Sunday, May 27, 2012

Show & Tell: Blood Sugar/Glucose Meter Cover Take Two

Hello Everyone!
If you have read my blog for long, you will have seen this project before. A few years ago I had to started recording my blood sugars. I found those black glucose meter cases to be awfully boring and ugly. Last time I used my sewing machine, and it was quite difficult. I got a new meter with a new type of case. This time, I decided to hand sew and it seems to have turned out quite well this time around. So, yeah, no sewing machine needed!

 It's such an easy project! Just take a piece of scrap fabric and fold under the rough edge. The corners are the trickiest part. It might be easy to cut around the edge in a curve.

New and old meter. My old one has a pocket but I never used it, so I didn't bother this time.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Aqua and Red Bridal Shower

Hello There!

It has been crazy crazy busy around my house over the past couple of weeks! I think I'm due for a relaxing weekend....although I have Market Day in Des Moines is next weekend June 2nd.  Last weekend I threw a bridal shower for a good friend of mine. I did the decorations and another bridesmaid handled the food (and it was GOOD!). 

The theme was aqua and red. I had tons of fun making pinwheels and shopping for fun aqua and red fabric. I have fun plans for that cute fabric!

The first thing I did was the invite. I had lots of fun playing around with a retro cookware theme. It worked well since it was a Pampered Chef shower.

Main Table

Table setting. It's so easy to use a piece of scrapbook paper with plastic square plates for a nice place setting.
Table runner is Micheal Miller fabric. I love it!

Smaller Table in Kitchen

Mason jars and paper straws in red and aqua.

Sign for shower (Isn't the duct tape lovely?...not exactly part of the plan)

A fun cake!

Appetizer and cake table...makes me hungry just looking at it!

DIY Pom-Poms hanging from the ceiling.

 Doesn't this food look so yummy!?!?


Thursday, May 10, 2012

My Organization Journey: Let the games begin!

 Hello Friends!

I have decided to make a serious organization effort over the next couple of weeks. This new found motivation came in the form of a speaker that came to speak to my MOPS group about organization; however, I did not get to see this speaker because I wasn't organized enough to know we had MOPS that night. Yes. The irony is not lost on me.
I actually used to have an organization obsession. Just ask anyone who came to my house in South Dakota; I had buckets, baskets and labels galore. Our house in Vermillion was quite tiny. It was 910 square feet total. That was all we got for my husband and I and our baby (and at one point my brother and brother-in-law). I lived in the house for five years; it was my first home away from my parents’ home. Over that five years, I went from having just enough "stuff" for my bedroom at my parents’ house, to having stuff filling every part of the house. (BUT, I was organized enough to know exactly where everything was when it was put away)
On a side note, I look at this listing for that house, and I get terribly home sick. There is something to be said for a house that you spend so much time in and put the work into fixing. I, by myself, painted every room. My father (who owned the house) remodeled the bathroom, put new carpets in, built a really cool custom door/bookcase thing, installed new siding, new wiring, all new windows and doors and new sidewalks and driveways. I miss my orange kitchen. 

Right before we moved, I was home with our newborn for three months. I took that time to purge a ton of stuff. For the most part I don't regret purging anything (except this one chair. I really liked that chair.) I must remember that when I start to purge this time. For the most part, you will not miss the stuff you get rid of!

When we moved into our new house, we doubled our square footage and we had massive open spaces. That lasted for, oh, about three months. Now we've filled it to the brim again. We're like goldfish. We get as big as our space. (They do that, don't they? Or is it another animal?)

So, now it's time to go through the house and fix all the "trouble" areas. I will even share these cringe worthy spaces. I have found that our trouble areas exist because of a few factors:

1. We had just moved in and need a storage solution quickly. So, we used whatever we had. So even if it's ugly or doesn't fit properly, we use it.

Case in point: our bathroom storage. One bathroom has a metal cart that used to be used in our kitchen in South Dakota. It worked great in the kitchen. Not so great in the bathroom. Not to mention our daughter can reach everything in the basket and loves to steal toothbrushes. Just ask our daycare provider. She's a toothbrush thief!

