Spring fashion ideas

So, I had a friend take these pictures for me in a few of my favorite outfits to submit for an online fashion contest only to learn that I had missed the deadline by a week.  😝. Dang.  But I thought, well I’ll just post these on my blog and hope yall can enjoy these ideas!

                    

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Up cycle old pieces w a little mixey matchy

So, given that I have been terribly delinquent about writing on this here blog, I scrolled through my pictures to see what I could post and found this picture of an outfit that I put together yesterday. I always love to go through my closet and try to find new ways to make old clothes look like its never been worn! (Or at least not together!)

Here is something I decided on because I was having a “fat day”, you know, just that time when things are a little more bloated than normal and nothing fits cute. 😣 So I picked this loosefitting polka dotted tank top with a black tank top layered underneath it, my red jeans, some boots since it’s still a little chilly here, a scarf to complement my jeans while not competing with my shirt, and a casual sweater over top of it. I wanted a sweater that was cool toned, since my jeans and my scarf were such contrasting warm tone colors.

I believe very firmly in blending warm and cool tones at the same time. If you have primarily warm toned colors In your outfit, such as red, Orange, yellow, brown, gold, then you want to balance it with some cool colors, like blue, green, white, silver, something along those lines. This includes jewelry also. If your outfit is primarily warm tones, then throw in some cool tones for jewelry. I did that here by putting my gold earrings against my gray sweater, And my black and silver ring against my red jeans and red scarf. This is also specifically why I picked my gray sweater, since the reds in my outfit were such strong colors.

Also, when it comes to mixing patterns, (if you are so inclined to take such risks! 😳) the trick is to have a pattern that distinguishes itself, and one that can fade into the background. One that is maybe a busy print and one that is a simple print, or a large print with a small print. I did this with my tank top and my scarf. My tank top is the busy print that I wanted to be obvious, and the plaid in my scarf is easily disguised.

And of course every outfit in the cooler months is more complete with a great set of boots. 👏😘

I will list for you where I got everything but most is past season stuff, so I do apologize if I’m not much help. 😔

Sweater- Target 2011
Scarf- Ross??
Both tank tops- Ross
Red jeans- Rue 21 2012, after Christmas
Boots- downtown L.A. Street vendor 2011
Jewelry- body central

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Homemade special day plate!

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I remember growing up and getting to eat on the special BIRTHDAY PLATE on our special day.  It was a neat way to make our birthday even more exciting!  Well, a few days ago I sadly realized that I didn’t have such a plate for my boys, so I decided to make one.  All you need is a plane white ceramic plate from the dollar store, some sharpie markers and a working oven!  (Oh, and a magic eraser helps for messups).

–Clean your plate.
–Draw your design onto the plate w sharpies.  If you make a mistake, use your magic eraser to scrub it off and wipe it dry w a paper towel.
–When you’ve finished your design, bake the plate for 30 minutes on 350 in your oven and voila!  New plate!

I also did this with a couple coffee mugs for some friends.

Don’t put it in the dishwasher as this can undo your artwork. 

Happy designing!!

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133 Simple Summer Ideas for Young Children

These are a lot of ideas I sat down and threw down on paper that we’ve either tried or wanted to try, along with some other little ideas I found here and there online.  If you’re like me, I feel like I spend half the day sometimes staring into space as I mop or sweep or do dishes, wracking my brain for an idea of something to do with the kids to keep them from getting into trouble or killing each other.  I hope this helps!  I plan to print this out, and cut out each idea into a slip of paper and fold it and put them in a jar, so when the kids get bored, they can pull one out and do whatever it says!  Keeps things exciting! Happy Summer Vacation!!

Activity ideas for the kids.

1. Have an indoor picnic.
2. Build a fort out of blankets (use chairs, couches, yarn- anything to hold up the blankets!).
3. Make sock puppets
4. Finger paint with pudding.
5. Playdough- use rolling pins and cookie cutters.
6. Dance PARTY–dance to your favorite songs.
7. Have a tea party.
8. Read nursery rhymes.
9. Make your own indoor hopscotch with masking tape on carpet/wood.
10. Pedicures.
11. Play school–have the child be the teacher.
12. Make a letter book. Let the kids take a picture of something that starts with each letter of the alphabet.
13. Look at photo albums.
14. Make a movie of yourselves, then watch it.
15. Paint with water colors.

