January 2012

Tutorial Tuesday (Hanging Valentines)

Today I'm over here, talking about a fun valentine activity you can do with your kids. Come visit me there & let me know what you think! :)

For more fun valentine ideas, you can browse through past Valentines Day posts.


Hey, and a big welcome to Barnwood4U, a returning sponsor for January and we're happy to have them! This month I want to share this little specimen of cuteness with you:

If you haven't visited this shop yet, and if you like the rustic look at all, you will have a great time browsing through it!

Feature Friday (Suburbia Momma)

1. I google everything. I googled “Weird Facts About Me” hoping something would come up.
2. I tell people I’m allergic to mushrooms, but it’s a huge lie. Fungus grosses me out.
3. While pregnant, I refused to be one of “those” moms. Now I rock my pony tail, smudged mascara from 2 nights ago, and spit up shirt better than most. Until I look in the mirror.
4. I love thunderstorms. It brings out my “glass half full” attitude and makes me want to dance in the rain.
5. Every time I leave the house since having a baby feels like cause for celebration, and I reward myself with Starbucks. Every. Single. Time.

I am a momma in my twenties and soon to be wife. Some days I know it all, some days I am trying to figure it all out. I have a 10 month old super-human child, a home daycare, suburbia drama, a dryer full of cloth diapers and seventeen crafts on the go on any given day. I will tell you about it all.

Grandpa Bubba
The man who raised me passed away on November 8th. This was heart wrenching and life changing. To happen before my baby is old enough to know him, before he walked me down the aisle, only in his 50s and in another country compounded this loss so incredibly. This is my eulogy.
My Son is in this Super Fun New Stage
Little G will only throw his food on the floor, making my dog fat. U
Perfect Mom
Every woman knows each of these moms.
Sensory Overload & Some Leftovers
Oatmeal, water beads, and coloured yogurt – Oh My!
Toddler Slouchy Hat
My first FREE crochet pattern!


Has your reason for blogging changed? If so, why?

I started this blog when I was 11 weeks pregnant so I could record my thoughts and each stage of pregnancy as well as share with my family some pictures and updates. I never imagined I would become the mother I am today – crafting, cloth diapering, play group attending (WHY do we go to those?) organic food buying mom. Now not only do I want the world to know I have the coolest baby out there (I’m only sort of kidding ;) ), I want to share fun ideas, question health concerns, complain about the crazy moms, and network with other people who are able to communicate back to me in more than the 4 words my kid knows.

Would you like to see your blog featured here? I'll be doing a "Feature Friday" post, featuring one blogger & their blog on Fridays throughout 2012. If you have a blog that you'd like to see featured, please send me an email to raisingmemories at gmail dot com to submit your blog.

Valentine Craft for Kids: Easy Heart Garland

We spent some time learning how to cut out hearts (you know the kind- you bend the paper in half & cut out an upside down tear drop & then open?)

Then I spent some time with a needle & string, et voila!

Pin It

We're excitedly cutting more hearts to string up all over the house now- we will have a very love-filled home come Valentine's Day! :)

How To DIY: Homemade Marshmallows (easy to make!)

Ever since I first heard that you COULD make your own marshmallows, I have wanted to do it. It took me a long time, but finally, this winter I decided I was going to do it. Today I want to share with you how to do it- it's not even hard to do! You will want to try it! And your kids will think it's so fun!

How to Make Your Own Marshmallows
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The recipe I used requires these ingredients:

3 envelopes knox gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
confectioners sugar for dredging

Step 1: Put 1/2 cup of water in the bowl of an electric mixer & sprinkle gelatin over it. Leave it there for 10 minutes. (the photo in the top, left corner below shows what it will look like at the end of the time)

Step 2: Combine sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil hard for 1 minute. (shown before & after boiling in the top right & bottom left photos below)

Step 3: Pour boiling syrup into gelatin and mix at high speed. Add the salt & beat for 12 minutes. Add vanilla and incorporate into mixture. (shown in bottom, right photo below)

DIY Marshmallow Recipe

Step 4: Scrape mixture into a 9x9-inch pan lined with oiled plastic wrap and spread evenly. (I put mine in a larger pan & that worked out just fine- we sure ended up with a TON of marshmallows!!) Let sit for a few hours.

