Drink Coaster Tutorial

IMG_1949Happy Wednesday everyone! Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and I hope that most of you aren’t scrambling last minute to get all your Valentines in order.  I thought today I would stray from the usual holiday crafts today, seeing how it would be a little ambitious to attempt a crafting adventure on the eve of this love-filled holiday.  In my illustrious procrastinating fashion, I will be shopping along with all of my kindred spirits on Valentine’s Day for a gift for my husband.  I do not recommend this, but I must stay true to myself.  This weekend, I chose to ignore the task at hand to prepare a house-warming gift for some friends who have just made their first acquisition.  Super exciting!

IMG_1952Over the weekend, I was flooded with the memories of buying our first house.  George and I were so excited! A place we could make all our own.  Our lives were filled with so much promise and expectation.  Naturally, I became inspired!  So I spent all weekend preparing a little gift basket for our friends as they begin their new lives together.  It’s nothing much, just some dishtowels, candy jars, and some coasters; but all made with love.  That’s the most important thing.  So in the spirit of giving, I have prepared a fun little tutorial for all of you.  I’m going to share how to make your own coasters out of terra cotta pot bases.  So lets get crafting!

DIY Drink Coaster Tutorial

 Materials:

4-6 (5”) Terra Cotta Pot Bases

Acrylic Paint (your choice of color)

Printed tissue paper or scrapbook paper

Modge Podge Glue

2 Paint Brushes

Clear Water proof sealant (Spray on)

Scissors

Piece of felt

Hot Glue Gun

We’re going to begin by cutting your decorative tissue paper.  Using the bottom of your pot base.  Trace a circle onto the backside of your tissue paper.  Then cut out the four or six circles.  You may need to do some trimming around the edged to make the fit inside the base.

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Next trim four or six strips of tissue paper about ¼” thick for the sides of your coasters.

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Now begin painting your terra cotta plant bases.  Depending on your choice of color, you may need to apply a few coats of paint.  Set them aside to dry.  This shouldn’t take long.

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Once your pot bases have dried completely, apply a coat of modge podge glue to the center of your post base.  Then lay one of your tissue paper circles on top of the glue.  Using clean hands, smooth the paper over the glue forcing any creases or bubbles to subside.  Repeat this process with all of your coasters.

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Next, apply a layer of modge podge glue to the outer rim of your coasters and smooth a strip of tissue paper all the way around the perimeter.  Trim off the excess.  Repeat this process with the rest of the coaster.

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Once the glue on your coasters have dried.  Apply a layer of modge podge glue over the surface of all of your tissue paper on each coaster.  Then set them aside to dry.

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Once the glue has dried completely, spray the surface of your coasters with your water proof sealant.  Then set them aside to dry.

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While your coasters are drying, cut out small circles of felt about a ½” wide.  Four circles for each coaster.  When your coaster have completely dried, using your hot glue gun, attach four felt circles to the corners on the bottom of each of your coasters.

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And we’re finished!  Find a pretty ribbon to tie your coasters together, and you have a fun little gift for someone special.  Or you can just display your craftiness proudly on your coffee table for all your guests to see.  Why not show off your crafty skills! No need to admit it was something super easy you threw together with thirty minutes of your spare time! Wink. Wink.

Enjoy!

And if your curious how to make those dish towels or candy jars, you can check out those tutorials at my Adventures in Motherhood blog.  And stay tuned…in just a few weeks I will have a fun new project that will speak to the Irish in you,

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Pillow Cover Tutorial

IMG_2455Happy Wednesday everyone! I hope you all are enjoying your summer as much as I am. The sun has been shining constantly and we have been taking full advantage with barbeques, pool days, park trips, and even a few jaunts to Disneyland. Fall will be here before we know it, so there is no sense in wasting this sunny weather. Since we have been spending so much time outdoors, we have been sprucing up our patio outback. We have been trying to creating a nice peaceful and relaxing atmosphere.

IMG_2459I am a huge fan of the upcycling movement. It’s one of the few ways I have managed to go green. My newest project has combined my love of upcycing with my sewing obsession. And I have created a new project for those of you who would like to do some sprucing up of your own. Today we are going to be making some pillow covers for some old throw pillows. They’re great for all of your indoor and outdoor furniture. I made some for the patio furniture on our new outdoor oasis. So let’s get started!

