Housewife MacGyver: Commitment Accomplished

I did it! Well... at least mostly... but I completed my commitment, just in the nick of time. And here it is, a full hour to spare before the end of the month, while I post about it. ;)

Here is the sad little highchair before: filthy with saggy padding... and NAKED! 
(Can I say that here without being flagged as an "adult" blog?)

And here is the brave little highchair after the makeover (and some elbow grease): clean and stylishly attired with a confused child at the helm.
He only smiles for cookies. Cookies and MacGyver. No joke.
This is the old cover... the old, worn, ruffly, smells-like-a-stranger's-garage cover.
 Normally I wouldn't draw a distinction between any garage and a stranger's garage except that this did indeed come from a stranger's garage, courtesy of my deal-seeking (and sharing) SIL. The stranger was known to her, in case you were worried about kleptomania.

And here is the new cover: non-ruffled, shiny, stain-repellent, and spill-wipeable oilcloth:
The cover doesn't fit perfectly... yet. I'm still experimenting to help it contour a bit better. But anyway,  here is, in a nutshell, how I did it... and what I have left to do...

How I Made a Highchair Cover and Became the MacGyverest Housewife Around
(Not Really But Someday Maybe)

First, I unstitched the old highchair cover so that it was one flat piece of fabric. This actually only took ripping two seams, thankfully enough. I left the two pieces (the main piece and the flap/pocket that fits over the top of the chair) attached until later cutting them apart since the whole shebang was adhered together using bias tape and no WAY am I undoing all those stitches.

Then, I traced both pieces (allowing a fairly generous seam allowance) on my oilcloth using a good ol' Sharpie. My special fabric markers were no match for the oilcloth's surface and wiped right off. 

I cut out the traced pieces and used them as patterns to cut out another of each piece from the other flavor of oilcloth, giving me two big pieces and two small pieces:

As suggested here on the Oilcloth Addict blog (my first resource since this oilcloth is from their shop, courtesy of this giveaway), I taped up my presser foot (actually, the foot for my machine. not my foot.):

And away we (me and Norman, remember him?) sewed -- right sides together on the two small pieces and then finger-press the seam open (ironing is NO-NO), turn, and topstitch:

Then I sandwiched the smaller piece between the two larger pieces (right sides together), sewed almost all the way around (leaving a good amount of room for turning... just like when I drive... ;), clipped the curves, and turned:
Yup, that crumply ball of oilcloth is the middle stage of turning a big ol' highchair cover right side out. Cute, eh?
Then I sewed a tight zigzag around the hole in the middle (the one that goes over the thingamabob that keeps the kid from sliding onto the floor under the table) 

and... ran out of thread. That is where the mostly comes from in the "I mostly completely my commitment." The cover is made and mostly-functional... just not finished. And I won't make it to the store for more thread today and probably not tomorrow either... but hopefully soon. After the procurement of more thread, I'll be topstitching and finishing a few more edges, and probably sewing the two layers together some... or something like that...

In other news - how are your commitments coming? If you've finished a commitment, picked up a new commitment, or otherwise committed yourself (even a commitment of the straitjacket variety), come join the party (same party as before... but you can join again...) and grab a button!

And I'll be back tomorrow to get us started with February's Housewife MacGyver challenge. I have so great guest bloggers lined up and I am SO excited!!!

Housewife MacGyver at just Lu

Silhouette vs. Cricut: The eternal debate

As I mentioned last week, I have a new friend, Silvia the Silhouette machine. Back around Thanksgiving a handful of fellow crafters were talking on the Twelve Crafts Facebook page about the Silhouette, and Jocelyn suggested that I put together a pros and cons list for the two machines. Actually, she suggested I do a side by side comparison... which I'll gladly do as soon as someone sponsors the Cricut side of the comparison... my pennies are all spent! :)

So, for those of you who are coveting and thinking about getting a digital cutting machine of your own, here's my two cents (okay, I guess I had a couple pennies left... ;) in a comparison of the two most common digital cutting machines: the Silhouette SD (by Silhouette America) and the Cricut Expression (by ProvoCraft).

