Fashion Fun--My Little Ponies in Real Life: Fluttershy

This was by far the hardest My Little Pony fashion board I've done.  Fluttershy is such an interesting character, with her shyness and love of animals, her forays into high fashion, and her sudden fierceness if the ponies or creatures she loves are threatened.  But it means her fashion could go a million different ways depending on what aspect of her personality you want to bring out.

When I started, the idea I had in my head was a long flowy dress, but I couldn't decide if it should be her casual look or her fancy look. At first, I thought fancy, but then what for casual? A bunny sweater? A flowy top with short shorts or skinny jeans? The other problem I had was that I like to have the clothes not be on a model, but flowy clothes often look terrible when they're not worn.  I finally ironed it out, and I like the end product. I could have easily done two more boards with all the ideas I had for her, but with three kids on the go, I don't have time to do that.  I'm satisfied with this one.  But I would love to see your creations if you have a different vision!  Just leave a link in the comments.


So far in my quest to put the Friendship is Magic ponies into fashion, I've done Rarity, Pinkie Pie, and Rainbow Dash, and Applejack.  Click on their names to see their style boards.  The products used to make this style board are listed below if you're interested in emulating this version of Fluttershy. ;)

P.S. I don't get anything if you click through to these items.  I just thought it might be fun to check out how the crazy (and sometimes not so crazy) prices on some of these fashions.

Long yellow dress
$90 - bardot.com.au

Turquoise blue dress
$460 - foreverunique.co.uk

River Island bandeau bikini top
$25 - riverisland.com

River Island embellished shoes
$58 - riverisland.com

Pink sapphire diamond ring

Red Herring polish jewelry
$10 - debenhams.com

Sterling silver jewellery
$260 - wolfandbadger.com

Kendra Scott cuff bangle

Bracelet jewelry

Brass chain necklace

Hat Attack brimmed hat

Gucci logo sunglasses
$405 - psyche.co.uk


Life's little ironies

I got told at least once this last week--by each of my children who can speak--that they no longer want me as their mother or our family is just terrible.

We had a game night planned at church earlier this week, and I was put in charge of bringing the games.  My dear husband wasn't going to get home from work until 15 minutes before I had to be there.  I start making dinner, only to have Miss C wake up early from her nap, totally cranky.  I end up having to cook dinner with a 20 lb baby strapped to my chest.  As I'm rushing around trying to finish dinner while going through my game ideas in my head, Miss E yells, "Mom! You should see what Miss M is doing!" I go into the living room to find Miss M throwing the pieces to a game I had prepared all over the floor.

The next day, she begged me to have a smoothie for lunch, then just after I had gotten all the ingredients into the blender, decided she wanted chocolate milk instead.  I told her I was almost done with the smoothie, so she could have chocolate milk and a smoothie if she wanted, but she had to wait for me to finish the smoothie.  While I was blending it, she decided to get the Nesquick out of the cupboard, turn it upside down and pound it on her knee until the lid popped off spraying the contents over my kitchen floor. It's a powder.  And it was on my floor that hadn't been scrubbed in...well, let's just say, a long time.  Totally unsalvageable.

The baby knocks over one of my house plants EVERY day.  We were cleaning and I took some things downstairs to put them away and while I'm there, the baby knocks over the plant, the 5 year old starts screaming hysterically because the baby knocked over the plant, the 2 (almost 3) year old decides take charge and drag the baby away from the mess, which incites the 5 year old to scream even more hysterically (if that's possible) that she's going to hurt the baby.  "Stop that!  You're going to hurt her! You're going to hurt the baby! Don't do that, Miss M! YOU'RE GOING TO HURT HER!"  Meanwhile, I hear the baby start crying like someone just dropped her on her head.  The 2 year old gets sent to her room, for probably the third time that day (because of previous chocolate milk powder incident and a number of fine displays of her extreme stubborness and complete lack of logic--she is, after all, only 2.)  This, of course, means that she screams hysterically for 15 minutes or so, until I can calm down enough to let her out.

