Last Minute Valentine

Somehow February had snuck on me and before I knew it, Valentine’s day was here! I completely forgot to get Valentine’s for Little Duck to give out at her babysitter’s. I have no excuses, it wasn’t a terribly hectic month. I just have developed a terrible memory and general lack of awareness for what is going on around me apparently.

So when I didn’t realize my error until 10:03pm on February 13th, I panicked. Walmart had closed and there were no stores in our area that stayed open later than that. I ran to my craft cupboard and found some white and pink card stock and pink Bernat cotton 4ply yarn. I could save this. Luckily I had just pinned a post by on crocheting little hearts. I whipped up a few pink hearts, Cut and pasted some cardstock together, and Voila! It looks like I planned this all along!

Phew! That was close!

I left the ties long on the back. Come some the kids tied the hearts on as a braclet. I used it as a hair tie for Little Duck.

I left the ties long on the back. Come some the kids tied the hearts on as a bracelet. I used it as a hair tie for Little Duck.

My Little Monster’s 3rd Birthday

My first baby girl adores monsters. At the age of two we let her watch Monsters Inc. Now, I know that to some of you that immediately puts us in the category of bad parents but you don’t know our Little Duck. So deciding the theme for her 3rd birthday was easy. I didn’t want to just do Monsters Inc. Both because it would have been impossible to find the decorations but also because Little Duck asked for a pink party with monsters. As always I hit up Pinterest and found everything I needed and more. I’ll go through each picture of the party we threw but here is a link to my board.

The hardest part about planning this birthday party was realizing I didn’t have the time or the funds to do everything. So many wonderful ideas, so little time/space/money/skills….you get the idea. So I started with something I knew I could do. The birthday girl’s hat. I searched tsy for the perfect pattern and found one on RAKJ patterns. I love the bobbles and I could immediately picture it in pink. Plus it uses cotton yarn which I absolutely adore working with (this may make me a leper in the crochet community, but I don’t care! I love how clean, crisp and bright it can look). You should be able to get to her Etsy shop by clicking on the picture..

Jovie's 3rd Birthday 065Little Duck modeling her birthday hat. This actually a fantastic picture of her. Like her father, she seldom poses for real.

For decorations I kept with a pink and green theme. I covered the playroom floor with plastic table clothes and taped them down to the carpet. We had a water play table and allowed the kids to eat in there so this made for SUPER easy clean up later. I stole borrowed some white roll paper from my work and taped it to the wall. I then drew random monsters for the kids to colour in later. What kid wouldn’t love being given permission to draw on the wall! my deepest apologies to the parents whose children attended if this created confusion when the children returned home. My husband works at a small college so I guilted had two college students generously volunteer to come do games with the kids while I was getting food ready for everyone. They played simple easy games like Monster Says.

This part was so much Fun!

This part was so much Fun!

The playroom decorations

The playroom decorations

My favourite part about executing this party was the food. The kids and adults both loved it. From the Monster punch drank out of cups with googly eyes (Green Monster Margaritas for mommies and daddies) to the fingers and toes, everything was tasty and fun to eat. My personal favourite were the Monster eyeballs-especially the cookie dough ball ones!

Food break down: Monster Punch-Orange pop/vanilla icecream float in a punch bowl; Monster fingers-mini corndogs; Monster Toes-chicken nuggets; Monster Eyes- Chocolate chip cookie dough balls, m&m kisses pretzels, two bite brownies with pink icing; Fruit bowl-watermelon cut out with teeth, orange halves and grapes for eyes.

Jovie's 3rd Birthday 006                  Jovie's 3rd Birthday 035


For party favours I crocheted each guest their own little monster and then included some monster eyes, stickers etc. For the photo op we made a little booth with a monster picture and a hole making it look like the kids were in the monster’s mouth. This was not exactly how I had wanted it to turn out. I unfortunately threw it together last minute and it turned out smaller than I wanted it to be. But the kids still had fun so that’s really what matters!



I had fun making each of these little guys for the guests to take home.

I had fun making each of these little guys for the guests to take home.

Little Duck talked about this party for months! She had so much fun and it was a proud mommy moment when she thanked me making her feel like “the best girl in the whole city!” As much as she loved all the elements of the party, the most memorable was the cake. I wish I could take credit for it but my hubby’s co-worker made it. She did an amazing job and I’m glad I chose to buy one instead of tackling it myself. It will definitely be hard to top this cake!

What do you think 3 year olds wish for on their birthday?

What do you think 3 year olds wish for on their birthday?