Pillow Cover Tutorial

Materials:

Throw Pillow (any size)

2/3 yard of Indoor or Outdoor Fabric

3/4 yard of cording

1/4 yard of Cotton fabric (accenting color)

scrap piece of felt

Scissors

Sewing Machine

Thread

Matching buttons (optional)

Instructions:

We are going to begin by cutting your fabric. The throw pillows that I am making covers for are 18″ x 18,” so all of my measurements will correspond with them. You may adjust your calculations to accommodate your pillow size. Just allow for a one inch (1″) seam allowance on all sides.

From Indoor/Outdoor fabric

Front Piece – cut one square piece for front surface 20″ x 20″

Back Pieces – Cut two rectangle pieces – 20″ x 15″

From Coordinating Cotton Fabric

Cut three strips – 2″ wide

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First we will attach our cotton fabric strips together. Using your sewing machine, attach your three strips together at by each end, so you have one long strip.

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Next, using an iron, press the seams flat on your strips.

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Now, using your iron, we are going to press the raw edges of your back pieces of fabric. One each rectangular piece of fabric, along the long edge fold a 1/4″ of fabric over and press it with the iron. Then fold the fabric over one more time and press it with the iron. Your raw edge should be completely covered now.

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Next, using your sewing machine, run a straight stitch along the edge of each rectangular piece of fabric to hold your finished edge in place.

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Now we’re going to make the piping for your pillow. Wrap the seam side around of your fabric strip around your chording. Using a straight stitch along the side of your chording to encase it in the fabric.

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Your chording should be completely encased in fabric when you are finished.

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Next, pin your cording on the right side of your front piece of square fabric. Start at one of the corners, leaving an inch or so of extra chording hanging over the edge. Run the chording along the entire outer edge of the fabric. The raw edges of the fabrics should be matched up.

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Next lay one of your rectangular pieces of fabric, right sides together, atop of the front piece. The finished edge should lay in the middle. Pin it in place. Lay your second rectangular piece atop of your square piece, so the finished edge overlaps the other. Pin it in place.

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Next we are going to finish our pillow cover, by running a straight stitch all the way around the circumference of your pillow. Run the stitch as close to the chording as possible.

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Turn your pillow cover right side out. And your cover is finished.

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Now for the flower accent for your pillow.

-Using your indoor/outdoor fabric and coordinating cotton fabric, cut eight large circles (3″ wide) and eight small circles (1.5″ wide). You should have 16 circles from each fabric. 32 circles in all.

-Place one cotton circle on the backside of each indoor fabric circle.

-Fold the sides of your circles inward creating a petal.

-Using your needle and thread, attach your petals to your scrap piece of felt creating a circle.

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-Next, do the same with the smaller circles on top of the previous layer.  You can add buttons to the center of your flower, if you like. It’s optional.

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Our final task is attaching your lower to your pillow. Pick your placement and attach it to your pillow using a needle and thread.

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Insert your pillow and toss it on your couch or patio chair. And sit back and relax and enjoy your craftiness.

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ENJOY!!!

Valentine’s Topiary Tutorial

Happy Wednesday everyone! There’s only one day left in January and February is already upon us. 2013 is officially underway! Which means, we are just a few weeks away from Valentine’s Day. So it’s time to start putting together school Valentines and adding a little pink to your lives. I’m sure some of you are dreading the idea of having to come up with an idea and preparing thirty plus valentines for your child’s class. But don’t fret! I have done a little legwork for you. There are lots of super cute ideas floating around and the best part is – they don’t require a whole lot of effort! So let’s make your son or daughter the talk of the class…

IMG_0312Your child can generate a little buzz in their class with these super cute Bee Mine valentines from Pizzazzerie. Or you can mix up some yummy holiday trail mix for all the cuties in their class from A Spicy Perspective. The Fry Family created some great valentines to help dig up some fun for the whole class. The Brassy Apple created some photo valentines that a sure to trick your senses. You’re sure to surprise the class with these dyn-o-mite valentines from Make It Do . Finally, you’re little super hero might want to spread some love with the super suckers created by Zakka Life .

IMG_0322Now that you have some inspiration for those class valentines, it’s time to make a little something to spruce up your life! I have already started unpacking my Valentine’s decorations. After all this rain, I needed a little color added to my world. So let’s bring on the pink, red, and lace! This week we are going to create a beautiful Pink Topiary for your mantle. I love these, because they are so simple and clean. I think they are great, because unlike the garden topiaries, there’s no water required. I do not have a green thumb, so I have managed to kill every live topiary I have ever gotten. So let’s get started!

