Thursday, July 29, 2010

No-Sew Nursery Curtains

I haven't been to impressed with pre-made curtains....they all seem so plain and basic. Sometimes, okay a lot of times, I love plain and basic, but for the nursery I was wanting a pattern to make it a little more fun! So I decided to make my own, no-sew curtains - turns out, it's a pretty easy project!

First Step: Finding the fabric
I searched high and low for navy and white curtains....apparently they aren't so popular, especially if you are looking for anything other than stripes. I finally settled on this pretty fabric which is more of a cornflower blue and white and the perfect blending shade of my light blue and navy blue accents. 

I was lucky and got it for $8 a yard at Hobby Lobby (just about 60% off). Yay for sales! I ended up getting about 7 yards of it, 5 for the curtains and 2 extra for possible future pillow shams.

I also bought this lovely shabby chic curtain at Target for $19 to cover the window and make it a little more childish. You can't see it in the picture, but it has little Swiss dots all over and beautiful detail at the bottom.

Step 2: Curtain Hardware Dilemma
The next step was to figure out the curtain rod situation. I had a pretty white curtain rod left over from the previous owner that I didn't mind using, but I was unable to find any white curtain clips and curtain clips were a necessity for my no-sew curtain making adventure. So I improvised and spray painted my existing curtain rod with a metallic bronze spray paint ($5) to match my $5 bronze curtain clips from Wal-Mart. Don't you love spray paint? Apparently I do.

Step 3: Measure
After that I measured out my curtain fabric and decided to hang it a little higher than the window for a little extra height in the room.

To measure you need to add an inch and a half to the top and bottom (total of 3 inches) to whatever length you are wanting for your curtains and don't forget that the clips are going to add on a few inches as well so don't just measure directly from the rod if you want to avoid fabric puddling at the bottom.

Step 4: Time to Iron!
Make sure to pick up some "No-Sew Iron-On Adhesive". There are several different fact I used 3 just because I had some left over and they all have different (but easy to follow) instructions. They come in different weights and I always use the ultra.

At this point you just want to use the adhesive on the tops, bottoms and sides of your curtain panels to hem all the edges. Remember you have added an inch and a half to the tops and bottoms just for this purpose. You may have to break out a measuring tape for this to make sure you hem evenly, or if it's patterned like can go off that which makes it much easier.

Instructional Break...
Below is the picture of my little helper during this adventure. She has been in the middle (literally) of every project I've done for this nursery so far. The jealousy has already begun.

Back to Curtain Making....

Step 5: Hang those Curtains!
After you finish hemming your curtain panels it's time to hang them up using the curtain clips previously mentioned. Look at the nice crisp folds they make!

 Nursery curtains are up!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Longing for Fall

It's been over 90 degrees every day here for the past few weeks and I just can't seem to shake the need for a little bit of fall. I almost bought a pumpkin decoration yesterday. It's only the end of July I told must wait.

I normally love summer, but this one not so much. The unbearable heat has kept me trapped indoors. It's almost as bad as winter except there is at least a good amount of light outside. Light makes me happy.

But I'm still looking forward to the leaves changing, a cool breeze in the air, and warm soulful meals on the kitchen table.

People always tell you that during labor you need to visualize your child in your arms. I can't imagine that for some reason. I'm not good with imagining things I have never experienced before. It hasn't happened to me yet, therefore I cannot envision it.

I told my husband I want to talk about Halloween. All things fall. For me, Halloween means that everything will be normal again....the new normal that is. We will be a family by Halloween. I will have gotten to know my little guy better by then and hopefully we will have all made those sometimes difficult adjustments required of having a new addition in the house.

He will be about a month old. We will have a routine and everything will be glorious. I'll dress him and Lola up in cute outfits....maybe they can co-ordinate and we will hand out candy to all the little Trick-or-Treaters in our new neighborhood.

I don't want to wish away these last 9 weeks of pregnancy, but I think I am in the ever building stage of anticipation now. I'm dreading the awkward period of "I have no clue what I'm doing" but oh so looking forward to being a little family.

