Gingerly Made

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Show & Tell #90

Welcome back to Gingerly Made's Show & Tell party!

I'm late! So sorry about that. I guess I've had my mind on other things today and had everything lined up, but forgot to hit publish. Late is better than never, right? We're still getting into our new school routine and figuring out when we have time to do things.

The party was great last week and we had some fantastic links. Here's a few of my favorite.

Back to School and all sorts of extra-curricular activities means busy families have less time to get dinner prepared. Little House Living saves herself some time and keeps the house cooler by tossing her steak into the crockpot instead of using the oven!

Slow Cooker Steak and Caramelized Onions - Little House Living

Mad for Fabric got creative with her fabric scraps and made a J Crew knock off.

DIY J.Crew C'est La Vie Tee by Mad For Fabric

Roxy's Kitchen made these ADORABLE Quick & Easy Nutella Peanut Butter Monkey Cupcakes. So stinkin' cute!

Quick & Easy Nutella Peanut Butter Monkey Cupcakes | Roxy’s Kitchen – 3-ingredient cupcakes, easiest frosting ever and so easy to decorate with your kids!

And, just in case you've missed some of this week's post, here's what I've been working on.

Nursing Cover Tutorial

Apple Lady Bug Snackimal

It's Like I'm Allergic to the Sun or Something

Ok, Let's see what YOU have been doing this week.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Apple Lady Bug Snack-imal

 Apple Lady Bug Snackimal

Learning makes kids hungry! Or maybe it's just the afternoons. Whatever the reason, all moms know that when their kids are done with school they are ready for a snack. And sure, we can offer up snack food in a simple easy way, but hey, this is a Craft, Food, and Family blog - so let's make it cutesy!

You can turn a simple apple with hazelnut chocolate spread snack into a fun little lady bug that will get the kiddos so excited to play with eat their food.

First cut your apple in half and scoop out the middle with a melon baller. It's surprisingly simple and effective.

Cut apple in half & core
Then cut in half again, so that you have four quarters. You'll be able to make two lady bugs from one apple.

Take one half and spread your hazelnut spread (Nutella or other brand) over one side and some in the cavity where the core used to be.

Add hazelnut spread

Now squish the other quarter piece back into place. It'll make a little dividing line between the two pieces separating the "wings".

Next, I needed to add the dots on the back of the lady bug. I tried using a toothpick, but that just wasn't working for me. I got it to work with a piping cylinder. A ziplock bag with a hole cut off the end would give the same result. The only thing was that my dot's were a little spiky and that's not very lady bug like.

Pipe on Dots

A little water on the finger tips helped me pat down those spikes and make them into polite little polka dots.

Then I placed a grape in the front for a head. And used some more hazelnut spread to glue on some candy eyes I found in the grocery store.

Apple Lady Bug After School Snack
And now you have a fun little snack-imal.

Ok, now for a bit of reality. My kids LOVED this snack!

And then they realized they would have to eat the apple skins.

I was really hoping the cutesy factor would encourage my kids to dig in and not worry me about peeling the skin off. It didn't work! They licked the hazelnut spread off, ate the grape head, and then asked me to peel their apple. So, standing my ground... I peeled the apple. Sigh.

Let's look at the positive - they ate it.

So, if you make this snack trying to get your kids to eat the apple skin, well, it's worth a try. Let me know if it works for you. But I recommend just making it for fun; because it's cute.

If your kids however like the apple skins, you won't have to worry about peeling it off and I'm so jealous of you! Maybe one day, my kiddos will get past their fruit skins-a-phobia. Until then, I'll make cutesy snacks and peel them after my kids lick the good stuff off the top.

Happy Snacking!

Linking up to these link parties.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Nursing Cover Tutorial

A couple of weeks ago, I guest posted at Domestic Superhero while Allyson is on her maternity leave. In celebration, I thought I would stick to a "baby/new mom" topic. I've shared on this blog my nursing covers, but I hadn't yet created a tutorial. So, here it is... my Nursing Cover Tutorial.

And don't worry, if you are new to sewing, this is a great beginner project with lots of simple straight lines.

But first, let's talk about why you might need a nursing cover.

The birth of a new baby is always exciting! And let's face it, sometimes it can be overwhelming. There are so many decisions to be made like what kind of stroller and car seat are you going to use, disposable or cloth diapers, bottle or breast, and countless others.

