Friday, December 13, 2013

How to Make Your Own Dryer Balls

I’m not going to get into too much detail about ALL the benefits of dryer balls but here are a few.

1.       No Chemicals- like those found in dryer sheets.

2.       Cut down drying times.  And did I mention no chemicals?  Putting in tennis balls is actually NOT a good idea.

3.       No need for dryer sheets when you use the dryer balls- they soften your clothes.

Here are reasons to make them:

1.       It’s easy.

2.       It’s fun.

3.       It SAVES MONEY.

Now don’t get me wrong, I HAVE bought some before.  I thought it would take too long to make them.  I didn’t know how exactly to do it.  I was a single momma at the time, etc.  I had a ton of excuses.  So instead, I looked at some major brand dryer balls.  My sister gave me some Buddha Bunz brand ones.  They are great (and smell good too) You can buy them here.  HOWEVER, they are $11 a ball!! For a BALL!!!
So,  I turned to in search of another kind to buy. I found a store call Clean Sypria.  I bought mine from there. You can find them Here . I got an 8 pack for about $46 (including shipping)… that is roughly $6 a ball. 
Now, I bet you are thinking “well how much does it cost to make them?”  Great question!!! I spent $6.99 a skein of yarn, I got three.  This made 8 balls.  That is roughly $21 for the yarn and $2.62 a ball.  Did you read that??? $2.62 a ball!!!!!!!! And there are companies charging $11 a ball? Craziness!!  I love the Buddha bunz balls, but why spend that much if you can make it for a lot less?
Note, This was my second attempt at making dryer balls.  The first time I used 85% wool yarn because that is all I could find.  Then I covered them in shaved roving… it was a mess and didn’t “felt” properly.  The fell apart and only the roving on top felted.  It was a disaster.

WORD OF CAUTION!!! You MUST use 100% wool yarn or roving yarn for these or it will not be a success. 
  • 100% wool yarn or roving yarn
  • Cheap pair of panty hose or knee highs (I got two pairs of knee highs for 99 cents)

1.       Roll the yarn into tight balls.  When you reach the size you like (about a baseball) make it a LITTLE bigger.  This is to accommodate the shrinking that will take place in following steps.  Tuck the last bit of the yarn into the ball.

2.       Put them in the panty hose and tightly tie a knot between each one.  I tied the balls in tight so to keep their shape a little better.

3.       Put them in the washer.  Run them in the HOT cycle in a heavy wash twice.  I did not let mine rinse in cold.  I stopped the cycle once it got to the rinse.   This is the “felting” process.

4.       Take them out of the washer and mash them back into a ROUND shape.  This is a personal preference. Haha I thought the lopsided balls looked silly.  If you want them to stay lopsided and quirky, then by all means keep them that way. J

5.       Then put them in the dryer (still in the panty hose).  This is the finishing touch to the “felting.”

6.       When they are done, simply cut the panty hose and pull the balls out.  And Ta da!! You are done. 

Now wasn’t that easy?

I hope you enjoyed this post and have a happy time making your own dryer balls.

P.S. Please click on the ad to the right or below this entry.  It gives money to my site and costs you nothing but a click or two of your time. Thank you!!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What you should or COULD Say to Women who are Trying to Conceive (TTC)

I certainly didn’t think I would get such a large huzza about my What NOT to say to women who are TTC!  A pleasant surprise.  As requested, here is a what you SHOULD or COULD say to women who are TTC (Trying to Conceive).

1.       “I wish you and your family luck in this.”   It shows that you are not being judgmental and supportive.

2.       Ask if you can pray for the woman and her family.  What is the worst she could say? She isn’t religious?  The fact that you are genuinely asking can show support.
3.       “I’ll send some baby dust to you.”  I know that sounds a little strange for those who are not familiar with TTC.  Wishing baby dust for someone is like saying “Good luck” or sending “good vibes” for the woman.
4.       “Don’t lose hope.  I’m here for you.” Sometimes, just hearing that someone is on your side (other than your man) can be a big help.  If you had issues TTC yourself, now might be the appropriate time to mention it.   

5.       “Don’t give up. Your miracle is on its way.”  I saw this in a picture and I know it made me feel good.  Maybe it could help others.

