Curly Crafty Mom: June 2013

Friday, June 28, 2013

Five on Friday - #2

I love to ramble off my week and weekend, so here I am again for 5 on Friday!

1. Bloglovin'. Most of you know what Google Reader is going away on July 1st, 2013. Since I will be gone next week and since I haven't already done the Bloglovin' pump up post like other bloggers have done, I wanted to ask you now to follow me on Bloglovin' if you are currently using Google Reader. I don't want to lose any of my readers and if you are new here I'd love to have you as a new follower! Bloglovin' lets you follow blogs just like Reader, but it has a little more flexibility in that you can add folders, dim out the blogs you've read already for the day, etc.

Follow me on Bloglovin' by clicking here.

2. Disney/Next Week on the Blog. Next week we will be in sunny Florida enjoying Disney for the first time with the kids. This is something I have looked forward to my entire life, sharing Disney with my kids. I can't believe Nathan is 7 and Autumn is 4 and this will be the first time ever that they fly and see Disney! I think these are awesome ages and hopefully they will remember it and beg for us to take them back again. I really cannot wait to ride The Dumbo with Nathan and riding Its a Small World with Autumn. I also really cannot wait to eat at Be Our Guest in the new Beast castle in Fantasy Land. We are SO so SO lucky our travel agent got us reservations. We are also staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, which I have always wanted to stay at. When we were there last November (sans kids) for the Wine & Dine half marathon, we had to stay off site due to so many people booking before us!

Yes. We are one of those crazy people that ships stuff to our Disney hotel.

If you follow me on Instragram you'll see I sent a huge package to Animal Kingdom Lodge filled with the kids Mickey Mail (apparently I found out you can't check wrapped gifts on the plane!) and lots of juice and snacks! Please follow me on Instagram here to stay up to date on what we are doing on the trip! I post on IG a lot more often that I do on Facebook!

Next week while I am away I will still have a full week of posts for you. I have two guest posts and on Tuesday I will be sharing what Nathan is wearing to Disney (just like I did for Autumn here and for me here). Then, I'll have a July 4th post and the Five on Friday again.

3. Chicago. Speaking of trips, Brian and I really wanted to do a long weekend trip this summer sans kids. So, yesterday our travel agent let us know that Southwest was running a $100 a leg round trip deal. Yes, so for $400 we are flying to Chicago round trip! I was looking at prices for the Amtrak train and its only going to cost us $100 more to fly and we won't be sitting in a stuffy train for 5+ hours. We are flying into Chicago's Midway airport, which I have heard its nice... now I just need to decide on a hotel...

Some of the hotels we're considering are:

Hyatt on Wacker (nice canal view, but not right off of Michigan Ave.)




W - This looks sort of cramped in the rooms and I believe its also not directly off Michigan Ave. Beautiful hotel, tho!

I am also trying to plan some activities for us while we are there... Brian is working on this, too! I've done all of the museums (days and days!) and I know that is what I don't want to do this time.

This is what we've come up with so far:
Bobby's Bikes, Bites & Brew Tour - We are definitely doing this! Its a leisurely four hour bike tour where you try a hot dog, a cupcake, a slice of pizza and a beer. I just haven't been on a bike in forever, so I am a tad nervous about that. ;)

Cubs Game - too bad they aren't playing the Cards!

Molly's Cupcakes

The Cloud Gate/shiny bean, I really want photos of us by this!

Book of Mormon - we might go see this show

Dinner cruise on the lake

Run on the lake


Ikea (never been)

Shopping on Michigan Ave.

Weber Grill Restaurant (want to go back)

Navy Pier again.

If you have any restaurant suggestions or ideas for things to do in Chicago, please let me know in the comments.

