Mini Comfy Skirt

Monday, August 29, 2011

Remember my Comfy Skirt? Well I finally got around to making one for my adorable niece. I’m calling it a mini comfy skirt. But it is not a mini skirt, just a skirt made for a mini human a.k.a a 3 year old girl :)


This is one of my favorite skirts that I have made. I think mostly because I am in love with the fabric. Tea Party designed by Hokkoh. Love it!

I never offered a tutorial for the comfy skirt. I thought that I would share one today. It is super easy. It can be made for any size. Adult or kid.
For the materials as you can see from above, you will need fabric, 1/8 inch elastic, and you will need 6 safety pins. Then, of course, you will need your thread and other sewing essentials.

This skirt is easy to make in any size. In order to determine how much fabric you will need, just measure around your waste and then add a half yard. This is what worked for my adult skirt, and that is what worked for the mini or child skirt. 

In order to determine how much elastic you will need, just measure your waste and then multiply your waist measurement by 3. This is because you will be wrapping the elastic around the waist 3 times. This should make sense later on if it doesn’t yet.

DSC08339 Step 1: Cut your fabric. I measured from my hip bone to my knee. Then I added:

-5 inches to the adult skirt
         4 inches for the top hem
         1 inch for the bottom hem

-3 inches to the child skirt
          2 inches for the top hem
          1 inch for the bottom hem

*The reason for adding more to
the top hem of the adult skirt is
because the top ruffle was bigger.
For the adult skirt the ruffle was two
inches. For the kid skirt I only added
1/2 inch for the ruffle.
DSC08349DSC08344 Step 2: Once you have decided how
big you want the ruffle on top, iron
down your hem. Also Iron and pin
down your bottom hem.
DSC08342 Step 3: Draw lines on the inside of
your top hem. The first line you
should be the distance from the
top of the skirt to the bottom of
ruffle. Anywhere from 1/2 to 2 inches.
Then you should draw 5 more lines.
Each of those lines should be 1/4
inch apart. You should have a total
of six lines drawn on the inside of
your skirt.
DSC08353 Step 4: Using the lines that you just drew as reference you will sew 6 lines across the entire top hem of the skirt.
DSC08357 Step 5: Cut your elastic. Just measure your waist, and then cut three pieces of 1/8 inch elastic the size of your waist.
DSC08359 Step 6: Attach safety pins to the ends of your elastic.
DSC08365 Step 8: Pull the elastic through every other open space.
DSC08372 *Once you are done pulling the elastic through, pin it to each end so it stays in place.
DSC08381 Step 9: Sew one vertical line at the end of each side of your skirt. This vertical line is sewn down the 6 horizontal lines you just sewed. You can stop your vertical line at the last of the 6 lines. This will keep your elastic in place. You can now take out your safety pins.
DSC08389 Step 10: Fold your skirt in half and inside out. Sew up your hem. Turn your skirt right side out and DONE!

*Let me know if you have any questions.

It is a fun and comfy skirt! You can embellish it any way you like. This time I added a bow. I was also toying with the idea of adding pockets. Just have fun with it!

The 411 on pre and post race nutrition

Friday, August 26, 2011

Pre/post-race training and nutrition

What you eat prior to a hard run or a race can make or break your workout. Without sufficient energy, your body will feel weak, sluggish, and you certainly won’t be making any new PRs! Too much food, or the wrong types of foods, can result in a stomach ache or digestion problems. So what is the perfect combination? Read below to find out!

Here are some tips for pre-race nutrition:

The Day Before:

-24 hours before your race, try to have your intake consist of 70% carbohydrates

-In those 24 hours, try to avoid any new foods or drinks

-Stay hydrated!

-Avoid particularly high fiber foods, especially if you have a sensitive stomach

The Meal Before:

-The meal before your race should consist primarily (80%) of carbohydrates

-Adjust the amount of calories to how far out you are from the race. (i.e. don’t eat a 600 calories breakfast 45 minutes before you race, but a 100 calorie gel the day before isn’t enough either)

-Avoid foods high in fat, protein, or fiber for easy digestion

-If you don’t like to eat a meal prior to any early race, still consume some carbohydrates and enough calories in the form of a sports drink, gel, or chews.

