Wednesday, November 6, 2013

How did you make that cute dish drying mat?


For those wondering, bath towels last exactly 10 years (or the ones we got as a wedding gift). So now I have all these towels that have frayed edges and holes in them. They are great for washing the car or drying up massive spills (like when my son fills the tub up so that it fills up the bathroom floor too). So you can see why I hate to just throw them away. But I have replaced them, so they are no longer needed in the bathroom and they are taking up valuable space in my laundry room.


I started searching pinterest for things to do with old towels. I found this cute project.


Perfect for old towels!


Now let me make this clear…I am not giving these out as gifts. If I were to do that, I’d buy a new towel, not cut up one of my old ones. If you receive a dish mat for Christmas from me, please know that I purchased a NEW towel for you!!


Ok…moving right along. This is so easy. It’s a lot like the burp cloths and bib projects I did earlier.


Materials Needed:

Fabric (WASH IT FIRST!!)


Sewing machine and thread


Cut the fabric and towel to the size you want. Mine ended up being about 16”x20”. I cut a bath towel in half, then trimmed the decorative edges off.

Place the towel on the right side of the fabric (so that you will sew it with the wrong side facing out). Pin it well! My towel sort of stretched, and it ended up curling on one side because I didn’t pin it well enough. Rookie mistake.


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Sew all sides together, leaving an opening of about 3-4 inches on one side. Cut the corners off.


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Flip it so that the right side is facing out (using that little opening…just pull the fabric through it). Pin it again. This may seem redundant, since it’s already sewn, but trust me, it will help!


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Sew all sides again.


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That’s it! Now go do the dishes!!




DIY Dish Drying Mat -


And when not in use on the counter, look how cute that looks just hanging on my stove. I’m in love with this chevron material!!


DIY Dish Drying Mat -


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

What do you do with yellow yarn?


Last week, Cohen came home with a piece of yellow yarn. I asked him about it. We had a lengthy and funny discussion. I had to type it out and send it to his teacher so below is my email to Cohen’s kindergarten teacher.

Ok. So I noticed that Cohen came home with some yellow yarn in his folder. I asked him what the yellow yarn is for. He told me you did an experiment with it. I asked if we could do the experiment at home and he started listing out ingredients.

The first thing we needed was boiling water (I used hot tap water). Then he laid the yarn in the water. The next ingredient we needed was a small string "like the stuff you floss in your teeth." Because we are so worried about proper hygiene, I don't have any I gave him some thread. He proceeded to try to tie the thread to the yarn. The next step is to "stir with a comb for about an hour."

I'm thinking you guys are having an AWESOME time in class by this point but I'm totally confused what the educational value of this experiment is.
So I finally ask....what is the end result. What happens at the end of this experiment?
"The yarn explodes."
Now I realize that he's making all this I ask him to tell me the truth. What is the yarn really for? He looks at me and in a monotone voice and says "we measured our pumpkins."
I was fully entertained by this story and had to share. Hope you have a great day!

Her response…

That totally made my day to read that story!  You have got to love a Kindergartener's imagination! Oh to be that free and inventive!  Yes, we used the yarn to measure the width and height of the pumpkins.  They used the string to find the height and width and the used cubes to measure the string.  That is too funny!!!  Well I am glad that he is keeping you entertained and I love that you went along and attempted to foster his learning!  So cute!  Unfortunately, we won't be "exploding any yarn" in class!

That boy has a very active imagination. Now if we can stop trying to blow stuff up and use it to solve real problems!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

What did you make for the school auction (part 2)?

So, yesterday you got to see what the kids helped me make for the auction at Cohen’s elementary school. Today, I’m going to share a couple other projects that are super easy but really make a big difference in they way the baskets look.


We made a kids art crate. For this project, I got a crate from Michaels (normally about $14, but I used my 40% off coupon and got it for cheap!). I spray painted it blue and spray painted a wooden plaque with chalkboard paint. I attached the two with some super strong E6000 glue.


After I finished painting the crate, I cut out a cute saying on my silhouette machine using contact paper. I attached it to the chalkboard, and traced the letters. I removed the stencil/contact paper, and used chalk to fill in the words.


So here’s a picture of the crate, filled with our art supplies.


