Thursday, November 10, 2011

Shawnee's Secret Santa Swap

So it's barely November and I'm already in the Christmas spirit! We have two radio stations in the STL area that play Christmas 24/7 starting the day after Halloween, so you can probably guess what the kids and I listen to in the car. I was thrilled when Shawnee posted a new swap over on her Flirty Apron Swap blog. The following questions are part of the swap.

1. What are your hobbies? I spend much of my free time sewing, reading blogs, and spending time with my boys.
2. What are your favorite colors? I tend to decorate my home in fall colors. I would say my favorite color is purple.
3. Do you collect anything? I love all things Christmas. I love nativities, snowglobs, miniature Christmas trees, snowmen, and anything glittery!
4. Are you allergic to any fibers or animals? No
5. Do you have any pets? No.
6. Coffee, Tea, or Chocolate? Chocolate!!
7. What do you like to read? I like crafty magazines, cooking magazines, and inspirational books.
8. Do you prefer Cookies or Candies as a sweet? Either. I have a huge sweet tooth:)
9. What is your favorite holiday treat? This is a tough a kid I always loved my grandma's homemade turtles! Now, I'd say I just love all of the holiday treats!
10. Describe your favorite holiday tradition. I love Christmas Eve. When I was a kid we went to my grandma's house on Christmas Eve. We had dinner, exchanged gifts, then got dressed up and went to candle light service at her church. It is such a wonderful time to pause and focus on the birth of Jesus. I rememeber that as a kid I used to think the time went by SO slowly...I was anxious for Christmas morning. As I got older, I enjoyed the peaceful setting during at time that is often hectic. Since I have moved away from home, I have missed the Christmas Eve service from time to time. I am looking forward to going this year, though!
11. Did you believe in Santa as a child? My parents never really pushed the idea of Santa on us. We tried to put the focus on the birth of Christ. But I can remember wanting to believe Santa was real. I would reason with myself that it wasn't possible, but I'd always try to look at the fireplace and look outside...just in case:)
11. When do you open presents? It varies every year. My oldest is my step-son, and we alternate times with him at Christmas each year. We just always find a time when we are all together to open gifts.
12. Do you put up a tree and when? If not, how do you celebrate? Yes we do! I love decorating for Christmas!! We have a tall skinny tree with white lights. It is covered in ornaments the kids have made, Halmark ornaments we have exchanged, and some silver and purple decorations.
13. Does your tree have a theme? No. See #12.
14. What has been your favorite gift to give? to receive? I enjoy most any gift we give to our kids. I love seeing the excitement when they open their present. I also enjoy getting together with my kids and buying a gift for a child their age from the angle tree at walmart. We don't get to see the person open the presents, but we enjoy taking some time to think of people who are in need. My favorite gift to receive...hmmm...I'd have to say, the cow from my grandma. She had a cow butchered (twice now) and divided it between my sister and I. We ejoyed that gift for over a year!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

It's Mario Time!

It has been WAY TOO LONG since I last updated! I have been intending to blog about Isaac's Mario 4th Birthday Party. Since he will be 6 soon, this post is well overdue. Isaac asked for a Mario-themed birthday party, and I quickly learned that Mario party items were no where to be found. Now, 2 years later, I am seeing the stuff everywhere! I decided to let my creativity flow and create the party from scratch! The party was in my dark, drab basement, so I hung a few plastic table covers to create a backdrop. I traced the characters onto butcher paper, hoping to make them about the size of the kids, and then painted each character. This was an ongoing project in the evenings for about a week. The pipes were created using cardboard covered in green paper. The "Happy Birthday" sign was made using a free font I downloaded.
We started out the party with a table where the kids could decorate their own goodie bags. They then carried the goodie bags from game to game and collected their prizes. We had a cake walk which is picture above. I taped pictures of Mario characters on the floor, and played Mario music that I downloaded from iTunes. We drew a picture out and whoever was standing on that picture got to pick out a Little Debbie cake.

We had a Cheep Cheep Fishing pond (notice my oldest son sitting behind the board attaching prizes to the clothespin "fish hook"). The kids got to fish twice and received a bag of chips, and a decorated bandana.

