Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Hula Hoop Spin Off

I realize I'm burning up the blogosphere for this month, but I can't help but share.

Remember those hula hoops I got at the Yard Sale?  Ella and Aiden went head to head in a couple of 'Spin Offs'.  I thought Ella was pretty good until Aiden gave it a whirl.  He pretty much smoked her in the end...shhhh, don't tell Ella.  I'm still trying to be encouraging.

Catchiest song ever, right?  Gotta give the guy his credit.  The song is called Hula Hoop to the Loop by Keller Williams.  CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL VIDEO

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Earth Day

I had a little Earth Day shin dig for the kids and a few of their friends yesterday.  Nothing blog worthy in my book because I literally 'recycle decorated' with water bottles and shower hooks.  You know the cheapy plastic ring kind.  Hook a bunch of those together and viola...garland.  Anyway, Maddex had herself a grand time playing with those water bottles today while I was cleaning up.

I realize that's a lot of pictures.  She was just so stinkin cute though.  I'm a little embarrassed to say it, but there's video too.

In honor of Earth Day, I decided to do a little recyclable project of my own.  I mentioned to Brian a few weeks ago that I thought a mason jar soap dispenser would be cute in the kitchen.  Our farmhouse table is still a work in progress and we do have these hanging on the wall after all...

Well, he shot me down.  He didn't directly say it was a dumb idea, but he pretty much said it was a dumb idea. So knowing that he doesn't visualize very well and knowing that NOTHING is an original idea, I typed it in on Pinterest.  Well, low and behold, guess what?  Mason jar soap dispensers are an actual thing that people do.  Figures.  I hate you Pinterest.

Can I just make a side beef note:  I find it irritating that I when I make something people say, "Oh, did you see that on Pinterest?"  Actually, no, I didn't.  I thought I made it up.  I can actually come up with creative, original (or so I think) ideas on my own.  Pinterest gets all the credit.  Most of the time when I have an idea to do something I Pinterest it and, yep, been there done that, and done it better 'n you too.  And all this time I thought I was so unique...  Thank you Pinterest, I no longer have any self esteem left.  On the other hand, I've been doing ghetto crafts for years but thanks to Pinterest it's not considered ghetto's DIY and it's cool.  Mom, Dad, make note of this.  I'm cool now.  

Ok, so back to the soap dispenser.  Friday night we made pizza.  Brian happily informed me that if I wanted to use the pizza sauce jar, he could handle that.  It's short and stout, I can handle it too.  So this is what it was (I wasn't planning on a step by step how to, this is a stock photo).

And this is how my mason jar soap dispenser turned out.  I randomly have brushed nickel spray paint on hand and a soap pump I don't use anymore.  The rest is pretty self explanatory.  Take a nail and hammer a hole in the top, cut the straw to length.

I didn't hot glue the top down because I'm not sure I'm ready to fully commit just yet.  I like it, but I don't looove it.  I either need to spray the lid/pump dark, give the jar some color or put colored soap in it.  Something's off for me right now, but I figured I'd go ahead and throw the idea out for anyone that hasn't already seen in on Pinterest.  If only I had kept up The Baby Jar...

Friday, April 19, 2013

Aiden's Sweet New Ride

The kids are all into riding their bikes right now.  Ella has been learning to ride without training wheels and Aiden is content whizzing around on his way too small bike.  Just a few days ago we were telling them they both needed new bikes.  

Last night I did my usual weekly perusing of the Target clearance sections.  I couldn't have been happier when I stumbled across this Transformer bike, 16" (ages 4-8) for $23.98!  I've never bought a bike before (our others were hand me downs) but it seemed a lot better than the original $79.99.  I've even seen them at consignment stores, but they wanted $30 for the used ones.

I could have waited until his birthday, but that's still over a month away.  It'll be 100 degrees by then!  So I gave it to him this morning.  And I assembled it all myself!   It had plastic wheel covers (Transformer stuff) and fenders but we thought they were dumb so we took them off.  Not to mention they'd probably crack the first time he hit the pavement.  The handle bars also make noises and have a 'laser beam'...ooohhh, ahhhh.  I'm hoping he'll be motivated to want to ride without training wheels too.     

