Category Archives: Upcycling

On Goal Setting for 2015

I don’t always set goals for the new year, but this year I felt inspired to do so.

I usually stick to my 3 resolutions every year- walk the dog every day, sleep 8 hours a night, and wear lipstick- and I restarted those on December 1st and have done pretty well. I like the combination of practical and fun resolutions that don’t require huge changes as I believe that one’s life is comprised of both big and little things. Small changes and habits can pay dividends.

Why the lipstick? I’m not entirely certain where this idea came from, but somewhere along the way I heard that the right lipstick should brighten your whole complexion and your disposition. Combine this fact with my life as a stay at home mom who’s uniform is ripped jeans and a t-shirt, or yoga pants and a sweatshirt, and a little lipstick can go a long way in making my reflection a little more pleasant. Vain, maybe, but it’s an easy thing to do.

I’ve categorized my goals for 2015 into six categories: Faith/ Personal Growth, Marriage, Mothering, Creativity, Fitness, & Others.

So without further adieu, here are my 2015 goals:

Faith/ Personal Growth-

  • Wake up early and read bible while riding my stationary bike for 21 consecutive days in January (once I kick this awful cold)
  • Finish reading all the half read books on my Kindle- read a minimum of 10 minutes a day
  • Use prayer app daily- schedule just 5 minutes a day


  • Plan a weekend trip for 1st quarter
  • Plan a date night per month
  • Workout together once a week


  • Take Savannah to a painting class
  • Visit science museum once a month
  • reinstitute chore packs and cleaning Saturdays
  • develop a homeschool/ enrichment schedule for Luke


  • Participate in the 10 day Do Over Challenge – from John Acuff
  • Sew one article of clothing for myself per quarter
  • try the “Year of Nothing New” challenge for clothing
  • write 50 blog posts this year


  • Cut body fat to under 20%
  • Participate in #30daysnocheats with Jen, starting January 5th
  • Help 2 people in their fitness journey
  • research personal training certificate


  • Host an IF:Table
  • Host a monthly craft night

I’ll be posting monthly updates on my progress, a-la-moneysavingmom.


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Filed under crafts, DIY, faith, Fitness, home life, Kids Activities, Kids Clothes, recreate, sewing, Upcycling

Mirror to Chalkboard

We have a mirror that I love, but it doesn’t work in our new place. All the reflections were weird.


It reflected half ceiling and half wall. I tried it in other rooms with no success either.

Since our family room is as bare as it can get, and because we haven’t found any artwork for over the mantle, I figured painting the mirror was worth a shot.


First, I taped some black cardboard to the mirror to test out the idea. Keith wasn’t so sure it would work but I am getting a little antsy to have some prettiness up in this house so I dove in.
It took several coats of paint applied with a foam roller brush before I was confident that the mirror was sufficiently covered.

I let the paint cure for a week (or I was too busy/ lazy to do something with it this past week, your choice).

Savannah helped me “season” the chalkboard this afternoon. This is a necessary step to prevent “ghosting” on a new chalkboard surface.


I had all the intentions of googling some chalk art ideas but my daughter decided she wanted to write a note to Keith for him to come home to.

I’m happy with the way it turned out!

My next task Is to figure out what else to put on the mantle!

Progress is good!

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Big Boy Room Progress

My little man is growing up.

He runs, he jumps, he swims, and he climbs (out of the crib). It’s time for the Big Boy Room.

We’ll be needing that crib for the baby soon enough. For the time being, Sydney’s in a basinette in our room.

I found an inspiration room on pinterest and made my own twists on it. We’re going for the “hunter/ explorer” theme and this is the progress we’ve made so far:

Bedding- I bought the bedding from (gasp) Pottery Barn. Honest, it’s the only Pottery Barn purchase I think I have ever made. It was crazy wicked on sale, so I don’t feel too guilty, and making a quilt myself at this current juncture of having a new baby in the house would probably send me to the nuthouse (so said my loving and level headed husband).

I made the throw pillows with some duck cloth I had on hand and stuffed them with an old pillow cut in half! I used my Silhouette and freezer paper to create the name and antler stencils.

Window Coverings- I saved some money by NOT purchasing the coordinating valence from Pottery Barn. I just made my own with $5 worth of fabric.