4. Moonlight Paddle Boat Picnic. My kids are finally home from Michigan, I can't wait to see them after work today! Even though I still have a lot of loose ends to finish up before our Disney trip, we decided to plan a fun evening last night at the Forest Park Boat House. The Boat House does Moonlight Paddle Boat Picnics every Thursday during the summer and we have done it a couple of other times and it is just awesome. The VERY first time we went, I had written Brian a list of 100 things I love about him. Then, I forgot the list at home (silly me!) and so I recited most of them to him by memory! It was such a romantic evening and the water sprays in the Grand Basin, the moon and view of the art museum is just lovely. You get to pick out a bottle of wine, choice of sandwich and then they pack snacks in the bag, too! Every year its a little different and they are NICE paddle boats, too! I can't wait to have this relaxing evening with my sweetie tonight!

Boarding for our moonlight paddleboat picnic.
Here we are before we boarded the boat

Feeding Mr. Duckie some bread. awwwwwww.
There are always ducks that beg for you to feed them. We even saw a Momma duck and her babies. So sweet.

Someone is tootoo sweet  to me.
Brian surprised me with flowers before we left the house, I love him so! :)

5. Co-Host for the Inspiration Gallery. I really love crafting and I try to make time to do it regularly. Recently, Taryn from Design, Dining and Diapers posted that she was looking for Co-Hosts for the Inspiration Gallery link up party. If you don't know what a link up party is, its where people link up their crafts and recipes that they've created and then the hosts of the party select 5-10 of these that are linked up (usually from 50-300 people will link up things, depending on the size of the party) and FEATURE them. To be feature is a huge reward, they are saying they loved your craft/recipe enough to feature it at the top of the blog post for the next link up party.

As a co-host, Taryn will feature several of my best crafts/recipes at the beginning of the party to introduce me, then I get to select which items I want to feature that week from everything that is linked up! This is a lot of work, but I am SO excited as this is my FAVORITE link party of them all in bloggy land! So, to be a co-host is huge for me.

I was actually at my hubby's high school reunion when I got the email from her and I was so worried that all the slots would be full (they only had a handful) before I could respond back. But, whew! I got in!

The date that I will co-host the Inspiration Gallery is August 22nd, which a follow up post on which features I've selected on August 24th. Don't worry if you forget these dates, I'll remind you when the time comes (of course!).

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Mickey Count Down Chain

Well, believe it or not (ha!)... I have another Disney craft to share with ya'll! 

I actually made this AFTER I spent a good amount of time wrapping all of the kids Mickey Mail. This is a count down chain and the kids rip one link off every day until its time to leave for Disney!

I looked on Pinterest for some ideas and decided I wanted to do the Mickey ears and buttons for the top of it. Then, I just used Mickey colors for the rest of the chain. It was SO easy to make and it really helps calm the "When are we going to Disney? When, when, WHEN?!!!!" questions from the kids. I let Nathan and Autumn take turns every day tearing off a link, because there was no way I was going to make two of these chains for each of them (unless they want to make their own!).


Here is a close up of the chain. I had leftover Mickey ears from the Mickey Mail, so it was nice to use them again on the chain. You'll see that each one has a silver number on it to let my 7 year old (4 year old doesn't care) how long we have till the trip.

You could do this one of two ways:
1. Put the day of the month on each link

2. Number it down from how many days until the trip

Then, hang it up and enjoy the fun! I had Mickey bring the kids each a notebook, stickers and a pen the same day I hung up the chain... it was sort of magical in that they thought Mickey had stopped by! Awh! 

I was planning to do a Mickey themed dinner the night before our flight, BUT this Momma is running out of time. Soooooo. We're just going to hit Cracker Barrel and then HIT the bed, because we have to head to the airport in the middle of the night! Bleh!

