Better Late…

…than after Christmas.  That’s my motto these days!  Per the usual, I’m behind on all projects ‘Christmas’ thanks be to motherhood (Not a complaint!  Just a fact!).  I’m always amazed by all these mom bloggers with the gorgeous, Christmas-ready homes.  That my friends, is not me.  Maybe next year.  I know that having three kids under 2.5 isn’t the norm and so most peeps don’t have the in’s and out’s and up’s and down’s that come along with that so I’ll just use that as my excuse and get moving on…   :)

I mentioned last week (or two weeks ago…who’s counting) that I was going to make us some stockings this year and I am!  I just got the last of the mailed-in supplies and have to grab a few more things at the fabric store before I start!  So, it might not be until Christmas Eve that we have our stockings hung by the mantel, maybe with care but probably with haste, but they will be there and I’ll have a tutorial up after Christmas that the internet world will be able to use next year on the how’s and what’s.  Spoiler alert:  It’s gonna be good! 

Also in the same, slow-going, late fashion, here’s this weeks project:
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This is the girls’ new play kitchen, pre-Anthony & Sheena reno.  I had been looking for an old entertainment center for months before I stumbled upon this one at Goodwill for $6!!!!!!  That’s right, $6!!  All of the doors and shelving were taken off of it but set to the side, so not missing, just removed.  It had been marked down and marked down more for some reason and then I came along and snatched it up faster than you could say “dude”.  Even though the cabinet itself is laminate, the doors are solid wood and super nice!  You can see them and the shelves all stacked atop the kitchen.

Our goal is to have it done and sitting under next to the Christmas tree for the girls on Christmas Day.  This morning I removed all the rusted hinges and knobs to make way for new ones.  See how rusted they were?  photo 1 (6)

I also ordered some bar pulls off eBay for the refrigerator and oven.  Anthony and I sat down and settled on a final plan for it so we’re just collecting supplies right now and then next will come a little bit of building, a lot painting, and some fun accessorizing!  I’m so excited!  I’m going to share peeks into how it’s going on Instagram so if you wanna see, check there!  Our budget is $50 for the entire thing, start to finish.  We’ll see how close we actually come to that numero.  :) 

Thanks for checking in on this Monday!  I hope everyone has a great week! 

Sebastian: 11 Months

In all my years, this one has flown by the fastest I think.  Maybe it’s because with the birth of Sebastian left my sleep-filled nights and while they returned for a very brief stint a couple of months ago, they’re now just a memory.  And we all know that with lack of sleep comes days that seem to float by and weeks that seem to meld together and months that suddenly are gone and “wait, where did January go?  Oh yeah, I’ve been as good as sleep-walking since then.”  Okay, so maybe that’s a gross exaggeration and I really don’t flit through my days carelessly and aimlessly but it’s the only excuse I can think of to explain the passing year. 

I think about time passing quickly a lot but recently whipping up Seb’s 11 month tie really made the thought count.11 mo (2)blog

That cute kid’s gonna be ONE next month!  Like, whoa!

I’ll release all my emotion and thoughts on his past year next month but until then, let’s take a walk down Last Month Lane.  (I stole all these pics from Instagram so I apologize if you’re seeing them twice!)

Swing, meet Sebastian.  Sebastian, meet swing.  I don’t know why it took me this long to take all three kids outside together by myself but it did.  It was only this past month that I braved the backyard alone with them and was smart enough to sit Seb in the swing, which he LOVED, and which allowed me to watch the girls without having an extra 20 lbs. in my arms.  In my defense though, I guess the heat plus all the blood-sucking skeeters were good excuses to stay indoors but you can bet your bootie we’ve been out lots since this first time. photo 1 (20)


All I have to say about this one is, a plaid onesie?  #gimmealltheplaidonesiesphoto 2 (13)

I got Sebastian fully dressed this day and zero other people in the house were.  Not really an important detail to explain the photo but, just saying.  I just loved how he went from cute young gun to old man within the two seconds it took to set him in that teeny rocker.  And then within two seconds of being set in the rocker he would fall forward out of it…not his thing.  It’s swinging, not rocking, apparently, that rocks his world. photo 2 (21)


We’re borrowing this triple threat from a friend and this particular excursion was our second using it.  I was exceptionally exhausted that day thanks to the main character of this post so I let muscles do all the pushing.  It was, after all, the day after Thanksgiving and even though he can eat and eat and eat and eat and not show it, I considered it a selfless act of love; letting Anthony work off all those new calories.  ;)photo 4 (7)


And after the walk we parked the stroller in the front yard and it served as stadium seating for this guy to watch yard work being done.  His cute face totally redeemed him for the havoc he wraught the night before, so naturally I took a picture so that it could redeem him the next night, and the next night, and the next night…photo 5 (3)

Well that was last week and now I think I need to print it out and tape it to his door so I see it through my groggy eyes every time I have to walk in.  :)

I love you my son.  :)

DIY Faux Fur Tree Skirt

Anthony and I got married a few weeks before Christmas in 2007 and so by the time we were back from our honeymoon and he had moved in, it was time to decorate our first house for Christmas…a.k.a. dole out $25 for a little Christmas tree on Christmas Eve and an extra $2 for a yard of Christmasy quilting fabric that we both picked out together at Walmart and that I wrapped around the base of our little tree.  It wasn’t a tree skirt by any means, just a piece of fabric that was strategically placed to look like one and that left a foot of floor visible at the back of the tree but nobody knew it but us!  Funny thing is, we’ve been wrapping that same piece of fabric around our tree every year since, partly because it has some sweet sentimental value and partly because we’re too cheap to buy a real skirt.  But all that’s changed this year and our new (to us) nine footer’s legs are covered from front to back!  Check it:

Here’s how I made it and how you can make one too! 