Goomba bowling was another game we played. I taped pictures of Goombas to the bowling pins and after bowling the kids got to choose a silly straw.

The kids played Pirahna Plant Bean Bag Toss. They earned glow sticks at this stop.

The King Boo Balloon Pop was a favorite. My lovely grandma manned this game. The chose a King Boo to pop (with a dart), and each balloon held a slip of paper. That slip had a "1" or "2", and the kids got to pick out the corresponding number of mini candybars. For the King Boo balloons, I just blew up white balloons and drew on them with a sharpie marker.

The kids enjoyed Pin the Mustache on Mario.

I'm not a great cake decorator, but I tried:) The cupcakes are just iced to look like the 1-up mushrooms. For the cake, I traced a picture of Mario onto a piece of wax paper, then used a toothpick to poke holes around the outline. I put the base layer of icing on the cake and put the cake in the fridge for a few minutes to firm up the icing. Then I laid the wax paper on the cake and poked the toothpick through the holes along the outline. I used the dots as a guide for piping the black outline, then filled Mario with color. Like I said, I'm not a great cake decorator, but Isaac was thrilled with the way it turned out.

This party was so much work, but an absolute blast to create. In the end, I was glad I had to make everything rather than buying. My kids still play with those Mario character cut outs, and they still talk about that to me, it was a complete success!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I am hosting a giveaway on my facebook page. The easiest way to find it is to search facebook for "Buntings by Lori". The info for the giveaway is posted there. Check it out!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

New Projects!

As the school year wound down, I attempted to get through a few projects. Now that school is out I am finding myself with lots more craft time...well...I am teaching 1/2 days at summer school...but I'm still getting lots more checked off the to-do list.

In February I bought some new software to go along with my embroidery machine. It has given me the ability to be way more creative with my designs. This is one of the first designs I did with the software. I'm pretty thrilled with the way it turned out.

My oldest son's teacher is expecting a baby this summer. I decided to try this new applique design on the burp cloth for her baby. This applique design had something like 17 steps! But the outcome was totally worth it!

I've been keeping an eye out for cute pillowcases at Goodwill. I have a decent collection now, and finally decided to be brave and make one into a pillowcase dress. So I guess you can say this is a one of a kind designer's original!! LOL

This dress was made from another one of my Goodwill finds. The fabric was a pale yellow gingham, so I brightened it up with some pink paisely fabric.

No...I didn't find this one at Goodwill. Isn't this fabric adorable? I think I'm addicted to making pillowcase dresses!

These dresses are quite versatile! Even when they get a little too short, they can grow with your little girl by putting a pair of shorts, capris, or jeans under them! They can be worn year round too. Summer--wear as a dress. Fall--wear with a t-shirt under it and a pair of leggings. Winter--wear with a turtle neck under it and a pair of jeans. Spring--wear with a pair of capris.

This is one of my favorite burp cloth designs so far. It's so sweet and girly!

The summer has only begun! I cannot wait to keep checking items off that (LONG) to-do list! That's my crafting to-do list...not the housework to-do list!

Friday, May 27, 2011

All Hail the Chick Flick

So I'm on a bit of a blogging frenzy this week. It had been 3 months and my little blog was looking a little neglected. I joined the "Update your blog" swap on swap-bot thinking that would encourage me to get back to my blog. Then I joined the "All hail the chick flick" swap. I am supposed to come up with a list of 15 favorite chick flicks and share them with fellow swappers. What better way to share my list of favorites than on my blog?

So here is my list of favorites. They are in no particular order. I think most of us define a chick flick as a movie our husbands/boyfriends have no interest in watching...well, unless they are trying to earn some "brownie points"...right??

This is the only movie on my list that is enjoyed by both my husband and me. It's one of those movies that you don't really understand and probably don't even find romantic until you've experienced married life with children.

The first time I watched this movie I was slightly confused. There are several different stories going on at once. The second time through (with a little less distraction) was much better. This story makes you feel heartache and bliss and everything in between. And isn't that what we all feel in love?

No one wants to believe they can be replaced, certainly by a step mom! Those of us who are in shared family situations know that it's not easy for everyone to get along all of the time. This movie shows one of the best possible outcomes. There is no room for selfishness or jealousy when the true concern is the children. So much of the time when conflict is involved, it's out of selfish behavior on the part of the adults. I can only say this because I'm guilty.

