Thursday, December 18, 2014

DIY Burlap Stockings

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Disclosure: I received one or more products for free in exchange for an honest review on my blog.

I feel like my blog has been a little bah-humbug, Christmas is just 1 short week away and I haven't had a chance to do much!
It makes my heart happy to finally get my butt in gear and bring you a cratfy Christmas related post!
I was contacted a few weeks ago by a representative of a company called to see if I would like to receive some of their products to review.
(Ok, you HAVE to go check out their website, they have so many types of burlap to choose from!
Light, dark, chevron print, ribbon, bags, colored, banners, you name it!)
I have been wanting to make my own stockings for years.
I never got around to it because I never knew where to start.
When I opened the box from the company and I saw the contents I knew what I wanted to make.
It was like the stars aligned so I could finally check this off of my crating bucket list.
This is the only stocking I have completed so far, it's mine if you can't tell :)
Over the next couple of days I will be whipping some up for my husband and my 2 boys.
I just LOVE how this one turned out, so I had to share it with you!
This is what my eyes beheld when I opened said box :)
Now do you see why I was so happy?!?
I was really nervous and excited because I had never worked with burlap before, but all of this seemed like it was great quality, and it held up really well.
Below you will find step-by-step instructions with a lot of pictures!
fabric (to line the stocking), I used a fat quarter, and it was the perfect size.
hot glue gun
sewing machine
any decor items you would like to use to jazz up your stocking

Using scissors I cut out 2 sock shaped pieces.
I had read that burlap was really tricky to work with, so I was really nervous to cut it due to possible fraying, but as soon as it was cut I just laid it out on the table and tried not to fuss with it, and I didn't have any fraying.
I then laid out the stocking pieces on the white fabric and cut it out.
See? Fat quarters work perfectly here!
Leave about 2" of the fabric above where the top part of the stocking is.
(You will fold it over the top later).
Using a zig-zag stitch, I then sewed together the fabric and burlap pieces.
It's ok if the fabric and burlap don't line up exactly at the edges, this is just to line the inside of the stocking.
Here are the two pieces with the burlap and fabric sewn together.
Notice anything??
I attached the fabric to the wrong side....
Here I am ripping stitches.
I think this took like 20 min :(
THIS is how the stockings should look after you have sewed the fabric, facing away from each other.
Remember how I said to leave some extra fabric at the top of the stocking?
Well now you can fold it over,
and sew across.
Do that with both sides so the front and back look nice and finished.
I just used a zig-zag stitch.
Pin the stocking with the burlap pieces together and sew around the edges, but not across the top.
Turn the stocking right side out.
I loved this lace and burlap ribbon sent me and I knew it would add the perfect touch of femininity.
I cut a piece the width of my stocking and the edges already had a pretty design sewn around it, so I actually just used a hot glue gun and glued it into where the seam on the sides is. I also glued along the top and bottom edges.
I wanted to show you what the inside of the stocking looked like. also sent a roll of burlap ribbon, so I cut a strip to use as the piece to hang my stocking with.
Fold the strip in half,
and glue it just inside the corner you want it to hang from.
Since that piece was going to just have the raw edges, I wanted to make sure it wouldn't fray, so I grabbed some Mod Podge,
and painted it all along the edge of the strip.
Let it dry.
It will be a little stiff, but that's ok because it's just for hanging.
All along I had been planning on putting a little flower on the stocking, but I had no idea what I wanted it to look like.
I had some brown fabric scraps, and some white fabric left over from the lining of the stocking and I came up with this.
I was so excited with how it turned out, this was my first attempt at a fabric flower!
I feel like this post is already long enough, so I will post a tutorial for the flower soon.
There you have it!
I'm so excited to start on the other stockings!
My oldest son has some ideas he wants to use so we are going to work on his together, stay tuned, I will post those as well!

Thanks again, I loved your products!
Make sure to check them out on Facebook as well for some cute ideas!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

No-bake Chocolate Cookies

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These are one of my husband's favorite cookies.
I had actually never had these cookies until one day my son and I were baking and my husband requested these.
I searched Pinterest and found a recipe.
These are so easy to make!
I have made these no-bake cookies for baby blessings, family get-togethers, and holidays.
I love that I can make them in advance and they stay delicious!
Since these cookies are also gluten-free, it's nice to have them for those who won't be able to eat other desserts.
1/2 c. unsalted butter
2 c. white sugar
a little more than 1/2 c. milk
4 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 c. peanut butter
3 c. oats (I use the old fashioned, but you can use the quick ones as well)
2 tsp. vanilla

In a saucepan over medium heat bring butter, sugar, milk, and cocoa powder to a boil.
Boil for about 1 min. stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and add peanut butter, oats, and vanilla.
Stir it all together.
Using two spoons, drop mixture onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
Let cool until set.
(I sometimes stick them in the refrigerator if I need them to harden faster).
And that's it!

