Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Hoot-Hoot for Pinterest Challenge

Hoot-Hoot for Hooter Hiders.  Or Utter Covers, or just a plain old Nursing Cover.  Whichever you prefer.  My sister-in-law got me my first nursing cover when I was having Griff, and it was in my diaper bag at all times.  However, I wasn't super confident nursing in 'public,' so I quickly resorted to pumping and bringing bottles wherever I went.  But after a year of that, I was left feeling....burned out, to say the least.

So this go-round it is one of my goals to be more confident in nursing.  Wherever baby sister get hungry, still using my own discretion based on comfort.  In order to pump myself up (pun not intended) for using my pump less, I decided making a few new nursing covers would allow me to camouflage myself depending on the situation.  Maybe one with a gray tone, a black tone and brown tone?  My current nursing cover is I've got my bases covered.

So here's where the Pinterest Challenge comes in.....

The Pinterest Challenge comes up seasonally throughout the year.  It is hosted by some awesome bloggers like Katie at Bower Power and Sherry at Young House Love, as well as some guest hosts, Megan at The Remodeled Life and Michelle at Decor and the Dog.  And basically it is a challenge to get to do-ing some of the stuff you've pinned on Pinterest.

In the past I have made personalized onesies, fabric art, duvet art, and a capiz ceiling light.  I still make personalized onesies and fabric art.  The duvet has since been switched out for something more seasonal and as for the capiz, I doubt I will ever make one of those ever again--unless I have 100 hours to fill and am reeeaaalllly bored.


I hopped on Pinterest to get a few ideas about nursing covers.  At first glance there were a few options to just buy them.  But what would be the fun in that!?  A girl who's in her last week of pregnancy and has everything else ready to go, needs a nesting project:).

I liked those in basic neutral this one from More for Mums, which was £19.99 (don't ask me what that is in $$$, I'm too pregnant to do math).

But I wanted something a little less "art-smock" looking.  And I think they nailed the advertising on this one.  Because this is what I look like breastfeeding.  Enjoying the beautiful weather all wind-blown and smiling.  This one was being sold on Amazon for $38.99.  Does that price include the hair and far off gaze?  Anyway, I thought I could make one for cheaper.

Here was one DIY tutorial from Prudent Baby....

And another from Freshly Picked....
I used both tutorials to get the right process, and if I were you I'd consult and follow them, because they both covered the process (again--pun not intended but I'm pretty pun-y today!) way better than I could. 
While this picture implies I made two....I actually ended up making about 9 of them:).  Not all for me of course, but I have a lot of friends who are about to become first time mommies so I got ahead of the game for shower gifts:).
 I was too impatient to wash the fabric first (which you should do) but I did iron it.
 Making the hems was pretty easy....and quick compared to making the straps.
 Sewing and over stitching the straps was really no biggie, it was turning them right side in that took forever.  Like the last two episodes of Downton Abbey (which I think was 3 1/2 hours total).
 Skip along a few hours and here is the final product!

But, some tips I could offer:
-use a pin when trying to turn the straps right side in (that was by far the most time consuming part)
-don't bother with doesn't have to be perfect (but then again I'm not a seamstress:)
-DO sew the boning on one end before trying to feed it through
-Don't forget how to wind your bobbin, otherwise you'll have to waste a lot of time doing it by hand (like me:)
-1 yard of fabric: $2.50 (50% off and I had a 50% off coupon!)
-D clips ($1.25)
-16 inches boning ($1.99)
Total: $5.74
Whoopieee!  I totally saved  $35, from buying one online and I have leftover scraps already making themselves into headbands!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Big (ish) Boy Room

Griffin's big boy room is done.  Well as done as it's going to get any time soon.  It's pretty much the same layout as his nursery (see an old bedroom makeover).  We did get him a new crib from IKEA that converts into a toddler bed, but it's also pretty low to the ground which I like.  The Car Wall Art was a new project, and the bookshelf is the same one only in black (IKEA Expedit), which was in our basement bathroom.  Otherwise the window treatments, rug, chair, etc. are all his original furniture.

The armoire was relocated from the office and was made over to be an actual closet.  The changing table is the changing pad that hides under the armoire.

This wall was a series of projects and is probably the part of his room that is most incomplete as it will probably morph as time goes on.  I do love how Pa's truck looks up top though:).
The small white frame (which I forgot to get a close-up of) is a really cool sign that my roommate from college made for Griff.  It has his name, DOB, height weight, time etc.  It's awesome and she's so creative.

