Thursday, March 31, 2011

My New Jean Skirt

I have wanted a jean skirt for years. Seriously. But every time I find one that I like, it's much more than I'm willing to pay. Hence I have never bought one. But a few months ago my cousin shared with me a tutorial she found to turn your old jeans (you know that box full I have with holes in the knees) into a new skirt. I tried the tutorial out to make some skirts for my girls for Christmas here and they turned out super cute.

Well I finally got around to doing one for myself, just in time for spring! I am so excited. I left the bottom unhemmed so it will fray. Here's the front:
And the back:
I decided to leave the side inserts out because I kind of liked the nice shape it gave my hinny. Hehe

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Getting Back On The Horse

It's really hard to see your kids hurt but makes you feel good when they grow from it. Like that old saying- get back up on the horse and keep going. Well we had one of those moments today, literally.

It is spring break this week. Yes, all week. I only ever got two days when I was in school. We decided we wanted to take the kids riding today. My husband has been teaching our oldest how to ride on her own. And she has been doing amazing. So we decided to take a little longer of a ride than we normally do.

Well the horse, who is actually very good natured and good with kids, decided it wanted to go home, not something it normally does. It started heading back and going a little faster. And before she could stop pull the reins hard enough, it started running and she fell off. She is okay, just a couple scrapes and a bruise.

But she was instantly terrified of horses. She didn't even want to be next to them. Her daddy talked to her for a while and then she got back up on the horse, with daddy this time, and rode some more. She was still scared but at least she did it.

The point is that just because of one little moment, she forgot the many other moments with horses that were happy and fun. How much do we do that in life? I know I do. One thing goes wrong and I let it ruin the whole day. I forget all the things that have gone well. When in actuality all those good things should make that one moment not even matter.

Yes "bad" things happen but it's not the end of the world. If we can just focus on the good things than those bad things won't bother us so much. My sweet girl learned that today and I am so proud of her.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I'm A Finalist At Saturday Mornings

Yay, yay, YAY!!!! Today's a happy day!!!!! I am a finalist over at Saturday Mornings for the Best of March contest. I submitted my homemade tortillas and out of 700 entries, I made it to the finals. Yay!!! I am so excited!!!!

Now I need YOUR help. Please go vote for me and my so very awesome and tasty tortillas. We would love to win the equally awesome prizes. There is a "Vote Here" button on my side bar or you can click here to go to the voting. You can vote every day until April 1st, so don't forget to go back and vote as much as you can. And tell your friends! You would make my day!

And thank you Dana for picking me as a finalist! YAY!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Little Man Cargo Jeans

My little man was in need of some new pants. He grows like a weed and clothes don't last him very long. When I looked at baby jeans, even the cheap Wal-mart ones were ten bucks a pair. Sorry I don't want to spend $10 on a pair of pants he's only going to wear for a few months. So I decided to make some instead.

I have a whole box of pants in my basement that look like this:
I've been saving jeans, khakis, cords, any pants that have holes so that I can one day cut them into squares and make a "jean" blanket. But I got to thinking,
#1- am I ever really going to get to that blanket,
and #2- it's probably worth more to make little pants out of them and save $10 bucks then to make another blanket to store in a closet already full of blankets.

So I went to work cutting and sewing. I started with a tutorial I found on Made, and adapted it. Here's what I came up with:
Little Man Cargo Jeans!
I love how they turned out and now I'm going to show you how to make them. And I'm going to apologize now, a couple of my pictures turned out a little blurry. Sorry, but I didn't notice until I was uploading them.

