Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hoppy Halloween

 From our family to yours.  :)

So, as it turns out, this cute little bunny hat that I made for Olivia back around Easter time also doubles as a super easy Halloween costume.

Bunny Hat


White Onesie


Pink Leggings


Bunny Slippers


One cute little bunny

You know, just in case any of you are trying to pull together a mega super last-minute Halloween costume.

It was even cuter once Olivia stopped crying and trying to pull off her hat (she hates all things that go on her head) and had some milk.  :)

You can find the Bunny Hat Tutorial HERE or by clicking on the button below.


We took some fruit snacks with us to the Trunk-or-Treat at our church Friday evening and Olivia loved handing them out to all the bigger kids.  I was delightfully surprised at how interested she was in sharing.
Then once those ran out we took her around to trick-or-treat and she loved picking out one treat and putting it in her little basket.   

Tonight we'll be having our traditional Halloween dinner with 
some family and friends.
Hope you all have a nice evening with your family!

Hoppy Halloween!

Get it?  Heh heh.  :)

Friday, October 29, 2010


 Look at this shirt I made:

Isn't it adorable?  And perfect for fall?  And just the right amount of cute and girly?

Even the back is cute.


Doesn't the big red button just make you happy?

I even saved the world an eensy weensy bit and used an old broken hair tie for the elastic that goes around the button.  And it matches the shirt perfectly.

So what could possibly be the downside to this sweet little shirt?

I made it too small.


I am confident that it had nothing to do with Jess' amazing sew-along tutorial and everything to do with my terrible pattern drafting skills.  (Especially since at least a handful of other people had very successful and cute results.)  Here's further proof of my inability to draft patterns in case you don't believe me.

I mean, really, Olivia is so small.  She's almost 14 months old and she still fits quite comfortably in 6-9 month clothing.  And I *thought* I made this shirt a size 12 month.  So how is the bottom of the shirt won't even fit over her massive head?


I am so sad.  I am so in love with this little shirt.


I still can't decide whether to save it for a potential sister she may have someday or to give it to somebody I really like.  I guess I'll think about it for a while. 

It's been a goal of mine for a while now to make more of Olivia's clothes.  I guess we'll see.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Happy Halloween banner tutorial with FREE printable

So I've been on a bit of a printable kick these past couple of days.  Especially now that (thanks to all of your helpful comments) I know how to convert the printables into a PDF so I can share them with all of you.  It's just more fun to share, right?  Right.

And I thought about spreading out the free goodness, but I think we all know that I'm terrible about sticking to any kind of schedule when it comes to blogging.  So even though I already shared the free Christmas Gift Tags earlier today, I'm going ahead and sharing this with you now too.  Especially since Halloween is on Sunday.


Did I just say Halloween?

Yes, yes, I did.  The little being-in-the-Halloween-mood fairy came and visited last night just long enough to inspire me to make this simple little "Happy Halloween" banner.  It's little.  And cute.  And I like it.  Hopefully you will too.  :)

Also, I would like to take this opportunity to excuse the terrible pictures in this post.  I was putting this together this morning at my kitchen table.  Where the light isn't very good.  And I didn't love you all enough to take pictures outside on my freezing cold balcony.  Sorry.  

Alright, ready to make this quaint little Halloween banner?

You'll need:
-1 printable "Happy Halloween" banner (at the bottom of this post)
-2" circle punch (or scissors)
-black embroidery floss
-embroidery needle
-junky magnets (optional)
-double-sided tape (optional)

Step 1: Cut your pieces
Use your circle punch or scissors to cut out each of the circles for your banner. 

Step 2: Layout
Arrange your circles so they're spaced about the way you'll want them to be on the finished banner.

Note: These pictures show the banner already in progress, but the process is the same for starting.

Step 3: Cut your embroidery floss

Drape your embroidery floss over your layout and cut a piece of embroidery floss that's slightly longer than each word.  You should now have two pieces of embroidery floss.

