Sew inspiring

Girls’ trip 2012

I’m never prepared for how much fun I have when I escape with friends, whether it be for a night out or a full blown weekend getaway.  Plans for this trip, the annual Sewing Night Girls’ Trip began almost a year ago.  IMG_1269We thought it’d be genius to plan it after school was back in session so our kids wouldn’t be home all day with a babysitter.  Turned out it wasn’t the best idea since it created lots of run around for the husbands with school, sports and scout schedules.  A very HUGE thank you to Carl for letting me dump all that on top of his crazy work schedule so I could go and play!!  We chose to try Newport Beach this year, something a little more local and still packed full of everything we want in a vacation: sun, sand, and shopping.  Not to mention that the idea of spending a day at the beach with nothing but a towel, sunscreen and a book sounded magical.  So we packed a Suburban to the brim with all the necessities (nail polish, brownies, beach chairs, clothes, clothes and more clothes) and said goodbye to the husbands and kids for a few days.

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We found this little cove in Newport to hang out for the day. ( I pretended that the house at the far end was mine.)  The weather was a little overcast but still calm and plenty warm to enjoy the down time.

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Then we rode the trolley back to the car.  We were a little slap happy at this point.

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We still had some grocery shopping to do (our hotel suite had a small kitchen) so rather than waste time getting ready and driving back and forth, we chose a chill little hamburger joint in Huntington Beach called T.K. Burger for dinner.  Conveniently located near shopping, of course.

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Jana is our resident foodie and always knows the best places to stuff your face.  This place didn’t disappoint.

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After that we went in search of an old friend.  We were so happy to smother Lauren with hugs!

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After that we shopped until every store in the area closed up shop for the night.

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(I know this next picture is fuzzy, but it makes me laugh every time I see it.  Tami, Jana and I were laughing at a street musician and his…unique voice.  And again, we were slap happy.)

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The next day was rainy and overcast so we filled it with more shopping, lunch at Rodrigos and junk food for dinner back at the hotel.

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{Tami, Jana (and expected little one), Krystal, Autumn, Shannon and me}

I geeked out about being this close to the ocean and living in California in general pretty much all weekend.  Thank you friends for putting up with me!

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I seem to catch a picture like this of Shannon and Krystal every year.  Shopping can be exhausting.

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Every night ended just like this.  Who needs TV and movies when you have iphones, ipads, macbooks and PINTREST?!

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By day 3 we were bound and determined to spend some good time in the sun.  So we went back to Huntington Beach and found more shopping too.  Big surprise, right?

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Like all our trips, we laughed until we cried, we stayed up late and slept in way too long, we had some really deep conversations, and even shed some tender tears.  But this year we also missed some very dear friends.  I’m hoping next year we’ll be able to coordinate everyone’s schedules and get us ALL together.  I’m so very blessed to have such amazing friends here in California!

Categories: Beach babe, Friends, Sew inspiring, Vacation Bliss | 2 Comments

Home shopping

I have some very creative friends.  And they’re constantly decorating.  And REdecorating.  I love visiting their homes because most of what they do is crafty, really affordable and very, very cute.  Think lots of refurbishing and repurposing and recreating on the cheap.  Now that’s my kind of decorating!  I always come home itching to decorate every room in the house!  It’s like a sickness.  I’ve been trying to use what I have laying around the house as much as possible.  It’s kinda fun to go shopping in other rooms of your house for new arrangements and new looks.  You’d be amazed at how different a room can look by swapping out a few things!  Case in point:

I love walking up to a welcoming door at other houses so I made an attempt with my own front step.  So, I went shopping around my house.  I had this little green bench I had grabbed at Tai Pan for $24 back in January.  It was sitting in my entryway but I never really liked it there so I moved it out to my porch.  Much better!  I found the wire baskets around Easter at Marshalls for $3 each.  They had nasty tin eggs hanging from them but I love them now thanks to my wire cutters.  They make my little plants I compulsively buy from Fresh and Easy (our grocery store) look much cuter.

