Handmade Valentine’s Onesies

I’ve been bad. Baby bad. Every time another holiday comes up, I’ve been giving into buying another holiday themed outfit or onesie. This despite the extra cost and the fact that he will never be able to wear it again.

The only consolation I have is the thought that I can show it to him one day when he’s a feisty teen, “See this? This is what you used to fit into.”

With Valentine’s Day coming up, I decided to try making a holiday themed baby outfit. I had a pack of 3 organic plain baby onesies that I figure could use some dressing up.

At $0 cost and having tested it through the wash, I’d say it was well-worth the effort.

If you’re interested in making your own Valentine’s theme onesies this year, try this:

1) permanent markers

2) scissors

3) needle

4) thread

5) old onesie or leftover fabric

6) plain onesies

Here’s what I did:

DIY onesie  It’s so simple directions seem unnecessary. But..

Valentine's Day onesie

for sake of clarity, I put a wax paper bag in between the front and back parts of the onesie to prevent ink seeping through. {Wax paper would probably be better, but I wanted to use what I already had.}

Baby shirts

I drew on 2 designs. One with all of our initials and the other with the widely popular phrase, “Love comes in all shapes and sizes.”

Love onesie

After the laundry, it had a graffiti-esque look.

Baby

Someone was happy though. Or at least that’s what momma likes to believe.

Valentine's Day onesie

I wanted to try something different with the third shirt. So I took his newborn onesie while wiping away a tear (they grow so fast!) and drew a few hearts on it.

Two hearts

After cutting and hand sewing it, it was done.

A pair of sweet hearts for a sweet kid.

What are you up to Valentine’s Day?

I’ve been asked to post something love-worthy so look out for that come February 14th!

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DIY Ornaments

Yesterday I accomplished the fun and not-so-difficult challenge of creating my own ornaments. While the process was long, the actual tackling of it was easy. You won’t believe how cheap it was either. Basically, you need citrus fruits, ornament hooks, a paint brush, modge-podge, glitter and a cookie sheet.

And the results?

DIY Ornament

Pretty sweet.

You may have remembered our tree sans homemade ornament:

Christmas tree

Well after I took the above ingredients, 4 hours later my tree looked like this:

Citrus tree

Ok I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let me step back a bit.

First, I gathered a bunch of lemons. Yes they are lemons, but I keep calling them oranges cause in the end they looked a lot like their fruity cousins.

Lemons

After slicing them (I learned as uniform as possible is best since the oven will heat them differently), I placed them on a baking sheet and stuck them in the oven at 200 degrees for 3-4 hours.

Baking lemons

This is what happens when you cut some thin and some thicker. You get some dried ones, some not-so-dry ones and some scorchers.

Lemons in the oven

After leaving them out of the oven and even drying them in the sun for an hour, I grabbed a bottle of modge-podge, painted a thin coat on, dusted some Martha Stewart orange glitter (that I used for this past craft) and waited yet again.

How to make your own ornaments

I only baked a dozen or so. But they were enough to fill our itsy-bitsy tree this year.Baking lemons

Drying lemons

After hooking them with metal hooks, they were ready:

Christmas Tree

In the day, they were colorful. But at night?

Lemon Christmas tree

Simply glowing!

Christmas tree fun

Hope you all have a great Christmas! I know the season brings lots of craziness and busy-ness too, but don’t forget to take time to take care of yourself. But check back here next week. I’m preparing for the biggest giveaway I’ve ever had. Stay tuned next week to find out what it is and the easy way you can win it all.

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A DIY Christmas

I went all out this year. Maybe I’m a overly enthusiastic about  celebrating our baby’s first Christmas. So even though he could care less if I was popping a zit or hanging a garland, I still wanted to go over-the-top with as much DIY decorations as I could muster.

While I’m still in the process of making my own ornaments this year, I finally got up the tree and a few lights late last night. Here’s the after:

Ornament Vase

I started with my usual lazy decoration: pour last year’s ornaments in an old wedding glass apothecary jar.

