Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Our Summer Schedule

I'm typing this post from the deck of my parent's mountain cabin.  This place has always been a summer retreat and it's exactly the kind of thing I'm longing for this summer - lots of time outdoors, fresh air, away from the daily to-do's, making great memories with our family and friends.

Before we left for CA, the kids and I had a little summer planning pow-pow.  We sat down with a blank piece of paper and wrote down all the things we wanted to do this summer. 

Here are their ideas...
 
-take a dance class
-slip n slide
-spray park
-zoo/aquarium
-swim lessons
-hike along the river
-play dates
-make our own ice cream
-water balloons
-grow a watermelon


Aside from growing a watermelon, I think we can make all that happen.  And I added a few of my own to the list (on top of a few house projects)...

-start an herb garden
-be regulars at the Farmer's Market
-make some art for our blank walls


We already registered the kids for swim lessons last month, and before we left for our trip, I signed them each up for a dance class.  Mia's in a 5-6 yr old Fairy Tale Ballet class; Sully's going to bust a move in Comic Hero Hip Hop for 3-4 year old boys (holy moly, I may die!); Mack Daddy Jack will be in a 2 year old Dance is Fun class, likely with a bunch of other little ladies. 

As soon as we get back to ABQ the kids will be in swim lessons 5 days a week for two weeks.  If you have little ones that are afraid of getting in the water, I think these 4-5 day/week classes are best, as opposed to one class per week.  Otherwise, you have a whole week in between the pool (if you aren't able to get them in the pool on your own), and are almost starting from square one each class when it comes to becoming comfortable in the water. 

After those two weeks, we'll slip into a more regular weekly routine for the summer.  We decided to choose one day a week for our field trip/special activity day.  So, every Wednesday we'll pick an activity from our summer list and have some extra fun!  Then they'll have dance on Friday mornings for most of the summer, leaving Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays for a regular daily routine, and the weekends open for the Farmers Market, picnics with friends and whatever other lazy or not-so-lazy things we want to tackle. 

I'll be sharing our regular daily routine for the summer next!  What do your summers look like?  Do you have a schedule or fly by the seat of your pants?  For those of you that work through the summer, how do you schedule in time for fun?


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Friday, May 24, 2013

Slowing Down For Summer

I apologize for the silence here on the blog this week.  Thanks to each and every one of you that offered your prayers and kind words on behalf of our dear friend's 6-year old son Grant (I was also Grant's nanny when he was a baby). 


He passed away peacefully and without pain last Friday and fortunately, I was able to make the wake and funeral Mass on the east coast earlier this week (thanks to an amazing husband who was willing to man the fort alone through last day of school programs and end of the year teacher's gifts).   It was devastating and beautiful all at the same time...and also rocked us to the core.  It left us reevaluating how we've allowed our priorities to shuffle out of place. 

I've spoke openly about how much time and commitment the blog takes (and I'm not even a big blog!).  I've had dreams about growing it and expanding but I know that will require even more.  To be quite frank, my family pays the price.  Our time together gets cut short and I'm not fully present when I'm with them because I'm either trying to double task or my mind is constantly on the next post/project, site enhancements, blah, blah. 

In a totally random email, a local woman contacted me for some color help in painting the exterior of her home.  It's been a wonderful experience and working with local clients is something I would love to do.  It certainly got me even more excited about some of the things I had planned for the blog this summer.

Then Grant's accident happened and time stood still.  It's amazing how one event can move other people in so many different ways.  Grant's tragic death was a wake up call for the time with my children that I've been giving away.  They will not always be this young, they will not always be home with me, and they will not always be here.  But they are right now and we want to make the most of this time together. 

The school year is such a busy time and even before Grant's accident I had been yearning for the slower pace of summer.  The kids and I sat down and put together our list of fun summer activities we wanted to do.  I'll share that in a post next week, but one thing is certain - we plan to make a lot of great memories this summer and simply enjoy being together. 

That means things will slow down around here.  My family is my priority and while I love to share them and our projects, I'm not willing to accept the cost of diving into seriously growing the blog this summer.  I still have plenty of projects on the agenda but those will take the back burner to trips to the zoo and afternoons on the slip n slide.  I'll definitely be sharing our house progress as I go along, but not at a pace of 5 days a week.