We can't forget the fact that the baby has been sick for over a week, with a lovely runny nose and a cough to go with it.  This also gave her diarrhea for 3 days, during which time I had to change her diaper and her clothing EVERY TIME SHE ATE. Like 5 to 6 times a day (or night). Finally, the doctor suggested giving her probiotics, which worked like a charm, thank goodness.  I worried about dehydration at the rate she was going.  Miss E also got sick a few days after Miss C, which wasn't bad until she started bleeding--from her ear. I immediately took her to the doctor, who found a weird wad of something stuck in there, but no ear infection.  Despite this, he decides to give her an ear drop antibiotic, which I have to put in her ear twice a day for 7 days.  Of course, she has to lie down for 15 minutes each time I do this, which she was eager to tell me is a terrible, horrible thing to do to a little girl who just wants to get up and play. Not only that, but the darn 1 oz. bottle cost over $155.  Are you kidding me?

To top all of this off, I volunteered to teach a lesson at church tomorrow.  When I opened the book to read the lesson, guess what it's titled?  "Strengthening and Preserving the Family."

Oh, isn't it ironic. *sigh*


the Olympics and greatness: my thoughts

Watching the Olympics this week has been wonderfully fun.  And a little depressing.

It's fun because we get to watch these amazing athletes, do things we probably never could, in front of the world.  We get to root for the ones representing our country and feel bad for them if they don't reach the medals podium. The attention of the much of the globe is focused on one small spot in Eastern Europe and it's cool to be a part of something so big.

But I've been thinking a lot lately about what my place in the world is.  What is the point of my being on this planet?  What is my purpose for being alive?

I watch the Olympians and think, "Wow! These (mostly) youngsters have found something they're passionate about, put in hours and hours of work, and have become so good at what they do, they get to showcase their talents to the world."

I remember watching the Olympics as a child--my favorites were the figure skaters and the gymnasts who were so graceful and powerful--and thinking, "I could do that! Maybe someday, I'll go to the Olympics!"

Now I'm 35. I have three kids and a mortgage. I will never be an Olympian. And it makes me sad.  Not because I necessarily feel a strong desire to be an Olympic-class athlete, but because I feel like my dream of being great at anything has gone down the proverbial pipe.

I'm a writer.  I've almost completed the third draft of a 70,000-word YA novel. I think it's a pretty good book, but nothing on par with Hemingway, Tolkien, or Austen.

I'm renovating my house on a very small budget, and I like the way it's turning out, but renovating my 20-year-old house isn't going to change anyone's life. My kids don't care.  My husband doesn't care.  My neighbors and extended family aren't benefited by it. I'm not going to win a prize for it. It's purely a selfish endeavor.

I blog.  I keep up this blog and my personal blog. I'm not very good at it.  I don't have the patience to do tutorials.  I don't have the time to write here regularly (mostly because of that book I mentioned before).

I'm an artist.  I'm pretty good at drawing, painting, chalk-work, coloring, graphic design and such.  Friends and family like them as gifts.  I would love to be good at drawing people so I could illustrate books or make a series of characters for a book or cartoon idea for my kids. I don't feel like I can draw from my head, though.  Copying what nature already made or what someone else has is the best I can do. And that's only when I force myself to take that much time, which isn't often.

I'm a mom. I can't really say I do anything particularly exceptional in that department.  Most days, I feel like pretty much anyone who is not a drug addict could do a better job of it than I am.  Some days I wonder why God cursed my kids with someone as messed up as me.  Some days I feel better about it than that, like, "Hey! I did okay today! My kids are happy, I'm happy, I played with them and got some stuff done.  I guess I'm all right."

I'm a Christain.  I love God and try my best to follow the example of the Savior.  I try to be non-judgmental, charitable, give of my money and time to those who need it. I do the things I've been taught will help me stay on the path back to our Heavenly Father. But I'm not Mother Theresa.  I'm not Ghandi.  I'm not even a good neighbor sometimes.

I could go on, but you probably get the picture. I don't feel like I'm living up to my potential. I don't feel like I'm doing anything "great." I realize that's how most people go about their lives. We do our best and that's all we can do.  What I can't wrap my head around is why that's okay.  How do we accept that our best is not really that great? How do we find happiness or joy on a daily basis when we know that what we do isn't going to add up to much of anything?

