Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Summer Adventures and a Road-trip with Miss S!

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This summer has been full of adventure and fun.  We took a giant road-trip to Colorado via the Grand Canyon and we have witnessed so many firsts with Miss S.  Here she is on her first trip to Malibu beach.  She loved it and even dipped her toes into the ocean.

 Here we are in Flagstaff.  It was early in the am and we were about to head up to the Grand Canyon.

We made it to the Grand Canyon.... Poopsie slept through most of it. :)  P.S. I have no idea who the guy in the photo is.....

She did amazing in the car....of course we had a ton of activities and such!

We visited the town of Bedrock.  This was a very special place as the Flintstones is our little song.  When S was placed with us I didn't know any nursery rhymes so I sang her jingles from TV shows.  Flintstones and Three's Company where big hits in the early days.

Yes - she is getting strong.  That is her under there and she made this little tent all by herself.  If you  notice the big pile of clothes on the chair and you look close you will see that they won't fit Miss S. yet.  I am big shop ahead kind of girl.  I love sale racks and coupon shopping. Plus, Grandpa and Grandma Honey just sent us a boatload of clothing.  I have sizes up to 2T for her.  Even though I think she will be wearing them as hand-me-downs.  More on that later........ Let's just say that for the past few months we have been prepping for more changes.  Good changes.
xoxo Cathie

Thursday, July 17, 2014

This Foster Mom loves the NEW Huggies Snug & Dry Plus Diapers and the wipes are cool too! ++ Free Samples

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{This is part of a sponsored campaign with Mamiverse, Huggies® and Costco.  All review opinions are mine and my hubbys.}

Plus Up Your Care - try Huggies® Snug & Dry Plus Diapers
and Huggies Natural Care® Plus Wipes, only at Costco.

Being a working Foster Mom having a good diaper that we can count on is super important and being able to buy them in bulk is even more important!  I really just don't have time for mini shopping trips.  Huggies® Snug & Dry Plus Diapers and Huggies Natural Care® Plus Wipes are exclusively available at Costco.  I have two different Costco stores near me and both are near other shops that I frequent...one reason I love them. I also love the bulk treats and formula you can get there.  I just need a bigger pantry!

When the test samples arrived they looked good on first inspection.  Before becoming a foster mom I hadn't changed a diaper in years and really didn't know much about diapers..... or baby poop.  8-Months later, I think I am an expert on poop, pee, wipes, diapers, diaper cream, diaper folding techniques and locations of good changing bathrooms across Los Angeles.

I first tested the wipes. I really liked the non-scented wipes and they worked really well.  Miss S. was clean quick!  The official name of them is.... Huggies Natural Care Plus.  I just look for the green label.  We are always on the go so we liked that they work with the Huggies brand wipe carrier (Clutch N Clean) that can hook onto almost any stroller or bag.  They come in refillable dispensers, or 1160 refill wipes that are perfect for home.  This is their simplest formula ever.  I like that because I use no dye...etc products for little Poopsie and for me and hubs.  Also my hands are super sensitive so I like that they are easy on me.  Diaper wipes are also Mommy Wipes in this house.  I use them to clean my messy craft hands.

 You can try some for FREE!
Plus Up Your Care - try Huggies® Snug & Dry Plus Diapers and Huggies Natural Care® Plus Wipes, only at Costco.
Costco Members - Click HERE https://shoppersampling.com/orders/huggies_getsample.html to register for a FREE sample of the Huggies® Snug & Dry Plus and Huggies Natural Care® Plus Wipes. Hurry and register now, there will be a limited number of samples each day starting today July 17th through July 26, 2014 so try back tomorrow if you aren’t able get a sample today! You must be a Costco member to get a sample and limit 1 sample per household.

The elastic across the back is pretty great.  She lasted through the night with no leaks!! Huggies® Snug & Dry Plus Diapers are extra absorbent for day and night protection....that's a plus exclusive to Costco!

 She also played in the park with no leaks or messes.  Thank You HUGGIES!!    Exclusive Huggies® products at Costco help you Plus Up your baby care~~~ just like we are!  It looks like Miss S. is about to loose her socks.

This is what I stink at..... lining up the sides.  I think it's because I try to change diapers too fast or in the dark.... or with my eyes half open. I liked that the diapers have a SnugFit waistband and Grip Tabs that make for a secure fit!

