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~Love Notes~

Okay, so how cool is this idea I found last year? I finally found time to sew my own pillows out of Dish Towels! The only changes I made were the appearance of my pillows. I made them super full and centered the pocket instead of off-centering it. You can go nuts and get super creative with this!

This project is SO simple, you literally just find Valentine Dishtowels ( I found these at JoAnns) and cut them to the size you want, create pockets out of smaller cut up towels, sew it all together and fill with stuffing or a pillow form! That’s it!

Okay so the best part about this whole turn-your-dishtowels-into-pillows thing is that each day (starting February first) you insert a love note to your children and then you let them read it right before bed time. So I write one note to each girl and so does Jason and we stick them in their pillow pocket and Mikayla reads hers and we read Emma’s to her 🙂 If you look at the picture below you will see the first night’s note tucked right inside and sticking out a bit. I realize it isn’t necessary to have a cheesy V-day tradition to let your kids know you love them but I think it makes it fun for them. I also think that children recognize when you put in a little extra effort just to make their day and let them know you adore them…

Love to you and yours today and everyday 🙂

~Chris

http://tatertotsandjello.blogspot.com/2011/02/weekend-wrap-up-party-and-twig-creative.html

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~Love More~

So I found this free print that can be downloaded here. She has it in many different colors but since I am in a V-day kinda mood I went for the red 🙂 I painted an old frame white and rolled some fabric flowers to add to the border. It looks cute and all but what I really love is that it serves as a reminder to me: there is always more love to give. You can’t over-love your husband, your children, your extended family and friends. I get all sorts of nostalgic whenever I go to the rougher parts of town as it reminds me of my childhood. I remember that as a child there were nights when we had to roll out of bed onto the ground to stay safe from the gunfire blasting outside our windows. I remember the morning we woke up to a dead man on our front lawn…and yet, a part of me misses those days. We had nothing and yet we had everything. I didn’t wear name-brand clothing, my dad drove an old Ford that was all green except for the hood which was cream-colored. We would go to my hometown of Long Beach often and 9 times out of 10 the old Ford would break down on the Grapevine and we would have to sit for hours before someone could come and get us. As a child I didn’t know we were poor. It wasn’t until about age 11 when my mother finally graduated nursing school and started working as an RN that I realized there was a difference. A difference in the neighborhood we lived in, the stores we shopped at, the food we ate, the types of people at the school. The one thing that has always been a constant in my life is my parents love for me and belief in me. All of this just to say that as I was driving through my old childood streets and kids were running around barefoot while parents sat on the stoops of their tiny run-down homes I felt a pang. A longing for those days, a time when life was simpler. When you don’t have money you don’t have a lot of “things” to keep you distracted. I now live in a middle-class neighborhood, renting a home from my parents. We are not rich by any means of the word and live paycheck to paycheck (sound familiar?) It’s hard to not get stressed about money…but as I drove home that day this thought popped into my head: More money = more distractions. The kids don’t have tv’s in their rooms (and they never will) we don’t have internet on our phones (and we never will) I am distracted by the internet enough when I am home, I don’t need it available at my fingertips every minute of the day. Having money is not what life is about. Yeah, you need it to survive but you don’t need insane amounts of it to be happy. We don’t need to buy our children everything they want just to show them how much we care. Our time and undivided attention is the most valuable thing we can give each other. Don’t make money the center of your world, it will disappoint you everytime. There is a reason it is called, “the root of all evil.” Whenever you are in doubt of what to do for your children or your spouse…simply put: Just love more 🙂

~Chris

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~Red Burlap Wreath~

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” ~William Morris

I purposely started out with pictures for this tutorial because I want you to see the potential this has and show you that the result will be worth the hassle! LOL It is probably the toughest tutorial I have posted for one reason alone: it is hard to get the hanger to work with you 🙂 So, the supplies you will need to make this wreath are 1/2 yard of burlap and at FULL price at Joanns that will only cost you two bucks so if you have a 40 percent off coupon we’re talking 1.20–>rad, I KNOW! The only other thing you need is a wire hanger and some embellishments! So the first thing you need to do is find a wire hanger…

Then you need to “unravel” it and create a circular form out of it (sorry, no picture of this) You will need to cut 4 burlap strips, approximately 4 inches wide. Start with one of your strips and you are going to basically accordian fold the burlap while inserting the wire hanger into the middle of it. So you are “threading” the burlap onto the hanger…

Pretend that this wire hanger has been unraveled and put into  a basic circular shape..keep adding your burlap. When you finish threading one strip pick up another and do this with all four strips. When you are done you will lay the wreath down flat and have all the burlap face upwards and this is the tricky part…you will need your oh-so-sexy-husband for this part. Have him get his tools, I know one thing was called needle-nose pliers and I can’t for the life of me remeber the other and he is asleep right now–>doh! It’s so on the tip of my tongue too!! Okay, well the job of the tool whose name I can’t remember is to clip off the wire where you need it to because you will be left with a ton of extra wire so you need to decide how tight you want your wreath, pull down the burlap and show your husband the spots to snip off. Then he will take his handy-dandy needle-noses and bend and contort the two wire ends so that they will enclose and make a wreath. Whew, that was hard work—>for him! 🙂 Did I mention how much I love my husband? He is the BEST! So the next thing I did was take some scraps of regular burlap I already had laying around and glued one strip to the back so that it would have something to dangle from and I used the other scraps to embellish along with some buttons and lace and it now hangs from my antique-ish looking mirror. This was originally meant to be a V-day decoration but I love it SO MUCH that I will let it live with us year-round 🙂

Doesn’t it fit right in nestled among the Pottery Barn candles and Clock??

If you have any questions feel free to ask and I will answer them as best I can!

~Chris

HookingupwithHoH

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Beyond The Picket Fence

http://tatertotsandjello.blogspot.com/2011/01/weekend-wrap-up-party-and-good-works.html

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