Obviously, I am a proud Silhouette owner, so you know how this debate went down in my house. (Cricut owners, please let me know if my information is inaccurate!) But just because the Silhouette is right for me doesn't mean it's right for you. I'll sum it up for you like this (full comparison below):

If you are tech-hesitant... the Cricut is probably better for you. It can hook up to your computer, using an additional software program (or two), but you never have to use your computer with the Cricut.

If you are tech-savvy... the Silhouette is the way to go. The software isn't difficult to use (in my opinion) -- just a matter of learning a few basic operations and terminology.

If you are a font junkie or want a custom design that will look just so... the Silhouette wins again. I've only had my Silhouette for about a month, but  it's so much fun to unleash your creativity by creating your own designs. Especially if you're super-picky like me and hate the canned design look that so many vinyl creations have because they use the same fonts/shapes/designs. Just say no to Papyrus and Comic Sans. Please, for the love of fonts.

If you are cheap, frugal, stingy, or in any way pinch pennies... then why are you buying a machine in the first place?!? Just kidding. I am all of the aforementioned, and my husband even more than I, and we just saved those pennies and splurged for Christmas. But the Silhouette is still the most cost-effective way to go (see below for details).

Cutting Size
Silhouette: up to 8" wide and 39" long (mat size: 8.5" x 12")
Cricut Expression: up to 11.5" wide by 24" long (mat sizes: 12" x 12" or 12" x 24")

What that means: The Cricut is better if you are going to be cutting many many things from 12" scrapbook paper, designs that need to be the full 12x12 paper size (or at least close to it). The Silhouette is better for cutting longer, thinner designs, such as vinyl sayings for your walls, since the vinyl has its own backing and doesn't require that you use the cutting mat.

Cutting size was pretty much a non-issue for me, since I'm not a scrapbooker and definitely won't be cutting any 12x12 layouts. It would be nice to be able to cut a 12x12 piece of paper instead of trimming it down, but I'll survive.

Cutting Materials
Both machines cut standard material: paper, cardstock, vellum, vinyl, etc. Neither machine is advertised as a fabric cutting machine by the manufacturer (that I can see, anyway), but there are loads of accounts on the Cricut message boards about cutting fabric successfully, and I personally have cut fabric with my Silhouette. I've also cut a stencil blank, and Silvia performed like a *dream* with that one. (I'll share that project soon, too.)

So, the machines are probably pretty comparable on what they can cut -- and they can both cut materials made by either manufacturer or another manufacturer, so don't fret about what brand of vinyl to buy. You may have to trim some of the wider vinyl to use it with a Silhouette is all.

Fonts & Designs
Silhouette: create your own designs and use fonts from your computer; use $1 (or less) shapes from the store; or use shapes from the portfolios (MSRP $20 each)
Cricut Expression: use cartridges (MSRP $60 for usually 1 font and 50 shapes)

As far as using a variety of fonts and designs for a low price, the Silhouette and its Silhouette Studio (for both PC and Mac) definitely wins out. Using the Design Studio or Sure Cuts a Lot software (both for PC only), the Cricut can have the same functionality, but those software packages will set you back at least $60 each at current prices.

Ease of Use & User Support
I've never used a Cricut, but I've heard from different users (such as this one), that the Cricut machines are "so easy a child could use them." There is definitely a learning curve with the Silhouette, but the new Silhouette Studio software significantly decreases that curve. Plus, you can always come ask me if you have questions. :)

As far as user manuals and support go... I can't really say. I've tried to access the Cricut manual online, but the PDF is unreadable due to some font and other errors. The Silhouette manual and Silhouette Studio manual are both available online and through the Silhouette Studio software. I've used them both and they're decent. Not great, but remember that I'm the person that writes manuals like that, so I have a higher standard than most normal users. :)

Cricut does have a TON of message boards on their site, a move that I would hope that Silhouette would follow sometime... and soon! The best the Silhouette has right now is their blog where they post about new products and weekly tutorials -- but maybe I just haven't found the better user gathering area yet?

Portability (weight and size)
from this chart
Silhouette: 4.5 lbs -- 16" x 6.5" x 4.5"
Cricut Expression: 20 lbs -- 21.5" x 7" x 7.75"

I have never ported my Silhouette anywhere, but I will this weekend for our monthly craft group, so I'll report on that.

