November 27, 2013

My Christmas Wishlist

Every year my husband asks for my Christmas Wishlist and here is this year's list.  Did any of this stuff make your Christmas Wishlist?  Please tell me what is on your list! 

All links to Amazon are affiliate links.

1. Umbrella Ring Dish
2. Fuji Instax Camera and Film
3. Cards Against Humanity Game (Not to be played around children)
4. America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook
5. Presto Electric Knife Sharpener
6. Weber Grill Light
7. An Illustrated Journey by: Danny Gregory
8. Creative Lettering by: Jenny Doh
9. Wrapables Silver Lining Washi Tape Set
10. Family Membership to Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS)
11. Butterfly Art by Todd McKamy (can be purchased through artist or at HMNS store)
12. Singer Rolled Hem Foot

November 25, 2013

DIY Hat Rack

When we enter into the Holiday Spiral, I realize that we have too much stuff and not enough organization.  My husband and I never grew up knowing how to organize too much as we moved a lot.  When you move a lot, you get to go through your things and throw out/donate/garage sale anything you don't want to move/forgot you had/or had no recollection of where it came from.  I have lived in over 20 different houses/apartments, so being in the same house for over 6 years, the clutter is starting to take over and I am on a mission to get rid of quite a bit and organize the areas that are driving me crazy.  Our front closet it one of them, which is why I made this.

I can't take credit for this idea.  My grandfather started making these probably before I was even born.  He had quite a few in his house and we had some growing up.  Why I haven't made them before now, I cannot say, but feel like an idiot for not doing it sooner.  My husband and I both have quite a few hats we refuse to part with and most were all hanging out at the top of the hall closet.  They needed to be organized and not take up a lot of space.

You will need a board, the one I used was a 1/2x2x36, wooden clothes pins and wood glue.  That's it.  I had all of these around the house so it made this project FREE!  Who doesn't love a free project that helps organize your house?

You will need to sand your board.  I sanded mine down to 120 grit.

Apply glue to the back of a clothes pin.

Press it onto your board making sure it is centered.

I was able to put 8 clothes pins on a 3 foot board.  My spacing was 1 1/2 inches at the top and bottom, then 1 inch between each clothes pin.

Let the glue dry, then screw this to the wall and you have an easy and very cheap (or free) way to calm the clutter of hats that couldn't have been living in just my closet...right?

Now I just need about 4 or 5 more of these.  Not kidding, we like our hats around here.

November 19, 2013

Build Like A Girl

Okay, when I grew up NONE of the girl toys were exclusively pink.  It disturbs me what the toy aisle for little girls look like.  My Cabbage Patch doll didn't have an ounce of pink on her.  I also grew up playing a lot of boy toys, building, destroying, inventing, etc.  I think it's important to encourage our children to use their imagination.  I have found that my oldest son is so obsessed with how his Lego kits go together, he won't take them apart to build anything else with them.  It upsets me that he won't use his imagination to stray from the obvious, he's going to get a big box of Legos for Christmas without any instructions.

So, when I stumbled across this commercial (not getting paid for this at all) I had to share it.  I'm glad to see that there are toys that are being marketed towards girls that encourage building and engineering.  I don't have any girls, but I am probably going to keep some of these toys in mind when my two new little baby nieces are old enough for them.  I might even have to get one for my niece who is seven. 

I also wish this came in my size!  Take note GoldieBlox!  Moms who teach their children to build would like this sweatshirt in their size!!!

November 15, 2013

Our First Scouting Camp Out

I have a very, very cute Tiger scout.  He's so proud of his uniform and insists that he even has to wear the thick wool boot socks, even when it's warm out.

Maben is a legacy.  Matt made it all the way, he earned his Eagle Scout.  Something that he is very proud of.  It's something that we hope both of our boys will accomplish.

Now, this isn't our first camping trip as a family, Colorado was.  But, this was our first cub scout camp out!  The weather was amazing and the park was great.  We camped out at Buescher State Park.  It was very nice.  Tent pads, bathrooms with electricity, showers and hot water (I felt pampered).  There is also a small lake that we could fish at.

Maben was very excited to go fishing and since the last time we went, it was a bust, we had to go again.  I was very proud of my little scout.  He learned how to bait his own hook, not well, but it's progress.  He can cast very well and managed to catch a small fish on his own and reel it in! 