16. play with super hero figurines. (barbies/dolls for girls)
17. Play with matchbox cars
18. Play board games (my kids love Candy Land!).
19. Color with crayons. Take off the wrapper and see the different ways you can color with them.
20. Make paper bag puppets.
21. Watch a movie and eat popcorn.
22. Go on a treasure hunt.
23. Bake cookies.  Share some with a neighbor or leave as a surprise for someone.
24. Play dress-up.
25. Make paper hats.
26. Make a healthy snack and enjoy it outside.
27. Make a relay race or obstacle course in your house–be creative!
28. Play hide and seek.
29. Indoor snowball fight with socks (or large marshmallows).
30. Build a fort out of cardboard boxes and duct tape.
31. Make plans and invitations for a party.
32. Play tic-tac-toe.
33. Make your own puzzle out of poster board or cardstock, color and cut it out.
34. Make your own matching game.
35. Swim in the kitchen–put down a tarp, fill up a little kiddie pool with warm water and let them play for hours!
36. Make holiday décor.
37. Make a car track all around your house with masking tape.
38. Play “Monster in the Middle.” Pillows are “safe” the carpet is the “lava.” Jump from pillow to pillow and if the monster touches you, you are in the middle.
39. Apple stamps. Cut an apple in half horizontal and use it as a stamp using washable paint.
40. Make lacing cards with their favorite cereal boxes.
41. Learn a new song. (youtube: days, months, seasons, manners, verses, etc)
42. Create a giant dot-to-dot with poster board.
43. Make craft for upcoming holiday

44. Make a necklace with yarn, beads or Fruit Loops.
45. Have a talent show.
46. Cut paper snowflakes.
47. Make a paper countdown chain to next holiday or an upcoming birthday by cutting strips of paper and stapling them together.
48. Hard noodles, Elmer’s glue, and paper… need I say more?
49. Marble racing. Take 2 of your swimming pool water noodles and prop them on the stairs. Race marbles down the middle of them. The hole is a perfect size for a marble.
50. Sculpt clay, let it dry, then paint.
51. Play Gun war w nerf dart guns or water guns.
52. Write letters to Grandma and Grandpa.
53. Play with magnets. Cut up colorful pipe cleaners into 1 inch pieces, put them in a glass jar, put a magnet to the jar and see what happens!
54. Make an advent calendar for Valentine’s Day or an upcoming holiday.
55. Make princess/king crowns.
56. Manicures.
57. Take silly pictures and e-mail them to Dad/Mom at work or other relatives.
58. Make big cars out of a cardboard box. Have the kids sit inside the boxes, cut holes for their legs and let them use their feet as wheels to move around.
59. Play red-light, green-light. Play this with #58. It is so fun!
60. play manners game (demonstrate various behaviors, ask if its good or bad manners.  If bad, ask them how to make it good manners.)

61. Make a super hero costume out of household items.
62. Pillow pile. Collect all the pillows in your house and jump into them.
63. Dress up in Mom or Dad’s clothes.
64. Plan a date for your child and you (or spouse) that makes them feel special.
65. Cream painting. Put shaving cream and drops of food coloring in a cookie tray and then mix it all around with a paint brush.
66. Make a story book out of paper. Have them make it up and draw the pictures.
67. Watch old family videos.
68. Make and frost sugar cookies.
69. Make paper airplanes.
70. Watch an Educational video
71. Read their favorite book to them.
72. Start a journal. If the child can’t write, have them tell you what to write.
73. Make a time capsule of their favorite things and open it next January.
74. Do flash cards (letters, sounds, addition, etc.).
75. make sock puppets
76. Make cupcakes and let them do everything themselves.
77. Plan a family vacation or make a dream vacation pages using pictures in magazines.
78. Teach them to sew.
79. Do an exercise video with them.
80. Rearrange the furniture in their room.
81. Hot cocoa bar. Chocolate covered spoons, marshmallows, whipped cream, Andes mints. Get creative! What do you put in your hot cocoa?
82. Make a bird feeder with toilet paper rolls. Put peanut butter on it and roll it in bird seed. Hang it with yarn outside and watch the birds come.
83. Make little pizzas. Use English muffins, tomato sauce, cheese and any toppings you want. Cook at 350 degrees. Watch until cheese melts.
84. Put on a play.
85. Make an Ice Sun Catcher. Take a pie tin and fill it with water, leaves, pine cones, and yarn so it can hang. Then put it in the freezer and let it freeze. When it is frozen, take it out and hang it on a tree.
86. Shaving cream fight.  Fill pie pans with cream, drip dye in it, and let them make a pretty design, then let them fight it out with it.  Then hose them off for more fun.

