Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Blessing #94 - Open Shelving

We are 85% moved into the new place. (Yes, that's right. I said 85% and I meant it.) We are now sleeping in the other house. There are so many things I love about this new house that I'll share on another blessing, but for now I'll just say...the kitchen is struggling!

It has paneling, and I can touch the ceiling...fLaT fOoTeD!

Here is a before shot that I took before I started unpacking and cleaning, dark cabinets with some white plastic as a backsplash.

As I was cleaning out the cabinets, I found this box of cream of wheat in one of them. I thought, "Oh, the last renters must have left this box of cream of wheat," as I pulled it out. Then the entire shelf in the cabinet fell down. Look at the expiration date...2006. It's been holding up that shelf for a while now.

Anyway, I decided to lose a couple of the dark cabinet doors by taking them off. I took the doors off at the hinge where they connect to the cabinet and left the hinge connected to the doors. I made sure I saved the screws in a safe place. Here's how it looks after an intense cleaning and taking off the doors.

Here is a close up on the cabinets.

This one shows off all my pyrex. I love my pyrex! I've found my whole collection at yard sales and junk shops. I've paid about $15 for all those pieces.

Here are my dishes that I put on display. I still need to take off the old shelf paper. You may be asking yourself, "Why does she only have two bowls of one type and three bowls of another type?" The answer is simple...butterfingers.

I also lined all the drawers yesterday.

I used wrapping paper in a pattern I liked, and just used painters tape to secure it in the corners. I have no idea how this is going to hold up, but I know it makes me smile every time I open a drawer now. It took one roll at $3.99 to line all my drawers.

Sometimes in life, you just have to make the best of what you have. Open shelving really helped my struggling little kitchen.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Blessing #93 - My view

We are currently in the process of moving. I would tell you how much I hate moving, but this is a blessing post so I won't.

We are moving a whopping two minutes away, and it's a lot of work packing every item you own into boxes, loading it all onto a truck, driving two minutes down the road, unloading all the boxes into another house, unpacking the boxes you just packed, and reorganizing everything in the new house. (pardon my run on sentence, but I'm stressed)

There are many things I am going to miss about our current house...

The big bay window

The sycamore trees

The wide planked kitchen floors

The dishwasher...(no, there's not a dishwasher in the new house)

But the thing I will miss the most about this house is the view and what it means to me.

When we first moved to Maryland,the house we were going to rent fell through just a few days after we made the move up here. I still remember it clearly. We found out on Sunday after church. As soon as Shad told me, I felt the tears starting. He then went on to say,

"You can't panic until Thursday. If we don't have a house on Thursday, then you can panic, but not until Thursday."

Surprisingly, his tactic worked, but I was already planning my apocalyptic meltdown for that Thursday.

Monday, we searched all day for a rental in our price range. Every rental we looked at was cramped housing in a rough neighborhood, and my spirits were sinking with every one we saw.

Monday night, Shad's mom mentioned a house that looked empty and might be for rent.

Tuesday morning, I walked into the house, and looked around. As soon as I saw the view out back, I began to cry. In that moment, I was overwhelmed by God's goodness to me.

Somehow, in the midst of the heartache of leaving Georgia and the move, God gave me something I had always wanted, a house in the country.

Every time I look at my view, I am reminded of God's love for me.

I am convinced that my view is a gift God made just for me to help me heal during a difficult time. Sure, other people get to enjoy it, but I know the truth. He made it just for me.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Blessing #92 - Sheena's Shower

A few months ago, my friend Rachel asked if I'd like to help with a baby shower for our friend Sheena.

Quick. Say this five time fast: A shower for Sheena's son, Santino

Back to the point.

I love baby showers and chances to be creative. The mom-to-be Sheena is one of my favorite people ever so I could not resist.

After an intense planning session at Chickfila, Rachel and I settled on a fall theme.

For the tables, we used white plastic table cloths and brown craft paper wrapping paper from the Dollar Tree as the table runners. The only pop of color we had on the table was the fabric remnants Rachel already had that we used as placemats/chargers.

For the decorations around the party, Rachel and I brought anything from our houses that we thought we could use. The panels behind the food table were from Rachel's house. They were the exact width of the ceiling tiles which made them super easy to hang.

We spent $18 at the Dollar Tree for table clothes, candles, the wrapping paper for the tables, and other odds and ends. We spent $17 at Target for plates, napkins, and silverware. Because we used our stuff from home, our total spent for decorating was only $35.

We stayed true to our fall theme by serving soup at the shower, and other "fallish" foods.

I had the best time working on this shower. Rachel and I worked really well together. Oh! I forgot to tell you the kicker. At the time of the shower, Rachel was just two weeks away from having her fourth child. Yes! She is superwoman.

