How to Stretch Your Boots - Pinterest Pass or Fail?

I found a pair of boots a few years ago that were a great bargain. They were the perfect black boot for every day. I loved them, but they were too tight along the sides. I bought them anyway with the intention of stretching them out. I imagined myself bopping along in my new black boots looking all sassy. That never happened.

They were too uncomfortable to even wear around to stretch them! So, they hung out in my closet. They were embarrassed.

I tried to give them away to Treat Girl, but they were too big. Finally, I discovered this tutorial for stretching your boots with ice! I pinned it to my DIY board and vowed to wear those boots!

This is a Pinterest PASS! It worked! Now, I'm trying to think of all the other shoes I have that may pinch. You can use this method with any leather shoe.

After I removed the ice I rubbed boot conditioner on the inside of the boot, paying close attention to the seams, and wore them around with some old socks for a few hours. Nice and comfy.

So, that is my Pinterest Project for the week. What Pins have you tried?

Mama Izzy made this Pesto Pasta. Drop me a link so I can check out what you tried and if it passed or failed!

Psst! Tomorrow is December 1st - do you need Advent Calendar ideas? Never fear, look what has already been linked to Tutorial Tuesday so far:

Toilet Paper Roll Advent Calendar

Advent Calendar Bags

Mini-Box Advent Calendar

Envelope and Twine Advent Calendar


Tutorial Tuesday!

I had an amazing Thanksgiving! I spent my morning making good food to show my family how much they mean to me - we enjoyed it and some nice wine. It was a lovely day...

Mittens Made From a Sweater:

Natural Wreath:

Grow Your Own Winter Lettuce:

Sock Toppers:

CLICK PICKS (last week's most clicked links):

#1 Stocking Stuffers

#2 Easiest Cinnamon Rolls Ever

#3 DIY Snowflakes

Now it's YOUR turn:

Please... (this is the part at the end of the commercial when the announcer talks real fast)

* Link up using the link to your actual post (not your general blog address) using your name and a the subject of your tutorial to generate interest.

* Add my button or a clickable link back to this post so everyone can join in.

* Visit and comment with all our friends. Show them some love! Meet some new friends! Learn something new!

Ready? Teach Me Stuff!

Hope Studios

Like Magazines? I Do!

I love me some magazines! Check out these awesome Cyber Monday deals on magazine subscriptions on Amazon today!

House Beautiful: $5!

Country Living: $7!

Good Housekeeping: $7.95!

Real Simple: $12.00!

Hey....where did you all go???


It Looks Like a Snowman Puked In Here...

Kids make messes, it's the truth. My boys have smeared an entire tub of A & D Diaper Ointment all over our carpeted stairs, they have wallpapered my master bathroom with panty liners and played parachutes with tampons, and they have gotten into my make up bag:

(photo of a photo from the dark ages before digital cameras)

Okay, here is the latest controversy on the web. Watch the following viral video and tell me what you think.

It's Feedback Friday...

Is this messy video real or a set up?

What crazy messes have your kids made over the years?



Happy Thanksgiving! Want to take a holiday road trip with me?

What an unexpected treat to take our road trip to Graceland during my girl's weekend away this month! I grew up like many of you with a mother who adored Elvis, I listened to the records (yes, records) and watched the movies. We still have Elvis Christmas songs in our regular holiday rotation.

I never realized just how handsome and successful Elvis was until I visited Graceland! That man was beautiful and I have lots of blurry photos of me pretending to kiss life-sized posters of him while there. Shhhhh...

His clothes were stunning! His home was crazy! Let me show you some of my favorite rooms...

Here we are in front of the mansion. We were both surprised at the size - it isn't what is considered a "mansion" by today's standards. It really isn't much bigger than an ordinary middle class home.

Here it is from the back - pretty ordinary looking!

Surrounding the home are horse pastures and barns. Lovely white fences and rolling hills were the view Elvis saw every day.

The first room you saw as you entered the home was the white living room. Photos of his parents and a large mirrored wall were opposite this large white couch. Crazy peacock stained glass matched the blue drapes that are changed out to bright red during the the Christmas season:

The dining room sparkled with the mirrored table and crystal chandelier. This is where Elvis' staff would usually erect a Christmas tree:

With all the crazy decor in Graceland, I was surprised to see the ordinary looking kitchen. Nothing special, just like mom's, right?

This is the TV room with a HUGE sectional sofa and three televisions mounted into the wall. This crazy blue and gold room had sparkly throw pillows, a whole house stereo system, a pull down movie screen and a wet bar off to one side.