Step 4: Knotting and threading
Thread one piece of embroidery floss onto your needle.

Tie a knot a couple of inches away from the end.

Once you have your knot tied, poke your needle down through the left side of your circle.

Thread the circle along the embroidery floss until it reaches the knot.

Then poke the needle back up through the circle on the right side of the circle.

Continue pulling the thread all the way through.

Then, keeping the embroidery floss next to the circle, tie a knot.

It should know look like this on the back of the circle.
(Uhh... if you're lazy and you just flip your circle upside down.)

Then just tie another knot an inch or two away and repeat the process of threading on circles and tying knots until your little banner is all strung together!

Step 5: Add magnets (optional)
Since I made this to hang on our front door and since our front door happens to be made of metal, I thought I'd make things easy on myself and just attach a couple of magnets to the back of the first and last circle on each piece of the banner.

To do this, just use your circle punch (or scissors) to cut a circle of magnet the same size as the circles in your banner.  I just used some old junk magnets that we get with our phone book or whatever.  Then it's free!  Yay!

Grab your double-sided tape.  (Glue would probably also work just fine, but I had some double-sided tape on hand and this just seemed simpler.)

Apply a couple pieces of double-sided tape to your magnet circle.

Prepare four magnet circles this way.

Stick a magnet circle onto the back of the each of the end circles on your banner.

Step 6: Hang your banner
Then just hang up your banner and you're finished!


Here's the printable.  Let me know if you have any problems.

Happy Halloween Sign (Circles) 2010 from Notes From A Very Red Kitchen

And just FYI, this is for personal use only.  
Please don't sell it or pass it off as your own.  
Because those little polka dots around the edges took me a while.

 Happy Halloween!

Free Printable Christmas Gift Tags

Here's a fun little collection of free printable gift tags!

*For personal use only.*


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

By the way

It snowed yesterday.

Yes, it snowed on October 26th.


But I was expecting it.

The sky has been white.

For days.

And I have been saying to everyone I see, "The sky looks like it does when it snows."

And yesterday I was right.

But then this morning I woke up to find... stuck.

Not a lot, but enough.

So the question now is:

Is it ridiculous to hope it will melt during the day so I don't have to scrape snow off my car to run errands today?

Psh.  Fall, shmall.  As if there were any possible hope of keeping Christmas off the brain now.

Filling your heart

Marcie Jessee Photography is one of my beloved little sponsors.  So when she told me she was having a giveaway over on her blog and asked if I'd spread the word I said of course.  Anything for Marcie.  Anything I can do to get her to keep taking adorable pictures of Olivia.  But then when I popped on over there to see what this giveaway was all about my heart melted.

There are some things in life that just fill your heart.  With wanting to reach out.  With wanting to give and love.  With gratitude and thanksgiving for all you do have.  The giveaway going on over on Marcie's blog right now is one of those things that will fill your heart.

I first met the sweet girl in the middle of the photo above when her Aunt Marcie conned her into modeling some onesies I was trying to get some product pictures for.  What a sweetie.  These pictures were taken back in the spring of 2009, but I still remember her.  How could you forget a sweetie like that?

So when I saw this picture yesterday it just about broke my heart.
This is the same little girl.  This picture was taken when little Mikayla turned one.  She passed away two months ago, just a couple months shy of her second birthday.  I had remembered reading on Marcie's blog back when it happened that her niece had passed away and I felt sad about it then, but I didn't realize until I saw this picture yesterday that I had met this wonderful little girl before, that our lives had crossed paths.  It made my heart reach out just that much more to her family.  How tender life is.

In remembrance of little Mikayla her family is reaching out and giving to those in need at the Primary Children's Hospital here in Utah.  There's more to it than that, but I'll let Marcie tell you about it.  You can read her post and enter the giveaway HERE.

And I know you all.  You have kind hearts.  You'd want to give anyway.  But, just so you know, if you enter there may also a bit of free professional photography in it for you.

