About Me

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I’m a diy, penny pinchin’, first time home owner, wife to my amazing helper of a husband, one sweet little type 1 diabetic daughter and one smart creative little boy(or should I say young man!). There isn’t a thing I won’t buy if I think I can make it myself. So I hope you enjoy my attempt to save a little money and share my attempts to make our house a home.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Never give up

It took us 7.5 years of persisting (never give up on your child) with Dr's, OT specialist, teachers and finally a behavioral therapist that spent the day testing and playing with Logan to officially determine he is extremely gifted and given all the info and traits has Asperger's (official medical diagnosis). With the right direction and resources our (according to the professional) extremely gifted child can do ANYTHING he puts his mind too! It's exciting and over whelming all at once. 

So let's back up....way back....@ four months old Logan went in for a check up, there the pediatrician noticed something wasn't right and off we went to our first ever specialist  for an official diagnosis of torticollis and hypotonia(very mild form of cerebral palsy) now you might be thinking what the heck does this have to do with him being smart?? Well I don't really know but we like to think because he, from the get go, lacked a physical ability like most babies aka being able to hold his own head up learned to cope with life differently he has always been attuned to stuff around him, never showed interest in being a holy terror on 2 feet, he took his sweet time developing physically and was soaring beyond kids his age mentally.

He spent many months doing physical therapy to strengthen his weak muscles to learn to sit up, crawl and finally walk at 18 months, it was all very difficult (WE cried a lot) he would much rather sit and play puzzles or be read to any day. He didn't want to run, jump and play he wanted to LEARN he was accused many times during group therapy play sessions of being autistic he counted before he was 2 read before he was 3 and was usually socially quiet but our plate was so full just getting him to walk or run that the other things went unnoticed or we thought of course he's a genius he's our child ;) but as he learned to run, jump and play we began to wonder if he really was exceptional.

Enter elementary school. Nothing like being smack dab in the middle of a group of your peers to make you stand out! Day one of Kindergarten his teacher knew he was smart. We were blessed to have her to make us realize it too and to be persisitant in his educatoin and to find answers to our questions of why he does certain things that we were told he would out grow and 2 years later FINALLY he was referred to another professional for some REAL answers.

It was scary and real for me to leave him with her knowing she would be picking at every aspect of his very being but we struggle daily to make life good for him. Anyone who knows Logan knows he's a special kid. Sweet, kind, smart but I really know him and I see obstacles in front of him every day, that I don't know how to move. So was this really for him or for us...his parents?? We want to be able to help him just like we help Ava live and thrive everyday and that means ANSWERS so we know what direction to go, so we know how to help him and not hurt or hinder his development. And yes I hate to LABEL my child but hell let's do it - Ava is a DIABETIC and if I didn't seek the answer to that very hard question...well....her future would have been grim!

So please parents no matter what follow your instincts, get Answers and help your child, PLEASE. I am sure after a little time and  lot of resources I will feel better about everything we will be able to help Logan grow and thrive just like we do every day for Ava and heck maybe some day his genius brain will solve some of lifes very complicated issues like disease, war or politics!

Wish us luck on this crazy ride our family calls life because every day it just get's more interesting!

for more info see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asperger_syndrome I read this and my heart sunk deeper and deeper. Just the first paragraph summed it up for me...what I see in him everyday!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

$5 Old School Samsonite Luggage Makover

A neighbor(well neighborhood friend) had a set of awesome (maybe not in her opinion) dingy, needed some TLC Samsonite luggage (BTW train case, carry on and suit case :O) She was going to donate or toss it and I very kindly asked to have it and I don't even think she bat a lash at it and probably felt sorry for me a little ;)  So it sat for a LOOOOOONNNNGGGGG time in the garage till I decided exactly what to do and so far the "carry on" is all I have tackled but it was soooooo worth it. I documented my afternoon spent along side this little gem to share with you! So dig out your old hard sided suit case (cause don't we all have those laying around?!) if you don't own one apparently you can get them every where for 5 dollars....I just never seem to find those deals and some spay paint and get busy!

