Monday, September 30, 2013

My Fall Wreath!

After seeing how easy it was to make the Deco Mesh wreath I made for UT, I decided to try my hand at a fall wreath too.  Except, I decided to try to do it using burlap!  What screams fall more then burlap does?

I bought a couple of different things (and collected some pinecones from outside) because I wasn't sure exactly what I was going to put on it, or how I was going to do it.

I basically did it JUST like the Deco Mesh wreath, except I had to use a whole pipe cleaner, not one cut in half, because the burlap was just too thick.  I was a bit worried I wasn't going to have enough of the burlap, because it comes with less on the roll, but I had about 1.5 feet left over when I was done, talk about relieved!  I also wound up using most of the orange accent burlap too!  But I have plenty of the fall leaves burlap ribbon left over.

I painted a burgundy C, it was small and curvy and very pretty, but it just blended way to much with the leaves on the ribbon.  I also painted a bigger C a pretty burnt orange and then put gold polka dots on it, and I really liked how it looked, but it did blend in a little bit.

I posted that one on Facebook and one of my friends recommended a Navy Blue C, since blue and orange are complementary colors (I did not know this, being as I am not very artistic, but she is and told me this LOL).  Luckily I don't permanently attach my letters!  I bought some Navy Blue paint and painted a new C, and attached it today.

So there it is, my finished fall wreath!  I really like the pop of color the blue C adds!  Now I just need to make my halloween wreath!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Dollar Tree Bento Finds!!

Ok, so yesterday I posted about trying to Bento.  By the time I finished the post I had made the decision to go for it (sometimes writing can be so helpful!).

I mentioned that one of the blogs I followed had talked about buying some stuff from the Dollar Tree (I follow her main blog, but she started a blog just for Bento and you can see her Bento blog here :  Bento On a Budget)

Well, I went and checked out my dollar tree and I found a ton of stuff!  I spent a total of $22 (plus tax), and in some cases a Bento Box costs that much or more if you buy it online!  Here are all of my goodies!!!

I got 4 locking boxes, 2 Eggies (for making hard boiled eggs you don't have to peel...or without yolks if you have a picky eater), some small clear containers (20 total), some cute animal containers (frog, bee, lady bug, and monkey), 3 animals bowls (bee, frog, and monkey, neither one of my dollar trees had the lady bug in stock so I will have to keep looking), 2 sandwich cutters, an egg slicer in case I decide to not do a whole egg, or to make it easier to eat, some cupcake liners that can be used also to separate foods, some picks with hearts on them, and some pick forks with diamonds on them.

Not a bad start!  I could have bought less, since I know (at least right now) I won't Bento for my oldest, and I may or may not for my 2 yr old, but I figured it was best to buy enough for all 4, just in case.  Especially since things at the Dollar Tree come and go and you never know what they will have on stock.

I'm starting to get really excited about this!

1 year already!?!?

1 year ago today my husband and I closed on our very first home.

I can't even begin to tell you how happy I was. I wanted to buy a house for years and years, but the timing, and the location were never right. We hadn't planned to buy when we first moved to North Carolina. We wanted to rent first, learn the area, etc. I had this vision of taking my time looking at houses online, researching and comparing them until I found my dream home.

We showed up on a Sunday to go house hunting. On Monday we started looking, and there was just NOTHING large enough for a family of 6. It was crazy. On the west coast, in AZ and CA since there is such a huge market for flipping homes and for investors there are always homes for rent. Here on the east coast, people who buy larger homes usually do so planning to live in them, not to rent them. That night we contacted a realtor (who by the way was fabulous!). On Tuesday we sat down, talked about what we wanted, went through the list of homes and decided what we wanted to see. Wednesday was spent driving around looking at houses. By the end of the day we knew what we wanted and got the ball rolling. By Friday we were filling out the paperwork at the bank. That Saturday we headed home, under contract for our first house. Everyone back home was amazed at how quickly we did everything LOL.

A month later we showed up in NC ready to close on our house. We closed on our original closing date, which I believe was only 32 days after we went under contract. Everything just fell right into place for us. We had no problems what so ever, it was as if it was meant to be. I always believe that everything happens for a reason, and this was one of those moments that shows that it is true.

To top it off, not only is today the 1 year anniversary of buying our home, but we do not have 29 years left on our mortgage, we only have 28 years left on it! We paid off an extra year during the last year!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Garmin Forerunner 610

I am trying to get back into running again.

I ran cross country in Elementary school, and I did a year of track (Long Distance) in High School.  I use to love running, and I always got an outstanding, or just below an outstanding on my mile and a half times when I was in the Navy.  After giving birth to my babies I was still able to out run the 18 yr old girls who had just come from boot camp.  I am not a sprinter, but I have the endurance and the stamina for long distance running and have always been good at it.  Not the best, mind you, but pretty good.

My goals are to do a 5k, 10k, half marathon, and at least 1 marathon in my lifetime.  I would love to do obstacle course races, such as the tough mudder, a mud run, a glow run, or a color run.  How fun would those be?

To help me with my training I wanted to get the Garmin Forerunner 610, I wanted the one with the heart rate monitor (which is important when training for longer distances).  Only problem is it costs $399.99.  But I set my sites on it, and worked really hard on all my sites that I do to earn money, and along with a $50 amazon gift card from my brother, my sites, and my coupon rebate sites, I was able to finally order my Garmin!