Linked up with:
Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop 
Bewitch Me & Titi Blog Party
Snickerdoodle Sunday 
Hit Me With Your Best Shot 
The Inspiration Exchange 
Create It Thursday  
Inspiration Gallery

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Autumn's Prof. T-Ball Pics & Pics from Nathan and Autumn's First Game

I have gone the entire baseball season (started in March!) without posting any photos of the kids playing. Its just been so busy around here and I did take some photos from their first game, I just haven't had a chance to blog about them! So, here are some photos from their first game. This is a photo taken after their game with some succulents and small plants that the kids had bought me. Nathan is on the Rockies again, wearing Barney purple (ugh) and Autumn is on the Cardinals (GO CARDS!) wearing red.

Here is a photo of Nathan hitting the ball, it was coach pitch until LAST weekend when they started using the machine! Ok, now a bad Mommy confession... the rest of the photos are of Autumn. I should have taken more of Nathan! But, my excuse is that this is Nathan's third season and this is Autumn's first... SO, its just really exciting to see her play her first year!

Autumn up at bat. She actually hits the ball off the tee fairly well and hits it hard. I guess all that back yard practicing with her big bro has paid off!

Running to first. She always holds onto her helmet when she runs. Silly girl.

This is my FAVORITE photo, this really shows Autumn's silly little personality.

Catching a ball

Autumn on the bleacher. The kids LOVE going to each others games so that they can check out all the deliciousness of the concession stand. I will admit, it is fun and tasty. 
Here is Autumn's professional photo, I love how the photographer had the other players stand behind her... such a pretty backdrop.

Team Photo. I am still waiting on Nathan's. Autumn is actually done playing now (she played 5 games, Nathan played 8), but I'll do one blog post of their final games together

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Personalized Initial with Wine Corks, Burlap & Jute

Today I am going to share with you the craft that I made last Friday when I had my friends over for our first Pinterest party. I have been wanting to make a wine cork filled initial for a long time now. Of course, I couldn't just do an initial with only wine corks... that is wayyy too boring! I decided to wrap half of the 'A' in burlap ribbon, use black jute to frame in the middle of the 'A' and then on the other half of the 'A' I hot glued the wine corks on it. I bought some black ribbon and combined it with the leftover burlap ribbon and made a bow for the top of it. I LOVELOVELOVE how it turned out!

Wooden Initial (you could also cut out a letter with cardboard)
Spray Paint (I used gold)
Wine Corks (Used or Target has big boxes of them for $10 each. I used 1.5 boxes to fill up half my initial. Do not go to HobLobs, they were selling wine corks in little bags of 5-6 for $5 each!)
Roll of Burlap Ribbon
Additional ribbon or burlap for a bow
Hot glue gun

First, you want to spray paint your initial so that you don't see the bare wood in between the wine corks and edges of the initial. You don't have to, it just makes it prettier. I had some leftover gold spray paint from another project, so I was set. It takes 15 minutes to dry.

I didn't really take photos during the process since we were all chitchatting during the party. After the spray paint dried, the first thing I did was wrap the black jute around and around the center of the 'A'. I picked black, because it compliments the black in the Paris burlap ribbon I used. While wrapping the jute around, I would hot glue it here and there to help it stay in place.

Next, I wrapped the burlap ribbon around just one side of the 'A'. This is a rather large wooden 'A', so I saved a lot of money and time by wrapping half the 'A' in ribbon instead of hot gluing the entire initial with wine corks. I also think it looks so much more stylish this way and it gives it more visual interest. Plus, I always love a variety of textures with the cork, jute and burlap! You'll want to secure the burlap with hot glue as you're wrapping it so it stays put!

After that, I just needed to cover the initial on the other side of the 'A' with wine corks. You'll see now why its so important to spray paint the initial, because the wine corks are all different sizes and lengths and they don't cover the initial perfectly. I am in love with gold right now, so love the gold peaking out from the burlap and wine corks.

The last step was making the bow and since I didn't have a lot of burlap ribbon leftover, I made most of it from the black ribbon I had purchased to go with the burlap. The black ribbon is wavy on the end and the gracefulness ties together well with the coarse burlap.

