Sep 30, 2013

QUICK PRINT: FREE Rx Dosage Chart Stickers

Happy Monday to all my friends and wonderful readers. First of all I just want to take a second and say thank you to those of you that have subscribed, liked, pinned, tweeted, and posted about my blog. I am sure that you guys can see all the wonderful changes I made around here and I can't wait to see what the future has in store for my lil' ol' blog. Keep sharing, posting, tweeting, pinning, and doing what you do!

So I wanted to jump in for a few minutes and share another new printable that I came up with just this week. I have had some sick kiddos this week and with colder weather approaching I know it's not the last of it. My oldest love, Jack, started public school this year and while I started him on some good vitamins he still brought home the crude. Running nose and a horse cough led to an emergency room visit for a severe ear infection. Poor guy :(. We moms hate to see our babies in pain. After a couple of doses of antibiotics, pain meds, and some good rest he is back to good health and this mom couldn't be happier. I just hope the girls don't come down with it and I can stay healthy. We all know if mom goes down we all go down. We are like the captains of a ship, with no captain the ship will sink! :)

So my guy feels better and is off to school this morning but not before taking his dose of antibiotics and he still has several to go. I honestly couldn't remember if I had even given it to him last night. I knew I needed to do better at keeping track of his dosages. I needed a dosage chart. Something to keep track of when I give him the medicine, how many times a day, etc. At first I was just going to jot it down with a sharpie on the bottle itself but then I realized it was a little bit hard to do and read so I do what I do best and created a sheet of printable stickers. Printable Rx dosage chart stickers that is.

I printed mine on a piece of full sheet label paper. I cut them out and put them inside my medicine box. Now when we get new medications that require doses I can slap one of these on and keep up with the dosages. It's working pretty well.

Have your little ones been sick this year yet? I hope I can keep the germs at bay. Nothing like a houseful of sick kiddos. But at least if we do get meds we can keep better track. How do you keep up with dosages? Any tips or tricks?

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Sep 26, 2013

For the Kids: A Lemonade Party

Well summer is officially over. It saddens me that summer has come and gone but fall is my favorite time of the year. But, I wanted to say ta-ta to summer by finally showing you my first ever summer birthday party. My oldest loves are fall and winter babes and when I had A in June I was so excited to actually plan a summer birthday party. But summer parties are all new to me. I knew I wanted an outdoor soiree, or as us southern gals call it..a shindig, but where to start? I went to the MOA {mother of all} party inspiration...Pinterest.

After pinning a ton of inspiration here I had so many ideas that I wanted to incorporate. My parties are always a mix of my best DIY and crafting skills. Everything is usually handmade or printed up by yours truly. Although it takes time it's worth it for the dollars saved and of course the happy smiles on our guest's faces. If there is one thing I appreciate it's the small details that come together to pull off a personal party.

Why a lemonade party?

I'm not sure. I just started browsing the web and it came up on the screen. I immediately thought it was perfect. I love the yellow and pink hues together and thought it fit our girl so I ran with it. 

What did I DIY for this party?
  • Invites
  • Yard Sign
  • Banner
  • Food Labels
  • Food
  • Treat buckets
  • Dress and Headband
When I originally created the invites I lacked a theme so I created something that was personal and simple, and that would hopefully complement any theme.

Since chalkboards and colorful font are really "in" right now I wanted to create something similar. I used Photoshop and layered different fonts and colors on a simple grayish/black background to get the effect I was going for. Once I had it like I wanted I sent the final copy over to Vistaprint and had them printed up. It took about a week to receive them and the next day I hand delivered them. No money wasted on postage and so much more personal than mailing them. 

When we finally decided that we wanted to do a lemonade stand theme I designed this yard sign and had it printed at Vistaprint as well.

Note to self: tie balloons better next time. The balloons managed to get free and float off into the sunset. :( On any note how cute is the sign? I think these are totes adorbs and would even work great for directional use. Instead of the ol' balloon on the mailbox trick why not add some personal flare by having a couple yard signs pointing people in the right direction. I paid around $8.00 for this sign. And of course it was too cute to throw away. I foresee many backyard lemonade stands in this girl's future.

My dear hubby was called away for work the day before and missed the party which of course made me sad. We were planning on having a larger cookout with the grill and fire pit. It would have rocked, however plans changed and I kept everything inside to make it easier.

My house is super tiny so 50 plus people made for a tight space but I managed to bring out every yard chair and picnic blanket I could find. So while some people stayed inside the majority of the people sat outdoors. Even though it wasn't what I had originally planned it worked out.

I put the food tables inside. Between the kitchen and living room I had two food tables, a space for gifts, and a treat bucket station.

