Friday, 29 October 2010

Sew-Along Day 5 and 6

Holy Moly! This week has gotten away from me. I didn't get to post day 5 yesterday, so here it is today. For the day 6 sew along, visit my buddy at Pocketful of Roses.

Day 5 is attatching the hood to the jacket. Start by basting the hood to the outer material, right sides together.
Then, lay the lining material on top of this , right side down. The hood will be between the outer and inner layers.
Next, sew the bottom edges of the jacket lining and outer fabric together, being careful not to catch the sleeves of hood in your stitches. Turn it right side out, pulling through the side. Adjust the fabric so that the arm lining fits nicely inside the outer arm piece and stitch topstitch along the edges.
My last little tip for the evening is to press just as often as the instructions say. I used to skip these steps, but it really makes for a more polished finished garment.

Goodnight, my littlest boys are turning one in just a couple of days and I have a party to prepare for. I'll see y'all tomorrow.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Sew-Along Day 4: Construct the Lining

My jacket is coming together! I love seeing fabric turn into something wonderful. Today is day four, where we are constructing the jacket lining. I realized, as I was photographing my progress, that these are the exact same steps that Pocketful of Roses went over yesterday. So, rather than spend an hour typing roughly the same thing, I'll direct you back to Pocketful of Roses. Check back tomorrow for day 5, where we will attach the hood to the jacket, which is not as difficult as it sounds. See you soon, and I promise to have some nice photos of my jacket up with tomorrows post. Goodnight for now.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Sew-Along Day 3: Sew the Main Jacket


Thanks for stopping by for day 3 of the sew-along. Today we are focusing on constructing the main jacket. If you're new to our sew-along we are working on the Baby-in-the-Hood Jacket from Handmade Beginnings: 24 Sewing Projects to Welcome Baby. Scroll down through this weeks posts for more info.

Pocketful of Roses is going to walk you through today's steps (24-31) on her blog. So head on over to Pocketful of Roses and check it out. (While your there, hit that little button on the side that says "follow". It's always appreciated.)

:) See you tomorrow, when I'll construct the jacket lining.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Sew-Along Day 2: Construct the Hood

Welcome to day two of our little Sew-Along! In case you missed it, we are busy making Baby-in-the-Hood Jackets from Anna Maria Horner's newest book, Handmade Beginnings: 24 Sewing Projects to Welcome Baby. Yesterday we transferred our pattern to paper and cut the fabric. You can catch up on that with my Sew-Along partner, Pocketful of Roses

Today we are constructing the hood and will cover steps 15-23. For this portion we need the hood pieces and the hood stripes. You should have four hood pieces, two in your outer fabric and two of the lining. There should be two hood stripe pieces, one in the lining and one in your contrasting fabric.
The first step is super simple. Sew the hood pieces to the hood stripes. Make sure that you have right sides together. I'm working with a brown corduroy, and some cotton quilters fabric. I find that since the cord has a bit of a stretch to it, a walking foot is helpful in keeping the fabrics from stretching and slipping all over the place. I'm not by any means a professional sewer. I'm mainly self taught, so take my advice with a grain of salt. It works for me, so maybe it will work for you too.

Once that is done, clip your curves (careful not to clip into the seam!), and press your seams. Fit the outer hood into the inner hood, making sure that right sides are together, like so:
Pin along the front of the hood, and sew along the front opening with 1/4 inch seam allowance. Then, turn it right side out and press it very well along the front seam. Now we will sew 5/8 in from the same edge to create a casing for the elastic.
Thread the elastic into the casing. I have this awesome handy hi-tech elastic threading tool. I call it a safety pin. Meet my friend.
Tack that elastic down at both ends and you are golden baby! All that is left to do is baste along the bottom of the hood. I just use the longest stitch length on my machine to baste it. And voi-la! Gorgeous finished hood!
Make sure to come back tomorrow for day three, when we are doing steps 24-31: constructing the main jacket. It's not too late to join in, pick up the book and some fabric and play a teensy bit of catch up!