Now to set it all up, and get to running, I have no excuses now for not running longer then a mile.  I love that I will be able to just run, and track how far I have run, how long it took me, and what my pace is.

Now if only I could talk hubby into buying me a jogging stroller for my almost 3 yr old....then I could run in the mornings when the other 3 kids are all in school....A girl can hope, right?

Deco Mesh Wreath

I made my very own University of Tennessee deco mesh wreath about 2 weeks ago.  It was SO, SO easy (even easier then the tulle one I had originally planned!).  I absolutely love it and can't wait to make more for other seasons/times of the year!

I had been wanting to make one for a while, and had planned making one with a foam wreath form and tulle.  Then my SIL Michelle started talking about making one and I made up my mind and went down to Hobby Lobby to buy the stuff to make it.  As I walked in I saw that fall deco mesh colors were on sale 40% off, and of course Orange is a fall color.

I have seen the deco mesh wreaths before, and had always been interested in learning how to make one, but had absolutely no clue what I was doing LOL.  They had a 21" and 5" across size, figuring I was making a wreath, I grabbed the 5" size (makes sense, right?).  Walked around the store so I could find white (which I also got in the 5" size) and saw the metal wreath forms next to a book that taught you how to make the wreaths with 14 designs included.  No way was I buying the book, but I figured those would be the right forms to use since they were by the book LOL.

I got home and sat down at the computer and fired up YouTube.  Come to find out...most people use the 21" for making wreaths!  But I found a super easy tutorial that used both the 21" and the 5", so I exchanged my Orange 5" for the 21".  I also found out I needed pipe cleaners...which btw, for those un savvy crafty people, like me, pipe cleaners are also referred to as Chenille Stems (so I picked those up when I did the exchange).

I was able to make the entire wreath, on my own, without the tutorial after I had watched it the 1 time.  Here's a link to the Youtube video I watched Deco Mesh Wreath Tutorial.  See how easy that is?  Here are the pictures I took of my wreath!

 Painted my T orange

 Added some white polka dots

 My supplies

 Doing the first ring

 End of 1st ring, starting the 2nd ring

 After the 2nd ring

 After the 3rd ring, which is the accent color

My finished wreath on my door!!!

I can't wait to make more!  Debating if I should do a fall one...or a halloween one next!

Bento, or not to Bento...

That is the question.

Bento looks really fun, and cute...but is it something I would have the extra time to do?  Is it something my kids would eat?  Well, I am sure Jaidan would eat it, Riley is my main concern because he is so picky.

Bento, for those who don't know, is a meal, usually served in a 'Bento Box'.  It's usually finger foods, you can make fun designs, or themes with them.  Sandwiches, cheese, and other items cut into fun shapes, fun picks used to eat the food, and sometimes people even do fun themes with their bento boxes.

Here's 1 website I found that shares tips, ideas, and even items you can buy for your bento boxes JUST BENTO.

If you go to Pinterest and search Bento you will find a TON of cool, and also some over the top Bento ideas.  One of the blogs I follow is doing a Bento on a Budget section, and you can find a lot of the cool fun things to use for it at the Dollar Tree, my favorite dollar store.

Bento meals have a lot more fruits and veggies in them, so they are much healthier for your kids to eat too.

I am thinking maybe I will try it...It's a bit more work, but if I try it and decide it's not for me, at least I can say I tried I can start off with cheap things from the Dollar Tree, so if it doesn't work out, at least I'm not out of a lot of money...right?

What do you think of Bento?  Is it something you would consider trying?  Do you already Bento?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

1st day of Preschool

Today was my little man's 1st day of preschool.  It's amazing how quickly they grow up.

I'm sad that he isn't going to Kindergarten this year, because he misses the cut off for turning 5.  We looked into having him tested to go into Kindergarten, but the requirements were just way too high, which is really unfair in my opinion, I doubt even half the kindergarteners can accomplish what they expected him to be able to do.  On the bright side tho, we found a great preschool, that came recommenced to us by some friends, and then we found out our next door neighbor's also use the same preschool.  Riley is the same age as their oldest, and Aislinn is the same age as their twin daughters, so they will grow up next door to each other and going to school together in the same grades, which I love for them.

Riley is going to preschool 4 days a week (Mon-Thur) from 9-12.  He gets to take a snack and drink to school with him in his lunch box every day too.  This week they will be learning about the letter A.  When I told Riley that, he told me that he already knew what sound the letter A made, and then he made the sound for me *proud Momma moment*.  I can't wait to pick my little man up from school and hear all about his first day!

Busy Bees

Every time I try to catch up on my blog, things come up and I become super busy!  Here it is Sept already, and I never did get around to doing my posts from Jaidan's birthday Party in March.  I'm going to try to do a bunch of 'catch up' posts, but I won't be sharing all of them on facebook (like I normally do), just to avoid some spam, but they'll all be here for people to read and enjoy.  Things may be out of order too, since I want to post about various things we have done, I'm just going to post them as I type them, and not care about when it happened lol, will make catching up easier!  So much to talk about!  So sit back, grab a drink (and maybe a snack too), and enjoy!