Thursday, February 28, 2013

DIY: Magnetic Board

So today I've been working hard mostly just to stay awake because I was up at 4:30 this morning to get my oldest daughter ready and down to the school for a trip with the Jr. Beta club to Louisville for their state conference. I decided to tackle the magnetic board I was saying I was going to make for the kids.

So I grabbed some metal sheeting we had left over from when we had all our ducting changed out for it to stop animals from messing things up under the house.
I had some spray adhesive from when I tried to fix the roof liner in my van.
I also bought some magnets though I haven't gotten a decoration I like for those yet so I'll be doing that quick project later.

The last of my foam board (I'll have to buy more). I'm really enjoying the sturdiness of foam board and the ease of cutting it compared to using something like plywood.

First I cut my foam board to fit my frame snugly.

I put a line of where I need to cut my metal though my line is far from straight because being silly I drew it off of the foam board itself.

Now here is where things get interesting. Believe it or not power tools scare me including dremels! This means I like to do things by hand! I had seen online where you could just score the metal with a precision knife and then bend it back and forth and it would snap. It looked easy enough though it was far from that easy! First my precision knife slipped out of the line I was trying to make and thinking faster might be better I ended up making all sorts of lines none of which were in the same place! I tried to bend the metal to see if the small score I had made would work but of course it didn't. I made the score mark a little deeper and tried again and I could tell where I had really cut was allowing for more bend but it just wasn't going well! So then I got the hacksaw! After 30 minutes and my hand and wrist getting very sore and I was only an 1/8th of the way through I decided to go back to the precision knife. I took it slow and worked it back and forth in small sections over and over and over again  and then I used the board (see the white thing off to the side) and put it along the line and started to bend the metal. Then I took my big hammer and pounded the darn thing flat in half. I unbent it at this point and (oh score marks are to the outside of the bend) and made a score mark and worked it back and forth a little and then using my hammer pounded the whole thing flat again so I could flip it over, bend it against the wood and then pound it out flat with the hammer. There was a bit more to it then this but I'd have to write a book on this frustration! Eventually it did cause the metal sheeting to snap apart and I do think time wise it was more efficient than using the hacksaw.

Now as you can see in this picture (other than my stove is dirty! I've been doing projects not chores! I've got some major catch up to do) my metal did not fit the frame because I was using scraps so I had to take my left over scrap and cut another piece to fit in there with the first.

I did do it as you can see.

Now I used my low heat glue gun because I didn't have any high heat glue to tell the truth. From the reading I was doing a high heat gun would work best. I found out that by time I got such a large portion of just the outside with some glue on it that it started to dry before I could even fit the metal!
Later I found out that the adhesive spray actually does a pretty good job and I just dotted around the outside with hot glue.

I refit everything into my frame to make sure there was no additional trimming that needed to be done. Thank goodness there wasn't otherwise this could have been an even bigger headache.

Using adhesive spray I coated the metal and then placed my fabric over top of it. I smoothed it out start from the center and going to the outsides.

Back to my handy dandy glue gun. Using the glue gun I put a line around the edge of the fabric and attached it to the foam board. Again, I love low heat because I had so much glue on me it wasn't funny when trying to make sure the fabric was pulled tight.

And there you go my magnetic board. I'm going to make some fun magnets for the girls to use on it but for right now I just grabbed one off the fridge.

I believe my next board will be a cork board for them but first I need to get a couple more supplies.

Hope this gives people some good ideas maybe there is a few items floating around your house that can be used to make something new and useful.

(Note: I do plan to get some sort of way like a thin strip of wood to attach to the inside back of the frame to make sure they don't by accident push the board out though it's pretty tightly in there I just want to make sure.)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

DIY: Fabric Memo Board

So here it is though the more I look at it the more I think I should add another ribbon on the top and bottom. Is it perfect? By no means! But the girls like it and that is what matters.

So let's start at the beginning. Remember those frames I said I had plans for in my last posting *shimmer to past*
Yes, those.

Well I decided to jump in feet first though it has taken me several days this week to get it done just because of time restraints. I'm sure if I had a few hours put all together I could easily get it done but that hasn't been the case recent.

So how did I do it? Well about as simply as possible and trying not to buy too much. I had the frames and I had some ribbon (though it was too large what you see is after I cut it in half to get thinner strands) so what I needed was backing, fabric and batting.

