A Playlist for the Spring!

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Whether there is actually green stuff growing in your yard or you are still snowed in and looking for the light at the end of the winter tunnel, we here at FTTDWYW felt it was time for a spring playlist to bloom.

1. I Will Buy You a New Life- Everclear (L): They play this song on KROQ (L.A.’s rock radio station) often. Isn’t that the dream? (C): kudos on this song, Leigh! I love it!

2. The Boy in the Bubble- Paul Simon (C): I love this song. “These are the days of miracles and wonder…”

3. Back on the Train- Phish (C): “When I jumped off I had a bucket full of thoughts, when I first jumped off I held that bucket with both hands… now I’m gone and I’ll never look back again… I turn my face into the howling wind- it took me a long time to get back on the train.” Yep.

4. Atomic- Blondie (L): This song gets me movin’ movin’. It’s a good running song. Plus, I love the line about “tonight, make it magnificent… your hair is beautiful… ”

5. The Cheater- Bob Kuban & the In-Men (L): After featuring this song in a post, it ran through my head for weeks. Plus, this is a Vandiver III family CLASSIC song.

6. Bron-Y-Aur Stomp- Led Zeppelin (C): This song takes me back to sunny Spring days driving down the Natchez Trace.

7. Dark Horse- Katy Perry, Juicy J (L): Haters gonna hate. Me? Imma love some Katy Perry. I watched her movie. I cried two times. I’m also loving her song “Birthday”… deal with it!

8. Blurred Lines- Robin Thick (C): I don’t know why I like this song. One of the contestants on The Voice last season did this song & I liked it with no idea it was a Robin Thicke song.

9. Happy- Pharrell Williams (L): A friend of mine joked on Twitter that this song is our generations “If You’re Happy And You Know It…” Pharrell has had THE year this year. And I love neo-throwback soul anyway I can get it.

10. Slow Ride- Foghat (L): If this song weren’t over eight minutes long, this would be my go-to karaoke jam.

11. You Dropped the Bomb on Me- The Gap Band (C): Leigh and I used to have choreographed dance moves for this song.

12. Rad Doll- Aerosmith (C): let’s keep this party moving! Love me some Aerosmith now!

13. Our Day Will Come- Ruby & the Romantics (L): During the two days that California actually saw serious rain, I had the good fortune to be traveling. I was sitting in my car, stalled in traffic, rain just POURING to the point where the wipers on high were outmatched. This song came on and all I could do was smile. The tone in the song was so far removed from where I was that I had to appreciate the irony.

14. Radioactive- Imagination Dragons (C): I just love this song. Yes. Yes. Yes.

15. I Love L.A.- Randy Newman (L): Y’all have to give me this one. Whenever someone comes to visit, and I pick them up at the airport, I feel it is my obligation to play this song at least once.  “Everybody’s very happy… ’cause the sun is shining all the time… It’s just another perfect day…”

16. Blue Moon- Beck (L): I love funky/weird Beck. But I also love Sea Change Beck. This song is a dreamy, breezy song that I’m digging.

17. Call Me the Breeze- J.J. Cale (C): J.J. Cale is where it is at. He was the man. He wrote this song- Lynyrd Skynyrd made a hit. Eric Clapton covered several J.J. Cale songs including “Cocaine” and “After Midnight” and Widespread Panic does several J.J. Cale covers including “Traveling Light” and “Ride Me High”. If you have never listened to J.J. Cale- check him out because he gets after it.

18. Like A Rolling Stone- the Rolling Stones (C): Love it when big bands do covers- Mick kinda cleans the vocals up on this song… but, “how does it feel to be out on your own with no direction home… like a rolling stone?”

19. Supernova- Ray LaMontagne (L): I will always give every new Ray LaMontagne album a chance.

20. Heartbreak Dream- Betty Who (L): I’m surprised I haven’t heard this more in the background on this springs CW line-up. I’m looking at you Reign and MTV’s Awkward.

21. Doses & Mimosas- Cherub (L): I predict this will be a song of the summer… mark my words. Coralie, listen to this song. I think you’ll love it.

22. Talk Dirty- Jason Derulo (C): I totally heard this song for the first time watching Dancing With the Stars. This song was better than the dance.