Christmas Light Decoration

Then, I got a little bold and lit last year’s lights around our accent table (a.k.a. Target bookshelf). It creates a nice festive glow especially with our hanging stocks below.

Christmas DIY Decor

The good thing about all of our decorations is that most are just from Target.

Target Christmas

The letter P ornament (for our son’s name) is brought to you by Target as is the lights and the gold fleck ball in that rustic birdcage. The cage, however, was found in Solvang for I think $20.

Christmas tree

Here is our golden tree still DIY ornament bare. I hope to finish them by this week.

What are you creating this holiday?

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Easy Christmas Garland

Our holiday decorations were looking mighty bare without a Christmas tree. So I went on a hunt for another easy Christmas decorating idea that I could do without leaving the kiddo and the hubby at home.

Enter in this:

 DIY garland

This string of holly leaves took just a few minutes to do and needed just a few ingredients.

Leaf garland

Take a hole puncher, construction paper, ribbon, scissors, tape and a leaf template.

DIY Holly leaves

I just found a holly leaf template online and used it as my outline. I even skipped a step by cutting the construction paper directly instead of outlining the paper with pen first. Then, I punched holes in the leaves and threaded the ribbon through each. The hardest part was figuring out how to keep the leaves spaced out from each other instead of folding together like cards. An easy remedy? Tie a loose knot around each leaf for an imperfectly perfectly easy holiday garland.

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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Well turkey day is finally over and I’m happy to say I survived the gluttonous holiday with my waistline and sanity in check. I even managed to fit in moments of gratitude. It was no small feat, when you consider the common woes of the season: buyer’s remorse, family drama and disappointment.

Onto the next holiday…

I started decorating my home with last year’s DIY cheap, but crafty Christmas ideas. Here are my old winter crafts in my new pad:

DIY Snowglobe

Thankfully they were shipped virtually unscathed all the way from San Jose, California to Hawaii. Inspired by my favorite store-Anthropologie, it required two Mason jars, decorative paper, foam balls and miniature Christmas trees from Michaels. Go here for the info.

SONY DSC

Here’s another project I attempted myself. This one left me with a few burned fingers from the hot glue {P.S. Kids don’t try this without an adult.}

Pipe Cleaner Christmas Trees

My easiest craft yet. Pipe cleaners and foam shaped trees. Just wrapped the pipe cleaners around the tree and that’s it! It’s one of my favorite 5-minute holiday crafts.

Scarf wreath

This year I’m sleep-deprived and house bound with a new baby so I gathered what I had around the house. Basically, I took an embroidery sewing ring and a holiday scarf and wrapped it around to make myself a wreath. And I knew the perfect place to hang it…

Scarf wreath craft

The next wreath I dreamed up with some wire, foam balls from last year, a gold leaf Christmas ornament I bought from New York a few  years ago and leftover ribbon.

DIY Wreath

You also need scissors to cut the wire and pliers to hold one end of the wire so you can thread the balls through. Here’s a closeup:

Foam balls

It makes for a very untraditional wreath with a modern twist.

Foam wreath

This year is extra special with our little guy. We’re looking forward to getting a tree and doing a few more holiday DIY crafts.

What are you up to this year?

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Fall Season Fun

Sorry I’ve been so out of touch lately. My excuses start with baby and end with work. Not much in-between time to do the fun stuff like blogging. But while I have a few minutes, I wanted to share a fall quickie that’s add a touch of autumn to our all-year-round summer Hawaii home.

Double Pumpkins

Basically, I bought two miniature pumpkins from the market at $.79 each and placed them on a decorative bowl I already had from Target. I haven’t decided whether I’m going to decorate these guys yet. Time (if there’s any leftover) will tell. {P.S. Thank you Fotor photo for helping me step up it a notch with pretty picture effects.}

mini pumpkins

{I’ve been dropping pumpkins around the house for a sum total of 4 – me, my husband, our new baby and our old baby bunny.}

Gratitude bowl

This idea was inspired by my favorite bloggers Young House Love. Basically, as a way to keep gratitude and love alive especially in a new baby/two work-at-home parents household, I adopted an idea to preserve, recognize and appreciate my spouse through a gratitude bowl. It’s as easy as take note of something your loved one did, write it on a post-it and drop it in. I’m hoping to read these coming Thanksgiving and save them in what I hope will be our 2013 photo album.

