Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Simple DIY Girls Nightgown

So I have a habit of randomly deciding to do something and jumping in.... I like to say I'm spontaneous... but I'm not sure that's true. I just get my mind set on something and can't rest until I do it..... Several of my crafting projects have gone this way.... The time I made milo the doll.... when I taught myself to crochet when I was 8 months pregnant.... I could go on. I'm pretty sure it's a trait I acquired from my biological mother. I remember once we went to wal-mart at 10pm to get stuff to make candles bc we just had to do it right now! In some ways I am my mother's daughter. 

So, On to the night gown. My girls have outgrown most of their PJs... and Milo prefers to wear this particular night gown I got her at a consignment shop. I told her I'd go buy her another night gown because she needed one.... but where in the world do you buy a cotton night gown except online?!?!? 

So like most things, yesterday morning I had an idea. I'll just make them myself. Off to pinterest I go!!  Scrolling through photos, I came upon this blog post about turning an old pillow case into a nightgown. I'm a sucker for that sort of thing, but alas, I had no vintage pillow cases I wanted to cut up. 

I headed to JoAnn's because, well, they have everything. Shopping almost always seems like it will be an ok idea with my girls... Every time, I tell myself "It's fine, they'll do great." and every time... I'm wrong. Oh well. Onto the nightgown. 

You'll need:
Pillowcase or fabric
elastic trim
decorative trim optional

and that's it. Its a super easy project. I found this elastic trim in the sale section at JoAnn's. I wasn't sure I would find a fabric to go with it... until I spotted this one. Its gorgeous. Milo also helped pick out this decorative trim. 

I measured around the bust and doubled it since it was going to be gathered. Then measure the length you'd like it to be and add 1" for the hem. 

Before I tell you how I sewed this... Disclaimer... I am self taught when it comes to sewing. The way I do things may not be the proper way. So if you know a better way. Go right ahead and do it that way.  

So depending on the width your need and the size of your fabric, you may need a front and a back. I used one continuous rectangle and there is one seam in the back. I made the seam with a ½" seam allowance. Then turned it under like you can see in the pic above.... then stitched it down like below. See how neat it looks. I did this on the back side, but You could even do this on the outside if you wanted bc it just looks so clean. 

I hemmed the bottom and added the decorative trim. 

Next I ironed the top hem down and did a basting stitch. So If you don't know what that is....its the longest stitch setting on your sewing machine. And you don't want to Back up because you're going to be pulling on the bobbin to create the gathering.  Check out this photo below. I just hold the bobbin thread tightly and then slide the fabric down the thread to bunch it up. 

Once that's done, I pinned the elastic band section on turning one edge over where it met to cover the raw ends. To get this measurement I just used the waist measurement and added about ½". On Milo's I did it ½" Shorter and it was still plenty stretchy but she didn't like it being so snug. 

Before sewing the top band on, I measured the girls for the shoulder straps. Measuring over the shoulder from the top of the armpit on each side.... then add 2". I then pinned the straps on the inside of the fabric. I did it this way in case I wanted to adjust them later. If you want to keep it neater, You could put them in between the elastic band and the fabric. 

Then I did a ZIG ZAG stitch around the top of the band and the bottom of the band. I backed up over the section where the straps were. I also stitched down the area where the elastic band ends met up. 

Now you will need to go back in with your seam ripper and rip out the basting stitch... otherwise, it won't be stretchy. 

and VOILA! all done. 

Some tips to those of you who are not experienced sewers. Let me give you some of the tips I've learned the hard way. Pre-wash your fabric... I used to think this was bogus and I didn't really need to. However, If you don't. Your fabric will shrink up in the wash and your stitches will look puckered and lumpy. Also IRON your fabric. I'm lazy and I only see the end goal and I used to skip this step... Don't. Just don't. Its so much easier if you iron. Always pin. Not that I don't believe you can't do it without pinning, but speaking from experience, it cuts down on the number of mistakes made. Don't Rush. I struggle with this. Like I didn't have milo Try on her dress before I stitched the elastic band.... and she didn't like it that snug... But I sewed that sucker on good. So unless she changes her mind--which she might.... I'll have to take all these stitches out and redo the whole thing... bc you bet I already cut out that basting stitch. 

