Thursday, April 30, 2009

Do something unexpected...make Banana Bread

Tonight I am meeting up with two of my very good friends from college for dinner. We all have two kids each and made it our goal to get together once a month for dinner. It works out fabulous and we all have such a good time.

I really have a ton of stuff I need to do (laundry, bathrooms, mop), want to do (Mod Podge Mania), should be doing (accounting work), but I decided I needed to do something special for my friends today. They seem to need a pick-me-up. One is potty-training her son (going very well) and the other is crazy busy and nothing seems to be going right this week. I have another friend I would love to send a loaf too, but since I am a friend I won't, because she can't eat sweets right now. Sorry E!! For the ones who can eat sweets Lawson and I made them some Banana Bread. I hope it makes them smile!!

Here is the recipe. This always comes out moist and is sooooo easy!!

Best Banana Bread (really that is the name)
Jim Graham's Farm Family Cookbook

1 stick butter, room temp
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Beat in until creamy. Stir in bananas. In separate bowl, sift and measure flour. Add salt and baking soda to the flour. Mix dry ingredients with banana mixture. Pour into greased loaf pan*. Bake at 325 degrees for approx 50 min. Cool on wire rack for 15 min before turning out of the pan.
** I used six mini pans and cooked for about 40 minutes
Recipe doubles nicely & freezes well.

I think this unexpected gift will make them smile and make their day!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Motivational Signs

My Dad sent this to me and as the "Procrastinator Crafter" I had to share!!

Hope you are having a good week!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Make-over Wicker Planter Box

I am the lucky owner of lots of undone projects, and it is easy for me to participate in Jen R's Home Make-Over on the 25th of each month, as long as I get my tail in gear. I know what you are thinking "Maridith, the Home Make-over is on the 25th and today is the 26th." Well, what can I say, I like to be fashionably late!!

My MIL and FIL gave my husband and I an old wicker planter box when we moved into our first home 8 years ago. Before we were the owners it had been painted many many times. We would of loved to of used it in our current but a white planter box against 80's beige trim clashed really bad. Therefore, the wicker flower pot has been in the shed for approximately 3 years. My front door is finally done, and my shutters are finally black, so I am ready to dress up my front stoop!! It is all a process to me and nothing can go out of order.

During: I have a black thumb(appropriate since I like black so much) so I asked my mom to plant my herbs. To give them a good start.
After: I decided to lighten up the planter by adding a wooden 'F' on the front. I really like the finished look!! The process of removing chipped paint off of wicker is not fun! However, using a drill to make holes for the wires to hang the wooden letter is fun!!! I love power tools!!
This is what people will see coming up to my front door.
Looking out my front glass door. Makes me smile!!
3 cans of spray paint $12
Herbs and Marigolds $14
'F' $3
Soil 1/2 bag $4.50
Total cost $23.50

Friday, April 24, 2009

Turning Lemons into Lemonade

I started this blog in January of this year and this blog has been so inspirational to me. First, it keeps me on my toes and keeps me motivated and allows me to be me. Second, I have met some wonderful people whom I never would of met if my world was as small as the people I see every day. Third, if I were to name my top 5 hobbies this would be on my top 5!

I have been given another award by Xazmin. Either she really loves me or thinks I need some love by others. Which ever it is I will take it. She gave me my first and only award (until now) back in March. She knows how to make me soooo happy!!

The Rules of Accepting and Sharing this Award
1.Put the logo on your blog or post
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs that show an attitude of gratitude
3. Link to your nominees within your post
4.Comment on their blogs to let them know they've received this award
5.Share the love and link to this post and the person who nominated you for the award. Tell us how you've come to have an attitude of gratitude

There was a time in my life I had ZERO gratitude at all. It was the lowest time in my life and felt God was out to hurt me. One August night, my sweet, athletic, handsome brother died peacefully in his sleep at the age of 22. He died of a genetic heart disorder called Brugada. We had no knowledge of his disorder because he was of ideal health. He had just graduated from VMI Military Academy, played Division I basketball all the while going through military hell there. Then God decided he needed to be in heaven. I still to this day do not exactly understand why, but since then through my children I have been able to find a deeper amount of gratitude towards life's simple pleasures. Because at any moment it can all be taken away. The prayer "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, for if I die before I wake..." has deeper meaning then you can even imagine.