I hope you'll enter.  What a wonderful way to start this season of giving.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Just working on a little something

If I can ever figure out how to convert a Word document to a PDF (uhh... and upload it to the internet somehow) I will share my spoils with all of you.

Good Morning!

|random photo I took at Provo Farmer's Market this past summer|

Man.  I feel super peppy compared to yesterday.  Since last Friday I've been waking up with some pain in my right shoulder blade.  I put off going to the chiropractor on Friday and then on Saturday and Sunday it sort of seemed to be getting better.  But then I woke up yesterday morning in terrible pain.  I couldn't really move my right arm (or stand still or sit still or lie down or breath) without my shoulder blade kind of screaming out in pain.  When I went in to pick up Olivia from her bed I almost couldn't hold her.  It was pretty bad.  My sweet friend came and carried Olivia to the car and drove me to the chiropractor first thing in the morning.  Unfortunately, it didn't magically cure me right that second like I had hoped.  Bryan came home after his morning classes and took care of us girls.  Yesterday was a pretty slow and painful and non-productive sort of day.

But this morning I woke up feeling better instead of worse and since Bryan stayed home a little longer this morning I actually got to take a shower and get dressed right away.  It's amazing how powerful a good night sleep and a morning shower can be.  I'm still feeling achy and stiff, but nothing like yesterday.  I think I'll actually be able to function today, which--you know--is always a plus. 

I have a number of other things I've been meaning to post about for a while, but haven't gotten around to it yet.  Maybe I'll post some of those things today.  We'll see.

Anyway, that's all really.  Just feeling peppy.  :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Why Mormons Build Temples

(video at the bottom of this post)

I'm posting my Sunday message a couple hours early this time. Thanks to our awesome babysitter (Thanks Alison!) Bryan and I were able to go to the temple this evening, so it seemed appropriate to share this video with you all about why "Mormons" or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints builds temples.

I love going to the temple. There is so much peace to be had there. To be in a place so void of the world whirling around you and just feel close to Heavenly Father is simply wonderful. Peaceful. It's so easy to feel the love of our Father in Heaven. Feeling that peace and love is what it feels like to have the Spirit, (also called The Holy Ghost) near. It's such a comfort to know of Heavenly Father's love for me and plan for me.

I read this morning while I was studying the scriptures about the kind of pain Christ suffered as He atoned for each of us, for me. What love. It's no wonder that I want to return to be with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ so much when I leave this world someday. And it's no wonder that I want to have my family and friends there with me in that celestial place. That is, to me, what ultimate and eternal joy would be. What it will be.

This morning as I was driving to the thrift store, just me and Olivia, the two cars just in front of me got into a bit of an accident. One car seemed to accidentally turn into the other car's lane as we were going through an intersection. The cars collided. But both cars seemed to be okay and they kept driving. It shook me up. I pulled into the thrift store parking lot and called to report the accident. After I got off the phone I told Olivia we should pray. I prayed and we thanked Heavenly Father for answering my prayer from earlier in the morning when I had asked Him to keep us safe and protect us. He heard my prayer and had just answered it.

And later as I was driving home I remembered when I almost died. How could I forget? But I had forgotten. Life has moved on. But today I remembered. I remembered how quickly we can leave this world without being sick or getting old or expecting it for a long time first. I felt so grateful just to be running errands still, to be with Olivia still and to get to raise her and be her mommy, to get to still be with Bryan and be his wife. My life is so happy. Remembering that scary day filled me with gratitude beyond what my words here can express.

I guess I'm not sure how to explain how all this connects in my mind and in my heart, but it does. Peace. And gratitude. And testimony.

May you feel the Spirit today and know that Heavenly Father loves you. So deeply. Infinitely. I prayed that we would be safe and He did keep us safe. You can do that too. Although sometimes prayers don't work like that. Sometimes things don't work out the way we think they will. Often, they work out much better.

It's the little things in life. Laughing with our kids. Praying, really praying and telling God what's in our hearts. Studying the scriptures. Giving. Comforting. Loving.