Finally, the famous Jungle Room is outfitted like a crazy tiki room, carved furniture, waterfall walls, green shag carpeting on the floor and ceiling. Crazy! Elvis actually used this room as a recording studio at the end of his life and released a record from this room.

There was so much more, a billiards room upholstered on all four walls and ceiling with pleated fabric and stairwells covered completely in green shag carpeting or mirrors for a dizzying fun house effect. Elvis' decor was totally unexpected and so fun to experience.

Sadly, the second floor was off limits to visitors today as it was back then. Apparently Elvis never allowed guests upstairs where his bedroom was and the tour upheld that tradition. Not even the employees are allowed in this off limits zone! I did manage to find a website claiming to have authentic photos of this secret area. If you are interested in peeking, click HERE. If only the walls could talk!


Easy Quilt - Pinterest Pass or Fail?

A few weeks ago I pinned this Soft Flannel Quilt that originated at Do It Yourself Divas. The original design was meant as a baby quilt, but I liked the idea of a lap quilt and imagined lots of plaid flannels on a chilly night.

The idea was simple, layer 3 layers of flannel in strips and sew them together. The top of the quilt has the raw edges of a rag quilt and the bottom has the right sides of the seams. Check out the Diva's quilt:

Pinterest PASS! Though I have lots of strings right now, the Divas assure me that is normal at first. Some of my plaids may not have been true flannels and will shed more threads.

It's a nice comfy lap quilt for watching TV on cold nights.

Lori at Waterstone Jewelry tried a recipe for Apple and Winter Squash Soup this month.

What Pins have you tried this month? Did they PASS or FAIL? Toss me a link so I can check them out!


Tutorial Tuesday!

Pallet Headboard:

Thankful Tablecloth:

Handmade Soap:

Backpack Hanger:

Click Picks (last week's most clicked links):

#1 Black Friday Deals: Walmart, Target, Old Navy

#2 Top 10 Handmade Gifts

#3 Tree of Life Ornament

Now it's YOUR turn:

Please... (this is the part at the end of the commercial when the announcer talks real fast)

* Link up using the link to your actual post (not your general blog address) using your name and a the subject of your tutorial to generate interest.

* Add my button or a clickable link back to this post so everyone can join in.

* Visit and comment with all our friends. Show them some love! Meet some new friends! Learn something new!

Ready? Teach Me Stuff!

Hope Studios

How to Hem Your Jeans - Using the Original Hem

Hemming jeans is always tricky - especially if you splurge like I did in Nashville last week (girl, your butt never looked as good as it does in Miss Me Jeans!) Part of the "look" of the jeans is the distressed hem, and you can never duplicate it if you start cutting and sewing a new one.

Let's learn to hem jeans the way a real seamstress does, using the original hem.

Let's Hem Our Jeans!

Okay, put your jeans on with the shoe you intend to wear. Now, roll up the cuff to the desired length (good rule of thumb is 1" from the floor).

Slide the jeans off carefully and lay them flat and measure the cuff you rolled.

Divide that measurement in half. (I rolled up my jeans 2" to the desired length so I divided that number in half and came up with 1") Adjust the cuff to the new measurement and pin in place.

Using a dark blue or black thread, carefully sew just at the edge of the original cuff - go nice and slow to keep the seam neat and close to the edge without going over:

Flip the new cuff up toward the top of the jeans and press the new cuff inside. Use lots of steam and make it lay flat:

Now, turn right side out and press again:

Check it out:

I hopped on over to ihearttoday to link this tutorial.


Healthy Thanksgiving?

During ordinary days I like to try to make healthy choices for myself and my family. Maybe I will add more veggies or cook with low fat milk or olive oil, but for holiday meals I go all out with whole milk and cream, real butter, and rich recipes.

Am I in the minority or the majority?

It's Feedback Friday...

When cooking for special occasions do you still try to make low calorie / low fat choices or do you throw diet out the window for the day?

Speaking of rich holiday recipes:

Eggnog Pumpkin Pie!


Nashville Girls Weekend

I am having a few technical difficulties with my camera today so this post will be short. I will try to get the rest of my photos on here next week. Let's start with "What to wear in Nashville?" This is the question I googled many times while packing for this trip. The answer? Jeans and boots. Period. After that it's up to you whether you want to go the "NashVegas" route with the sparkly top and belt or if you want to dress it down a bit with a shirt and jacket.

We dressed down for Graceland (an amazing trip I want to write about later):

We ate fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches (Elvis' fave):

Then we went "NashVegas" compete with sparkles, for Saturday night which was my sister-in-laws birthday:

Later that night we were serenaded by our taxi driver, an aspiring songwriter:

Only in Nashville!