Valentines Rosette Topiary

Materials:

-6″ styrofoam ball
– terra cotta pot
– small piece of floral styrofoam
– 1 yard of Valentine’s print fabric
– 1/3 yard of solid colored fabric (pink, red, or white)
– wooden dowel
– pink ribbon
– 1 piece of tissue paper (pink, red, or white)
– acrylic paint (pink, red, or white)
– paint brush
– hot glue gun

We will begin by painting our pots and the wooden dowel. Then we can set them aside to dry while we work on our topiary. You will probably have to apply several coats to your terra cotta pot, because that hideous orange is pretty dark. When you have painted both your pot and your dowel to your desired shade, set them aside to dry. Now onto the fun part! We are going to create your topiary.

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Next, cut your fabric into 1 1/2 inch strips that are 45 inches long. Then cut your strips in half, so they are each 22 inches long. Heat up your glue gun and get your styrofoam ball.

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Now I am going to teach you how to make fabric rosettes.

Take a strip of fabric. At one end, fold the corner down to create a point. Then fold the tip inward towards the raw edge. Next, fold the topside of the fabric in toward the triangle you’ve just created to form a small bud. Finally, begin twisting your fabric into a ringlet around the bud you’ve just formed. Keep twisting until you’ve reached the other end of your strip.

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Apply a healthy amount of glue to the surface of your styrofoam ball, where you want to stick your rosette. Tuck the end of your fabric underneath the edge of your rosette. Press it down and hold for a few seconds to help it stay in place.

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Now is the time to determine what type of pattern you’d like to make. I chose to surround my solid pink rosettes with printed ones. But do what you like, because it’s your project. Continue making rosettes until you have completely covered the entire surface of your styrofoam ball.

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Next we’re going to cut our floral styrofoam and insert it into our pots. I like to apply a little hot glue to help hold it in place. But it’s not necessary.

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Decide how high you would like your topiary to stand, and cut your wooden dowel. Make sure you account for the parts of the dowel that will be inserted into both your pot and your ball. First push one end of the dowel into the bottom of your styrofoam ball. Then insert the other end into the center of your pot. Slide the dowel all the way to the bottom of the pot, so it’s more stable.

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Next fold up your tissue paper like an accordion. Then cut it into thin strips about 1/4 inch thick. When you’re finished, ruffle them up so they look like raffia. Cover the top of your floral styrofoam with a healthy amount of hot glue. Cover the styrofoam with the strips of tissue paper. Press them down firmly, so they will stay in place. Trim any crazy fly aways, so it looks neat.

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Finally, take your ribbon and tie a bow around the wooden dowel. Cut off the excess ribbon.

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And we are finished! Clear a place for your beautiful new Valentine’s Topiary, because it should be on display for all to see. I hope you have enjoyed this project. It’s one of my favorites!

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Check back in a couple of weeks for a whole new project. And in the meantime, I will have many more Valentine’s Day projects for you on my Adventures in Motherhood Blog. So check them out!

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Happy Crafting!

Valentine’s Cupcakes

IMG_1901It’s February and 2013 is officially underway! So now it’s time to gear up for our first big holiday of the year – Valentine’s Day. And I am so excited! After all of this rain we’ve been having, I’m ready to add a little color to my life. We’re starting the month off easy with a very easy super sweet project. We’re making Valentine’s cupcakes. Yummy! I’ve been on a diet for the past month, so I’m looking forward to baking some sweet treats.

I will begin by saying that I prefer to use store bought cake mix, rather than baking cakes from scratch. It’s just my personal preference. I like my cakes and cupcakes to be light and airy, rather than dense. It’s your decision, you can bake your cupcakes from scratch or you can use a cake mix. So let’s get started!

Valentine’s Cupcakes

Materials:

– Chocolate Cake mix (plus necessary ingredients)
– Buttercream Frosting
– Cupcake Liners
– Bread Knife
– Heart-shaped Cookie Cutter
– Pink or Red food coloring
– Spatula
– Ziplock Bag

Begin by mixing up the ingredients for your cupcakes and baking them according to the directions. Let cupcakes cool for thirty minutes. Then place cupcakes in the refrigerator for thirty minutes.

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Remove cupcakes from the refrigerator. Using your bread knife, cut the tops off each of the cupcakes just above the liners.

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Place the cupcakes and their tops back in the refrigerator for another thirty minutes. In the meantime, mix up your butter cream frosting.

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Once your frosting in mixed, remove 1 cup of it and place it in a ziplock bag. Set it aside for later.

