Tuesday, December 31, 2013

"Happy" New Year!

Posted by Tara

As we quickly approach New Years I thought it would only be appropriate to make my outfit match the holiday! I saw this sweater at Target and knew I had to have it for New Years. It's got lots of gold sequins, what more could you want!? 

There are so many exciting things that I think of when I think of New Years. I feel like it's a fresh start and a new beginning. It's a fresh start as a wife, mother, and friend. Every year I try to better myself and be more the person I am striving to become. This shirt expresses how "happy" being a better me makes me. 

When I think of gold sequins or glitter I think of pairing it with leopard. If I had a leopard coat or scarf I would have totally thrown that on with this outfit. I love how the two compliment each other. 

For most of my fashion posts I curl my hair with my 1 1/2" curling iron. I decided for this post I wanted my hair straight and sleek. I wanted a different look. 

If I go to a party and plan on taking pictures, I am printing off a ton of these printables and taking them with me. My friend Erin from Strawberry Mommycakes made them and I was smitten at first sight! They are fun and super cute! She has lots more on her site, go check them out and follow the link here.

What I Wore:
Sweater: Target
Black Skinnies: Kohls (J-Lo Brand)
Leopard Flats: Payless
Makeup- Naked 2

Linking up with: Stylelixir, The Pleated Poppy, All Things Pretty , Totally Posted

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Monday, December 30, 2013

Top 10 Posts of 2013

Posted by Tara

Today we are gathering up our top visited posts from this year! Is your favorite one of them? Let's check it out and see! 

Starting in at 10 is our Printable Thanksgiving Chain. When Thanksgiving came these were a huge hit! Super simple and something the whole family can do! Make sure to pin this one for next year!

Coming in at number 9 is School Lunch Organization. When school started all of us moms were hit with the load of stress that comes with getting the kids back in school. This posts helps keep us calm and organized when it comes to packing the kids' lunches. Be sure to check this one out if you haven't already and pin for next year!

Checking in at 8 on our list is Devin's Easy Cheater Block Quilt. I still dream about making one of these beauties. She gives a full tutorial on how to make these adorable quilts. These quilts look so cute on her boys' beds! 

Next in line is number 7 with the DIY Wall Files. These cereal boxes are the most useful thing I have added to my office wall. Devin's post is a super easy tutorial on how to make these organizers. If you haven't made some of these, be sure to pin and make this year!

Coming in at number 6 is my 5 Musts for the First Day of School. This post is a round up of all the things to not forget on the first day. From pictures, breakfast, notes for lunch boxes, and books to read, it has everything you need for the morning of! Be sure to check it out and pin for school next year!
Next in line at 5 is my 5 Favorite Fall Soups. I still come back to this post frequently to snatch these amazing recipes. I gathered my top soup recipes and shared their websites. If you are looking for a good soup to make your family this week with the cold weather, here are some to give a try!  Nothing like a bowl of delicious soup to warm your soul!

Coming in at number 4 is our Road Trip "I Spy" Game Printable. After taking a long road trip with my herd of kids, I decided I needed something for them to work on while we were driving. These turned their eyes to the road and kept them busy for most of the trip. Devin creates the cutest printables, right?! These now get printed before every road trip in our house!

We are getting closer.. coming in at 3 is Devin's recent Christmas Gift Tags Printables. These are still being pinned like crazy even though Christmas has passed. It's great to have these pinned for next year! She makes the cutest printables and these are one of them! Be sure to check these out! 

We are down to the last two! Coming in at 2 is Becoming a Runner. Last year me and Devin ran our first Half Marathon together. It was a great challenge that we did for most of the year. Devin wrote this post and showed our running schedule and explains how to become a runner if you aren't already. Have a New Year Resolution of getting back in shape? Here is your post to check out!

AND FINALLY here is number 1 on our list for most visited in 2013!!

Our Pallet Sign post was one of our first DIY projects we did together in 2013. This was a fun project we did with a big group of girls. We still could not have done it without our vinyl girl Beth! The stencils helped a ton in creating the signs we wanted! Thanks for checking out our Top 10 posts of 2013. Hopefully you found something that maybe you missed on our blog this year! Happy New Year readers!! 


