Monday, October 31, 2011

You're invited to a Pantry Party! November 7th!

As I announced in my 300th blog post... I'm going to host a little blog party of sorts. Nothing fancy with Mclinky or anything like that. Just going to link back to my friends blogs that said they wanted to play too! If you want to play along and don't have a blog... feel free to send me your pics and I'll post in my blog post! We all LOVE Before & Afters! So be sure to let me know if you want to play too :)

Some people have told me... "oh well I could NEVER post a before picture, it'd be too embarrassing". Well folks, my pantry is looking pretty shabby these days... but TOMORROW I'm posting a BEFORE shot for you. I promise not to "pick up" in any manner before I take the picture. So if I do that, you all can too, right?? Right? Right.

So let's start with some inspirations! Tonight there will be enough candy full of calories, sugar and other things we love but are not good for us... sooo... enjoy this pantry eye candy! Hope it helps you come up with some ideas that will work for and be good for you :)

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And one that I've personally gawked at a hundred times and pined for over the last year (seriously, click on the pic and go check it out in depth!)...

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In the meantime. Browse pinterest for some more inspiration. Follow some of the links from the pics, read up... and start coming up with a plan! Decide what you want to keep, purge, and how you're going to not only organize but beautify the space (just a little - don't expect wonders from me!).

Friday, October 28, 2011

300!

No, not the movie 300 (which my nonchickflick-self think is a pretty cool movie!)... but it's my 300th post here at H Family Happenings! Warning this will be link, picture, AND blah-blah-blah heavy ;) Still with me? Awesome.

Funny thing is that my blog turned three sometime this month and I didn't even know! Oops! It's been a crazy three years so the blog is proof of that. I started it after Jake's 2nd birthday while we were waiting on Evan's arrival, mostly to keep in touch with family (this is all pre-Facebook).

Take a gander at this three year old pic from my very first maiden blog post on Oct 16, 2008! Crazy!
















Then most of my "news-announcing" and picture sharing went to Facebook and my blog became more of a journal. Like our move cross country (eep!), adjusting to our new life, and somewhere along the way figuring out to use this blog to unleash my creative side that had been trapped in for a few years!

I started joining some linky parties, was doing lots of fun things, then through the miracle of adoption we enlarged our family with twins! So blessed! I think 3 months went by this summer with no posts. Then we lost Grant, one of the twins. Such heartache and I really can't say more than that right now. Believe it or not this blog has helped be an anchor. Sometimes I feel like my emotions are in a jar and someone keeps shaking it up once it settles. Being creative (even a teeny tiny bit) always makes me feel better. If I can feel a little bit better, then I can be a better person and mother. I'm glad for that. So it might just be a blog (and a small one at that), but it's my blog.

Lets see some stats, shall we...

Top Three Most Viewed Posts:

Deck the Halls! Literally! (Dec 2010)



The White Cabbage (Oct 2010)



It's below 90, time for Fall (Sept 2010)



Runner up by only being a few clicks behind: Our Hallway Gallery Wall (April 2011)



Majority of visitors from the USA of course, our neighbors to the north and across the pond... but also surprising me was... China, South Korea (Hi Leslie!), Australia, Netherlands, Russia, Germany, and United Arab Emirates! Cool!

Most of my traffic sources are from the BIG bloggers linky parties that I've linked up with! Top Three being: Between Naps on the Porch, The Lettered Cottage, and Thrifty Decor Chick! But then behind that is my very own IRL (in real life) friend Ellie is a big traffic source too... very cool! Thanks!

My Top Three most commented on posts so far have been:

Valentines Day Mantel



200th Post



Calamity & Suki



For my 200th post I asked everyone that read it, to please say hi (still didn't get my dad to do it)... so lets try again this time for my 300th post... please say hi if you're reading this :) If you don't know how just click on anonymous and sign your name so I know you stopped by!

So... big number (to me! some bloggers do 1000 posts in just one year!)... big idea! I'm not going to have a technical linky party. But I'm asking my friends (IRL & some invisi-friends that have been near & dear to me since Jake was born and I stumbled onto a Moms at Home forum!) to join with me to clean out, organize and maybe even beautify our pantries. Pantry Party!!  If you're interested please let me know! If you don't have a blog but want to do it too... let me know... you can send me the pics and I'll post them in my post too! There will be a future post listing my friends joining me to unveil their work on Monday, November 7th. Promise then to include some pantry eye candy for some inspiration as well!!

In the meantime, in honor of all the upcoming sweets this weekend I leave you with this no-calorie sweet treat... a pic from our family photo session... total love...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Door Ribbon Card Holder

What a simple, easy project that makes such a difference!

