Monday, January 30, 2012

My 1st Ever Sewing Projects!

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Last year, in about April or May of 2011 I got my first sewing machine ever! I didn't really know how to use a sewing machine, had never done it before actually, and when it came down to someone showing me, it was the first time I had ever even heard of a bobbin! ha I didn't know that thread went in the bottom of the machine! It was such a surprise to me.
Anyways, my mother-in-law gave me hers and I was taught just the basic skills on how to use it.  So I took it back to Abilene with me and decided to use it.  

So, since I was going to Africa that summer, I needed lots of ankle-length skirts, (a requirement for the trip) because of the culture there.  So my friend and I went to Hancock's Fabric and got some really great and cheap fabric that looked semi-African to us! And we decided to make some long skirts. 

This first one I made was inspired by a wrap-around skirt my friend bought from EarthBound.  We like the idea of a two layered wrap-around skirt.  So here was the outcome! 

It is a little rough around the edges, but give me a break, it was my first time ever! I so wish I could give you the tutorial :-) But, being new, that was not on my mind at all! ha I was lucky to even get this done! 

The other skirt I made was a lot easier.  It was just a simple elastic band skirt.  If you know anything about sewing you could figure this out easily.  Just measure your length, plus some for the waist band and bottom hem, and I think I used a yard and a half across (that's just guessing though), and then just sew the bottom hem, and hem the top to make it nice, then sew the side up together to make it a circle, then put the elastic band in the top.  

For a first time sewer this was a super easy skirt to make.  
If you are interested in trying this, email me and I can give you more specific details. 

Then...later in the summer right before our trip I got together with my friend who had bought a very cheap dress pattern, and we made dresses.  This was rather challenging, but I know I could do it better next time.  Basically I made the same skirt as the one above and used the dress pattern for the top.  It turned out okay, but I would definitely spend more time on the next one I make, but it served its purpose while we were in Africa.  And we walked around looked cute and proud of the dresses that we made! 

This picture is of us actually in Africa wearing our dresses and chacos! 
(Sorry for the bad quality of this one, it was the best one I could find) 

-Little Sis

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Sensory Bottles

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As a daycare provider, I have to come up with ideas to help support the growth of these kids. I am blessed to be able to do this daily. Recently we made 'sensory bottles.' The kids enjoyed doing this so much. We began outside and the kids had fun putting rice and toothpicks in their first bottle. When we finished we talked about rain and the kids realized how much this sensory bottle sounds like rain. Lucky for us it rained quite a bit the following week so we were able to really listen to the rain and then play with our sensory bottles. 


Next we used water balls and made sensory bottles. Earlier in the morning we put the balls in water and waited for about four house as they 'grew.' Because it had gotten cold outside, I brought out water play table inside and put the balls in there. This kept the kids entertained for a good hour. I gave each boy a bottle but did not give them any directions. It was very interesting to see what they would do. One child spent the whole time literally filling his bottle with the balls. He never lost concentration and I am pretty sure he has never been this quiet. Another boy would fill his about 1/3 full, dump it out, start over again. My little monkey just played. He put some in the bottle, but mostly played with the water balls and measuring cups. After we finished playing we filled the bottles about halfway up with the balls. The kids LOVE this bottle. It is so fun for them to see the balls bounce from side to side. 

 "Water Balls"

The other one we did is a bit creepy. My two year old loves these eye balls.... so I thought we would use them. My little one enjoyed this bottle more than the other boys, who thought it was too creepy. But we took Caro Syrup and filled it about halfway up. The kids put as many eyeballs as they wanted. Once you are finished you can roll the bottle around and the eyeballs move. It really is fun to watch it. 


I screwed all of the caps back on and then put hot glue around the lid. This was so fun to do and now the kids have the Sensory Bottles we can pull out during activity time. Next week we are going to be making Sensory Bags! 