Amazing job by hubby's co-worker, Ellen
Amazing job by hubby’s co-worker, Ellen

Retroactive DIY Baby Leggings Post

I have many pictures stored up and not many posts to show for it! Can you blog retroactively? I’ve decided that you can and so, may I present my January DIY project: Baby leggings. This isn’t so much a ‘How To’ post as much as it is a review of a ‘How To’ post.

I love BabyLegs. Not the rolly polly kind you find on adorably plump babies (although they are delicious) but the kind that remind you of the leg warmers you wore when you were a kid in gymnastics or dance. My two babies are not naturally well insulated. They lean more towards the, well, lean side. My oldest insists on wearing nighties even on the coldest of winter nights so BabyLegs seemed like a great solution. Unfortunately there are no stores in our area that sell them and my budget does not allow me to pay extra for shipping. That’s why I was so happy to find this tutorial by CutSewRepeat!

Click on the picture to find this great tutorial from CutSewRepeat!

At CutSewRepeat they bought their trouser socks in a three pack for $8. I bought my socks at our local dollar store for $1.25! BabyLegs cost about $15 so making your own saves a lot of money especially if you want more than one pair. I’ll post my own pictures to show how easily I followed the tutorial but you’ll want to check out CutSewRepeat for better photos. The first step is to cut out the heel and toe of the sock. You’ll only need the top part of the sock (which will be the legging) and the middle part of the foot (for the cuff of your legging). Next you fold the middle of the foot over to make the cuff. make sure that patterned side is facing out. Then pin the cuff to the end of the legging with the raw edge. Pin them together so that all of the raw edges are lined up. Then sew and you’re done!!! It’s that easy!!!

Step 1: Cut out toe and heel of sock

Step 2: Fold over the part that was cut out between the heel and toe of the sock to make a cuff.

What I really like about making your own baby leggings (besides saving oodles of money!) is that these are much longer! I have a pair that were given to The Boy and they work fine for him but they barely go up to Little Duck’s knee.This DIY pair work perfectly. They are great for sleeping in to add extra warmth on cold nights and they look great under skirts for girls. I wear them on my son under his jeans on cold days when he’s going somewhere in the car (snowsuits for infants and toddlers are strongly not recommended by DMV here due to straps fitting improperly). Overall this was a great tutorial a very easy beginner sewing project and a great way to save money!!!

If You Believe It- and ask for it for it for your birthday and christmas for eight years- You Can Achieve It!

For eight years straight when my birthday or Christmas would roll around, I would ask for one thing: a sewing Machine. Any sewing machine! As long as it could sew two pieces of fabric together I didn’t really care about the bells and whistles.

I started for it asking when I was in college. That was near the end of my bohemian phase and I was starting to look for another outlet for creativity besides decorating my room with scarves and beads. Maybe my mother thought that since we always had access to my grandmother’s sewing machine then I didn’t need my own. For whatever reason I did not receive a sewing machine during my college years. I suppose I could have bought one but I was saving for a wedding so it seemed sort of low on the list of things I needed to buy.

After I was married I asked my husband for a sewing machine. He had no desire for me to spend my time making curtains and throw pillows for our small apartment so when Christmas rolled around I did not find a sewing machine under my tree. I suppose at this point I should have bought a sewing machine but it seemed like there was always something else that we needed; a car engine, a freezer, a bed, a couch set. Then when we bought our first house and any extra funds seemed to disappear into the everyday costs of home ownership.

When we had our daughter I imagined becoming that mom. The one that sews Halloween costumes and makes beautiful spring dresses. Maybe it was only a dream. Then I found Pinterest. The wonderful beautiful things I could make using Pinterest…if I only had a sewing machine.

I have often heard about people who believe in something so much that they will it to happen. They plan and live their life as though what they want to happen is guaranteed to take place. So using this knowledge I created a board on Pinterest filled with all of the sewing projects that I WAS going to do WHEN I got my sewing machine.

My birthday came and went but there was still Christmas. Christmas is a time when all things are possible. When the celebration of the birth of our Saviour inspires people to believe that anything can happen. So I believed that I would get a sewing machine this year. I may have also specifically told my mother that I wanted a sewing machine even if that meant not getting my husband anything…..

And so do to the power of positive thinking I present to you…..

My new best friend. Let the good times begin!


Lil’ Pup Birthday Party

I have always loved the image of a boy and his dog. Maybe it’s because of the nursery rhyme, “snakes and snails and puppy dog tails,” but the two seem to be unequivocally linked. So when my second child turned out to be a bouncing baby boy, it didn’t take me long to decide what theme I would use for his first birthday.

