Thursday, May 9, 2013

Simple DIY Belly Band

Oh man, have I neglected this blog or what? Well, I am 31 weeks pregnant, we moved a week before Christmas, blah blah.. excuse excuse... but in the end it IS my blog, so I can do what I want :-) 

Anyhow, I made something today that I thought was pretty blog-worthy. With the warmer weather (finally!) I'm finding that I really need to wear shorts. I really don't want to go buy maternity shorts for the final weeks of my pregnancy (I'm cheap frugal that way) so I've been wearing my existing shorts and just not buttoning or zipping them. Not hot when paired with a too-short maternity top! In the interest of being decent when I venture out, I figured I'd make myself a belly band to hide my unmentionables. I have a few tutorials on my Pinterest, but I don't want to drag the sewing machine out with my kids around. They always like to grab my bobbin thread and run through the house with it. I needed something simpler. 

I got a white jersey knit t-shirt at a thrift store for about $1. It has a pretty lace border at the bottom. Here are the steps I took to turn it into my perfect belly band: 

Step 1: Lay the shirt out as flat as possible

Step 2: Use a rotary cutter (or scissors if you don't have a rotary cutter) and cut the shirt across just under the chest

Step 3: Wear it! 

It's comfy, not too tight, the jersey knit doesn't fray, and it's a heck of a lot cheaper than a store bought belly band. 

Thanks for stopping by! 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Simple Fixes, Great Deals!

I really lucked out while garage-saling yesterday. Usually I can't find much in the way of clothing for my 4 year old boy. Boys are hard on their clothes, and I guess they usually destroy a higher percentage of their clothing as they grow, making for slim pickins' at garage sales. But yesterday I managed to find several shirts and even some pants for him, and most of it was priced at 50 cents, with the odd $1 here and there. 

I almost rejected these pants, but they were only 10 cents, from The Childrens Place, AND the right size, with an adjustable waist (perfect for my skinny guy). 

I knew I'd seen a "how to fix a hole in the knee" post on Pinterest, and used this particular post as my inspiration.

First, I cleaned up the hole by cutting off the frayed bits. This made it much cleaner and easy to work with.

Then I raided my stash of scrap fabric and chose my colors. Black for the inside of the "mouth", and red for a tongue. I ran a rough tongue shape with my sewing machine, not minding the color of the thread, since I trimmed the fabric and then...

... turned it inside out. I wanted it thicker than one piece of fabric, and I wanted the tongue to be free-flapping for extra cuteness

With 3 threads of black embroidery floss, I hand stitched the line down the tongue to get that cartoon-y feel, then sewed it securely to the black mouth background (note to self: use red thread next time to blend in better). I hand stitched roughly around the edges of the hole, attaching the black patch and leaving the tongue out. This part was difficult, since they're size 4T pants it was hard to get my hand inside to get everything to sit securely. I could have used iron on fusing, but really like the stitched look.

Now for the eyes! I cut 2 large white circles, and 2 small black circles. I hand stitched the pupils on before hand stitching the eyes onto the jeans.

Haha! They make me laugh, I think they're adorable. 

Doug thinks they're cool too. "Raaarrrr!"

Strike a pose! (Charlie coming around to see what's up)

Close up! Total cost: 10 cents for the jeans, everything else I had in my stash of craft and sewing supplies. Really hard to beat that!

Thanks so much for stopping by. What do you think of this project?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

I Love Google

I use Google as my main search engine. I like the simplicity, and the categories you can search. I noticed something new today while looking for a pumpkin muffin recipe. Check it out: 

You can select which ingredients you want to use from a list on the left-hand side! You can decide if you want a specific ingrredient to be included in the recipe you're searching for, or if you want one to be ommitted. It's awesome! Since I'm lazy today and wanted to use one of my yellow cake mixes, I selected that.

Thought you'd enjoy this little tip. Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Rescued Ottoman

Hello hello! I finally got a project completed (well, one that I think it blog-worthy.) It's another ottoman! 

These two items were acquired at two separate garage sales in one weekend, both in the "FREE" pile! Score!

The funky chair will have to wait. For now, a smaller project seems like fun. Lets start by stripping off the old fabric...

Ugh, I hate when people "fix" something and don't bother doing it even remotely correctly. No wonder it was in the free pile.

3 of the 4 legs were split at least once. A little wood glue and some heavy clamping got them back together.

Staples, staples, staples!

Since the original screw holes were pretty stripped, I used a trick I found on Pinterest  to revive them! It worked like a charm!

Pretty little legs, wood glues, wood filled, sanded and ready for a new coat of paint! I once again used Rustoleums Heirloom White spray paint. 3 light coats and they were good to go.

So, no photos of the re-upholster project. It's so easy though, any Pinterest search can take you to many great tutorials! 

Here are the legs, snugly reattached to the base. The legs each had one wooden dowel and I was able to salvage three of them. For the beyond repair 4th dowel, I replaced it with a simple dowel screw. Worked perfectly!

Here it is, in all it's lovely glory! To me it looks like it's saying "Ahhhh...." in relief. So pretty! I really need to start "staging" my final photos... ah well. Life with 3 little boys, age 4 and under, makes for a messy house no matter how hard I try!

The requisite Before and After photo! I hope you enjoyed this little project, thanks for visiting!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

What I've Been Up To

The move, the kids, the ridiculously hot weather... has my projects and crafties at a near standstill. I am working on a few things, including: 

The dresser I curb-shopped (aka: free!) for my husband. I finally got around to starting it.

Nice and sanded

and primed! Just have to finish painting it, and he'll have a spot in our bedroom to put his clothes too!

I have to share. Summer, my boys, and 5 acres of open running space! Aren't they so handsome?

