Tuesday, September 24

Remember this...

I know I haven't written here in... forever, but I wanted to sit and make time to write this sweet little moment that happened yesterday so that I will always remember it and also to share it with all of you.

It's probably no secret that Dylan's two days a week at school has been an adjustment for all of us. Separation Anxiety is real and my child has it, but this is very normal, especially with children that stay home every day with their momma. Each day we drop him off at school has gotten better and better, but it's still hard.

Last night, he went to play with his best buds, Payce & Knox. At one moment, the three of them sat in a little circle together in a different room than we were in. Basically, it looked like a little water "tea party", a manly one, of course. While they sat there, we happened to stop our adult conversation to hear them talking to each other...

Payce strikes up the conversation by saying, "So, Dylan, you're in school... do you like school?" Dylan's response, without missing a beat and having no idea we can hear them, says, "Yes, uh, but I miss my Momma."

It was the most precious moment! I grabbed my chest and started to tear-up and cry. Yes, I know he misses me, but to hear him say this sentence, as his mother, words cannot describe.

Today, when he arrived at school Mark said he was a bit sad and told him that he didn't want to go, which is normal. However, there were NO TEARS. NO CRYING! He was sad to stay and have Daddy leave him, but this is such a great thing that he didn't even cry. Yay!

When we went to pick him up, he was in Stretch & Grow class and we went a level above and were able to look down and watch him. He didn't know we were there watching. It's very interesting to watch him and how he interacts while we are not there. He is very quiet and keeps to himself. He stays VERY close to his teacher, Miss Kristen, and has developed a bit of an attachment to her now. You can see him in the photo that I took sitting right next to her, like he always does.

Miss Kristen gave us an excellent report on him today and told us how amazing he did at drop-off time. He only cried a bit after he woke up from nap, but it was no big deal. He had no potty accidents and enjoyed coloring a photo of his family! His artwork was very impressive. Seriously. I will post a photo of it when we get it back. Right now, it is hanging in the classroom. To celebrate a great day, we came home and made some coke floats! :)

Friday, May 24

Monkey & Mommy week

I always feel like I am not doing enough at home with Dylan. Since taking on this "home business" I am always trying to just find something to entertain him while I try to get work done and, although I'm sure I still do more than I think with him, I never feel like it's enough quality time. I have a feeling I will always feel this way. Anyway, I decided that since Mark started planting this week and would not be coming home until very late, that I would make sure I did something fun (out of the house) with Dylan. We get into such a boring normal routine that sometimes even simple errands are fun for us. It gets us out of the house. Even though the orders kept coming in, I have set those aside as much as I can, to do something with Dylan each day.

Monday, I took him to lunch at Sugarbaker's Cafe & Bakery after running a couple of errands. This might seem like no big deal to some, but to even attempt to take this wild child to eat in public is quite a task. It's even more of a task when I am doing it alone. I sound like a wimp, but really. Aside from getting him to only take two bites of a sandwich because his fun ladybug cookie was sitting right there taunting him, he did very well at lunch and got lots of attention from all of the old ladies that were there.

Tuesday, I took him to the mall and did some shopping. Got some stuff for me and for him. We also spent some time at the water fountain throwing in pennies and making wishes. Dylan wished for a truck, and new Buzz. He also had to have an Icee and some pretzel sticks when we walked past those, too. On our way out, I took him to the bookstore and he had fun in the children's section browsing and picked out a new Brave book.

Wednesday, I took him to the Science Spectrum. I wondered what I had gotten myself into when we pulled into the parking lot and there were about 15 school buses there. Next time, I am going to take him on STAAR testing day! Ha!

It really wasn't too busy, though, especially because he spent most of his time inside the Children's Museum section that is only allowed for small children. He loved it there! I paid extra to take him into the special Butterfly House with all different kinds of butterflies that fly around you. That was me being adventurous. We lasted about maaaaybe 2 minutes before I decided we needed to get out of there! Haha! I'm such a loser!

We went down to the lower level and he was excited, and then quickly terrified at the large dinosaur he saw! He was so scared! Living up to my Mother-of-the-Year title, I made him stand there and smile like a brave boy so I could get a picture. When the camera clicked, he came running and crying to me! Haha! I'm so mean, but he looks like he loved it in the picture!

Thursday, Dylan slept-in pretty late because I took him to ride the tractor with Mark after his bath. They ended up working and didn't get home until after 4am! So, everyone was pretty tired and slept until about 11:00. Dylan's Mimi came and got him around noon to spend the day with him and I worked on lots of invitations and embroidering items for people.

Today (Friday), I packed a picnic and took Dylan to one of his favorite parks. He played and then we sat on our picnic blanket and ate our lunch. It was pretty windy, but we still had a good time and were thankful that the weather was nice today! A little wind I can take, tornadoes, no. Not this week.