23. The Monster- Eminem, Rihanna (C): these two make good songs together. Eminem is not afraid to delve into the dark side of anybody or anything- that’s one of the reasons that I have always liked him. Rihanna’s voice balances that well.

24. Brass Monkey- Beastie Boys (C): Yes- roll the windows down, turn this up and roll.

25. Apache- The Sugarhill Gang (L): This song. So bad. But, so good. Whatever you do, don’t look for the video on youtube.

26. Okayalright- moe. (C): “Okay. Alright. Okay. Alright. Okay. Alright.”

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A Craft Room of One’s Own: A Dedicated Crafting Space

It has been a dream of mine for years to have my own dedicated crafting space. Up until this point, my crafting has been done on various available surfaces only to be stowed away haphazardly if company was coming over. There is nothing more frustrating (okay, there are many things more frustrating, but…) than setting up your entire sewing operation on the dining room table only to have to take it all down when guests are coming and then RE-set it up after they leave to finish a project. In our old Chicago apartment, we had a second bedroom, but it was so wee-tiny that I just gave it to Josh as his Geek-a-torium. Our current apartment, however, has quite a sizeable second bedroom and I have finally been able to realize that life dream of having my own office/work room. Although I still share it with Josh and his computer/desk (and the futon when guests spend the night) this is still a big deal for me.

During the chaos of moving and unpacking, this second bedroom turned into a staging area/catch-all for everything… but thanks to my parents recent visit I finally got it all together. Leave it to a parental visit to motivate one into finishing ALL OF THE PROJECTS. From finishing detail wall paint work to re-organizing the pantry, so many projects that had been left for another day got done. But what I found funny about the experience was the amount of projects that were holding other projects up in the works. But, again… houseguests are the best motivator.

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Hey look! There’s the hat from this project! And the boxes from here! And… an Alf puppet of Jojo’s. It really is amazing how your really have to pull everything out in order to properly put it back in, you know? As I sat in the middle of the craft storm, sorting like-with-like, I was acutely aware of the overwhelming nature of a ‘mess’. But, I persevered.

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See? Much better! The mess has been contained. And quite smartly, no? Collections have been united and re-united. Art has been hung. Issues were addressed. Things were tossed. Although there are still a couple things I would still like to do, it’s really brought my hobby together.

Here is my desk/sewing table. Notice the bulletin board.

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Call me cheesy, but I love a good bulletin board. Josh jokes a lot about having a “vision board,” but I kind of believe in those things. If nothing else, bulletin boards are a good place to put things that inspire you. In my quest for a board for this room I found an awesome, yet more-expensive board that was glittered. I’m 33, but I will always love a good glitter. Having seen several pins on Pinterest touting a secret, new, mess-free/great-results way to work with glitter, by using Mod Podge and acrylic sealer (both of which I had on deck), I decided to tackle it myself. I taped it off, sanded the surface, got out my handy-dandy cardboard spray-paint box, and began working with my dread nemesis: glitter. Maybe I did it wrong. But, for me? This was an epic fail. Not only was the coverage way uneven, but glitter is the worst. We’ll be finding pieces of that glitter for the rest of our lives, no matter how contained I tried to make it. After scraping the application off,  I ended up just spray painting it many, many, many, many times. And BOOM! Just like that… this post has become a Pinterest Experiment!

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I have this great bakers rack that was previously used in our kitchen pantry in Chicago. It did bakereditfinalnot, however fit in our kitchen/pantry in Burbank. I was actually really excited to be able to repurpose this piece in my craft room… especially to organize the fabric hoard. Hey, look! There’s the glass jars with animals and the plastic fabric bags! So, what to do with all that fabric? Even after swearing up and down that I would never Mod Podge another box, I went ahead and did just that. But, of course on a bigger, more tedious level… which I also predicted I would do. Since I already had the paper from the last project and the remaining boxes from the move saved just for this purpose, I gritted my teeth together and Mod Podged some boxes.