I also realize that this was probably not the best day to write this.  I'm feeling depressed today.  It's gloomy outside, my kids are sick, and I haven't been able to accomplish anything in a few days/weeks.  But this is something that's been on my mind for a while and it has helped tremendously to write it down. It's really hard for me to share this, but why write it if I wasn't going to share, right?  Maybe someone will feel better knowing they're not the only one who struggles with these ideas.  Maybe one of you can help me understand this in a different way. I hope so.  I hope we can all benefit from each other.

And I hope we can all enjoy watching the rest of the Olympics.  GO USA!!

Be Mine

Valentine's Day is kind of like Christmas in that it's really fun when you're really little, kind of gets less fun as you get older (although Valentine's Day gets less fun much faster than Christmas--5th and 6th grade awkwardness anyone?), and then it gets really fun again when you have kids.  Miss E can write her own Valentines now and it made this Valentine's Day super cute.  I love this one she made for the Mr.  For those of you who aren't experts in following the direction of 5 year olds' writing, it says, "I lik yoor flufy her. frum Emi" (I like your fluffy hair, from Emi) across the top.  (The pictured people are all boys because they all have "fluffy" hair.) Along the side and bottom it says, "I love you. I love playing ponys dady. I love that you play with me."


Girls' Room Reveal!

Ms. E and Ms. M had the privilege of having the first finished room in our house.  I'm not sure they particularly care, but it was such a relief to my psyche to know something was finished and off my list of to-dos. I think the bright colors are so appropriate for my vibrant girls, and the bunk beds make it practical to have two girls in such a small room.

Scribbles&Dabbles: Bright Girls' Room Makeover

The first time I saw the quote on Pinterest "And though she be but little, she is fierce,", I knew I had to put it in the girls' room somehow.  Not only does it describe them perfectly (especially Ms. M), but it's by Shakespeare! Having two English majors in our house means we love us some Shakespeare around here.

When I decided I needed something above the bed that wouldn't fall down if bumped, a vinyl saying on the wall seemed the perfect choice.  Of course, I was too impatient to wait for someone to cut it for me, so I ended up just free-handing it with some leftover paint from the curtains.

Scribbles&Dabbles: Bright Girls' Room Makeover -- Shakespeare Quote

The bunk beds were a thrift store find that I refurbished. I like how sturdy they feel.  And since Ms. E can climb up the end, we don't need a ladder that would take up floor space.  The bedding I got on sale for only $18 a piece!

Scribbles&Dabbles: Bright Girls' Room Makeover -- bunk beds

I wanted more storage for toys, so I didn't have to shove them all in their tiny closet, so under the bed seemed like the best place.  The bed is rather low to the ground and I couldn't find any bins (besides "under the bed" plastic storage boxes.  I didn't want to have to put a bed skirt on to hide them though. My solution? Cut large (Costco size) diaper boxes to the correct height and cover them in burlap. And  since I already had some burlap, guess what?  That means they were free! Tons of storage for free?  I'll take it.

Scribbles&Dabbles: Bright Girls' Room Makeover -- under bed storage

There wasn't much space at the end of the beds and it took me a while to figure out what to put there.  I found this little bench for $10 at Deseret Industries (local thrift store) and recovered the top in some matching fabric.  Now my hubby and I have a place to sit when helping the girls put on PJs or cleaning. (It's really hard to sit on the bottom bunk.)

I found the bigger star at DI, too.  It inspired the rest of the decor in this corner.  I made a second star out of tree branches from the back yard and then spray-painted them both bright pink to match the room.  The prints I made and the bottom picture is one I took over Ms. M's first birthday. It's a fun little vignette, I think.

Scribbles&Dabbles: Bright Girls' Room Makeover -- corner vignette

Scribbles&Dabbles: Bright Girls' Room Makeover -- corner vignette

On the other side of the room is the dresser I redid, the crayon art I remade, and some framed footprints that I had from when the girls were babies.

