Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Crafting Room

If you have talked to me since we moved into (started buying) our new house I have been talking about my CRAFT ROOM.  Well, it's finally photograph worthy!!  I did have to take a couple of boxes of random stuff out of there to get good pics, but I think it is pretty awesome!!

I can't find a picture of the before ... my mother-in-law took the picture so I don't have it digitally.  I will get one scanned and do another post.  But let's just say it had a HUGE mural on the wall in permanent marker.  Yes, you heard me permanent marker.   BLACK permanent marker does not get covered up easily.  There was this HUGE Indian smoking a pipe in the middle (for the Waukon Indians I am sure).  Anyhoo... after about 6 layers of paint there are only 2 spots that you can still see the black marks.  My husband and his Dad did ALL the work and they are awesome!!

While the kids and I were shopping with my Mother-in-law, the men painted my lovely craft room lavender.  It's pretty.  My hubby and I put up the boarder with lots of help from our 2 1/2 year old, it's a sticker boarder from Pottery Barn Teen.  I can do a post about where all the specifics came from if anyone is interested.  Most of my ideas came from random places in blogland... An awesome place to get ideas!!

The view from the door

Closet- for storing extra supplies and the giftwrap station.  The gift wrap station started because of this post on Delightful Order.  It reminded me of this article I had gotten in a Lowe's magazine a couple of years ago and had even torn out- I still haven't found it, but I know I put it somewhere safe!  So eventually, my gift wrap station will look like the Lowe's one (or close to it).  Right now I am still trying to figure out how to organize the closet without buying gobs and gobs of new organizers. :)

These are the shelves where I am storing some of my scrapbook stuff and the "machines" I have.  

Behind my work table (kitchen table from when my parents got married and use to be  our kitchen table, too)  is a bookshelf with various embellishments, fabric, hardware.

Next is my sewing corner.  This will definately need a revamp to get my fabric all corralled (or maybe I should just make some of the projects I have bought all this fabric for).

The cube shelves hold all of my scrapbooking paper, paints, stamps, styrofoam, and misc "stuff" needed for crafting.  I want to declutter the top of this shelf...  just gotta figureout what needs to  go... and/or paint a new shelf for in there.

Then it's on to the BIG box-o-crap I still haven't gone through and the unplugged entertainment. :)  
One Last look at my beautifully clean room. :)

I love my new space!!  I can't wait to get more crafting done.  I love crafts.  Good thing I get to go to Hobby Lobby tomorrow... I'm sure there is SOMETHING else I need.

I'm linking to

Thursday, March 24, 2011

So tired...

We have been full of sickness around the Moore household this week.  We returned from our fabulous trip to the Wisconsin Dells Wilderness Resort with head colds, ear infections, and brocillitis (Jackson has all three). 

We have been watching a whole lot of this

and using a ton of these

We are thankful when Jman eats one of these

And very Thankful for all of the awesome small town doctors we have!  They actually return your call (within an hour or two) and give you suggestions that may actually help!!

Now we are headed here

for Maxwell's surgery at 7:30am tomorrow.

Prayers for a healthy recovery for all!

The Moores

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Snap shots of our Dells Weekend

Top 10 Vacation Moments

Our Second Annual Lauritsen Family Vacation to the Wisconsin Dells.  It was filled with fun, illness, and water parks!
Top 10 Vacation Moments
10. Bargains at the outlet mall (including 30% my ENTIRE purchase at Gap Outlet and Banana Republic)
9.  Playing in the wave pool
8.  Jackson asking o go swimming even though he felt yucky.
7.  Yummy food
6.  Relaxing with the family
5.  Andy having a couple of beers each day with us
4.  Jackson saying, "Bye-Bye Big Bucket.  Bye-Bye Big Water" as we left
3. Watching Jackson play in the water (squatting and walking around, splashing occasionally)
2.  Seeing both my boys in their cute swimsuits
1.  EVERYONE was finally healthy on Saturday to go hang out in the pool!!!

