Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The 4 Loves of my Life

I recently came to the conclusion that I currently have 4 loves in my life.  Spots 1 through 3 are taken up by Matthew, Morgan and Amelia.  Spot #4 is reserved for Pinterest.  It's amazing how much things have changed around this house since I discovered this site.  I have always liked to decorate and design, but nothing has ever really given me the inspiration like Pinterest.  In addition to the ideas I find via the pins on Pinterest, I have also found a lot of great blogs to follow that continue to inspire me on a daily and weekly basis. 

Following these blogs have led me to a realization...I would love to have people follow a blog that I create and share their ideas on my projects/creations!  I also realize that the Siuta Family blog may not be the most appropriate place to continue this dream.  It is with this in mind, that I have decided to create a 2nd blog.  I will continue to post updates about Matthew, Morgan, Amelia, and the Siuta Family as a whole on this blog (I have been neglecting this for my Pinterest projects as of late), but will post about my projects on a new blog.   This new blog is called, If You Give a Girl A Pinterest Account.  I have already posted my first tutorial on covering the chair cushions in our kitchen.  Check it out and let me know what you think! 

In honor of the snow that is expected to fall later this week, I will leave you with this picture of Morgan in all her winter glory!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Sewing Requires Patience

Sewing requires patience and if you know me at all, you know that I have pretty much none of that!
Before I get into my sewing saga, let me give a quick update on my non-sewing Pinterest project, the Santa bucket.  Per Matthew, I am not allowed to spray paint and even though the weather is nice today, I don't really want to make Matthew spray paint my bucket outside when it is cold, so this project has been pushed back to the spring or summer when I can complete it myself. 

I actually make a LOT of the recipes that I find on Pinterest, but never mention them on this blog.  Considering I actually enjoy cooking and baking, I find this to be incredibly odd.  In the future, I promise to include more posts about the yummy food we make here at the Siuta house!  Below are links to two of the recipes that I have tagged on Pinterest that we tried in the slow cooker and absolutely loved! 

Easy Crockpot Potato Soup - This is one of the easiest recipes I have ever made and it allowed me to use up some of my Kraft Cream Cheese supply (Thanks Chadwicks!)
Tomato-Basil Parmesan Soup - I misread the recipe for this one and forgot to add the broth at the beginning so we ended up adding just one can of broth at the very end, but it still turned out amazing.  Seriously, one of our favorite meals ever!

Ok, on to my sewing disaster experience.  After not buying enough fabric for the pillow cover, I decided to start on the minky blanket.  I cut out all of the pieces and pinned the cotton fabric and minky fabric together.  Obviously, I did not use nearly enough pins because the next step, the actual sewing step, was a DISASTER!  I finished 1 1/2 sides and realized that the minky was practically diagonal across the cotton.  I am too embarassed to even take a picture, so I will just let you know that I stopped.  I will be ripping out the seams that have been sewn (my seam ripper and I are best friends), will probably do a big hand stitch around the blanket and try again.  The hand stitch idea was actually given to me by a friend who sewed her first minky blanket this past weekend.  She is also a beginner sewer and thought this may work better than using pins.  I promise I will take pictures for my  next post. 

After a night off from sewing and a stop at the fabric store to pick up not only more fabric for my original pillow cover but also a different fabric so I could make a 2nd pillow cover, I started on this "super easy" project.  I was able to cut out all of the material pretty easily, got everything pinned and sewed everything up in about an hour.  That's pretty good for my first time with everything.  Of course after I completed all of my seams, I found out that instead of pinning the right sides together so the wrong sides were facing out, I actually pinned the right side to the wrong side so when I turn the pillow cover inside out it looks funky and not in a good way!
After another hour of ripping out the seams on each of the four sides, then pinning it correctly, and sewing it all up again, the "super easy" pillow cover actually came out pretty well!  The picture below shows the finished pillow on the chair in our family room.  I actually planned to put this in my office, but after I got home I reazlied the twigs in the design are brown and the accents in my office are black.  Not really sure what I'm going to do with the pillow now.  Oh well!
Since I felt like I got the hang of the pillow cover and I wanted to get one more successful project under my belt before going back to the minky blanket, I decided to make another pillow cover.  From start to finish, it only took me 30 minutes (I double checked the right sides were together when pinning).  The finished pillow looks really great in my office, but now I'm thinking I need to get a throw or another pillow with more color.