These things are the things everyone tells you when you start sewing..... but I thought that they didn't apply to me bc I wouldn't mess up.... umm. Wrong. 

So taking pictures of my girls is impossible these days... They are tornadoes of giggles and drama... I just follow them around hoping to get a good shot. 

This is Milo's new token face.... I don't know who taught it to her, but I'm betting it was my husband. 

She's getting so big... She's 4 ½. They're upstairs right now fighting over some toy... Sisterly love. I'm going to be going out of town on Sunday and leaving the girls home with JR. I left Milo with JR once for 1 night. I have yet to leave Lennon for more than 5 hours...and I'll be gone 5 days... I am officially freaking out. I know they will Survive. JR is an amazing dad. Sometimes I sneak back in the hallway to listen to them in the play room. He has tea with them, plays doctor, and horse..... They are so lucky to have him. I know he'll do great. However, I'm pretty sure Lennon will have some separation anxiety..... and I KNOW I will. Any tips from seasoned moms? 

I'm headed to Texas for Young Living's International Grand Convention!!!! It's going to be SO FUN!!! I am extremely excited. If you aren't familiar with Young Living's essential oils. You can see more information about it here. Since I'm overflowing with joy and excitement, I thought I'd share a special Promotion with all of you. Not Only does Young Living have their Starter Kit on sale... but I have a special promotion as well. 

This special is available until July 31. That's THIS friday!!! Message me on Facebook or check out here for more information on how to get started. 

And say some prayers for our family next week as we're apart. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

DIY Essential Oil Shelf

I have been storing my essential oils in a little box in a cabinet... all piled in there. It was a horrible system. I had to dig through all my oils every time I was looking for something. Finally after a lot of nagging hint dropping, my husband agreed to help me build a wall shelf. I drew up a sketch of what I wanted, did some measurements and off to Lowes we went. I'm going to tell you how we did our shelf, but the height, width, number of shelves, pipe size, etc... can be changed to fit your space, but this will give you an idea of how to execute it. 

Supplies you will need: 
one 10'x1"x4" board
steel wool
hole saw
Sealer (I like this one)
*We used all ¾" pipe
Optional--sandpaper and metalic charcoal spray paint

The first thing you need to do is put steel wool in vinegar. It needs to sit at least 24 hours. I took a mason jar, added some steel wool and poured vinegar in until it was mostly covered. I shook it and took the lid off periodically. In my head this sped up the process... In reality, who knows. 

Then we cut our board down to four 28" pieces and sanded them. We used oak that had been kiln dried so it was actually about 3.5" wide instead of 4". This may not sound like a big deal but the very top board just barely fits in front of the flange. So be conscious of that when you are drilling your holes. Then JR used his hole saw to get cut the holes. We measured beforehand to determine the location of the holes on the board. The holes were ½" from the front of the board and 1" from the end of the board. He used the 1 ⅛ inch hole saw attachment.

Then we "painted" the vinegar solution onto the boards. as you can see it goes on clear but begins to darken like the picture below. 

Allow this to sit and dry completely. You only need the one coat. In the photo below, the board on the left is completely dry. Next comes the sealer. I found this butcher block sealer we used during our kitchen remodel and I like the finish it gives. I did 2 coats on these boards, waiting 3 hours and sanded with 400 grit sandpaper in between. 

My husband spent times wiping down all the pipes. When you purchase them, they are in bags and have a black grease type coating on all the pieces. 

and then he put a coupling on one end of all the pipes. The coupling is what holds the shelves up. 

We decided to spray paint the flanges because they are much lighter in color than the black pipes. We happened to have a spray paint on hand and used it to darken them up a bit. 

In this photo, you can see the way we arranged everything. He started at the bottom and worked his way up. Using the 8"pipe piece with the coupling already attached to the bottom, sliding the board on, and adding another coupling/pipe piece and repeat. The little nipple pieces act as the connecter/extender between the elbow and the flange. You have to do these for both sides obviously. You can add more shelves if you have a larger space. He tried to tighten the couplings about the same amount to avoid the boards being uneven.   