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As with my other cardboard tutorial, I stand by the fact that a large, serrated bread knife is the best thing to cut cardboard. I started by cutting off all the flaps evenly from the top (pic 1). Since these boxes were bigger than when I last tackled this project, I thought there was a little bit more boxfinalfinalroom to add some flare. Not only that, but to make the flare functional. With a cut in the front on the box, I am able to see the contents of the box. I measured the chosen front side of the box  with a quilters ruler (great multi-purpose tool), and created my cutting pattern. The rest of the process was identical to the last box-covering tutorial. I created the curve design by using a plastic cup as my template and then while decoupaging make sure to cut the paper in slits in order to form the non-janky curve cover.

After storing it haphazardly in my bedroom, I am so glad to finally display my craft book library. Although some books are out on loan, it looks nice to have it all together.

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Above is what I am calling “The Annex” as it is the filing cabinet, printer/scanner, filming equipment, jersey fabrics, aux speaker, Tardis portion of the craft room.

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Again, there are still some things I would update in the future (when the opportunity presents itself) like painting the two shelves my power yellow in The Annex… but I guess I’ll just have to wait for the next houseguest visitor!

What do you think? Do you have a hobby hoard? Do you have any secrets to keeping it all together? As always, let us know!

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Mexican Crockpot Chicken- Just Do It!

I have a crock pot recipe for you that you need to make sure and make a note of- this one is goooood. You will never guess where I found it- yep, Pinterest! I tweaked it only a little simply because I did not have one of the ingredients.

I started out by putting 2 frozen chicken breasts in the bottom of the crock pot. Yes, frozen chicken. Until this recipe, I thought all meat had to be thawed before it could go in the crock pot- but, not the case! Next I added a can of rinsed and drained black beans, a can of Rotel tomatoes- complete with the juices and a can of whole kernel corn- also complete with the juices.

in the potNext I added 2-3 tablespoons of my homemade ranch seasoning, 1 teaspoon of cumin and onion powder each. I omitted the tablespoon of chili powder because I was thinking it called for the cayenne and that would have been way too much heat for us. And the original pin called for an 8 ounce block of cream cheese but when I pulled out the cream cheese that I had, it was green! So, I put about a cup of plain Greek yogurt on top. I let this cook in the crock pot for about 7-8 hours- and the end result was so delicious!

fresh out the potYou are never going to believe what I served this over! Never! But, just in case you can’t guess- I served it over quinoa and topped it with a little shredded mozzarella. And dear reader, this one is a keeper! It will make it on our menus all summer!

Mexican Crockpot ChickenWith the leftovers, I made burritos- that were also awesome for lunch and for taking to work. This one really surprised me AND the fact that it started with frozen chicken kind of blew my mind in a great way!

Mexican Crockpot Chicken- just do it!
 
Ingredients
  • 2 frozen chicken breasts (or 5-6 tenders)
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can of Rotel tomatoes, with the juice
  • 1 can of corn, with the juice
  • 2-3 Tbls of ranch seasoning
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbls chili powder, optional
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
Instructions
  1. Put everything in crock pot and cook for 8 hours
  2. Serve over quinoa or as the filler in burritos or quesadillas

I am always looking for the next crock pot star- please share if you have one that shouldn’t be missed!

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Life Without Cable- It’s Not Too Shabby!

Have you ever woken up one day and realized you are paying over $200 for cable and come to find out rates are going to increase by 15% in 60 days? Well, that is exactly what happened to Bub and me! I will add a couple caveats so you can get a hold of the whole picture here. Our cable bill did include our internet service and it did include five, yes five, DVR boxes. It did not include any movie or premium channels.

Let us explore this for a second. When we moved into our house, we transferred our then cable provider’s service from the rental. And we were fine for a while and then Bub’s alma mater went to the National Championship game and our cable kept going on the fritz during the game. It was a sight for sore eyes to see a grown man literally running circles around the outside of the house, like the friction of his jeans was going to put enough electricity in the air to get the cable to come back on. He could hear the neighbors yelling and he would run faster- it really was a sight.

It was the very next week that we got that service turned off and the next service turned on. See, they reel you in with those first year promos and then the second year, the promos end and you pay full price and you’re locked in with a contract. Well, I started reviewing the bills and checking to see where I might could trim some fat. That $200 cable bill with a 15% increase on the horizon became my target.