The size difference, however, is BIG. The Silhouette is almost exactly the same size as my little ol' HP printer and it fits very nicely on top of our filing cabinet, Silvia's permanent home (or at least as permanent as it gets). The extra 5 inches of width on the Cricut would make it nearly impossible to give it a permanent home in my tiny little apartment -- which, in the long run, is probably not too big of a deal since the Cricut doesn't need to be by my computer. But still. That's a big difference. In mommy terms, that's carrying a preemie vs. carrying a one-year-old (or at least my one year old :)

Other features/accessories

Both the Cricut Expression and Silhouette can use pens instead of the the blade to sketch designs. I have no experience with that so someone who does will have to chip in here. :)

Since the Silhouette is already connected to your computer, it has a fantastic Print and Cut feature that the Cricut Expression lacks. I don't think that Design Studio or Sure Cuts a Lot has this feature either... correct me if I'm wrong.

Anyway, Print and Cut is great because you can print... and then cut. I hand out little quotes to the girls that I teach at my church each Sunday and Silvia has them oohing and aahing every week. 16- and 17-year-old girls love my stuff. Happy dance! I just have a black and white printer, but with colored paper and fun designs (that I can create myself!), the black and white print is the least of anyone's concerns.

Here's how (in a nutshell): I lay out my design in the Silhouette Studio software, print on my regular printer, and then feed that printed paper (or cardstock) into the Silhouette on the cutting mat. Silvia reads the printed registration marks at the top and bottom of the page and then cuts the design exactly like I have it laid out in the Studio, relative to my printed material. Seriously, I love it. The text formatting/wrapping could be better, but really... LOVE. Full tutorial coming soon. :)

Price (you knew it was here somewhere :)

Silhouette: MSRP $300 includes machine, software, power and USB cables, two cutting mats (one thick, one thin), blade, and $10 gift card to the online store

Cricut Expression: MSRP $350 includes machine, two cartridges, one 12x12 cutting mat

BUT you don't actually have to pay that for your machine (or for many of the accessories). That why it is the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price. :)

Silhouette runs promotions pretty regularly, giving you the machine plus some goodies at a discounted price. Or... you can be a rebel like me and order from another online store, such as Oh My Crafts (check out the bundle, too!) or Custom Crops (where I ordered mine). I'm not affiliated with either store -- just passing on a good deal.

Both Oh My Crafts and Custom Crops also stock the Cricut Expression, as does every local craft store here, since the manufacturer is a Utah company. There are ALWAYS specials going on around here, especially at Roberts Crafts (still not affiliated :) -- not sure if those specials go online, though.

supplies (the stuff necessary to using said machine)
Silhouette: MSRP $25 for two mats (either two thin or two thick)
Cricut Expression: MSRP $13 for two 12x12 mats; $17 for two 12x24 mats

**Obviously the Cricut has the price edge here, especially if you, like I, can go to a store and use a coupon on Cricut mats. I've heard of people cutting down the Cricut mats and using them with their Silhouettes, and I think it might be worth a try -- anyone done that?

Silhouette: MSRP $13 for the blade pin; $32 for the entire blade (pin, housing, and caps)
Cricut Expression: MSRP $10 for two regular blades; $15 for two deep-cut blades

SHAPES/FONTS (as mentioned above)
Silhouette: create your own designs and use fonts from your computer (free!); use $1 (or less) shapes from the online store; or use shapes from the portfolios (MSRP $20 each)

Cricut Expression: use cartridges (MSRP $60 for usually 1 font and 50 shapes -- but they're always on sale somewhere for much less); or Sure Cuts A Lot software (MSRP $60 and up)

TOOLS (which aren't necessary but can be nice)
Silhouette: MSRP $7-10 each for pick me up tool, hook tool, or scraper
Cricut Expression: MSRP $2-5 each for spatula, scraper, bone folder, ruler, knife, scoop, scissors, and hook tools

**Note that you can use the Cricut tools with your Silhouette, since the tools don't actually hook to the machine at all, just help use your cut materials.

accessories (the fun stuff, completely unnecessary)
Silhouette: MSRP $10 per set; currently two available -- 4 metallic pens or 8 colored pens
Cricut Expression: MSRP $12 per set; currently 4 available -- basic, primary, sophisticated, and fashion


And if you want to see what other people are saying (fairly recently) about the face-off...
Thanks for reading! I'll be back soon with more Silhouette projects and how-tos... so much fun!

