ToddAhToddAh

Jan
31

DIY Felt Animal Purse (with FREE pattern!)

Hey, friends!  It’s been a while since we’ve added a new tutorial, so I happened upon a little inspiration just in time!

Browsing Pinterest, as I often do, I came across these adorable little animal purses from a store called Toyhood based in the UK. Considering I’m not planning to move to the UK any time soon and these little felt bags seemed simple enough, I immediately texted a snapshot to the hubbs and begged him to make a pattern for me so I could make some for my girls!

In the end, we decided to opt for different animals after getting some input from the purse aficionados themselves (our toddlers, of course), and they turned out so cute we just had to share!

There are lots of variations you can make with these to make them easier or turn them into different animals, so get crafty with it!

Here’s what you’ll need:

CatPurse_1

 

  • Free Toddah pattern! We made a RACCOON  and a CAT  and have patterns for both!  You can access them after liking us on Facebook!  The pattern pieces fit on one page – yay!  Just make sure NOT to scale when printing :).
  • scrap FELT fabric (about 1/4 yard for the front piece and 1/4 yard for the back would be more than you need).  You can certainly use the same fabric for the front and back or different colors like we did.  I DO recommend using a different color for the mouth piece.
  • Embroidery thread and needle for hand-stitching (if you choose to).  You could also simply cut out felt pieces to glue on, use yarn, or any other type of materials that might make it easier for you.
  • Buttons or other medium of choice for eyes
  • Kam snap kit , velcro, button, or your medium of choice as a closure
  • Rope, leather string, extra felt, or your medium of choice to use as a purse strap (we used this, which we found at our local Joann craft store for $2.99).
  • General sewing supplies

Step 1:

Cut out your pattern pieces and PIN them to your fabric to cut.  I don’t recommend tracing, because you may see the marks, considering there is no lining.  Be sure to fold pieces in half and line up the straight edge where labeled on the pattern piece along the folds!  The cat’s mouth is the only piece that won’t be folded over :).

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Step 2:

Place the front piece on top of the back piece and line up the sides.  You will sew from one side all the way around to the other, leaving the top open.  The stitch should be close to the edge – 1/4 inch is plenty!

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Step 3:

Turn the bag right-side out!  Be sure to run your fingers along the bottom to smooth out the edges.

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Step 4:

Sew on the face pattern piece.  If you’re making a cat, this is the mouth piece.  If you’re making a raccoon, this is the eye mask.  Here, you’ll have some options.  I chose to hand-stitch with embroidery needle and thread, because I like the look of hand-stitching on felt.  However, you can certainly sew it on with a sewing machine or even glue it on.  If you choose to glue it on, I recommend using Liquid Stitch, which I’ve mentioned before in a few other tutorials.  That stuff STAYS :).  It’s easy to find at local craft stores, too.  Oh, and P.S. try not to stab the needle THROUGH your finger if you’re hand-stitching…   Not that I know from personal experience or anything (just ignore that bandaid on my finger in later pictures :).

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Step 5:

Add your closure, which will double as a nose.  This will really be an eye-ball method, but you can look at the small picture on the pattern printout for reference.  I use plastic Kam Snaps, which I love, but if you don’t already have one, you may not want to spend money on one.  That’s okay!  Just buy some velcro or even a button at your local craft store.  If you use velcro, you’ll just need to cut out a nose from felt to add on the front of the nose flap.  If you use a button, you’ll need to make sure to cut a slit in the nose flap to go over the button.

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Step 6:

Add eyes.  Once again, you’ll pretty much eye-ball where to put them.  Use the small picture on the pattern printout for reference as needed!  I used black buttons, but you could certainly use embroidery thread or just cut out felt pieces to make eyes!

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Step 7:

Add facial features.  I used an embroidery needle and thread to hand-stitch mouths, whiskers, and any other features.  You could certainly cut out felt pieces instead if you’d like and sew or glue them on to make it quicker!

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Step 8:

Sew on the rope (or other purse strap of your choice).  I like to keep things easy, so I simply cut my rope, placed it on the inside, and sewed back and forth in two places to hold it tight.  I cut my strap about 30″, since I was making them for my littles.  Later, I figured that might have even been a little long for them and might recommend 25″, depending on how little your little might be.  If it’s for a bigger kid or adult, you might want to go with a 35-40″ strap (you can always knot it at the top if it’s too long).

