Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I Need a Little Break

Things are busy again. Life is about to become even busier.

The last couple of weeks have drained me. The boys not taking naps and potty training have wiped me out. On top of these parenting changes I have been trying to get everything ready for school.

My creative outlet has suffered immensely. I have learned that I have to/want to/need to create.

While I love writing here and interacting with you all, I feel like lately I have just been posting crap for the sake of posting.

I have decided that we would all benefit from a little break. I plan to re-bond with my sewing machine, spend time with my family, and get acclimated to my new workload.

I won’t be gone forever. I may even pop in sooner than planned. My goal is to recharge.

Thank you so much for understanding. Hope to see you in a couple of weeks.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Mama Carries Lunch In Style

Something glorious happened today. Right now, as we speak I write.
I would climb our rooftop and sing praises to the heavens, if I wasn’t afraid of violating the peace. (One thing this mama should never do in public is sing!)

So what is all this celebration for?

My sweet little boys are taking a nap! (They are sweet right now, because they are sleeping.) They haven’t napped in over a week. This mama was getting tired.

Anyways, wish me luck that they are back into the groove. In the meantime, I have some hats to catch up on. So to hold you over, I wanted to share a sewing project I finished last month.

Mama’s Lunch Tote

Back to School, Mama's Lunch Tote

As you know, I start school soon. Buying lunch is out of the question. Not only does our budget love when we take our lunch, so does my waistline and energy level.

The fabric, a corduroy, is from my stash, and has been in my stash for at least seven years. Oops. The lining is made from a vinyl tablecloth (bought on clearance from Target last summer). The Insul-Bright is also from my stash. I bought a zipper and webbing for the handles.

Bright Stripes Inside Mama's Lunch Tote
Isn’t it so bright and cheery in there?

I used this tutorial from Zaaberry. The pattern is well written and easy to follow. It would be really easy to change the dimensions to fit your needs.

Back to School, Lunch Tote

I have been using this tote daily for over a month, and it is holding up great. I absolutely love how much this tote can carry. I easily fit four Sippy cups, a sandwich, applesauce, and a couple of ice packs.

I do need to make a couple more lunch bags this month, so stay tuned.

Are you doing any back to school crafting? Lunch bags are my top concern right now. Having a child with a food allergy means that I have to pack the boys’ lunch every morning too. (It gives me a good excuse to try out some other tutorials I have pinned.)

Sharing here:
Whatever Goes Wednesday

Monday, August 12, 2013

31 by 31 Three Month Update



It is that time again, another month closer to thirty-one.

The last couple weeks have been crazy. Our routine is out of order, and looks like it will never be the same again. The boys still aren’t napping. We just started trying to potty train. I have many final details to work out before school starts. And the list continues.

Anyways, here is a 31 by 31 update:

1. Paint, and decorate dining room. *I think I am focusing on the office and eat-in part of the kitchen this year. I picked out colors, and bought paint already.
2. Build a display shelf for hubby’s decoys. *Have some ideas.
3. Finish piano project.
4. Build a piece of furniture.
5. Plant garden. Can/preserve. *Garden is planted and looking great! I picked and froze berries in July. The zucchini, cucumbers, and peppers are in full swing. Made some refrigerator pickles.
6. Put together 31 meal binder.
7. Potty train boys. *Oh my gosh…we started this last week…what a job!
8. Go on a family vacation. *Not going to happen this summer, possibly during Christmas or spring break.
9. Make a new chore chart. *Been using last year’s, need to complete new one now!
10. Mail Christmas cards.
11. Have Christmas shopping done by Thanksgiving. *I just realized I only have three months!
12. Have 12 date nights (at least one a month). *June we went to see a friend’s band play. July we picked blackberries in the rain, and are had a golf date tonight (I golf almost as good as a bowl…). August- went to local beer tent after hubby’s softball tournament, and we were so graciously surprised with an awesome gift- a babysitter and gift certificate for dinner tonight!
13. Go on a mini-vacation with hubby.
14. Go to a Tiger game.
15. Read 12 books. *I have been reading, need to document my reads.
16. Start nursing clinicals. *Start in less than three weeks!
17. Get a 100 bowling average. (Don’t laugh! I have been working on this for five years now. This IS my year!) Winking smile
18. Whittle down debt.
19. C.N.A Recertification, start working part time.
20. Sell crafts (somehow; etsy/farmer’s market/craft fair). *Opened Theresa’s To-Dos on etsy at beginning of this month. Need to spend some time in shop.  I also have been selling crocheted hats via word of mouth.
21. Clean out and organize garage.
22. Find a system for paper. Tackle paper clutter.
23. Go through cookbooks.
24. Organize photos.
25. Work on blog organization.
26. Sew everyday for 31 days, only using stash.
27. Crochet a hat a day for 31 days. *This is my challenge for August. I am a little behind- but I am giving myself grace.
28. Make a quilt.
29. Work on one photography skill a month. *I have some catching up to do!
30. Complete 31 pins. *Started planning…So many pins, not enough time.
31. Do 31 refashions. *11 done, 20 to go

Your turn, are you working on anything special, big or small? I love reading/hearing about your latest projects! This last week has been so trying. The lack of ‘me’ time due to vanishing naptime syndrome combined with potty training twin (boys!) has got me worn down.

