Monday, September 10, 2012

School Time Cook-Off

Let the Cook off Begin!!!

As the fall season begins, so does a crazy busy time at our house. Mom begins the busiest time at work, plus a new semester of classes. She is going back to school to finish her degree and we are so proud of her!! Dad(Alvin) starts work back at school and everyone is just super busy! One thing we really lack at is having good, healthy dinners and we usually end up picking something up on the way home or having cold cereal

  So with the beginning of this busy time, we decided to try a little experiment. We are HUGE fans of Pintrest and to start off with, we gathered a whole ton of dinners from various pinners and compiled them into the cookbook program on mom’s computer. This program is amazing, it has you pick meals you want to have and makes you a calendar and then makes you a shopping list for everything you need for all of the meals.
Well we decided to try this for a month so we got all of that put together and got our shopping list down and headed to town! Mom and I went on Friday night and we spent 2 and a half hours at Winco with two carts and then another hour at Walmart getting all of the food we would need for the next month’s worth of dinners. We spent what seems like a lot at once but for not having to pick up dinner or go grocery shopping every week, we will end up saving quite a bit! Even more of a bonus

Organized chaos
On our way home we call called the house and had Kray and Alvin get the counter and the fridge cleaned out to be able to put everything put away for the night. It took numerous trips to and from the car but we eventually got it all unpacked. We headed to bed for the night and got up on Saturday morning for the epic cook off!
Mom preparing to cook-away!
We started cooking at about 11:15 a.m. and continued on for 8 and a half more hours. We got all but 4 meals made and in the freezer. Mom starts classes on Monday and we made her stop for the night so that she and Alvin could go on one last summer night dateJ  On Sunday afternoon, we finished the last few meals and in total it took us 12 and a half hours. 
so much food!
when all is said and done...
We made 26 meals, with most of them having plenty for a second meal and left overs to take for lunch. Our grocery list was a tad bit off but we were able to make it work. We had to run to Broulim’s for some more onions and black beans and a couple other things. We also had some things left over, some peppers and produce that we cut up and put in baggies to freeze for when we do this again or for if we need some extra’s in dinner when we pull them out. As we were cooking the meals, we made one and would put it either in a foil casserole dish or a plastic freezer bag, depending on the cooking directions. 
see the directions?

We used pretty well the same dishes for all of the meals, just washing and rinsing as we got done with them, which was nice to be able to utilize as much space as we could.  We wrote on the foil or the bag with a permanent marker the cooking directions.

all snugly fit in the freezer
So hopefully this will help us be able to have a nice homemade meal every night and to be able to pack us all a lunch to cut down on eating out costs! I will keep you posted on how well it is going and which recipes we like and what ones we don’t!! Also if we decide this works for us, I will let you know what we do differently and what new recipes we decide to try!!
so prepared!


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Fun Painted Canvas and Vinyl Project

Just popping in to show off some of the fun projects I have been working on the past week. It has been a nice little break from sewing. I took the lettering idea from here on pinterest, which actually can be traced back to an Etsy shop called ColorbeeLove. Looks like the shop has a few different variations of the one I used, and they've got some other cute vinyl stuff too.

Anyway, i had a blank canvas and some paint, so I painted the stripes on, added the vinyl, and hot-glued ribbon to either side at the top to hang. I love how it turned out and can't wait to hang it in Lilly's room!

I also made this one for a fun home decoration- not sure what I'm going to do with it yet but it was still fun to do! I used a chandelier stencil for this. I used the same canvas board that I used for the above. I painted it black, used silver metallic glitter paint to do the stencil, and hot-glued matching ribbon. Check it out:
Easy peasy, and now I have a few more things to add to some bare walls in my house!


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Pinterest Review: Super Quick Delicious Dinner

I am all for those quick easy, yummy, healthy dinners. Well this one is fabulous. It was found on Pinterest- of course. There is not a website listed, but it was originally pinned by Amanda Duggan onto her Recipes board. The entire recipe is listed in the comment box. So no clicking through websites to find it.

Ready for the Oven
Here's the recipe:

4-6 raw chicken breasts, new potatoes, green beans (fresh or canned-really any green veggie would work. Broccoli is good, too). 
Arrange in 9x13 dish. Sprinkle with a packet of Italian dressing mix and then top with a melted stick of butter. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Enjoy!

It took me 10 minutes to prepare. I used 4 smaller russet burbank potatoes and cut into bite-size pieces. I used two large chicken breasts and just cut them up into smaller pieces. I used one can of green beans, one package of natural italian dressing mix, and one stick of butter. 

No worries for an hour and it's done!


My favorite part of this meal was the green beans. Next time I will put in two cans instead of one because they were so yummy! 