I I love the cute little faux stitching around the legs!

 Here is a little view of the leak guards....  
Huggies® Snug & Dry Plus Diapers come with the trusted Leak Lock® system!

Our review verdict..... Awesome Sauce.  Remember that Huggies® Snug & Dry Plus Diapers and Huggies Natural Care® Plus Wipes are only available at Costco.  You can sign up for some free test diapers and wipes.

Here is the scoop again...

Costco Members - Click HERE https://shoppersampling.com/orders/huggies_getsample.html to register for a FREE sample of the Huggies® Snug & Dry Plus and Huggies Natural Care® Plus Wipes. Hurry and register now, there will be a limited number of samples each day starting today July 17th through July 26, 2014 so try back tomorrow if you aren’t able get a sample today! You must be a Costco member to get a sample and limit 1 sample per household.  

Thanks for popping by!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

We will be live at HSN - July 23rd! 6am and 1pm eastern time.

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Join me on my adventure to HSN! We are going to have some amazing new Mod Podge Mold and Melt Kits that are perfect for scrapbooking, paper crafting and DIY party decorations!  I’ll be posting live to our social media accounts so be sure to follow along on our journey!

HSN – Wed. July 23rd

Crafting a DIY Celebration

Showtimes 6am and 1pm eastern

Follow on social media….. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest

Thursday, July 03, 2014

6 Summer DIY Crafts: beach glass bowls, boho jewelry and metal stamping

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6 Summer DIY Crafts: beach glass bowls, boho jewelry and metal stamping

I am gaga for our roundup projects this week! Have a peek at the links below for all the scoop!

1. Mermaid Cuff Bracelets via Mark Montano

2. Beach Glass Bowl via Debbie Design Diary

3. Owl Necklace from our new Jewelry Line (Jewel Pop Shop)

4. Stackable Bracelets via Mark Montano

5. Hardware Store Pendants via Dollar Store Crafts

6. Metal Stamped Cuff Bracelets via Margot Potter

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Handmade 4th of July Dress for Miss S. from McCall's M6912

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Miss S's first 4th of July is just around the corner so like any new mom I wanted to get or make a cute little dress or something for her to wear to show off her USA spirit. Especially since we will be on our great road-trip adventure to the Grand Canyon and Colorado!

 McCalls M6912 - Baby Sewing Pattern

I found this fabric at Jo-Ann Fabrics.  I fell in love with the owls and Miss S's name is represented by Owls so that is pretty cool too.  I have a thing for "big-eyed" things and dolls so it was really no surprise when this ended up in our cart.

The pattern was very simple to make and pretty quick too.  It has no snaps, buttons or zippers so I think this pattern is perfect for a beginner.  I opted to add some heat set rhinestones and rick-rac trim.

The gems just add a little kick and sparkle.  They are easy to apply with the heat wand.

All finished and ready for Poopsie and our 4th of July celebrations!

She LOVES the bloomers.

I have already started on a second one..... this dress will be
for cousin Tuckers outer-space themed 2nd Birthday Party.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

DIY Summer Fashion and Home Decor Round Up

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This week's round up has some DIY fashions that would be perfect for the 4th of July.  I just love the tie-dye skirt that Cathy from Trinkets in Bloom made.  Mark has made a stunning dress that would perfect for party or fancy date night..... not that this new mama remembers what date night is.  soon soon.  Dollar Store Crafts has some cute potted designs.... I think these would be great hostess gifts.  All the links are below!

1. Rose and Turquoise Necklace with Mod Podge Podgeables

2. Tie-dye Skirt by Trinkets in Bloom

3. Burlap and Fabric Flower Purse with Mod Podge

4. Party Dress by Mark Montano

5. Ribbon and Rhinestone Bracelets by Trinkets in Bloom

6. Decoden and Collage Clay Cell Phone Case

7. Potted Gifts by Dollar Store Crafts

8. Antiqued Trunk by Mark Montano

9. New to the etsy shop.... Alterable Metal Frames by Prima:

Monday, June 09, 2014

6 DIY Ideas for Summer Fashion, Outdoor Decorating and Beach Crafts

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Summer is here in Los Angeles even though I am not sure the actual "summer date" has arrived it sure feels like summer.  The weather has been amazing and Little Miss S is enjoying her outdoor time! This week I have a round-up of some DIY ideas that are perfect for summer. xoxo

1. Dollar Store Outdoor Chandelier via Dollar Store Crafts
2. Vintage Door Garden Shelf via Mark Montano
3. Tie Dye Rainbow Shorts via Crafty Chica
4. Summer Dress via Trinkets in Bloom
5. Mason Jar Makeover with Mod Melts via Cathie and Steve for Plaid
6. Dollar Store Bubble Makeover via Cathie and Steve for Plaid

Friday, May 23, 2014

Crafty Summer School is now in Session with 9 DIY Ideas.