For my project I choose to use a foam backing. which meant trimming it down to size to fit in those old open framed cabinet doors. For this task I used a model knife and just scored it repeatedly until I could snap it easily and then flipped it over and took the knife along the crease that showed (for those that don't know foam board is paper lined on both sides)

Like a glove.... Later to find out a bit too tight because the fabric is going to be wrapped around it.

*Which not done tonight with it but my plan is to use our heavy duty staple gun to secure the foam to the frame... first I need to find where the staple gun ran off to though.

I cut the fabric and batting.
For this I cut the batting to the size of the front of the board. If you look this up you'll see people wrap it around the cork board or canvas they are using and then pin it in. I'm using foam board so not really an option for me and it must fit into the frame for me.

I did leave a couple inches on each side of the fabric so that it would wrap around the foam board so that I could attach it.

This is with the foam board on it and my big shadow!

I inserted the fabric and then the batting and placed the foam board in place. I did NOT iron the batting. I ran a test because I was curious if the foam could hold up. The foam board did just fine but ironing batting causes it to go flat. Did you know that? I didn't and I'm glad I tested on a scrap before actually doing it!

Tugging the fabric so that it is snugly around the board so there aren't folds either on the front or stuck inside the frame I then began to hot glue the fabric to the board. For this I used a low heat glue gun. 1. because I was using foam board (are you noticing how important your material types are?) and 2. I don't hurt myself so much with a low temp glue.

Everything is glued in place! Now time to remove th board again. (I'm probably making this harder than it had to be. I'm starting to get that feeling.)

I measure out how far I want each set of ribbon spaced. And then I pin it in space. While the pin won't hold indefinitely and will poke through the foam board it will work as a temporary hold.

(This is my first spacing. My math was correct but I started looking at the tape measure wrong... it's been a long day.)

Everything in place you start by gluing the end of the ribbon onto the back side of the board.... I should have taken a picture shouldn't I? Oops.

Leave gluing the middle until all the ribbons are secure. You can also use things like tacks but you'll want to put a dab of glue on the back side to keep them from falling out from what I've read.

And There you have it. A fabric memo board. Now I bought WAY too much fabric. I was very tired when I was trying to do the math from everything I want to use this fabric for but it wouldn't take much it just depends on the area you are trying to cover. I bet if you have some scrap fabric around you could do like a patch quilt design too! You don't have to have a frame either. It looked pretty neat without one to tell the truth. The batting I got a large thing of it for like $5, my fabric was about $4.48/yrd., the foam board I believe I spent $3.50 on a board large enough to do two of these frames, the ribbon well I actually got that at Christmas Clearance and paid 50 cents a roll but I bet if you look around you could find a good deal.

Hmmmm I'm going to think on if I want to put that extra ribbon on or not. Decisions, decision.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Hopes for Future Projects

So I haven't posted as often as I normally do this week. I've been pretty busy and next week is looking like that is not going to change a lot. There's been a lot of stress at work, the kids have been eating me out of banana's and milk so I had to make two grocery store trips and Brielle missed her bus one day and another day she was there for  Jr. Beta meeting getting ready to go to the state conference. It's been hectic. Katherine has been sick this past week but just with a cough and runny nose so nothing to keep her home with and it's taken lots of lemon tea with honey and lemon water with honey but we've gotten it to just a very occasional cough but her upper lip is chapped the poor dear. I think I started trying to get about the same thing but I'm pretty stubborn so colds generally leave me alone.

I keep looking outside and thinking to myself. Oh it's pretty! And then I open up the door and I freeze! The sun is nice and bright but it's 33 degrees. I think Kentucky weather is teasing me! Bad weather, bad! No cookie for you!

Next week Brielle goes to the state conference and Katherine has the Daddy Daughter dance to attend; so I'll be bustling around trying to get everyone sorted and prepped.

I am planning some projects though and I was told that the money my husband gave me the other day was actually for valentine's day since he never got me anything so now I have some cash to get what I need I just need the weather that I need to do it!

