Saturday, November 19, 2011

Bad Blogger

I just don't know if I'll ever get the hang of this blogging thing.

I have so many things I want to blog about.  Several times a day I think about a new post. Sometimes I even commit to a new post and tell you guys it coming and then totally flake.  I think I still owe you picnic wedding photos, my 31 days to clean challenge progress and Halloween pictures!

Sometimes I get the whole thing typed up before it's time to upload the pics and I can't find my camera... or the cord... or the battery is dead.  Sometimes I don't get more than two sentences in before someone comes in screaming because they are hungry, hurt or just plain mad.

I'm still sewing up bunches and bunches of pretty little things and trying my hand at pattern making... I just haven't had time to share them with you guys.  I'm just a crummy blogger.

And I wish I could say it was going to get better and that I'm going to get the hang of this soon or that my schedule was going to ease up on me somehow... but the truth is I don't see why it would.

I need to implement some hardcore structure in my home and I'm just too lazy overwhelmed to do it!!

How do you busy blogging mommy's do it?  


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Busy Mama

I've been a crazy busy mama and have neglected my blog again but I've noticed a bit of a trend here... when my husband, who works a crummy, bleh schedule, works the night shift... I disappear!

My days look something like this:

6:30AM Wake up and get the 5 kids dressed, find the missing shoe and rush out the door for school.

8:00AM Back home for cereal and Dora and Diego with the 3 little ones.

8:30AM More cereal. Seriously. These kids could eat their weight in cereal.

9:00AM Find the kids trying to pour more cereal into cups so they can carry it to the living room (that or feeding the rest of the box to the dog!)

9:30AM Start watching the clock, begging it to move faster and trying desperately to justify laying them down for a nap early.

10:00AM Daily chores: laundry, dishes, floors, hotspots... etc.

10:15AM Take the toilet paper (or marker, or cup of dirt from outside, or bag of popsicles from the freezer) away from the kids, clean up the giant mess.
10:30AM Take the toilet paper (or marker, or cup of dirt from outside, or bag of popsicles from the freezer) away from the kids, clean up the giant mess and rip out wads of my hair in frustration.  

11:30AM Lunch time! Almost there!!
 Noon I made it!  I survived the morning and can now lay the kids down for nap guilt free!  

12:30PM The kids are down and it's time for some me time!  Grab a coke and veg out on Pinterest!! 

12:34PM Kids are screaming... must intervene before they wake up daddy.

12:40PM Back to Pinterest.

12:46PM Kids are screaming again...

12:55PM Back to Pinterest.

12:59PM You guessed it... more screaming.
NOTE: This could make for a really long boring blog post if I keep this up so in the interest of time I'll stop now.  But know that this continues until about 2:45PM

3:00PM Time to pick up the kids and wait in the 30minute pickup line.  Do not consider getting out of your car to pick up your kids quicker.  They will hold your children hostage and make you go to the end of the line for being so stupid.

3:30PM Finally back home where the big kids wake up daddy and the little kids within 10 minutes despite the 5 minute lecture and 3 reminders to be quiet.

4:00PM Dad takes the kids outside for baseball practice and I stay inside cooking up dinner.

5:00PM A frantic rush to get dinner on the table and Dad out the door!

5:30PM Clean up dinner and send the kids outside to run and scream and throw dirt.

6:00PM After breaking up several fights and banishing a couple  whiney kids from the kitchen I declare "movie night" and we all veg out in front of the TV together.

7:30PM Time to get ready for bed!  Sometimes I'm a good mom and we do baths and brush teeth... and sometimes I throw their PJs in the room and say prayers while I'm shutting the door.
Repeat the naptime situation here until about 9PM

It's all so very exhausting. 

But when he goes back to days, I wake up super early with him and send him off to work. The mornings are quiet and peaceful before the kids wake up and I have time to sit down in front of the computer or sewing machine.  

I really enjoy these mornings and unrushed dinners and having someone to crash with at the end of the day.  

So here's to a month of the day shift!  

Hopefully I can get back to my blog. I really do love it here.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Why Clean?

Homemakers Challenge

It's time to start the 31 Days to Clean Homemakers Challenge and the girls have us asking ourselves... Why clean? 

So why do I want a clean house?

