Joy! Journal AND...

There are a thousand ways a mom can feel overwhelmed.

A thousand things to accomplish.

A thousand worries.

A thousand hours of missing sleep over the course of 4 years years of parenting.

There are a thousand things to drag a mom down.


But there's this crazy hope inside of me, that I could live fully. Here. Now. Amongst diapers, grape juice stains, cheerio bottoms, whiney voices, and temper tantrums. (And later amongst wardrobe battles, rolling eyes, boyfriends, and attitudes). Because I truly believe motherhood is a gift, even when I feel exasperated and so very tired... I know these children are my blessing. I want to live on purpose and not so "half-there" because I'm tired and I can't figure out any other way to be.

I want to fully live.

I want to instill in my children how to fully live too.

I stumbled across the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp a couple months ago when a friend invited me to her church's study. I know I've mentioned the book here at least 20 times, but it's good, and it's changed me. It's a simple idea. It's really just about slowing down a couple times a day and counting the gifts you've been given. It's about finding the joy in the messes and beauty everywhere. It's inspired my Thankful Thursday posts and now a journal I keep super handy in my kitchen.

I count gifts and all the precious and fleeting moments with my children, because they're gifts too. I count the beautiful things I see and record things like my daughter trying to take Jed's "tensaber" (temperature, for those of you who aren't fluent in Addy). Things that perhaps only I will appreciate, but maybe Addy and Jed will one day as well. I try to write down the hard things too, like that the mess of cheerios is really just evidence that I am blessed with active children or how even when I was rushing Jed to the emergency room with a punctured ear drum, God was there and He gave us peace and kind doctors and an unexpected friend's visit who happened to be on her nursing shift.

My children are learning to be thankful. I am even writing love notes to my husband thanking him for all he does.

This simple act is changing my life, my family, and my marriage.

I may sound like a complete thankful fruit loop, but it's worth the risk if it helps change someone else.

Couple of notes if you want to try "Joy Journaling" or "Gift Counting" out for yourself:
1. Make the journal handy... like wherever you most often find yourself in your home. For me, it's the kitchen. And don't just put it anywhere... make it prominent--where you are very likely to see it and be reminded by it.
2. Quick notes, sloppy notes, poetic notes... it doesn't matter. It's the stopping, the seeing, the gratitude... that's what makes the difference. It's not about the list. The list is the tool that helps you live a grateful FULL life.
3. If it helps you to have a guided way to count your gifts: visit Ann Voskamp's blog. Every month she puts up a printable with suggested items to count (They are always towards the bottom of page on her Monday posts). Actually, just check out her blog. It's good.
4. The book is awesome, but I found it to be a little like wading through oatmeal. The poetic language makes it thick. It's packed with revelation. The truths it exposes are weighty. It's a little difficult to get through (at least for me). But it was worth the "wading," definitely worth it, especially when I got to Ch. 8. That was the life-changer for me. So, while I strongly urge you to embark on this joy dare, I think it is a highly recommendable idea to read the book too (and to know if you find it a difficult read, don't beat yourself up. You are not less-spiritual or the only one.) :)

To make the journal:

I made myself a journal out of a good old fashioned composition notebook... wide ruled so it's easier to make fast notes. They are less than a $1.00. I covered it in scrap fabrics, a family picture, scrapbook paper and modge-podged it all on.

To Modge-Podge: paint a thin coat on wherever you are adding something. Paint a thin coat over the top to seal it. Just a note: you will battle wrinkles should you choose thin paper. Choose thicker paper (close to cardstock-quality thickness). Also, use thinner more cotton-like fabrics.

I got myself a letter-holder-type thing to hold my JOY journal in my organization station. I had tried just sticking the journal to the wall, but it fell off. Also, writing on something that is upright makes your pen get air in it... and that makes writing difficult. I still like the journal on the wall though (hence placing it in a letter holder). I see it every time I walk into the kitchen, and it reminds me to stop rushing, stop stressing, and be grateful.

I made a couple more journals just for fun. They are seriously easy... like half-hour-with-some-drying-breaks-in-there easy. This one is bright and cheerful. Addy loves it. I am thinking I may let her use it.
This one below is my favorite. I made it with a ribbon and velcro clasp that I embellished with an easy fabric rose. I love the quote I found amongst my scrap-booking materials. Seemed very appropriate.
"The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life."


