Monday, October 10, 2011

Mom Days...

What do you do when you have a 3.5 week old baby, you're exhausted, and you need to make dinner? You dig through your pantry and see what you make with what you got. Here's what I ended up making for dinner last night. Simple, easy, and best of all it is something that my husband will eat again!
Chicken Alfredo!

Here's what you need:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 egg
Bread Crumbs (I used Italian)
Alfredo Sauce

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Dip the chicken breasts in the egg and then in the bread crumbs. Drop them in a 9 x 13 baking dish (I always line mine with foil first so that the clean up is easier). Drop them in the oven for 20 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, cook the pasta, drain. Cut up the chicken breasts into smaller pieces, drop over the noodles, and cover with Alfredo sauce. Voila. Dinner in less than 30 minutes.

Onto the savings! As any good money saver/crafter knows, JoAnn Fabrics has fantastic deals over the holiday weekends. This weekend (being Columbus Day weekend) they had Simplicity patterns on sale for 99 cents. This time I was smart. I went into the store on Thursday (the day before the sale started) and wrote down the pattern numbers that I wanted. I went in Friday morning as soon as the store opened and while all the other ladies were digging through the books, I dug through the cabinets! Bwahaha!


Total spent: $10.98
Money Saved: $124.90

Woot! Woot! McCall's patterns go on sale Thursday. I've got the pattern numbers I want, so when my hubby gets home from work (or rather before he goes in) I intend to hit up the cabinets!

Earlier in the week I made a few bibs for the Little Man:

I had leftover fabric from his tummy pillow:

I had some Cars fabric in my stash that I picked up over a year ago at a Hobby Lobby and now I finally had a use for it:

I also had some snowman fabric left over from last Christmas. Photobucket

I certainly won't be making any more bibs for the little man. Not that I didn't enjoy making them or that I didn't like them, but because he has so many of them! We've gotten bunches of them in the mail from family over the last few weeks, and bibs are certainly one thing he doesn't need anymore of!

Last but not least, some binky leashes:


These were made using ribbon I found in my stash and suspender clips (which were actually a pain in the neck to find! I thought for sure that stores like JoAnns and Hobby Lobby would carry them, but apparently not...)

And I put my new snaps and snap plier to good use:

I don't know how much use we'll actually get out of the binky leashes though, because so far he really doesn't use his binkys.

Okay, whew, I think I'm all caught up on things that I have completed and finished. My husband goes back to work tomorrow so I doubt I will get any crafting done while he's at work. Although Little Man has more or less slept through today, so here's hoping he sleeps most of the day tomorrow. I need to get his diapers done!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Adventures in Diapering

So I've been trying to write this post ALL DAY. What happened to Little Man napping all day long and Mom being able to get stuff done? Like laundry, homework, craft projects??? He slept for a few hours this morning, which of course my husband and I conked out with him on the bed, because we were so exhausted. For the past three hours he's been awake and fussy. I couldn't get him to sleep or calm down. I hand him over to my husband and in less than a minute he's passed out alseep. What in the world little man? I swear he hates me, my husband says he doesn't. He just loves his daddy. Whatever, hubby, whatever.

My husband has been big on trying the cloth diapers, something that up until now I have been avoiding. But dang are diapers expensive! So dear hubby bought a one size only diaper from Bum Genius. We gave it a try and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. The diapers are about $20 a piece, so to get 5 of them it would be around $100. My husband took one look at the price tags and the diaper he purchased and decided that I could make those.

Well then...

We went to JoAnn Fabrics and holy cow what do you know? There was new line of diaper making products put out by Babyville Boutique. We looked at the cost of items and the book and I dug out all of the 40% and 50% off coupons that I had stored up. The cost of materials wasn't too expensive (about $14.99 for PUL fabric for three diapers) and I got EVERYTHING at 40 to 50% off thanks to those wonderful coupons. So the cost per diaper (not including the cost of the tools or thread) is about $3.50-$5.00 a diaper. What a difference from $20.00!

Of course, like with every big project there is a crazy snag. The fact that the Babyville Plyers were out of stock at my local JoAnns. *gasp* So I had to go to the next closest JoAnns (which was only about 20 minutes away but I didn't want to be seperated from Little One for that long). So I drove up there, grabbed one of the lose bloody plier tools, slammed down a 50% off coupon and wnet home with my prize:


Now, I was armed and ready to make my diapers!

So I opened the diaper making book (published by Babyville Boutique) to the center pages to make the flannel pocket diaper. A few things I've learned:

1. DON'T invest in the template plastic as recommended. A regular hole punch will not reach where you need to punch the holes and trying to fold the plastic down to punch them is a pain in the butt. I recommend using a piece of cardstock. Heck, even a piece of paper would be good enough.

2. It is vitally important to make sure that the plastic snaps are centered on the snap pliers. If not, you'll crack the sides of the snaps. I did this about three times, before figuring out why I kept breaking them.

3. This is the best way I've ever seen to apply snaps

4. I hate sewing elastic. What a pain.

Snap Pliers? Awesome. Highly recommend this tool and the plastic snaps, even if you are not making diapers. WAY better than sew on snaps.

