Monday, October 31, 2011

Mile High Momday: Halloween Happiness

Happy Halloween!  I'm not really one for scary Halloween stuff, so in lieu of that, here are a few of my favorite fun Halloween things.

One of the great things about a baby is that they have no opinion.  Once your kid gets older, they have an opinion about everything, so I took this opportunity to decide for Gavin what kind of pumpkin he would have this year.  And he decided he wanted a polka dot pumpkin.  It sounds like it might be hard to carve dozens of tiny holes in a pumpkin, but in reality, it was one of the easiest pumpkins I've ever carved.  
And I'll let you in on the secret.  I used a drill with a 7/8 inch spade bit.  Shhhhhhh..... It's so easy, I almost felt like I was cheating.
I made this pumpkin a few years ago for a Halloween play date.  It's just a big piece of felt cut out in the shape of a pumpkin.  Then I cut out different shapes of black felt so the kids could make their own pumpkin face.  The felt sticks to itself so it's really easy to move it around and change it. 
Jackson thinks it's hilarious to make the pumpkin have a funny face!

See this adorable baby in a pumpkin?  Cute, right?
I saw this on Pinterest,  and thought "how hard could it be?"  You  cut two holes in a pumpkin and put a baby in it.

And that's how it started.  Until I put the baby in the pumpkin.....
Apparently, pumpkins are cold.  Sorry buddy.  Maybe I'll try again today.  Inside.  After I've adequately warmed the pumpkin.  (So, this one didn't work out.  But I still love the idea, so I included it in the post.)
I make these fun aprons for just about every occasion.  Here's my Halloween one.  They are super easy (if you know how to sew, that is).  I got the original pattern from One More Moore.

And finally, I can't go a Halloween with out making these puppies....errrr....dogs.  Mummy dogs, actually.  Pillsbury crescent rolls wrapped around a hot dog.  What's not to love? And we remember how much my family loves crescent rolls, don't we?

So, what are your favorite Halloween things?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Happiest Baby on MY block

Okay, so I don't know if my baby is actually the happiest baby on the block.  I do know that at least 3 other babies have been born on my little street alone, just since Gavin was born, and I also know that my baby is super happy and easy. When Jackson was a few months old I read The Happiest Baby on the Block.  It was very helpful and something I wished I would have read earlier in his life.  I've taken some of those techniques and put them into action with Gavin at a much younger age.  It could be the book.  It could be me.  It could just be the way he naturally is, but he really is a very happy baby. 

Here are some easy math equations for you:
Let me break it down for you.  In that first picture is a miracle blanket and an exercise ball.  Those two things are the key to my happy (AND SLEEPING!) baby.  

I started swaddling Gavin from the very beginning. But those first two weeks, he seemed to constantly struggle with being swaddled.  He'd grunt and wiggle non-stop, as if he were trying to get out.  So I stopped swaddling and didn't notice any difference.  He was waking up every two hours, regardless of what I did. But around the 7 week mark, I decided to give it another shot, with a friend's borrowed miracle blanket.  And he slept for 9 hours straight!  SOLD!  Now, since then, he has managed to squirm his little arms and legs right out of the miracle blanket, no matter how tight I make it, so now I wrap him in the miracle blanket and then use the velcro wrap around part of the halo swaddle blanket and wrap that around the swaddled miracle blanket.  He hasn't managed to wiggle his way out of that situation yet. 

The second part of that equation is an exercise ball.  If he is ever fussy or crying or just not sleeping when I want him to, I cradle him on his side (so we are belly to belly) and bounce.  I mean really bounce.  High.  Like, however high you are imagining me bouncing, bounce higher.  He stops crying instantly.  Every time.  

I discovered this exercise ball technique by accident when Jackson was about a year old and was sick and I was at my wits end.  It's like Xanax for babies, without the risk of child-protective services coming after you. 

I think the second picture kind of speaks for itself.  Sleeping baby + sleeping Mommy = HAPPY Mommy!  Now if I could only get my three year old to sleep in!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wrap Watch Winner!

A reader used my tutorial and made a wrap watch herself.  It turned out really cute!   

Have any of you made one?  I’d love to see some pictures if you have!  Send them to

And the winner of the wrap watch is:
Maria, from a comment on the blog.  Thanks for entering everyone.  I can't wait for the next giveaway!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Coming home.....

