Thursday, March 28, 2013

Walt Disney World Vacation Series

So I am not an "official" expert on the subject, but I have been a good amount of times to Disney World, Orlando FL to where I have learned a few things that might be helpful to others. Since our recent Disney trip a few months back I have been asked numerous times from friends on help or tips for their upcoming family trip. I thought I would write a quick blog post about it and maybe it will be helpful to you as well. As I began, I realized it was going to be more than a quick top ten list of do’s and don’ts.

 I mean, I could just give a vague sentence on why you should or should not book through Disney or why you should or should not stay on Disney, but If I don’t explain why, then who is really benefiting from it?


So I decided I would do a 3 part Series.

Series 1 – How to plan your Disney trip based on what you want to get out of it.

Series 2 – Best Tips for Enjoying your Disney Vacation

Series 3 - Answering your Questions (if any - don't let me down people!) :)

I must also include that these posts will be specifically and only my opinion and that Disney has not contacted me in regards to posting this. HOWEVER, if it does wind up in someone from Disney's news and they contact me with a free vacation, I will gladly accept. :) (just throwing that disclaimer out there)

Got Disney Questions? Wondering how to plan for this summer's trip? Ask away. I will definitely find your answer and will include it in Series 3.

Stay tuned for Series 1 - Coming to a blog near you! :)

Keep calm....and Get ready for the Magic!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Me Sew Crazy about My Sew Mate

Sew, I got a new sewing machine for Christmas and it is now, um almost April. I just haven't had the time, or patience to get it out of the box and loaded on my sewing table. I mean I have projects that "HAVE" to be done and I can't use a new machine I know nothing about right??? What if I mess it up?

 I was at work yesterday and my sweet husband had the day off. Not only did he declutter the dining room, but he took it upon himself to open and unload my new machine and set it up on for me. Sweet huh?

Except now, I look at it on my little sewing table and just walk on past it. I am too scared to even turn it on. My old faithful (OK, my mom's machine) was so easy and basic. Switch it on, make sure its threaded and go. Yes it had about 8 different style stitches, which I used 2 of. Straight and Zig-Zag. This new machine has probably 60 different styles of stitches and a digital display and other things that make me nervous to even touch it. I guess I am going to have to sit down and look at the manual on how to use this "fancy" thing. I am not even sure where the "ON" switch is or what kind of bobbin it takes.

So although it was extremely sweet and generous for him to do that for me, now I worry I wont get anything sewn in fear of not knowing how to operate such a fancy new machine.

How hard can it be right?

Until next time...(and hopefully will have sewn something on the new machine)

Keep Calm....and just go for it.

Friday, March 15, 2013

PJ Pants Refashioned

So while one of my good friends and I were thrifting months ago, I came across a super fun printed pajama pants. They were not my size but I LOVED the pattern. (plus, I am a major thrifter, but Pajamas and undergarments is where I usually draw the line).

They were maybe a $1.00, I can't imagine paying more for that for them. The textile is so lightweight and soft, but I couldn't tell you what it is. My intention from the beginning was to make a super cute scarf out of it. After I purchased them, I couldn't wrap my mind around putting something around my neck near my face that possibly has been near someone else's bum. Even after washing I just couldn't do it. So it sat.

I noticed last week that the little pattern almost looked like little clovers. Wouldn't it be perfect for Livy for St. Patricks day? So I got to looking at the pant legs and realized that the width of the pant legs was just SLIGHTLY larger than Miss O's waist. So I measured how long I wanted a skirt to be, cut it straight across and cased some elastic in the top. Skirt done! I was able to use the hem at the bottom and the sides were already sown.

Now for a top. Hmmmm. I looked through my fabric stash, which is full of patterned prints. I have a sickness for print. I just can't help it. I am not against pairing prints, but I had nothing of cohesion so I decided to take the other pants leg and try to fashion a top out of it. Keeping the hem at the bottom, I cut out the bodice and sleeves.

I used the peasant dress piece to cut the armholes and sleeves. Since I have done these a few times now, it is the easiest "bodice" I have made. When done the shirt was a little (ok a lot) short, but I figured that the skirt was a little longer than necessary and I could just pull the skirt up a little higher. Right?

Here Livy is dressed in her new outfit. I love her model poses. She just does that same hip pop every time I bring the camera up. So cute....ok I Digress....

5 minutes of wearing it around the house however......(sorry pics are kind of dark)

We get a cropped top and a long skirt. That little cute belly just hangs out. I will probably just remedy with attaching them and then maybe adding a cute accent belt.

So the refashion was still successful, but we need some additional alterations. (Oh and since I only used the legs of the pants, I wasn't as creeped out as if I would have used the waist/bum/bottoms) :)

What do you think?