87. Let them use your makeup to give you a makeover–this one is HILARIOUS!
88. Let them pick and print out coloring pages online–there are TONS!
89. Make a piñata and fill it with yummy (or healthy) treats.
90. Have a campout in the front room… tent and all.
91. Play doctor.
92. Mummy wrap. Have your kids work together to wrap you, or another child, up in toilet paper.
93. Practice your fire drill. Stop, drop, and roll. What is your plan and your meeting place?
94. Ball toss. Have a few different sized buckets and have kids throw balls into them. For
older kids, fill the buckets with water almost to the top. It is a lot harder than it seems.
95. play hide and go seek..
96. Read a book then act out the story.
97. Indoor bowling. Stuff socks into toilet paper rolls and line them up. Roll a ball into them and you have your own bowling alley!
98. Fill up the sink! Add some dish soap, cups, spoons, bowls and anything else that isn’t breakable. Just make sure there are a couple of towels under their chairs.
99. Take fun pictures in random places
100. Take a bath! Put in toys you usually don’t let go in the tub (that are still waterproof) and they will play forever!
101. Chores. Kids don’t always have to LOVE what they are doing, but I think it is very important to teach what chores are at a young age.

102. play with legos/blocks

103. puzzles

104.  have a candle-lit dinner together.

105. Play in the pool/sprinkler outside

106. Outdoor free play

107. Free play in bedroom

108. go on a walk

109. hunt for pieces of nature outside and bring them home to make a pretty display by gluing them to paper.

110. Have them each help plan a dinner for that week and help make it too.  Give them ideas on pinterest.

111. plant some herbs together in little pots, teaching them about gardening and watch them grow over the weeks.  Use them when they cook their dinner!

112. Gardening/weed picking- they like this more than you’d think!

113. Swinging outside

114. Play “Simon says”

115. bake together (cookies or a treat) and share with a neighbor.

116. Do a random act of kindness.

117. Make a phone call to someone special to tell them hello and we are thinking of you.

118. Write a note/card for someone, or draw a picture.

119. Painting with water (get brushes and bucket of water and paint with water!) on concrete outside

120. Wax paper collage with nature findings.  (put leaves, and flowers between two pieces of wax paper and iron them together.)

121. Find an activity on www.playcreateexplore.com

122. color on the marker board easel.  Have them pretend to be a French artist.  Draw a little mustache on them too!

123.  pick something they want to learn about (fave animal, lighthouses, a career, etc) and do some simple research online.  Have them make little fact cards and compile into a flip book or try out what they’ve learned.

124. Make a slip-n-slide outside with a tarp, hose and soap and let the kids have fun!

125.  Make homemade bouncy balls, crayons, gummies, etc. Look on pinterest for links.

126. Make smore’s in the microwave and eat outside after dark/dinner while telling stories.

127.  Join the library reading program for the summer.  Go to the library to check out a bunch of books and start reading!

128.  Have a waterballoon fight, or play waterballoon volleyball by filling waterballoons, and have two teams each holding a towel, or half-folded bedsheet, and fling the waterballoon to each other, back and forth using the fabric only.  Lots of fun and teaches team work!

129. Make your own trail mix for a snack using things the kids pick.  Options: nuts, m&m’s, skittles, chocolate chips, corn candy, raisins, pretzels, bugle chips, dried fruit, animal crackers, gummies, etc.

130.  Play shop: Get/make some play money, set out items for “sale” making price stickers for them, and have the kids “shop” for a specific suggested event, and have them calculate and budget their spending based on how much money they have to work with.

131. Make tye-died shirts, bandanas, etc.  Look up unique ideas on pinterest.

132.  Have a color-themed meal. (this may take a little preparation)

133.  Let them play online learning games, great for reading help and other skills.  Some good resources are “starfall” and “fisher-price“.

