Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Christmas Decorations are Up!

Decorating the tree this year was extremely fun this year, but hectic at the same time.  Before I had kids I was very particular about how the ornaments on the tree looked.  Our tree had to look like a department store tree.  I always made it a point to only ornaments that matched our blue and silver color scheme.   I would plan out the placing of the ornaments so they are equally yet randomly distributed through the tree to give it an effortless look. Now with Avery and Lex our tree has become a mod podge of different ornaments the bulk of which placed at the bottom part of the tree (where the kids can place them).   Our tree has ornaments made by Avery as well as ones she picked out from the store.  Macaroni frames, cotton ball snowmen, glittered salt dough ornaments now adorn the tree.  I have to admit I like out tree better now.  I loved pulling out each of these "custom made" ornaments (that now have memories tied to them) out of the box.  

I created a timelapse video below to show you our decoration process.  It was so great having Avery decorate the tree and now worrying that it wasn't "perfect."  Lex was still too young for the process and just wanted to eat all the ornaments on the tree (not just the macaroni ornament).  Video here: or below.  

Citi Tuesdays

This post brought to you by Walmart. All opinions are 100% mine.
The holiday season is officially here.  If you love the holidays, but want to still be mindful of your pocket book here is a great promotion.  Use your Citi® credit card on Citi Tuesdays on an eligible purchase of $100 or more while shopping on this holiday season, and receive a free $10 Walmart eGift Card.  This is online only, remember to make your purchases online.  I know I do most of my holiday shopping online nowadays.  It's so much nicer to be in the comforts of your own home and not have to deal with the crowds and the parking.
Citi® consumers that spend $100 or more on an eligible purchase on will receive a Walmart eGift card emailed to them weekly. The gift card will be emailed within 10 days after a qualifying Citi® credit card purchase occurs.
Who doesn't want an additional 10 dollars to shop with?
I shared on my instagram a cool knitting machine that I would love to buy for someone (possibly for myself). There were lots of really cool toys for crafty kids at Walmart.  The knitting machine was just one of many toys that I saw.  I love their selection of crafty toys for kids and the crafty adult. What are some things that you would spend the extra 10 dollars on?
The Nitty Gritty:
Terms and conditions:
To qualify for this offer, you must make a single-receipt purchase on of $100 or more (excluding taxes and shipping charges), by 11:59PM PT on Tuesdays, between 11/5/13 and 12/17/13, and pay for your purchase using an eligible Citi® credit card. Purchase may not include gift cards, Pharmacy, tires, Photo, customized or personalized items, Vudu, or Walmart To Go. Not valid on prior purchases or cancelled orders, and offer may not be combined with other offers or promotions. Applies to online purchases only. All Citi Branded consumer credit Cards, excluding business credit and professional cards, are eligible for the promotion; business credit cards and professional cards are not eligible. Limit one gift card per Citi® credit card, per Tuesday, per purchase of $100 or more. If a qualifying purchase is made, a Walmart eGift Card in the amount of $10.00 will be emailed within ten days of the qualifying purchase to the email address provided. A valid email address must be supplied at time of purchase to obtain a Walmart eGift Card. Use of the Walmart eGift Card is subject to the Walmart Gift Card Terms and Conditions, available on (at…. Offer valid in the 50 United States only. Offer valid until 12/17/13. However, this offer is subject to modification or termination without notice

Friday, November 22, 2013

Rainbow Loom Bow (One loom)

Here is another original Rainbow Loom pattern.   It uses the quadruple single for each side of the bow.  I have been making lots of bows lately because my daughter is very into Minnie Mouse.  On the Mickey Mouse Club House they have a special small segment called "Minnie's Bowtique."  It's super girly and probably why Avery loves it so much.  I knew that if I made this bracelet she would love it.

