Friday, February 26, 2010

Paper Flowers

So, I've been waiting about 2 weeks to post this!  I'm so excited because this was SO easy and SO cute!  I can't wait to see the projects you complete with this tutorial from Inspiring Creations!

Here's what I did this week - continuing with sprucing up my bathroom.  (It's almost done.... I think!)

Aren't those paper flowers super cute?!  They were so easy and so quick.  I can imagine them on so many different things... lamp shades, more picture frames, etc...

{fyi} The tutorial calls for "distressing ink".  Didn't have that, so I just used black stamp ink with a paper towel.  Turned out just as cute I think!

Here's a picture of the entire frame that is adorning my bathroom wall...
(I think that's the spot every picture dreams of hanging, don't you think?!)...

That photograph was taken by my amazing friend and college roommate, Laura.  She takes the best pictures!  I'm currently asking her for more to decorate my entire house!

Have a great weekend (can't believe it's already Friday), and see you back here on Monday!

... it's in everyone's best interest to become a Facebook Fan this weekend... I have something super cute up my sleeve that will be revealed there first! ...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Checkbook Covers

Today, on "Threads for Thursday", I'm pleased to announce a new addition to the Better Life Bags family!

Checkbook Covers to match your Custom Bags!

Visit here to order your very own!

(Remember until March 1st, 10% of all transaction costs goes toward helping with Haiti Relief efforts!)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Patchwork Shower Curtain

So, for the month of February, I've been redoing our bathroom upstairs.

You've seen me get rid of excess products so far.

I just finished updating or plain white shower curtain.

This seriously cost me $5.


All I did was cut different sizes of squares in two different patterns.  I ironed in all the edges 1/2 inch (so it wouldn't fray), pinned them to the curtain, and sewed them on!
I love how it looks to brighten up our small bathroom!

Some wall art is coming soon... as soon as the necessary piece finds it's way to my house via snail mail!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Cherry Oat Bars Recipe

This is our pediatrician...

We absolutely love him.  He is homeopathic - which we didn't know when we first picked him, but quickly found out at our first appointment with him.  

Here were our faces as he starts to spout off all the vitamins we should be taking...


That day, he told me to stop taking my pain medication the hospital gave me.  He said if I let my body heal itself, it would in 3 days.  I didn't believe him.  But I tried it anyway and 3 days later I was completely fine.  Our bodies are apparently made to heal themselves if we would stop getting in the way with modern medicine.

Still forming all my thoughts and beliefs on this.

Anyway, we found out we are moving to Hamtramck, MI.  My first thought was about our doctor.  So, I started searching for a similar doctor near Hamtramck.  

And I found something wonderful.  Someone wonderful.

Not only is she accepting patients, but her website (click on her name) is incredible.  It's just what I've been looking for to get some guidance in this crazy, all natural lifestyle!  I'm following her Ten Steps (on the side of her page).  We are working on steps two and three.  

Anyone want to join me in the steps?  I just made these cherry oat bars.

All natural.

All real foods.

Totally delicious!


How to Download the Prayer Cards

Instructions for downloading Better Life Bag digital files.

You should then be able to move those "extracted" files onto a thumb stick to take to a Picture Maker OR upload to your favorite photo site!  Email me with any questions!

Remember to sign up for the Newsletter to be notified when new digital files and prayer cards are available!  And click here to see all current ones available!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Guess How Much I Love You

I just got done putting Little Bug to bed.  I cherish that time.  If I'm really lucky, he'll fall asleep while nursing and then I get to cuddle him a little bit while his head rests on my shoulder.  This never happens while he's awake.

The other day I pulled a new book out of the closet to read to Little Bug.

Have you read it?  It's about Big Nutbrown Hare and Little Nutbrown Hare.  Little Nutbrown Hare tells his Daddy how much he loves him, but his Daddy keeps coming back with bigger ways that he loves Little Nutbrown Hare.

The last few pages made me cry:

"I love you right up to the moon," Little Nutbrown Hare said, and closed his eyes. 
"Oh, that's far," said Big Nutbrown Hare. "That is very, very far."  
Big Nutbrown Hare settled Little Nutbrown Hare into his bed of leaves.  
He leaned over and kissed him good night.  
Then he lay down close by and whispered with a smile, 
"I love you right up to the moon - and back."

