Sunday, December 9, 2012

8th Day of Christmas: Dolling Up for the Season

This is the first of my guest posts for this series!

Thank you so much to my amazing friend Rachel for taking time to do this for me!
She always has the cutest nails ever, and she is going to share with you how to get super cute, easy holiday nails.

Funky Christmas Nails

Nothing completes your Christmas party outfit like cute nails!

-Start with clean, dry nails in whatever shape you  prefer.  I like to use a nail brush to make sure they are squeaky clean.  

-Apply a thin layer of base coat polish.  This helps the polish to stick to your nail and last longer.

-Once the base coat is dry, slap some green polish on the top half of your nail.  Don't worry about it looking good, just make sure the tips are covered.

- Now you need ACETONE nail polish remover and what I call a "french brush" (it's about 1/4 of an inch wide and has a flat tip.)  Dip the brush in the remover , then drag across the bottom half of polish until you get the shape you want.  Then clean up sides, making sure to wipe and re-dip often so that you don't stain your cuticles.  Let dry.

-Using green glitter polish, go over top of green polish tips.

-Next you'll need a dotting tool.  If you dont have a fancy one, you can make one by sicking a straight pin into the eraser of a pencil, or simply use a toothpick!
-Put a few drops/blobs of red polish on a smooth surface (a Ziploc bag works great and makes for easy cleanup.)  Dip the tip or your dotting tool in the red polish and then put a dot in the center of your nail below the green tip.  Then continue with two more on each side.

-For the finishing  touch, using your dotting tool, pick up a jewel  from the top side and place on the WET center dot.

-Last but not least, seal in your polish with a top coat.  This helps protect your polish and makes it last a little longer, but most of all makes your nails nice and shiny!

Now, you're ready for Christmas!!!

Note: I used "Sinful" nail polish from Walgreen's.  If you use different brands of polish at the same time, make sure they are all formaldehyde free/ or all have formaldehyde.  If you use both, the polish will not dry correctly and you'll have soft spots and get smudges. 

This is day 8 of a 25 Days of Christmas series. To see the rest, click here.

7th Day of Christmas: Cookie, cookie, cookie!

When I was living at home, my mom and I made Christmas cookies every year..usually multiple times during the month of December. Some were from scratch other times we used store bought dough.

When I was younger, my all time favorite Christmas cookies were the sugar cookies with the characters 'printed' in them. I'm sure the only reason I liked them was because of the faces, but o well.

Today felt like a Christmas cookie kind of day. In attempts to not add any more food to our kitchen before our move this weekend, I went a head and grabbed a couple things of store bought Christmas cookie dough; peppermint chocolate chip and my favorite sugar cookie characters.

I am planning on giving some cookies as gifts this year, so keep your eye out for some homemade recipes in the next couple of weeks.

This is day 7 of a 25 Days of Christmas series. To see the rest, click here.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

6th Day of Christmas: Show me the Lights

Last year around this time I was very pregnant...35 weeks to be exact. That put Christmas right in the middle of my 37th week of pregnancy. The fact that I was full term, and had spent my entire 34th week of pregnancy in the hospital for pre-term labor, meant that there was no way we were making the 6 hour trek back home for the Christmas.
So, instead I tried to find something festive that we could do. I did my research and found an awesome house that put on a full blown light show. It was complete with music synchronization to their own radio station.
We set out tonight to go see that house. Sadly, we got there and there were no lights this year. I was so bummed! But, I did my research a few days ago and found another house that was supposed to have a great display as well. 
We made the trip all of the way across town. I am so glad we did! It wasn't just one house. Both the house I found online and their neighbor did a display together and it was awesome. They didn't have their own radio station, but they did play music and the lights were synchronized.

This picture just doesn't do it justice, but its the best I could get this evening. We are planning on going back next week with my parents, and I will take better pictures and a video.

Rowen absolutely loved it.  She stared, laughed, oohed and ahhed. It was so awesome to see just how magical Christmas is to kids by the look on her face. I know she wont remember this, but I will. I hope to keep that magic alive for her for Christmases to come, and make more wonderful memories of going to see the lights year after year.

This is day 6 of a 25 Days of Christmas series. To see the rest, click here.

Friday, December 7, 2012

5th Day of Christmas: A Little Bit of Decorating

Ok.. I know I said that I wasn't going to decorate. With us moving in a week, there really isn't any point. But.... I saw these at Dollar Tree and couldn't help myself.

I will update with a picture of them put up tomorrow. Its too late and dark outside to take one tonight!

This is day 5 of a 25 Days of Christmas Series. To see the rest, click here.