The book? I'd give the instructions a 4 out of 5 stars. I would not recommend this project to beginners (although why a beginner would want to tackle diaper making is beyond me). There were some items left out in the instructions (such as leaving space at the top of the diaper to turn it right side out) that would leave a rookie confused and with a mess on his/her hands.

One thing that really bothers me is that there are several places in the pattern book where they tell you to reference their website. Guess what? Their website says "COMING SOON". In this day and age I think its important to make sure that your website is up and running before your product hits the shelves, especially if you're telling people in your book to go to your website for more information!

But I digress, overall I am very impressed with Babyville Boutique and went back to JoAnns today to get more PUL fabric in order to make some more diapers.

It took about three hours (working here and there) to make the diaper and the soaker yesterday. I had to keep stopping because Little Man needed to eat (I'm convinced that he's going through a growth spurt because I swear he's constantly attached to me). I started with the diaper. I couldn't find microfleece at the fabric stores, so I ended up using flannel.

(somehow I messed up on the wings and I had to move my snaps back on the wings in order to make it a successful diaper.



After succesfully completing the diaper I started on the soaker (super easy):

I didn't want to test it out over night so we tested it out first thing this morning. I made the small diaper and the small soaker. He has some room to grow into it but not much, since I messed up on the wings. About five seconds after I put him in it, he pooped. I was hoping to test it out with some urine (what has motherhood done to me?) to see if it was as absorbant as it needed to be and if the legs were tight enough to keep it in the diaper. Oh well. Its being washed, so I'll update later with how it held up in the wash.

I wanted to try and make a one size only diaper today, but the Little Man is refusing to sleep. Its 10:45 at night and he's back to being cranky...

Monday, October 3, 2011

Things I Haven't Posted but Should Have... Part 2

Every now and then I get the motivation to try and cook, bake, or make something edible. Sometimes it turns out great. Most of the time, its a mess. I still have fun with it and that, my friends, is the most important part! My husband and I broke in our new home by grilling hamburgers and hotdogs. I made his favorite pasta salad and some extra festive Fourth of July treats to go with it.

First up is a very festive looking beverage. I found the recipe here at Divine Dinner Party. (Scroll down). One very important thing that I learned is that, yes, the ice is important! I actually enjoyed it (considering the fact that I don't like Gatorade or Cranberry juice).

As directed, I served with a festive straw:

Next up is a Trifle Receipe that I found at the Food Network. My husband does not like Strawberries (than come to find out the day after our son was born, he's never actually TRIED one), so I topped it with raspberries instead. This was certainly my favorite desert that I've ever made. Its a good thing it was just the two of us, because this got eaten really quickly!

Finally, I found these really cute Fourth of July Rice Crispy Bars, thanks to Two Hearts Together. However, mine were... less than festive looking. The package of Air Heads I purchased didn't contain white, I didn't feel like going back to the store, and my husband doesn't eat them anways... so this is what I ended up with:
Despite the less than fantastic look, the rice crispy treats were still yummy, and that's what matters! :) Of course, I hope to perfect them in the upcoming years so that we have a backyard BBQ at house someday...

All in all, I would say it was a successful Fourth of July!

Things I Haven't Posted but Should Have... Part 1

My one year anniversy is coming up in Nov. and *gasp* I STILL have not posted photos of my wedding dress. I used a Simplicity pattern as a template and modified it to fit what I wanted. When I got engaged, I knew the kind of dress that I wanted. I also knew that I could make it for cheaper than what I would pay for it in the store. I didn't take many in progress photos, because I was engaged in what I was doing.

I purchased everything I needed from the zipper to the fabric to the lining using those fantastic 40% coupons that JoAnn Fabrics sends me in the mail. Total cost: About $50.00. I started working on it over my fall break (less than 3 weeks from my wedding date!). I worked on it for about four hours a day for four days... while watching marathons of TLC's Say Yes to the Dress. (Man, I can be such a girl sometimes!)

This was an adventure, to say the least. I had to use horse hair braid and boning in this dress, both of which I have never worked with before. I was horrifed of screwing it up, but I'm really pleased with the results.

Here are some photos, while I was working (and playing around with it):


Below is a photo of the back. This was a pain in the neck because I had to hand stitch the zipper in so that you wouldn't see the seams.

Around the middle is a large chunk of black ribbon, which runs all the way down the back. I love the way that it looked (and it hid the seams that connected the bodice of the dress to the skirt):

A side shot:

Another side shot:

About 5 seconds into the wedding, I was SO thankful that I had made my own dress, rather than purchase it. Why? My darling husband stepped on the train of my dress, thereby jerking me backwards (hard! No, I didn't fall.). The dress stood up to the test, it didn't rip, tear, or even budge! Had I purchased a dress, it probably would've ripped. What a memory that would have been!

Some photos of the big day:

(the ribbon was tied around a heart shaped pin in the back).







I loved my dres so much. Too bad pregnancy killed my body and I won't fit into it anymore...