I get goosebumps every time I read that.  Because it's so true.  Little Bug has no idea how much I love him.  He can love me with everything he has and I will still love him more.

Kind of reminds me of God and how much He loves me... does it to you, too?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Special Saturday

Welcome to the weekend!  Today is beautiful outside!  Mr. Bug, Little Bug, and I went to the mall to get a free Auntie Ann's Cinnamon Sugar or Orginal Pretzel.  NO STRINGS ATTACHED!
Go get yours from 10 - 3.

Now, for some updates!

Update #1:
The bag winner was #27...

treverswife said... 27
I follow your blog and am a fan on fb. I work on making 8 little lives better every day. :)

Email me, Amy, and let me know what color bag you want (yellow/gray, blue/brown)!!  Congrats!  You definitely deserve it with 8 little ones running around your house :)
I was blown away by all the nice things you guys do to make lives better!  I'm definitely stealing a lot of those ideas.  How neat that you try to look for people around you in your daily lives to bless.  It's good to be a blessing!

Update #2:
Finished a bag order this week... Check it out!

Hope you like it Nikki!

Update #3:
Finished a custom order for my sister-in-law who gives hypno-birthing classes.  She ordered 12 of these homemade baby legs with her logo on a tag.  Super cute idea!

Have a great weekend everyone!  See you on Monday!

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Holy Experience Blog by Ann Voskamp

I am so excited to share with you today's "Found it Friday".  I JUST discovered this blog via a friend.  I think I lost myself in it for the first few hours after I opened it.  This woman is an incredible writer and really reminds me that life is about so much more than crafting, blogging, and sewing.  There is purpose and meaning and LIFE beneath all the fluff of everyday to-dos.  

Please check it out.  

Get lost in it.

Walk away refreshed and encouraged.

To tempt you if you weren't already:


 Seriously, check it out.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Easy Kitchen Apron - Vintage Feel

 Sign up for the Free Bag Giveaway here!

I made this apron for a friend's birthday last week.

I downloaded the pattern from this awesome site 

Seriously, have you checked out everything there?

Here are some of my favorites that I can't wait to try:







Don't they just look SO FUN to make?!  I want to buy them all!


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Gift for Hubby

 Looking for the free bag giveaway?  Click here!
Giveaway closed.

Mr. Bug LOVES Swedish Fish.  I do too, so this gift was especially hard because I found myself sneaking them before I had given it to him!  (confession... I even had to go back to the store to buy more since there was a noticeable "mouse" getting into them).

I made this for him for Valentine's Day, but it could be an easy/quick gift for any guy - any time!


I just got out a glass container we used at our wedding (for a candy bar) 

(see them in the right corner?)

but... you could easily just go buy a NEW fish bowl at the store!

I then dumped two movie size boxes of Nerds in the bottom (to resemble fish gravel) and a 3 pound bag of Swedish Fish (found at Target) on top.  After I poured them in, I thought they looked kind of like a pile of dead fish, but I tried to ignore that as much as I could!  

Using Photoshop, I printed off a tag that said "You're my Favorite Fish in the Sea!", tied it around using twine (my favorite crafting accessory of all time) and tied a few pieces of ribbon around the lid.  I also found a packet of fish stickers in the Target Scrapbooking Dollar Section (have you checked that out, yet?!?  awesome stuff) and put some of the outside and some on the back of the jar. Easy.

He loved it.  

Two days later, there are no more Swedish Fish.  Yes, we ate all 3 pounds.  ... yikes!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Wake Up Story

Sign up for the free bag giveaway here


Watch this first...

Want to join me?!  Maybe I'm getting all hyped up on emotional responses, but I really do think there are WAY too many chemicals in our homes and air.  It's not how it used to be, and I don't think it's how it has to be today - at least as far as I can control it.

Like I said before, I'm starting with my bathroom.   
Simplify, Organize, Choose Organic...
Yesterday, I cleaned out and threw away everything that I haven't used this past month and/or things that had lots of chemicals in it.  Here's what I threw away:

That sink is FULL.  There were a few chemical infested products I just couldn't throw away, yet.  And I think that's ok.  The goal is to be 100% natural and chemical-free, but it may take awhile.  I just feel better knowing I only have one can of hairspray instead of three!  Neil and I are also going to share shampoo and conditioner so we don't have four bottles in the shower... I think I'd like to try Burt's Bees.  OR this new line I saw at Target called "YES to Carrots - everything is derived from organic carrots, or other fruits and veggies!)