I heart Gmail

I know that's no surprise to you if you've been reading for very long. I heart most Google products. Anyway, come see my top reasons for hearting Gmail (okay, I may have taken "heart" as a verb a little too far there...) over at Housewife Eclectic today.

Happy Wednesday and thanks for reading!

Fashion Confections: Defining Yourself

I am so thrilled today to introduce you to my friend, Keira, who will be posting here monthly. While she and I have a lot in common (I mean, that's part of why we can get along so well), the things I love most about Keira are all of the amazing qualities she has that I am sorely lacking: elegance, tact, grace, fashion sensibility... plus she is a fantastic decorator and a (practically) gourmet-but-healthful cook. So... pretty much everything I am NOT, yet dream of being. :) Give her a warm welcome!

Hello, I'm Keira. I’m not a girl who always has her nose in a fashion magazine. You can often find me (after the birth of my son) in jeans and the occasional pair of flip-flops. I do not wear a lot of make up, nor have I ever spent more than fifteen minutes on my hair (with the exception of high school dances and my wedding day). These articles are about practical, applicable fashion. Natural beauty and elegance.

In case you need a visual, it’s not about this:

But more like this:

Since this series of articles are about fashion for the everyday woman, and the everyday woman is BUSY, each article is a bite-sized treat ("chic morsel") for the fashion-minded, but not necessarily the fashion-savvy, woman. :)

This series of articles contains the knowledge of basic fashion I wish I would have had when I was twelve years old to consult through my teenage years and early adulthood. Although it may be very rudimentary knowledge to some, I hope everyone can benefit from a little bit of wisdom imparted in this and upcoming articles.

To truly know one's self is to be elegant. Therefore, let us start with defining what you are and who you want to convey, since your dress should reflect (among many things) your personality. What kind of person are you? Do not just ask yourself—ask your partner, best friend, sister, or mother. It’s always a fun experiment to try. :) Some examples:

Obviously, the styles you choose, the colors you wear, and the patterns presented are going to say a bit about your personality. Like it or not, most judge a book by its cover. So since you have defined a little of who you are, what do you want to say about yourself?

This is one example: my sister-in-law is an artist. She is brave, comedic, young, loud, artsy, and prefers to be comfortable. The outfits and bright colors she chooses to wear reflect that. A perfect metaphor for her personality is that she has a beloved pair of bright yellow Converse shoes. Are YOU a bright yellow personality? Are you a "sneaker" girl? Do you enjoy "grown-up dress up" and find occasions (i.e. church) to do so?

All colors and patterns (even loud ones) have their place. But there are more appropriate times to wear your chosen outfits--for example, though it may be your favorite color, "you don't wear white to a wedding". Timing is everything. Think about the event as well as your "message". Some examples of different messages clothing can send are below:

* The color white, in general, can be formal (think: wedding dresses, button-up shirts), and often shows others that you are very clean (unless you spill your spaghetti on it, in which case you can be misconstrued as very dirty :).

* Animal prints are rather bold and sassy. They are very modern as well, going in and out of fashion often. If you choose to wear them, you will have to keep up-to-date on the latest trends to make sure you aren't committing a faux pas.

* Lace has a tipping point (and the same idea applies to embroidery). A little accent of lace can add a feminine touch, but too much lace can make you seem like a walking doily. Remember those? Probably used in your grandmother's home? If you don't want to look like a grandmother (or great-grandmother), use lace wisely.

Example of a doily, in case your grandma was cooler than mine. :)

* Bright, primary colors are often worn by bold, artistic people (see example above!), and children. Determine if you are that kind of person, and even if you're not, you may find an occasion that it may be "you".

* You have probably heard that black is best. In most scenarios, that is completely true. Black is the color of professionalism and being chic, and the saying IS true that black is slimming. A little black dress truly IS a girl's best friend, when it is picked with care and suits the body well. The only occasion black may not be what you are looking for is when everyone else is wearing it, and you'd like to stand out from the crowd. This is true of most cocktail parties, social gatherings, and balls. Black is a safe, common color, which can be your ally or enemy.

