Until Next Year…


stockings.  That’s what I told those inanimate objects after a fight with the sewing machine this afternoon plus some pom pom trim and a little leopard velour.  This, ladies and gentlemen, is as far as I’ve gotten with our stockings: photo (3)

I know I mentioned before Christmas that I was going to get these done but no dice.  The girls’ play kitchen made sure I didn’t start on our stockings until after Christmas.  So, look for a whole tutorial on how I put these things together next November-ish.

I worked long and I worked hard on these things after I fell in love with these stockings from Ballard Designs: T_WithoutZoom
[image via Ballard Designs]

And let me tell you, I now know and understand why they charge (what I used to think was a crazy) $39.99 per stocking.  Making them from scratch is t to the e to the dious folks!  I learned a lot of new things about sewing and embroidering though in the midst of it all so don’t worry, I’ll make sure it’s a little easier for you all!

They’ll be back later this year.  Merry Christ…Happy New Year!

What Day Is It?


That’s probably the most asked question from myself to myself.  I get sidetracked a lot between feeding this kid, getting this one to the bathroom, changing this diaper bomb, and helping this one find her suddenly missing pants.  So, that’s why having a calendar in a few different places is so helpful for this mom. 

I have one on my phone’s home and main screens and the same one on my laptop background.  It’s this one from Oana Befort.
Processed with VSCOcam with 5 preset 
I’ve mentioned her calendar before; it’s so great.  My sister told me about her and her fabulous calendar downloads (that are FREE!) a year ago and I’ve been hooked ever since.  They’re beautiful and she makes them different every month.  I know that January is almost over but the calendar is so pretty this month so grab it while there are a couple days left!

I also have a small calendar hanging on a magnetic hook on the side of our fridge.
 photo 2 (24)  
[tutorial for the DIY dry-erase, to-do list here]

This year, I downloaded this one from Delineate Your Dwelling.  It’s free too!  I used to love and download the free printable calendars Young House Love made because they were long and thin, but since they’ve stopped blogging and therefore making calendars, I’ve had to look elsewhere.  Amy’s is meant to be printed on regular 8.5” x 11” paper, but since I needed something a tad smaller to fit my little fridge space, I printed them out two per page, cut them out, and then cut off the outsides where the horizontal lines end to make them thinnner.  Also, our ink cartridges are acting up, printing the calendar in a deep blue rather than black but I kinda like it that way.  (P.S.  We tried out those generic, refilled cartridges because they’re a good amount cheaper and we’ve had nothing but issues with them.  We’ll be buying the real deals next time.)
photo 1 (22)
[Sorry my pictures are a little blurry!  I’ve been lazy and taking phone pictures vs. the big rig…]

I like how simple Amy’s monthly calendars are and that they have a space for notes.  :)

Here are some other free calendar printables I’ve found floating around the web (please pin from original sources):

[from Classy Clutter]

[from Going Home to Roost]

[from Cocorrina]

[from Elegance and Enchantment]

This uber cool one from Vanessa Quijano.

.           .           .

So, are you like me and always wondering what day it is?  I don’t know if I should really blame it on the kids or if it’s just my aging brain.  Maybe we’ll just slice that one down the middle and call it a tie.  :) 

Last Week


So I just typed out a whole post about last week and deleted it because I feel I can’t quite get the right words out to describe it.  It was a sad one.  Once again, I was reminded over and over of the sadness of death.  Even though I know that death isn’t the end, it still hurts so much to see people suffer because of it.  Loss is tough.  Last week I watched via Facebook as Paul Coakley, a guy I went to college with, lost his battle with cancer, survived here on earth by his eight-month pregnant wife and their three small children.  I just can’t imagine and I tried to all week but I just couldn’t handle the thought.  My heart hurts for them. 
Image via Facebook

On top of that, the 22nd marked the 42nd anniversary of Roe vs. Wade; when our Supreme Court legalized the murder of innocent babies in the womb.  Millions of babies have been brutally murdered since then, all while our country looks on and calls it “legal”. 

So many questions went through my mind as I tried to wrap my head around all of the suffering the world carries with it.  “Why the Coakley’s?”  “Why not us?”  “What if that happens to our family?”  “What if one of those aborted babies, having been saved, would’ve finally found the cure for cancer and none of this would’ve happened?”  I know that God has a plan and, as hard as it is, in the end I have full faith and trust in what He’s doing and allowing here in life.  He knows.  He cares.  He loves us.  With Him is what we all want our final resting place to be, right?  Life is so short and the hope of heaven is a great hope and to that I cling in times of sorrow.