I also loved working on this shower because of who it was celebrating. Shortly after I moved to MD, the Lord placed Sheena in my life. We have a mutual love of all things nerdy (she's an engineer), google, and purses. She is very supportive of this blog, and always encourages me to keep writing.

Earlier in the year, Sheena had a miscarriage. As her friend, I was heartbroken to see her in so much pain. However, on this day, the day we celebrated Santino, I'm so glad I got to be there to see her joy.

Sheena, I'm so thankful God is bringing your story full circle, and I can't wait to meet 'Tino.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Curse #33- Moments of Cluelessness

Sometimes, I have my moments of genius. Like when I decided to paint the doors of my armoire with chalkboard paint...genius. Or when I fixed the speedometer on our car by googling it...genius. When I decided to teach mixed number subtraction with regrouping by making it a story about the whole number land and fraction number land, and the perils of #1 as he moves between the two lands...wordy, but still genius.

Those are the moments when I feel like a genius. The moments when I know if I took an IQ test, Mensa would welcome me into its prestigious club with open arms.

As wonderful as my moments of genius are, a more common occurrence for me is a moment of cluelessness. Saturday, I had a moment of cluelessness in Walmart. For some reason, many of my moments of cluelessness happen in Walmart. I am convinced that my IQ drops 20 points as soon as I walk in the door, and I am incapable of completing a thought.

Saturday, I found myself in Walmart looking for cake mix for Collin's birthday cupcakes. Unable to think clearly, I just stood in front of all the choices stunned. The woman who explained limits and calculus to a student on Thursday, was the same woman baffled between devil's food, german chocolate, or funfetti.

Finally, I settled on one of my all time favorites, red velvet cake. As soon as I got home, I started making Collin's cupcakes. Everything was going great until I gave Collin the cupcakes.

Do you see it? Thanks to the RED velvet cupcakes and his brilliant mom, Collin's first birthday pictures look like a scene from the new Twilight movie. Why didn't I think that one through? Thanks a lot Walmart for giving me yet another moment of cluelessness.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Random Acts of Craftiness #7- Sack of Potatoes Costume

Wednesday, I posted about B's tornado costume. For Collin's costume I decided to make a "Sack of Potatoes."

Originally, Collin was going to wear B's first Halloween costume, a skunk. Then I saw this pin on pinterest, and I knew I had to make a sack of potatoes.

I started with a pillowcase from Goodwill that cost $1.

I tried to fit the pillow case on Collin, but that proved to be impossible.

I resorted to plan B, and just used the shirt Collin had on to decide my fit.

I sewed up the sides and left space for armholes. I didn't even bother making the armholes look nice. I wanted a frayed look.

I folded the top down and made a pocket. Afterwards, I threaded a strip of material through the pocket. When it was tied, this gave the costume the gathered look.

At this point, I tried the costume on Collin and cut the length where I wanted it. I cut it slightly longer than a shirt. Again, I didn't bother hemming the end because I was going for the frayed look.

I cut stencils for the logo out of shelf paper with my silhouette machine.

First, I painted on the background. (I got a little impatient and dried it with my hair dryer on the cool setting.)

Then I painted on the letters. Get it...Sacko Potatoes...Sack o' potatoes. I also liked "Lankford Packing Company" at the bottom.

Now, I just needed to add some taters! To do this I used a pair of panty hose from the dollar tree. To stuff the potatoes, I used a stuffed animal from Goodwill. I picked something that B or Collin wouldn't care about because I knew I was just going to rip it open and use the stuffing. I found this pink easter basket that didn't have a face on it, and cut it up for the stuffing.

I used a needle and thread to sew up the potatoes and make the eyes of the potatoes.

Here's the finished product on my little man. Cost: Pillow case $1, panty hose $1, stuffed animal for stuffing $1, and I already had the paints and the thread. Total cost...$3!

And now the finished product...

I loved this costume, and it was well worth the effort for such a sweet look!

I'll be linking this up to these sites.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

50 for 30- Week #4

I have lost weight before, and the worst thing about losing weight is gaining it back. I got used to everyone saying, "Have you lost weight?" "You look great." Then one day, people stopped asking that question.

I lost 30 pounds, and I was feeling great. Then we moved to MD, and I couldn't make it to my WW meetings anymore. I also started to cook every meal at home. Shad has a freakishly high metabolism, and he eats big portions. When I cook for him, I have to make a big meal, and somebody has to eat all of it. With all those excuses, I gained the 30 pounds back.

When I would see people I hadn't seen in a while, I knew the first 3 seconds they saw me they thought, "She's gained all her weight back." Sometimes, I just wanted to walk up to people and say, "Nice to see you. Yes, I have gained all my weight back."

After such a great victory of losing the weight, I had a hard time facing the failure of gaining it back.

Although, I may have failed at keeping the weight off, there is no rule that says I can't try again. I may fail again and gain it all back, but I can't live my life not trying just because I think I will fail.

