a pretty cool life.: February 2012

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What I Wore

After spending the past week purging in the name of 40 bags in 40 days, I'm trying to become more intentional with the clothes that I keep and what I wear.

Kind of like writing down every little thing you eat while trying to lose weight, there's no better way for me to hold myself accountable than to take a picture of my outfit every day.

School, errands, soccer practice.

sweater:  Old Navy
oxford:  Ralph Lauren
jeans:  Target
ballet flats:  Target

School, soccer practice, running errands.

sweater:  Gap
tank:  Old Navy
jeans:  Target
horribly salt stained boots:  Ugg

40 bag-ing my closet and soccer practice.

tshirt/cardi thing: Costco
tank:  Old Navy
pants:  Lucy
flip flops:  Havaianas (50 degrees in February in Chicago...I wear flip flops!)

 I'm also sharing this post with Lindsey.


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Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday, Monday

The sum of my accomplishments today.  

The laundry waited.

The crummy floor waited.

The dishwasher sat full of clean dishes until dinnertime.

After a quick trip to Trader Joe's, Little Brother and I spent the morning building it together.

And it was perfect.


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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Weekly Pinterest

Project inspiration from the week, thanks to Pinterest.

Much like my sewing this week, I didn't do too much making.

The one thing I did try was this recipe for strawberry honey butter.  Not only does it taste good, but it's beautiful, too!

I've also been enjoying cleaning and sorting for my 40 day challenge.  Purging all the "stuff" is just so satisfying.

Want to see what else I'm pinning?  Check it out here.


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Saturday, February 25, 2012

A rainbow shirt for Sister

This little shirt was pretty much the extent of my sewing this week.  My poor, neglected sewing machine... ;)

Inspired by both Mini Boden and Meg, I used my favorite Sienna pattern (again and again!), shortening it to about 12 inches to make a shirt rather than a dress, and I then sewed happy polka dot and gingham bits into a  messy rainbow.  Simple as that!


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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A useful dining room centerpiece

This has been our dining room centerpiece for awhile now.

Nothing that hasn't already been done a million times before, just a wooden crate filled with some mealtime essentials: trivets, napkins, straws, etc.

I realized I was spending the first minutes of every meal back and forth from the kitchen fetching forgotten things.  Why didn't I think of this before??  Keeping everything together right on the table has made my life a teensy bit easier.

Now if only I could keep Sister from smearing the graham crackers in her hair...

Oops.  Edited to add sources:

crate: Homegoods
trivets: Ikea
cracker jar: WalMart
aqua canister: vintage
rainbow straws: Ikea
napkin holder: World Market
napkins: hahahaha! Costco

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Happy Paczki Day!

My husband and I are both of Polish descent, so Fat Tuesday is known as Paczki Day in our family.

Like jelly doughnuts, only better, we spent the day stuffing our faces with them. Chicago has a huge Polish population, so there's no shortage of authentic bakeries filled with every variety.  (I chose strawberry filled this year!) 

And tomorrow is the start of Lent, so along with waving bye bye to my beloved candy for the next 40 days, I'm revisiting last year's 40 bags in 40 days challenge.  I've got a fresh box of Hefty bags and I'm itching to purge.  I can't wait!! :)


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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Weekly Pinterest

Project inspiration from the week, thanks to Pinterest.

We squeezed in one last Valentiney project and used toilet paper rolls as stamps.  The delicacy of a stamp made from cardboard was lost on a 3 year old, so he ended up with a crunched up, paint soaked wad of tp roll in his hand after just a few minutes...come to think of it, that may have been the best part for him!  Big Brother enjoyed it, too, and stamped the "right" way into a proper heart painting.

Did you see the tip about wiping down your faucets with waxed paper?  It's supposed to keep water spots from appearing.  I just did this yesterday, so the jury's still out if it works or not.

I have a jar of French roast chilling in our fridge in the name of DIY Frappuccinos.  Like I needed more caffeine in my life.  :)  But they're pretty awesome.

And did you see that a regular mouth mason jar will fit on your blender?  The perfect size for making drinks (ahem, see above), one less thing to try to fit into the dishwasher...and my husband teases me that I look like I'm drinking moonshine out of a jar! :)

Follow along with all my pins right here.


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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Sponsor welcome: 13 Pumpkins and Daisy Decals

I'm so excited to welcome two new sponsors that joined the blog over the weekend!

First, meet 13 Pumpkins.  As soon as I saw this shop, I was in love.

The hand painted, distressed wooden signs are perfectly imperfect and I could see many of them hanging throughout our home.  

