Monday, March 28, 2011

A Wet Spring Break and Some Life Thoughts

The best laid plans of mice and men...

I couldn't wait for Spring Break to come.  Even though I was furloughed last week without pay, it gave me the chance to pretend being a stay-at-home mom for a week. (Noodlebug's preschool was closed for Spring Break)  I had BIG plans!  We were going to have a fabulous Staycation exploring the different museums and cultural attractions in our neck of the woods. The week started off with Noodlebug coming down with a stomach flu. Then, it rained. And rained. And rained. In fact, TODAY (my first day back to work) is the first non-rainy day we have had in weeks. 

So, no outdoor discovery museum. No outdoor Fairyland. No Zoo.  Boo hoo.

I started on several different crafty projects but finished none of them.  I'll share the final products when I actually finish.  It wasn't the most productive week and I didn't get much done but I still had a good time with Noodlebug. I can't believe the week flew by!

Now, I have to start planning for his 3rd birthday party in May. We will be doing a western theme so I'm starting to gather ideas.

My friend Kim gave me Sarah Ban Breathnach's SIMPLE ABUNDANCE for Christmas and I am now woefully behind because I left it at work over break. I am really enjoying it, however, and it is getting me thinking about what I want my life to look like and what is really important to me.

I grew up in Dallas and then moved to San Antonio for college. Then, it was off to Denver for grad school. I always considered myself a big city girl.  Then, I moved to Petaluma (population 54,000).  I love living in a smaller town.  I love being out in a rural area surrounded by chickens and cows. Who knew?

In Denver, I went clubbing with my girlfriends every week, read VOGUE and ELLE cover to cover and haunted the shopping malls trying to replicate the latest trends on a budget. My greatest dream then was to find a husband and travel the world.

Now, I am homebody who loves to craft and spends all her money on clothing her child rather than herself. My bedside table holds parenting magazines instead of fashion magazines and my greatest dream is to be debt-free.  I long to own my own home.  I used to dream of owning a big house right in the center of all the action. Now, I want a country house with a wraparound porch and plenty of room to garden. And maybe keep some chickens.

I used to read the lifestyle magazine of Denver, 5280 magazine, and think about how to design my living space in the trendiest way. Now, I pounce on COUNTRY LIVING magazine the minute it hits the mailbox and read it cover to cover.

That's a lot of change in six years.  Six years ago I wasn't even a wife much less a mother.  Except for the massive debt and being 40 pounds overweight, I'd say I'm a pretty happy and blessed lady.  And I'm going to keep working on those dreams.

Monday, March 21, 2011

WINNER: CSN Gift Certificate

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2011-03-19 05:14:10 UTC

That means:

Ashley said...
I'm a gfc follower. hewella1 at gmail dot com  Congrats Ashley!!!  I'll be contacting you soon. -Amy

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Little Girl with Great Big Plans

Mindy Gledhill is making me happy today. She usually does every time I pop in her CD.  Check out her wonderful new video.  It features one of everyone's favorite bloggers, Stephanie Nielsen.

I am furloughed for Spring Break next week.  Bad because I won't get paid for a week. Good because I will be having a staycation with Noodlebug.  Posting will be sporadic but I will definitely be posting the winner of the giveaway soon.

Have a great week! Spring is just around the corner!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

*CLOSED* CSN Stores Gift Certificate GIVEAWAY

You may have noticed that CSN stores have been cropping up on some of your favorite blogs lately.  I have been watching with interest all the exciting things that my fellow bloggers have been getting through this shopping website.  Since I am full-time work outside the home mom, I usually do most of my shopping online so the idea of having a store like CSN where I can do all my shopping in one place is very appealing!!!

Spring is right around the corner and I am already plotting how I am going to fix up my backyard for warm weather entertaining. We bought a new patio set last year but I would love to add some new plants stands, patio heaters and maybe some new outdoor lighting.  Anything to make my backyard more hospitable for outdoor entertaining!  I also noticed that CSN offers holiday lights. Is it too soon to start thinking about Christmas decorations?  Because I love color, I'm thinking these string lights might look nice around my patio:

I have also had my eye on some sergers that CSN carries.  They have over 200 stores in one and many of the items ship for free.  Pretty good deal, huh? 