Scribbles&Dabbles: Bright Girls' Room Makeover -- crayon art

Scribbles&Dabbles: Bright Girls' Room Makeover -- dresser re-do

I wish I had taken some photos before we painted the room, but alas, I didn't.  The room was a dark tan color.  The same color as the hallway outside, which you can see in this first picture.  In order to show better the contrast, I photoshopped the before pictures so the wall color is closer to the original.  I don't know if that's tacky.  I hope you're okay with it.


Nursery reveal! Gender Neutral "Reading is for the Birds" Nursery

After much trouble and tribulation with this room, it is finally (mostly) finished! (I would still like to get a small side table and a lamp to go next to the crib, but I couldn't wait to take pictures for a small thing like that!)

I am so in love with this room.  And the fact that it was the worst room in the house when we bought it, that's saying something! I'm too excited to try to be witty or smart, so I'm just going to get on with the pictures.

Scribbles&Dabbles: Nursery Makeover

My favorite part of this room is the bookshelves and bench seat that I built and installed with a little help from my dad. You can see the post on how I did it here.

Scribbles&Dabbles: Nursery Makeover -- window bench seat

I also made the roman blinds, pillows and bench cushion.  The blinds were super simple, though a little time consuming considering the size of this window.  I followed the tutorial from Little Green Notebook here.  The fabric was a little bit of a dilemma for me.  If you look at the picture above, you can see the chair I refinished a couple of years ago.  I love the bold colors on it, and the pattern, but I wasn't sure how to coordinate with it without competing for visual space. It took me a full two or three weeks of agonizing over this before it dawned on me: don't compete!  I went with black and off-white toile and it blends perfectly!

Scribbles&Dabbles: Nursery Makeover -- window bench seat

I was also a little skeptical of my ability to make a bench cushion that wouldn't look like a 12-year-old had sewed it.  I can sew, but straight lines and zippers are a little beyond my skill.  Then I found this tutorial on Pinterest from Beneath My Heart. Life saved! It was so, so, so easy!

Scribbles&Dabbles: Nursery Makeover -- bookshelves

Above the crib, I put two pieces of art that I made in a couple of hours. I had two old, used canvases that I had picked up at the thrift store.  I didn't want to take the time to paint them white, then repaint them with a picture.  I found an old book without a front cover (Complete Sherlock Holmes--even better!), ripped some pages out and pasted them on with a flour & water glue.  It took a few hours to dry, but then I just drew my design on with a pencil and painted it in! Anyone could do this project, I assure you!

Scribbles&Dabbles: Nursery Makeover -- newsprint art

Some framed pictures of the baby and this wall was finished.  I love that my kids can reach all the books they want to look at and read.  And the Bench seat opens and stores all of our clunky, hard to store big toys, like the girls play vacuum, balls, and Fisher-Price medieval castle.

Scribbles&Dabbles: Nursery Makeover -- framed art

On the other side of the room, I wanted another piece of art that would go along with my theme for the room.  As you can see on the pillows, I found some fabric that had letters all over it.  The bookshelves hold all of our kids books.  Owls are (for some reason) associated with learning and scholarship, and I loved that it all kind of went together.  This knock-off version of Pottery Barn's Vintage Keys from The Charming Nest seemed like a perfect fit.  This was extremely inexpensive for me to make, since I had some trim leftover from finishing the bench seat, and I found some thin finished plywood at Home Depot for around $6.  I think the most expensive thing was the stain and most of us DIYers have that already.  Are you astonished that this is my first staining project?  I kind of am. :)

Scribbles&Dabbles: Nursery Makeover -- Vintage Keys art

The before and afters for you:
Scribbles&Dabbles: Nursery Reveal -- chair wall before and after

Scribbles&Dabbles: Nursery Reveal -- crib before and after
Scribbles&Dabbles: Nursery Reveal -- doorway before and after

Scribbles&Dabbles: Nursery Reveal -- window before and after
Fabrics from Fabric.com
Roman shade: Pastoral Toile Ivory/Charcoal
Bench cushion: Ticking Stripe Ivory/Grey
Pillows: Premier Prints Alphabet Felix/Natural

Picture frames from Michaels
Building materials from Home Depot
All other items thrifted or previously collected