To make the bracelet you make two separate quadruple single sides using five pegs.  Attach the two in the middle.  I created a video tutorial below so you can see how it's done.  It's not a beginners tutorial, but fairly simple.   To attach the bow to a bracelet I loop the horizontal rubber band ends to a inverted fishtail bracelet. This all makes more sense in the video tutorial here: (

The black and pink bracelet is a fishtail bracelet that I made with no loom.  The bow is attached to an inverted fishtail bracelet.

These would make really cute hair bands or if you made a long one a head band.  

Saturday, November 16, 2013

More Rainbow Loom Patterns and Designs Tutorials

I really love this Rainbow Loom.  I've been thinking up new patterns and just knocking the bracelets out for Avery.  There's something therapeutic about crafting, just focusing on making something so simple just invigorates me and relaxes me at the same time.  Once I get into a rythm I can just keep looming.  Making these bracelets is like knitting.  I've used my knitting loom to make a few knit gifts, and rubber band looming uses similar techniques.  It's a lot nicer than knitting because a project takes less than 20 minutes to complete.  The rubber bands are relatively inexpensive and you can even make patterns without a loom.  I have a few video tutorials on how to make bracelets, rings, belts, headbands (whatever you want) with just your fingers.  For more complex patterns you can make your own loom just using four pencils, a matchbox and rubber bands.

I've thought of some new unique patterns and created video tutorials below.  I hope you enjoy them.
Double sided bracelet, one side is red and black, the other side is rainbow.

Pattern for making this bracelet, but watch the video tutorial that is below.

Some closeups of the bracelets.
Here is the video tutorial on how to make this double sided bracelet.  If you want to extend the bracelet longer with only one loom please see my other tutorial here.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Rainbow Loom Bracelets For Adults (And A Tutorial On How To Make A Bracelet Without A Loom)

So you may be wondering if I'm sporting any of these elastic band bracelets that I'm making.  I mentioned in a previous post that I am way too old to be wearing these rubber band bracelets.  While that still holds true for some of the designs, there are a few ways I have made these bracelets so that they are stylish for any age.  Instead of finishing the bracelets with the plastic C clasps, I decided to use a silver link bracelet.  This gives the bracelet a nice finished look.  I actually love to wear this fishtail bracelet now, it actually looks like a bracelet that I would purchase.

I also made this bracelet without a Rainbow Loom.  I just used my fingers to make it!  Included below is a video tutorial on how to make a Rainbow Loom bracelet without a loom.  I have more videos coming of new complex bracelets without a loom, so be on the look out for those.

These colorful rubber bands as well as a Rainbow Loom can be found online on or

Here is the video tutorial on how to make a Rainbow Loom bracelet with no loom.  The pattern it shows you is the fishtail bracelet as seen above.  All you need is rubber bands and your fingers!  So this is great if you are going somewhere and don't want to bring your loom or if you do not have a Rainbow Loom. Video tutorial here:

Fishtail elastic band bracelet made without a loom.

Instead of putting a C clip just use a bracelet and loop it through both ends of the fishtail and clasp the bracelet .  You want to make your fishtail bracelet half the length of your wrist.

Here is how the bracelet looks on

Thursday, November 14, 2013

How To Make Pretty Puffy Bows And A Giveaway!

This post is brought to you by Bowdabra.  All opinions are 100% mine.

I can't believe malls and stores are putting up Christmas decorations already. It does seem a bit early but I actually don't mind.  I love the holiday season and all the holiday decorations just get me excited for the holiday festivities that are to come.  When I see the holiday decorations at the stores I always am amazed at all the pretty bows that adorn the wreaths, Christmas Trees and presents.  I have always wanted to have those big puffy bows for my wreaths and presents but never knew how to make them.  This year I'm happy to say that my presents and Chirstmas decor are all going to be adorned with beautiful bows.  I received a Bowdabra and am amazed at how easy it is to make these bows.  

I'm going to show you how to use these bows and a little bit of burlap to create simple elegant rustic looking wrapping.  All you need is wired ribbon, bow wire, Bowdabra, burlap and craft paper.