Our other bathroom had these blue plastic drawers when we moved in. They remind me of a boy’s college dorm room. They are quite functional since there is absolutely zero storage in either bathroom, but they are pretty ugly.

 2. We inherited the storage solution from a relative or friend. 

It’s free, so we have to use it, right? (The answer is no. You don’t have to use dysfunctional ugly things, because they are free.)

Case in point: our laundry sorting thingy. First of all, this is laughable since I never ever sort clothes. I started that process in college and have never ruined a piece of clothing. Seriously. I do occasionally do a load of whites to give them a blast of bleach, and I also am vigilant about new clothes being washed on their own at first or using a Color Catcher sheet, but otherwise NO sorting.

The house we moved into had all these hooks in this odd closet that kinda just morphed into a utility/freezer/dog food area.

3. Too much stuff.

This is a pretty obvious reason for having an organization trouble area. We have lots of coats, and I don't know where to put the out of season ones. So, we have this amazing bench my husband's grandfather made for our wedding present, and it's hidden by coats, and you can't even sit on the bench with all the coats hitting your head!

I think many people have this problem, but we have a linen closet that's out of control. I tried to do the "fold and put in the pillowcase" trick, but eventually I just got lazy and stopped. The really funny thing about all these sheets? WE DON'T HAVE A BED THAT FITS THEM! Yes, that's right. We upgraded to a beautiful king size bed (a serious necessity with a husband that can't say no to his ridiculous dogs), and no longer have the full size bed that these sheets fit. And let’s be honest here. For two adults that don't have bed wetting issues, why do we need more than two sets? One is on the bed and one gets washed the minute it comes off the bed. So why do I need to keep 10 sets of sheets for a bed that I don't have? I am planning on getting a guest bed in the very near future, but even then, two sets will work just fine.

Our bedroom. Oh our bedroom is SO bad. It always seems that’s always the very last room to get any TLC. We’re only in there while we’re sleeping, and I just don’t bother to keep it clean or organized or decorated. Every project I do for the room is an afterthought. Poor Poor bedroom. It becomes the furniture cast off area (My white dressers are from my parent’s first home 29 years ago.) The closet has no doors (never ever a good thing), and I have the most random stuff in the room. A closet rod with no clothes on it? Check! A ladder with a few random scarves draped on it? Check! Air conditioners stacked in the corner? Check! A half-finished ottoman? Check!

The last trouble place is often troublesome for young families. The toy area. We have a corner just for my daughter’s toys, and it’s overflowing. I make a serious effort to go through and remove things she’s outgrown, but the pile still gets bigger. I am definitely going to start rotating toys. I will also try to make other improvements.

So, join me on this journey over the next couple of weeks (months? years?) I hopefully will discover some cool tricks that will help you with your own organization disaster zones. I will also share some things we’ve been doing for a while and that just work great.  Of course, I’m sure there will be a bit of DIY involved and probably a bit of junk hunting. (How can I resist the excuse to go on a treasure hunt?!?).
Any suggestions will be welcome!



Sunday, May 6, 2012

DIY Sunday: Clothes Line House


Since summer is upon us, I have been getting toys and making projects for my daughter to use outside. She loves to be outside, and I foresee a large chunk of my time outside in the next few months.

I noticed that our clothesline is in the perfect positions to make a fort. So, instead of just using sheets to make a fort, I decided to make a house shape with an old sheet. I cut out the window and the door. I added some scrap material I had sitting around for the door. My daughter is having a small birthday party next weekend, and it's "garden" themed. We're going to plant flowers and paint garden stones. I'm going to use my Silhouette to put "Lila's Flower Shop" on this play house.

It's such an easy project. It was completely free (I had this spare king sheet sitting around), and it only took me about an hour to make! My daughter loved it.


Friday, May 4, 2012

When I Eat My Words, I Like to Add Pepper.

Hello Friend!

I will admit that often when I open my mouth, I’m even astonished at my own words. Gross exaggerations of mundane things will just spill out, and I’ll find myself having to add a disclaimer to my own statements. Oh, did I say that I live in a nice house? I actually meant that it doesn’t have rodents and about half the windows actually open.  Oh, did I just say that I exercised every day last week? What I meant is that I did the dishes every day.  I don’t mean to tell these meaningless white lies. I think there is a part of me that actually believes the junk that comes out of my mouth. The other smarter side is usually slower to respond, and usually has to correct the quick clumsy side’s reckless statements.