I got the play table at IKEA for $7.99 and the chairs were garage sale finds and a gift from Nate's grandmother.
The wall art on the left is where his baby weight (for the first year) art (painted by my great grandfather) used to hang.  The new art is actual a magnetic car scene that has some magnet pieces that Griff loves to play with.  That was a Meme find.

See any of my spray paint projects?

The G. A. W. hooks were a Michael's find by my awesome sister-in-law who went to a bunch of different Michael's just to get Griff and Levi their initials:). 
The artwork station was inspired by my friend Keidra who made one for her daughter Charlotte.  It houses crayons, paper and play-doh.  All of which we are totally into right now.
Oh, and it's all from IKEA in that kitchen organization section.
The last step to finalizing Griffin's big boy room is attaching the furniture to the walls.  At least the big stuff.  After reading this, I was sufficiently freaked-out enough to finally do it.  That way when Griff is in a big-boy bed we will already have everything ready.  He will be a big brother any moment now, or maybe after this posts, he already is.....only time will tell!!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Baby Sister's Room

So here is baby sister's room.  It's not 100% done, but done enough...and ready for her arrival, hopefully some time in the next week:)!  It's a full moon on Monday, so here's hoping to that wive's tale.  We started out by NOT painting the room.  This is my favorite color room in the house (it used to be our office and it used to be alllllll green).  It's a dark grey now (I think it's Dovetail by Sherwin Williams) and I actually LOVE the paneled walls.  Got the rug from Ikea for $19.99 and aside from some accessories, everything else was moved from another location in our house!
The corner armoire, book shelf, changing table and crib were from Griffin's room (and originally from Craigslist), the chair was in our office but got a makover before landing in its final destination.


The baby scale in the corner is a vintage baby scale that was my mother's baby sister's great grandpa Charlie's.

The bedding is from Dwell Studio (circa 2009) and was pretty tough to find.  But, my mom is an expect at scouring the internet, making phone calls and learning new languages to track down the discontinued pieces.  And she did it.  Successfully.  Wow.
The wood oval wall art is not finished (well it is, but it's facing the wrong way--hint: the other side has her name on it!:), and the picture frames will obviously get pictures of baby sister.

The changing table area is stocked with the newborn cloth dipes, blankets and burp towels, though were hoping she doesn't spit up quite as much as Griff did:).

And of course I had to invest in some girly accessories.  Though I'm not a huge "pink fan," I'm a fan of I found a few on Etsy to spruce up her possibly bald little head:).

She could come any day....and we are 'patiently' waiting for her arrival!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Say it don't spray it...

Here are a bunch of spray paint projects lumped into one good old fashioned craft day.  Most of the items getting a spray makeover are from thrift stores, Target dollar section and Ikea.  And, most of the items will end up in Griffin's big boy room or Baby Sister's room.
First I primed the items with a coat of primer.
Then I sprayed them their selected color (some got a gray coat, some got a white coat (though I wouldn't call them Dr.'s...hehe) and some got a mauve purple coat.
Phase 2: Adding details
Piggy bank went from white to gray and had to get a new face. Plain wooden sailboat went from light wood to gray with yellow details

This one is a secret project...only to be revealed after baby sister is born, but it is our old address sign from when we re-did the post.
And there you have it...killing a bunch of birds (or unwanted animals, buckets, clocks) with one stone (or a couple of bottles of spray paint:).  Be on the lookout for where these items end up either in Griffin's big boy room or Baby Sister's room!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Rah-Rah-Rah for Ski-U-Mah

Griffin loves songs.  We have to limit bedtime songs to 3 because one of his favorite phrases is, "a couple more songs:)."  And he says it so sweet, it makes me want to cave.  But limits and boundaries are what he needs, so we're sticking to our guns at 3 songs before bed. 
He really does like all types of songs: kid songs, radio songs, church songs, but his favorite by far is fight songs.  AKA rousers.  Remember when he learned to sing SKOL Vikings?!
Well, when Viking season was officially over, we had to move into a new "sporting season."  And since he got this awesome Gopher outfit for Christmas this year, we started singing the U of MN rouser.
He's caught on pretty well.  He misses a few words here and there, usually leaves out the second "n" in Minnesota (and sometimes forgets the "a"), but he's got it down pretty well for a not even two year old.  He even broke it out one Saturday morning at our favorite breakfast spot and prompted the whole place to clap and cheer for him.
In honor of the Gopher/Hawkeye game today...Rah-Rah-Rah for Ski-U-Mah!   This isn't his most enthusiastic attempt, but you get the drift....