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Today I am sharing 9 DIY ideas that are perfect for summer fun!  

1. First up is a really cool paint technique by Debi Beard.  

2. We are loving the foamcore lamp from Dollar Store Crafts.  

3. Crafty Chica shows you how to make a la Rosa pillow.  

4. Trinkets in Bloom is working with Paracord to make a really cool belt.  

with our new gem mold.

6. Mark Montano made an adorable chandlier.

7. Mod Melts get turned into fun accessories via Alanna George.

8. Margot Potter is stamping a really fun bangle bracelet set!


Friday, April 25, 2014

It's been busy! Our Jewelry Line, Baby S. Court Updates and Chalk Paint Video

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The Rejects!

Sorry - we had to blur the bits - unveiling soon!

I'm so excited!  For the past year or so we have had two jewelry lines in the works.  One is a finished goods line and the other is a DIY line of pieces and parts called Jewel Pop Shop! I heart them both! The finished goods line is getting very close to launching online and the DIY line will launch in a very limited amount of Michaels Stores this Summer.  If it does well in the select stores then it will be added to the jewelry department in all the stores. I guess it is kind of like a test.  URG - I hate tests.... always have and always will. LOL.  We can't show any of the pieces yet.... but you can see some of the rejects above.  It's fun and full of whimsy and all about my personality!  We worked with an amazing team at Plaid for the DIY line and it has turned out amazing!  Details as soon as I can share!

Baby S. has been doing great!  Our next court date is April 30th and we are waiting on some really important information.  We don't attend court yet.  Well, I did go one time and it was very surreal and sad.  So many kids in limbo.  So many parents trying to get better and so many parents who will never be able to put their children first.  Baby S. is so young and in a fost/adopt situation so that it really is not an issue for us but my heart breaks for the kids who are older and don't have forever homes.  Many aspects of the "system" are flawed and many aspects are amazing.  But when you sit and see the children it is sobering.  I didn't end up going into the actually court room because test results we were waiting on were not in yet so I sat in the overcrowded waiting area.  I did get to see Birth-Mom although she didn't know who I was.  She was very pretty and had a nice smile.  It was no surprise to me because Baby S. has a very pretty smile too.  I'll be glad when we get closer to the finish line ~~~ until then love and joy is all I have time for ~~~ no time for stressing out!

Steve and I are super excited about the new FolkArt Chalk finish and we made a little tutorial video for Jo-Ann Fabrics!  Have a peek below!

This paint is amazingly supple and fun to work with.  Lean more at Plaid!


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Back to Blogging and Foster Mommy Updates

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I didn't really mean to take a break from blogging...... it just happened in the chaos of being a working mama.  It just happened as life happened.  I did miss blogging.  The hard part was so much of "our journey" we are not allowed to share...(yet). So it was hard for me to start writing again.  I knew it was something I missed, yet I didn't know how to begin again.

So for now~~ it will be Sundays.  

Happy First Sunday of my new blogging journey.

Each week, I'll be doing recaps of our crafts and recipes at Handmade Happy Hour, sharing our journey with Baby S. and spilling the scoop on our exciting new partnership.

Today, I'll start with a few pictures of the past few months.

See ya next Sunday!

xoxo, Cathie

P.S. Follow our journey at Instagram, Twitter and Facebook too.

Little Miss S. is now almost 5 months old and she is happy and healthy.  Foster mama and daddy are doing great too.  We are sleeping through the night and adjusting well to being new parents.

Updates..... we have no "real update" other than the courts move incredibly SLOW! We are on course to being a forever family for Miss S. but we still have some hills to climb.  More to come on that after the April 30th court date.  We are still waiting on a DNA test and a few other minor things.  Our journey has been pretty smooth so far... (knock on wood).  I am forever grateful that we went with an agency.  They keep us grounded on this roller-coaster ride.

Don't heat your bottles!!!
Best tip I received. 

When we picked S. up at the hospital she was just two days old and had only been formula fed. The hospital feeds the babies room-temp bottles. As we were leaving the hospital with our 5-pound 5-ounce bundle of love the nurse said to me, "Don't heat her bottles, she has never had a warm bottle and there is no reason for her to start now."  It was all so blurry that day and I didn't really realize that she was giving me the best advice ever!

I had no idea that you could give a baby a room-temp bottle and had actually bought a bottle warmer that is now in a donation pile. Never ever used it.  Little S. is now almost 13-pounds and she eats like a champ.  The best part is that I can feed her anywhere without the worry of trying to heat a bottle.

 It's had to imagine she was this small.........

Some of her dolls.

She has been to a museum to two.

She outgrew her sneakers.

This was one of my favorite shirts on her. 
I'm making it into a pillow.

We have made several trips to Daiso, The Japanese Dollar Store, for supplies for our next book on Decoden.  Coming this fall!

Little S. took the family to see Mama's new end-cap at Michaels.

She marveled at the Endeavor! 

 Outfit for a day in Malibu!


It's been busy and full of fun.
See ya next Sunday!

xoxo, Cathie

P.S. Follow our journey at Instagram, Twitter and Facebook too.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

New Product Launches at CHA 2014! So Excited!

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Ready set go! We are off to CHA for a few days of glittery fun! We have tons of new products releasing for Mod Podge and 3 totally new lines that are up for grabs. If you are attending pop by and say HELLO!

The booth will be hopping with tons of awesome make-and-takes,
demos and good stuff all day long.

10:00 am - 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Experience Mod Podge Collage Clay with Cathie & Steve
Create a bracelet with Candie Cooper McCoart
Design a Moroccan inspired scarf with Rachel Faucett
Explore Martha Stewart Decoupage and Vintage D├ęcor with Kristin Hare

10:00 am - 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Discover Martha Stewart Chalkboard Paint and Silkscreens with Jen Carreiro
Stencil graphic wood tiles with Ed Roth
Glitter a Mason Jar with Justine Abbitt

Thursday, January 02, 2014

The beginning: Becoming Fost Adopt Parents to Baby S.

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It's been over a month since I have blogged here.... when I last wrote, I was in the stage of "Let's Pretend I'm 8.5 months Pregnant".  Well that ship has sailed and our lives have been blessed with a Baby Girl.  Since she is in Foster Care, I will need to keep her identity under wraps.  So no pics of her beautiful face.... just toes, fingers and hair.

She is healthy, happy, growing like a champ and a little miracle in our lives.

Here is how it all went down.

Eddie and I have been planning on fost/adopting for over a year.  We took classes, did a home study, got our home certified, filled out hundreds of papers and tried not to freak out while we waited for the phone to ring.

Our plans to fost/adopt took a little longer than the other graduates from our class.  Not that we think it's a bad thing..... for us it's all about timing and when the time is right... the time is right.  We had a few snags a long the way.  The first was when our 17-year old dog, Max, passed away on the day before we were to begin our home study.  We were heartbroken.  We postponed the meeting until our hearts had sometime to heal.  The next derailment was when I was not so gracefully thrown 15 feet from a cab in NYC.   Me with a giant black eye and a hobble was not exactly the picture of a "happy and healthy" home.  Then we had my crash and burn sickness after our baby-moon in Mexico that had me in the hospital with an IV and in bed for 10 days.  It seemed that every time we were inching closer to the finish line we were met with a set back.  Well set back no more.  We were officially certified a Fost/Adopt home on November 14th.

"I bought this just in case...."

So now what?  We waited.  Since we went with an agency we knew that the phone would only ring from 8-5 on Monday - Friday.  It was exhilarating and maddening at the same time.  As Thanksgiving approached we couldn't help but wonder if a child would be placed with us before the holiday.  It didn't help our curiosity when our SW (that is short for Social Worker) said.... "yep, it's a huge possibility that you will have a baby in the home by Thanksgiving!"  So what do I do?  Naturally, I rush out and buy a Thanksgiving baby tee and bib... and try not to freak out.

