Friday, February 25, 2011

Chickie Craft Kit Giveaway! (CLOSED)

AND THE WINNER IS... Jonnie of MoM of BoYs with ToYs!

I just sold my 100th craft kit in my etsy shop! YAY!!!!!!!

To celebrate, and because I'm awesome, and because you are REALLY AWESOME, I'm having a GIVEAWAY! 

One winner will receive: A CHICKIE CRAFT KIT! 

You'll get all these great materials:

So that you can make this craft:

I chose the Chickie Craft Kit to give away because the chickies are FREAKIN' ADORABLE. And I want you to be prepared for spring. Spring starts March 20th. I looked that up because I care. 

If you want to learn more about the Chickie Craft or see pictures of my cute kids with their cute chickies, go here. All the cool kids are doing it.

Here are the Fancy Rules:

* Make sure to leave separate comment for each entry; otherwise it won't count! DANG! 

* In your comment, please include an email address if it is not visible in your profile so I can reach you.

* The giveaway ends on Friday, March 4 at 11:59 pm CST. One winner will be selected using

* The winner has 48 hours to answer my email or new winner will be drawn. 

* Entries only for the US and Canada.

Here’s How to Enter:

* Mandatory Entry:

- Visit SmartBottomKids. Look at all of my Craft Kits for Kids and let me know in a comment which is your favorite.

* Additional Extra Entries:

- 1 Extra Entry each - Follow my blog or sign up for email updates.

- 1 Extra Entry - Follow me on twitter and tweet the following (You may tweet daily):
@smartbottomkids Chickie Craft Kit GIVEAWAY! It's Quality Time Made Simpler!

- 2 Extra Entries - Post about this giveaway on your blog (with a link) and provide your blog link in your comments.

- 1 Extra Entry - Add me to your blogroll because I want to be popular. 

- 5 Extra Entries - Purchase from SmartBottomKids and let me know.

Please make sure that each entry is its own comment!


Sunday, February 20, 2011

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

And by few, I mean 2. 

I just found this trailer yesterday and I can't stop watching it. I think it may be my new Make My Day Happy Video. (Click on the title at the top of the preview to see it larger. It's best viewed full screen.)

This next one is my classic Go To. I've watched it a zillion times and it ALWAYS make me laugh. 

So, yeah, pretend drunk babies and lots of swearing. That's what makes me happy.

Do you have a Go To funny video for brightening your day?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Ella's Tutu Wearing: A History and A How-To

When Ella turned 3, we bought her a tutu. It was just the cute little thing you might have seen before at Target. She wore it two times. The first time she wore it was for exactly the minute and a half it took to put it on while we took her picture. Notice how she's wearing the perfect birthday ensemble of half pajamas, half daytime clothes.

The second time she wore it, she put it on all by herself. This is 9 months after she opened it for her birthday. And I think this time she wore it just long enough to do 3 twirls and get her picture taken. Notice how well it goes with an all-pajama ensemble. 

Last year I made Ella a tutu for her 4th birthday. I was happier about it than she was. She wore it for the first hour and that was it. But I had faith in that little tutu, so we kept it around.

And then, this past winter, she gained a new appreciation for tutu-wearing. She wanted to wear here tutu everywhere - the store, school, around the house...

She wanted to wear it to preschool on Christmas party day. Prepare yourself for a detour.

I LOVE when I am able to go to school with my kids on special days. 

On Christmas party day we played baby dolls:

And she used the letter tiles to spell out our names:

And guess who showed up? 


And Mrs. Claus!

But the most beautiful part of Christmas party day came at the end. I asked her what she liked best about the day. I expected her to say when she watched the ballerinas perform an interactive version of The Nutcracker. Or when she got to see Santa and Mrs. Claus. Or when she got a candy cane. Or when the class got to eat Happy Birthday Jesus cake.

Nope. Her favorite part of the day was when I played baby dolls with her. 

Here is my heart, child. It is all yours.

Back to the tutu! Since Ella has found a new appreciation for tutu-wearing, she decided that she would need one with a different color combo, specifically Red, Purple, Pink. And as soon as she decided that she needed another one, she reminded me almost every day. Red, Purple, Pink. Red, Purple, Pink. Red, Purple, Pink. 