Take 16 inches of bow wire folded in half and place in the horizontal slot of the Bowdabra. Next take your wire ribbon and place in vertical slot.

There is a handy chart in the Bowdabra manual on how long to make each loop depending on the thickness of your ribbon.  I find that making smaller loops helps in making prettier bows.  

Fold ribbon back and forth onto the center slot of the Bowdabra.  Be sure to keep your loops even.  This is very important to make a uniform bow.  The manual also lets you know how many loops to create.  For my 1.5 inch wire ribbon bow my loops are about 7 inches and I looped around 9 times.  The more loops the better, so I added one to the recommended amount.

When all the loops are done, loop through the bow wire like image above (I know this is different ribbon, I didn't have a focused picture of the other ribbon).

Remove bow from Bowdabra and start to fluff.  I start turning the ribbon right sides out here.  In the instructions it tells you to turn it as you are placing it on the Bowdabra, but I find that turning the ribbon here works way better,

Fluff the ribbon into a half sphere shape.  I like to do three of four loops on the top, and then work the side ones in a circle.

This is the view from the side of the ribbon.

Use craft paper and wrap the gift, then cut a piece of burlap to place around the box.  I then attached the bow wire around the burlap.  The blue bow above was also made with the bowdabra.  That one is a simple bow which works better with satin ribbon.  The large poofy bows work better with wire ribbon (something that they don't tell you in the manual).
Be sure to visit Bowdabra on Facebook and Twitter.  Or to see some video tutorials visit their YouTube channel.  Bowdabras and accessories are available at most craft retailers, such as Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores, Michaels, AC Moore.

And now for the giveaway. One lucky reader will win a Bowdabra prize pack of their own.  Just enter through the Raffelcopter below.  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 8, 2013

PRK Laser Eye Surgery Today (My entire PRK recovrery experience)

I'm getting PRK eye surgery to correct my vision today so I won't be writing any craft posts for the next week.  This is my second PRK surgery to correct my nearsightedness.  In my first surgery about three years ago I was undercorrected in one eye so this "touch up" surgery will correct just my right eye.  They say "touch up" to make it sound better, but its basically the same surgery with the same risks and pain. People ask what the difference is between PRK and Lasik.  Lasik they cut a flap where with PRK they remove the top most layer of skin from your eye and then laser.  PRK is far more painful than Lasik because its like having an open scab in your eye that needs to heal.  I got PRK because my corneas are too thin to get Lasik.

My first surgery was very painful, I say it was worse than childbirth (but I had an epidural).  It took me a long time to heal from PRK (about a week and a half).  This surgery hopefully I will heal faster, the first time the doctor prescribed me an eyedrop that I was allergic to so it slowed down my healing process. While I was healing I was constantly googling PRK experiences to see if mine was normal.  The most helpful were blog posts where people detailed their experiences.  So for the next few days I will detail my PRK experience. Hopefully it will help someone who has gotten the surgery or is thinking about getting the surgery. I'm not sure how well I could type or see the computer monitor this second time, since I am only getting one eye done.  The first time I got it with both eyes it would have been impossible for me to type.

Surgery is in an hour!  Gotta get ready.  Will post again when I can.

Three years ago my prescription was about -5.25 and -5.75 and I had some astigmatism.  I don't really remember what the exact numbers are but my vision was pretty bad.  After my first surgery my vision was 20/40 on one eye and 20/80 in the other.  I decided not to recorrect the 20/40 eye because the surgery is so painful and because my doctor said that as I go older the 20/40 eye will be good for reading.

Update Friday 11/8/2013 10AM
Back from surgery.  Doing one eye is definitely better than doing two.  I can type and see.  Pain level from 1-10 is 2.  Procedure was worse second time around.  I had major anxiety, especially when he was scraping off the skin on my eyeball.  It did not help when he said the skin was thicker this time around and needed a special tool.  Took some tylenol PM and going to rest now.  Next appointment is tomorrow morning.  I can see pretty well because of my left eye.  My right eye (surgery eye) is completely blurry.