I'm ready to do family things, to have our own traditions, to be able to watch our little guy grow up and learn new things. I'm ready to buy him school supplies and take him trick-or-treating and carve pumpkins together. I'm ready. I'm ready. I'm ready.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My Homemade Bird Mobile

My goal was to make a very special nursery for our new addition and keep the cost down as much as I was able to at the same time. One way I did this was by making my own mobile. Instead of spending 50 plus bucks on a pre-made one, I made mine for under $10.

I started out by using this idea on the Martha Stewart website. I loved her original idea, but it was a little girly for a boys room so I improvised.

I used her template for making the birds. It was super easy. I just picked out card stock in the appropriate colors and hit print. From there I used an exacto knife to cut them out and Aileen's Tacky Glue to assemble them. They dried in under an hour and were ready to go.

I found these decorations on clearance at a local craft store. I bought 4, stretched them out and wired them together to form a two layered "nest".

From there I just put a hole punch in the top of the birds and tied fishing line to connect them to the nest in various lengths.

Voila - homemade mobile! Here's the view my little guy will be seeing when I lay him down in his crib.

Hope he doesn't get too dizzy!
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Monday, July 26, 2010

River Float

This weekend was a hot one. Especially for us. Michael's AC went out on his vehicle a couple weeks ago. The diagnoses - a dead compressor with a very hefty bill. I dropped it off to be fixed on Friday and Friday night - our AC died at our house.

Apparently I was meant to sweat it out this weekend. It all ended up okay. As of today all the AC's are up and working. And thankfully due to our American Home Shield membership with our new house - we didn't have to pay to fix the home AC. Yay!

Yesterday instead of sweating it out in the house, we decided to go on a river float with the rest of my family.

We used to take canoe trips every year, but the local canoe rental place closed a few years ago and we just hadn't picked it back up again. This time around we decided to do inflatable floats and just drift down the river.

Well I should rephrase that. They did inflatables. I stuck to the canoe with my two paddlers (my husband and my dad). I knew better than to try to get my big butt in an inflatable raft....there's no way I'd be able to get out. It's hard enough getting myself out of bed in the morning at this point!

We had a great time. We found a rope swing that a few people jumped off of. Not me of course and I really didn't think the rest of them should have been doing it either....the water wasn't THAT deep. But oh well. Everyone came up just fine!

Tonight Michael and I are headed to the Paul McCartney concert in Nashville. We lucked up on some tickets for free through his work. Can't wait!

More nursery updates to come soon! I've been a busy bee!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

String Pendant Balls for the Nursery

One thing I was determined to do in the nursery was to put some sort of interesting object over the changing table for the baby to look at during the many upcoming diaper changes ahead of us. I had seen HGTV make string pendant lamps several times on different shows and decided that would be the perfect solution....minus the actual light. Just the balls please for me!

Step 1: Collect your materials.

You will need crochet thread in your selected colors. I have since found out that lighter colors look a little better since it's harder to see the glue (even though it dries clear you could sort of see it on the navy color I selected).

You will also need a round bustable object....some people used balloons but found they weren't perfectly round and deflated overnight, some people also used beach balls, but they were a little large for me - in the end I found these bouncy balls at the dollar store which were about 8 inches in diameter that were perfect for me.

And finally you need some glue - I used Aleen's Tacky Glue.

Step 2: Make a starting point.
I used a top of a spice jar for my starting point. You could use the top of a milk jug or whatever you wish. Just tape it to the ball and tape the crochet thread to that. It will also provide you with a nice open circle at the top of your string pendant to remove the ball and in case you do want to make it into a light. Just make sure you measure make it the right size for the pendant light you will be inserting later if you choose to go that route.
Step 3: Start wrapping!
This is messy. Put some newspaper or wax paper down to protect your work surface. Pour some glue on your fingers and run the string through the glue and wrap at random.
Step 4: Wrap until your heart's content!
Just keep going until you feel you have covered enough of the ball. Then sit back and let it dry. You should probably let it dry overnight.....I just let it dry a few hours, but it was fine (I'm an impatient person).
Step 5: Pop the ball and remove.
This is where that little hole you created at the start comes in handy. Pop the ball and remove it through that open space. I used scissors and tweezers to extract it just be careful not to cut any of the crochet thread.
Step 6: Hang them up!
I used tiny white hooks and fishing line to secure them to the ceiling at staggering lengths.
Voila! Interesting objects to keep the baby's attention. Below is what the baby will see.
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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What's to Eat? Wednesday - Mom's Peach Pie

