Saturday, November 29, 2014


It's here!

If you'd like to win one of these prizes for Christmas, please read on.

If you don't want to win one of these prizes for Christmas, please instead read the story of Fred going to a yard sale here.

I like my ornaments "WELL DONE" prize:


KIDS MAKE THE BEST ORNAMENTS (12 and under) prize:
(the right mushroom is pink, not purple)


  • Make a tree ornament. 

All entries will be featured in a blog post on Dec 19th.  The voting will begin. You and your friends will be able to vote once a day for your ornament entry from the time the post is up until midnight on Monday, December 22nd.  

*If you're posting an ornament photo for the kids 12 and under contest, please include child's name and age with the entry.


  • MOST IMAGINATIVE--win one of the large doodle books!  yay. yay.  Check out these really fun books here on yesterday's post.  They're pretty great and make fantastic presents for kids AND imaginative adults.

  • KIDS MAKE THE BEST ORNAMENTS!--kids 12 and under contest.  Post a photo of your child's brilliant ornament, and they may win this set of Gnome Ornaments from POPchristmas. If you don't have a child, post your brother's or sister's or niece's or nephew's or grandbaby's or the ornament of a stranger kid living on your street. You may post for more than one child...all the stranger kids on your street for example. 

Isn't that bird feeder great?!  It has some nice reviews on amazon with pics.  Here are a few more...

these birds like it
more cats that like it
and the squirrel

this guy likes it too

Happy Ornament Making!!!

How are you making your today world beautiful?

Friday, November 28, 2014

I'm Dreaming of a DREAM BIG, DRAW BIGGER DOODLE BOOK...the beginnings of a Christmas Giveaway

It's here!  I have enjoyed this fall so much, and am actually kinda sad to see it go, but this morning I looked out the window and the trees are beginning to be mostly bare.
One of my favorite Christmas things is how it becomes a chance for all of us to get our creative on and use our imaginations.  Our traditions of making decorations, baking cookies, singing, and more importantly the connections that happen during those times are memories worth making and keeping.
Find this idea and other fun kid craft ideas on my pinterest board here.  They're made out of school glue.

If your kids are like my Sara, their lists are more-than-likely also filled with Elsa's and Anna's this year.  That's all good and fine. For sure our little niece is getting a package filled with her favorite frozen ladies. One of her presents that I'm kinda excited about is something found in the party aisle at Walmart.....icicle-resembling streamers that hang over a door opening!  It's like this one...

It will be like she's walking into a bedroom land of frozen!

(thank you for the lessons Bob Ross)

But if you're looking for something a little outside of the box, or even just something fun for the kids to work on over Christmas break, I have a gift idea for you!

Husband Dion came upon these books at a family outing to TJ Maxx last spring.  They were great for summer break.  So much fun.

I keep them in an accessible place, so Sara and I can easily grab one when we feel that  NEED  to use our imaginations and  MAKE  something.  They are like a glorified coloring book. Sara really enjoys working on them.

I too enjoy working on them. Really they're not only for kids. Here's one of my pages.
And here are a few more sample pages:

Now who do you know who wouldn't want to draw an octopus having a fight with a spider??!

There are also smaller versions.  You can find both sizes on amazon, and to make the deal even sweeter, with code "Holiday 30", they're 30% off this Black Friday weekend (until Sunday, Nov 30th). Click here for the black friday info.  Links to both size books are at the bottom of this post.

Now it's about to get exciting!!!
We of course are going to have a Christmas giveaway contest!

There will be three categories and three prizes...and a chance for your kids or grandkids or nieces and nephews or a stranger kid hanging out on your street, to join in too!  I'll post the info here this weekend, so if you have some mad ornament-making skills or would like to try having some mad oranament-making skills, please check back in.

In the meantime, here are the three prizes...
but the right mushroom is pink, not purple

(These cats like the bird feeder.)

How are you making your today world beautiful?

book links:
Large (and they are large!) Doodle, Imagine, Draw book.
Here's the smaller version of that one.

Large Dream Big, Draw Bigger book.
Here's the smaller version.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Turn This Into That-Water Into Poop Charms and a DIY Desk Project

This summer Sara and I were shopping at a Target.  It was one of those days when we had time to go by the toy aisle.  You know what I'm talking about.  The toy aisle is the place of dreams, and when your child is along for a trip to any of the Stuffmarts, at some point you will either hear yourself say, "We don't have time for the toy aisle today," or "Okay but we can't stay long, and we're just looking!" "Yay!," they exclaim, as they bolt ahead of the sucker mom.  

This was one of her yay days, as we were out of town and had no place to go.  

Do you know what pediophobia is?

(Parents: you may want to ask your children to look away.)
What is happening here?!  This baby thing.   There could be an entire future generation suffering from pediophobia if they keep making these dolls.  The big black eyes are upsetting right? And then it has a what, a muffin hat?  And this muffin-wearing baby, Sugar Cookie, holds a mouse with equally scary buttons for eyes? And what is the mouse's hat? Oh my goodness. That's the baby's bottle!  right?  I just don't know.

The diaper is cute.