Since I liked this journal so well and this book has changed my life...

...well... are just going to have to click the link below to see what this conquering housewife has brewing.

{Click here to find out about The CCHW's FIRST-EVER GIVEAWAY!!!! (I'm excited, in case the 4th exclamation point didn't clearly demonstrate this to you.) You will want to see this even if you aren't into reading anything longer than a page or writing in homemade journals. Wha-hoo!} 

Hope your Monday is MADE and your life is FULLY lived, Friends!

DIY EASY Headband and Bubble Skirt

I get easily distracted sometimes.

For example, I set out to make my pillows one morning.  Kids were still asleep. I had a good 2 hours before they would wake.

I can and I shall be a woman who conquers great things!

I shall sew my pillows!

I started with the green pillow seen here...
I got it done quickly. I had time enough for at least one more before the kids would wake from their slumber. Then, overcome by the feeling of accomplishment on making the first pillow... I Conquered the pillow case!... I immediately begin thinking of all the ways I could use the left over green knit fabric. Skirt! Headband!

Inspiration... or maybe procrastination... (Apparently I didn't much feel like making pillows anymore) led me to create a super easy skirt and headband...

wait for it...


Creating without a pattern can be so liberating. Kind of like walking around the house without your bra on.

{Don't worry, a picture of that WILL NOT be inserted here! Ha!}

Or like riding a swing on your tummy :)

Before I proceed any further though, I do need to give credit to deliacreates. I had seen the headband during her nesting series. I put a snapshot in the back of my mind for a future auntie/if-I-ever-have-another-baby-girl project. I loved how easy they looked. Loved that they only required scrap fabric. Loved the way they can be cute and girlie without having to use pink, purple, zebra print or any other very used girl fabric (not that I am against these. I love them. Have drawers of them. Just nice to have a change of hair accessory that looks completely original). I love the way they could be super soft and gentle on a baby's precious head and custom cut to fit perfectly snug without leaving those terrible elastic indentations.

I also kept seeing on deliacreates these baby girl skirt projects out of old adult tshirts. They look comfortable. They look easy. They look unique. Also, unlike shopping at the over-priced fabric store where the price for creating your own stuff costs more than it would to just buy it, you are just reusing old shirts. Price: zero! Love when my hard work actually saves me money! (Got baby brain? Do check out the above links to check out the deliacreates nesting series. She had some seriously great projects and most were super simple.)

I had these projects in the back of my mind for baby girl projects...

But now I had a whole lot of leftover green knit fabric...

I think these projects can be made to work for my not-so-baby-anymore Addy!

I totally did this spur of the moment.

Which means...

I have no pictures of the making process.


They are SUPER EASY.

I may not be able to wonderfully and visually explain the "how-to" but it's easy!

And fortunately, Deliacreates does a good job of explaining how to do the headband. She takes beautiful pictures and she did a bunch of different headbands. A great place to get some inspiration. It's so easy that I seriously looked through the pictures, thought how easy it looked, and never even needed to look back to reread instructions when 2 weeks later I decided to make one for Addy.

The headband literally took less than 10 minutes to put together plus a little extra to hand stitch the heart. I want to make more! I need someone to make me an auntie (wink wink brother and sister...get busy! Ha!)

They are Cute and Comfy. I have a hard time getting Addy to wear anything in her hair. She hates the discomfort of headbands and the pulling of hair-ties. This she can do.

Only... This is how she would rather wear it....
That's okay, though. Free spirit soar :) You are cute no matter how you wear that head band (or if you wear it) and even cuter when you wear it your way. Love that girl!!! She makes life so much more fun. 


For the skirt:

1. Measure your kid. You will need her waist measurement and skirt length. I got a little conservative and made the skirt longer than I wanted but at least this way it'll last a growth spurt or two.