Thanks to CSN, I am excited to be giving away a $50 gift certificate to be used on any of the CSN sites! In order to enter, please leave a comment on the post for each different method of entry. This giveaway will end on Friday, March 18, 2011 at 4:30pm (PST) and is only open to US entrants. You can enter up to 3 times. All entries will be verified.  Make sure you leave me a way of contacting you.

Entry 1:  Comment on this post telling me what you would buy if you won a gift certificate!

Entry 2: Follow this blog and leave me a comment telling me that you did.

Entry 3: Follow me (bibanon1) on Twitter and leave me a comment telling me that you did.


This gift certificate does not include shipping costs but many of the items already ship for free.

I have received no monetary compensation to post this contest. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Repurpose a Drop-Side Crib

We have two drop-side cribs. One at our house and one at Grandma's house. They are BEAUTIFUL cribs and Noodlebug is still using them. I had hoped to sell them once we are done with them but now it appears you can no longer resell drop-side cribs. Someone told me I would have to just take them to the dump because we can't even give them away.  Well, I'm not going to do that.  First of all, I may save one...just in case.   (wink)

But I have been seeing some other ideas about how to salvage old cribs.  I love this idea from Notes From a Very Red Kitchen:

(image borrowed from and owned by Notes from a Very Red Kitchen)

Isn't this brilliant?  Take the two sides and turn them into a chalkboard!!! I love it!!!  Find the complete tutorial here.  We can't do this with our crib because the headboard and footboard have open slats. Still, it's a great idea.

I also saw in a magazine recently how someone had taken the sides of the crib with the slats and leaned them against the wall in the bathroom to create a towel rack.  If I can find the photo, I will post it.

Another idea I had was to take a side of the crib into the garden to use it as a trellis. 

Do you have any ideas about how to repurpose a drop-side crib?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Tutorial from MADE

I have really been enjoying CELEBRATE THE BOY month with MADE and MADE BY RAE! So many great tutorials! I was excited to see Dana's cowboy vest tutorial because we had a Cowpoke Carnival to go to on Saturday. I got up Saturday morning and whipped this vest up in about two hours. (I had to take time to modify the pattern since my almost 3-yr-old is so big!)    It was easy and cute!!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Little Bookworm

See what Noodlebug is up to here:


I'm so proud!!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

**CLOSED** 12 Days of Easter Swap

**UPDATE**  The swap is moving forward with 8 people. I'll be mailing out information soon!

A few years ago, I participated in a 10 Days of Easter swap.  There were 10 people in the swap. Each of us made ten of the same item and sent it in to the swap organizer.  Each item was individually wrapped. The swap organizer put one of each item from each swapper into a large box and sent the boxes out. When your box arrived, you received 10 little packages to open for the ten days prior to Easter. I got the most amazing Easter stuff and I love getting it out every year! It was so fun to have something to open each day!  I was amazed by the creativity.

I love Easter and I'm thinking about doing a 12 Days of Easter swap. So, I need 11 participants.  You would need to make 12 copies of one item. (that includes one for yourself!)  In return, you would receive 11 wrapped items to open each day before Easter starting on April 13.  All types of crafters/artists are welcome. If you are sewer, you could do a little Easter half apron or a table runner. If you work with metal, how about a soldered charm to wear?  Paper crafters could do collages or decoupaged eggs.  One person sent me a papier-mache bunny that she made using a vintage chocolate mold. There are so many great ideas!!!

Here are the rules:

1. You need to agree to make 12 items and have them to me by April 6.  The items should be small enough that I can fit them in a large flat rate priority mailing box.  So nothing too big!!!

2. Please send $10 to cover the postage for the box I return to you.

3. I would prefer it if you have a blog so we can share all the goodies we get with others.

4. Gifts should be handmade original art and should be Spring, bunny, chicken or Easter-themed. Although I am a very religous person, this will be a non-religious swap.

5. Items should be individually gift-wrapped and marked with the number that I will assign you.

I will ship the boxes to you so that you can start opening your gifts starting on April 13 and ending on Easter Sunday.

This will only work if we get 11 participants.  Sign-ups start today.  E-mail me at

Last day to sign up will be March 11.