Wednesday, August 28, 2013

WIWW - First Week of School

Because I spend so much time shopping, thrifting, altering clothing and thinking about what to wear, I thought it might be fun to post weekly of what outfits I've put together throughout the week for me or my daughter. I plan to have a WIWW (What I Wore Wednesday) post every week displaying either my style, Widget's style, or both.

Last week was Widget's first week of Kindergarten. To be honest, she has wanted me to set/pick out her clothing each day, but she has openly given her opinion about my choices and added her own artistic flair.

And I groaned (initially) when I realized Widget had grown-out everything but her shorts, but I found a solution. Have you used your local thrift stores to shop for school clothes? It's a great way to snag a deal! Also, I like to start shopping early-I purchased a few things online on super sale, and usually the next size up from what she is currently wearing. Because I know that school shopping can come close to breaking the bank, I wanted to show you a few examples of ways I keep my child clothed for cheap.

First, I love to shop thrift stores. I also buy clothing out of season and in larger sizes. For instance, I bought this denim vest in a thrift store in Utah a few years was too cute to pass up!

 Top: Gap [clearance rack, additional 30% off],
Vest: thrifted [$1.99 at a Utah thrift store (Xhilaration)],
Skirt: thrifted [$2.99 on ThredUp (Hanna Anderson)], Shoes: Target
 Top: thrifted [$2.99 onThredUp (KC Parker)], Pants: Target, Shoes: Target [sale for just over $10]
 Bow: ZLilly Accessories (handmade by me), Top: Old Navy [super online sale 2 months ago],
Skirt: Gap Outlet [bought in PR about 6 months ago off clearance rack], Tights: Pick Your Plum
Top: Target, Pants: thrifted [$5.99 at Savers (Gap)], Shoes: Target [sale for just over $10]
What kind of deals have you found while school-clothes shopping?
Did you hit up your local thrift stores or online consignment shops for great deals?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Make Along Monday Link Up - Back to School/Organization

Welcome to Make Along Monday! Was it just us or was this one CRAZY month!?! Making those last summer memories and prepping for a fabulous new school year made for some busy mamas. We're really excited to share a few of our Back TO School projects but even MORE excited to see yours!!! 

Let's get started! 


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Go ahead and link-up a few of your Back TO School projects and then pop over to a couple of your faves! Don't forget to leave them a little comment love because who doesn't adore a nice comment!?!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Cheap Organization that is Visually Appealing

To me, August has always been the month of Back-To-School, clothes shopping and organization. It's the time we prepare our minds, our wardrobes, and our closets for the school year and the up-coming season changes. Spring Cleaning is now something to deal with next year, but, now we long to clear out the mess of summer outings and unstructured play represented around the house by piles of pool toys, stuffed animals and stacks of movies strewn across every flat surface in sight.

I don't know about you, but I've been motived to get things unpacked and more organized this month. Maybe it's the kid-free time while school is in session, or maybe it's just me wanting a change, but I have been gradually finding spaces that are in need of order...and to be beautified.

One of my goals is to situate and prepare my office/craft room into a place where inspiration abounds and creativity can flourish (and being able to find everything would also be a bonus).

My handsome hubby and I bought and assembled some white shelving (which you can pick up at good ol' Target, or Walmart, Lowe's, and Home Depot, etc.) in the bedroom that I call my office. I also bought some of the collapsible fabric storage cubes to utilize on the new shelving...but I couldn't figure out how to make everything organized by dumping it into bins.

A better place for pens, dry erase markers, sharpies, and such, would be in plain view--like in these tins I bought in Target's dollar section (I LOVE that section). The tins create a simple space to separate these writing apparatuses, and lessen clutter.

I also found that some things, stuff I needed to store, looked rather nice on their own. I lined up my wood birdhouses in pretty rows on one of the shelves. I like the grouping effect is has visually, and also it's a great way to remind yourself of some of the projects you have planned in the future.

And, in order to keep my fabric stash a little more manageable, I tried finding ways to store the prettiness like the stores do (you know: HobLob and JoAnns). At first I couldn't find anything in the right price range, or the correct size. I had racked my brain, and had thought my only solution would be to painstakingly cut up cereal boxes (for the next year) to create a 'board' to wrap my fabric around...but then I went to Hancock's (to buy more fabric, of course) and found that our Hancock's was temporally closing its doors. While morning my loss of a near-by fabric/craft store, I made sure to buy a little extra yardage to tide me over until the shop opened again. At the cutting counter, I noticed the employees stacking empty fabric bolts into a cupboard. Turns out they were only going to go chuck those wonderfully empty bolts into a dumpster outback!

I had to save the bolts! Thoughts of lovely, organized shelves danced in my head as I thought about the possibilities. Luckily, the employee (even though he thought me quite crazy) gave me two huge sacks full of bare bolts to pack into my car. (Thank you wonderful Hancock's employee!!!!! I'll never forget you!!!!)

Once home, I used my hubby's miter saw to cut the bolts to fit onto my pretty shelving, then started wrapping them in fabric. One regular length bolt can be cut to create two of my shelf-size bolts and still have a bit leftover. I used those 'leftover' pieces to wrap lace and trims around (see the bottom right picture in the collage)---now all the loveliness can be on display.

Oooo, Aawwww! So pretty, it makes me smile :)

What organization have you been tempted to create this month?
How did you stay on top of your back-to-school schedules/paperwork?
Please link up all your Organization and Back-to-School ideas at our Make Along Monday link party!

