Friday, February 27, 2015

The Week...

  • It's Friday.  Fridays are lovely.  It's the anticipation of two days home with my main squeeze...a possible grocery shopping trip alone while Jason stays home with a napping babe...where I treat myself to a nonfat decaf caramel macchiato...or mocha...depending on the mood (it's the small things you know?).  The last few Fridays we've hit the Chick Fila for dinner.  Jack eats his nuggets and then runs around like a mad-child in the play area while I flinch and get anxiety from the fact that he is by far the youngest (even though the sign CLEARLY says 3 and under ;) ) and will likely get pummeled at any second.  So far he has survived though.
  • Last night at around 9:30 Jack woke up crying.  I went in because he doesn't EVER wake up at that time...2 am sometimes, yes...but not 9:30pm.  He looked "odd."  I picked him up and I could tell he was straining to breathe.  Then he coughed a cough that was literally the craziest croupy, barky cough I've ever heard.  Scared the crud out of me.  Jason was going to call 911 but I stopped him.  Instead he started throwing on clothes and grabbing keys and we were about to speed off for the E.R.  As I held him I could hear the rattle in his lungs but he was getting better.  So I held him upright and he fell back asleep.  We don't even know where a hospital IS!  Yes, stellar parents.  Anyways, in sum we waited it out and his breathing got easier and he just sounded congested and a little wheezy.  I ended up making a 10 pm run to Wal Mart for a humidifier and needless to say he slept in our bed.  Good grief.  The weirdest thing about this whole thing...he isn't sick!!!  I mean, he had a small runny nose at the end of the day but no hint of a cough or anything.  I have no idea what happened.  He let off a few rattled/barky coughs in his sleep but overall slept well.  So today our mission is to find a pediatrician who will take us...otherwise we will go to an Urgent Care I guess.  The weird thing is...he seems totally fine today.  And his cough...rarely comes and it just sounds "normal".  Ugh.  Give me a crazy high fever any day...I can handle those but anything with airway issues...don't mess.   
  • So I think I've finally decided on a double stroller.  I really want this one.  ;)  Now to find $500...hmmmm.
  • We are forecasted (is that a word?) to get rain Sun-Wed.  There is something all together exciting about getting rain in a dessert.  On the flipside...rain makes the "grass" grow in our rockyard in the front and that is not so cool.  Yesterday we invested in a sprayer and bulk weed killer.  :)
  • I made Jack a quick little box fort and he was into it.  Then Jason came home and drew all over it...even drew a little train track all over it.  Now Jack points to it and says "daddy" and totally loves it even more.  He wants Jason to crawl into it when he gets home from work and play with him each day.  Darling I tell you.
  • If anyone is in the market for a toddler bed I found this one on Amazon and it looks pretty good.  Really cheap and great reviews! I think we are going to just go for it and conquer the bed transition before baby girl comes.  Or at least try...  :)
  • For Jack's birthday we are making him THIS collapsible tent.  I got the wood yesterday (while buying our weed killer) and a queen size bed sheet from Goodwill.  The cost...pretty cheap.  Wood was about $7, sheet $3, bias tape $8.  I went ahead and got some stain for the wood but that's not necessary.  Anyways, I wanted a little fort/tent that he could take outside that would provide some shade but also bring it in since the sun is a little harsh here and will probably fade it and weather it in no time.  I also am well aware of the fact that Jack's birthday is only a month and a half after baby girl will be coming so it's probably better to get this done now.  It will be more low key then his 1st but I still want to have fun and make a special day out of it.  :)
  • And that's all folks!  Have a marvelous weekend friends!!!  <3

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Winner!!! And other stuff...

So first off!

Let's pick a winner for the tote bag shall we?!?
So has chosen...


which is...


Hey now!  I'll shoot you message a Jeannett and snag your addy from you.  :)


So are you?!? 

I'm...fine.  I mean, I feel like I should be saying "great" because there really isn't anything that's been happening that would warrant just a plain old "fine".

I think though that this whole move thing has kinda sunk in.  Next week we will have been here two months.  I would say that the novelty of being in a new place has worn off.  There are things that I really like about living here.  For example...the space.  Our old place in San Francisco was about 500 sq ft.  This place...more then double that.  We have a nice, good sized backyard, a big garage, and etc.  The space is really REALLY great.  And I can tell Jack loves it.

Lately though I keep having this thought...what ARE we doing here?!?  You see, right after we moved here we actually got an offer from USC...again.  Now I don't really think we would necessarily be happier in L.A.  I mean, it's more expensive and it's a big city...not really our cup of tea.  I know San Francisco is a "big city" but it's definitely different then Los Angeles.  Still though I kinda wonder what it would be like to still be in California and not so far from family...and near some people who I actually know!  Maybe the fact that we are about to have a baby and I straight up have not a single person who I would call a friend here is just sinking in more and more.  It's easy to forget that we uprooted ourselves and moved states when a lot of your routine is the same.  Jack still has the same basic routine here...I still have to care for him...I still am doing the same work that I was doing in  San Francisco.  I think I'm just afraid that I might feel...lonely...once baby #2 comes.  I definitely struggled with feelings like that the first month or so of having Jack.  I went from being at work, socializing, to being at home...alone.  Not a bad thing.  And I adjusted for sure...and grew to love being home.  But I really hope it doesn't happen again because it will really and truly just be me...with two littles.  Nobody stopping by to say hi.  I can't call reinforcement if I'm just at the end of my line.  I mean, there's Jason but he's at work obviously.