He caught this little thing.  Isn't this super cute?  I also took the opportunity to explain why there are fishing regulations and couldn't eat this little thing.  It needed to go back in the lake and grow into a bigger fish.

There was also pumpkin carving.  I actually let Maben use the little saw all by himself after a little instruction on how to use it.

I was super nervous watching.  I have been teaching Maben knife safety and how to even begin cutting things in the kitchen.  He did great! 

This was also his first time cleaning out a pumpkin.  Just days (seriously, days before) he looked at me with a horrified face when I was cleaning out our pumpkins for Halloween.  Oh well.

This is Maben's proud creation.  He drew the pattern himself and cut most of it out (the top and eyes).  The little cheap pumpkin saw started to bend so we asked me to do the mouth so it wouldn't break.  It broke anyways.

Colton didn't want anything to do with the pumpkins other than telling me he wanted me to carve a t-rex.

He loved it!  I am pretty proud of my t-rex.  I didn't even have cell service to look up a photo of one before drawing it out.

While this has been the first camp out with scouts, it won't be our last.  It was a lot of great fun and we look forward to doing it again in the spring.

And one last photo, since I realized (and this always happens) as we were leaving that I wasn't in a single photo, I had to get one with my little scout. 

November 11, 2013

Thank You Veterans

I want to extend a "Thank You" to all the Veteran's out there.  Those no longer serving, still serving or paid the ultimate price, you live in my heart.  I can't even begin to put down into the proper words what it means to be a part of Military life.  With my time as an Army wife, I do know one thing for certain; I will always have the utmost respect for the men and women who choose to wear a uniform.  Thank You from the bottom of my heart. 

My husband sitting on his tank, OIF 2003.
If you would like to read the absolute most beautiful piece I have seen written about Veteran's day, please grab a box of tissues and check this out, "Veteran's Day 2013 - Let Us Not Forget."

Also, I wanted to let you know something that you can do to express your gratitude to our servicemen and women.  You can send them a card this holiday season.  The Red Cross is once again organizing the event, "Holiday Mail for Heroes."  I urge you to go to the link and check out the details.  If you have any non-family photo Holiday cards, gather them up and send them to our troops.

Have you ever wondered why Veteran's Day is on November 11th?  You can click here to find the answer to that question with an overview of the history of Veteran's Day.

November 7, 2013

Art at Vintage Park

I am so super excited to announce that I have donated two pieces for auction to help support the Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Houston.  It's a really awesome event called Art at Vintage Park. 

The TWRC is a really cool place that rehabs injured wild animals in the Houston area.  So, that bird that has a broken wing hopping around the yard, yup, they take them and nurse them back to health in hopes of releasing them back into the wild.  If they cannot, they might use the animal as an educational animal to teach people/children about local wildlife.  I have heard that they also do an amazing summer camp for kids. 

So, when presented with the opportunity I did two pieces to donate.  The first one is called, "Backyard Birding."  These are three feathers that I found in my yard. 

I'm not 100% sure what the feather on the left is, I am guessing either a dove or mockingbird, the center feather is a blue jay and the one on the right is a cardinal.

I used the same technique that I have been developing where I am woodburning and painting with wood dyes. 

"Backyard Birding," is on a raised basswood panel that is 12x12 inches.  I love it and hope you do too. 

The next piece I donated is, "Blue Morpho Butterfly."

This piece is an 8x8 inch woodburning on a curly maple panel and framed. 

I love curly maple.  It gives such a cool illusion.  If you have never seen/worked with it, I highly recommend it.

So, if you are in the Houston area and want to help out a good cause while buying some cool artwork, stop on by Vintage Park this Saturday night.  I know I will be there!  If you come, please come introduce yourself.

November 6, 2013

October Best

October was all about the kiddos.  It was also a very crazy month for me.  I have a feeling the death spiral into Christmas is going to be a rough one this year.  The calendar seems to fill up more and more with each month.  I do feel like I am finally getting my feet underneath me and am making some forward momentum.

Top: (left) Maben riding the little carousel at Chuck E. Cheese, (center) Colton riding his first pony at a friend's birthday party, (right) Maben worked hard at his school fundraiser and earned this spikey inflatable helmet.

Bottom: (left) Colton's birthday photo, (center) The kids didn't give me much for Halloween photos, (right) Colton riding his bicycle for the first time!

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