Here are the steps again:
1. Spray paint your wooden or cardboard initial
2. If your letter has a middle (like an 'A' or 'H') or if you want to add some interest to it, wrap jute (comes in different color) around this area. Hot glue to secure.
3. Wrap one side of your letter in burlap ribbon. Hot glue to secure.
4. Hot glue wine corks on the other side of your letter.
5. Make a bow and add to the corner of the letter or the center
6. You can prop it up somewhere or my wooden letter from HobLobs has a hanger on the back of it. You can always buy hanging equipment, too. 

As you'll see here, all the different sizes and shapes of the corks give a lot of visual interest to the initial.

I really love how this project turned out, since Brian proposed to me in Paris I have been adding a lot of Paris touches in our main living area. This initial couldn't be more perfect with our last name initial and the wine corks and Paris burlap!

I took photos of the initial outside for better lighting... but, this initial will actually be hung with the rest of our gallery wall that I am currently working on! Stay tuned for photos of our gallery wall later this summer!

Linked up with:
Get Your DIY On 
Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop
Bewitch Me & Titi Link Party 
Snickerdoodle Sunday 
Hit Me With Your Best Shot 
The Inspiration Exchange  
Create It Thursday 
Inspiration Gallery

Sunday, June 23, 2013

My Style Monday: Lace and Navy

This is actually an outfit I wore last week, but I have been saving it for My Style Monday that Lindsey and Rachel host every Monday. I found this white and navy striped shirt with lace on the shoulders at my last Forever 21 run. There is actually a MEGA Forever 21 store called XXI in one of our fancier malls in St. Louis. You could spend hours in this store... heck, you could even get lost in it.

Actually, I really could have gotten lost in this store, I guess... because, check this out... I went in the dressing room to try on some things and I realized after I had closed the door (and it self locks), that the handle was missing for me to get back out! I tried pushing on the door, but it wouldn't unlock! I was stuck! I actually took a photo of it, because it was so funny... ya know, being stuck in a dressing room and all. Luckily, when I knocked and asked for help out, there was a dressing room lady right there to help get me out. LOL. It didn't stop me from texting this photo to Brian (he was shopping elsewhere, since he knew I'd be in XXI for at least an hour or more!).

I wore this outfit to work and everyone loved the lace on the shoulders. Its a nice subtle touch of lace at my casual work place. I did get another shirt that is almost entirely lace, that I hope to show off sometime soon.

This shirt is a small, but not super form fitting, so I knew I would have to tuck it in than leave it out. I paired it with a denim flowing Old Navy skirt. I really think the skirt picks up the navy stripes in the shirt. Also, I loved how comfortable this outfit was at work.

On another visit, I got this gold crusted lace bracelet at Forever 21. I am in love with this bracelet, I wear it at least three times a week, it goes with SO much. I think I am just in love with everything gold and everything lace right now. I also wore my sapphire ring surrounded by small diamonds that Brian got me when we were dating before he left for England for a week for work. Awh! This ring is so dear to me and it really goes well with this outfit.


I wore my gold shoes with these fabulous monogrammed shoe clips that I purchased from Initial Perfection. I posted these when I wore them for my 30x30 challenge and I thought they would go really well with this outfit. I love wearing monogrammed apparel right now!

Lace Sleeved Shirt with Navy and White Stripes: Forever 21
Flowing Denim Skirt: Old Navy, last year
Gold Flat Shoes: Old Navy
Monogrammed Shoe Clips: Initial Perfection
Gold Lace Bracelet: Forever 21
Sapphire Ring: Helzberg Diamonds
Silver Necklace: Express


Friday, June 21, 2013

Five on Friday

The last couple of Fridays I have done a Friday Ramblings post and to my surprise there is actually a Friday Five link up... sooo, today I am linking up for Friday Five!