It usually hits me hardest when I'm driving around.  Probably because I'm out and about and seeing things that are still not entirely familiar to me.  I often ask God...why here?!?  Not in a negative way but a curious way.  I mean, He must have saw some reason to bring us to Arizona.  The fact that I know this to be true...that there IS a reason brings a lot of comfort.  I guess it's just being patient and waiting to see how life pans out you know?!?

Anyways, there are some of my thoughts for you.

And I just thought you should know that TWO people today thought that I was due uber soon and when I told them, "Nope, two more months." They both gave me a look of surprise...and sympathy.  Ha!  Gotta love it.  This is what it looks like when a short/petite woman has a baby people!  :)

Monday, February 23, 2015

A Lined Tote Bag Tutorial...and a Giveaway!

So I think that I've maybe done a tutorial before but I'm not entirely sure.  If I did, it certainly wasn't very memorable.  :)  That being is a tutorial on one of my very most favorite things to make...TOTE BAGS.
There are a few reasons why I love making this. doesn't cost very much to make...especially if you utilize 40% off coupons like I do.  I basically never buy anything full price if I can help it.  Second...this is a really easy project that you can whip out in an evening, no problem.  Third, tote bags are just super versatile.  Gym, groceries, diaper bag, purse...whatever you want.  Fourth, I love mixing and matching prints and this gives you that option.  :)  Oh yay.

This tutorial will also reveal a few things about ME!  1) My belly is a professional photo bomber. 2) I have long toes. 3) I have amazing taste when it comes to ironing boards.  4)  I have very little photography skills.  5) My workspace is not always no tidy, ahem.  Continue on to see what I mean.  ;)

So...let me tell you how to make a bag that every woman should have least 5 of. 
Here we go.
By the way...this tute is a little long but dare I say...thorough?!?  If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments section and I will try to answer you back.
Oh!  And do you WANT this bag?!?  Well, I'm doing a giveaway at the bottom so...make sure you leave a comment to enter! 

First you will need (or I used):
1/2 yd each of canvas fabric for the outside (you can do two different types or just one pattern...either way.  if you do one pattern instead then you will obviously need 1 yard of it)
1 yard of coordinating cotton fabric for lining
about 1 1/2 yards of webbing for the straps
3/4 yard of fleece batting (not too thick)

The great thing about this project is that you can make it any size that you would like.  I made this tote bag slightly oversized.  It measures 14 x 18 in.   If you would like a smaller or larger bag just cut your fabric accordingly. 
So first you need to cut two equal rectangles.  This will be the "top portion" of the outside of your bag.  I cut mine 18 x 13 inches.

Then you need to cut one larger rectangle for the bottom.  I cut mine 18 x 16 inches.  To give you an idea of how this works eventually this piece will be folded in half to create the "bottom portion" of the outside of the shown below.

So now you have 3 rectangle pieces of your cotton canvas fabric.

You are now going to line the edges up, print side facing each other and sew all three of them together.  The bottom portion (the print you only cut one larger rectangle for) is going to be in the middle when you are shown below.

Now iron those seams you made!   :)  (I am SUCH a lazy sewer but I have learned that ironing seams makes all the difference.  So don't be lazy.  Just do it!)

Ok, so now you have your three pieces sewn together with nice, flat, ironed seams, am I right?!?

Now it's time for the fleece batting.  :)  Make sure you have enough...good.  Now this is super confusing but I'm too lazy to go back and take another picture...and it's already made sooooo...yeah.  The picture above for whatever reason shows the print down.  You want the print UP!  So, I flipped my three pieces of sewn cotton canvas so I could see the print and then pinned it to the fleece shown below.

Now you are going to take your canvas that is pinned to your batting and make two seams.  One on each side of your middle canvas piece.  Right where my finger is pointing below.

And here I am sewing that seam.  :)

 And here is the completed seam.  Now you are going to do this on both sides of the middle cotton canvas piece (if you are totally confused scroll down a couple of pics to see what I mean)

Once you are done with those two seams you want to sew the ends closed of your super long rectangle.  As shown below.  And then do it on the other side also.

Now you have this long piece of cotton canvas that you have sewn to your fleece batting in these 4 spots...see picture below.

Now you are going to fold this in half as I am doing below so that you can see the batting.

Folded in half!  :)

With the fold on the bottom you will sew along each side of this so that you have an open top.  So looking at this photo above, the fold is on the bottom.  You will sew along the left and right edge of this rectangle...leaving the top open.  Sewing demonstrated below.  ;p

When you are done you basically have a big envelope type thing with an open seen below.

