Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Fabric and Tulle Tutu's

Last week Abby was invited to a Princess Birthday Party for 3 of her friends who were born the same week. Princess attire was requested and most of her dress-ups are my old dance costumes so I decided to make her a Princess Tutu for the party. I've already had some questions from some of the moms at the birthday party about making a tutu so here it is!

I started with a selection of 8 coordinating fabrics from the Quilters Showcase Fabric Line at Joann's. I went back a day later and added 2 more fabrics from the same line. It's good quality fabric at a good price, which means I don't care too much about how fast the tutu gets destroyed. I got the fabric 60% off so I was even happier. Did I add a few extra yards to the cart for future projects? Perhaps.... 

Abby's best gal pal, Beth, was one of the birthday girls so I made her a tutu also. Abby's will be pink and blue and Beth's will be pink and orange.

I started by cutting the fabric into strips 3 inches wide, the width of the fabric. 

Cut the strips down to the length you want. I did a variety of lengths to give it more visual appeal. My shortest length was about 18 inches and the longest was about 26 inches. Most of the longer ones ended up being orange and going on Beth's tutu (she's taller than my little one). I wanted the tutu's to be a little longer than the ones you buy so that Abby wouldn't grow out of it too soon.
 I cut the tulle a little longer than the fabric to give it a fairy-like look and more movement. I didn't take pictures because it was about 2 in the morning and things were getting blurry!

I think tutu's are cuter when the ends are pointed instead of cut straight across. Use a rotary cutter and cutting mat to cut the ends into points.

I sewed a simple seam around the outside of the strips to help control the fraying and let me wash the tutu. I am hoping that on a gentle cycle with cold water the fabric and tulle will hold up. We'll see! This was the most time consuming part of the whole process.

I measured Abby's waist and cut the elastic 2 inches shorter to allow for stretch. She's three and a half and I ended up cutting the elastic just under 18 inches.  
I used 1/2 inch elastic. Overlap the two ends and sew them together using several crisscross stitches for stability.

I used the slipknot method for tying Abby's tutu and when I use the leftovers to make Lilly a tutu I will try the double knot method and let you know which I prefer. You can slip the fabric in front or behind the elastic. I found that putting the elastic around my leg helped keep it stable and the elastic from rolling.

Loop the ends through the folded edge of fabric on the top.

Pull it "tight". Not too tight or it will stretch out your elastic, you can always go back and tighten it if needed.

Orange and pink tutu for Beth. I alternated the fabric and tulle doing about 2 strips of fabric per doubled layer of tulle. Once the fabric and tulle were tied the way I wanted I cut and tied ribbons around the top. I used a variety of sparkly, and regular ribbon. I ended up using about 20 fabric strips and 15 doubled tulle strips for a three year old.

Abby getting a mermaid painted on her face at the Princess Party. 

Abby and her best bud, Beth, rocking the tutu's and princess crowns. You can see that Abby wasn't satisfied with just being a Princess, she wanted to be a Fairy Princess and wore her wings all day.

I learned SO MUCH from this process and had a great time. I will definitely be making more of these cute tutu's and look forward to different color combinations and techniques. 

What color combinations would you do?

I hope I covered everything! If you have any questions or want more specific measurements, just hit me up!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Mommy, Mamma, Mom.....

Lilly is now 16 months old

and she has become quite the talker and much better at expressing herself and communicating her needs but some days this is what happens in my house:

In case you are wondering, no, I haven't lost my mind yet but some days I wonder if that is imminent. Thankfully she is super duper cute!

What do your kids do that make you wonder if you are losing your mind?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Mamma Bear Instincts

Yes, I am THAT mom.

Yesterday we ran to the mall to run an errand and I took my kids to the mall playground to release some pent up energy once we were done. The mall has a great treehouse playground with dinosaur bones "half buried" in the ground for the kids to play on. Lilly has figured out that she loves slides and swings and Abby loves anything playground related.

The behavior of some of the kids was appalling but the most appalling thing was the indifference displayed by their parents when they even noticed their little hooligans running around wreaking havoc.

When you as a parent take your kids to the playground, then sit back and let them run rampant it drives me bonkers!! I'm okay with your kids running around crazy as long as they stay away from my kids. Once they start climbing UP the slide that my kid is waiting in line for, cutting in line, pushing or hitting my kids my mamma bear instincts kick in. Yes I will make your kids go to the back of the line, no matter how many times I have to redirect them to the back of the line in a 2 minute time period. I will keep them from going UP the slide while kids are waiting to go DOWN the slide and I won't feel a moments regret from marching your kid over to you when they push or hit my kid. If you won't do it, I will.