Her 5th birthday was coming up, so I went to JoAnn Fabrics, armed with my 40% off coupon, and picked up some Red, Purple, and Pink tulle. But the red was QUITE garish. The tag just said red, but I call it Whore Red. Yep, I said it. But if baby girl wants Red, Purple, Pink, she's getting it, darn it! I just needed to tone down the Whore Red a little, so I ended up getting 5 yards red, 5 yards purple, and 10 yards pink for a whopping total of 20 yards of tulle. I couldn't remember how much tulle I used for Ella's first tutu, but now that I've made the Red, Purple, Pink one with the 20 yards of tulle, I can tell you I definitely didn't use that much. I can guess the first one was probably about 10 yards. I think somewhere between 10 and 15 yards is probably perfect. The 20 yards made a beautifully crazy full tutu. It's nice, but it's excessive.

I'm not even going to try to pretend that I can give you a decent tutorial for making a tutu. This isn't a tutorial. It is more of a "If I can do it, you can do it" pep talk.

I would suggest you check out the Feels Like Home and Mom Dot blogs for excellent tutu tutorials. I also watched this video about 10 times before I started. I didn't follow any of the tutorials exactly, but I kind took it all in and then decided how to make mine.

I bought 20 yards of tulle, 3 yards of matching satin ribbon, and 1-inch elastic.

I cut the elastic 1 inch smaller than the size of Ella's waist. All the tutu blog tutorials will tell you to do this. I know it will take some mental strength to cut elastic smaller than what you need. It makes no sense! But as you start tying on the tulle, the elastic will stretch out quite a bit. I hand-stitched it together. I don't sew. This right here is a major accomplishment for me.

I folded each color of tulle in half length-wise. When I taught school we called it Folding It Hot Dog style. Then I cut along the fold to make the width 27 inches. (Because when you knot the tulle later, you'll be folding it in half again.) Then I rolled my two long strips up Hot Dog. So, for the 5 yards of purple, I had a 5-yard-long roll.

And then I cut off the end pieces and threw them in the trash. Yep. And then I cut 3 inch pieces all the way down the rolled up tulle. Don't measure. You'll drive yourself crazy and it's unnecessary. They just need to be around the same size. Go watch this video for some awesome cutting instructions.

Then I tied the pieces of tulle in little slip-type knots onto the elastic. For each of my knots I layered 3 pieces of tulle, folded them in half, and then tied them to the elastic. Go here for awesome tutu knot-tying pictures.

I covered the elastic and still had a ton of tulle left over, so I ended up covering each knot with another 3 pieces of tulle.

Then I took my pink satin ribbon and wrapped it around each knot. Ella has an itty bitty waist, but I still used the entire 3 yards of ribbon. It's a lot of wrapping! Then I tied the ends of the ribbon into a pretty bow. 

I think it's beautiful. But the true test is how my little girl feels when she wears it. After she opened it on her birthday, we went out to dinner. She picked out this outfit all by herself. I love it! And notice how big brother Peyton is helping out by carrying her purple Tinker Bell pail for her. So sweet!

And Ella says that when she wears it, she feels like a beautiful ballerina. I couldn't agree more.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

I'm a Paint-Distressing Wimp

I bought this ceramic vase a while ago for some ridiculously low price. It was not terribly hideous, but it wasn't my favorite color.

So I painted it. And then I distressed it. And then I loved it!

And, yes, I know, I didn't get all crazy with the distressing. I'm a wimp because I'm new at this. This little vase is my first paint distressing project.  But I'm really happy with how it turned out. 

So I put it on my coffee table with some things I already had. 

See that book on the top? I bought that in an antique store about 10 years ago. I was trying to be all fancy - look at me! I buy books in antique stores because I'm so well read. Really, I've only bought two books in antique stores, and my dog ate one. And, really, I bought this one because it looked nice, and also because I thought I should read this book once in my life. It's Pride and Prejudice. Everyone loves this book, right? NOT ME! I didn't like it at all. I had to force my way through it. Ugh. But it still looks nice and fits in with my color scheme, so I'm willing to ignore my feelings for it. 

But see the book on the bottom? It's The Pillars of the Earth. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book. And not just because it matches the color situation going on within the tray. It's just a really amazing book. You should probably go and read it because then you'll be cool like me. It's about the building of a cathedral in the 12th century. Sounds boring - I know! I promise you, it is a beautiful, gripping book. You know how some people reread their favorite books over and over? Well, I've never done that. But I might with this one!

And I might even distress something again, because I love my vase!


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