Friday, June 28, 2013

Love Rocks!

Here's a little idea that's been sitting in my drafts folder for... well, about a year now.  Maybe longer.  It's simple and sweet and oh, so easy.  The kids loved it, but don't discount it if you're a little removed from kid-aged - it's a good way to spread cheer, and can't we all use more ideas like that?  Plus it costs exactly ZERO dollars.  ZERO.  (Except gas money, I guess...)

I first got this idea from Color Me Katie.  You can see her lovely version here.  I love that blog, I gotta say.  She's me at a younger, more carefree, childless stage of life, I swear.  If I take more of her ideas, maybe I'll get some of that feeling back...

Here's a completely obvious and not needed tutorial.

First, have your kids gather rocks.  This is, apparently SUPER fun.  I had no idea, but trust me, they'll love it.  Try to find rocks that are smoothish and flat on one side at least.  Once you've got enough rocks to build a fortress, you'll want to clean them off.  We gave our rocks a bath in the tub.  No, I'm not kidding.  The kids loved this part too.  Weird.  Who knew rocks were so very cool.

Once they're dry, you can paint them.  Now, if you want to be super quick, you can use spray paint.  Two coats, then turn them over and do two more.  Bam.  But I didn't want my kids using spray paint.  So we just used regular old acrylic craft paint.  We painted the rocks an array of bright, fun colors.  We had to wait until they dried to flip them over and do the other side, but it only takes about 10-15 minutes for it to dry all the way.

When they are all painted, we took some sharpies and drew hearts on some, wrote "love" on some and wrote "rocks!" on others.  

I did let the kids decorate their own with the markers.  bug got pretty good at hearts.

Then the rocks, kids and I took a ride all over town.

We visited our most frequented gas station (though truth be told, I had to go there anyway...)

the Dr.'s office/hospital (because we decided who needs more cheering up than those going to the hospital?!?)

and to a few homes of people we know and love.  

We "hid" the rocks, but I had to keep explaining to the kids that they didn't want to hide them too well, because the point is that people would see them and smile.  Maybe take them and move them to a different spot to cheer someone else up.  

We did it anonymously, and though it wasn't really an act of service by any stretch of the imagination, it was fun and gave me the opportunity to talk to the kids about doing nice things for others without being asked - just because we want to be nice.

We made so many love rocks that there is still a basket in my car under my seat.  When we run errands, the kids often ask me if they can hide a rock or two on our way into the store/bank/restaurant/etc.  I imagine they won't be happy when we run out. 

*Be sure to check the right sidebar for all the fun parties I link to!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

See? I did stuff.

Before we go any further, I feel I should let you know that I changed this blog's email address.  Unfortunately, it was hacked (sorry if that affected any of you) and I felt it best to just dump the old and get a new one.  This means that 1) there were a lot of emails that never got responded to.  And I'm sorry... really.  I've made it a goal to keep up with emails from here on out. AND 2) if you have my other email address, it won't work anymore.  I've updated the link on my blog so if you just use the button to send me an email I'll get that.  Otherwise, if you'd like to email me, here's the new address:
bugabooblog @ yahoo . com

just take out the spaces or it won't work ;)  I feel it's much shorter and sweeter than the old one anyway, right?

SO.  Today I don't have a tutorial or anything, but I wanted to convince you that I have tried to be mildly productive while lying around eating potato chips.

See?  I made a vest.

A while ago, See Kate Sew sent out an inquiry looking for people who would be willing pattern testers for a few different patterns she was working on and I had the enormously good fortune of testing this adorable guy - The Aztec Hooded Vest.  This was something she put together for one of her PR&P Allstars looks.  For a number of reasons, I was really excited to get started one it.
1) I don't sew with patterns.  Did you know that?  I can't read a pattern to save my life.  I've tried.  I buy them sometimes.  Then I take them out and the instructions are like GREEK.  It's a totally different language than I speak.  The last time I sewed from a pattern I was in Costume Construction in college and I had a VERY easy pattern and LOTS of help.  I gave them up years ago.
2) There were lots of little variations that came with the pattern.  Pockets?  No pockets?  Interfacing the hood so it's stiffer?  Reversible?  
3) I was eager to see what I could do with help from a good pattern and clear instructions.

