Monday, December 30, 2013

We Are Having A.......

 Yippee!! There is going to be a change in power come June 2nd when our latest Grandson will be joining the family!!!! Mommy and Daddy are super excited, Kara could care less she is still trying to get her hands on Masons Dyson!
 Our Niece picked this quilt last night, she is hiding under there somewhere.
 After seeing our Niece and hubby off this morning (along with a small shopping trip) I hit it hard and heavy starting Tyler's Bama quilt. I sacrificed one of my tee's for the center of his quilt along with the logo running down the sleeve.
Super duper simple patchwork quilt using 6 inch blocks of Bama fabric. I realized after dropping hubby at the airport that I didn't have backing fabric for Ty's quilt. Since I was so close to the fabric outlet figured I would save some money as well as gas. One of the stinky things about being without a debt or credit card is unplanned trips like this. I am VERY close to being out of cash after my shopping spree!! Sure hope that new debit card comes in soon.

We are so excited over the news of a new baby boy joining our family in just 5 short month's. When hubby called tonight he suggested I go ahead and make a second Bama quilt for the new addition. He of course has a good point but a second quilt will have to wait.

Along with getting Ty Boy's quilt completed somebody (me) has got to pack up Christmas decorations and get this house cleaned. We have always started the New Year with the decks cleared of all things Christmas related. This year might be a new first.

I will have lots of time on my hands to get this place back in shape during the month of January as I am joining in with Sharon for a Fiscal Fast the first week of January. The rest of the month I am jumping in on Carla's No/Low January challenge. I don't know about the rest of you but I am sick to death of all the spending that has been going on. It's time to get back on track.

I'm off to bed. Pin basting and a day of FMQ for me tomorrow, I need some sleep!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

This, That, and Making a Plan

 Poor Bitty Baby from 25 years ago had major surgery yesterday :( Kara likes to play twin babies these days as Mommy has a friend with twin girls. It seems our old Bitty got stuck in her single stroller with her twin new sister suffering serious tummy trauma. I did the best I could with some triage sewing but this vintage Bitty Baby will be going to the American Girl Hospital in the coming weeks to have the pros do their thing.
While stripping all of the beds this morning the pile of completed quilts caught my eye. Humm... seeing as how our Niece is in for the holiday and I have yet to gift a quilt to she and her hubby I pulled two out for her to pick from today.
Both quilts are more in the line of an oversize lap quilt perfect for cuddling up on a cold winter evening when she returns home way up North.
Once she makes her choice I will add a label to the back then give her a spin in the washer and dryer to get it all pretty and crinkly
One thing always leads to another, at least for me. While pulling quilts for our Niece I realized how many quilt tops I have finished that are waiting to be quilted. Time to make a list. Dog gone if it isn't longer than I thought it would be!

Hubby and I are having one last day to hang out together (no big or little kiddo's) He has cleaned up his office (top of the fridge), packed as much Christmas trash as he can in the garbage bin for tomorrows pick up, taken down his Moms tree topper I can't reach, and a few other odds and ends that we can think of. Me, the list is too long to share, but I am trying to keeping it slow and steady.

Our Niece will be back this afternoon after she has finished doing some tourist things on her bucket list then share dinner with us followed by a Disney movie or two. A quite Sunday evening seems the perfect way to end our holiday together.

Looking over the sewing list I worked on today, I am thinking my New Years goals will be pretty simple this year. The list is plenty full of sewing projects. UFOs, new quilts to start, old one's to finish. Maybe by January first I will have my plan in place.

First up is an emergency quilt that needs to be started and finished by January 2nd for Tyler to enjoy during the Bama/Oklahoma Bowl game. His little heart was broken when Bama lost to Auburn therefor knocking them out of a chance at the National Championship. A special quilt may be just what his sweet little heart needs.

Off to switch over the pile of bed clothes in the washer and dryer then begin getting the big kids bedrooms back to normal. No complaining here, we are soooo blessed to have the family under one roof for at least the most special night of the year.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

For Me By Me

 Does anyone elses kitchen counter look like this? A tangled mess of adapters, chargers, and all that jazz plugged in? Sorting out what is what, who's is who's, and what goes to what makes me nuts. This Christmas I received a new camera (two cords) and a game/learning system thing for the grands to play with (2 cords). I was thinking I need to make labels for all this stuff as so many of them look very much the same but of course they are not!! But then I remembered a cute tutorial I had saved in my "Sew want to do someday files" from "Leafy Treetop Spot" Tricia has sew many cute tutorials and ideas for handmade things, check her blog out!
 So I used her tutorial to make some cord keepers. My "stuff" has cords in many different sizes, what the heck, why not enlarge the pattern and make something useful and cute for everything electronic related..
 I pulled some fabric from my stash that needed to be USED UP  along with scraps of iron on batting to make the covers. To solve the what goes with what problem I drug out the embroidery machine to do some labeling.
The other cool to me deal on this is when we have a jumbled mess of cords on the counter I will know what is mine and what it goes to. All I have to do is attach the cord keeper to the cord as it is being recharged or used. Once finished just wrap the cord back up in it's cord keeper. As Karsyn would say "I rick dis" idea.