All summer long, I have been craving peaches. Every time I would go to the store I would stroll through the produce section making sure to stop by the peaches and give them a squeeze. Until a couple weeks ago I could only find them hard as a rock. Then it happened.....soft peaches. Yes! I bought up a ridiculous amount and decided a peach pie must be made....just like moms.

Mom's Peach Pie


6-8 peaches, peeled and sliced (however many will fill up the crust)

1/2 cup sugar

2T flour

1/2 cup cream

1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring

1 Pie shell


Depending on how juicy the peaches are, you might want to drain them. Juicy peaches make for a juicy pie that ends up not so pie like once you slice it.....ahem like mine did. Put the peach slices in the pie shell. Mix together the sugar and flour then combine with the cream and almond flavoring. Drizzle this mixture over top of peaches. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes (you might want to put a cookie sheet above the pie to keep from over browning).


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

On Becoming More Comfortable with the Baby Thing

I saw the cutest little boy today in Wal-Mart. Dark hair, long eyelashes....I'm going to have one of those. It's crazy to think how much our little world is about to change. I have already admitted that I'm not the biggest baby person in the world and of course I constantly have my doubts as to how I will react to the whole thing at first, but overall I know that with some time (and maybe in no time at all) it will be great and wonderful and everything I have ever dreamed it will be.

I look forward to getting to know this new little person and figuring out everything about him. I'm blessed to at least initially be able to stay at home with him and have that time to bond with him. I know it won't be all rainbows and sunshine. In fact, I'm sure there will be days I'm going to want to pull my hair out and need a break. I'm going to be unsure of myself at first and make mistakes, but once I figure it out, I know it will all be okay.

Some days I cry because I'm not quite sure we are as prepared as we should be and that we might not be able to give him everything he deserves, but then I realize that it's going to be alright. All kids really need is someone to love and care for them and that is something that I'm sure we can do.

I'm looking forward to the changes this new addition will make to me and Michael's relationship as well. I can already tell that we have become even closer through this pregnancy and I know we will make a great team when it comes to parenting. Of course, there will be some kinks to work out, but I think those are something that makes a marriage even stronger.

Okay, I think I'm finally there. I'm finally ready and able to fully picture this little guy in our lives. I know I'm slow about these things, but that's just me.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Belly Update and My New Love....Spray Paint!

It has been quite awhile since I have taken a belly shot! Now should be the time where I'm really documenting it because I feel like I grow everyday, but for some reason it keeps slipping my mind and has taken a back burner to everything else that seems to be more of a top priority. So here I am in all my 29 week glory....and sorry, all you get is a crappy DIY bathroom pic!
Apparently I am going to be emotional from here on out. I've had a few more cry sessions since Thursday, but at least I'm not taking myself that seriously and do know that it is totally all hormones!

We have finished our birthing classes now and have learned more than I wanted to know. Hello, why do people not tell you how terrible post partum is going to be???? Where's that time machine when you need it....totally kidding (sort of).

Lola interacted with her first baby over the weekend and passed the test with flying colors, so there is one worry off the list. I'm still not sure if she knew it was a human and not animal, but either way she was her sweet submissive self. She licked him to death (something we will have to work on) and did pretty good at leaving his toys alone for the most part. The sweetest part was that she brought him her toys to play with!

Now onto my new addiction.....spray paint!

I have found that spray paint is both a quick and inexpensive way to transform things you already own or find at a cheap price into the perfect decor update. For example I found this mirror and these two wall art pieces for half price at hobby lobby. All in all it cost me about $25 for these 3 pieces plus the $5 for two cans of spray paint (which I've used on other projects around the nursery as well).