How about you? What have you been busy creating this season?

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Where’s the Love On Valentine’s Day?

{Etsy photo print by CacophonyCreations}

{Etsy photo print by CacophonyCreations}

Valentine’s Day. It’s the day singles dread and couples forget about. The holiday that seems to do more for the economy than it does for our hearts. Yet, its impending date fills us with anxiety and fear. It’s the fear of being alone as much as the worry about getting the “right” gift. It’s the reason most of us hunkered down in coupledom stick our heads in the sand once we’re taken. No more agony over that dreaded V-Day!

For me, it brings up disappointing yesteryears filled with store bought roses that never met my own hands. Adolescence was a strange and heartbreaking period and one I’d never want to revisit. But it’s also a time writers like me are secretly grateful for. Sadly, the more angst, the more fuel for the typewriter.

It’s something that I regret. All those wasted years, I had been neglecting the greatest gift on Valentine’s Day. The gift of self-love.

{flickr photo by karindalziel}

{flickr photo by karindalziel}

This February has been one of those months that crush all the winter holiday months combined. Busy, chaotic, stressed out, overwhelmed. Adjectives that poured out in a sea of hopelessness. It sounds dramatic, but it feels that way. And it felt like my own craziness was causing a wave of disasters all around me. Almost everyone I’ve spoked to lately seemed to be as or more frazzled than me.

It seems trite or maybe a tad bit sentimental, but I mean it genuinely, taking care of yourself is the best gift you can give and get whether it’s the 14th or any day of the year. So if you’re feeling down and out, lonely, frazzled, and dreading the big V-Day, I hope you’ll gather a few ideas here. And if you have more, share it with me won’t you? I’m always looking for new ways to raise my spirits!

1. Get that hair cut, or massage, or manicure!

I was trying to go without getting another haircut. I used to go once a year and then twice at the most. But I had already got a haircut two times and I was hoping to ride out the unruly waves that had started to take over my mane. But looking like Cousin Itt from Adam’s Family wasn’t doing anything for my self-confidence. After one of those daily coupons came out for a haircut, I decided to take a plunge. A short clean bob confidence restored minus a migraine later, I thought, “Gee, indulgence is really worth it!”

2. Take a breath between bus(y)iness.

As a freelance writer, I always feel eons behind everyone else. It doesn’t matter that I’ve gotten things published or that I got a new project or that I’m searching relentlessly daily for more work. I’ll never be like the neighbor who’s yard is greener than Ireland next to me. I know this intuitively, but sometimes I need a reminder to just breathe.

3. It’s okay to fool around.

It’s Valentine’s Day so what’s the point if you’re not fooling around right? In this case, I mean taking a break to do something fun just for the sake of it. I’m lucky that I have a bunny that reminds me to not take life too seriously. But I also regularly engage in time wasting activities. What’s the point? It takes me out of my monkey mind in order to be in the present moment. Speaking of which…

4. Remember where you are right now.

I sometimes forget that I’m not fighting with someone, in pain, or shopping for a gift. I’m sitting here writing, or thinking or daydreaming. It feels real. My body thinks it’s gearing up for battle or escape, but really I’m just ruminating. When I realize that I’m not in my head, I feel safe. Nothing bad is happening. I can make my present situation chaotic or peaceful. Slowing down to realize this helps me to get back to a state of calm.

5. Make a sacrifice for yourself.

We sacrifice things for others every day. If you’re a people-pleaser, you might do it more than once a day. But how many times do you turn down an event or responsibility, just for you? It might make you feel like a horrible person to do so. But your health, family, and loving friends will thank you. As my husband once told me, “You think you’re doing something nice for other people. But you’re not helping anyone when you’re not being nice to yourself.”

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