Wow two posts in less than 24 hours it's a Christmas miracle!! Hubby and AJ the beagle are still tucked in the bed with the covers over their heads. Kara has yet to arrive for the day. It's just me and my cup of coffee this morning, oh ya and a crazy messy house but who cares?

What do you think about these cord covers? I love this idea!! My girls...not sew much. Maybe the young folks don't have the memory/electronic block I have. I was thinking these would make cute easy and frugal gifts but once our girls gave them a thumbs down "Mom your crazy" seal of disapproval I'm not too sure! Ha I do think my friends of a "certain" age would like them.

Whats on the agenda for today? Well we have Kara today for starters, then our Niece wants to do some site seeing around town. The "NASCAR Hall of Fame" is on her list but hubby and I are not up for that. I am going to run the idea by Tyler and his Daddy if they want to go 'Our treat' Also "Joe Gibb's" racing shop is a must do for her. We might be able to pull that one off with the toddler.

What I would really like to do is take it one room at a time and get this house back in order as each and every single room needs some TLC!!! My mini goal is to clean out the fridge for today. We should be able to use up the last of the Christmas dinner leftovers at lunch. Then something for supper that is NOT holiday related!

Funny thing regarding food over Christmas. As we were hanging out in the kitchen talking about favorite foods/meals DD#2 says "Mom why don't you ever make meatloaf any more? I love meatloaf" Dear I do still make meatloaf you don't live at home anymore to eat it remember? Oh ya...right! Ha How about meatloaf for Sunday dinner. "GREAT, oh ya I forgot I will be out of town on vacation this weekend :("  I made a deal with DD#2, next time I make meatloaf I will call her to come share a meal. Of course I will have to plan way ahead of time to work it into her busy schedule

Off to shower before the wild one arrives. Maybe I should take hubby a cup of coffee in bed so he can fortify himself for one more day of toddler play.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Holidays Ain't for Sissys!!

 Christmas Eve at my Sisters kicked off the past 4 day marathon of family, fun, and activities.
A little special something for everyone
 Followed by a last ride around town looking at Christmas lights
 Then Santa came while the little ones slept
 Gifts, gifts, and more gifts
 Christmas dinner
 Mason had to have been the cuties of all this year. Santa delivered a Dyson vacuum for this little guy. Even when eating the Dyson was right by his side.
 Santa also hooked Nanny up with a new camera. This should be a pretty nice gift if I ever learn to use it!!
Last night was a sleepover with the grands. Holy Cow Batman, Papaw and Nanny need to sleep for a week!!!!!!

Tired...oh so tired!!!!! I pooped out today after Kara left. I planned to watch a bowl game with hubby and our Nice who came in for a visit on Christmas day but in a skinny minute I was sound asleep on the sofa. We have had a wonderful week of family, friends, gifts, and counting our blessing but it's time to get back to normal. Hope I can remember what normal is!

  I carved out some me time yesterday for a bit of sewing to relax while Papaw and Kara hung out. What I should have done was Nap!! Napping is so important this time of the year. Hubby and I are both extremely sleep deprived.

We have a few more days of craziness then I will try to get back to daily posting and cleaning. CLEANING needs to move to the top of that list.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

From our family to yours have a Very Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Fancy Christmas Cookies

