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Monday, July 30, 2012

10 Disneyland Tips

Exciting NEWS -- I'm an affiliate with Get Away Today and next week they are running some great deals!
Here are the details:

  • $20 off any 2-night or longer Southern California vacation packages (2-night hotel and 2 ticket minimum) with promo code: FAM2017
  • Valid on online bookings made from October 22-28, 2017
  • Combine with any of our current specials - Extra Day Free tickets, Adults at Kids' Prices on select days, 3rd or 4th Night Free hotel specials
  • Can be used with Layaway Plan for just $125 down

As a bonus, just for our partners, we want to give your readers a pre-sale. For this week, they can get a sneak peek and use promo code FAM2017 to get an extra $20 off their packages. The same rules above apply, but your readers will have this week to book as well. Here are some specials they can combine the promo code with:

  • 5th Day Free on 4-Day Park Hopper Tickets
  • 3rd, 4th or 5th Night Free Hotel Specials
  • Adults at Kids' Prices for November 1-23 and December 1-22, 2017
  • Lock-in 2017 prices for 2018 vacation packages
  • Hold your package for just $125 down with our Layaway Plans

We took our kids on their first Disneyland back in July, and we all had such a great time!  There were a few things I was really glad we did or took with us, so I thought I'd share them with you.  This is by no means a complete list of tips and tricks for Disney. The internet has lots of lists like this one, but add my suggestions to others you find online and you're sure to have a great trip too!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Our Pet Nigerian Dwarf Goats

It started innocently enough: family trips to the county fair each summer.  We stroll through the midway, check out jams and quilts, listen in on livestock auctions, grab a snack (funnel cake...plate full of curly fries...fried Snickers?) let the kids each pick a ride, and even get sucked into the commercial exhibits.  And then there were the goats.  Great with kids, easy to take care of, and just so-dern cute.

This is pretty much all my husband's undertaking, though I did help a lot with building the shelter in the back (a giant tarp secured over 3 arched cattle panels), putting up the fence to create an enclosure for them, and sometimes just standing around watching.

We've had them for a couple of weeks now, and honestly it's been pretty fun.  The kids each are able to have some assignments during the day and they love being brushed.

I'm sure you're dying to know what we named them, right?
On the left is Bludger and on the right is Snitch.

(Remember my ode to Harry Potter last summer?  Well, our 8 year old has now read the entire series, watched each movie with us, as you might imagine, loves them) 


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Friday, July 20, 2012

Blog Makeover Tips

In case you mostly see my posts in a reader, here's what it looked like around here before.  

I must say I'm pretty proud of myself that I did it all on my own.  With the help of some online tutorials I messed with html, backgrounds, headers, widgets and css.

Here are some things I learned along the way
  • It's a good idea to set up a test blog.  I went to my blogger account, added a new blog which I made private (so only I could see it)  Then as I played with new images or sizing, I wasn't disturbing my real blog.

  • Save, or export, your current blog before you go changing any html.  That way, just in case you accidentally change some html that you didn't mean to, you have your original blog to re-upload if you need to.  (I didn't have any problems, but I saved just in case) 

  • You can easily upload your own picture for a blog background.  Go to Template--Cusomize--Background Click on the little down arrow by the current background image and select upload image.  There are also tons of preloaded backgrounds, and some of them can be customized further under Advanced-Background and changing the colors.  That's actually how I did mine, but it still feels custom and original!

  • Play around with different color palettes.  It's great if you have an idea of what you want (Pinterest is a great source of color scheme inspiration)  But don't be afraid to throw in a "surprise" color.  I wasn't planning on adding any green to my design, but ended up picking a shade that I think goes along great with the whole look.

  • Spend some time on your favorite blogs too.  See what you like about their layout and feel.  Not to say you should be copying their site, you want to be original of course, but do you like where they put their bio, or how it's worded?  Does it have a lot of white space or lots of fun colors?  Do you like where they have their search button or categories or social media buttons located?

In addition to using GIMP and Make the Cut to design all my new elements, I also used all of these links for help. Go ahead and check them out if you're looking for tips for a blog makeover.

How to create images with more than one link in them--Something Swanky
(like my new header)
How to install a custom header--mayura4ever
How to adjust sidebar title spacing--Southern Speakers
How to center sidebar widgets--SNAP
How to remove the blogger nav bar--Blogger Plugins

To go along with my new colors I redesigned my blog buttons.  If you currently have one on your blog somewhere, I'd love for you to grab the updated one (but the old one will still work on your site--I didn't delete it from Photobucket)

Crafting in the Rain

Let me know if you have questions about anything else I did here, and I'd love to know what you think about my new look!

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Paper Bag Exploring Journals

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fluffy Flower Headband

Last month I guest posted on Flats to Flip Flops.  If you haven't yet checked out Ashley's sweet personality and super cute style, you should!  Then come back here and see how I made this easy headband.
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For supplies you'll need a glue gun, a strip cut from a t-shirt, felt and fabric (I used a piece of a white sheet that I've used for lots of other projects too)

Cut from your fabric 4 flower shapes about 2 1/2 inches across.  Cut 4 circles about 2 inches across and 4 flowers about 1 1/2 inches across.  From the felt cut 2 leaves and a circle about 1 1/2 inches. They don't have to be perfect!