Step 5: Remove from pan and dredge the marshmallow slab (have I mentioned how cool it is to have a giant marshmallow slab in your hands? haha) in confectioners sugar (dredge just means get the sticky edges covered in the sugar, so that they won't be too sticky)

Step 6: Cut into squares with scissors or a chefs knife.

Recipe for Marshmallows

Step 7: Dredge each piece of marshmallow in the confectioners sugar. (my girls loved helping with this)

Step 8: Store in an airtight container.

Homemade Marshmallow Recipe

Step 9: Enjoy in hot chocolate! Or make something else fun!
(I'll share what we did in a future post ;)

Monday Moments

A couple of nights ago, Ken's mom sent a stuffed animal of his home with Talia. It was one that he received on his mission.

As we drove home, Talia asked him if she could sleep with it. He turned to me & quietly said, "I better be careful or it's going to become hers."

Then we heard her from the back seat: "I'm going to brush its fur every night with a Barbie hairbrush..."


I think it's already too late.

Feature Friday (Unskinny Boppy)

1. I have a severe phobia of anything that buzzes around my head, but I love to garden so I've taught myself to deal with the fear because I can't resist getting my hands in some dirt in the Springtime. And bees are unavoidable in a garden.
2. I am the spitting image of my Dad. It's kind of scary, actually.
3. Every time I clean the lint out of the dryer I hold my breath so I don't inhale lint particles into my lungs.
4. My husband and I each have our own top sheets on our bed. It's a must for a healthy relationship. It totally eliminates the 3 am Cover Snatching Battle Royale.
5. I wore a pair of old worn out Nike's underneath my wedding dress. Best decision I've ever made.

I'm a mommy blogger turned home design blogger. You'll find a whole lot of DIY craftiness and interior design ideas peppered with some cute pics of my kid. I try to be funny. Sometimes I succeed. Oh, and on occasion I talk about gardening. Look for those posts from the time Spring fever hits me on the first 60 degree day in late February until about mid-May. Then I lose interest because I live on the surface of the sun (aka central Alabama) where it's 95+ for most of Summer and Fall.

My top 5 most popular posts according to Google Analytics:

5. From Yellow to Blue: a Kitchen Transformation - In early 2011 I decided to change our kitchen paint color from a golden yellow to Restoration Hardware Silver Sage. It's been the best paint choice I've ever made. That Silver Sage color is like a chameleon - changes colors with the light, matches everything and makes me squeal every time I see it.

4. Sucker for Succulents: A DIY Succulent Wreath Tutorial - Ever since I was a little girl helping my mom plant hens and chickens in a strawberry pot, I've been a sucker for succulents. They are so hard to kill--even in brutal Alabama summers--and they look stunning in tight groupings. These succulent wreaths are overwintering in my sunroom right now. Still going strong! I also auctioned one of these off to help raise money for the Alabama tornadoes earlier this year. I'm so glad succulents are gaining popularity right now.

3. Pottery Barn Inspired Ladder Lantern Hanger - I'm not sure if it's just because I used the words "Pottery Barn" in the title or what, but people LOVE this rustic old ladder that I turned into a chandelier over my patio table. I used hanging mason jars and a Moravian star to create a twinkly little bit of rustic charm. Altogether between the ladder, the mason jars and the star lantern I think I might have formed a trifecta of perfection with this one. It gained popularity when it was featured by Centsational girl, and it remains near the top of the most favorited all time popular photos on Dwelling Gawker.

2. The Obligatory House Tour - Since I'm (obviously) a home and interior design blogger, I felt that I had to participate in that whole "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" thing. I know I love getting a peek inside other bloggers beautiful homes. There is so much inspiration to be found on the internet. And it's kinda fun to be nosy, right?

1. Taking Glowing Pictures of the Christmas Tree - Without a doubt, this is the most popular post that I've ever written. I snapped some pics of my son in front of the Christmas tree one night last year and pretty soon he was flying all around the world wide web! The power of Pinterest is an awesome thing. Once this photo started going viral on Pinterest there was no stopping it. I never imagined it would be so popular, but it's currently sitting at around 100,000 pageviews. Note to self: Write more easy to understand photography tutorials.