4th Day of Christmas: Sweet Traditions

Getting a new ornament was a yearly Christmas tradition in my house when I was growing up.

Today, while I was picking up a couple things from Hobby Lobby to finish up Christmas gifts, I decided to take a look at their ornaments since they were 50% off.

I found this, and for those of you who know us, can attest to how perfect it is for Rowen's ornament this year.

This is day 4 of a 25 Days of Christmas series. To see the rest, click here.

Monday, December 3, 2012

3rd Day of Christmas: MistleTOES!

Let me preface this by saying that I am NOT A CARD maker by any means. In fact, posting this, while being linked up to Randi's blog is a little embarrassing :) If you haven't seen her homemade cards, they are AMAZING!

That being said, Colin's grandparents live in New Hampshire. We had decided to send them pictures for Christmas. That seemed too impersonal, so I decide to make them a card too.

I saw this idea on Pinterest, but the link was a plate, not a card. I loved it!

I stuck Rowen in her high chair and painted her feet! Then I stamped them. Cut them out and glued them to some card stock.

It definitely looks like an elementary school kid made it, but I love it! I hope Colin's grandparents do too!
Colin said it looks like a chile pepper. I find it appropriate considering New Mexico's state question is "Red or green?"

This is day 3 of a 25 days of Christmas series. To see the rest click here!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

2nd Day of Christmas: Salt Dough Ornaments

I remember doing salt dough ornaments when I was a little kid. We went over to Grammie's house and she had the dough ready, cookie cutters, paints, you name it. It was so much fun! My mom still has them and they still go on the tree every year.

This year I saw salt dough ornaments of hand prints on Pinterest. I don't know why that never occurred to me! Even though we are not putting up our own tree this year, I knew that I wanted to make some since
Rowen is only going to be this little once.

While she was eating lunch I got everything ready.

You will need:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1/2 water

I mixed the flour and salt together in a bowl. Then I added the water. I kneaded the dough for 5 minutes.
Simple as that, the dough is ready.

After I rolled out the dough, I gathered my little Cupcake and we got started.

It took a few tries to get it right. You need to push down into the dough pretty hard to get the hand prints to show up.

I cut around them with a butter knife and used the end of a wooden spoon to poke a hole for the hanger. I wasn't going for perfect, but if you are, you could always use a cookie cutter or something rounded to cut out your ornament.

Then I stuck them in the oven at 250 degrees and let them bake for 2 hours.

After the cooled completely, I decided to paint Rowen's name with the year on them with acrylic paint. I then let the paint dry. I  took them outside and sprayed them with acrylic sealer.

Lastly, after they were dry ( I would recommend drying them outside overnight), I used some ribbon for a hanger, and they were done!

I had so much fun, and so did Rowen. Mission Accompolished.

This is day 2 of a 25 Days of Christmas Series. To see the rest click here.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

1st Day of Christmas: Santa Baby

I love Christmas-did I mention that already? I love everything about it. I love the lights, decorations, food, and most of all, being around family. 

One tradition we had when I was little was going to see Santa. No matter what, we went every year. As I got older, of course I became less and less interested. Now that I have Rowen, I am so excited to be able to take her to see Santa. 

See Santa?......Check!

This is day 1 of a 25 Days of Christmas series. To see the rest, click here.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

25 Days of Christmas

I love Christmas.

Honestly, sometimes I wonder how I ended up putting up with Colin because he is the opposite. Other than gifts and our Christmas day marathons(we have 4 Christmases to go to every year), we don't really do anything to celebrate.

The year before last we were given a small Christmas tree and decorations by some of the ladies I work with because it was an "abomination" that we didn't have one; I was ecstatic. Last year I was 37 weeks pregnant, so there was no traveling home to see our families.

As you know, we had a baby in January. One of the first things I said to Colin when I was pregnant was that I was going to go all out for Christmas. She was going to have fun. We were going to decorate and bake and everything else one does during this season! She was not going to miss out on anything.

This year she is a little young and life is a little crazy to do a lot. We are moving a week before Christmas, so we wont be setting up our own tree this year. Life is putting a huge kink in my holiday plans!

However, to make up for it, I am going to do as many crafts as I can! I am making all of the gifts we are giving this year. I'm not sure if I will post these until after Christmas, just to keep the surprise for those family members who follow my blog.

My friend Randi at Sowdering About in Seattle is doing a 25 Days of Christmas link up. I decided that I am going to participate.

We all know how my 31 Day Challenge ended up...and I know going into this that I may not have enough material for 25 days, or time for that matter... which is why I decided to incorporate some of the people that I love in this challenge. I am working out some guest posts from some very talented ladies.