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Remove the tops of your cupcakes from the refrigerator. Set them on a clean surface. Insert your heart-shaped cookie cutter into the center of your cupcake tops. Remove the cookie cutter and the cake inside of it. You should be left with a hole in the tops of your cupcakes in the shape of a heart.

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Add your pink or red food coloring to the remaining frosting in your bowl. Remove the bottom of your cupcakes from the refrigerator. Using a spatula, apply a healthy amount of your colored buttercream frosting to the top of your cupcake bases.

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Place the tops back onto your cupcakes. Apply a little pressure, so the frosting oozes into the heart-shaped hole. Now for the finishing touches. Grab your ziplock baggy with the white frosting in it. Force the frosting down into one corner and twist the top to create a pastry bag. Cut the tip off, leaving a very small hole in the end.

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Using your make-shift pastry bag to decorate your cupcakes. I made arrows shooting through my hearts. Silly, but fun.

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Now you’re finished! Time to try one out. I assure you they will be delicious!

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ENJOY!

DIY – Valentine’s Candy Dish

IMG_1915Good morning everyone! I was feeling inspired this weekend. We had a lot of rainy cold weather, so I spent my time at my mom’s house making chili, watching movies, and crafting! So it was a fabulous weekend! I made my first two Valentine’s Day projects. You all know I love to decorate the house for the holidays. Today’s project combines my love of holiday decorating and my obsession with candy! Such a glorious combination. We’re going to be creating a Valentine’s candy dish. Let’s get started!

IMG_1913Valentine’s Day Candy Dish

Materials

– Terra Cotta Pot
– Terra Cotta Pot Base
– 5″ Glass Fish Bowl Vase
– 1″ Wooden Ball
– Pink Acrylic Paint
– White Acrylic Paint
– Foam Paint Brushes
– Small Paint Brush
– Hot Glue Gun
– Valentine’s Stickers

We’re going to begin by painting the Wooden Ball, Terra Cotta Pot, and Base. Depending on the colors of paint you choose, you might need to apply several coats of paint to cover the hideous orange. When you are finished, set the pot, base and wooden ball aside to dry.

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While your paint is drying, plug in your glue gun so it has time to heat up. Pull out your stickers and decide where you would like to place them on your pot. When the paint is dry, turn your pot upside down on your work space. You should be staring at the bottom of the pot. Apply glue to the backs of your stickers and place them on the designated spots on your pot.

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Once you have assembled your stickers, you may paint a phrase or something cutesy on the front. I chose to stick with my Owl ThemeOwl Love You. Cheese-ball, I know, but fun.

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Now that you have decorated your candy dish base the way you want it, it’s time to assemble. We’re almost finished. Apply a healthy amount of glue to the top of your pot. You want to cover the entire surface of the pot. Place your fish bowl vase on top of your pot. Hold it in place for about a minute, so the glue can begin to set up.

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In the meantime, we are going to assemble the lid for your candy dish. take the base for your pot, and turn it upside down. The wide mouth of the base should be face down on your surface. Put some hot glue on the flat side of your wooden ball. Place the wooden ball in the center of your base and hold in place for a minute.

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Once the glue has dried, place your lid on top of the fish bowl. Voila! You have made an adorable new candy dish. Now you just have to decide what delicious candy you want to put out on display!

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ENJOY!

New Years Project – Monogrammed Wreath

IMG_6615Happy New Year one and all! It’s officially 2013 and the new year brings us endless possibilities. My new beginning – writing a DIY for all of you and I am truly excited! Week two is drawing to a close, and I am still trying to recover from all of my family’s Christmas shenanigans. My guess is you all are too! I like to think that just means we all had a fabulous holiday season. At this rate, if I’m not careful, it will be February before I get my act together.

One of the things I like least about the beginning of the year is taking down all of our Christmas decorations. Not for the obvious reasons either. My husband would tell you that it is just me procrastinating like usual, but really I’m just not ready to come home to an empty house again. I love to go all out at the end of the year cover our house for the holidays. It makes me feel so lively and Joyous. It’s almost infectious. But once the decorations all come down in January, our house looks so vanilla and bland. And it really bums me out. I feel like I don’t have anything to look forward to each day.

IMG_6616 This year I am being proactive, to avoid my typical new year slump. It’s been so cold here lately, so I have needed an excuse to be productive. All I really want to do is stay home and cuddle with my baby girl. Instead of just taking down our Christmas decorations, I’m replacing them with some new ones. Trouble was, I didn’t have any. No sweat – time to get creative. My new favorite material to work with is burlap, so I came up with some fun things using burlap and some soft winter tones. Time to get inspired!