After The Race

-Ratio of 1 gram of protein per 3 grams carbohydrate

-Consume 50-100 g carbohydrate within an hour of exercise

-A glass of milk is great for after a workout. It has a good mix of carbohydrate and protein.

My favorite pre-race breakfast meal consists of oatmeal, banana, and 8oz of orange juice. This meal has tons of carbohydrate to keep my energy fuel up during that race so I don't fatigue as quickly. Whatever you do, don’t try to eat one of the “right” running meals before a race if you haven’t tried them before. Test out breakfasts before a long run to make sure there are no problems that arise on race day!

Good luck racing!

Italian Beef Sandwiches

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ever been to Chicago and had an Italian beef sandwich? If you haven't, you are seriously missing out. Having grown up in Chicago this sandwich is one of those mouth watering memories I have from that place. Wanting to try to recreate these delicious sandwiches, I searched for the perfect recipe and luckily I found it on the first try. (don't you love when that happens?!) This is an inexpensive, delicious crock pot meal. There should be nothing stopping you to make this tonight.

Italian Beef Sandwiches
source: all recipes

3 cups beef broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon onion salt
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 bay leaf
2 (.7 ounce) package dry Italian-style salad dressing mix
1 (5 pound) chuck roast

Combine beef broth with salt, ground black pepper, oregano, basil, onion salt, parsley, garlic powder, bay leaf, and salad dressing mix in a saucepan. Stir well and bring to a boil.
Place roast in slow cooker, and pour salad dressing mixture over the meat.
Cover, and cook on Low for 10 to 12 hours, or on High for 4 to 5 hours. When done, remove bay leaf, and shred meat with a fork. Pile high on a crusty loaf of bread. For extra flavor top with cheese and/or sauted onions and bell peppers

Popcorn Bar

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A few weeks ago our family got together for a little reunion. One evening we decided to have a fun movie night!


We watched Home Alone- mostly because that is the only movie that my 3 year old niece will sit through. We would stop the movie every 30 minutes to play movie trivia and hand out candy prizes or raffle tickets for a grand prize. We also had some yummy popcorn to snack on as well. Today I thought I would share a few of the yummy popcorn recipes with you.

Yellow Kernel

We did a plain yellow kernel corn. This was cooked with oil, and then we added a little salt once it was popped.


Caramel Crunch

  • 2 qts. popped corn (1/2 c kernel)
  • 40 caramel squares
  • 1 cup salted peanuts
  • 2 T half and half

Combine popped corn and peanuts in a large bowl. In a small pan, place caramel squares and half and half. Cook on medium-high for 3 minutes, stirring every minute until mixture comes to a boil. Gradually stir caramel sauce into popcorn mixture until well coated.

*This is pretty sticky. You could even form these into little popcorn balls and serve them on wax paper as another option.


Cookies and Cream

  • 10 Oreo cookies, finely crumbled
  • 2 T. cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup popping corn
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 10-12 Oreo cookies broken into pieces
  • 1/4 cup chocolate fudge Sunday topping

Crumble your Oreo cookies by using a food processor or putting them in a plastic bag and then rolling over them with a rolling pin. Mix crumbs with cocoa and salt in a small bowl.

Next pop the corn with the oil and the sugar.

Once popped, pour the hot popcorn into a large bowl, and then sprinkle your Oreo cocoa mixture over the popcorn. Stir popcorn until evenly coated. Next pour your chocolate fudge ice cream topping over mixture stirring until evenly coated. Then take your Oreo cookies and break them into pieces. Add them to the popcorn bowl and mix lightly.


Cinnamon Sugar

  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1T granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup popping corn
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

Mix together cinnamon, salt, and 1 T. sugar. Next pop your corn using the oil and 1/4 cup of sugar.Once the popcorn is popped, pour the spice mixture directly into the pan or pot that you are cooking your popcorn in. Stir the mixture until it is evenly coated. Then pour into a large bowl.

*The key to this is pouring the spice mixture into the pot with the popped corn. The pot should have a little oil in it still which helps with the coating of the popcorn. We first tried this by taking the popcorn out of the pot and then pouring in the spice mixture and it was too dry. So we had to go back and remake it. This was our favorite of the recipes, but it was a little cinnamonie(if that is a word) so you may want to try 1 tsp. first and then add more if that isn’t enough.