Hard-sided Suitcase (in case you weren't following)
1 yard of cheap fabric mine was $2 a yard!!
Spray adhesive (usually in the glue isle)
elbow grease ( sponge, soap, steel wool, magic eraser)
Spray Paint ( I used Krylon Ballet Slipper pink)
Painters tape

Razor blade
modge podge for optional monogram

I know I said FIVE dollars, I only had to purchase the paint and fabric (technically I had the fabric so really just paint)  I'm assuming everyone owns a whole room of craft supplies here ;) 

Step one: Apply Elbow grease to shell of case (this means scrub it good)
let dry

not so purdy

Step 2: tape off the metal parts - I only opted to tape the very top lock thing and handle not the ones the run all along the sides that is far too tedious for me.

Step 3: Paint I did 3 even coats each side and 2 for the bottom - I painted the snot out of it! let it dry REALLY good.

Step 4: Remove tape and rip out the guts ( I left the padding since it was stuck pretty good
left with no more guts right with border ripped out liner intact

Step 5: use the liner as a template to cute new pretty fabric I left a couple inch allowance to make sure I got it all covered

Step 6: lay pretty fabric in the case pinch the pleats in the corners with your fingers till it all looks pretty and lays flat

Step 7: Gently fold fabric back and start spraying glue according to the directions from working in small sections from the middle out wards doing pleated corners last.

Step 8: Trim away access with a sharp razor. I intend to hot glue trim around the raw edges but couldn't fully commit to my small pom-pom trim idea ;O so YES hot glue trim over raw edges. (this step is a little tricky, go slow work in small sections and trim around locks or what have you to make it lay nice)

OPTIONAL: I used freezer paper(print letter outline, iron on to fabric for stability cut and remove paper - revealing a perfectly cut fabric monogram) to make my letter a and used modge podge to stick it on and used the access fabric for the ribbon sash which in my daughters opinion really makes it "asobutely pretty"(she's 4 and knows what she likes) after all this one's for her so what princess wants princess gets!

 I''m sure you have nothing better to do on a beautiful sunny day then spend it outside with a dirty old suitcase - at least you can say your just trying to make the world a prettier place :)

This just in*****************My husband suggested clear coating it to with stand the beating of the 4 year old - will do ASAP!

Monday, June 4, 2012


It might sound crazy that after these last couple years for me to sit here and type that I couldn't be more thankful for all the hard times that left me with a heavy heart and that it is those same hard times that have also lifted me up and have me realizing all the things I have to be thankful for....Since Ava's diaversary(May 27th ) and yesterdays 5k I have been finding myself reflecting and so thankful for how far we have come...

Thankful for my brave daughter fighting diabetes like champ after being diagnosed at 2 its not something she always understands but something she always faces with a can do attitude(wish we could all have faith like her)!

Thankful for the last 2 years of learning treating and living with the disease, which has taught me to trust my self, to have faith in the future and confidence.

Thankful for family whether near or far I know they all truly love and care and may not be what I expected, needed or always hoped for but there are circumstances that I have to realize might cause the unexpected, change needs and hope goes on.

Thankful for my husband who although I am tough to love has continued to be by my side never swaying, always ready to catch me when I fall. He is stronger then words can describe and patient beyond all doubt. I am so lucky to have been in the right place at the right time. To have made a friendship with him first to have fallen in love and to have married him and be blessed with two mouths to feed.

Thankful that his love is devoted and thankful I get to experience this kind of love.

Thankful that our love isn't always perfect but it always comes right back around to where it needs to be

Thankful for losing my job (that place can suck it) thankful to call it an utter waste of 6+ years of my life to know that in this life time I shall not waste a minute more stuck doing something I hate just to make a dollar!

