Saturday, January 30, 2016

Pink Penguin Jumbo Lunch Bags for a Favorite Things Party


So I got invited to a favorite things party.  Say what?  I had never heard of anything like that before.  It was so much fun!  You were to bring 3 of something that you love and you would go home with 3 different things.  It was a blast.

Thing is, I couldn't give an empty lunch bag, so I packed lunch in it.  What would my favorite things be for lunch if I could take anything I want and not get fired from teaching?  Glad you asked...  A bottle of wine from our local winery, and treats from our local Sweet Shoppe.  Doesn't that sound like the perfect lunch?  I think that the recipients really liked them.  Who knows for sure because we all have different taste...  The important thing is that it was a fun night out with some great ladies on a cold wintry night.

On a side note - I make my bags much larger than the tutorial.  You could carry a gallon of milk and then some in these bags, although that wouldn't be my beverage of choice!  Increased size measurements can be found here.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

January Goal UpdateMy goals for the month are as follows:

My goals for the month are as follows with progress listed in color:

Goals for January 2016:

1.  Get rid of 200 items from my house - I am at 52 out of 200.  This will be easy!
2.  Lose 7 pounds - I don't have my weigh in until Monday
3.  Sew 3 items - I have made 4 open wide pouches so I have already finished this goal, but I will still
be sewing a couple of other things this month.  Done!
4.  10 no spend days - I am at 3.  I hoped to be further, but the good news is that the total spent so far is very low.
5.  Clear my desk of the mountain of paperwork that built up over
the holidays - started this today and want to be done before Monday.
6.  Clean out junk drawers! - no words
7.  Revamp my plan to teach all eligible content to a greater depth of knowledge
 before the state tests. - Done!

I obviously hope to accomplish more than this in January, but these are my written goals for things that I look to put off vs. actually finishing.

On a different note.  We bought some powerball tickets which we almost never do.  I am a math teacher and it is such a money sink to buy games of chance to chase a dream,  In this case it seems silly not to buy a ticket just so you can say you did.  The funny thing is I can hear my 2 teenage boys in the other living room talking about all of this nonsense, which neither of them understands how it really even works.  The 19 year old keeps talking about what he would do with all of that money.  The 17 year old keeps saying, "You could never need that much money anyway!"  They are laughing and carrying on about it because they understand how silly it all is to sink money into lotteries on any kid of regular basis.
I feel like they are logical good kids and that both have a solid knowledge base about money and life (probably more so than most adults).  They haven't been raised in an environment where you talk about winning the lottery as a means to solving your problems with money and all of life's other issues.  They both know that hard work and a simple lifestyle can bring you a great deal of financial peace and security.  It actually makes me very happy to write this because it reminds how much they both already understand about money and life.  They both work very hard as we have family goals for little to no student loan debt for them.  This is a goal that our family has been working toward for years and the boys contribute to the goal through their jobs and budgeting skills.  It all just makes me smile because I know we won't be winning the powerball even though we bought a couple of tickets!

Friday, January 1, 2016

No Year Long Resolutions for this Girl!





Okay, so I stink at New Year's Resolutions and as a result, I no longer make them.  Call me crazy, but I hate to fail and it is too easy to quit something that is a year long.






Instead, I am making January plans, that are easier to achieve.  I hope to meet these goals with days to spare so I can rest on my laurels and be calm at the end of the month instead of scrambling to finish a list of goals that is a mile long.



So here it goes - Goals for January of 2016:

1.  Get rid of 200 items from my house.  
2.  Lose 7 pounds
3.  Sew 3 items
4.  10 no spend days
5.  Clear my desk of the mountain of paperwork that built up over
the holidays.
6.  Clean out junk drawers!
7.  Revamp my plan to teach all eligible content to a greater depth of knowledge
 before the state tests.