I found this faux fur at JoAnn Fabrics.
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There are lots of faux white fur(s?) out there but I wanted something that resembled shaggy bear fur vs. a curly or short fur.  Using a 50% off coupon got me two yards of this fur for under $20 (around $17).  The fabric itself is 60 inches wide.  I wanted to be able to bunch up my skirt (in the most modest way possibly) so I bought two yards so that I could use the whole width and make one 60 inches in diameter.  (I think the norm diameter for tree skirts is anywhere from 40-48 inches). 

So first I cut off the excess 12 inches to give me a 60’ x 60’ square.  (The plan is to use that extra 12 inches to make a few lumbar pillows!  Those should be fun!)  Fur cutting tip:  When cutting fur, cut with the backside facing up and cut as close as you can to the backing so that you don’t cut off loads of the fur.  Also, cutting little bits at a time instead of long chomps minimizes fur loss.  Ain’t no Rogaine gonna help if you cut too much so slow and steady does it! 
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Next, I went all geometric and cut my future tree skirt into an octagon instead of a circle.  I have a love for all things ‘agon so I went with my heart on this one.  To figure out what length each side of my octagon needed to be and how much to cut, I scrapped my rusty math skills (although I did sit and try to do the math for five minutes) and used the
handy tool from this website to do it for me.  Once I knew what each of my sides needed to measure, I simply folded over my corners until each side measured what I needed it to measure (I think it was 24.5 inches for a 60 inch skirt) and cut them off.
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If you want to go the traditional route and cut your skirt into a circle, Holly gives a good tutorial on how to cut your fabric to get that circle.

Then I cut a slit up one side and a small round hold in the middle in true tree skirt style. (Our tree is fake and our trunk is a skinny thing so the small hole works fine.  If you go real with your tree, you’ll probably need to cut a bigger hole.)
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Slit-cutting tip:  Decide which direction you want your fur to lay before you cut your slit!  For example, if you want the hair to flow forward towards the front of the tree, cut your slit on the side where the fur ‘grows’ away so that that part is at the back of the tree.  Does that make sense?

The last thing I did before dressing the tree was hem the new skirt.  Originally I was just going to leave it as is, with cut edges, but decided after folding under the edges that a hemmed edge looked a lot better.  To make things easy on myself and to eliminate any fur matting a sewing machine hem might make, I used hot glue.  All I did was run a line of hot glue around the edges of the skirt…
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…and then I folded each edge over onto the hot glue.
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I worked in small segments so that my glue didn’t have time to cool before I could hem.  In under five minutes, I had a perfect hem all the way around.
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We LOVE our new tree skirt!

The full monty:
(Tutorial on how to make a pipe cleaner tree topper like ours here on love Maegan.)

I mentioned this in last Friday’s post, but I invested $10 at Dollar Tree into a bit more Christmas decor this year.  Along with some new ornaments, I also bought three long strands of gold/silver tinsel garland and strung all three strands down the center of the tree.  It’s hard to see it in pictures but in real life it makes the trunk of our tree look like it’s made of glitter and adds lots of magic!  As much as I love the economical sense of a fake tree, their skinny metal trunks don’t hold a candle to the real thing so adding the garland does wonders!  You can see it in this picture, in between the silver and red ball ornaments:

I had high hopes of making more of this leaf garland to adorn our tree this year too but alas, I didn’t have the time and was antsy to get the ornaments on so we’ll tack that onto next year’s wish list.  :)

Are you a tree-skirter or do you prefer it bare?  Maybe presents are your tree skirt?  Or maybe we’re not the only ones who have done it wrap-style?  Or maybe you don’t even have your tree up yet so that’s the last thing on your mind?  :)

Oh and btdubbs, what’s a holiday without a party?!  I’m skirting into
All Kinds of Things Christmas Link-up and Remodelaholics Anonymous!

.           .           .

If you like it, put a pin in it!  :)
diy fur tree skirt

Ornament Decorating for the Tots

A bunch of my friends got together for an Advent ornament party this year – you’re assigned a day or two of Advent and given a list of supplies you’ll need to collect to be passed out at the party where you’ll walk away with a potential ornament for everyday of Advent.  It was such a great idea and I can’t wait to craft up the ornaments we got with the girls but I’m waiting until next year when handling glue and paint won’t be as chaotic.  If we didn’t have Sebastian roaming around I think it might be doable this year but as it is, I’d rather have him and wait a year to be on my guard with toddlers plus craft supplies.  :)

But, the idea of letting the girls create their own ornaments doesn’t have to wait until next year.  It would’ve though, if I hadn’t stumbled upon these nifty geometric, paper mache ornaments at Hobby Lobby last week.
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[They were $1 each, on sale.]