Griffin's lyrics: Minnesota hats of to thee colors to we shall be firm and strong united are we!  Rah, Rah, Rah for Ski-U-Mah, Rah, Rah, Rah, Rah, Cheer for the U of M....M-I-N-E-S-O-T....Minnesota, Minnesota, yeaaaaahhh Gophers!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The only day of the year "Mine" is okay at our house

"Be Mine," that is.  It's not that it's a forbidden word, it's just that I've heard it uttered in a whiny, selfish way amongst many kids Griff's age and it makes my skin crawl.  So we're trying to teach Griff that instead of things being, "mine," we just take turns.  Recently I even threw it out there that everything is God's and he lets us use it....I think it was a little over his head:).

Anyway, in an effort to keep busy/kill time waiting for baby sister to come, Griffin and I decided to make Valentine's day cookies.  Well, I made the cookies, and frosted them, and he helped decorate.  A little.

My Mom's Morning girls had participated in a cookie bake awhile back and shared their yummy sugar cookie and icing/frosting recpies.  I hope they're not special family recipes we were supposed to keep to ourselves, because here they are!

Sugar Cookies
1 1/2 C sifted powdered sugar
1 C butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond flavoring
2 1/2 C flour
1 tsp soda
1 tsp cream of tarter

Cream sugar and butter. Mix in vanilla, almond and egg. Blend dry ingredients together; stir in (do not use mixer). Chill 2-3 hours. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface. Bake 375 for 8 min or just beginning to turn golden on edges.
 Sugar cookie Frosting
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup shortening
5 tablespoons milk
1 teaspon vanilla extract
food coloring
In a large bowl, cream together the confectioners' sugar and shortening until smooth. Gradually mix in the milk and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth and stiff, about 5 minutes. Color with food coloring if desired
Side Note: I'm not a big "baker," so I had some questions while looking through these recipes.  But first I have to admit that I did not own a rolling pin and had to borrow one from my neighbor:).  So to all you expert bakers: how thick would you suggest the dough to be when rolling it out? (I made mine a little thicker than a fruit leather strip) Is 'sifting' the sugar necessary? (I didn't do it.) What  kind of milk would you use (1% ok?)?  And, what is cream of tarter, and why is it a powder and not in the 'dairy' section of the grocery store?
I always get a little nervous 'baking.'  It seems so precise and exact compared to cooking....but each of these recipes were pretty simple and I think the cookies turned out ok....
 So, like I said...I had to use my neighbors rolling pin (that's what it's called, right?  For some reason it's not sounding right....).  I rolled out the dough, cut little hearts....
....a little thicker than a fruit leather...

 Placed them on a baking sheet (didn't grease it...because it didn't say to...)
 And let them cool on tin foil (so I could use my one baking sheet for subsequent batches).
Then I made the (above) frosting, and used food coloring to make pink and purple, while I left one white.

 I was a little disappointed in the's more lavendar than the "go viking" variety I was going for, but it's still pretty cute:)
 While watching the "State of the Union," I frosted cookies....
 Lots of cookies....
 Piles of cookies....
 One of the reasons I have never made sugar cookies before is that they really aren't my favorite.  I much prefer sweets of the dark chocolate variety.  But in this case, making cookies I don't really like helped me to refrain from eating them all. 
 I did eat a few....come on, I'm 38 weeks pregnant:)
 As you can see, I decorated most of the cookies before Griff was even involved in the project.
 I think I made total like 70 something cookies.  I probably did 50 the night before and left 20 plain purple, pink and white for Griff and me the next day.
After lunch, (and yes-I highly recommend doing this on a full stomach:) I broke out the cookies and the decorating frosting (in plastic baggies), and let Griff have at it. I guess my teaching skills have gone downhill after being out of the biz for a few years because the first thing he did was lick the cookie.  I let him eat that one...
 I quickly realized that he was more interested in eating the cookies than decorating them (DUH!). So, while he ate his first cookie, I decorated all but a few.
Then I gave him the baggies (which he also proceeded to lick) and another cookie and let him add a few drizzles to some pre-decorated cookies.  Thankfully I was done decorating:)
 He was very proud of himself and even fell for the purple as a "go viking purple cookie."
 It was a good exercise in fine motor control...see educational and yummy!
 He definitely liked the "pile up" look.
 Our first baking experience was a success....even though he was only part of it for a few minutes, he's still talking about, "Mommy and Giffy decorating cookies!"