Once this was done for both sides we took it upstairs to hang it. Because the boards are not fixed to the pipe, be sure to use a level not only horizontally, but vertically--before you go screwing anything into the walls. Then you need to find a stud... Like my husband to hang this joker for you--see what I did there. I'm sorry. I couldn't help it.....  It's pretty heavy. There are a few screws that happen to line to up to a stud but he just anchored the rest of them.                                                                 


Because the cut hole is slightly larger than the pipe--the boards wiggle a bit. We purchase a silicone quick set glue, to secure them but it didn't want to stick to the pipe. I ended up pulling out my crafter skills and hot glueing. Perhaps you may find a better solution but this worked well for us. I put the glue all the way around on the top of the coupling then pressed the board down. This step is not necessary but I didn't like how the shelf wiggled. I was afraid if someone bumped it, my oils would fall off. 

 And Viola!!!!! You have yourself a handy dandy shelf for your oils... or nail polish or whatever else you need. I saw "we" did this project.... but my husband did all the hard work. He's good at bringing my designs to life. My grandmother jokes about how Paw brings ideas to fruition but she polishes them and adds the style aspect... I think that's generally how JR and I complete projects. 

I had so much fun organizing my oils. There is enough room on this shelf to put your multiples behind each other. I just spread them out to fill my shelf. Although it would be cute for trinkets and things as well. The completed dimensions of the shelf are 35" high and 28" wide. 

Originally I wanted to use copper pipe. JR talked me out of it.... and although I still think the copper would look good in the right house. The black iron pipe goes with things we already have. So there is is.... Our Oil Shelf!!! Hope you find these instructions straight-forward. Comment below if you spot a mistake or if you make your own. I'd love to see a pic. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

When Life Gives You Lemons....

We've had a month.... I could go into super long detail about everything that happened.... but I won't. I'll just say a lot happened including a death in the family, a trip to the ER, multiple illnesses, injuries, etc.... sometimes life is hard.....When I have a hard day and am grumpy, I always tell Milo "I'm sorry, we've had a rough day..." She now uses that statement all the time. As a mother in our world, some ppl might not think it's a good idea to share my daily struggles with my 4 year old..... I'm pretty sure no other generation had as many parenting opinions pushed on you as we do today.... So I'm gonna push my own opinion on you.

It's Okay. It's okay to struggle. It's okay to have a hard day. And for Pete's sake, it's okay to let your kids know that you are struggling. Since last May, I have been struggling with overwhelming emotions. I don't consider myself to be an nervous or down person, but somehow it happened. I started having this sinking feeling in my chest--like I couldn't breathe and went to the doctor because I was convinced I had an arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat. I did not. The doctor told me I was completely fine and that this was caused by my out of control emotions. Thankfully I had a huge supportive community when we were in the UK that wrapped their arms around me and my girls. Then we moved back to the states and stayed with family for a couple months. It was nice to be back home... but the hard part came when I got to St. Louis. To a town where I don't really know many people. Just our little family. I've made big moves before. They're always a little difficult, but because I was already having a hard time,  it took it to a whole new level. I once started crying at Pizza Hut! I mean, I felt out of control.

I was concerned--about myself.... worried my children might think they had a mean mom.... afraid I was going to permanently turn into this person. I've had my fair share of crazy women in my life and I was afraid I was turning into one.... and it scared me. Once in the middle of some craziness going on with the girls--I sat down with my head in my hands and took a big breath. My sweet Milo came to me, took my hands in hers and said "It's ok mommy, We can figure this out together"...... and I knew that I had done something right, but in her eyes I saw myself as a child.... worried about my mother. And I knew. I knew something had to change.

I can remember sobbing to JR one night about how Lennon was robbed of those innocent toddler months because I was just mean all the time....quick-tempered, angry, sad, exhausted. I would go into the bathroom and shut the door and cry as the girls knocked on the other side of the door... but I just needed a minute to let it out. I'm not telling you this to make you feel sorry for me. I just want you to know that you aren't alone... I've had people say to me "you are the perfect mom. How do you do it?!".... I am not the perfect mom.... by a LOOOOONG shot. I think social media does that. You only see the highlights of someone's life. The good parts--only part of the story.

If my story sounds familiar.... just know that it doesn't have to be that way forever. I can finally say I am feeling like myself again.... Do I still have rough days? Yes. But in the midst of this past month with everything that has happened,  I've realized just how far from that dark place I have come. I had an acquaintance share a similar experience and I can't tell you how much it meant to know that I was not alone.... that I wasn't a bad mom because of this struggle.

