Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What's for dinner?

Finding time to craft these days has proven to be difficult. I find myself coming up with lots of ideas for things to create, but no time to complete them. Well, I am happy to say that I managed to finish a project that I have been needing for sometime now. Here it is:

It is my new write on/ wipe off weekly menu. Every day at our house I answer the question "what's for dinner" multiple times (usually to moans and groans when I give my response). So in order to divert the question, give my kids a chance for dinner input and also to keep myself more organized, I created my weekly menu board.

I created the little baking embellishments for my menu. I used to do a lot of paper piecing several years ago, and I forgot how fun that was! I also created and printed out the weekly schedule.

I found some fun scrapbook paper in my stash that matched my kitchen and pulled it all together.

Third: I found this cute "leather" frame at a discount grocery store near my home and I "jazzed" it up a bit. I hot glued scrabble tiles (that I found at a garage sale) to spell out DINNER and I am happy to announce that I only burned myself 3 times while trying to get them all lined up neatly. :) Next I decorated a clothespin with scrapbook paper and a ribbon and attached that to the frame as well. I will explain the purpose of the clothespin in just a minute. Last, I wanted my dry erase marker to remain with the frame so that I wouldn't have to hunt it down everytime I needed it, so I took a small piece of elastic from my sewing stash and stapled it to the frame. Then I took some more ribbon and tied it around the elastic to make it look cute! *hint* Be sure to place the marker in the elastic before tying on your ribbon to make sure that you don't tie it too tight.

Once the frame was completed, I put it all together. Now I can just write out a weekly dinner plan on the glass of the frame and just like that it wipes off when we're done so I can start over the next week.

The clothespin is a handy little contraption, because its job is to hold my cute grocery lists that I created to match. Now as I am planning dinners, I can just jot done on my list what I need at the store each week to prepare the planned meals. So simple, convenient and organized. The clothespin is also handy at holding on to your recipes that you are using that week.

One more tip. On the back of the frame I adhered an envelope and in the envelope is a card with a list of some of our favorite dinners to help me plan for the week. I often find that I can't remember what my family likes to eat, so now I have a quick little reference guide to help me plan. *see 30 meals here*

That's it! Now go make one for yourself and one for a friend. Makes a great Christmas gift! And my gift to you...
my grocery list and menu plan
FREE for you to print and use!


Visit thecsiproject.com

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fall has arrived...

at our house. At least inside, outside it is still 100 degrees and can I just say that I am not happy about it. Every fall I ask myself why I live here. Fall is my favorite season of the year with summer being my least favorite go figure. But it is what it is and even if I can't enjoy fall outdoors (yet), I can bring a little bit of it inside to help me get into a festive fall mood. Now if only I could justify turning on my oven in this heat, I would make up some yummy loaves of pumpkin bread! So in honor of the first day of fall yesterday, here is what we did...

My shelf.

I just hung this up yesterday and I love it. The black frame, apple topiary and the grapevine wreath were all thrift store finds! The black frame was a lovely lime green when I bought it and I just painted over it, put new ribbon on it and used a vinyl letter C (our family monogram) to jazz it up. And how cool is that grapevine wreath?! I love that it is square and oval. Cute! The pinecone was a little souvenir from Tahoe!

My mantle:

Remember my pumpkins from last year? Here they are...I still love them.

My Table:

My dining table:
I made these pumpkins last year using this tutorial. So cute, easy and fun. I may have to make a few more this year as you can never have too many pumpkins ♥

My hutch:

My living/ dining room:

Notice the fan in the background?! I'm telling you it is hot!

Last years wheat pumpkin

Last but not least, my helper:

And with all of that, we are almost done! I still have a few fall projects in the works to finish off my fall decor. You'll have to stay tuned to see what they are!

Happy Fall!!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Another book finished

With 2 sick kids and a baby to care for, I've had more time than usual to sit and read. But of course, nothing else is getting done, and that's OK, because cuddling my kids is where I need to be right now. Last week we went on a little family vacation to Lake Tahoe and we had a fabulous time. My mom and dad met us there and spent the week with us. My mom and I hit just about every thrift store in the Tahoe area and I picked up a bunch of books for the kids to read (one of my favorite things to look for at thrift stores). So because this book was $.25 and because it won the Newbery award and because the title was Maniac Magee, I figured this had to be a great book...and I was right. Here is my Goodreads review.

Maniac Magee Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A great story about love and acceptance. Maniac Magee has lived a hard life, but he's a boy who believes in himself and finds love and acceptance in the most unexpected of places. I love the end of this book! You'll have to read it for yourself to find out why.

View all my reviews >>

Sunday, September 20, 2009

So close....