Friday, August 23, 2013

InstaFriday - Summer in Review

Want to see what I've been doing this week (or month)? Most Fridays you can check in on my life with a little phone-photo glimpse here at You can also follow me daily on Instagram at @applesbyashley.

Since it has been awhile since my last InstaFriday post, I thought I would give you a quick photo glimpse of our summer.

Widget's room is almost organized and unpacked (along with an unfinished quilt as a bedspread).

I have been serving as a Cub Scout Bear Den leader--boy crafts can be fun, too ;)

We have visited the KC zoo with friends, and hope to visit again soon.
School clothes shopping is always interesting with Widget...she likes to pose!

We attended a sing-a-long at the new library.
Service project (pulling weeds) with the Cub Scouts.
Swimming at my cousin's pool (well, at her complex's pool).
Visited the Curious George exhibit.
Our master shower leaked through the laundry room ceiling.
Took the girls bowling almost every week.
We had a huge joint garage sale with my hubby's aunt...twice.
Took the girls school shopping all was a crazy day!
Set up a table at a 'Girls Night Out' event---sold only one piece (of jewelry)...but still fun to set up a table/booth for the first time in over two years.
Hope your summer was as much fun as ours!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Creation of a Quilt

Remember, on the third Thursday of {almost} every month, my Sis-in-law, Tash, writes about her recent crafty adventures. Take it away, Tash!

Hello again everybody!  Once again I have holed myself up in my sewing room to create another baby quilt.  This quilt is for a special little baby named Jack.  He was born extremely premature and everyone who knows him knows that he is a little miracle baby.

His mom Steph and I went to high school, and middle school, and elementary school together... we even attended the same college.  Basically we've been friends for as long as we can remember.  When I found out she was pregnant I jumped on the chance to sew her a baby quilt.

I started by pulling out all of my scraps.  Aren't they pretty?  After sewing a quilt any decent sized scrap is saved.  When I need inspiration I pull out my bag-o-scraps.  This time I decided to use them instead of buying new fabric.  Now don't get me wrong I would buy all kinds of fabric and be a very happy hoarder, but sometimes you need to save a buck.

Once the front was completed it was time to go shopping.  As much as I wanted to say that I didn't buy new fabric, I didn't own anything that did the front justice.  Many quilters have told me that the back doesn't need to match the front, because it's the back.  Supposedly the back is not to be seen.  Maybe I'm just crazy, but I like it when the back is pretty too.  :)

Since Jack is so tiny I made him a smaller quilt than I've been making lately.  I was afraid he would get lost in a bigger one!  Despite it's size it took me forever to make.  The block design is one I've never tried before, triangles are so simple in theory, in reality they're not.  Then I quilted every single white triangle.  To finish the time consuming labor I bound it by hand.

Yes it was a lot of extra work for such a small quilt.  Even after all the finger pricks and hours of stitching, I wouldn't change a thing.  Making Jack's quilt was worth every minute.  ;)

See ya!

Monday, August 5, 2013

I Think I'm Crafty!

Hey ya'll! I hope your week is off to a great start, I know mine is...Do you want to know why? I am auditioning to be in the upcoming season of So You Think You're Crafty!

If you are unfamiliar with this challenge, just picture the Bachelorette (but for bloggers vying for the grand prize instead of marriage, or a rose, or...yeah). Yep, it's like an online reality show; each week there is a new craft challenge, and each week the project with the least amount of votes is 'sent home.' Sounds like fun, right?!?!

But, alas, there are a total of 20 bloggers auditioning for the coveted title Season 17 Contestant. The only way to narrow done the pool of awesomeness is for YOU to go vote! Yep, you are that important ;) Seriously, we need you peeps to help all 20 of us out (or in, whichever the case maybe).

So, please click over to So You Think You're Crafty and VOTE (for your favorite 5 projects) between now and Thursday. I find that I tend to forget things once I close my computer or turn off my phone, turning my focus elsewhere - so if I were you, I'd go vote now...and show your support for these super cool people (and me) who are anxiously waiting to start crafting again (you know, once they stop hyperventilating from all the excitement)!

Sadly, I cannot giveaway which super cute picture belongs to my submission, but I'm hoping to score your vote anyway (because you love my project so so much without even knowing it's mine)!


Thanks so much Friends!  I truly appreciate it!

Make Along Monday {Featured Nautical Projects}

Hello friends!  Today I would like to say a BIG Thank You to those of you who participated and linked up to our July's Make Along Monday Nautical challenge.  If you didn’t join in on the fun last month, I sure hope you’ll hop on the bus this month (August).

You all are so creative!  There were lots of amazing projects linked up!
Take a look below at all this wonderful {Nautical-inspired} talent-
From left to right:
Mason Jar Beach Photo Display by Cupcakes And Crinoline
How To Decorate A Shelf by Bugs and Beans
Upcycled Ship Helm into a Nautical Wreath by Upcycled Treasures
Solo Cup Votive Holders: Nautical Party D├ęcor by Creating a Beautiful Life
Boat to be used as Plate Decoration by A Spoonful of Crafts
Beach Fence and Sailboat Summer Mantel by Craftiments
Anchor Wall Printables by Michelle Lea Designs
Red, White and Blue Driftwood Sailboat by Craftiments
Decorating with Crates by Little Bit of Paint
Seahorse Beach Sign by Wesens-Art

Thanks again for joining our party! Hope to see you at our Make Along Monday for August's Back to School/Organization themed challenge :)

Have a great Monday!