How/Why did you start blogging? Has your reason for blogging changed? If so, why?

Maybe I'm showing my age here, but my blog began as a personal journal where I copied and pasted those 101 Getting to Know You type questions from my myspace page. Those have long been deleted, so don't go searching for 'em. Then I got pregnant and turned into a complete hermit for 9 months, so my blog went silent for most of 2007. After my son was born it turned into full-on mommy blog where I documented every smile/ laugh/ coo/ poop for the first year. Then, somewhere along the way I started posting more home decor ideas and boom, I changed course again. I'm pretty much an exclusive home design blogger these days. You'll find a little bit of personal stuff but I try to keep it to a minimum. For some reason it was much easier to blab about my family life back when I only had 4 followers. Now I'm more cautious about what I post, but I try to be open and honest about keeping it real. I will admit that I have tried to reign in my potty mouth now that I know my husband's coworkers and Granny are reading my blog. It's been a challenge. :)

Where did the name for your blog come from?

A lot of people are curious about how my blog got it's name. During the time I was mulling over the idea of creating a public blog, my friend Dusty at All Things G&D was talking about her trip to see Poison in concert. She inspired me to name my blog Unskinny Bop, but then I glanced over at the Boppy pillow that my son was sitting in on the floor and POOF! A magical idea was formed. If you weren't into big hair bands in the 80's then there is a chance that none of this will make any sense to you. If you do know what I'm talking about, then you already have that song stuck in your head. You're welcome.

Would you like to see your blog featured here? I'll be doing a "Feature Friday" post, featuring one blogger & their blog on Fridays throughout 2012. If you have a blog that you'd like to see featured, please send me an email to raisingmemories at gmail dot com to submit your blog.

Favourite Valentine Activities for Kids

Valentine's Day is less than a month away!
I'll be on the look out for new valentine activities for kids, how about you?

Here are some of the ways we've found to celebrate in February:

Heart Shaped Breakfast

Lollipop Photo Valentines

Love Letter Books

Contact Paper Sun Catcher

Kiss Cards

Crayon Wax Suncatcher

Heart Number Wheel

Candy Cane Cake

Heart Toast

abc button

Monday Moments ("like a animal")

I was trying to get Katrina to nap one day and she kept getting out of her bed. I was talking to her about how she needed to stay in her bed & asked her what she thought I should do. She said, in a concerned voice with a serious/sad face, "Keep me in here and lock me like a animal."

I just about started laughing! I don't know what made her think of saying that, but I suggested another idea! It's so funny (& at times shocking) to hear what they're thinking!

Below is a photo Talia took of K & I when she was feeling sick in November. I love the snuggle factor :)

Sharing Time (January 2012)

Features for the December Sharing Time were posted on Friday, January 6th!

Giveaways Open Now:

"Mary Kay Ultimate Mascara & Oil Free Eye Makeup Remover Giveaway

DIY: How to Make a Blizzard Treat

It may be the time of year for outdoor blizzards, but that doesn't mean you can't make your own freezing treat to enjoy in the warmth of your own home! :) We love making "Blizzards" at home! I can remember how fun this was when I was a kid (okay, and now, too)... ice cream plus candy or cookies equals fun & yumminess! Just crush candies or cookies... add to ice cream in the blender & blend!  
 Easy, fun, and delicious! A great way to make a regular day more special :)

Feature Friday (Pillow Thought)

1. I once got stuck in an elevator by myself in high school.
2. I like room temperature water best.
3. I used to have blond hair (like almost my whole life up until 2 years ago).
4. I worry way too much & I'm definitely not a risk taker.
5. I'm a little obsessed with taking pictures, just slightly :)

Lindsey's blog, Pillow Thought, is a place to be inspired! She writes: It all starts when my head hits the pillow at night and my creative juices start flowin! I share just about everything, whether it comes from me or fun things I find and want to share with my readers! Photography, Fashion, Crafts, DIY, Fun Finds, etc..

My little girl's 1st Birthday Party

My little girls 1st birthday Cake Smash

Our Living Room & Kitchen Before & After

Meet our Little Family of 3...

