a big boy bed – the slow transition. and his mostly “hand me down” room.

At around 19 months (last month), we decided to begin transitioning Mr. Tate to his own room and a bigger bed. I know, it seems a bit early for the bigger bed, but he wasn’t utilizing the crib at all and we are thinking a very slow transition to it – starting with naps (for a few months) and then adding in nights. Our older two kiddos used and slept in their cribs so much more than Tate has by this age so we weren’t in any rush to transition them to a different style or kind of bed.

We’ve pretty much co-slept with Tate since birth. And while it’s a little bittersweet to know that the nighttime cuddles will be becoming less and less, our little man is getting big and we are running out of room for the two of us and our crazy horizontal sleeper.

With that being said, naps (we are down to just one a day now) in his own room and his own bed are going so-so – he still likes having a sleepmate. 🙂

All except for a few things in Tate’s first bigger boy room are previously loved (hand me down) items. His bed was his older sister’s up until our move last August. A couple of months ago, I painted it with a blue jean colored chalk paint that I found on clearance at Target and then coated it with a semi satin polyurethane. It was originally a $40 purchase off of Craigslist nearly ten years ago. We have definitely gotten our dollars worth out of it!

Estate sales are most definitely one of my favorite “stores” currently. I’m fascinated at being able to get a peek into how others lived, their travels, their collections, their dreams. I feel like it’s an honor to be able to browse and enjoy others belongings and essentially be able to enter into a summary of their life within walls.

Other finds:

The bottom art is a miniature framed painting I purchased at an estate sale for a couple of dollars. The top print on wood I thrifted for some odd cents.

The below wardrobe was from a thrift store in Alabama. It was gray until I painted it green. 🙂 The rocker is a hand me down from my parents. They inherited it from a great Aunt. The heart pillow I made. The hanging basket was made out of a thrifted basket and some rope.

The fawn pillow, sail boat stacker toy, school bus and hobby horse were newly purchased. The toy top was a gifted thrift store find from my sister. When it’s spinning, this is probably still Tate’s favorite toy. The soda bottle crate (night stand), I purchased several years ago from a flea market.

I thrifted the lighthouse painting several years ago for a couple of dollars (it was framed when I bought it, but I removed it). It reminds me of the northeast and the time I got to spend there when I was a tween/ teen.

All of the blankets were thrifted or found at an estate sale except for the blue/ cream gauze coverlet and gingham sheets. All had hardly been used and were in great condition.

I took the below photo while traveling along the historic Route 66 here in Missouri (outside of The Mule Trading Post). Although a “kitschy” landmark, I liked that it was unique and something that is native to the portion of Route 66 close to where I grew up. And my Father-in-law gifted me the boat diagram prints that he found a garage sale in their retirement community near the gulf in AL. The framed crewel seaside scape was another flea market find I purchased while living in Alabama.

The holtztiger wood animals and figurines are new and we have been gifting them to Tate thus far for special occasions (Christmas, first birthday, baptism, etc) throughout his little life. And my plans are to continue to do so for at least a couple more years. The small barn shelf they are in was thrifted for just a few dollars.

Although it’s a little bit of a hodgepodge, it feels cozy and like home. A little bit like this post (wink, wink).

Just in case you’re not familiar with thrifting and estate sale going, here are a few easy tips or tid bits.

  • Go often. Or in reference to Estate Sales, get items you just have to have on Day 1 and then go back if you can on Days 2 and 3 for any optional items. Prices drop on Day 2 and even more on Day 3.
  • Go alone. Or without kids if possible. Lately, I always have my youngest side kick with me but if you can go alone so that you can actually really think about your needs vs. wants.
  • At flea markets, look for booths that have an extra percentage off or holiday sales.
  • Think about gifts! I know you might be apprehensive about buying used items to give as gifts, but you can find some really nice meaningful items (especially at Estate Sales). Just keep in mind those you are buying for – would they prefer old vs new?
  • Be patient. Eventually you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for! Don’t just buy something because it’s “sort of” what you needed/ wanted. These are the things you will be selling at a garage sale in less than a year.