In another attempt to scratch the decorating itch I was rummaging through my craft supplies and found a couple of twig wreaths I brought home from a baby shower.  (Remember, Wendy?)  Sitting right next to it were some wooden letters I’d bought from Michaels years ago that were yet to be painted.  A little paint, some sand paper and my trusty glue gun and wallah!

When we last visited California on family vacation, months before we knew we’d be living here, I discovered what was always making Disneyland smell so amazing… besides the corndogs and churros.  Gardenias and Star of Jasmine are everywhere and they smell fabulous, especially in the early morning and at dusk.  I’ve been obsessing over them ever since.  Definitely a smell I’d love to greet my guests with.  Thanks to a sale at Home Depot I can call one my own! Digging through our garage I found this old empty pot that we brought from the last house.  It makes a perfect home for Jasmine.  Who, you ask?

I’ve named all the plants in our house so Crew and Jax know which ones to water.  We named this one Jasmine.  I didn’t realize at the time that it’s actually a gardenia.  Whatever it is, I could get high off it’s sweet fragrance.  (Carl’s rolling his eyes at me right now.)  Now, all that’s left for my porch makeover is a cute door mat.  I found the perfect one at Pottery Barn only to find it’s sold out so the search continues.  For now, the original will do.

Oh yes, and no doorstep is complete without one of these.  At least not if you have small children.

I’m sure I could have made it cuter, but a post it, sharpie and some packing tape is good enough for me.

Next is our living room.  Ugh.  This room is the hardest one for me and sadly this room and our almost empty dining room are the first rooms you see when you walk into our house.  I have plans for the dining room but this room has me completely stumped.  It needs some zing, some color!!  I blame these couches.  They’re super comfy, not to mention they were free, but the pattern is so outdated.  Not having decided what to do with them yet I hesitate to do much else with this room.  Do I slip cover the couches?  Do I start over and watch Craigslist?  What to do, what to do?  In the meantime, I had Carl hang our the mirror we swiped from his mom.  I love that she made it herself!  She’s so crafty.  I found this”Work Hard Play Hard” sign being stored in our closet, and someday I’ll get around to putting actual pictures in those Costco frames.

Back in December we had these amazing pictures taken by Blue Lily.  (Sorry, I may never get around to posting them.  Just come over!)  I ordered my favorite one as a canvas and proudly hung it above my mantle.  But it was very, very lonely there so I made the mantle my next project.  Again, shopping around my house I found myself staring at my boxes and boxes of books that were waiting to be unpacked.  Why not?  I grabbed stacks of them and arranged them to show off the fun colors.  I love decorating with books.  Do you think my kids will want to read if I surround them with books?  And I think they make a room feel cozy and lived in.

The vases I found at Ross for $4 each, the birds I had in other rooms in the house.  Add some $5 twiggy flowers from Michaels and a $15 birdcage from Tai Pan and boom!  Instant personality, right?  The only thing lacking is proper lighting above the mantle but that’s not something I’ll concern myself with.  We’re just renting, after all!  Now the mantle was done, but I couldn’t stop there.  A sickness, I tell ya!  My entertainment center was naked and needing some love.  I saw the button monogram idea on a blog and thought it’d make a fun focal point.  I am loving monograms so this was a fun and different way to incorporate one.  I pulled the glass out of a frame that wasn’t being used and stretched the fabric, tacking it to the back of the frame.

The pink ceramic ball I found at Joanne’s on clearance for $2, the plant and vase I’d already had for another space.  More books, a tray from Walmart for $3 and another bird from Tai Pan.  Easy, yes?  Cheap, YES!  I’m still tweaking it but I like where this is going.

Have you done any home shopping lately?  Try it!  You’ll have so much fun! And once you start you won’t be able to stop!