Art Crate with Chalkboard -


I also made a cute art smock/apron to go with the basket.


Art Apron -


Here’s the entire basket!

Art Crate with Chalkboard -


This school auction thing was lots of fun! I'm ready for next year!!

Friday, November 1, 2013

What did you make for the school auction (part 1)?

This year I was elected to be the Head Room Parent for Cohen's kindergarten class. This is a super fun and very busy job but I love it. It allows me to be very involved my child's education but not actually have to teach him.

Our school auction was yesterday. Each teacher is allowed to enter four baskets into the auction. As head room parent is my responsibility to organize the baskets and get them where they need to be on time. I have a little fun with this made some very crafty things to go with the baskets.

The money we raise from the baskets goes directly back to the teachers classroom to help her buy supplies and books for her room. Seeing as how the kids will benefit from the supplies and books, I wanted them to be involved in helping make something for the auction.

I decided to make a silhouette of San Antonio with the fingerprints of all 22 students in Cohen's kindergarten class.

This is a really easy project that you could do for grandparents gifts for Christmas or birthday.

Canvas or Wood
White Paint
Colorful Paint (enough for each child to have a different color)
Sealer (I used Mod Podge Matte)

Step 1: Decide on a shape
We decided to do a silhouette of San Antonio so that it would appeal to the most people at the auction. You could easily do a heart, flower, cross, fleur-de-lis, etc.

I actually tested it out on Cohen before I did this with 22 other children, and we did a cross as our test piece. It turned out cute…but we learned a lot from the experience. I’m glad we tested it out!

Step 2: Prep the canvas

I painted the entire canvas white before I ever let any little fingers paint on it. I did this, so that if there were any mistakes or the paint soaked through the stencil, I could easily go back and touch it up later, with the same color. Also, we found that my stencil did not stick well to the canvas, but if I painted it first, the stencil stuck much better.

Step 3: Cut the shape
I found a picture of San Antonio online and traced it on a white piece of paper. Then I scanned that white piece of paper and used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out the silhouette of San Antonio. I cut out of contact paper I had on hand (I used this lovely print to line the kitchen cabinets in my new house).
I covered the ENTIRE canvas. The green painters tape is covering where the contact paper just did not reach. I knew there would be splatters and spills (22 kindergarteners…remember?).
Here is a picture of us at the school getting the kids to paint the canvas. I got a few of the other moms to come help. This was a great idea. We did it assembly line style, the moms held the paper plate with the paint, and the kids just went from one side to the other, putting little prints all over it.
The same day we had the kids paint the canvas, I had the kids put one print on a piece of paper with their names on it, so the parents could distinguish which prints belonged to their child.
Here is a shot of the canvas with all the little prints. I waited a FULL 24 hours before pulling the contact paper off the canvas. I should mention, I did bring my blow dryer to school, and every 6-8th child, we blow dried the canvas a bit to help keep the paint from mixing. Some of the boys did a great job blobbing that paint on there thick!
You can also see the other page with the single prints.

Step 4: Remove stencil/contact paper and touch up and seal canvas
I had to go back with my white paint and clean up a few areas. There wasn’t a bunch of paint that got under the contact paper, but there was some.
After I touched up everything, I went back and added the words “San Antonio Texas” by cutting the words out of contact paper and painting the letters on the canvas.
After all the paint dried overnight, I went back and covered the entire canvas in Mod Podge to seal it. I guess this step isn’t necessarily a “must do” if you are giving a painting to grandma, but I knew there would be lots of folks at the auction that might want to touch the canvas, and I didn’t want a bunch of other peoples fingerprints messing up what the kids worked so hard to make.

So here it is…the final picture.

San Antonio Texas Silhouette for School Auction -

We got lots of complements and made a little money for our teacher at the auction.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

How far can you kick it?


The day we moved into our house, we met our next-door neighbor. She has a 5 year old at the same school as Cohen. They were on their way to sign up for soccer at the local Catholic church. I got the information from her and signed Cohen up the next day.


About a year and half ago, we signed Cohen up for t-ball and it was, well, not a whole lot of fun. Cohen did great, and he was really a great sport about the whole thing, but it just wasn’t his thing.


Soccer is a totally different story. It’s high energy, lots of action, running, kicking, screaming fun!


