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Making the World Cuter: October 2009

A blog where one woman is on a mission to make the world cuter, one kid, cupcake or crafty thing at a time.


My heart stopped...

Today I had the most terrible experience.
It was seriously awful and I have gone back and forth on if I should even post about it, because I am really shook up about it.
Then again, I don't want to have to tell the story more than I have to, so here goes.
I want to warn you that this is not a pleasant, haha kind of moment like what I usually post, if you don't want to have nightmares, you might not want to read on, I am seriously shaking still and this happened like ten hours ago.
I wanted to warn you, because I may never sleep again.

Today I was in one room in my mom's house working on some really cute finger puppets for a Halloween party, and my kids were scattered around playing in different parts of the house.
Two rooms away, I heard something break quietly, like a piece of wood splitting and a little whimper and I thought Topher had been climbing on my mom's china cabinet and broke something, but it didn't sound loud, and I'm surprised I even heard it.
I got up prepared to yell at him when I saw him dangling from a blind cord kicking his legs trying to get back into a window sill.
His eyes were rolling up and he was tugging with his hands.
My heart stopped.
I don't know how I even moved.
But I did, and I got there fast.
I picked him up so that it wasn't strangling him anymore, and had to put him back in the window sill to get the cord back off his neck.
He was breathing, but just lay there limp in my arms with his eyes looking super lethargic for what seemed like forever.
I sobbed and tried to get him to give me some kind of reaction, and finally he started to cry too.
It was the most terrifying experience I can even imagine, and the image of him hanging there will forever haunt me, it seems so surreal now, because he is running around and playing happily like nothing happened.
The only proof is the small scratches and slight red line around his neck and a small splinter of wood that I will forever be grateful for.
I am so glad to have heard that small little crack that saved my baby's life today.
I don't know how many times we have told him to quit playing in the blind cords, he's big enough to climb up and unwind them from wherever we put them.
Chad is cutting all of ours off tonight, I never want to see a blind cord low enough for them to reach again.
I want to put all my kids in a rubber room and keep them safe from everything and I know that's not possible, I am just so grateful that it ended up the way it did, because it could have been so much worse.
Hug your babies extra tight tonight, and cut your blind cords extra short okay?
Because that was absolutely terrifying.


Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!!!

And the winner of the Nativity blocks is....

Who left comment #29?
who said; "Oh, choose me! I collect nativities and I have just the spot for this cute little guy!"

Congrats Katie-click on contact me, and send me your address so that I can get this out to you!

Thanks everyone for entering, and just FYI, there are two more sets left for sale here-if you still want one!

Oh and one more thing...Summer from Sumo's Sweet Stuff that I swapped with last week is giving away the cutest Holiday Board. Go check it out!


Black and White and Shades of Gray

Today...these 2 kids were funny.kid collage
&...This one was sick.
We are getting ready for a week long trip tomorrow and leaving Chad behind to go to school and work, so that he could study and get some practicals practicing in (whatever that means).
I have been doing laundry, cleaning house, taking care of school stuff and running errands all day.
I am pooped.
I did want to tell the funny stories of Thing 1 and Thing 2 up there though before I hit the hay...
First Bekah...
We went to the library to drop off the 4 tons of books and videos we had checked out, and I left the kids in the car while I ran up to the book drop (literally 4 steps away from my car, don't freak out, mom!).
When I got back in, Bekah says; "That sign says, 'Klamath County Library' mom."
I told her, yes it does say that, and I was thinking, 'Dang, my little kindergarten girl is such a smarty pants! I am such a good home school mom, look at how good she is doing!' You know really giving myself some major pats on the back.
Then about 2 minutes later she says, "Mom, how do you spell the letter 'I'?"
Ummmm....and back to thinking, 'Who is teaching this child again?'
Now Topher.
The kids are crazy with missing their dad lately and Topher is taking it especially hard. This morning before Chad could leave, Christopher barricaded the two exits...

