Saturday, April 12, 2014

Easy Valance

Sister built a new house last year and (like me) she was lacking in the curtain department.  So for Christmas I told her that I would make curtains for several of the rooms in her house.  I've only finished two of them and its four months after Christmas, but who's counting?  Luckily Sister didn't mind!

First, I measured the width of her window casing from the outsides.  Then I added two inches for each side and half an inch for each seam allowance. (5 inches total)  I added two inches to each side since that was how far the pocket rod I was going to use stuck out from the wall.  If you want your curtains to be much wider than the window casing you would need to account for that in this measurement.



 I cut a rectangle piece of fabric and lining the width of the measurement above and 17 inches long.  (This was just an estimate based on how far I wanted the curtain to hang down and allowing for the seam.)

 
Pin the fabric and liner (right sides together) and sew along the pattern diagrammed below. 

I stitched all the way across the top and bottom.  Then stitched one side, leaving a 3 inch opening for the rod at the top.  For the other side, I only stitched 1/2 way up to allow the opening to be large enough to flip the rightside back out.
 
Clip the corners so the corners will be nice and sharp.
 
 
Once it was flipped right side, I hand-stitched the rest of the up the side (still leaving an opening for the rod).  I didn't take a picture of this step.
 
Give it a good ironing.
 

I made the straps using a coordinating fabric folded and stitched (right sides together) as shown below.  Then iron and flip.  I used a safety pin to attach them together so that I could easily adjust the length if I needed to.

 
Here's a picture of Sister with the finished product on Christmas morning!  I think it turned out pretty cute!  (And you can't even tell she was 6 months pregnant with my little nephew in the picture!)
 

 
I love these curtains because they are easy and don't take a lot of fabric!

p.s. I'm linking up to Home Stories A to Z, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, By Stephanie Lynn, I heart Naptime, Serenity Now, and It's Overflowing.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Easter Egg Wreath

I've just gone Easter crazy around here.  I whipped up this little Easter Egg Wreath last weekend.  I've seen them on Pinterest and Etsy so they're far from a new idea but I thought I'd share my little version.

I bought a pack of 42 eggs from Walmart and started hot gluing them to an extra Styrofoam wreath form that Mom had laying around.  I should have bought more eggs because I didn't have quite enough to finish it and had to steal from the girls' stash of eggs from last year and the colors weren't exactly the same. #firstworldprobs


I tried to space out the colors evenly and made sure all the eggs were going in the same direction.

 
When the wreath was about 80% full I added a bow by looping different ribbon and hot-gluing them to the Styrofoam.  This was almost an epic fail because the hot glue melted the mesh.  I managed to salvage it and stapled the mesh and used the hot glue on the rest of the ribbon.
 

I finagled the polka dot ribbon a little since the ribbon was only printed on one side.


I just used whatever ribbon I had on hand as long as the colors matched the eggs.
 

I found a couple of carrot shaped Easter eggs in the girls basket from last year and added them on top of the ribbon to cover up the hot glue.


And here she is all done and chilling on the front door!


p.s. I'm linking up to Home Stories A to Z, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, By Stephanie Lynn, Tatertots and Jello, Serenity Now, and It's Overflowing.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Easter Centerpiece

And this is why my Mom doesn't like Pinterest...I find all of these great projects and email them to her with a "I bet we could make this..."  which translates to..."I bet you could totally figure out a way to make this, Mom."

That's how I talked her into helping me make this little beauty a couple of weekends ago! 

We gathered up all of the mesh Mom had left over from other projects along the supplies pictured below.
 
We attached the Bunny ears to the center of the Styrofoam using Greening Pins.
 
We cut strips of the mesh between 10 and 12 inches wide (4 of each color).  The mesh will want to curl back up like it is on the spool.  Let it!  This makes the loops.  Then gather 1 of each color of mesh together in the center and secure with a wire pick.
 
 
Attach the bunch at one end of the Styrofoam.

 
Make 3 more bunches like the one above and attach to the other end and the center (one in front of the ears and one behind).

 
Add ribbon using wire picks.  I made the plain yellow ribbon shown below a little more interesting by adding another color ribbon on top of it and securing with a pick.