The first time I saw this movie was right after my divorce. Talk about bad timing! If you don't want to be forced to go back through all of your major life decisions and think "what if", this is not the movie for you!

Isn't Andy Garcia a cutie??! This is a great movie about a couple who goes through some very tough times. One of my favorite scenes is when Meg Ryan's character is in rehab and the dad is trying to get everyone ready in the morning. After the dad's noble attempt to fix the little girl's hair, she says "My hair hurts." I think our guys prefer not to watch this movie because they'd rather not think about having to carry the family through such a tough time.

This was the movie that made me fall in love with Patrick Swayze. The scene with the pottery wheel...whew! I wasn't allowed to watch Dirty Dancing (and still have never seen the whole movie), so this was my first Patrick Swayze movie.

Who doesn't love Reese Witherspoon? She is so adorable in this movie. This is one that guys don't like to watch because it shows another guy reacting with such sensitivity to the loss of a girl. I think that goes against "guy code".

Who doesn't have bad memories from high schoool? And who wouldn't love to face some of those tough times with the wisdom we've gained from adulthood?

Well, here's Drew Barrymore movie #2 on my list. What girl does't daydream about being Cinderella?

This is a long time favorite of mine. Hellen Hunt before Mad About You, SJP before the days of Sex in the City, and Shannon Doherty before 90210!

This is one of those movies that just left me feeling so sad at the end! A tear-jerker for sure. Another one that our guys don't like to watch because we see a guy who is in pain over the death of his wife. We girlies love to see the sensitive side, though, even if we only see it in movies.

This is another long time favorite of mine. The nerd gets to popular pretty girl. Little did we know when this movie came out, Patrick Dempsey would become Dr. McDreamy from Grey's Anatomy!

No doubt, many of us love this movie for the beautiful screenplay. I love the many beautiful outfits of Scarlett. Most of us women love seeing another woman in difficult circumstances prevail. And as much as we want Scarlett to get everything she wants, we know she can't. For this reason, the book that follows GWTW was a real let-down. It's not supposed to be "happily ever after" for Scarlett!

This modern-day version of The Taming of the Shrew is another favorite. I love Heath Ledger and should probably have more of his movies on my list...oh well, maybe I should make a "Favorite Heath Ledger Chick Flick" list.

I love this book far more, but the movie is a great Christmastime favorite of mine. And who wouldn't love to watch a movie with both Gabriel Byrne and Christian Bale. Again, we gals like to see women show strength and grace through difficult circumstances.

Well, I hope you've enjoyed my list. I enjoyed compiling the list. Now I'm thinking I need to re-watch some of these!

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Many graduations take place this time of year, celebrating the past and anticipating the future. We have had the pleasure of seeing our older 2 graduate. These graduations are more like promotions, but are no less exciting.

Gavin graduated from 6th grade this week. It is so hard to believe how much he's grown. Those of you who have been on this journey with us for several years know how far he's come. The big change in his life...MIDDLE SCHOOL!

Isaac recently graduated from preschool. He has spent the last 3 years attending a terriffic preschool and is ready for the big change in his life...KINDERGARTEN!! (But is Kindergarten ready for him?)

Asher hasn't graduated from anything yet. He did just turn 2, though. His next adventure...DAYCARE! (part time) We have been so fortunate to be able to keep him at home. Now we're giving him the opportunity to spend time with other kids his age.

And for the hubby and big changes for us. It's a good thing, too. We have our hands full preparing our boys for the new adventures that lie ahead.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Clever Little Guy

This is a picture of my 2-year-old after he pulled a little trick on Momma. He ran into the living room asking for a cup of mook (milk). He had a real sense of urgency. He was asking almost frantically as if he needed it RIGHT NOW! Well, I went into the kitchen to get his desperately needed milk. I looked over my shoulder to see him happily sitting in my seat. He had grabbed my soda and was drinking as fast as he could. I had to stop and smile. He looked at me with such a look of pride! If he could put all of the words together, I'm sure he would be saying "Tricked ya Momma!"

I just love this kid.