My bathroom feels so much cleaner and less cluttered, too.  I sat in there for a little while (yes, sat in my bathroom) dreaming about what I could do to make it a bathroom I love.  I have a few crafty ideas and can't wait to try them out!

(by the way, it's best to drop all these products off at a hazardous waste collection site, but I couldn't find where there was one in Savannah, GA.  Anyone know?)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Nursery Decor


I thought I'd go ahead a post Little Bug's nursery here today - on Mommyhood Monday.  Thinking about a nursery ahead of time is stressful for a soon-to-be mom (at least it was for me).  I felt like the amount of effort I put into the nursery somehow would transfer to the quality of mom I would be.  Now I know that isn't true, but I sure had fun planning and creating his nursery!

I wanted to do something different than a typical mobile, so I decided to buy Chinese lanterns and hang them above his crib.  We just used sewing thread and thumbtacks... super easy!

Jonah's alphabet was a project my mom and I tackled one week.  
We basically went out and bought a few different coordinating fabrics and foam board. 
Cut the foam board to a 5x7 size.
Blew up the alphabet on a word processor and cut out each letter.
Traced the letter onto fabrics, cut them out, and fused them to the fabric and wrapped the fabric around the foam board.
My dad hung it on the wall using some sort of molding (I need to get more experience with wood working).

I also wanted a "We love Jonah" wall since we live so far away from all our relatives.  I basically laid out the pictures on the floor and then just took a chance that they would turn up the same way on the wall.  NOW, I would use this idea to hang picture collages.  How genius!  (don't worry, the frames are now filled with pictures of people we know...)

Of course, four months into being into the room, there is so much I want to do differently.  I'll just have to wait until he moves into a toddler room, I guess. 

Friday, February 12, 2010

What's my Decorating Style?

Looking for the bag giveaway?  Click HERE

So, I've been perusing blogs, magazines, and pictures to come up with what I consider to be my decorating style.  I had no clue.  I love dark wood, white painted wood pieces, light blues, yellows, fun lamps, interesting wall art, things I can find at thrift shops and craigslist to redo... all I could come up with was "country inspired shabby chic".

THEN, I stumbled upon an online "quiz" to help you determine your decorating style!  I was so excited to take it.  Basically, you look at pictures of rooms and then click "hate it, don't like it, don't care, like it, or love it".  At the end... (enter trumpet sound here)... you get your very own decorating style!

It got me right on the nose:
Introducing you to...

Rustic Revival!
Here's the description:
"You can take kid out of the country but you can't take the country out of the kid... or is your theme "you can take the kid out of the city, but you can't take the city out of the kid?" Either way you play it, you are one of the unique individuals who loves a mix of modern and country. The clean lines of the modern softened by rustic /vintage elements is the perfect mix in your mind. And can we blame you? You've taken the best aspects of two popular designs and mixed them in a manner that appeals young and old alike. A subtle background of white or light colors provides a nice canvas for all the wonderful flea market, eBay or garage sale finds as well as the classic modern pieces that you love."

So true of me!

Go here and take your own quiz!  (but be careful... at the end it suggests pieces of furniture that match your style... very addicting and tempting to buy)!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Kitchen Towel Purse and Giveaway!

I was at Target the other day and found these:

I immediately envisioned a bag made from these dishtowels!  I couldn't wait to get started on it (plus it was a good excuse to try out a new bag closure I've been seeing in my head).

So, I headed home and 2 hours later emerged from my sewing fog with this:

What do you think?  Honestly, I couldn't believe how it turned out.  I love the two pockets on the outside... PERFECT for my cell phone in one and keys in the other (two things I'm always hunting for in my purse).  The inside fits everything I need (and when I say everything, I mean my calendar, a journal, a few diapers and wipes case, my sunglasses and case, a baby toy, plus more)!

