Thursday, June 30, 2011

Time to Hop!

I Love Blog Hops. You get to see some great new blogs and get some new people checking out your stuff as well! If you're visiting from a Hop....stay a while and check out some of my crafty tutorials! If you follow, leave me a comment so I can be sure to check out your blog.

Here are three that I'm enjoying right now:


aquariann's Summer Blog Hop

You can find the links to other hops under the "Favorites" section of my blog. Now...go find some great new reading material!!

Now on Etsy....

The Reversible Bella Citrus Headbands are here!! I am totally in love with these headbands and have worn one almost every day this summer. They are now in the Etsy Shop and are only $4!!

You can choose which two patterns you want the headband to be, and they all coordinate so it will look great no matter what two you choose.

The back is elastic to make wearing the headband easy and comfortable.

I won't go swimming without it to keep my hair out of my face.

Check them out in the shop! If you want some other color you don't see...let me know! I can make any color you want. I can even make tiny sizes for little girls.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What I Wish I Knew....

It's been a while since I wrote a post on breastfeeding, and since this comprises much of my life, I should probably write more about it! I had plenty of time to think this morning at 5:30am when Gray was hungry and didn't quite wanna go back to sleep. The rocking chair is a good place for quiet thinking.

I made the decision to breastfeed Gray a few months before she was born. I didn't know anyone (except my grandparents) who had done it, so I was lacking guidance. Hubby and I took a class at the hospital and I read everything I could possibly find in my baby books and on the internet, which I now know is a great place to get really confused.

I wish I would have had a concise list of things I needed/didn't need and needed to know. So I'm making my own list and including the reasons why I'm including them.

What I Wish I Knew

Things you will need

Double electric breast pump (if going back to work)
Manual breast pump (for making bottles on the go)
Reusable nursing pads (don't get the disposables...they don't work great)
A few extra packs of bottles to pump into (This saves on the washing every night)
Extra set of pump flanges (also saves on the washing)
Lots of freezer bags (be optomistic that you'll  have a freezer stash)
Cleaning wipes (to help with cleaning parts at work)
2 nursing covers (one to keep in the diaper bag, and one for the car)
Gel soothies (for when you're dying from pain in those first few weeks)
Lanolin (there's nothing more painful than dry and bleeding skin)
Extra coolers and ice packs (just nice to have when traveling and pumping)

Things you will not need

Disposable nursing pads (they suck)
Nursing Bras (too much of a pain, just pull your normal one down or wear a sports bra)
Nursing Pillow (If you're small chested, you have to hold your baby. The pillow isn't high enough)
Extra covers for the nursing pillow (because you won't use it anyways)

And advice

Don't let people get you down. No matter how many people tell you formula is easier, do what's right for you and your baby. Formula is not's just more expensive.

Drink tons of liquids. I didn't and had a hard time for a few weeks. I now know the more I drank the better off I was in feeding Gray.

Don't freak out if you forgot pump parts or bottles on a shopping trip or outing. You have two built in bottles. Don't be afraid to use them in public.

Keep your nursing cover with you. I never nurse in public without it and have never gotten the side-eye from anyone about feeding my baby.

If it's hurting, readjust your baby and see if that helps. If not, switch sides. If you're not comfortable, chances are...they aren't either.

Gray has just started biting. If I had a dollar for everyone who told me that I would stop nursing when she got teeth I could quit my day job. hurts, but we are working through it. She's not used to having teeth either.

And finally....if anyone ever tells you that you should go to the bathroom to feed your baby....tell them that THEY can go to the bathroom and you'll stay right where you are. Thanks.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I {Heart} South Carolina

A few days ago I left this crafty little hint as to my next big project. Nobody who saw the picture guessed what I might be making. Now that it's done I'm so happy to show it to you!

Here is my Patchwork South Carolina Map
 Each county is made from a different scrap from my stash, so every county is totally unique. I may have strategically placed some fabric pieces (Tiger stripes in Pickens??? Yay Clemson!)

What started as a pile of cut out counties has turned into a great piece of art that I can't wait to get up on my
wall at home.
After cutting out each county, I sat in my living room amidst my scrap pile and picked a scrap for each county. I wanted to make sure i didn't have like-colors touching.