Okay, now I would say this next part is the most tricky.  So you have this flat rectangle envelope type thing but in order to have a tote bag with a flat bottom you have to create a box corner.  Once you get it, it's easy.  It's just kind of hard to demonstrate in a picture.  If you get confused I'm sure there are plenty of youtube videos showing it.
So this is one of the bottom corners of your "flat envelope" that you want to create a flat bottom from.  Basically I stick my arm into the bag with that seam facing me and then flatten it out so it makes a triangle-like corner as shown below.
Then you will want to sew a seam across that.  How far you sew from that "bottom point" will effect how deep your bag is.  If you wanted a really deep basket type container you would sew farther up.  If you want a bag I tend to make a seam about 3 inches from that bottom point.
Once you have done that you will cut off the excess as shown below. 
I keep that "cut off" triangle for reference because you will do the exact same thing on the other "point"...and on your lining.
Here I am using it as a reference...making sure they are about equal.  You don't want a lopsided bag.  :)
Okay, so you have done both bottom corners and created your flat bottom.  Now your bag should look like THIS. 
Now turn your bag right side out.  Hey, hey's starting to look like a tote bag!  :)  And please pardon the side ways picture.  I cannot figure out how to flip it worth beans.  Soooo annoying.
Now we are going to add the straps.  Cut your strap piece in half and pin it like so.  Make sure there is a little extra left at the top.  Also make sure they are evenly placed on both sides of your bag.  Also make sure that the strap is flipped the right way so that it will sit on your shoulder nicely.
Sew those bad boys on! 
Cut off the excess.
Now your bag looks like this! (again, the sideways pic.  grrrr.)
Now onto the lining.  So, you want one long rectangle piece that will roughly match that original rectangle piece that you made with the three pieces of canvas cotton.  So, I had two teal pieces measuring 18 x 13 inches each and the middle black dot piece measuring 18 x 16 inches.  Adding those pieces up I want my lining to then be about 18 x 42 inches.  Make sense?
So here is my long piece of 18 x 42 inch lining fabric folded in half. 
 Now this is optional but I love big bags as long as there is a place for things like keys, binkies, and cell phone.  Otherwise...big bags are not so fun.  Nobody likes digging for keys with a squirmy toddler in their arms.  So, next, I made a pocket for the inside of the bag.
I cut a square of the lining fabric.  I made it about 11 x 10 inches.  Then I folded over the "top" of the pocket twice and ironed it down...then sewed along shown below.
Next I made one crease (you can do a double if you are an overachiever ;) ) on the other three sides of the "pocket" as shown below.
Then pin the pocket onto the piece of the lining.  I like to do it towards the top edge.  Note:  the belly.  
Sew the pocket on!
 Now you have THIS...with a handy dandy pocket sewn on.
 Fold that piece in half so that the wrong side of the fabric is facing shown below.

Now you are going to make one long seam up one side and then a seam, leaving an open hole, on the other side.  Make sure you backstitch as you are going to use this hole to turn the whole bag right side out.  Basically the bag needs to birth itself through this hole kind to it.  I think I have birth on the mind.  ;)  This is demonstrated in the picture below.
 Next you are going to want to create that same box corner that you did with the canvas.  If you kept your little triangles you cut off you can use them for reference to make sure that you do about the same thing on your lining...since it needs to fit nicely into your bag.
Now turn the "outside" part of your bag with the straps and batting inside shown below.

 And make sure your lining is facing out so that you can see that lovely print.  :)
Now place the lining into your inside out that the prints are facing each other...and so that the straps are tucked inside the bag between the canvas and the lining.
So when you look into the bag you should see the wrong side of the lining.
Stick your arm in and make sure that the bottom of your lining is sitting/fits nicely with the outside canvas part of your bag. 
Then pin around the top edge.  I always have a little extra lining at the top which I cut off.
When it's all pinned around the those two layers together.  You made a seam a while back.  Sew just below that so that you can't see that first seam.
And cut off the excess fabric.
Now stick your hand in there and find that hole you made in the side of the lining.
And help your bag "birth itself".  ;)  Pull everything out of that hole.
When you're done it will look like THIS!  You are alllllllmost done!  Yay!
Now, sew that hole up that you left in the lining.
Another sideways pic...awesome.
Now these are the last two steps.  You don't HAVE to iron the top but I find it easier.  I also tend to iron the bag because that whole turning right side out thing kinda wrinkles it up.  You are going to now place one last final seam along the top of the tote bag.  This gives it a nice, clean, finished look. 
So that you now have THIS!
Congrats friend on your first tote bag!!!
So the giveaway!  Considering I have um...a few of these bags myself I thought that I would give the bag shown here to one lucky reader.  Yeah buddy!  All you have to do is leave a comment with your favorite thing to do when you are feeling creative...or if you don't have a creative bone in your body...what your favorite color is.  ;)
I will pick a winner randomly on Thursday morning and contact you with your address to mail this bad boy off to you!
Good luck friends!