Ethan will be 4 months in about 10 more days and he is working hard to master rolling onto his tummy. I can't believe how quickly time goes by...wasn't it just yesterday that I brought him home from the hospital?! At 3 (almost 4) months, Ethan is full of smiles. He just lights up when he gets a little attention (which believe me he gets lots of). He is also starting to laugh, which of course is the best sound in the whole world! We love this little chubby guy!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Wednesday Wars...

Finished another fabulous book! I found this book through Erik's book order at school and thought that it looked good....I am so glad that I bought this book as I will definitely read this again at some point. Now I need to hand it over to Erik and let him read it as well. Here is my review for Goodreads.

The Wednesday Wars The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Fabulous story! If you liked Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko, then you will love The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt too. This is a great coming of age story about a boy who learns a lot of life lessons by reading Shakespeare with a teacher who changes his life. You'll fall in love with Holling Hoodhood. This book is funny and tender at the same time. I highly recommend it!

View all my reviews >>

Friday, September 18, 2009

Mommy the teacher...

Austin started preschool this week and it was at our house. (We are rotating with 3 other friends) We have such a cute group of kids (2 boys and 2 girls). It is going to be a fun year!

Austin wasn't quite sure what to think about me being his teacher, one of his friends called me teacher and Austin replied "That's not teacher, that's mommy!"

Funny kid!

Here is my boy on his first day of school

and here is what we did this week:

Our theme was all about me, so we spent our preschool time this week working on these little scrapbooks for the kids to take home. They all turned out so cute. What a fun souvenir to have to remember my little boy at age 3. He's growing up way too fast!

Want to make your own scrapbook for your little one? You can find the printable pages here. Be sure to check out the rest of the site for some great printable games and activities for your preschooler. Also, in my planning for preschool this week, I also came across this awesome site and this book that I am going to put together for my older children (a good Sunday activity...don't you think?!) So many fun projects to work on.

Happy Scrapbooking!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Christmas cuteness...

I am so making this and here are the free patterns.....Adorable!!!
I better get started if I want this done by December. Anyone want to quilt along with me?

Finding Hope

Today I am so grateful for the freedoms that I enjoy. I am thankful to live in a country where I can worship, live, speak, and raise my family the way that I desire. I am thankful that there are men and women serving our country to protect those freedoms and working hard to make sure that 9/11 doesn't happen again. I remember that in the midst of the sadness and fear that came that day, it seemed like the human race came together. Everyone seemed a little kinder, a little more patient, a little more loving....may we never forget!

Saturday, September 5, 2009


vs. Oklahoma! What an awesome game. Brett and the boys (all 4) were huddled around the TV watching the game while I was getting in a little sewing/ watching the game myself. There was a lot of cheering going on in our house! What a great way to kick off the College football season!

Final score:
BYU 14
Oklahoma 13
Go Cougars! ♥

Thursday, September 3, 2009

So many projects...

So little time.

Here is my list of things I want to create:

Sew a cute scripture bag for Ali (This is first on my list, and it's going to be fun! I love sewing purses)

Family wood blocks

Finish nativity

Several re-finish projects.

Finish my darn diaper bag (argh!)

New pics for my little frames

and just when I thought that I had way more than I could handle, I got this in my e-mail from Martha Stewart...How cute and simple is that?! I am thinking I need to make one of these for my kitchen. I may need to make a trip to the thrift store to find just the right plate!

and last but not least, I would love to start on some fall projects and start decorating my home for my most favorite time of year! Too bad it is 100 degrees outside, kinda makes getting into the fall mood a little difficult.

Doesn't that list look like fun?! I can't wait to get started and I think that I am going to attempt to set aside some time today to do just that. I hope to be able to post pics of some finished projects soon! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Mean Mommy 101...

For those of you who want to be a Mean Mommy like me, here is a quick tutorial to help you out.

First: Every day (yes, every day) that the kids are off-track, write up a list of chores that you would like each child to be responsible for and leave it at their place at the table. Then require that they tackle those chores immediately after breakfast. *Note: the longer the list, the better the grumbling. Little do the boys know, but this little list of chores is still going to appear when they return to school. (insert evil laugh)

2nd: Check their work to make sure that it was done properly, if not have them do it again.

3rd: Add a few more chores as the day goes on just so they don't get too bored or if they start fighting too much. (I tell my kids that if they can't play together, then they will work together.)

4th: After the chores are completed, for a little reward, take them here:

*Warning: This step is questionable, because I am not sure if this little outing is worse for the kids or the Mom.

Then if they are really good at Joanns, you may be able to let your guard down a little and take them here:

But just to look! Remind them that you are not buying anything!

If you do these things, you can be a Mean Mommy just like me. This system works and believe me, your house will be tidy and your boys will learn to clean up after themselves. They'll also learn to be patient while shopping for fabric and crafts (especially if you bribe them with treats). Their wives will thank me someday!

Good job boys! The house looks fabulous!