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Sew-Along Day 1: Transfering Pattern and Cutting Fabric

Welcome to day one of the Baby-in-the-Hood Jacket Sew-Along. I'm so happy to be partnering up with Pocketful of Roses to bring you this sew-along. It's been a crazy past week for me, as we had a horrible bout of the stomach flu in our house. Everyone was sick. I'm so glad to put that all behind me and start something fun and productive.

 It's not too late to join in. Pick up a copy of Handmade Beginnings: 24 Sewing Projects to Welcome Baby and some fabric and you are good to go! Today we are focusing on transfering the pattern and cutting the fabric. Please visit my friend over at Pocketful of Roses for a more detailed look at today's progress. I've got to say, I LOVE her fabric choices! So cute!

I'll be back tomorrow to show you how to construct the hood. See y'all soon.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Tot School Tuesday: Button Activities



I'm starting something new here and adding Tot School Tuesday to my regular blogging schedule. I'll be linking up to the tot school blog roll with 1+1+1=1. Check out some of the other blogs for other fun tot school activities.

For our family, tot school is a time that I spend daily working on an activity one-on-one with B Bear. It isn't structured, it is more about learning through play.

Lately we've been having a lot of fun playing with buttons. B loves handling tiny things and this is a great supervised activity for him. Since buttons are a choking hazard, we only do this when the twins are napping, and we have a rule that the buttons have to stay on the blanket to prevent stray ones from turning up in the babies' mouths later.

 There are so many different ways to play with buttons. I normally give B a little bit of "free play" with them before we start sorting. He really enjoys picking through them and finding his favorites. There are a couple of shiny buttons that really peak his interest.

After he has had a little time to play with them, I will direct him on small tasks, like "do you see any blue buttons? Where?" or "Find me the biggest button you can see." We also sort the buttons by their various properties. We sort by color, size, and number of holes. Before we stop to pick up the buttons, we make a "button train" and count the buttons as we add them.
 






Saturday, 16 October 2010

Hygeia EnJoye Breastpump Review

When I was pregnant with the twins, I knew that I wanted to breastfeed. I had some small concerns, as I knew it would be a totally different experience than it was with B Bear. I knew that supply issues could come up, and I wanted to have a professional quality breast pump on hand.

I was given the opportunity to review the Hygeia Enjoye and I'm so glad that I did. When the twins were born, nearly a year ago, I had such a proliferate supply that my freezer was packed full of breast milk. Then, in February the trouble began. Since then I have been dealing with an off and on battle of maintaining my supply. I have done a combination of things to bring it up and continue breastfeeding, including pumping regularly. I was so glad to have my Hygeia Enjoye on hand when things started to go down hill.


The Hygeia Enjoye breast pump is a professional-grade, electric/battery, double pump that is designed for long term, frequent pumping needs. It is the perfect solution for working mothers, or mothers with supply issues, like myself. While it is excellent for use as a double pump, it can also be used as a single pump if desired. It is easily portable and I love it for on-the-go pumping. The battery is rechargeable, so there is no need to replace it, and therefor less waste. I also love that all parts that come in contact with the milk are BPA and DEHP free.
I was very happy with my Hygeia pump. Unlike the hand-pump that I used with B, the Hygeia Enjoye was comfortable. It never hurt me or made me sore, and I have used it a lot. The speed and pressure controls make it very easy to customize to mimic your baby's suckling, as well as meet your comfort level. Compared to the Medela rental that I previously used, this was more productive and more comfortable. I also found it to be quieter.

Another feature that I love is that you can record your baby's cries and play them back to encourage let down. I recorded L's cry on it when he was only a few months old, and listening to it now brings tears to my eyes. I don't think that I will ever be able to update or change it. There is something so sweet about those tiny-baby cries, that is so different from big-baby crying. (not that I enjoy any crying...you know what I mean)

One thing that sets Hygeia apart from other breast pump companies, is that their breast pumps are green. How so? Most pumps on the market are only meant to be used by one mother. This is not the case for Hygeia. They design their pumps to be shared by multiple mothers. Each mother simply needs her own personal accessory set (contains all parts that touch either the mother, or her milk). Once you are finished using your Hygeia breastpump, and have no one to pass it to, follow their recycling directions to send it back to Hygeia and they will make sure that it does not end up in a landfill.