The result?

Goodness I love that dimple in her cheek and her lone little freckle on her chin... but that's beside the point.  

The pattern was so easy to put together!  You just printed it out, taped the pieces up, cut them to the right size, and pinned them on the material.  I thought is would be more difficult to make the pieces line up or to maybe I'd have to print them out a weird way or something, but nope.  Very straightforward.  

I chose to use vintage fabric from my Grandma Beth.  The first is a soft gray sweatshirt knit with stripes and the second a regular, non-stretch knit with rows of little flowers.  I thought that would sufficiently girlify it.  I was excited to find something suitable to use my Grandma's fabric for.

I only ran into two little snags.  Even though I was double and triple checking the instructions and pictures, I accidentally sewed the welt pockets wrong, NOT putting the wrong sides together.  Ooph.  I had to very carefully pick out the stitches, and since I had no extra lining fabric to use, I had to make due with my woefully stretched out fabric.  

Yes, that's a sad little welt pocket.  But it's the first pocket I have EVER SEWN in my LIFE.  So, I'm just gonna be glad she can stick her hands in there.  My sister told me to just pretend I made them that big on purpose, for aesthetic reasons and all.

The second snag was that never having lined anything correctly before, I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to attach the lined hood to the sweatshirt.  I sewed it on twice with horrible results and unfinished seams.  But a quick little email to Kate cleared it all up and I felt like a big doofus for not figuring it out.  See?  Perfect.

I admit it.  I love it.  I especially love all the clean, finished seams.  Mine isn't truly reversible, because I couldn't find a separating zipper that was reversible.  *frustration*  Is that something fabric and craft stores usually have?  In any case, I let her wear it whichever way she wants to, zipper or no.

The pockets aren't true welt pockets, I know, but this way she can fit a lot of little treasures in there.  And keep her hands warm when it's raining.  Which it was when I was taking these pictures.

In short, I think this may be the most "professional" looking article of clothing I've sewn.  I suppose there's some good in using real patterns, after all.  I might try my hand at a few more, provided they're written in English and have pictures.

I urge you to go check out See Kate Sew's pattern shop at big cartel.  She's got some good ones, not just this hoodie vest!  She also has some free patterns you can find here.  I'll for sure be making the skinny tie pattern for a few boys in my life...

I know I'm probably more that a little biased, but isn't mini the cutest thing ever?

*Be sure to check the right sidebar for all the fun parties I link to!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What I've Been Up To Since February 26th:

A Retrospective

(in photos)

(Some of them really bad/blurry phone photos)

As you can imagine, we've had quite the few months... yes, excitement and sickness.  But I've also made a lot of food.  And not just for myself, either.  And I've managed a couple of projects, sewing and DIY.  Plus family stuff.  And everyday life stuff.  Well, you know, you've been there.  So, here we go.  3-ish/4-ish months of photos just for you...

bug had crazy hair day at school, and mini insisted on crazy hair, too.  They went around the whole day looking like this:

Then it snowed.  A lot.

And then it blizzarded.  Again.

There was a bit of melancholy.

But we made up for it with cute legwarmers.  Plus I documented a few of mini's more extravagant outfits.  That she picked herself.

I made a delicious green drink for St. Patrick's day.  Then I made it again.  And again.  And I may have made it one more time.  You can find the "Shamrock Juice" recipe here.

Speaking of things I love, I also documented some crazy cravings... when I could keep anything down, this is what it was.
top row: pickles, sharp cheddar, and turkey on toasted plain bagel with cream cheese spread.  cottage cheese and peas with "Sunny Paris" seasoning.
second row: leftover mac and cheese with ketchup. grilled sharp cheddar and mozarella on sourdough with a sprinkle of garlic salt.
last row:  pickle, slim jim beef stick, sharp cheddar stick wrap on a flour tortilla with cream cheese.  vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce and maraschino cherries right from the carton.  Bam.
But even more exciting, we went to the circus!  The kids loved it.