I love refashioning! It takes half the time as starting from scratch. I mean both of these pieces MAYBE took an hour. I think that's a record folks!

Until next time,

Keep Calm and Refashion.....

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Disney Promised.

I promised a few weeks ago I would post the outfits I made for Livy for Disney. Where has the weeks gone? They just FLY by.

Side note: Project Run and Play is getting ready to start and I seriously want to sew along with it, but I can barely get behind my sewing machine once a week let alone post and outfit a week. I will let you know if I do end up making anything for it. It looks super fun!

So Disney Outfits!

The first one I made is SUPER EASY! You can do this too! I didn't take pictures of the process. Forgive me. If you have any questions just ask!

Find a shirt of your daughters that she can currently wear or is slightly larger. If you are doing a 2t-3t size like me, you can just use 2 fat quarters. At Walmart they are .97 cents each. I laid the fat quarter on top of the shirt around the waist line and then used some of the flair of the shirt to make an a-line skirt. I cut both of my pieces, sewed them together and then cut the shirt off an inch or so longer than where I was going to place the skirt. Sew right sides together and you are done. (Well unless you want to be really adventurous and add a ruffle on the bottom, you probably still have to hem it, then you really are done.) Its basically a skirt you are attaching to a shirt. She did wear this at Disney, but it was the day we were all viciously sick. If I catch her in it again, I will snap a photo. I love it cause its like a maxi dress!

The peasant Mickey Dress. (caution: bad lighting for photos ahead!)

I used a new pattern for this peasant dress from Scattered thoughts of a Crafty Mom. She has a free pattern here. I really liked using this pattern because the pattern I had been using (for the exact type of dress) was completely different. This one is so easy!

My plan was to make a tunic like top and then ruffle pants. Well lets just say the ruffle pants did not turn out. I couldn't figure out what I did wrong until last week. (oh and we have been HOME from Disney for how long now?) So I do see ruffle pants in the future, just have some more work to do on them.

Since I had made the peasant dress into a tunic like top, I needed something as it barely covered her bum. I scoured the house and I found an older pair of black knit tights. I chopped off the feet, added some hand pleated ruffles from ribbon and even hand sewed them! I would say it was because I was really into the details of it all, but the truth is, I couldn't get them to fit on my sewing machine! :)

So Here they are, all together.

She did look stinking cute as always. I just love when she wears something I have made. :)

Remember them here?

These pictures were after a small "accident". So the little capris were in the stroller.

What do you think? Easy enough right?

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Until next time....

Keep Calm.....and Disney it Up!.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sleep Training 101....or a Good Laugh

So I have discovered the way to get your children to go back to sleep when they wake up in the middle of the night. Its Revolutionary. Ok, well not revolutionary, but let me explain.

Last night around Midnight Miss O decides she is going to wake up and cry after me. After continually pushing a 5 year old over in my bed, we decided to "sleep train" Olivia when she was about 9 months with the awful dreaded but effective Cry it out method. Yes, yes I know there are many Gasps as to a mother who would let her baby cry, BUT, I do work full time and when momma isn't happy, no one is. I wish I could get up every night and rock her to sleep or just put her in bed with me, but my Queen size is already getting too crowded with Hubby, my growing belly and the every night 5 year old wandering in from his bed at some point.

So yes, we let Olivia cry it out. For the most part, she sleeps a good 10 hours in her bed at night and I have no complaints. The ONLY time she does wake up in the middle of the night, is when my husband has to be at work at 3am or 4am so therefore I am forced to either :

1. Let her cry and bother his sleep when he has to get up so early.
2. Try and calm her down.

So last night I tried both. She wasn't hysterically crying by the way. Just a whinny "I want momma" piece that she must have been working on for a while. I would normally just turn over and try to go back to sleep, however a great friend posted a status on Facebook about a mom not paying attention to her kids at the park and how they are only little once and blah blah and I was feeling super guilty that I wasn't in there rocking my wild sweet baby girl to sleep. Guilt works every time. Now what normally happens is I can go in, while still dark, speaking very calming and softly, grab her sippy cup and get her some drink. Then bring it to her while softly singing her current favorite "I'm bringing home a baby bumble bee...." as I walk and shut the door.

Well last night she did not want a song, or her cup. She wanted Momma.


When this happens I have 2 choices.

1. Let her REALLY cry it out because when I leave she will be furious.
2. Rock her or whatever necessary to try to keep her sleepy so she doesn't want to "get up" in the middle of the night.

