Wednesday, October 31, 2012

SpiderMan Trick or Treat Bucket

So ever since little Noah decided he wanted to be spiderman for Halloween, we were blessed to get a "hand me down" Spiderman Costume from a friend. He isn't a big fan of stuff on his face, so no mask, or paint...he likes it just this way.

Of course I had previously made him a SpiderMan cape, but now that he has an "actual" costume, The cape isn't as exciting. It was fun while it lasted. :)

So the other night he asked for a "Spiderman Bucket" to put all of his trick-or-treat goodies in. I told him I would try and make him one.

It was alot easier than I thought. Took about 10 minutes. (waiting on the glue gun took the longest!)

McDonald's Happy Meal Bucket (remember we have quite a few of these laying around from the past weeks)

Blue Felt. I have a huge lot of this stuff that I got at a yard sale that is cut into strips. I used these for the Spiderman cape.

I cut the strips into equal piece and then hot glued them around the bucket. I placed the piece from once side, to underneath, to the other side. The next piece I changed directions so it would "cross" at the bottom of the bucket.

Once I got all the felt on, I remember I bought a remnant piece of Spiderman fabric at Hobby Lobby a week or two ago. I cut out spiderman and glued him on front. Attached some red ribbon as the handle and its ready for candy.

Easy! And will go great with his costume. :)

Until next time......

Stay calm......and stay away from all the candy!

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Great Dinner Debate

(Before I get into the Great Dinner Debate, let me quickly update my reasons for being so MIA on this blog. My father in law passed a little over a week ago. This has been coming for some time, but these things are still very difficult for families to deal with. Everyone is still adjusting and therefore, blogging hasn't been on the top of my list. I apologize. Things should line out soon.)

Now, on to the Great Dinner Debate.

When I was thinking what I would call this post, I immediately thought of the title the Great Dinner Debate. The more I continue to think and tell you about it, I guess it should be called The Great Dinner Portion Debate.

See when I was first married, a little over 10 years ago, It was always so difficult to cook for 2. It seemed like every meal that I fixed was for a family of 6, as I had been used to being in a large family. We always had many many leftovers. This worked out ok at times, as I have to bring my lunch into work, so I would just store some leftovers for the next day. I hate, repeat HATE throwing out food. Its like throwing money away. I do also however only will eat left-overs the next day. I might get 2 days out of a pot of chili, but beyond that, I get too nervous about if its still good and into the trash it goes. And since we already know about how much I hate to do that, I won't say it again. :) (I really need some good tips on storing leftovers and making them last longer with some peace of mind. Pinterest?)

So, now over the years until we had children, we would eat out alot. It just seemed easier than trying to fix meals for just the 2 of us. Now that I have 2 children to try and feed, I want to try and give them healthy options. (now these last two weeks of stress do not count. I have had more McDonald's that I would like to admit, and so have they. Thank goodness Livy at least loves the little apples they give you in the happy meals and they both love milk.) Where was I going??? Oh that's right, cooking healthier for my children. I have practically been a single mom for the last 2 weeks and its been very difficult to be supermom and cook every evening. Tonight that is going to change. I plan to cook a nice dinner, even if it is just for me and the kids.

Now whats this debate all about? Portions. Another great reason to cook at home is to save money. Another great way to save money is to take the leftovers in for lunch. (It always beats Ramen Noodles, Soup or a lunchable) But I have a difficult time knowing "how much" to cook because now that I have learned how to cook for a small family, it seems like there is just enough for everyone to eat and get full on and not nearly anything left to take in the next morning. For instance, 1 box of mac-n-cheese will fill our small family up fine, but 2 boxes is overkill. We have mac-n-cheese coming out our ears if we do that. Then there is plenty for me to take to work and 3/4 of a box in the trash. See where I am going with this? Its not too difficult if I am throwing and extra piece of chicken in the pan to bake in the oven, but its the sides. How do I get enough for dinner and leftovers for me without having to double the portions and throw half of it away? I guess I could just go to making everything from scratch and then I wouldn't need the already measured out box portions, but I am no Julia Child. I do very well to cook something as simple as baked chicken. I need some simple recipes that are yummy and easy, but when I google recipes or look for new things, I tend to get overwhelmed by all the ingredients that they say (are just in your cupboard already) apparently aren't in mine.