 Yesterday evening's activity was Fancy cookie decorating for Santa.We started out with setting up the little girls decorating station on DD#1 island. It didn't take but a skinny minute for little ladies to dig in to every decoration available.
 Kara thought Karsyn was " You Silly Sissy" as Karsyn had to take a bite or lick from every cookie she created.
 As you can tell by this face Karsyn had sampled many cookies but was still intent with her decorating.
 Kara is not much of a sweet eater preferring beans over cookies any day of the week but she loved the artistic endeavor
 Once the girls were settled in we had the boys belly up at the opposite side of the island.
 At 7 years old Tyler is an old pro in the cookie decorating department. He enjoyed watching the mess of things Mason was making
 One of our LAST minute shopping trips this week was to find a cow cookie cutter for Mason. Mason's nick name is Mason Moo, he does so love cows!! Money well spent to see how happy this cow cookie made him.
 Ta Da. Mason Man was so happy with his fancy cookies.
Santa has a nice platter full of Fancy Cookies to snack on later tonight.
Merry Christmas to you all!! Wishes to all of you for a Christmas full of family, friends, and fun.
For hubby and I our Christmas wish has already come true. God has blessed us another year to enjoy our big and little kiddo's. Having the privilege of watching our little girls grow into beautiful woman with families of there own. Being part of the silly, messy, family traditions that are being passed on to this next generation of grands is what we live for. All the expensive gifts in the world don't hold a candle to an evening spent with the ones we love covered in frosting, sprinkles, and candies.
May God bless each and every one of you with his loving grace.
The End...I have a turkey to brine, deserts to bake, Christmas dinner to start, a load of laundry to do, dishes to wash, sausage balls to make, and oh ya, a CLEAN mail box to gaze at that I am sure is the envy of the neighborhood (its a long story)
Once again MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Baking and Banking

 Bake to the cookie baking today after the big and little kiddo's wiped us out last night on our Tacky Christmas Lights trip
And Banking,grrr

I couldn't get any sleep Thursday night knowing that our credit and debit card might have been compromised after using both at Target during the recent cyber attack. A general e-mail from Target Friday morning sealed the deal. As much as a pin in the rump it is to have cancelled everything now waiting 7 to 10 days for the new cards to be mailed it is worth it to me not to have to check our accounts each and every day for who knows how long. We also put a fraud alert with all of the credit bureau just in case. Anyone else afraid that their accounts were possibly compromised in this attack on Target?

What a shame. I really feel sorry for Target. I'm sure they did everything possible to keep their customers information safe. We have enough problems staying on track with our spending, we sure as heck don't need any criminals adding to that challenge!!

Off to watch a Christmas DVD with my hubby, the best Christmas gift ever.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

It's a Wrap

This quilt is the last of the gift wrapping for me this year!!
Ahhh, it feels pretty darn good to be done, all done, no last minute shopping, wrapping or sewing to be accomplished this year. There has even been time to do some extras just for fun. How did this miracle at Christmas happen you ask? Planning!!!!
I knew what I wanted to make for some people by January the first. Seeing as how I am SICK to death of the spending by the time December 26th rolls around I used the month of January to begin my Christmas sewing for the upcoming year. Doing a gift here and there over the winter and early spring spread out the spending and gave me time to really watch for the best sales. I did have to wait until the last month to finish up a few things as they were family gifts like the quilt above that I wanted to personalize with all the family members names. A lot can happen in a year, marriages, births and such sew waiting seemed to be the best way to go. As a matter of fact that very thing happened with two gifts I was making.
Using Cindy's 54 week envelope challenge along with our Christmas/vacation account really helped keep me on track as far as the budget went. I did get lazy in the summer and stopped putting money in the envelope but by that time I was up to over $800.00 which was a nice amount of extra cash to have on hand.
Shopping on line was HUGE!! This is the first year I really got into shopping on line. What a difference it made for me and our budget. Our girls did a pretty darn good job with their lists by including the links of what they wanted and where to get it in the e-mails. LOVE that. Etsy stores got a bunch more sales from our family by using this trick.
Here is where for me the big pay off was by shopping on line. No buggy. What is it about a buggy that causes me to LOAD her up? I'm not a shopper, never have been never will be but put me in a big box store with a buggy and you would think I was a shopaholic. I seem to find something on every isle that we NEED, or maybe might NEED, or how cool is that. At the checkout counter I am shocked at how high the total is. Once home I realize that the majority of what I am unpacking wasn't on any list anywhere, grrr
Another added bonus to on line shopping was the packing boxes it all came in. When the time came to package up our own gifts to mail everything I needed was piled in the garage. See there is something to be said for being a slacker at putting stuff in the recycle bin. Free boxes in every size and shape along with all the packing materials I could want.
Next year there will be a whole lot more On Line shopping for me. I know it saved us hundreds of dollars. I kid you not!
What tricks have you used this Christmas to stay on budget? Did you do many hand made gifts? If so what seemed to be the winner in the hand made category?