The first one has to do with these open framed cabinet doors. Yes, these are cabinet doors my mother-in-law gave me and apparently she is giving some to everyone because by the sounds of it she had quite a few of them. I want to either stain them or paint them. I haven't quite decided. I was thinking about trying that penny stain that I saw on pinterest but I remember watching something about that and it only works with older pennies and then I realized I don't even have any pennies! Darn it! I have four of these so I was thinking 1 of them made into a memo board one of those one's you've seen online lately using fabric, batting and ribbon but because these aren't picture frames they don't have a back on them so I'm trying to decide between cardboard backing which is easy enough to make or if I want to wait until this summer and cut some wood backing to make it more stable? I don't know! I was also looking at the ideas for fabric wrapped tin to make it magnetic, chalk board paint and the last one I don't know. Getting a piece of glass cut for it would be expensive. I was thinking I could get some really funky designs and take down the posters over the kids desk and put these up instead.

Ah and here is my next project. What I really want is a pressure canner but my mother-in-law handed my husband a 12 qt pressure cooker. Now mind you this is after the second cleaning just to get it that pretty. It had half an inch of dirt crusted on the inside and outside and I found a dead preserved lizard in it! EWW! I've been doing a lot of reading on pressure cookers and pressure canners so I'm going to see if there is a way to use a pressure cooker for canning because that is what I actually really want to do. I'm going to clean it up some more and then I'm going to test it out because that's the only way I know of to check to see if the seal is okay.

I'm also wanting to play with soaps some more. I've been doing more reading on different types of soaps and reactions. According to one site my addition of baking soda actually was counter productive. It's hard to say. I also know my friends really like liquid soaps better so I'm looking into that. It's all very research driven right now. I will say this though I've taken my dish soap down to 1 TBSP per load and it seems to be doing just fine which means it is a huge cost saver but I'm still not 100% impressed with the quality of the dishes. After 5 loads or so they start to show some fogginess but that's okay for right now. They are clean at least. Now if I had to rewash them I'd be jumping up and down and yelling!

That's pretty much it. As you can tell my head is spinning and I'm trying to take the day off for the most part. I'll try to catch up on a few things around the house that have fallen to pieces but no real plans to go out and do anything. Some time off would be good for all of us. This is the first weekend in nearly two months Brielle hasn't even had homework on the weekend! So relaxing is in order!

-- Maybe I'll get back my knitting I put it down two weeks ago and haven't gotten back to it yet.--

Have a great weekend folks!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Why Being a Stay-At-Home Mom was a Bad Fit - Back History on Me

I played with making this up some time back but it still rings true. Being a working mother (even just a part-timer like myself) is rough and it's even more rough for people who work full-time! Now by no means is this to discredit Stay-At-Home Mom's because I know they work too! But rather this is why being at stay-at-home mom didn't work for me. 

When my first daughter was born my husband and I were newly weds and I was 19 years old! While my friends were out still having fun I was home with our colic baby. I had already heard that the most important year is the first year with a child so I wanted to be there the whole time but I quickly fell into depression and got an internet addiction where I was convinced my only friends were the ones online because no one would visit me so it was just myself and this beautiful little girl that would cry all day and all night. Truthfully my internet addiction started before my daughter's birth though because I was put on 100% bed rest before she was born due to my blood pressure and after the emergency c-section moving around was extremely painful for a long time after (several months in fact). In any case, my husband and I started having huge marriage difficulties that I won't get onto here but really a lot of it sprung from my depression and he didn't know how to deal with me and I was so lost in it the idea of attempting to get out of the house no longer occurred to me and the few times I would get out I'd disappear for a few days. Oh I'd call to check in but it wasn't healthy.

This and that happened and we ended up in Kentucky leaving my family, friends and all that I had known thousands of miles away. I did end up going back to work which truthfully was helpful other than my husband then became hooked into the computer and the damage had already been done to our marriage. This spiraled into a year long divorce before we figured out we were being stupid and called it off. By the way lawyers are an expensive way to go for marriage counseling.

We resumed our life together and things were much better and I started college again. Into my first year of school I got pregnant with our second daughter. We were low income so our oldest child was in Head Start, my husband was going to a private college to get his degree and I told myself I was not going to quit school! I had my youngest daughter into the second year of school, my professor was very understanding for which I was thankful of and at 6 weeks old my youngest child started Early Head Start because I knew if I quit school the chances of me going back again were slim. I did get through it though as rough as it was and got my associates degree for Applied Science: Mechanical Drafting and graduated with honors earning my gold cord. 