Categories: Crafting, Family, Home Improvement, Sew inspiring, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Christmas 2009

The Christmas season was non-stop action for us this year with moving, family pictures, Christmas and a trip to Utah all in December!  Here’s what we have to show for it…

We were invited to make gingerbread houses with some families in the ward. Crew wasn't too sure about it until construction with the candy started.

Candy and frosting? Jax needed no persuading. Can you see the gummy bear army protecting his gingerbread house from bad guys?

Happy just to be here.

Christmas morning surprised the boys with a special gift from Santa!

Cute little elf!

Santa gave Crew his long anticipated Bakugans...

...and Jax his very own Transformers!

After everyone had time to play with their new toys, we loaded up the car and hit the road to Grandma’s house.  We thought by traveling on Christmas day we’d miss all the traffic.  Man, were we wrong!  We left around 1pm on Christmas day and didn’t arrive in Orem until 2am!  But after sleeping in and relaxing a bit it was time for some fun with the cousins on the sledding hills!

Jax had a few good runs with Dad.

Then he tried it without the sled.

Jax eventually wore himself out and wanted nothing more than to go home, so he spent the rest of the time in the car where he fell asleep.

Crew got a face full of snow on his first run down and wanted to go home too. But his cousins peer pressured him into trying it again. This time he teamed up with Dallin and the two had a blast together!

Uncle Jay and Krew

Dad and Sheri

Cousins Sam and Madeline

3 generations! John, Jerry, Carl, Allen, Dad, Crew and Dallin.

That night there was no trouble sleeping. Crew, Dallin and Jax

Sunday we went to Nana and Papa’s for a late Christmas party.  We tried to make it on time to their church but ended up 20 minutes late.  We also tried to sneak into the chapel quietly since we were so late, but the second the kids spotted my family it was nothing but “NANA!” and “PAPA!” and “HI BRITNEY!” and “HEY DUSTIN!”  While my family loved it, I was slightly mortified to have caused such an interruption in the meeting.  After sacrament meeting we bailed and went back to Nana’s ’til the party.

I finally met my niece Peyton! She is just a doll!! (And Courtney looked amazing!)

Cooper met his match with Milo crawling around.

A Bakugan for Jax too! (Thank goodness!)

Crew now has his very own NFL jersey! "Go Chargers!"

Grandma B was able to join us for the party!

Itty bitty Peyton and chunky monkey Milo

Milo representin'.

These two were hilarious! Daxton and Milo followed each other around every chance they had.

Monday Milo and I spent the day with my mom and sisters while Carl took Crew and Jax to Classic Skating.  I could hardly wait to get over to Pine Needles for some supplies.  Then we had ourselves a little sewing all-nighter.

Court set to work sewing every girlie pattern she could get her hands on. Lucky!

Britney was happy just to hold Peyton and keep us company.

The first of three quilts for my family room. I love these Moda fabrics!

Mom was there answering all our questions and giving us project advice. If it wasn't for a sewing machine malfunction we would have stayed up all night!

Tuesday night we were back at Grandma’s when Shanae and Aaron stopped by with Jay and Janece.  Shanae and Aaron had just moved from Hawaii and were staying in Utah for Christmas before heading off to their new home – a cabin in Washington!  This is the first time Kali and Krew met Crew and Jax.  With the boys from California and their kids from Hawaii we thought it’d be a good icebreaker to throw them out in the snow.

Kali and Crew played until they were frozen solid.

Shanae, I think we need to make these two pen pals!

Jax gave sledding another try with Carl.

He definitely liked it better the second time around.

All snuggled in for the night. The boys just couldn't get enough of Grandma!