Have any of you seen this video floating around the internet and tv the past couple weeks?  
That's totally my college marching band!  The one I was in!  It's had almost 2 1/2 million hits.  (Yes, MILLION!)  It's getting all kinds of (well deserved) recognition, thanks to social media, and a well timed, popular song.  The Marching 110 has marched that style and danced like that for 40 years now.  So, go ahead.  Call me a band nerd.  I don't really care.  Because I know that I wasn't a band nerd.  Our band was cool.  It still is.  Yes, there were and are for sure nerds in the band, as in every group or club or sports team.  But on Ohio University's campus, when you say you are in the band, people's reactions are more along the lines of "that's awesome!"  or "you guys rock!".  And if someone doesn't say that, it's probably because they have never seen us.  

This week me and my family will be traveling down to Athens, Ohio to attend Ohio University's homecoming.  And I will be marching in the alumni band.   There is a joke that homecoming is like Christmas to the members of the alumni band, and it's true.  For me, it's actually way better than Christmas.  The music is cooler, there is more liquor,  and I get to see more family and friends than at Christmas.  

Many of my friends in Colorado ask me about homecoming.  Why I go every year.  Why it's fun.  What I do there.  It's not something I can explain very well.  The only real way to understand is to have lived it.  But I'll do my best.

The Marching 110 means so much to me.  While marching, I met my husband.  My sister met her husband.  Many of my friends met their spouses, and I made life long friends.  Not only did I learn how to march, dance, and play rock songs on a mellophone, but I also learned the true meaning of discipline and hard work.  The performance you saw in the video above was just one song of a show of  (probably) 4 or 5 songs.  The band marches several songs to a drill, and then ends on a dance chart, like the one above.  And, here's the thing.  We would learn an entire show in a week.  A DIFFERENT SHOW EVERY WEEK! 

My  husband, Eric, was the Field Commander my 4th year.  He played cymbals and shook his booty like nobody's business, but he was a hard ass Field Commander.  Even I was scared of him, and he was my boyfriend!  

My 5th year I was a Dance Commander and was in charge of making up and teaching the band the dances.  It was a blast and something that I will always be proud of and remember well.  

Every year at homecoming, I get to reconnect with all of my good friends I made in the 110 and get to party and march like I'm still in college.  (Although my body quickly reminds me that it's been 10 years since I was marching, dancing and, possibly, drinking like that on a daily basis!)   

I love every second of it, and am counting down the days until I get to be back on campus again!

If you want a good laugh or are interested in seeing my husband and I in all of our marching band glory, click on some of these videos below!

Here's a video of the alumni band show from last year.  This year we are playing "play that funky music". 

I'm a "dancing fool" in this one.  I'm on the far left in the front.  (My name was Michele Seymour back then)

Here we are in 2000 at the Macy*s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  (Boy, we played Dancing Fool at special shows a lot that year!)

This is my senior year, playing at a Brown's halftime.  Sorry about the horrible sound, but for a real treat, be sure to pay close attention around the 7:30 mark.  That pelvic thrusting fool is my uber conservative husband.  

P.S.  I finished making the wrap watch bracelet I'm giving away tonight!  Don't forget to enter to win it!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Mile High Momday: It's Fall Y'all!

I love fall.  It's by far my favorite season. The changing leaves, football games, and the food.
I made these for a football party today!

I love love love fall food.  Apple cider or anything with pumpkin or cinnamon in it?  Yes, please!  Today I'm sharing a recipe that I got from my husband's aunt for pumpkin bread.  It's delish!  Enjoy!

1 1/2 Cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 Cup margarine
1 Cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 Cup solid pack pumpkin
3/4 Cup chocolate chips
1/2 Cup walnuts, chopped

1/2 Cup powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
milk, as needed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Grease bottom of 9 X 5 X 3 loaf pan

Sift together the 1st 7 ingredients

Cream butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat until light and fluffy

Add the vanilla

Add the eggs and beat well

Add the dry ingredients alternately with the pumpkin until the mixture is well blended

Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts

Place in prepared loaf pan and bake for 60-70 minutes or until the bread springs back when touched

Cool in the pan for 15 minutes then remove and let cool before glazing

To make the glaze, mix the powdered sugar and spices with teaspoons of milk, one at a time, until it is the consistency of glaze - fairly runny

Pour over the loaf, let sit for a few hours before cutting

I often make them in small loaf pans.  You can freeze some and have it for later, or give them as gifts!

And don't forget about the wrap watch giveaway that I'm having right now!

