Monday, July 2, 2012

Pillowcase Dress

In need of something.
So last year while huge and very pregnant with my 5th baby I found a gorgeous pillowcase while browsing through a local thrift shop. That beauty came home with me destined to become a pillowcase dress for my 3 year old.

Well as my life goes that creamy thing hung in our storage room for days, then weeks, then months. But finally I had the time and desire to give that baby the proper attention it needed.

I am so satisfied with the results. Yes, it's still just a pillowcase dress and I kinda love but don't love those things however they are a busy mom's dream project because they take like 30 minutes or so - depending on how many distractions you have around that is.

So without further delay I give you this easy but delicately beautiful pillowcase dress.

Step 1: Locate pillowcase with lace at the bottom. (You can always just find a plain pillowcase and add your own lace but that would add time and expense.) You will also need matching thread, sewing machine, bias tape (optional, you can make your own) and ribbon, I used lace cause that's all I had).

Step 2: Measure your child from the shoulder to desired length. and add an inch for casing and scant seam allowance.
My daughter is a very tiny almost four year old. To get the mid-calf length she measured at 23 inches. Starting from the bottom lacey portion of your pillowcase measure up 23 inches (or your own measurements) and mark with chalk or a water soluble pen. Fold your pillowcase in half length-wise.

Step 3: Now we will cut out the armhole section. For my daughter I drew a line that curved out toward the edges of the fabric (NOT the folded edge) that was 6.5 inches long. It curved out about 1 inch from the edges of the fabric. Does that confuse you too? Here's a picture. (Please excuse my yellow's suppose to be an arrow!)
You can add (larger sizes) or subtract (for smaller sizes) about .5 of an inch from my 6.5 inch measurement but you will want to make sure that your curve ends up about 1 inch from the edges. Now you will cut out on the lines you just created. You will NOT CUT the folded edges (the left side of this picture.)

Step 4: Bias tape. My strips were (suppose to be) 13 inches long and 1 inch wide. I got that because my armhole length on one side was 6.5 inches so each arm would have a hole of 13 inches long. I messed up so my strips weren't long enough but what I had still worked. So whatever measurement you used for your armhole double that and cut two strips that length by 1 inch wide.
Pin strips to armhole edges right sides together. Sew the strips to the armholes on one side.. (Sorry, didn't take a picture.) Iron bias tape so they will lay flat and clip the curves being careful not to clip into the stitching. On the unsewn side of the bias tape fold over 1/4 inch and iron in place. Fold tape to inside of dress and sew in place.

I found this tutorial  from Make It Modern that may help you.

Step 5: Casing. Almost done folks!!! You will make just a regular old casing here. Fold 1/4 inch from the top (neck edge) of the front and back dress pieces. Iron and fold down the width of whatever your ribbon width is. I folded .5 inch (I think) but will go back and add another stitch to my casing cause my lace was too thin for that wide of a casing. Sew casing close to bottom edge.
Step 6: Cut ribbons to desired length. I didn't measure mine, just kind of eyeballed it. It's better to cut more than you think you'll need if you can spare the extra. Attach a safety pin to one end of the ribbon and thread through casing opening. Do this on both sides. Tie strap together and you are done!!!!
Now wasn't that easy?!

Well, put that thing on your cutie and take some pictures.
 Don't you just love bare feet and lace?! So timeless.

Sorry, forgot to turn this! Just tilt your head. You'll get it.! :)
 Beautiful! What a great pillowcase embellishment! I think next time I come across another like this I'm gonna make it into a little pillowcase top. Now I'm off to think of an equally gorgeous hair embellishment.

But one more time...

Ever make a pillowcase dress? I'd love to take a looksey!!

Linking up:

Red, White and Blue (no cost) mantle

Please ignore the patches in the wall...we need to repaint! (blush)
I wasn't really gonna do anything patriotic in the house simply because things have been so busy lately, however, at the last minute I decided to throw something together. I wanted to only use things that I already had because going out to shop was just out of the question for two reason:

#1. our transmission just went out on our van and it's a pricey fix (wah)

#2. it's like 100 degrees out today! (blech!)

