-A mostly true journey of a girl, her man and their three kids; all trying to live harmoniously in a house somewhere in Utah. Names and exact locations may be changed in order to protect the grouchy.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tailgate With Us: Reversible Busy Bags


Hello friends!
Have you ever been to a tailgating party? They're usually celebrated before, during or after a sports game (either outside your home or in). Have you ever been to one where you didn't need to bring anything? Well, THIS is that kind of party. All you need to do is pull up a comfy chair, grab a little something warm to drink, and start reading. Karen@ Baking in a Tornado came up with a way for a group of bloggers to throw a new kind of "Virtual Tailgating" celebration and it's all for you!



Each blogger up in that beautiful Brady Bunch-looking collage (9 of us all together) has prepared a 'lil "Tailgating Awesomeness" for you. It may be delicious, adorable, informative or comfortable. You'll find each of the links to these great projects at the end of this post.

First up, though, is my tutorial for Reversible Busy Bags. These are small carry-alls that your little one can bring to a game or any event. You can fill them with art supplies, treats, or books. Make them smaller for tots or bigger for you. Once you get the hang of making them, you may even want to create some for gifts (think Halloween treat bags!) They are my design. So please, don't sell them without my written permission.

Want to learn to make one? Follow my photo tutorial! It's a bit lengthy, but easy to follow.
Need to come back when you have more time? Bookmark the link up there in your address bar.
Want to order one instead? Leave me a message in the shellybean shop!
Any questions? Leave a comment at the end of this post! I'm happy to help.

Here we go!
Finished measurements of the blue bag (not handles) are 9" by 8.5"by 2"
green bag is 11.5" by 8.5"by 2.5"
The following directions are for the green bag.

You will need:
1/2 yard fabric for outside of the bag, pockets and handles
1/2 yard fabric for lining and lining pockets
1 yard iron-on interfacing. I use Pellon #808 (read directions on pkg.)
2.5 inches of 1/8" elastic
2 buttons (Mine are 7/8")
Thread (I use all-purpose)
Pattern Paper (I use the back of wrapping paper. Look for the kind that measures in 1" square increments; it saves time, peeps!)

Sewing Tools:
Sewing machine, sewing needle, scissors, pins, chalk, iron (set to fabric you're using).

Warnings: Pins are sharp, as are scissors. Use caution. Irons (especially the steam setting) can burn. Remove pins before sewing over them. Don't run with scissors...all that jazz...

From experience: Do NOT fill bags with crayons if they are going to spend ANY time in a warm car. Little ones need to be careful of marker caps. Don't run with suckers in your mouth. You get it.

 Click on each picture to enlarge. Some photos contain detailed instructions/tips.

1. Pattern Pieces (3)

 2. Cut out main fabric, lining and interfacing according to pattern pieces.

 3. Press fabric and lining.

4. Iron on interfacing. You only need to interface TWO of the lining pockets; not all four.

5. Iron and sew handles. 

 6. Transfer handle and elastic markings.

 7. Sew pockets. I used one main fabric and one lining fabric for each pocket.
Two finished pockets will have interfacing. Two will not.

 8. Pin/sew interfaced pockets following directions in the photo.

9. Pin and sew on non-interfaced pockets according to photo.


 10. Measure, mark and top stitch divider pocket.

 11. Pin handles and elastic at markings to main fabric. Baste or stitch close to edge.

 12. Using a 1/2 seam allowance, stitch sides. Press seams open.

 13. Repeat with lining, but leave bottom open at markings.
Leave about 4" open at bottom.

 14. Box corners. You're matching the bottom of the open side seam to the base of the bag seam. Pin. 1/2" seam allowance.

 15. Put main bag into lining. Right sides of both bags will be facing each other. Match side seams and markings of tucked-in handles. Pin along the top. Stitch all the way around.