1--glue t-shirt strip onto felt circle

 2--fold each fabric cutout in half once, then half again, and glue near the bottom to secure

3--glue folded fabric down starting with large flowers, then circles, then small flowers

4--fluff each layer with your fingers

5--glue felt leaves to the back

6--tie the ends and try it on (you can skip the awkward-smile-self-portrait though, and just go straight to looking fab)

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Monday, July 16, 2012

DIY Disney Fanny Pack

We're back from vacation!  California was lots of fun, but isn't it always so great to come home and sleep in your own bed?

If we're Instagram buddies then you saw a few bits here and there of our trip, and maybe even saw that we have pet goats now!  That's a whole post by itself for another day.

But today I will share a few vacation pictures and even my cute fanny pack I made for Disneyland!  What? You say there's no such thing?  Ok, you're probably right.  Maybe "cute-ish" is the word.

We survived an 18 hour car ride

Spent 2 days at Disneyland

Went to the beach

I met and had a great visit with Jaime from Polkadots on Parade

And played with lots of cousins and Grandma and Grandpa

On to my fanny pack (we were bringing a stroller into the park, but I wanted to keep our tickets, phone, camera and chapstick on my person at all times)  I bought this zipper pouch at IKEA for about $4, an 1/8 yard of fabric and a package of D-rings.  

I cut my fabric in half the long way and sewed one strip into a tube, then turned it right side out.  I sewed it onto the pouch as best I could (I couldn't reach all the way to the ends with my sewing machine and I was in a hurry--no hand stitching here!)  

Then I attached the D-rings to one end of the "belt" and turned in the other end and sewed it closed.   Then, since I can't think of another time I'll use it, I decorated it just a little for Disneyland--Mickey head and ear rosettes from the other half of my fabric strip.

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If I were to do it again, I would either add interfacing to the belt part, or just use nylon straps (you can find these on the notion wall at Joann's) to make it sturdier so it wouldn't slip through the D-rings with the weight of the items in my pack.

Anyway, there you have my cute(ish) fanny pack!  Or hip pack.  Whatever.  Have you, or would you, wear one at Disneyland?

Do you have a trip to Disneyland coming up and you'd like a way to get discounted Disneyland tickets? Or check out their many other vacation packages!

Visit Get Away Today and use the promocode: CITR to get $10 off any 2-night or longer Southern California package (hotel and 2 ticket minimum). 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Felt Magnet Bookmark

My 8 year-old loves to read.  I think it's fabulous, even when it means she'd rather stay in bed and read than get up and get ready for school.

She also usually has more than one book going at once, which means books turned upside down to mark her place on the counter, the couch, the table, her bed...Not the best way to save a place when I'm trying to clean up.  I'm hoping that having a magnetic bookmark might both encourage her to use it, and also keep it from falling out of the book.


super strong magnets (3.99 for 9)
felt sheets (about 50c each)
glue gun (on hand)
scissors (on hand)

Total Project Cost: $8.00 to make 4 bookmarks


Step 1--Cut these pieces from your choice of felt colors:
1 strip (3/4 inch by 10 inches)
4 circles (1 3/4 inch diameter)
1 flower and one circle (or other shapes you want)

Step 2--Place one of the small magnets on a felt circle, then top with the other, sandwiching and end of the strip inside.  Glue edges to close.

Step 3--Do the same with the other side, making sure that the attractive sides of the magnets are going to be facing each other when the bookmark is folded over the book pages (otherwise the magnets will repel each other, and you'll be annoyed)

Step 4--Add the felt flower and center and mark your book.

These would make great favors for a book themed party, don't you think?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Ruffled Notebook

A while back I shared this during Just Sew Week at Mama Says Sew.  If you missed it, here it is again.

You'll need just a few things to easily dress up any notebook.

Notebook (bought this for just $1 and it comes with a pen!)
Your sewing machine

Cut a strip of fabric...you'll need it to be 3 inches wide, and 4 times the cover of your notebook in length. (for example, my book cover is 5 inches tall, so I made it 20 inches long) 

Fold right sides together and sew a long seam, about 3/8 inch or so.  Turn inside out and press, with the seam on the back (not the side)

Baste down the center (long stitch) and pull on one thread to ruffle it.

Wrap the ruffle (top side down) tightly around the cover so the ends meet and pin, then slide off of the cover and sew ends together.

Now you have a ruffled loop that should fit right over the cover.  Run it through your sewing machine, sewing it right to the cover!  It will be a little thick, so go slowly if you need to, but my machine had no trouble with it.

(I ended up giving these to my girls' teachers for teacher appreciation week with a card that said "Thanks for being a great teacher.  We've NOTE-iced!")  Then each girl wrote a message to their teacher on the front page.  They loved them!

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