Thursday, May 16

The BEST self-tanner

I love this stuff so much, that I NEED to share it with you! I have seen numerous Facebook posts of everyone back in the tanning beds to get ready for summer and as much as I would love to go lay in one, too, I know I shouldn't!

Gone are the days where we would go to our apartment office and use the tanning bed, meet at the pool to lay-out, and THEN go to the tanning salon and do it again. All in one day. Yes, guilty of doing that. I am so ashamed, but I know I'm not alone. Please, please, please think about yourself more now and if you love the bronze look, think twice before laying in a tanning bed.

I have turned to Mystic Tan at the local tanning salon lately and I love it, but that can get expensive. I FINALLY found the perfect at-home self-tanner for you! I have used it 5 times now and I love it more and more. The bottle is still really full, too! So, I am not sure yet how many applications I will be able to get out of it, but it's worth the money so far! I have used many other self-tanners on the market and they do not measure-up at all, in my opinion, to this one. It's St. Tropez's Self Tan Bronzing Mousse. I bought mine here on Amazon, because I am a Amazon Prime member, so it was super easy.

I have been using it about once to twice a week, after my shower at night. I always put it on the days that I shave my legs, because it's better to exfoliate and shave before putting it on. So, shower, shave, dry off, put lotion on your ankles, knees, toes, elbows, and fingers. I put on disposable rubber gloves, too. I got a package of those on Amazon, too. Then, you just rub it all over yourself. I do one leg at a time, then my tummy, then my chest, one arm at a time, and then my neck and face last. You get the idea. It only takes about 15 minutes to put it on and it dries REALLY fast and can put on your pj's! I don't even have to stand in front of a fan. I sleep in it and then shower the next day and it's perfect!

Try it out! I promise, it's great!

Saturday, May 4

too sick to party

I posted yesterday about Kati turning 8 and how she got sick and wasn't able to have her birthday party. It's been rescheduled, but we still wanted to help her celebrate the best we could. So, we took the cake, cupcakes, and gifts from us out to her last night. I mean, why would we waste a perfectly good cake, right?!

We sang her 'Happy Birthday' and let her blow out the candles. She didn't feel much like eating the cake, but we all took our chances after having her blow all over it and we dove right into it! ;) Although she didn't feel like eating cake, of course she was up for opening her presents! Who wouldn't be?!

Shopping for "tweens" can be hard, especially when they are as spoiled loved as the children in our family. I decided to get her the board game Mall Madness! Does everyone remember this game? Best game ever. Well, the original game disappeared and then they brought it back around Christmas a few years ago. I tried to find it again and, of course, it's no where to be found, other than on eBay for a hefty price! I did find a Littlest Pet Shop version of the game, though, and it is supposed to be just like it, only pet-themed. We didn't play it last night, but I sure hope it has the same man's voice as the original! "Oo0Oh, a long line! Try again later!"

I also gave her a little Truth or Dare game for her to play with her girlfriends when they have a sleepover. And, no gift would be complete from me without monograms! I made her some monogrammed t-shirts and got some matching running shorts to go with them! I think the initials for her name are just the prettiest, too! ;)

Happy Birthday, KK!


You can see the sweet invitations I made for her party on my Facebook page. I used a photo of Kati and made her silhouette at the top. I also made everything else to match, but I'll take pictures of those when we actually have the party! :)

Friday, May 3

Happy Birthday, Kati!

Our sweet niece, Kati, is 8 years old today! Eight years old! I know, we all say how fast they grow up, but Mark and I started dating the year Kati was born and it seems like yesterday. I clearly remember the day Mark came into the Dakota Arms office (my work at the time) holding a wallet-size picture of Kati laying in a bed of roses. He was grinning from ear to ear and so proud. He went to everyone in the office, showing them how cute she was!

That was eight years ago, but nothing has changed. If anything, our love for Kati has grown even more! She is our "KK", "Tooter-Bell", and "Princess" and we love her like she is our own! If you are ever around Dylan and Kati at the same time, you see his love for her, too. It's quite comical to all of us how much he follows her around and wants to constantly hold her hand. You can literally see how much he loves her, too.

Unfortunately, our poor KK is sick today and we won't be able to celebrate her birthday "party style". Mark and I will go out there later to see her and sing her 'Happy Birthday', cut into her zebra cake I made for her, and let her open presents from us.

We love you with all of our hearts, Kati! Happy Birthday!


Wednesday, April 24

Get the Look: FOR LESS

Everyone is aware of my resolution to become preppier this year. Not just in my designs, home, lifestyle, but of course, my wardrobe, as well! I have become OBSESSED with all the amazing preppy tunics you see all over the place! Sail to Sable has the most gorgeous designs ever! I wish I could afford even one of these beauties. Well, sorry, I can afford them, but there is no way I can justify spending that much on one, but if you can, more power to you and I  will be the most jealous person of you.