Links to the newly purchased items in Tate’s current room: Opal house Gauze Coverlet // Fawn Pillow // Boat Stacking Tower // Hobby Horse // School Bus // Holtztiger Wooden Figures // Rising Clouds Print

P.S. – Bed rails will be added when he begins sleeping in it overnight.

double digits.

Welcome to the double digits pretty girl! We celebrated with family and then with friends at an Escape Room. Decorations were a hodgepodge of some of her current favorite things. May this year be your best one yet sweet Isla!

P.S. – A look back at her 7th Birthday and some of my forever favorites snaps of her . . .

Such a difference a few years makes!

eggs. dipped and dyed.

2019 edition. Natural dyes.

This year, for the first time, I gave naturally dying eggs a try. I read through several tutorials and posts about the “how-tos” and compiled bits from each before beginning. Below are some of “my bits”.

What I used:

  • blueberries, red cabbage, turmeric, avocado pits, onion skins & beets. i also used spinach without much luck. *need to try chlorophyll and black beans soon (on fabric)
  • white vinegar
  • baking soda (in the red cabbage dye)
  • boiling water

The blueberries, red cabbage and turmeric worked best for me. My thoughts are some of the dyes may have worked differently or better if I would have let the foods simmer longer and/ or if I would have added more foods into the water. I’d tell you a more specific recipe, but I really didn’t use one. 🙂

Thoughts:

  • At first I was sure my experimenting had failed, a few eggs didn’t take any of the color at all while others took on shades different than what I expected. However, when I saw the end result and all of the eggs together “perfectly imperfect” came to mind. Each egg was unique – no two were the same color. The muted tones and unusual hues were unexpected but beautiful.

  • Patience. Have some. Don’t expect to dip, dye, and have all of your eggs beautifully displayed together in one afternoon. I got impatient (or I just needed the pots I was using) at about 24 hours and just went with the colors I had at that point. However, some were done after just a few hours.
  • I really enjoyed and appreciated the whole process. It took some effort, but I am already looking forward to using natural dyes again.

  • Experiment with both white and brown eggs.
  • Eggs will appear brighter in color when wet. The tones become more muted as they dry.

  • Use multiple dyes to get one color. For example, a few I let bathe in the blueberry for awhile and then transferred them to the cabbage.
  • I added baking soda to the cabbage to give it a more bluish hue vs. purple.
  • My oldest two, even though they didn’t act interested at first, were intrigued by the fact the foods can be used as dyes. My littlest, can now say the word “egg” with ease.
  • I also dyed a piece of fabric in the cabbage. After washing and drying, it turned out a really light blue. I am really looking forward to dying more fabric.

Happy Easter week! This is perhaps my most favorite week of the year – the weather, the beautiful colors (inside and out), cute baskets everywhere!, Palm Sunday, Holy Week, Easter Sunday, the attire, the sound of birdsong, the smell of fresh cut grass, flower planting, the celebration . . .

(eggs, dipped & dyed – 2016 edition)

bunny hair clip. a sweet & simple diy.

Supplies & Materials:

  • a stiff felt (I used these that I had leftover from another project, but any stiffer felt will work. You don’t need much at all. Also, see note below.)
  • small faux pearl beads (I used these but in an off white/ ecru. You can find these at any craft store in the jewelry making section.)
  • flat alligator clip (2.25 inches or smaller) (A pack of these can be found at your local craft store or on amazon for a couple of dollars and I find all sorts of uses for them.)
  • bunny and ear template – bunnytemplate.pdf
  • hot glue
  • a clear drying craft glue, fabric glue, or an industrial glue (like e6000)
  • scissors
  • a pen or pencil

* Chipboard or a heavyweight cardstock could also be used instead of felt. Leave as is or paint whichever color you prefer before proceeding with the steps below.