So, indoors bound we are. I looked around the house and found a few things that I thought I could use. Now this mantle isn't as nice as some of the others I've seen floating around blogland but being only my second mantle fix I thought it came out pretty good. (Our first was Father's Day that I've yet blogged about!) And at a price tag of $0 I'm not complaining!!!

I took this little top I made almost three years ago and framed a portion of it. Just because it needed "something" I put a hairbow that I made for my daughter's 4th of July outfit around it. Kinda cute.

Then I took this comfy dress that my sister had given us a while back and cut strips from the armpit area
down. We then wrapped the strips around a wreath form that I've been planning to use for a few seasons now. I didn't want this to be permanent as I plan on reusing so we tucked the ends under each other and taped the end with packing tape. Worked like a charm. Then I simply tied a hairbow around it for a quick "bow". I was going to make a flower for it but this was MUCH quicker.

Then I scrounged up some other things to use:

  • glass jar filled with inexpensive ball necklaces
  • milk glass vase with flags
  • books from our home library-I highly recommend this series
  • birdie salt and pepper shakers
  • fabric scraps for the garland (not sure if I'l keep that part up) with a little star son's touch!

All in all it came together rather nicely. Very simple and not at all fancy but I'm happy and the kids think it's terrific.

Have any of you ever come up with something that cost you nothing?! I'd love to hear about it.

Linking up:

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The 5 Love Languages of Children Review and Giveaway

A few weeks back my husband and I were able to attend a short two hour seminar held by Gary Chapman. Although I was familiar with his book, The 5 Love Languages, I had never read it or heard him speak. As we set out for the seminar I was excited to learn something new that would help our marriage. To keep this review short I will simply say that I was blessed beyond belief. Mr. Chapman really does understand love as so few do. He also bases what he has learned on the Word of God because he knows that without the Lord, there is no real love.

When I was given the opportunity to review two of Gary Chapman's books just a week or two later, the first a picture book for children on the 5 love languages and the one that this review is about I jumped at the opportunity.

 I have not been disappointed.

The 5 Love Langauges of Children has opened my eyes and helped me to understand my own kids. My prayer for so long has been that the Lord would teach me to understand my children. I desire for them to grow into godly ladies and a godly man. One tool that the Lord is using is Mr. Chapman's book.

Just like the original 5 Love Languages, its focus is on getting us to understand the languages of those around us but this books teaches us what the love languages look like coming from a child.

I'll share one example. Our son, the only blue in a house full of pink, loves to touch. Since he was tiny he would touch anything and everything he could. As you can imagine it does tend to (frankly) get on my nerves sometimes. I know what you're thinking, "Don't most kids touch things?" Well sure but some more so than others. In our home our son is the extreme. At stores he will be the one to lean on us when he gets tired. At home it's not uncommon for him to come up and give us hugs or sit on our laps. At supper time he is constanly putting his feet all over me and if you ever have to sit next to him you may as well get ready to have no personal space! That boy will glue himself to you. Yes, the others do some of the same too but he does it all the time!

A few days before I began reading this book my husband looked at our son and said, "You know you're my favorite son!" (Uh, he's the only boy!!)

That boy jumped off of the couch, flung his arms around his daddy and said "Thank you Daddy." Then he gave Hubs a big sloppy kiss on the cheek.

As I read the chapter about the Love Language of Physical Touch I was reminded of that instance. I then realized that my boy loves to touch and be touch (via hugs, pats on the back etc) because it's what makes him feel loved. It was like a light bulb going off. How could I not have seen that before?

I decided then and there that I would do my best to accept his (constant) touching with more love and not irritation. I am beginning to understand my child!!

Our 3 year old loves to help. Yes, many that age do but she LOVES, LOVES, LOVES, LOVES, LOVES to help. She is constanly asking to help around the house or with cooking or cleaning. And yes, it's HARD to always accept that help cause I can do it quicker alone. But as I read the chapter on the Love Language of Quality Time I began to wonder if maybe she feels most loved when we spend that time together. I know she is very young but her desire to help is different than her 3 older siblings.

I'm not trying to box my children up into neat little labled boxes but I think that there is something very important in what Mr. Chapman shares in his books.

I am loving the 5 Love Languages of Children.

I have to give this book 4 stars! It's great! It will open your eyes as a parent and allow you to realize why your children act/react the way they do sometimes. I would strongly suggest any one desiring deeper understanding of a child to add this book to your home library.