I'm having a hard time deciding between the Walking on Sunshine, You're Pretty Much My Favorite, and the You Have My Whole Heart! I think any these would be the perfect little pick me up to welcome a little bit of spring and fresh color in your home.   And who wouldn't want to receive one as a gift either?! :)

And not only do they have hand painted wooden signs, but there is also a selection of vinyl wall art. This shop has a ton of must haves, so go check it out!

a pretty cool life. readers can get 20% off your entire order from 13 Pumpkins between now and Saturday, February 25, using the coupon code PRETTYCOOL20. Many thanks to 13 Pumpkins!!!

And next, meet Daisy Decals.

This fun shop specializes in selling retro and vintage decals that can be applied on your laptop, ipad or pretty much anywhere else you can think of!  

Who doesn't want a little bit of personalization for their laptop? I think any of these would be the perfect way to add a little bit of fun onto otherwise boring electronics, not to mention they make it easy to spot your device right away!   

With all the designs, it was hard to narrow down just a few favorites, but the VW bus, the View Master, and the retro camera decals all made me smile.

This shop has a bunch of super fun items, so go check it out!

a pretty cool life. readers can get 20% off your entire order from Daisy Decals using the coupon code DAISY20Many thanks to Daisy Decals!!!

Happy shopping!!

If you have a blog or shop you'd like to promote, please email for rates and details.

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

The infamous no-sew fleece blanket

You know the one.  The one that 7th graders everywhere make as a first project in Home Ec. :)

There are probably tutorials everywhere, but the gist is lay two layers of fleece wrong sides together, make 2 inch slits every inch all the way around, and then knot them all.

To back up, and let you know how this project came to be:

I outsmarted myself.

I thought I could make a quick run into JoAnn's for a package of batting and a pillow form.  Nothing. Else.

No dilly dallying by the spring fabrics and seersucker.  No wandering down the Valentine section.

Pillow form.  Batting.  Focus.

To make sure of it, I even brought Little Brother with me.

3 year old boy + fabric store should guarantee that I left with no more than I intended on purchasing, and in record time.

The plan was brilliant, except I happened to push the cart by the aisle of fleece.  Little Eagle Eye saw it.

Red fleece.  With firemen!  With hoses!  And fire trucks!  There's even a rescue dog!!

How could I say no?

If the little guy is excited about fire trucks with "yadders," I'm happy to oblige.

So after snuggling just a raw piece of fabric for the past few weeks, he finally parted with it long enough for me to snip and knot the edges.  And an episode of Project Runway All Stars later, he's tucked under it again.


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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Happy Valentine's Day, friends!  I hope it was as good as ours. :)


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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Weekly Pinterest

Project inspiration from the week, thanks to Pinterest.

I made the vanilla doughnuts again.  Only I think I way overmixed and they turned out kind of tough.  Oh well.  Pink sprinkly cuteness is all I need.

Big Brother thought these bug valentines were super cool, so I spent an episode of Real Housewives of the OC cutting out mason jars and gluing bugs.  Now that we've gone homemade, I can't imagine buying a box of character valentines from the store ever again.  (Remind me of this when all three of my children are in school and having parties! :) )

I did actually make the sugar cubes.  No practical reason, but they sure are cute!

As you can tell, we're big into valentine-ing around here.  Just a few more days to go! :)

Follow all of my pins here if you'd like.

And if you wrote a post about your Pinterest projects, leave a link in the comments...I'd love to see! 


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Saturday, February 11, 2012

10 on 10

For the first time in all my years blogging, I actually remembered my 10 on 10.

Nope, still not a morning person.

Not sure where the teeny little thing puts it all, but sister can eat.

My nemesis.

Rocket fuel for the mama.

My attempt to unfurl sheets of kraft paper that have been on the roll for years.  

And an excuse to rainbowtize another book shelf.

Snow day!

I accidentally came home with a bag of Cara Cara oranges.  A delicious discovery.

Every day.  All day.

A final touch on Sister's dress.

A grocery store impulse buy.  So pretty.


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Friday, February 10, 2012

An upcycled Valentine dress

I felt like some quick sewing last night, so I took a shirt of my own and turned it into a Valentiney dress for sister.

Same pattern as the last one and a tiny fabric bit cut freehand into a heart.

Hooray for simple projects!

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Valentine Tic Tac Toe tutorial

Today on Sew, Mama, Sew! I'm sharing a tutorial for a tic tac toe bean bag game.  Read all about it right here


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Wednesday, February 8, 2012


How do you celebrate 7 months of life on this earth?

With graham crackers, silly!


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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Valentine gingerbread houses

Our love of gingerbread house decorating has gotten to the point that as soon as one holiday season ends, the boys are asking to make the next.

I felt like I was adequately prepared for the sugar rush (and crash) that goes along with "gingerbread" house decorating this afternoon.

I'm a huge cheating cheater that uses graham crackers and hot glue.

It's fast.

It works.

No one wants to eat candy and frosting manhandled by preschoolers, anyway. :)


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