At first the can't-do-anything-half-way-over-achiever in me said, "No! You need to post regular and often or else all your readers will leave forever!".  But that voice is from a place of fear...fear of letting go.  And I really need to.  After all, it's just a blog right?  :)  On the other hand, I'm too much of an OCD list maker/organizer to just post willy-nilly, so I'm sure I'll fall into a regular, scaled back posting routine for the summer.  If you all are interested, I may share some posts on the changes we are making to our schedules and the way we spend time together too.

Thank you again for your thoughts and prayers over this past week.  I shared more of Grant's story on our family blog today if you are interested.   I hope you all get to enjoy a long weekend with those you love and we are thankful for all those who have paid the ultimate price for our country's freedoms and for those that continue to serve our nation.



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Friday, May 17, 2013

A Request

I'm going to hold off on my post for today and ask instead for your prayers. The 6 year old little boy on that stretcher is Grant.  I was his nanny when he was a baby and his parents are Sully and Jack's Godparents. 

Grant and some other children were playing in a field on a farm while the family was on vacation.  A nearby horse got spooked and kicked Grant in the throat.  They've assessed that his trachea was broken and he is in critical condition.  He was without oxygen for a significant amount of time and although they were able to revive a heartbeat, brain function is unknown.  If you would keep this sweet boy, his other 5 siblings and his dear parents in your thoughts and prayers we would greatly appreciate it. Their faith is strong, hope secure, but hearts very fragile.  

I'll be sharing any updates on our family's Facebook page.  
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Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Clean And Organized Refrigerator

We can be honest here, right?  I should have known that putting my grand spring cleaning plans out to the cyber world would welcome in every sort of cleaning distraction.  From random needs that popped up to a complete lack of desire - I just haven't had it in my to clean at the pace I scheduled for the past two days.  I'm making it sound like some sort of self-jinx, but hello, it's just reality.   And those unexpected needs that came up were absolutely more important than my cleaning plan.

Since there was no way I was going to be able to tackle the entire kitchen yesterday according to my spring cleaning schedule, I settled for a task that I thought I could knock out in under an hour.  The big box in the kitchen with the questionable smells won my attention.  I had already done a little work gathering supplies for this project, so in about 45 min I was able to clean and....

clean and organize the fridge

We have a fridge that opens with double doors and has a freezer drawer on the bottom.  I really do love the set up, but it certainly wasn't being used to it's full fridgy potential.  Things frequently got lost in the back and we won't discuss all the fun things that can grow when that happens; different types of food items were all jumbled together (except the fruit and veggie drawers); and it was absolutely due for a good cleaning. 





STEP 1:  PURGE

Just like any other room or space we're attempting to organize, I started by pulling everything out of the fridge.  Anything past it's due date or sporting fur got thrown out.  We've recently switched to the Perfect Health Diet model for eating, so we also needed to rid our fridge of those off-limit food items.


STEP 2:  CLEAN

Take advantage of the ease of cleaning an empty fridge!  Wipe down all the shelves or pull them out and give them a good wash in the sink.  Don't forget the drawers/bins and walls too.


STEP 3:  SORT

The next step is to organize your food.  Take inventory of what you have and normally purchase, then group them by like items...diary, fruits, vegetables, meat/protein, condiments, drinks, snacks, lunch items, leftovers, etc.  Group them in whatever way works best for your family.  Here's how we ended up grouping ours:
clean and organize the fridge!

1:  Cooking (oils/sauces/broths)
2:  Dairy (creamer, sour cream, large yogurt)
3:  Protein (meat and eggs)
4:  Specialty items (coconut flour, white rice flour, etc)
5:  Leftovers
6:  Overflow fruits and veggies
7:  Fruit
8:  Vegetables
9:  Cheese
10:  Lunch items (lunch meat, spinach, etc.)


STEP 4:  COOL TOOLS

A few helpful items can help you maintain your newly fab fridge.  I absolutely love these turn-tables we grabbed for the top shelf (similar to here) Instead of having to move bottles all around to get to what we need, we can find it with a simple spin.  Less frequently accessed items are stored behind them.

lazy susans for bottles

We have a small fridge in the family room where we keep water bottles, juice boxes and adult beverages, so we don't really have any use for this drink rack.  It is however, the perfect spot for a dozen eggs!  And we go through a lot of eggs :)
no cans?  use the racks to store egg cartons

A clear plastic bin helps keep snack type veggies wrangled and within easy reach.


STEP 5: LABEL IT

Who doesn't love a good label?!  OK, maybe my husband, and maybe I do get carried away on the occasional labeling streak, BUT I think the fridge is a prime candidate for a few helpful labels!  