Geesh!  This picture does not look good, but to be fair my office doesn't look that good either.  I really need to work on this before my parents come down next weekend.  I would really like if I could get all of the pictures hung and all of my craft supplies put away!  I would LOVE if I could get it all done before our siblings and their significant others come down for a night on the town Saturday, but since that is only a day away and I still need to clean one bathroom and make 2 beds, I don't see it happening.  Here's hoping next week is more productive!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2012 Resolutions

I had originally planned to complete and post this blog entry prior to the start of 2012, but things got a little crazy.  Plus, I have a lot of resolutions/goals for the new year, so it took some time to put them all together and get them down on this post.  After thinking about this, I really think this is more a list of goals for 2012 as opposed to resolutions, but I do believe they will result in positive behavior changes which is ultimately the goal of most New Year Resolutions.  I have broken down the list into categories, so that I could more easily identify the areas that needed improvement.  Enjoy my lengthy and somewhat detailed Goals/Resolutions for 2012!

  • Create and stick with a monthly budget
    • We have created a budget, but we need to work on actually sticking to it and maybe we can work on tightening it up a little bit more so that we can save more
  • Save enough money to have at least one month of my salary in savings
    • Eventually I would like to increase this goal to 2 months of both of our salary combined, but I want to start small and get big
  • Design and complete decoration of at least 3 rooms in the house
    • Cannot include the home office but can include the basement playroom
  • Complete a design for the eventual kitchen renovation
  • Price out and compare refurnishing of hardwood floors versus new floors for entire first floor
    • The floors desperately need to be redone, but I would prefer to put wood floors throughout the entire first floor which is why I am including the comparison in there.
Arts & Crafts
  • Create and live within a crafting budget
    • I realize this is part of the Finances, but I think it is important to be realistic with how much I like to craft and how much I should/can be spending on this hobby
  • Complete at least 3 blankets
    • I already have 3 in mind, so I think this is a feasible goal for the entire year of 2012
  • Organize my emails
    • I experienced some extreme technical issues with my email in June of this past year that resulted in the loss of all of my personal folders and email archives at work.  It has been really hard to come back from this and start a new organization system.  I am the type of person who prefers to keep only open issues in my email inbox, but I currently have over 9,000 emails that need to be filed.  I would really like to make this a goal before the end of January!
  • Work to maintain a positive attitude at all times
    • While every job has its ups and downs, I have always prided myself on being an incredibly positive person.  I have found myself becoming more and more negative over the past couple of months and to be honest, it makes me like myself less.  I need to work on maintaining a positive attitude, even when I don't like the way things are going. 
  • Go on a date with Matthew (without the kids) at least once a month
    • It's hard to imagine, but I am more in love with my husband today than the day we got married.  He is an amazing father and I am lucky to have him as my partner.  We took our first trip together since our honeymoon this past December and it was perfect.  I really enjoy spending time with Matt and I really believe that getting to spend time alone together, even if it is just a lunch date, is important to keeping us sane!  Thanks to my parents, I also strongly believe the best gift we can give to our children is to show them and teach them how to be in a happy and healthy relationship. 
  • Eat healthier
    • This is really a goal for the entire family.  We need to be better about eating vegetables.  We do a pretty good job with protein and fruits, but vegetables is a weak spot for us.
  • Reach and maintain a weight of 145 or less.
    • I considered not including an actual weight in this post, but I want to be honest with myself and anyone who cares to read this blog.  Weight has always been a struggle for me.  I love food and I really do not like working out, which together leads to a larger and more unhappy me.  I don't need to be thin, I just want to be healthy and happy with my body and my weight. 
  • Run a 5K
    • This has been a personal goal of mine for awhile and I have decided that 2012 is the year that this will be accomplished.  I WILL sign up for a 5K to be completed in the fall.  If you know of a good one and/or want to join me, please let me know!
  • Love Like Don't Hate Running
    • I feel like running is the most efficient way to stay in shape and feel good about my body.  I have never really enjoyed this sport, but I am determined to keep at it (or attempt it) and appreciate it at least for what it can do for me and my health!
I am sure there are plenty of goals/resolutions I am forgetting, but this is a pretty good start.  I know the list may seem long and even unattainable to some, but I am bound and determined to make 2012 a great year.  2010 was an amazing year with the birth of Morgan and 2011 was ok with my hormones on a crazy roller coaster, but 2012 will be a great year for me and my growing family!