Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Husband Project: Project 11

Eliminate Something that Makes Him Crazy

Today's project is to remove one stressor from your husband's life. "Figure out what makes him feel a tiny sense of defeat each day and plan to remove it."

It could be something as simple as replacing a watch battery or fixing that button on his favorite shirt. Is there a hot spot in your house that drives your man crazy? Is your bathroom counter full of makeup and products? Is your counter overflowing with papers? Remember, this isn't something that stresses YOU out. Don't spend hours organizing your closet for this project if it's not something that bothers your husband.

Our hot spot is the desk. It's right by the back door so everything gets piled on it - from sippy cups, to mail, to craft projects, there are even a few dryer balls sitting on my desk right now. We only have one desktop computer that we both use and I know it drives my husband crazy when he has to move all of my 'stuff' just to get some work done. My goal is to clean and organize our desk area so it's not so overwhelming. I even bought a couple of those plastic drawers so we can have places to put 'his' and 'hers' projects.

How did yesterday's project go? The past few days my husband's been getting home right when I'm about ready for bed - sweats and a t-shirt, hair up, and no makeup. He was surprised when he came home last night and my hair was down, and I had jeans and a nice shirt on.

Tomorrow's project is Gotcha! - Notice the Great Things He Does. 

WAHM Wednesday - Jill from Green Baby Clothing Company

What makes your business fabulous?

Green Baby Clothing Company is fabulous firstly because we have super cute Earth friendly items but ALSO because it combines the talent of seven Moms who bring their talents to Green Baby!

Why did you become a WAHM?

I became a WAHM so I wouldn't have to go back to the corporate world after having my first baby in 2007 :)

Handmade ROCKSTAR Hoodie

How do you find the time?

Most of the work happens "after hours" and when I happen to luck out on getting both kids to nap at the same time!!

Any tips for other WAHMs?

Make sure all the product that goes out is 100% perfect! Enjoy what you do or you won't be able to do it for very long! And... Have fun with it!

Out of all the products you make/sell, which one is your favorite?

I love our "support local farmers" tee!! And all our fun hats!

Any specials or giveaways we should know about?
Always free shipping on orders over $150 and 10% off all orders on Wednesday until 10pm EST with code FLUFF

Django Mango Organic Turtle Rattle

Haunted House How-To

Hi, my name is Tara and I'm addicted to...You thought I was going to say fluff didn't you? Well, you're right, but I was actually going to say ScrapbookSteals - yes, another addiction. If you are into any kind of scrapbooking, paper crafts, card making, ribbons, super cute embellishments, and nifty little tools, you should really check out ScrapbookSteals! They are part of a whole Steals network with KidSteals and BabySteals - both of those also rather addiction forming.

So, what does this have to do with a Haunted House How-To? Pretty much 95% of my craft supplies come from ScrapbookSteals and one of my little Haunted Houses was featured on their blog today!! Super excited about that!!

Anyway, I figured what better day to post my Haunted House How-To. So, here we go...

The easiest way to make the house is to start off with a milk carton and then download Template 2 for the window, moon, and roof.

If you don't have a milk carton, you can make the house base out of poster board by using Template 1 (Print two copies). Then go ahead and download Template 2 for everything else. There's no template for the door, but you can make that any shape and size you'd like.

Template 1 (Print 2)

If you're using Template 1, make sure to add a couple tabs to the triangle part of the house. This will make it easier to attach the roof. I just drew mine on and then cut around them...

Attach the two copies of Template 1 so that it looks like this... 
Leave a little hangover on one of the side so you can attach it to the other side of the house. It's also a good idea to cut the roof out of posterboard.

Here's what the house should look like after it's cut and folded, but before it's glued together. To attach everything together, I used a combination of Glue Dots and Xyron Photo Mount Tape to create a strong bond.

After you have the house structure together (or a milk carton ready) it's time for the fun part - decorating!

Almost all of the papers and embellishments I used for these houses came from My Mind's Eye Boo to You and the Spider's Web Collections that I purchased from Scrapbook Steals.

The first house was made with a milk carton. Besides the MME Spider's Web papers, I also used a little bit of paper from the Teresa Collins Welcome Home collection. To hide the spout of the milk carton, I just wrapped a little piece of paper around it and created a chimney. Then I attached the moon cutout to the chimney using Glue Dots.

The pumpkins, tree, and cat were all cut out of the Spider's Web collection papers.

The second house I made using the template. Again, I mainly used the Spider's Web papers, but I also used some American Crafts Glitter Cardstock for the moon and window panes, glitter black foam for the window frame and door, and Doodlebugs embellishments and ribbon for the flowers and doorknob.

I used some Pebbles Chalk to distress the window, door, and roof. The flower stems were made by cutting the ribbon into strips and then fraying it just a little bit.

My XYRON 1.5" and 2.5" Create-a-Sticker machines worked great for attaching the little embellishments to the house.

I made the spooky welcome sign using the Teresa Collins Welcome Home paper again and then I used a baby handprints stamp and some red ink for the bloody handprints. I'm still not sure exactly how I feel about using a baby stamp for bloody handprints...

If you cut open the door and window panes, these houses make great luminaries when you put them over a battery operated candle.

I also made a little kid-friendly haunted house for little man by using papers & embellishments from My Mind's Eye Boo to You Collection...

If you haven't already, you definitely should over to the ScrapbookSteals Facebook page. It really is like one big happy family over there. I've made some fabulous friends thanks to ScrapbookSteals and you are absolutely going to love the SS ladies! 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Husband Project: Project 10

Dress to Impress
Wear Something Just for Him

Today's project is to wear something just for him. It can be something new or something you already own.

This project goes along with last week's project, Trophy Wife, but, besides just wearing clothes that YOU know you look good in, think about what HE loves to see you in. It could be a certain shirt or jeans, or a certain way you wear your hair. 

Just like Kathi, I was in a ponytail rut for awhile after having little man. It was just so easy, especially on the days when I knew we weren't going to be leaving the house. Plus, when you have a toddler that loves to throw food, a ponytail is about the only way to keep the food out of your own hair. The days I wore my hair down were so far and few between that my husband would actually ask me why I was dressed up whenever I wore it down! I know he likes it when I wear my hair down so I figured out a quick hair style routine that only takes me a few minutes in the morning and if I need to put it up during the day, I just put some hair clips in. When hubby gets home, I just take the hair clips out.

What I loved about this project is that Kathi brought up something that women are famous for - waiting until...
I lose weight
The kids are in school
I go back to work
I get a better job

If you feel undeserving now, nothing magical is going to happen once you hit these goals that's 'going to suddenly make you feel worthy of taking care of yourself.' There's always going to be another reason to wait and someone to compare yourself to. But, your husband married YOU not one of those other millions of women. As Kathi says, "there's no reason to postpone being the best you can be, right now."

I have a couple shirts that I know my husband likes, so I'll be wearing one of those today. Remember, even if your husband doesn't say anything, he probably noticed. Even if he didn't, I bet it made you feel better.

How did yesterday's project go? .

Tomorrow's project is Stress-Be-Gone - Eliminate Something That Makes Him Crazy.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Husband Project: Project 9

Hi-ho, Hi-ho
Working Together

Today's project is to help your husband get a job done. It could be helping him get one of his regular chores done, assisting him in a project he enjoys, or helping out his favorite charity.

If you feel that your husband doesn't really need your help, try to find a way to support him while he's working on his project or activity. If he'd rather work alone, maybe you could bring him a cold drink or some snacks. In "The Husband Project", Kathi talks about working with her husband to make his world famous salsa. Her husband doesn't really need her help making the salsa, but she is happy to support him by "shopping for ingredients, getting him the cutting board, cleaning up afterward."

This project is also a great way to have a little fun too! Maybe you could cook dinner together and turn it into a 'date night'. Or help him wash his car. Water and a little flirting can always create some fun times! :)

We are still harvesting right now so we don't really have the time to work on projects together at this time. But, I am supporting him by helping him move equipment and bringing him food and drinks while he's working.

How did yesterday's project go for you?

Tomorrow's project is Dress to Impress - Wear Something Just for Him.

*CLOSED* Bottombumpers Giveaway from Sweet Lil Dimples

The winner is entry #76 -


who said they'd take a Medium, Honeydew Bottombumpers.

One of the best things about this blog is all of the wonderful people I come in contact with. Rhonda, from Sweet Lil Dimples Baby Shop, emailed me about some ad space and while we were sending emails back and forth, I found out that she really enjoys spreading the cloth love and giving back to the community. Plus, she's a mom of four children and still runs a cloth diaper store. That's pretty awesome!

Something else that's pretty awesome - Sweet Lil Dimples Baby Shop wants to give one of you a Bottombumpers Perfect Size Diaper in your choice of color and size and a sample of Rockin' Green Detergent!

Since I posted about the Google forms the other day, I figured we might as well try it out. So, here's what you need to do:

Visit the Sweet Lil Dimples website and tell me what color and size of Bottombumpers you'd like to win.

For extra entries:
Follow The Cloth Chronicles via GFC
Subscribe to The Cloth Chronicles Newsletter
Let me know how you like the new entry form.

Giveaway ends Sunday, October 31st, at 11:59pm CST.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Halloween Crafts

I'm not sure if it's the fact that I can dress however I want, or just the candy, but I love Halloween. I usually go all out decorating, but some of my decorations really aren't kid friendly and I don't want to traumatize my son quite yet. So, I raided my craft supplies and made a few decorations that still had a bit of creepiness to them without all the bells and whistles.

The spooky setup on our kitchen table...

The Luminaries...

A couple Haunted Houses...

The Halloween Basket...

Our new Welcome Sign... 

Of course, I had to make a Happy Haunted House for little man's room...

Make sure to visit the blog throughout the week for how-to's on some of these projects.

The Husband Project: Project 8

Location, Location, Location
A Special Treat in a Special Place

Today's project is to give your husband a special food treat at a special location.

This project doesn't have to be anything extravagant or fancy. Just think about some of your husband's favorite things. Does he like being outside? Maybe a picnic in the park would be perfect for you. Maybe his favorite blueberry muffins in bed would be a great surprise for him. Just do whatever would be fun for him.

My husband is busy in the fields this time of year with harvesting and planting. So, my plan is to bring him lunch in the field. It will give him a nice little break from work and some quick family time in the middle of a long day.

How did yesterday's project go? Did you find some clothes that look fantastic on you?

Tomorrow's project is "Hi-ho, Hi-ho - Working Together". 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Husband Project: Bonus Project 1

I don't think I've mentioned this yet, but there are bonus projects each week in The Husband Project and these might just make you step out of your comfort zone. They are all about sex. Once a week there will be a project where you initiate sex, which most of us probably don't do all of the time. I love this quote in the book by Billy Crystal, "Women need a reason for sex. Men just need a place."

To help prepare for your romantic evening, Kathi suggests you pick up a book on the subject. Believe it or not, there are actual tasteful books on the subject. Some that are recommended in The Husband Project are Sex Begins in the Kitchen and Sheet Music, both by Dr. Kevin Leman and Love Life for Every Married Couple by Dr. Ed Wheat and Gloria Oakes.
If you haven't joined our Husband Project group over at Facebook yet, feel free to stop over!

The Husband Project: Project 7

Trophy Wife
Looking Goooood for Your Man

We all know that most of us are not like those wives and mothers on TV. I cannot think of one real-life mom I know that spends her days wearing 4 inch heels with her hair done perfectly while chasing after a toddler. Ha! I'm lucky to get a shower on some days and most days I'm running around trying to keep the house somewhat livable while cleaning up little man's latest disaster, attempting to get some work done, cooking, cleaning, and just trying to stay awake long enough to get something done while wearing t-shirts, old jeans, and flip flops. There are days I don't even get out of my yoga pants and tank top until noon. My hair is usually pulled back in a ponytail and I wear makeup only on rare occasions. 

I wasn't always like this. I used to have a closet full of nice clothes and shoes (including heels) and a bathroom full of hair products and makeup. I don't think my husband ever saw me without makeup while we were dating and probably not within those first few months of marriage either. Then, once again, life happened and we became busy and fell into a comfortable routine. Once little man came along, I just didn't have time to get all dressed up everyday.

I actually started this project a few days after I received The Husband Project. I have been in a rut for way too long and this was the kick I needed. I asked hubby to honestly tell me which clothes of mine that he liked and which ones he didn't. I went through my closet and got rid of the clothes that didn't fit me right or I knew were ugly on me and then I went shopping. Now, I'm not telling you to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe. I just got a few pieces that I knew looked good on me and that I could interchange with other pieces to make new outfits.

