Saturday, September 22, 2012

Upcycled Bottles!

My first holiday craft of the fall, an upcycled mayonaise jar:

All I used was an olive oil mayonaise jar that I had cleaned out 7 taken off the label. I drew the face in Sharpie on the outside and dripped a little neon orange paint inside & painted it all around the inside. So easy and so great! Add a glowstick for even more fun!! I also upcycled a coffee creamer bottle to hold my sons Goldfish. I saw this on pinterest and had to try it. I cleaned out the bottle & ran it through the dishwasher:

Hope you all are enjoying your weekend!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Green Plants & Red Water

Playing in the garden is quickly becoming one of my son's favorite activities. I set him in the grass and he will inevitably crawl up to the sidewalk and pull rocks and sticks from the dirt surrounding the plants.

He's playing inbetween the zucchini and strawberry plants. It's amazing, this photo was taken probably 3 days ago and these plants are really large, now! I can even see the beginning of the bell peppers forming. We have gone sort of plant crazy over these past few weeks, not only adding to our garden, but our range of potted plants and flowers, as well.
From left: Caladium, Impatients, Jade & the pink/yellow Hibiscus up front!
The hydraengea bush
Also, my son has developed a love for water after having an immense hatred for it. Bath time used to be the only time he wanted to play in water. Now, he wants to be sprayed with the house and play in our pit bull's water bowl all. Day. Long. So, after getting to the point where I would leave her water bowl on the table (I ended up forgetting overnight once and felt like a regular jerk), I decided I would just give him a bowl of water to play with. But he's 11 months old and his attention span is quite tiny. Food coloring makes everything more fun.
Add a towel & it's Soak City for infants!
Enjoying it!
Still fun!
We've been having fun around here, though I must admit, I haven't done much today! I suppose these days aren't so bad every once in a while. <3

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Colored Noodle Infant Sensory

Just thought I'd share something we did last week that my son had a blast with. We made colored spaghetti! All you need is food coloring, noodles, & a gallon-sized Ziplock bag.

After you cook the noodles, just fill the bag about 1/3 of the way full with water and add a few drops of food coloring. Add the noodles and zip up the bag. You have the make sure the water completely soaks all the noodles, so I just let Connor play with the bag:

I ended up doing this multiple times, and just draining the noodles and rinsing out the bag for each batch.
Easter noodles!
The longer they sit, the more the color soaks in. The light tinted green ones ended up becoming darker when everything was done. It definitely made spaghetti night much more entertaining! The best part is, even an 11 month old could have fun. You do not need to just rely on letting your toddler enjoy nature as the only sensory development! The best part about being a 21st century mother is the ease at which we can obtain ideas and information. Reading something on a website can instantly spark your imagination and create a chain reaction of inventive fun. Let me know how your tots liked it!

Monday, September 10, 2012


Today was an odd day. It was both wonderful and frustrating at the same time. Surprisingly, the frustration had nothing to do with Connor. Alan and I have been trying to make a conscious effort to not sit around with our coffee in the morning. We love drinking our coffee, surfing the internet, and watching TBS sitcom reruns like ''According to Jim.'' I love doing this. I wish I could do this uninterrupted every morning, but obviously we have obligations. This being the case, we are intent on setting a good example and sitting around laughing at a flimsy storyline is definitely not a great impression for a soon-to-be-toddler. So each morning this past week, we have been working out or cleaning or crafting, even gardening, to keep our son with imagines of busy, happy parents.