You may not care about teaching your kids about respect, obeying playground rules(and life rules in general) or being a decent human being but I DO care about teaching those things to my kids and I will not let your kids ruin my kids trip to the playground and give them bumps and bruises they don't deserve.

Look at these cuties! Who wouldn't unleash the mamma bear inside when necessary?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Never forget an ingredient again!

Growing up, I would be half finished with baking something and start wondering if I had added everything I was supposed to. My mom taught me a simple way to make sure you add everything on your recipe.
The answer is so simple! Set out ALL your ingredients before you begin and as you use an ingredient put it away in the cupboard or pantry. If you have something left on the table or counter when you think you are done then you forgot to add it.

This past weekend I made a Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake for a fundraiser at church to help the girls in our youth program pay their camp fees this summer. (And yes, I know I used generic cocoa, not Hershey's. I cross my heart and promise to use the real deal next time!) 

I started with all the ingredients on the table (I live in an 85 year old house so there is limited counter space...)

Once all the dry ingredients had been added this is what the table looked like, with only the wet ingredients left.

A. The last thing that I added was boiling water, hopefully you can see the steam!. This may sound strange but some of my favorite baking recipes call for boiling water to be stirred in at the end.
B.  After everything has been added and ready to be poured in the pans
C.  Greased and floured 9" cake pans with with bake even strips around the edges.

The finished product!

My mom's tips have been lifesaving (or at least taken a load off my mind) over the years. What baking tips have come in handy for you?

I used this tutorial by as inspiration for this cake.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


My girls were very patient this morning when I put them in the double jogger and headed out for the first run of the season with them. They laughed and giggled with every bump and turn. It was rather short, because, lets be honest I'm out of shape, recovering from a nasty cold and those girls are heavy! But I went, and I will continue to go! After about a mile and half we arrived back home and the girls were let loose in the backyard to play.
Just ignore the jungle we call a backyard! We are supposed to hear back from Home Depot today about how long it will take to fix the lawnmower! Yay! Before you know it our backyard will be whipped into shape! And no, that's not snow, just a plethora of blossoms from our neighbor's Chinese Elm Tree.

Abby loves pulling Lilly around in the red wagon.
And Lilly loves having a ride!

Such good friends!
So excited to give me the flowers she found!
It's impossible to get both girls to look and smile at the same time!  

I love putting them in cute coordinating clothes. It's hard to tell but Lilly's shirt is also navy and white striped and it has a pink bow.
I am so blessed to have two beautiful girls who remind me to slow down and appreciate the little things in life! 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Running, A New Start

After a week full of finals for Scott, stress eating for me and a very sick family (Scott is just now getting it as it goes the rounds) I am ready to start anew. A gal names Erica, who writes a blog that I follow, and I are going to be virtual running buddies! Why a virtual running buddy? Well, it's someone that I can be accountable to who can't actually see me run and have potential material for future blackmail and this means I can set my own pace without feeling pressured to keep up with another runner who may be at a different fitness level than myself. I'm also supposed to be reporting to my sister Stephanie and my sister-in-law Audrey at the end of every week how I've done with exercising and I've been mia, but no more, I will be consistent!! This means no more slacking for me anymore! NO MORE EXCUSES! And really, I do have an elliptical in the basement and a double jogger so I shouldn't have any excuses, although it did snow earlier this week, which was totally weird.... At the end of the week I'll (hopefully) post and tell you all how it went this week and how I stacked up against my goals.
I had Scott print out some inspiring pictures that I have put up on the front of the snack cabinet in the kitchen and some that I will post in front of the elliptical as motivation. They are a combination of pictures. Some are pictures of me from my skinny days when I was comfortable in my body. Sometimes it's easy to feel discouraged and feel like my goals are unattainable and this way I have tangible proof that my body can in fact do this!

Also there are pictures of some fun outfits (both casual and more formal) from Pinterest that I would love to be able to rock.
Pinterest: Air Force Wife Clothes
I'm on the search for a couple of new running songs to add to my workout playlist so hit me up with your favorites! (just as an fyi, I try to avoid songs with lots of swears or innuendos) What songs keep you moving when you are exercising?