Friday, May 28, 2010

Mini Photo Album

Looking for the Rags to Stitches giveaway?  Scroll down or click here.

I promised a craft this week, and here it is.  I am actually typing this at 1 o'clock in the morning because I was in bed and remembered that I hadn't done it yet, and we are going to Disneyland all day tomorrow.  Do you see how dedicated I am to you people???

Anyway, I made this adorable mini-photo album today, which I then thought... this would have made a great Mother's Day gift.  Oh well... next year.

I started with two small pieces of chipboard.  I made them not quite a square... one side is slightly longer to fit the magnet closure. {The dimensions of mine are 3.25" x 3.5"}

Next I covered each piece on one side with a decorative paper that was just about a quarter of an inch larger all around.

I cut out the corners.

Then using a glue stick, I glued the edges up onto the other side of the chipboard and covered that side with another piece of decorative paper {this one cut to just about a quarter of an inch smaller than the chipboard so that there is a very small edge around it once it is glued down}.

I cut out several pieces of white cardstock that when folded in half would fit to be about a quarter of an inch smaller all the way around than the chipboard. {Mine were 3" x 6"}  
I also cut two small strips of paper to use as the attachments to the covers {as you will see in a minute}.

I folded each of these pieces in half, stacked them, and stapled them all together.

I glued the small strips onto the cover pieces.

I cut two small strips of adhesive magnet and stuck them just inside each cover.

{I ended up having to add another layer of magnet to each side because by the time all the paper was in the book it was too thick for just one layer.}

Then I cut several squares of coordinating decorative paper in various sizes.

I glued them into the book, but not on every page.  I left 5 of my 16 pages blank, but you can do however many you want, depending on how many photos you would like to include.

Finally, I added some pictures from our last vacation onto each blank page.

Pretty cute, huh?  It honestly took me about 20 minutes.
I think it would make a great little brag book for Grammy.

Have a great weekend... I'll tell Mickey you said hello.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Obsession: Chick-fil-A

Looking for the Rags to Stitches giveaway?  Scroll down or click here.

 Oh, I'm sorry... what?  
You weren't asked to the Invite-Only Grand Opening of the new Chick-fil-A?
That's too bad.

For months I've been counting down the days until the new location opens 4.5 miles from my house.  
{Yes, I know how far it is.}  
For years the closest location to my house was more than a half an hour away.  
Last year they opened one up about 15 minutes away... still not close enough!

I don't know if I should be advertising this {because it may just increase the competition}, but next Thursday on their official grand opening, their first 100 customers get free Chick-fil-A for a year!

I have a friend on the inside {her husband is a Chick-fil-A big wig} and she told me people sometimes wait in line for 24 hours to be one of the first 100 customers.

I'm thinking about doing it.

I love Chick-fil-A.
It's yummy.

Plus, I really like how they always say, "My pleasure."
It makes me happy.  It is one of my happy places.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Confession: I haven't cleaned a toilet in 5 years.

Looking for the Rags to Stitches giveaway?  Scroll down or click here.

The first year I was in MOPS we had a Mentor Mom Panel one day.  They gave us great tips, told us funny mommy stories, and answered our questions like, "Should I feel guilty for telling my son that Dora is a terrorist and he can't watch her show?"

That day I got the best mommy tip I have ever heard.

One of the panelist told us that as quick as we could work it into the budget, we should hire a house cleaner.

I know it's not super profound, but I felt like the reason she gave for it was... it will save you from resenting your husband and kids. 

It's so true.

At that time in my life I had a two year old.  
In order to clean my house I would stick him in front of the TV with a sippy cup and a snack, and scrub... all day.  Seriously.  
There was one day I remember that Beau watched Shrek three times in a row.  I spent eight hours cleaning the tiny 1000 square foot apartment that we were living in at the time.

That night as I watched Nathan splash water all over the bathroom mirror with his toothbrush I wanted to gauge his eyeballs out {should I not have made that phrase bold?}.  I took it as a personal assault... each little droplet of water a bullet to my heart.