-Big Sis
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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Homemade Hanging Lamp

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So I made this wonderful hanging lamp this past summer and wanted to share it with you! 
It is so easy to make and is so fun to see hung up in your home, office, or in my case my closet! 
So this summer, I got out the old book that I keep handy in case I get inspired to do any fun crafts with book pages, and tried to think of the best way to cut out all these circles...and lets just say that my way was probably not the best, or easiest :-)  I looked for a dye-cute at Hobby Lobby but only found small circles. So instead, I cut the size of circle I wanted out of a piece of card board and improvised.  I traced as many circles on one book page that could fit, and then cut them all out.  
I wish I knew how many circles I cut, and I mean I guess I could just count them, but I haven't, and since I kept adding more to fill in the gap, I have no idea how many circles made up this lamp. 
Anyways, then I took an old Japanese paper lantern that I had and began hot gluing the circles on.  This part was very simple, you just glue them on from the bottom up.  Then once you finish you can go through and fill in any holes that you see. 
This is what it looks like with all of the paper circles on it! 

Then I took my hanging light bulb that fits into the lantern and here is what I got! 

I absolutely love my homemade hanging lamp! It hangs in my closet...which is actually like my own little mini private room, and it is so fun! 

Hope you enjoy this! I will be linking up to the parties on my right side bar. 

Also don't forget to follow us on FACEBOOK

-Little Sis
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Monday, January 23, 2012

Toddler & Choices

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Hey everyone! So the MERGE of the NATURAL-NESTERS is official, and we are off to a great start! This is actually my first post on the new blog, and I'm loving the new look! We have some great things to share with yall in our near future, but for today I wanted to share with all of our new and old subscribers some fun organizational stuff I have done at my home recently! 
& we can't wait to share more with you all soon! 

Do you give your toddler choices? What they want to play, eat, do? I have been reading one of the best blogs ever for the past few months, Play At Home Mom, and they have some fantastic ideas! 

One of the blogs that really caught my eye was setting up an area where your child can choose their snacks. So, I have taken the time to set it up. It has been working very well in my home. My son goes to the door and wants me to help him open it, and he chooses what he wants. 

The first things that he does when he wakes up is get a snack, usually a baggie of cereal, and then watch one episode of cartoons as we wait for our daycare friends to arrive. 

This is his shelf in the pantry.
Applesauce and Crackers

Cereal and Crackers

Fruit bowls, dried fruit, raisins

Squeezy fruit, fruit bowls

It has been working so well. I know he is going to be so excited when he wakes up tomorrow to a new stock of snacks for him to choose from. I love watching his little eyes go from one to another to make his choice. It is so nice to have him pick what he wants.... less work for me! :)

He already had his own drawers with his cups, plates, bowls. But tonight I spent some time to organize them. I will be checking them and making sure they stay organized. I know he will appreciate the organization more as well. 

When he helps me unload the dishwasher, he is really good at putting his things in his drawer, hence the reason it looks like the one below. 


My pantry... It needs some work. THAT, is my next project. I have some ideas on how I want to organized it.. I will share when it is completed. 

Way too excited about finding the bulk section in a local grocery store. All of that pasta cost me LESS than $5.00. Amazing. 

This is my sons area in the fridge. He has gogurts, cheesesticks, blackberries, and strawberries. 

He is going to LOOOOVE it! I hope this helps someone. Remember to check out that website! 

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Giveaway WINNER & other BIG News

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Thank you to everyone who participated in the giveaway. We had 31 people participate and because of the multiple entries that were allowed, there were 112 entries. I took a picture of the answer on but it won't upload. So, I hope you trust me on it. Before we reveal the winner I would like to share some news.

In the coming week Natural-Nurturer and Natural-Nester will be merging to create one blog. It is a very exciting time. We will be able to work together to bring you all of the awesome ideas that we have. We will be merging to the Natural-Nester's blog, so if you are a follower already, get excited about some awesome new updates! We will be changing the name to Natural NesterS! It fits us both so much.

We are not only sisters but we are best friends and we are so excited about this step in our blogging life! We hope that you will continue to support us. Joining together like this will allow us to offer many more giveaways for you!