6.       “Even miracles take a little time” Say this with a smile… a REAL, genuine, I love you friend kind of smile.  And yes, that IS from Cinderella.  And it is true.

But I will reiterate what I said in my “what not to say post”: Sometimes, we think that we are making comments that are encouraging or they are our attempts to be helpful in this stressful situation.  But sometimes, the most helpful thing to do and say is to simply NOT say anything at all (Especially if you do not know the woman well).  And please, don’t hug someone unless you know they want or would like one… hugs do usually help in times like these… no words needed. J Love for all mommas and future mommas.


PSPlease click on an ad to the right or below this post in hopes to raise some money for my little family. Thank you.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

What NOT to say to women who are TTC

A few days ago, I saw this cute pin on Pinterest that said “what not to say to a woman who is trying to conceive.”  I figured oh this will either be funny or informative.  Well, I was completely disappointed.  The post I went on to read didn’t mention ANYTHING about what NOT to say.  It said that the writer wasn’t willing to tell people she and her spouse were trying to conceive (TTC) because then others put stress on you.  So I figured, that I would write some common things I hear about TTC (I want to punch somebody in the face with some of these). I collaborated with my Sister in Law with these.

1.       “It will happen…”   Now, I get it.  Yes, I have one child already.  So I know that it will most likely “happen” again.  Sometimes, I just don’t understand and get run down because I got pregnant with him with minimal effort.  It took maybe 2 months. 

2.       “All in God’s time.”  First let me say that I am pretty religious (go to church, read my scriptures, pray, live the lifestyle/ culture that will ensue), but I hate hearing this… It enrages me.  Not to mention, what if I WASN’T religious?? That could seem insulting or be taken the wrong way.  What if the woman is struggling with her faith and a big part of it is BECAUSE of infertility problems, and then you say this?  It might not help the situation. 

3.       “My *insert female relative here* got pregnant immediately after she stopped trying.”  That is all fine and dandy Miss Johnson who lives down the street.  I feel much better. NOT.  I’m glad that happened for your relative.  What is that supposed to do for me?  I mean really… there is just no point in saying this. 
4.       “You are trying to have more kids?”  Wow.  Is it a crime to try to have more than one (two, or four) these days?  That’s not judgmental at all.  Sigh.

5.       “You’re so young.  You have plenty of time.”  Truth is… I’m not SO young.  I’m creepin’ up on 30 and we all have seen the statistics of high risk pregnancies (or of having one fail for some medical reason) after the age of 35.  I know that complications after that age will not necessarily happen to me, but all the same, it isn’t ideal for ME.  Some women wait until they are over 30 to have kids.  And more power to them.  That just isn’t what I would like to do. 

6.       “Losing weight might help.” This one doesn’t pertain to me, but my Sister in Law (SIS) heard this a LOT.  Weight wasn’t her issue, though.  You do not always have a VISIBLE reason to why pregnancies do not happen or do not “stick” as I say.
7.       “When are you going to have kids? You’ve been married a while?”  Maybe you should just not say this one either… even if the woman isn’t TTC.  Quite frankly?  It is none of our business when others are going to have kids. 

8.       “Oh just wait until you get pregnant! It’s so wonderful, etc” Because that isn’t a slap in the face.    

9. "What positions are you trying?", "What herbs/supplements are you taking?", "What are you eating?" Remember up on number 7 when I said some things aren’t our business? Yeah, this is another one of those as well. Sometimes, this even isn’t appropriate with some family members.
10."Maybe you should think about adopting. I've known quite a few families who couldn't have kids, that as soon as they adopted, they got pregnant!"That doesn’t really make people feel good either.Adoption is a wonderful option, but some women really want to have biological children. I know I would love to adopt (if we had the money for it) after I had a few more of my own biological children.
Basically, what I have tried to do here is get your attention.  Sometimes, we think that the above comments/ questions are encouraging or are our attempts to be helpful in this stressful situation.  But sometimes, the most helpful thing to do and say is to simply NOT say anything at all.  Love for all mommas and future mommas.  Baby dust for all!!

PS Please click on an ad to the right or below this post in hopes to raise some money for my little family. Thank you. 

