Friday, March 30, 2012

Simple Valentine Garland {Project #4}

I'm quite late in posting this, but since I just took the garland down yesterday, I'll go ahead and post it anyway.

After Christmas I found these sweet felt heart cut-outs at Target that were intended to be used as Christmas ornaments. The price was right at 50 cents for 3 and I loved the Scandinavian look to them, so I bought 2 packages of red and 2 packages of white. I had some white small ribbon on hand so I used that to tie on 11 hearts. For symmetry I decided to start and end with the same color to make the garland.

Then I simply hung it from the finials of our curtain rods. I'm not a big seasonal decorator, but I enjoyed having something up after having all the Christmas decorations came down. For 2 bucks and 10 minutes, how can you go wrong? And I love that to store it away until next year only requires an envelope or a ziplock bag. Simple and sweet...I think I'm finally defining my style.

Upcycled Diaper Bag or Purse {Project #3}

As I wait (impatiently) for our baby girl to arrive, I've been itching to do some projects I've had on my "to create" list for a while. We've been so blessed in recent months with lots of hand-me-downs for our older daughter and one item which came to us was this cute little reversible Gymboree skort. It was not quite long enough for her, but I loved the design so I kept it rather than passing it on. Motivation to make something out of it struck this week and in one hour it went from this... to this!
This is not a tutorial, but the basic process follows.
- With the skort fully open, I stitched the backside of the bag with our baby girl's initial with a decorative star stitch which mimics the little flowers on the front. (not shown)
- Next, I sewed some vertical seams on the overlapping part of the skort which makes a front pocket which is the perfect size for a travel wipes container or a sippy cup.
- Thirdly, with right sides together I sewed the bottom seam, then laid the bottom seam open to square off the corners to give the bag shape and give it a chance of standing up on its own rather than falling over when set down.
- To finish the bag, I sewed on a handle made of midweight white cotton canvas sewn into a tube (4 layers thick), topstitched the gingham ribbon onto the handle, attached the handle to the bag, sewed a loop of gingham ribbon onto the bag and attached a button to the front to create a simple closure.

I love the cheery, vivid green, the gingham, the flower motif, and the cute no-work lining that it has. And I love that it was free because the skort was free to us and the the other bits and pieces came from my creative stash.

Now I can't wait to use it for our little girl! And if I didn't have a need for a diaper bag right now, I would totally use this as a springtime purse.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Pre-Baby Menu Plan

The countdown is on! 2 weeks until the due date and we are getting really excited! Maybe not ready, but excited. I figure if we have diapers and folks lined up to take the kids, we are good to go, and those two things are covered. On Friday I ventured out with my four kids to hit the gym (trying to keep my ankles from swelling by being in the pool a couple times a week) and then to the grocery store and Sam's Club. Because of a big purchase we made before Christmas getting the Sam's membership made sense, but let me tell you, I MUCH prefer Costco, but I'll save that for another post. Anyway, after that exhausting day out we are pretty well stocked in the pantry, fridge and freezer. I don't feel I have lots of energy to do much freezer cooking this time, but we'll see. So here's what I'm planning to cook for my family in the days before our baby arrives.

Dinners & Weekend Lunches
Big sub sandwich, chips, fruit
Runzas (bread pockets filled with ground beef/onion/cabbage), fries, apples (4 extra meals to the freezer)
Corned beef, red potatoes, apples (I've actually already fixed this and let's just say I will never be buying corned beef again...not a fan!)
Potluck at church - shredded salsa chicken, cilantro lime rice
Chicken wraps, tortilla chips, smoothies (x2)
Olive Garden inspired pasta e fagioli, garlic cheese bread
Goulash, green salad
Cheesy chicken, brown rice, steamed mixed vegetables
Chili & cornbread, fruit salad
Chicken pot pie
Vegetable beef stew, whole wheat biscuits
Chicken soup w/homemade noodles, fruit salad
Homemade pizza, veggie sticks (x2-3)
Carmelized garlic chicken, green beans, red potatoes
Date night in - we've got a great Outback coupon we'll use for take-out
Family night - coupons for free kids meals and it'll be nice to make it an outing since it might be a while before we have the chance again

Weekday Lunches

Grilled turkey cheese sandwiches, fruit
Snack lunch - meat, cheese, crackers, fruit, veggies
Quesadillas, green smoothies

Breakfast Items
steel-cut oats w/berries
cold cereal
yogurt parfaits
scrambled eggs
hashbrown casserole with eggs, cheese, sausage
English muffin bread w/fruit spread
cranberry scones w/orange glaze

Snacks, Sweets & Treats
oatmeal blueberry bars
chocolate chip cookies - made by our 9 y.o. for a Cub Scout requirement
homemade salsa & chips
whatever else might satisfy the cravings of this pregnant mom...if we have the right ingredients on hand

Here's hoping this menu plan will last us through the birth of our baby girl. Though with my track record, I'm not exactly holding my breath that she'll be here on the due date.