Wednesday we went north to Salt Lake to spend a few days with my parents.  Wednesday morning Carl and I loaded up the snowboards and headed up to Brighton to meet up with Lauren, Dave, Carlie and James – good friends from back home.  I had big plans to take my camera and snap lots of amazing pictures but then left the camera in my purse back at the house.  Duh.  Just take my word for it when I tell you it was the best ski day ever!  It snowed all day so the runs were soft and fluffy.  I was pretty nervous that not going for 3 years would leave me at the top of the hill rusty and out of shape.  Thankfully I underestimated myself and I was able to keep up (s0rta) with the rest of the group.  My biggest brag of the day is taking a small run (after much pressure from Lauren) through the trees and making it out without catching an edge.  It was definitely a good day to rekindle the snowboarding flame.  Oh how I love Brighton.  Thanks to Nana for watching our kids all day so it was possible!

We hung out with Jenni and Jerry for New Years Eve to give the kids another chance to spend time together. Dallin and Crew spent every waking moment playing.

Jax had fun chasing Josie and Reece (and eating their snacks).

Milo and Luke are just a few months apart. I think they'll get along just fine.

The kids wanted to play in the snow on New Years Day so Carl took Crew and Jax back to Jerry’s for more snow time.  I hung back at Nana’s with Milo and to sew my quilt.  (It’s addicting I tell ya!)

Goof balls!

Ready! Aim...

Crew and Dallin decided to wrestle in the snow.

Brrrrrrr! These two are nuts.

Jax doing what he does best.

FIRE!!!!

Jerry’s always looking for a chance to work out, much to the delight of the kids.

Crew and Uncle Jerry

Friday night we were able to rally a bunch of our Utah friends together for a fun night at Matt and Deanne’s place (thanks again you two).  The kids ran around wild all night long while we caught up with everyone.  I can’t believe it had been 4 years or more since some of us had seen each other!!

Some of the best friends we've ever had!

Saturday morning I woke up and threw up thanks to a migraine.  Ugh.  Gotta love that Utah altitude.  Guess that was our cue to start towards home.  By mid afternoon I was feeling better so we packed up our things and said goodbye to my family, then headed back to Carl’s parents for a few more hours before saying our last goodbyes. We drove to St. George where we stayed the night before making the final trek home and beating the traffic (woot woot).

It was such a wonderful vacation and the perfect way to say farewell to 2009!

Categories: Crafting, Family, Friends, Holiday Hurray, neighborhood Fun, Sew inspiring | 2 Comments

While waiting to exhale

There’s not a whole lot I can pack at the moment as we wait to hear what the bank’s final verdict on our eviction date is.  So to keep me busy I’ve set to work getting crafty again.  It feels like it’s been awhile and I have serious quilting hunger pangs going on.  But until I get my hands on the fabric I want I’ve been finishing up some small projects.  Like these headbands I’ve been wanting to make.  I’ve had the plain jane headbands for who knows how long and decided to spruce them up.

I found the feathers in the floral section of Michaels for a buck, the buttons I’ve had in my stash for quite some time.  The hardest part was finding a glue that would dry fast and stick to the rounded plastic headband.  Finally good ol’ Krazy Glue did the trick.  See?

Cute, huh!  The button one is my favorite because it’s the most versatile.

Next I finished up this Superkid that I listed in the shop.

I mean, who says boys can’t play with dolls?

This one with Crew was my “prototype” doll and as you can see from the ratty strings it’s been a popular toy around here.

And finally, Crew has been driving me crazy with questions like “how many sleeps ’til Christmas?” and “When is Santa gunna get here?” so I told him we would make a count down chain.  When it finally came time to construct it, Crew wasn’t interested.  But Jax was all over it when he learned there would be cutting involved.  He’s obsessed with his scissors.  Such concentration!

Just a little snip here, a little staple there, and wallah!

We had to make 41 chain links… Jax held out for about 23, then I finished the rest.  At least now we have a visual to help ease the pain of waiting.  Not to mention this will be the only decoration that goes up until we’re moved and settled who knows where and when.  Hopefully we’ll be at our new address before Christmas or my next project will be figuring out how to turn this chain into a tree!

Categories: Crafting, Family, Holiday Hurray, Sew inspiring | 4 Comments

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