IMG_6718 IMG_6719
...and says proudly, "Now Daddy can't leave, and he has to stay here!"
Talk about cute, funny and break your heart sad all at once!
I'm off to Portland first thing in the morning, (well after pre-school)...driving almost 5 hours with my 3 little things, by myself.
Pray I don't hit a deer...ever since last August, I have been more than a little petrified of re-living that experience.

***Reminder to enter the giveaway below-you have until Friday at midnight! I also have 2 sets left for sale in the! Hurry and get them before they're gone!


"Mom, Are You Taking Cooking Classes In College?"

This is the question that my 5 year old asked me the other day while I was online listening to one of my lectures for the week.
I told her that no, I was not taking cooking classes, and asked her why she thought I was.
Her reply?
"I just don't know how you learned to make such delicious sandwiches then!"
That's right. I rock the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Since starting school online, lunches usually consist of something like this...all on a community plate in front of a Blues Clues, Reading Rainbow or Magic Schoolbus that we checked out from the library while I either listen to my lectures, or work on an assignment.
Darn it, I am not learning about the fine art of spreading peanut butter on a slice of bread though...
Instead I am learning this.
A little more challenging maybe, but I am loving my classes right now!
At least my daughter doesn't think less of my culinary skills since I've become increasingly lazy in that part of my life.
Quite the contrary.
When it comes to kids and food, a rule I need to remember...
Simplicity is all they really want.

***Don't forget to... Enter the giveaway on the Nativity Blocks below,
you have until Friday! :)***

1, 2 Tie My Shoe

My kids don't know how to tie their shoes.

The problem is that they don't have shoes with laces.

SO they never get the chance to prac

I decided this is something that needed to be remedied, but they are not in need of new shoes at the moment so I decided to mak
e them some 'shoe' lace-up cards to practice on.

It was so easy, (not to mention practically free) and the kids love them so much that I might just make a whole bunch of lacing cards for them-maybe some shapes, ABC's, Numbers, mind is just full of ideas.

What a great thing for the kids to warm up with in the morning before we start our school day!

I put together a little tutorial so you could see how to make these easily, your kiddo's will have a ton of fun with them, and learn to tie their shoes (hopefully) before they actually need a pair with laces! Excuse the photos I took them early in the morning, as we were starting our school day.

First use a cereal box and trace your child's shoes on it, (I am not a strong tracer obviously).After you cut it out, use your cardboard piece as a template to trace onto a cute piece of scrap paper.Modge podge the paper to the cardboard piece.Go over the top of the paper as well to make sure it will really stick.With a hole punch, punch holes on both sides of the 'shoe.'Take a piece of yarn or string if you don't have an extra shoelace around and put tape around the ends to strengthen and make it easier to lace.Lace your shoe.Practice tying them. Yes my daughter is in her pj's, it happens, sometimes we start school before they get dressed, and I am okay with that.
Now on to more lace up cards, stars, circles, hearts, the kids' names, I am about to become a true cereal (box) killer!




***EDIT: There are only 2 sets left, they're going,
As of when I woke up this morning there are only 4 sets out of the 7 left.
If you want one go here...
If you want to enter for a chance to win one go here...
Have a fantastic day, and don't forget to go visit Summer-below!


Sweet Summer Blog Swappin!

Don't forget to enter the Nativity Blocks Giveaway Below this post!
As promised here is my sweet Bloggin friend Summer!

I am good friends with her mom who lives here in Klamath Falls, and have been blog stalking her for months and months.

She also happens to be the mother to my Porter's future wife-what a small world huh? :)

She makes some stinkin cute stuff, and yummy lookin food and is seriously so dang sweet it makes my teeth hurt! You read her blog a bit, and you will become a perma-stalker too!

Everyone meet Summer!


Hello CUTE readers!

I'm Summer, or Sumo as my husband lovingly calls me. (And now consequently has all of my family calling me. Doesn't Aunt Sumo have a nice ring to it?)

I'm the blogger from Sumo's Sweet Stuff!