Friday, December 27, 2013

Burlap Sack Pillowcases

Posted by Devin

About 5 months ago, when it was still really hot outside and school hadn't even started yet, Jake and I went on a date on which we happened to stop by our local antique mall to take a look around. I ended up leaving with a huge burlap sack and big plans to make pillowcases with it. Fast forward to today and I still had not made any pillowcases. Well I must have gotten sick of dealing with the after-Christmas chaos because I suddenly decided I needed a change of pace and making a pillowcase sounded like just the ticket! Funny since I hadn't wanted to even look at that burlap sack over the last 5 months...
Anyways, this project took me approximately 30 minutes to complete. Why did I put it off for so long again?!! Here's my how to for the lazy girl's super easy 30-minute burlap sack pillowcase. ;)
Step 1: Buy a large burlap sack. As I stated before, I found this one at our local antique mall called The Brass Armadillo. I can't remember the exact price (since I waited so long to work on this project), but I do know it was quite inexpensive.

Step 2: Put your pillow insert into your sack and determine the size needed to cover the pillow. Cut the burlap sack to size with a rotary cutter. 

Step 3: After cutting the sack you should now have the front and back pieces for your pillow case. Mine was still attached at the bottom so I simply used scissors to cut along the crease and separate the two pieces.

Step 4: Put your two pieces right side together and sew along three of the edges, leaving one edge open. (Please excuse the stacks of vintage books in the background. Christmas decor is still up in our house and that means lots of random things get dumped in my laundry/craft room.)

Step 5: Turn the pillowcase right side out and insert your pillow. Measure where the bottom seam should go and trim off the excess burlap.

Step 6: Turn the pillowcase wrong side out again and sew the last edge together, leaving an eight inch space in the middle unsewn. Turn the pillowcase right side out and insert your pillow. Now sew up the last eight inches with a needle and thread by simply folding the edges in, pressing them together, and stitching the hole closed.

I am super excited to finally have this completed. I love burlap, I love pillows, and I love how this project turned out! I have enough burlap to make a couple more pillowcases so hopefully I won't wait another 5 months before I do. Now all I have to decide is where to put the pillow! I like it on my couch AND my armchair... Time to make more!

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Monday, December 23, 2013

A Touch of Red for Christmas

Posted by Devin

I love the Christmas season. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year. Lots of baking and family gatherings and singing and gift giving and service to others and especially, especially... more time spent pondering the miracle of our Savior's birth. Ever since I became a mother I can not sing Christmas hymns without my eyes filling with tears. I often times get so choked up I can not get through them, which makes me a little sad because I love to sing them! If you know me, I am not much of a crier or very emotional most of the time. I don't know if it's the thought of that beautiful, precious baby laying in a manger as seen through my new eyes as a mother or the ever increasing gratitude I feel for the Plan of Salvation in my life as well as my family's, but Christmas hymns have become such a sacred and special part of the holiday season for me. Nothing fills me with that overwhelming feeling of my Heavenly Father's love quite like Christmas hymns do.
And so for this week's fashion post, I thought I would show an outfit I wore recently with just a touch of red. My outfit itself is not super festive, but I don't think anything says "Christmas" more than simply wearing some red.

Red is a traditional holiday color because it is the color of holly berries, which is said to represent the blood of Jesus when he died on the cross. Just another outward reminder of the true reason for the season.

Having a little fun around the Christmas tree with my boys. Can it be Christmas all year long?!!


 What I Wore:
Necklace - Charming Charlie's
Botton-Down Shirt - Forever 21
Black Skinnies - Forever 21
Red Flats - Payless
Denim Jacket - Gift