I covered the mirror with some paper using painters tape and laid everything out on a tarp in the middle of the yard and sprayed away. Voila....perfect colors to compliment my little guys new nursery!

I do have to mention that I did get some spray paint on the mirror itself due to not using thick enough paper, but it came off very easily with some paint remover. The colors of spray paint are Peek-A-Boo Blue and Navy if you are interested!

Friday, July 16, 2010

All Has Passed - For Now Anyways...

I'm back to normal today. The hormonal craziness is over for the moment. I have to say that was the first time I'd really experienced it so far through pregnancy and it interesting experience to say the least.

I think I cried about 10 times yesterday - huge tears. Although the last half of the crying sessions involved me pretty much laughing through it as well because internally I knew how silly I was being. I felt completely bi-polar. With every feeling I had, I also was having the exact opposite at the same time. What a mess!

Everything turned out okay though - I got off my ass and knocked some things off my list and I feel better. Michael came home, we had a nice chat that ended with eating caramel sundaes with rainbow sprinkles in a warm bath and a nice long back massage. I slept well and today is a new day!

Now I'm off to make a peach pie (I'll share the recipe next week if it turns out well) and get ready to entertain friends tonight. Thanks for all the loving advice and support!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Little Bit of Crazy

Today is one of those days where I'm in a serious need of a pick-me-up. To be honest, there is really not all that much that I can complain about in life at this point (well minus a 1k compressor problem that popped up and some other really petty things that just amount to mild annoyances) but for some reason I'm a little blue.

I think I'm just annoyed that I'm not getting done as much as I would like to due to both a lack of energy and motivation. At this point, it's an internal battle. I have a huge To Do list to knock out before our little guy arrives....I'd just prefer if I could be the overseer of that operation instead of the actual doer.

This past week has shown me that I truly am pregnant. You would think that would have hit me already since I've knocked out about 28 weeks of this thing, but it's been a really easy ride up until now.

I'm tired, my back hurts, I'm never comfortable, I don't have any energy, and I feel like a cow. Sounds like a case of pregnancy to me.

Michael keeps trying to encourage me by mentioning that I don't have all that much longer to go, but honestly that sends me into straight panic mode. What if he comes early and the nursery isn't done? My glider won't be in for another 11 weeks my due date. The whole birthing process sounds so completely scary to me that all I feel is an overwhelming sense of dread (I hate pain...who doesn't though, really?) My house isn't properly cleaned for a baby and I might be seen as some sort of unfit mother because my baseboards haven't been cleaned, or the carpet still needs another round of steam cleaning, or because the windows haven't been washed.

Do you see? I'm a crazy person.....who happens to be too exhausted and overwhelmed to do anything about it. AGH!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Nursery Colors Revealed!

The nursery is well under way at this point and I thought it was about time that I shared some of it. I've had my colors picked for several months now, in fact they are the same colors from our wedding two years ago. (So creative, right?)

I figured without the wedding there would be no baby, so why not use it as inspiration. I'd say the only difference is that the green is a little more vibrant than what's shown in the bridesmaid sash...more like the orchids that are in the bouquet as well as we have some more boyish accent colors thrown in such as chocolate brown and navy.

To get the full effect of the transformation, I thought I'd share a before picture. Unfortunately the only one I could dig up was one with me in it...please excuse (no makeup, probably no shower....just focus on the atrocious pink!)

Here is a one step after...from pepto pink to a Pale Apple green thanks to my mother and sister in law.

Here is a look at the paint info in case you wanted to know...
We chose to go with Lowes Valspar paint which did the paint and primer all in one. It only took one coat to cover up all that pink. Pretty sweet right? The color is a Laura Ashley color....Pale Apple 2 in a satin finish and I have to say it looks better in person than it does in these pictures.

Also as you might have noticed from the crib reveal we have also picked out the bedding. I actually got it all from JC Penney's. I love the free shipping and it was one of the only places I could buy things in separates, which happened to be way cheaper by the way!

