Friday, August 31, 2012

Getting Ready For Fall

I don't know about you, but I'm ready for fall.  With tomorrow being September 1st, that means it's officially fall in our house!!  Leaves are changing around here.  The corn is being harvested.  I'm ready to start getting fall decor out.  I've bought a few new fall shirts and even my first pair of boots for the season!!  Check these bad boys out!

Don't these boots just make you want to throw on a pair of jeans, quarter sleeve sweater and head off to a football game?  Well, they should! That's how they make me feel :)

Speaking of football, here's another reason why it's the start of fall.
The big game is Sunday!!!  C-A-R-D-S GO CARDS GO!!  Come 3:30 on Sunday, it's on!

post signature

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Where does the time go?  I am taking the boys to Preschool orientation today?  WHAT??  That is insane I tell you!  My boys shouldn't be this old yet.  I'm excited that they're going and excited at the time I'll have to do things around the house, but it's still weird to me.

Did you see SYTYCD last night?  Great dancing!  I missed it last week because of vacation and was disappointed, but last night was a good one to come back to.  I wasn't surprised to see Lindsey and Will go. My two favorites, Witney & Cyrus, are still there so I was very happy.

My favorite dance of the night was Witney's hip hop routine with Twitch.  Let me just be honest for a second.  I totally just typed Stitch.  Not because I don't know Twitch's name, but because we've watched Lilo and Stitch so much that it just totally came out without me realizing what I was writing.  Sheesh!  Witney rocked it and of course Twitch did too!!  She keeps ending up in the bottom and I'm just not sure why.  She's a great dancer and has such a charisma and likability.

My favorite solo of the night was Eliana's.  She's such a beautiful ballet dancer.  She has a grace and ease about her dancing.  She also has a personality that just shines.

Cole & Alison's Sonja routine was just freaky and cool.

The dance Cyrus did with Melanie was too cute.  So playful and fun to watch.

Tiffany & Ade's dance to Celion Dion's song was beautiful!

They are just a couple of weeks away from the finale and I think it's really going to be hard to see any of them go next week!  Who did you vote for??

post signature

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pinterest Challenge #4

This is the last Pinterest Challenge for August.  Sorry about missing last week.  Internet access at the beach was spotty.  I do want to thank the great ladies that linked up!!  The three of you get a big hug from me :)  I really hope with this being the last one, that we have a lot of new participants!!

It's fall here.  Not really, but it is in my head.  There's even a tree I can see from our bathroom window with leaves that are starting to turn colors.  There's also a corn field across from our neighborhood and all the stalks have turned brown.  It is fall, my friends.  To kick off the fall season, I made the boys & I some pumpkin oatmeal that looked scrumptious on Pinterest.  The recipe came from Fitness Magazine so it was totally healthy, until I tweaked the recipe :)
Here's the picture that drew me in.
Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal
Looks yummy, doesn't it!!  The recipe called for frozen blueberries.  No thanks.  I decided to replace them with chocolate chips!  Pumpkin and chocolate, yes please!  

It was yummy!  Not too overpowering with the pumpkin flavor.  Next time, though, I will make sure my banana is RIPE!  It will mush easier. 

I showed you mine, now show me yours!!

post signature

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Now that I have your attention, let's talk earrings.  I know and I'm sorry.  I have no hunky guys to show you, unless you'd like to see a picture of my husband.  He's taken, so I don't want to tease you!

Earrings!  By now, you know I love making my own jewelry.  If you invite me to a jewelry party, I'll will browse the catalog taking mental notes of what's trendy so I can go home and make my own version for a fraction of the cost.  However, I have not made any stud earrings.  I only had one pair of fake pearl studs that my sister gave me-until vacation.  Panama City Beach has a huge outside mall called Pier Park.  When I saw there was a Forever 21 there, I knew I had to go.  Have you been to their accessory section?  Jackpot for real!!  It's cute trendy stuff at super duper cheap prices.  I bought two pair of earrings in Hawaii last year  that I love so why not try the PCB store for some studs.  Again, JACKPOT!!

I got my hands on two pair of earrings for $3.80 a piece!  They're not something I'll wear often, but at these prices, I wasn't leaving without them.  I have worn both of them and LOVE how they look.  I'm definitely a stud fan now :)  That's such a fun word, don't you think??  Stud, Stud, Stud!