A little Heat-and-Bond applied to each piece held it to my large piece of fabric so sewing wouldn't be quite so insane...and I wouldn't have to put pinholes in my tiny little counties.

Once the counties were ironed in place, It was time to topstitch Every. Single. One. If you've never had a migraine headache...this is a good way to get one. In the end though it was totally worth it because the topstitching really sets off each county. (This topstitching made Anderson and Aiken my new favorite counties...rectangles! And I no longer like Charleston...too many inlets.)

I found the oldest, most beat up looking frame I could find and proudly placed my state inside. It's fun to try to remember which county is which. I remember most of them!

This was a very tedious project, but very worth the time and finger cramps it took to put it together. I love my state and everyone who comes in my house can see it!

Sweet Tea Serendipity Fabulousity Fridays

Guest Blogging

Today I'm the Guest Blogger over at Naturally Nina! It's a great blog with lots of info on natrual parenting.  Her series is called "Just One Thing" and features moms who are sharing that one special piece of information that they would love to tell people. I have written about my love of making our own baby food, the challenges getting started, and how easy it is now! Hop on over and check it out HERE

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Embellish It!!

A few weeks ago a children's store in town had a huge tent sale. Mama and I bought WAY too many smocked dresses for Gray...but they're all different sizes, so this justifies our purchase. They had a rack of plain old boring tank tops for $2, so I picked up a few just to have around.

I found one of the shirts yesterday when I was picking up in Gray's room and decided it was time to add a little spice to this shirt.  I grabbed one of Hubby's old white undershirts and some scrap jersey and got to work! This project literally took me less than 20 minutes so don't be scared of it!

Before Picture of the Boring Tank Top

To get started, grab the shirt you want to embellish as well as other shirts or scraps that you will be using for your design. I will  be making a flower with a stem, so I grabbed some scrap green jersey and one of Hubby's old white shirts (with permission of course)

Cut a long strip out of your main flower fabric about 1-2" wide. I went the whole way around the shirt. You will be ruffling it, so it will be much shorter when you're done.

If you're making a stem, make sure you cut that fabric out too. Cut a long strip, not quite as wide as your flower fabric.

To Ruffle: Run a basting stitch down the long side of your fabric strip (I set my stitch length to 5, or the longest you have) Pull on the bobbin thread (the one that's on the bottom) to ruffle your fabric.

*Cheater Alert*  
 If you want a very even ruffle like the one below, as you're stitching, lightly hold your thread as it comes off of your spool to increase the tension. Your fabric will ruffle up nice and evenly! Who needs an expensive ruffling foot when you've got your fingers???

Pin your ruffle down to your shirt where you want it to go and slowly stitch it in place. You will wind it from the outside in forming a flower shape. This gets super thick under your machine, so be careful!

Ruffle the stem fabric the same way, and stitch it down to your shirt. Now throw it on your kiddo and enjoy your craftiness!!

Want to hear the corniest thing ever??? I wanted to put the flower on the left side of Gray's shirt so she could have a piece of her Daddy close to her heart when she wears it. I know...I make myself tear up just thinking about it.
This project isn't just for the little ones. Embellish your own tanks and tees with similar techniques!

I've been working on a super crazy project for a while now, and here's a little sneak peak of what it will be. Any guesses????

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Loving the Red, White and Blue

Hubby loves a decorated house for the holidays. Unfortunately for him, I haven't had the energy or determination to really go all out for the holidays (except Christmas of course) since we've been married.

This year I decided to make us a wreath to add a little bit of patriotic color to our front door for the 4th of July! I missed Memorial Day, but there's always next year. I love the way it turned out, and I want to share it with you!

Patriotic Wreath Tutorial

1 foam wreath
1 package of yarn
Fabric or felt for flowers
Hot Glue

Begin by wrapping your yarn around the wreath. This is the longest part and can give you a real headache. It's easier if you ball your yarn first, but I'm not patient enough to do that!