How did I regain balance? I prayed, got more physically active, embraced the support of my husband..... but also have started using essential oils. They have helped to improve my mood, make me feel more grounded, and have brought balance to my emotions. As you can see by my recent posts, I am very excited about Young Living's Essential Oils. This is why.

It's Ok to struggle.... and when we do---for goodness sake, don't hold it in and make your children think it's their fault. Tell them you're sorry and that you are having a hard time. They will learn from you. People make mistakes. People struggle. THEY will struggle. By being open about it, we teach them how to deal with it when it happens to them. Even now, When Milo gets angry or frustrated she will apologize to me and tell me she's sorry..... but she doesn't feel good or whatever the case may be. We hug and move on. My children are happy, healthy, adventurous, wild, and loved. I read somewhere a long time ago a post by another blogger... she talked about how we are enough. That's become my Mantra. When I find myself caught up in trying to keep up with the latest pinterest homeschool ideas, party planning, healthy kids recipes... I stop and remind myself. You are enough.

I'm thankful for this journey I've made and am so happy with where I am. I feel in control and much more optimistic. This was not what I sat down intending to write. I sat down wanting to write about bath salts and tax returns, but this just sort of came out. Evidently I needed to get it out. I haven't shared this with too many people. It's hard admitting weakness... but we all have them.

So my post of excitement about my tax refund got hijacked, but I still wanted to share.... I know many people who have been interested in Young Living's Oils, but haven't been able to make that financial investment. Well there is no time like the present..... It's one of my favorite times of the year... TAX RETURN TIME!!!! This is a wonderful investment into your family's health. And I'm running an awesome special until the end of April 2015. When you sign up as a Member with a Premium Starter Kit, I will send you a book to help you get started, a $10 Amazon gift card, and a quick reference sheet. That's $40 worth of freebies. You can sign up here at my Young Living sign-up page or find Sign up instructions on my post about Why I Chose Young Living.

Let me also say. I am not a doctor. I'm not prescribing, treating, or curing anything. Everyone is different and will find a solution that works for them. If you are concerned for your safety or the safety of others, please see a Doctor or Counselor.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Super Easy Lotion Recipe

I've made lots of different lotion recipes. Easy. Complicated. Good. Bad. Weird. When someone asks how for a lotion recipe.... It's sort of a loaded question. There are SO many out there. If you're just starting out, you probably don't want to buy 27 ingredients for a lotion you may or may not like. So I've got a super simple recipe for you! Made with two products you can find at your health food store or pharmacy. 

I've seen recipes before of people whipping coconut oil and using it as a lotion. It's awesome, they said. Best lotion ever, they said. Well, not for me. Not at all. I found it very greasy. I wanted to find a solution... And I did. 

This homemade lotion is way less greasy. It only has two basic ingredients and you can make it in minutes. 

I use a 1:1 ratio of coconut oil and aloe Vera gel. For the coconut oil you will need to solid type. Use an aloe Vera gel that is pure aloe Vera and clear.  

You can mix it with your mixer or even mix it with a fork. You'll want to keep this lotion at room temp or cooler. Coconut oil melts at just above room temperature. If you use essential oils in your lotion, be sure to store it in a glass jar. 

For this small batch I used:
¼ cup of coconut oil
¼ of aloe Vera gel
5 drops of lavender
5 drops of peace and calming

This batch is an after bath/ before bed lotion for the girls. I chose lavender and peace and calming to promote a restful night's sleep. I only use Young Living essential oils on my girls. If you'd like to know more about Young Living essential oils, check out my recent post about it. 

This lotion also makes a good after sun lotion. the coconut oil will keep your skin moisturized and the aloe vera will help soothe any sun exposure areas. 

...and because I just can't help myself. Here are a couple pictures of the little monsters.....
Here's Lennon. She's 1.5 now! How does that happen?! 

And of course Milo... who's now 4.... with her orange mouth after eating carrots. 

These girls are giving me a run for my money. Luckily, so far, I've had just a little more will power than they do. See those faces? There's mischief in those eyes, I tell you.