So I again tried both. The first 5 minutes of hearing her scream in frustration and anger made me realize that Daddy isn't getting anymore sleep this way, so I got up and took her to her Noah's room who was staying the night with Grandma. We layed down in his twin bed and she was instantly trying to go back to sleep. Hooray! I figured she slept in a regular bed all last week while on vacation, what is one night at home till we get her toddler bed set up. (which I really need to get that done .....)

So she is sound asleep and I start dozing in and out of sleep. I should have just stayed there, but I didn't. I wasn't laying good and my body was hurting so I carefully and without much movement, got out of bed and tucked her in really good, (in hopes that she would feel snug like I was there). I tip toe out of the room and fall into my bed. I get all snuggled up and within 3 minutes I hear it....."Mommy!....I want Mommy".


I know she can't stay in Noah's room awake so I get up and tell her to lay down but she refuses telling me she wants to watch TV. I firmly (in my calm whispering night time voice, in the dark still) tell her no that it is night night time. She begins to fight me so I take her in and put her back in her crib. Thus the cries begin again. I decide I don't know what else to do at this point but let her cry, feeling terrible, and exhausted. Around 2 hours of up and down has passed at this point.

Hubby turns to me in bed and says, "Does she have a cup?" to which I respond "yes she has a cup". He gets up and breaks all the "rules" of sleep training. He goes in, turns on her light, talks in his regular voice, tells her its bed time and its enough, to stop crying. Within a minute he turns the light out, walks out, shuts the door and a hear a slight "Daddy?" but then nothing. Asleep she goes.

He gets back into bed and I asked what all he said. Why is it my 2 hours of shhhh and its ok, all calm and quiet got me NO WHERE, but Dad's firm hand of , You are fine, GO to sleep, was just enough for her to realize she wasn't getting her way. I told him I didn't know if I should be relieved or mad that he was able to do in 2 minutes what I had been trying to do in 2 hours. :)

So if you have a rough sleeper, just send Dad in. It doesn't matter anything you have tried in the past, It seems the child will out smart you somehow.

Now if Dad has the day off tomorrow, she will sleep all night without a peep. I guarantee it.

Until next time....

Keep calm......and just have Dad go do it!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Mickey, Minnie, Princesses, Oh My!

We are finally settled (somewhat...OK not really at all, but just run with it) back from vacation. I am probably the only one in the world who looks forward to going on vacation as much as looks forward to getting back home and on a routine schedule again. I mean after so many days at Disney Parks, my body was yelling REST! But how can you rest when you are at the most "magical place on earth"??

We were not supposed to leave until Saturday morning, but the vacation bug hit my husband early since he didn't have to work on Friday and wanted to leave the night before. My slight OCD told me no, but I agreed and we spent all evening Thursday night packing, (you know cause I am one of those people who wait to the last minute to do everything). Now I remember why I hate packing. So much stuff! ha. Oh and because I hadn't had a chance, I sewed up 2 outfits for Miss Livy. They were basic and easy. I tried my first attempt at ruffle pants. I don't know what I did wrong, but they were not going over Miss O's little hips and thighs. I'll show those to you in the future post in more detail. (but you will be able to spot one of them below).

So we hit the road on Friday as soon as he picked me up from work. So yes, I had to trust he got everything I requested along with everything I had personally packed. First I find out that he got a new shirt and sunglasses. When I asked where my camera was, I got the "uh oh.../oops" look. Well I guess the IPhone camera will have to work. After driving through the rain for hours we finally made it to Disney.

What's Disney for the Girls without some Princess time?

Of course we saw characters. Mainly at the "Character meals". They should really change the name of these. For Instance, we ate at Chef Mickeys for Breakfast and its called a Character Breakfast. It really should be called, "There are characters and you children may eat breakfast, but its unlikely". My title may not fit on the brochure, but it is the truth.

 If I am throwing in my Disney expertise here as well. Check the menu before you book a character meal. Just because Noah and Olivia are living it up with the Disney Junior Characters, you may be sneaking their chicken nuggets to avoid the other menu items. (but I am not a huge fancy cuisine person either.)

Unfortunately a a day or so before we came home, hubby and I got extremely sick. We still don't know if it was food poisoning or what, but that amounted to a whole day stuck in a hotel room instead of going to Epcot and eating with the Princesses. We felt bad that we had to miss, but the kids had already done so much that we knew they would survive.

When we left, we hit New Smyrna beach near Daytona on the way home.

Hubby had never been to the Ocean so he was just amazed when we got there.

It was beautiful. It was only in the 60's that day and I take my cardigan everywhere. The kids seemed completely content even if it was a little cooler. It was a beautiful time and the beach was all ours!

So we finally got back home and I think I need to have a laundry party. I have too much to do in the next few months getting ready for Baby.

Until Next time,
Keep Calm and Don't get caught stealing a chicken nugget. :)