For a look at what you could say in this situation, read my post here.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Child Treasure Box

     My sweet husband and I have come up with a new idea.  He will be making a small box for our son.  We will be putting small gifts in it for our boy that he can have when he turns 18.  We plan on making these for every future child we have as well.
     Then he will make cedar chest (hope chest) that we will fill and give them when they either get married or graduate from college.  I love this idea!! I was looking on (yes I know) Pinterest and saw time capsules.  They gave me the idea for these boxes.  Of course, we will let him know what fun things are in it as he grows up.  Hopefully, it will give him the motivation to do good so he can get these treasures.  The first thing that will go in this box is this awesome watch.  (I found it From Black Stone Foundry on Etsy Here.  She does some great work and has great customer service.)
     For a future girl I think I'll give her my feather ring. I couldn't get it to load but I bought it on Amazon last year. (here)  I think this is so wonderful.  It's something that I know I would have LOVED as a child.  Maybe you should make one too. :)  I hope you have a wonderful day.
PS Please click on an ad to the right or below. (It give me a small donation to my blog, just a simple click, nothing more).  Thank you.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Update on the Fam!

     Lately,  I have just been busy with work.  We had a ton of annual inspections.  When I'm not busy with work or the little guy, I have had time to crochet up a storm!! I made a massive baby blanket for Baby Leo.

Also one for Brantly.

One for me, for a future babe (the pink and purple didn't show up well in the picture :/ ).
Here's a better one of the pink and purple. :)

 And 2 hats for Baby Kate (NB and 3-6 mo).

     I will be starting one for my son for his 4th birthday.  He wanted red and purple but I persuaded him to red an blue since he like spiderman (they even had blue that had a little sparkle, which is fun).  He likes that idea. :)  I might make him a crocheted newsboy hat like the one above (minus the flower). :)  I have some greys and black... hmmm.
     I still have a quilt to work on for a friend and maybe a few more to do. 
     Our wedding planning is in full swing! Woot! The photographer is set, bridesmaid dresses are set, bridesmaid gifts are set, vanilla extract is being made for favors.  It's going great!  Yay! Still haven't picked a dress tho :/ haha At least the hubs has an easy out with his uniform. :)
     The little guy is still getting smarter.  He is picking up on the second language in our home (Arabic).  He runs around spelling his name all the time.  He also has me spell just about every word under the sun.  He then teaches things to his toys. :)

Thanks for checking in with me. Please click an ad or two to the side or bottom of this in order to donate to the blog. Thank you.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Lace and Tulle Flower Girl Dress Project

     If you know me at all, or have read more than one post on here, you know I LOVE Pinterest.  My sweet friend Angie is getting married to her long term beau this month! YAY!! And she found this gorgeous dress on Pinterest. 

It can be bought from “Frills from top 2 bottom” on Etsy for about $80 .  Here is the link to her shop. 
     Angie asked me if I could make her one.  I thought “well, why not?”  So it became my mission to make a similar dress for Angie as a present. 

1.       First I drew up a design


2.       And found a shirt on a FB For sale page in my area

3.       Also, the bride sent me some matching lace from her dress.

4.       I then, took a shirt from my son (who is the same age as the flowergirl 3).  I took the shirt and traced the front of it on a page of scrapbook paper.  This turned into my pattern.   

5.       I turned the shirt inside out and drew the pattern onto it, pinned it and the lace on the shoulders.  I then began sewing.   

6.       This is where all of that tulle came into play.  I used about 8 yards on the front part of the dress.  I cut about 1 yd sections.  I rolled it from the fold all the way down to the ends.  It looked like a long tube of tulle.  I then cut the tube every 3 in.  The then unrolled the small 3 in sections and cut the strip at 22in.  I pinned about 4 rows of tulle and sewed them to the top, one row at a time.

7.       Then I cut about 9 in of knit, non roll elastic and sewed it to the top and little pieces of ribbon to hold onto the straps in the back.  I then cut more tulle for the dress.  These strips were twice as long and double knotted over the elastic.  I used about 4 yards for this.

8.       I also glued little Rhinestones on the top.  So are in the front and others are on the lace straps.
Here are some finished pictures: 

I think it turned out really well.  I can’t wait to see the pretty little flowergirl in this dress!!! She’s going to be stellar.
PS Please remember to click on an ad or two on the side or bottom of this post and help my little family raise some money. Thank you

My Half Marathon Tips

     HELLO to all my Pinterest visitors!!  I hope these tips help you and please click on an ad to the side of or below this post as a donation to the blog. Thank you. :)

     Now, as a disclaimer, I am not a professional marathoner nor am I working for any company that sells the products that I am about to mention.  This is just what I have learned from my limited experience in running.