And having a sweet auntie come and watch our little girl so we could attend the temple today. And feel of that peace and love and receive the direction we were seeking.

May your hearts be open and full.

My love to you all,

Friday, October 22, 2010

Dear Olivia,

You are not taking a nap.  Because you have learned how to stand up in your bed.  Was I sad that you didn't know how to go from laying down to sitting up... until a couple of days ago?  Was I worried about it?  No.  It was one of your best qualities.  I am sad to see it slip away so quickly.  And to have you pulling yourself up to stand in your Pack & Play all at the same time.  Gah.  You have not taken a nap all day.  And on top of that you have chosen the weirdest thing in the house to love.  The.  Weirdest.  I blame that entirely on the genes you got from your dad.  Anyway, it would be great if you would stop gabbing and reaching for things like I know you are and just peacefully fall asleep and took a nice, solid nap.  Both your little cold that's come to visit and I would appreciate it.  Happy sleeping!


Thursday, October 21, 2010

What I'm giving myself for Christmas

Have you ever done that?  Given yourself something for Christmas?  I haven't.  But I'm going to this year.  It's going to be no-sew.  Cheap.  Simple.  But perhaps not very easy.  Also, it's something I know for sure nobody is going to wrap up and put under the Christmas tree for me to open Christmas morning.  And the reason I know it for sure is because they can't.  Even if they wanted to they couldn't.  Not because it's too expensive or because they wouldn't know that I wanted it.  But because it would be impossible for anyone to give me this.  It's a gift only I can give myself.

At the beginning of 2010 I weighed 170 pounds.  (170 pounds!  Eek!)  I had just given birth to Olivia in September so everybody--including me--blamed the extra weight on that.  But it wasn't true.  Of course everybody has some water weight and whatnot left over after giving birth, but that's not where the bulk of my extra padding was coming from.  It was coming from eating too much of things that weren't good for me.  It was coming from a major lack of exercise, sleep, and water.  My body wasn't healthy.

So I set a goal after last Christmas to change my ways and treat my body the way I knew I should be treating it.  I wanted to be skinny (Duh.  Don't we all want that?) but even more than that I wanted to be healthy.  I wanted my body to function as well as it's meant to.  I wanted to treat my body as the gift from Heavenly Father that it is and not just some bulky shell.  So I got to work.  And I set up The Skinny.  And on my weigh-in this past Tuesday I weighed 133 pounds.  Woot wooooot!  But my goal weight is 120 pounds.  That's 13 pounds to go.  I had initially planned/hoped to meet my goal by mid October, but with the three trips we planned for and stressed about and went on eating healthy and exercising got put on the back burner for a little bit.  But now that we're home from all those trips and I'm back on track, I'm ready to meet my goal.

So this past Tuesday at my weigh-in I decided I'm going to do what it takes to meet my goal by Christmas day.  That means I'll be losing 13 pounds in 9 weeks!  Aghh!  It's crazy and exciting and a little overwhelming and emotional to think about.  I've been working at this for so long.  I haven't been that fit in years.  But I'm so close.  I know I can do it.  It just means buckling down and sticking with it.  And I can do that.

After all, I've spent hours and hours pouring over Christmas gifts for everybody else to open on Christmas.  I think I deserve a little something too.  Not something expensive or ridiculous.  Just something I've been working toward and wishing for for a long, long time.  It's time to meet my goal.  And what better time to be health-conscious than during the holidays?  I'm excited.  Not so much excited for passing up yummy cookies and sweets and extra helpings, but excited for the me I want to be.  That is the gift that only I can give myself.  And that is the gift that I'm giving myself for Christmas.

I think as women, as homemakers, as wives and mothers, as caregivers and friends we look so often for the ways that we can give to others.  And that is precisely how we are meant to be, how we ought to be.  But an empty bucket has nothing to give.  Think about yourself.

  What do you want that nobody else can give you?  