1. Pinterest and Foodie/Wine Evening with Friends. This weekend I am having a few friends over for a Pinterest party, complete with food and wine! We are all making some delicious food to munch on and I am hoping to share the recipe I selected with you next week. I am probably the craftiest friend of the bunch, so they are all depending on me for tips. Ha! The craft I selected on Pinterest involves wine corks and since I only have a handful of them around the house, I hope to buy some in bulk at HobLobs (I know Target def. has them!). I wanted to share this gorgeous ombre heart I saw on Pinterest, ohhhh... if only I had a gazillion used wine corks so I could do an ombre with pale colors of pink blending to red and burgundy. Unfortunately, the store bought wine corks aren't used. Boo.
ombre heart

Don't worry, I hope to share highlights of the crafts and food from the party and what we all end up with! Should be fun as this is my first Pinterest partay!

2. We also have Brian's class reunion this weekend. GULP! He went to Lutheran North and I went to Lutheran South, so it'll be kinda fun to see a Lutheran North reunion. I just wish Brian would find out if its inside or out so I can start planning what I will wear! I do know he spent $75 a pop on each of our tickets, so I am really hoping dinner is nice?!

3. Fruit My Cube. At work, we can order a fruit box, a mini fruit box, a veggie crate or a qbuddy box on a weekly basis from a company called Fruit My Cube. The fruit and veggies are grown in Belleville on a farm and the qbuddy is a box of snacks from local businesses. I have ordered from them in the past and just recently decided to try them out again. A couple of weeks ago I got the qbuddy (local snacks) box and I LOVED it! 



This is what the qbuddy box included:
Gooey Butter Popcorn - Messy, but OH so good. I was excited to finally try something from POPtions!
Cinnamon Almonds - There was a very generous coating on these almonds!
Kicker Chips - These were very HOT and spicy, but I love spicy!

Honey Cookies (2) - I like chewier cookies, these were a little bland and stiff
Hand Iced Cookie - Delicious, shared half with Bri.
Caramel Pecan Turtle - THE best turtle I've ever had, shared half with Brian
1 Banana and 1 California Peach

I got the mini fruit box this last week and it was delicious and I ate all of the fruit (minus an orange I gave Brian) in one work week. I love how it encourages me to eat more fruits! In the picture it is missing 1 plum and 1 tangerine I had already eaten. Chomp! I am not sure if I'll order it this next week, but I think I may order it a couple times a month. I did order the veggie crate once and I felt overwhelmed with the amount of veggies in it (they give you A LOT)!

4. Need to get stuff done! I am going to kiss my babies goodbye on Saturday at their games and then I won't see them for an entire week. Sniff! They are going on vacation to the lake with their Dad and then once I get them back we will be headed to Disney. I must say, aren't they lucky to be going on two vacations in one month? The only other time I haven't seen them for an entire week is when Brian and I went to Paris. The kids keep me busy, so I am hoping to compile a HUUUGE to do list in the week that they are gone. I really have a lot of things I need to do that I've been skimping on! Plus, it'll get my mind off not seeing them everyday! I have a goal to get mostly everything packed for Disney, I still need to put away their school stuff they brought home, I need to start on the first book cover for my brother, finish some decorating odds and ends and then I also want to enjoy some down time as I pretty much have the kids non-stop during the school year. Brian and I have a sunset paddle boat ride planned at the Boathouse in Forest Park, we have done it in the past and its SUPER romantic.They even pack you a bottle of wine and a picnic basket with snacks and sandwiches.

Here is a photo I took last year on our sunset paddle boat ride... I think the Grand Basin is the most beautiful sight in St. Louis during a sunset.

I'm also supposed to get my hair done on Saturday, but I may cancel as I feel I don't need it touched up yet with the ombre I had done. Since my ombre matches my natural color/roots I have no grow out. Kinda nice. If I do go, I'll have her touch up the top so its darker as I think the ombre is pretty subtle right now.

Saturday is Autumn's last t-ball game for the summer, I took some pictures of the kids playing and I need to get them up on the blog still.

