Sunday, April 22, 2012

An entire month

So an entire month has gone by without time to blog.
I think I'll figure out this week whether I'm just going to shut her down, or recommit.
The problem is: I'm diligently working on my novel. Actually making progress.
Which means that any free minute I have (and they are few and far between) is spent typing at maximum speed trying to eek out 10-15 sentences for the novel.
I'm still working on tons of projects, I just don't have the time to put in to creating thoughtful, well done posts for them.

Soul searching is in order.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Save your chin- The towel holder

Here is an item that my husband fully does not understand: The towel holder.
It's super simple, just two clips that hold up the towel for when you're getting your little one out of the bath.
Am I the only person who does the chin down to the towel, try to hold it up, while struggling to get a little wet, slippery body out of the tub?

Also, SUPER helpful for when your child decides that splashing like a lunatic is the most fun that can be had in life but YOU have on an outfit that you really like and actually want to wear out of the house that night.
How can my husband not think that this is the most brilliant idea ever?

So easy to make!

Piece of fabric approximately 23 inches long and 4 inches wide (to determine length measure from one collar bone, around the back of your neck to the other then add two inches)
2- art board clips (found at Michaels in the same aisle as the fancy paint brushes)

1. Fold the fabric in half the long way and iron a crease down the middle.
2. Unfold the fabric, then fold each long side in so that it meets in the middle.

Fold this in half and press. Now you have a strap.
3. Stitch the strap closed.
4. String each end through the hole at the top of the art clip.

5. Sew the end to the strap, so that you have one art clip hanging on each side.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Buffalo Chicken will thank me.

I love buffalo chicken, I love nachos, I am through the freaking roof with joy when I can combine them together.

Here it is, my buffalo chicken nacho recipe, no the measurements are exact, these are nachos, experiment a little:

1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 garlic clove
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 pound chicken, boiled and shredded
Franks Red Hot Buffalo sauce
Bag of tortilla chips (I like Santitas b/c they're yummy and $2)
Small can sliced olives
1 tomato chopped
2 scallions chopped
6 ounces of shredded cheddar
2 ounces crumbled blue cheese

1. Combine first three ingredients in a food processor (a hand held blender will work fine too), set aside
2. Toss shredded chicken in Buffalo sauce depending on your taste, I use almost a half a bottle
3. Lay a single layer of chips on a baking sheet (preferably with a rim)
4. Top with dollops of black bean dip, followed by evenly sprinkling chicken over
5. Evenly distribute scallions, olives and tomato
6. Top with shredded cheddar and blue cheese
7. Bake at 350 until cheese has melted

You could serve these with salsa or sour cream, but the black bean dip pretty much makes it so that they don't need any additional condiments.
Again, since they're nachos these are just my preferences, you may want more or less chicken, same with the cheese. I personally don't like to "overcheese" my nachos so this is on the lighter side.

This is how they look before cheese, could easily be eaten dairy free.
Feel free to post any questions!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wall Art Redo

So the husbando and I had a beautiful, delicate, super awesome paper cut out hanging in our room, but it was in this really horrid plastic frame that I just never bothered to replace. We bought this mind you about 6 years ago from a street vendor by Harvard, and it's supposed to bring good luck. We also had this super horrid wine "art" that the husbando was a fan of but I just couldn't bring myself to hang up on the wall, so I combined them!

Started by wrapping the offensive wine picture in fabric, stapled it right to the back.

Then I very, very carefully removed the paper cutout, which was brittle when we bought it I'm sure since it's so delicately cut, but way more brittle being 6 years old.

Then I trimmed it to fit and "ModPodged" the paper directly on to the fabric. This was an extraordinarily delicate process, and I did get some cracks/breakage in the paper but I don't feel that it hurt the finished look.

And yes, when the color started to run I had a little panic but everything turned out fine.

So we have saved two pieces of art that were "meh" and it's the new inspiration for my total bedroom redo which I will be talking about next week. I need loads of ideas.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sunday afternoon date

Is there anything better than a Sunday afternoon date?
The husbando and I haven't had time to get out lately, we've had a ton going on, and we don't want to overuse our babysitters so we haven't had any one on one date time in about 3 months. Which usually isn't a big deal for us, but I'm pregnant, and I'm feeling the need for some attention. Like one on one attention that doesn't involve simultaneously cutting up my daughter's lunch and frantically searching for crayons to keep her occupied.
Like real date time.
So today my husband took it upon himself to coordinate babysitting services with my mom and surprised me with a little afternoon date time!
We went to PF Changs and then did some crazy fun, cheesy, candlepin bowling! I truly had forgotten how much harder candlepin is than regular bowling. Like whoa.
We went to Needham Bowl, which is an awesome little 8 lane candlepin place! We were surprised to find that they had all day Cosmic Bowling on Sundays so my white dress was glowing in the black light and we were jamming out to music and totally played the whole time with bumpers. And we were still awful.
Truly though, I was also super excited about my outfit, here are a few gratuitous outfit shots:

The dress is from Levi jeans forever ago... but it is perfect maternity wear.