Sumo's Sweet Stuff

I use my blog to share my projects, tutorials, recipes, host giveaways, and shamelessly promote my etsy shop!

- married to my best friend

- mother to the most beautiful baby girl
(and a babe on the way!)
- daughter and sister to the best family ever

- friend to some of the greatest people out there


- play piano

- sing

- read

- craft

- go on walks

- spend time with my family

- drink Diet Coke

- bake/cook

- exercise (well, sometimes)
- crochet

- Diet Coke

- popcorn

- chips and salsa

- anything that involves peanut butter and chocolate

- public library

- fall

- craft stores

- black and green

- Christmas
- historical fiction

- cats

Here are some of my favorite baking projects:

From left to right:
- Easter egg no bake cookies, bon bons, multi-colored cupcakes
- Chocolate bowls, jello cupcakes, s'mores cupcakes
- White chocolate cheesecake cookies, pretzel truffles, bon bons

Here are some of my favorite crafts:

From left to right:
- Nylon headband, notebook/pen set, personalized bib
- Fabric covered hangers, bow holder, wood frame
- Fall wreath, re-purposed formula cans, birthday banner

Here are some of the bows in my
etsy shop:

And a few more items from my etsy shop:

I recently set up a blog schedule so you can find something different being posted each day of the week: Market Yourself Monday, Tutorial Tuesday, Mouth Watering Wednesday, Things to Try Thursday, and Feature Friday.

I am hoping to be featuring some holiday crafts and projects for the upcoming holiday season, so be sure to check in with me! I
am sure Tiffany will have lots of great things to share with us, too! Have you entered her giveaway for the nativitiy? Do it. Now!

Come on over to
Sumo's Sweet Stuff and let's be blogging friends now!

Thanks for doing the blog swap with me Tiffany!


Do you want a set of these? GIVEAWAY!!!

***Edit: This giveaway is now closed.
The stickers for these are discontinued.

I know bummer huh?

Luckily for you, I have 8 extra sets...all made into block sets just like this, waiting to be a Christmas present for you or someone you know.

7 of them are up for SALE here.

But there is still one more set left...


By the way...tomorrow I am going to be swapping blogs with someone really cute and fun, some of you probably know her-some of you are in for a sure to come back tomorrow to meet her okay?

And don't forget to enter the giveaway!

Here are the ways you can enter:

  1. Leave a comment telling me who would get these if you win, I am picking the winner randomly, but I am curious :).

  2. Follow me, leave me a comment letting me know that you do.

  3. Put my button on your blog, then come back here and let me know that you did.

  4. Blog about this giveaway on your own blog and then come back and let me know that you did, with a link, in 2 seperate comments-That's 2 entries my friends!

  5. Facebook or Twitter or both about this giveaway and leave a comment for each that you do.

  6. Buy a set of blocks if you want to make sure you get a set, remember there are only 7, and once they are gone they are gone! If you win the giveaway too, I'm sure you can think of someone else who would want a set...come back and leave 5 comments, for 5 extra chances to win!

That's 12 different chances to win!

I hope it's you!

Disclaimer: US residents only are eligible to win, unless you are willing to pay shipping charges.

Giveaway ends Friday October 23 at midnight pacific standard time.

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It's About Time! Block Tutorial