Saying all that is easy and I know it because I’ve told myself if a thousand times over but it’s still hard during weeks like last week to be happy, to find joy in things, to write about the latest silly project I’m working on, to see happy faces on social media…to keep on keeping on.  I feel like during tough times I have a constant cloud over my head, basking me in sorrow.  Of course, I find joy in little things like the crazy things my kids do but it’s hard for me to think about things that I feel shouldn’t matter.  I was working to try to finish our Christmas stockings and I felt guilty for sewing and doing something that makes me happy.  I don’t know.  I guess I’m rambling and maybe not making any sense but my point is that, I shouldn’t be unhappy.  I shouldn’t feel down-trodden if I truly know that God is in charge, that He cares, that He loves us.  Yes it’s ok to mourn with those who are mourning but for me to get stuck in a slump because of it isn’t ok.  I had lots of happy moments last week but I also had lots of moments when I didn’t want to do anything but sit and sulk and be sad.  Anthony went to the March for Life in DC for four days and so I didn’t have him here to whip me into shape and so the rain cloud it was a lot of the time.  I should’ve taken that sorrow and turned it into prayers for those like the Coakley’s who needed it.  What a much better way to have spent my energy.  And so, this week, I’m doing just that.  I’m not going to be sad and down, I’m going to be happy, do what I normally do, and offer every moment I can up for those suffering.  Will you join me?  Pray for the Coakley’s.  Pray for all the mothers’ in the world who are dealing with the after-effects of having abortions.  Pray for the doctors murdering these precious babes.  Pray, pray, pray.  And be happy.  Take comfort in knowing that you have a God who loves you truly, madly, and deeply (thanks Savage Garden).  And pray that one day your path will lead straight to Him. 

God bless you friends!   

.           .           .

If you haven’t already, please visit the Coakley’s Facebook page and read their story.  It’s truly inspiring and the testimonies of his life from those closest to him are amazing.  He truly was an example to so, so many in life and in death.  Some of the Coakley’s friends have also set up a donation account so, if you can, please give where it will be most appreciated!  Any amount helps!

#paulprayforus    #prayforann    #livelikepaul

12 Months of Sebastian


They say there’s no love like the love of a parent and I didn’t believe it (or didn’t care) until I had kids.  It’s true…every single word.  You never knew you could be so in love, so willing to lay down your life and your desires, or so paranoid and overprotective until a little you came along.  Twelve months after (another) tiny tot is born, your feelings have only increased a thousand-fold even if he’s a horrible sleeper and stuck to you like glue allthetime.  Even so, at the ripe age of ONE he’s the best cuddler, eats like a champ, and his dependency is something I’m sure Anthony and I will both wish back in a few years.

This kid though…  
1 Month 

seb2mnths ftkalinga
2 Months

3 Months

4 Months 

5 Months

6 Months

7 Months

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8 Months

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9 Months

10 Months

11 mo (2)blog
11 Months 

1 year pixdw



Dun Dun Dun


I’m over at Twin Talk blog today talking discipline – how we try to curb bad behavior, do time-out, and how we’re just doing what parents do with the tough love stuff.  You might know the drill.  :)


If you’re interested in that kind of stuff, head over and check it out! 

Cabinet Makeover + Cheap DIY Sponge Pattern


Where oh where did we leave off in regards to the laundry room cabinet…oh yes, paint.  I filled in the scrollwork and got it painted and then left you all hanging because life, as it usually does, got in the way.  Well, last week, after three straight days of all three kids napping at the same exact time, I finally finished.  See?
[Sorry for the sun glare in the ‘after’ picture…naptime also happens to be my take-a-picture-of-completed-projects time and at that time, in the laundry room anyway, the sun doesn’t play nice.]

It looks SO much better than the old wood thing it started out as, especially with those decorative holes and the scrollwork filled in.

So after I painted it, we set it back in the corner where it now lives.  Next up was installing a couple of shelves in the top part (we removed the very top shelf you can see in the ‘before’ picture because it didn’t extend all the way to the back of the cabinet, replacing it with a new one that did).  There were already holes drilled down the sides where I could place shelving pegs to hold the middle/second shelf, but they didn’t go up far enough to fit in another shelf at the top (the previous one was held in with wood supports that we removed).  So, I drilled my own holes. 

First, I measured where I wanted the shelf to go.  It was as simple as measuring up from the next shelf down (the second shelf) and making a few marks that were vertically in line with the existing peg holes below.  I had to make sure that when I drilled the peg holes, I didn’t drill through the sides of the cabinet.  But, the holes needed to be deep enough to fit each peg.  So, I stuck the drill bit in an existing peg hole and taped off the end where it met the cabinet.photo 2 (20)

Then I drilled a hole where I had made the peg marks, only drilling until the tape touched the cabinet.   photo 3 (9)

photo 4 (11)

It was an easy way to prevent myself from drilling through the side of the cabinet.

Later, I simply inserted the shelf pegs and the shelf.  You can kinda see how the pegs (purchased at Lowe’s) work in this picture:
  laundrycab (9)
There are four – two towards the front of the shelf and two towards the back – that hold up the shelf. 