I started thinking about my house, the state it's in now.  I thought about what it is for my family and what it should be.

When we bought this house 3 years ago it was a foreclosure. The walls were dirty, the carpet had been ripped up and the stained concrete slab was all that was left, the doors were drawn all over and covered in stickers and everything reeked of horrible 70s decor.  Oh you should have seen some of the light fixtures and the kitchen cabinets... wow.

But we had high hopes.  We scooped it up and dove right in, ready to make it ours.  Our first home.

We scraped the popcorn ceiling, knocked down walls, painted, put down real maple floors (that were ripped up within a year thanks to the boys flooding the house!) and installed new light fixtures and hardware and we did it all ourselves.

But before long we ran out of money and energy and instead of completing tasks on our to do list we started settling for things the way they were.

 I like to decorate my kitchen with a hunky guy cooking breakfast

Three years later we have a million unfinished projects.  We knocked down walls but didn't finish trimming them.  We pulled up the baseboards and installed our new flooring (twice) but didn't put the baseboards back down.  When we painted we didn't cut in the edges because we knew we were going to install crown molding but then never got to it.

It's a mess.  No matter how clean I keep it, it still looks like a mess.

So I stopped trying.  Stopped cleaning.  Let the mess take over.

So why clean now?

We've all started to hate this place.

I noticed that when the kids come home from school they beg to go somewhere. When I go to the grocery store I cringe at the thought of going home. When Mike has the day off the last place he wants to be is in that house.

It makes me sad.

We've lost our haven, our refuge, our home and all we have left is a shelter.

So I guess that's my answer.

I'm cleaning to restore that place of peace for my family.

And that's definitely worth a little bit of elbow grease huh?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Crisis Cleaning Anyone?

Is anyone planning to join me for the Homemaker's "31 Days to Clean" Challenge?

Homemakers Challenge

It kicks off Sept. 1st and I'm am getting myself ready to go!

I have done these sort of challenges and routines in the past (FlyLady anyone?) but I always seem to throw the plan out the window at some point and dive head first into a crazy, binge cleaning, manic episode.  Only to crash an hour later and curl into the fetal position and rock myself back to sanity with a giant tub of rocky road.

I know. I know. Scary.

So this time I thought I'd help curb those urges to binge by doing a day of crisis cleaning a la FlyLady.  I have tried FlyLady a couple of times and I really like her approach.  But if you've been to her website and got completely lost... you are not alone.  I just don't know where to start and it doesn't seem like an easy program to adapt for your lifestyle. 

But her crisis cleaning is so easy.

Basically you clean in 15 minute intervals and move from room to room. 

1st- clean the kitchen for 15 minutes

2nd- When the timer goes off, stop and clean your living room for 15 minutes

3rd- When the timer goes off, go back to the kitchen and clean for 15 more minutes

4th- Stop and take a 15 minute break

And then start up again and shift rooms as needed! 

I have to change mine up a bit and give myself 15 minutes in between each room to tend to the kids pleas for a glass of milk or a potty break or to clean up a spill or whatever. 

But it's the perfect approach  for someone like me who, given more than 15 minutes, would start rearranging the pots and pans!

One HUGE tip from me to you... make sure you set your timer for 15 minutes for EVERYTHING!  That means if you are taking a 15 minute break to check your email... set the timer or you'll never come back!

Try it out and see how it works for you!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Time to Clean Up.

Life is crazy.

I'm stuck again. Overwhelmed. Trying to find some sort of balance in providing all the wants and needs of my family.

Lately I feel like I'm lost. Like I've lost control and I've created a mess of things.

I have to get back to some sort of order.

Last week I stumbled across the ebook, 31 Days to Clean- Having a Martha House the Mary Way.

It was only $4.99 to download so I grabbed it (another freebie thanks to my Swagbucks!)

So far I've read the first week and participated in the Mary & Martha challenges at the end of every chapter. The chapters are short, easy reads that take me under 5 minutes to finish. The Mary challenges are simple and get my mind thinking about what & why I want what I do and how to go after it. The Martha challenges are super easy and very straight forward. She breaks down the entire kitchen over a week... one day you clean the outside of your cabinets and the next you clean your oven.

I think this could actually work for me.