I used a couple of Martha Stewart labels I had on hand to label each shelf.


And I took one of these chalkboard labels to the clear veggie bin.  I love that I can erase, if we decide to use it for something else. 

I also took a couple of the chalkboard labels and cut them in half.  They turned out to be the perfect size for the door compartments, without obstructing the view.   Coffee grounds (which could use a better container), snacks and water are on the right side.
chalkboard labels cut in half for door compartments

Butter, condiments (which used to be jumbled with our cooking bottles), and milk are on the left.  I used a chalkboard pen to label each - they wipe off easily with a damp cloth but won't rub off if someone brushes up against it.

And that wrapped it up!  I should note that we have a deep freezer in the garage where we store bulk meats and other foods.  We separate the bulk meat into meal-size portions before freezing.  The night before, I'll look at our menu and pull the meat out to thaw (placing it right under the eggs).

Overall, it was a fairly quick job and just a few small additions took our fridge from this.....


To this!
organized fridge

Has anyone else been putting off this particular chore?  What are your favorite items and tips for keeping the fridge from becoming a chaotic mess?  And yes, there used to be a clear lid to the bottom drawer but one of the boys got to it.  I'm still not sure which one.


*Linking up with The 36th Avenue and A Bowl Full Of Lemons.
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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Reader Spot: A Shared Room For A Brother & Sister

Today, you're in for a treat!  Gilit from Shoes Off, Please. was sweet enough to send us her shared kids' room.  And unlike most shared kids spaces, this one is fit for a princess and a prince.


I asked Gilit a few questions to get the down low on this utterly charming space....


What was the space like before you began?

The room is really big so it was like a giant blank white rectangle. It calls to mind some museums, but with less light...



What were some of the things that inspired the colors or other choices in the design?

I looove blue so we knew we were going to paint the walls some shade of blue. We also knew we didn't want a baby blue. After that, we were stumped. We went back and forth so much on the shade of blue, whether we wanted to do stripes or one shade on top and another on bottom... this literally took us over a year to decide! We finally chose this deeper blue because we liked that it's more sophisticated and Aiden could grow with it.

Other than that, it really evolved over time based on Aiden's growing needs (read: ever expanding collection of books and toys) We wanted to include personal touches, like his art, photos, meaningful gifts and then when Mia came along we added some pink and more white. I can't wait until we can include her art too!






What were any problem areas and how did you address them?

Hmm...thankfully, we didn't really have a problem area. Unless you count making a boy's room into a shared room... in that case we just added new crib bedding and some new art on the wall! 
Also making the furniture layout work with the shape of the room was sort of a "problem" we just kept playing with it (and playing with it) until we found one we liked!




How did you get your resourceful/thrifty/think outside the box/DIY on?

Oh how I wanted to more of that! We did a lot of waiting for sales (like the huge Serena and Lily ones where we got the bedding) and searching online for deals (like the Overstock 8x10 rug for $100). We tried to think a little outside the box by looking at PB Teen where we found the bed and trundle (also on sale). Other than that, we stuck to Etsy, Ikea, and we were so lucky to have generous family that got us the crib, glider, and armoire. I made the cloud mobile over the changer, the A-I-D-E-N train, and the yarn-wrapped "M" but if we were doing it over I'm sure there'd be a lot more!





What makes the space special and unique?

I didn't find much inspiration online for rooms shared by a boy and girl, let alone with an infant and a toddler. Most of the ones I did find were white or very neutral, which can be really beautiful but it wasn't what we wanted for our kids. We love color and I have yet to meet a kid who doesn't love it also! I love that ours doesn't feel too masculine or feminine to me and I don't feel like we sacrificed personality either.






How did you make this space work to fit your family's needs?

We left room in the middle for big messes! That and finding storage in the closet, under the crib, and in the furniture really make it fun and functional for us.


Thank you Deme so much for having me!!! 

...........................................................................................
 
Thank you, Gilit!!  Pretty fantastic, right?!  I'm in love with the deep saturated blue they chose for the walls, and how well they were able to create a gender neutral space without losing any character.  The pops of color throughout the room make it such a happy space and I can see it being a room that will grow right along with Aiden and his little sis.  What was your favorite part?

Be sure to hop over to Gilit's blog for all the details on this project and so much more!  Like this Anthro inspired tablecloth she rocked out for a Pinterest challenge.  Thanks, Gilit for sharing this incredible space with us!