For me, one of the decisions I made was to nurse my children. It was both wonderful and well... not so wonderful at times. Besides latch issues and night wakings, I had trouble with the modesty of it all. I could not successfully cover myself with a blanket and when I tried, couldn't see baby to help her with those latch issues. I eventually found out about nursing covers. It was the perfect solution to my modesty problem. So perfect, I began making my own.

The tutorial is a little long because I tried to be very thorough for newbie sewists. So, here we go...

1 yard fabric
15 inches boning - that the hard stuff in corsets, you can find it in any fabric store
1 set of D-rings
thread to match your fabric
iron & ironing board
18" ruler

Cut your yard of fabric to make 1 large rectangle 26 inches tall and the full width of your fabric, typically 42" wide. I like using the full width for extra coverage on the side. With the remaining fabric you'll cut the straps - a 7" x 3.5" rectangle and a triangle 28" long, 4.5" at the base and 1.5" at the top.

Fold your two strap pieces in half so the long sides are together; right sides together. Sew the long sides together and inverse. You may need to use a safety pin or turning tool to help you turn the fabric (especially the long triangular piece).

Press so the seam in centered on both pieces.

On the long strap, top-stitch down one side, across the top (narrow end), and back down the other long side.

For the shorter strap, top-stitch the sides. Fold in half so the raw edges are lined up. Sew back and forth a couple of times across about .5" from the fold. This gives you a loop to place the D-rings later.

Put the straps aside. And take a breath. That was the long part of the process - the rest goes by quick.

Grab that big piece of fabric and bring it over to the ironing board. Fold down and press in place one of the shorter sides about 1/4". Fold over again sealing the raw edge in the fold and press.

Repeat for the other short side. Now sew a straight line down both lengths.

Repeat for the bottom (longer length) of fabric.

Last bit and your almost done! For the top of the nursing cover, we are going to have much the same process as the sides and bottom, but different measurements and we are going to add the straps, so hang in there with me as I try to talk you through it.

The first fold should be a little large than the 1/4" we used before, closer to a 1/3". Then the second fold, that seals in the raw edges needs to be 1". Press well.

Fold your fabric in half and use your fingernail to make a slight crease on the fold marking the center of your fabric. Unfold.

Place your ruler on the fabric so that the 7.5" mark lines up with your crease. 7.5 because it is half of 15 and that is where our 15" piece of boning will go. Now slide the raw edges of the straps under the fabric so that the center of the straps are at the 1" and 15" marks. Flip each of the straps up and pin in place. (See pictures)

When placing the long strap, make sure the back (seam side) is facing down at first. Then when you flip the fabric up, it will be face up. Basically you are making sure the back of the strap is not facing out or the front of the nursing cover.

With straps pinned in place, top stitch the bottom and top of the 1" fold of fabric back-stitching at the beginning and end.

You now have a sleeve for the boning to fit into. Slide it in place.

Stitch lengthwise down the middle of each strap between the other stitch line on your straps sealing the boning into the middle of the nursing cover. Back-stitch to reinforce.

And that's it for the sewing!! YAY!

Add D-rings to the loop (you may need to use pliers depending on how tough they are to open) on the short strap and you are DONE!

You just made your first nursing cover!

Although I am no longer nursing my children, I am still really passionate about these covers because they were so helpful to me. I hope they are equally as helpful and liberating to you too.

Linking up to these link parties.

Friday, August 15, 2014

It's Like I'm Allergic to the Sun or Something

This is a sponsored post. I received free product in exchange for this review; however all opinions remain my own.

Have you ever known someone who sneezes everytime they walk outside into the bright sun after being inside? No? Sounds totally weird right?

Well, it's actually a thing. It's called the photic sneeze reflex. No one really knows why it happens but about 25% of people do it.

I'm one of those super lucky people! I'm not really allergic to the sun despite the title of this post, but it almost feels like it. The sneezing can happen anytime I'm exposed to a bright light all of a sudden, but it happens to me most when I go outside after being in. I'll sneeze 3 or 4 times and then I'm fine. It's totally weird!

Sunglasses really help me deal with it which is fine because I like sunglasses. So, when Firmoo contacted me about review a pair of their glasses, I was in!

Firmoo is an online company that sells all kinds of glasses. They mostly carry prescription glasses and non-prescription fashion glasses, but have sunnies as well. I ordered a pair with a tortoise shell patterned frame.