 16. Remember that 4" opening you left in the bottom of the lining? Open that up and carefully pull the whole bag out. This will eventually pull the lining right side out too. You will tuck that into the bag so it becomes the "lining". You can slip-stitch the 4"hole closed. Now you can top-stitch the finished bag along the bag top.

 17. After you sew on buttons, you can decide which side you like best. Shown here is the bag right side out.

  Here is the bag "Lining" side out. Press bag if needed and load that baby up. I use markers on the inside and colored pencils on the outside. There's construction paper and stickers inside also.

 Here's the back view.

 Here's one for my family's home team(s).

And there you have it. Whew!! 

Don't forget to stop by the other sites participating in this virtual party. Remember, winners NEVER quit, so keep on reading! Each blog is really excited to have you visit! 

1 - Glazed Kielbasa Sandwich - Baking In A Tornado.JPG
The hostess of this rocking tailgate party is none other than Karen, from "Baking in a Tornado". Pop over to see her fantastic recipe for an amazing Glazed Kielbasa Sandwich.

1 -Team Headband Earmuffs -  Stacy Sews and Schools.jpg
Stacy, from "Stacy Sews and Schools" teaches us how to make her very cute Team Color Headband and Earmuffs.


1 - Book review - Someone Else's Genius.jpg
Robin, from "Someone Else’s Genius" gives us an analysis of college football in her Review of the book "The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football"
1 - Spicy Mustard Relish - Canning and Cooking at Home.jpg
Diane, from "Canning and Cooking at Home" is showing us how to make a delicious Spicy Mustard Relish.

1 - Team Seat Cushion with built in handle - Eileen's Perpetually Busy.jpg
Eileen, from "Eileen’s Perpetually Busy" shows us how to make a tailgating Team Colors Seat Cushion With a built-in handle for carrying ease. Sweet!

1 - DIY tailgating garland - cluttered genius.jpg
Lydia, from "Cluttered Genius", has an Easy DIY Upcycled Team Garland that shows you how to make a garland for your tailgating party out of products you already have in your house.
1 -snapcap - Literary Litter.jpg
Shawn, from "Literary Litter" provides a tutorial on how to make an adorable Snapcap. It's a crocheted hat that will keep you warm AND let everyone know what's on your mind.

1 - Tech for Tailgating - Home on Deranged.jpg
Melissa, from "Home on Deranged" brings technology to tailgating, showing us how to use technology and cool gadgets to ensure you are master of tailgating time!



Cheers to a "FAN"tastic week, my friends :)
-Michele



Friday, September 26, 2014

Funny Friday: September 2014

September's Funny Friday


Today, I'm joining a group of 9 bloggers who are participating in "Funny Friday", a regular feature published on the last Friday of every month. Each month, one of the participants submits a picture, then we all write 5 captions or thoughts inspired by that month’s picture. Links to the other bloggers’ posts are below.  Click on them and see what they’ve come up with. I hope we all bring a smile to your face as you start your weekend!




Here’s this month's picture. It was submitted by Stacy@ Stacy Sews and Schools



Okay, so all of my captions are told from the beautiful girl up front :)


1. "You had ONE JOB, people. Eyes on the prize!"


2. "We should have had a V-8."


3. "I've told you a million times, Jim. It's a one-handed laser."


4. "Did that just happen? That ride. My. Mind. Is. Blown!"


5. "Oh No. Think fast! I think that last shot was real!"

This was my first try at the Funny Friday Challenge. I hope you enjoyed it!
Click on the links below and let some other bloggers make you smile:



Friday, September 19, 2014

Fly On The Wall- September 2014: Gratefulness

Hey there!  Welcome to the September Fly on the Wall Group Challenge. This month, 13 awesome bloggers and I are describing what it would be like if you were to take a peek inside our homes....



Have a "look" around mine, and then go visit the other blogger's pages. There's always something fun, sentimental, or better yet, embarrassing going on. It's like your house, only we're admitting to the craziness. You have our permission. Buzz on over!

