Tuesday, January 31, 2012


For all of you moms out there, especially moms of young kids ~ if you haven't already found the children's books written by Jamie Lee Curtis, you're {so} missing out. Make a mental note ~ or a real one if you need to ~ to take a gander at her books the next time you're at the library. She has several, and they all have wonderful messages. They are so good that, no kidding, I've been known to get a {wee bit} choked up while I'm reading them. My favorites are "I'm Gonna Like Me", "Is There Really A Human Race" and "Big Words for Little People". In fact, I like "Big Words" so much that I keep reading it to the tiny people even though they're fully capable of reading it themselves.

The books are filled with positive messages, and are great tools for teaching our kids about the world, and making them aware of their place in it. I like one of her "definitions" so much, I made a printable!


Here's a little linky-loo to the printable if you'd like to have one of your very own... :)


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Valentine Love

As I mentioned last year around this time, I'm not a big "decorate for every holiday" kind of person. I'm trying to get better about it, since these {tweener} holidays are a big deal for the tiny people ~ and I have that adorable wreath and those cute printables from last Valentines Day, so I figured I might as well keep growing the collection.

This year I made a cute, quick, and super-simple little project.


You may have seen a corner of it peeking out next to the shadow box bank in yesterday's post. Yep...that's because I made this one first. I'm getting crazy and posting out of order! Anyhoodle...this is what I started out with...


Just a simple little square-ish wood piece with raised sides that I found at Michael's. Since it's winter in Michigan, and spray paint and cold weather don't mix, I gave it a coat or 2 of white craft paint.


Easy enough. I picked up some cute Valentine's Day scrapbooking paper, too, and cut it down to size so it would fit in the recessed area.


I used a coat of Mod Podge under the paper, and another coat over the paper. Then I stuck on this adorable red heart that I cut using my Silhouette machine. More Mod Podge (because you really can never use too much... ;) ) on top of the heart.


Being that I lack patience and wanted to get this {done}, I didn't wait long enough between coats, which caused the heart to bubble a bit. :( It is what it is.

So here's the finished product again, looking all cute.


Believe it or not, I have yet {another} Valentine's Day project up my sleeve. I KNOW! Who {AM} I!?!?!?!?!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Shadow Box Savings

If you're on Pinterest (and you know you are!) you've probably seen some version of a shadow box bank. A lot of them are super cute ~ with pictures of Disney, or a special toy, or the Eiffel Tower in the background to remind the savers just what it is that they're saving for. I wanted to do something similar....so I did!


I did the easy part first. I popped the backing off of the shadow box frame, and attached some pretty scrapbooking paper to the back. I chose to use double-sided tape for this because I didn't want it to be permanent. You could use Mod Podge or spray adhesive instead if you wanted to. I also didn't personalize the paper to the project, because I'm still debating about using the money for a kitchen reno., or putting it toward a family vacation. Decisions, decisions.


Now the hard part. Making the slot for the money to be put through was a bit....tricky. The hubband would have had a {fit} if he would've seen me do this ~ and, honestly, I'm hoping he never reads this because he would be less than amused at the fact that I didn't "use the right tool for the job." What tool did I use? I used a drill. And a few different bits. I drilled 4-5 holes, as close together as I could get them, then switched bits to drill out the parts of the frame remaining between the original holes. It took about 20 minutes. And it was messy. And the slot doesn't look so hot. But it works, and since the hole is on the top, and I'm putting this puppy on a high-ish shelf, no one's going to {see} the slot, anyway. How's that for justification? ;)


Since the shadow box I used wasn't the best quality, the "glass" is actually plastic. I used a little Scotch tape to make sure it's held in place at the front of the frame. Then, I popped the backing back on, and voila!


All things considered, it was a pretty quick and easy project. I can't wait to watch it fill up!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Incident of 2010

It's winter time ~ although, here in Michigan, it hasn't felt much like it. But there is proof! Proof in the form of those little notes that come home from school telling us what's going around. They say something like, "Attention Parents ~ Your adorable little cherub may have been exposed to: (Insert Illness / Affliction Here)".

I don't know about anyone else, but every time I catch a glimpse of one of those notes in one of the tiny people's backpacks I close my eyes and whisper, "Please don't say lice, please don't say lice, please don't say lice..."