A Grassy Crime: Conclusion

So, I've had several questions about the resulting backlash from cutting down my neighbor's dead clump of ornamental grasses (Read the full story here).

It went down just like I suspected...I don't even think they know they are gone. In fact, I'm not even sure they realize that flower bed is on their side of the line. Before they moved in there was about 6 months between the previous owner moving out and them moving in so I used to weed their beds on a regular basis to make it easier for them to keep up with when they moved in. I think that was probably the last time anything was done outside.

So, I'm a free woman to walk the streets and take care of peoples yards all willy nilly for another day. Beware...

Are you getting ready for Thanksgiving yet? You have a little over a week - I just bought my turkey yesterday.

Take a look at some of my previous Thanksgiving posts to help with the Thanksgiving day schedule and recipes:

Thanksgiving planning

Thanksgiving planning cont...

Fun Thanksgiving Cookies, Pilgrim Hats



Tutorial Tuesday!

I just returned from my girls weekend to Nashville, and I am now in love with a new city! It was small, clean, and fun! It reminded me a lot of a country version of Pittsburgh. Thanks for linking up while I was away:

Diaper Babies:

Slow Cooker Applesauce:

Messenger Bag:

CLICK PICKS (last week's most clicked links):

#1 Knot my Scarf

#2 How to Preserve Fall Leaves

#3 Recipe Box ($1 Craft)

Now it's YOUR turn:

Please... (this is the part at the end of the commercial when the announcer talks real fast)

* Link up using the link to your actual post (not your general blog address) using your name and a the subject of your tutorial to generate interest.

* Add my button or a clickable link back to this post so everyone can join in.

* Visit and comment with all our friends. Show them some love! Meet some new friends! Learn something new!

Ready? Teach Me Stuff!

Hope Studios


A Grassy Crime?

Let me first wish you a happy 11/11/11 while I'm still a free woman!

Look how my hands in jail will be all hairy and man-ish! (image)

I might have committed a teeny tiny crime of trespassing and possible property damage this weekend ... technically.

Let me state my case then you can either convict or acquit. Yikes!

My next-door-neighbor isn't very...um...attentive to her lawn and landscaping in general. Most of the trees, bushes, flower beds are completely overgrown and/or overrun with weeds. They have lived next door for almost 2 years and never trimmed a bush or pulled a weed and rarely mowed.

Well, this weekend we were cleaning up our beds for the winter - removing the leaves, cutting back the perennials and pulling the annuals. We also cut back our ornamental grasses each year or else they make a MESS.

My neighbor did not. Again.

Last year her ornamental grasses that border my yard broke off in the wind and ended up all over my yard and in my garage all fall/winter/ and spring until the new growth took over. I drove me batty! (am I setting up my case to plead insanity??)

Exhibit 1 - The grass in question:

So, while we were outside trimming back our own grasses we snuck over to cut back theirs too. I know! Overstepping! I couldn't help it!

It's Feedback Friday...

It's your call - Am I Guilty, Not Guilty, or Insane?!?


Baked Kale Chips - Pinterest Pass or Fail

This week I tried Baked Kale Chips from my Cookin' Mama Board. This recipe originated at Smitten Kitchen and sounded pretty good, easy, and healthy. Could it be true?

Check out the directions:

*Rip up kale into bite-sized pieces

*Drizzle with olive oil and mix in a bowl.

*Pour onto a cookie sheet, sprinkle with sea salt, and bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes.

It really was that easy!

The chips had such an interesting texture, they kind of shatter in your mouth. I liked the flavor, but they had a burnt aftertaste - I'm not sure if I baked them too long or if that is the flavor of the kale. My youngest son and I had a love/hate thing going. We ate them and liked them until about 30 seconds after we swallowed them. Then we didn't like them anymore, yet we kept coming back for more!

So, with some tweeking I give this Pin a Pass!

Wendy made some Princess Cupcakes she pinned.

What Pins have you tried? Post the link so I can check it out!



The Treat Girl and I learned to crochet over coffee and pumpkin bread yesterday. Let's just say that I was not a natural at this. I have never felt so awkward and dumb! The Big Guy thinks crocheting is for old ladies, but I think the yarn can make all the difference. Just check out all the cool projects I've pinned to my Crochet Board.

I completed a few wonky granny squares and Treat Girl made some lovely lacy squares in about half the time it took me.

Thanks to my new friend Sondie for her extreme patience! Here we are pretending that her granny square is mine!

Now check this out! My boys went to wrestling practice one night:

And were crocheting the next morning!

I can't make this stuff up, people!

Here is an awesome granny that can teach you how crochet since Sondie can't visit all of you:


Your Skin Fix, December Edition