With a little bit of crayon, I thought they’d make for perfectly imperfect ornaments.  So, first I primed them with some white spray primer (Rustoleum).  It’s really not necessary to prime them.  I did because I figured the girls coloring would show up better on a white background vs. a tan one.  After the ornaments were completely dry, I handed the girls their crayons and let ‘em go to town on their ‘ormamens’.
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Last, in the spirit of experimenting, I took a blow dryer to the colored ornaments to melt the crayon wax.  I thought maybe it would branch out in spider-like branches, giving the ornaments a cool abstract look but such was not the case.  They didn’t look any different blow-dried.  So then I took my finger and swirled around the blow-dryer heated wax.  The result was a watercolor-ish look…or a mess, pick your thought.

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She’s very light-handed and delicate when it comes to coloring.  I had to get her to color on her ornament everyday for the last week in order for the coloring to be dark enough.  :)

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She loves dark colors as you can see and she colors with a vengeance – attacking her ornament with stabs and spurts of intense scribbling.  :)
Like I said, they’re perfectly imperfect.  :)  It was fun to watch the different ways the girls colored; it was like watching their personalities emanate out in color and art.

And speaking more of imperfection, in the best way, here’s our tree this year:
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I’ll put up some better pictures of the whole tree with an actual camera instead of my iPhone when I type up a tutorial on our new DIY tree skirt.  Look for it next week!

We sold our old 7’ tree on Varage Sale (a Craigslist meets Facebook type site) this year and bought a new 9’ tree off the same site.  Now our tree fits in with the peaked ceiling in our living room and its slimmer figure doesn’t invade the room as much.  However, it does require a few more ornaments to bedeck it’s branches, being bigger and all.  I had great luck at the Dollar Store!

I found and love these little scalloped ornaments:
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They were in a pack of three and came in red and gold.

I also got a few of these green, sparkling ornaments there too:
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They were a buck each but they’re four inches in diameter so it was well worth it.

This is the earliest we’ve gotten our tree up and decorated since we were married seven Decembers ago!  It’s been so fun lighting it up and hearing the whispered, powerful ‘woooowww’s from the girls each and every day the lights flicker on.  And amazingly, Sebastian yet hasn’t terrorized whatever branches he can reach…knock on the faux trunk. 

See you next week with more Christmasy DIY!   

Shut the Front Door…Literally

Because it’s looking a tad different these days.  The last time we left off in the entry way it looked like this:
[It’s (not) funny that I started working on the entry way in an attempt to work on one room until it was “finished” before I started on another.  Well, I started nine months ago.  Either I’m really, really slow these days, which is a huge possibility because of the kids, or I’m just really bad at sticking around in one place.  Or maybe both…]

You might also remember that I painted the outside of the door a bright reddish-orange (Red Hot by Behr):

Well we loved the color it added to the entry when it was open so I just took a dip in the leftover paint and painted the inside too.

Before I started painting, I removed the roman shade and filled in the holes left by its hardware with some spackle (the door is steel so the filled in holes don’t look perfect but unless you knew they were there, you probably wouldn’t notice them).  Then I taped off the windows and hardware and painted away.
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I didn’t prime first because I was just painting over the existing paint but I did sand it down a teensy bit.

The roman shade (tutorial here) is gone for good because it clashed with the red on the door.  My plan is to sew up a rectangle of fabric that can be attached to the door at night with some magnetic hooks we have.  It seems an easy project but I’m stuck on whether I want solid or patterned fabric.  The windows are pretty small and so it might seem that they might not need to be covered at all but when you’re standing at the front door, it’s not hard to peek inside and we like our privacy, so cover them at night we will.  Until I decide and execute the fabric rectangle plan, we’ve been using a white trash bag.
You never thought I’d stoop that low, did you?  ;)  Oh but I did and you can bet your bottom dollar that thing is off and out of sight when company is here because…uh, embarrassing!  ;)

The plan now is to paint the walls white in here and add a colorful something to the small empty wall to the left of the door.  I already have the white paint; it’s just a matter of when I’ll have a chance to slap it up. 

The entry way has come a long way since its brown days, no?
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And all for under $100! 

I’m itchin’ to see white walls in there but right now my sole focus is Christmas!  I’ve been decorating more than I ever have in years prior because the girls finally have a slight grasp on what’s going on and it makes it so much more fun!  This year I’m making us all stockings and I can’t wait to share!  We also sold our old seven foot tree and bought a new (to us) nine footer!  It’s been fun decorating it!  How are you coming with Christmas decorations?  Do you decorate a lot or a little?  I pulled the kids’ plastic manger scene out of the attic last night and it’s become the new favorite toy, causing lots of giggles and lots of fighting, pushing, and tug-of-warring over the “amals” (animals).  Such a$$es… ;)