Friday, September 21, 2012

Fall Wreath

Doesn't that just scream fall?!  The more I look at it, the happier it makes me.  Ok fall, I am ready, come sprinkle some crisp weather down here in Southern California so I can make something hearty and warm for dinner.  I'll even appreciate a windy day or gasp....rain!  I just can't wait to fire up the oven and bake something without marinating in my own sweat.  Anyway, more about wreaths.
Not only has Pinterest been an inspiration for recipes and toddler fun, it's given me the fuel to get crafty.  Wreaths are fun and you can use them again and again.  For Becker's first birthday I made this ballooon wreath I found on Pinterest:

It took me several nights of pinning balloons to the wreath in front of the tv after Becker was asleep, but it turned out awesome and we've used it for all three of our birthdays this year with many more to come.  That first wreath got my wheels turning and I've pinned many more DIY wreath ideas since.

Our hot September weather has had me longing for for fall.  I miss seasons.  I've enjoyed the summer weather, but I need a change.  Trader Joes has installed a pumpkin patch and Target is about to pull out the Christmas decortation meaning it is officially time for fall.  We've got our Uggs and our jackets all ready to go and it's still 90 degrees every single day.  Since it doesn't seem to be letting up any time soon and I won't get to FEEL fall weather, I can at least make my house LOOK like it's fall.  I fell in love with this yarn wreath on, you guessed it, Pinterest!  My sister also fell in love with it after seeing my pin and made an absolutely beautiful version:
When she texted this picture to me, I knew I wanted to make mine NOW.  This one took her a couple of days to complete and she had sore arms from wrapping layers upon layers of yarn around the wreath form.  It looks amazing, but I wasn't sure I had the patience or energy to tackle a multi-night project with a very busy toddler in the house to possibly find and destroy said project.  I've also been liking the monogram wreaths and decorations I've found and instantly liked this DIY fall wreath project.   Hot glue, a little paint, glitter and burlap.  I can do that!  When I bought my supplies, Michael's had leaves with a touch of gold glitter that was going to match my glittering B perfectly so I grabbed those up in lieu of the plain fake leaves.  Once Becker was asleep last night I set to work.  This is what the dining table looked like as I was about to get started with the hot glue. 

After burning my fingers numerous times (burlap is full of holes) and also dropping a burlap loop covered in glue which hit the table and then landed on the floor, I did finish the wreath in one evening as hoped.  The glue on the floor was a bit of an issue at first.  When the loop fell, it smeared the glue so it wasn't as easy as waiting for that little hot glue bubble to dry, and then popping it off the floor.  A little ice and butter knife scraping got the glue off the floor.  Once it was done, I hung it up on the inside of our door to admire and Mark commented that it wasn't centered and needed more leaves on the right side.  Originally I had wanted the B to be more off centered to the right, but once it was glued it was not coming off so I had to make do.  Back to work, I added more burlap and leaves to even it out and called it a night.  I really like the way it turned out, so here it is again.  Ta dah!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

30 Days

I started my 365 photo project on my 30th birthday.  It's been a fun project so far and hard at times.  I try to have it together to take a picture before my alarm reminds me at 10pm, but I know in the next 300+ days that 10pm alarm is going to catch me off guard and I'm going to have to just snap a photo of Bodi sleeping and go with it.  Here is the collage of our first 30 days.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


I love Pinterest.  I have found so many great ideas, recipes and projects in the never ending scroll of pins.  The problem is that I work three days a week and spend a lot of time gathering ideas on Pinterest.  Then I make a Target run to gather the supplies for all of these sensory, fine motor skills and art projects suggested for toddlers and this happens:

I got overexcited.  I came home from work with my bag of goodies and just could not contain myself.  It's kind of like how I open and try every new item I haven't bought before once I get home from the grocery store.  It's exactly like that.  In that case I generally tear into the goodies by the time I'm in the parking lot.  I simply cannot wait. 

