going to take me an hour or so to do. Here is the wonderful tutorial I used..

I really wanted to take up some major wall space in our apartment because the walls are so high and wide.. but I couldn't think of anything to write in our living room or dining room so I chose to go with our bedroom. The walls by our bed are totally bare and I wanted to write something lovey dovey. I chose to go with "XOXO". I used "insert--word art" instead of enlarging the letters in word so that I wouldn't have to use as much ink. Instead I just had the outline of the letters (if that makes sense). It was hard to tell if they were spaced out correctly and evenly on the wall but I went with what I thought looked alright and started nailing. Now that I am finished I kind of wish I would have written something longer, such as "I LOVE YOU".. but the nailing took awhile and I felt bad for my neighbors so I can go with something longer next time we move. For now.. the xoxo is up and I love it!!

The next project I want to do is this one..

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Welcome Home Daddy!

Oh Pinterest, how I love thee! I wish I could claim this brilliant idea as my own, but alas I cannot. A friend of mine posted this on facebook (via pinterest) and I had to copy it. The idea totally suits our family humor and I was so excited to get it going!

Last night we made a family outing to Fleet Farm (yes, we are becoming hicks.. you betcha!) I told Jordan I was going to look for his Christmas present so he needed to go to the back of the store for a few minutes. Really, I made a quick run to the toy section and grabbed two nerf guns, ran to the check out, and hid them in the car, before running back into the store calm and collected to find my boys. Success! We walked around the store a bit and then made our way to the car. Jordan had no idea. After Jordan went to bed I snuck outside and brought the bags in and hid them in our second bathroom tub with the curtain closed. This morning I noticed he had gone into that bathroom before he left for work! But thankfully, he didn't have any desire to look in the tub. (That would have been weird, right?)

I waited all day to get started on our plan. I wanted to get to work on it at soon as I woke up because I was so excited, but I had to wait until about 1:30pm to do anything or Axel would have gotten into it. First, we made the sign and hung it up in the entry way where Jordan was sure to see it..

Then, I took the guns out of their boxes, which took me almost 20 minutes to do! Remember when barbies had those weird wire things that twisted in the back of the box to keep their bodies in place? Well, the elves in toyland must have a lot of time on their hands these days because the wires were twisted so tight and so weird that I had to cut them off! (Which annoyed me because I had just painted my nails and smudged them in the process of trying to unwind the stupid wire before I gave up and used scissors). Once I had the guns ready I had to pick one for us (me and Ax) and one for Jordan. We chose the one that was easiest to use (and had the most foam "bullets") and left the more difficult one for Jordan, mwah hah hah.. guys are supposed to be good at that sort of thing anyway! Then, Axel and I got into costume..

Axel wouldn't keep his awesome belt on because he was more interested in playing with my make-up brush on his face.. (my pretty boy..).. but it worked out in the end..

I chose my arab scarf..

But Axel got jealous so I put it on him..

Jihad! Jihad!
I laughed my bum off at him in the scarf.. I couldn't decide if he looked more like a little Pakistanian baby or Toad from Mario Brothers..

Right before Jordan got home, we set up the entry way..

Just when I was starting to get impatient, we opened the door to go watch for Jordan's car from the hallway window.. as soon as we stepped into the hall he came walking around the corner so we quickly ran inside and locked the door and hid around the corner. We heard him come in and stop... he giggled (can I say he giggled? Is that too much of a girly word? Okay, he snickered..) and Axel and I came running around the corner! Since Axel is too little I took the reins with the nerf gun and fired away! Jordan was cornered and couldn't figure out how to work his gun so we got him really good! He was laughing so hard and so were we! He loved our outfits and the surprise!

I can't wait to surprise Axel and baby B when they are older and come home from school to find me and Jordan waiting with crazy costumes on and plenty of ammo. Haha.. oh the joys of having children!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

"Time to Pray"

Lately Axel has been a total vocabulary sponge and surprising us when he'll randomly repeat something we say, or out of no where we'll hear him say something while he is playing. He isn't speaking in sentences or anything yet, but he is definitely learning words and communicating.

His definite words so far are:

Mama (although he only says it when he reaaally wants me or when he's annoyed and then he'll say "oh, maaaa" like "come on Mom, really?" It's funny)
Dawn (our apartment manager who Axel is in love with)
Night Night ("nigh-nigh")
Sock ("sssssah")
Whats this? ("whassiss")
I love you (Iiiii-rah-ooo)
Axel (Aaaa-cks-ah)

And his newest word? Pray. Oh my goodness, it is so cute to hear him say this. Maybe more so because we're quite religious, but just hearing his little voice say it is too cute!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Little Less Mom, Little More Bang..

After weeks and months of trying to figure out how to change my hair, I finally decided I wanted to cut bangs. I had toyed with the idea of maybe doing a bob with long bangs, or cutting in a bunch of layers, but after typing in "bangs" in a search on pinterest I was easily convinced that bangs were the way to go. Finding the time to go get them cut is another thing. Last time I cut them myself I ended up at the salon in a frenzy to fix them. This time I tried to be more patient but today I had had enough of my lifeless mane. I took it too the streets (actually just google) and typed in "how to cut your own bangs". I think I did okay! We'll see what the gals at work have to say about it though.. they are the true experts! I'm loving my bangs so far. Since I'm usually sloughing around in leggings and a big shirt with no make-up, or bra, and days since my last shower, I think bangs are a good way to add a bit of a polished look to my usual mommy-mess.

