Kids Clothes Week Day 3- Keeping it simple

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I had planned to post a dress today but I'm not quite finished it so I went with some very simple ties for a friend's gentleman. I can't wait to see these on him in his Valentine's Day picture.

See you couldn't wait either. My cuddly little buddy Luke's momma took these adorable photos:

And because I can't forget his equally gorgeous sister, here is one of stunning Miss Lila

I think a little boy in a tie is just sharp! Case and point:

Isn't he handsome? I just love my little guy (and he's usually pretty good with posing too...) 

Ozzy has a collection of ties but I'm on the hunt for a longer pattern for him. He is too tall for the pattern I usually use and my last two attempts at making the pattern "fit" him did not work out so well. For the tie above I used this pattern from Sharing the wealth for the neck tie and this tutorial from Lemon Squeezy Home for the bow ties. They are all on elastic because it's easy and I think that I get a better fit that way.

Fingers crossed that the kids will be well and will allow me the time to finish the new dress for tomorrow.

Kids Clothes Week- Day 2 The Hangout Hoodie

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Knit fabric used the scare the bejewels out of me. The stretch, the movement, my lack of experience with it kept me from diving into knit wear, preferring to keep to the nice safe world of woven cotton fabrics.

Then my fabric enabling buddy Lisa tagged me in a de-stash sale. My heart went out to this lovely woman who was selling of her fabric stash. I knew I had to give some of that fabric a good home and before I knew it, I was the proud owner of several yards of knit fabric.

If you haven't noticed, I'm a HUGE fan of Peek a boo patterns.Amy has a great blog and is really creative with her patterns. Yes you will see more than 1 of her patterns this week.  I'd been eyeing the Hangout Hoodie but my deep fear of knit kept me from buying the pattern. Now I had the perfect excuse reason to buy the pattern and dive in. I was in love with the result. And I don't have a picture of that one handy so I will show you this one instead!

Then I made this adorable sibling coordinating combo. Do you like?

The pattern is easy to follow and can really be used with any weight knit fabric so perfect for all season wear. I did find the hood band a little tricky at first but I think I've gotten the hang of it now. I would recommend sizing up. Oz is wearing 6 and I find it a little snug. I probably should have made him a 7.

There will be many more of these hangout hoodies and hangout hoodie dresses in my sewing future!

Kids Clothes Week- Day 1 The Izzy Top

Monday, January 27, 2014

I'm excited!!! I love Kid's Clothes Week! And now that I'm feeling energized and ready to go, my kids have gotten some great new clothes this week.

My first project is the Izzy Top. The lovely Teri from Climbing the Willow shared this awesome pattern on one of the facebook sewing groups I belong too and it very quickly turned into an Izzy top sew along, most of us have made more than one.  The first one I made with fabrics that are more in line with Spring but I couldn't help myself. This was the perfect article to really showcase this gorgeous Riley Blake fabric.

The fabric for the second top was a selfish pic. I didn't even ask Miss A if she liked it. I made up for it though by offering Smarties if she modeled it for me. It's so hard to get a picture of her these days where she isn't dirty. Feels like the minute after I wipe her face and brush her hair it needs to be done again...but I digress... 

The Izzy top is simple, sweet and perfect for everyday wear. It comes together easily (thanks to the fabulous step by step tutorial ) I did make it a little longer so it's more of a tunic at the moment. I also made these tops in size 4 instead of Miss A's current size 3. I want to get a lot of wear out of these tops.

Seriously how cute and practical are these?!?!

Whole 30 Meal Plan Week 4

Sunday, January 26, 2014

I admit I almost called time out on the Whole 30 this week. My kids won't eat anything and it is beyond frustrating to have spent all that time prepping and cooking for the week and still having to cook something at dinner time for the kids. I know I shouldn't do that but they truly are refusing to eat and I can not solely feed them scrambled eggs every meal.

I am only cooking for one week this time. That way I won't spend so much time in the kitchen on Sunday and we'll have a little more variety. Here's the plan

photo credit: photos are from the blogs that the recipes link to.

Bacon pancakes
Peppers, sausage and eggs

Left overs
Tuna fish patties/ salad
Chicken soup (I'll blitz the veggies used to make the broth to thicken the soup a little. Thank you to the Fabulous Kelly H for that tip!)

Bunless burger with baked sweet potato "fries"
Slow cooker Southwest Chicken
BBQ Chicken stuffed Sweet Potatos (This is by far my favorite Whole 30 friendly meal yet. I did add Epicure Roasted Red Pepper spice it the sauce and what a kick it gave!)
Beef Stew
Pork roast, carrots and Brussel Sprouts

Once a Month Meals (formerly Once a Month Mom) has some great menus and I'm grateful for their diversity. I've found so many great food blogs as a result of clicking a link to a recipe! Also makes my list making a bit easier. One of these days I should pay for a membership and have all the work (save for paying for the groceries and meal assembly) done for me....That would be a great gift if anyone is pondering what to get me for any a special Just because it's Saturday gift? lol

Mojo? Where you go?

Saturday, January 18, 2014

I don't know if it's the weather or the lack of sugar but I'm feeling pretty blah. On one "health" hand I feel great!  I eating better than I have in a very long time and I no longer hit the 10am and 3pm slumps where I used to drop what I was doing and frantically reach for another hit or coffee or sugar to to make it through the morning/afternoon. I've lost a few pounds and feel less "puffy".

On the other "health" hand I feel like crap. My sinuses are clogged, my head has been in a vice grip and my eye is watering like Niagara falls.  I know its all weather related and since we've had both winter and spring this week I'm not surprised. But I am over it. Enough already!

