Borderline Gluttonous?

One of my good friends took a picture of Anthony feeding Cecilia this past weekend while we were visiting him at the youth conference he was happily tied to.  I loved how well she captured her insatiable appetite and how much this kid of mine loooves food.  Where all of it goes, nobody knows…well, I do actually.  I’ve seen her diapers.  Anyway, I could go on but I guess the more appropriate thing would be to show you the picture so you can see for yourself.

c eating

Hope that brings you a smile today!!!

What I Wore Sunday ~2/24/13~

Once again, putting aside the sweatpants and tees for Sunday Mass along with all of the lovely link-up ladies at Fine Linen and Purple.

I could write so much about this particular Sunday.  It was a jam-packed day fo sho.  For starters, I was once again home alone with the infants going on teenagers this weekend while my husband, their father, was out causing Christian chaos with a bunch of teens at a youth conference.  So, being the brave madre that I am, I decided to go to Mass alone with the girls for real this time (last time I was solo I made sure some friends were going to be there with extra arms).  If you happened to be there, you probably didn’t miss me.  I was the spectacle with a baby strapped to her front side, a nothing-short-of-a-suitcase diaper bag slung over my left, and a car seat laden babe swinging on my right arm, carefully taking each step as if it were my last (because it just could’ve been with one tiny misstep) and breathing a hurricane-force wind every two seconds.  And people wonder why I’m “so little” after having twins…
Well, my first and last stop was the cry room and as soon as I sat down I said a little prayer that God protect me from melt-downs, outbursts, and big, bad diapers when who walked in but my friend Kerstin, her mom, sister, niece and nephew.  Praise the Lord for extra arms and for answering my prayers!  I hadn’t yet worked out a plan for how I was going to get to Communion but God had – Kerstin.  She carried Cecilia while I toted her sis.  And all was well with the Tobin women.  We walked out of that church alive in more ways than one.  :)

After Mass I fielded multiple “how do you do it?” questions from the masses, to which I always respond “I have no clue”, and headed on over to my equally-husbandless-for-the-weekend friend Lauren’s house for Emma’s birthday party.  It was five-year-old princesses and princes all up in there and a darn good time.  (She’ll be sure to write up a good hundred words or two about it that you should definitely check out, especially to see the cardboard castle we whipped up while our five cumulative kids vied for our attention.)  After the celebratory medieval fest, I ran a few errands and moved up the age ladder to hanging out with teenagers for the remainder of the day.  Needless to say, neither of my girls got in a real nap today so I’m crossing my fingers and pre-counting my sheep that I’ll be able to sleep over half the night before being awoken by a cranky, hungry twin or two.

And now I sit, writing it all out for you and yours when I should be showering, doing dishes, or washing diapers.  On to the point:
wiws22413 007 
What I wore.

Blazer:  Target (altered – see below)
Tee:  Target
Tank:  Forever 21
Mints:  Target
Peep-toes:  Wal-Mart
Necklace:  a b-day present from my friend Linsey (I’m not really a jewelry wearer per say, but I LOVE this necklace!  It comes with different colors of stones you can switch out (pearl white today) AND it’s simple…so perfect.)

Moving right along, I’m just going to go ahead and make this a smorgasbord of a post and tell you about my blazer.  I found it at Target a few weeks ago for $8.  The fit was okay, the price cheap – just like my diy lovin’ heart likes it.  My sis pinned it for me while it was on and I sewed through each side, lining and all, to get a tailored new blazer.  Straight stitch, zig zag in lieu of serging, and pinking shears and that’s all she wrote…about that.
wiws22413 003  

Last, words that struck me during the homily this morn that I’ll pass on to you.  “What are you holding on to in this life that you’re risking the Kingdom of heaven for?”  I was trying to keep Seraphia’s baby ADD at bay for most of the homily, but she did let me pay attention enough to hear that.  It made me think of heaven and how I’m really not willing to risk my chances of getting there one day yet I repeatedly do.  Oh humanity, why must you be so fickle!  Thank God for Lent, the ultimate time to take a hammer to those stubborn habits and faults!  I don’t know about you, but this one is kicking my butt and we’re not even half-way through.  Keep on keepin’ on, the rise of the Son is on it’s way!