1. My brother, Chad is an identical twin and his surviving twin is Ryan. Ryan is just like him 6'5", unbelievably handsome, funny and just a good guy. Ryan has a deeper peace then I and he said it best to me one day "Maridith, I feel like Chad died so I could live" See Ryan was diagnosed with Brugada after Chad died and now has a defibrillator. I am grateful, but damn it is a hard pill to swallow!!

2. My husband. We have been through thick and thin, but through it all we LOVE each other and are best friends. He is my rock and is the most unbelievable man. We were made for each other!!
3. My children. What can I say I am so grateful I was blessed with two beautiful, healthy children. They are the light of my life and I am so glad to be their mom!!

4, My sister. I use to torture my sister (I was so mean) as a child but some where between 21-23 we became the best of friends. I talk to her EVERY DAY!! When we don't talk for a day it seems like weeks.

5. God. He never gave up on me even though for years I pushed him away. He loves me!

6. Okay this list could go on and one forever so I will end it with I am grateful every morning when I wake up and when my kids wake up (hopefully after 7AM). Each morning I say a prayer thanking God for another day!!

Now that I can barely see the computer screen through the tears, I am going to spread the award to other bloggers. Take it or leave it!!!

Jill's Believe it or Not
Katie at Nesting Spot- she has this award but I love her blog so I am giving it to her again!!!

Okay, I stink at this. It is late and I can't link to any more!! Sorry. I love you all and so appreciate your support!!!

Good night!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Little Boys Don't Do Pink!!

God has blessed me and my husband with a daughter and son. We truly count our blessings everyday that we have one of each sex and they are so healthy. That being said, my kids have a cheap-cheap mommy, which means some staple baby items that are gender specific are used by both. For example, pink baby bath towels, pink blankets, pink sippy cups & pink strollers. All items listed are used by my son and it doesn't phase me for the most part. But there is one item that my son uses that epitomizes my cheapness and that is the pink stroller.

Little guy hugging on his sister's pink blanket!

The story of the Pink and Black Stroller

When we had my daughter we chose not to find out if she was a boy or girl, so everything we received like big ticket gifts were very neutral. Perfect!! Having everything green and yellow didn't bother me, but as she came into her own she was so girl-y BUT she had no hair. Some people would say "Oh HE is so cute", it didn't matter if she was in all pink she was still called a he!! My response was always the same "He is a she" and would move on. Well, one day I decided to break free from my sensible side, and bought my daughter a pink and black stroller. I was so proud of this pink and black stroller for my daughter it just made me giddy to push her around. I think it was more for me then her, but still, it was something that should only be used for a girl and I loved it...2 years ago.

Now, I hate this stroller. Why? I am embarrassed to say I have been sporting my son around in a pink and black stroller since he was 8 months and I cringe inside every time I use it. I would cover the pink back with a diaper cloth to hide the large area of pink (pictured below), but the pink trim just screams pink to me. No one has ever said anything about my little boy and a pink stroller but I can see it in their eyes!! How cruel am I ??? Throw practicality out the window "Little Boys Don't do Pink" I know, call me petty I don't care. he is 15 months old and it is time for me to do something about it!!

I thought about selling it, taking the money and buying a new one, but I would still have to shell out an additional $40-$50 for a new one. I could buy a used one after selling this one, but the process of finding a used one would be too time consuming. Then I had an idea. It was a little crazy, maybe even stupid, and beyond cheap, but I decided to paint the pink trim and make a new headrest cover. I figured if it didn't work, oh well I tried!!

I took one more picture of the pink and black stroller for old time sakes. Then my daughter and I started painting!!

After: A one-of-a-kind NCSU stroller!!
How did I do it? I used black paint (have lots around), mixed in some Textile Medium (had some of that around too, not sure why) and started painting all of the pink trim black.

The cover is made out of some left over material I bought for baby gifts. Go NCSU!!

Cost: Nothing!!