After school though was a different matter finding work can be a very hard thing so I was again a Stay-At-Home mom. I spent 8 hours a day cleaning thinking that for every hour my husband was at work I needed to be at work (he graduated with honors too). Everything was constantly dusted, every toy had it's place, I would shampoo the carpets constantly (by the way this isn't good for them). I found myself going into a rut once again and spending hours upon hours just cleaning and filling out applications. No friends and this time no family. 

*I guess I better wrap this up getting late and I must get to work*
I did eventually find a job that was flexible enough to let me still take care of my family but forces me out of the house no matter how much I complain about it. It is a better fit and I'm a much happier person working that I would be if didn't have a job. I may want a nice LONG vacation right now but I'd never want to fully stop working. I think I'd drive myself a tad bit crazy.

Working works for me. I hope everyone can find the path best suited to them. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

DIY: Dishwasher Detergent

So as I've mentioned in previous blogs I have really wanting to make my own dishwasher detergent. I am still feeling very blessed to have this portable dishwasher even if it is a bear to push to it's spot before and after a load of dishes (I went many years without a dishwasher). While dish detergent wasn't overly expensive because I always went with the generic I thought the same thing about laundry detergent and boy I was wrong there too.
Now I expect to be experimenting and tweaking this recipe as the time comes for me to make more. I have done 5 loads of dishes since making this mix back on Thursday and taking lots of notes and having test glasses that was holding up to the light and trying to do everything very scientific only changing one thing during each test. Probably too much effort right? Well it's kind of fun to try and figure these things out.

Now here's what my current mix is:
1 Cup Borax
1 Cup Washing Soap
1/4 Cup Table Salt
3 packets of sugarless lemonade
1 Cup Baking Soda

Yours will look more full this is before baking soda.

Use 1 TBSP in the pre-wash and 1 TBSP in the main wash dispenser. Vinegar for the rinse cycle.

Pretty simple right? Well I want to go over some of my findings and then I will go over some of the tweaks I will be testing at a future date.

The first recipe I pulled up suggested everything except the baking soda and suggested Kosher Salt instead of table salt. Well I was working with what I had and Rural King didn't have Kosher Salt at a reasonable price (and seeing how I just got off of work when I went shopping I wasn't about to make another stop). I worked with what I had.
While the dishes did come out clean I hadn't thought of having text glasses so I had to redo this wash as my 5th wash.

So for the second trial to try and get rid of the fog effect I put the 1 TBSP of soap into each place and the vinegar rinse agent (this is the constant for each trial) and now for the change; 1 tsp normal baking soda added to each cup (this works out to about 1 cup per batch I estimate). Glass had a slight fog I had originally thought but after comparison not so much as I originally believed.

I put 1/2 cup of vinegar into the bottom of the washer. The glasses were a bit less foggy but they had lots of water spots. No film on the plastic utensils which was a good thing even my commercially bought cleaner would leave a film on them. I also noticed though that the glass seemed to pick up finger prints extra easy.

Now I mentioned I made this batch on Thursday. By Friday the mix had started clumping together! Another one of those problems I read about and not only that but was firmly affixed to the sides of my jar! I had to break it off and mix it all back up. After this I took some rice (I used instant rice because that is what I had in my house) and cheese cloth (because cheese cloth is awesome stuff) and used twine (always keep twine on hand) and poof I made something to help absorb moisture. I haven't had a big problem with clumping since then.

For the fourth trial I did the standard soap and rinse and then added 1 tsp extra of washing soda into each dish. I was highly unhappy with these dishes and ended up hand washing many of them after this. It was a total no go!

For my fifth try I went back and tried the standard soap with vinegar rinse not adding or subtracting anything. I found the glasses to be foggy. I also noticed because we used more oil than a human should consume in a year (Fried ham in bacon fat and pain fried hashbrown patties) that the areas that had heavy oil when I put them in came away with a white film! And plates I had drained grease on also were not very clean. I'm not sure if this would be the same results with the baking soda but if it is one or two drops of dawn probably would help cut the grease or pre-rinse greasy items.

Over all the dishes with the baking soda seemed to win so that's why I added it in there.

My next experiments will be 1. cutting down on the amount of soap used per wash and 2. when this batch is gone I want to try a very small batch of just baking soda and borax to see how that does. I'm starting to wonder after my washing soda experiment if the washing soda isn't being given enough credit to how foggy dishes are coming out. 3. I may break down and buy some kosher salt just to try it.