As one most certainly should when starting to plan an event, I turned to Pinterest. Oh, Pinterest! The embodiment of all things creative! I started my board when The Boy (my son) was about six months old. I love planning! It’s really ‘the thrill of the hunt’ that drives me. I was surprised that there was very little to be found locally for a puppy themed party. You can have a look at my board but I will post a link to the original sources for where I got my inspiration.

As his birthday got closer, it was time to get to work. I love to look at professionally planned birthdays online but the reality for myself (and most other blog gawkers) is that money and time can limit the extravagance of a birthday party. Since I was just coming off maternity leave money was definitely going to make this a challenge. First I made a list of what ideas I could do and then I made a list of the supplies I would need . I headed to our local dollar store and bought almost everything I needed besides groceries. Dollar and bargain stores are definitely the way to go for a party on a budget.

The main inspiration for color and theme was from a party submited to Kara’s Party Ideas. I loved the blue and red together and the doggy bag party favours were genius! I chose to include a puppy puppet as well as a bouncy ball, a puppy paw cookie, the Cocoa Puffs dog food and a cookie dog bone.

The balloons were also a Pinterest find but I swapped out the helium for a balloon on a stick. Helium has gotten so expensive and my husband`s hot air is free! The cookies I made were with a bought gingerbread dough. I thought it made for a nicer shape and color than a sugar cookie dough.

I loved the idea of filling a dog bowl with cocoa puffs to imitate dog food. The parents at the party had to ask before sampling because it looked so real! I found the idea for the cupcakes on The Crafting Chicks website. There you will find lots of ideas if you’re having a puppy party for an older child (a vet hospital theme!). used my own recipes for the cupcakes though. I hadn’t really given my son a whole lot of egg yet as I myself am allergic so I went with my friend Mari Lynn’s egg free recipe. She used to run a catering business so everything she makes is guaranteed delicious! The recipe for the butter cream frosting and cupcakes will be in the next post. The Crafting Chicks used Junior Mints for the large part of the paw but I went with Neilson Dark Buds and chocolate chips for the smaller part of the paw. I love baking but I don’t often use icing and therefore don’t have an icing kit. Sad, but true! I simply spooned the icing into a ziplock baggie and cut out about an inch off the corner. Gently squeeze out the air, squeeze the bag gently as you swirl around the cupcake and, voila! No professional icing bag needed!

For another sweet treat I made puppy paw sugar cookies. I made them using a method my friend Anna introduced me to. She makes Caramilk Sugar Cookies and they are so addictive! So launching off of this recipe, I made sugar cookies in a mini muffin tin and stuck in five chocolate chips in the shape of a paw before baking them. I use the Betty Crocker  sugar cookie mix as it tastes delicious when cooked this way.

I kept decorations pretty simple as this can be an area that will chew up your budget if you get too crazy. I went old school with streamers and balloons from the dollar store. In the playroom, where the kids would be for the party, I took down picture frames and put up books and puppy stuffies all around the room and on the refreshment table. I made a dog house  to put on the wall using bristol board and a 3D doghouse using diaper boxes and bristol board. The kids had a lot of fun playing in it and it made for a great photo prop. We had a bunch of polaroid film left over from our wedding so each guest got to take home a picture of themselves next to or in the doghouse.

Some guests were VERY excited about the photo op!

The Birthday Boy took a minute to pose too.

The most important part of any party is that the guest of honour has fun. I think that my boy really enjoyed posing for pictures and tearing up paper but it came as no surprise that his favourite part was a little more edible…

Infinity Scarf

Oh no, I’ve failed! I promised to blog weekly but last week with a visit from the in-laws, I neglected to write up the pattern and therefore didn’t post. Enough excuses though. Here is the pattern.

I used a N hook and a 4ply yarn. Although I’m making the same scarf for a friend in a chunky 5 yarn and it’s turning out lovely. I liked the 4 simply because I wanted to be able to wear the scarf inside without melting! Either will work though. The fpdc and bpdc line up to make three ridges in the scarf. The scarf is nice and bulky with this patern but if you wanted a narrower scarf you could omit the “Repeat ” and skip to the last 4 dc.