For a printable version of this recipe click here.
Recipe adapted from One More Moore

Thursday, December 4, 2014

eShakti Clothing Company: An honest review

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A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by a company called eShakti to see if I was interested in receiving an article of clothing in exchange for an honest review here on my blog.
If you have never heard of them before (don't worry, I hadn't either), it is an online clothing company for women.
They sell shirts, skirts, pants, dresses, etc. 
In my opinion they are kind of pricey, but the thing that makes them different is they will do custom sizing for an additional fee.
The word custom had me sold.
I, like pretty much everyone else on the planet, sometimes have a hard time finding clothes that fit.
It will be too loose here, too tight there, short, long, etc.
I'm sure we all know how this feels.
Here I was being offered an article of clothing that would be made to fit ME.
I was ecstatic.
You get the point.
There were only certain articles of clothing available for review, so I scoured the list.
I wanted something to speak to me.
I saw a lot of dresses that would make my 'Fashion I love board' on Pinterest very happy.
But, due to the fact that they didn't want too many bloggers reviewing the same dress, there was a limited availability, and I quickly found out that when I would click on one it wasn't available.
Understandable though.
There are apparently a lot of us with good taste :).
My husband's work is having kind of a dressier Christmas party, so I wanted something I could wear to that.
I finally decided on this one.
(The color I ordered is no longer available).
I requested a cap sleeve and sent all of my measurements that were required.
I then waited.
My package arrived while my son was at school and my baby was napping, so I ripped that box open and tried it on right away...
I felt so let down.
The dress was probably 2 sizes too big.
I sent an email to the lady I had been working with and she told me I could return the dress and asked if I would like to try again.
I told her I would love to, but I didn't want to waste our time and their product if it wouldn't fit a second time, and I asked why the dress wasn't my size.
She asked me to resend my measurements and then she would send my pictures and measurements to the department that deals with that and they could try to see what happened.
I chalked it up to a simple mistake and decided to try once again.
Again I went through the pictures of clothing, this time she told me I could pick anything I wanted.
A lot of the dresses from the first time I looked were no longer available, at all.
I just found out that the second dress I chose is actually no longer available, so I don't have the stock photo for you, but I sent my measurements again, and waited.
Within a few days I received this.
I tried to show you how much extra fabric there was.
and apparently flex my arms for you :)
A much better attempt than the first one, but the dress has no shape.
I have no silhouette.
 The waist and chest are too big for me.
It is almost like they just picked a size and ignored my measurements.
If I want this dress to fit the way it should, then I will need to have it altered.
Something I wouldn't want to be doing if the dress was supposed to fit me in the first place.
I did some research and found that maybe 30% of reviews from other bloggers were in the same boat as me.
Their clothing from eShakti didn't fit.
The other 70% had great success and loved their clothes.
After having two unsuccessful dresses I would have to say that I would not recommend using this company. The concept is great, but it's not being executed properly.
Have you ordered from this site before? What did you think?

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Super Easy DIY Spider Costume

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Yes this is a Halloween post.
In the middle of November.
Just think of it as me helping you be really prepared for next Halloween.
You're welcome :)

A few weeks before Halloween I asked my son what he would like to dress up as. His immediate response was something scary so he could scare people. 
If I can use what I have around the house and not spend a lot of money on something he will only be wearing for a few hours, I am all for it.
So, I started looking through his closet to see what we had to work with, and we found almost everything we needed for a vampire costume!
He was so excited because he knew that would scare people :), and I was excited because it didn't cost me anything!
However, we found out that his vampire costume would just have to be for trick-or-treating though.
He is in Kindergarten this year and at his school the kids aren't allowed to wear anything gorey, undead, bloody, violent, etc.
If the kids wanted to dress up, they needed to choose something from history or something from classical literature.
Dracula is a classical character, but his behavior and story are quite dark, so vampires were out.
My son still wanted to dress up at school so I told him we had to pick something we could make that would be super easy and cheap.
After some thought we chose a spider, because in my son's mind it is still something he thought would scare people, but it is also in some classical stories and nursery rhymes.
So here is our super easy and cheap spider costume.
This costume cost me a whopping $1.00 to make.
I bought the beanie (hat) at the dollar store for $1, everything else we were able to find around the house.
The whole costume is temporarily held together, nothing is permanent.
Here's how it all came together.
We first went through my husband's sock drawer and found 2 pairs of black socks.
We stuffed the socks with Poly-fil
I was surprised at how much the socks looked like little legs.
I then folded the end over,
and used a safety pin on the inside of the shirt to pin it on.
Attach two arms on each side.
For the eyes, I had a scrap piece of black towel that was left over (from our Mickey Mouse hooded towel), so I glued the googly eyes onto that,
and then I pinned the scrap piece to the hat.
You could just glue the eyes to the hat, but I wanted my son to be able to wear the beanie again this winter.
I wanted the spider arms to move when my son moved, so I took some clear thread,
and wrapped it around each leg.
I then threaded a needle to attach the thread to his arm,
I just tied a knot to finish it off.
Just a note: As we were leaving for school the thread broke, and I had to tie the arms again using a stronger thicker thread, so just make sure you have something that can hold up...maybe like some fishing line, that would probably be perfect!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

How to make custom invitations

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My son's birthday is coming up and we have been in the party planning mode!
He originally wanted a Skylanders themed party, and had been asking for that for a while.
The other day however, I started making up the invitations, and my husband and son were playing the newest version of Angry Birds (Transformers), and my son decided he wanted to change the theme to Angry Birds Transformers instead.
I am so happy that I was making the invitations myself and was able to do a quick change!
I know I'm not the only one who has a child who changes their mind last minute, so I thought I would share this super easy method :)
This is what we came up with. I of course filled it all in with my son's name, the date of the party, time, and other info, I left the details off of this one so you could see what the finished product would look like :)
I actually just googled 'Angry Birds transformers' and clicked on the images results.
My son and I looked through the pictures until we found one he liked.
Right click on the image and click 'save image as', save the image somewhere that you will be able to easily find it.
Then you will open your editor program (I used Picasa, which is a free program), and import your picture.
I first cropped the picture to a 4x6 size.
That's the size I was planning on printing the invitations as. 
 We then scrolled through the different fonts and my son loved this one because he said it looked like Transformer writing :)
 We then went through and added all of the details.
I saved our invitation and exported it.
I went to and uploaded the image and requested 10 4x6 prints.
I ended up paying $2.03 total for all 10 invitations.
Not too shabby I'd say!
The best part is my son LOVED them, and that made me happy :)
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