I took them for a spin on a hike with my sister and our kiddos. The shading on the glasses helped my eyes without being overly dark. I only wish they would have helped me spot all those spider webs I kept walking into, but that's a problem with hiking, not with my glasses. No sneezing when we moved from the wooded areas to the open sunnier spots.

The frames seem a teensy bit large for my face, at least I think so. But otherwise, the glasses are great and have helped me not look like a sun sneezing odd-ball. Instead, I'll just be an odd-ball making silly faces with my daughter.

So, if you wear glasses, of any kind, check them out. You know I love a deal and they even offer some first pairs of frames for free!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Show & Tell #89

Welcome back to Gingerly Made's Show & Tell party!

Hey there! I missed you guys last week! I hope you all came back and linked up to the Pinterest Pin Party. There were a ton of great posts there. Because we didn't have our normal link party I searched through the Pin Party for some feature - cuz you know I love to feature you.

These funfetti cake bites from Written Reality look so good. I bet I can't eat just one.

Funfetti Cake Bites

Oh my gosh! Why didn't I think of something like this sooner? Carissa Miss's Frozen inspired onsie has given me so many Christmas gift ideas.

Carissa Miss: Disney FROZEN inspired onesie #FrozenFun #shop #cbias

Love this "This is the Life" wood sign from Anything and Everything. We are so blessed!


Coloful wallet sized punch cards from My Sweet Sanity are just brilliant. And the best party, it's a free printable so we can have them too!

Free Printable Kid's Chore, Reading & Kindness Reward Punch Cards

And, just in case you've missed some of this week's post, here's what I've been working on.

We started school this week and are LOVING our new Office/Classroom/Playroom.

Those of you who follow on Facebook know about my haircut horror a few months ago. You guys gave me some great tips to get the haircut you ask for and here they are. (The graphic is cheesy, but the tips are awesome!)

Ok, Let's see what YOU have been doing this week.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tips to Get the Haircut You Want

We've all gone through it at some point; a terrible hair cut. I had one back in June and my hair is finally growing out enough that I don't totally hate it. When it happened I was so upset because since getting my hair cut short nearly a year ago, I've had the same problem over and over again.

The stylists keep cutting my hair shorter than I want. I wait several months and let it grow out. But my hair doesn't just grow out in that it gets longer. Growing my hair out means it gets really poofy because my hair is really thick and it just looks terrible without regular maintenance. I HAVE to have some sort of layers and texture done so the sides don't just sprout life of their own.

The dumb thing is I am very specific about what I want. Or so I think. I told the lady that I wanted it stacked in the back but to keep the length in the front. We talked about having a long bang to frame my face, etc. When she got done, my whole head of hair was the same length - at the top of my jaw line just under my ear.

Enough is enough. I am determined to never have this problem again! So, what do I do... I turn to YOU for advice that's what!

I reached out on Facebook and asked you what tips you had for getting the perfect hair cut. And here are the fabulous comments you gave me.

  1. Find a good stylist and stick with her/him. When you find a good thing, don't let it go. Sometimes that's hard when stylists seem to come and go and move from shop to shop. But if possible stick with the person that works for you.

    • "Stick with the same person. They get to know you and your hair."
    • "I was a hairdresser and my advice would to stick with the original person who cut it. Consistency with the hairdresser is always best. If you hop around problems will always arise."
  2. Be specific! The more specific you can be with your stylist the better your chances are at getting exactly what you want. Here are some comments with great tips on exactly how to ask for your cut.

    • "I always try to tell them exactly how much to take off. I say "I need a trim, can you take off about (an inch/half an inch/etc)." A lot of times, miscommunication is the problem. If you tell them exactly how much to take off and they do more, you know it's time to find someone who actually hears you when you talk."
    • "I had a really awesome hairdresser one time. She gave me a cut I really loved but unfortunately, was on her way to a different job. But before she left that salon she told me exactly how to ask for the cut I wanted. Find out the exact length you want (like mine was 2 inches on top and 3 1/2 inches on the sides, 4-5 inches in the back and layered. So now when I have a new person I can tell them exactly how I want them to cut it!"
    • "I would double check that their inch is the same as your inch. I had the opposite problem once. Went in wanting 4 inches gone and left *maybe* and inch and a half shorter."
    • "Ok, the comb they use to cut your hair is 7 inches long. It has markings at every inch. Ask to see their comb, and show them with the ruler how much hair you would like removed. Also, be still and keep your head where your stylist puts it. People get animated when they talk and they dont realize that being a bobble head causes their stylist problems. Everybody wants their hair even...but if YOU keep moving, WE have to keep adjusting the line (ie...your hair gets shorter) " 

  3. Take a photo. Communication is a tricky thing. Even when you think you are being specific, someone else may misunderstand you. It happens! So, bring a picture to show your stylist the look you are going for.