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I have no idea what is going on in this picture, but look how much fun he’s having!


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Did you know if you stick your tongue out, you run faster?


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We are having so much fun with soccer this year! Go Scorpions!!


Monday, September 30, 2013

How do you make those cute baby bibs and burp cloths?

Today, I’m giving you a tutorial on how I made these cute bibs and burp cloths. I made these for my sweet niece, Haddie.

WARNING: I am NOT a professional!!

You will need some soft cotton print fabric (I used purple striped and polka dots), and either terry cloth or some soft minky type fabric (Link to Joann’s for example). If you look near the baby bedding fabric, you can find all sorts of soft fabrics to work with. It could be fleece or flannel too!

Step 1, when sewing ANYTHING is WASH YOUR FABRIC!! I wish that clothing manufactures would follow this one simple rule. This way, all your fabric is preshrunk, so when you wash and dry it later, it doesn’t shrink.

Next: Iron it flat. This makes cutting the fabric easier.


I start with trying to figure out a pattern. I searched online and found this site that has some great instructions. I have no idea where I got this pattern (sorry), but you could really use any shape!!
To start, pin down your pattern and cut. For this particular pattern, I only printed/taped half of it together. This is a symmetrical burp cloth, so I simply placed half the pattern at the edge, on the fold, and cut two layers…if that makes sense.


After you cut both types of fabric, take the two pieces you want to sew together and turn the right sides so they are facing each other (the pretty print and the soft minky fabric should be touching either other and you should see the back side of both).

Sew those pieces together, leaving a 1.5 inch opening at one side. After sewing, turn the fabric so that the right sides are facing the outside (pull all that fabric through that tiny opening you left).


After you turn the fabric around, sew the edges again. Make sure that the opening that you left earlier gets tucked in and sewn up as well. Go slow on this process and try your best to say an equal distance from the side the entire way around. It will look prettier if you take your time.


Now, a really good Blogger would have take a picture of the finished burp cloths. I’m not that good. I have no idea where the pictures of the finished burp cloth went.

Now for the bibs.

For the pattern, I actually used a bib I had on hand. I traced around it on packing paper (and I added about an inch on all sides). After that, I folded it in half, and traced half of it on another piece of packing paper. I know this seems like a bunch of steps, but I wanted it to be symmetrical, and the hand traced pattern was not.


I used the same sewing method (sew inside out, then right side out). In the picture below, you can see how I turned it “inside out.”


Here is a picture of the finished bibs. They are FAR from perfect, but I don’t think Haddie will mind.

Homemade Baby Bibs

Now for the cute little ruffle I did on one of the bibs. Sorry for no pics of the process, but I basically took a strip of fabric twice as wide as the bib, iron it in half, sew it inside out, then flip. Iron the “pleats” in it, then sew once across the middle. The final step is to sew a small piece of velcro on each side of the bib to fasten it around the baby’s neck.

I hope that all made sense.

Now for a picture of my machine!


My Mama Ginny (my dad’s mom) game me this machine. I’m pretty sure it’s a 1970’s model machine but it still works great! I grew up watching my mom and her mom, my Mamaw, sew everything from curtains, clothing, flags, and well, anything else you can sew. I come from a bunch of ladies who knew how to sew, and slowly, I’m learning how to do this!

Friday, September 13, 2013

What are some of your favorite books from this summer?

Well, if you are hoping for a post on the latest steamy romance, sorry, this post isn’t for you. I have been doing lots of reading on my own, and I’d love to give some suggestions, but today isn’t about me. It’s about Cohen, and the books we have been reading.

I wanted to share a few of our favorites from the past month or so.

Childrens Books - Summer 2013

First off, if you do not have a library card, GO GET ONE NOW! Most of these books are available at your local library.

This could be considered a Halloween book, because of the colors and the fact that they are “creepy” but we read it this summer, and loved it! In fact, I love the illustrations in this book. They use only black, white and orange. It’s a neat color scheme.

This book has a good lesson in it about hard work. But it also teaches about plants, and how some of the vegetables we eat are grown above ground, and others are grown in the ground (as the roots).