As for my mix the cost estimate works out to be (Very rough estimate on the baking soda and salt I'm sure you can find cheeper):
$0.37 Borax
$0.36 Washing Soda
$0.44 Baking Soda
$0.31 Salt
$0.51 Lemonade Packets
= $1.99 For Approx 26 loads if you have to use 2 TBSP per load. Like I said I'm going to try and experiment with 1 TBSP and see how it does for us. 26 loads that cost sounds a little steep but if it's 52 loads then it's worth it in my mind.

**Update: I've started using 1 TBSP with a vinegar rinse. I have about the same cleaning ability but still foggy. I will be messing with this mix some more but I get the distinct feeling this very common problem may be the bane of my existence so the mix would work in a pinch (either money wise or not wanting to go out to the store wise). I'll keep working on it though.

A Blog Just Because?

I'm normally blogging by now and especially over a 4 day weekend! I normally have craft pictures to show and a few stories to tell but truthfully I've snapped 1 picture this whole weekend and that was on Thursday really.
Teaser Photo for Dishwasher Powder

I'm in the process of working with DIY Dishwasher powder but I'm trying several different suggestions on how to alter the original recipe and it seems along the way I've ran into several of the same problems other people have. Foggy glass, the powder hardening, etc. (Correction I took 3 or 4 pictures because I got inventive with cheese cloth during the process.) So I've been taking lots of notes and 2 or 3 more loads of dishes I should have something to say. I get the feeling though this won't be the end of the experimentation.

Thursday was Valentine's day and our oldest was at a fundraising event until midnight so pretty much last second I through the idea of spaghetti out the window and by my youngest daughter's request we went to Subway. I was happy not to have a bunch of dishes to do.

Friday, I was babysitting my friend's little girl. We've been doing this trading off thing where for snow days or holidays we've been trading back and forth and it's been wonderful. The girls get to play and we know our children are in safe environments. Friday they played tag and hide and go seek nearly all day. Girls were giggling and running around in circles (since if you open all the doors in 90% of the house it'll eventually make a complete circle) and while we had a few little spats of pouting it was all very good.... for them. I tried to sit down with my knitting but it just was not happening apparently.

Saturday, I took the kids shopping for a present for one of the little girls we're friends with the family with. She turned 2 and I was worried about not being able to find much or getting the same things as everyone else but looks like we lucked out. We then went over to the birthday party. More giggling and fun for the kids while the noise was starting to stress me for no really good reason. Just a lot of people in the house since it was so cold outside.

Peter was up at his mother's house Saturday, since early in the morning helping clear out her house out there since they may have finally gotten a buyer for the house. His parent's haven't lived in this area for some years now. In the process of all this we got a dresser and it's a very nice dresser that we are going to give to the children but the only problem is that I'm telling Peter not to get rid of the old dresser for the kids because eventually we are going to separate them into two rooms. Brielle's 12 and 1/2 it's not going to be long until she doesn't want her little sister constantly around.  Though it is tempting to just get rid of it since it isn't in the best of conditions but buying furniture again... the idea makes me cringe. Thankfully 80% of the furniture we have is from auctions or items his mother was getting rid of because she does a lot of auctions. We've bought a few pieces new and it always makes me cringe.

Today is Sunday and have I mentioned my menu has already been messed up? Remember that company Friday? Well Pizza Saturday got moved to Friday, Saturday his parents said they wanted us to go out to eat (there goes my budget) so we met up at Penn Station. (Thank goodness for Penn Station because first they said Olive Garden and then they said Red Lobster! After having those two restaurant freak me out about the budget then Penn Station didn't sound too bad!) So the ham I defrosted for Friday is now going to be cooked here on Sunday and by golly I will not stand for any more interruptions of my menu plan!

Anyways back to today. We've had to kick the children to clean so we can move their dresser into the playroom, move the new dresser into the bedroom, change around all the clothes and oy. Day off? Please? I guess I'm getting my time off right now with my coffee.

So I promise some better postings and pictures later on but this weekend it seems even though I have time off that I'm always in between one annoyance and another. Hope everyone else is having a bit better weekend!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Knitting Woes

First I'd like to Welcome my new nephew, Nikola Orrin to the family! 

Nikola was born to my brother-in-law and sister-in-law on February 12th. 

