Sunday, May 13, 2012

Out with the Old in with the New

Around our house this past month has been all about revamping our yard and the inner most being of my stress closet. (if my closet isn't clean, then my life is chaos)

The very first day we moved into our house 2 years and 4 months ago, the closet was the first organization project for me. I spent 2-3 hours setting it up, moving things around, and figuring out what spot is the most logical for getting ready.

Well now it was time to do a clean sweep, and I mean a SWEEP of the old clothes and shoes that I have had since maybe freshman year in college (9 years ago). I did exactly that and boy didn't it feel liberating!
My floor space opened up, the racks have more space, reorganized, and even color coded is some parts.

*mound of clothes will appear smaller through the camera*
 Of course I think of a before picture after I have cleaned it out. Just imagine  clothes on the floor, shoes kicked off, and bags spills over.
1000 times better until my custom design California/Ikea closet.

Chris and I have also been working on our massive front/side yard. We have had this project in our minds also for 2 years and 4 months.

We live on a corner and have the largest yard in our neighborhood, along with an enormous slab wall aka: The Great Wall of China. We are no landscape designers, but with much thought and looking at other yards and layout for ideas we began construction 2 weekends ago.

Our Accomplishments:
1. extended the front flower bed all the way along The G.W.C
2. created another flower bed along the fence
3. spread dirt in the backyard flower bed
4. spread dirt in the new front flower beds
5. spread dirt over the entire front and back yard
6. removed the old mulch from the back 
7. killed a snake that found it's way our old mulch (did I ever say snakes are my biggest fear and I was extremely close to it)
8. spread new mulch in the back flower beds

extending the flower bed

notice The Great Wall of China soon to be filled with plants and a small flowering tree

shoveling the dirt to spread onto the yard.

We have new pets living in our yard, Prairie Dogs

Helping to spread the dirt, my least favorite. I preferred shoveling.

We hope to plant our bushes and flowers some time this May. This project sure did qualify for the Weekend Warrior prize. Hope you find yourself inspired to complete a Weekend Warrior project too!
Let me know how it goes!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Ideas to Make Mom Feel Special

Thought I would quickly share some sweet Mommy's Day Ideas from Willow House. I love spoiling the people who spoiled us as a kid. They deserve every ounce of it. Happy Mommy's Day

1. Making mom happy with cocktails
At your luncheon for mom make this Sangria in the Willow House Simone Glass Pitcher. That way it can be her present and use it for other get togethers with family and friends. So creative and useful.

spend $39.96 and get this for $17.96. My mother-in-law LOVES hers and uses it all the time.

White Sangria
Seasonality is an important factor for this drink because ripe watermelon offers the sweetest flavor. Our panel suggested adding more ginger ale and blending it just a bit more to make it supremely slushy. Substitute cantaloupe or honey dew for a fun flavor twist.
Yield: Makes 6 servings
  • 6 cups Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 cup white grape juice
  • 1 ripe nectarine, pitted and cut into thin wedges
  • 1 tangerine, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup seedless white grapes, halved
  • 1 cup club soda
In a large pitcher or other container, combine the wine and sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the remaining ingredients, excluding the club soda, and mix well. Place the pitcher in the refrigerator and let the sangria sit for at least 1 hour (and up to 4 hours). The sangria will sweeten with time, so the longer it sits, the better. Just before serving, stir in the club soda and ice cubes.
Kay Chun, Real Simple, June 2001

2. Make Mom Breakfast in Bed.

3. COUPONS Ideas for MoM

• One Free Day for Shopping & Lunch with the Girls
• One Homemade Dinner *Includes proper dishwashing & cleaning
• One Big Grocery Shopping Trip
• One PASS on visiting the inlaws
• One CARWASH *Includes Vacuuming of ALL Cheerios
• One HOT BATH *Glass of Wine Included

If you want to make the coupons extra special, cut your paper into half-inch strips like I did, write your message, and then curl it 
up inside a cute container, like the Amelia Thimble Domes

Spend $39.96 and get a set of three for $17.48 

Visit Plate and Pattern for the fashionable designers blog from Willow House. I check this weekly for some ideas.
Also visit My Style Share to see designers & every day peeps, sharing how they entertained and used the Willow House pieces. I use this all the time to see how I can change up a look in my house...I get bored quickly.

Kinda Sew Pawfect!

After much talk of making a dog bed for Sadie I finally made one. It seems like all dog beds say washable, but they are not. The outside cover is. It's the inside where all the stink lingers and you can't wash the foam pillow.
There was this company that makes dog beds AND are completely washable...seriously inside and out. The inside is packed with your old clothes for the dogs to sleep on. They enjoy smell of you when they are alone, can't speak for every one. Here is the website,

After collecting our old clothes and towels I made Sadie's bed with a little modification for the confused sewer.

1 yard of bottom fabric
1 yard of top fabric
 22inch zipper *i used a yard for a large size dog and it fits perfectly in her room.
surger is optional
sewing machine...duh ;-)
zipper pressure foot
You Tube video for zipper help :

 (WARNING directions will be NOTbe  professional due to the confused sewer and assistant(the husband). Sew at your own risk!) A video is linked for an improv/modified version. Remember you are sewing a dog bed not a cosmetic bag. The steps being shown on there to help you visualize the zipper being sewed...

1. Meaure both fabrics (or both sides if you are doing one set pattern through out) to measure the same dimensions. You may need to do some altering due to how the fabric was cut at the store and sometimes the dimensions vary if it is a specialty fabric.
*This is my least favorite part and the most time consuming for me*

2. Once it is matching pretty close, you will need to set aside the other piece. You will begin to sew the zipper on the the fabric one piece at a time.You will place the right-side zipper to the right-side fabric together. Make sure your sewing machine's pressure foot is replaced with the ZIPPER PRESSURE foot. It makes a big difference for easy guiding.

Far right is the zipper 
3. Sew the zipper onto the fabric. Make sure you watch the video how she places the zipper onto the fabric (it is much easier to see it happen than to explain). Use pins to hold in place if needed. Align the needle pretty  close to the top of the zipper/fabric. Do a back stitch and sew down. Do a back stitch again at the end of the zipper/fabric to secure. To see your work cut off from the machine thread and check your straight line! Pretty neat!
Here is what the zipper should NOT look like. (We had to make modifications because we got confused with a fabric that had no right or wrong side. That is what happens to beginner and learn the hard way, but it worked.)
Here is what the zipper should NOT look like. We had to make modifications because we got confused with a fabric that had no right or wrong side. That is what happens to beginner and learn the hard way, but it worked :-)

4. You will now need the second fabric to be attach to the zipper. Same placement - right-side zipper to the right-side fabric. Repeat step 3 again. This seemed to be the tricky part for me since I had to accommodate the directions for what I was making. You will have to play around to see if the fabric and zipper is set up correctly prior to sewing...

The two pieces finally sewn together by the zipper
5. The easy part -
Now that your zipper is attached to the two seperate pieces, you will need to sew it closed all around. Pin your fabric right-side to the right-side all the way around to prevent movement and to help with straight lines.

I used my surger for a more secure sewing for the multiple washings that the bed will under go. When you surge, the extra fabric is cut off too... saves some time with measuring.

surging the fabrics together. You can see the threading of the surger  in the bottom left.
You will not have to save a hole to pull the fabric trough becuase your zipper is the part you will turn it inside out from. Sew around the edges of the fabric starting at the zipper (back stitch) and then stopping at the other end of the zipper (back stitch tp close)

Flip it inside out and there is your self-stuffed dog bed!

Viola! everything sew together 1.5 hours later! 

Sadie loved it right away! Old clothes and all!