Monday, September 24, 2012


It seems that as soon as fall approaches I no longer have time.  Not that I had an abundance before Fall, and I don't even have children in school.  I seem to do my home improvement projects in the fall vs the summer.  I am in charge of a craft show for our Church's Fall Oktoberfest celebration which has kept me quite busy as well.

Just this week alone I need to clean house, bake goodies for Oktoberfest Bake Sale, finish working on my own crafty creations for my own booth at Oktoberfest, prep dinner for dinner with our in-laws on Thursday, my dad is coming to visit on Wednesday, I have to set up for the craft show Friday afternoon/evening and Saturday morning and I have a friend staying the weekend as well!

I'm hoping to get back to a normal posting schedule as soon as Oktoberfest is over!  I scored 2 potty chairs on a local online auction.  They are both wood, one is pink the other needs a lot of TLC.  So I'm excited to start the project of sanding them down, repainting them.  One will be for home and the other for Grandma's when Noah gets to that stage.    I scored the both of them for $12.

I'm also in the process of fixing up an old antique wood high chair for Noah.  It needed some new hardware a either a good stain and sealant or some paint.  We went with a bright blue paint.  I also paid $12 for the high chair at an antique store downtown Duluth.

And on the side of being frugal we haven't had any form of cable or satellite TV since Spring of 2011.  I have to say now that I'm home all day with my little boy it would be nice to watch some TV vs always watching what we want on the internet.  So I found where you learn how to have TV with out paying for cable or satellite with the use of an antenna.  You don't even necessarily need a roof top antenna.  My mom gave me some rabbit ears and last night I picked up 4 digital channels and 1 analog channel.  But now during the day we got nothing.  I went to the FCC website to see what channels I could pick up in my area and I should be able to get PBS which I got last night, ABC which I haven't received yet and quite possibly NBC.  I only really care about ABC.  So I just need a more powerful antenna...though my search is on... will let you know how things go.

Well, that's all the time I have to update, I still need to do Laundry, prep Thursday's meal, decide what I'm making for the bake sale, and finish cleaning house!!!!  Need to finish today cause I won't have time the rest of the week!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Children's Toys & Upcoming Holiday Season

Before my son was born, my husband and I had already decided that Noah wasn't going to have a ton of toys like some kids have.  He also isn't going to get everything in the Target Christmas ad either.  There are SO many toy recalls its ridiculous.  A lot of the toys sold in stores are made in China.  China tends to cut a lot of corners like using lead based paint and such.  Not safe and yet people buy them.  I suppose people think...well, what else am I gonna buy?  I have that answer for you!

American made toys!  Keep your hard earned cash right here in the good 'ol country of ours!  Support the families who live here.  My mother hasn't bought any toys for our little boy yet because she will not buy anything made in China.  She even made a complaint at Target because that's the primary store near us and not a one toy made elsewhere.

My little boy plays with the 2 rattles I had as a baby and they are both made in the USA.  So what happened to toys being made in America?  Did companies become greedy and want lower manufacturing costs made by children in sweat factories?  We (myself, my husband, and my mother) do not support any company who sends their manufacturing over seas.  Instead we do some research and we have found there are a lot of great companies still manufacturing right here in the United States! 

Now finding stores that sell their products is a bit more difficult so I recently decided that when I launch, "Noah's Half Pint Hub" this fall that I won't make myself a work horse trying to make everything in Santa's workshop for my new shop, I will make what I'm inspired to make for boys (girls by custom order), and be a shop owner for all the other wonderfully made toys, accessories, and clothing made right here in the United States!