On September 1st The Homemaker's Challenge is kicking off a challenge running through the book together.

Homemakers Challenge

And so I'm going to put my neck out on the line and commit to this... publicly!  

Maybe a challenge is just what I need!!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Are you an Amazon Mom?

Have you heard of the Amazon Mom program?

I just stumbled upon it today (while shopping for a Jillian Michaels DVD) but it's this really cool, super easy & best of all free program that Amazon has set up for parents!  Like you  & me!

What are the benefits?

How does 30% off diapers & wipes sound?

Pretty good right?

How about 15% off nearly everything else?

Not bad huh?

But I've saved the best for last...

Amazon Moms get free 2 day shipping with Amazon Prime for a 3 months and every time you spend $25 on goodies for your babies you get another month free!!

So go sign up and save yourself some money!

I bought the Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred DVD using my Amazon gift cards from Swag Bucks and thanks to the free shipping I didn't have to pay a penny!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Trial Run: The Cake

Have I told you yet that I'm making all the cakes for my sisters wedding?

Yes I said ALL... as in... more than one...

We saw this picture and fell in love with idea of a cake buffet.

Doesn't that just look yummy?

We thought that it would make things a bit easier to do too.  I mean one great big cake can easily turn into one giant mess with stacking tiers and sagging and whatnot.  Besides, we couldn't decide on one cake!  There are so many choices to make... let's just have them all!

So over the last couple of weeks I've started making some practice cakes to try out recipes and frosting techniques.

Here's my latest.

I'm really happy with the pretty little buttons.  I made each one by hand by pressing some of my favorite vintage buttons into frosting dough.  If you don't know about frosting dough you are missing out.  It's amazing and so simple... just add powdered sugar to your frosting until it turns into a ball of dough.  Then you can work with it just like playdoh!

 The inside is a strawberry flavored gradient.  To make it I just mixed up a box of strawberry cake mix.   I used a 1/2 cup measuring cup and poured 4 scoops (2 cups) into a cake pan.  Then I divided the rest of the batter amongst 4 bowls.  The first bowl got 3 scoops, the second got 2 scoops, the third got 1 scoop and the last got everything that I was able to scrape out of the bowl. 

Then I mixed up a box of yellow cake mix and divided the batter amongst the 4 bowls.  The first bowl got 1 scoop, the second got 2, the third got 3 and the fourth got everything left.  I played with a little bit to make sure they were all pretty even and poured them into the cake pans.

When they were finished baking I leveled and cut each cake in half. I was worried the cake would be too tall and hard to manage.  So in the end I had two pretty cakes!

Oh and if you noticed that the frosting is about to drip off the cake you're absolutely right!  Last night when I mixed it up, I didn't have any real butter.  I knew I would make sure to have it when making the actual wedding cakes but this was just a test cake so I didn't think it would make that big of a difference.  I was dead wrong. It was runny and really hard to work with but my kiddos didn't seem to mind!

But all this practicing and I still haven't decided how to do the cakes for the wedding.  I know I'll start baking and freezing them now but when should I put them together and frost them?  The day before?  The day of?  Have you done something like this before?  Have any pointers for me?

Can you tell I'm a little scared?!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

1 Hour Flower Girl Dress Knock Off

I found this adorable little dress and just about died.

So cute but at $42 ( and that's after taking 50% off!) It just wouldn't work with our budget.

So I did what anyone would do... I knocked it off!

 And the end result makes me positively giddy.

It took me about an hour to make and I just happened to have the fabric sitting on my shelf... a remnant from Hobby Lobby that I bought just because it was so cheap!

So what do you think...



How did I do it?
It's so easy you'll laugh.  

Step 1:  Make a basic skirt.
I made an elastic waist skirt but you can shirr it or even make it a drawstring!

Step 2:  Attach the tie at the front of the skirt.
I made the tie by sewing a tube of the leftover fabric but you could use ribbon too!

Step 3:  Make & attach your fabric rose.
I made my rose by ruffling on side of a tube of fabric and then just twisted it together but there are a ton of ways to make them!  Or use a button or some other embellishment or nothing at all!

Next up... bridesmaid dresses!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

She did what?!