I am starting to look at accessories in a different way these days.  Things don't always have to matchy match.  They just need to go together.  I've heard Stacy & Clinton say this on several episodes so I've finally taken it to heart.  It's hard to untrain yourself when you've done something for years.  But, when you're not trying to be so exact about matching, it really does make things easier!  What are some of your favorite accessories??

post signature

Monday, August 27, 2012

Make Your Own Cleaning Products

I love a clean house!  Who doesn't?  The problem is making the time to get it that way.  Since time is precious, I want cleaning methods that are going to be as painless as possible and worth my time.  I also want products that don't make me gag when I use them and are safe around my kiddos.  Thanks to Pinterest (have you realized how much information and great ideas I get from that website??) I have come across some great make them yourself cleaning products.  So great in fact, that we will never buy another harsh chemical cleaner again.  Like, never.  People, this is huge!  I'd rather stop and take the time to make my own cleaners than quickly pick one off the shelf at the grocery.  The best thing about it, the main ingredient is something you have in your pantry already, Vinegar!  I know, I know, vinegar has a funky smell all it's own, but most of the cleaning recipes call for an essential oil of one smell or another which totally masks the vinegary smell.  Win win if you ask me!  And yes, you totally asked me!  I heard you.

** I have tried all the cleaning methods mentioned below and they have worked for us.

Shower Magic
Believe it or not, this recipe came from  You mix 12oz of heated vinegar with 12oz of the blue original Dawn dish soap in a spray bottle.  Gently swish it around and start spraying.  We have a glass door in our shower, but you'd think it was a frosted glass the way it looks.  I sprayed this concoction on the door and inside the shower.  I let it set about 15 minutes and started scrubbing.  The icky stuff inside the shower came off the first round.  Since our door was kind of grossly covered in soap scum, it took a few rounds of cleaning to get it completely see through.  And let me tell you my friends, it is see through.  This stuff cut through what I thought with never come off because even the strongest chemical cleaners we tried couldn't get all the way through it.  It is now on my weekly cleaning list so that the door stays clean.  No more scummy build up for my shower!!  I even recommended it to my pregnant sister.  Definitely don't want her breathing in any nasty chemical cleaners while she's baking my nephew!!!

All Purpose Cleaner
EcoCrazy Mom has a whole post dedicated to homemade cleaning products.  It's genius!  You know what else is genius??  The magical powers vinegar possesses!  Seriously, who knew all the things this stuff could do aside from dying Easter eggs?  I sure didn't!  This is super easy.  1 part water to 1 part vinegar.  Add 5-10 drops of your favorite essential oil(s) and you're good to go.  I had lavender essential oil from a Christmas project I did so that's what I mixed in.  You can't smell the vinegar at all so it worked like a charm!  I use it when cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms.  I even used it today to wipe the doors down.  I intend to make her furniture polish/cleaner too!

Microwave Cleaner
This is the easiest of them all.  The Nest is where I got this recipe.  Microwave 2 cups of water with 1tsp of vanilla in microwave safe cup for 5 minutes.  Take rag and wipe down inside of microwave.  That's it.  Worked like a charm and you didn't have to use any elbow grease at all.  It really just wiped right off with no effort!  No excuse now not to have a clean microwave!

Pan Cleaner
Jillee's recipe calls for a paste made of peroxide and baking soda.  I tried it once and didn't leave it on to get the desired effect.  Today, I tried baking soad and vinegar to clean out a pan stained by tea.  After a bit of scrubbing, pan looks great!!  Cleaned all the tea stains right off.  I might try this on our muffin pans and baking sheet to see if it works just as good.

Vomit Cleaner
I actually haven't used this for it's intended purpose.  I have used it to clean poop out of the carpet on more than one occasion.  Unfortunately one of my boys found it fun to play with is diaper during naptime if it was dirty.  This stuff saved my carpet and my stomach!!  In a bucket mix 2 cups of warm water with 1TBSP of salt.  Once salt is dissolved, 1/2 cup of white vinegar, 1 TBSP of clear dish or laundry detergent (I used laundry detergent b/c our dish soap wasn't clear at the time) and 2 TBSP of rubbing alcohol.  Once it's all mixed, set aside.  First spray the spot with water and blot.  Then use a rag or sponge and saturate it in the cleaner then blot the spot with it.  I did this several times.  Blot with a clean towel and then rinse, blot and let dry.  You might even consider adding a few drops of essential oil to it for a pleasant smell.

 It makes me happy to know I can have a chemical free cleaning experience.  Now if I could just get my fairy godmother to get me someone to do the actual cleaning, that'd be awesome!!

post signature

Friday, August 24, 2012

Got My Toes in the Water

Sorry about the absence!! The family took a nice trip to the beach and I didn't always have internet access.  It was a great vacay and I'm anxious to sit down and go through the pictures on my camera. I dare say I even brought a tan home with me! Can't wait to tell you about it, but until then, I must do laundry.  Lots and lots of laundry!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Guest Post: Projects Around the House

I have some great things lined up for you this week.  There are some things going on that will have me unable to get to my computer so there are some lovelies taking over to share great things with you!  I'm so excited they're stopping by.