But in the mean time, here is a company we know of that does sell in stores Little Tykes - outdoor play houses and toys.  We bought our son a swing to put on the clothes line pole next summer from Little Tykes we also bought a sled at the end of the winter season this past winter for this coming winter.  (We like clearance, who doesn't?)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

When in doubt...God will provide

Have you ever heard, "God will provide?"  I have.  I have also heard, "When in doubt..."  Well, this evening my husband and I took his brother and his wife out for dinner.  In recent years there has been some turmoil between us and his new wife.  I sent them a card a few weeks ago inviting them to our house for dinner.  Well, they couldn't make it to our house so we took them out for dinner on the topic to clear the air and settle our differences.  Just writing the card my hand was shaking and made me very stressed out.  As I have attempted to clear the air for quite some time and we never seem to get anywhere...

We met them for dinner at a local restaurant, we got there a bit early and all I could do was pray, I was so nervous.  I prayed and prayed and prayed.  Then my husband said, "they're here."  Oh my goodness what am I gonna do, please let everything be ok...

It was.  The night was great.  Back to the way things used to be!  I have a craft show starting tomorrow that ends on Sunday and again... I'm a little nervous because craft shows haven't been all that great this year, granted I've only done smaller ones and this weekend is a big one and last year I did great.  I can't hope for a great turn out in sales, I pray instead.  I have to rely on God and know that he will provide.

I so desperately want to get out of credit card debt and pay off the 2 months rent I have left on my downtown studio.  I've decided to stay home and not work, kinda defeats the purpose when your husband makes more money than you in one over time shift than you would all month.

I want to work from home and I was stuck and yet God is providing by showing me the way to go.  So when in doubt...they usually say ASK, I'm gonna rely on God knowing HE will provide.

What do you do when you're in doubt?

Losing weight & its challenges

In 2007 I saw a natural doctor named Monica Liddle in Duluth, MN for my endometriosis.  She took me off of the patch (contraceptive) and put me on an anti-inflammation diet that included a few supplements.  I naturally lost 25 lbs and stopped losing weight when my body got to its natural weight, 130 lbs at 5 feet 5 inches.

In 2008, I got pregnant for the first time, gaining a lot of weight quite quickly.  I miscarried.  I couldn't lose the weight and since then till I got pregnant in 2011 I had climbed to 160 lbs and holding.  However, at the end of my 2nd pregnancy I weight 218 lbs.  I had gestational diabetes.  The only weight I lost when my son was born was his birth weight of 8lbs 6 oz.  The first week after he was born I lost 26 lbs.  I think it was a lot of excess water weight because I was huge.  Then I plateaued.

This is me 9 months pregnant:
This is me 2 months after my son was born:
When I look at this picture, I think I look huge, in reality I am, I am the heaviest I have ever been and no longer pregnant.  I weighed 195 in this picture.

I have since then joined Weight Watchers and I go to meetings weekly, I track what I eat, I don't lose 5 lbs a week, I lose any where between 0.5 and 3.5 lbs per week.  I don't currently exercise because I honestly don't have time to with a 4 month old and not the greatest neighborhood to walk around in.  But, I am losing.  So far I have lost 8.6 lbs.

It took me 9 months to gain almost 60 lbs, I'm sure its going to take just as long to get back. 

I'm not just aiming to lose the weight to feel better but so that I can make some positive changes that will impact my life and hopefully any future children that I may be blessed to have.  Two days after being discharged from the hospital after my son was born, I was diagnosed with pulmonary embolisms.  They determined I got them due to the fact that I was rather immobile the last few months of my pregnancy.  So, I am now on Coumadin till who knows when and I can't conceive another child until I am off.  But, my second reasoning for losing the weight and keeping it off is also for a future child.  Going into pregnancy obese leads to the liklihood that your child will be obese and you will stay obease which is linked to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc.

I love being healthy and I'm on my way.  If you are in a similar situation or just want to lose the weight, my suggestion to you is to join weight watchers, they money you spend weekly to join is an investment into your health.  Cut back on eating out so you can afford to live healthier.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Baby Centered Ideas

So now that my little sweetheart is almost 4 months old (where did the time go), we definitely have a routine, him and I.  Him and daddy on the other hand are all over the place when mommy is busy sewing or not home...which I think tends to screw Noah up a bit.  Fall is my favorite time of the year, not just because it seems to be more relaxed and cooler outside, but I start my home improvement projects in the fall.