Another favorite part of this meal was that there was ONE dish that I used to cook with. Not only was preparation super fast, cleaning up was too! All I did was throw the leftovers in a tupperware, rinsed the pan and stuck it in the dishwasher! And we're done! Now I have more time with my family tonight! I love it!

My husband absolutely loved this meal, and I did too! It's always good when the cook likes the food. I'll definitely be making this again. 


Pinterest Review: Stain Remover

Stain Remover Review

I am so excited about this Pinterest review. I tried it out a couple days ago, and was really bummed at first because I thought it didn't work. The post comes from Jill at One Good Thing by Jillee. She found an acclaimed "miracle stain remover". She was able to remove those nasty armpit stains you get in shirts with this method. The exciting part for me was when I read on and saw that it is supposed to work on grease stains as well. I have been looking for a long time for a way to get out set-in grease stains. I have this red shirt that I LOVE. But recently, when I have put it on for the day, I have noticed later, usually when I am already at work and can't change, that there is a huge round grease stain in my belly area. It is heart-sinking-ly embarrassing. Thus the reason why I wanted this stain remover to work so bad. I also have some t-shirts I wanted to try it on. Check out the results:

Armpit stains- gross
I don't have a picture of this shirt after. This is when I thought the stain remover didn't work. I didn't really notice any change after this was laundered, as well as the 4 other shirts I tried it on. But don't stop reading just yet! 

Here are the results on the grease stain:
Are you on the edge of your seat now? You should be! I pulled this out of the dryer just this morning and I am ecstatic about what I found! ....Drum roll....

Seriously, the stains are GONE like a freight train. I examined it in different lights and moved it so the light would reflect off of it. It really has no more stains. 

Here is the reason why I think the pit stains didn't come out of my other shirts. I think I would mix up the solution x4 of what it calls for, because I was scraping the container to get enough and it was a stretch. I also didn't let those shirts soak for very long. After seeing the results on the grease stain, I would definitely use this stain remover again. 


Friday, July 27, 2012

Denim Shape-Up

Tutorial: How to change the shape of your jeans

You know the thrill of buying a new pair of jeans for an incredible price? You don't try them on, because they are your size, and there is no way on earth you are going to pass them up for that price. When you finally do try them on at home, you discover they fit wonderfully. Score! I love that thrill too. However, there have been times that the more and more I wear those fabulous jeans, I start to notice little things that make them not-so-fabulous. I think there was one time I didn't pay attention the the cut of the jean, and later found out that they were flared jeans. The more I wore them, the more I felt like an extra from That 70's Show. Flared jeans look cute on some people, but I prefer the bootcut style. It seems my husband had this same experience, and as we were talking about lengthening his jeans (see that tutorial here), he also mentioned there were some he needed taken in on the leg. He was feeling pretty gangster in some of his wider leg jeans, and if you were to meet my husband, you would find that he is anything but gangster.

On that note here are the materials you will need:
  • Sewing machine
  • Good sewing shears
  •  Navy blue  thread and bobbin thread (thread to match the wrong side of your jeans- navy is usually a close match to any blue jean). 
  • Jean thread and needle (any thread that is a heavier weight than normal thread will do, or you can use 2 spools  of the normal size- thread that is meant for jeans is of course the best option, but there are some other alternatives as well.)
  • Pins of tailor's chalk
The first thing you will need to do is try on the jeans. This step is easier with two people. You will want to take in the seam that is a normal seam, as the flat fell seam that is found on most jeans is more difficult to take in, and if not done correctly could leave a lot of bulk in the seam. You would also lose the seam that is the most appealing to the eye on jeans.

 Flat-fell Seam

 Regular seam- this is the one you want to take in! It is usually on the inseam.

Ok, so you're trying on the jeans now. Take the extra fabric on the inseam and pin it where you want it taken in. Move around to where it feels like you want it too. If it's too tight,this is the best way to find out before you make anything permanent. Unless skinny jeans are what you are shooting for. My husband is certainly not one to wear skinny jeans, but everyone has their own tastes.

Excess fabric in the inseam - don't mind the Huggies behing my husband. 

 Pin the excess- I took in quite a bit.