So, first I got out the berry colander I bought and let him sift water with it.  The rain poured down and he loved watching it.  I also bought pipe cleaners for him to stick in the holes, but having an ounce of restraint, I saved that for another day.  Next I busted out a set of magnets and a muffin tin so he could play with the different sizes and colors.  He enjoyed lining them up and sticking them together, then we made a pattern across the refrigerator.  Next up?  Markers!  Washable markers that is.  Target had a Back-To-School sale and these things were under $2.  Becker had never played with markers before.  I wrote his name on a piece of paper and taped it to his high chair tray.  First he wanted to pull the cap off the back end and put it back on, which took some strength.  Then, he went to town testing out each color.  He quickly decided the paper was hindering his artistic flow and tore it off the tray saying "off".  I decided this was a good time to test the "washable" claim on these markers so I let him scribble all over the tray.  I may regret this decision later, but I don't think he can really grasp the idea of the paper at this age anyway so the tray seemed to be an acceptable option.  I also put a lot of faith in that "washable" claim by not using a smock.  Luckily for me and his white shirt, he was far more interested in drawing on the tray than himself.  After he had thoroughly colored the tray and admired his colorful hands, I thought it was a good time to introduce shaving cream.  I remembered playing with it in preschool and had seen some fun looking sensory activites involving a nice, big pile of Barbasol.  I squirted out a dallop and let him go.  He squished it, spread it, smeared it, loved it and asked for "moe".  This soft, thick, creamy substance had lots of appeal.  And as a bonus to me, it cleaned up the marker beneath it!  Yes the "washable" claim is valid.  The more he played with the shaving cream, the cleaner the tray and his hands got.  It was super easy to clean up with a wet rag and then it was time to make dinner.  Blame it on my excitement to share these fun new things with him, or his toddler attention span....but we plowed through this activity line-up in about an hour.  I think I'll slow it down and focus on one activity at a time on our next go at it, but one thing led to another and in a way it just flowed this way.  Good clean fun with learning to boot!

Work Rant

Not our actual sink, but exact same situation. I wish we had the sign.
Apparently loading and unloading the dishwasher is just below some people.  I work in a small office of mainly men who drink coffee all day long.  I work Wednesday through Friday and every single Wednesday the sink in the kitchen is full of dirty coffee cups.  When I have a cup of coffee, I always rinse my cup and place it inside the dishwasher where it sits alone.  No one seems to lift a finger while I am gone.  People use the sink for other purposes and water fills some of the cups, but no one thinks to put these dirty cups in the dishwasher.  On Wednesdays I generally just put all of their dirty cups in the dishwasher right away because it drives me nuts to see the sink full.  Then I run the dishwasher and wait for someone to empty it.  The sink fills back up with dirty cups by the next day.   Does anyone empty the dishwasher when they get their cup of coffee and see an empty cabinet?   No, they go straight for the disposable cups!  Now the excuse may be that the dishwasher is full and those cups may be dirty, but does it take more than a second to confirm that thought?  I know someone has opened the dishwasher and seen that it is full and clean because when I can no longer stand it and finally go to put the clean cups away, the dishwasher has been unlocked.  BUSTED!  Someone did open it to check and see if those cups were clean but couldn't bother themselves with the task of putting those clean cups into the cabinet, so they shrugged and took a disposable cup.  So now there are 20 clean cups in the dishwasher and 10 dirty cups in the sink, zero cups in the cabinet and disposable cups on desks and in the trash.   These people are avoidng emptying the dishwasher at all costs.  They have gone through multiple steps looking for a clean cup in order avoid doing the two minute job.  What is the big deal?  Do they think this is a woman's job?  Do they just not see the 10 dirty cups in the sink when they add to it?  Does the mess not bother them?  I don't know but it is baffling me every week.  As if I need another dishwasher to empty.  Someone once saw me emptying it and asked if this was part of my job or self appointed.  REALLY?  No, emptying the dishwasher is not in my job description, but no one else is willing to do it and I cannot stare at it anymore, so I do it.  I guess it's really problem then right?  What did these people do when I was on maternity leave?  Someone had to man up and do the dishes.  Who was it and why aren't they doing it now? 

End Rant.