Not so Top 10 Moments
1.  Husband having to miss most of Friday running home to get nebulizer.
2.  Grandpa too sick to play for the first 2 days
3.  Jackson getting croup
4.  Maxwell not sleeping unless ontop of one of us
5.  Jackson not sleeping
6.  Grandma with a broken knuckle
7.  Pelting COLD rain while packing
8.  Having to do laundry due to my clothing falling on the ground (and it doesn't come out BTW)
9.  Sore back
10.  Everyone going home with sickness

Even though there were enough things to have both a top 10 and a not so top 10, it was a fun vacation!  I love spending time with my family and it helps with the homesickness to be able to spend time with them.  Also, 3 days at the Wilderness Resort was a good amount of time.  We didn't feel rushed, but we didn't get too  tired of each other!

Friday, March 18, 2011


Quick post just to say how annoyed I am... It's nothing anyone did, just circumstances...

My family (my side) has gone to the Wisconsin Dells for the last 2 years at spring break time.  We have a fab time hanging out and playing in the water parks.

This year, not one, but two people are sick. My dad has some kind of illness that is leaving him feeling totally icky.  Jackson was awake all night with a cough and wheezing.  Andy headed back home (2 1/2 hours away) to get Jman's nebulizer and meds.  2nd time in the last 3 months that we have needed it while away from home.  It goes with us EVERYWHERE now!!

Now I am going to get my boys ready to head to the water parks without 2 of our favorite men.  Good thing Uncle Michael and Aunt Jenny are here or I would be up a creek!!!

When it rains it pours... no more sickness, please!  We made it ALL the way to MARCH without a serious illness!  We can do it!!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Maxwell's Baptism

We had a super fantastic weekend celebrating Maxwell's Baptism.  We feel very lucky that we found a church that we felt connected to right away.  The church is a small Lutheran country church.  We are joining officially in April.

This is just a sneak peek, I will post more later.  I have about 10 minutes before dinner is ready and a very squirmy baby!  Plus, we are getting ready for our "Lauritsen Family Vacation" to the Wisconsin Dells.  So I have a lot to accomplish!!

Maxwell being Baptised (he slept through the whole thing. :) )
Maxwell with his God Parents Uncle Michael & Aunt Jenny
Our little family
Spooky Cat checking out the "Maxwell Mantel" (I got the sign from an Etsy shop, will post more about the decorations/food later)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Using Coupons


Several of the blogs I read have posted recently about couponing and whether or not it's worth it.  I think it IS... to a point.  I don't buy everything with coupons, but I definitely look for good deals!  

First of all, I do not go to a bunch of stores to buy all my different products...  
1) I don't have that option, because of where we live,
2) gas is expensive and often would not make it worth any "savings", and 
3) My time is worth a lot to me and the driving around town (countryside now) takes too much of the precious daylight time I have with my kiddos. :)

Next, I like to buy fresh foods.  Unfortunately, rarely is there a coupon for money off fruit and veggies.   (I do like Frozen veggies, too... especially when Green Giant has coupons!) So, with that I have to just suck it up and pay a fortune.  We live in a small town and have a very limited selection of fruits and veggies as it is.  I often purchase the fruit of the week at the grocery store or buy things at Walmart (like this weekend I picked up some nectarines & plums, our local stores NEVER have these fruits so it was a treat!).
How I coupon

1.  I only "clip" coupons out of the newspaper if it's a product I use.  If I don't use it, then why have the coupon?  

2. I keep all my coupons in a little file in my purse at ALL times.  I have found that if I keep it in the car or the house I don't use the coupons, because I don't have them with me.  Now that I have kids, I am not running out to the car to get them.
3.  I  make a list of what I need to pick up at the store and mark if I have a coupon.  I clip the coupon to the list so that I can check it when buying products (for size, etc.)
4.  I usually buy the smaller size of whatever it is to maximize my coupon's value, plus most of the stuff I buy has a coupon come out every month or two and I can usually get the product again at a good price.

5.  I order the P & G coupon books when they offer them.  I use a lot of  P&G products (Bounty, Pampers, Charmin, Crest, Tide)- these are $1 off a product coupons for the most part... that makes a dent FAST!