Emory bed skirt
Carter's bumper pads in Chocolate

Here is the completed crib, minus the mattress pad I'm still waiting on as well as the ironing that obviously needs to be done on the skirt.
I have several other projects that are completed or on their way to being done soon that I'm looking forward to sharing. Can't wait!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Book Reviews

Over vacation I was able to get some good reading in. Unfortunately I think my reading time will be limited in the upcoming months since I really should be focusing on what the heck I'm suppose to be doing with this new little life that's going to be making an appearance soon. Not to mention that my concentration level has been seriously thrown off since I have about a million and one things swimming around in my head right now.

The first book I actually finished before vacation and thank goodness for that. I was not very fond of it. Wicked by Gregory Maguire was totally not what I expected. Everyone just raves about the Broadway show, but for the life of me I can't figure out why. Apparently it's much different than book. To me this book was just strange and a little too sexual for something that is suppose to be a prequel to The Wizard of Oz. If you haven't already heard of this book/play you might be wondering what the heck I'm talking about. To sum it up quite quickly it's a glimpse into the life of the Wicked Witch and her point of view on things. Strange indeed and I will not be reading any of the other books in this series. I'd like to hear from people who have seen the show and read the book...are they very different? Let me know!

Her Last Death by Susanna Sonnenberg was enjoyable. It's another memoir that focuses on the mother/daughter relationship and another strange one at that. Some things were a little shocking but the author keeps it from being a "poor me" book. You come out of it with an okay feeling in the end although I would have like to had an epilogue of sorts. The main focus of this book deals with how the authors life was affected by growing up with a promiscuous mother with a drug problem.

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger has to be one of my all time favorites. And I know, I know - I really should have read this sooner and no I haven't seen the movie yet, but can't wait to. It was seriously one of those books I didn't want to end. If you haven't read it yet, seriously pick it up today - you will love it!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Vacation and More!

Hello July! I can't believe your here already?!? I feel like time is just speeding past me at this point. I've been going a mile a minute since we have gotten back from vacation. In fact I could use another vacay if my brain would allow me to have it.

We had a lot of fun in Siesta Key. Lots of seafood was eaten, books were read, virgin daiquiris were consumed, sun burns were attained that have since peeled and somehow still turned to biscuit brown, and a successful trip to the outlet mall provided our little guy with so many clothes that another duffel bag was purchased to carry them home in.

The best part of it was that Michael and I got to spend a lot of quality time together. Through some ocean float talks we were able to finally pin down a middle name (which I think I will still wait to reveal). And when we returned we found out that Michael got promoted! Yay for more income!

I also have obviously gotten a little bigger as well. I'm at 27 or is it 28 weeks now? I'm losing count...that just tells you how scattered my brain is at this point. I'm still feeling fine, no problems to report thank goodness although I can tell you that this heat is wearing me out.

Unfortunately we had to keep 2 dogs for our family which made a total of 3 hairy pups running around my house when we got back. I told myself I'd be a good sport about it because if we expect other people to watch Lola we should be able to return the favor. I'm sad to report that I was NOT a good sport about it and complained every second of it. Three might be one too many for me and I'm going to blame a lot of my bad attitude on the fact that I'm in severe nesting mode.

I came back with a head full of project ideas and lots of cleaning that I wanted to do before I get anymore cow like. I've made lots of starts but not a lot has gotten completed. I do have nursery updates to show you all very soon however including the painted room we came home to thanks to Michael's mom and sister.

The registry has been made and wow was that an overwhelming experience or what? I think I have made all my final choices though and am now totally freaked out by how much all this stuff costs. It will all work out though...right?

I have started to read some baby books finally. On Becoming Baby Wise which is a Parent Directed Feeding method and The Baby Book which is more of the Attachment Parenting method.I'll probably end up using some combination of the two just depending on what our baby is like. Some of the attachment parenting stuff is just a little too touchy feely for me, but the Baby Book does include a lot of other helpful info that I'm sure I will use.

More to come soon on book reviews, baby projects, and food of course!

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