Fitting the jean this way is going to ensure that your jeans fit the way you want them to. However, there is another way you can do it. I am not a huge fan of this method, but it would work if it is your only option.
If you have another pair of jeans that fit you well and you like the shape, you can lay these over the jeans you are altering, and pin. I see this method alot on Pinterest, and it works ok, but in order to get the best fit, you will want to use the method I explained above. Make sure the crotch/inseam intersection on both pairs match up. See pictures below:
The pair I am taking in is on the bottom. You can see how much difference is here as compared to the try-on method. If I had done it this way, it would have worked, but it would not have allowed for the best fit.
Crotch seams lining up

Measure how much you need to take in the pants, turn pants inside out, and insert pins all the way around. This works well if you are also taking some out in the crotch area. If you take the stitching out in the inseam and crotch intersection, and about 3"-5" down each side, you can get the fabric to lay flat and it is much easier to sew.
If you are not taking anything out in the inseam, you will want to taper the seam out to where you are taking it out. If this is confusing, let me know and I can go further into depth. 
You will want to make sure the hem is let out completely, it will eliminate alot of bulk and help you get the seam straight.
You will want to use the navy thread here- and a normal sized needle should work just fine. Begin stitching at the bottom of one of the legs. This way you can go all the way around without stopping. If you are taking it in below the knee, you can start at the thighs and follow the stitch line and slowly taper it to the point where you are taking it out. If you are taking it out in the whole leg, but you don't need to take any in the inseam, start in the inseam and work your way down. The last two methods will require you to take it in in individually on each leg, rather than without stopping, as in the first method.
Quick tip: Make sure the bottom hems line up!

Once you are finished sewing around the pant legs, you will want to cut off the excess. I used my serger, because it cuts and finishes the raw edge all at once. If you don't have a serger, you can cut the excess with scissors- leaving 1/4"-1/2". You can then use a zigzag stitch on the edges. 

Turn the pants right side out and finish the bottom hem where you took it out. You can follow the original stitch line. This is where you will need the jean thread and the heavier needle. Keep the navy blue bobbin thread in and use the jean thread to topstitch.

You can press the seams if you want, by using a hot iron and lots of steam and pressure. If you don't press it, it will still look ok, and will fall more naturally after its been washed.

And you now have jeans you can love forever!
Check out the before and after pictures:


You can tell from the pictures that I also lengthened these pants.Again, that tutorial is found here.
Let me know if you have questions!


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Timeless Hair Studio Grand-Opening

I had my grand opening open house last Friday for my hair studio and it was so much fun! My family helped me out tons in knowing exactly what to do! 

I had little lotions and hair product samples for door prizes and we had lots of fun! A lot of people were interested and I even made quite a few appointments!!

We had strawberries and watermelon for the people that came by and we also had Kayliegh’s cute bows and headbands out on display! 

Kayliegh and her cute bows
I had taken flyers advertising the open house around the neighborhood earlier in the week and those that were not able to make it have contacted me and are wanting to come to me as well! I got to show off my salon and all of my hard work and I was very happy and proud of everything I have accomplished this far! I 
could not have done it without my family and I am so grateful for their help and their faith in me! 

A kind of funny thing happened the day after I took flyers around. I was at work and I got a phone call from the post office. Well I guess it is illegal to put flyers and really anything that doesn’t have a postage stamp on it in a mailbox.

Pretty well all of my flyers had gone in mailboxes so they weren’t too happy with me. They were nice though and let me know that I can’t do that again and let me off with a warningJ oops… at least now I know!  
Thanks for stoppin' by!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Baby Crochet

One of my favorite memories with my Nana, (Mama's Mama), is when she taught us all to crochet.  She is left-handed so naturally, Amery, Kayliegh and I picked it up rather fast. (Sorry Hana!).  Well I thought it was the most fun thing I had learned to do so far, besides cartwheels, so I kept at it. Over the years I asked friends, and figured out a way to do the single stitch to add to my chain. I thought I was so smart. I could make things!

Turns out I never really knew what I was making, I just liked how I could piece the yarn together to look like something. One time I actually made a little purse. I had to tie the strap to it though, because I had no idea how to connect them otherwise. It was cute! I wish I had a picture, but it's somewhere deep in storage.

As part of my nesting stage of pregnancy, I picked up crochet again. My family gave me loads of yarn for my birthday around Thanksgiving time. I was so happy! I made a little blanket for Kayliegh's baby girl, Lilly.

LillyBug's Blanket
The pattern isn't my favorite, now that I look at it finished. It turned out differently than I thought. But it is the first blanket I have ever finished! And Lilly is the first grand-daughter and niece from the Casper girls. So it's special.

I wanted to see if I could improve my skills, so I finally joined Pinterest. I found many guides and tutorials on simple and complex stitches. Also youtube has so many tutorials on how to make, flowers, hats and anything really. It was so great. I wanted to try everything. I also found a website that is like a knitter's/crochet club. There you share patterns and get tips. It's a great website and free to join. It's called Ravelry.

From Ravelry, I used a pattern to create this cute thing.

Newborn Hat
It took me 15 minutes to make. Such an easy pattern! The flower pattern was from a site that I found upon Google-ing, crochet flower patterns.

I also made a purple newborn hat and added matching ribbon, weaved throughout the hat instead of a flower.

I love crochet. The look, the creativity and the fact that it ties me to my Nana. It's fun to show her all the projects I've finished. Can't wait to do more!