 
Finally, we added Easter Eggs on sticks (found at the Dollar Tree) and a few other fillers.


 



p.s. I'm linking up to Tatertots and Jello, Serenity Now, It's Overflowing and Home Stories A to Z!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Back to the Magic Kingdom {Disney Day 6}

I like to start and end trips to Disney with the Magic Kingdom.  At the end of the day, none of the other parks can compare to it and it's a great way to kick start your vacation and go out with a bang!

We made it back to the Magic Kingdom early on Friday.  We happened upon Alice in Wonderland (with no wait time) and met her in quick order.

 
Then we made a bee line over to "The Ariel Ride!" as Avery had been referring to it for the last five days since we were in the Magic Kingdom begging to ride it again.


 
Believe it or not, this girl was big enough to drive her own car on the Tomorrowland Speedway.  She graciously allowed me to ride shotgun.  (I fear the day when she gets her actual driving license if this ride was any indication of her driving abilities.)

 
But in her defense, these two hooligans were riding our bumper the whole time.

 
Then we waited about 35 minutes to meet Merida.  The last time we were at Disney (two years ago) we met Rapunzel in this very area.  Now Rapunzel has relocated to the Princess Fairy Tale Hall and Merida has moved in.  The girls got to shoot a bow after meeting Merida!

 
Rapunzel was the only princess we had yet to see on this trip so we headed over to the Princess Fairy Tale hall where we met the nicest lady who happened to have extra (paper) fastpasses.  She had enough for 5 people so she took us in with her to meet Rapunzel and Snow White.  This actually happened several times on the trip.  People would walk up to us and give us their extra fastpasses if they were leaving or didn't have time to see the attraction.

 
I really wanted to eat at Be Our Guest Restaurant for lunch and we were starving.  But the line was all the way across the bridge and wrapped around.  But we decided to wait anyway.  I was so glad that we did!   The interior of the restaurant is amazing!  We ordered on touch screen menus and paid with our Magic Armbands.  Then the screen told us to choose any table in the restaurant.  The main room was pretty full so we chose to sit in the (smaller) forbidden West Wing!
 
 
McKenna had to have her picture made with the infamous wilting rose.

Within five minutes of sitting down at the table, a cast member pushing a covered wooden cart showed up at our table with our food!  There were probably 300 people eating in the restaurant while we were there...how did they know where we were sitting???  I thought this was just the most amazing thing in the world and then Chad informed me that they tracked us through our Magic Armbands.  I'm not sure how the process works if you don't have an armband...someone comment and tell me!

Here's a larger picture of the West Wing dining room.
 
 
After another trip through Enchanted Tales with Belle, Chad was struggling.  He caught a virus while we were there and was quickly feeling worse and worse.  So we decided to head back to the hotel for a break. 
 
I must have been feeling pretty brave because the girls and I decided to head back to the Magic Kingdom around 5.  I mean, it was our last night and we still had a Fastpass to use!  I was really nervous because we had already lost Avery once on the first day when both parents were present and on our A game.  Now I was down a parent and was only representing with a solid C+ myself.
 
We used our last Fastpass+ on the Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin ride.  The girls loved it.  Avery had a meltdown to ride it again after we got off.  Apparently we were all pretty mesmerized.

 
We also got to meet Buzz!

 
We scored a sweet spot for the fireworks on the ground under one of the trees.  No one was there yet because the trees obstruct your view if you're standing.  But we could see great from the curbing and stroller level!

The fireworks are much louder behind the castle than in front.
 It took the girls and I at least 30 minutes to get back behind the castle after the fireworks.  It seemed like everyone in Orlando had congregated in front for the fireworks.  Next time I will just get an ice cream and wait until the crowd clears out rather than try squeeze through.

We popped into Gaston's Tavern and split an (enormous) cinnamon roll while the girls took turns trying out Gaston's chair.

 
 
After the sugar from the cinnamon roll and drink, the girls were feeling about as crazy as this picture looks.


 
We had just enough time left to ride "The Ariel Ride", Peter Pan and the Carousel before it was closing time.  We stopped at the Confectionery on the way out and used up the rest of our snack credits (and then some) to get treats for the road.  I was pretty proud of myself for surviving the Magic Kingdom without any backup.
 