Now I mentioned I picked up my knitting again one reason is because I wanted to knit my new nephew a hat. Well here's the problem with that. I had never knitted in the round before! They wanted to start it with smaller needles than I had so I just thought, "I'll decrease the pattern." Well even if I hadn't decreased it I think I would have had a problem! It's a baby yamaka! It's just not tall enough! Over all I'm very disappointed with my handy work because of this. I think for my first time knitting in the round and my first time doing decreases that I actually did quite good I just wish the hat was the right size. I'll have to try again and my poor hands are screaming at me not to. While knitting in the round isn't especially hard it is very awkward. 

Well I have a four day weekend after I get through today because the kids are off Friday and Monday so perhaps I'll start another hat. I'll be babysitting Friday though so we'll have to see. Today I get to come home and clean house because things fell apart around here pretty badly. 

Here's my Baby Yamaka. I hope it gives you a good laugh for today. (Do you notice the ribbing on the bottom! I think I did the purl stitch right for once too! Horray!)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

2/11/13-3/03/13 Menu

One Months Half a Month's Menu
So I've been reading a lot of blogs that list their menu for the week. I ways thought it was a bit silly when I first was doing that but now that I see other people's I guess I can try posting mine. Though we eat a lot of processed foods sadly. Either they are cheaper than fresh or just 10x easier.
(And yes I'm just filling the gap of time for the water to boil so I can finish dinner since the dishwasher and clothes washer are already going.)

Because I'm trying to reign in the budget I pretty much planned and bought for the month. I know it sounds weird but when I go to the grocery store if I only have a couple items in my cart it feels wrong and I'm more likely to impulse buy.

2/11 - (was suppose to be tacos but we had a flub up on Sunday) So Banquet Turkey & Gravy
          Mashed Potatoes

2/12 - Cheesy Chicken

2/13 - Meatloaf
          Mashed Potatoes & Gravy
         Corn?  (I really don't like this idea but my husband is what decided Monday's meal and my head was hurting so bad I couldn't tell him any different because he was cooking and I was taking a lot of pain killers.)

2/14 - Parmesan Chicken (OnCor) -- Subject to change since the oldest child will be at a fundraiser event.

2/15 - Fried Ham

2/16 - Pizza

2/17 - Chicken (garlic/butter & various seasonings)

2/18 - Hamburger Helper
           Green Beans

2/19 - BBQ Pulled Pork

2/20 - Spaghetti with Meatballs

2/21 - Pot Roast (Hormel)
           Mashed Potatoes & Gravy

2/22 - Chicken Nuggets
          French Fries

2/23 - Pizza

2/24 - Sloppy Joes

2/25 - Breaded Pork
          Mashed Potatoes w/ Pan gravy

2/26 Grilled Cheese
        Tomato Soup

2/27 - Hamburger Helper
           Green Beans

2/28 - Lasagna (Stoffers)

3/1 - Turkey Bake (Banquet)
         Mashed Potatoes

3/2 - Pizza

3/3 - Chicken
         Vegetable Stir fry

As you can see... I live up to my "The best food comes from a box" idea. I can't wait for summer though so we can throw grilling into our menu!

Monday, February 11, 2013

A few other things done this past week... and insight into next

So my blogging has actually been pretty sporadic compared to how I normally try to get things up and for the most part in order. Well a few things kind of fell through the cracks for with the family has been up to (Okay myself with the girls because I don't think you want to see my husband in his undergarments playing video games.... it's like living with a teenage boy).

Finished a Goal
I was able to finish one of my goals this year which was to read one book. Yes, I know I didn't set the bar very high but I wanted to see it done (though shhh don't tell anyone I was reading at work too, only reason it got done this fast).

Zen and the Art of Knitting by Bernadette Murphy. Think of this book like a short story book about knitters. It talks about people's opinions about knitting and any spiritual or meditation qualities that knitting seems to have for these people. It talks about their hardships and trials while really focusing in where knitting fell in with their lives. Even if you're not a knitter there are some good lessons to be learned and some things that really make you think. While I do not agree with all of this book and a few parts grated on my nerves because it seemed the author was too blown away to realize the story should move forward a bit; I still recommend this book.
My own knitting is kind of sad. I tried to do the purl stitch when I made my scarf and it turns out because I didn't know what I was looking for and I didn't twist the yarn correctly all I got was a plain knit stitched scarf. Don't get me wrong I'm still proud of myself but now I want to try and move past that. I decided that just complaining about knitting and doing nothing about it wasn't doing me any good. I went to Big Lots and got some bright pink (pictured) and some nice blue yarn and then some baby blue yarn. I wanted to make my soon-to-be new nephew (My sister-in-law is due very soon) a baby hat but I lost my circular needles and I haven't decided what to make out of this other yarn (pink and dark blue) I think I might be going with a scarf again but try out different stitches. In this thought process of I need to do something and not just complain I went down to Hobby Lobby and bought a book about knitting to help me understand different stitches.

