Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Rocking Horse Revamp

Around the time Michelle was an infant (for the life of me, I can't remember when I bought this!) I was treasure hunting (or thrift store shopping)  with my sister when I came across this guy for $20. I brought him to the register and to my surprise and delight, he was on sale for $14.

I had grand plans of sanding, painting, priming, and hair removal, but then life with a baby caught up with me, and he's been living in the garage ever since. That's almost two years, right? Sheesh, sorry horse!
On one of our trips home, I saw him in the garage and impulsively grabbed him and shoved him in the back of my Subaru (Charlie was thrilled. Made the whole car more cramped than usual).

He sat in my kitchen for two days, in which Michelle rode him, played with him, and chatted with him. I was excited that she liked him, but sad that I had deprived her of such a cool toy for so long.

He looks like a bull or some evil nobleman's horse. Haha, weird imagination over here.
Finally, I got to work, I started by ripping out his disgusting mane of rough, sticky, dirty yarn. Gross! Then I went on with removing him from the rocker and spray painting the base mint green. According to the spray can, the color is Catalina Mist. Cool.

Then I panicked. Did this color match his wood stain? They looked weird when put back together, but maybe they just needed a color in between. I decided to put that on the back burner and focus on his face.

 He already had plastic eyes glued on, but I drew around the eye and then filled it with white. I feel like it brought life into his eyes. Who wants to ride a soulless horse?! Haha ;-)

After that, I went on to add gold chevron/arrows on the base of the rocker to bring some continuity to the horse - the mint/teal felt out of place without some gold tying it all together.

I also painted his ears and the handles at his neck gold too - I really liked using that gold and I'm still looking around my house for things to spray paint! Who knew gold metallic spray paint was so much fun?

Then I taped off the leather on his saddle and painted the gold chevrons on there too. I was surprised how much it changed the feel of the horse. It gave it such a fun south-west vibe!

Like the lightning bolt scar? Harry Potter!

After all that, it was time for the mane and tail. I wish I took pictures of this step because I couldn't find anything online that really helped me, and there has to be someone else out there that could use the help too. Basically, I wrapped off-white yarn, mint embroidery thread, and gold embroidery thread around a cardboard square that was cut to my preferred size. Then I sectioned the "hair" and taped around the top.
To attach it to the horse, I hot glued the taped ends into the groove along the top of the horse's head. I glued extra pieces of yarn to cover any "bald" spots, or places where the tape was showing.

And that's about it!!

Have you noticed I've called this horse a "he" the whole blog? Well, once it was finally all put together, I decided it was too sassy to be a boy. So now it's a girl. Lol.

I wish I had pictures of Michelle riding it; but the only ones I have are of her pants-less or naked. Lol. Oh the life of a family with a nudist child ;-)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Being A Mama

Being a mother is the best thing that's ever happened to me. I'm thankful every single day that I get to be Michelle's mama.
There will never be a day I will turn away her love, or withhold my understanding and affection.
Until my dying day, I will forever be her mom and that's my life's greatest accomplishment.
Because of her, I try to be the best ME possible. Because of her, I love Michael more- because I see how much he loves her, and that together we made such a cool kid. Because of her, I see the beauty in every day.

I'm not the type of person to pat herself on the back or to brag about herself, but I'm a damn good mother and wife. I'm proud of the life I've built with Michael. I treat people with compassion, I have an open mind, and I'm always open with affection.
I'm deserving of love, warmth, and understanding. Starting now, if I'm not given it, i will give it to myself (wise words from a beautiful, wise woman who listened to me with love and an open heart-thank you!).
And to you reading this, you do the same! You are deserving of love, affection, compassion, and understanding. We all are.

Pics Via Pinterest: here and here

Friday, March 14, 2014

Needed a Smile

I promised myself I would make a blog this week, but with crappy private stuff going on, I couldn't get myself to the computer to write.
Because I needed a smile, I thought I would make this blog post all about things that have made me smile in the past week.