Barbie & The Rockers Hair - age 3

Earlier this week, I found myself standing in front of the mirror with a pair of scissors.
Not entirely alarming since I've been trimming my own hair for the past year or so but this was different.

This time I meant business.

I pulled my hair into a ponytail at the base of my neck and cut.

No.  I'm not making this up.  One second my hair reached my elbows and the next it didn't even reach my shoulders.

And then I panicked and ran to the salon like a dog with her tail between her legs!

They had a good laugh at my expense but fixed me up just fine.

Oh why did I wait so long?

I absolutely love it.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Can I Ask a Favor?

From all my good friends?

I entered Miss Livi modeling her pretty little Vintage Barbie Tribute Suit in  Gilt's Kids Wear the Darndest Things Contest.

Right now she's in 4th place to win a $1200 gift card!!

So pretty please?  

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Vintage Picnic Wedding

Soooo, I still can't walk in my laundry room... not even close really... it's gross.  

But I've been so excited to share my latest project with you that I just can't wait any longer!!

My sweet little sister Carissa is getting married next month and has handed the wedding planner reigns over to me.

I'm sure some of you are reading this and thinking... SUCKER!  Hey, Carissa might be thinking so to!  But I couldn't be more excited!

I mean what creative, crafty, DIY lovin' chick doesn't love a wedding?

And I know that I'm not the only one who sees wedding pictures, blogs, magazines... etc. and doesn't wish for reason to throw another one... wait... that sounds bad.  Well, you know what I mean!

I'm excited!
Excited to plan, exited to help save some money and mostly just so excited to see my sister so happy.

So wanna see some of what we're envisioning for this laid back and virtually budget free wedding?

Imagine a romantic, summer picnic...

simple understated bridesmaids...

carrying simple understated bouquets...

a cake buffet featuring over 10 unique cakes on pretty little platters...

and a vintage touch here and there.

Don't you just want to be there?!

Me too!

Well the wedding is next month and boy do I have a lot to do!

I'm making all the cakes and a couple of bridesmaids dresses.  My other sister Dani is busy learning the cords for the ceremony music and Carissa is out there shopping for all the vintage goodies that will make the wedding spectacular!

Wanna see more?

I'll share the pretty little flower girl dress I made and a super easy tutorial soon.  And before it's all over I'll share the jaw dropping budget and how we pulled it off!  

Until then feel free to drool over my pinterest board where you will find all of the photos above (and a hundred more) with links to their original source.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Busy Summer

Oh I'm not sure why I was crazy enough to think that I might be able to pull off blogging this summer but clearly I was wrong!

Things have been crazy with my two oldest boys out of school!

The house seriously looks like a disaster zone.

There is no food left in the cabinets.

And if I hadn't cut all my hair off (more on that later...) I would surely have ripped it all out.

Add to this a family reunion, several birthdays and the fact that my little sister is getting married next month after a 2 month long engagement and you've got yourself a train wreck!

But oh I wouldn't change a bit of it... well maybe the 110 degree Texas heat... but other than that, this summer has been a blast!

I have so much to share with you but I have to spend some time with my arch-nemesis... the laundry room.  I'll be back as soon as I can at least walk in there.  Promise.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I'd like you to meet: Mike... Mi Esposo

2 years ago- Our most recent picture together
I was 15 years old, a sophomore in high school, the day I first noticed him.
I was walking through the open walkway at old Mesquite High School, weaving in and out of people, late to my next class.  I looked up and saw him just as he walked past me.  It felt like someone had sucked the air right out of my chest.

I turned around to get another glimpse and nearly stopped walking this was a HUGE no-no at MHS that would have most definitely resulted in me being run over or at the very least screamed at by a passersby... imagine stopping your car in the middle of a freeway!

The place where it all went down

I went on to class but couldn't stop thinking about Mystery Guy.

By the end of the week I had seen him at least a dozen times and even managed to make eye contact with him a time or two but I still knew nothing about him. 

I told all my friends about Mystery Guy and started to take note of when and where I was passing him in the hallways. Sounds a bit stalker-ish huh?  I still remember the end of 1st, 2nd, & 5th period making sure my hair and make-up looked perfect and nearly hyperventilating as I left the classroom.

After a couple weeks of this he seemed to notice me too.  We would make eye contact and smile a bit.  We seemed to be flirting yet we had still never spoken a word to each other. 