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Mile High Momday: DIY Wrap Watch

For this week's Momday....errrr...Thursday, I made a wrap watch with a built in bracelet.  I've been lusting over wrap watch bracelets on Pinterest, that are selling for up to $180, for a while now.  I figured it couldn't be that hard to make, and it really wasn't. Seriously you guys, this one is super easy!  Plus, read all the way to the end and I'll tell you how to enter to win one.  Yep!  I'm giving this away!!!

For this project, you'll need:

*A watch face.  It could be an old watch that you don't use anymore or a new one.  I bought this one at Joann Fabrics.  It was $12.99, then I had a 50% off coupon.

* "leather".  I use quotes around leather because it certainly doesn't have to be real leather.  I got my leather from an old jacket that my mom got me for $15, and I literally never wore it.  (Sorry Mom!)  It could be leather from a purse you don't wear, a belt, clothing, whatever.  I'm all about re-purposing things.

*A variety of chains.  I got all of mine at Joann's too.  Just make sure they are chain linked so you can open them up and make them whatever length you want.  You could use some of your old unused chains for this too. 

* 2 Jump rings.  I wouldn't skimp on these since you are going to be putting quite a bit of heavy chain on them.  I got mine at a bead shop, and they are Snapeez brand.

* 2 sets of pliers.  

*Either fabric/leather glue, a needle and thread or a sewing machine.  

*A watch buckle.  You could cut one off of a watch you don't use anymore, or buy just a replacement strap with a buckle.  I got one at Walmart for $4.


First you cut out a strip of leather from whatever you are using.  I cut the sleeve out of the jacket.


 Then you cut out your strap.  This will vary depending on the width of your watch face and how big your wrist is.  My strap ended up being about 24 inches long.  You can always trim it down when you are done, so make it longer than you think.


Slide the strap under one side of the watch and back up the other side.


Next, you make your chains about half the length of your strap.  Use two sets of pliers and just open up a link where you want the length to end.

Then you attach the strap buckle.  Poke a small hole using a nail, or anything sharp, in the middle of the strap about an inch from the end and put the buckle poker thing (that's the official name for those things) through the hole.  Wrap the end of the strap around and attach it on the back side.  You can use glue, hand stitch it, or use a sewing machine.  I machine sewed mine.  

Here is my very high tech diagram illustrating what I just tried to say. 
Then take your jump rings and attach all of the chains together, then attach to the watch.
And attach the other end to the buckle.
Now you are going to want to put it on.  Wrap it around your wrist and and make a mark where the hole needs to be to attach to the buckle.  Punch a small hole using a nail.  I punched a few holes.  One on my mark, one a little above it and one a little below it.  Depending on how your wrap it around your wrist, the size you need it to be can change.  You can cut off any excess strap at the end now too. 

You could stop here and make it a solid leather band, but I thought it looked a little too chunky, so I slid the watch face off and made a slit right down the center of the strap, stopping a couple inches short of the buckle and holes on the ends.  You'll want to wait and do this at the end as well, so you don't accidentally cut the slit too far and cut into where your holes or buckle need to be. 
If you want to add a small loop to tuck your extra strap into, just cut a small piece of leather and glue or sew it together and slide it on on the strap.

So what do you guys think?  I'm totally loving mine!  You could get really creative and add colorful beads to it.  I'm thinking of making some strands of beads and putting clasps on the ends so I can easily clip them on and off of the strap and buckle and make them interchangeable.

Now here's the part where you get multiple chances to win it.  Because I'm so psyched about this project, (and maybe because I just started a Facebook page and Twitter account for my blog tonight and I don't have any followers yet) you can enter to win up to SIX times!  Here's how:

1) Leave a comment below

2) "Like" my Facebook page (using the button on the right of my blog page).

3) Follow me on Twitter (using the button on the right of my blog page).

4) Tweet about this giveaway with a link to my blog.  (You can do this as many times as you want, but you'll only be entered to win once.  You'll need to be a follower of me to do this, so I can follow you, and I'll know you tweeted it)

5) Become a "member" of my blog by signing up on the right of my page, below all of the buttons.

6) Blog about this giveaway with a link to my blog.  (Be sure you tell me you did this, so I can enter you)

For each one of these things you do, you'll be entered to win one time, for a maximum of six entries.  The contest will end on October 20, 2011.  I'll post the winner after that.  

Good luck! 

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Monday, October 3, 2011

And the winner is.....

rbentley!  Congrats girl!

I'm still working on this week's Mile High Momday project, but it's pretty sweet and I think will be worth the wait!