Cast:
The man
Alex, the eldest (daughter, 20) She has a name!!
C., The middle (son, 16)
J., The youngest (son, 9)
Henry and Lila- The dogs

September:
The fly on my wall would have witnessed a lot of gratefulness on my part this month. September always brings a bit of a "do-over" attitude for me. I think it coincides with back to school, or the beginning of my favorite season. Either way, I chose to focus on the positives this month. Here are a few...

So, I had a birthday:
My family and friends spoiled me rotten for days. I was extremely humbled by the people who relayed well wishes. It only took me 44 years to realize how blessed and grateful I am to be surrounded by so many wonderful souls. I'm determined to focus on the people that continuously "show up" for me and celebrate their presence every chance I get.

Color Me Happy:
I'm a sucker for paint. If you don't believe me, check out my posts up there in the menu section under "Home Improvement" or "Refurbish". I'm a color-loving freak. The brighter, the better. Anywhoo, it's a running joke that my children will NEVER be like me when it comes to painting. I believe their mantra is "Put the paintbrush down, mom and slowly walk away." It hasn't worked yet.

Alex (until she moved out) "Mom, when I get MY own house, everything is going to be black and white. Simple as that."
Alex (AFTER she moved out) "Mom, my house is so plain. Will you help me paint something? Like a bed board? Oh, and do you have a bed board I can paint? 
Yes and Yes.
I'm grateful for the day I got to spend sanding, priming, painting, and gabbing with my only girl.

Working for the weekend:
Alex is working at the library of the local middle school. (She loves it.) My elementary students always said the cutest things, so I asked her if it was the same with teenagers. She texted me these three quotes from different students: 
  • "Would you like me to kick you in the teeth?"
  • "I can't tell time yet."
  • "My hobby? Anger Management."
Hmm.
*


The middle child is now an employee of the grocery down the street. It's his first job requiring a W-2 form. He's balancing that, his friends and school quite well.

C. (before the job): "Mom. Can I have 10 bucks? Oh, and what's for dinner?"
C. (at the job via text) "We have rotisserie chicken on sale. Should I bring some home? When I get there can I have ten bucks?"
*
As I mentioned last time, the man is working three out of five days at home. We're finally finding our own rhythm. The only negative right now is that I'm putting on weight. He likes to eat. I like to bake for people who like to eat. I also like to eat with people who like to eat. You see where this is going...

The man: "Are those cookies for me or are they for your blog?"
Me: "I guess they're for you. And me."
The man: "Not the kids?"
Me: "Not if they don't know about them."
They didn't. :(

I'm grateful that my family is full of hard workers. I'm also thankful that the man still has time to work on my computer during his work "breaks".


Grandma? Is that you?

Well, the eldest has been married a whopping 3 months and I'm already a grandma. What?? Why am I writing this so calmly, you ask? It's because I've met the baby and I already love her. The kids call her Lucy, folks. Trust me, this is the only grand-baby I'm prepared to have for a loooooong while.
I'm grateful that another rescue-dog has a forever home.

Random quotes heard around the home:

"Your mother didn't sleep last night because of my snoring. Just say "Yes, mom" and smile anytime you make eye contact."

"I want to play the violin...someday. Right now I just think people need to hear me sing."

"Watching 'Extreme Couponing' is making me hungry for things I don't have coupons for."

" I can't wait until I'm old enough to work. I will buy EVERYTHING!!" (evil laugh, wishful thinking)

"I think I need my inhaler. Or a donut. Wait a minute...No. I need a donut."

"I swear to all that is good, I will play "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix-a-lot, full blast, with the top down. I will you drop you off at the high school and not let you out of the car until you kiss me goodbye. Now. Will you come home late again??"