Next, let’s talk about the cross pattern on the back of the cabinet.  What you saw in that ‘after’ pic above was not my original intention.  Initially, I wanted to draw a pattern on with a gold sharpie paint pen.  And I did, but I only got as far as the very bottom of the cabinet…thankfully.  When I had finished drawing the pattern late one night I thought I might as well go in and put a coat of Polycrylic over it for extra protection to stay ahead of the game.  But, when I started painting on the Polycrylic, my (painstakingly) drawn on pattern was smearing and disappearing right before my eyeballs!!
  photo 1 (19)
[Take a picture.  It’ll make you feel better…not.]
Water-based yo.  DON’T USE WATER-BASED SHARPIE PAINT PENS IF YOU’RE PLANNING ON WIPING-DOWN OR PAINTING POLYCRYLIC OVER YOUR MEDIUM!!!  I don’t know if I’d be sane right now if I had figured that out AFTER I had drawn the pattern on the entire back of the shelf as was the plan…I’m going to say not sane.

So, after I mourned the pattern, I wiped off the Polycrylic and what I could of the pattern and painted right over the top of it with white paint, to start anew.  Onto plan b.  Instead of the sharpie route, I sponged on a cross pattern using a sponge brush I had laying around.
photo 2 (22)
I cut the pointed top off of it and used the flat surface that gave me to sponge on two intersecting lines.photo 1 (13)
I had a picture of the sponging in-process but I can’t find it so hopefully you get my gist.
IMG_5345Each cross is a little different and the whole pattern is very imperfect but I like it.  I semi-measured, semi-eye-balled cross placement and for the most part, everything’s pretty even.  I used a test pot I got for free with a coupon (color:  Desert Hotsprings by Valspar and from Lowe’s) so plan b didn’t cost me a dime…a slight condolence after my sharpie fail.  :)

I sponged the crosses onto the entire back of the cabinet (minus the electrical box door) and was planning on sponging the tops of the shelves as well but in the end I only sponged it onto the bottom two, wood shelves.  We ended up buying an uber-cheap remnant of laminate for the top two shelves and I didn’t know if they’d hold up being painted in a laundry room cabinet that was going to hold some hefty stuff.  So, I kept them as they were.
laundrycab (15)
I went back and forth between sponging or not sponging the electrical box door.  (Anthony did such a great job cutting out a little hole for it, no?)  On one hand I thought it’d look great it if was sponged and blended (hopefully) right in to the back of the cabinet but on the other, when we move someday and (possibly) take this cabinet with us, I’m sure I’d be cursing myself for making my future, moving self have to paint over the crosses on the panel when I had 10947 other things to do.  So, for now, it stays plain jane.
laundrycab (8)

There’s still a lot of organizing to do on the cabinet which involves the need for some new storage bins (anyone have any ideas where I can get cheap storage containers??) but it’s a lot better than the pile-up we had before:photo (7)

laundrycab (19)It’ll look even better once I figure out a better shoe storage solution next to it and I might even cover the front with a fabric curtain to just hide everything.  Time will tell.

Oh, and can I just go on a tangent here?  I found this tip on Pinterest last week on how to avoid plastic bag clutter by folding your plastic bags and storing them that way so that they take up less space and so I folded all of our bags (they’re all hanging on a knob I screwed through a hole in the top right of the cabinet – like the knobs I placed on the girls play fridge).  Five minutes later I placed them back into the bag whence they came and look at how much of a difference it made:
Same amount of bags; just folded.  Crazy, isn’t it?!

Goldie Toes Jr.


Bethany made me do it.  Okay.  Maybe it was my own fault, especially since I’m now a repeat offender.  Paint, you guys.  It makes the old new and the new old and the boring fun.  Take for instance, these shoes:10686777_795591188170_4696237025952177932_nI bought both of them secondhand for $3.50 each awhile back.  So cute for cheap, right?  The pandas had the girls at hello but the pink?  The pom on the toe, while it was cute, needed to hop on the next plane back to Whoville….making these little shoes the perfect specimens for some cap toeing.

So, for starters, after I got the pom off the front of each (I just used a seam ripper), I gathered my supplies – a paint brush, some painters’ tape, and gold paint (I love my Martha metallic gold!). 
    photo 1 (12)

Then I taped off the fronts where I’d be painting the toe.photo 2 (19)

Last, I painted the toe and ripped the tape off right after I was done, while the paint was still wet.photo 3 (8)
(I went back in later and pulled out those leftover threads you can see in the above pic when I was done and touched up the paint.  Also, the paint I used dries a lot more metallic than it looks when it’s wet.)

The shoes have a strap, as you probably noticed, but the girls can get them on easier by themselves without using the strap and the shoes stay on great without it, so I ended up just cutting it out a few weeks ago. 

I did this one day in the five minute time span I have between giving the girls their lunch and them yelling “all done” (little bro was napping).  It was so simple!

photo 5 (6)
Top >> Kohl’s,  Cords >> Thrifted (Old Navy), Sweater >> mine from Rue 21 (XS on me, XL on her :p  ), Beanie >> mine  

I love them because they go with pretty much everything the girls own.  And did I mention that I painted these a few months ago?  I’m so behind on posts y’all.  Point is, they still look awesome and they’ve probably been worn over 30 times outside of the house on one twinkle toe or another.

photo 4 (10)

Soooo, any card-carrying shoe painters out there?  What about other random items?  Profess the power of paint!


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