Quick Overview:

12 Chapters, 221 pages
In this book you will:
  • be introduced to the 5 Love Languages of children
  • learn how to figure out your children's love language
  • see how love languages affect learning
  • learn how to speak the love languages if you are a single-parent family
  • and have the opportunity to take a love language mystery game.

And now for the best part! One reader will be blessed with their very own copy of The 5 Love Languages of Children. All you have to do is enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Tell your friends and family members to stop by and enter. Everyone ought to have an opportunity to win this one.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The 5 Love Languages:

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Lovin' Learnin'

Friday, March 30, 2012

Gary Chapman Book Giveaway Winner!!!

Congrats to our winner...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

...and thank you to all who entered. Winner please contact me with your mailing info.

And remember my next giveaway will be posted on Monday, April 2nd. It's a terrific book! You will want to enter for this one.

The 5 Love Languages of Children

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Gary Chapman Book Review and Giveaway

I've been spending the last few days perusing a couple of great books by Gary Chapman, you know, of The 5 Love Languages fame. One of them is called a Perfect Pet for Peyton and is geared toward children.

This book takes the 5 Love Languages Mr. Chapman is so popular for and opens it up to young children to discover their own love language.

From The 5 Love Languages website:
"This wonderfully imaginative children’s hardcover book by bestselling authors Gary Chapman and Rick Osborne, featuring four-color illustrations (with hidden details!) by Wilson Williams, Jr., will help children learn the importance of love. Based on Gary’s highly successful The 5 Love Languages®, A Perfect Pet for Peyton tells an entertaining and playful story of five children who each, with the help of Mr. Chapman and the unique pets at his special emporium, discover their own personal love language. Children and parents alike will experience firsthand the power of the love languages as they cuddle up and spend precious time together reading this book over and over again."

The story is about two twins, Penny and Peyton who are celebrating their birthday at "Mr. Chapman's Perfect Pet Emporium." This is a special place - think zoo, amusement park and birthday party all wrapped under one roof - where Mr. Chapman matches up his guests with their perfect pet. A perfect pet who "speaks" that child's love language.

The twins and three of their friends explore the emporium and eventually each are matched up with their perfect pet. Peyton, however wonders if there is one for him and worries that he will have to leave without one.

The story is sweet, the character's personalities distinct, and although the plot is not plauseable it is made believeable only because of the emphasis on the love languages.

A Perfect Pet for Peyton has been enjoyed at our home. I read it through on my own first so that I could be familiar with it before reading it to the children. As we were going through it together the first time I felt that the point of the love languages was a little over their heads. I asked them at the end of the story which Perfect Pet they liked/related to more. They gave me their answers but didn't say much else. I think that the depth of this book will require multiple readings before my brood takes in the full importance of its message.

I believe that the book has been well written and makes it's message very clear, though I believe it is better suited for kids 10 and up only because of the depth of the message.

That being said my 3 year old enjoyed taking in the bright pictures and hearing the book read aloud. All  of my children have looked through the book on their own.

I would recommend this book to any parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle who have young children in their lives. Any who desire that the language of love be opened up to that young someone special.

I am also pleased to open up a giveaway with my readers!

One of you will win your very own copy of this large, hardback book. First two entries are mandatory. I will notify the winner on Friday, March 30. Make sure to leave an email address as the winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email.

Thanks for stopping by!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Perfect Pet for Peyton:

The 5 Love Languages:
*Free interactive app with in-book experience COMING SOON to the Apple App Store.
I am also currently reviewing Mr. Chapman's book the 5 Love Languages of Children and am totally enjoying it!! I'm learning so much!! I will have a review and giveaway posted as soon as I'm done so stay tuned! You'll want this book!

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Lovin' Learnin'

Saturday, March 3, 2012

My Memories Giveaway WINNER

Congrats to Debbie entry #20!!! You've won!!!! Thanks to all who entered!!!!

Don't forget to check out the My Memories website and use the coupon code for a $10 discount on the My Memories software and $10 off on any of their digital scrapbook materials.