I knew we could not live without internet- no way Jose. But, could we live without cable? Life without ESPN is not a possibility for Bub, so figuring out how to get ESPN was the first hurdle. We accomplished that through the use of Watch ESPN app. The second was researching and figuring out Apple TV verses Roku. A simple definition of these 2 devices is that they are a platform through which Netflix, Hulu and You Tube, among other streaming services, can be utilized on our TVs.

We had five DVR boxes because we had one in the den, the living room and 3 bedrooms. I could wax and wane about why we had them in the 2 bedrooms upstairs that are strictly guest rooms. What it boils down to is that Bub and I not only enjoy watching TV in bed, but we sleep with the TV on- and, so we both agreed that having a TV with cable in the guest rooms was important and a nice touch for our guests- hence, five DVR boxes.

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I put a query out on Facebook asking for a comparison of Apple TV and Roku. I gained a great perspective about the two. But, in that process, a friend offered to sell me his, slightly used, Apple TV for half price. At that point, it became a no brainer. We did come to the final conclusion that the Roku would ultimately be the platform we would like to purchase but was not necessary until further notice. The TV in the den is a smart tv and therefore we were only in in need of immediate action for the TV in the bedroom. At this point, we are intending to do some comparison shopping between the Roku and Amazon Fire TV before we make any further purchases.

Not that the Apple TV does not do the job it is supposed to do, but- the channels and apps available on the Roku look more plentiful and awesome. The smart tv… as a streaming platform… in comparison to the Apple TV leaves much to be desired. We also got digital antennas for both the den and our bedroom TVs so that we can get local channels. They work pretty good— we got the base model from Wal-Mart and Bub keeps saying we need to upgrade those too. Ultimately, the plan is to move these digital antennas to the bedrooms upstairs as well as the Apple TV and then put Rokus or maybe Amazon Fire TVs in the den and our bedroom.

We also subscribed to Netflix and Hulu Plus. And I have to say, I have been really pleased with both and we use both daily. We probably use Netflix more but, mainly because it has such a wonderful selection of cartoons. Baby Bub’s latest obsession is trains— my Moma has even let him watch the Thomas the Train Christmas movie! But, Baby Bub will never run out of cartoon options because all the major players, at least it seems, are available on Netfix.

weedsThis is the first time I have ever had a Netflix subscription and I realize how awesome it is! I was able to finish Weeds. I own the first 6 seasons, but never got around to finishing the last two seasons until we turned off our cable. If you have never watched Weeds or started it and never finished it, I recommend you go back to it. To describe it in one sentence- a suburban mom turns drug dealer and all her exploits. The story line, is at times cray-zee, but- it’s a great show and absolutely entertaining.

Parenthood2goodThe second show that has captured my attention is Parenthood. I don’t know how long it has been on air or anything. I did see some snippet of the current season and was shocked at what seemed to be the plot line- I guess I will get there soon enough. However, I really like this show. It’s about four adult siblings and their lives and how their lives and drama continue to be intertwined. Yes, it’s drama packed, at times awkward and I am totally enthralled.

orangeAnother show that Bub and I have embraced is Orange is the New Black, a Netflix original. This show, created and produced by the same folks who did Weeds- is CRAY-ZEE! Granted, we are just making our way through the very first season- but, each episode leaves me wanting more! Hold onto to yourself with this one because— I mean, it’s awesome. I am fascinated with this show in a way because it adds a story to a culture, an inmate culture, that is somewhat out of the realm of everyday thought… the premise of the show- a girl did something illegal and just before the statue of limitations is passed, she gets called and sentenced to prison time. And the show is all about how she navigates prison life. Yep. It’s fascinating.

hoj2And those that know me, know I love reality TV and dear reader, not having cable did not stop me from finding a great new to me reality TV series- House of Joy. I have never heard of Joy or her husband but apparently, he is a very successful music producer. His wife, is so charismatic and his children adorable. Not to mention, all her family lives in the house with them— they have birthday parties, they vacation to Hawaii and she takes dance lessons from P.Diddy’s choreographer- what’s her name, the bitch? So- anyway, another great show I would have never found had we not canceled cable.