Sadly, the trip home the next morning was not nearly as much fun.  Poor Chad was so sick he slept most of the way (11 hours) home.  I got us home in one piece and we celebrated on Sunday with a trip to Urgent Care for McKenna, Chad and myself. 
 
Disney truly is the happiest and germiest place on Earth!
 
You can read my tips for the Magic Kingdom here.
 
And read all my Disney tips here!
 
p.s. I'm linking up to It's Overflowing!
 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Hollywood Studios {Disney Day 5}

We spent an absolutely frigid day at Hollywood Studios.  Fun, but frigid.  It was so cold we bought gloves in the park to try to stay warm.  It was hard to believe that just 72 hours earlier we wore our swimsuits in the water park.  But that's Orlando in January I guess.

 
The girls were thrilled to meet Sofia the First!


Avery loved the Disney Junior Live on Stage show!  She cried to go right back in after it was over.  That's kind of how Disney is with a 4 year old.  They are enamored with whatever attraction/ride/show they are seeing at the moment and cry when you drag them away to the next great thing and then you start the process all over again.


Parents: Brace yourself.  Everyone sits on the floor for this one.
 
We got Jake's autograph too!

 
McKenna practiced driving...whatever this is from Star Wars.

 
 Avery practiced driving this retro car.

Chad and I took a break while the girls ran rampant around the Honey I Shrunk The Kids playground.  McKenna had never even heard of the movie but she thought the playground was pretty awesome!  A guard cast member mans the exit so kids can't wander out on their own.  This is a good time to get your act together and figure out where to head next while the kids play.



We were able to squeeze in a quick meet and greet with Sulley & Mike.  There was no wait at all.  Their location is sort of hidden out of the way and I think most people didn't even realize they were back there. 
 
We were on a mission to get as many signatures as possible so we headed over to meet Wreck It Ralph and Vanellope.  (Actually neither the Monsters University or Wreck It Ralph crew actually sign the books but they do give out little cards with their signature on them.  Their hands are way too big to hold pens.)

 
Humor me while I share my picture with a few of their Oscars.  (Probably as close as I will ever get!)

 
McKenna got to announce the intro to the Voyage of the Little Mermaid show and the cast member gave her a little certificate signed by Ariel and Prince Eric.  She was so tickled with this little certificate.  It is one of her most prized possessions!
 
 

Finally, we caught Beauty and the Beast Live before making our way out of the park.
 

Two trips to Hollywood Studios and I still have not seen Fantasmic!  It was closed the first time we went and this time it was just too cold to keep the girls in the park after dark.  But it is on our "must do" list for next time!  Here's to hoping that "next time" comes soon!

A few thoughts:
  • If you are ever in line to meet a character and they say that the character has to take a break, don't get out of line.  All the character does is walk backstage and another one is waiting to come right back out.  So it only adds about 2 minutes to your wait.
  • Don't waste your fastpasses on shows.  Most of the time there was ample seating for the shows without waiting so you'd be better off using it for a ride with a longer wait time.
  • Unless you are going to Disney in the middle of the summer, pack an array of clothing.  It was very cold and windy the day we were at Hollywood Studios. 
  • There are kiosks set up selling Disney Junior DVDs and that my girls wanted.  McKenna suckered Chad into buying a Sofia the First DVD for $20 that we probably could have bought at Walmart for $9.98.  #you'vebeenwarned   But it was nice for them to have a new DVD to watch on the way home.


Our Top Three Rides:
  • Toy Story Midway Mania (absolutely positively get a Fastpass+)
  • Disney Junior - Live on Stage
  • Voyage of the Little Mermaid
My girls are princess crazy but if you have boys or older kids they would probably like:
  • Star Tours - (Avery and I rode this one but we couldn't drag McKenna on it.)
  • Lights Motors Action Extreme Stunt Show
  • Jedi Training Academy
  • The Tower of Terror
  • Aerosmith Rocking Rollercoaster

Next to the Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios is my favorite park.  There are so many Disney Junior characters that my girls love. 

Annnnnnnnddddd.....Cut!  That's a wrap.
 
p.s.  I'm linking up to Serenity Now and Tatertots and Jello!
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