Since I opted out of grilling {there are some things even I have to say no too}. I chose to go with a buffet of finger foods and snacks. I purchased several prepackaged trays and sat them out. I honestly wouldn't have done that had I had more time. Without the hubs I was at a lost for time and just went with it. 

Key to remember when planning a party: NOTHING GOES AS PLANNED! 

 I purchased several $5 subs from Wal-mart's deli and cut them into quarters. I supplied mayo and mustard in cutely labeled pic-nic bottles. These are a big hit with our family and friends. They were gone in no time.

The cake was my splurge. I had a high school friend make it and it turned out amazing. And it was to die for. So yummy! I think the important thing to remember when picking a cake is to go big! For two reasons. One, it's the cake! It's what a birthday is all about and two, leftover cake is just awesome!

And last but not least were these lemonade parting gifts. A little way to say thank you for coming. In case you missed the awesomeness of these beauts check out how I created them and get your free printables here.

My my, how a year flies. The birth of our sweet Alifair seems like yesterday. And even though one year is a short time it seems to be going by so much faster than it use to. My little girl had a a blast at her 1st birthday party. And that's is all any mommy can ask for! 

She was smitten with a cupcake and her new Scentsy buddy. I think the lemonade party is a really cute theme for all ages,whether it be a birthday party, baby shower, or wedding reception. You can dress it down and make it comfortable or replace the paper cups with stemware for an upscale to do.  Now that the party is over it's time to start pinning and planning for number 2!

Coming up soon.. is my free party planning printable. And over the next couple of weeks I'll show you some crafty things for a bubble party! Yep my little L i turning 4 next week so that means this mama is hard at work.

When it comes to parties how do you use your DIY and crafting skills? Do you go all out or keep it simple? What is your favorite past theme? And, what are your favorite things to see at birthday parties?

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Sep 24, 2013

CLEAN EATING: Recipe Collection

A couple of weeks ago I shared my new found love for clean eating and how I planned our first month's meals. Cleaning eating in layman's term means to eat clean, whole foods. It's almost been a month since our lifestyle change and I just have to tell you how amazing we feel. We all feel AWESOME! Better than we have in years. Maybe even ever! It's amazing how putting junk and sugars into your body can make you feel. I will never go back to the way I was eating. EVER!

Prior to making our lifestyle change we were living so poorly. On a personal note I was dragging through the days, sleeping as much as I could in the mornings and staying up late. I didn't feel good unless I had a Diet Coke in my hand and something sugary to snack on. We ate boxed dinners, ate drive thru, and consumed a dozen sodas a week. I am really embarrassed to say that but it's the truth and we all know the truth hurts.

When I first mentioned "clean eating" to my hubby he was a little apprehensive to the idea. "What you mean give up sodas?". "What will we eat, cardboard and lettuce?" Honestly I didn't know what we would eat. I'm not the world's greatest cook and often relied on frozen dinners and boxed items to prepare meals. Throw the kids some poptarts, warm up some pizza rolls, and throw in a lasagna was my way of cooking. But since turning clean I haven't even bought the stuff. I have made everything from scratch. And better yet I have tried to use all natural and when I can get it organic ingredients.

But when you make a lifestyle change you have to prepare for a learning curve and all though clean eating seems and should be simple, it defiantly called for some hard core research and learning. In order to understand whether something is considered clean you have to be able to understand the ingredients, processing and storage of the item.There is no way I could sit here and tell you what's clean and not clean as I am still learning for myself. But I don't think it's rocket science. And don't get me wrong our family is not 100% clean. We're more 80 20. We are still finding out what works for us.

Learning new recipes has been one of my favorite things, other than the obvious health reasons. There are so many clean and healthy recipes out there that aren't cardboard and lettuce. There are full meals with real meat, veggies and grains and most that I have found take less than 30 minutes to prepare. I have found recipes for breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, and even desserts. Yes brownies, cookies, and pies can all be clean. In reality almost any meal you can think of can be cleaned up.

I have gathered so many new recipes lately that I found my self with printouts, scrap paper, magazine clippings, and even several pinned on my new clean eating Pinterest board. I was swarmed by recipes. So what did I do? I created my first ever recipe collection! I have never collected recipes. I own a handful of cookbooks but honestly never read them. So how do you go from a less than half time cook to a mom that makes three meals a day for five people? One recipe at a time!

I designed a 4 x 6 recipe card for my clean eating cookbook. Any time I find a recipe I just grab one from the already printed and cut pack or if it's online I pull the pdf up in Adobe and cut and paste the recipe in and print. It works either way.