Saved: $40-$50

Verdict: No more pink and black stroller for my little boy!! No more cringing!! Yeah!! I even like the stroller again. I just wish it had a cup holder. Oh Well.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Finished Banner

I have a side business called The Other Kid and it is very important to my partner and me to keep the overhead low. For our vending event we needed a sign for our booth but didn't want to pay lots of money for one. I wasn't about to borrow my daughter's markers, but the thought crossed my mind. I had seen these all over the Internet beautiful banners made out of either scrapbook paper or material and thought it would be perfect!!!

For less then $5.00 we had a banner for our booth.

Challenges: Letters. I didn't know where to buy the letter templates!! I traced letters from the computer on white paper, cut them out, then traced them the scrapbook paper and cut them out again!! The other issue was spacing. I was expecting our table to be 8' rather then 6', so we did have to space the letters a little close.

These are super cute just not the fastest. Big THANKS to my sister for her help!

I think being a creative thinker is very beneficial as a small business owner!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Vending Event- Apron

Last week all I did in my free time was prepare for my first vending event with The Other Kid (custom dog collars and leashes). That is why I didn't post too much last week...did you miss me?
To say I was nervous about the our event, Bark Around the Park, is an understatement. My nerves kept me from being able to sit still very long and it kept me motivated to accomplish everything on my 'to do list.' Besides Pregnancy Energy, Nervous Energy is second best!!! I wanted to share with you one of the items I made for our event this weekend.

To keep us unique and different I made us aprons....

I got this 1 hour apron pattern from Stop Staring and Start Sewing. It is a good thing it was a hour pattern, because I waited until Friday night to make these (when will I ever learn?) I made a couple changes to the pattern. First, I did not make the ties as long because I was not interested in it tying in the front. Second, I added a pocket to the right and embellished it with the turquoise material. Then I printed out our Logo on printable material and sewed it to the pocket as well. Too bad my ink cartridge was running low or it would of been turquoise and brown. Oh well!!

The wonderful thing about this pattern is you can use scrap material to make this. Plus, it keeps overhead low, keeps us unique, and is very cute!!!

Thank you to those that wished me well on our event this weekend. I am pleased to say it went really really well. Our collars were very well received, we had good sales, and met some really nice people!!

Next post I will show you how our banner sign turned out for our event.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sister is in Town!!

My sister is in town this week so I have been off having fun with her!!! So during the day we are playing with the kids, eating (lots), and enjoying each other's company.

Lawson and Aunt Lauren

This week I am preparing for my first vending event with The Other Kid, we make custom dog collars & leashes. My partner and I are super excited and lots of things need to be done.

Just a sample of what we make!

So I have gotten my sister in on the action to prepare for this weekend. I am making a sign that says "The Other Kid" and we worked on that all night. I thought it was so much fun. I said to my sister. "Isn't this fun being creative?" She said "I don't like being creative as much as you do!!" (she is honest) at least we were together & she is a good sport!!

Thank you little sis!!

I will show you my finished product once I am done. These banner signs are not as easy as they look, but they really do look cute when put together.

After the event this weekend I have lots of things up my sleeve. Come on back!! Have a great week!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Handmade Boys & Girls Clothes

I hope that everyone had a nice Easter. Ours was wonderful. We had my husband's family over and the kids always have so much fun with them. The wonderful thing about family the house doesn't have to be perfect. They love you regardless. Good thing!!
I did splurge this weekend, in the name of love, I ate most of my kids' Easter candy, to make sure my daughter does not eat it!! I am such a nice mommy!!

Onto the point of my post... I wanted to show off some clothes I made for my kiddos for Spring Pictures. This is not their Easter outfits but some Spring/Summer clothes. I was bound and determined to make my son some clothes while he is still young and does not know any better. So here is my first outfit I've made for my little man, Wesley. First thing he does...plays with a fountain and gets wet. Little boys can't resist water!!

Then here is his sister's coordinating dress. Pillowcase dress with yellow flower trim and yellow ribbon.