We've always needed a spot to keep our cards. There's just never been a good spot really. Keep them out on the counter awhile until we can't stand the clutter. In looking for ways to display our Christmas cards I saw an idea on, YES, pinterest ;) Take ribbon, wrap vertically around your kitchen cabinet door and clothespin on cards. Now for Christmas we get so many cards that can very well work. But we don't get that many for other random times or holidays.

So I got to thinking... what about my pantry door... then I didn't have enough ribbon to go all the way down... this is what I came up with...



I really like it! I tied a bigger black ribbon on the end to help weigh it down a bit to lay flat, but really that's not a problem. Once you clip the cards on it all hangs right.

Yay for a place hang the other cards of the year. Still not exactly sure what I'll do for the Christmas ones quite yet.

FYI... my next post will be my 300th post! WOW!

Need to think of something for it... what's everyone want to see? Any part of the house you'd like to see? Revisits some more popular posts? Something new?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween 2 Liter Bowling :)

Yet another pinterest inspired project!

I signed up for a game for Jake's school Halloween Party. Thankfully not too long later, I was on pinterest. Found a cute idea... decorate old 2 Liter bottles as Halloween characters for some bowling!

I wish I had process pics for ya... but I just don't, sorry. I snag an hour of time on Saturday as Greg put the kids to bed and away I went!

Some tissue paper, some construction paper, and some Modge Podge (cost me zero $$$ since it was all stuff I had on hand and friends helped me acquire the 2 liters!)....


His school party was yesterday! Left the two youngest with a babysitter and I got to go with undivided attention! Yay! I had a good time, loved my time with Jake, and I think bowling was fun for the kiddos! Going to do it again on Saturday when we host the playgroup Family Halloween Party at our home :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Oh coconuts! Apologies & some costumes!

Hi friends! First... I'm sorry. Have been so bad about posting. Been busy as can be... either forget to document it with pictures or the results are a bit underwhelming. I see I've lost a follower... seems strange to of made it all of the crazy heartbreaking summer hiatus, lose no one, only to lose someone now. Oh well!

Last week my dad came to visit! We took the kids to the Zoo Boo at the zoo. It was a day with high expectations on my part. We've gone to the zoo a lot since we have a membership. So I was hoping it'd help the boys be on their best behavior and enjoy the special events of the Zoo Boo. I worked hard the last couple weeks on their outfits. The weather was to suppose to not be as hot.

Alas... costumes fell apart (I really need to learn to sew, fabric glue didn't cut it), mosquitos were sooo bad (baby Luke and Evan we're just eaten up), their behavior was just about one step up from deplorable.... and I'm pretty sure my blood pressure was up there. Not to mention, I dressed us all too warm... it was hot out!

This seems to be how things are always turning out for me. It causes me to just want to do nothing :( I fear we're just going to melt away out of peoples lives. Alright... pity party over....

But here are some shots of their costumes... they're Jake & Cubby from Jake and the Neverland Pirates (lots of people tell me they have no clue what they are when they see the costumes).


At the meerkats... Jake's boot tops are already falling apart.




And after this, head scarves were ripped off ;) The elephants were the second thing we saw if that gives you a good time reference.

Here's the real Jake & the Neverland Pirates....

Also doing this theme for an upcoming joint birthday party for the boys. Lots of planning going on there too, just not much to show yet!

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Birthday Boy!

Had a big milestone this week... Jake turned FIVE! WOW! I simply can't believe it! FIVE! He's a kid now... no more baby, no more today... he's a KID! But wait, I don't know anything about kids!? ;)

Here's the birthday boy (got his school pics back on his birthday)... love this dude so much!



So he picked out Marshmallows on a Stick for his birthday treat to take in to share with his friends at school!

Here's what I made! I felt so special... he was so proud of me... everyone we passed on the way into school he'd say "Look what my Mama made!!!"



This are so easy to make! I could do a tutorial on what I did if anyone is interested.

We started out the day at 6:30am... opened presents then so Greg could be there. We had a busy day in store.














Then took him to school (I was proud of myself to think to glue the floral foam that the sticks were in to the paper plate - no other way would Iof been able to carry in the baby AND the treat too!). We came home and tried to get him to rest for a bit... can you say wound up? Then Greg got home and we went to eat at our favorite restaurant, Sharky's! Here he is at dinner...



















Then we gobbled up our food and then went to the Open House at his school! FUN!















We finally got home and let them have their treat from Sharky's... they call it a build-a-shark. It's a rice krispy shark that they send out with food coloring 'paints' and sprinkles. I think this would also be a great idea for a playdate or fun activity for school!




So against my usual rules... they stayed up late to decorate and eat (part of) their sharks! Whew... they still had the sillies at bedtime. I could hear them talking, but since they weren't yelling I let it be, finally they fell asleep at some ungodly hour... okay it was 9... but it felt like it was 1am! :) It was a busy, yet good day!