I love what we did today. We have an old coffee table we got from a second-hand store. The right side on the top is a removeable panel of glass, it looks neat, but if it's not in it's spot, there is a large rectangular hole on the side of the coffe table. I could imagine someone not noticing and setting their drink down. Whoops. So I bought some painter's tape and metallic black spray paint. We taped off a design into the glass, it gives it an art deco, almost:

There are endless possibilities with this one, but we went for a larger design. I think a small, tribal design would be amazing, as well. Then, of course, we sprayed the taped side and let it dry. When we're done, the inlet goes painted side down and looks pretty neat

Of course, after Alan left, I couldn't just let my creativity go to waste. I did one heart-shaped jar today. It was so pretty without any paint, I was almost hesitant to put the acrylics inside. The finished product is definitely worth it, though

Today I heard something I needed to hear. Since Connor was born, I have tried to do the best I could. I attempted breastfeeding, I pumped, I made all of his baby food organically, I have gotten him into music and art as much as I could and made it a point for him to spend time outside. I have had women my same age and older, getting tips from me, asking how to do what I've done, and a friend had never let her 2 year old fingerpaint before she saw me and Connor doing it last month. Yet not once had any of them told me I was a good mother. They never said I was working hard or doing great things for my child. My boyfriend told me all the time and any time I asked. While imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, it is always nice to hear ''you're doing a great job.''

So today, when a friend from back home told me there needed to be more mothers like me, I was taken back. It seems weird and perhaps this is a personality flaw, my feeling this need for validation through others, but it made my whole day. Sure these other women learned from me & perhaps since I was younger and some already had more than 1 child, it was a little embarassing. I am just happy to hear that today. I am glad other people notice my hard work to stimulate a creative environment for my son.

Alan thinks so. He loves the kind of mother I am and I know, flaws and all, I am a good mother and I will continue to strive for a slow life with my family, crafts included.

Sunday, September 9, 2012


We've been busy over our weekend, buying plants and vegetables from Home Depot to plant in our yard. When we first together, Alan and I always used to talk about running off into the hills and living off the land. I suppose we are always taking steps in that direction, regardless of the mediocrity. So we planted zuchini, red bell pepper and two strawberry plants in our front yard. They are happy, especially the zuchini and bell pepper, their roots were exposed and wrapped around the bottom. I cannot wait for our first harvest, I will feel a great sense of accomplishment.

I made 2 more vases today, hopefully I will be on my third shortly. The first one is for our first Halloween in the new house
The second is an awesome little message-in-a-bottle type, cork included! I really enjoyed decorating these and I am really having fun practicing and getting different techniques down.

I enjoyed a nice little thunderstorm while Connor napped today. The boy is getting bigger and bigger each day. He is getting more interested in cars and trucks, he drives them around the house now while he's crawling. He's taken more of an interest in walking, but I don't suspect he'll be doing it any time soon. Or maybe I'm just hoping. It is so bittersweet seeing them grow, I can understand why some women want children consecutively. I miss my baby.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Memory Ln

Oh, boy.

I am trying to savor the last few weeks I have with my ''baby'' officially. After October 4, I will have a TODDLER. Gosh, it really does feel like yesterday...

My turtle-lipped little boy! It was all so surreal. He was thrust onto my belly, screaming and somehow still looking perfect. He was definitely worth the wait. He's growing and getting smarter every day. It's truly the most amazing experience of my life. You have to devote yourself to the care and well being of this other, tiny person that you barely know yet somehow still manage to be madly in love with. Don't be mistaken, it is not merely love, you are IN love. I always thought that was a weird way of explaining your love for your children  but it is 100% accurate.

It makes me wonder what in the world I ever cared about before him. I see pictures of my two men together and it swells my heart. My life before my family seemed so vapid and selfish. ''I get so faithful to my freedom - a selfish kind of life'' Gwen, you are perfect in any occasion.

So as the big day approaches, I am gathering ideas for his birthday party. It is Dr. Seuss themed. I have some awesome things I will hold on to until the day I die probably. I know, I know ''he wont remember!!'' but he will see the pictures! I want him to see I took the time to make his first birthday special, even if it is just making a neat cake for him.

Also today, I experimented with the colored yogurt idea. I made the yogurt colors and used it to cover the strawberries. Then I froze them. I left them in the freezer a little long, so we had to wait for them to thaw, but it was definitely worth it! They were delicious and fun!
Epic fail with the chocolate lettering though.
They were pretty delicious, if I do say so myself and it has given me some pretty awesome ideas for more food stuff and crafting ideas. I suppose it's never a failure, always a lesson!
I need a DSLR.
I've been taking lots of strolls down memory lane these past few days. From before I had my son, to the joys of pregnancy, to Hell Week aka the 41st week of pregnancy, to the first 3 months and to now. It's been a whirlwind of happiness, frustration, exhaustion, love and complete chaos (even with a solid schedule). It has made me so grateful for what I have. I'm ready for the poops and cries and screams and upsets of tomorrow. Without those, my life would surely be a boring mess.