It was about 10 am on Thanksgiving eve.  Pies were baking, the turkey was being brined and the house was a flurry of fall harvest foods and decorations.  Family was arriving tomorrow for a big meal and in the Filian house that means that means we DO IT UP!

It was about 10:30 am when Eddie and I both agreed that "they" would not be calling today.  It was Thanksgiving eve and the agency and state would be shutting down early.  It would not be today.  We had convinced ourselves and settled into our tradition of watching the movie, Trading Places.

It was moments later when the phone rang...... I froze.  I looked at the number and it was a 213 area code.  We knew the call would be from a downtown number (213)...... That was it.  This WAS THE CALL.  I answered the call.  Trembling is an understatement.  

"Hello, are you Catherine Filian?" the lady on the phone said to me.  She then introduced herself and said "We have a 2-day old baby girl that needs a home and can you come and get her at 3:00 pm today from the hospital?"  Her name is S.  (S. is not really her name.... since she is in Foster Care, I am using S. for her name to protect her identity.)

She was on speaker phone so Eddie was able to hear the entire conversation.  We were in full blown panic mode...... we had been waiting for this call for over a year and right when we had determined that it "wasn't coming" ~~~ BOOM, the phone rang.  The fost/adopt protocol allows for us to "hang-up" and discuss in private and then call back.  You literally have about 5 min to make a decision.  

Of course we were calling the SW back in less than 5 min with a boasting, "YES!" and a flurry of questions.  The moments before calling back were less than two, although it felt like a year.  I was sobbing, Eddie was pacing like a lion and we were both scared to death.  We weren't scared of who Miss S. would be or what she would look like. (BTW - we were open to any child regardless of race or gender and we were certified for 1 child under the age of 1) We were scared because we knew that we were jumping on the roller-coaster ride of our lives.....FOSTER PARENTHOOD.  We were also scared because we are fost/adopting and that means that S. is in foster care with us first and then she MIGHT be adopted into our family later.  MIGHT is not because of us.... but how the system works.  Of course we would sign on the dotted line immediately... but it doesn't work that way.  We were scared of the MIGHT even though in class we were trained not to be scared.  LOL. Every single child has a different story and case.  With the first phone call it is almost impossible to know what your fost/adopt story will be and what path you will go down.   You just have to trust, believe and above all LOVE and take care of the child that is placed with you. 

On the way to the hospital.

When we rounded the corner at the hospital our hearts burst open with joy, love and pride.  There she was.  It was love at first sight.  She was tiny.  She was perfect.  I fed her in the hospital and got to hold her straight away.  The nurses were so smitten with her that they practically threw her a party. She was our Thanksgiving miracle.  

Cooking Thanksgiving Dinner.

Thanksgiving ~ 2013

So now we are just loving Little Miss S.  Letting courts do what they do.  Crossing our Ts and Dotting our Is.  Documenting everything.  You should see her scrapbook!  Someday.... hopefully soon, I'll get to share all her stories and photos.  Until then, I'll be a little cryptic.  

Baby Toes!

ASK AWAY!  Do you have questions?  Wanna know more about being a fost/adopt home.  I am here.  I will answer you.  Send me an email and I'll do my best to help you with any questions you might have.  It might take me a few to get back to you but I promise I will.

She turned 1-Month on Christmas Day.

I flip/flopped on how much of our story we would share.  I knew that our path was a little different and it comes with lots of questions.  For us we have so much passion for fost/adopt and if we can spread any awareness and get more kids into homes then that is wonderful!  

First trip to Sanrio in Little Tokyo.

Foster Daddy getting S. her first bank account.

Her first dolly.... looks like her.

First visit with our new doctor.  She is doing amazing...... !!!

So far foster parenthood has been very rewarding and full of humor.... just the other day Eddie asked me, "Is that poop or chocolate that is on your boob?" I didn't do a taste test.

Wish us luck on this journey!  We had some court dates this week and I am hoping to find out what happened today at 3pm.  Until then, we march on with Love, Giggles and POOP!

XoXo Cathie, Eddie and Little Miss S.

You can follow along on day-to-day stuff.... by following my personal page at Facebook.  Sorry I can't add anymore people there but you can follow.  Instagram is another good place to see pics of our journey.  I'll be blogging big updates here and new craft projects at our new blog..... Handmade Happy Hour.
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