Kids crafts thanks to Pinterest! Gel bags & TP roll painting!

I'm quite the fan of Pinterest! It's great. I can bookmark all my fave ideas, but then I never return to check them out. With Pinterest I just pop on my board, find the pic (that takes me to the original smart/crafty persons link) and we're in business! I can even do it via my phone... score! So it's helped me with the kids crafts lately. Here are a couple things we've done...

Gel Sensory Bags:

You need some hair gel or shampoo (we used the cheapest & most hair gel I could buy) and then you squeeze it into a gallon size ziploc bag. Add some food coloring. Seal up by closing and taping shut with duck tape.




Then lay flat and they can use their fingers to make shapes, letters... or make footprints by having Buzz and Woody "walk" across the bag too ;)






It was fun, and it can actually be put away to be played with again!

TP roll painting (that we turned into a letter 'Q' project):

Had been saving TP rolls for Jake's school anyway. Then one Monday when the letter of the week was "Q" at school too. I try to supplement and support what he's learning that week, and Evan just soaks it all up too. So I got an idea spurred by yet another pinterest pin! Let's paint circles with the TP rolls, then when they dry turn them into Qs with a marker by adding the little line!



I'm linking this post up to my friend Char's kids craft linky party! Go check it out for more kids crafts ideas :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I'm floundering! Help!

Okay... I don't really need actual help! I just felt like saying it ;) Sometimes it FEELS like I need some help... but it's all stuff I need to get under control on my own!

I know we're coming off a really stressful summer of a multitude of emotions and life changes. But I'm craving some normalcy or peace right now. I know, peace? Who has peace with 3 kids?

I feel spread thin between the kids, Greg, playgroup stuff, friends, family, Jake's school, school activities, crafts, decor, house cleaning, organization, mount washmore to tackle, paying bills, meals, snacks, go to the gym, grocery shop, birthday parties, car maintenance, get gas, coupons, pet care, etc... I can't keep up. That constant feeling of playing catch up overwhelms me.

So the blog has suffered. I did good for a bit though, didn't I? Bah. I DID manage to get all the boys rooms swapped out last week... but now I'm still knee deep in outgrown clothes and clothes to grow into... all to be organized and put away. Not to mention... I feel like I need to start deciding what to do with all this baby stuff. We have sooo much. While we're DONE having kids, that's a whole other hoop to jump through to actually BE done in your heart and mind and with the stuff ;)

I need a plan. I need a check list. I want to pull out of this funk and fly high in the sky as superwoman... but dang if I can manage a non-spit-up-on shirt and not putting both my contacts in AND my glasses on at the same time (that was quite a headache inducing hour until I figured that out... yet, I did it again... three more times lately).

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Been a busy bee!

This week Greg had to go up North for work. He's recruiting at his Alma Mater, which is in my hometown. So I sent Evan with him, to visit with my family while he's working. I'm missing my cuddle bug horrendously and he sounds so sad when I talk to him on the phone. But today is Greg's last day of work then he's taking Evan with him to head to Chicago to see his family.

However, it's lead to being very productive around here. Now the boys can't fight with each other... I haven't heard screaming, yelling or whining in 4 days. If I didn't miss him so much it'd be amazing. He can't help it... he's two and he's a middle child that's very passionate and doesn't accept no for an answer. It's just been Jake and baby Luke!

I have quite a list of projects. I'm sure I won't get them all done. But I have swapped rooms/furniture/clothes around for all the boys. The big boys will now share a room and Evan's old room became the nursery for Luke. Originally we were going to just convert the guest room into the nursery. But we'd have to buy more stuff to be able to do that. So I manhandled the dressers (one over 6 ft long that I had to stand up on end to get around certain corners/angles) and started making the switch. Now the moving/sorting of clothes is taking me FOREVER.

In the meantime Luke is now 4 months old and has his own Jr. Gym Membership ;) Took him to the infant care on Sunday while I went to spin class it worked out great. I was so pleased! Glad that getting back to the gym during the day is now more of an option. Probably after this week... seriously, I'm not joking that I have a ton I want to get done. It'll feel good to be productive for once.

Jake and I have been able to really enjoy each other. He hasn't been in timeout once, heck I think I've only raised my voice at him ONCE. Usually he's in timeout at least 4 times a day and I'm raising my voice all day long. I know it's just close-in-age brothers being close-in-age brothers... but I do feel a little guilty of how peaceful it is right now.

Well, except for Luke, he's picking up the "slack". He's decided that after sleeping through the night for 3 weeks... it's totally not cool to do anymore... naps aren't cool either. So he's not in a very good mood and I'm tired!

So I'll probably not be around a lot this week... trying to get as much done as I can! So see ya soon!