DIY: Silhouette Cutting Files

I know I’ve said it before but…

Santa brought me a Silhouette Cameo for Christmas!

Super awesome. Except I had NO freakin idea what to do with it. Lots of plans…zero knowledge. I knew I had to download the cutting files from the Silhouette website. I REALLY wanted to make a “Home is where the Army sends us” wall. Of course I couldn’t find any of the map shapes I wanted from Silhouette.

So between some Google and Pinterest I figured out how to do it myself!



The first thing you need to do is find a good picture. I did a Google Image search to find a good map outline.


Once I had one that I thought would be easy to transfer I saved it to my computer and opened it up in the Silhouette Studio software.


Now, to get just the outline you want to cut you need to click on the little blue Trace button on the top right of the page. Once you do, on the right side bar click “Select Trace Area”, then make your little box around what you want to cut out.


Your picture should be outlined in Yellow. Next, click on “Trace Outer Edge”. That should make your highlighted trace box go away. You can click on the picture to select it, drag it out of the way to make sure you have selected your original leaving a red outline in its place. Then just hit delete and get rid of that original picture.


Voila! There is your fancy new cut file. Now, click on File and Save to Library.


And that’s it! Before you close it will ask if you want to save. The picture is in your library but if you want to save the new .studio file to your computer then click yes.

When you are ready to use your new file go to File, My Library, and My Own Designs. There it is! Ready to use!


Becoming Ninja Turtles

Im back! I survived the crazy long weekend that I had been building up to. One of those nights included a costume party.

We…er…*I*…decided we’d be Ninja Turtles.

I started out on Pinterest and found this costume:

Homemade Turtle Costume

I liked the way they did their shells with foil turkey pans. So I copied it.


They used paper mache to make them easier to paint. So I did too…only I must have missed something, like wrapping it around the bottom of the pan, because once it dried the new paper shell just lifted right off. I ended up using green duct tape around the edges to hold it onto the pan before painting.


I found a super cool TMNT hat tutorial HERE. But Im in Korea and last minute fleece anywhere close isn’t an option. Last minute meaning no time to order online and have it shipped in time.

So on to play B… I was going to crochet some super cool ones like the hats I saw with masks attached on Etsy.

Only I’ve never crocheted a hat in my life ­čśÉ

Thankfully my friend, Tia, has and was there to link me to 100 different Youtube videos until I finally understood enough to get it done.



As for masks, they were not attached. And they werent the same. I found a pattern but didn’t like it so I just used it as a baseline to figure out what I was doing.


For our bodies I was super stressed about finding green clothes. I ended up getting a shirt and shorts for T but couldnt find pants or tights that would do. Then I was linked to a “How to dye tights with food coloring” tutorial. I ended up buying a pair of longjohn pants and decided to dye them like an Easter egg with vinegar and food coloring.


The color didn’t really take the first time. The second go round was a leeeettle better. I didn’t rinse them and stuck them straight in a hot dryer hoping to somewhat set it. Worked enough for a one night deal.

I got super classy with our front shells and taped together flaps from a Target box then gave us some duct tape abs/shell parts. Then painted it all brown.


My favorite part of the costume was T’s weapon. I made it with a hanger and tape. Too bad I forgot what they looked like and made the sides too long. He came home and fixed it though after I took this picture so it was more authentic ­čśë


Mine was a $3 witch broom. I took off the bottom part and taped around the middle. Voila.



Finally the finished product!


Our knee/arm bands/belts are pillow cases. It was the only brown fabric I had in the house so they had to go for the good of our costumes.

We were totally awesome and I felt special that I made our hats/masks. And our shells were cool. A+ for us!

Gone Crunchy: DIY Laundry Soap

I used to laugh at the idea of home made laundry soap. Seemed like so much work when I can just go buy a jug of Tide.

And then I realized it’s insanely cheap. So I went for it.

It helps that I now have a friend that is all about homemade stuffs and told me what to do.

So I went for it.


You need:


Oxy Clean

Washing Soda

Yummy smelling bar soap

The ‘hardest’ part of this was grating up the soap bar. I may have taken out a chunk of my finger in the process. After my bloody mistake I had a friend tell me that she uses a food processor for hers and another friend just buys pre shredded soap. It’s crazy how many MORE people do this than I thought. DIY soap, its not just for the freaks.



Ready for the rest of the steps?

Dump 1 cup Borax, 1 cup Oxy Clean, and 1 cup washing soda in with your 1 bar of shreddy soap.

And mix.

The end.


Only I doubled it because I could.

I also was too impatient to get to the store to buy some fancy container to put it all in…


I’m the only one that will see it anyway. Until I post pictures for the entire world to see.

Oh well.

After using it for a few loads now Im pretty happy with it. My clothes dont really smell as awesome as the bar soap does but they do smell clean. And ARE clean. Even Timmy’s gross clothes.

This recipe, minus the yummy smelly bar, also works as dishwasher soap. But I don’t like it. I’ve tried and it may be my crazy Korean dishwasher, I’m not sure…but my dishes don’t seem clean. And I’m a scrub the crusties off the dish before you load it kind of person. ┬á Back to Cascade for me and now I have more to use in the laundry once I shred/process another bar of soap.

DIY Sensory Box

My last post sort of inspired me. Sort of like a bucket list…and now I can check one off.

The Sensory Box.

I said before that I didn’t really GET it. I had to Google search what it even did or how to make one. I thought there were very detailed instructions on how to put together specific elements to make this fantastic learning experience for you child.

I. was. wrong.

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I had some containers from when I threatened Layla with tubbing up all of the toys she refused to pick up. She ended up cleaning and leaving me with assorted containers that I had nothing to use for.

So I grabbed a bag of beans that I bought for some recipe forever ago, and half of the bag of brown rice that I had left.

And dumped.

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Ok…rice. beans. Now what?? Random toys. I don’t think Im to the point of themed boxes yet…I wasn’t even sure if I was doing THIS box right.

I tossed in a couple pet pets and a couple cars and misc spoons/cups. Looked decent to me…so I called the boy over.

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And that was it.

He was sucked into it 110%.

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Digging around, ‘feeding’ the pets, burying cars…

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Holy cow. I get it. NOW I see what these boxes are all about.

Layla even ran over from across the house to make sure she wasn’t missing out on anything super awesome. Which she was. That’s also when I decided I needed to dump everything into a bigger box.

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And then Timmy lost his mind because he spilled rice and it was touching his feet. That’s my boy.

Twitch twitch.

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I also decided that Timmy couldn’t reach into the bigger box and moved him to the floor. AND I even got a little crazy and added some sequins I had left over from a previous project.

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He was SO into it. Scooping small spoonfuls into big cups then watching as it dumped back out.

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I could see his little motor skills at work.

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And the mess didn’t bother me TOO much.

He was so still and so entertained and so QUIET for so long. Amazing.

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