2. You will need to cut three pieces of fabric for the skirt. (For all of your pieces the "stretchiness" of the knit should be the "waist" measurements--the longest length.)
First piece: the main skirt. Cut out piece of fabric that is double your waist measurement by your skirt length measurement plus 3 1/2 inches (1/2 for seam allowance, 3 inches for bubble).
Second piece: the underside of skirt. Cut out piece of fabric that is 1 1/2 your waist measurement by your skirt length minus 3 inches.
Third piece: The waist band. Cut piece of fabric that is slightly less than waist measurement (this will depend on the stretchiness of your fabric. You want the fabric to fit snug so it will stay up without being uncomfortable. Best way to figure this out is to try it out on your muse--child. Don't forget to allow for the seam.) by 5 inches.

3. Baste first piece 1/4" from edge that corresponds to the waist measurement. Pull thread at either end to gather until it is the same length as the second piece of fabric. Pin first and second pieces of fabric wrong side out and then sew.

4. Sew the waistband (put the 2 shorter sides together and sew wrong side out).

5. Take large piece (that is now the first and second pieces sewn together). Baste either end (the ends that correspond to waist measurement) 1/4" from edge. Pull thread at either end to gather fabric until it is the same length at the waistband.

6. Take the two sides of the large piece of fabric (the main skirt) that correspond to the length and sew together wrong side out.

7. Fold the waistband in half, right side out. Fold your skirt piece in half right side out. Take the raw edges of waistband, match this up with the seams you made in step 4&6, and pin them to the basted edges of skirt. (Make sure it is pinned so that after it is sewn raw edges won't be seen on out side of skirt and so that the side of the skirt that has no visible seams will be seen). Sew together.

8. Embellish however you please... or not at all. It's done!

This may sound really complicated, especially without the pictures. But do know, common sense and a very moderate sewing skill level got me this skirt without even glancing at a pattern. Most likely, if you have done any sewing, you can do this without any instructions!
 I hope just seeing it inside out gives you an idea of how to make it.
This project took around an hour with the time it took to add the embroidery on the heart and tack it on.

I think that hand-stitched heart is just the sweetest. So easy. So simple. And something you simply cannot buy in the stores... Kind of like the love I gots for my kiddos... awe!

The pillowcase procrastination and the hour of work were so worth it when I got to see how happy it made Addy to have something handmade by momma. I could tell she was feeling the love :)

We <heart3 you!

Some tips:
1. Scrap fabric! Keep fleece scraps. Fleece is awesome because the edges don't fray. Great for adding cuteness to little-girl outfits!
2. I don't have any embroidery thread. I didn't want to go to the store to buy any either. So, I just took a vibrant colored all-purpose sewing thread. I cut 2 lengths of it. I pulled the 2 pieces through the eye and then tied the ends together so that my thread was now 4x's thicker. Then I stitched it. Could have been thicker still, but pink still stands out and I didn't have to go to store. Win!
3. I made the waistband too loose so I had to go back and fix it. But, then I realized knit stretches out as it is worn throughout the day. Poor Addy had a saggy skirt by the end of the day. I have to fix it again. So keep in mind, SNUG. Not uncomfortable. But SNUG. My mom suggested inserting elastic into the waistband. That would probably work better (but then I would have to use a seam ripper and re-sew... something this girl LOATHES. Plus I like the idea of how comfortable it is without it... Nevertheless I will suggest it for you. I may try it if there is a next time.)

I am linked up at:

Skip To My Lou

DIY Chic Shirt Pillow

I am not this amazing sewer. I enjoy it *sometimes.

But I like creating. I like looking at my home and saying "I made that." I like saving money. It makes me feel like the invaluable Proverbs 31 woman when the work of my own two hands adds to our home.

I wanted some pillows to warm up my space and tie everything together... but mostly just to "cute-ify" it. Pillows aren't all that practical, at least not when your couch all ready has a cushioned back, but oh, the cute girly-ness they can bring to a room. I NEED some pillows.

I got the idea for this pillow here. I saw her pillow made from an unworn shirt and thought, "That looks easy. I could so do that."

It was SO easy. And I SO did it. (In an hour... that includes the time it took to make the liner and the flowers)

I used to be a 5th/6th grade teacher at a school that required teachers to wear uniforms as well as the students, so I have an abundance of white button down shirts I will most likely never wear again. This particular shirt is white, extra-long, and subtly polka-dotted... a perfect combination to making a busty girl appear larger than she is.

