Sunday, February 28, 2010

Time for a new chore system

After surviving the holidays and the back to routine blahs, our old chore system fell apart with the nasty virus we have been passing around the last few weeks. Since everyone was getting bored with it, I wasn't too sad to see it go. Unfortunately, I didn't have any plans for a new system, so things are starting to get out of hand around here.

I wanted to use a system that was easy for both the kids ane me, didn't cost anything to set up, offered instant feedback for the kids and daily inexpensive incentives. Sounds simple, right?

I finally decided to use individual cards for each chore for K, M, and A. (D is still just happy to help with anything I ask and E will not participate in anything that I use for the younger kids. I'm still looking for something to motivate E.) I have cards for jobs before and after breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus some bonus cards. For example:
Before breakfast
  • get dressed
  • put away pajamas
  • put away bed cup, book and warmer
  • make bed
  • brush hair
  • clean bedroom
Each child has an envelope for jobs that need to be done and completed jobs. As they complete each job, the card will be moved to the completed envelope. I have all of the jobs for the day sorted by child and time to make it easy to refill for each new time period. I can award bonus cards to behavior or extra jobs. At the end of the day, they can trade their completed cards for a treat.
Treat ideas
  • mini marshmallows
  • pennies
  • time at the park the next day
  • computer time
Hopefully by varying the rewards, the kids won't get bored with this system so quickly. 

Friday, February 26, 2010

Baby doll bassinet

I think A would love the baby doll bassinet from Nothing Fancy. Now the question is can I wait until her birthday to make it???

Belt testing

I am so proud of E and K. They both earned new belts at testing on Thursday. My camera and the lighting in the gym do not get along, but I had to post pictures (even if they are bad).

E is now a red/black belt. He had to perform his basics (kicks and punches), a form, 2 board breaks, 50 push ups, self defense, and continuous sparring for what seemed like an eternity to this mom. He was awesome! This is his last belt before black belt. I don't even want to think about what the black belt test will be like. The one I saw was unbelievable. I'm not ready to watch my baby go through that.

K is now a green belt. It is amazing to me to watch my very girly princess doing kicks and punches, a slide combination, self defense, and 30 push ups. Somehow the image of her with hair and makeup done wearing her dance recital costume keeps popping into mind.

Thrift store finds

Last weekend almost everything was half price at my favorite thrift store. I had a great time searching for bargains. Thanks to all the inspiration from my favorite blogs, I was able to look for things that had fabric that I liked instead of only things that fit perfectly. I picked up 71 items (including a full-length leather trench coat for E) for $76. What a steal!!!

My first project was a boring twin set I picked up for $0.65. I just knew I could come up with something to make it more exciting.
I added some ruffles from an old knit pillowcase that had seen better days, took in the sides and added some darts and this is what I came up with.
I was pleased with my first effort to enhance something. I am not so pleased, however, that I didn't even look at my hair before taking the picture. I promise that I really do brush my hair, even if you can't tell it from this picture.

Coco Bijou givaway on Made by Lex

Made by Lex is hosting a giveaway of absolutely gorgeous jewelry by Coco Bijou. You won't want to miss it.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

More incredible hair styles for princesses

Since I am woefully uncreative when it comes to hairstyles, I am thrilled to when I find new ideas.

Fabric roads

733 features a guest blogger today with a tutorial on making fabric roads. What an awesome idea!

String challenge quilt 2

I finally finished my second quilt for Loft Creations String Challenge. I started quilting it almost a month ago, but had to put it aside as the whole family passed around a nasty virus. This quilt is for one of my best friend's new grandson. I hope he enjoys it as much as I enjoyed making it.

I tried a spiral quilting design for the first time. I definitely need a free motion foot for my machine before I attempt it again. I love the look, but it was a killer.

Matching outfits

I just couldn't resist posting a pic of K posing with Mary Lynn with matching outfits. Thank goodness everything fit! I do not like not being able to try things on when I am sewing from new patterns.

Doll wardrobe - Roadkill rescue

One man's trash is another man's treasure. That was definitely the case with this cabinet.
I wanted to give K a doll wardrobe for her birthday, but couldn't see spending $350 at American Girl. No way! So I asked Scott to find me a kitchen cabinet. It was perfect!
After cutting, sanding, painting, drilling, Mod Podging and praying that everything would dry in time for her birthday -- it was finished. (Note to self: If you have a project involving painting and Mod Podge, start more than 12 hours before it needs to be dry.)

Scott and I couldn't have done it without out two helpers. (A played in the sink to "help" so she wouldn't get paint everywhere!)
K was thrilled! I also made her doll clothes from my fabric stash to complete the gift. I blogged about those in other posts. 

Linked to:

Monday, February 22, 2010

Ballet flats

Grosgrain: DIY ballet flats
These are so cute. My to-do list keeps getting longer!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Men's Dress Shirt to Dress Tutorial!

I can't wait to try this! Mom said she was cleaning out Daddy's closet soon. Surely there will be something I can use in it.

:: ::: 117. First Men's Dress Shirt Refashion Tutorial!
Just Chic - dress tutorial

Friday, February 19, 2010

Fabric paper dolls

Moda Bake Shop has a great tutorial on making "paper" dolls out of fabric scraps. Definitely something to add to the list for A's birthday.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Why do I want to make a cap for M?

I need a cap for M for Little Contenders, and I have the strangest urge to make it instead of buying a cheap cap at Wal-mart. I have never had any desire to make a cap before, and there is already plenty on my to do list, but I have been putting off buying one for months now so I guess I need to start sewing. I think denim would make an adorable cap, plus I could get rid of another pair of jeans from my stash. I'm on the hunt for the perfect cap pattern or tutorial. Any suggestions are most welcome!

Not for M, but I think Scott might get a lot of use out of something like this ear muff thingy from Craftstylish.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Brown Paper Packages: Can She Do the Can-Can?

Brown Paper Packages: Can She Do the Can-Can?
Stop by and enter to win a Can Can skirt. Both of my girls think they are to die for!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Play kitchen

I have been seeing entertainment centers turned into play kitchens on lots of blogs. I love this idea from Design Dazzle that includes a refrigerator.


A received some slippers for Christmas, but M and K have been feeling left out. These bear slippers from Instructables will be awesome for M and D.
K and A would both love these adorable ballet slippers from ikat bag.

Magic set

This absolutely brilliant magic set from ikat bag is definitely on my to-do list. I think this will be a great gift for M this year.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Five stones

This is a great idea for Michaela to make for favors for her birthday party. The tutorial and instructions for play are posted on ikat bag.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


I am fascinated with redwork this year. Quite a surprise, since I have never cared for it in the past. What do you think about this pattern set of a block each month?    I am only one month behind if I get started right away. Surely I can find time to add another quilt in with the 5 I have planned for the kids.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I finished my first string piecing quilt!

Thanks to Loft Creations' challenge, I have finished my first baby quilt in years. I am so excited. I have a matching quilt that I have started quilting. I can't wait to give this away on Sunday. Now I really need to get to work on my kids' quilts. I wouldn't want them to get a complex knowing that I am making quilts for other kids, but they don't have any.

E earned his red stripe today!

The lighting in the gym is horrible, but here are a few pictures from E's stripe test today. He did awesome! I really wish that I had been able to catch all the jump kicks he did. Wow! I was tired just watching him. He is hoping to be able to test for his red/black belt at the end of this session.
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