But what you have all be waiting for.... The winner of the Lequip Professional Stick Blender with all of the attachments, from Nutrition Lifestyles.... is Number 39!

Kim DeMoss

Thank you Nutrition Lifestyles for partnering with us for this amazing giveaway. We hope to do this again in the future!! 
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Friday, January 20, 2012

Yummy--Zucchini Bread Recipe

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So I started the contest blog out with a Wheat Bread Recipe , and I am going to end it with another bread recipe! 

Here is a great Zucchini Bread Recipe! I have made it twice so far and it turns out perfect and so yummy! 

Zucchini Bread
3 eggs
1 C vegetable oil
1 ½ C sugar
3 medium zucchini – grated and well drained  (2 C)  (I put the grated zucchini in a strainer, press down with my hands to get out liquid and then put a plate on top to drain out as much liquid as possible.  I’ll leave it for about 10 minutes to let it drain.) 
2 t vanilla
2 C sifted flour (all purpose)
¼ t baking powder
2 t baking soda
3 t ground cinnamon
1 t salt
¼ t nutmeg
1 C raisins (optional)
1 C chopped walnuts

Beat eggs lightly in large bowl.  Stir in oil, sugar, zucchini and vanilla.

Sift flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Cinnamon, nutmeg and salt onto wax paper.  Stir into egg mixture until well blended.  Stir in raisins and nuts.  Spoon batter into two well greased 8 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pans.  Put 3 C batter in each pan.

Bake in a moderate oven (375 degrees) for 1 hour or until center springs back when lightly pressed with fingertip.  Cool in pans on a wire rack 10 minutes.  Remove from pans and cool completely. 

(350 degrees works best for my oven and I still cook it for 1 hour – see which works best for you.)

Thankful for my friend Dani Kizer who shared this wonderful recipe with me! 

In my bread I didn't use raisins, only walnuts, and it was fantastic.  Also, I only used 2 zucchinis instead of 3 and that turned out wonderful! 

Anyways, I would love to hear if any of you try this! Or if you have a different recipe, let  me know what you do different in a comment below so I can try your style! 

I hope you all enjoy this recipe, and can add it to your list of recipes to try! is your last chance to win the
Lequip Professional Stick Blender with all of the attachments.
This tool is so amazing. I have used it to mince veggies such as onions, cilantro, and even tomotoes. We really enjoy using it to help make our fresh salsa. I have also used it when making baby food. The uses for this tool are unlimited. 
The website describes this tool as:
“An ideal blender for daily use. Slim ergonomic design with soft-touch easy-grip handle. Stainless steel body. Removable, interchangeable blades for mincing, beating, chopping, aerating, and whisking. It also includes a multi- chopper/grinder attachment.”

If you want to enter click on GIVEAWAY and it will take you to the place to enter! Each person has 6 chances to ENTER, and the giveaway ends tonight at 10pm (Central). We will be announcing the winner this weekend, so keep an eye out to see if you are the lucky winner of this awesome kitchen tool! 
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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Curtain Makeover....Finally

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I have been dying to put this post up for you all to see! 
This past weekend I planned to spend most of my day Saturday making new curtains for my house, and it did take me practically the entire day! From about 11:30am-5:00pm (with a little lunch break).
I am so happy with them though. 
You see when we moved into our new house in August, the previous owners left all the curtain rods and curtains for every room.  Which is actually an amazing budget saver...because purchasing rods and curtains for four bedrooms, a living room, and dining room would cost A LOT OF MONEY! So we were actually pretty thankful for them, except they didn't all totally match our stuff.  The boys rooms don't really matter, and the dining room is okay, but my bedroom ones don't match our stuff at all (another project later I hope), and as for the living room, they match our stuff, but weren't exactly what I that's where I started! Since the summer I have loved the horizantal striped curtains I have seen on Pinterest and Blogland! And I knew I just had to have those in my house somewhere.  So recently I found the most brilliant way to do this project, using freezer I decided I was finally going to do it! 