Organization- I used my Silhouette to make hanging labels for the drawers for organization (more on household organization next week!).

Some things we have left to do:

  • Wall Mural- We’re thinking an acacia tree of some sort. I have a board on Pinterest if you want to weigh in on the candidates!
  • Hanging decor
  • Bear rug- I saw this on the Cabella’s website and decided it was too expensive, so I am going to DIY a bear rug for a fraction of the price.
  • Storage
  • Reading Nook
  • Lighting

Good thing we’re not in a huge rush to get this all done. Slow and steady wins the race!

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Filed under crafts, DIY, home decor, recreate, sewing, Silhouette Projects, Upcycling

Marble Maze Tutorial

Desperate for some peace and quiet? Aren’t we all sometimes? Here’s a cute project I found on Pinterest that uses fabric scraps and a marble to create a new “quiet book.” Your kids will love pushing the little marble through the maze and it’s great for small motor skills, concentration, and spatial reasoning.

The original pin had some seriously cool fabric and amazing photography, but the directions were not. in. english. So I’ve made up my own tutorial. It’ll only take about a half hour of your time, less if you’re a crafty sewer. You probably have all the materials on hand anyways!


Fabric scraps, one of main color and two small pieces to indicate “start” and “finish”

Marble, bead, or something similar

Cutting Mat


Rotary Cutter


fabric marking pen

straight pins

sewing machine

Cut two squares out of your fabric. I used an old t-shirt that my husband didn’t wear anymore (he put it in the donate/ recreate pile). My measurements were about 5 1/2 inches.

Take one of your fabric squares and add your applique circles/ squares/ whatever you want to use to indicate the start and finish of your maze. I used some knit scraps I had laying around. Stitch them in place. Alternatively, you could use a permanent fabric marker and draw a little something for the start and finish.

Next, pin your squares RIGHT sides together and sew around the edges, leaving a small opening for turning. Turn it right side out and press.

Take your marble (I used one of those glass gem things because I lost my marbles. HA!) and tuck it inside. Topstitch around the whole square.

Take your fabric marking pen- mine has disappearing ink on one side and water soluble on the other- and mark up your stitch lines to create the maze. Stitch along the lines, being careful to move the marble away from your presser foot and needle as you stitch along.

And there you have it! A marble maze! See the marble?

My daughter is four and she loves this. It took a little instruction, but she understands it and has found it is easier for her to lay it flat on a table and push the marble through the maze. I would imagine children ages 3 and a half and up could use this, you may have to explain it a bit, but they’ll get it. My two year old couldn’t figure it out and I think it was too small for him anyway. I may try to use a larger marble for his and an easier maze.







Filed under DIY, sewing, Upcycling

The turtleneck, revisited

I had a white turtleneck. Well, sort of a hybrid between a turtleneck and an cowlneck. It was from Target and it had been sitting unworn for a very. long. time.

A fashionable friend of mine had cleaned out my closet about a year ago and instructed,  “No more turtlenecks. Scoops and V-necks are much more slimming for your shape.” If you saw how fashionable and adorable she looks all the time, pregnant, not pregnant, skinny days or fluffy postpartum days, you’d obey her fashion advice, too.

So. This turtleneck thing was destined for the donation pile… until I got the grand idea to take a risk and make some changes.

I cut the turtleneck part off, which was two ply of fabric. I separated those two sections and cut them in half lengthwise again. I sewed all four sections together, end to end, winding up with a really long 3 inch wide strip of fabric.

I ran a simple straight stitch down the middle of the entire strip. When you pull on the bobbin thread of a straight stitch, you create ruffles! I cut the neckline in the front down about two inches, otherwise I would have had ruffles way too close to my neck and would look more like a jester than anything else, folded my new ruffle edging (so I had two lawyers of ruffles) and sewed it to the yoke.

I kind of like it! I sent the picture to my fashionable SIL and she approved. I even had the guts to wear it to family movie night at my daughter’s preschool!

However, tonight’s probably the last time I’ll be wearing this for a while. At 18 weeks, its not long enough to cover my belly much longer, but I look forward to wearing it again after the baby’s born!

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