The bangles have been collected over the years from little stores here and there, I think the striped one is from Puerto Rico and the yellow one is from Newport. Purse was my moms in the 70s, I've used it more in the last 2 years than she did in the last 2 decades. Love.

And the finishing touch, my gorgeous hand knit legwarmers from my super clever friend Ms.Burney!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

$3.10 maternity shirts

I loathe the cost of maternity wear.
It's rarely cute, always poorly made, and only occasionally on sale (though never the right season).
If I find a cute $8 top I practically dance in the aisle at Target.

So my $3.30 a piece maternity shirts require the following supplies:
3 pack of men's v-neck white t-shirts $6 on sale
Sharpie fabric markers $20 for a set of 8 ($2.50 each but I'm only counting them as $1 in my calculation b/c I didn't come close to using the whole marker on one shirt)
Elastic (about $0.30 worth)
Scrap fabric
Spare stencil optional if like me you can't draw

I made them in two styles, one using scrap fabric to make an empire waist, the second sewing elastic directly to the sides of the shirt to create rouching, therefore a little pouch in the front.

For both versions you want to start by using the fabric markers to decorate a part of your shirt. Use your stencil to draw a pretty pattern, or freehand it if you've got that kind of skill. I chose to do a little something up top by the neckline, and a larger area of color on the belly and side:

Empire waist version:
Measure the width of the shirt two inches below the armhole seams.

Cut a piece of fabric twice that length (so it will go all the way around the shirt) plus an inch, and 3 inches wide. Fold the long sides of the fabric under about 1/4 inch and iron.
Sew the fabric on to the shirt 2 inches below the armhole seams. Leave the ends open. This will create a long pocket for your elastic to be threaded through.

Measure under your bustline and cut a piece of elastic (I used 1/4") one inch shy of that number.
Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic and thread it through the fabric. Secure the elastic ends together (hand sew or machine will work for this).
Fold the ends of the fabric over each other and sew the fabric tube closed.

Side rouching version:
Measure from 2 inches below your armpit to your hip bones. (For me this was 8 inches)
Cut two pieces of elastic (I used 1/4") to that length.
Flip the shirt inside out and pin one end the elastic two inches from the armpit seam and the other end two inches from the bottom of the shirt. Do this on both sides.

Sew the elastic directly to the shirt, stretching the elastic as you sew to fit the shirt.
I used a straight stitch for this. If your thread is catching in your elastic considering turning down the tension.

Looking at this picture I'm definitely going to go back and add more pink and black to the belly part of this shirt. It was hard to judge how much would be too much, but I feel more neon is in order. Thoughts?

Also, for size calculation purposes, I bought a men's large and I'm normally a women's medium. They do look a little big now, however, I'm not due until June 24th so when they're getting the most wear (warm weather) they will probably barely contain the belly.

Friday, February 10, 2012

DIY Tory Burch pom pom scarf

Saw this on Blake Lively in In Style and I fell in love:

THEN I saw a similar one in hot pink (which I can't find a photo of) and that did it, even though it's not really close enough to Spring to DIY a scarf for semi-warm weather I went ahead and did anyways.
This is super easy, I did it on my sewing machine but honestly wouldn't take much to do by hand.

2 yards of fabric, 18 inches wide- I used a jersey knit that I had laying around, but
you could totally do this with a t-shirt that you don't plan on wearing anymore.
2 yards of pom pom trim from the interiors section of your fabric store. I assume that this is
usually used to trim curtains or pillows.
Coordinating thread

1. Pin the pom pom trim to the long side of your fabric

2. Sew it on with a zig zag stitch. At the ends fold the trim under and sew it to close it off.

3. Wear it

Stupid easy, stupid cheap. This cost me $3.50 for the 2 yards of pom pom, bought it when Joann's was having a half off sale on trim.

Just for the record, the Tory Burch version is $80. Just sayin'.

You can wear it rolled in tight, or wide: