Sunday, July 28, 2013

Last week I ran in my first real race (if you don't count a couple little 5K's I've done with the kids). Bruce and I ran together in the Deseret News Classic 10K. We have both been running for about a year and it was time to push ourselves a little more.

I have a bunch of friends and family who run half marathons and even marathons often... like several times a year! They say they do it for the challenge and for the love of running. I admit, we started running to loose a few pounds. And it work great! Bruce and I have both met our goal weights and are working on getting stronger.
I'm not completely convinced that I have fallen in love with running but it felt really good to set a goal and reach that goal! I didn't walk across the finish line, I ran. And in fact I ran the whole 6.2 miles and didn't stop once. I'm proud of us!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tooth Fairy Wand

Just a quickie little project I made late last night... right in time for the tooth fairy to show up :)  My little girl had an especially hard time with one of her teeth so I felt like she needed something special to take to the dentist with her. The dental assistants squealed when C walked in with her tooth wand!
I used this super cute tooth fairy printable HERE. The wand was made very similar to THIS wand, only with a simple tooth shape instead. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Tea Party

Recently my girls hosted a tea party for their friends. They had so much fun with this! P got really excited, making pretty invitations, having everyone wear their fanciest dresses and whipping up a batch of sugar cookies before the party. We also served these super yummy ice cream bars...

My favorite was the Royal Dark but the girls agreed they liked the English Toffee best. I wasn't expecting these ice cream bars to be soooo yummy. The chocolate coating was super thick! Yeah... I might have finished off the box of dark chocolate myself.

Most of the girls hadn't tried tea before. P chose mint herbal tea (which is my favorite). I had some lemonade on hand for those who didn't like it :)

Everyone dressed in their finest and on their best behavior.

Thank you Blue Bunny Ice Cream and Cadbury for providing such a fun party for my girls! I'm off to the store for more dark chocolate!

This post is part of a compensated campaign with Blue Bunny Ice Cream and Mom Select. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Quilting On The Cheap

Quilting is expensive. I am currently working on a queen sized quilt for my moms bed, cutting every expense I can and I still estimate it's going to be over 200$.
When I worked at a quilt store I watched the same women come in regularly and spend hundreds of dollars on projects that they openly admitted to never having the time to finish. I found it all a little weird and wasteful but I did learn a thing or two how NOT to over spend on quilting.
That being said, I have my fair share of unfinished projects! I have 4 large storage bins filled with collected fabric, pieced but not finished quilt tops, and lots and lots of patterns. Quilting, and shopping for quilting supplies, is therapy for a lot of women. But when tackling a large quilting project it's smart to know how to get the most for your money. You can take these tips and just apply one or two on your next project, or if you're on a tight budget try them all. As a stay at home mom of 3 I know I need all the money saving tips I can get!
Tip 1: Don't use precuts.
I know they are really cute! I buy them... I do! But not when I'm tackling a big quilting project. They are marked way up in price. What I DO love about precuts is getting a piece of every fabric in the line. What I don't love about them is paying more for those pieces. In the average jellyroll you get forty 2.5 inch strips. That comes to 100 inches of fabric, or 2.7 yards. At 10$ a yard that should come to 27$ worth of fabric. The last jellyroll I purchased was 40$. Not a good deal. Instead buy 1/8 of a yard of each fabric. Most fabric stores give you a little wiggle room and I can usually get two 2.5 strips out of an eighth. If you can't, I wouldn't go back to that fabric store :( I also buy 1/6 of a yard if I want 5 inch squares (charm packs), or 1/4 to 1/3 of a yard if I want 10 inch squares (layer cakes). Honestly I don't usually love every piece of fabric in the line so I'm happy with just picking my favorites and saving quite a bit of money in the long run.

Tip 2: Buy batting at chain stores with a 40% off coupon.
I hope you're lucky enough to live close to one. I'm down the street from a JoAnns and I always buy my batting with a coupon. You can usually use these coupons online too.

Tip 3: Use a sheet on the back
No it's not as nice as using a piece from the line but remember we are on a budget here. Just an FYI, Walmart has twin sized sheets for 5$-7$ in all sorts of colors. The last sheet I used on the back of my quilt washed up even softer than the front. If your trying to save money, this is huge.