So, last weekend in Vegas when someone asked me if I needed some sunscreen, dumb clumsy brain responded quickly with, “Oh no thanks, I never burn.”  Well, I *suppose* that’s true. I haven’t had a sunburn in years. However, dumb clumsy brain forgot to take into consideration that I used to go tanning regularly and used to spend considerable amount of time in the sun. The smarter side didn’t didn’t feel it necessary to chime in that I haven’t been tanning since I got married, and I work in an office with no windows every day. I guess you could call it pride, although there is no shame in being smart and just taking five seconds to put on the sunscreen, but I decided that I was going to stick with that statement, and even repeated it several times to give it clout.

Now, the first day in the sun, we were only out for an hour or so. No sunburn. That was false security. It just added credence that I didn’t need sunscreen. So the next day when we had all decided to do a marathon of pool time, I decided to forgo sunscreen.  About an hour into the sunbathing, I decided I felt a bit warm. I got into the pool, because it’s really helpful to magnify the sun’s rays with water.  I continued this pattern for a several hours. After being in the sun for 4 hours or so, I decided to put some sunscreen on. Because sunscreen is generally most effective after several hours in the sun. Yeah. Right.

Just the start of my red skin...

At this point, I was quite tired. There’s nothing like assaulting your body’s largest organ to make you want a nap. So, I take myself to my room, examine what in my sad little mind thinks is a tan, and lay down.

The minute I opened my eyes, I knew something was terribly wrong. Every inch of my body felt like it was on fire. I jump up and run to the bathroom. I look at what my daughter would describe as “Elmo” in the mirror. My skin is fire engine red, and my head is pounding to match it. I spent the rest of the day avoiding touching my skin with anything….clothing, furniture, other body parts. I immediately went to the overpriced hotel gift shop and bought a ten dollar bottle of aloe vera. That bottle of aloe vera would be within my reach for several days, go with me through TSA security and would be completely sucked dry. The first night with my new sunburn, I got up no less than 5 times to reapply my heavy coat of aloe vera. I could only sleep on my back (which I loathe) and the sheets would stick to my aloe vera second skin. Another interesting revelation about having a halter top swim top is that it also makes a unique tan line that shows with pretty much every shirt and makes wearing a bra completely impossible. I had to wear strapless ones every day. I had to take baths in borderline frigid water and play dodge ball with the shower head while washing my hair.

Just as my sun burn is getting better and I’m back to sleeping on my side, I get to experience a completely new sensation for me….sunburn blisters. So, now my chest looks like some sort of terrible lizard skin complete with a new type of flesh eating virus.

So, I basically have a giant open sore on my chest (I know, it’s graphic, but you need a visual to experience the next part with me.). I’m thinking my skin looks really dry after this blister peeling business. As I stated, it’s very “lizard” like. So, when you have dry skin, you put something on it, right? My brain says, no wait, don’t use lotion. You read once that lotion is bad for sunburns. So, what is a girl to use? Why not that aloe vera that has a numbing agent built in? Perfect!

Except it’s not perfect. It’s mind numbing scream worthy painful. I have an entire coat on before the stinging sets it. I rush to find something to get this hells fire off me. Except when I “rush” a breeze falls on the open sore, and it’s starts to sting even worse. And my skin is so sensitive at this point, I can’t touch it to wipe off the devils serum I have rubbed all over me! I start to blot my skin with a towel. It feels like I have taken an industrial sander to my sunburn. Finally, I decide to just sit in my chair, grip the sides and avoid moving until it dries. Of course this entire situation happens in my office at work. I can only imagine what it sounded like on the other side of the door. 

So, the moral of the story? Well, other than the fact sunscreen & pale skin is much MUCH “cooler” than lizard flesh eating bacteria skin? My big mouth and I are having a serious talk about what it decides to spew out. It always seems like the rest of me takes the brunt of the effects of an overzealous story telling mouth, and my lizard skin isn’t happy about it.

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