     The morning of the half marathon is really NOT the day to run the longest mileage yet.  Now by that I mean (for example) don’t “train” by running three miles like three times and then run this half marathon.  Yes, I did that, but I also had a stress fracture in my foot from it as well.  It is NOT a good idea.  On this last one, I ran 4 mile and 7 mile runs to practice.  This was good enough for me.  Find what is best for you: run longer, faster, etc.

2.    Drink more than just water!  

     Every few miles there will be a water station.  You can grab a cup, trot for a minute while you sip/ chug/ slurp it down put some over your head. J  In between those points is when you’ll REALLY need hydration.  Also know that sometimes you need more than just water to stay hydrated.  You need salt (sodium).

      I found a great “Gu” brand drink mix that I like to use.  It has “2x more sodium” than other drink mixes.  This appealed to me since my body seems to force the salt out faster than the average person.  By the end of my first half marathon, I was dizzy and almost passed out twice because of loss of salt in my system.

3.    Gu Gels!

     Now first thing about these, there are other companies that make gels.  I have only used the Gu brand and I like them.  There are some with and WITHOUT caffeine.  I prefer without.  They do not upset my stomach like the other ones do.  Some people can just open and slurp these things down.  I cannot.  I have to take my time and take “sips” of them until it is gone.   It is good to start with your first one around mile 3 or 4.  The instructions say every 45 minutes of your workout or race.  If you feel weak or run down, have them more often.  I had 3 in this last half marathon: mile 3, 6 and 10.  You can practice on your training runs to see when you will need them.  I did not, but it can’t hurt.

4.    Get a hydration belt!

     If you are serious about running a LONG distance, you NEED a hydration belt.  You can put your id, credit cards, phone in the pouch, Gu brand gels can go in the small slots, and your drink mix/ water in the little water bottles.  These are great for those in between point hydration times. 

     There are different styles of belts.  Research and find the one that you can envision yourself using.  I picked one with two small bottles at the hips for $35.  If I only had one bottle at the back, I would go crazy!  It bugged me enough that I ended up adjusting mine (to stay more around my hips) during this race.  Not to mention the belt with one bottle bottle is tough to get out and who wants that thing sloshing around during your run?  Not this girl!!

5.    Wear comfy clothes!

     I was amazed at how many people were running in long sleeves and long pants.  It was HOT.  I get super warm while running anyways, so I made sure to wear shorts.  Some people run with spandex on under their shorts (like I do) others do not.  Wear what you feel comfortable wearing while you practice and train.  Don’t go from wearing spandex then not… you’ll hate life at mile 6 when your thighs are rubbing each other and chafing. :/ That sounds awful.  I like to have a short sleeve or no sleeve shirt, a material that will soak up my slightly runny nose (that I get while running).

6.    Shoes.

     Now, I know there are vendors at the expo before a race and it is a great time to get a deal on running shoes. Do NOT wear new shoes to a race.  You will hate yourself (and so will your feet).  Again wear what you practice in.  You will not regret it.

7.    Sunglasses!

     Holy oh MY goodness!! Yes, yes, yes.  Wear sunglasses.  I’m so glad I did during this race.  The sun was not only super hot, but super bright.  Protect your peepers and wear sunglasses that you like and that won’t slip down your nose.  No one wants to constantly adjust their glasses during a race.

     I have my Oakley’s (that I splurged on, so I could wear them in my everyday military uniform).  I made sure that they had the rubber parts on the ear pieces.  One reviewer of this product said she hung upside down with them on to make sure they would not fall off her face (I guess she was doing a race with obstacles that she had to hang from).  These ones are great for me and my small face.

8.    MUSIC!

     Not all races will allow you have wear headphones or ear buds, so check and see if you are allowed to on the race website.  I made a playlist of fast music that I really liked ahead of time.  The problem I ran into was that I didn’t make the playlist long enough.  I figured that while the music was set to shuffle that it would shuffle and repeat.  It didn’t.  So there I am at mile 11 pulling my phone out, hitting play again and trying to STUFF the phone back in the pouch and continue running.  I’m sure it only added seconds to my time, but WHAT A PAIN!  Make sure you have enough music on your phone, iPod etc that will last the entire run.