Creatively, A Squared Designs is still on a winter break. I've taken on just a couple of custom orders but am otherwise working on a few of my own projects...well I would be if I could get my mojo going. I keep waiting for inspiration to strike to tackle the quilts I've got in various stages, finish the thrown pillows and put my plan in action for Kids Clothes Week. I don't even have the desire to go to the fabric store for inspiration. *GASP!* Yes I said it, buying fabric doesn't excite me and the local fabric shop has buy 1 get 2 free on right now. Yes I'm serious. No I'm not kidding.

Apparently there are a few of us mompreneurs who are dealing with the same creative burnout following the holidays. I think it has more to do with this gray weather than any actual creative burnout.

This weekend I am going to force myself to get out of this rut. I will sit down and organize my fabrics for KCW and I will spend an hour on one quilt and attempt to get through my workout without my head exploding. Maybe forcing myself to accomplish something will build momentum.

Here's hoping tomorrow is a creative day :)

Whole 30~ Week 2 & 3 Meal Plan

Monday, January 13, 2014

Well it's day 6 of the Whole 30. We haven't been perfect but we're getting there. Part of my problem this week has been a bit of poor planning. I knew what we were going to eat but honestly by Friday night I was exhausted and the kids had cheese pizza for supper because I just didn't want to cook. Last night I planned for the next two weeks and will do a cook day on Sunday and as an added bonus if this works out as planned, we'll be under budget for our groceries over the 2 week period! Here's what will be on our plates this week (and next):


  • Scrambled eggs & bacon
  • egg/ veggie muffins
  • smoothies & Paleo banana pancakes (had these this morning and they were pretty good!)
  • Paleo breakfast cookies (I'm using dried fruit not chocolate chips)
  • left overs
  • Red thai curry spaghetti squash
  • Butternut squash soup
  • Salads with a protein
  • Apples with almond butter (I'm in love with this!)
  • Energy bites (probably just the "brownie" bites)
  • raw veggies
I'm doubling the recipes and freezing half of every dish so that we have meals ready for next week. Now that I'm back to work full time, it's a daily headache to figure out who is going to eat what for three meals a day. That bloody "What's for dinner?" conversation is happening again...

Vow to Breathe

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Vow To Breathe
~Author unknown

No longer do I want to feel like I’m always running late.
No longer do I want to feel like I‘ll never catch up.
No longer do I want to feel compelled to rush my children through life.

No longer do I want to feel the brush of a hurried kiss on my husband’s lips.
No longer do I want to feel guilty when I sit down to rest.
No longer do I want to feel depleted and empty.

No longer do I want to feel like each day is a blur.
No longer do I want to feel half alive.

Instead, I vow to breathe.

I vow to look my children in the eyes and step into their world.
I vow to remember what my heart loves to do and then stop making excuses.
I vow to close my eyes in gratitude and open my eyes wide in wonder.
I vow to have face-to-face, soul-to-soul connection with the ones who share my life.

I vow to
read a book.
Dance in the rain.
Say, “Take your time,” and mean it.

I vow to
Give a good kiss.
Leave a surprise note.
Do absolutely nothing every now and then.

I vow to
And breathe.
And breathe.

So I can truly live.

The Great Christmas Declutter in 3 easy steps!

Monday, January 6, 2014

It's inevitable...what goes up must come down.

As joyful as it is the deck the halls starting December 1, I dread taking the decorations down. It has to happen but I put it off as long possible. I want the joy of the holidays to last as long as possible. This year we were rushing to finish some renovations so the decorations went up late and we didn't even put them all out.

As I was packing up the decorations we did put out I decided that it was a opportunity to put my resolution of living with less and organizing what we choose to hold on to. I started with the basement decorations, moved to the main floor and then picked up all the stragglers spread around the house.

1. You touch it, you decide on it- Did you use the decoration this year? If not why? Is it worth keeping? Do you really like it? Toss broken decorations, items you don't love and anything that no longer suites your tastes. Do you really need every single Christmas card from the past 10 years? Keep only what you really love and make the decision right then and there. If you think about it for too long you can justify keeping everything. If it doesn't speak to you right away, you can probably let it go.

2. Organize it- Put the decorations that go together together! Simple right? Apparently I thought I was doing this but not all that well. After getting rid of 10 years of Christmas cards and that old M&M candy dish that has been kicking around for awhile, I packed the mantel decorations, miniature tree and the other downstairs decorations into one tote (yes ONE! Do you have ANY idea how difficult that was?! but it felt so good!|) and then...

3. LABEL IT!- I can't stand digging around looking for stuff. Any place I work, the first thing I make sure I have is a label maker. Yup...priorities. I found some fun Christmas fonts on Pinterest and made new (as in I never had anything on there before) labels for the side on the tote detailing the contents. If I were going all OCD I would have literally listed everything in the box but in the interest of being practical (I did have the A1 and A2 underfoot) I generalized. For example after I organized the main floor decorations, the label for that tote looked like this:

Adhere the label to the box with packing tape. totally encasing it to give it some durability. If you use cardboard boxes instead of plastic totes for storage use a plastic sleeve to hold your label so that you can easily change the text without ruining your box.

Now all that is left to do is put your holiday decorations back to their storage home. Ours live in the crawl space which is my hubby's area. I believe they all go in one corner but honestly only he knows his system in there and I don't plan on touching it with a 6 foot pole. 

A few extra minutes of work now will save you hours when the holiday season comes back around in 10.5 months. Plus I've gotten a head start on that weight loss thing! I feel lighter after getting rid of the stuff that has just been hanging on for the last few years!

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