Also, while I am at Disney, I would love to have some Guest Posts from my fellow readers. This is a free way that you can promote your blog and I will benefit in that my blog have something on the week that I am gone. Please send me an email if you are interested and we can discuss. I have TWO people signed up already. :)

5. Beauty Regime. I am so bad about using the same makeup for years and years. I know there are a lot of new face products out there and new products for my naturally curly hair and for straightening it. But I haven't ventured out to try any of them and I've been stuck in a rut. I feel it would be refreshing to change it up a bit every once in awhile. I feel so b.o.r.i.n.g. So, I think I have a new goal. I will try ONE new beauty product every month. I am actually really excited about this, its going to be fun to break out of my normal beauty regime and to try some other highly rated products. If I find anything I really like, I promise I'll share. :)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Father's Day Recap (Better late than never!)

I am a little late on recapping Father's Day, but I didn't want to miss out on a wonderful opportunity to gloat on Brian... so, here it is :) If you know me or have been a follower of my blog for awhile, you'll know that I am remarried and Brian became a father to Nathan and Autumn last year. Since the kids were with their Dad on Father's Day, I decided to celebrate with Brian and the kids one night before Father's Day. Brian has been so good for me and the kids... he spends a lot of one on one time with the kids--heck, he is teaching Nathan how to computer program already and loves to let Autumn help him in the kitchen, he cooks, helps with baths and the sickies... does all the grocery shopping (!!) and he is great with teaching the kids manners and respect, too! He even started the kids on daily vitamins and has really helped Nathan get past being so picky and even the doctor told us that Nathan's weight percentile is doing much better! I am in awe everyday, he does so much for us that sometimes I seriously cry tears of joy. A lot of people tell me that I am a 'super' mom (which, btw, I so do not feel like a supermom most days!), but I so pale in comparison to how much Brian rocks as a Dad This man would truly do anything for us and I love him for it. We love you Brian and Happy Father's Day!

Brian has been really into working out lately so the kids each picked out one workout outfit (sorry they aren't Under Armour brand, baby! but, you do workout in the basement!) and a Cardinals, turquoise polo and a Mickey Mouse shirt (we're going to Disney soon!). But, ohhh... if you look in the picture, there is also one other special gift that we got Brian (Nathan also let out the secret and told Brian early, but oh well! ha, ha!).

I have to remind Brian to buy new shoes, he will wear them until they dissolve. So, Nathan had a great idea to get Brian New Balance shoes to match the New Balance shoes he just got! So, now Brian and Nathan have sort of matching New Balance shoes and of course Autumn had to show off her rainbow New Balance shoes in this picture, too! Of course, I am sticking to my Brooks, so no New Balance for me! Although, I'd love a new pair of Sperrys if I could only decide on what color combo I want!

Isn't this card cute? It was a free printable on That's What Che Said, Cheryl is a fellow St. Louis blogger and her crafty DIY website is one of my all time faves! 

Inside of card, both kids signed it themselves and Autumn even drew some beautiful flowers for Brian!

I wanted to get a cute photo of the kids with Brian, BUT instead the kids thought it'd be more fun to climb alllll over Brian. ha! After opening gifts we went out to eat at Cracker Barrel, it was a work night (for me and Brian) and Cracker Barrel is a hop, skip and jump from our house. Yum!


Egg Benedict with filet mignon #fathersdaybrunch #flemings 
On Father's Day, we took Brian and my Dad out for a Father's Day brunch at Flemings. They had a special menu and I tried a bellapolitan martini and filet mignon eggs benedict. I actually prefer my filet well done, so the waitress brought me out a new dish with it well done! I didn't even ask her, she just noticed it was more on the medium side and I had asked for well! That place is awesome! I didn't take a photo of my dessert, but it was a turtle pie. I love anything turtle! It was wonderful to spend some time with my parents, brother and Brian at brunch on Father's Day. I am so thankful for all of them!
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