So what will I do about this great debate? Maybe I should just eat a little less for dinner and then I will have lunch. Dinner should be your smallest meal of the day after all.....OR maybe I should make up my lunch plate first and then split what is left between us. I mean I have scraped children's plates into the trash before in aggravation because I had no leftovers and it just went to waste.

Perhaps that's what I will try.

Any ideas?

Until Next time....

Keep Calm.....and Carry On....

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pumpkins, Wagons, Hay....and a meltdown....

Every year since Noah was little, we (mainly I) started the tradition of going out and picking pumpkins. I either blocked out so many memories from childhood that either I just don't remember it, or we never did it. I remember us getting pumpkins once in a while, but felt lacking in the "going out on a hay ride and picking the perfect dirty pumpkin"...etc.

This fall has been a whirlwind different for us. My husband started a new job, the kids schedules have been uprooted and are in full time daycare, my father in law's health is in decline, and it has just made our schedule almost impossible for us all to be together to go and pick pumpkins.

Sunday, (the day I normally plan nothing because we attend church twice) we decided to stop on the way home since we were all together and let the kids pick pumpkins. We had never been to this patch before, so we really didn't know what to expect.
This was at the entrance. All Smiles here. The wind was very strong and it looked like it might rain, but we were able to get in and out before any rain thank goodness.

I loved how they had these little wagons to pull around to put your pumpkins in. Noah immediately was all over that.

Sweet Livy was so tired. She almost fell asleep before we got there, so she wanted to pull the wagon too, but didn't want anyone to help her. Independent little girl? Stubborn? Just like her momma? I digress....

Noah Immediately found "the perfect pumpkin".

He spent no time really looking and deciding, although he did a good job. Last year he picked one with the bumps and ridges all over it. You know the ones that are cute to decorate with, but cant imagine carving. Yeah one of those.

Livy found one too she wanted, but she would get frustrated because (she was tired) she wasn't strong enough to carry it.

Oh no, then meltdown occurs.

Do you ever have in your mind a planned out little time for your children, hoping to catch a really sweet moment of the two of them and you end up with things like this?

It seems to never ever go the way I hoped or planned. So quick thinking momma asked her if she wanted to ride. Yes, I realize it was filled with pumpkins and dirt, but it kept her from having a screaming meltdown. (and we think those moms on Toddlers and Tiaras are mean!)

Once she had calmed down, I coerced Noah to run around and get a picture with sissy.

We abandoned the opportunity to do the hayride, paid for our pumpkins and drove home. I think sissy was asleep within 5 minutes down the road.

Now to the fun part of carving and lighting. :)

 Until next time....

Stay calm ........and just go with it, you can't control everything....

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Monkey See Monkey Do...

We have been going through a lot (especially me personally) in the last few weeks to a month or so that not many people know about. So, finding time to sew has been difficult, but it is also like great therapy for me. To begin with nothing and create something out of it just makes me feel so accomplished.

A dear sweet friend sent me a text yesterday that said "Do not cook dinner tonight, the food fairy will be stopping by". I was taken back for a moment because I am a giver. I love to give and have a very hard time receiving. I took it as a blessing and what arrived was more than I even expected!

A mound of pizza, bread sticks, cinnamon pizza, the works was delivered. It did not take long for Livy to see it and say "peesa! peesa!".  The kids devoured their food and I ate way more than I should have. It was so nice and I was truly thankful and blessed to have such a great friend! <3

Because dinner went so smoothly, I was able to get the kids bathed and in bed early (ok, earlier than normal) and decided I had the perfect opportunity to do some sewing.

Have you ever made a tag blanket? Do you know what a tag blanket is?

Its basically a baby blanket that has ribbon attached so the baby can feel different textures and help their sensory development. (and my kids never had one!) Maybe that's the real purpose I wanted to make one. They are so super easy!

First off, I knew I was going to make one for my one beautiful momma to be friend. Remember the sock monkey baby shower? Yep that was hers. So I got this fat quarter on eBay for about $5 total with shipping.

The ribbon I already had was in these three colors, so it was perfect!

Isn't it so cute? Can't see it very well so lets open it up!

Ahhh, much better. Now a professional seamstress/craft person would tell you to wash and/or iron your fabric first so that is what I guess I am supposed to tell you. (I didn't because I am too lazy...shhhhh) Once I get it in my mind I am going to do something, I want to finish and dragging out an ironing board and waiting on the iron to heat are just not in my schedule.

I was given a piece of red minky fabric. I am sure there is a more technical name, but its really soft with textured dots on it. It is not cheap and I was so excited that there was some leftover and was blessed to get it! I laid the fat quarter on the minky fabric to give me a guide to cut from.  

Once both pieces were cut, I began cutting my ribbon. I used regular grosgrain ribbon, but you could use any kind that you prefer. I cut them in strips about 10 inches long. The length will vary depending on your preference. I will probably cut them to 8 inches next time. (honestly, I will just eye-ball it as I did this time, who has time for measuring??)

 Then I folded each one in half and pinned it to the outside of the sock monkey fabric. It was a good thing I was lazy and didn't iron because it made finding the center and placement of the ribbon easier. I mean so would a measuring tape, but then you have to add and calculate, and phew! I am tired thinking about it!

NOTE: when you pin these on, you want to pin the loop facing inward on the fabric, on the right side of the fabric, but you want to pin it from the wrong side. If you place your pin on top, you won't be able to get it out when you lay your minky on top. Just trust me on this. :)

Once you get them all pinned on, there can be some hanging off the edge, you will trim that later. This is what it will look like.

Then take your beautifully soft minky and lay it right side down so that you are now looking at the back or wrong side of the fabric. Line it up and pin it like the mad woman you are. I ran out of pins! I wanted to make sure it wasn't going to move!

Then sewing began. Because my minky piece was slightly larger, I flipped it over and sewed on the sock monkey side. First I did a straight stitch 3/4 the way around the whole blanket. You have to take your time as you are going through a couple of fabrics. Then after I did a straight stitch, I went back and did a zig zag for extra security. I did not want any of those ribbons coming out! Stitch the zig zag 3/4 way around as well.

Once you get that stitched you can trim the outside ribbon and cut your corners. I used my pinking shears and they were not liking the minky fabric at all! Then you can remove most of the pins and flip right side out and ta-da! Its almost done!

You have to hand sew or top stitch the whole additional 1/4 that was left un-sewn so you could turn. Once you do that, stand back and admire your beautiful tag blanket!

It all in all took me less than an hour. No pattern, no instructions. Just basics.

Think about trying one. They are super cute and will make a fabulous gift! :)

Until Next time...

Stay Calm....and back away from my cinnamon pizza! :)

Friday, October 5, 2012

When it pours...and storms...and floods....etc

Sorry I have been MIA this week. I love to blog and to sew and to blog about what I have sewn, but this week has truly been "one of those weeks". Here is the list of what my week has been comprised of, in no particular order or with much details...

1. Yours truly was hit hard with the flu. Seriously was in bed since Tuesday evening.

2. Father in law's health is on decline and hubby who is an only child is having to take on more in helping his mom get through these last days with him.

3. Had to enroll the children into full time daycare as we no longer have anyone who can reliably care for them while we both work outside the home.

4. Insurance companies calling wanting to settle on where I got hit by the school bus, which throws us into decisions to make regarding vehicles.

5. Noah's birthday is within the week, and I really don't want him to remember it by his papaw passing away, also trying to decide what all you should subject a 5 year old to, when it comes to death and funerals esp when it is his one and only papaw.

So that is just the top 5. Not to mention little things like, Livy not sleeping well, Noah not eating great, my real job outside of the home that I am 2 days behind on now, just life in general.

The saying is true,...when it rains, it pours. I am just praying that God gives me the strength I need to get through these next couple of weeks. I know that things are only going to get harder.

Until next time....

Stay calm....and just keep Living...(and think about getting a flu shot, I've never gotten one, but man it has been awful!)