DIY Changing Pad Cover

As my less-than-clever title suggests, this is a story about a changing pad and it’s desire…umm, my desire…for it to be covered.changingpadcover 021crop   The existing plastic doesn’t scream warm and cozy to me and the thought of four little warm buns repeatedly being shocked by it’s chill at every diaper change is haunting and insensitive so I set out to change that.  When searching the web for a good tutorial on how to make my own cover, I came across this one at Prudent Baby.  It seemed like the one with the greatest detail for someone like me who’s a little freakish at the thought of sewing from scratch.  It was also the simplest I could find.  I followed the tutorial word-for-word for the most part (opting to not use two different fabrics), but made a few adjustments and added an extra couple of steps at the end to get the custom changing pad cover of my day dreams.  I’ll lay it all out for ya in case you’re in the market to give some baby buns a warm landing spot as well.  Oh, I forgot to mention the best part of this whole undertaking - you’re making a changing pad cover out of ONE piece of fabric!  No sewing lots of different pieces and sections together which can get overwhelming and way too involved, especially since if you’re making this, chances are you’ve got a babe or two (or three, four, five…) of your own that’s vying for attention too.

So, first things first – fabric.  You’ll need a little under a yard of 54” wide fabric, a 48 x 32 inch piece to be exact.  I used an 84” long, Target curtain panel I found at Dirt Cheap for $3.  I only used half so the plan is to make a spare cover with the other half lest one get stained with excrement…which we all know never happens…  Also, make sure you wash your fabric beforehand…unwashed might mean shrinkage later along with a few choice words.  Second, this tutorial is for a standard, contoured changing pad measuring 34” x 16”.  We own this one.  Third, this is what you’ll need:changingpadcover 001

To start, cut a 48” x 32” piece of fabric.  I used a plastic quilting square I picked up at JoAnn’s to get straight edges and perfect corners.

Once you have your 48” x 32” piece, fold it in half length-wise with the right sides facing each other and then in half width-wise.  Draw an 7.5” x 7.5” square on the corner where there are no folds.  (I followed Prudent Baby’s instructions and drew an 8” x 8” square however, now that the cover is finished, I’ve realized I could use an extra half inch at each corner, so next time I’m going with a 7.5 inch square.) 
Untitled2 Again, my quilting square comes in handy.

Next, cut out the square making sure you cut through all four layers of fabric.
changingpadcover 007

When you unfold your fabric, it should now look like this:
changingpadcover 008

Now, sew the two sides of each square cut-out together, making sure the right sides are facing each other.

After you’ve sewn your square sides together, you’re former piece o’ fabric will look like this:changingpadcover 011
Got it so far?  Good!  Let’s move on!

Next up, fold over the bottom, raw edge of your future cover one inch and iron it down.changingpadcover 012 

And then fold it over one inch again, ironing and pinning in place this time.
changingpadcover 013 
  The elastic will run through this seam. 

Once you’re done ironing and pinning, sew your hem, keeping as close to the folded side as you can and making sure to leave a couple of inches unhemmed where you’ll insert the elastic.  Also, make sure you backstitch at each end of your hem to make sure it doesn’t come undone!

Now, grab your elastic and cut a 52 inch piece.  (Prudent Baby instructs to cut a 36 inch piece, but I found that my cover was way too tight, pressing and pulling on the corners of my changing pad.  So, after a few indignant huffs and puffs, I pulled out my seam ripper and veered from her path.)   Thread it through your new hem by pinning one end to your cover and sticking a safety pin through the other end. 
changingpadcover 017

Simply guide the safety pin end through your seam, sew the two elastic ends together, and stitch up the hole you left for the elastic.  (Never mind that mine is as crooked as Pisa’s tower.  It does the job.)  Untitled5

(At this point, I thought I was done.  But after putting the cover over the pad, it was a little too loose and a lot too frumpy in some areas than I liked.  So, I customized it.)