So check out what I did: 
-Latex Paint
-Paint Trey
-Textile Medium (to soften the paint on the fabric)
-Roller Brush
-Drop Cloth
-Roll of Freezer Paper
-Measuring Tape

First thing I did was spend time laying out and ironing my curtain to make it straighter, this will make the lines more accurate and straight. 
 The next thing I did was get all of the freezer paper ready.  You measure it out over the width of your curtain and cut many you need will be different for different sizes of curtains.  Then you take the freezer paper, fold it in half, and cut the half mark all the way down.  This makes the stripes a nice width.  Do your best to cut as straight as possible. 

Then you iron on the freezer paper...YES FREEZER PAPER WILL STICK TO YOUR CURTAIN when it is ironed on! I loved this and would love to learn other crafts you can do using freezer paper! 
You measure 9 inches between each freezer paper (because that is how wide the freezer paper is, so you are making all the stripes the same size)

Then pour your paint into the paint trey. I then added a good amount of the textile medium, (which I purchased at Hobby Lobby). This will make the Latex paint softer once it dries on the fabric. 

Then you just take the roller brush and paint down the sides that are not covered by freezer paper. 

Once you have painted a whole curtain, you want to take the freezer paper off before the paint dries. 

See how clean and crisp it turns out. 

My final two curtains once they were in the drying stage. 
I would recommend using a lighter fabric, I used a thick 100% polyester and the only thing I have a problem with is how they lay on the window, they are very stiff all together.  If I did it over I would honestly just use white sheets as curtains. 


Here's the before--the curtains that were in the house when we moved in and have been in our living room the past 4 months. 

And here was the outcome of my 5+ hours of work! 


 I just love them! 

Anyways, I hope you enjoy my hard work as much as I do! Check out my right-lower bar for all the parties I am linking up to! 

Also don't forget that our GIVEAWAY closes this Friday night at 10pm! You still have a chance to get your name in the drawing for the awesome kitchen mixer/blender/chopper from Nutrition Lifestyles! 
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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Guest Speaker

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I am so excited about this week! 
This week, my church Beltway Park is having a conference where we will have three guest speakers! One of those speakers name is Heidi Baker! 
Heidi and her husband are missionaries in Mozambique, Africa, and their story is amazing! 
I know a lot of it because this past summer 2011 I got to go on a mission trip to Africa to visit one of their Children's Centers there.  Part of their work in Mozambique started after the country was torn apart from war, and consisted of them going out into the streets and bringing in homeless kids to a shelter/area they acquired by the Lord's power and grace. They now own hundreds of these children centers around the country and have trained hundreds of missionaries to run them. They have also trained hundreds of local African pastors who have planted churches in different villages around. 

I would recommend any and everyone to read her book! It is such an amazing story of their life, and their story being led to Mozambique! It also shows so much of the Lord's power, grace, and favor over their ministry! I love it! Plus it was such a fun, easy, and encouraging read! 

Anyways, I cannot wait to hear her speak this Thursday at my church.  It is literally a once and a lifetime event, and I cannot wait.  It's not just her, I am just excited to hear from someone with such passion and joy for the Lord and for His work! I can't wait to hear her heart and see the love she has for the Lord! 

Take a look at these pics, you can see the passion in her eyes! 

Anyways, if you are looking for something encouraging to read, you can pick that book up off of the Barnes and Noble Website. 

Use the link below to get to their sight! You won't regret getting this book! Then after you read all the testimonies, pass it on as an encouragement to one of your friends!

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Swiffer Sweeper

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I have been loving this long weekend we have had! I have literally done some sort of craft every day! It has been so fun and I cannot wait to show you all of them. 

One of the first things I have done is going to be very helpful around my home.  This past year I purchased my first Swiffer isn't a fancy one, but just a plain ol' Swiffer Sweeper, and I love it! So the way I clean my floors is I use a regular broom, then my wet rags attached to my Swiffer Sweeper.  I love the idea of the dry towels that Swiffer sells, but I don't want to spend the money on both the wet and dry ones.  I have noticed though that after sweeping my floors there is always residue around that could easily be gotten up with a dry cloth.  So, I decided to make my own. 