6.  Buy with coupons when the product is ON SALE... this maximizes your coupon and savings!  I often stock up on toilet paper and paper towels because I have coupons and we will ALWAYS use them eventually!

7.  I keep all my "store" coupons with me, too.  I never buy anything at Kohl's without my coupons!  I don't clip out of the newspaper unless I know I am going there that week, but keep the generic 20% off , etc.
  1. I like to shop at certain stores when they have their clearance sales.  Example:  Gymboree has a sale going on now where it's % off of the clearance price AND you can use your 20% (or 30% if you are lucky)- this adds up fast!
  2. I shop for my kids' clothing for the next year at the end of the season.  I have gotten so many PJs, pants, shirts this way- when I buy them at Kohls with my 15% off (or 30% off if you are lucky)- which makes it another GREAT deal!
8. I shop at Target for lots of stuff... here's why...
  1. Target lets you use a Manufacture coupon AND Target coupons. (you can find the Target coupons here.)
  2. You can get the coupons online & they send them to you in the mail if you sign up for a Target.com account AND they have mobile coupons, too!
  3. Often Target has a product on sale and you can use all  your coupons... makes for a great deal!!
  4. Target also often offers buy 2 of certain products- get a $5 gift card.  When they offer this you can use coupons on EACH item and get it so cheap!  I have done this a bunch of times with toliet paper and diapers.
  5. Target offers coupons for $$$ off their store brand.  It's really a great generic priced less than name brands and with the coupon, you can't beat it.  The key here is that the quality has to be good- which for what I like to buy, it is.
  6. If you open a Target card you get 5% off your ENTIRE purchase- for me this is Tax on non-food items.  That's just money in my pocket.  I also budget to know I will be paying this card OFF EACH MONTH!
 One trip to Target I saved $76 and got $15 in gift cards (which I used on my next order).  This is a great savings and it's ALL stuff we use everyday!!

9.  Online Couponing
      If I know we are making a big trip to the store I use online coupons (or if I am looking for something specific).  I am trying to keep my printing to a minimum, because this does ADD to the cost of your shopping trip, indirectly.  I subscribe to a couple of online sites and follow a couple of people on Facebook ( Who Said Nothing in Life is Free? and Couponing to Disney).  I like this, because I can see quickly what they are posting in my Facebook feed, but I can ignore it when I am not interested.
I also get emails for Groupons and Living Social coupons.  I have gotten 2 good deals for Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.  $10 for a $20 gift card- but I only did it, because I SHOP at these stores.  Again, coupons are only as good as if you would use them and you aren't buying stuff you won't use.  :)

Tips and Tricks
  • Only clip coupons for stuff you use... don't be suckered into buying something just because of a coupon if you aren't going to use it.
  • Keep your coupons with you
  • Decide how much time you are going to spend couponing... it could be come a job and who wants another one of those?
  • Decide how much a coupon has to be worth to clip it... 25cents or do you need it to be $1?  I personally clip things I KNOW I buy, so a quarter is a quarter in my pocket, a couple of scissor snips is worth it to me- but that's very individualized. 
  • Check out sites before making your big trip.
  • Look for deals and then use your coupons.
Final Thoughts...

Do I save tons and tons of money couponing?  No.  Do I save enough to make it worthwhile?  Sure do.  I'm not funding any trips with the coupons I clip, but I think that I am helping our little family be a little bit frugal. Or at least free up a few dollars here and there to buy the more expensive fresh fruits and vegetables we like.

Finished and Hung... finally

Andy and I put together some artwork for Jackson's room... I posted about it here. about 3 weeks ago on an ever exciting Thursday night at the Moore house I put together a picture board to go along with the art work.  The art work is 8x10 was just too small for the big wall so I added the board.  I got the idea from the blog Delightful Order.  I used a piece of fabric I picked up from Wal-mart that was a remnant, the board is from the basement... I think it came from my classroom, and the buttons are from Wal-mart (side note, the buttons Wal-mart sells -- Amazon, JoAnn's, and Hancock are actually made in Lansing, Iowa at the button factory... just a few minutes from us).  I have bought more big buttons to add to the board, because I like the look of them better than the small buttons.