My Memories website
My Memories on Facebook

Lovin' Learnin'

Monday, February 27, 2012

My Memories *Giveaway*

**Got it fixed, hopefully the widget will stay open until tomorrow night now. Keep entering!!

Well, as promised I'm back ready for the giveaway. You will remember that I tried to entice you with my last post on the My Memories Digital Software that I've come to enjoy. Now I know that my creative skills are nothing to call home about but the software has been great.

I won't babble any further though, on to the giveaway...after one last look at my fav. creation. Love it.
Now, without further ado.

The giveaway. 

Okay, okay, one more:
 My designs are really quite simple considering all of the extras that can be added in but I'm trying to take a minimalist approach to life since I am by nature such a clutter bug!!!

And now....

This is gonna be easy cause I hate having to criss cross the internet to enter giveaways. I have entered a few lately that have used Rafflecopter and LOVE the ease so this is my first time trying to host with it. Hope it goes okay.

The first entry is Mandatory. All others are optional but just increase your chances of winning this great software!

Please remember to make sure I have a way of contacting you if you win so that I'm not forced to pick another winner.

Giveaway will end on Friday, March 2nd at Midnight EST. I will do my best to make sure that the winners are contacted Saturday. You will have 48 hours to respond to my email.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have fun and thanks for stopping by! And while you're waiting for the giveaway to end why not get to know the company a little more:

My Memories website
My Memories on Facebook
My Memories Twitter

Don't forget about the coupon code!!


Click on the banner below and enter the above code to save $10 off of the purchase of the software or $10 off a purchase of some of their products!!

Lovin' Learnin'

Friday, February 24, 2012

My Memories Review

Info on a giveaway at end of post!!! Keep reading!
Do you like to scrapbook? There was a time in my life when I did. I bought the album, stickers, papers, letters, brads, glue, scissors, pictures etc, etc, etc. I can remember spending hours getting my 1st daughter's scrapbook put together. When daughter #2 came along there was less time but I still did some scrapbooking. Baby #3 was our first (and only) boy and I did finish a few boy pages cause it was new and fun.

But by the time babies #4  and now #5 got here my extra time had left the building. I no longer have ANY time to get out all of that stuff let alone actually get any pages done. Besides with all of these kiddies running around it would just be a big mess anyway and that brings me to my next point, where to house it all since we have a full house already. No space. No space

So, what to do? I truly LOVE to scrapbook cause I LOVE all things pictures and memories. Well how about digital scrapbooking?

I was contacted at the end of January by a company called My Memories. Never heard of them before they contacted me but upon investigation found out they were a real company with a good reputation, #1 in scrapbooking on Amazon. Really! I was given the awesome opportunity to review their digital scrapbooking software for a couple of weeks. I was totally in!

So I've been neglecting housework spending my recent free time creating pages and more. 

But before I go any further let me share with you all a coupon code for receiving a great discount from My Memories!!


This code is good for $10 off the purchase price of My Memories Suite Scrapbook software and a $10 coupon for the store. A $20 value!! Yeah!

Back to the software, I made my first pages within 30 minutes. So easy folks. Really. Here's how it works:

1. Choose to start with the premade pages which include embelishments or opt to start from scratch and build your own.

2. Click on the camera in the resource gallery located on the left side of the screen to access your pictures directly from the software. No need to upload and wait. Your photo files will all be pulled up and you can browse for the perfect photo.
This is one of the first pages I created using the Diva set. I love it!
3. After you choose your pictures you can select something from the control panel on the right  to spice up your page. Your options include: embellishments, background papers, text, word art, shapes and even music! Check out all of the options:
The possibilities are endless!!
The photo above shows the Embellishments drop down menu and the many choices you have.

Here is one I made to frame and hang up for my son. I.Love.It.

You even have the option of Changing the size of your album to meet your needs. In this one I was creating a Christmas card (just for the fun of it. I know it's early...or late depending on how you look at it.) and only wanted 4 x 6 size. Done. Great!
You can also purchase more materials from their store as downloads. The prices begin at $.99 and can go up to $9.99 (as far as I've noticed). Once you purchase your item it is stored in your downloads page under your account. Once you download it to your computer it is automatically uploaded to your My Memories software and simply awaits for your creativity to call.
This is a picture for Spring that I want to print and frame for my mantle.