Fat-shirt... it is time to destroy you! Mwah-ha-ha! 

This pillow was originally a red microfiber pillow from when I first got married and I was digging the reds and browns. My shirt fabric was too thin to hide the red so I found some white scrap fabric from some curtains and lampshade project I covered my pillow with it. I just sewed three sides together on the wrong side and then turned it right side out, stuffed my pillow in and sewed the pillow shut on the remaining side.

The last seam didn't turn out perfect... But will anyone notice it on my pillow when it done? No. So do I care? No.
I made my cuts on my shirt (mind you... only 2 cuts! Whoo-hoo for easy!)

I sewed the sides together (mind you...only 2 sides! Yep, this was REALLY EASY!)

The best part about using a button down shirt... The company who sewed the buttons and button holes on my shirt also made them for my pillow. I DIDN'T HAVE TO! Whoo-hoo! I can now take off the pillow cover to easily launder it. This is important when your pillow is white and your children are young (okay forget my kids, I make messes wherever I go!).

I added some flower embellishments. I just used some scrap felt cut into 1/2 inch strips and made them into jelly-roll type flowers and used a combination of thread and hot glue to keep them together. I free hand cut the leaves and then doubled-up my thread and stitched the vein down the middle. I used a combination of hot glue and hand-tacking to get it all to stay on the pillow case.

I love the pop of purple in my room with blues, greens and browns. I love the shabby chic-ness of the raised white polka dots. This pillow is cute, super easy, and makes me smile.

Alright, so there you have it. Super Easy DIY Pillow case. Cost: NOTHING. I had everything on hand.

So dig out your scraps, your out-dated pillows, and crucify some fat shirts!

All in the name of a warm and welcoming home, of course ;)

Happy Hearts and Warm Ears: Fashion Forward Ear Warmers

A while back I came across this tutorial. I fell in love with the idea of having a giant, friendly bow atop some fashionable ear warmers. I decided to try making some!

I made a practice one for me.

And then perfected one for a pajama brunch gift exchange I went to.
I found that one layer of fleece was fairly flimsy and kind of pointless as it doesn't keep one's head very warm. So I added a layer of zebra print on the inside of the second one. I firmly believe one should always make a point to have unexpected fun where no one can see. Life can be such a killjoy at times and it really is too short to not have zebra print hiding out somewhere on one's person.
 Also I found deliacreate's ear warmer to be a bit wide, at least for my head so I trimmed my pattern down by a 1/4" on the top and bottom. I decided to try out flowers instead of bows. I free-hand cut each flower and then tacked them down with thread in the middle of each flower.
These ear warmers are SO CUTE and SO FUN! Thank you deliacreates for posting them!

They are REALLY easy too. While hand-tacking flowers can be time consuming, the actual ear-warmer itself took 20 minutes to cut out and sew together.

They are also REALLY cheap. Solid fleeces are at Walmart for $2.97 a yard. One yard can get you 4-6 embellished, doubled up ear warmers. That's fashion for under one buck a pop! Christmas gifts anyone?!

Please see my next post for what I am planning on doing with these... I am super excited about it! :)

My notes from the project:
  • Obvious statement here: fleece is thicker than the average fabric. Do practice on a scrap piece of fabric before sewing to make sure you have your tension setting just right on your machine. I had to adjust mine after almost ruining my freshly cut and pinned ear warmer.
  • It took about 40 minutes to make the bow ear warmer. That includes the time it took for me to make the original pattern and goof off in the mirror while project was going to see how it was going to fit. The second one took 20 minutes to make the ear warmer (including the time to change my thread), plus another 40 minutes to cut out and sew on all those flowers.
  • Fleece is not the easiest thing to sew on. I had a little trouble rounding the curves with my sewing machine on fleece. On one part it was pretty noticeable, so guess where I put a flower? ;)

Warm holiday wishes!

Pilgrims and Preschoolers

I suppose it has a lot to do with the way I am wired or the fact that I spent 3 years as a teacher and 5 years as a children's pastor, but something in me can never just allow a holiday to be a holiday. It's always an opportunity to teach my children!