Next, put your newly sewn cover over your pad inside-out and gather the loose fabric near the ends, pinning it in place right over the contoured edges like so:
Make sure you do this to both ends.

To make my life easier, I drew a line across my pins along which to sew. 
changingpadcover 025

Take your cover back off and, while it’s still inside out, sew a straight stitch along the pin line, making sure to backstitch at each end.
changingpadcover 028 (You can cut the excess fabric off with a pinking shears, but I found that it’s not at all noticeable after you put your cover on.)

After all is said and done, your cover should now look like this:
changingpadcover 029

Now go ahead and change some diapers in style!
   changingpadcover 033

 changingpadcover 034

 changingpadcover 035

Whew!  Talk about a lot of pictures!  All in all, this project took me about an hour and a half to complete and that’s with correcting the inadequacies mentioned above.  I promise you it’s easier than it looks and much more budget-friendly (and way more chic) than buying a cover!  This cover cost me $5 to make - $2 for elastic and $3 for the curtain panel I used half of.  The twins’ bums will never again be subjected to a cold mat while I clean up their acts and I will be forever smug in the fact that I won’t have an ugly plastic pad ruining my decor vibe.

.           .           .

If you take on a changing pad of your own using this tutorial, let me know how it turns out!  I’d love to see your “buttiful” creations!  Ha!  Butt seriously, post pictures on Bean In Love’s facebook page or leave a link in the comments section below! 

Have a great weekend everyone!

You Know I Love Stripes

And so it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that I did this:
feb92012 025  to the other side of our newly stamped kitchen rug.

I debated a few other options – diagonal stripes, chevron, etc… – but in the end I loved the idea of the horizontal stripes not to mention that it was the easiest option because all it involved was laying down tape and painting…no cutting, trimming, or measuring.

All I used this two-inch wide masking tape (from Target) to create the stripes: feb92012 020

Before I started I ripped off a small piece of tape and stuck it to my rug to make sure that when removed, it wouldn’t ruin the rug.  Lucky for me, it came off as clean as can be.

So, starting at one end, I laid strips of tape about two inches apart…feb92012 021 
giving me lots of even stripes all the way down the rug.feb92012 022(I actually started laying two pieces of tape together for thicker stripes, but then changed my mind and went with the thin stripes.)

I made sure to wrap the tape around the sides and under the rug so that, if any paint got on the sides, it’d still be where it was supposed to be – part of a stripe.feb92012 023 
Then I carefully took the rug outside and gave it a couple of coats of spray paint, letting the first coat dry (about 30 minutes) before I sprayed the second coat.  After a few hours of leaving it outside to rid it of the paint smell, I brought it in, carefully removed the tape, and laid it in our guest room for 24 hours before bringing it into the kitchen to be walked all over.

feb92012 026

We love it!  It seriously looks like it was bought this way.  I noticed that the spray paint preserved the texture of the rug much more than the sponged on latex paint did.

[Update:  Read about how the rug is holding up here!] 

feb92012 031

Budget breakdown for this side:
Tape:  $4 (used only about 1/8 of the roll)
Spray Paint:  $4 (used one leftover can and half of another)
Total:  $8
…which brings the Grand Total of the entire project to:  $34
Thirty-four beans for a reversible rug that we can flip and reverse depending on our mood, that can be easily washed, that adds some much need pattern and color into our kitchen, and that gives our dish-washin’ footsies a soft place to land.  Not bad, I’d say!

So, the only question that remains is, which side do you like better?reversi      stripes                                                  or                                             patterned   

.           .           .