* Think about your lifestyle (stay at home mommy? professional businesswoman?) as you choose your clothes. I love high heels, personally, but since I'm a stay at home mom without a car, I rarely want to walk in high heels to get somewhere, however beautiful they look. :)
Defining yourself and your style is the first step to creating or altering your closet to match you. Be sure to read the next article: "Accenting Your Unique Body Shape".

Thanks for reading!

A Blogger's Email

Can you believe it's Wednesday already? The holiday weekend has me completely out of sorts this week. But, it is Wednesday and so I'm over at Housewife Eclectic.

Today I'm adding to a topic that Mamarazzi posted about earlier this week: the no-reply blogger. Mamarazzi tells you how to NOT be a no-reply blogger (or you can see my instructions here) and why.


Over at Housewife Eclectic, I'll add to the Enable Email Movement and show you how to reply to comments via email. With a separate blog email address. Without having to log in to a separate email account. Seriously. Adding emailing to blogging will change your life. Come on over!

The Christmas Roundup

I know, I know... I'm about 3 weeks late for the Christmas roundup thing. I'll probably also be late for Valentines and all the other holidays, too, so... you might want to get used to it. Low expectations, that's the name of the game around here ;)

For as much as I love creating, I didn't actually make a ton of our Christmas this year. Thanks to Swagbucks and their Amazon gift cards, we were able to buy a lot of the things that we needed/wanted/saw-and-had-to-have for very cheap or FREE!

I always love free and cheap runs a close second, but the great deals were even better this year since my fantastic husband spoiled me with not one but TWO new toys for Christmas. I'd like to introduce you to Norman:

and Silvia (fresh from her box):

Yup, I am SO spoiled. :)

I got my new toys before Christmas and put them to good use for the few handmade Christmas items under our tree this year:

Silvia earned her keep by customizing the Smashburger gift certificate I bought on Groupon for my burger-loving husband:

And then she learned me the cut/weld ways with this gift tag (of which I made only one because "weeding" a design is my newest nemesis):

And then we got to the real nitty gritty with freezer paper stencils (which are now my newest love):

Thundercats tshirts

and Bob Ross :)

Norman also helped make the Bob Ross apron happen for my budding-artist sister-in-law (pictured above), following this tutorial from Keeping It Simple. It's so easy and requires only some bias tape (make your own or buy it) and an old pair of jeans.

Norman chipped in with two travel silverware rolls with hand-stamped silverware so that my husband will stop bringing home the utensils from his school's cafeteria (so far, successful!):

I followed this tutorial from Omiyage. For the first roll (the one on the left), I followed the tutorial exactly, but the silverware didn't fit quite as snugly as I had hoped, so for the second roll (bottom right corner) I folded the corners differently to make the fit a little more snug.

As you can probably see, the stamping on the silverware wasn't a smashing success (pun completely intended). It probably would have been better with more time, more patience, and in an environment with a temperature above 12*F (more specifically, NOT my front porch on Christmas Eve).

Norman then finished out in style with the piece de resistance:

a custom camera bag for my BFF Debra.

I drafted the pattern for the hobo-style bag myself (and will share soon) and adapted (in a major way) Little Blue Boo's tutorial for the camera insert to make it completely washable. That's kind of a must for messy persons like Debra and me. :)

In other news, my commitment is panning out quite nicely! The high chair cover is actually only going to be four cut pieces. The putting it together will be the difficult part, since the original was hemmed with bias tape and I will most definitely NOT be making my own oilcloth bias tape. I've got the construction figured out in my head already, though, so we'll see how that translates to real life!

How are your commitments coming?

Do you have things to do?

I do too! But... umm... sometimes I forget things. Big important things.

So, I make lists. But...umm... sometimes I lose lists... So I've switched to online lists.

As long as I remember my login info (which I usually do), my lists are safe in someone else's hands. :) (but not in a creepy way like they are reading my lists. Just holding them for me.)

Come on over to Housewife Eclectic today to learn about a handful of online to-do lists and see if one will help you. :) Happy Wednesday!