So here it is! Come back here to see an updated list of my posts. Be sure to check out the link up on Sowdering About to follow some other great blogs this holiday season!

1st Day of Christmas: Santa Baby
2nd Day of Christmas: Salt Dough Ornaments
3rd Day of Christmas: MistleTOES
4th Day of Christmas: Sweet Traditions
5th Day of Christmas: A Little Bit of Decorating
6th Day of Christmas: Show Me the Lights
7th Day of Christmas: Cookie, cookie, cookie!
8th Day of Christmas: Dolling Up for the Season- Guest Post by Rachel Sitton

Scrub a Dub Dub, There's a lot More than You Think in the Tub.

Rowen loves bath time.

This was when she was a baby. Now that she is a toddler, bath time is less of a relaxation time and more of playtime.

 The second she hears the water running, she speed crawls to the bathroom.
Her love of the bath also comes with a love of her bath toys. She loves to chew on them as she gets washed down.

You know what also loves bath toys? MOLD.
The insides of bath toys are the perfect habitat for mold; dark and wet.

I discovered this one day when I was squeezing out the excess water. To my horror, chunks and chunks of black mold squirted out with it. I will spare you the pictures, but it was awful.

So, I decided that I needed to figure out a way to clean them

First I filled my sink with hot water and added 1 cup of white vinegar. White vinegar is good at killing things such as mold.

I filled up the toys with the water/vinegar and let them soak for 30 minutes.

I then squeezed everything out of each toy. This worked well getting most of the mold out, but not all of it.

So, I tried the whole process again.

Still mold.

This time I filled my sink up with hot water and added 1/4 bleach. I filled the toys up with the water and let them sit for 30 minutes.

Again, I squeezed everything out of the toys. NO MOLD!!! I let the toys dry.

To prevent water getting into the toys in the future and giving mold the opportunity to grow again, I whipped out my hot glue gun and filled in the holes.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Day 28: Utility Closet

Everything is all over the place. Laundry, baby gear we are not using, floor mat. The washer and dryer have become holding places for things we want out of sight and out of mind.

First I took all of the unused baby gear and put it with the rest of it in my bedroom closet. The laundry basket was also put back in its spot in the closet.

I put up a tension rod below the shelf. We cloth diaper. Drying your diapers can wear out the elastic, so its best to hang dry. Thanks to the tension rod we can now do that here, instead of on the railing of the crib or the shower.

Then I moved to the shelf.
I moved all if the laundry related items to the left. I put Colin's tools and the baby proofing gear in  the middle. Lastly all of the cleaning related items were organized on the right.

Finally I finished putting away everything on the dryer, and moved Rowen's laundry basket here. It was originally in her crib, but I had to move it when I organized the crib a couple of weeks ago.


This is day 29 of a 31 day series. To see the rest of the series click here.

Day 27: Baby Cabinet

I started by taking everything out and putting in a huge pile on the floor.
Then I sorted. 

I decided that the bottom shelf would be for breastfeeding/pumping items.

I exclusively pump... because of this I have acquired 3 pumps; manual, battery-powered single, and a daily-use double. I only use the battery powered single when we travel and the manual is a back up. I found this little bag. It was the perfect size for my single, and the perfect size to just throw in a diaper bag when we are out.
I took the rest of of the spare parts for this pump and put them in a little metal organizer (Dollar tree).

I then went through the rest of my pumping stuff an put it in nice and neat.

I found tons of stuff we never use. Formula, baby powder, a ton of bottles and bottle parts.I have this constant fear that I am going to run out of milk for Rowen, so I kept the can of formula. There were tons of slow-flow nipples and some pacifiers that Rowen wont use, 3 nasal aspirators, and about 15 bottle caps. I kept 5 bottle caps and threw everything else away. O, I also kept the baby powder.

I put all of the grooming and medical items on the top shelf.

This is day 27 of a 31 day series. To see the rest of the series, click here.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Day 26: Closet Part 3: Everything Else

Part 3!!

My main goal was to get everything I could up off of the floor and to make the stuff on the overhead shelf more accessible.

I am always having to make Colin come and get down the big clear tub (baby clothes) because I can not get everything on top of it down. So, I went through the brown cardboard box, which was almost empty, and put everything inside away. Then I flattened it. I also rearranged the rest of the tubs to make more space.

I picked up the luggage and put them on a shelf. All of the blankets, yoga mat, and other random items were put away. Baby items that I am in the process of trying to find a new home for were neatly put in the closet as well.
I feel really great about how user-friendly my closet is now!


This is day 26 of a 31 day series. To see the rest of the series, click here.