9.    Have a goal

       With that being said, have a goal time you would like to run in.  My first half marathon (with no real training) I ran it in two and a half hours (or 2:30 min/hr).  I wanted to do better this time and get about a 2:05.  I ended up running it in 2:21… not exactly what I wanted or hoped for, but it was still faster than 2:30.  I started with the run time that I thought I could do.  For short distances my average pace is about 9 minutes for a mile.  After about mile 8 I slow down to 10 minutes and so on until I finish. 

     Come up with a goal and get motivated! Train to meet this goal.  And don’t get too discouraged if you cannot achieve it.  No one seemed to know that this last race would be the weekend we would get super hot weather.  It was not normal.  That sure did slow me down.



     I certainly felt like a little kid during this run.  It was HOT!! I mean HOT for Northern California.  I, more than once, found myself praying “Thank thee for trees and shade and wind… oh for that lady with the water hose on her back porch that sprayed me.”   I sounded like my three year olds with his nightly prayers: “Thank thee for windows and the sky and my bed.”

     I never thought I would be a runner.  And I especially did not think I would like it.  I am not a great or fast runner, by any means.  I like that it is time for me that is JUST FOR ME. I get out there and trot along (with a 10 minute pace or so) and just think of things that have been bugging me.  I get to really work out personal problems… I mean really… what are you going to do for 13.1 miles? Knit?  No!  You’re going to run, listen to music, and have your own thoughts to deal with. 

      Using these tips, I had a great run.  I was not super fatigued at the end.  I was not in SERIOUS pain.  I did not pass out.  And I even shaved 8 minutes off my over all time from the first one I ran.  I call that winning. 
PS Please click on an ad to the right or below this post in hopes to raise some money for my little family. Thank you.

Friday, May 31, 2013

It's been a while!

     Wow!  My last post was in March!  I have been sooooo busy... work, school, being a momma... Man!
     Well, my sweet husband finished the first part of his training, early on in this month.  I went to see him for the weekend and it was great!  I was able to watch him be awarded two awards as well!  And now it's nice that now we can skype and talk at night. :) 
Love this man!
     I finished my current classes for college. Yay!!  And the best part of it is that even though I turned in one of my final papers late... wait for it.... I GOT A's IN BOTH CLASSES!! Woooooo!!  That is a surprise.  I thought I'd get a B for sure with that late paper.  I only have 3 classes and a seminar to finish now.  It feels good.  My current GPA is 3.36.  I'm ok with that. :)
     My sweet boy has decided that now he mostly "just wants to snuggle with me ont he couch."  What kind ofmom would I be to say no to that?  He is adorable!!  We have a friend staying with us for a little while with her little guy.  He doesn't like to snuggle, so Dallyn offered to snuggle with her last night. haha So cute.  I mean, it didn't last very long but it was cute.
     The Dog has dug up my veggie garden 5 times now... Of course, I am not happy about it.  I replanted one last time.  At least I was able to recover the green beans and pumpkins that just sprouted.  I hope they survive because the roots were pulled a little.  I guess we will see. The peas are doing great tho!  And it's a good thing because the Hubs and his boy LOVE peas!!!
The limes blossomed into a cluster!!
Peas for my boys
    So this weekend!!  I'll hopefully be finishing the wonderful little flower girl dress for my sweet friend Angie!  I will be posting pictures.  I'm excited about it.  Hopefully, the sewing machine is nice to me and won't mess up.  Please, click on one of the ads to the right to help our family raise a little money. Thank you and I hope you all have a great weekend.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Bird is NOT the word