    • "Bring a photo or a clip from a magazine."
    • "After the last disaster (hair so short in back I couldn't sleep on it w/o it sticking up like Alfafa's), I'll never get a cut without showing the stylist of picture of the length I want. Verbal descriptions are easily misunderstood, but if I've got a visual, at least I have something to show the manager if what I get is significantly different."
So, that's it. Thanks to all of you who joined in the conversation and gave these great tips.

I still haven't had my hair cut since the terrible awful shearing of June 2014. And I'm actually thinking about growing it out again. I liked it short - it's different. But I'm just not sure that it's "me". I think I have an attachment to my long hair and feel more feminine with it longer. Sure I get annoyed with long hair just like I get annoyed with short hair, so I guess it's more about which I feel best with. And I'm thinking that longer is better for me.

Linking up to these link parties.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Office Classroom Playroom Catch-All Room Makeover

Home School Classroom

Today is our first day back to school! We are so excited to use our new classroom. It's so much more light, bright, colorful, and fun now that we've done some improvements to our catch-all type office space.

A couple of weeks ago, I realized how close we were to starting our school year and I had a little panic attack. We have this awesome space above our garage that is the perfect place to hold our home school. Sure, home school is flexible and we can do our work at the kitchen table or even on the couch. However, the couch offers too many distractions, and the kitchen table means I turn my back on my toddler and that tends to be disastrous.

I wanted our office/catch-all room to be a our classroom/playroom space as well.

We tried that last year, but the kids didn't enjoy being up there. The walls were builder-grade blah, our office area was a HUGE junk collector, and Hubs was also storing his hunting things us there (safely, but it was taking up a large amount of space). It just wasn't a fun place to learn or play. I don't have any before pictures because it was WAY too embarrassing and I usually don't remember to take pics until we already started the makeover. I've got to do better about that.

So... We moved everything and painted the walls a bright and sunny yellow; Opal Cream by Behr. Hubs took out the wire racks in the closet and converted into an amazing bookshelf for our classroom books and supplies.

We also painted wood letters that spell out the word LEARN and put them above our closet. Hubs and I love to learn new things. Yes, academically but also in the sense that we want to try new things and explore new places and we want to instill that love for learning in our children as well.

Closet Bookshelf

But, this room still had to hold Hub's stuff too. Remember it was an office/catch-all and a lot of that extra stuff had to stay in the room as well. So we used the extra wall space from the lofted ceiling and created a simple lofted bookshelf for Hub's reference books. He doesn't use them often, but still does on occasion, so up high and out of the way was a perfect location for these books.

Lofted Bookshelf in Classroom

The bookshelves alone created so much extra floor space! It was great! We had floor space enough after all that to add in a shelving set for their toys. Toys are an absolute must even though this is a classroom, because it gives my youngest daughter things to do while I'm working with my eldest.

Toy Area

I also spray painted our plain black folding table and chairs we had been using with Krylon's Watermelon for a fun splash of color. And added a furry and colorful rug.

Hayley loves playing on that rug and likes to roll up in it like it's a blanket.

Rolled Up in Rug
I really debated over the blackboard wall. Hayley has a really, REALLY bad habit of drawing on walls all through the house. It's a stuggle. So, the question was will painting a wall for her to draw on help her by giving her one place she is allowed to do it, or will it hurt by encouraging her to draw on the wall?? I still don't have an answer yet. But we painted a huge wall with chalkboard paint.

Chalkboard Wall

We moved our sight word wall from downstairs up to the classroom. A piece of twine is strung from wall to wall, so we can hang the sight words up for visibility.

Sight Words

This wall is one of my favorites. It hold our magnetic boards that also double as a tray to hold beads or math manipulatives so they won't roll off the table onto the floor. Above those are some clip boards that we decorated with washi tape and use to hold the latest bits of the kids' art work. And the giant ruler growth charts to keep up with how tall our kiddos are getting.

Art Wall

Let the learning begin!

Linking up to these link parties.

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