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Sew Cute Little Gift

 Sometimes unplanned things just come together. I had an itch to use my new rotating cutting mat but knew I had no business starting a new project with Christmas right around the corner. Well then it happened.  Ashley over at "Mommy by Day Crafter by Night" had posted a sweet tutorial for a "Needlebook". My, oh my, I had to at least try my hand at making a "Needlebook" The perfect small project to see how that new rotating cutting board would work.
I picked 4 leftovers from a layer cake to build my houses then it was game on! OK so here is the first cut, nothing different than a regular cutting board.
 Here is where the magic begins. Instead of having to move the fabric to make the second cut all I had to do was swivel the mat, SEW cool!! The black you see under the mat stays firmly on the counter, only the mat (green part) moves. I am going to LOVE this new tool!!
 Many cuts later and some easy sewing I had 3 "Needlebooks" of my own
I put four pages in my notebooks then inserted different size needles on each page. Won't these be sweet little gifts for friends.

I need to stop taking photo's at night!! The needlebooks are sew much sweeter than they look on these crappy photo's.

Kara an I were working like beavers today getting in a bit of sewing while doing some badly needed deep cleaning in the kitchen, pantry, and fridge. The kitchen is ready for hubby's arrive home tomorrow and some serious Christmas cookin!! Wish I could say the same about the rest of the house...sigh What the heck, we can get on it in the morning and have this place whipped into shape. I don't know about your home but with the Christmas trees all aglow you don't notice the dust and dirt nearly as much around here!!

Do check out Ashely's blog when you have the time, she has sew many cute easy too follow along tutorials.

5:00am comes early, time to get these old bones in the bed

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I HATE Shopping!!

 I was 99% finished with my Christmas shopping weeks ago but still lacked just a few things to tie it all together. Yesterday was the day to get it ALL done, ugh So many grouchy people in so many stores, too few parking spaces, and coughing sick people seemed to be everywhere. We still need a few GC to call it complete but I will wait until hubby is home to do that deed. He loves to Christmas shop!!
 One place I didn't mind going into was the big box fabric store to get in on a stocking up sale. Everything pictured above was on sale at 50% off in addition I had a 15% off coupon bringing the price down to 65% off. Wohooo. As and added bonus I earned a $20.00 coupon to use in Jan.
 I have been drooling over one of these rotating cutting boards for a very long time, at 65% off I could no longer leave it in the store. Can you see that note paid in the far left corner of this photo? That was yesterday's To Do list. You might also notice how very few things were marked off :(
Yesterday's first To Do was to attend Karsyn's Christmas program at pre-school. I just love going to these things!! Her class was first up, so darn cute. The teacher read the story of the birth of Christ as each little one entered the stage in the most beautiful costumes ever. Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, donkeys the works, each sweeter than the next. Where is Karsyn?? Her Daddy and I couldn't find her anywhere? Seems Miss. Karsyn was to be a Shepard but the outfit wasn't cute so she wouldn't participate. grrr While we were walking to the car I ask Karsyn

Me - Honey what's up with that, didn't you want to be with the other kids
Karsyn - No, I no rike the shirt
Me - But Karsyn a Shepard gets to play with the sheep.
Karsyn - After a long pause....Nanny you maked me dis shirt.
Me - Yes I did
Karsyn - I rike it

I hope the Lord will forgive me!!!
 Note to self and DD#1 do not put cute shirts on Karsyn on performance day.

Today is catch up day. All of the things I had hoped to accomplish yesterday that was put off while I drove around looking for parking places needs to happen today. Thankfully the ripping and running is done other than hitting the grocery store one more time before Christmas. Hubby LOVES tagging along to the grocery sooo That task can wait! Ha

I have my year end physical scheduled today but I have decided I am going to cancel, that is if they don't charge me a cancellation fee. A friend tried to get into the office yesterday with a knee that is swollen 3 times its size if not more. The office is flooded with flu patients right now to the point they can't work anyone else in :( I see no reason to sit in the Drs. office perfectly healthy and happy just to be told all is well, hows the family? It might even be worth a cancellation fee not to go and take the chance of catching the durn flu!! I have somehow avoided that dreaded illness as it has worked thru our family, no need to take any chances I am thinking.

I have Kara in the afternoon while Mommy finishes her shopping and has her monthly appointment with the OB to check on grand baby peanut #5. I need to pace myself! A time for work, some time for play, and a whole lot of rest at the end of the day. That's gonna be my motto for the rest of this special season.

Are the rest of you taking the time to really enjoy Christmas? I sooo hope you do!! We Mommy's seem to have everything dumped on us. The buying, wrapping, cooking, baking, cleaning, watching the budget, and Merry Making. It's high time we take a stand. IT"S CHRISTMAS the best time of the year. Don't let yourself be drug down and worn out by what others think or say. ENJOY your family ENJOY your friends, ENJOY and celebrate that CHRIST our savior was born.

Monday, December 16, 2013

I need my bed!!!