Thanksgiving is no exception. I cannot just allow it to be about eating turkey and spending time with the family. We must learn about WHY we celebrate Thanksgiving.

For Thanksgiving, to me, is more than just a chance to list off our "Thankful For's" and enjoy family and eat. The first Thanksgiving involved a group of people who set off looking for a place to worship God as they wanted, an adventure, or an opportunity to make money. It also involved a group of people who out of the kindness of their heart became the answer to prayers by teaching the Pilgrims everything they knew about the Pilgrim's new home. The Pilgrims sacrificed much for the freedom they craved, they lost much, and at last they found their prayers answered. I love the story. Just a reminder from your 5th grade history books, the Pilgrims lost 1/2 their numbers to starvation and disease. In their bleakest hour, the Indians helped them, one of whom, Squanto, just happened to be able to speak English. They taught them how to work the soil, how to hunt, and how to survive America. The first Thanksgiving was a great big "thank-you" to the Indians by sharing from their bounty, and it was a chance to reflect that even in the face of great loss, God is still good and God still provides. I can be thankful for my abundance, but I can also stand in the face of loss and difficulty and know that God is my provider. With much or with less, I am thankful.

Alright, so I want to pass all that down in one preschool sized bite to my daughter. How do I do that?... Stick puppet show!

I happened to have a pilgrim foam craft set. Addy and I worked on the pieces last night.

Then this morning we made our puppet show back drop and "Mayflower" out of construction paper.

I happen to have metal slated chairs so I taped the backdrop the the chair and put my arms through the bottom opening. Addy watch my show from the other side of the table. Perfect!

I did the show for her. She demanded an encore: "Again! Again!" So I did it again. Then it was her turn. She didn't get the concept of putting the stick figures in front of the backdrop.

She got from my little Pilgrim Stick Puppet Play that they came in a boat for Jesus, the winter was cold, and they ate. They got in a boat, sang "Jesus Loves Me", said "Brrrr, it's cold," cooked, and then pounded their faces into the table as they scarfed their food. My version had much more to it and no "Jesus Loves Me" song in it, but I will watch Addy's re-telling any day... over and over again. (Good thing too, because I may have to watch it over and over again.) PRECIOUS! I am thinking she will be doing her encore for her grandparents and aunts and uncles tomorrow.

Here's my final thought for you:

DIY Fabric Rose Hair Piece

Alright, so Thanksgiving is fast approaching which means I am already behind on getting my family portraits done for the Christmas cards. What else is new?! I did go yesterday and get some pictures of the kids done at a portrait studio... ugh! So not fun. Jed just came into this world with a serious demeanor, and, while he definitely smiles and laughs, he does not do this for just anybody... and especially not if you are trying really hard. Addy is 3; pretty sure that's enough said right there, but, in case it isn't, she can only handle so many directions before she completely wigs out and your directions might as well be spoken in Swahili because she's lost her ability to understand them. Needless to say, this time I did not have the problem of "so many good pictures it's hard to pick just one;" I had the problem of "Um, which one is tolerable enough to look at in a picture frame until I get around to doing this again?" At least I really like looking at my kids faces no matter the expression on them.

I want my kids and Mike and me to all coordinate for our family Christmas pictures, totally a "mom-thing" I suppose. So I picked up some fabric that will pick up on the varying shades of blue, green and gray in all our eyes and decided that I SHALL do something with said fabric! I made a little button down shirt for Jed that I accented with cow print from a pattern I had laying around, but stopped shy of the button holes. Not sure why, but button holes scare me. Also, I made a mistake. I am still contemplating whether or not I want to go back and seam rip and resew or figure out some way to make it work as is. Me and patterns do not play nicely together and I HATE seam-ripping and resewing. I was going to sew up a little dress for Addy in the same fabric, but I am not so good at making the underarm part and seem to need to rip out and resew everytime I made something with arm holes at least once...

Can you tell not everything is perfect in my crafting world?!

Finally, as the picture appointment got closer and the thought of family pictures is beginning to move to the forefront of my brain, the need for simplicity over took me.