First we have to make our pattern pieces. Lay out a pair of pants that you already have on some paper and trace them. Add 1/4 inch for seam allowances, 1 1/2 inch to top for elastic casing, and 1 inch to bottom for hem. (I traced mine a little bigger than that because these pants were getting a bit small.) You will need to trace the front leg and back leg of the pants because the back is always a bit bigger to allow room for their bums.You should end up with two pieces- a front and a back. Now measure how far up the leg you want the "cargo seam". (I'm not really sure what the technical word for it is.) Draw a dotted line where the seam will go. Now draw a line 1/4 inch away on both sides.
These lines mark where you will cut your pants pieces. Cut the bottoms section of the leg to the top line, and the top section of the leg to the bottom line. That way when you sew them together they will meet in the middle at the dotted line.
Now cut out patterns for your pockets. (Sorry this picture randomly doesn't have a background, oh well.) You will need three pocket pieces- a J shape for the front, a square for the cargo, and a, well, a butt shaped pocket on for the bum. Remember when sizing how big you want your pockets to at 1/4 inch to all sides for seam allowances.
Now that we have all our pattern pieces, lets start cutting. First cut your pants apart. Cut the inside leg seams them up the center front and back. You will have two pieces with a front leg and back leg attached on the outside leg seam. Cut your front pieces out of the front leg, and your back pieces out of the back leg, making sure to match the outside leg of the pattern to the outside leg of the pants. (You don't have to put your pattern right on the seam, it's just a guide to make sure you face your pattern piece the right way so you get one right leg and one left leg.)
Now cut out your pocket pieces. You need two of each out of the jean material, and two of each out of a thin cotton for the pocket lining. Make sure your front "J" pockets are cut mirror image of each other. You don't want two going the same way. I just used some scrap material I have for the pocket linings.
Now we have all our pieces cut, lets get sewing. We're going to start with the cargo and back pockets. Sew the lining and the pocket right sides together with 1/4 inch seam, leaving a gap at the top of the pocket. Clip the corners. (I trimmed the seams but realized I didn't really want to after so don't trim the seams. Just clip the corners.)
For the front pocket, pin the lining on right sides together. Now only sew along the two long sides. Leave the ends open. And clip the curves.
Turn your back and cargo pockets right side and iron. To close the top, sew one line close to the edge and a second 1/4 inch away. I also did a double line of stitching down the middle just for looks. You don't have to do this or if you want a different design do it now.
Turn your front pockets right side and iron. Do a double line of stitching only on the inside curve- one line close to the edge and second 1/4 inch away.
Set the pockets aside for now and lets start sewing the pant legs. Lay the bottom section of the leg right sides together on the top section. Pin and sew with 1/4 inch seam. You should have four sets of these- two front and two back.
Press seam toward top section of the leg and top stitch close to the seam. And again 1/4 inch away.
Pin your front pockets to the front leg pieces. Match the raw edges with the top of the pants and the OUTSIDE leg seam. Baste stitch along raw edges to hold pockets in place. Stitch in place along the outside curve of the pocket. Once close to the edge and again 1/4 inch in. This should form a pocket.
Now match the front leg pieces to the back leg pieces along the outside leg. Pin and sew with 1/4 inch seam.
You should end up with two pieces that look like this.
Now place your cargo pocket centered over where the "cargo seam" and the outside leg seam meet. Pin in place. Sew a double line of stitching around the sides and bottom of the pocket- one close to the edge and the second 1/4 inch away.
Pin on your back pocket. Make sure to leave enough room at the top for your elastic casing. Sew your double line of stitching around the sides and bottom.
Fold your legs over, right sides together, and pin the inside legs together. Stitch with 1/4 inch seam.
Now turn one leg right side out and one inside out. Slide the right side out leg into the inside out leg so right sides are together. Match raw edges of crotch seam together and pin. Sew with 1/4 inch seam.
With pants inside out, fold down top edge 1 1/2 inch, pin and sew to form elastic casing. Make sure to leave a gap to insert elastic. Run elastic through casing and sew ends together (sorry I forgot to take a picture). Then sew up gap.
Turn up the bottom hem 1 inch. Sew with a double line of stitching.
And voila! You are done with your very own designer set of little man cargo jeans!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Chore Chart For.....Mommy?

We all have chore charts for our kids right? It's what gets them excited and motivated to help out around the house. So what about Mommy? What's supposed to get me excited and motivated to do chores?

I'll be honest with you, I am not an organized person. I am better at it than I was when I first got married, but I still struggle, a lot. I wish I was one of those moms who just love to clean and manages to get the whole house done before lunch time. Yeah, that would be nice.

But until then, my solution is a Mommy Chore Chart. Yes, I have my very own chore chart. It hangs on the fridge right next to the kids chart. Okay, I know that sounds so funny but it really works for me. Let me tell you why.

Without a chore chart, I get up and look around the house and start making a mental list of everything that needs to get done. The list ends up so long that I have no idea where to start and feel so overwhelmed that I loose all motivation to do anything. But in actuality, a lot of my list is things that don't really need to be done every day. So by splitting those things up on paper, I can look at my list, now 1/3 the size, and it feels very doable. (Is that a word?) And because my list feels doable (there it is again), I actually feel motivated to get it done.

Having a list also helps get rid of that guilt I feel when I don't do everything. Because my list said that's all I have to do, then that's all I have to do. Now I can go craft, or take a nap at nap time, or whatever I want and not feel guilty.

