Projects on My Plate

  • Veda's Birthday Party
  • Sienna's Birthday Party
  • Sienna's Pencil Skirt
  • Pencil Skirt
  • Wardrobe re-do
  • Floral Skirt for Mommy
  • Breck's Bedding
  • Sienna and Veda's Bedding
  • Apron

Monday, May 12, 2014

Name Brand Musts

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I surely enjoy getting a bargain. I'm a strict buyer of clearance items, thrifted items, and off-brands. It's so ingrained in my mind that it's not even a thought in my mind anymore. I'm not even tempted to splurge on fancy name-brands when I know I can get the exact same satisfaction out of an off-brand.

However, there have been a very few number of items that I do prefer the name brand to the off brand. I feel guilty every time, but there are just a couple of things that really do taste/work better when paid a premium for. Here's a few of my short-comings:

Jif Peanut Butter - This stuff is so much more spreadable than off brands, and I love the flavor. Every time I think of a nice PB&J, it always involves dreams of Jif peanut butter.

Honey Maid Graham Crackers - I'm not sure what it is, but these grahams just taste so good to me. They're perfectly crispy, and have a rich flavor. Off brands taste like cardboard to me.

Gain or Tide Laundry detergent - I fought this one for a LONG time. I knew I prefered it, but I kept thinking to myself, "It doesn't make that much of a difference", and when it is so significantly more expensive (like it is), I couldn't allow myself to do it. I tried homemade laundry detergent. I wanted to like it. I did. But I had to run every load through twice, and it would often have a funny after smell. Anyone who's used Tide or Gain knows that the only smells coming from your clothes after a washing them in those is fresh flowers and mountain air. Though I still feel guilty now and then, I've given into the fact that laundry is one thing I'm picky about and that I want done at a certain standard, which includes paying more for the name brands.

Clorox Wipes - Just the wipes, and they have to be Clorox. I love those things, they save my life everyday. I've tried the off brands, and even other name brands, and every time i wish i was using a Clorox wipe. Being someone who likes to pinch pennies, I feel guilty in buying them at all, but as a busy mom, I will take anything that makes my job just a little easier. Clorox wipes do that for me.

I'm sure there may be a few more things here and there, but that about sums up the ones I'm most passionate about. So, if you are like me, and are always trying to find ways to conserve money, don't fret when you find something that you absolutely HAVE to have name brand. We're allowed to have a few of those. Feel free to let everyone know YOUR favorite name brand items as well!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Good Golly

Well, I can't believe it's already been over a full YEAR since I've updated this blog! I never thought I'd let that happen! I haven't given up completely yet, but there's still a few things I need to figure out how to juggle before I plunge back into regular posting again. For starters:

-I had a new baby! This makes baby number 4 for us, so things can get a little hectic from time to time. Pregnancy is what caused my initial slip away from posting as I was sick and entirely unmotivated.

However, we are starting to find somewhat of a normal schedule, now that he's almost 7 months old!!!

-I'm an official home school mom now! I had been teaching my kids at home for some time, but now I have a first grader, and a kindergartner, and into the whole official reporting, grading, etc. It takes some time, which I love, but it has kept me busy in areas other than crafting and posting.

-My husband has been working away from home, and I have had to juggle all 4 kiddos by myself for the last 6 months. It's been crazy, but I think I'm getting this army-wife thing down.

I've been getting that crazy creative itch lately, so I intend on starting again soon, but like I said before, I have to figure out a specific schedule for it. One thing I am in the works of getting together, however, is a FAQ post. I have received many e-mails, some of which I have replied to, and some of which I haven't. I plan on collecting questions and answering them through a post.

Thanks for all the visits, pins, and nice comments. I'll be back soon. Promise.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Pinned It, Did It: Dolman Tee

Want a fun, Easy Project?

I saw this little baby floating around Pinterest for awhile, and saw an XL grey t-shirt on sale at Goodwill for $0.99, so I thought, "Why not?"

The Verdict:

I loved it. It was super easy, and I was happy with the results. The only difference I would make is this: She says to cut a diagonal line across the shoulders, but when I did this, the collar stuck up too much. It looked kinda funny. I would keep the shoulders as is, and do all your angling on the bottom.

(click here to go to her site)

And here's mine...