I got the idea to make a hair piece for Addy and a tie for Jed. EASY! FAST! CUTE! SIMPLE! I took my professional pictures of the kids with these accessories and I like the subtle matchy-ness. I am planning on making bigger adult versions for Mike and I for our Christmas card family pictures. This makes me happy.

Fabric Rose Hair Piece:
Need 2 contrasting pieces of fabric (like 2 pieces of 2.5"x6" or so for leaves and contrasting piece of 2.5" by 18+" for rose)
Fabric Glue
Hot Glue
Scrap piece of felt (2" by 2")
Hair Clip
Piece of 3/8 ribbon (about 6")
Optional: Headband and scrap piece of ribbon (about 1" wide)

Cut 2.5" wide strip of fabric about 18" in length. I am using a cheap Walmart cotton print. COW PRINT! Cow print makes me happy. (Note: the measurements can be wider or thinner, longer or shorter depending on what you want your rose to look like) I used scissors to start my cut and then I ripped my "cut" by hand the rest of the way. Ripping is a great way to ensure you are on the grain, keep your cut straight, and, if you like the slightly frayed look of my rose, ripping will help you achieve this.

Fold your fabric in half lengthwise.
Make a knot at the end of your fabric.
You will make your rose by wrapping fabric around the knot, twisting it a 1/2 turn ever so often. This will make your rose petal affect. (Get some practice in before you start glueing and figure out how loose or tight you want your rose to look.)
Now start make your petals and glue as you go.
To finish your rose, take a little bit of left-over fabric and glue it to underside of rose. Be very generous with your glue.
Rose is complete. Now to add the leaves...
Cut out 2 pieces of fabrics, roughly 2.5"x6."
Fold in half lengthwise and pinch in the middle.
Keeping your fingers pinching the middle of the fabric, bring the two ends together flat against each other. It should look like this:
Twist in the middle to get your leaf like so:
Glue to back of rose and repeat for 2nd leaf.
Cut out a oval-ish shaped piece of felt and glue to back of rose.
Because I have trust issues with fabric glue: I made a couple of hidden stitches on the inside of the "petals" through to the back just to make sure this rose would NEVER fall apart. I think in retrospect I was being overly paranoid, so I will say this is "optional" (but definitely worth considering if you loathe unraveled fabric roses no matter how long it lasted prior to unraveling or how slim the possibility is of it actually falling apart. I obviously would loathe this.)

Warm up your hot glue gun. To cover your hair clip with ribbon (this is great for baby fine hair... it stays in place better and is less likely to take their precious hair with it when they pull it out) place ribbon on inside of clip as far as it can go and wrap around to the top side to find our where to put your hot glue. Put hot glue on ribbon and put in place.
Wrap the remaining piece of ribbon around top end of clip to see where to make your cut. Cut and then hot glue. Repeat for bottom of hair clip.
Hot glue hair clip to ribbon.
You could stop here and have a great hair clip.
Our you can use it on a head band.
To make it a head band: Get a head band. Take piece of ribbon and wrap it around part of head band where you would like your flower clip to go. Wrap ribbon loose enough for hair clip to fit through it. Glue ribbon in place on the back side of head band. Slide hair clip in... Et Voila!
Friendly Fabric Flowers and Funny Faces make for Fabulous Photos... Boom! Try saying that one 10x's fast!
Sorry Addy, I made it; it's mine now. HA! Just kidding. I need to make another for me. I am thinking larger and doing the opposite fabrics for mine. :) Love this project. If you know me, you can probably expect to see fabric flowers attached randomly to something on my person... well maybe occasionally. They don't take much time... but they do take some time... ha!

This project took me LESS than an hour. I have a major irritation with blogs that have these amazingly cool projects that claim to be "nap-time" projects and always turn into nap-time+the rest of my afternoon+bedtime projects. Maybe I am not very talented or fast, but don't sell me an idea promising it will take less than an hour, unless it will for the average not-super-crafty person. Because, seriously, the average person is NOT super crafty. Okay, wow, didn't mean to rant, but apparently I needed to get that one off my chest.