Michelle's cute little way of saying "thank you" has morphed into "ti-ti-wehca" hahaha. It's a combination of thank you and you're welcome. We always say you're welcome when she says thank you, so now she just combines both words. Lol

Yes, this is Michelle riding a big wheel! Haha! Her cousin got it for her birthday and graciously let Michelle ride it (she ended up just going backwards the whole time. Lol).

Aren't those sunglasses a crack-up! She loves sunglasses, so when I found these little kid ones with Mickey Mouse etched on the lenses, I knew I had to get them. Mish is obsessed with Mickey and Minnie Mouse!

 She just melts my heart! So cute! And no, we didn't get a new dog, that's just Michelle's friend puppy.

 Sitting with her bunny friends while walking around downtown Napa. She saw them and immediatly ran over to sit with them. Nothing better than an animal lover :)

 Cool dude!! Mish is finally big enough to play in her little pedal car. Of course she had to wear the sunglasses and bring Minnie along. Road trip!

 This pic makes me smile because it took me forever to talk her into getting dressed, and once she was dressed, she kept pulling her skirt up around her stomach. Haha. We are potty training and she's usually naked.
Playing with her doll friends. I bought some beanie baby dolls from a consignment sale and I've started making them over. I pinned back hair on one (just need to sew it down, at the moment it's clipped), and the other one got her frizzy curls turned into braid/dreads. I've also sewn them a few dresses because the outfits they came with are hideous!

Today I am working on refinishing an old rocking horse that I bought when Michelle was a newborn/or I was pregnant? I can't remember. But I am so excited! I will make a blog post all about it when I finish.

Keep smiling, friends.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Sewing Sewing Sewing

If there's one thing I've ever wanted to learn it's sewing. I've tried to learn so many times throughout my life, but I just can't sew a straight line for the life of me. Well, I had some ideas about the outfit I wanted Michelle to wear for her Elmo Birthday Party and I figured it was time to figure something out.
After pinning 1,000,000 things on Pinterest onto my sewing and Elmo party boards I decided it was time to tackle my project.
I ended up making Mish a fabric scrap tutu and some coordinating bows. It was my way of making her outfit but not having to pull out my sewing machine ;-) I know, cheater!
The one on the RIGHT is the party tutu. The left currently has more green and is for St Patty's Day


Top bow is on tutu, bottom is for hair, middle will have Elmo faces on them and get attached to the shoes!

The bows aren't finished because I'm waiting on my plastic Elmo faces to come in the mail, but once they're here, they will be ready to go on Mish's shoes. My mom also text me a picture of Elmo fabric she found at the store today, so I might add some of that to her tutu since the party isn't until June 7th.

Oh! And then I went totally random and made some fun (and adorable!) flower crowns. My family was thrilled.

Now you'll notice the title says "sewing sewing sewing" and not tying, hot gluing, and ripping. Lol. Well after making forty-eight million rag tutus for Michelle, her cousin, and 3 American Girl dolls, I decided to pull out my sewing machine and frustrate myself and waste fabric ;-)
I started easy and sewed some bedding for my niece's American Girl doll. It came out so cute! And then Michelle stole it, so I made another (better) one to give my niece.  I didn't take pics, but it's puffy and cute ;)

THEN I came across the freaking cutest vintage pillowcases while treasure hunting some thrift stores. I bought 6! One is going to my cousin for her adorable daughter's vintage themed bedroom that's in the works, two were sacrificed to a bow banner/garland I'm making (here's the inspiration), two are set aside for making half aprons (my new obsession) and one was made into a pillowcase dress for Michelle!

I am very very pleased with how it came out! It was such an easy and fun project to do.

So then I started thinking about other things I could sew. It was almost manic! What can I sew next? Does Charlie need a bow tie? I want to make a quilt! Wait, I can't sew straight lines and quilts are all about lines. I decided to use some ribbon and a cute pink tea towel to make Michelle a little apron to wear while playing with her kitchen. I had enough left over to make a mini half apron for Mish's play kitchen at her Nonna's house and got to try my hand at making pleats. It wasn't hard, but I think I did it wrong. Ha, oh well. Mish won't mind!