We start off the week with Christine.  Her posts helped me design my blog.  She has so many great tutorials on her blog, you must go check them out!!

Wide to skinny shorts
Hi Living Loving Crafting readers! I am excited to be guest posting for Jeannie today. My name is Christine and I blog over at Projects Around The House. I blog about the crafty projects I have going on. I love to sew, garden, crochet, cook and more.
I have been on a refashioning kick lately to work through my out of control refashion pile piece by piece. One of my favorite ways to refashion is to take a wide pair of pants, capris or shorts and make them skinny. I use pieces I already own or shop for great deals at the thrift store.
I’ve shared two projects already for skinnifying my tangerine capris and white capris and now I have a pair of shorts I’m going to share with you.
These lovelies were a thrift store find. I got them on 75 cents day and I was so excited to find a pair at the price! I was looking for a black pair of shorts and these ones fit my waist. The only problem was that they were too wide but since they were only 75 cents I couldn’t pass them up.
I’ve done a similar technique like this many times on capris and pants but it is so much easier with shorts. They don’t need to bend at the knee so it’s easier to avoid taking them in too far.
I took the shorts and turned them inside out. I laid another pair of shorts that I liked the width of on top of the black shorts. I drew a line on the black shorts down the side of the white shorts with tailors chalk. The pic I have below is a little deceiving because I actually moved my line over a little bit more. If you don’t have a pair of shorts that fits the way you want you can also try on the shorts and pin where you want to take them in. That’s what I did with my tangerine capris.

Sew down the line you just drew. Make sure the line is straight or you will get strange puckers in the seam. Try on the shorts to make sure they fit. If they aren’t tight enough then sew a new line a little bit over from the first one to make the legs tighter. If they are too tight, unpick your seam and sew your line out a little bit to make the leg looser. Once you have the right fit (I almost never get it right the first time) then sew a zig zag line on the outside of the new seam and cut off the extra. Finish it off by pressing the seam flat to make it look more professional.
Now I have a cute pair of black skinny shorts for a steal! (P.S. If you like my necklace you can see how I made it here)

skinny shorts

post signature

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Giveaway Winner & SYTYCD

Let's do the exciting thing first :)  It's time to announce the winner of the giveaway.  Thanks everyone for participating.  I wish you could all be winners, but there's only one necklace.  

Thanks to the winner is Karrie S for the 8th comment.  Karrie I'll be sending you an email letting you know the good news.  Here's a reminder of what's coming your way!
That was fun!  Might have to do that again when we hit 75 followers :)



Tonight was entirely dedicated to Mia Michael's dances.  Frankly, it was rather disappointing.  The thing about this show, it has such amazing dancers that just shine in their pieces.  When I remember those Mia dances, it's because of the people who made them so special.   To have season 10 contestants dance routines of previous seasons, they can't really live up to the originals.  The judges even made comments like this through out the night.  They did announce that starting next week they are bringing back the all stars and that's super exciting!!  Overall, going from top 20 to top 10 has been a let down.  I hope as they move from top 10 to top girl and top boy that the show rocks my socks off!

They sent 2 girls and 2 boys home tonight.  I think they got the girls right 100%.  Amelia and Janelle, for me and apparently the rest of America, weren't  as good as the others.  The boys was a hard decision.  I liked the bottom 3 boys.  I was sad to see Matthew & Dareian go, but they had to send someone home and George definitely deserved to stay.  I'm really hoping to be wowed next week!  You hear that FOX??

post signature

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Vintage Gwen Guest Post

Hello Living, Loving, Crafting lovelies!! Jennifer here of Vintage Gwen.  

I've been blogging for about a year and half now and it's so much fun! A lot of work at times, but still fun.  I like to share the things I love and enjoy from fun parties, crafts, beauty & fashion, to a yummy recipe.  When Jeannie asked me to guest post I thought it would be fun to share a recipe that kicks off the fall. 
 I don't know about you but I'm so ready for it!!

{This is my variation of the directions on the seasoning packet!}

Easy White Chicken Chili
1 tbsp oil
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into cubes
2 cans of white beans, undrained
1 can chopped green chilies, undrained
Optional: add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of chopped onion when cooking chicken.

Make it:
Cook chicken in oil about 5 minutes till no longer pink.  Add seasoning mix, beans, and chilies, bring to boil.  Cover and reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
Of course, top with your favorite chili toppings!! I love cheese! I've put sour cream and avocado on this too and oh so yummy!