Because not everything is perfect in a crafting world... Notes from this project:
  • If this is your first time making fabric flowers, allot time for playing around with fabric.
  • The first time I made a rose, it came undone because either I didn't put enough glue on or I didn't let glue set. Either way, I have been cautious since, and haven't had another incident.
  • Only other notation: This project actually was as easy as it looks! Sa-weet!

Look forward to my next blog post: DIY Baby Tie. Depending on my ability to pack and clean for our weekend road-trip, it should be forth-coming tomorrow.

DIY Cloth Wipes and Wipes Solution

While researching cloth diapers, I gave the only friend I knew of who CD'd a bombardment of questions and along with a ton of other information, she said that she also used cloth wipes. Her logic: if you already have to clean diapers, might as well do the wipes too.

Makes sense to me.

She even told me how she made her own wipes. Thank you friend!

More money saved!

To make my own wipes I took 2 pieces of 9"x9" baby flannel fabric and sewed them together using a tight zigzag stitch (practice on some scraps till you find what you like. I had my machine set to the widest zigzag setting and then had my stitch set to a little over a "1"). This project ended up being a great chance to use up some of my funky leftover thread that was cluttering my sewing drawers. The corners were a wee bit tricky, but other than that it was easy. A little time consuming, but easy. Confession: this project made me have dreams of owning a serger. So if you are blessed with a serger, serge away knowing there are girls out there suffering from a small case of serger-envy.

I bought 4 different baby boy fabrics in 1/4yd measurements. And 1 yd of a plain baby blue and white stripe for the backside of the wipe.

Tip: Tell the person behind the cutting counter that you want 1/4 yd. from grain to grain so you actually have 9 inches of usable fabric. My wipes ended up smaller than I wanted because the cuts were slanted.

These wipes are SO soft. Confession: after making these for my son I was tempted for one brief second to get rid of toilet paper in the house and use these luxurious guys. Then I realized how much nasty laundry that would make for me and the idea was gone just as quickly as it had came. But seriously, these wipes are so soft, so durable, and after four months of usage, I have only had one diaper change that required more than one wipe. My son has one happy little heiney!

This momma, who was definitely nesting at the time she made them, loved her fabric choices. Now that my son is 4 months and the thought is looming over me that one wipe per diaper change will not do the trick when I start him on solids and I will need to make more... I realize: They are wipes. Wipes. For poop. Do they really need to be cute? Ha! Okay, maybe a little... what is it about moms wanting all things to be cute for their babies... even wipes?! Now, my next project will be turning an old t-shirt and a couple of receiving blankets from my abundant stash into wipes. No baby pirate print, but they will do the trick.

For the Wipes Solution, just plain old water could do the trick, but for the sake of a smoother and softer baby bum I make my own solution.

  • Hairspray bottle (these bottles makes for the gentlest spray on a baby's bum. Way better than a spray bottle.)
  • 1 squirt of Aloe Vera (about a tsp)-this will keep your baby's bum nice and fresh
  • 1 squirt of Baby Oil (about a tsp)- this helps keep your baby's bum soft. Little bit of oil also helps the mess come off nice and easy. (Olive oil could also be used for you all-natural momma's... I use baby oil because, well, I guess I like to have something that positively affects my sense of smell when working with stuff that negatively affects my sense of smell.)
  • 1 small squirt of Calendula cream (about 1/2 tsp only because too much will clog your spray pump) (optional): this is a great all-natural diaper rash treatment. I usually add this too, but I am out. 
Put ingredients into a clean bottle and add water till bottle is full. Shake before each use.

This bottle lasts me a little over a month.

Please note: Though I did some research before making solution, and I am positive I am not the only one that uses a solution like this, I am not a medical professional and this has only been tested on my son's bum. Use at your own risk.

DIY Leg Warmers: My New Favorite Baby Item

It's really quite simple why I like leg warmers. Sure they can be cute, and as a child who was made in the early 80's, I love a good 80's throw back in fashion. Cute isn't what does it for me though. I love leg warmers because when I go to change Jed's diaper, I do not have to pull down a pair of pants, I do not have to unsnap a onesie, I just change that diaper. That's it. I like leg warmers because they make my life a little simpler. For me, diaper changing, well, sucks and anything that makes that process a little less painless; I am SO trying it. If you are with me on this, TRY leg warmers.