I can't wait to make some more goodies for Michelle and her Elmo party. I've made so many things with the Cricut cutter that I had to buy a new mat for it! haha, the old one completely lost its sticking abilities. So all of my fun with paper and glue will have to wait until the mats come in the mail (should be here this weekend!). I'll try and share some pics of what I have up my sleeve with the Elmo party soon. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

8 Facts About Michelle - 20 months!

I can't believe Michelle is already 20 months! In 4 short months she's going to be two. TWO! I get all weepy just thinking about it. In honor of my big girl becoming a big girl, and less of my little baby, I thought I would list some Michelle facts!

She is obsessed with Elmo! She calls him Coco, and demands to read her Elmo books every night with Daddy, and plays with her special Elmo for the car. Because of this, her 2nd birthday party is going to be Elmo themed!

Still loves bringing her baby doll everywhere and got a bathtub, stroller, and chair for "Baby" for xmas. ;-)

She is fearless with physical stuff! It's freaky. She climbs on and off of the bed, jumps off of things (eep), rides her little balance bike (with our help, but has zero fear on it), drives her Hummer at Nona and Gramps', practices her somersaults, and swings between the couches. Fearless kiddo!

She loves to dance, and does something we call "rage dances" where she scrunches up her face and starts going crazy. Haha! It's so cute!

Still nursing like a champ - no end in sight. But we are down to nursing only in the morning, nap time, and bedtime. I see molars coming in, so who knows if that will change!

She's super vocal and speaks more and more every day. She even sings! She especially likes Ellie Goulding, which is hilarious because I only have two of her songs downloaded, and her favorite song is only played on a commercial. Lol!

Loves watching football with daddy and does a special touchdown stance :)

Is obsessed with purses and bags. She loves backpacks, clutches, wallets, and more. If she sees a bag, she puts it on her arm or over her shoulder and walks off with a cute little sway to her hips.

Is there a way to slow down time?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Taco Night. It's a magical night!

Taco night!

Probably one of my favorite meals, but I don't make it a lot because I can't stop myself from eating 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 tacos! They're too good to stop at one, and my diet definitely can't handle that ;-)

I know what you're thinking..Jess, what the heck do you put in a taco? Fake meat? No! Just veggies? Kinda! But are they flavorful? Heck yes!
Instead of meat, or any fake meat products, I use lentils! Trust me on this, you don't miss the meat when you eat these tacos.

Michael doesn't mind eating lentils in his tacos, but he prefers ground turkey, so we make two different fillings!

In order to make your lentils taste awesome and get that "taco meat" flavor, you must prepare them with delicious taco seasoning. I'm lazy, so I buy the pre-measured baggies. I also up the lazy factor by buying ready to eat lentils from Trader Joe's.

Basically what I do is pour my ready-to-eat lentils in the pan, toss in 1/4 water, and taco seasoning. In this case, I had 1 lb of lentils, so I used the whole packet. After the water and seasoning coated the lentils, I heated them in the pan until a "gravy" started to form and thicken.

My Lentils
While I'm doing that, I also cook Michael's turkey. Just saute it with taco seasoning and water (follow the directions on the taco seasoning packet). Ooh yeah, the house is smelling good!

Michael's Turkey
 Now heat up some beans, chop your veggies of choice (we do avocado, tomatoes, onions, and lettuce), and additional toppings (shredded cheese, sour cream, hot sauce, salsa).

I know you don't need a pic of this, but come on, look at those colors! 
 And assemble! I always put beans, lentils, tomatoes, avocado, and lettuce on mine :) Michael likes his piled high with everything- cheese, onions, avocado, tomato, lettuce, and more. I don't like cheese on my tacos. C'est la vie.

Now whose taco is whose?


And what does Michelle eat when we have tacos? Our feisty toddler eats a deconstructed taco with both sets of fillings, and a little cottage cheese on the side.

Viva el taco!