I have spent too much time searching for these styles at a much cheaper price and have scored some amazing finds that I think you will want to check out, too!

Look at these two tunics and you will be in shock at the price difference! I am pretty sure that's the ONLY difference, too!

The one on the left is from Sail to Sable ($198), the one on the right is from Venus Clothing ($21)
Yes! you saw that correctly, only $21! Crazy! It comes in three different colors an I have one of each!

I have also scored these two cuties from Talbots not too long ago, too.They are having a friends and family promotion going on right now and you can receive 30% off of your purchase by entering coupon code: 30friends. Happy Shopping! :)


Thursday, February 28

How to Applique

You guys asked for it, so here it is! Let me just warn you - it's like picture OVERLOAD here! I tried to take a picture of every little step and there are a LOT of little steps you have to do, but totally worth it!

First things, first... You MUST have an embroidery sewing machine to be able to do this. I have the Brother SE-400 that I got a few years ago and I love it! It's a great machine, especially for the price!

You also need to know how to do some basic embroidery (like lettering), how to work your machine, and how to use a embroidery/applique file downloaded from the internet and transfer it to your machine. If you don't know how to do these things, read your manual and try them.

Ok, here we go... you need to get your supplies together and don't sit there and think, "Oh, I don't have that, but I probably don't need it." Yes, you do need it. Just get all of the junk that goes with doing all of it so you can do it correctly!

Here is my setup when I applique...

Supplies needed:
1. embroidery machine
2. embroidery file downloaded and put on your machine
3. regular iron
4. small travel size iron (got mine at Joann's)
5. pellon wonder under paper-backed interfacing
6. pellon wonder under easy-knit fusible interfacing
7. spray glue that works on fabric
8. small scissors ( I use the one's that came with my machine)
9. a empty box to spray the glue in and not get a mess everywhere
10. regular stabilizer sheets

How to Applique:

1. Get your fabric pieces ready. The applique I will be using need two different fabrics and thread colors. I always cut a small piece of fabric and iron the paper-backed wonder under on the back side of the fabric I am using...

2. Measure and mark the center of your tshirt or onesie (I like to just put a pin in the center, instead of using the markers)

3. Turn the tshirt or onesie inside out. Spray one side of the regular tear-away stabilizer with the spray glue in your empty box and press it on the backside of there your applique will go on your shirt.

4. Turn your shirt back right-side out and hoop it. You will also use your grid to make sure it is center. See, my little pin I used to mark the center is lined up. If your's doesn't line up, just re-hoop and try again.

5. Now, you're ready to start! Put your shirt that is hooped on your machine and get the applique positioned where you want it. It will do an outline stitch and then stop so you can see where to put your fabric first.

6. Take the hoop off of the machine and trim the thread. DO NOT UN-HOOP!

7. Now, you can see the outline of where you want your first piece of fabric to go. Peel the paper-backing off of the wonder under and spray the back of it with the spray glue. DO NOT IRON IT YET! The spray glue will hold it in place right now.

8. Now place it back on the machine and let it outline it again. 

9. When it is done outlining it again, take it off of the machine and cut as close as you can to the thread to take off the excess fabric. Now you can use your little iron after it is cut out to iron the fabric and activate the wonder under to hold it on better. This is the secret to really good appliques. I usually iron it on there for about 10-12 seconds.

10. Now, I noticed on the applique description that came with the file, that instead of doing the full stitch around the bunny now, they do the outline for the bow. So, I need to change my thread color out now and let it outline the bow.

11. Now that you have the outline of the bow, you will take your piece of fabric that you have ready for the bow and peel the paper-backing off of it. Remember, DO NOT IRON it yet (it's habit)! Instead, spray the back of it with the spray glue and press it on where the bow will go.

12. Now, put it back on the machine and let it outline the bow again.

13. Trim around the bow and now you get to iron it! 

14. Now, before I put it back on the machine to let it stitch, I notice it is going to stitch around the bunny first. So, I need to change back to the brown thread and then let it start stitching.

15. Once it is done stitching the bunny, then you will need to trim any thread (if needed) and change the thread color to the color you're using for the bow.

You're done! Isn't it adorable?! Before putting it on, I always add the easy-knit fusible interfacing. I iron it, too, for about 10-12 seconds. Basically, it's a piece that you iron on the back of the applique so the thread isn't so scratchy next to the skin.

Of course, when you're done you can add a name or monogram! ;)

Also, before you ask, I really like the applique's from Applique Planet and from Applique Momma. They also have freebies! I know Applique Momma is having a flash sale right now and most of the designs are only 80 cents! Holla!

I have also experimented with all the different Wonder-Under's and it can be overwhelming when you're at the fabric store to know which one is the correct one to buy. Here is a photo of the one's I get so you can write down the numbers or whatever to match them up...

Whew, that was a lot ... Let me know if you have any questions!