Monday, January 30, 2012

Nora Pics

Here are some pics of Nora from the past month or so. Enjoy!

This is her favorite thing right now: her bunny scarf. When woke up and found out it snowed, she went right to get her scarf and gloves. :)

Playing inside with snow. She ate most of that bowl.

Playing with her umbrella and rain boots, sitting in a lawn chair. Don't tell her it's the middle of January . . . or that she's inside. :)

She likes to pretend she's in a band. She's got the right attitude. :)

Playing outside in the snow "for a few minutes". Ha!

. . . but then it was also warm enough to play outside this month too! :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

. . . As A Result of Pinterest, Part 3

I have been doing a series this week on the inspiration I have gotten from Pinterest. Check out Part 1 and Part 2!

Snowman Garland, pinned here.

I have a board on my Pinterest page dedicated to "Kid Crafts". I have this board because the kids in this house and I also have a countdown calendar to spring!! Winter around here seems to go very, VERY slowly. Maybe all stay-at-home-moms feel this way, maybe it's just me! My "Kid Crafts" Board helps me think of things for us to do that don't involve watching TV, doing the same puzzles 35 times in a row, or reading the same books over and over again.

The above pin is one we made just a few days ago. I used my Silhouette Cameo and cut out triangles from orange paper, and circles of all shapes and sizes from black paper. My daughter was THRILLED. Her favorite craft is "making a snowman". This craft helped me out in more than one way as well - I have this big blank space on my wall right now that is temporarily empty until I put my next idea into action. This garland was the perfect little "filler art" for the winter:

Until next time . . .

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

. . . As A Result of Pinterest, Part 2

Hello! Welcome to "Part 2" of my inspiration journey. :) Yesterday (Part 1) I went ahead and started a series based off of some neat things I have made or found out as a result of Pinterest. Today's find is definitely my favorite!!

Homemade Tub/Shower Magic, pinned here.

This. Really. WORKS! :) This homemade cleaner requires only two things: warm vinegar and blue Dawn dish soap. I was excited about it because blue Dawn dish soap is the only dish soap I buy. Period. There are few things that I am brand-loyal to, but Dawn is one of them because it has SO MANY USES and it works well on everything!! So I had to try this cleaner.

I sprayed the cleaner on and left it on for about an hour. I would have left it on for a little longer, but I can't stand the smell of vinegar and I (oops!) forgot to close the bathroom door. When I washed it off with a wet washcloth (no scrubbing needed) - BAM! No more white residue! Love, love, love this cleaner and I will absolutely use it again! :)

Until next time . . .

Monday, January 16, 2012

. . . As A Result of Pinterest, Part 1

Are you on Pinterest? I just love it. I get so much inspiration from there that I almost can't stand it. I thought that this week I would do a little series on the things that I have tried on Pinterest that have worked out for me. Here we go!

. . . As A Result of Pinterest, Part 1

Cereal Canister Trash Can, pinned here.

This is a major confession, but any vehicle I have ever driven has always looked like a trash pile. Gum wrappers, tissues, straw wrappers, printed directions - it all adds up! We got a new van this year, and I knew that had to change. This pin has helped ME - the creator of all vehicular messes - to keep a clean van for three months now! I am so proud of myself, but I am giving credit where credit is due. This idea has been instrumental in achieving clean-van status. BONUS: The cereal canister I bought fits the little car trash bags I bought over five years ago and used only two of. :) SCORE!

Until next time . . .

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Leah's High and Low of 2011

I am just now reflecting on 2011. Yes, I realize you all did this over a week ago, but I am just doing it now. I thought I would do a quick "high and low" version of 2011, which is hard because it means I have to pick just one high and low. The low was easy. However, there are too many highs to pick from really: my family's continued health, the impact of several people's lives on ours, and on and on! But I picked one that may surprise you. :) So here we go!:

*There was only one big low for our family in 2011: the M-Word. I got pregnant in 2011 like I hoped, but obviously I am not having a baby at the end of this month like I had hoped. Then there was the whole thyroid roller-coaster that followed for five months straight. I feel better now, but I am still crazy over it. I will carry the emotional scars with me into 2012 and beyond.