They also have a great amount of Free Items as well and offer something Free every Friday on their Facebook page.
The My Memories software has been so easy to use. I didn't use the Intro. video or read any of the tutorials I was able to navigate my way around the program fairly easily. I do plan on going through those just to catch anything that I may have missed. I said that to let you know that ANYONE can work this program. It's so user-friendly!!

Now I've said a lot of good things about the program but I need to keep this an honest review. So, I do have to list a few of my "eh" feelings. Not necessarily negative, just things that made me go "eh."

1. The file size makes for a big download. It is even recommended that you check your hard drive space every so often to make sure that you don't run out of space. Hmmm...

Go here for a full list of computer requirements.

2. When creating your albums you will see a message pop up saying that the shaded grey areas bordering the page may be cut off so you have to make sure that your items stay inside the shaded area so that nothing gets cut off during printing. What? I would think that they could have just made sure that the measurements would be within the printable area? Hmmm...

3. The program seems to run on the slow side. Now this could be an isolated issue since I can get download happy...all those free downloads are too irresistible! Maybe my computer is tired from working so hard to keep up with me?!

Now remember, I haven't watched any videos or read any tutorials so I might be missing out on some very obvious reasons for the above problems but those are just what I've noticed from playing around with the program.

All in all its a great program and I'm so thankful to have gotten the opportunity to review it! Thanks My Memories!!

**I just saw that they have a My Memories Photobook Studio software currently selling for $29.97! That's good to know!!

Now for the good stuff...if you've stuck with me this long, first thank you and second come back by on Monday, Feb. 27 to enter a giveaway to win your very own My Memories Suite download!! You will not be sorry you entered! It's a great program. See you Monday!

Lovin' Learnin'

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Aweseom curls without the heat!!!

No way right? How many of us have taken the time to take that hair damaging iron to our hair year after year after year? I know that in my younger years I often did just that. And in those younger years my hair held the curl wonderfully. But something happened to this hair of mine sometime between those younger years and having baby years. The hair no longer cares about holding the curl and I no longer have the time needed to curl it. So for the past few years I have spent many a morning pulling my hair up in my comfy old french twist. Quick, easy and hassle-free. Everything a busy mom of 5 needs.
But just this weekend I came across this post at It's Just Laine. (She's got a terrific blog by the way!) Great looking curls with no heat...and in 5 mintues!!! What?!!! I was immediatley intrigued! Check out my video tutorial at the end of the post.

Although I was totally on board about this I was worried that it wouldn't turn out so I decided to take the plunge and twist my hair in the elastic that night. Now since I had just bathed the hair was wet. I decided to let it air dry just a little and then began the work. Literally 5 minutes gals!!! SO easy!!!
I buckled down for the night eager to see what would result in the morning. I slept like a baby since the elastic didn't bother me like those tacky sponge rollers have in the past.
That morning I awoke and quickly untwisted my hair. Boy was I amazed! It worked!!!! This is what the result was!
Sorry about that tacky date imprint!!
Awesome isn't it? I mean wet hair, twisted in a hair elastic and left overnight to get that?! This is THE easiest hair-do I've ever tried. I didn't even use any products in my hair. Totally pleased. And ladies, the curls will last and last!!! I couldn't take a picture of my hair the next day cause my camera was broken after these pictures. (sniff, sniff) but believe me when I say that they did not fall out!!

I tried it on my oldest daughter's hair Sunday morning just cause I was excited. Now her hair was super dry so I didn't think that anything would result. I only left the elastic on for about an hour. The result: some pretty full body waves. Nice.
See the elastic? The hair is twisted around that.
Not bad for 5 minutes of work!
Girls, this is so awesome...alomst life changing...really. Dramatic, I know but for this gal who is always just throwing her hair up this is so great!!!!

Updated to add my own video tutorial. Admitidly it's not the best quality but since the camera broke I'm having to use a smaller video recorder for this. My 10 year old is helping me out by being the hands behind the camera. Hopefully it'll come out okay!

And one more time...

And for all of you digital scrapbookers out there (and all of you wanna be's) stay tuned cause I have a giveaway with My Memories Digital Scrapbooking software coming up within the next few days!!! You will like what you see, I know I do!!!

Lovin' Learnin'

Posted by Picasa