To get your own Hygeia Enjoye breast pump, visit Hygeiababy.com to find a retailer near you, or order through Amazon here. To learn more follow Hygeia on Twitter, Facebook, or sign up for their mailing list.


I was not compensated in anyway other than receiving a pump to review. As always, this review is of my own honest opinions.

Friday, 15 October 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, visit SouleMama.
 

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Halloween is on it's way

What are you doing to celebrate this year? Are you doing anything to green your Halloween? 


Ours is still up in the air, but I do know that my guys will be the cutest little dinosaur, bat, and lion out there. And, as always we will be handing out yummy Hershey's chocolate. I'm an addict, what can I say?
Check out www.CelebrateWithHersheys.com/Halloween for some fun ideas. It's not too early to start planning.


As a member of mom bloggers club, I am entering to win a chocolately Hersheys prize pack.

A Sew-Along is on the Way!

I'm so excited to be pairing up with Pocketful of Roses to bring you an awesome sew-along. We've chosen the Baby in the Hood Jacket from Anna Maria Horner's newest book, Handmade Beginnings: 24 Sewing Projects to Welcome Baby. Pocketful of Roses and I will go through each step, from the cutting to sewing on the buttons. As we get going, we'll create a flikr pool, so that everyone can share their progress and creations. You won't want to miss this!

We'd love to have you sew along too. The sizes that this pattern includes are 0-3m through 18-24m. So if you'd like to sew a long, order the book Hereand make sure to have your fabric by Sunday the 24th. If you are nervous about ordering the entire book, just for one pattern, don't be. The rest of the book is full of other fabulous patterns that are all worth making. Perhaps, in the future we will have another sew along from it again.

I can't wait to sew with you!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

It's International Babywearing Week!

This week, October 6-12, is International Babywearing Week. Babywearing is a topic that is very near and dear to me. I really don't know how I would manage without it. I use my carriers daily, around the house and for outings. Taking all three of my children anywhere by myself would be near impossible without a carrier. Let's add "babywearing" to my list of things that I am grateful for today.

Babywearing International has provided this little video/ psa for the occasion, highlighting the benefits of babywearing. I particularly like the mamas that are wearing more than one at a time. Enjoy:






And don't forget to check out some other great green blogs in this weeks green blog hop. If you're a green blogger make sure you link up too. :)

Friday, 8 October 2010

It's past my bedtime...

All three children are sound asleep, what a rarity. This is it, my opportunity to catch up on some much needed rest. Yet, do I? Of course not. I'm too excited to sleep. Today a package I've been anxiously anticipating arrived! You see, a couple of weeks ago, I was contacted about reviewing a new book, written by someone that I absolutely love, Jenny McCarthy. She just happens to be one of the few moms in the media spotlight that I admire, and I have greatly enjoyed two of her previous books, Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth about Pregnancy and Childbirth, and Baby Laughs: The Naked Truth About the First Year of Mommyhood. I also admire her for being an activist for "greening" our vaccines.

You can imagine my joy to open up my mailbox today (well nearly yesterday) and find a nice little box with a signed and personalized copy of her new book, Love, Lust & Faking It: The Naked Truth About Sex, Lies, and True Romance. You know what else? They sent a copy for me to give away too! It get's better. It's a signed copy!!!
I'll be the first to say that this is diferent than most of the items that I review, but I NEED something to read that is not about positive discipline for toddlers, increasing my milk supply, or the many toxic chemicals to avoid in pretty much everything. So off I go to read. I wouldn't be surprised if I don't put it down until I'm finished, but I hope that I can be more sensible than that. Believe me, I'll let you know what I think as soon as I'm done, and with that review will be a giveaway for the other copy. Squeeeee!!! I'm so excited!

Now, if for some reason you just can't wait and you absolutely need it now, you can purchase a copy here, from Amazon. If you've signed up for Amazon Mom (who hasn't, right), you'll get it super fast with the free Amazon Prime 2 day shipping.

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, visit SouleMama.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Make Your Own Soda with SodaStream



We try to be crunchy and stay away from overly processed foods in this house, we really do. My one big battle is with soda. I love it and I know it isn't good for me and creates a ton of waste, but I crave it anyway. I had the opportunity to review a SodaStream home soda maker and I happily accepted.