I love, love, LOVE my chore chart! What do you do to stay motivated about house work?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Get Your Mexy On

Have you ever wondered if you can make your own tortillas? I try to make what I can from scratch, it's cheaper that way. So why not tortillas? They are a staple in our house and I have wanted to learn to make them for a while. So I finally googled it and found this easy recipe at I love this site, I find so many recipes there.

Homemade Tortillas

3 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
2 t. salt
3/4 c. shortening
3/4 c. hot water

This is a lot like making pie crust. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. With a pastry cutter or fork, cut in shortening until mixture is crumbly. Add in hot water and mix well. (I found that I needed a few extra tablespoons of water than what the recipe called for).

Cover with a cloth for an hour. Split dough into ten equal pieces. Roll out to 1/8th inch. Cook on both sides on a griddle on medium heat. Be careful not to over cook or they go crispy.
For my first time I think they turned out pretty good. My husband and kids loved them.

Friday, March 11, 2011

My New Look

Hey, you may notice a few things different around here. I had planned on doing a sewing project today one of my kids decided it might be fun to get croup for the second time. Yay! Okay not really. Needless to say, sewing didn't happen. Instead I spent a lot of time sitting next to here on the couch. And therefore a lot of face time with the computer. I have been wanting to change a few things on my blog for a while and today worked out to be able to.

First thing, I went from three columns to two. I have been noticing a lot of blogs lately making this change. And I must say I like it. It makes it feel more relaxing and enjoyable to read because the post is not surrounded by whatevers. (I know that's not a word). So I'm trying out the two column thing. We'll see if I like it, and more importantly if you like it.

Second, I have had links to different pages in my blog on my sidebar. But being on the sidebar, I think they get lost and go unnoticed. I have been wanting to put them under my header since I made my blog, but have been unable to figure out how to make them cute like everybody elses. (Yes, I'm following the crowd again). But today I had plenty of time to browse the internet and found an easy tutorial on how to do it on The Coffee Shop Blog. YAY!!!!!! Just note, even with my "bundles" of time, I have not completely finished creating all the pages. So they are there, just empty, or needing some major revamping. I'll get to that one of these days.

And lastly, after I made the switch to two columns I decided I didn't like my post signature aligned on the left side and thought I might like to try it on the right. The original tutorial that I followed to make my signature didn't allow me to change the alignment so I found a new one at Blog Bulk. This one is just on trial, so it may not be staying. We'll see how I like it too.

Let me know how you like it. Your opinion matters, trust me. Tell me if you think I should go back to the other way, or if this way is more appealing to you. Be honest, I won't cry, I promise. (Or at least I won't cry a lot, hehe).

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Hello everyone! Do you ever feel like you have to "recover" from vacation? I so do. I love going on vacation. It helps me rejuvenate and have a much need break. However, it always seems to take me a while to get back into the groove of things once we're home. Catching up on laundry, getting over that "jet lag" feeling you get even when you didn't fly, and the list goes on. So I know I said I'd be back last week, but I lied (yes right out loud). Sorry about that. But here I am now and ready to go.

First off, I want to thank everyone for allowing me to have heart month. I had fun doing it and being my first series, I think it went well. I know I said I'd have one more spotlight when I got back but it fell threw. Sorry about that too.

Okay, okay, you're all dying to know (or at least pretend you are) how my cruise went. It was tons of fun even though it was not the sunny get away we hoped for. We left the snow for wind and rain. But we still had fun. Here's a run down for you and some pictures.

We arrived to the port early so while we waited to board, we took a tour of the Queen Mary. It was one of the first cruise ships and set sail back in the 30's. It's an English ship but I guess it died in Long Beach because that's where it is permanently docked now.
They used the Queen Mary during WWII for transporting soldiers and after the war to bring all the war brides from Europe to the U.S. We found this fun sign on the ship. It's sad but back in those days very true.
After our tour on the Queen Mary and a little more waiting time, we finally boarded our ship.
It was evening before we departed. Here we are sitting at the front of the boat as we slowly pull away. And yes it was cold enough, and very windy, in southern California to wear our winter coats.
When we arrived in Mexico it was raining. Did I say raining, POURING. We were soaked but smiling. Here we are waiting for a taxi. They have tourist shuttles, but they were a bit pricey and went to a bunch of places we didn't care about going. So a couple of spanish speaking fellas in our group went to wheel us a deal on some taxis.
Our original plans had been to do a zip line tour through the jungle, but because of the rain we were unable to. Instead we spent our time shopping.
And we had to get a picture in the beautiful scenery.
I felt spoiled on the boat. Every time we came back to our room at the end of the day, the bed was made and there were mints and a cute animal made out of towels.
My husband thinks that first one is a dog, I say a rabbit. What do you think?