Now, if you've never had the unfortunate experience of dealing with lice yourself, stop right now, bow your head, and say a little prayer of thanks....because as someone who {has} been to that place, I can tell you ~ Dealing with lice is like entering the 5th circle of H.E.L.L. It was easily the most horrible experience of my adult life. No lie. So awful, it was, that it has taken me well over a year to blog about it. I just wasn't ready yet.

Now, you might be wondering why I'm bringing it up at all ~ and I'm telling you that there are 2 simple reasons. 1: no one should feel like they're the only one who's had to deal with it. It's not your fault ~ it's not your kid's fault ~ and it doesn't mean that anyone is dirty. And 2: you need to know that you'll survive it. I promise.

It's daunting ~ I'm not gonna lie. But, I'm going to offer some tips, and let you know what {I} think every parent of a school-aged child should have on hand...just in case.

First ~ make sure you're checking your child/ren on a regular basis. Maybe every 2nd or 3rd day if you haven't gotten a notice from the school. If/when a notice does come home from school, it's time to start checking daily. Religiously. Every. Day. I know you're thinking, "But I don't know what I'm looking for!" Trust me, you will know a nit if/when you see one.

Pick up some Lice Shield repellant shampoo and/or hair spray from the drug store, and when there is an outbreak, spray your kids down every day before sending them off to school.

Try (try, try, try) to keep your family members' combs seperated. No sharing. I know it's easier said than done, but it's worth a shot. It's easier to prevent the little buggers from spreading than it is to get rid of them once they have.

Keep a kit at home so that you're ready. Your kit should include: Medicated Shampoo (like RID), a metal-toothed lice comb, a rat tail comb, disposable plastic hair ties, a spray bottle, rubbing alcohol, a roll of blue painter's tape, extra vacuum cleaner bags, extra trash bags, duct tape, lice killing spray.

Now the explanation. There are plenty of people who will tell you to use olive oil or mayo instead of the chemical shampoo. I am {not} one of those people. This is war, people ~ it's not a time to get mamby-pamby. The shampoo will come with a plastic lice comb. These plastic combs are {crap}. Spring for the metal one ~ it's sooo much better.

The long tail on a rat tail comb will make it easier to part and section the hair, and you can use the hair ties to make several ponytails so that you can keep track of what you've already checked. I seperated my girls' hair into 6 or 8 smaller sections, then used the tail of the comb to go through each section bit by bit. The spray bottle is helpful b/c it's easier to check damp hair. You can dampen it by section and not have to spray the same area over and over again.

Rubbing alcohol will kill anything that sticks to the combs, so you can soak them between checks (which you'll do twice a day....for 2 weeks). I also took the extra step of wiping down my laundry hampers with rubbing alcohol before putting any clean laundry in them.

Blue painter's tape might seem strange, but we put anything we found during our checks on the sticky side of the tape so that we could see it (and make sure we were finding less and less) it was contained and easy to throw away.

Vacuum cleaner bags are important b/c you're going to vacuum all of your furniture, mattresses, rugs, etc. every day...for 2 weeks. You need to get the used bag (or a plastic bag containing the contents of the bin if you have a bagless vacuum) out of the house and into your outside garbage can when you're done vacuuming. Every day. I also used rubbing alcohol to clean the bin of our bagless vacuum every day. Better safe than sorry.

Garbage bags and duct tape are meant for anything soft that you can't wash ~ like special pillows, dolls, hats, or stuffed animals. You're going to put everything into a garbage bag, seal it closed with duct tape and put it outside for at least 2 weeks. If you have a large freezer, you can put items in it, too. You can vacuum everything before putting it back into regular circulation.

The lice spray can be used on mattresses and furniture, but I didn't do that. I only used the spray on our carseats. All of them. Like, the entire interior of the car.

You're also going to go through a {ridiculous} amount of laundry detergent. You're going to wash coats, hats, gloves, and any clothes that have been worn by the affected person in HOT water. You can also kill stuff by drying it on high heat for at least 20 min. I did both. To everything.

Put those who are affected to bed at night with nothing but a fitted sheet and a blanket. You're going to wash those items every day...for 2 weeks. Choose wisely ~ we lost a blanket (our only casualty) because it couldn't handle all the laundering. And if you have bunk beds, you might want to consider making the top bunk kid sleep on the floor. Trust me....vacuuming that top bunk mattress every day is a beeeeeeee-otch.

