Wednesday, September 23, 2015

It's Been a While...

These are the boxes I'd already unpacked!
Hello World!

It has been crazy since I last posted.  My husband applied for a double promotion at an office within his company that was located in a different state, and was offered the position!  Within 7 weeks we accepted, found a new home to rent, moved and registered my first kindergartner for school in our new town in Southern California.  That was intense, to say the least!

Our first two weeks in our new place were interesting, because the new rental didn’t include a fridge, washing machine, or dryer (those are usually included in any house in Las Vegas!).  We were able to borrow my parents mini fridge, which wasn’t too bad (except that it only fit one gallon of milk with the other stuff, so we ran to the grocery store often!). 

The reason for the two-week wait was because our amazing company offered us an “extra paycheck” to cover “moving incidentals,” so we wanted to wait for the check to order the appliances.  Then we ordered through, which sounded like a good idea.  Their prices were better than other places when comparing products, but we would have to wait a few weeks for them to arrive.  So we did what we could for the time, including borrowing the mini fridge and also using a new friend’s laundry machines, for which we are so grateful!

The new "maids" are hard at work catching up!
The new appliances arrived one week before my birthday, so that was fun timing!  And I have to say that these are the nicest things I have ever owned and used on a regular basis!  I am impressed with how clean our clothes are getting with the new washer.  I don’t know if that washer in our last place was doing a very good job….

Anyway, I’m excited to have them and to be living in this nice house in this new town! The kids’ room is so much roomier (woo hoo!), and I don’t plan on filling in the space like I did (or had to) in the last place.
And just a little FYI: I’ve gotten rid of the other part of my website (I’m no longer using the web hosting service that I had before), so I was in the middle of updating everything when all of these changes in my real life happened.  So I’ll get back on board as soon as a busy SAHM mom of three kids can.

Life is good!

It's beautiful here!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Three Children in a 10’ by 10’ Bedroom

DSCF9049When we moved into our rental, I had some information on the home that led me to believe that the 2nd and 3rd bedrooms were each 10’x12’ (3.05 m by 3.66 m).  Then after having lived here for a few years, I decided to use my measuring tape and found out that the rooms are not that size at all!  The dimensions are actually 9’10” by 10’4” (2.99 m by 3.15 m).

We like to have a separate room for our guests (we don’t live close to our family), so we decided we’d put the three children in the same room (it’s a great way to train kids and babies to get used to noises and to sleep through them.  I’m sure it doesn’t work for every kid, but it has worked for us so far).  How can we fit three little people in a little room?

The traditional solution is a bunk bed.  What a great way to conserve space!  I love that the kids are able to make use of the vertical space like that.  The ceilings are 9’, but they just need to watch out for the ceiling fan.  I learned that no matter where you put a bunk bed in a room that size, they will have the ceiling fan encroaching on their space! (Rule #1: No standing on the bunk bed!)

We also have two little dressers from Ikea (Ikea RAST) which we painted, that don’t take up as much space as your traditional dressers do.  Those little dressers are the perfect size for small children clothes.


Their toys all go in the other room, so we didn’t need to worry about space for those in this room.  There is no changing table in this room.  We just don’t have room!  Half the time I end up changing the baby on the floor or using the crib (don’t worry, I use a changing mat!), so we decided we didn’t need that furniture.  I have a nice little shelf in the closet that holds the diaper-changing essentials.


Also in the closet I have set up kid-friendly access to their hanging clothes.  This has been a great decision! Every morning they can get dressed in whichever type of clothes are right for the day, even on Sundays when we wear our Sunday best.  They don’t need help reaching the clothes anymore, just maybe some help with a button or zipper.  They feel so fancy when they have such easy access to their belongings.  The rod is just an extra shower curtain rod I had hanging around.


It’s still a cozy set-up, but it worked.  We actually have changed things all around again before I even got to write this post.  But I thought I’d share some of what I’d learned.  How do you manage the bedrooms in your home?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

New Kitchen Curtains!

New Curtains - AnnaVirginia Fashion

Three years ago I blogged about the curtains I had made for my kitchen.  I really liked them for all that time.  My only complaint was that since the windows weren’t covered all the way and then the sun would peak through those little holes in the blinds (where the string is threaded through to operate the lift system).

So I decided to cover up those holes a little better.  I was inspired by Christina at The Frugal Homemaker.  I have tall windows, so this seemed like a solution that would work, look great and not cost a lot of money.

New Curtains - AnnaVirginia FashionLooking at my walls, I decided that I would do white curtains to contrast the light beige walls.  I also measured the window widths and figured that I could do a pair of twin flat sheets for each window.  I ran to my local Walmart and was disappointed that there were NONE in stock!  Maybe everyone else was already doing the same project?

So as soon as I could, I ran to the next closest Walmart and found four flat sheets.  Only four, which wouldn’t be enough!  I bought the four anyway and hoped that I would find the rest soon.  I started with the four I had and washed and pressed them.  Then I measured out the cuts I wanted to do to follow the link to see how Christina made them) and then hung the curtain rods up high (95 inches/ above the ground!).  I decided to use the simple white rods that I already had, because they allow the curtain to go around and hide the light from peaking through on the sides.
make the tabs (
I eventually found two more pairs and finished those up.  It took me a couple weeks to finish mainly
because of having a hard time finding the sheets!

New Curtains - AnnaVirginia Fashion
After hanging them up I felt that leaving the cuts unsewn was not a good idea.  I have kids who run through the kitchen right behind that table and they just *have* to pull on the curtains as they go zooming past and I could just envision the slit ripping.  I did a basic stitch at the same level as the tops of the slits I had made and re-hung them.  You can’t even see the stitching! 

I love how simple these curtains were to put together!  Too bad it was so hard to find at the store, though.  And they can’t be purchased online, so you just have to do what you can.

Check out the before-and-after picture… I think it looks super stylish!  I also think my staging and photographing skills have improved!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Totally Retro Crochet Sweater-Jacket

steph3My church has a program for the young girls (ages 12-18) to participate in.  As a member of this group (appropriately called “Young Women”), we had goals to achieve and projects to complete to help build character, develop talents and deepen our faith.  We could cater the projects to our interests and learn new things in the meanwhile (if you’re curious about the program, visit: Young Women Personal Progress).

One of the projects I decided to do was to make a patchwork crochet sweater (sounds so cool already, I know!).  I found one to use as a guide in this amazing book, Illustrated Patchwork Crochet by Bella Scharf (c. 1976).  The pattern uses crochet squares to make a pullover sweater, but I decided that I would like mine as a jacket with a strap across the waist.  I drew up some plans on graph paper and counted how many squares I would need…. a whole bunch!

        drawing 7 mod

I did a basic square (called Granny Square Two in the book) in one of two different colors.  I used what yarn I had on hand, since I’d acquired a lot of skeins of yarn from my grandmothers after they each passed away.  I believe they were Red Heart Super Saver in Aran and Rose (these were shades that were available in the 1990s).  After I completed all the squares, I sewed them all together according to my plans.  Then I crocheted a sash and when I wore it to school the first time, people were impressed! Thanks to my sister who modeled it for me!

stephcrochet sweater sleevesteph2

This may have been my first clothing item that I had crocheted.  It was quite a project for a high school girl, but it turned out pretty neat.  Over time the yarn began to pill, which would really be my only complaint.  Oh, and that it’s way too warm to wear in Las Vegas, where I now live!