Jackson loves his new photo board.  I need to get some new pictures up there... he looks at it each day and tells us all about the pictures.  I think I need to add a few more straps to the board to hold more pictures and to hold them more securely.  They tend to fall off (especially when there are little 2 year old fingers pointing and touching them).  You can also see that our little guy LOVES to read.  He is reading Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel (one of his favorites, he calls it the Steam Shovel Book and makes Daddy read it at least 3 times a week).   *** He can "read" many of his favorite books with us, we stop reading and he will fill in the words of the books we have read a few times.  It's adorable.
Side note... I am becoming a little bit obsessed with Picnik...  I messed with the photos and the coloring looks more green than it really is.  Below is a picture that shows the true colors of the room.  Which pictures do you like better??  I like the look of the above pictures, but like that the second set shows the true coloring of the room and the little man.

Monday, March 7, 2011

New Camera

I don't know if you have noticed, but I have been lacking in putting up pictures of my little snuggle bugs... well there are two reasons and they are both broken.  I have two cameras a point and shoot that I keep in my purse and a Digital SLR.  The point and shoot has a broken battery/card door cover... makes it hard to get the cute one-handed picture because I have to hold the door closed.  The DSLR has a bent pin where the card goes in... so I had to hem and ha about getting a new camera.  I found what I wanted, but I found it SUPER difficult to hit the "buy" buton, because it's so expensive!  But I didn't want to get another point and shoot and be disappointed with it and end up buying the SLR anyway...

Here's what I ordered...from here.  I hemmed and hawed about ordering it online or getting it from a store.  I went with online, because it was significantly less expensive and I could get it within days... SHOCKER, I know that there isn't a place within 50 miles that sold what I wanted.  Plus, no shipping, no tax, saves money. ;)  I stuck with Canon, even though I have heard great things about other brands, because I didn't have to buy any lenses... good deal.

I also decided to pick up a bounce flash... it's a cheapy... seriously cheapy, but I thought I should try it out and see if I will remember to use it. We'll see.  Here's the one I got... I got it here.

Another thing I splurged on was this book about using manual settings on a DSLR camera. "Say No! to auto" by Kristen Duke.  It's cool and an e-book that you can print at a local lab, because you print it in 4x6 prints! I found it on a blog.  Here is the link.

So, look forward to some great pictures from Maxwell's Baptism this Sunday.  I can't wait for the weekend (although I should get off my butt and get some cleaning done), because so many of my favorite people are going to be here!!  My BFF is coming to visit and bringing a play partner for the Jman.  My parents and brother and Sister-in-law, my aunt and uncle from Wisconsin, and of course all of Andy's local realatives and two brothers!  I can't wait!  I love parties!

Here's a couple of pictures I took with my broken camera lately... my two favorite subjects.

We forgot to brush his hair after his bath, it's cute, my kids always have crazy hair. ;)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Sensory Bin

I seriously LOVE Andrea over at Jada Roo Can Do!  Every month (I look every day for an activity) she posts all the learning activities that she is doing for the month and it's always a "theme".  The teacher in me LOVES this and the Mommy in me LOVES that I can get the ideas from her site and do it with little work on my part (leaves me time for other fun things, like playing dinosaur feet, farm, trains, tractors, band, and reading books).

Anyhoo... for March Andrea blogged about a sensory bin using split peas! I had already started collecting a few trinkets for St. Patrick's Day.  Then we took a Friday night trip to Wally World and picked up some split peas for our sensory bin.

 I found some rocks from an activity I did when I student taught in 1st grade (9 years ago, yes, I held onto a tub of rocks for 9 years and NEVER used it before today.  The worst part is I found a box of rocks from when I was a little girl and had collected... some of those rocks are from that collection!)
I added some small green beads and other green stuff from around the house and my craft room (wait for that post, it will be AWESOME and make you all jealous!).