And then my five year old beat me at wii bowling.
how does that happen??

After all the blizzarding, we were very excited to find our first nest in March, right outside our door.

And mini decided she loved dancing. (Thanks Grandma and Grandpa for the dance clothes!)

I got a pedicure and took in some theatre (and ate some really delicious food, which I don't have photos of) while visiting my bff, El.

I gave myself a haircut.  More like a trim, but I thought I did pretty well.

AND I started my search for the perfect red.
And got some color on my face!  Ok, so no color, but more freckles!  Can someone tell me why no matter what color or brand I buy, my lipstick always turns magenta?  I need something deep, sultry, whine red...

And then, right after I was so excited about getting some color, er, freckles, we had this crazy ice storm.  CRAZY.  In APRIL.  It was insane.  Our city lost a lot of trees.  And power.  

In the midst of the cold, we decided to get away to a hotel north of here with an awesome slide.  bug was sick and stayed home with dad for the night, but joined us the next morning.  bug and mini both did the "giant twisty slide" by themselves!  But mini's favorite part was the "yittow (little) hot poowoh (pool)".  She warmed up in our bubbly jet tub in our room while eating ice cream.  (???)

Then came a round of illness for everyone!  Yea!  (I'd been sick most of the three months, though, so, no biggie)

mr went to Vietnam.  And China.  He was gone FOR-EVER.  We got by with facetime.

I did actually do some real cooking (like I said before)
all food to be discussed in detail in their own posts.
and worked on some projects (these are just sneak peeks mind you...)

and when the sun finally broke for real, we went to the park again


and again!

And then, it snowed!  In April!

mr had gotten me tickets to see the Broadway touring production of The Lion King at the PAC in a nearby town.  Then his business trip was extended and couldn't come with me!  Luckily I was able to wrangle up a date at the last minute.
He loved it.  He requested eggrolls for dinner - I was happy to oblige - and we both loved the music and the acting.  The costumes and puppetry was really cool.  Afterwards, bug got to meet one of his favorite characters in the lobby, Timon!  (I asked if I could take their picture and the guy said "I have to say no if you ask me, but I can't help it if you sneak a shot in while we're talking!")

I was in charge of a family history lesson/craft for a bazillion girls at my church.  They really seemed to like it, and I'm planning on sharing the idea here later.

Oh, and guess what happened then?  It snowed.  In May.

And I shared this bump photo on instagram: (yes, a sweater, in May!)

It finally warmed up enough to visit the beach here in town:
though the water was frigid.

We had a bike race,

played Candyland, (why is that game sooooo loooooong???)

And Ezra realized he actually loves avocados.  So no more complaining!

I made multiple to-do lists:

which have now been swapped out with what I call the "Before Baby List":
(it's long.  Like 4 pages long.  Two columns.  Plus extras.)

bug "graduated" from 4K,

and announced his devotion to his very first "girlfriend".

The kids started (and already finished) their first ever swim lessons
and bug worked up the guts to jump off the diving board after his last lesson.

We accidentally let the kids swim in algae.  It was pretty gross.  EWWWWW.

We watched some sunsets:

did some baking:

broke out the Christmas present from hubby (a nail gun!):

mr did a whole ton of yard work.  Ton.  Like redid the entire backyard.  More pictures forthcoming.

We've used the backyard for a lot of sprinkler fun since it warmed up the past two-ish weeks.  June was cold.  I think we may have finally hit summer though!

We got our house painted!
And re-arranged.  But it's not quite done yet.

You may also be interested in this... mr baked a cake.  With a surprise inside.

It's a boy!

*Be sure to check the right sidebar for all the fun parties I link to!
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