"I WILL kiss you goodbye AND dance to your old music along with you if I can go out again tonight."
***
I am grateful for the awesome sense of humor my family possesses. This month. :)

Enjoy the rest of your September, friends.
-Michele

Thanks once again for stopping by, and to the Fly's AMAZING creator, Karen @ Baking In a Tornado, aka "The Blogging Original", for hosting this challenge! Would you like to join in the next FLY challenge? Click on the FLY button on my side bar. Karen will more than take care of you.
Take a look at what the other bloggers have going on inside their homes. Go on! Leave them a comment. You know you want to...

Baking in a Tornado                           
The Rowdy Baker                                
Just a Little Nutty                                
The Momisodes                                         
Spatulas on Parade                       
The Sadder but Wiser Girl                               
Follow Me Home                         
Stacy Sews and Schools                  
Menopausal Mother                             
Go Momma O                                        
Dinosaur Superhero Mommy                                     
Juicebox Confession                           
Someone Else's Genius                         
Battered Hope                               


Friday, September 12, 2014

Use Your Words: September 2014

Hello, friends!
Today’s post is a writing challenge created by Karen @ Baking in A TornadoThis is how it works: 11 participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, but there's a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who received their words or in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featured in this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they were given and how they used them. 

My words are: Lemony pancakes ~ phone marketer ~ zoo ~ car insurance ~ yell ~ laundry
They were submitted by the wonderful Tamara@ Confessions of a part-time working mom  

The "Before-Dinner-Snack"

Weekday afternoons are often like a zoo around here. At three o'clock, the kids start coming home from school. Before the front door closes, they're yelling about one thing or another. Usually, it's announcing that a friend (or three) has tagged along, or asking loudly if the laundry they had balled up under their bed has been washed. 

I'm commonly multitasking by asking about homework or reminding the kids to pick up their shoes/jackets/backpacks while ALSO telling telephone marketers that I am NOT interested in lowering my car insurance rates/ buying a new roof/ completing a survey, etc.

It gets to be a bad rhythm around here; from three to five o'clock every day. There's always a bit of chaos, exhaustion, bickering, and non-connection. Definitely, our proudest moments are NOT happening at that time of day.

Some days, we just have to slow down. The shoes can be put away later. I don't need to yell about where the laundry chute is located five times a week. We all need to remember to breathe...and eat.

Ten years from now, my kids won't remember what the homework was. I won't remember who I was mad at for not putting their clothes away. What we will recall are the moments we did something completely unexpected. 

Like the time I made lemony pancakes at 3:30 in the afternoon. With whipped cream and thick syrup. No rhyme nor reason; just because. I had no idea what we would be having having for dinner that night. All that mattered was that we were going to sit down, eat something rich, and talk about our day. We didn't make a four-course meal OR healthy choices that day, but we did make some sweet memories. :)

The "Let's Just Eat!" guide to Lemony Pancakes 
Ingredients: Lemon boxed cake mix, 3 eggs, 1 1/2 cup water, 1/3 cup oil
Optional: Syrup, yogurt, fresh fruit, whipped cream

Make cake mix according to the directions on the box.

Scoop mix onto a hot griddle@ 325 degrees. The smaller the pancake, the better. Mine were too big.

When the pancakes start to bubble, slow-roll them over (like crepes) Cook thoroughly.

Stack on plates. If you're making more than needed, sprinkle with powdered sugar for easy separation later. The pancakes taste like cupcake tops. They can be served warm or cold.

Let the kids serve themselves up and enjoy.


 AFTER savoring your time together, remind the youngest to hang up his coat. Hey, we don't live in a zoo!

Make your memories on your own terms, friends :)
-Michele

Thanks for the words, Tamara!!
Baking in a Tornado                              
Spatulas on Parade                          
Stacy Sews and Schools                     
Sparkly Poetic Weirdo                                   
Evil Joy Speaks                        
Someone Else's Genius                            
Confessions of a part-time working mom                              
Follow Me Home                            
The Bergham's Life Chronicles                          
The Sadder but Wiser Girl                                    
Battered Hope                                 


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