Tag Archives: DIY

October 2015 Goals | Homemaking Skills

Holy cow, September went by too quickly! But, I was able to enjoy ushering in fall with decorations, candle scents, a trip to the Farmer’s Market, and some rain!

Last month’s goal was to Work From Home. Here is how I did.

Sub Goals:
Find a sell-from-home job and learn all there is about it
I haven’t done this yet…I see that most starter packs a bit on the pricey end, and I’m not ready to pay some to get some just yet.
Find work-at-home freelancing or transcription jobs
This is where I rocked it! I have 1 continual tutoring job, helping a senior with SAT and her English and history classes for the entire school year! Hello Black Friday deals on iPhone 6! I’ve also signed up and applied to about 5 other free lancing and transcription sites. I’m waiting on approval for a few and still need to take the transcription test for a few.
Join blogging campaign sites and participate in campaigns and join affiliate sites and learn all there is to it.
I joined US Family Guide Moms Connect program which allows me free tickets to different local activities or museums, etc. in exchange for a review on the blog. I know there is a lot of debate about whether or not bloggers should be paid in addition to free products, but I am just fine with free products! Other than that, I haven’t joined any affiliate sites yet. What are your favorite campaign groups or affiliates to work with for smaller bloggers?
Learn more about couponing and money-saving skills
I haven’t done couponing just yet, but we are currently working on different money-saving strategies, especially with grocery shopping. I also joined swagbucks for a few extra $$.

October 2015 Monthly Goal: Improve Homemaking Skills

October–Improve My Homemaking Skills
The house is organized, we have a routine set down, I’m getting to work on WAHM stuff, I’m learning more with my camera, my blog is growing and I’m on top of my game, and the holiday seasons are coming quickly. So, I want to take this month to do all I can to prepare for them, so that I can get ahead of the curve for December (and have a lot of posts to share for the Christmas season).

Sub Goals:

– Finish and mail off my ornaments for the Morrell Ornament Exchange
– Bake some fall treats
– Decorate for Halloween
– Redo picture wall in the living room
– Make a new recipe a week
– Make sure the house is clean and a treat set out for when Justin gets home every weekday
– Create at least three DIY activities for Rhys
– Actually use and update a family calendar/planner

What are your goals for this month?

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

DIY Santa’s Lost Sleigh Bell Ornament

Have you ever read the book or seen the movie, The Polar Express?

I loved that book while growing up and the concept that you can hear bells rings if you still believe in Santa. I have mentioned before how much I loved Christmas last year with nieces and nephews who still believed in Santa.

So, this year, for the Morrell ornament exchange, I decided to let that influence this ornament. Also, I wanted to continue a theme of clear ornaments.

1 bag fake snow
1 bag tiny bells
2 spools of ribbon
24 clear, plastic ornaments

1) Take off the tops of the ornaments and funnel a little bit of fake snow into it.
2) Place a small bell in. It should barely be covered by snow, but still audible if you shake it.

3) Print out the phrase, “If you believe, you’ll be able to see and hear Santa’s lost sleigh bell.”

4) Cut the strips out and carefully hole punch the end.

5) Curl the strips of paper. I just wrapped them around a pencil.

6) Now here is the tricky part. Each lid of the ornament as a wiry hook. You can actually pinch this and pull it out of the lid. Put the slip of paper in the hook, then place the hook back through the lid and lace the lid back on the ornament.

7) Cut out ribbon and tie a nice, perfect bow on the ornaments.

And there you have it. Santa’s lost sleigh bell in a pile of snow for you to hear–if you still believe!

However, there is a sad tale that goes with these. I had shipped these all off to my MIL before Thanksgiving, as she collects them all and redistributes them early December. But, for some reason, it took 2 whole weeks (regardless of the fact that Thanksgiving weekend was part of that) to get from Utah to Georgia. I got a text from my MIL saying that the box had been opened and that only half of the two dozen ornaments I sent were there, and all were badly damaged! I felt so bad that my amazing idea that I was sooo very proud of wouldn’t be shared! So, hopefully, you’ll have better luck than I will with these!

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Our Hand-me-down and DIY Apartment Decorated for Christmas

This is the second place Justin and I have lived since being married. Our first place was BYU married student housing. It was tiny. But, it worked for us and we spent two years there. Then, we had a child, graduated, and got grown-up jobs, so we needed somewhere else. (Also, I was tired of living in a college town for the past 6 years and having a 45-55 minute commute.)

So, we came to this wonderful townhome in Sandy, Utah. See what it looks like, here. But, it took us forever to find a town home (or apartment) in our budget that was good quality for us to rent. We weren’t in a position to buy, and spent hours upon hours searching numerous websites for any hits. It was a long and arduous process. But, we finally found the perfect place for us. Scroll down to the very bottom of the post to see how this process could be much easier for you in the future!