Instructions:

  1. Print & cut out bunny and inner ear template.
  2. Trace templates. Trace templates onto your felt or chosen material. Then cut out.
  3. Glue. Glue inner ears to the bunny and then glue beads. I used a fabric glue and completed sections at a time – the head and then the body. Use a substantial amount of glue. You may want to have a tweezers handy to place and move the beads. I just used the tip of my pencil. 🙂 Once all of your beads are in place, go back over the beads with glue filling in the gaps.
  4. Let dry. This is the longest and most important step. Let the bunny dry overnight before moving.
  5. Add clip. Make sure all of your beads are secure, flip the bunny over and then hot glue your alligator clip onto the middle of the underside of your bunny.

The End! You have a really sweet and simple accessory for Easter Day or any day. It took less than fifteen minutes to make and even better, the hardest part was waiting for it to dry. The key to keeping it simple and low cost is to adjust the design according to the supplies you have around the house. This clip would be lovely a variety of ways using a variety of supplies. What about a little brown bunny accented with a patterned fabric instead of the pearls and a little bow on its neck!

Enjoy and Happy Easter!

~xoxo~

paper carrots. a simple easter craft.

Supplies & Materials:

  • Brown packing paper or kraft cardstock (I used both) – or any slightly heavy paper you have on hand (think upcycle)
  • Thread and/ or embroidery floss
  • Scrap fabric (green or any color you have on hand)
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Carrot templates (you really could just easily free hand the carrot as well)
  • Sewing Machine or if you don’t have a sewing machine sew by hand with the embroidery floss
  • Fillers – fun items or candy to fill your carrots with

Instructions:

  1. Make carrots. Print and cut out your carrot templates and trace them onto your packing paper or cardstock.
  2. Sewing carrots. Take two of the same size carrots and layer them on top of each other so that all sides are even with each other. Sew your two long sides together either by hand with the floss or with your machine.
  3. Make carrot leaves. Tear your scrap fabric into narrow strips. The length is your preference. I used about six per carrot. Set aside until after you’ve filled your carrots.
  4. Fill your carrots. Fill your carrots with any sort of small candy, chocolate, handmade items, stickers, accessories, gift cards, etc. I used jelly beans, chocolates, chocolate eggs, tattoos, friendship bracelets, hair ties (just things I had on hand).
  5. Add leaves and sew the top. With one hand hold your leaves in the center of the top of your carrot. Place them far enough into the carrot that you will sew through them. Sew the top of your carrot.
  6. Accessorize. Add names or initials to the carrots or some additional floss. You could even paint the carrot if it’s not quite colorful enough for you.

Now – make a few, leave them separate or tie them together, and place them in your littles’ basket for them to tear open Easter morn.

This little project is so simple and inexpensive. If you don’t have orange thread and green fabric on hand, just use what you have. Using colors not necessarily unique to the typical carrot would be lovely. Same goes for the paper- just make sure it’s a little heavier than your regular printer paper. Even your fillers could be simple handmade items like stickers, friendship bracelets, homemade crayons, etc.

Templates:

largecarrot.pdf

smallcarrot.pdf

P.S. – My most recent favorite store bought sweet treat – Anise flavored pizzelles from Aldi.

the library. our latest lends.

If it were feasible, I would own all the books! But until then, I’ll settle for bi-weekly library visits. Below are our latest lends.

Books for the littlest little. . .

They are all short and sweet, the same as his attention span these days. (smile)

1 – Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni

  • Eye catching. And a cute yet simple way to help littles learn about color.

2 – Skyscraper by Jeremy Hurley

  • With few but big words, not to mention all of those vehicles and machines that littles are intrigued by, step by step this book brings a building to life in a way that all will understand. This one in particular caught Tate’s attention.

3 – Boats on the Bay by Jeanne Walker Harvey

  • Gorgeous colors! And this book portrays the sweetest variety of boats – “A sparkly boat joins a parade”.

4 – My Heart by Corinna Luyken

  • Beautifully illustrated. And such a delightful way to interpret those deep feelings of the heart in a way that children can understand.

Reading is and will always be one of my most favorite pastimes, but with regret I haven’t read much in the past few years. I enjoy it so much (too much) that my focus on anything else becomes nil until books started are finished (basically without notice the kids could Uber to New York and the house could whirl away in a tornado). OR maybe my attention span is just as short and sweet as Tate’s is these days. (wink, wink) Either way, I opted for all homemaking, crafting and cookbooks this time around. I’m hoping that the slower schedules of summer will allow for more late nights of reading.

