Tag Archives: Shopping

DIY Weeping Angel Wings


I looked everywhere for cheap wings to spray paint gray.  The cheapest I could find that weren’t fairy wings were $50.

I have four kids that need wings.  There’s no way in heck I’m paying $200 for one part of a Halloween costume!

Sooooooo–I sat and stared at my Costco Milk box and took out my roll of Duct Tape:


I drew an outline of a wing, free-handed.  Then cut it out.

I chose the handle of the box to be where it was originally so I could fashion straps easier.

I ended up taping over them anyway though.Image

I toyed for a while between having a solid piece with the handle holes for straps, or

what I actually did, which was to keep the natural bend in the box so the wings moved and

would work better through doors and such.


Then I began with the Duct Tape.  I started with the middle.

After stabilizing the two pieces together, I began with the actual wings,

choosing which side looked the best facing out.  I really

wanted to support the middle to avoid ripping with the kids’ wear and tear.


After doing one long strip up and over the wing and down again, I lined up the strips and

carefully pressed them together, using my hands to get a nice groove around the curve of a “feather”.
ImageImage Then I cut just outside of the groove.


It continued on like this until the wings were covered.

Then I begs making small-ish strips with the ends folded over for feathers.


Place folded end downward where you want a feather and carefully cut out the

shape of a feather.  Repeat until it looks right to you.



Voila!  Now for the straps.

I made two strips of tape folded over itself.

Make sure it can go over their shoulders.

Adhere to the inside of the wings and stabilize the straps.



Leave a comment

Filed under Budget, Children, Crafts and Gifts, DIY, Family, Halloween, Holidays, Motherhood, talents

Back to School Traditions


Backpack (Photo credit: CollegeDegrees360)

I really never thought about traditions being part of the back to school experience, but truth be told we have a few.  Most are pretty ordinary, but here goes:

1. Favorite outfit and a Fall photo shoot by mom.  There are rules to this tradition.  With this economy, it is just me, the kids, golden hour, and a camera.  The outfit(s) is clean, new-looking and displays a classy representation of their style.  Last year, my 9-year-old made a load of bracelets and belts by hand and we picked the ones out that went with her outfit.  It makes for an opportunity to bond over fashion even though I hate shopping.

2. Shopping. I do hate shopping… except for back to school shopping.  I love it–actually I’m kinda weird about it.  You might have seen me, snobbishly examining the price tags and occasionally sniffing new pencil packs euphorically.  My kids look at me like I’m an alien, but they come home thrilled and ready for the next tradition.

3. Packing the Backpack.  We reuse back packs here, but we do clean them up first.  In addition to the lists of supplies the school gives out, we also add rights of passage items.  My daughter hitting puberty soon has a secret emergency girly item bag I prepared with her, explaining what they are for and what to do when the time comes.  She also has a thin hoodie to tie around her waist if needed on the way to the phone.  The 3rd grader, has her usual hand sanitizer, but also chapstick this year in the form of cutsie lip gloss.  They all have Hand Sanitizer that hangs from their back pack at the ready.  For the child with Raynaud’s syndrom, there is always a pair of gloves, and extra Hotties for chilly mornings.

4. The talks. Every year, my husband and I go on one on one “dates” with our girls and do our best to help them feel confident and open to talking about nerves and social issues.  This year, bullying, what not to wear, making the right friends and boys are big topics.  We are LDS, so they also get a Father’s Blessing before school starts as well.

5. The Schedule, chore lists, and homework routines. This year’s is on the fridge already anticipating the beginning of the year for the girls and I.  The command centers have been reorganized, the clutter out of the bedrooms and chores when they come home from school are to take a whopping 5 min.  –I know right?  Well, it works.  I have a stack of their clothes to hang up and put away everyday.  They do that, tidy one bathroom a day together and spend 45 minutes on homework before dinner.  Before School starts, everything has to be tidied, or we all fall off the wagon.

6. Back to School breakfast. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just more than I normally do.  This year I made homemade Zucchini bread with bananas and chocolate chips added to the batter.

7. Walk to school. We are close enough, we can walk.  It always seems like a right of passage to me.  I go with the kids and make sure they know what to do.

8. Home lunch and a cheesy note. Self explanatory.

9. Pick up and a treat. We walk back home, and I have a fresh-baked treat.  (I know, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” Meh, it’s the first day.)

10.  I go to bed earlier than I normally do.


Leave a comment

Filed under Children, Family

5 Days in Italy – Day 4

Florence Day 1:

Okay, here’s the scoop, Florence is a lot smaller than Rome in terms of mileage so you can
literally see all the major sites on a quick walk about in a single day. HOWEVER, if you really want to see things in depth it is going to take a bit longer! Because I know shopping is a must I am leaving Florence a little more open than Rome (because the shopping is awesome here!) so….here goes.

Once again start off the day with a good hearty breakfast so you can really go, go, go.
First on the tour today is the Uffizi Gallery! Because this books up so quickly, and they only
allow a set number of patrons in at a time, jump online before you head to Italy and pre-book your tickets for the Uffizi and Academia. Then all you have to do is go to customer service and pick up tickets for your respective time slots!

The Uffizi Gallery is a show case of great Italian art and Florentine patrons. Although many
of the paintings and sculptures are portraits and busts this is definitely a must! The detailing in some of the portraits is so lifelike you can almost feel the fur collars and the beaded tapestries in the backgrounds!

After your tour through the gallery take your time wondering through the courtyard and then through the attached Piazza Signoria to admire the many statues they have on display as well as the many pieces of art the locals have for sale!

Next stop is across town to Academia to see the David. Although he towers above you, his life like features and the way the veining in the marble seem to somehow line up with where real veins and arteries would be will truly amaze! Walk around and get a good look from every angle before heading into the hall of busts and then back out onto the streets of Florence.

With the two major museums under your belt head east toward Piazza Santa Croce for lunch and shopping. This area has some of the most lovely leather purses and coats of all fashions and sizes! While there don’t forget to take a stroll through the church as well before heading off for the next adventure.

After lunch head back west along the Arno river toward the Ponte Vecchio (the bridge of gold) to see the shops before they close for the day. Also take the opportunity to admire the other goods being offered by street vendors along either side of the bridge. BUT don’t get your bags too full yet, you haven’t been to San Lorenzo or the Pig Market/The Straw Market (which has anything but live stock :- ) !

Next we head North back through the city to see the Duomo. Wander in through the main doors and admire the various shades of marble and the stunning carved doors as you do so! Once inside light a candle and then walk through this vast space to admire the grandeur of the frescos – especially those at the top of the dome! Once again don’t forget to look down. The floor of this beauty is just as impressive as the walls!

If you dare take the stairs up to the top of the dome to get a closer look at the fresco and then wander outside to get a striking view of the whole city below you. From here you can see Santa Croce, the Uffizi, Pitti Palace, etc. Although it is high up – I highly recommend this!!!!!

Then wonder back out of the Duomo and take a tour through the bell tower and baptistery. The gift shops here have some fun things to look at and keep in mind if you can’t find them from a street vendor for less!

Back out on the street head north toward the San Lorenzo Market. If the shop vendors are still out feel free to take your time wondering from canopy to canopy, but don’t wait too long to head inside to the food market for some dinner at the Spagittarian. This amazing market has meats, cheeses, fruits, wines, olive oil, lemon cello, and ready to eat meals! It’s a great time to grab snacks for tomorrow too!

Now wander back through the streets, bellies full and admire the city at night as you find your way back to your hotel for some sleep.


1 Comment

Filed under Budget, Family, Travel