Here are my two angels together. Best shot I got of the two of them together!! I tried!
The whole story: I made Lawson's dress about a week ago. I knew what I wanted to make Wesley, but did not start it until Thursday. In typical Maridth fashion I didn't finish the elastic, and hems until Friday night 9PM. (These pictures were taken Saturday morning) I never got a chance to try them on him, so the shorts are a little long. Oh well, he can grow into them!! The next thing I am going to do is have both of the outfits monogrammed with their names in yellow!! One day...

Here is my whole family. All wearing black and white!! Catching on to my theme???

Friday, April 10, 2009

Easter Basket Dilemma

Well, if you haven't heard Easter is 3 days away and it wasn't until I read Katie's Nesting Place post that realized- I DO NOT HAVE AN EASTER BASKET FOR MY SON!!! What kind of mother am I??? One that waits until the last minute (procrastinator) and didn't order the matching "boy" version Easter basket from Pottery Barn that I had ordered my daughter years ago.

This is my son's 2nd Easter. Last year he was 3 months old...cute but didn't need a basket!!

This year is different, he is a toddler and NEEDS an Easter Basket!!

As I tossed back and forth in my mind what I could come up with for my son, I was coming up empty!! Then today, I had one of my dearest friends over for lunch and was explaining my dilemma of no Easter Basket for Wesley, when my 3 year old daughter piped up and said "Mommy, I made Wesley an Easter basket at school. He can use that one, I told you that." As I sat in shock, my heart filled up with pride at the same time. My little girl is giving her brother her Easter Basket she made!!!!
Here is my son's Easter Basket this year....

How sweet and cute is this? They took a gallon milk jug, cut out the top and side- leaving the handle. Then stabled ears and the bunny face on there. It is perfect for this year and means so much more then something I could of picked up last minute!


My daughter the little mommy and problem solver!!

Happy Easter Everyone!!
Hope you all got everything on your "To Do List" done. If not, don't sweat the small stuff, it is being with family and remembering why we celebrate Easter that is most important!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I have been featured on Tip Junkie!!

Yesterday was my crowing moment since I started this blog 3 months ago. I have been featured on Tip Junkie.

I was wondering why I was getting some comments on an old post for Easter Decorations for $0 and realized I was featured today on Tip Junkie!!

I almost jumped out of my skin when I saw my dining room table on her blog! I have been reading Laurie's blog since I started my family blog (2 years ago) and always thought to myself "Wouldn't it be cool to be featured," and now I have!! To think I have been featured with some of the most talented women makes me speechless (very hard too do).

Makes me think...maybe I should quit this blog and leave on a high note. Ha! Just kidding, I am just getting started. I still have a house full of unfinished projects needing my attention (that I have procrastinated on too long), ideas stewing in my head from all of the countless hours I spent daydreaming in a cube, and thousands of ideas I want to complete that I have seen online. This is only the tip of the iceberg!!

My little blog has done wonders for me. It keeps me motivated, keeps me real, and is my creative outlet!! Plus, I love, Love, LOVE the thought that I inspire others. I have enjoyed meeting other bloggers who are like me, or the bloggers I can learn from!! Blogland has opened a whole world of creative potential for me and I don't plan on leaving it yet.

Thanks, Laurie for featuring me!!

I also got a sweet note from BrooklynAlizabeth ,a chic boutique, that she also posted about my Easter arrangement on her blog. 2 in one day. Does it really get any better???

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Nest Eggs for Preschool Party

With less then 12 hours before my daughter's Easter party, I have finally made the dessert I signed up to bring 2 weeks ago. My thinking "I want it to be fresh" that is just what I tell myself. Truth is I kept forgetting about it until the NCAA National Champion Game was about ready to start.

Good thing this was a quick recipe! Finished product...
I found this at Restyled Home and knew this would be perfect. My daughter is going to LOVE THIS!! The recipe is from BHG. The recipe calls for Jordan Almond (not kid friendly) so I used Jelly Beans instead for the eggs. I think they turned out great and will be a hit tomorrow!!
My hubby wanted me to bring Debbie Snacks!! He has no idea how to impress the teachers. Haha!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Trash to Treasure- Chalkboard

Do you play darts in your home? No? Neither do we. The thought of a small, sharp, object being thrown in the air is not very appealing with small kids the house. I really couldn't tell you what I was thinking when I bought this, except it was a GREAT deal and I had to get it. I use to be an impulse shopper. This board has been hanging in my garage with the same note I wrote on it when I hung it "I love you, M" At one point after my son was born I wrote all of our names on it. That is a useful piece of junk!!