*Would you like your space or project featured in a Reader Spot edition?  Click here to find out how!

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Monday, May 13, 2013

10 Tips For A Successful Spring Cleaning...So You Don't Quit Before You Start!

Today we officially begin our spring cleaning!  Is May too late for spring cleaning?  In my mind Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer.  The kids are usually out of school by then, so my goal is to knock out a good spring before then!

There are all sorts of helpful tips and checklists out there for spring cleaning, so today I want to focus on setting yourself up for success.  Most years I get pumped up to really scrub, clean and purge our home, but end up throwing in the preverbial cleaning rag mid-way through, or worse, never even starting.

My littlest guy's asthma has been a problem this year, so I'm more determined than ever to not only do this, but to work out a spring cleaning plan that I'll be excited about using again and again.  So, here we go!


10 Tips for successful Spring Cleaning!


1. Schedule It In
Our calendar fills up so quickly, that if I don't write down our cleaning week and treat it as a standing date, then before I know it my week is full.  So, use pen not pencil and block off your days for cleaning!  And be diligent about not scheduling anything that isn't absolutely necessary.

put your spring cleaning on the calendar

I have a couple of things on our calendar during those weeks, but for the most part our days are dedicated to the cleaning task at hand!


2.  Be Realistic
You may be totally gung ho to get started, but if you set a cleaning schedule that you can't keep up with you're more likely to get discouraged and stop short.  This year I blocked off 2 weeks on our calendar for spring cleaning.  That should allow us enough time to tackle the inside of the house, the garage and shed without hitting burn out.


3.  Have A Plan
There are so many different ways to crack this nut.  Some of us work, some have large families, some are single, and some stay at home.  So, your best plan will be different from mine.  Since I'm at home the majority of the time, I chose to tackle one room each day.  But for you, it may be more effective to do all the linens one day, all the baseboards/dusting/etc another day, or maybe a combination of the two is your sweet spot.  Here's a look at our breakdown....


Week 1:
Mon - Living Room
Tues - Dining Room
Wed - Kitchen/Laundry room
Thurs - Family Room
Fri - Mia's Room
Weekend - Garage

Week 2:
Mon - Boys' Room
Tues - Master Bedroom
Wed - Bathrooms
Thurs - Office
Fri - Steam clean rugs
Weekend - relax!


However you approach your spring cleaning, be sure to have an overarching plan of attack before you get started. 


4.  Many Hands Make For Light Work
Make it a family affair.  I've been guilty of waiting until the kids nap or go to bed at night to do housework.  I'm faster and more efficient when I don't have to worry about little hands that may or may not actually be helping.  But those are generally the times of day that I'm tired and lacking both energy and motivation.  Sure it may take longer, but get your little ones involved.  Chances are they love to "help" and it will instill in them a sense of pride and ownership as you take care of your home together.  Older kids can be given their own responsibilities - particularly in their own rooms.  If kids aren't a factor, it's easier to stay motivated and productive when you team up with your partner.  And single friends, don't be afraid to enlist some help! A lot can get done when everyone works hard together for 30 min! 


5.  Start With The Easiest Room First
It's sort of like the debt snowball concept....when tackling debt, you pay off your smallest debt first to quicly get a sense of accomplishment and gain momentum.  Same applies with spring cleaning.  It's a big job!  So, start with an "easy" room or task.  As much as it will feel great to tackle that room whose door you keep locked whenever company is around, it will take a lot of focus and effort.  Give yourself a good start.  We began with our living room...the one room I try to keep neat even when the rest of the house is in shambles.  And I still discovered this when I moved the couch.

Who knew we were running a toy operation from underneath our couch.  Even those "easy" rooms may have unknown clutter to deal with, so set yourself up for success by starting with a smaller task at the top of your list.


6.  Designate A "Dump Spot"
Not everyone may need this, but since there are a lot of rooms that currently need a good purge in our home, the "dump room" is key.  As you go through drawers, cupboards and baskets you'll find a lot of things you can throw away, a lot you can give away, but also a lot that needs to be put away but doesn't have a home yet.  In order to avoid piles of stuff-I-don't-know-what-to-do-with accumulating around the house as you are trying to clean, designate a holding place to put all those items that you will need to deal with later.

For us, that room is the office.  A lot of what I find are papers that need to be filed, magazines I want to keep for later reference and random craft or office supplies.  As we clean, our left over to-do piles go in that room.  And we schedule that room last on our clean-up schedule.  