My before picture is also my 22-week preggo picture. Enjoy!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Christmas Traditions

Thank you to everyone who answered my facebook query last night and checked out my blog. It's not that I want attention, but I didn't think many people were reading, and if that was the case I wasn't going to keep up with the blog. That's what journals are for.

Anyways, you may have seen my lovely friend, Molly Klatt comment on my last post (she is my most faithful reader/commenter) and suggest I write about Christmas Traditions. What a great idea! Especially as this year we hope to create our own and incorporate some from our different childhoods.

Growing up we had a really fun tradition on Christmas Eve where my mom would sit us all in a circle and hand us a gift. She would then start to read the story "Twas the Night Before Christmas". Anytime she reads the word "and", we all pass our gift to the left. The story starts out with very few "ands" and knowing the story quite well, you come to anticipate when the next one will be said. The best part is when she reads, "AND he whistled AND shouted AND called them by name". It was so funny when my sister Lucy was small and had a hard time keeping up. To keep the tradition going with our own family, I had an idea. I would like to keep my mother involved, so the plan is that on Christmas eve, my little family and I will all sit down with a gift, and call Grandma. We will put her on speaker phone and listen to her read us the story. I can only imagine the excitement our children will have in the coming years when we all sit down on Christmas eve and I say, "time to call Grandma for the story!"

Another tradition I love is one from my late Grandma June (my dad's mother). She had a Christmas ornament that looks like a pickle and would hide somewhere in the tree. On Christmas day, when all the grand kids were at her house we would get say, 3 minutes to try to find the pickle (and we'd all be looking at the same time). I remember all of our eyes darting to find the green pickle in the green tree. I can't remember what we got if we did find it, but I never found it. I saw a pickle ornament at Shopko the other day and I really want to buy it and carry on this tradition.

Growing up we lived near a fantastic sledding hill (Olbrich Hill in Madison, Wisconsin) and I remember going sledding some years on Christmas. This would be fun to keep up!

I still have to get all the traditions from Jordan's side, but one that I know of that I definitely want to carry on is the food. Oh the food. Jordan's mother prepares ahead of time and makes heaps and heaps of yummy Christmas goodies and displays them on Christmas day for everyone to enjoy. The times we've been at their home for Christmas I feel so silly because I am the only one salivating and considering sneaking a treat before they come out of their containers. She makes some really delicious goodies. I would like to do the same for my family.

The last one that I can think of so far, is one I found recently on pinterest. Here is the link..

It's listed as a birthday activity but I think it would be really fun on Christmas when the kiddos are dying to jump out of bed and check out the goods under the tree.

I'm sure more will come as the holiday gets closer but those are the big ones I can think of for now, and of course as the years go by we will establish more of our own traditions.

Thanks for the suggestion Molly! Looking forward to reading your traditions and everyone else's!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Time For... *Updated*

Christmas Crafts! Awwwwww-yeah! That's right, now that halloween has come and gone I say it's fair game to get ready for Christmas! We're even supposed to get snow today! Actually, I'm not sure how excited I am about the snow but it will help me convince Jordan that it is definitely time to dig out the box of Christmas decorations we have acquired so far in our lives together. Up until a day or two ago we've had the most glorious fall weather anyone could ask for! Gorgeous tree's, sun, comfortable mild weather (with chilly nights), oh.. it's just been perfect, so I suppose I can't complain too much now that Mr. Winter is headed our way. (Just wait until January.. I'm sure I'll be complaining by then... this is Wisconsin after all).

So, back to the Christmas crafts.. there are so many things I would like to do, but our budget is quite limited at the moment so I need to keep my head above water and not go too crazy. I found a really great tutorial for a no sew ruffled tree skirt (thanks pinterest). Here is the link, To make it more affordable I made some little changes. For example, instead of buying the painters canvas (which was $20 - I could have bought a pretty tree skirt for $20) I bought a painters...something else for only $5 and it is working just fine. Then, instead of buying fabric I went to goodwill and found a sheet. I would have preferred a different color or pattern, but oh well. This works and I can always add some sort of embellishment. Plus, no one will really be looking at the skirt too closely anyways. If anyone is under the tree I'm sure they'll be digging for gifts, not examining my craftsmanship, ha. The project is a pain in the hiney to say the very least. It took me about 2 hours just to get as far as I did and I'm not even finished. That's a lot of time for a preggo lady to be hunched over on the floor! Here is my progress. I am hoping to finish it today or tomorrow, but this week is a crazy week for homework so we'll see what I get to.. priorities you know..

Oh, and if you haven't been able to enjoy this little treat.. here you go. Poor little guy.. being 1 is tough stuff! All because I wouldn't let him play with Daddy's sharp tools! He was pretty worn out after this, and we had a lovely little snuggle.

Just had to update... I finished the skirt! I am so happy with the way it turned out and can't wait to put it under the tree! And, I have already begun my next project. It's not such a big deal so I'll show you those later.. but here is the finished skirt!