Most store bought soda contains the #1 item on my personal "to avoid at all costs" list, yet I buy it anyway. What is this horrific ingredient? High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). Don't be fooled by the new name for it "corn sugar", it's the same nasty ingredient.

The fabulous thing about the soda stream syrups, is that they do not contain HFCS (or aspartame for that matter)! They sent me a large variety of the flavors to try and our favorite is the cranberry raspberry. They sell over 30 flavors of syrup, including diet flavors. Each bottle of flavoring makes 12 liters of soda. The one thing that I didn't really like about the flavors in their regular collection is that they all, both regular and diet, contain sucralose (aka splenda). Since I received my machine they did launch a small line called Sparkling naturals, that do not contain any artificial sweeteners. Sparkling Naturals come in four flavors.

Since the flavorings we received contained splenda, we used the machine a lot to make sparkling juices. We followed the regular directions to make carbonated water and mixed it with equal parts of juice in a pitcher. B bear loves it. He now asks for juice pop.
The sodastream system is all you need to make your own sodas and fizzy water at home, using your own tap water. The fountain jet doesn't use any electricity and the bottles are reusable, so there is minimal waste.

If you are a big soda drinker and would like to give SodaStream a try you can purchase any of their home soda machine products here. They even offer a few kits. The starter kit, which retails at 109.95, has everything you need to make your own soda: a fountain jet, bottle of carbonator, two soda bottles, and three drink mixes. You can purchase their products online through SodaStream, or at various retailers.


As always, I was not compensated for this review in any way other than receiving product to review. This review is written by myself and contains my own opinions.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Green Blog Hop

If you are looking for other fabulous "green" blogs to read check out the green blog hop, run by Tales of the Wife, Going Green With Noah, and And Then There Were 4. And, if you write a fabulous green blog, be sure to link up!

A Very Special Giveaway

I keep meaning to tell you all about this, but every time I go to post it I seem to get distracted and write about something else. I also don't want to seem like I'm just spamming you all with my diaper business, however this blog is about me, my life, my family, and that includes my diapers. I do promise though to not overrun my blog with business talk...just today apparently. This does not mean an end to diaper reviews and giveaways either. I love trying new diapers, whether they are sewn by me or not.

After falling head over heels for cloth diapers and spending a pretty penny on a diaper stash, I decided that it was time to start sewing my own. I worked and worked on my own pattern, and while it was okay, I wasn't fully happy with it. So, I bought every stinking diaper pattern that is out there, and tried them all. I fell in love with Very Baby diapers and contacted the company. After quite a bit of work of sewing up samples and setting up shop, I am now a proud Very Baby approved Seamstress.

You can find my diapers at my shop here, stocking on the 15th of every month or on the Eco Nest congo. I am approved to sew from all of their patterns, but I am currently only offering the all in one, one size pocket, fitted diaper, and the one size fitteds. I will begin offering Simply Nights in bamboo or hemp on the 15th of this month, so keep your eyes peeled for that.


Giveaway has ended and the Winner is #33, Rebecca O! Thanks for playing and for checking out my shop. Rebecca, I'll be contacting you and you will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be drawn.


So, in celebration and because I love my followers, I suppose that it is only fitting that I offer up a special custom diaper to one lucky follower. Also, here is a special coupon code for f15 percent off for blog followers that will expire on 10-30-10: blog15.
The Prize:
One custom diaper! You chose between an AIO, One Size fitted, One size Pocket or a sized Fitted. The winner will pick chose all of the details and can pick from all of my available fabrics. Sound good?!! I thought so!

How to Enter:
Visit my Hyena Cart shop and tell me one thing about any of the products that strikes your fancy. You must be a follower of my blog to win this giveaway and this entry is mandatory and if not included will not count.

Extra Entries:
leave one separate comment for each entry
Open to US residents only. Giveaway ends on 10-20-10. winner will be drawn by random.org and will have 48 to respond or another winner will be drawn to replace.

Friday, 1 October 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, visit SouleMama.


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