7.  Purge, Clean, Put It Back Together
Just as having a cleaning schedule is important, having a plan for each room is important too.  There are a number of checklists out there to keep you on track.  Two of my favorites are this one from A Bowl Full Of Lemons  and this one from Ask Anna.  My overall goal for each room is to purge every closet/drawer/cupboard/basket/bin, pulling out anything to toss, donate, or sell.  Then give the room a good deep cleaning (using those handy checklists above), and finally put everything back in place in an organized way.


8.  Keep A "Fix It" List
Often when we're cleaning and organizing a room, we'll come across random issues that can eat up precious time.   Try not to get distracted.  This is your time to clean, so stick to your vacuum and make a running list of things to address once your are done with your spring cleaning.  If you end up finishing your room or cleaning item for that day and have time to fix that broken handle, go for it.  But if it's going to eat into the next item on your list or throw off your schedule, save it for the end.


9.  Get Pumped!
Ok, granted there are some of us that get all excited about the thought of a dirty floor and a mop.  I, however, am not one of them.  I love having a clean house, I just don't love the process of getting it there.  Anything, you can do to make the process more fun is going help keep you going!  Turn up your favorite tunes, burn a candle, or keep your favorite drink with you.  I like to pour myself a tall iced coffee in a lidded cup and it comes right along with my cleaning caddy.



10.  Be OK With Less Than Perfect
So, you don't get to quite all of the baseboards today, or that darn kitchen is more of a clutter bomb than you realized.  Do what you can and celebrate what you've accomplished!  Anything you do is an improvement to the state of your home before, so celebrate!


And on that note, I'm back to my own task for the day.  Otherwise, my living room will stay just like it is (mid-clean) at this very moment.


*There are so many other tips and tricks out there for a good spring cleaning.  Let's hear some of yours!  How do you set yourself up for a successful spring cleaning?  What are your best cleaning tips?  Who else waited until May to get down and dirty with their cleaning?


Linking up at A Bowl Full of Lemons!


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Happy Monday!

Happy Monday!  I hope all of you mothers, grandmothers, godmothers, aunties, etc.  had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend!

This was truly the best shot of me and my bunch from the day...
Mia and I do American Heritage Girls (similar to Girl Scouts) and her troop was handing out carnations after church....hence the super-fancy-Target-employee-esque polo and khaki's for Mother's Day.

It was a great weekend - a mix of relaxing and productive.  We finally fixed the curtain rod in the living room and moved the curtains over from the dining room.  Which meant our dining room windows were left bare.  I've been looking all over for fabric or curtains that struck my fancy but everything seemed to be a little more than I wanted to spend.  Then I remembered this fabric I bought several months ago....

Don't mind the random paint chip under there.  The fabric is from the Ty Pennington Impressions line and I love the print.  I originally planned to use it in another room, but we went with a different color scheme.  It's more than enough fabric for two curtain panels, so we're working with what we've got!  Which means yet another tweak to our dining room plans.  I think it's time to finally nail down a plan for that room and the living room update now that we have some permanent (ish) elements in place.  Anyone else discover some useable items you already own over the weekend?



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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Glossy Pages

If you follow along via Facebook or Instagram then you've probably already heard this news...but it's just too incredible to me not to share it here!  Way back when Young House Love featured our breakfast nook, it was like a whirlwind hit.  This poor little blog site was crashing from the sudden increase in traffic from readers clicking over for more details on the nook project.  So many sweet and thoughtful comments were left and some of you even stuck around as regular readers....have I ever thanked you for this?!?!  Truly, you all mean the world to me!

Apartment Therapy saw the feature over on John and Sherry's site and a couple of days later, they featured our nook on theirs.  Talk about an incredible week and feeling some blog-world love!  But it didn't stop there...

A few days later I was contacted by This Old House Magazine.  They were interested in featuring the nook as part of their "Budget Redo" column.  And I. about. died. 

Never in a million years did I dream that sharing our DIY efforts to turn this old house into a home for our family would land us in the pages of a real life magazine.  Well, technically it's only one page, but there she is in the June issue of This Old House Magazine!! 


They featured it on their website last week  and the June issue should hit news stands by the end of this week.  One of James' coworkers subscribes to the mag and brought in his copy a little early for us.  Seriously, Christmas in May I tell ya!