I had to keep one for myself.  So, I went back to Target to get more dish towels and decided to sell them (in limited edition) on my etsy site for $35 plus $8 shipping.  Hurry, though - I've already sold one of the yellow/grey ones and once they're gone, they're gone!

(Remember, until March 1st all my proceeds are going toward the Haiti Relief Effort with Red Cross.  After that, I will resume giving the proceeds to low income entrepreneurs in developing countries.  "Better Life Bags... making lives better one purse at a time!")

Want one of these bags for FREE???

You guessed it... another GIVEAWAY!!!

Thanks to Kari from Ucreate - I'm featured on the side of her blog under her "Brand New Craft Blog" section!  So, to welcome all you visitors from Ucreate, I've decided to give away one of these kitchen towel bags (your choice of blue or yellow) to a lucky reader!

Here's how you enter: (leave all comments on this blog and make separate comments for each entry!)

1. Follow my blog (or tell me you already do) and leave a comment saying you do/did.

2. Increase your chances to win by joining our Facebook Fan Page, then come back here and leave a comment saying you did (or tell me you already are a fan)!

3. Want another chance to win? Go join our Better Life Bag Kiva team, then come back here and leave a comment saying you did (already have?  just leave a comment letting me know)!

4. For another entry, tell me how you've made someone's life better lately!  :)  Leave your story in a comment... and don't be shy!  We could all use some creative inspiration on how to make the lives of those around us better!!

Good luck!  Giveaway will end on February 20th at 10:00am!  
(only comments left on this blog in this post will be counted!)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Personalized Yahtzee Game

These are our friends


These are our friends on wooden cubes


What for?
Why, A Personalized Yahtzee Game, of course!

Some friends of ours are obsessed with the game Yahtzee.  And since Bug and I were getting together with two other couples to play a game (the Yahtzee freaks being one of them), I decided to make a personalized Yahtzee game for us to play and them to keep!

I got the idea from this gal. (A tutorial is on her site!)

It could easily be adapted for a family - all you need are six pictures, wooden cubes, a storage box, mod podge, and some scrapbooking paper.

It added a whole new element to Yahtzee when you hear someone say, "Well, I got two Josh's, a Mandy, and two Ashley's!"  We even made up new rules.  For example, if you roll a Yahtzee of your own picture, you get 100 points!  Or, if you roll a Full House of a married couple, you get 50 points!

SO easy, SO cute, and SO fun to play!

New Brynnda Bag :)

Just finished a Brynnda Bag for a lucky customer.  I LOVE the fabric combos she picked out from my selection. 

This is the new and improved Brynnda with the buckle/magnetic snap closure and the yo-yo flower on the flap.  I think I've finally tweaked it to the point where I like it.


Since she ordered it before March 1st, 10% of the transaction went to the Red Cross to help Haiti.  After March 1st, the donations are going back to low income entrepreneurs in developing countries through Kiva

If you like this bag... be sure to go design your own here!

Seventh Generation Diapers

 In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.
- The Great Law of the Iroquois

I'm trying something new.  So is Little Bug, my son, whether he wants to or not.  I'm giving Seventh Generation products a shot.  I like the fact that they are better for the environment.

Seventh Generation uses recycled and post-consumer materials in its packaging and chlorine free ingredients in its products.  I bought diapers, dish washing tablets, and dryer sheets.  We'll see if they diapers hold as much as Pampers has for me!  The diapers are light brown... totally surprised me when I opened the package.  And I like that there are no silly cartoon characters or designs on them.  Just plain light brown.  Very earthy! 

I really want to simplify my life as well as make a conscious effort to make lives better (including the Earth's).  I can't wait to buy the all purpose cleaner and get rid of everything in my cleaning tub!  No one should have to own all these cleaning products - not to mention all the chemicals I'm being exposed to when I clean 

Anyway, I think Bug looks pretty darn cute in them!

This has led me on an adventure of discovering how I can simplify, organize, and save the earth (S.O.S.)  in each room of my house.  I'm starting this month with my bathrooms.  I'll be posting the end result sometime soon... it's already in the transformation process and I'm loving it! 

ps... do you know what's in your tampons?! Click here to find out... I dare you!

and... check back later today to see a Better Life Bag I just finished!!!  It's BEAUUUUTIIIFUL!
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