Travel Post


How/Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging as an outlet. I keep our personal blog private and I wanted there to be a way I could still share little things with out exposing my ever so detailed life on our personal blog.

Has your reason for blogging changed? If so, why?

My blog has always been about sharing inspiration. Pinterest is the perfect example, it is so addicting to just browse through.. I like to share my most favorite things on my blog.


Would you like to see your blog featured here? I'll be doing a "Feature Friday" post, featuring one blogger & their blog on Fridays throughout 2012. If you have a blog that you'd like to see featured, please send me an email to raisingmemories at gmail dot com to submit your blog.

Kelly Moore B-Hobo Camera Bag in Muted Teal (Review)

I want to share with you my review of the Kelly Moore B-Hobo Camera Bag (in muted teal) that I have used & loved throughout 2011. I purchased it with Christmas money last Christmas and after a year of use, I thought it was time I posted a review of one of my favourite products of my 2011!

I use this bag a lot. I use it as a purse when I want to bring my camera with me. I use it as my gear bag when I'm shooting a session. It has been excellent!

Below I'll go through the features of the bag & my thoughts on them. I hope you find this useful if you're shopping for a camera bag! I'll be posting another camera bag review next week and a comparison of the two, the following week. So stay tuned if you're shopping around! :)

Isn't it lovely? ;) It arrived safe & sound in this bag: (and before I go on, I have to mention the superior customer service that I experienced when I emailed with a couple of questions. Kelly Moore's customer service left me impressed and very pleased, having gone above & beyond the call of duty, if you ask me. I am a very happy customer (and already dreaming of the Posey bag...)

When I researched my online purchase, I was very happy to find Kelly's video of each of her bags. I love to shop blog reviews before I make an online purchase and spent a lot of time looking for more photos of people's b-hobo bags! So, I took a lot of them for you. Here's the back of the bag, with a zipper pocket:

The front of the bag has 2 smaller zipper pockets, beneath the front flap:

The front flap is easy to flip over as it closes with a magnetic closure. The magnets are hidden inside of the bag. I love this feature!

There's a small pocket on each side of the bag for a cell phone or something else small:

The bag comes with two straps. They remove easily. Shown below is the short one (I love this one for wearing the bag as a purse).

The other is long and adjustable (great for wearing across your body while shooting! There is also a removable shoulder pad that slides over the strap.

The main part of the bag closes with a zipper for extra security (if the flap isn't good enough for you) which was a selling point for me.

The B-Hobo comes with 2 removable, padded dividers*. They aren't super "poofy"**, but they do the job. They have velcro on 3 sides as shown:

The interior of the bag is lined with velcro along the bottom and sides (up as far as the dividers go) that matches the purple-ish fabric of the interior of the bag. This makes the divider placement completely up to you- I love that! (I'm always rearranging them depending on what I want to carry with me)

Here's what I carry with me in this bag, at its fullest. Everything fits well and there's plenty of room at the top to zip the bag closed. (I've got a Canon 5D camera body with a Tamron 28-75mm lens attached, a Canon 480ex flash inside of its pouch, an extra canon lens, a bulky camera strap cover, and a large wallet inside of the main part of the bag).

Here are a couple of shots that my hubby took of me with my daughters at the pumpkin patch last October. They are what I could find of the B-Hobo being worn by me (with the smaller strap).

I found it helpful to see photos like this when I was shopping, to get an idea of how big the bag is (I'm 5'8" if that helps you ;)

...and that's the B-Hobo! If you've got any questions for me about the bag or my experience with it, let me know in the comments, and I'd be happy to reply. I've really enjoyed having this bag around this past year & it's still in great shape, after lots of use!

*Note: This bag now comes with a padded, removable interior Ipad divider.

**Note: It looks (from new product photos) like these pads may now be "poofier" ;)

This post is not sponsored. I just love the product & wanted to share!

My review of the Jo Totes Millie Bag.
My review of the Jo Totes Abby Bag.
My review of the Jo Totes Gracie Bag.
My review of the Jo Totes Missy Bag.
My review of the Jo Totes Siena Bag.

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