I've imagined this one project for a few years, I haven't done it yet and I think this is the year to do it.  Though, what I've noticed is that when you have a little one your plans change a bit.  I've already baby proofed to the point that there are no breakables near the floor, however warm objects yes.  We have steam radiators in our home for heat.  None of them have covers.  When Noah starts crawling it will surely be cool outside and the radiators will be starting to generate heat, which will be hot on little fingers.  So besides making radiator covers for all of our radiators my dreamy fall project entails an entire wall in our living room.

This wall is 16 feet long.  Is broken up into 3 sections by 2 beams that run up the walls and across the ceiling.  This wall also has 2 radiators, and one window.  I want to line the entire wall, minus the section with the window with tounge and groove carsiding vertically.  Then I want to stain it like a drift wood hue (gray).  On top of that I want to put a place for coats/jackets on one section and in the middle section a built in hutch with shelves.  Originally this plan wasn't going to include an area for jackets.  But before last September when I found out I was pregnant, I was told I wasn't able to have children so my plans for this project included space for the many breakable antiques we own.

My home improvement projects aren't the only ideas that are changing...

I've started designing and sewing infant hats.  I'm entirely irritated that when shopping anywhere infant hats are not truly infant hats.  They are always 10x too big!  So I've started selling hats for infants 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-12 months, and 12-24 months.  So far they've been a hit.  My little boy has inspired me to create many more things from hide outs to sleepers to nook hooks, sleep sacks, wood toys, and so much more.

I wish we could find some of these items already made in America but of course for whatever reason everything seems to be made in China.  If you know of a company or someone who makes similar items, please let me know!  I'd be interested to check them out!

Our Small Home and where I've created Space!

According to the listing of our house when we purchased it we have about 836 square feet in our one and half story 2 bedroom home.  That is above ground, they aren't including our basement.  It was the perfect size home for me when I bought it as a single gal back in 2007.  Though, I then got married  unexpectedly in 2007 and we've just added a son this year.  We still fit quite perfectly in our small house, with the exception of changes I've made to our home along the way and I have changes in mind for when our family continues to grow.

This is our house.  16 feet wide, not very long, I don't exactly remember that part.  I know the width because of certain rooms within our house that I've measured for carpeting, shelves, or just plain old rearranging furniture.  Yes, I measure before I rearrange furniture, why go thru all the trouble to rearrange furniture for none of it to fit like you thought?  Graph paper is my friend, I always have a tablet or two lying around the house.

When you walk into our door you are in our front porch.  Its seasonal.  Its about 4-5 feet deep.  Then you are truly at the front door not just the screen door.  When you walk into this door you are in our living room.  When I bought the house the house didn't have a dining room.  The kitchen wasn't big enough for a table either.  So that poses the question...where do you eat?  I have since then fixed that problem which I'll share in a future post.  From our living room if you continue to walk strait you come to our kitchen and off the kitchen to the right is our stairs to go up and the one and only bathroom.  From the kitchen continuing to walk straight you are in the back entry with a door going to the back yard and steps to the right going down to the basement.

We have tons of wonderfully built in storage in the basement that was there before I bought the house.  But if you're like me, especially in cold Minnesota winters you don't want to go downstairs if you don't have to.  We have a rather small kitchen with not enough cupboards for food.  I wanted a pantry so I designed one:

Right over the radiator in the back entry.  Radiators need to be "shelved" anyways to keep the heat from going straight up.  I always design up never out.  Same goes for gardening...again I'll leave that for a future post.  Directly across from our pantry I designed and created every day-on-the-go cubbies vs having to hang our coats in the closet and leaving everything else around the house like: purse, wallet, keys, bags, hats, mitts, etc.

So as you can see with out the two projects above we didn't have much organization and a lot of stuff with out a proper home.  I love to be organized and I love organizing.  My next project I'm hoping to do is wall to wall shelves on one entire wall in our living room.