 Tonight's To Do was get some of the last minute candy made for Christmas. Chocolate covered nuts, check
 Pretzel pralines and a new recipe from a friend for pretzel mints and pretzel chocolates with M&M's.
 Last quilt of the YEAR!!! All she needs is the binding and tag
Wish I had the energy to sit and enjoy this beautiful tree tonight but I can't keep my eyes open.

Two very LONG days with very little sleep has this Nanny ready for bed. I really would liked to have hit the sack by 8:00PM tonight but it was not to be :(. I have had one or more of the grands since Thursday and it showes. The house is a sticky mess, I don't look much better!

Tomorrow looks to be a little less busy. Karsyn's Christmas program in the morning, trip to the post office, finish the LAST quilt of the year, check my list, finish Christmas cards with the hope I can get a photo of the grands this weekend before I mail them...Check my list twice.

The End

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Lavender Rice Bags

 Wouldn't you love to snuggle up with one of these minky covered lavender rice bags? They feel just as good as they look. AJ the beagle and I are using one right now! Cost per bag? A budget friendly $1.70 each!!!! You won't find those prices in any shop I can tell you!!
 Here is where we started. Some leftover muslin in my stashed. Cut (2) pieces 14x10. Now sew up 3 sides leaving the 14 inch top open
 I wanted to do channels on rice bags this big so the rice wouldn't all settle to one side.  I folded the fabric in 1/2 then ironed. The second fold was folded into the first fold from each side.
 Once the fold lines were ironed just sew a seam along the ironed line making sure to lock the stitches at the top and bottom.
 I made  8 rice  bags using 15 pounds of white rice I had from a super sale way back when. Five pounds for $2.90@. These babies are gonna be priced right!
 Five pounds of rice fits perfectly in a gallon zip lock baggy. I added 1/3 bottle of lavender oil (.05 ounce bottle) found in  the candle/soap making section at a local craft store for under $2.00. Only fill the channels 1/2 full so there is room to do the top seam and have movement in the rice.
 Once you mix that bag of rice up good I used a glass measuring cup to pour the rice into each channel. Putting the rice bag in a bowl helped hold the bag and keep the spillage from going all over the kitchen. Wild child Kara was my helper for the day even with her 3 year old abilities we did a pretty darn good job.
 Check it out. Eight naked rice bags waiting for slip covers.
 I tried 2 different ways to close the bags. The first (bottom bag in this photo) was to turn under around the top and stitch it closed, The problem with this method for me was the bags slipped around a lot with all that rice in them : ( I ended up having to go back and zig zag over the stitching. The second one (top bag in this photo) I did a simple double fold then a straight stitch which worked so much better. Then it was on to making minky slip covers for each bag.
My assistant got pretty good at poring rice in bags after the first few few messy tries. She was happy to be paid with a yummy Carmel candy apple for a job well done.

What to do on a cold rainy day locked in the house with an active toddler and a Nanny in a funk?  What the heck might as well dig around in our scraps to see what we could come up with in the line of frugal gift giving.  A friend gifted a bunch of us gals a set of rice bags years ago that are still working great. They are WONDERFUL on a cold rainy day to cuddle with, great for any pains as they work hot (microwave) or cold (freezer). Our DD's love lavender in any way shape or form. We use lavender bath wash for the grands night time bath. Can't go wrong with lavender.

Lori over at Bee In My Bonnet has a GREAT tutorial for rice bag hand warmers.Sew darn cute and using charm squares is a great idea. Check out her post she is sew good at tutorials!!!

We are a dirty family.. No really we must be as it seems like I am always washing floors, doors, faces, and fingers. I wanted the rice bags to be "Dirty family friendly" sew rather than use cute fabric that we couldn't wash when the bags got dirt (they will get dirty) I decided to stick with the cheap ugly muslin then do slip covers in leftover Minky fabric. Flannel would have been nice as well but Minky is what I had in my stash sew minky it was.

Never made a pillow slip cover before? Check out this U Tube tutorial from Kris. They are so darn easy to make.

I had a 3 hour break from Kara today before she returned for the evening so Mommy and Daddy could attend a Christmas party. I don't think DD#3 was even out of the driveway before I was on the sofa for an afternoon nap. Oh a nap on a rainy cold day, is there anything better than that? Once Kara returned we went out for dinner. A rare treat as Kara isn't always the best dinner companion to say the least. To my delight she was as nice as she could be. We followed up that pleasant dinner with a ride around town looking at Christmas lights. What a joy to live this season through they eyes of a child.

What started out as a grumpy I don't want to do this sorta day turned in to a day of memories with this little wild child I will cherish forever :)