     Getting rid of 200 items should be easy enough even though 2014 was the year of the purge for us.  The items pile back into the house easier than we realize so it should not be hard to find 200+ items that have accumulated over the past year.  I already started when we put away Christmas decorations.  I bet that gives me at least 25 items easily.
     I joined weight watchers at the end of October and lost 10 pounds even with the holidays.  It shouldn't be hard to kick it in and lose 7 pounds in January now that all of the holiday treats are gone.  I didn't even make the goal 2 pounds a week.  I think it is better to set a small goal and actually achieve it!
     I need to make 2 lunch bags in short order because I lost one of mine and my niece would like one.  Throw in 1 other thing and this goal will be done.  Numbers 4, 5 and 6 need no further explanation.
    The last goal will be the hardest to accomplish because it is going to take a great deal of thought and planning, so I begin with that goal today.  I teach 6th grade math and have always had great results with the kids on the state test... until last year with the new common core standards.  I want to mix up what I am doing and how I intend to get better results this year.  The results for the entire state of Pennsylvania were a fiasco last year with over 60% of the kids failing the 6th grade math test last year.  Still, that doesn't make me feel any better so I need to mix it up and push myself harder.  I am not sure that all of the standards set forth are developmentally appropriate for the age group I am teaching but I still always give it my best effort to make the kids understand.  I spent the first part of the year laying the groundwork and now I need to find a better solution for depth of knowledge problems.  I absolutely love working with kids but it is no wonder college students are scared away from teaching as a career and are picking other paths.  Hopefully the tide will turn soon.



My real goal is to knock all of these out sooner rather than later.  Stay tuned to see how that works out.  Happy New Year everyone!





Saturday, December 26, 2015

10 Open Wide Noodlehead Pouches




I made the medium size Noodlehead Open Wide Pouches for Christmas gifts to give at work.  I was pleased with how they turned out and how well they were received.  I put some candy, lip gloss and lotion so they weren't empty and so that the recipients would get the idea that they might be able to use them as makeup bags.



I am not sure about all of the fabrics but the orange florals and matching fabric are from Denise Schmidts DS Quilts line at Joanns, the green/blue, yellow black, red/black and royal blue are mostly from my local fabric store, the pink/orange fabrics are Joel Dewberry, purple squirrels are Tula Pink and I have no idea where the teal/aqua/red came from - Joann's maybe?









I am not always pleased with how my projects turn out but I am very happy with these pouches.




This is the link to Anna's free tutorial!  And you can find the instructions for all of the different sizes here!









Sunday, December 13, 2015

Weight Watchers and the Holidays

So I did a strange thing and joined weight watchers the last week of October.  I was feeling disgusted and fed up and didn't want to wait until January.  To say the loss has been slow would be an understatement!  I knew it would be hard during the holiday season!  My logic was if I could lose 10 or 15 lbs. that would at least get me ahead of the game over waiting until January.  I am pretty sure I am finally going to pass the 10 lb mark when I weigh in tomorrow.  Factor in the 5 or so that I might have gained over the holidays and I guess it is not to shabby.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Two In One Pattern Tester for Sotak Handmade!





Oh my goodness I have excited to share this project.  Svetlana of Sotak Handmade was looking for pattern testers for her new two in one pouch and I was lucky enough to test for her!  When I saw she was looking for people I contacted her, never thinking I would get to do it and was completely blown away when she contacted me to pattern test for her.


The funny thing is, I had been wanting to make a double zip pouch for a while and couldn't find a good tutorial or pattern.  I even tried to come up with my own (a zipper compartment within another zipper compartment) and was not happy with my results.  This pattern is exactly the type of thing I had been trying to do on my own without any success.



I used Boho by Urban Chiks fabric and am quite pleased with how it turn out.

Svetlana's pattern is fun and easy to follow.  I highly recommend it!  I will definitely be making more of these for Christmas gifts.
A great big thank you to Svetlana of Sotak Handmade for letting me test your pattern.  You are like a rockstar in the sewing/blogging world and I am just little old me.  What an honor!  What are you waiting for?  Go buy the pattern and make some of these, they are awesome!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

KitchenAid Mixer Cover Using a Tutorial from Carla at My Half Dozen Daily




I have followed Carla's blog at My Half Dozen Daily for a few years.  She is such an inspiration.  The lady can budget, cook and sew like nobody's business.
I made this using her mixer tutorial.  It was easier than I imagined it would be.  I added jumbo ric rac not knowing if it would really work out or not.  It fit perfectly into the bias trim that I made with 2 inch strips.  The bias helped to keep the ric rac straight.  I then sewed on top of the ric rac, clase to the edge with orange thread to keep if from curling up over time.  You can see I have a blue countertop and orange walls, so I thought the fabrics were a nice choice.  They are DS Quilts from Joann fabrics.
If you don't follow Carla's blog, you really should.  She is such an inspiration to me!