Candles Day 2
 The day after candle day the other week I also let the girls make their own candles. Katherine was determined to use my mold that really is more suited for the trash can by this point but she still loves her candle. Brielle's turned out very festive for this season. My mother had asked me what that machine is that I have the girls pictured with. Well it's a candle maker. You unlock the top and put the wax, scent and color up there and then it has a valve that you can safely turn to start and stop the wax pouring into the mold. I prefer to use this with the kids because I can be a little less hands on. I still hover but I don't have to be as worried about them burning themselves or dropping/spilling anything. As many candles as we make it was worth the investment for us.

Valentine Cookies
So finally we get to this Sunday. Did I mention that this past weekend I was horribly lazy after a very nasty fall last week while I was fixing the plastic on the greenhouse because we had a 70 degree day! Well I was lazy but around 4 o'clock I decided that if I didn't make the cookies with the girls now then they weren't going to get made. So I made up some spritz cookies and added red food color so they turned out pink.

This Week
So now we are into this week. It's going to be a bit of a busy week. I go into work today. (I know working on a Monday! Ugh! Thankfully I don't have to do it often.) And because I'm working today it means I get to fit my grocery shopping in after the work day... not so fun seeing how my shopping list isn't quite complete yet. I don't need much because I bought the majority of stuff for the month but I need very odd things that I don't always buy. The reason I'm going into work is because Friday the kids don't have school so I need to be able to cover that day and it sounds like I might be babysitting as another friend of mine didn't even realize that this next weekend was a 4-day weekend. Which I'm completely fine with. It's great to be able to trade off watch each other's kiddos.
The middle of this week Brielle was suppose to have a Jr. Beta meeting getting ready for the big convention coming up at the end of the month but both girls have a dental appointment. I tried to reschedule it but they told me I couldn't get a new appointment until near the middle of summer! So the girls may not like it but they ARE getting home/getting picked up early.
I have several things going on this week at work and it sounds like a lot of meetings so I'm not looking forward to it. In fact, I'm dreading it. So I expect to be completely burnt out this week so dinners are going to be pretty simple and Crock pot Tuesday will be Cheesy Chicken again.
I guess I better finish up this coffee, kiss my husband out the door and go get ready for work myself.

Also, just a little photo update of my sprouts. Now if I could just figure out why the broccoli grew so high then fell over... weird.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Valentine's Day at the Garden

Today we went to the Botanical Garden and while it was a bit chilly to walk around outside, so we didn't, our main objective was the annual Bee Mine Valentine's Day craft event. This is a relatively new event the Western Kentucky Botanical Garden has started but the girls have really enjoyed it every year.

The girls made paper orchid hair clips.  

Then they made simple sucker holders with foam and stickers.

The girls made Bee pictures with stickers and their hands painted.

They each made a card too! Katherine made her card for Peter and myself. Brielle is still tight lipped about her card. Katherine wanted us to read her card right away though.

Katherine's card to us.

After the crafts the kids got hot cocoa and we went to go look at the plants inside. 
Everything was absolutely beautiful and I'm so glad to make sure to get the family out of the house.

We left there and went and met his parents for lunch dipping into our food budget (more than I want to think about so I didn't look at the bill) and then took the kids over to a gaming shop where Brielle picked out an anime book and Katherine got Pokemon cards because she wants to learn how to play. The kids got gifts because they were both on the A/B Honor Roll again and while we may not pay for every grade we do try to make sure to reward them for their hard work and dedication to school. 

We're home now and it looks like my husband has elected it to be nap time. The kids are bundled up because even though it's bright outside it is still cold. We kicked the kids outside though because it's good for them to get some fresh air and just be kids. 

I hope everyone has a great weekend!