Thanks Jeannie for having me! 

post signature

Pinterest Challenge #3

The Pinterest Challenge is here again!  Thanks to the ladies who've linked up the last two weeks.  We're hoping for more links this week.  Share the challenge with your friends so they can link up too!

Michelle at Greene Acres Hobby Farm had one of my "Oh my goodness I must do that ASAP!"  tutorials I found on Pinterest.  You can't tell me this picture doesn't inspire you to want to sit at your sewing machine and whip up a few!
Greene Acres Hobby Farm: Easy Sew Envelope Pillow Covers
I love the fabric she chose.  They're so fun and happy.  With my mental change to fall already in process, it was time to do some new throw pillows for the couch.  My sister gave me some cranberry pillows she was no longer using.  Cranberry is not my color, but they would be great to cover.  HELLO PINTEREST TUTORIAL!!  I used one of the awesome fabrics I purchased from and when I was in Hobby Lobby over the weekend for another project, I came across a chevron fabric (OMG I am so happy HL has chevron fabric!!!) that would coordinate perfectly!!  Here's how they turned out...

I'm a huge fan and look forward to making more!  Who doesn't have 30 minutes to make some awesome pillows??

Now it's your turn.  Share with us what Pinterest has inspired you to do!!

post signature

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

No-Reply Blogger

(Don't forget the giveaway closes at midnight on Wednesday and I'll be announcing the winner Thursday)

This is a subject that I need to touch on.  I love getting comments.  It really makes me happy.  I love opening my email and seeing a sweet message from you.  However, it's really disappointing when I click the reply button and see  This means I can't reply to you.  I want to, but I can't.  We need to fix this.  I will always reply to you, as long as it lets me.  Hop on over to Sullivan and Murphy for a tutorial with pictures on how to fix it.  

My quick version:
Go to your Blogger profile. Click edit profile.  Click show my email address and type it in. Click save.  That's it.  Easy Peasy!

I want to be able to thank you for your comments and chat with you.  Don't think I'm rude for not commenting.  It's not me, it's you :)  I kid, I kid.  But seriously, don't be a No-Reply Blogger!!

post signature

Monday, August 13, 2012

Linking Up

This week I'm linking up my Fun Girly Gifts to these fabulous blogs.  Hop on over and check them out!

Positively Splendid
I Heart Naptime
Sew Chatty
DIY Showoff
The Southern Institute
The Gunny Sack
The Train To Crazy
Sumo's Sweet Stuff
Vintage Gwen

post signature

Travel Binders

In preparation for a family trip coming up, I've been really trying to create some things to keep my kiddos busy in the car.  We are not going to rely on the dvd player for entertainment the entire trip.  I came across something on Pinterest (can't find it now to give proper credit-if this was you, let me know!) that was genius. It was a binder that had markers connected to the front cover and drawing paper inside.  There's no way my boys are going to have markers in a car, but crayons would work too.  I decided I must make this, but there had to be more to it.  A picture seek n find would be great to add.  Simple project, great at occupying time!

Supplies: 3 ring Binder
wide ruled paper
sticky back round velcro
page divider(s)
magazine pictures
glue stick

The binders I bought had this piece of cardboard in then and since I couldn't find my page dividers I decided just to use this.  At this point, I only have two sections so it works for now.  

Get your sticky back velcro dots and open then up.  I used 8 large crayons so I needed 8 of each side. 

Place the soft velcro dot on your crayon.  Watch the placement.  I put mine towards the flat top end so it wouldn't be in their way when holding it.  

Place the rough velcro dot(what's the technical word for this?) on the inside binder cover.  Then put your crayons on the velcro to make sure they stick.

There's section one.  Paper to draw and crayons that stay in place.  Yes!!

Cut pictures out of magazines.  I only had Traditional Home mags in the house so I was limited on what fun things I could cut out.  I also needed two of each item.  I still have a few more to root through but when it hit 11pm, I was finished for the night!

Glue your pics down with your glue stick.  Also, keep a list of your items.  Since my little ones can't read, I'll have to tell them which items to look for.  I sure won't be able to remember what's in there!

So there you have it.  If I come up with something for a third section, which I hope I can, I'll add it.  I want to have a smooth trip and definitely need as many activities for them as possible.  What are some travel activities you have used for your little ones????

post signature

Friday, August 10, 2012

Guest Posting & Photo A Day August

I'm excited to let everyone know I'm guest posting over at I Know The Plans I Have For You!  I was happy when Jill asked me to guest post and enjoyed doing it.  Please stop by and leave her some love!