134.Room for more… write your ideas!!

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Creative and Affordable Organizing ideas!!

With this last pregnancy, I felt like I nested in phases.  First it showed up in lots of creative cooking (which my husband was thankful for!), and then it showed up in totally revamping and organizing much of our cluttered areas of our home (which he was also thankful for until I asked him for the check card to pick up organization supplies at the store. Hee hee…).  The last phase was the normal cleaning and cleaning, but this blog is dedicated to the creative ideas I got for organizing on a budget.  I’ll post some photos for you with brief descriptions and if you get inspired, well, yeehaw!!  Oh, and the pre-photos are pretty bad, so, um, don’t judge! 🙂  (I have to apologize for my less-than-exceptional pictures.  It’s taken me so long to get these posted, I forgot I still needed to edit photos.  😉 )

Project #1: Purses!!

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Purses on shelves...

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Purses in piles... almost can't even tell what this mess is!

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Purses forgotten high in the closet...

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And purses behind doors in corners! (Although I think this was the one I used regularly at the time, hence the prime spot on the floor. 🙂 ) This is also my "famous" purse. It was used in the filming of "Entourage". It was part of their wardrobe supply, and when they were done with it, the Producers passed it along to "Its a wrap" resale shop in L.A., and they turn around and resell those items. It was neat, everything in the shop was tagged as to what show it came from so you knew whose stuff you were wearing. Neat little experience, but now my green purse, here, has a little bit of a celebrity complex because of it. 🙂

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The weapon of choice: a baseball cap door hanger from Walmart, approximately $5. Its not super sturdy, the hangers are plastic and not metal, but for my purses, it worked. And the little hooks are adjustable! You can space them out or slide them closer...

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This is what the full length of it on the door looks like. It simply hooks over the top and under the bottom of the door, you can tighten the base strap and slide the hooks up and down. I found it in the home organization area at walmart, near the hangers, and other closet paraphernalia.

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Its amazing the goodies you'll find lurking in purse pockets when you take the time to clean them out. Confession: this bowl of knick-knacks (and lots of lipgloss!!) is still on a shelf in my closet! oops... Anyways, cleaning them out will lighten the purses for hanging on these plastic hangers.

DRUM ROLL PLEASE!!………………..

The AFTER photo: 

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Ta-Da!! The finished product! My purses were finally able to breathe, leave space in my closet for more "stuff", and be fairly out of sight. We usually leave our closet door open so they are invisible most of the time. But even with the closet door closed, they look nice and orderly.

PROJECT #2:  JEWELRY!!

The next “thorn in my side” was that my jewelry was EvErYwHeRe!!  I had some necklaces hanging on scotch brand plastic hooks on the wall in my closet, had earrings in a multi-drawer  organizer, and bracelets and rings everywhere!  So I needed a neat way to have them all organized and in one place.  Below is what I did.  I’ll show you the before and after, and if you want to see HOW I did the board, leave a comment and I’ll make a tutorial for it.  But I will say, if I were to do it again I would make it much simpler.  At least its pretty!  So here are my  before and after photos:

This is where I kept my earrings, some bracelets, and who knows what else. I think this is where I had some hair pieces and stuff too.

This was a little box I got when I bought a BUNCH of cocktail rings in downtown L.A. for super cheap, and it became the gathering place for all my cocktail rings past and present. And some other things as you can see.

At least my necklaces were a "little" more organized, but there were old ones, unused ones, frequently used ones, all in one place, and getting fairly tangled. It was a booby trap just to get to the right necklace without them all jumping and diving into the piles of laundry that sat below. 🙂

What I did was took a Bulletin board, covered it with cheap fabric, painted a stenciled design on it, trimmed the edges with black ribbon, painted thumb tacks for hooks, and hung earrings, necklaces, rings and will hang bracelets from it.  The whole project probably cost me around $20, but it could have been done for cheaper.  If I were to do it again, I’d keep it simpler and skip the fabric and ribbon steps (as those were quite time consuming and not quite necessary.  Instead, I would spray paint the entire thing one dark color, stencil on a design if desired, and use thumb tacks again.  I’m just not sure how painting directly on a bulletin board would last, so if you know, let me know if that’s a good idea or a bad one. 😉  So, with all that said,

Here is the AFTER PHOTO

This works out really well for hook earrings, which is mostly what I wear. But I do have a couple pair of earrings that are large hoops and use earring posts instead hooks. Still figuring out what to do with those. I might get a piece of lace and just hang it long ways down one of the sides of the board and hook the post-earrings in that.