Is it a healthy body?  Some quiet alone time to regroup?  The freedom to try something new?  A clean house?  To read a book you've been meaning to read?  To study the scriptures?  To enjoy home-cooked meals?  To spend time outdoors?  To finish a project you've been putting off for years?

Decide what you're going to give yourself.  And get it done by Christmas.  Or at least do your best.  :)  Then, if it's something tangible, wrap it up, put your name on the tag, and open it up on Christmas day.  If it's not tangible, write yourself a letter congratulating you on doing whatever it is you're going to do.  Are you with me?

I hope I won't be the only one giving myself a Christmas present this year.  I hope you'll join me.  Starting next Thursday and on every Thursday from now until Christmas I'm going to put up a linky party where you can share what you're giving yourself for Christmas.  Or what you're working on giving yourself for Christmas.  So get that thinking cap on and decide what it's going to be!  Because sometimes all it takes is a little encouragement.  Or somebody saying, "Yes, you can!"  Or the comrade of others.  So while you're working on all the gifts for all the wonderful people in your life, remember that you're wonderful too.  You deserve to open the best gift under the Christmas tree this year.

The gift that only you can give yourself.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Halloween Shmalloween

|Photo and fabric from Cherry Lane Textiles|

Perhaps someday, some year, I will be really into Halloween.  This year?  Not so much.  As far as I'm concerned this year, Halloween is nothing more than a nagging at my concience that I'm supposed to dress up as something dumb and Thanksgiving is just a nice, tasty pit stop on the way to Christmas.  Yes, Christmas.  That is what I am entirely focused on.  I've already jumped passed Halloween with its tempting candy and Thanksgiving with its turkey-ness and I've settled right in on Christmas.  Presents to make, warm cozy feelings, lots of fun time with my in-laws, and, well, did I mention presents to make?  Don't get me wrong.  Halloween is fine.  Thanksgiving is great.  We'll celebrate both in some way or another I'm sure.  But my heart just isn't in it.  This year my heart has room for one holiday and one holiday only and that holiday is Christmas.

I don't mean to be a hater.  That's just the truth.  For me.  Right now.  Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that we've spent the past two months going on trips to look at where we'll be moving to next year.  This has not only eaten up a ton of my time and mental capacity, but it has made me skip over the next eight or so months that we'll be here in our little cinder block home.  Why decorate when we'll be moving?  Why make decorations when we'll have to move with them?  And why make things that fit our space now when we'll be in a new space soon(ish)?  Maybe if we lived in some super nice house that actually has room for decorations and would invite cute little trick-or-treaters to stop by I'd be a little more excited.  But when there's only one family in the neighborhood with kids over the age of three, it's hard to get really psyched for Halloween.  And we're not sure where yet, but we'll be spending Thanksgiving at somebody else's home, so it's not like I have that to plan for.  And so that is how Christmas came to take up all the space in my heart.

And if all that weren't enough to give me a one-track mind on Christmas, our ward's Relief Society is having a major Christmas craft-making and baking shindig next month and guess who is heading the whole thing off?  Yours truly.  I'll admit I'm not entirely sure how it's all going to pan out.  But I think it'll be great.  And speaking of which, does anyone with a Cricut know if you can use vinyl in them?  And, if so, where a good (cheap) place to buy vinyl is?  I myself don't own a Cricut, but my friend does and she's volunteered it for use in the big Christmas activity.  But she hasn't used vinyl in it.  Anyway, help on the subject from all you Cricut owners would be much appreciated.  By me.  And if you are so nice as to leave something helpful for me on the subject in the comments on this post, please leave your e-mail address so I can contact you with further questions.  Because I'm pretty sure I'll have them.  Gracias.

And speaking of Christmas and making presents, I finished another present today.  It's small.  And cute.  And lovely.  :)  And it's a secret since I don't believe in sneak peeks of Christmas presents for people who read my blog.  Which basically means my whole family.  Which basically means you won't be seeing any Christmas presents up until after Christmas.  But I do plan to share.  I've just go to get cracking on taking pictures.  Agh!