     Last night, something got me seriously riled up.  I haven't been so excited (even in the negative way) since the Hubs has left for training.  Last Saturday, I was making dryer balls.  I found the instructions on Pinterest (of course).  I was so excited because I LOVE my dryer balls.  They cut down dryer times and that means saving money.  SO, back to the story.  When I was making these dryer balls, they weren't drying... and a horrible smell was coming from the dryer.  I figured it was the wool yarn I was using.  I just kept drying and drying and drying.
     Last night I got fed up.  The dryer hasn't been drying very well.  I got the vacuum out and pulled the dryer away from the wall.  I vauumed inside the lint trap and then undid the hose from the wall.  Without looking I just stuck the vacuum attachment into the wall and noticed something was blocking it.  I figured hardened lint. Then, a bee fell out.  Oh, no... what if that is a bee's nest?  I jumped up and OVER the dryer.  My heart raced and all I could say was Oh. MY. God. I was a mess.
     I couldn't see too well, so I took a picture with the flash on.  That's when I realized.  It was a bird. ... heart racing... freaking out... Then I grabbed the kitchen tongs and tried to be brave enough to pull him out of the vent.  I DID after about 10 minutes of panic haha.  Poor thing.  Another 4 or 5 big ol' bumble bees fell out with him.  I wrapped him in a bunch of paper towels and put him in the outside trash can.
     Using my analytical tallents I figure that he pissed off the bees.  He flew up the outside opening of the vent.  Then fell DOWN to the dryer and got stuck there and with all of the bees.  He was dead when I turned on the dryer Saturday and I basically cooked his decomposing body (hence the smell).  Now that is not a fun way to die.   My coworker said "It's like an animal kingdom murder case." 

Stuck in the wall.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Did any of the plants start to grow? Well come see

     About 2 weeks ago I started my seeds in cups.  Some seeds IMMEDIATELY started to sprout.  The peas and green beans were the first two.  Others didn't do so well: the parsely.  After a few days in what I'd like to call the "Plant ICU" the parsely started to grow!!  But the mini bell peppers, canteloupe and spinach are still there under the plant light.  I am so grateful that my wonderful hubby had that plant light too. :) I hate when seeds "don't grow."  It feels like a failure or that maybe they were "duds."  Sometimes, they are duds... but I think they just need some extra help.  So they are going to stay under the light and get a little extra love for a few days.  Then, they will be moved to the window with the other plants.

The Plant ICU
Zucchini, Grean beans, peas and pumpkins are getting huge!!
     The garden is all set up and ready for the plants to be moved in, too. Yay!! My husband put up some chicken wire in the back for the beans and peas to grow up.  THen he put up some pretty posts that he cut for me up and roped off the garden.  So far, it HAS deterred the digger (AKA the giant labrador mix we have) from jumping in and having fun in the dirt. :) 
The Garden

Close up of the wire bean support

     On Thursday, I will be moving the bigger plants outside. That's when it will stop being below 40F at night.   I hope they do well outside.  The herbs, however, will be staying inside regardless and staying in the mason jars.

     Here are a few more pictures:
Tiny Oregano

Woot!! Cilantro and Basil
Jasper again scopin it all out

I keep forgetting to take photos of the strawberries

The strawberries are doing well

The giant dog

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Family Hike

     On our President's Day holiday we decided to go on a hike.  We have the great blessing and wonderful opportunity to live by Big Sur National Park (here in California).  We decided to see the waterfalls at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.  
     It was a little chilly at first, but we warmed up as we hiked. We saw giant grey squirrels, the water falls, wild strawberries, a banana slug and more. Dall and Tyler climbed a ton of trees. In fact, the boy decided to RUN the entire 3 miles up and back down the trail. (He was not tired all the way until bedtime.)  He completely biffed it a couple of times. He would just stop and say that meant he needed some water. After he drank, he'd get back up and go on running.  He would continue with a "why is Momma so slow?"  I'm not slow... it wasn't a race. :) I was just enjoying being outside and with my sweet little family. He even scraped his knee to where it started to bleed a little. The conversation went a little like this.

D:"I'm bleeding." Hiking up his pants to show us his knee.
T:"Do you want me to carry you?"
D: "No, I will just run." And sure enough, he ran off.

     At the top of the peak at the falls, we played on a large hollowed out tree. (hollowed on one side) Then we took the trail the opposite way and saw a great view of the valley. We sat there and ate our little cutties (oranges). :)  Then we RAN back down.  Overall, it took us about 2 hours to do the hike.  We had great fun. Here are some of the photos.
Playing on a tree

Inside the hollow tree

The banana slug

This is how you know he's mine (that's the face I make)
We were all smiles