If you're tall like me, I would recommend getting an XXL for length purposes. You can always take it in more. I got an XL, and since my frame isn't quite as tiny as the other gal's, it fits slightly different. I'm still pleased with it though.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Feed Me Friday: Peach Round Up "To-Try's"

Happy Friday!

Summer is still going strong, and combine that with the fact that I practically live in Georgia (right on the border, and I spend a lot of time there), and You guessed it, I've got peaches on the brain.

I love peaches. My only issue is that I don't have a lot of peach recipes. And the times when I do have a lot of peach recipes, I don't have peaches. Well, I recently decided to stock up on peaches, and so I've been perusing peach recipes like crazy. I've never actually tried them, but I'll share the links, and maybe we can try them together!

Here's some that stood out to me (click links below pictures):

Peach Custard Pie...Tell me you're not just drooling at the title
Peach Custard Pie Recipe

My All-time favorite smoothie, Jamba Juice's Peach Pleasure. Here's a copy-cat version:

Good Ole Peach Cobbler
Easy Peach Cobbler Recipe

And to refresh you in the summer's heat :

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

T-Shirt to Dress for Sienna

I know I've mentioned over and over about how tall I am, and how frustrating it can be trying to find clothes to fit. 

My wonderful Sister-in-law, Casey, recently gave me a big bag of clothes that she wasn't wearing anymore. Among the clothes was the shirt below, which i thought was a fun shirt, but just one problem...yep, just a tad too short in the torso. 

Not only do I struggle with things being long enough, but unfortunately, my daughter, Sienna, has inherited my crazy long torso and limbs. The poor girl grows out of things so quick in the length, but never can keep up in width. Lately, she's been hurting in the dress department. She's hit a growth spurt that left most of her dresses looking like mini dresses, and her skirts looking like mini skirts. 

So I thought of a solution for the afore-mentioned shirt. Too short for me? Sienna needs dresses? Make it into a dress for Sienna!!

Here is the shirt "Before" (Half sleeves)

1. The first thing I did was I tried the dress on Sienna. I measure where I wanted everything at, including neckline and sleeves. (I didn't really need to measure the waist for this dress, because I just gathered the waist according to the size of elastic I used).

2. After that, I pinned the neckline into a "V" neck where I wanted it.

3. I then sewed a line *just on the collar band* and reinforced seam. Then I cut the extra loop of the band away from the actual t-shirt material along the seam as pictured below.

4. Next, cut off the loop, so the collar looks like an ordinary v-neck seam. Look at the pictures below. That's what you should be left with.

Gather that loop above, and attach to the collar V. There should be no holes after that.

5. Next, cut a piece of elastic to the size you want it. I measured it around Sienna's upper waist snuggly, then cut.

6. Then, attach elastic to the dress (I attached it about an inch and a half under the bottom of the V for a higher, but not empire waist) using the same method for smocking material with elastic, here. (Step 4)

7. I then cut the sleeves, and let the edge roll. I tapered a pretty big diagonal line from the armpit seam to the shoulder. You'll see in the final picture where it hits.

8. Now it's all about embellishing. I put a faux white top under the V to make it look like a little camisole. I had white knit fabric that I cut into a V that was just a tad bigger than the inside of my V on the dress. Then I attached lace to the top. I then attached the white to the dress by attaching it to the collar seams of the V.

9. I also made a bow for the front using the extra sleeve material.

And we love it! 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Party How-to: Polyhedrons

Today is my husband's birthday! He's turning the big 3-0!! Happy Birthday Jos! In honor of birthdays, I am posting today on some party how-to.

I feel like every party needs something hanging from the ceiling. Pom poms, lanterns, punching balls, balloons, etc. are all great and look nice. When planning Breck's party this last year, I saw a picture of the cutest polyhedrons hanging from the ceiling at a party. Perfect for what I had in mind for his party, and the best part...they use solely those cheap paper plates!!! I only used one pack to get three (and I could have made more), which brought me to a grand total of 1.50!

Some extra costs are staples (if you don't have any at home), and spray paint (if you want them another color. I got spray paint from Wal Mart for another whoppin' $1.23. I wanted a blotchy, somewhat camouflaged look, so I didn't need a nice paint. However if you want the paint to be more solid looking, go with Krylon.