Oh my goodness. This book was so wonderful! Last year in our homeschooling program we learned about the orchestra and the different types of instruments. I wish I had this book back then. It even comes with a cd that reads the book to you, and when they read it, they have an orchestra playing dramatic music in the background. This would be a wonderful addition to your personal library!

I don’t allow the use of the word “hate” in my home. It’s a strong word that can be used to hurt people, so when Cohen picked up this book I almost made him put it back. I’m glad I didn’t. While I don’t love the word “hate” this is a wonderful book that talks about the benefits of reading, and how it can take you places you’ve never been before.

This book is hysterical! They go through several “rules” parents give their kids, and why it’s important to follow them. We tell our kids to eat their veggies because it’s good for them, but in reality if we don’t eat them, they keep growing and can take over the world. I was laughing all the way through this book!

I love a book that can teach a bit of history. This book goes through several major historical figures (all men) and how they changed the world. There is another version for the girls called My Name Is Not Isabella.

Last, but certainly not least, if you are looking for a good laugh and a short story with simply pictures, go get one of Mo Willems Elephant and Piggie books. The books are basically about two good friends (an elephant and a pig) and their interactions with each other.

How was Cohen’s first week of school?

Cohen had a pretty good first week of school. He got two notes sent home and his teacher and I had one parent/teacher phone call. Other than that, things went great!

I’m counting it as a successful week, because he woke up happy each morning and was excited about going to school.

Here are a few pictures I took on his first day.





Jace took the entire day off, so that I wasn’t so lonely. (Remember folks, for the last year, we homeschooled, which means there is no daycare/school and Cohen stayed with me pretty much 24/7).

We had breakfast at Lulu’s and got the GIGANTIC cinnamon roll. YUM!



We also went shopping for furniture (I sold my table prior to moving to Texas, so I have no place to serve dinner).

And his first day of school treat….frozen yogurt! It’s mostly gummy bears and gummy worms, but there is some yogurt at the bottom.


Such a cute kid! Can’t wait to see what next week brings us.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Have you taken any other fun trips this summer?


A couple weeks ago, Cohen and I managed to do some serious traveling. We stayed a night with our friends, the Safley’s, at their new home in Gulf Port, then Cohen went to Nan and Pops in Baton Rouge, while I went to San Antonio to visit Jace (he had been there for a week already), then all 3 of us stayed in Baton Rouge. We went home for one night, then Cohen and I packed up again and headed to Farmerville, to visit my parents. It was a busy week, but it was loads of fun!


Our first stop was the Safley’s home! We visit the beautiful Mississippi beach, and a small splash park in Gulf Port. It was LOTS of fun!!






Unfortunately, I wasn’t in Baton Rouge with Cohen, so there are no pictures from this trip, but I know there were loads of science projects and experiments done. He still talks about how much he learned with his Nan and Pops. We are very blessed to have people in his life who love teaching him fun things!


While Cohen was in Baton Rouge, Jace and I enjoyed a movie in San Antonio (it was Man of Steel in 3D, for those wondering)!




And we bought a house…more pictures of the new house coming later.


Once I returned from San Antonio…we went to Farmerville. Some of our favorite people were there too…the Millet and the Cortez Families! We visited the Cortez’s camp on Lake D’Arbonne and got to go fishing, canoeing and swimming.






Cohen and I were not dressed appropriately for this trip! I forgot to pack his swim shorts and I wore WHITE! What was I thinking!?




Here are all the kids (except Hope, because she’s only a year old, and was not swimming in the lake).




There aren’t many 12 year olds I’d allow to drive my kid around in a canoe, but Ethan is the most responsible 12 year old I know, so I was totally cool with this.




Once we got out of the water, Cohen found a small pile of dirt. And he’s a boy, so he just HAD to play in it!







Those are grey shorts! Yuck!! I used a water hose to wash him off before I put him in my car to go back to my parents house.




Cohen gives fried deer steak a big thumbs up!




It doesn’t have to be a holiday at Meme and Bigabal’s house to pop fireworks, you can do that any day of the year!




While we were in town, we made sure to stop by my grandmothers place so that Cohen could have a chat with his Mama Gennie.




On our last day, we visited Lincoln Parish Park Beach. We met up with the Millet and Cortez Families again.






Whew. That was a fun week and a half, but I’m happy to be home! Can’t wait to do this again!!