Then I got to thinking "I should hang this in my kitchen and add my beautiful wallpaper over the dartboard picture." WHY HAVEN'T I THOUGHT OF THIS BEFORE??
Luckily this was "Made in China" and wasn't the best workmanship, so I was able to remove the dartboard picture from the frame by pressing on the board. I simply lined up the wallpaper to were I wanted the image & used some wonderful Mod Podge to glue in down. I did glue this onto the back side rather then the dartboard side because there the image was showing through. (So if I ever get into darts I can reverse the image!!)

And just like that... Here is the finished product. A stylish one-of-a-kind chalkboard for the kitchen.

Procrastination Time: Never knew what I wanted to do with it until this weekend. No procrastination time.

Pack-Rat: This has been hanging in my garage for 3 years. We have never owned a dartboard, so this was useless.

Cost: Dartboard Chalkboard- no idea how much it cost, too long ago to remember. This project was using resources from my home, so in my mind- FREE

Verdict: It fits our kichen perfectly and truly a Trash to Treasure item. It is a good thing we are all giants around here, because in most homes this would useless because it is so high!!
My kitchen is slowly becoming black and white. My husband noted this weekend "you just won't be happy until everything is black and white!!" He knows me so well!! **blushing**

I am joining Kimm at Reinvented for her Trash to Treasure. Go take a look she has some fabulous ideas over there!!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Dining Room Mod Podge Corner is Done!

This weekend is going to be a gorgeous here in NC. I got my act together and made myself complete some indoor projects so I can work/play outside all weekend!!

I have finished the arrangement in my dining room. It was a little challenging to make this perfect, a couple too many holes, but they are covered and no one will ever know!!

Click here to see the before.

Here are the finished results...

Thank you so much for all of your input- I really appreciate it!! I like this corner of the dining room now- it looks designer-ish to me now (don't bust my bubble). What a difference Mod Podge makes!!
On second thought I am wondering if this is all too high. We are TALL (I am 5' 11", hubby is 6'4") so I tend to put things too high **sigh** Oh well, until it really bothers me this is the way it will stay.
Have a great weekend everyone!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Hair Bow Challenge

9 time out of 10 if you see a picture of my daughter, Lawson, she has a beautiful hair bow in her hair. These suckers are expensive but worth every penny. Well, as the budget continues to get tighter and tighter the "need" for bows gets less and less. So I am left with two options A) no more bows or B) make them myself. Since I am always up for a challenge, and will try anything once, I voted for Option B.

Here is my first hair bow

Don't laugh!! I tried. I used the ribbon I bought for Lawson's newest pillowcase dress and the rick rack from the shorts outfit I made her.

I thought it turned out okay for a first timer. These suckers are tricky and I needed and extra set of hands (hubby's) to get the bow on right.

Like every thing, practice makes perfect OR I should just save my money and just buy them. There are some wonderfully talented women out there who make gorgeous hair bows. I am not sold this is something I have potential to be really good at. I can tell this because my mind is not racing on all of the wonderful designs I can make (unlike mod podge). I might just leave this to the experts!!

Procrastination time:I have wanted to make my daughter hair bows since she got hair about 2 years ago.

Pack-Rat Collection: None, everything is new or recycled from hair bows that have fallen apart

Verdict: My daughter will wear this hair bow and for my first attempt I think I did okay. I might try again, but will be saving my money to buy her bows!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Spring Fever- Little Girl's Clothes

Since the weather is suppose to be getting nicer and I have SPRING FEVER, all weekend I made Lawson clothes. I love making children's clothes. Here are some of the newest additions to my daughter's wardrobe.
Shirt & Short Set- I LOVE this material!!
Criss-cross back!

Pillowcase dress with one sided bow- Something different.
I have lots more dresses and outfits planned for Lawson. I really need to make my little guy some clothes. Just need to find or make a pattern for him!!