Jackson enjoyed playing and finding all the treasures, although before too long all the treasures were out of the box and a tractor had taken up residence.  I even found Andy running his fingers through the split peas a few times during the day.  They feel really silky and smooth.

Time for bed, there is a baby crying for me!


Displaying Kids Artwork

I have seen several different ways to display kids' artwork all over blogland and on the internet.  My favorites came from none other than Pottery Barn Kids.  This one, but I really didn't want to spend $39 on a piece of wire... my friend had gotten one from IKEA and it was more plain, but still cute... but again, I didn't want to spend a whole lot of money on it.

So I got my trusty husband to cut down a 1 by 4 we had in the garage from another project.  I had ordered some giant clothes pins from Oriental Trading Company (I got a dozen for $6 on clearance, couldn't pass it up- the link is to similar clips, but not the same kit I got), so I painted those a dark brown.

I had some coordinating fabric left over from  my mail center project, but it was just a couple of inches short to cover the whole board.  Doh.  Anyway, I got out my sewing machine and SEWED MY VERY FIRST PROJECT.  (so what if it was about 8 inches worth of sewing?  I did it, using my machine!). I then Mod Podged my fabric to the board.

After it dried I tried to velcro the clips to the board, but that didn't work.  So I ended up using Gorilla Glue.  Gorilla Glue expands, so I learned the hard way a little goes a long way and to keep it away from the edges.  I had to use an exacto knife to remove the glue from where I didn't want it, if you look close, you still see it... so don't look close, Okay?

 I can't wait for Jack-man and Max-man to make me some new paintings.  I think we will do something to do with Max-man's upcoming Baptism to decorate the board... maybe something BIG!  (Spooky was following us around because we had the laser studfinder out... she likes to chase the light).
Close up of the closepin.  I should have painted another coast, but I was too impaitent.  I guess I will have to take ti apart and do it sometime.
 This print is from Not Just Another Housewife, you can print it for free... plus she has one for girls, too!!  BTW, subway art is all over blogland... there are TONS out there for free and with different colors, seasons, etc.  I really love them all!! :)
  Close up of my SEWING PROJECT... see where I attached the brown circle and the && fabric?  Isn't it PERFECT??

Mail Center

In an attempt to get rid of the clutter and put things away, I have developed a "mail center".  I got a lot of ideas from A Bowl Full of Lemons.  She did a challenge  in January and it really helped to see how people all over the country- world organized different areas of their homes.   Every house is set up differently, so I picked and chose different aspects from the examples linked to her page.  Check it out,  it's neat!

This project has been in a work in progress.  I started off with these pieces of fabric and hanging file bins.

I used Mod Podge to attach the fabric to the bins, Andy hung them up and they looked like this...
The first part of this project was a mail center to help with our filing system.  It started out at the desk, but I moved it,  because the papers were never ending up in the filing system Andy we just ended up carrying them all over the house and things were still getting lost.  I got this box at Wally World and added hanging file folders to it.  I also put a couple of monograms on  the box, using my Silhouette.

 Before, on the desk
The system:  1 for each member of the family, 1 to pay, 1 to file, 1 receipts, 1 grocery/coupons (for lists, recipes, coupons), and 1 for phone books (this one might not last long, because it's no longer by the phone).

Here is the box in its new home by the back door where we enter the house 99% of the time.  I got this cute table at a store here in town called Wall to Wall.  I intend to  paint it black when the weather warms up.

As you can see from the previous picture, I added some more "stuff" to the mail center.  I used my Silhouette to cut out the words: Mail, In, & Out.  I had to used Tacky Glue to get the letters to stick to the fabric.  I'm not sure if the ones on the wall will stay... I used Silhouette's Flock dark brown Vinyl and it doesn't seem to be holding all that well.  I may have to cut it out of a  different vinyl, but I LOVE the look!  Also I "covered" a small cork board that we had hanging up by the desk with a coordinating fabric.  When Andy gets home, he will be hanging it! :)

Here are a couple more pictures of the finished product...

I can't wait for Monday and the mail to arrive!!!