He's been riding it around the house all morning.  About every 10 minutes he says "Thank you for getting me this bike, Mom.  I really love it."  I could hardly get him to stop moving to take a picture!  It's unexpected finds like this that keep me coming back to Target every week.  Maybe I'll get lucky and find one for Ella too!

The fact that he's wearing a bike shirt is purely coincidental...

"Can I go now?  I really want to keep riding my bike."

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Gotta Love a Good Sale

Brian's idea of a perfect Saturday morning:  taking the kids to the zoo.  And he does this literally EVERY Saturday morning (weather permitting).  My idea of a perfect Saturday morning:  Yard Sales.

Here are some keys to going to yard sales:

-Get out early, but don't be the one that shows up at 6:30 when people are still setting stuff out...7 is safe and you won't stress out the sellers either.

-Do not to act on impulse.
Ask yourself, #1 is it a fair price, #2 even if it is fair, will I actually use it and #3 will I regret not buying it later.

-Buy with intent.

-Don't be afraid to bargain, but don't be set on talking people down every time either.  You can tell when people are trying to make money and when people are just trying to get rid of stuff.  Personally, I don't like ripping the people off who need the money just so I can save a buck or two.  I've been on the other end when WE are the ones selling (for the money), and I don't like to be talked down from my already fair prices.
**How to spot the Get Ridders-  they're practically GIVING stuff away.  Everything is waaaay under priced or they didn't even bother to price it and everything is at 'make an offer' status.  Those are the ones you walk away from knowing you just robbed someone.  Oddly enough, you don't feel bad about it.

Case in point, I got a tripod for my camera for .10.  SERIOUSLY??  When I asked the guy initially he said to just take it.  I told him he'd never make any money that way, so he asked for a dime.  We also bought a whole book of CD's (throwbacks from the 90's) for a $1.  There were several rock ones in there I knew Brian would like, but **bonus**  now we are also proud new owners of Garth Brooks, Britney Spears and Sisco.  Just to name a few.  I'm pretty sure I am in possession of the Thong Song.  Wonder how much I could get for that little gem on Ebay.

So here is most of what I racked up on this morning.

 -Fair prices, check.   The mirror was a splurge, but ain't she purdy?  You couldn't buy this in any store for that price.  Would definitely regret not snagging that.

Intent, check.
-Hula Hoops- Ella's got a luau coming up for her birthday party.  I will use these.  I might even hang stuff from them one day.  The kids will enjoy playing with them.  They aren't the cheapy ones, these bad boys light up!

-Books, kit and doodle pro- for the kids.  I actually might stash the doodle pro away to throw in an Easter basket or use as a birthday present for Maddex.  I like having series of books, and the Critter ones are classics.  The kids love the two we already have.

-Lanterns- will use for a party or decor at some point.  Can't beat $1.  I happen to know that 3 small lanterns at Target are $3, and they don't even come with lights.  Just sayin.

-Movies- like a Redbox except now we own them.  **no taxes or late fees either

-Door stopper- because I've had too many squished fingers in that swinging door that goes into the kitchen.

-Mirror- because it's my birthday on Monday.  Brian's off the hook.

Other purchases included set of 4 car seat covers for Brian's car $10 (now we can take the t shirts off), kid sized umbrella  .50 (black with multi colored polka dots, so cute, will stash for Ella as a gift), hair clippers new $3 (I do the boy's hair and we needed new ones 5 haircuts ago), pedometer new $5 (Brian's been wanting one), and we let the kids pick out 1 thing for .25-$1 for being troopers.  Ella got a cat, Aiden a helicopter and Riley the doctor kit.  There is one more item that will remain a secret because it's a Christmas present for a certain family member, but trust me, it's a RARE find:)

Successful yard sale finds, check.  I speak from experience when I say, yard sales are very hit or miss.  You can spend all morning hunting and come home empty handed.  Do not discourage, they'll be more next Saturday.  Tis the season for spring cleaning, it's prime time for yard sales!