To recap. Life without cable- is not too shabby. It has taken some getting used to but, the $20 cable bill as opposed to the $160 had helped us get through the adjustment phase. ($230-$70= $160) And, it has some perks too- like getting to finish shows I started 8 years ago as well as start shows that are 5 seasons down the road. Plus, Hulu Plus helps us keep up with the prime time shows that we enjoy like Modern Family, the Middle and the Neighbors. I can safely say that Bub and I would both recommend anyone at least review their options as far as cable goes. Saving money is def fun!

Are there any other bills that you have managed to trim to save some money. We are always open to the possibilities of saving money!

Christmas Party Dancing

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Personalized, Embroidered Wall-Medallions

So, this is kind of funny. I’m writing the admin intro for my own guest post. A few months ago, Coralie signed us up to guest post on another blog during their “Crafting for Baby” series. We did. It was a hit! They requested that we wait a few weeks before re-publishing the post on our own blog… so, we did. But, here it is! It’s near and dear to my heart so I wanted to share it with FTTDWYW, too. Here it is in its entirety.

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Hi, Everybody! It’s Leigh here from Fun Things To Do While You’re Waiting! I’m the one on the left! Fun Things To Do While You’re Waiting is lifestyle blog run by my way-back-highschool-bestie Coralie and me. We somedayprofiletalk about a little bit of everything on our blog: clean recipes, think-pieces, and DIY Lifehacks… to name a few. We also talk a lot about crafts. We are both lovers and artisans of an assortment of crafting mediums- from Appliques to Zippers… and everything in between. When Coralie signed us up to Guest Post for Someday Crafts “Crafting for Baby” series, we put our heads together about what craft we could share with y’all. The submission request was for an original/never-before published idea for a baby craft. A lot of previous baby crafts I had made (like the Star Trek: TNG Captain’s Onesie) were variations on already published themes. But for the Someday Crafts audience, we wanted to do something really special. So, without further adieu, may I present a FTTDWYW original craft: Personalized Wall Medallions.

Personalized Wall Medallions

 

As Coralie was/is one of my closest friends, when she told me she was pregnant with her son, I knew I wanted to create something special for her and her baby. I wanted to do something of heirloom quality that could be used more than just once. As I had learned my lesson about never making hand-crafted baby clothes again, I searched the internet and Pinterest for ideas. I wanted something versatile that would grow with the baby. I had recently finished apillowfrontfinalfinal scrap-busting, decorative pillowcase project for our couch made by connecting yo-yos. If you aren’t familiar with them, yo-yo’s started as a popular quilting technique in the 1920′s. There is a great tutorial for making yo-yo’s here at prudentbaby.com. Although most quilters make uniformed-sized yo-yos, I found that I really liked the look of varying the size of the circular templates. Do you see how some of mine are larger in the photo above? Not only that, but I was also inspired by the blank canvas that was the BACK of the yo-yo that was disappearing from view when assembled traditionally.

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See? Look at all that room on the back of that yo-yo! As I had recently taught myself the art of hand-embroidery by closely following Jenny Hart’s amazing book Sublime Stitching- Embroidered Effects: Projects and Patterns to Inspire Your Stitching, the idea of merging the two crafts struck me as a super idea.

My original concept was to make a baby quilt made of both plain and embroidered yo-yos. I went to my local fabric store and picked out several different fabrics that I thought would be versatile, fun, and perfect for a boy’s room. I also used some left over fabric from dress shirts and khakis my boyfriend had outgrown because I love re-using things… almost to a compulsive level.  Something I had learned from the above pillow project was that certain fabrics, although beautiful, do not make good yo-yos. So, choose your patterns thoughtfully. I played with various circle template sizes, enlisting everything from a 7-11 Big Gulp cup to a large salad bowl. For the embroidered pieces, I knew I wanted personalized information both about the baby and his parents. I researched fonts and animal patterns and hand-drew patterns with an water erasable fabric marking pen onto pieces of yo-yo fabric that had not been cut into circular templates yet. Once I had hooped, embroidered, and then unhooped the piece, I would then center the template over the embroidery pattern, cut, and then stitch into a yo-yo.