The Randomness of Lu: 15 facts

My friend Megan over at Kitschy Suburbia tagged me for a fun little fact session! The rules: share 15 facts and then tag 5 other bloggers. Easy enough. :)

1. I have never broken a bone. Honestly. And I've only ever had 5 stitches, thanks to a baby born with his hands over his head. Blech. Sorry, that's gross even to me...

2. Aqua is my current favorite color. Seriously, I want to plaster it everywhere because I love it so much. I'm currently crushing on these lovelies from Simple Serendipity (my newest etsy fave):

3. I am terrified of my garbage disposal. I will only run it when I have to, and I NEVER put my hand down that side of the sink, even when the disposal isn't running.

4. I was in college before I realized that you don't have to save the twist ties from bread bags -- you can BUY them at the store!

5. I can't cook scrambled eggs or that coconut frosting for German chocolate cake. The scrambled eggs end up burned and the frosting ends up as scrambled eggs. **To be truthful... I am learning how to cook scrambled eggs. I have managed to make edible scramblish eggs twice now.

6. I have never gotten a grade other than an A in any school course. But I did FAIL my swimming lessons as a kid.

7. I use vinegar for pretty much everything. You know the dad from My Big Fat Greek Wedding? His Windex is my vinegar. Laundry, dishes, household cleaning... everything except drinking it. :)

8. I am a font junkie -- over 700 fonts installed on my computer. And more every day. Yesterday I downloaded about 15. The Mr was concerned until I told him they were all free!

{love to dafont}

9. Pretty much anything I know how to do domestically (cooking, cleaning, sewing, etc), I learned from my mom or taught myself. Mostly learned from my mom... So I don't know a lot of the fancy words for things... I just do them. And every once in a while, I do them right. :)

10. I have been reading The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis for almost a year now. I love the book but for some reason I just can't read it quickly like I read other books.

11. Yo hablo espanol... I took Spanish classes for 8 years from middle school through college. Not that I've retained much of the language since then. :(

12. I love getting new socks. Even if they are just plain white. Love love love.

13. My feet are always cold. Even in the summer. Even when I am wearing new socks. :)

14. One of my favorite movies of all time is Remember the Titans. You just can't beat Denzel. 

15. I can trace my family genealogy back to Adam. Or pretty close, at least to Noah, I think. Or some waaaay-back-when king who was descended from them. Thanks to many dedicated family researchers!

And now I tag some new(ish) friends who I want to learn more about:

Need a commitment? or two?

I hope you're all thinking about what to commit to for Housewife MacGyver!

Just in case you're like me and can't think of just ONE thing to commit to (because you have a humungo list of things that you want to do, and need to do, and should do, and ooh-wouldn't-that-be-fun-someday) -- I'm over at Housewife Eclectic today sharing some great online goal trackers that can help keep you focused.

And if you are looking for a commitment to which to commit (crazy weird grammar rules!), here are three fantastic ones going on right now out in bloggyland:

Housewife MacGyver: Commit Thyself

As promised, first up in the Housewife MacGyver series...

The first MacGyver commandment:

MacGyver is a man of committed action. (Not commitment in the more common sense of the term, however... I guess MacGyver is just too much for one woman ;) Once he commits -- to recovering enemy intelligence, saving that forest, coaching that kids' hockey team -- he follows through... even in the toughest situations (like that hockey team...).

I mean, he committed to the same mullet for seven seasons. THAT, my friends, is commitment.

So, the first step in becoming a Housewife MacGyver is commitment. Commit to do something. I don't care what. I'd love if you'd commit to become a Housewife MacGyver with me, but there are SO many commitments to choose from. You could commit to...

file your taxes early this year.
eat sushi.

forgive a grudge.

do that thing you've been meaning to do.

do that thing you've always wanted to do.

So that is this month's challenge, the first MacGyver commandment: commit to something and then do the something. (The something might even be something you are already committed to, such as a resolution you've already made.)
  • Designate steps along the way as needed. 
  • Give yourself a time frame in which you will do the something (this week, this month, this year).  
  • Tell someone -- like your blog readers, hint hint -- about your commitment. 
  • And come here and share your commitment -- now, when you finish, or both. (The linky party below will be open until the end of the year, just to catch any stragglers. :)
So, what am I committing to? 