One day, I walked into my 3rd period science class and found half of my classmates looking through their yearbooks.  I grabbed one and frantically started flipping through.  I had to know his name.

I started calculating in my head... I didn't think he was quite a senior but I knew he was older than me... so I started looking through the juniors first.  I scanned the pictures quickly, determined to find him before the teacher demanded I put the yearbook away.  

And there he was...

Michael Cantu

His named seemed familiar to me but I couldn't figure out how or why.  I was just so excited to know his name.  I instantly started gushing to my friends and classmates about Michael Cantu.

In my history class later that same day I talked about him to a couple of guys. 

"Oh yeah... I know Mike"

I think I nearly passed out.

That poor guy, Daniel was his name, didn't know what he was getting into.  I interrogated him for a week... I needed to know everything he could tell me about Michael Cantu.

I learned that he played baseball, he was a really good guy, he had a couple of brothers and that he really liked another girl.  I tried until I was blue in the face to get more out of him about this crush of his. What did she look like? Was she pretty?  What was her name?  All he would tell me was that her name was Brenda.  

At some point Daniel must have become sick of me and agreed to help me meet Mr. Michael Cantu.  The next day he told me he would introduce us after class.  I followed him down the stairs of C-Hall, fighting off the urge to run the other way.

And there stood Michael Cantu, waiting at the bottom of the stairs.  Daniel introduced us and left quickly and we stood there staring at each other in the most awkward, painful silence ever experienced by two people.  We both tried desperately to spark a conversation with each other but we just couldn't seem to get anything going.  It was every teenager's worst nightmare.  Finally Michael Cantu said he had to go to class... 

"nice to meet you"... 

"yeah... you too" I said

"what was your name again?"

"Breeana" I answered as I turned around

"oh... I thought it was Brenda... bye" he said laughing

I, still, to this day, can't hear the name "Brenda" without grinning ear to ear.  

It turns out we had a class together at the very beginning of the year but I was moved out of it.  Mike had been eying me since the first day of school but had my name mixed up. 

Eventually Michael and I started dating and before long I was "Mike's girl". 

My Senior Prom

Nine years ago today, I became "Mike's wife".

He was 20 & I was 19 & waiting just didn't make any sense to us.

He is a beautiful man with the most amazing soul.  He makes me laugh like no one else can and still makes my toes curl up like a love struck 15 year old.  

Notice the lack of pictures?  Last month my darling husband threw most of them and my WEDDING DRESS away by accident... he was forced to retrieve the dress from the dump but the pictures were never found... yeah he's still sort of in trouble for it and I make sure to bring it up whenever possible... secrets to a healthy marriage huh?

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Extreme Makeover: Fabric Edition WINNERS!!

Voting is up and the results are in and I'm just so excited to announce to you our winner!  These women have worked their tails off to bring you some amazing creations and use some insane amount of fabric all in an effort to stop their hoarding ways (well... to win some pretty cool prizes too!)

But now without further adieu...

Amy from Little Country Bumpkins 

Her adorable set of skirts and aprons for her little pig farmers made me squeal in delight! She used a total of 29 yards of her fabric stash throughout the competition!!

She came in 3rd place and won a pattern from each of these shops:

 Angie from Mama Lusco

Her Americana sets were so stinkin' cute!  I'll be begging for a tute on this cute little top soon! And she used up an amazing 68+ yards over the course of the contest!

She came in 2nd place and get's her pick from a pattern from each of these sponsor shops:

 Andi from Laundry on the Line 

She blew us away with an entire pieced quilt in 2 weeks time and still had time to make some really cute skirts and aprons too!  She used an insane 74 yards over the course of the contest! 

She is our Grand Prize winner and walks away with a pattern from every one of our sponsors!  Check out this list...


Did you enter the pattern giveaway this week?

We've got a winner for those too!

And that's you Suzee!

Thanks to all you girls for participating and sharing your projects with us.  We've seen some pretty amazing things from you all every week and I think I'm on the road to recovery with my own hoarding issues! 

And April!  Thanks for talking me into doing this contest with you and picking up my slack when I went AWOL!!  It's been so much fun and I've learned so much from you!  Time to start planning our meet up right?!

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