Here's what I used: 
-Old Towel
-Tape Measure
-Sewing Machine
-Your Swiffer Sweeper (for measuring)

Sounds simple huh! 
Well it was! You can definitely make one of these in just a few simple steps, it only took about 15minutes once I figured out all of the measurements. 

This little guy wanted to join me! Isn't he so cute! 

Here are the three pieces I cut: 
Long piece: 5 1/2 inches x 11 inches
Small pieces: 5 1/2 inches x 3 inches

Sew the two small pieces to the ends of the long piece, leaving the openings facing each other, and you got it.  You have to make sure not to add width to your small pieces or it will not slide on. 

Doesn't it look great! And even if it doesn't, it was made from an old towel and will be cleaning your floors! ha so it doesn't have to be beautiful or perfect! 

I will be using mine very soon.

I went ahead and made two so that I could have another while one was being washed! 

So definitely try this, it will help out when cleaning your floors, and save you money. 
I believe you could even use this as a broom itself if you commonly clean your floors.  

Let me know if you try it out! 

Also, don't forget to stop by and Enter in the GIVEAWAY I am doing with Natural-Nurturer.  
The GIVEAWAY ends this Friday at 10pm (Central)
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Friday, January 13, 2012

What I've been up to

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Well lately I have gotten my knitting back out! I am pretty excited about that, especially since I feel like I have gotten better and can knit a lot faster lately.  

Here's a few things I've done this week: 

I went to Wal-Mart and picked up some great yellow yarn. I like the quick and thick yarn, because it is thick, which makes my projects go quick.  And if you know me at all, you know I am not a detail person. I don't like to spend FOREVER on a project, I like to get it done well, but not spend forever pining over it :-) So I decided to grab this great yellow yarn (I LOVE YELLOW) and make a fun scarf with it! 

So on Wednesday we had a celebration/vision night at our church, where we went over all the good things that happened in 2011, go over the budget for 2011 and then 2012.  It's a very interesting night to attend, but since it wasn't preaching, I didn't feel rude to have my knitting out! So I knitted while my pastor spoke! I got half of this done in that time, and then finished the rest on the same night! That is a huge accomplishment for me! 

Yellow Infinity Scarf:

Then the next day, I decided to use the rest of the yellow yarn I had to make a head band.  It by no means is perfect, but I think I can get better at this.  And overall it took me about 45 minutes to make.  I just took one that I bought similar to this and tried to follow that pattern, then I just clipped a flower I had to it.  I plan to make more of these, actually someone wants to buy one, so I am making her a hot pink one and mailing it to her! I am selling it to her for $15, plus $3 for shipping, so if you are interested in one send me an email! 

In the near future I am wanting to video a small tutorial on the basics of getting started with knitting, so if knitting is something you want to learn then be looking for that in the next few weeks! I have never done a tutorial video so it will take a little while for me to get it how I like it :-)  I am excited to post that so that those of you who are interested in learning the art of knitting can!  I learned last January (2011) and I just love it.  It is so easy to me and once you get the hang of it, it's just something you can do while watching or listening to other things. 

Holiday Weekend: 
I am so excited about this weekend....Because I really have nothing planned except to do some craft projects! I'm not going to tell you what they are, but be looking for some new updates from me with some great crafts. Some are fun, some are handy around your house, and some are pretty in my house! I can't wait to show you what all I do this weekend!
 Until then though, don't forget to go sign up for our GIVEAWAY!  There are 6 ways to enter, and we are giving away an awesome kitchen mixer/blender/chopper! I have one and love it! The GIVEAWAY will end on Friday, January 20th at 10pm (Central Time). Be sure to share this with your friends and goodluck! 

By the way, I was featured in the blog A Glimpse Inside today. Go by and check it out! 
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