It's about time I make good on my promises huh?
So this is pretty basic, but they make adorable gifts for kids-make a few sets and have them on hand for birthday parties, nieces and nephews, grandkids whatever.
I was going to make these for my kids for Christmas, but they found the stickers, and I never have a free second without them to make them anyway, so they got them today.
I made a huge set, since my kids LOVE blocks, I think this set has over 30...I lost count.
First your supplies...
You'll need modge podge, a couple different colors of paint, at least one sponge brush and wood. I like to have a couple different sizes so that I get a good variety of blocks-so I have a 2x4 and a 2x3.
Next you will need to pick out your stickers-these are Doodlebug Designs, and I used both sheets. A good set of blocks though, only needs about 10 different stickers, so keep your eyes open for something that your kids will love.
Next cut out your stickers leaving the backs on, this will make it easier to measure the size of your blocks.Now take your stickers and place them on the wood, using a ruler or something else with a straight edge, mark the size you would like each block with a pencil, remembering to leave room for the saw blade and what will be taken off in the sanding process.
Then label each block with what sticker goes on it for reference later on, this is especially helpful if you are doing a lot of blocks.Then if you have a chop saw, start choppin! If not, find someone who has one; who also happens to be super nice, and really pretty and has great kids and a nice, helpful husband... and bring over a bag of peanut butter m&m's and bat your eyelashes at them.
Works like a charm!
Otherwise, I guess you could use a really sharp butter knife...
Then you have this.
Then comes the tedious part.
The sanding.
First choose the sanding tool of your choice.
I of course do not like to kick it old school, so the natural I had no choice was to sand by hand.
I actually could have used the same pretty lady's sander, but I never had a second to get to her house until today...after I got all these done... yesterday! Chad is looking into getting me both of these items for Christmas, since I seem to be constantly needing one or the other or both.
Anyway back to the tutorial at hand...
Speaking of hand...mine is killing me from all this sanding! Not just my hand, but my whole arm, I am like limp typing right now, it takes a long time for my right letters to catch up to my left letters.
Here are all the sanded beasts.
As you can see I labled the table where I set the block after being sanded, because I sanded off some of the labels on the blocks, and I am about to cover the rest with paint.
See? Depending on the color of your base coat, you might have to do two coats like I did.
Then you are going to let them dry before mixing your paint for the edges.
For the edges you'll want to water your paint down a little bit, and you won't need very much paint for this step.
Now paint the edges around your block, it's alright if it's a little messy.
Get all the edges....
Then take a napkin or a paper towel and wipe it off!
Then you will have this distressed effect around your edges.
I got a little messy on mine, and I like it, all the blocks are unique and I think look really cool.
After you are all done with your edges, it's time to put the stickers on.
My kids helped me with this part, giving the animals food, coconuts in the trees, birds on the hippo's back (that's what they do mom, we saw it on Wonder Pets).Now we are onto the next tedious part.
Modge Podge.
These blocks take SEVERAL coats if you want to make sure the stickers actually become part of the block.
Which you do, right?
It's all worth it in the end though-you have a great set of blocks, that will last for years and years.
Your kids might even pass them down to their kids.
How fun is that?

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Sweet Sara had her little baby, (I told you we were cutting it close on those maternity shots!)-look at all that dark hair!The rest of this cuties pictures are over here...



No Sedatives Required, Thank you very much!

I went into the bank yesterday with my well behaved children...and Porter.

He is full of energy and a little monster in public at times because he wants to go off and explore everything instead of sitting quietly on my lap...he'll grow out of it right?

Anyway I had to go in to get a new debit card, and although the lady was nice and smiley-she said stuff that just got under my skin.

First she wanted me to get my own online banking username and password, since Chad and I both use the same one.
No big deal right?
Well the way she put it was; "We would really like to see you have your own username, just in case anything ever happened between you and Chad, and he changed his information, you would still be able to access the account."
Strike one.

I'm not dumb, I know the lady is just trying to get a sale for the day, I say no thank you, I am quite confident that I will be always be able to have access to our account.

At this point Porter wandered over to the area that Bekah and Topher were quietly playing with crayons and coloring sheets and was good for the remainder of the time we were there.

She talked to me for awhile and then got up to talk to her manager for a minute and said, "Wow I don't know how you do it with those three. Girl you don't need a debit card, you need a sedative!"

I laughed, but I thought "Why?" They were all sitting there being quiet, coloring, not bothering anyone. At least they weren't bothering me. I just found it a little odd to say at that moment.
Strike Two.

Then she came back, talked to me for 1/2 a second before someone came up and said she had a phone call from a customer who was calling from Iraq. She got up to take it, I sat there. And sat there...finally I got up to leave with my three angels because she wasn't coming back any time soon.
Strike Three.