Once your wreath is covered, tie of the yarn end and set aside. Now, go to your fabric scrap, or felt drawer and find some material to make flowers, stars, whatever you want to put on your wreath. I had some leftover fabric from Gray's Memorial Day top seen HERE. I'll show you how to make the flowers.

Cut your fabric into long strips. Mine were probably about 24" long and 3" wide.

We need to ruffle them. Fold them in half long-ways, wrong sides together and run a long basting stitch down the length. *Do not backstitch*  Now pull on your bobbin thread (the one on the bottom) to ruffle your fabric. They don't have to be supper tight or even since we're making flowers.

Cut out some felt to glue your flowers to. Start on the outside and hot glue the flower in a spiral towards the center, making a flower shape.

TaaDaa!! Wasn't that easy!

Make as many flowers/stars as you would like and then hot glue them onto your wreath. Add a ribbon, hang, and enjoy!

If you make this wreath I would love to see your version
 in our Flickr Group

Featured at:
Featured At Serenity Now

Thursday, June 23, 2011

New Favorite Green-Bag

Ya'll know that when I find something I love, I have to share it! Hubby and I went to Greenville yesterday, and we stopped in at Earth Fare, an organic/natural grocery store in town. We had never been to one and wanted to check it out. I didn't have my greenbags with me because we didn't plan on doing any shopping. We found some great little items that we had to have, and I decided to pick up a new bag to take them home in.

I saw these tiny little pouches hanging with the large bags, and picked one up to see what it was. It was a Green bag in a pouch!! I was so excited! I always forget my bags if I'm not specifically going to the grocery, and this little thing will fit in my purse without me even knowing it's there! It even has a tiny little clip so you can hook it anywhere you need it.

It's called the "Vita" and it's made by ChicoBag. It claims to hold up to 40lbs, and after what I shoved in it, I believe it. When in the pouch it measure about 4 inches long, and folds out to a full size bag with shoulder length handles.

I don't model it very well, but it gives you a good indication of size.
It was very handy on my little grocery run today. I had to pick up some stuff for Gray's party. (I know, her party isn't for another 6 weeks, but there was a sale, and I like to be overprepared.)

I'm going to have to pick up a few more of these little babies when I go back to Greenville so I can stash one in my purse, my console, and anywhere else I can find know....just in case.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Coming Soon to Etsy!!

I got great feedback from friends and readers about my most recent headbands, including some friends asking how they could buy some! After a lot of thought I decided that I would list a "Create Your Own Headband" listing on Etsy. This way, you can get the colors and combinations you want! Since they are adult sized headbands, I will also have a "Create Your Own Clippie" for little girls (or big girls...those bangs can be a pain!)

Here is a preview of what will be listed soon...

                                                          All the colors of the rainbow
                    Above colors- starting at the top are: Yellow, Mustard, White, Black, Navy, Steel Blue,
 Sage, Purple, Baby Pink, Hot Pink, Red, Orange
 Patterned Rosettes available are made of Linen, and come in the colors Honeydew, Cherry Limeade, Blue Seersucker, Aquamarine, and Grey
Three can be placed on a headband, or two on a clippie
  Aren't those colors gorgeous!
 Little embelishments such as pearls and glass beads can be added for a
  truly unique look, and will be no extra cost.
 Soon, I will also be listing fabric headbands from the Bella Citrus fabric collection. All of these prints are mix and match and look amazing for summertime! These are in adult sizes only, but I could do a custom order for a tinier head!
 These have been a staple in my wardrobe this summer!
I always show new items on my blog before they hit Etsy to get some feedback! Let me know what you think, especially if you are interested in one...or two...or three!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

*Looking for the Blog Hop....look one post down*

Today we celebrated Father's Day! It was wonderful getting to see my Deddy and Papa. I wish Hubby would have been off of work so we could have spent more time with him, but he made it to the cookout! I have truly been blessed with wonderful men in my life, and Grayson and I are thankful for them loving us and treating us like princesses!

My Deddy, Grayson and Me

Grayson and Hubby
She loves her Daddy!

 The Grandkids and "married-ins" (We missed you Merebeth)
 Our amazing little family
 Grayson and her Daddy
 Grayson and her Great-Papa
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