But don't worry.  I will be spreading Christmas cheer around here soon with a fun little tutorial.  Using some of these lovelies.  Excited?  Me too.  Pick up a few fat quarters and be ready to sew along with me.  :)

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Continue in Patience

Friday, October 15, 2010

Get Ready. Get set. Get...

...a chance to make The Sadie Shirt!  The ever-adorable and inspiring Jess from Craftiness is Not Optional is having a super fun little sew-along next week, teaching how to make The Sadie Shirt.  I really could not be any more excited about this.  It not only lands me with a super cute shirt for Olivia at the end of next week (unless, of course, I totally fail at it, but Jess's tutorials are always awesome, so I'm feeling pretty confident), but I'm also really hoping it'll help me continue to get over my fear/dread of taking on clothing projects.  And I'm also hoping it'll help give me a leg up on trying to make future clothes for Olivia.

If you want to join along (and you should) you can click HERE to see her info post with all the materials you'll need to have on hand to be ready for the sew-along next week. 

Did I mention you should join?  Even if you don't have a little girl to sew for, you can always make one and send it to Olivia.  That would be pretty okay.  Just saying. 

Anyway, just thought I'd give you all a heads up on what I'll be up to next week. 

picture via

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

30 minutes down the drain


All I have to say is, there's a reason somebody invented the dishwasher.

May we be lucky enough to move up in the world and have one in the next place we live.

The end.

The Circle Scarf: a little tutorial

Yesterday as I was watching Olivia play I noticed something. 

Her little neck was bare!  No fun to have a cold neck on a chilly morning.  I felt what I have been feeling for a couple of weeks now: a scarf was in order.

I took a moment to think about what kind of material she might like a scarf to be made of.  And compared that to what I had on hand.  When I saw a long-sleeved t-shirt hanging over a chair in my bedroom I had an idea.  A long t-shirt sleeve would be easy and comfy!  But I tried it around her little neck and quickly realized that one sleeve was going to be too short to work as a scarf.  Then I thought about how I might cut the middle of the t-shirt.  And that's when it occurred to me to try and make her a little circular scarf.  It's so simple I'm sure I'm not the first person to think of this, but I definitely haven't seen it with my own two eyes before.  At least, certainly not on a child.  And so I present to you:

The Circle Scarf

A little lightweight scarf that's just the right amount of cozy on a chilly day.  With the added bonus of no frilly fringe to get in your kid's face.  Because nobody wants fringe in their face.

And my favorite part about it?  She can't pull it off.  Nor has she tried to.  Not even once.  This from the kid that pulls her bib off every single time she eats and won't keep a hat on to save her life?  I'm totally sold.

What's more, with no sewing required, it really couldn't be any easier to make.

You'll need:
-1 soft & stretchy t-shirt
-rotary cutter, mat, & ruler (or scissors and a steady hand)

Step 1:

Cut a strip that's 6" tall out of the middle of your t-shirt.  You should now have a 6" tall circle strip of t-shirt.  Whoop!  (Note: Don't cut it at the bottom of the t-shirt.  You don't want the hem on your scarf.)

Step 2:

Fold your strip in half lengthwise so you have a double-thick 3" tall circle strip of t-shirt.

Step 3:

Now twist your circle into a figure 8.

Step 4:

Pinch the middle of your figure 8...

...and lay the two circles (the two halves of the figure 8) on top of each other.

Ta-da!  You're done!

And did you notice that you finished a whole kid scarf in just four easy steps?  And only one of those steps (the cutting) took longer than two seconds?  Now that's my kind of project.

Cozy.  Comfy.  Easy.  Sweet.

And since you spent so little time on this little scarf, you'll have more time to watch your kiddo wear it while they play.

Have a happy, cozy day!

P.S. You can find this and more of my tutorials in the Tutorials tab above or by clicking HERE.  :)