Monday, September 3, 2012

A Bittersweet Day of Clay

Today was bittersweet. My boyfriend is amazing and when buying the new carseat for Connor, he saw a hot glue gun and got it for me. It makes me feel so loved when he thinks of me while he's away. Unfortunately, his job requires him to work quite often and Labor Day doesn't matter to treadmills. So, while he worked, I thought I might return the gesture and make him a little keepsake. I made the plaster out of cornstarch and baking soda, and I absolutely cannot wait to try this again. I will be the first to admit they are NOT perfect! There's some cracking, and the edges of the handprint molds are unshapen, as I forgot to place the dough in a round saucer or bowl to keep them clean. This was definitely fun!

The bitter part was the realization that my friend, Sara, will be Afghanistan soon (if not already). She is admirable, brave and doing something I could never do. Even though we haven't seen each other in a few years, we talk often and have been friends since we were 12. I am still so sad to hear of her  going to a war I don't believe in. As far as I'm concerned, we are DONE over there, it's been 11 years. Do we really need to instill decomcracy in every single Middle Eastern country? I digress. All I know is that her wedding reception in May is going to be a huge celebration. :)


These past few days have been all about coming together as a family. We put down our beloved Xbox controllers, turned off the TV and created things! This is a new adventure for me, as I've only been a mother to a tanglible child for 11 short months. So after all the excitement of fingerpainting, I decided to do something a little different.We browsed Pinterest for a little inspiration and found spray painted mason jars as vases. Our first attempt involved car paint and a more... industrious look than I'd anticipated.

I guess after our Michael's run will include some blue twine. It can be my Cowboys vase.

The next two we got a little fancy with. We saw a pin about acrylic paint on the inside of the mason jars or vases. This renders them completely useless as far as holding real plants with water (the paint with soak in with the water and kill the plants) they are beautiful and leave a clean look. The designs in the glass are not colored, the paint is merely a backdrop.

We each started out with one color that would match the regular spray paint we bought (it's called lagoon. Ít's a bright aqua marine).

The pin online said to turn it upside for 20 minutes, but it was still wet the next day. While doing this, you have to swirl the paint all the way down so it coats completely and evenly. Otherwise, the paint will just fall down from the bottom.

After we created stencils (which I did not photograph due to my udder excitement and sheer negligence) we went outside with the still drying on the inside acrylic and spray painted over the taped on stencils.

We ended with the biggest glass vase we had in our house and the rest our paints, just to see what might happen. It was pretty awesome if I do say so myself:

So we plan on getting new paints this weekend and another couple of vases. Today, I have a plan to surprise daddy when he gets home from work. Let's see if my homemade plaster works!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Technicolor Days

Excuse the absence! The important thing is: I am back and feeling refreshed.

So, this past weekend, my family and I enjoyed crafting together (yes, even the 11 month old got in on the action!)

First, Connor and I played with Crayola fingerpaints on a canvas bag I had:

I loved the way his little feet looked with all the colors

Then, we expanded on the fingerpainting idea. I wanted him to have something safer, something he could eat, yet have fun with at the same time. I had always heard of edible finger paints, I had never heard of merely greek yogurt and food coloring. voila!

We did this one outside. Connor had a blast, he has even clapping for himself:
Though you can't keep the yogurt paintings, it's a fun way for even babies to have fun and learn at the same time. Plus, he can shove all he wants into his mouth and you don't have to stress!

I have been feeling wonderful and it shows in my family! We have been having a blast with all the crafts, and though we can still play in the water outside, I know fall is coming and that electricity will come back into the air... I absolutely love autumn. My new locale provides a Michael's. Let's do this!