Update Friday 11/8/2013 3 PM
Woke up from my nap and really feel no pain.  Eyes feel really dry.  Before I fell asleep at 10AM my eyes were really in pain.  A sharp stinging sensation like chili peppers were poured onto my eyes.  It lasted for a few minutes before I fell asleep.  I can see far but it is blurry.  Since I did only one eye I walk around and do daily activities ok.  If I did both eyes I would not be able to do anything.

Update Friday  11/8/2013 6 PM
No real change from a few hours ago.  I slept again probably because of the Tylenol PM.  I'm droping Refresh preservative free drops and an antibiotic every 4 hours.  Before my surgery I was on Lotemax  and Restasis (for dry eye).  Eyes don't feel dry and there is only very slight pain.  This PRK experience is definitely better than the first.  If I cover my non surgery eye I cannot see the computer monitor to type, but I can see the tv.

Update Saturday 11/9/2013 8 AM
Seeing the doctor again today.  I've been taking tylenol for the pain.  Last night the pain came back and my eye is more red than before.  I can see the alarm clock, but its blurry.  I think my vision for my surgery eye is now about 20/60.  I need to print out an eye chart that I used last time to check my vision.  I can't seem to find it again.

Update Saturday 11/9/2013 11 AM
Just got back from the doctor.  He said my eye is healing fast, a lot faster than my previous surgery.  The first surgery my eyedrop allergy really slowed down my healing time.  8 mm of skin was taken off for my surgery and I'm at 5mm left to heal.  He said hopefully I can take off my band aid contact lens by Monday or Tuesday.  My vision is about 20/60 right now.  I'm still on the antibiotic drops and Tylenol.  The Tylenol really helps with the pain.  Computer monitor is still very blurry (if I cover my left eye), I would not be able to go back to work at this point.

Here is the free eye chart that I use:  I print it out (no resize) and mark off 20 feet away.  If I can see the 20ft line that means my vision is 20/20, 40 ft line means vision is 20/40.

Update Sunday 11/10/2013 9 AM (2 days post surgery)
My eye is super sensitive to light.  I feel like my vision is worse and it feels like there is sand in my eyes.  Last night I used lots of numbing drops which slow down healing.  I have to sit in a dark room in order to be comfortable.  This is very similar to my first surgery experience.  I sat in a dark room for three days straight.

Update Monday 11/11/2013 9 AM (3 days post surgery)
My eye feels blurrier than yesterday but the sensitivity to light is gone.  I'm 20/60 to 20/80 right now.  I remember the doctor saying that this is normal because as the skin heals towards the middle my vision will start getting worse because the skin is coming together towards the center.  I would not be able to drive or type if I had both eyes done.  I can can see the text on my iphone with my right (surgery) eye now, but I do feel like I am straining it when I look.  Computer monitor is still very blurry. I have another appointment later today, hopefully the contact lens can come off.

Update Monday 11/11/2013 9 PM (3 days post surgery)
Went to the doctor earlier and they took off my contact lens.  They used these really pointy tweezers that were so scary looking.  My vision is about 20/50 and I can barely make out the computer screen.  No pain, but I'm hoping my vision improves tomorrow.

Update Tuesday 11/12/2013 3 PM (4 days post surgery)
My eye felt like there was a grain of sand in it for most of the day (probably because the contact lens was removed).  Not much new, far vision is still blurry, computer monitor is still not readable.

Update Wednesday 11/13/2013 4 PM (5 days post surgery)
My recovery is coming along.  I can barely see the computer monitor with my right eye.  But because I only got surgery in one eye I am able to function and work.  I work in front of the computer all day so today was my first day back at work.  I worked from home, as I do not know how well I can drive yet.  I still do not see 20/20 with my right eye and it has me rather nervous.  The first time I got PRK I was not able to see 20/20 and never ended up ever reaching 20/20.  I am still hopeful that I will see 20/20 and that I have a bit more healing to do.