Thankful to have found my creative passion and thankful for hope that one day I will support my family on my love, drive and passion and nothing less

Thankful my children have picked up some of my best qualities(lord knows I have some not great ones too)

Thankful for my brilliant and loving son who will be nothing less then his father

Thankful for my childhood as broken as some people think it might have been, they don't know, what they should know is that it made me who I am today.

Thankful for my few true friends who love me, lift me up and are always there when I need them. I know it's not easy to love me but they do it anyways. They love my family more then they need to and are so understanding when it's so hard to understand.

Thankful for a roof over my head, chickens in my yard, piles of laundry and dinners to be made.

Thankful for being humbled by all the hard times and looking forward to dancing in the rain rather then waiting for the storm to pass

We may be face to face with a disease raging war on our tiny daughter, hard times with my marriage(stress can kill a person!), miss understanding from people who aren't in my shoes, lost my job, etc...but all I can say is I am so thankful, humbled and grateful.

Thankful for all these people supporting an amazing cause! Way to go peeps!
I had the joy of participating in the Heaven can wait 5K yesterday and try as I might I will never be able to understand what some of these women have to face and I pray that I never will. However, I do know that a beautiful YOUNG women did lose her battle and left behind 2 young boys(babies really), a loving husband and an entire family who will never forget her amazing smiling face. I run for her, I hope for her children and I am Thankful with a heavy heart to have known her and her story and thankful that I get to see her boys still smile to this day(way to go dad!). Alyssa I know you are loved and missed like crazy and I hope someday for you, your family, for everyone that some day there is a cure!

Thankful....The list goes on

I suppose thankful is not an easy thing to say or be, and don't get me wrong it's easy to complain about all the same things too but when I remember what some families strife is I can't help but think it's a shame to live a life of complaints when after all we are living, something not everyone gets to do...

So bring it on universe because I now know I can look back and someday be thankful for all the hard times that let me be....

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Yay! It's finally here!

Sew with Rachel
Learn To Sew Class 1

Learn to Sew teaches everything you need to know to get you started sewing and confident with your abilities! Students will learn machine basics, practice various stitches and complete an envelope throw pillow cover. We'll discuss sewing tools and fabrics. *Students will provide their own machines accompanied by their manuals (If you have one). Machines MUST be in good working order. *I have 2 machines available first come first serve via registration.
 Learn to Sew: Students will learn sewing machine basics, including bobbin winding, threading the machine, and how to operate the machine.Basic sewing tools will be discussed as well practicing a few basic stitches Each student will complete an envelope throw pillow by the end of class.

**Materials purchased for class use at Hancock Fabric are eligible for a 10% discount! **
**Only for classes held at Hancock Fabrics**

·        3/4 yard of 45” wide fabric Cotton or home dec (pre-washed preferred)
·        Scrap fabric (for practicing stitches)
·        Matching all-purpose thread
·        16” x 16” OR 18x18 pillow form
·        Empty bobbin
·        Universal machine needle

2 1/2 Hour Session $35.00
 to Register/Questions Please Contact Rachel @
Visit me @ http://www.facebook.com/SewWithRachel.


Friday, May 18, 2012

Will, Jimmy and Jake

I don't claim to be a photographer and I barely know the bare minimums to get my camera of auto mode. What I do know is how fast children grow and how great it is to have pictures (good ones) to look back on. So every time I get out my camera I try my hardest to make sure memories are being caught. Enjoy my latest manual mode photo shoot of baby Will and his brothers. Jake the oldest is autistic and from what his mom says never looks at the camera but a little game of peek a boo changed that right up for me :) Thanks again Shanna for letting the boys partake in my amateur photography practice!