I commit to finish a project that I have had on my list for ages -- nearly a year now.

I commit to use materials that I received ages ago -- nearly a year now.

I commit to making a cover for my son's high chair that he has been using for, let's see... nearly a year now!

My SIL was awesome enough to snag this great high chair for us for FREE over a year ago. My 15-month-old has been using the chair for almost a year now. Without a cover. I know -- {gasp} the inhumanity of putting an innocent child in a high chair without a cover!

The high chair doesn't necessarily need a cover, but it came with one (that was old and I didn't like) and I have the materials and it will make meal cleanup so much better... no more digging gross food out of the crevices of the chair once a month... or so. :)

So, that's my commitment. Nothing huge or life altering, but the first in a long list of commitments. If/When I finish this one, I'll share the others. :)

**For those of you who would love to commit to the whole year of this crazy Housewife MacGyver thing, I am planning to have a fun giveaway at the end for those who have participated each month in the linky party (a new party each month... par-tay!). I am working on finding sponsors as we speak, so if you have any suggestions or would like to sponsor a giveaway as part of Housewife MacGyver (now or at the end), just contact me at iamjustlu at gmail dot com.

So now... come and share your commitments! Link up now or later or both... the party's open all year!

Introducing... Housewife MacGyver

Welcome to 2011, a year that, at least here, will be dedicated to...
image source

I've mentioned the good Mac a couple times before (remember this confession?), but before you start thinking I'm completely 80's obsessed (and really, what would the harm in that be?), let me explain.

I will NOT be posting regular homages to Richard Dean Anderson. No, here on just Lu, the year 2011 will be dedicated to Mr. MacGyver in another way...

...with a new series called Housewife MacGyver, all about becoming more self-reliant by using resources wisely.

That's what makes MacGyver the ONE man for the job, every time -- his amazing ability to combine what he knows with what little he has available to escape from behind enemy lines, stop those poachers, or rescue a kid off the streets.

Most of us won't ever experience a high-risk situation like defusing a bomb or stopping a smuggling ring, but by applying our knowledge and using our resources wisely, we can definitely make a difference in the "high-risk" work that we do as wives, mothers, and women.

No man (or housewife) is an island, completely self-reliant -- nor should we be -- but if we can use what we have to address our needs without having to run to the store or call someone (even Mom!), we're empowered. We can do ANYTHING! Plus, it feels awesome.

The longer I am a wife and mother, the more I realize that there are so many things I just don't know -- and often I feel silly asking someone and end up just Googling it. Some things you learn with time and as circumstances require, but there are some basic things I feel like I've missed the boat on and other areas where I know I need to improve. So, between now and the end of 2011 and with a LOT of help from some fantastic guest bloggers, I hope to fill in some of these areas in my home and in yours.

This series won't cover topics such as defusing bombs or even living off nothing in the wilderness. Instead, I've chosen topics that will (hopefully) enrich each of us in our normal lives, help us to do the everyday things we do just a little bit better. Throughout 2011, guest bloggers and I will share information about becoming more self-reliant in nine different areas of family and individual growth:
  • financially
  • domestically
  • physically
  • in the kitchen
  • around the house
  • academically
  • in the car
  • spiritually
  • emotionally
Hmm... you're doing the math... 9 topics... 12 months... What about the other three months? We're starting off the year with two challenges (which are more like encouragements, really) in the form of the first two MacGyver commandments:  

commit thyself
(to be formally introduced tomorrow)
organize thyself
(coming in February).

(And then to round out the twelve, December will be a review month, since December is the craziest month of the year both in and out of bloggyland!) 

But don't worry -- Housewife MacGyver won't replace everything that I usually do here, only supplement it. The Housewife MacGyver series will be 2-4 posts per month, mingled with my normal crafty-crazy posts.

Wanna join?  Grab the button below and tell everyone you're joining up! And, if you (or someone you know) would love to contribute, just contact me at iamjustlu at gmail dot com. Don't feel like you have to be an expert, either -- we're all still learning and we can all learn from each other!

Housewife MacGyver at just Lu

Here's to a very MacGyver 2011!
Thanks for reading!

If you need to brush up on your MacGyver, you can watch excerpts from seasons 1 and 2 here on YouTube.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Blogging tips