Here's the comprehensive list of what you need: 

1 pack (100) white paper plates
Spray Paint (if using)

Here's what to do:

1. You'll need 20 plates for each polyhedron. Fold each plate three ways, so there's a triangle in the middle. Try to make the triangle close to centered as you can.

2. Separate your stacks. You'll put this together in three pieces, the top, the bottom, then the middle. 5 for the top and bottom, and 10 for the middle.

3. Start attaching your top piece. Hold two pieces together as shown and staple together in several places along the arch.

4. Continue attaching until you have a pentagon. Repeat for bottom piece.

5. Forgot to get a picture of this, but attach the middle 10 in a row as illustrated below. 

 6. Attach the top to the top of the middle section with staples on each arch, and then the bottom in the same manner. Spray paint, if desired.

DONE! And you got yourself some cute decorations for super duper cheap!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Feed Me Friday Meets "Pinned it, Did it"

Remember me talking about a new series I was going to do called "Pinned it Did it"? Well, if not, it's basically my review of popular pins from Pinterest, that I have tried. Today the pin I tried happened to be edible AND summery, so it also fit the mold for "Feed Me Friday"!

These are called the "40 Minute Hamburger Buns" (click title to take you to the recipe)

40-Minute Hamburger Buns Recipe

My review? ......AWESOME!!!

These are actually as quick and easy as the recipe makes them sound. Yes, it takes more effort that grabbing buns off of a shelf at the store, but they are SERIOUSLY so much better! They are more rich and dense, but not gross dense. They are perfect texture, flavor, and for making homemade yeast bread items, it was surprising quick.

Make them NOW!!!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Rose Decorations from Veda's Party

If you're looking for a good way to fluff up a little girl's party easily and cheaply, this post is for you. This is a how-to for the rose decorations I used at Veda's party. They were all handmade, and though it took some time (I made 50), they were super easy, and SUPER cheap!

What you Need:
1 pack (8 sheets) Tissue paper ($.97)
Paper (free if you have enough, can be any sort of paper, I used regular printer paper)
Elmer's glue

1. Use a cup to trace circles onto your paper. Cut out as many circle as you want flowers. The circles should be around 2-3 inches in diameter.

2. Open up tissue paper pack, unfold, and lay flat on the ground.

3. Cut a strip (through all 8 sheets) about an inch or more long off of the end of the tissue paper.

4. Take 2 strips from the 8 you now have. You will use 2 strips per flower.

5. Glue a swirl on a circle as shown below with the Elmer's glue (I ran out of glue, so I have drawn how the Elmer's glue will be on your paper).

6. Starting on the outside, feed the first piece of tissue paper around the circle, overlapping a little as you go so it creates a little ruffle. Once your first piece runs out, finish the circle with the second strip of tissue paper. If you have a lot left once you get to the middle, just cram it all in there, and glue. Trust, me, it looks cute. Just make sure you're cramming the length of the strip in, not cramming it from the top into a crumpled mess!

Done! I made 50 of these and still did not use the whole pack of tissue paper!!! So as I said, these are VERY cheap!

Happy Rosing!

Monday, July 23, 2012

DIY Maxi Skirt from Bridesmaids Dress

Do you have a ton of Bridesmaids dresses? I do. And oddly enough, I only started the rapid accumulation of these dresses after I had been a bride! Bridesmaids' dresses are notorious for being ugly, but I never thought any of the ones I wore were. The only problem is that I really never came upon the occasion to wear them again. So they just kind of sit and sit and sit in my closet, hoping one day I might just pull them out and wear them.

Feeling bad that such nice dresses were going to waste, I decided to put them to good use. This is one of my "revive the bridesmaids' dress" projects. 

This dress was from Cameron and Shawnte's wedding (Josten's sister, and her husband), and the first wedding I was ever I bridesmaid in. Here is the only "before" I have of the dress...
*And no, I was not placing my hand inappropriately as it may look...I promise my hand was just around Shawnte's arm

Well, I decided that with the rich tone, the cut, and the delicate fabric, that this dress would look great as a maxi skirt. Making these dresses into skirts is such a great idea because it is so simple, and a lot of times the simple cuts of bridesmaids dresses work perfectly for that.
Though regretfully, I did not take pictures of my process of refashioning this dress, I promise I will try to be as thorough in my explanation so you can try this as well.
1. Figure out where you want your dress to hit your waist. Make a cut a little over an inch above that on the dress, and cut the entire top off. You may have to cut through the zipper (unless you spend the time to rip it out before, which I didn't), so use scissors you don't care as much about when you get to the zipper.