Tip 4: Quilt it yourself.
My last tip is my favorite tip. I LOVE to quilt my own quilts. With a little practice it's not that hard and I feel a huge since accomplishment when it's done. Have you ever gotten your quilt back from the quilter and hit the floor when she told you the price? I have.
Check out my tutorial on how to quilt your own quilts HERE
Just a couple other things... I made my first few quilts on a 100$ sewing machine I bought when I was first married. They turned out beautifully, were displayed in my local quilt shop and I still love them today. You don't need to spend 2,000$ on a machine to get started. I did eventually want to upgrade my machine though.
As far as thread goes, I use the cheap stuff to piece and the nice stuff to quilt. It does make a slight difference to use the nice stuff throughout. Your seems lay flatter and it doesn't tangle as much, but it's not enough for me to justify the extra cost and I've ever had anyone complain that my quilts were "bulky". After they are washed they all feel the same to me.
The one thing I WON'T skimp on is quality fabric. I use the nice 10$ a yard stuff. Mostly because I love the prints, designs and colors, but cheaper fabric can rip, fade, and shrink. My favorite brands of course are MODA, Michael Miller, Robert Kaufman... even Riley Blake feels a little cheap sometimes but I think they are getting better. Choosing quality fabric is the most enjoyable part of quilting for me, another reason I have to try and save money everywhere else!


Isn't getting away for just a night so refreshing! My husband is an attorney and needed to visit to courthouse in St. George Utah, about a 4 hour drive from home. The kids and I decided to tag along.
I took a bunch of pictures of our little trip on my new favorite thing, Instagram.

We spent the night in Mesquite, Nevada. It's about 30 minutes outside St. George but the hotel rooms are super cheap, I'm sure to try and  get you to spend your money gambling instead. The one time Bruce and I thought we'd try our hand at gambling a few years ago we lost 5$ in 15 seconds and realized what a complete waste!

Our room at the Casablanca Resort and Casino was about what you'd expect from a 40$ a night room in a tiny NV town but the kids thought it was fantastic. The pool, water slide and extra bouncy beds were worth the money.
Afterwards we headed back to Utah and into beautiful St. George. I love this town! We spent a winter in Ivins Utah when Bruce was fresh out of law school. It was hard to leave.
While daddy did his thing in the air conditioned courthouse we explored the red cliffs in gloriously hot 102 degree weather.

On our way home we stopped at Cove Fort. I didn't get any instagram pictures :( but it was a perfect little rest stop on our way home. The tour lasted about an hour, the friendly tour guide gave our kids a little souvenir pioneer toy to take home and overall it was very interesting. Next time your driving through the middle of nowhere in Utah I suggest you stop. I do have to say I wish there had been a gift shop, I could have used a big icy soda at this point in the drive!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Monday, July 1, 2013

Our June

June 2013 may go down as one of the funnest months in history for our kids, and we went to Disneyland in May! I was so excited for summer to start this year I haven't been able to stay inside.
We've been so busy I couldn't possible post all our June pictures here. Curious about how we spend our summer? Follow me on Instagram at nanfran1. 
June started off with this little girls first ever dance recital. Poor little C had been working so hard on her dance and the morning of her big day she woke up sick. She's such a trooper and performed anyway!

Daddy makes her feel a little better.
I got the family water park passes again this year. Not a week has gone by we haven't gone at least once. I'm getting an awesome tan! :)
The Boy has been busy with track and field 3 days a week. Today I watched him run his heart out in 103 degree temperature!
Have you tried the free kids projects they offer at Lowes and Home Depot stores? We had a lot of fun one Saturday morning making wooden Monster U boxes, after watching the movie at the theater the day before. 

I've rediscovered this year that P loves to climb. She was a climber as a baby and scared me to death. At least now she wears a safety harness.

We finally took out P's Christmas present for some target practice last Saturday. Guess what? I actually hit the target! Ok, we did have it set pretty close for the kids.

Besides taking the kids out on adventures everyday, I also finished a quilt top!
I used all the blues, grays, and greens from Happy Go Lucky by Timble Blossoms.
I'm currently working on another one with all the colors from this line for my mom. They are building a home right now and I'm trying hard to get it done before they move in next month... oh wait, no! This month! June went by so quickly!
In the month of June Bruce and I also celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary! We spent one very lovely evening at the Grand America hotel in Downtown Salt Lake City.

13 incredibly lucky years with this handsome man!

My Mr. Franson :) Goofing off at the shops around town.
There are so many other adventures we've had this month but these are my favorites. Above all else it's just been so nice to relax and spend time with my babies. I hope July passes a little slower!