You're going to check noggins twice a day...every day...for 2 weeks.

You're going to vacuum the mattresses...the couch and chairs...the rugs...every day...for 2 weeks.

You're going to launder bedding...every day...for 2 weeks.

You're also likely going to {cry} every day...for 2 weeks. ;)

But you {will} get through it. And hopefully you won't have to go through it ever again.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

CMy computer is having major issues. Something about a display driver or something. Mama not happy. Checking in from my iPod, which is clearly not ideal. Hopefully I'll have the problem resolved soon so I can blog for real.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I'm sure a lot of you have heard about the SOPA & PIPA (Not Middleton) bills currently in Congress that, if passed, could lead to Internet censorship. Being a lover of the internets, and a {blogger} who values my right to say / write whatever I darn well please, I'm not too happy about this proposed legislation. So, I'm bothering you today to ask you all to go on over and SIGN THIS PETITION. It literally takes about 10 seconds. Let Washington DC know that, while piracy & copyright infringement are serious issues, this is NOT the way to deal with it....and that they, really, have bigger things to worry about. Go Be Heard!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Don't Over-Think It!

OK....I {know} I cannot be the only person who has dealt with this....


What a mess. It looks horrible, I can't see some of the stuff that's up there, and honestly....how can I feel like an a grown-up when I've got boxes of cereal and snacks "stored" in the same spot that held the bulk box of Top Ramen in my old college apartment? {Seriously.}

The hubband & I stood in the kitchen and stared at the boxes, thinking of other options. We don't have a pantry. Storing frequently-used items in the basement doesn't make sense. We have space for some bookcase-type shelves in the kitchen (we have a bar-seating area at our peninsula that we never use) but that would put them within too-easy reach of the tiny people...and the dogs. Our in-kitchen food storage space is limited to one cupboard ~ the tall boxes are too tall, and the cupboard is alredy full. Hmmmm... And then it hit me. I.am.a.MORON.

You know those shelves in the cupboards? They {move}, people. DUH!

This is how my cupboards were set up before ~ and actually, how they were set up when we moved in. Moving them never occurred to us.


I moved the middle shelf down one notch, and moved the top shelf down 2 notches, and {voila!} ~ plenty of room for our snacks and cereal on the top shelf.


Now there is enough room for our cereal boxes, and our snacks, on the top shelf. I'm moving away from buying canned fruits & veggies (darn BPA) and opting for jarred fruit and frozen veggies, so that center shelf will fewer cans as time goes by.

All this to point out that 1) I'm not that bright ;) and 2) the solution to a problem might {not} be as difficult as you're making it. You may be able to solve the problem without spending any money or bringing anything extra into your home! Yay, me!


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Quick | Easy | Cool

I mentioned a while ago, when I made this project that I was wanting to put together a grouping of {Detroit} items to display. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to use a map of some kind....something unique and different...and vintage-y.

Unsure of where to start, I did what any truly resourceful person would do. I Googled. ;) I did an image search for "Detroit Maps" and was thrilled with what popped up. Maps of everything from voting districts to zip codes to railroad companies to a charming little map detailing the areas effected by the 1920 smallpox outbreak... I waded through page after page of maps until I finally found something I thought was {perfect}.

I found the map in an article on www.sustainabledetroit.com, and they found it on www.gawker.com.

Now...this particular map doesn't have any visible watermarks, or anything indicating who made the map or where it was found, and it was easily located on a public website. Therefore, I'm working under the assumption that it's not subject to any copyright laws. There were plenty of maps that did have watermarks ~ and most of them were from online shops where one could purchase an original copy of the map. If I had a fancy color printer of my own (it's on my wish list) I could've printed it out on my own and it wouldn't have mattered anyway. I don't have a color printer, so I had to upload the map and order a print of it from a photo lab. They printed it for me, no questions asked.

I brought it home and all I had to do was pop it into a frame...

I'm more than a little happy with how it turned out ~ even if it didn't take a whole lot of work or effort on my part. My {favorite} things about it are 1) it was crazy inexpensive (just the cost of an 8x10 print & the frame) and 2) no one else I know has this particular map in their home. Love it!

Combined with my city skyline piece, and the maps of the hubband's and my favorite places, it makes an interesting little statement in our entry way.
Google your city and see what great old maps you can find!


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