And, as an added bonus, Babies can't kick their socks off! Am I the only one who after having a baby for 4 months has a total of 6 socks without a match?! (And mind you, I had a summer baby. He rarely wore socks for his first 3 months).

Also great because, if you happen to CD, you have probably noticed how difficult it is to get pants over that diaper rump. I have to get pants and onesies a full size up to get them to fit... or I could just use leg warmers. Oh, Leg Warmers, how I love you!

I first gave Leg Warmers a whirl when it came time to order some more diaper covers.  I found these at, and they had them in colors that matched my new Flip covers. I bought a pair in blue.

I bought a pair in green. These ones are my favorite. (Don't you just love how his face seems to say, "Seriously, Mom?!" Yep, I am so serious right now, Jed. And I happen to think you look cute. And you really can't do much about it for the time being. So there! HA!)
However, Diaper Junction only had two different kinds for boys, and they cost $11.98 a piece. A fine splurge for a one time deal, but I definitely cannot afford to stock his wardrobe at this price. A friend suggested looking on pinterest for how to turn knee-high socks into leg-warmers... thank you Friend!

The site who's tutorial I followed is here. I don't even think I hardly read the instructions, not a matter of being rude; this project is just really, REALLY easy. Hooray, for easy projects! (And, no, I won't take offense if you too just look at the pictures and set off without reading my instructions. Go for it!)

Step 1: Buy Adult Knee High Socks. I found mine at Walmart. I got a 3-pack of boring, but easily matched browns for Jed for $5.27. I bought a pair for Addy (can't exclude big sister after all) for $2.50. I decided to cross my fingers and hope I had matching thread at home. I did!

Step 2: Cut off the "feet" of the socks.
Step 3: Turn inside out.
Step 4: Fold the end you just cut once and then twice. Pin into place.
Step 5: It's time to sew! I placed a zig-zag stitch 1/4" from the top. By the way, I put a picture of my sewing machine so you could see what I use. I love my machine. It was inexpensive. It's very basic; there are no extra "doo-hickies" as my mom would say. It is super easy to thread and set up the bobbin (and if you don't know what that means, but want to learn to sew, this is the kind of machine you want). My mom is in possession of my dear late Granny's Brother. I LOVE that thing. It's like the Cadillac of sewing machines (and it's expensive to buy just like a Cadillac). So smooth and there's even a button that pushes your thread through the hole of the sewing needle. Brilliant! So If I take on a large and complicated project, I borrow the Brother. If I am doing basic stitches, I stick with my tried and true White sewing machine.

This is a great project for sewing beginners. It's EASY! Only bit of complication comes from the small opening of the sock. You have to keep the sock opening separated so your sock doesn't get sewn together. Notice my ring finger is keeping the other side of the sock away from the stitch while the rest of my fingers are working to keep my stitch straight.

Here's the kiddos sporting the new leg warmers:

Warms their legs. Warms my heart to see them in something I made. Super cheap. Super Easy. Super Practical. Leg Warmers.

I think I shall be running through the sock section every time I am in the store from now on searching for some fun leg-warmer opportunities.

Because not everything is perfect in a crafting world... My notes from the project:
  • I am a SLOW sew-er (not sure if that's a word, but I surely don't want it confused with the word sewer. Those are nasty. Ha!). One pair took me 15 minutes. That time includes the time it took to make a bobbin and thread the bobbin and the thread. After that, it took 5 to 10 minutes a pair. EASY!
  • I wish Addy's fit just a tad bit looser so they looked more 80's-esque. In retrospect, I think I put them up a tad too high for my pictures.
  • I had to put Jed's back on 2x's in one full day of wearing them after he managed to kick one leg off. I suppose he has fairly skinny baby legs, and when they are on he can't kick his socks off; so only a minor irritation. After about 10 uses, I still haven't had one incident with the ready-made store bought leg-warmers.
  • My homemade ones should last Jed as pant-substitutes till he's one year by my estimations. After that, I am thinking his legs will be too long for the warmer to go the full length of his leg. I am pretty sure the store bought ones will last till he's around 2.
  • I really want a pair of cow print ones for my son! Let me know if you see some!