Update Thursday 11/14/2013 9 PM (6 days post surgery)
I can see pretty well for things at a distance, still not 20/20, but better than before surgery. Relative to my left eye, I think my right eye is now equal if not better.  I'm guessing my vision is now 20/40 but not very crisp.   My upclose vision for my right eye is still pretty blurry.  I can see the computer monitor but not very well.  If I had done both eyes I do not think I would be able to work in front of a computer (unless I changed the resolution so the fonts are huge).  No more pain, hopefully I'll reach 20/20 soon.

Update Friday 11/15/2013 9 PM (One week after surgery)
Vision fluctuates.  My eyes don't feel dry but doctor advised that I should use artificial tears every few hours. Not much new, my vision was tested today and its 20/30 for my right surgery eye.  My upclose vision is still blurry but I guess my eye is still healing (this is a good sign because I figure if I was completely healed and my vision is 20/30 it would be disappointing.  Things around me do not seem sharp or crisp, but I am able to see and drive.  Doctor says that it takes about 6 weeks to get to 20/20.  With my previous surgery my vision was basically the same after the 10th day.  So if you are reading this and your vision is 20/80 and you are already two weeks into healing, I would say that for me there was only slight improvements in vision after the 10 day mark.

Update Sunday 11/17/2013 9 PM (8 days post surgery)
My vision has been improving slightly.  I am now able to drive, but street signs are not sharp and sometimes not completely clear.  I haven't driven at night but have been in the car and I see small halos, but nothing that major.  I'm not really sure if the halos are because the lights are just a bit blurry.  Eyes do not feel that dry and overall I am back to normal.  I will continue to update this post weekly/monthly depending on if I have any major changes.

Update Saturday 11/30/2013 (3 weeks post surgery)
I don't know if my vision is 20/20.  Things are much clearer.  I can drive without glasses at night.  A few nights ago I woke up with a sharp pain in my eye.  It felt as though the skin had ripped off my eye (like right after the PRK surgery).  My eyes were dry so I put rewetting drops in and tried to go back to bed.  The pain lasted for about 15 min and I fell asleep.  In the morning my eye was fine.  Now I put drops in right before bed to prevent that.

Friday, November 1, 2013

How to Extend a Rainbow Loom Bracelet With Just One Loom Tutorial

I just received my Twistz Bandz Rainbow Loom in the mail and am so excited.  For those of you who don't know what a Rainbow Loom Bracelet is, it's basically today's version the lanyard bracelet.   The loom comes with tiny rubber bands that you put on in patterns and use something that looks like a crochet needle to hook together. Depending on how you place and hook the rubber bands, you could get some pretty intricate patterns.  I made a few of these rubber band bracelets for my niece and daughter.  I am probably too old to be sporting these bracelets, but it doesn't stop me from making a bazillion of them.  I love all things craft and this is no exception.  When I'm making these bracelets it totally brings me back to when I was a kid and trying to think of new friendship bracelet and lanyard patterns.

For this Rainbow Loom bracelet I figured out how to connect two bracelets together to make one long and wide continuous bracelet with just one loom.  Usually you would have to buy two looms and connect them together to make a long bracelet, but in the video tutorial below I will show you how to connect two bracelets together to make one seamless bracelet.  The other alternative that I've seen is to create a small extension and add it to the end, but it doesn't really look that great.  This tutorial will show a better way of making a long rubber band rainbow loom bracelet. The beginning of the tutorial is a beginners tutorial for making a simple triple single loom bracelet.  When I start connecting the bracelet it does require a little experience making bracelets (experience meaning you've made one or two).  I will also have a follow up video tutorial on how to make a quadruple single loom bracelet, which you could also extend to a quintuple single Rainbow loom bracelet.

Rainbow looms can be purchased at and  There are also other brands of rubber band looms such as FunLoom, Bandaloom and Cra-z-Loom.  They are all basically the same concept (not sure hot the patent works for it!)

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