Thursday, April 11, 2013

This Little Piggy

Inching up on the half year mark, Maddex is five months old!  By baby standards, I'd say she's accomplished quite a lot this past month:

-It goes without saying, but this girl is a certifiable C.H.U.N.K.  She's always been thick, but she has plumped up significantly since last month.  Probably due to the fact that after a 7 week nursing strike (she completely rejected me and I had to pump for every feeding, a 40+ minute process) I finally threw in the towel and started her on poison formula.

-Eating baby food.  Still very messy, but I'm confident she'll grow out of it in about 3 years.

-Sleeping through the night (this is only about a week in, but I'm gonna go ahead and call it).  She goes to bed at 7:30, I wake her up to feed her before I go to bed (usually midnightish) and she doesn't wake up until 7:30-8 in the morning.  Personally, this is my favorite of her triumphs.

-Sitting.  She's been teetering around like a weeble wobble for about 2 weeks now, but this past week was her big break.  I had forgotten how fast they catch on.  She went from 20 seconds without falling over and then the next day *BAM*  3 minutes.  She's consistent now with being able to stay up no problem.  When she gets bored and wants to roll around the room, she'll make herself fall over.  Those wheels are starting to turn...

-Communicating.  I never know when she wakes up anymore.  She won't cry.  It isn't until I hear her babbling to herself that I realize she's awake.  How long was she silently laying there before she decided to start making noises?  She's figured out how to coo, growl (the kids' favorite, they call her baby jaguar), squeal (loudly!), blow raspberries, and as of three days ago say ba-ba-ba.  This was only after several minutes of smacking her gums like an old granny and I think the sound accidentally came out.  Now she thinks she's hot to trot by throwing the ba in there with it.

-Understanding.  Call me crazy, but there's some signs of intelligence going on here!  She responds (and by respond I mean smile and flail her arms around) to the words milk and bath.  When I ask her, "Maddex do you want milk/to take a bath?"  She gets all excited.  I think she's border lining on 'kick' (when we say kick, she kicks), but I'm not ready to make it official just yet.

-Toe sucking.  I've been expecting this one.  One of the few things I had NOT forgotten about.  I've been looking forward to the day when she finally realized that big toe was a built in pacifier.

I know how you feel, I want to just eat her up too...

Monday, April 1, 2013


It seems that I've totally missed the boat on this one.  Apparently, Easter is supposed to be like a second Christmas??  I didn't get the memo.  I planned on not spending any money, and guess what?  I didn't.

On Friday, Brian came home with some goodies that a patient had given him for the kids (bag of whopper eggs and chocolate bunnies).  We had the same thought, "Cool, we can use this for their Easter baskets."  I wish I would have snapped a picture of their baskets, but it's not very hard to visualize...1 chocolate bunny on a stick and 3 plastic eggs.  And get this, each plastic egg had not 1, but 2 whoppers inside!  I know, right?

Dare I say it, but the kids were perfectly happy.  They didn't even ask if that was it, or where's the rest of our Easter stuff?  Poor kids, they have no idea what they are missing out on.  But I didn't short change them completely.  They've been on this superhero kick lately so I decided they needed actual capes.  I've got heaps of fabric, so I made them these.

   Yes, they're reversible!  Everybody knows superheros need a  red cape, but I wanted them to be individualized too.  Rainbow Rockstar Riley , Lightning Fast Aiden and Flower Power Ella (my nature lovin hippie child).  Ok, so the names need a little work, but they absolutely love their capes!  I don't even want to calculate the number of hours it took me to make them, but they were all worth it.

I don't feel guilty at all about skimping out on Easter.  They don't seem to care either.  Total cost on Easter: $0.  Watching kids whiz past you as they defeat Dr. Covenant (who is accused of capturing Maddex), priceless.
**not an actual Mastercard slogan

And in other news, Muffin Monday did not disappoint today.

Chocolate Chip Banana Oat Muffins, for the recipe CLICK HERE

The only changes I made were:
-Instead of all white sugar, I used half white and half brown + 1 tbsp.  I don't know why the extra tbsp was necessary, but it's what other people were saying they did.
-Add chocolate chips until you say, yeah, that's about right.