Thursday, July 29, 2010

Life is beautiful.

If you ever need a reminder, print this out and place it where you might catch a glimpse of it throughout your day. It always makes me smile.

This sign is part of The Bright Side Project, which is a terrific website, which brings me sunshine every day.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

More Shirt Upcycling

As promised yesterday, I have more sewing craftiness to share. I have a large pile of clothes in my bedroom that I have to either repurpose or simply give to Goodwill. And I started tackling the pile this week. One of my inspirations came when I saw my friend Danielle in a cute shirt that was a handmade tank top with a large band that goes across the bosom. Her and I looked carefully at it, figuring out measurements and ideas of how to put it together.

So then I took this vintage pillowcase: into this tank: I used this tutorial, although I made my band across the top much wider. These tank tops are so great since they flow free towards the bottom, which is nice when you don't have the belly of a 19 year old girl any longer.

That one worked out so well, I moved on to another short that I needed to alter: I like this shirt, but you see where there are 2 convenient spot where your tomatoes should fit? Well, my torso is so long that this type if shirt never fits right and the bustline will rest somewhere 2 inches above where it should. Subsequently, I have never worn this shirt and it needed a rescue. I took that same tutorial, but just cut the bust area off the existing shirt and replaced it with a wide band of fabric. And, voila:

And, what sort of New Englander would I be if I didn't craft my girls some fan wear?

Go, Red Sox!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Craftin' Momma

Wow, take one week vacation and it seems as though it takes 3 weeks to get life back to normal. I know you are all in pins and needles wondering what Michele has been up to... well, simply put, A LOT! One of my newest endeavors is repurposing some clothing in the house or donating it as to clear up some clutter. And so... I got a new sewing machine and got to work! I turned this Goodwill find...
into this... and this pillowcase from Goodwill... into this tank top... Making tank tops or tank dresses (for toddlers) from large tshirts and pillowcases is very simple and quick. My favorite tutorial is actually for a bandana dress from Trey and Lucy. It's as basic as cutting rectangles from the fabric, sewing a few seams and voila! Also, check out this comprehensive list on dozens of ways to repurpose tshirts... it's fantastic!

$3.98 spent at Goodwill and, so far, I have 2 adorable additions to my daughters' wardrobes. I will show you some more of my craftiness tomorrow... stay tuned!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Eyes of an Angel

See that smile, those cherub cheeks, those beautiful eyes? She is my beautiful baby cousin, Angelyn... and she is fighting a huge battle right now. She is fighting with a rare form of ovarian cancer that has struck only 100 people in the past 10 years. And, like most cancer scenarios, it came upon my family quickly and without warning.

I had the pleasure of spending the 4th of July with Angelyn, as she was in between treatments. As you can see from the photo, she enjoyed her day to the utmost, playing with all her cousins, eating popsicles, splashing in the pool... even driving the ATV around the property. And, most importantly, she just smiled. She has the biggest smile you have ever seen in a little girl. It is her smile that gets her father through... and her brother... and her grandmother and grandfather... and all of the rest of us who love her. She is so brave, so sweet, so innocent.

And now, we need to support her. I am doing a walk on July 31st to help raise funds for her. Her father is a single father, as her mother has stepped out of the picture, and he had to give up his job to care for Angelyn and her brother during these trying times.

You will notice a new button on the side of my blog with her beautiful face- if you could just click there and donate even one dollar, my family will be so very thankful. And I, for one, will love you just a little bit more for opening your heart.

Thank you very much for keeping her in your hearts, thoughts, prayers... she is truly an angel.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday Citar: Time Out

A little girl can be sweeter (and badder) oftener than anyone else in the world. She can jitter around, and stomp, and make funny noises that frazzle your nerves, yet just when you open your mouth she stands there demure with that special look in her eyes. A girl is Innocence playing in the mud, Beauty standing on its head, and Motherhood dragging a doll by the foot.
-Alan Marshall Beck

Go visit Tabitha for some more Sunday Citar while I finish up my last couple of days of vacation.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Travel Tips For Healthy Eating on Our Family Vacation

Thanks to in-laws who plan spontaneously, flexibility from both my job and Colb's and a need to get away, we have an impromptu vacation coming in a couple of days. We had gone to Rye Beach with my in-laws last year and it rained (no exaggerating) and we thought maybe we should try again this year where the weather has been so fantastic. And now my Type A personality is feverishly making list, jotting all over sticky notes, planning with my Droid Astrid app... to prepare my family of 5 to head to the beach in 3 days. We had not necessarily budgeted this getaway, so I need to plan carefully to keep the costs down, but pack lightly (have you traveled with a family of 5 for 4 days in a small cabin with no amenities??) Even with this time frame, I still pulled out the grocery store fliers and coupons this morning to prepare our meal plan. Not only do I not want to break the budget on junk food, I simply won't allow my kids to eat like crapola for a whole week because I failed to prepare. Anyhow, yada, yada, yada... I thought I would share some of my food plans for an other families that might have a vacation still coming up this summer...

I am going to use my coupons to purchase lots of dry snacks. With most of our days spent at the beach or water park, there will likely be no proper lunches and most likely grazing. Some good options:

• Pirates Booty or Smartfood popcorn
• Make yourself a batch of roasted chick peas (garbanzo beans) These are a yummy snack and help get some protein and fiber into a vacation diet.
• I will cover the sweet snack with the Sugar Cinnamon Croutons.
• Flavored mini rice cakes are popular.
• Granola bars
• Dried fruit, granola, nuts, trail mix... all filled with nutrients and yummy at that.

And then, beyond the dry snacks:
• I will make a batch of zucchini/sweet potato muffins to cover the sweet tooth. (Maybe a few extra chocolate chips since it is vacation.)
• A batch of french toast sticks and some waffles will cover the sweet tooth/ breakfast/ and snack time.
• Hummus and pita bread is well received. Add some cucumbers to the mix and it's a pretty good lunch.
• When we get there, I will go to a local store for a mix of our fresh fruit and vegetables. Cut cucumbers, baby carrots and broccoli travel well to the beach.
• Wraps are a good alternative to bread. You can get tomato or spinach wraps, and get the added benefit of the vegetable even if you are just putting peanut butter in it. I have found that wraps tend to get less soggy than a typical sandwich does.

By planning ahead, I will save a ton of money and also save my kids from a week of processed, fat laden food. But, of course, all this wonderful planning for healthy eating is all out the window the second Nana and Papa arrive.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Mommy and Me Monday: The Beach Edition

Yay, my 3rd time that I have a photo for Mommy and Me Monday!!! This one is thanks to my wonderful friend, Kelly, and her fantastic new DSLR wonderful photography skills. We went to the beach and she caught a moment with me and my baby Acadia...

I love taking my babies to the beach... some people never even experience the ocean, and we are so blessed to be able to visit whenever we want. So as soon as I saw this picture of Acadia and I, I had the urge to dig out some with the other two girls. One of my all time favorites with Ariana was when we were at the beach right before Annika was born... I was 6 months pregnant and enjoying the last months of Ariana as an only child... How stinking cute is that???

And then the next year, at Annika's first trip to the ocean... she was not happy with me when I put her feet in...

Yeah, summer pretty much rocks.

Go check out other moms who rock...
Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?