Over the process of weeks, I stitched ALL OF THE YO-YOs and vowed I would never do another yo-yo project. As I began laying out the embroidered yo-yos to see how I wanted my quilt to shape up, I noticed that I actually really liked the organic way the yo-yos were forming around the embroidered pieces. I began hand stitching the yo-yo’s together by inserting a threaded, knotted needle inside of the hole of the completed yo-yo exiting the yo-yo on the circle’s rim. Using a hidden stitch, I began attaching yo-yo’s around all of the embroidered medallions. As the pieces began to grow, I kind of grew to love the look of them on their own, not muddled together in a quilt. And since fabric, nursery wall art is a thing, my quilt became wall art and I couldn’t be happier with stepping outside the crafting box. After connecting the yo-yos in the pattern to my liking, I stitched loops on the back of the pieces to make them easier to hang.

For sake of anonymity, we have blurred out some of the personal information in the below pictures, but we think you can get the idea. What makes this project so versatile is that it can be made to suit any child. You can change the colors or the embroidery to what ever your heart desires. The options are limitless.

Personalized Wall Medallions

 

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 The above was the centerpiece of the collection. I embroidered the baby’s name and birthday on the center yo-yo, and made two additional embroidered pieces: one of the state of Alabama, with a heart over Gulf Shores (where they reside), and another with the parents names, birthdays and wedding date “carved” into a tree. Mom and Dad

For the other “medallions” as I began calling them, I stitched a cute, woodland fox, the Alabama state flag, and an alphabet sampler.

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I mailed them to Coralie for Christmas (two months after the baby had been born, and loved what she did with them. In fact, she is the one who took most of these pictures! Despite me living in Southern California, and her living in Southern Alabama, our blog is marvelously collaborative!

Thanks for reading! And please come visit us as Fun Things To Do While You’re Waiting!

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*Originally published here on Someday Crafts.

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Repurposed River Rock Back Porch Mat

Okay. So, I found this pin on Pinterest a while ago that caught my eye about how to make a River Rock mat. I know you are shocked I found this on Pinterest. But. I even bought River Rocks months ago with the intention of knocking this project out. Somehow they got shoved in a drawer and the project forgotten. But, I was digging through that chest recently and found them! So, they made it back on the radar.

It was about the time that I refound the river rocks that I noticed our back door mat was in need of replacing. Do you see where this is going? I did not even bother to go back and look at the pin. The pinner had glued the rocks to drawer liner- which, I am using a different base. I also knew that I needed some heavy-duty glue. So, I have heard my both my Moma and Daddy, separately, talk about the wonders of Gorilla glue. Both swear the stuff will bind anything to anything for forever. Check. Check. Check.

startersI got busy gluing. I read the instructions on the Gorilla glue and it said that one surface needed to be wet. Well, the doormat had been outside during the last downpour before last, so I figured I was good.

progressIt took me about two and half hours of gluing to get the entire surface covered. And I am not going to lie- I loved it! I was a little concerned that Bub would not like it so much or have some technical issues with it- like it having a rocky surface. Yes, seriously. But! He went for it! the final Check!

Repurposed River Rock MatDon’t you agree? It’s pretty awesome. Baby Bub was a little hesitant to step on it. But then he got over that- quickly.

The weather has been so awesome lately. We have been spending a ton of time outside messing with plants. Baby Bub loves running around the yard. Childlike wonder is really something to behold. The whole while Bub and I do our thing while Baby Bub runs amuck.

So, this is what happened… Baby Bub got loose with a gardening spade and used it in a hammer like fashion on my freshly completed River Rock back porch mat. Yep. He sure did. When he was doing it I wasn’t overly concerned because I had total faith in Gorilla glue. I still have faith in Gorilla glue but, I now have a keen understanding in my failed interpretation of the instructions on the glue!

uhhhhSo… as awesome as the River Rock mat was- it was not crafted with enough durability to withstand an 18 month old with a gardening spade. Wah. Wah. Wah.

Have you crafted something that you adored but that didn’t stand the test of time? Let us know.

Christmas Party Dancing

This post can be found at the linky parties below:

http://diyshowoff.com/category/other/that-diy-party/

http://betweennapsontheporch.net/25-denim-bags-purses-made-from-recycled-jeans/

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