Shanna (not prepared for pictures;)

I think he was fascinated with my camera

Shanna's amazing bay window!

love me some arm rolls

sweet little tongue

Hat crocheted by yours truly - pattern available free on this blog!

wonder what he's thinking?!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Layered Felt Flower Clippie DIY


4.99 @ Cricut.com

Sizzix Big kick or Big Shot or Cuttle bug
Cuttle Bug Flowers die #1 (currently 4.99 @ cricut.com!)
Felt wool or Eco-felt 
Thread and Needle 
Hot Glue 
Hair Clip

 (I didn't not plan to post this or I would have taken at least a couple more pics ;)

This is one of the easiest felt flower hair doo dads I have made in a while. In fact I made about a dozen yesterday most of them in my 4 year old assistant choices of colors ;)  I have seen them on etsy a lot and thought "how simple and cute" Plus you can layer all sorts of colors to match outfits. I made one I like to call raspberry orange creamsicle, hot pink, orange, cream and light pink layered up. I think so far that's my favorite one :)

FIVE easy steps and a little creativity and your on your way to a small business plan ;) ok that is if you can market and part with some of these cute little things! Or pry them from the grips of your fashion forward four year old!

1: Cut one of each size from the cuttle big die out of your color choice of felt 
(ie: cream and YES these tiny dies will cut felt, that is really all I use my Sizzix for I DON'T SCRAP BOOK :O)
2: Stack them nicely together place button on top and sew button on with a few stitches 
(make sure to start from the bottom so you loose threads aren't on top of the flower)
3: Cut two little leaves and place as shown on the bottom with a little hot glue
4: attach to hair clip, barrette, headband etc...
5: Cut one more smaller circle scallop to finish the bottom of the clip so you can't see the leaves glued on or the glue adhering the flower to the hair clip (optional but very professional ;) 

Enjoy....its hard to stop dreaming up all the fun color combo's for summer! TIP: Make 2 and put them on a cute set of piggies!

Monday, May 7, 2012

DIY EASY Garden Box

2 complete garden box's and up-cycled retaining wall to fire pit all my handy work!

Little lady ready to worship some diy'n
This was stupid easy and all I had requested for mother's day but lucky me it was so easy it was done a week early just in time for nice weather (be for warned also request that your strapping husband fills them for you...I can barely move my arms after all the filling and emptying of the wheel barrow!) Does that mean I still get a gift for mothers day??

(Lowe's disclaimer - we attempted to go to home depot but all the employees were the least happy least helpful group of people I have ever encountered plus they didn't have the cuts of wood we needed, so we tried to give them a chance but I honestly almost always go to Lowes so I am comfortable making my rounds there)

Supplies: (for one box 4 foot by 5 foot and 16 inches tall)
2"x 8'x 10 foot

2"x 8"x 8 foot
(heaven forbid I don't know the proper wood lingo, thanks to the Mr. This should read correctly for you!)
(2x4 if you don't just have one laying around like us hoarders)
Weed stopper
Screws or BIG nails

Did I mention 2 of these bad boy's only cost about 40 BUCKS!

Here's the best part :D Have Lowes cut both boards in half, all the hard work is done and now they are easy to load in the back of the car. We always fight over strapping lumber to the top of the car and I always think he is going to chop is fingers off when cutting large boards so extra bonus less arguing through out the process :O 

Now here is the tricky part: We had pieces of 2x4 laying around to brace the corners and the front middles, if you don't NO biggie get one 2x4 from Lowes and if you bat your lashes hard enough they will cut it in to 12 inch section for you as well.

Assembly : Make your top then the bottom by screwing the sides to the front and backs with a drill, don't have one?! Well maybe BIG nails will work :D galvanized so they won't rust.

Stack them together and attach the pieces of 2x4 in the corners and on the front middle and back to secure!

**I opted to staple weed stopper onto the bottom and trimmed away excess***

Done! Now fill - warning this takes a lot of dirt and time! Each was about 5 or 6 loads in the worlds largest wheel barrow :( I am one tired but happy mama today!

Another FROG! Our back yard is a frog retreat ;) I have been moving them to a secure location where I am fairly certain they are being eaten by the neighbor's cats...oops!

Off to collect goodies for said DIY Garden Box's! HAPPY SPRING!