As this is my first time writing a pattern, please let me know if there’s any mistakes.🙂

Hook: N 10.00mm

Yarn: 4 medium or 5 chunky

Terms: Chain (ch), Single Crochet (sc), Double Crochet )dc), Frontpost Double Crochet (fpdc), Backpost Double Crochet (bpdc), Slip Stitch (slst)

Row 1: ch 20

Row 2: Skip ch closest to hook and sc across. Turn. (19sc)

Row 3: ch 3 and turn (Counts as first dc). dc in next three spaces. fpdc around next. Repeat 1x. Finish row with 4 dc (16dc, 3 fpdc)

the pattern will look like this: dc dc dc dc fpdc dc dc dc dc fpdc dc dc dc dc fpdc dc dc dc dc

Row 4: ch 3 and turn. dc in next 3. bpdc around next stitch. Repeat 1x Finish row with 4 dc. (16dc, 3 bpdc)

Row 5-70: Repeat row 3 & 4 until desired length is reached. I finished at 70 rows.

Finish: Join ends together with 19 slip stitches. Be sure to slst on the side that doesn’t have the three ridges.

Happy scarf making!

Shades of Grey on a Budget

It was that time of year again. Time for family pictures. This year we had decided to get a professional photographer to capture our image as the Foreman Family 2011. In the past we would just ask a friend to take them with our camera but I’ve been increasingly envious of the beautiful pictures I see on Facebook and Pinterest so we were doing it right this time.

I was pretty excited about it. Especially since we have never had our pictures professionally done. Not even for our wedding. Big mistake. A friend of ours took pretty good pictures and had a pretty good camera and so we just asked her. With no editing experience, that was exactly what we got. Pretty good. Not great, not amazing. Hindsight is 20/20 and I’ve learned my lesson. But I’m still pretty cheap frugal. I was going to have to find an affordable photographer and get us all outfitted for very little money since I’m still on mat leave.

Now to decide who to hire and what to wear. The hiring part ended up taking care of itself. Without even knowing about the contest, I won a free session with Phancy Pants Photography! I love anything free! I knew Aila took great pictures and I had actually just arranged a product swap with her. I made photo props for her and she’s going to take pictures of the hats I make at Bittybop Toppers for me to display on my Facebook page. You can find Aila’s page at and my page at .

With who to hire was taken care I was left with decision of what to wear. It’s hard enough to get everyone dressed and out the door, never mind dressed in coordinating outfits! After hours of scouring the closet I finally decided on black and grey. Ben had a grey and black sweater so he was taken care of. I had black bowtie onsie for The Boy. I thought a grey hat would look sweet with it so I whipped up a newsboy hat using an easy pattern.I wish I could take credit for this adorable hat but the pattern is by Bonnie Potter at

Little Duck had a longsleeve black t-shirt but her grey sweater was a little short in the sleeves so I tucked them under to model a style of a women’s sweater I had seen at Gap. Her headband was so easy. Old Navy has fleece blankets for sale every Christmas and one year the were held together with a silver stretchy elastic band I also had a black rose that I had taken off of a dress a few years ago. Combine those with an extra black button from a winter coat and a hot glue gun and you have a headband. So easy!

Now everyone had something with black and grey to wear. Except me! I had black t-shirts and black maternity clothes but nothing for me to wear for a fall family picture. I also had promised myself that I would stop wearing maternity clothes just because they were comfortable. The day before our pictures I ducked into Old Navy to grab a black long sleeve basic tee. They were on sale for $9 and with my discount I only paid about $7 after tax. I knew I had grey yarn so I thought I’d do up a scarf to wear. I looked all over for a free (and quick!) cowl type scarf pattern. I found plenty of patterns but they all required chunky yarn and I only had medium worsted. So I decided to wing it and come up with something on my own. Considering how easy and fast it was I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. I’ll share the pattern with you next post! It will be my first attempt at publishing a crochet pattern.

It ended up being a very cold day and we couldn’t stay out for too long. I wasn’t sure if we had gotten enough pictures but I was impressed with what Aila was able to get. Overall, I was very happy about how it all turned out Especially considering the whole thing only cost $7 total!



-UPDATE- This blog post was written and named prior to the eplosion of the 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon. My apologies if you were expecting this be about something else!🙂

Getting Started

I have always enjoyed the process of creating. My favorite part of all would have to be brainstorming. I thoroughly enjoy dreaming up ideas of things I could make or do.
My second favorite would be completion. Seeing that which you have dreamt of come to be. It’s somewhere in the middle that I get stuck. I can usually start the project but then life happens and I slowly drift away before I can reach the end. When things settle down, instead of going back to the unfinished business, I start a new project. I am forever walking around with all of this “creative baggage.” I guess you could say I’m in love with being in love with a new idea.
I’m grown up now, with a husband and two kids. It’s time to settle down and start finishing what I’ve started!
I’m going to start small. I promise to blog as often as I can. I will commit myself to posting about at least one project a week for one year. That means by this time next year I will have posted at least 52 DIY craft/crochet or creative projects. I can do this! Starting now.