Didn't he notice that the mirror was clean?  
That there was no longer a pile of hair in the corner of the bathroom?  
That the ring around the tub was missing???

Of course he didn't... he was too tired from formulating spreadsheets about interest rates and profit margins {or whatever it is that he actually does as that job of his}.
While I know it was not his intention, it really did devalue me.  I felt like he didn't notice or care that I had spent all day trying to make his house a nice place to come home to.

And thus was the profundity of that Mentor Mom's advice.

If someone else is doing the cleaning, you won't take it personally when your son spills his bowl of cereal all over the freshly mopped floor.

It might be a bummer... but it will not be a personal attack.

I got a cleaning lady... and I haven't cleaned a toilet in five years.  
Because {just so you know} I am not one of those people that cleans the house in between the visits from Margarita. 

I know that many of you are thinking, "That sounds great Emmy, but who's going to pay for my cleaning lady?"  Let me be honest and tell you... my mom paid for mine for years.  In fact, I only very recently took over the expense.  It was a Christmas present for my sister and myself one year {the best present ever}, and she just kept paying for it until I told her to stop.  

But truly, it is not that expensive.  I live in Southern California, where everything is more expensive, and I pay $160 a month for a cleaning lady that comes every two weeks.  Many of my friends pay less than that {I keep giving Margarita a raise because I really like her}.  

$160 to keep me from being on the cover of People Magazine with the title "Enraged Mom Massacres Family Over Dirty Toilets" is worth every penny.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Rags to Stitches

The only thing better than fantastic paper, is fantastic fabric!
I've got another fantastically talented friend to tell you about today, and... you guessed it... a giveaway!

Meet Alissa, from Rags to Stitches

I met Alissa last fall at a boutique {one of my favorite places to make new friends}.  Alissa is another WAHM trying to stay sane while running a business and a family.  She makes beautiful baby items for the fashion-conscious mommy.

She sells wipes cases:

and Sets that include matching Cloth Diapers:

Nursing Covers:

Crayon Roll-ups:

and my favorite item... the Infant Canopy:

I have given these as baby shower gifts and everyone goes crazy!  

Instead of just draping a blanket over your infant carrier, these canopies cover your sleeping monkey... and stay in place

Alissa has generously offered to sponsor a giveaway for my readers, and so this gorgeous pink and white damask Infant Canopy is up for grabs.

***This giveaway is now closed***

The contest will run until this Sunday (May 30th) at midnight PST.

Here's how to enter:

Leave a comment with your email address so that I can contact you if you win.

If you want a second entry:
Become a follower over in the right sidebar and let me know in your comment.  
If you already are a follower, just remind me.

If you want a third entry:
Put my button on your blog {the code is in the left sidebar} and let me know in your comment.  
If you have already done this, let me know... and thanks for the support!

If you want a fourth entry:
Blog about this giveaway and... you guessed it... let me know in your comment.

If you want a fifth entry:
Post a link to this giveaway on your Facebook status {honor system here}.
Want 5 bonus entries???  Then become a follower of the Rags to Stitches blog, and let me know in your comment.

I will announce the winner first thing Monday morning! 

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Paper Freak and Friends

As I told you on Friday, Brooke and I spent this past weekend on the Central Coast with two of our friends from high school, Megan and Amy. 

We had an amazing time!

I will tell you more about it in a minute, but first... the winner of the Queen Bee giveaway!

{Let me preface this by saying... I swear this is completely random and not rigged in any way.} chose {da, da, da, da...}

Molly... uh, my sister.

Thank you so much to Amanda for the fantastic giveaway.  If you didn't win this time, just go ahead and buy a necklace from Queen Bee... you deserve it!  

So back to this weekend.

Brooke and I dropped the kids off at school on Friday morning, and got the heck out of dodge.  Amy's parents oh-so-generously offered to give us the run of their fantabulous home in Nipomo {which is just south of San Luis Obispo on the Central Coast of California} for the entire weekend... thank you Bonnie and Aldo!

I went to college in SLO, so I have driven this drive a million and one times.  