I've also been out garage saling, thrifting, etc. Look what I got last week, both in different FREE piles! 
(because I really needed another project, right?)

Since it's been so gosh darn hot, I've spent a lot of time inside, dressing up the kitchen with some fabulous beadboard wallpaper, and painting it a lovely shade of blue. Here's a sneak peek:

Sippy cup galore! 

So that's what I've been up to!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Leftover Buns

The hot dogs I buy come in packages of 8. The buns I buy also come in packages of 8. In a perfect world, this would work out beautifully. However, I have a couple little boys who don't exactly like their hot dogs in a bun, so I'm always left with a few lonely buns in the pantry. 

I could either keep them until the next time I make hot dogs, or use them for other things. I've been known to turn them into mini-garlic loaves (spread garlic laced butter on them and stick them in the toaster oven). Today I decided to do a little something different. 

French toast sticks! 

I was about to use the sliced bread (highly coveted for delicious peanut butter sandwiches) when I saw the package of buns, sadly laying there from this past weekends hot dog meal. The lightbulb turned on, and I got to work! 

I opened each bun and separated the halves. Then I took my trusty pizza cutter roller thing and cut each half IN half, so each full hot dog bun will produce 4 nice long sticks. I beat some eggs, and heated a bit of oil in my frying pan. I proceeded to dip 4 sticks at a time into my egg bowl, and fried them for a couple minutes on each side in the hot oil. Once cooked, I moved them to rest on a plate with a paper towel on it (drainage, yo!) Rinse, repeat.

Serve them up! I put some syrup in a small bowl so the boys could dip their french toast sticks. They were a hit!

Do you have any creative uses for leftover buns? I'd love to hear your ideas!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Moving and Other Stories

The move has been going pretty well, we had some nice help with the boys and a little with the actual hauling, and I was able to steal my brother's awesome trailer to use. That was especially helpful, since it's been about 2 weeks since we started moving and we still aren't 100% done (one more trip to pick up a few things in the old garage). 

Awesome trailer, perm-attached to the van!

I've been given pretty much free reign to make any changes to this place that I want, including ripping down wallpaper, painting, etc. Yes, it's a rental, and I won't really see any return on my investment here, but I can honestly see us renting here for several years (she says naively, 2 weeks in). That and the fact that I crave projects with every fiber of my being makes it all OK in my book! 

So, that said, here are a couple of the projects on my "To Do To THIS House" list:

Kitchen! What is with the blue floors? Really? I could either paint over them, or attempt to strip and re-stain them. Thoughts?

I'd love to jazz up these stairs a bit. I'm thinking cream paint on the risers, after the carpet glue is scraped off.

Here's the main bathroom. The color isn't bad, but those gold accents have got to be changed! Luckily I have plenty of spray paint. I'm thinking oil rubbed bronze... and the cabinet will get a facelift. The faucet is quite nice!

No project here except to give all the wood in this house a nice loving rubdown with some lemon oil. Then the gorgeous doors and trim will shine!

OMG, just LOOK at that hardware!!! 

Here's a project... haha! Who paints over house numbers like that?? And there's a lovely wreath the previous renters left for us.

The house also came with wonderful area rugs on the front porch! While cleaning the floor in here, my Mom came to the conclusion that whoever did this painted right over dirt and debris. Maybe a nice sanding and some new paint!

No project here (except for the electrician coming out sometime in the next week, as these garage lights don't work) but isn't that nest adorable?

My deck!!! Room for our gazebo, our grill, our furniture, etc etc etc! Next door is the Parents Resource Center and Playhouse. I'm thinking we need a membership there, I can see us spending many a fun day over there! Other than them, we don't have close neighbors. 

Our view from the deck. Our lot goes all the way back to the trees!

This is serenity.

Okay! So I started tearing the wallpaper off the walls already, with the eager help of my 3.5 and 2 year olds. It's going well! I don't mind the mess and the slow speed of the removal, and the fact that I'm not doing it "right" is going to make it take longer. The boys are having fun, so it's worth it!

 That's a layer of green under the layer of yellow. Interesting... I wonder what else I'll find once the paper backing comes down. Here's hoping the walls are in relatively good shape. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


I'm on a short break from projects for a couple of weeks, since we're moving! We're pretty much "switching" houses within the same property management company, in favor of a house that will work better for our family. It also happens to be on 5 acres! 
The packing process is always very messy... 

Thankfully my parents are watching my 2 older boys, giving me the peace and quiet I need to get things done!

It's weird seeing the walls bare.

Here's the house we're moving to! The old trees make me swoon a little.

Here's the kitchen! So much more counter space than we have now, and a little breakfast bar. I love a breakfast bar! The wallpaper has to go... that's one of my first projects (and yes, I have permission!)

Standing in the dining room, looking into the living room. The rooms are large, lots of great windows. Those are cove ceilings!! I think I'll change the yellow walls to a nice light dusty grey. The wallpaper in the dining room is going to go! Maybe a deeper grey in here, and the kitchen...

Here's one of the two upstairs bedrooms, the older 2 will share this one. I think I'll go with a nice sage green in this room.

I adore the built ins in the second upstairs bedroom! This is the baby's room. I think I'll paint this room blue.

And the upstairs bathroom! The boys will all share this one. Full tub / shower combo, double sink, tons of storage. I'll strip the wallpaper off in here as well, maybe paint the walls grey and go with an Ohio State theme! 

Here's the main floor bath, just off the master bedroom (which I don't have a photo of yet). The storage makes me so happy!

Just wait til I show you the views off the deck. I am so excited to live in the country! I feel like I should get chickens and maybe a couple of goats.