It was a fun and delicious movie night, complete with our very own movie star!


Now how about you, do you have any yummy popcorn recipes that I should try in the future?


Calorie Burner

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Do you feel like you have reached a fitness plateau? Are you not seeing anymore results from doing the same elliptical exercise everyday at the gym? Give this quick high paced cardio/weight training exercise a try! I know I am feeling sore after trying it this week. 

1. 20 squat jumps

2. 10 Squat curl to press (5-10 pounds)

3. 20 snacthes (10 on each arm and use the same weight)

4. 10 weighted burpees (same weights as before)

5. Bosu Ball pushups (as many as possible)

6. 10 Inverted row ( put the squat machiene bar on the 6th notch)

Repeat 1-2 times! This workout will show great results!


The Lacey Infinity Scarf

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I am in the process of making a fun navy dress. I’ll make sure to share that with you when it is complete. The dress is made from a navy jersey, and it incorporates a little bit of lace. I had a few scrap pieces left over from that project. I decided to make my own infinity scarf with the scarps that I had left. Can I just tell you that I am in love with this scarf!

It is so simple to make. You can create it in 3 simple steps!


Step 1: Cut your fabric. You will need a 9 inch by 2 yard piece of jersey or knit. You will also need a 9 inch by 15 inch piece of lace. (* I am going to leave the knit un-hemmed. It wont fray since it is a knit. If that is going to bother you, I suggest cutting a 18 inch by 2 yard piece of knit. Then fold that in half and sew up the open side. Make sense? It will also give the scarf a fuller look as well.)

Step 2: Sew both ends of your lace to your knit. I overlaid the lace onto the jersey 1 inch. Since this in knit, I used a zig-zag stich. Or if you have a serger you could sew it with that instead.


Step 3. Done! You should now have a long tube of jersey and lace.


There are numerous ways to wear your scarf. Below are just a few ways that you could wear it.

Infinity Scarf

I love this scarf!


The Cash Wallet- Part 2

Friday, August 12, 2011

Thanks Angie for helping me make my awesome cash wallet! I am so thrilled to be trying out a new way to budget- The Cash Envelope System. I have always wanted to try to use the cash envelope system. This is a system where you just pay cash for everything. The cash is divided into categorized envelopes. I was always nervous that I would lose the envelopes or that they would get buried in the bottom of my purse. Well now I have the envelopes built into my wallet so I don't have to worry anymore. I no longer have an excuse not to do it.

Here are the simple steps for using a cash envelope system:

1. Decide each month how much you are going to spend on a category (ie: $200 for groceries, $50 for clothes etc.)
2. Take that out in cash and stick it in the envelope for that category
3. When it is gone, it's gone! You aren't spending more than you planned.
4. You now know how much you are actually spending.

I really hope this encourages everyone to try this. Even if you aren't on a tight budget, this is still perfect because at the end of the month you aren't scratching your head saying, how did I spend $321 on eating out?

I would love to hear your success stories using the cash envelope system. I would also love to hear any other great budgeting tips that have worked for you!

The Cash Wallet- Part 1

Thursday, August 11, 2011

*Update: The Cash Wallet tutorial is no longer available for free. It available in the shop Walter and Veronica, for a very reasonable price.

I have been helping Whitney with a little project that she has been working on. She is starting a new budgeting system, which she will explain tomorrow. She wanted a cute wallet to help out with this new system- maybe give her a little more motivation to stick to her plan ;) I helped Whitney sew together a cute cash wallet.


We used this pattern to help us create the wallet. We used it more as a guideline for our measurements, but then we took our own spin on the project. If you go check out the tutorial, you will see that we used a button instead of a Velcro closure, we used fabric instead of vinyl, and we also used Velcro for the cash pockets instead of zippers. There are a few other little differences as well.


There are 6 pockets for cash. Whitney will explain why tomorrow. Each pocket is held closed with Velcro.


There is a back pocket to hold your receipt's, coupons or checkbook.


There are pockets up front to hold your ID’s and credit cards.


It is a cute wallet! I hope it keeps Whitney motivated to stick to her new budget!


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