We are still very much so newly weds–in our 3rd year of marriage–and just barely making adult wages. The only furniture we actually bought ourselves is in our bedroom: desk, bed, and dresser. Everything else was generously given to us or made for us.

– couch with recliners hand-me-down from my parents
– chair with ottomon hand-me-down from my SIL
– two hand-crafted, custom-made bookshelves as hand-me-downs from my uncle and aunt
– TV hand-me-down from my SIL
– stroller, baby swing, carseat from my SIL’s and MIL
– kitchen table and chairs hand-me-down from my parents
– Mom’s old rocking chair that all my siblings and I were rocked in
– Gradma’s old dresser for Rhys
– crib from my parents
– floor rug hand-me-down from my parents
– gamecube hand-me-down from friends
– jean picnic quilt made by my mom

– Pensieve of memories from Justin
– decorations from treats, hand-me-downs, books, gifts from friends
– picture of Jesus with notes from our old bishopric
– Rhys’s banner from my mom
– FHE Activity Jar I made
– picture of the Jordan River Temple and poem from friends

Needless to say, we have been very blessed. And, although our home is a bit eclectic, I’ve done my very best to tie it all together. In doing so, my living room and kitchen have a wooden, country, burlap-y feel the it. I really like it. I really, really do. A lot of our pieces of furniture are old and worn, and could definitely use replacing, but they are special to us and reminds us what a great family we are blessed with.

This year, I have more room to decorate Christmas with. I also have a fireplace, and wanted to make sure to have stockings for my family. So, I did a little DIY’ing this year for Christmas, and I’m not a DIY’er in the least! I was very proud of my effort.

With a lot of help and direction from my mom, I made these beautiful stockings. I designed them, did the lettering, and most of the sewing. Mom definitely helped with positioning of the patterns, and doing the trim of the stockings. I’m very proud of my effort. They aren’t perfect, but that’s what I love about them. You can tell I made them and they were made with heart.

I made this cute little nativity and scripture advent calendar at a Relief Society activity. I love them and think I did a good job.

This nativity is half missing. When I was a young girl in my church, we had an activity and service program. We worked towards different gospel-related goals and service activities. Each time we completed a section, we were rewarded with a piece of the Nativity. They were all made by a member of our congregation. I had completed the entire program and received all the pieces of the nativity. However, that was 10 or so years ago. With multiple moves, I’ve lost many of the pieces. The “Joseph” figure is actually a shepherd figure without his crook!

But, my favorite part is the Christmas tree. My family had a tradition: every year growing up, my Grandma would give all the kids an ornament. That is most of the ornaments on this tree. Also, last year, my mother-in-law invited me to participate in a big ornament exchange she organizes. Every year, all the wives in her family, as well as close friends, create (it has to be DIY) two dozen ornaments, send them to her, and she mails everyone out a set of each. Click here for last year’s ornament I made. This year’s DIY will be posted later next week.

So, although our home is a bit eclectic and hand-me-down-ish, it is perfect for us. We are in love with it and it will definitely grow with us in time.

But, I’m a little jealous of NYC. There is a cool new site that can help you find the perfect apartment to match your wants, needs, and even personality, called Urban Compass. Urban Compass is a real estate platform that connects folks searching for starter apartments with the neighborhood that matches their personality and taste. This site would be a big hit in Utah if they ever expanded, and it would have probably saved Justin and I a lot of tears and arguments and stress the first half of this year. If you are anywhere near NYC or thinking of moving there or know of someone who is, I’d definitely check out their website!

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

DIY Christmas Song Ornament

I have successfully completed my very own DIY ever!
As part of the Morrell family, I was invited to participate in my mother-in-law’s ornament exchange for Christmas this year. I had to create 21 ornaments and then send them to her so she could collect and send packages off to the married women in the Morrell clan. I was excited to be invited, but a little nervous since I am not very creative.
But, then an idea came to mind. I really, really, really love this Christmas song. It is my all-time favorite. I even wrote a blog post about it two years ago.
I wanted to share this special song with everyone, and so, what better way then to do that with the ornaments!
Hence, my Christmas Song Ornament idea was born! 
Required Materials
Your favorite Christmas poem or song
Manila cardstock
Clear ornaments
Christmas ribbon
Step 1: Type up your favorite song/poem on Microsoft Word–try to make the lines long (if the lines in each stanza are very short, lengthen it so there is only about 1″ margins on each side). Make sure there is space between each line (I did about 1.75). Make sure to bold the title. Print them up.
Step 2: Cut out each line.
Step 3: Tie the ribbons into a nice bow on the ornament.
Isn’t that the cutest, best bow ever?!?!
Step 4: Slide the slip of paper with the title of the song in first, so it shows on the bottom. Then, slip in each consecutive strip of paper.
Step 5: Top it back with the cover and the bow. Look how cute!
I am so proud of how they turned out. I love these ornaments! I made sure to keep enough materials to make one for my own tree, one for my mom, and for my sister. 
Have fun making your own! 

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.