I staggered my necklaces and hung about 2 necklaces give or take, per tack. I also weeded down my collection and gave my older ones to my best friend's little girl. 🙂 She loved them!

So now all my jewelry is in one place and I’ve been able to actually use more of it since I’m aware of what I actually have!  (HEllo!!)

This was a great learning project and is definitely helpful and useful.

I think the Bulletin board cost me around $8,the tacks were a couple bucks, paint and stencils were under $5, Fabric was clearanced at Jo-Ann’s for $2 or so, and the ribbon trimming was $2 or so.  Overall I think this thing cost under $20, but you could totally do it cheaper if you didn’t add all the “frills”.  Ok, onto the next project…

PROJECT #3:  MY office Closet!  (Brace yourself…)

Ok, so this project was my longest process and biggest transformation.  Before I organized it, I think my blood pressure went up every time I looked at it!!  Who KNOWS what I pulled out of there when cleaning… it took days.  Well, plus I was tired and pregnant and moved slower, so a normal person wouldn’t have taken so long.  Anyways, I am LOVING this little closet now that I cleaned it out… You’d have to see it to understand, so here you go…

Woah. That's all I can say is woah.

Wow. How did it ever get this bad? See why I asked you not to judge? 🙂

At least this part wasn't too bad, but still, unusable, and no sense of what the heck is up there.

I got all inspired and did a little at a time.

First I went through all my videos (especially VHS) and got rid of a huge box.  I wanted to get rid of ALL my VHS but had to keep some special ones.

With the DVD’s, I ordered two sets of DVD albums (on www.abcdistributing.com)  to hold our DVD’s and got rid of all but 5 cases.  I kept 5 slim cases for if we lent out any movies.  The rest got thrown away!  (Although now I’m sure there are some great uses for those, but whatever… too late.)

All the kid’s DVD’s, however, hung on to their cases so the kids could just grab one movie at a time and not destroy them all at the same time. 🙂  I purchased a clear-sided shoe hanger from Walmart (?) and hung it in the gap of space that remained at the end of the book shelf and hung it from the clothes bar.  Perfect!!  The kids can get to their movies, the more special ones I store toward the top so they can’t reach them, but it worked out great and was WAY cheaper than getting an actual DVD rack.  (I think I paid about $9 at home depot- although its cheaper at walmart- as compared to $35 for a media rack.)

Magazines I wanted to keep went in Magazine files that I also ordered off abcdistributing.com.

Then I just went through all the books and memory boxes and all that jazz and just plain chunked what needed to be chunked, moved to other bookshelves what needed to be moved, moved baby stuff to bedrooms, etc.  Basically I was not afraid to THROW AWAY stuff!!

Ta-Da!! Its done! Finally all organized and cleaned up, and now we can actually USE what's in there!!

see, the top shelves have a better sense of purpose and organization here. You can see next to the magazine files, a stack of DVD's behind the DVD album. That was while waiting for the second DVD album to arrive in the mail. All those cases are gone now and its cleaner looking.

This pink organizing beauty i bought in the dollar section at Target months ago for $2.50. sure wish they had had more! I use it for knick knacks, batteries, pens, paint brushes, scissors, small glue gun, etc.

Hanging shoe organizer: $9 at Home Depot, may be cheaper at Walmart.  Get the clear sided kind!

Hanging door organizer: $2.50 at Target in the “Dollar Spot” section.

Some other small organizers in the closet were also found in the Target Dollar Spot section.

Magazine files and DVD albums were ordered at http://www.abcdistributing.com for around $4 or $5 a piece.  The Magazine files came as a set.

So there you have it!  Three finished projects that brought a lot more convenience, order, and peace to my life.  I hope this was helpful, or at least entertaining how messy a house can get! ha!  I love order, so I’m glad we’ve managed to get some more. 🙂    Have a good weekend!!