Once I had some recipe cards filed out. About two dozen within the first two weeks of going clean, I found a photo album for cheap and organized my cards. I thought really hard what I wanted the sections of my new recipe book to read. I ultimately choose catergories that were reflective of our cooking habits and meals. I included both the editable pdf and the list I used as free downloads.

breakfast, oatmeal, omelets, lunches, school, snacks, baked, no bake, slow cook, smoothies, bread, veggies, fruits, entrees, meatless, treats



    After printing out my tabs I cut and laminated them. I used tape to adhere them to the pages of my photo album. I estimated the number of pages between each category. Some categories received than others. For example, I knew I wanted a space for smoothies but that section is a lot smaller than the entree pages.

    The photo album that I chose was from the dollar store and with a limited selection wasn't really my taste. So I improvised and covered it with some contact paper and decorated it with some vinyl I cut with my Silhouette Portrait.


    AND AFTER...

    I think this will keep my growing recipe collection under control for now. I don't think it will be long until the pages are all filled so I might need to think on a larger scale. And of course I love how bright and bold it is. It inspires me every time I look at.

    My cards fit perfectly inside the album sleeves. I can slide them in and out when I need to. I can't wait to fill this book with some more cheap clean eats.

    So let's have it! How do you store your recipe collection? Have you gone clean? Send in those awesome clean recipes and I'll pick my favorites! Um Yum!

    Sep 23, 2013

    For the Kids: DIY Floor Pouf

    Happy Monday again friends! Is it just me or does time seem to be moving faster than ever? I know for me I never seem to have enough. I try to make every second count. So that brings me to this weeks nap time project. With my big kid off to school and my girls down for a nap I had just enough time to construct this floor pouf. As usual I didn't really plan on it, but I am more of an off the cuff crafter. Hum? Maybe a new series? Most of my crafts, projects and DIY adventures never get proper planning their just born in my mind and thrown into motion. I get inspired and go with it. 

    When I found this floor pouf tutorial...
    which sounded easy I immediately ran to my fabric bins and started matching patterns together. In case your wondering what a floor pouf is it's a cushion type thingy that is large enough to sit on or use as a foot stool. Does that make sense? Since Lilli has made my coffee table her homeschool/art table I knew she needed something for her bottom. I love the look of bright colored poufs used for seating in a playroom so that drove my inspiration a little further. 
    So I begins the birth of my pouf.

    The tutorial called for 17'' round pieces. I'm a pretty good circle drawer but ultimately reserved to creating a freezer paper stencil using a pen and string. I just tied the 8.5'' string to my pencil and placed the other end in the middle of the paper. Keeping the string tight I used it like a compass. That allowed me to create a  perfect  pretty good 17'' circle.

    I allowed a tiny bit of extra for uneven cutting, but tada...a circle stencil. I used a fabric pen to trace the circle onto the back of the fabric. Once I had traced it I cut them and ironed them back out.

    I cut my center piece and my handle per the tutuorial and got everything I needed for sewing.

    I lined up the edges of my rounds and my piping and stitched parallel to the pipping. Now I'm no pro at sewing but I do believe your suppose to have some sort of different foot on the machine for piping and zippers but I just stuck with my default foot and pushed it through. Is that bad? Anyone care to clear that up for us?

    Once I had the piping and rounds sewn together I sewed my middle section on to the other side. Making sure the right sides were facing each other!

    I sewed both rounds and the middle piece together and left a small hole to turn it out and stuff.
    Once I had stuffed it  {mine actually needs a bit more stuffing, I recommend a lot to give it good support} I sewed up the hole and added on my handle.

    And here it is all finito!!! Looks pretty good right. Considering I am a noob sewer I would consider this a pretty awesome job. I did note a few things to add or do differently next time. Sturdy fabric, more stuffing, and to use that different foot on the machine. I might even try adding a zipper to the pattern that way it can be machine washable.


    Kid tested and mother approved! She looks so cute on her new pouf. I know her little tush will thank me later. Now she will have a place of her own to sit when she is doing school work or coloring. And she was so happy that she got one and Jack didn't. Made her feel very special and since Jackson got a lot of attention for starting school this helped even it back out a bit. She thinks it's just great and that means I am one happy mommy!

    This project was pretty easy. If you know your way around a sewing machine and can follow the tutorial, which I promise you is very detailed and easy to follow, than you will have no problem creating one for you little guy or gal.

    Alright sewing gurus...let me have it! What are some tips that would have made this even easier? Have any of you guys ever made a pouf before? I want to see the poufs you make so send them to me here or on instargram #thehouseonhillbrook.

    ~Good Luck!
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