Linking Up With: Style Elixir, The Pleated Poppy, All Things Pretty

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Friday, December 20, 2013

DIY Mini Snow Globes

Posted by Devin
A few weeks ago my sister-in-law, Olga, decided to make snow globes with her cub scouts that she teaches every week. What a coincidence, I ALSO teach cub scouts every week! Their snow globes turned out so cute and everyone looked like they had such a great time making them that I decided to have the same activity with my little guys. I did a quick Internet search to figure out the materials I needed and we were in business! If your kiddos are out of school for the next couple of weeks and you need a fun craft idea, I highly recommend this. We had lots of fun!
Olga made large snow globes with her scouts, but I decided to have my boys make mini snow globes. I already had a ton of baby food jars, small figurines seemed easier to find, and... well... I just love all things miniature! So here's my how-to on our DIY Mini Snow Globes!
What You Need:
baby food jars
distilled water
glitter (I bought white and gold)
hot glue gun or epoxy
glycerin (this sounded scary to me, but really it's not)
small figurines and/or trees
spray paint (optional)
raffia (optional)
Step 1: Prepare your baby food jars. Basically this just means you need to give them a good washing and make sure the label and all of the sticker residue have been removed from the jar. Sticker residue is a serious pet peeve of mine. I managed to get it all off by filling the jars with water and microwaving them until the water boiled. I let them sit for awhile with the hot water inside to loosen the glue and then scrubbed them using Goof Off and hot water until everything was removed. It took a little bit of elbow grease, I'm not gonna lie. Hopefully you have an ever better way to remove labels off of glass jars and less of an aversion to sticker residue. ;)
Step 2: Paint the jar lids. This is optional, but I think it really gives the snow globes a finished look. I happened to have red spray paint already so I simply gave them a few quick coats and they were ready to go!
Step 3. Glue your figurines and/or trees to the lids. I used my hot glue gun because I already had it which meant I didn't have to make an extra purchase. However, some of the figurines were a little difficult to get to stay put, so if I do this project again I will probably buy some epoxy. Also, get creative with the figurines as they can be difficult to find. We raided a few old ornaments and a Christmas village for some of our pieces, but I got most of our figurines from my son's plastic animal bucket. The forest animals made for very cute snow globes.
Step 4: Fill the jars with distilled water. You need to fill them up most of the way, just leaving enough room for a little glycerin and the figurines themselves to fit in. If it spills over a little later, no big deal.
Step 5: Add the glycerin and glitter to the jars. I found the glycerin in the Wilton section at my local Michael's craft supply store. Cheap and just the right amount. It's not actually a harmful or toxic substance, in fact, it's used to restore gel food dyes that have started to dry up. That's not so scary, right? The glycerin is added to basically thicken the water and cause the glitter to fall more slowly. We used two sizes of baby food jars: 2 oz. and 4 oz. For the 2 oz. jars I added just a little less than 1 teaspoon of glycerin and for the 4 oz. jars I added 1 1/2 teaspoons. As for the glitter, we just threw in what we liked, but I would guess it was usually about a teaspoon as well.
Step 6: Gently put the lids on the jars and tighten. If you would like you can run a bead of hot glue or epoxy around the edge of the lid to seal it. Then tie a piece of raffia around the base (also optional) and you are done!
The boys really enjoyed this craft and their miniature snow globes turned out oh so cute! They were excited to take them home and show them off to their parents (or in my boys' case, to their Dad).
We even let my two little guys join in the fun!
Cash refers to his as his "snowflake" and I just love his little goose he picked out. 
Here are a few close-ups of the finished products!
Happy Christmas crafting everyone!

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Would you Wear a Puffer Vest?

Posted by Tara

I got this "puffer vest" last winter and was nervous about trying to pull it off here in AZ. I always think the girls wearing short shorts and Ugg boots look silly because they are trying to pull off two seasons. I really wanted to layer a cute flannel underneath, but didn't have one at the time that I thought would do it justice. How would you wear a puffy vest? Was I able to pull this look off? 

This is probably the most expensive item I own. Yes I buy cheap clothes for my closet. I try not to spend too much on my clothes. This is a Juicy Couture Vest and ever since it was given to me, I haven't taken the tag off. It reminds me to never spend that much on one piece of clothing. lol Now I am not saying there is anything wrong with buying high end clothing, my budget just won't allow for it. If you have the money to do so, then by all means.. go ahead!! :)

You are probably thinking, didn't I just see her wearing those pants a boots a few fashion posts ago?! Why, yes I did. I love these grey skinnies. Super soft and comfy. I also find myself wearing these black booties with most of my outfits this winter as well. They both have become big staples in my closet this season. 

Make sure to comment and let me know if you are a fan of the puffer vest, or not really a fan!

What I Wore: 
Long Sleeve: Layers Clothing
Puffer Vest: Juicy Couture
Skinnies: Target
Black Booties: Target

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Linking up with: Stylelixir, The Pleated Poppy, Trend Spin, All things Pretty, Totally Posted Tuesday

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