2. Remove the remaining part of the zipper (unless you already removed it).

3. Measure around your waist, and measure around the top of the skirt. If the skirt is too big to sit where you want it to, you'll either need to gather it a little, or take it in a little until it's the right size. I took mine in, because I wanted the straight lines.

4. Fold down the top of the skirt, facing outward, two times about a half inch in height. Pin them down. My dress had two layers of fabric, and I just folded them both together when I folded them down and pinned them.

5. Sew along the bottom of the fold. Here is a picture of what mine looks like. You can see it's folded outward, then sewn along the bottom.

6. Add a new (shorter) zipper. I purposely added one that was off in color, because I like that look. Mismatched zippers give things a funky edge. My zipper is the same color as the belt in the picture below. I also added a hook/eye combo to the very top above the zipper, but it's not completely necessary.

Then all you need to do is cut strings, and you're good to go! Woo Hoo!!


And I love that I wear it so much more now! I was even able to wear it for another temple sealing 6 years after the first time I wore the dress!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Feed Me Friday: Potato Salad

There are lots of ways to make potato salad. Almost everyone has a different variation, and it's usually suited to their taste. Mine is no different.

I love this potato salad. If you don't like pickles in your potato salad (Mom) this recipe isn't for you. I happen to LOVE them, so hopefully you do too.

Sarah's Potato Salad:

5 unpeeled baking potatoes
5 hard-boiled eggs, roughly chopped
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup mayo
1 Tbsp Yellow Mustard
1 Tbsp Apple cider vinegar
1/2 white onion chopped into tiny pieces
1 cup dill pickles, chopped
1 Tbsp dried dill weed
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Cover the potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to med-low, and let simmer about 20 min. or until tender. Drain water, and cut potatoes into chunks. I just like to whip a knife through the pot to get it all chopped up. Refrigerate and add the eggs. Set aside.

2. Mix the remaining ingredients together in a sauce, in order, and pour over potato/egg mixture. Lightly mix it together, and refrigerate. It is best if it can be refrigerated overnight, but can also be served immediately as long as the potatoes are cooled.

* Because sizes of baking potatoes vary, if there doesn't seem to be enough sauce for the salad, just add a little more mayo and sour cream until it is as moist as you would like.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sienna's Cinderella Party

Sienna turned 4 this last fourth of July. Her Golden Birthday. She tells everyone that she just had her "golden Cinderella party", which I think confuses people, because when they see pictures they expect to see some sort of gold gilded party, with a Cinderella theme in there somewhere. But no, no gold really to be found here!

Anyway, it was a "Dream come true" for our little Cinderella wannabe. She was so excited when she saw everything that she squealed the highest pitch squeal you could ever imagine. It was pretty darn cute. 

Well, without further ado, here are the pictures from our "Royal Ball!"

The invites, rolled up, tied with a bow.

The Mantle: Pictures of Cinderella, iridescent fluff, and pink streamers lined throughout

The Castle: I just googled an image of the Cinderella castle, printed it, and copied it by hand onto poster board. Then I painted the tops blue, and lightly sprayed over with silver spray paint.

 The entryway

Our little Cinderella. Thank goodness her Halloween costume still fits!

The table

I wanted food that was simple, but sophisticated, that either tied in with Cinderella, or was "palace-like"

Magic Wands

The Favors

 The Activities: #1 Ballroom Dancing - a very basic beginners course on how to dance politely at a ball. This was our ballroom. Though you can't see it, the purple drape (tablecloth) had yellow fringe (Crepe paper cut into fringe) all the way down the side

Activity #2 - "If the Show Fits" - a game where everyone had to (blindfolded) find the right shoe for Sienna, out of many shoes of different styles and sizes.

It fits!

Activity #3 - "At the Stroke of Midnight, the Spell will be Broken" - a card game where everyone had to turn over a card to make sure they were still horses, and not turned back into mice. If they got a horse, they were safe. If they got a mice, they were out, and so it continued until there was only one left!

This was a fun party, and I was glad that Sienna enjoyed herself. She is seriously such a girly girl, and I was happy to see that I lived up to her "expectations". She's sweet, and we're excited for another fun year with our little Princess!
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