The Power of Positive People

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If I am going to spend all of my energy being social, I want it to be a good investment. Surrounding myself with positive people is a great investment because at the end of day instead of feeling drained and exhausted, I feel recharged and energized.

I just had some friends drive down from Nebraska to San Antonio to visit. I had a great time over the two days they were here.  I’m kind of (totally) an introvert, so I don’t mind being by myself. Actually, I love it, so I don’t seek out people.  Large events and groups of people make me nervous, and I would rather stay home then go out most days. The truth is being around people can be exhausting for me (for introverts in general, I think), so I choose the people that I surround myself with carefully.

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After heading to the Indian Palace for some amazing indian cuisine, we headed down to the Alamo and then took the boat tour around the Riverwalk. It ended up being “just the girls” because Bugaboo passed out with Daddy before we left. I think we all needed a girl’s night!

Enchanted Rock Collage

On day two, we drove to Fredricksberg to climb Enchanted Rock. JM took a step towards conquering her fear of heights by climbing onto a perilous perch for a photo op. My daughter (the budding introvert herself) found a lovely crater to sink into on the way up to the top. The climb to the top of the rock is exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. It was my second climb to the top.

KP said something along the lines of, “the best part about climbing is that no matter how many times you climb the same hill, you never take the same path twice”.

I think that it is a great metaphor for making your way through life. Thanks for a great vacation ladies!

Paper plate clock

Paper Plate Clock

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There are several of these floating around on Pinterest, so I’m not claiming proprietary rights to the idea, but this is our version! I have to say that it really works well for quick, cheap way to teach kids how to tell time on an analog clock.

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You probably have most of these supplies around the house:

red, blue, black and green permanent markers
paper plates
scissors
brad (this was actually kind of hard to find….don’t people use these anymore??)

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Stack the two paper plates, “pre-drill” the hole through the hands and plates with something sharp, and secure with the brad. Add the clock face and Viola! Now to add the finishing touches…

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Two things to note here:

1. Do as I say, not as I do, and do NOT cut through both layers! (oops.)

2. Label the bottom plate AFTER you cut so that it lines up, and then use a glue stick around the center so that the plates don’t shift. Also, I used a different color on the bottom plate, just to show the difference.

This is great to use when the kids say “how much longer??” and you can move the hands to the designated time. Anything kids can manipulate themselves adds an extra anchor for their memory to latch onto. I give this to my son to use with the clock app I have on my iPhone and a great game I found on ABCya.com. He does it on the computer and on his clock. At 4 years old, he can tell time to the hour and the half hour! Pretty cool. Let me know how you plan to use your clock!

DIY dress re-do with yo-yo's

Cute Summer Dress Re-Do for Little Girl

IMG_2720This adorable summer dress was so easy! It really was a project about learning how to do a couple different techniques that came together in a fun way.

I finished this summer dress re-do for my daughter a couple weeks ago, so while the kids are at bible school I thought I would get it posted. Unfortunately, I didn’t really take a lot of process pictures because I didn’t know there was going to be such a good end result. I don’t even have a picture of the dress I started with to show you! (Hindsight, right?)

Basically, I had a knit dress from Target that never really did fit me correctly, and I decided to sacrifice it in the name craft exploration. I have been playing around with gathering and ruching, so I thought this would make the perfect palatte and I was right.

The ruched part at the top of her dress was actually the empire waist of my old dress. I just cut of the top, wrapped it around her to find the right fit and sewed it up the back. Then, I finished the messy part at the top with some elastic thread to match the ruching.

Next, I played around with different gathering stitches to find something that would work for the straps. I started out with a 2 1/2-inch piece of fabric cut from the unused part of the dress that I then added gathering stitches to the edges of with elastic thread, but the straps ended up being too stretchy.

I did take pictures of the process of sewing the straps, unfortunately (again) these were the straps that DID NOT work! BUT…never fear because the process is the same. For the final set of straps, I just used a more narrow piece of fabric and more ruching. The most important step is to steam the whole thing when you are done sewing (before you attach it to the dress) so that the elastic really tightens up as much as possible.

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After I finished the dress, I decided that it needed some embellishments and I’ve always wanted to figure out how to make those adorable yo-yo’s. I remember my grandma always had a drawer full of those things waiting to be sewn into a pillow or a blanket. Now I realize that they are the perfect solution to using up all of those scraps of fabric that I’ve saved for a rainy day. If you want a great tutorial for making yo-yo’s, check out How to Sew Fabric Yo-Yo’s over at Zakka Life. I added some felt and buttons to mine before sewing them to the straps and around the bottom of the dress. I also recently learned how to do an blind stitch which came in really handy here.

I was really happy with how it all turned out. More importantly, my daughter loved it and couldn’t wait to wear it!