It should take about 4 to 4 and a half hours, depending on traffic.

Brooke and I left my house at 9:31am.  We arrived in Nipomo at 7:32pm.

Traffic?  An accident?  Got lost???


We shopped.
{There are outlets on the way to SLO.}

And ate.
{There's a Bob's Big Boy on the way to SLO.}

Good thing too, because we ended up not eating dinner until 11:15 that night.

The next morning we were super lazy... then I convinced Megan {who is a hair stylist}to cut my hair.

No, that is not a toupee on the floor... that is the 6ish inches that are now missing from my head. 
You'll see the finished product in the next pictures.

We spent the afternoon wine tasting.

Brooke and Megan {look... Brooke let me post her picture without blurring out her face!}

Me and Amy {What'dya think of the hair?}

It was a little windy in Nipomo
{But it always is.  When I was in college I sometimes blew over.  I was really skinny.}
We had an amazing time.  An amazing time.  Did I mention that?

And as a fantastic icing on my weekend cake, I came home late last night {after stopping at the outlets again on the way home} to this:

WOOO HOOOOO... the Paper Freak can start designing some calendars for the 2011 line!

Unfortunately, the weekend ended with the series finale of Lost.  
I won't give it away in case you haven't watched it yet, but it was l-a-m-e, lame.

In the words of the Principal from Billy Madison:
Mr. Lost Writer, at no point in your rambling, incoherent show were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having watched it for six years. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Sorry I don't have a craft for you today.  I promise one at the end of the week.

Friday, May 21, 2010

And then there were four...

Looking for the Queen Bee Designs giveaway?  Scroll down or click here.
I have so many random things on my mind this morning... be prepared.

First of all, the answers to yesterday's quiz:
Ticket to Ride
Our current obsession!  
Kind of like Settlers of Catan, but with a litle less strategy (i.e. brainpower) and a lot less time.
A fun and easy card game that Beau and I love because we can actually beat Nathan at it.
Great game!  Like Scrabble, but with colors and shapes and no intelligence needed {are you sensing a theme here}.
Dog Eat Hot Dog
Great kid game that parents will enjoy too.
National Geographic Global Pursuit
Nathan and I used to play this all the time when we were dating.  He always beats me.  Always.

Okay, now on to my random thought for the day.

Please tell me someone out there witnessed the absolute train wreck that was last night's Real Houswives???  I promise I won't reference this show every week, but seriously... crazy!

Now please tell me that no one witnessed the Google Ad that popped up on my blog late last night.
No... it wasn't porn.
It was worse.

It was for Crocs!

Don't worry... I blocked them.  You will never, ever see another Crocs ad on this blog ever again.
I apologize to you and your eyes if you saw it.

 Now the best news of all {well, great news for me... maybe you can enjoy it vicariously}!
Brooke and I are in the car right now, on the freeway, on our way to a fabulous girls' weekend.

When we were in Junior High and High School we were in a small group with about 12 other girls, led by our Youth Pastor's wife Traci.  For 6 years we did all kinds of crazy life with these girls.  We were tight.

Two years ago Brooke arranged for us all to get together for a weekend in Santa Barbara.  
Eight of us came.  
It was great!

This year we tried to plan another reunion.
We started out with nine committed... we're down to four.
Let's hope all four of us make it there.

We're gonna stay in an amazing estate in the wine country.
We're gonna eat some fabulous food.
We're gonna tour some vineyards and do a little wine tasting.
We're gonna talk and talk and talk.
{We may sleep a little.}

I'll post some pictures on Monday.
I may have to blur out Brooke's face.  She doesn't like being on camera.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Obsession: Board Games

I am a game lover.  
I love games.
Games and me are friends.

I am super competitive, but I don't have to win.
Don't get me wrong... I enjoy winning, and I want to win, but I also want the person I am playing to want to win.

There is nothing more annoying to me than an apathetic loser.

For my fellow game lovers out there... I have a quiz for you!

Can you name some of my favorite games pictured below?

I hope I've brought back some fond memories for you today.

Answers tomorrow!