The worst part is, that I was there for an hour and fifteen minutes the day before and no one helped me before I had to leave to pick up the kids from preschool.
Then, I was there for at least 45 minutes yesterday.

And I still don't have a debit card.


Tutorial: Scrabble Tile Necklaces plus Bonus

I know I owe you a block tutorial, and I am working on it-I will have it up next week okay?
Pinky promise!
Until then-make a bunch of these up for yourself, your daughters, your moms, your friends and anyone else you know.
They are very addicting and I think so cute!
I have seen these in a couple places, and thought I'd share a tutorial for them.

Here are the supplies you'll need:

  • Scrabble tiles (can be found at most craft stores if you don't want to raid your game closet)
  • Scrap paper, stickers, newspaper, junk mail...pretty much anything you want to cover an eeny little canvas with.
  • Scissors
  • Modge Podge
  • Paintbrush
  • Drill with tiny bit
  • Necklace Bales (found at craft or beading stores) or you can use little jump rings if you wanted to.
  • Piece of scrap wood to drill on top of
  • Paper glaze-such as Diamond Glaze

Start by getting a tile and the paper and elements you want to add to your tile.

Next cut out the paper to fit the tile, you can trace it if you want or just set it on the paper and cut around it.Next add any elements you desire, for this one I just added a simple 'K' sticker.

Then paint a thin layer of modge podge to your tile and add the paper.

After you have your paper and elements glued on, take the modge podge and begin painting a thin layer of it.

Paint it until you have a thin, smooth layer of the entire surface and then let it dry for a few minutes or longer if you wish.

After your modge podge is dry add a layer of paper glaze on top-smooth it out with the tip. This gives it a cool "glassy" look, and a little dimension. Make sure to smooth it out as best you can and not leave any bubbles-unless you want the bubbles to show, because they will.Next you are going to let it dry...the problem with diamond glaze, is that it takes a long time to dry, the upside is, you have lots of time to get started on the next dozen or so tiles you will want to complete!Then you will take your drill with the tiny little drill bit and drill a hole a little under the top of your tile.

I am still waiting for the 'k' tile to dry-so we will go to this 'z' tile for now...

When you drill, make sure you go all the way through, and then put the drill in reverse to remove it from your tile. Scrape off any sawdust you might have and there you have a little hole in your tile ready to get it's bail.

And somewhere an angel will get its wings..oh wait that's a bell, not a bail.

Moving on. I had a couple different kinds of bails, and the ones I liked best for this project went all the way through and then clasped at the back, but I also used some clamp ones that worked just fine too, I just had to use a hammer to make sure they were good and tight in there. Then you have this cute little pendant ready to slide onto the chain or string of your choice.
Then you will have a whole jewlery box full of little pendants... or if you're not greedy like me, a pile of gifts ready to be given away...I guess not that greedy-I did make this one for my Miss B. I just used a piece of black string to tie it on and she loves it.

She's also claimed several others from the pile as well...little scoundrel.

***BONUS: And if your little boys are feeling left out, because you are making such girly jewlery, you can whip up a few of these for some manly necklaces...if there is such a thing.

I first saw these in the spring on some website, and I don't remember where...and have been making them for a bunch of my nephews, (we got some cute little circle pendants from a local beading store and made some at girls camp too, but these are more masculine).

The supplies:

  • Washers-can be found at any home improvement store, and they are cheap-you want to make sure you get a softer metal like zinc so that it isn't so hard to leave an impression.
  • Hammer
  • Steel Stamps (Harbor Freight. These are really cheap-around $8)
  • String to tie them to.

Pick out the letters you need, and hammer them in.

You can go over each letter with a sharpie and then wipe off with a baby wipe to make the letters stand out a bit more-but I think plain stamped looks a little more "dog chain-ish".

Thread a string through and you've got yourself a manly necklace, a keychain, a backpack tag or whatever else your little guy wants to do with it. These I made for my nephews who have birthdays this month.