*This may surprise you: the appreciation of stuff. This past year we got a new: TV, dishwasher, computer, room built in our basement, trip to El Salvador, minivan, floor in our mudroom, iPad, cookware, sewing machine, Silhouette, AND (not really things but new nonetheless) I also got two more kids to babysit. Plus we also got a new-to-us microwave, refrigerator, and stove/double oven. For us that's an overwhelming amount of stuff to get all in just one year.

Stuff isn't necessary for a fulfilling life, but when I step back and look at it all as a whole like that I can realize what a privilege and a blessing it is to have it all. Some of it (like the babysitting kids and the appliances) were direct answers to my prayers for help. Most of it I didn't even ask for from God or expect to get, but it's here anyway. I am humbled and thankful for all of it like I have never been before. I get to feel like I am truly taken care of at the end of a year where the tragedy of my above-mentioned low could have sent me spiraling back into depression. Humility instead of anger. Overwhelming gratefulness instead of debilitating sadness. A totally unexpected high.

Until next time . . .

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Long Overdue Update

*deep breath* Well, that was a nice break. :) I am back now, ready to blog!

This year's Christmas and New Years was probably our best yet. It was definitely the most relaxed!! I had a lot of time to focus on God, family, and even a little bit of time to focus on me. It was SO very nice. The best part was that Cory was HOME. He did not go into work at all over the break - and it was SUPER FANTASTIC! We soaked up the family time around the house - mostly just sitting and doing nothing.

(Of course today Nora sighs, looks at me, and says "I wanna see my daddy." Me too, baby girl. Me too. But back to reality!)

Anyway, here's a comprehensive post of everything I wanted to post about since the holidays began!:

My last handmade gift without a Silhouette:
I knew that this year for Christmas my mom was getting me the cutting machine I have dreamed about for over a year. That made it almost unbearable to have to create gifts without it this year! :) (Kidding.) But I did make some Pinterest-inspired photo blocks for my mom and MIL:

They turned out really cute! I printed the pictures in sepia-tone to match the shimmery brown paint, and the red touches really made it pop.

Christmas, and Christmas again, and Christmas AGAIN . . .
Nora was spoiled rotten this year again! Her umbrella was one of her favorite gifts.

She also loved her new Cabbage Patch Kid, baby-doll stroller, and this Cookie Monster Play-Doh toy:

I thought that girl was going to think that everyday was Christmas, because for awhile everyday WAS! We went to Christmas Eve at Cory's aunt and uncle's, we had Christmas Day at our house, then we had another Christmas at our house the day after Christmas, and THEN Nora had some special playtime with Papa Don and BeBe, and THEN my mom recovered from her illness and came over and had another Christmas with us!! It was incredible how much went on in the span of a few days.

I thought this was a cute photo of Nora and Papa Don and BeBe:

My Silhouette :)
After all that when I got some time to figure out my new Silhouette, I was in AWE. This thing is so neat! It cuts like a dream, and it's everything I had hoped it would be. :) I went to an Alpha Phi baby shower on the 30th, which inspired me to use the Silhouette to create Nora a little shirt out of vinyl:

It. Was. SO. EASY!! That Silhouette rocks my little crafty butt. :) The hubbs also got me a brand-new AMAZING sewing machine too, so I hope to get started on some great crafts this winter!! Time to put that "Stuff to Make" list on Pinterest to good use. :)

Super-Duper Mild Weather
When temperatures soared to the SIXTIES this past week, you know where we were: OUTSIDE!! Nora decided it was great broom-riding weather (HA!):

I will take that kind of weather over a "White Christmas" any day! (Side note: Did you know there are only 77 more days until spring? But who's counting!)

New Year's Eve/Day
This year we found ourselves with relatively little to do on New Year's (for once!) It didn't bother us though, we enjoyed going out to eat together:

This was followed by doing nothing at home! It was quiet and very nice. Cory had to go on a fire call 8 minutes before midnight, so I ran into Nora's room and kissed her sleeping head. :) Great New Year!

And that's about it! Great, GREAT holiday season. :) How was yours?

Until next time . . .