Sunday, August 29, 2010

Pattern Review & 2 MAJOR Clothing Redos!

Using this pattern:

and these 2 atrocities purchased for $1 each at Goodwill:

women's size 18 pants
The UGLIEST corduroy pants I've ever seen!  Check out that massive split!

.... I created 2 cute pairs of shorts for my kiddos! 

This was my first time creating inset pockets.  Why did I wait so long???  They are so much easier than I thought they would be. 

Keep an eye out when scavenging those thrift store racks!  You'd be suprised at the things you can transform with a little creativity. 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Robot Messenger Bag

TJ had a backpack dilemma this year.  He had to have a backpack that would hold a folder, but it also had to be small enough that he could handle it.  A standard backpack is still way too big and his toddler sized backpack crushes folders.  Ideally, I would have ordered him a backpack from LL Bean, but I procrastinated.  And to be honest, I really didn't want to spend the money on top of all of the other school supplies I already had to buy. 

The solution:  a messenger bag. 

I used the toddler messenger bag pattern from the book One Yard Wonders.  I love this book so much!  I have already completed a few patterns from it and find it to be the perfect book for when I get the urge to sew and need something fast. 

One Yard Wonders
TJ wanted a robot on his bag, so this is what we came up with...

And it holds a folder perfectly! 

I used fusible web to applique the pieces and did some simple stitching around. 

A handy little pocket inside

Friday, August 27, 2010

Pattern Review: Insulated Lunch Bag (in 2 sizes!)

Lucky for me, I get to be best friends with a great new pattern designer, Becky Ann Designs.  This summer she released a great new PDF pattern for an insulated lunch bag.  Of course, once Taylor found out about it she wanted one for the new school year. 

She spent a solid half hour at the fabric shop looking for the perfect lunch box fabric.

I am thrilled to report that the pattern is simple and straight forward.  Becky does a great job at simplifying the process for beginners.  Plus, it comes in 2 sizes!  I made the large size for Taylor, so that it would accomodate her drink thermos as well as all of the food. 

And the best part?  You can make it with 2 fat quarters! 

You can find the pattern in Becky's shop online:
The pattern is only $3.50 and is delivered to your email address within 24 hours in a PDF format.  It doesn't get any easier than that!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Weekly Menu Plan

August 25 - August 31

I know a Wednesday - Tuesday plan is not conventional, but it works with the way I grocery shop and the way we plan things around here!

Beef Enchiladas
Chicken Enchiladas


Beef and Broccoli
Egg Rolls


Homemade Pizza and Breadsticks


Lunch - Leftovers
Dinner - Date Night!


Lunch - Sub Sandwiches
Dinner - Grilled Chicken, Baked Potatoes, Veggies


Spaghetti with Meat Sauce 


Chicken Fajitas
Chips and Salsa
Veggie Dippers

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

When the kids are away, Mom will play

Let me tell you.... summer kicked my ass.  This is the reason there have been no blog posts since June.  This summer was the first summer I had the hubby on U.S. soil AND the kids at home with me.

Up until a little over 2 years ago, I worked full time.  In May of 2008, I left that job for my current job, which allows me to work around the kids' school schedules.  When I made the job switch, Mr. Mudpie was in Afghanistan.  So this is the first time I've had all 3 of them here during the summer.   Let me tell you - it was a lot harder than I thought it would be! 

But summer is over now and school is back in session!  Last week we sent Taylor back to school....

On the way to orientation, the night before school
This was the best photo I could get  :(  She was ready to go!

And then this week TJ started back....
The boy who never stands still for a picture finally decided to pose!
More on that messenger bag coming soon!
Monday was the first day since May of having the house to myself for a few hours.  It was pure bliss!  It's too bad I have to actually go to work most of the time little man is in preschool.  I could totally get used to hanging out at home every morning by myself. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Homemade Pizza Lunchables

Over summer break I was at the grocery store with the kids when Taylor starts pointing and doing the whole "can we get those? please!? I NEED them!" routine.  The girl was pointing at the Pizza Lunchables.  Now, I admit, I ate them when I was a kid and loved them.  As an adult, I think they are nasty. I get her point... they are fun and other kids at school have them.  However, the mom in me just can't get past the ingredient list though. 

So, we stood in front of the refrigerated case for a few minutes discussing what about it she liked and wanted.  (this is normal for us, we are total foodies and discuss everything ad nauseum)  Partway through this conversation she had a lightbulb moment.  "Can you make me HOMEMADE ones?"  Now that, little girl, I am ok with. 

Homeade Pizza Lunchables
makes 10 kits


Pizza Dough of your choice (homemade, pillsbury, etc)
Pizza Sauce / leftover spaghetti sauce
Shredded Cheese
Toppings of choice


1.  Make pizza dough according to directions and roll out onto a cookie sheet in large rectangle.  Bake according according to recipe's directions or until done. 

2.  Cool crust and cut into individual servings.  The number of servings you end up with will depend on the recipe you used and the size rectangle you made.  You know your kid.... cut into squares the size that they will eat.  

3.  Assembly:

You can do this a couple of different ways.  What we like best is to use the ziploc divided containers:
I put the sauce and cheese into the smaller sections. The toppings go in the large section and then I lay the crust on top of the toppings.

You can also put everything into snack size bags or individual containers if you like.  Again, you know what works for your family when it comes to packaging and containers.  Do what makes your life easiest!

4.  Put all of your pizza kits in the freezer and pat yourself on the back!  You just put several ready-to-go lunches in the freezer. 

To serve:  thaw the night before and throw it in a lunch box.  Don't forget to pack a spoon to spread the sauce!