My lends . . .

1 – A Well-Crafted Home by Janet Crowther

    Beautiful and timeless projects – ones you won’t tire of! They feel substantial (more permanent than a lot of diys) but none feel too overwhelming to attempt. I may have to purchase this one.

2 – Craft the Rainbow by Brittany Watson Jepsen

  • So many lovely projects. I’m especially fond of all of those that involve paper. The effort and thought that went into designing this book is so appreciated. Just flipping through the colorful pages makes me happy.

3 – Cozy Minimalist Home by Myquillyn Smith

  • Wonderful thoughts on everything from the spacing and arrangement of a room to accessories actually needed vs. those that are simply excess. Basically “Getting the most out of the least amount of things – M.S.”. It focuses on not just obtaining stylish things but more importantly to purchase pieces for their functionality (especially in regards to your family/ lifestyle). Be mindful!

4 – Happy Handmade Home by Elsie Larson & Emma Chapman

  • So many FUN and easy projects for your home, gift giving, party decor, and so much more! Also, such beautiful photography and a fantastic source of inspiration.

5 – Magnolia Table Cookbook by Joanna Gaines

  • Such a cozy feel when you read through the pages and recipes. We’ve already tried the orange scones, cinnamon squares, and king ranch chicken with jicama salad – we’ve enjoyed them all. The kids favorite thus far has been the cinnamon squares, mine the scones (and the jicama salad). Looking forward to trying a few more of them before returning.

Now to refrain from purchasing all of them once they’re returned. ~ xoxo ~

“birthday season” & confetti pockets.

Four out of five (5 out of 6, if you count the pup) of us will celebrate birthdays within the next two months! Therefore, I tend to refer to these weeks for our family between March 31st and May 20th as “birthday season”. It’s a season full of so much busy (but so much fun), lots of celebrating and of course so many sweet memories (& treats).

In honor of “birthday season”, one of my favorite simple paper projects – confetti pockets! I have customized and done so many of these over the years. You can’t help but feel at least a little “happy” when making them and what a sweet gesture they are for the recipient!

Supplies:

  • Scraps of cardstock (whatever color combo you wish)
  • Vellum (clear transparent-like paper)
  • Various punches or even a good hole puncher will work
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine (or you could hand stitch)
  • Printer
  • Scissors

Instructions:

Step 1: Make your confetti. The more, the merrier! From rainbow to pastels, be picky about your color palette or just use whatever paper scraps you have lying around. I love using various textures and/ or throwing in a few pieces of metallic or glitter here and there. I have collected a variety of punches over the years, but even a hole punch will do the trick. OR to save time, feel free to use store bought confetti (so easy, but still so pretty). One of my favorites was a New Year’s greeting that I did several years ago – the pocket included a Polaroid and metallic store bought confetti.

Step 2: Print & cut your pockets. Make your own or feel free to use one of these:

confettipocketsyay.pdf

confettipocketshooray.pdf

For the above pdf’s use an 8.5 by 11 inch sheet of vellum. I have set it up so that two pockets will print per sheet of vellum. Once printed, cut your sheet in half so that you have pockets 8.5 inches by 5.5 inches (before folding). Then fold your pockets in half so that your finished pocket is approximately 4.25 by 5.5 inches in size.

Step 3: Sew your pockets. Pick your thread color, set up your machine and zig zag stitch the side and bottom of your pocket. Then fill the pocket with your confetti and whatever else your prefer. Once filled, zig zag stitch the top of pocket closed. Knot and trim your loose ends.

*You can also hand stitch if you don’t have a sewing machine.

The End!

In a few short steps, you have a fun-filled pocket that makes the perfect party favor, birthday greeting, invite or decoration! Tis’ the season for all of these around here!

As the years pass, the celebrating becomes less but the things to appreciate are so much more! Here’s to pockets full of confetti this “birthday season” and every season!

~ xoxo ~