I love doing the photo a day shots, but I have a hard time getting them posted on here.  I'm still taking the pics and posting them to Instagram.  My username is livinglovingcrafting.  You can follow me there and keep up with my photos.  It's a fun thing to do, so if you join in on it too, leave me your username so I can follow your photos also!

On another note, have my next 5K tomorrow!  Hoping to beat my time.  Wish me luck :)
post signature

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Giveaway & Other News

Thanks to you guys, we've surpassed my first 25 followers.  I love sharing my projects with everyone and enjoy reading all the comments you leave.  Getting an email that someone has left a comment is like getting a really awesome piece of mail out of the mail box!  It brightens my day.  To say THANK YOU for helping me grow, I'm doing a giveaway!  Imagine this:  Getting a box in the mail.  The anticipation you have opening it.  Seeing this and knowing I combined two of my favorite things, jewelry making and turquoise.  Well, you probably won't think "Oh I'm so excited to get Jeannie's favorite things!"  But hopefully you'd be excited to get this:

To Enter:
Leave me a comment on today's post letting me know you were here.  Next Thursday I'll use to pick one lucky winner and announce it in Thursday's post.  

Some other big news, I'm going to be an aunt!  My little sister is having a baby and I am so excited!!  Yesterday we got to find out if it was going to be a niece or nephew.  I'm happy to say it's a....

Yay!!  A little boy cousin for my boys.  I'll be watching the little boy with no name two days a week and I know boys so he'll be well taken care of :)  I'm super excited about planning her baby shower.  We are doing a theme and it's popular on Pinterest, but I don't care.  It's a cute idea, she loves it and I'll be sharing my projects with you as I prepare.  What a wonderful time!

post signature

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Pinterest Challenge #2

**First some exciting news.  We hit and surpassed 25 followers.  As a thank you, I'll be hosting a giveaway!  More details tomorrow**

It's that time again!  Let's see how productive we've been thanks to Pinterest!

I saw this on Pinterest a while back and knew I had to make it for myself.
Lace overlay top
Source: Blackberry Grove

I love how feminine it is and sexy at the same time, but not inappropriate at all.  I didn't follow her instructions exactly.  I didn't add the tee under mine, I just had a tank underneath.  I'm super happy with how it turned out though.  After about 1 hour and $3.97 worth of lace, I have a new top :)

Pay no attention to the snowflake shorts.  It was time to do laundry!  I don't have a tutorial, either.  My camera was giving me fits.  I was lucky enough to get this okay picture.  I'll be sure to take a good pic the first time I wear it.  If you have a question, though, let me know and I'd be glad to answer.  

Now it's your turn!

post signature

Going Green-ish

I'm happy to say we've been slowly making some changes around our house.  I want our family to be well taken care of and for things to run smoothly.  I know this can't always happen, but I will do my best to try.
Here's what I'm figuring out along the way and changes we are making.

A. When the boys were born, we switched to lesser chemically chemical cleaners.  We started using Green Works and Seventh Generation.  I didn't want the same things we used before, not even thinking at that point what we were keeping in our house, to be in our house with kids.  I am learning now, though, there's an even greener type of cleaners I can use.  The homemade kind.  Man, I had no idea the type of awesome powers that vinegar had.  VINEGAR PEOPLE!  It's not just for dying Easter eggs!  In my endless pinning obsession, I have found the mother load of green cleaning products.  I used the shower cleaner and will do an entire post on this because it was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!  Needless to say, I'm super excited about cleaning my house now, knowing that nothing is harmful to my family or myself.

B. We have started recycling.  We've wanted to do this for a while and never got around to it.  Finally we did.  We go through milk like it's going out of style and that combined with the other plastic in our house, we were throwing way too much away.  This change makes me very happy.

C. Food.  This was a biggie for us.  Fresh foods cost more and being a one income household, saving is required.  However, I started meal planning and wow, that makes a huge difference.  If i have my grocery list with only the things we NEED on it, I don't waste spend money on unnecessary things.  By reducing my purchases of things we don't need, I can spend that money on fresh items that are better for you than processed foods or even canned foods that sit in preservatives.  We have a long way to go on this, but I'm satisfied with the changes we've made in this area thus far.  This has also helped organize our pantry and organization is something I need more of in this house!

We are trying.  We aren't green.  We are green-ish.  I don't always clean with cloths, sometimes I use paper towels.  Heck, we still buy paper towels.  We don't have a compost box in the backyard or a garden.  We still buy laundry detergent (although making my own is on my list of things to do).  There are all kinds of changes we can still make, but baby steps, people, baby steps.  What are some of the things you & your family are doing to be more green??

post signature