I’ve been busy in the nursery and I’ve got a good read/tutorial coming your way this weekend!  Hope to see you then!

P.S.  It’s party time!  Linking up at A Bowl Full of Lemons, Ginger Snap Crafts, and Gingerly Made!

A ‘Rug’ged Outlook

We’re still trying to infuse some much needed color into our white, white kitchen and I knew that one of the biggest steps I could make in that direction would be putting down a rug.  I wanted a runner but, you know me, I didn’t want to spend a bunch of cash on one.  I wanted something with a big geometric pattern but unfortunately, unless I settled for a plain old solid, nothing with a price tag low enough (say under $25) was popping up.  Never fear, pinterest is here (my new mantra?).  I’ve seen dozens and dozens of stenciled and painted rugs before and those rugs usually hailed from IKEA, which we don’t have anywhere close.  Lucky for me, I’ve got a friend named Allyson who does.  She’s going to school 30 minutes from an IKEA and so I had her swipe up a rug for me and bring it down home last summer.  Well, then the twins were born, I lost a bunch of sleep, I was feeding them allthetime, other projects got in the way, I couldn’t decide what color, yadda, yadda, yadda…  But, last weekend while Anthony was away on a trip to St. Louie, I got my rug on.

First of all, the inspiration.  John and Sherry from Young House Love created the ultimate dollhouse for their little girl, Clara, and this is one of the rooms:kitchrugpattern

When I saw it, the first thing my eyes went to was the “rug”.  I had to replicate the pattern.  So, I did.

feb92012 045

And here’s how:

feb92012 005I used a 3/4 inch thick piece of insulation styrofoam to make a stamp and stamped the design over the entire rug.  You could probably use a thick piece of cardboard or a piece of packing styrofoam as well.

The first thing I did was draw up the design.  I made the outside square one foot by one foot and  guessed at the rest of the design’s measurements.   feb92012 001

Then I traced it onto my foam piece and cut it out using one of our knives (I really, really need to invest in an exacto knife).  I made sure to get a clean cut on the side of the foam that I’d be stamping with.  The other side crumbled a little as the knife cut through but since it wouldn’t be touching the rug, it didn’t matter.
feb92012 006

To give me something to hold onto while I stamped, I glued a wood block to the back of the inside stamp and two folded pieces of cardboard to the outer square. feb92012 008

Enter the rug.  Lucky for me, it’s almost the same size as our dining room table so I had a perfect work surface.feb92012 009

As for the color, I finally decided on this:  feb92012 019
Valspar’s Secluded Garden.  It’s part of their pre-mixed sample selection at Lowe’s this season.

So, starting with the outside square of my design, I brushed a coat of paint onto the foam using a small foam brush.feb92012 010

Then I stamped the very center of the rug, which I measured for and found beforehand.feb92012 011

feb92012 012

I worked my way out and around the entire rug… feb92012 013

until I had a basic lattice design. feb92012 014

Next I grabbed the inside of my design and stamped it inside each square.feb92012 015

 feb92012 016

 feb92012 017

After I was done stamping, I filled in the design by sponging on paint using my foam brush.feb92012 018

I let it dry for 24 hours before I laid it down for fear that if I didn’t I’d be tracking blue paint all over our house…a nice surprise Anthony would’ve loved to come home to, I’m sure.

[Update:  Read about how the rug is holding up here!]

feb92012 041

The cost?
Rug:  $20
Paint: $6 (two sample-sized jars)
Foam:  already had
Foam brush:  already had
Total:  $26

feb92012 039 

 feb92012 040 

But wait!  There are two “sides” to every story, including this one.  I’ll let you in on the other side sometime this week.  Until then, I’m linking up with Ana and her infamous Valentine’s Day Cabin Fever Creativity Link-Up and this weeks Martha Mondays.  Go check out the craftiness that’s flowing and have a great weekend!

P.S.  I’m back from the future and linking up with Remodelaholic here!  Check out all the DIY goodness!