I'm just so overwhelmingly grateful that I get to do this....that I get to share a little bit of our life and home with you, be part of such a gracious and giving community, and experience opportunities that I never even dreamed to dream.  This blog has become so much more than just an outlet for a stay-at-home mom who likes to get her paint on.  And there are more exciting things happening for the blog this summer that I can't wait to share with you!  Thank you for all of your sweet comments and for stopping by each day.  You make this such a happy place for me, and I hope it's one for you too!



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Monday, May 6, 2013

A Perfect Health Diet Meal Plan

I've been sharing bits of our family's decision to commit to 30 days of better eating over on our family blog.  OK, it's really my crazy train and James was willing to keep me company for the ride.  We're following the Perfect Health Diet, which is a version of Paleo eating with a few more food allowances.  It's basically no sugar, no grains, no legumes, and no vegetable oils.  It was an interesting first week, but I'm finally meal planning to make things a little easier.  You can catch our Perfect Health Diet friendly meal plan over at Crinion Clan today. 

We ultimately want this to be a change for the better for our whole family, but we're transitioning the kids over a little more slowly.  We've started making smoothies with no added sugar for breakfast (sneaking in some health boosters like chia seeds and flax seeds) and I'm loving this Ultimate Green Smoothie Formula from Nicole Antoinette.  Easy steps to put together a nutrient-packed and delicous drink! She shares some of her favorite combinations in her post too.


 Anyone else on a smoothie kick lately?  What are some of your favorite combos? 


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DIY Tooth Fairy Pillow

We've had a wiggly tooth in this house for several weeks.  And last night, with help of a very patient dad and a very brave little girl, it finally came out!  This was Mia's first lost tooth and you can be sure there was a whole lot of celebrating when that tooth finally popped out!  "I lost my tooth" dances, lots of squeeling/jumping, and of course, talk of the Tooth Fairy.  It's a good thing I had whipped up this little Tooth Fairy pillow back when we thought that tooth might come out a couple weeks ago.

Tooth Fairy Pillow by Fresh Coat Of Paint


It was a totally free little project using scraps of fabric and ribbon.  Here's what I used.

- 1 scrap of fabric, cut into two equal squares (whatever size pillow you desire)
- 1 piece of felt
- 1 piece of ribbon

I did this at night and didn't take the best pics with my phone, but I'll try to walk you through the easy steps.

The first thing I did after cutting out my two square pieces of fabric, was to cut out the tooth.  I did a practice sketch of a tooth on a piece of paper...then I showed it to my friend sitting next to me and asked her what it was.   When she said, "tooth", and not "white cloud" I felt ok to move to the felt.  I free handed a tooth on the white felt and cut it out.

Then, I stitched it right onto the center of one of the fabric squares, being sure to leave the top open/unstitched so that you can easily slide in a tooth or note to the tooth fairy.


 Next, I cut a piece of ribbon to size and stitched it down on the inside of one of the squares.  I left myself enough room to fold over the unfinished top edge when I closed it up...but it probably would have been easier to just fold over that top edge and stitch it down before adding the ribbon.

Next, step was to place the two right sides together and sew the pieces together along three edges, leaving the top open.
 In this picture I also trimmed the excess edges after I had stitched the pieces together.  I especially like to trim the extra fabric on the corners, so that when I flip it right-side-out the corners are nice and sharp.

I flipped it right-side-out and stuffed it almost full with some poly-fil.  I filled up to about 1-inch shy of the top.

I couldn't get a picture of this last part because I need both my hand to hold it closed, but I folded the top edges in about 1/2 inch and then sewed them shut with my sewing machine (or you could do it by hand).

I forgot that Mia's bed didn't have an open post to hang the pillow on, so I cut the ribbon loop at the center so that we could tie it to her bed frame.

Someone was super excited and couldn't wait for the Tooth Fairy to come! 
At the last minute she decided to write the Tooth Fairy a note asking if she could keep her tooth.  The Tooth Fairy left her a note back along with a monetary prize.....after she ran to the ATM at 9:30pm because she had no cash on hand.

By the way, what are the going rates for teeth these days??  The two kids that have lost teeth in Mia's class both got $5.00 for their teeth!  This Tooth Fairy is not quite that loaded.  But we did leave her $5.00 for this first tooth (especially since it was a bit of a struggle to get it out), and think we'll be doing $1.00 coins for the rest of her teeth.  Am I a cheap-skate Tooth Fairy?!  Teach me your Tooth Fairy ways, oh wise ones!


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