IMG_6620Here’s how I transformed the Garcia House. It was super easy, so take a chance and spruce up your life. I scanned the Internet, and found this great piece of subway art on How to Nest for Less. I printed it and put it in a cute frame and placed it out on our mantle. Then I made some twine wrapped tin cans to use as vases for some pretty cream hydrangeas. To keep a little sparkle in our lives, I made a burlap garland lined with white Christmas lights. Simple, but so beautiful at night when they’re lit up. Finally, I made a monogrammed burlap wreath for our front door. I thought I’d share some of our sparkle with our neighbors. So much better than having a naked front door!

Are you feeling inspired yet? Good, because I have put together a tutorial so you can make a wreath for your own front door. If you’d like to also make my burlap garland or the twine wrapped vases, you can check out my blog Adventures in Motherhood. Now let’s get creative!

Winter Burlap Wreath Tutorial

DSCN0023Materials:
-Wire Wreath Frame
-2 packages of Burlap
-Wooden Letter (your monogram)
-Fake Flowers (any combination/color you’d like)
-Scissors
-Hot Glue Gun

We will begin with one roll of burlap and your wire wreath. Start with the end of your burlap piece and make a 3″ loop. Push the loop through the backside of the inside section of your wreath. The end of the burlap will stick out of the back. Make another loop with your burlap and push it through the backside of the center section of your wire wreath. Then make a third loop and push it through the outside section of your wreath. When you finish, you should have three burlap bubbles popping out of the front of your wreath.

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Weave along the backside of your wreath, pushing the burlap through the wire sections. The pattern should go like this – outside, middle, inside, middle, outside, middle, inside, etc. This is what your wreath should look like when you have finished one section.

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Continue weaving until your roll of burlap runs out. Then continue weaving with your second roll of burlap until you have completely covered your entire wreath.

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Once your wreath is covered with burlap, it’s time to use the hot glue gun. I sporadically add globs of glue in between the bubbles along the front side of the wreath. You don’t have to do it to each bubble. I just like to secure it a little better.

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Now for the fun part! It’s time to decorate your wreath. Cut the stems off all your flowers so you can place them on your wreath easier. Lay your wreath flat and arrange your flowers and your wooden letter how you’d like them. I like to have my letter on the bottom right side of my wreath.

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When you have everything just how you like them, it’s time to glue them in place. Apply a healthy amount of hot glue to the bottom of your flowers and affix them in place on your wreath. You can always add more glue to the sides if necessary. You will do the same with your letter as well. Hold it down and apply pressure to secure it.

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Now we are finished! And you have a beautiful wreath to hand inside or outside of your home.

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I hung mine on our front door, because I feel like everyone should see it. Plus, it makes me smile every time I come home and see it on my front door. It’s so uplifting!

Check back in a couple of weeks, because I am working on some extra special projects for Valentine’s Day. It’s going to be lots of fun. So stay tuned…

Enjoy!

Working Out a Nap Time Routine

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Up until this point, I have tried to go with the flow. I have never wanted our lives to revolve around schedules, because life is just way to messy. It’s almost impossible to keep them up. Plus, I didn’t want to force Aaliyah to do things if they weren’t necessary in that moment. Makes sense, right? Well it did in my head.

Recently I have begun to see the downside of my logic. Aaliyah had been getting herself overly tired, because she won’t nap more than twenty minutes at a time. And it’s leading to some major meltdowns. I found myself trying to figure out what to do to rectify the situation. I didn’t think it was a lack of sleep, because I thought if she was tired she’d fall asleep. And that wasn’t happening. I spoke to one of my best friends Bonnie. She’s my rock, because she’s seen it all when it comes to parenting. She told me I had to get a nap time routine going. She said it would be difficult the first week, but it would get easier and pay off in the end.

Well, I took her advice. I usually do. And I am on day two of week two. Last week was rough. She cried and cried, then kicked and screamed. Eventually she always fell asleep, but it usually took about thirty minutes to an hour to do so. But today was the day! I laid her down, and she cried for a few minutes. But then about ten minutes later I heard it – silence! She had fallen asleep!!! And without all the hysterical crying and thrashing around. I just couldn’t believe it. What had I been so scared of?

My baby girl took a nap! Now I just have to figure out what to do with may new free hour during nap time. Hooray!!!