Week #4- Lost 2.3 pounds!

Total Weight Loss- 11.2 pounds!

This week I passed the 10 pound mark, and I'd like to take a moment to remember those 10 pounds. Please take a moment of silence for those ten pounds.

Moment of Silence

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Blessing #91- Collin's 1st Birthday!

Colli Bear,

First, I need to apologize for your nickname from me. I know it’s not the manliest nickname, and I realize that Colli is a breed of dog, but sometimes nicknames just happen. It started as Cozzi Bear, which I took from Fozzi Bear. In case you grow up in a world with no Fozzi Bear (that would be just sad), Fozzi Bear is a bear that is also an aspiring stand up comedian. Oh! And he’s a puppet too. (Wacka wacka)

Anyway, Cozzi Bear became Colli Bear, and many times, I just leave off the Bear and call you Colli. Again, I apologize, but sometimes nicknames just happen.

Note: This excuse will not work if for some reason, someday, you decide to call me “big mama.”

This first year with you has been absolutely magical. There are so many things I could tell you.

How your dad and I didn’t know what to do with such a good baby.

How you love your alligator.

How you give the best hugs ever.

How you eat like a horse.

How you learned to walk and climb in the same week.

How we are convinced you can sing “Happy Birthday” (seriously, you do).

But today, I want to tell you about my favorite moment of your first year - your first thirty seconds in the world.

Right after you were born, the doctor placed you (still screaming) on my chest.

Now, you must know before this moment, I had been nervous. I had no idea how in the world I was going to have enough love for you. I know that sounds strange, but my heart seemed so full already with Shad and Brandon. How in the world would I have enough love for another baby? I even worried about how I had been too busy to read you stories or think about you constantly when I was pregnant. I felt like I was failing even before you were born.

However, all those fears and worries vanished the second the doctor placed you on my chest. You stopped crying, and looked up at me with your sweet little eyes. Through my tears I said, “There’s my Collin. “ When I saw you, it was as if I had always known you. Like you were always meant to be with me, and in an instant I was head over heels in love with you.

I like to think there has always been a spot in my heart marked “Collin.” I just didn’t know it, but the second I saw your sweet little eyes (and chubby cheeks), you opened the part of my heart always meant for “Collin” and unlocked the love reserved just for you.

Okay, I know I’m being sappy, but that moment I met you was one of the most powerful moments of my life.

1 year ago today, you changed my life for the better. 1 year ago today, you made me a better mom and person. I love you, and can’t wait to see the surprises you have in store!

Happy Birthday Colli Bear!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Random Acts of Craftiness #6 - Tornado Costume

This year, I decided to try and make the boys Halloween costumes. Brandon isn't really into superheroes, and you can only be a tractor so many times. One night, I thought of the perfect costume for B...a tornado. (Trust me. It's perfect!) I sold B on the whole idea when I told him he could spin around. So I set out to make a tornado for my B.

Goodwill is having a creative costume contest, and I'm a sucker for a Goodwill contest. I knew I wanted to make a tornado, but I had to figure out how to make it from Goodwill supplies. I used a $2 Seally twin sheet from Goodwill.

Step 1: I laid Brandon down on the sheet and pinned out a tornado shape.

Step 2: I sewed up the sides of my tornado. It was at this point that I realized I forgot to make armholes even after I told myself to remember. Fail!

Step 3: Unable to find a quick and easy solution for my lack of arm holes, I just used more of the sheet to make another tornado. Good thing there was plenty of it!

Step 4: Tornadoes aren't typically white so I put some black and white paint in some water to make a grey dye. Just ignore those strings. That was my attempt at tye-dye. FYI it was a failure!

Step 5: I painted the stripes on my tornado. If I made it again, I would probably use painter's tape for sharper edges.

Step 6: I folded down the top and sewed a pocket.

Step 7: I put pipe insulation in the pocket to give the tornado support. I think it was around $2.50 for 4 pieces of the foam. I still have 2 pieces I will probably use as wreath forms.

Step 8: I hand stitched ribbons to go across his shoulders to hold it up. (This did not work well, and I would definitely sew a strap and sew it in place with a machine if I did it again.)

Step 9: I used glow in the dark dimensional paint to outline the lines on the tornado. I should not have done this. The glow in the dark paint wasn't that strong, and ended up being a waste of time.

I spent $2 for the sheet, $2.50 for the pipe insulator, and around $2.50 for the glow in the dark paint. I had all the other materials already. Total cost around $7.

Here's B and Shad. You may be wondering what Shad was for Halloween. After a Dollar Tree metal tray and rose and he's...

The Bachelor! (Yes, I know it's sad, but I do like that show.)

What about me Mom?

I know Colli Bear. I'll talk about your costume next week!

I'll be linking up this project to these fantastic sites.