You know what? Since starting this project, my husband has been complementing me more than he has in a long time, and I feel better about myself. This was definitely a little boost to my ego! Sure, I still have my  'cleaning clothes' - the old, worn out jeans and t-shirts. But, when I leave the house and when hubby comes home, my hair's not always in a ponytail, I have nice clothes on, and I'm wearing makeup. I feel like this project allowed me to bring a little bit of 'me' back into our marriage.

How did yesterday's project go? My hubby was thrilled when I offered to scratch his back, but I still think he's a little leery of all of this. I'm not sure, but I think he was checking his food for poison the other day. ;)

We are starting Week 2 tomorrow! Have you noticed any change yet? Has your husband noticed anything?

Tomorrow's project is: Location, location, location - A Special Treat in a Special Place.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Husband Project: Project 6

 A Little Hands-on Attention
Meeting Your Husband's Physical (Touch) Needs

Today's project is to "do something to help your husband enjoy physical touch. Find something that will help him relax. New pillows, massage lotions, a back rub...your choice. Make it something that both of you will enjoy."

This is one of the projects that might cause you to step out of your comfort zone a little bit. Not everyone is a physical touch kind of person and your husband might be a 'hands-off' kind of guy. Besides physical touch, there are other ways you can help out his tactile sense. Maybe you could replace those old pillows or get some luxurious sheets for the bed. Just think about ways that you could add a little bit of comfort to his day and take the cues from your man.

For myself, this project is easy. I know my husband loves when I scratch his back especially since I don't do that very often. So, that's my plan. :)

How did yesterday's project go? Let's just say my hubby was extremely surprised, and happy, with the slightly scandalous text message I sent.

Tomorrow's project is: Trophy Wife - Looking Good for Your Man

Creating a Contact Form with Google Docs

Since there was a good response on my last tutorial, I figured I'd push my luck and try another one. Google Docs are a fabulous thing. Easy to use and accessible anywhere. It wasn't until maybe a month ago that I realized they had an even more fabulous thing - Google Forms. What I love about Google Forms is that you can embed it in a website, blog, or email and all of the responses are automatically entered into a nicely organized Google Docs Spreadsheet. I use Google Forms for the Contact Us form on the sidebar here, but  I've noticed a few blogs also using these for giveaways instead of the typical, 'Comment on this post'. I might even follow that trend. Besides making it easy to pick the winner - Google spreadsheet entries are numbered - it's also much more confidential for the readers since they don't have to leave their email address for everyone to see. The only drawback I can see would be that, since other readers can't see the entries, there's no way for the blogger to verify that the winner was really randomly drawn.

Anyway, I'm going to show you how to embed a Google Form into your blog at blogger, but you can use this same concept in a website or email. If any of you figure out how to embed the form into a Facebook tab, please let me know!

If you don't already have a Google account, create one and then head over to Google docs. From there, select Create new and then select Form.

You should see something like this...

Select the questions you want by either editing the current questions and/or adding new ones...

For my questions, I used name, email, comments, and added a checkbox for the newsletter subscription. You can also change the look of your Contact Form by changing the theme, but I find that the plain theme works the best in blogger.

Once you have that done, you can edit the confirmation screen and embed your form. 

I left my confirmation message as it already was. Unless you want everyone to see all the responses, leave the Publish response summary unchecked. If you check that, then as soon as someone submits their answers, they will see all the other responses too. 

Go back up to More actions and select Embed. You should get a little pop up box with your embed code in it. 

To add to your blog sidebar, log in to blogger and go to Design. On the sidebar you want to use, select Add a Gadget and then HTML/JavaScript. Now you just need to copy and paste your embed code...
 More than likely, you'll have to change the width of your contact form so that it'll fit in your sidebar. My sidebar width is 250, so I changed the form width from 760 to 230. You can also change the length of your contact form. If it's too short, you'll have a scroll bar on it. I changed mine from 624 to 700. This is one of those things that you might have to mess with a little bit before you get it exactly how you want it.

Here's what my contact form looks like in the blog sidebar.

To see the form entries, go back to your Google docs account and click All items. A spreadsheet with the same title as your form should be there. 

Here's what the spreadsheet looks like for my form...

Feel free to share this post, please just let people know you found it over at The Cloth Chronicles. :)

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