*Maybe I can  muster up a twin tip for tomorrow….Toilet Nightmares… Winking smile

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Crocheting 31 Hats in 31 Days, Week 1 Update

We have been experiencing naptime refusal around here. There hasn’t been a nap since Saturday. To add to (or contribute to) the nap-less-ness Zeke has learned how to escape his cell crib. His favorite place to escape is right into his brother’s crib. Xander would like a nap.


I know most two year olds are in toddler beds, but we have been prolonging the transition. It is so nice putting the boys down for a nap/bedtime and knowing that they are safe (and the potential for them to get into mischief is greatly reduced). Yet we knew this day would come.

Needless to say, my routine has been out of whack.

Here’s a quick update on my 31 hat project:

Crocheted Detroit Tiger Beanie

I used this pattern from A Crocheted Simplicity. The hat was crocheted with Red Heart Super Saver yarn. *Pattern comes with crochet pattern for Old English D. I choose to use felt like these ones.

The beanie above, and the three below are for customer orders.

31 Crocheted Hats in 31 DaysPink Crocheted Visor Hat

These three are waiting for their “D” appliques. I used this pattern from Posh Patterns. The pink hat, and bottom blue hat is made using Caron Simply Soft, top blue hat is made with Red Heart Super Saver.

31 Hats in 31 Days

This is the Big Girl Bonnet by Karla Rae (free Ravelry download). I used Caron Simply Soft and size G hook. This hat did end up smaller than I had anticipated, but that always happens to me. (I never check my gauge.) This pattern was easy to work up, and is very cute. The pattern was a little confusing while working the brim. I believe this was due to our naptime quandaries. It was clear once I re-read the pattern a few times.

*I am short a couple of hats (five hats in seven days). I had figured this would happen, so I sourced a few patterns for ‘quick’ hats in case I had to play catch up.

Signing off, praying for naptime….

Friday, August 2, 2013

Egg-Free Friday; Muffins, Muffins, and More Muffins

Just when I thought I was done with berries for a little bit, the U-Pick blueberry signs went up. This past month I have been busy picking, cleaning, and freezing strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and cherries. And now blueberries.

My stepson requested blueberry muffins. Since I am a huge fan, I set out to find a decent good egg-free recipe. I tried a few, but they were just ho-hum.

This morning the sweet little baking angels prodded me to try Google one more time. I stumbled upon Art of Dessert.

This blueberry muffin recipe is mind blowing! I don’t think I have ever tasted muffins this good.

Egg-Free Blueberry Muffins

If you have an abundance of blueberries, you have to make these muffins. *If you don’t have an abundance of blueberries, stock up when they are on sale!

Okay, I’ll stop with the blueberry muffins. Lets talk zucchini.

For those of you with a garden, you know that once the zucchini is ripe its hard to keep up with. We picked our first zucchini less than a week ago. We have ate the lovely vegetable for dinner almost every night for the past week. We have given it away. I have been baking like a fool. (Seriously, I am a fool. It is August!)

Well the boys have voted on their favorite zucchini muffin recipe.

Egg Free Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

Yup, you read that right. Egg free chocolate chip zucchini muffins. (Say that three times fast.) The recipe is adapted from Madhuram’s Eggless Cooking, and can be found here. I did make a few adjustments, but I’m sure the muffins would be perfect following the recipe (if you haven’t noticed, I tend to use recipes loosely). I’ll share my adjustments later.

*This recipe made 24 mini muffins, and 12 regular muffins. While I was washing up the dishes, my sneaky boys were pulling muffins off the counter behind me. There were six muffins of each size left by the time I caught on, so I guess this recipe is a keeper!

What are your favorite zucchini recipes? I have a feeling we are going to need all the recipes we can get!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Theresa’s To-Dos Open for Business, and My Newest Challenge

So I finally did it. I have had enough of the self doubt and procrastination.

I finally opened my Etsy shop. It still needs work, and I don’t have everything listed, but I had to put an end to the excuses. If you would like to take a peek, click over here.

Right now I have my personalized bibs/burp cloths and gift card coffee cozies listed:


I hope to list more by the end of this weekend. Realistically, it may not happen until next week. I also have plans to list some crocheted hats.

*If any of my projects here caught your eye, and you would like them listed, please let me know!*

Oh yeah, I was supposed to tell you about my latest crazy challenge. #27 on my 31 by 31 list is to crochet a hat a day for 31 days. I have decided to attempt this challenge in August for three reasons. 1) I had a few more hat orders to complete (and more requests from the family). 2) I start school next month (and a hat a day may not be possible after that). and 3) There is a local craft fair in November that I would like to participate in.

I plan to post my progress weekly, so stay tuned!

Finally, I would like to thank all you guys for keeping me accountable. I love and appreciate your encouragement!