Sara and I were in the Walmart yesterday, and it. got. worse. Maybe you've seen them.This is something.

I just don't know.  The pooping/peeing dolls never did make much sense to begin with really, and now The Scary One is peeing and pooping out collectible charms for our children to pull out of a diaper, wipe down, and then keep them on a bracelet, or share them with their friends.  Sara scored two charms, since this lady, who was a very good sport, went through it two times with us.

She was lots of fun.  The diapers at the display were cute.

Moving onto a project.
We found this desk with a hutch at a yard sale. I made the desk into a desk, and the hutch into the beginnings of Sara's Barbie house. Both pieces together were 20 dollars. 
I scrubbed them down, and removed one of the shelves from the hutch.  This week I painted the desk drawers with a glossy paint.  
Sara would like the desk to be painted pink all over, but I don't really want to do it  but I think this looks pretty good like this.

If you remember this post, you know that for the past year, the Barbies have enjoyed the top floor of the hutch as their very pink ballroom. Here they are last Thanksgiving eve, preparing for Christmas while Sara was sleeping.
There is also a pool.
as seen here,

a garage,
and a horse pasture which has yet to be photographed. 

Here are some photos of the Barbies' life today. 
Ready for the ball, Sir Galahad the Pure  Ken got a new tux.

There's a new guy in town, though he doesn't seem to be trying too hard for the Barbies attention. Barbie and the Rockers Ken was found in his original box at a thrift store by brother Jason and Krystal-in-law. 

Mullet still going strong. 
He'd rather hang out with a little girl cardboard figure (a cut out from the tiki bar packaging), here at the tiki bar, than go to a formal.  He's dreamy like that.
This is how I found them today.

When the tree isn't up, the ballroom chandelier is hanging center from a Christmas tin attached to the hutch ceiling.  This way it hangs at the right height, and the batteries are easy to switch.  It's a locker magnet with a motion sensor and an on/off switch. The motion sensor works great for a dollhouse.  When Sara plays with her dolls in the ballroom, the light goes on, then turns off automatically when she's done.
Some of the ladies are relaxing on their temporary furniture. Eventually they will have couches and chairs to lounge on. Quite possibly when Sara is 17. 
I don't know.
They seem happy.

Now Barbie and the Rockers songs are going through my head. Ken didn't come with the cassette tape, and my childhood tape is long gone, but at least two of the four songs will remain forever within my heart.   "I'm dressin up....ooouuuooo I'm dressin up......"

Our generation of girls, and our brothers, despite these Jem look-a-likes gems, seemed to navigate through to adulthood well enough, so maybe the group of kids who get pooping charm babies with matching bracelets on Christmas morning 2014...well, maybe they'll push a belly button and be okay too.

How are you making your today world beautiful?

Friday, November 14, 2014

A Dough Bowl, Other Stuff, and a Giant Chicken

So you remember that rearranging tizzy a few weeks back.

Well, for the most part, things have settled into place...for now.

I've envisioned a big table to be the hearth of the house of sorts...and this new arrangement has been perfect for us to gather and have a meal or snack time together, work on homework, bake, play games, or work on crafts/projects.  
It has opened up the house, as well as a corner for a little coffee/tea counter and a project/office nook for me.  

Now Siri's wheelchair can pull up anywhere around the table. Before when the table was in the official dining room, it was difficult to get around her chair, and she could only sit by one crowded corner of the table.  

We are really liking this.
The bar stools under the counter were 20 dollars on craigslist.  One was broken, but I fixed it, so now it swivels just as it was intended to swivel. True it may have taken a few hours and a trip to the big orange "I shop here because I'm a man" kind of store to figure it out, but eventually, I was a fixer too. 
 these windows above the table let in more light

This authentic dough bowl was bought from friend Geanine.  She has a great kitchen with lots of great kitchen stuff. She creates and sells things like her amazingly scented harvest and also Christmas potpourris, soaps, home-made lavender cleaners, lip balms, and even tooth powder!  You can find her on fb here, at  The Charming Chickadee.

The dough bowl happily sits on our table, so it can hold lots of interesting-to-me things.  It's joined by our vintage salt and pepper shakers and many times a candle.

This colorful and interesting-to-me pumpkin, grown by our farmer friends, has been here since late summer.
 There aren't too many pics of my corner space yet, but here's a little bit of a glimpse back there.
To prevent the table from becoming a catch-all, stuff is not allowed to be kept on the table (drinking glasses/mugs being an exception). It keeps the space free and more inviting to pull up a seat and hang out together. 

See the black raspberry custard pies with crumb topping on the table?  They are allowed on the table, because they're pies.  And I will eat them all up! I maybe already did. yes. I did.
this chicken reminds me of this chicken
Warner Brothers, ANIMANIACS S01E56 - Season 1 - Episode 56

here's a giant Christmas chicken for my early Christmas-loving friends
Warner Brothers--ANIMANIACS S01E49 - Season 1 - Episode 49

I'll try posting a few more pics of coffee bar stuff soon.
Remember kiddos, be kind to giant chickens. 

How are you making your today world beautiful?

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