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Step 9:

Fill it up and put it on yourself or someone else as soon as possible!

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And, that’s it!  Look what you did!  Now, get creative with it – I bet you could make a bear, or a fox, or even a hedgehog if you just change it up a bit :).  We’d love to see what you come up with!

Be sure to like us on Facebook and subscribe to our blog for more free tutorials and patterns!

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May
31

Operation Hot Mama Update

I realize it’s been some time since my last health/fitness related post.  Usually, that would indicate that I’ve fallen off that health and fitness wagon, but in this case, that’s actually not true – yay!

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’ve been keeping up with IIFYM and working out pretty consistently, and I perhaps just am not so great at keeping up with blog posts :).

In June, I will officially celebrate my one year “Fitiversary,” and that feels pretty incredible.  I haven’t had some knock-your-socks-off, crazy transformation by any means, but I have become a person who works out consistently 3-5 times a week, tracks my food intake, and has set some pretty big, exciting fitness goals for the upcoming year.  Even more than that, I have learned to set non-aesthetic goals and love my body at every stage.

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Here’s what my slow, sustainable change has looked like in the last year:

June 2015: Joined a local 9Round gym.  This was a great start for me, because it is a 30 minute workout that doesn’t have set class times and made me sweat buckets:).  I set a goal to go there 2X per week.  Sometimes I went in the morning, sometimes after work – I didn’t really have much of a regular schedule – just made sure I went twice a week.  By August, that naturally turned into 3X per week and I learned that it was easier to consistently fit it in if I got myself out of bed at 4:45AM to fit it in before work.  I still was able to sleep in later 2 days a week, and that worked pretty well.  I wasn’t necessarily focused on nutrition at that point yet, as I didn’t want to try to work towards too many goals at one time.  After three months of consistently working out, I felt pretty confident that I could begin to add in some nutrition-focused goals.

August 2015: I heard about a book called The New Rules of Lifting for Women from a friend, which is a weight-lifting program.  I decided I wanted to start lifting some weights!  At this time, I also stumbled upon IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) and started researching that as a potential nutrition focus.  I started adding in weight lifting following NROLFW 2-3X a week after work in my work gym, which didn’t have all of the equipment I needed necessarily (basically just dumbbells and benches), but was a good start.  I loved this as an introduction to weight lifting, because the workouts were short (about 30-40 minutes), but included enough phases to last me a good 6 months or so.  In total, I was now working out an average of 4X per week and “dabbling” in IIFYM.

September 2015: I hired an online coach (Mallory King) for a six-week nutrition and workout program.  This included weekly checkins with her for accountability and access to tons of resources!  She created a custom lifting plan for me and gave me custom macros to follow.  During those six weeks, I lost 5lb and 6 inches overall.  Her plan followed a split to focus on different muscle groups on different days and had me lifting a total of 4X per week.  She gave me modified versions of exercises as needed based on what equipment I had available in my work gym.  I still managed to fit in 9Round 1-2X per week (but usually on the same days as my lifting workouts).  I also started doing some fun things like something I called #makeitfitmonday by relying less on the scale as a sign of progress and finding ways to invest in nonscale victories.

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October 2015:  I joined a “real” gym (Impact Fitness).  By that, I mean a gym with a squat rack, olympic barbells, huge weight plates, and basically any piece of equipment you can imagine.  Honestly, it was quite intimidating.  I still stuck to my dumbbells and benches for the whole first week – ha!  The second week, though, I worked up the courage to use the squat rack.  It was early enough in the morning that there weren’t really many people there, so I figured if I looked like a complete idiot, I could probably just shrug it off without someone recording me and posting it on some gym fails website for the world to see.  I did, however, record myself so I could send it to my amazing coach Mallory for feedback and help!  Side note – I REALLY encourage everyone to record yourself in the gym from time to time.  It really helps you see what you need to improve with your form over time and also is really fun to just go back and view later when you’ve made those improvements:).  Once I completed the six week program from Mallory, I jumped right back into the NROLFW where I left off.  I started adding in some different types of HIIT cardio a couple of days a week instead of going to 9Round, but I did still go to 9Round for fun when I found the time.  I consistently lifted 3X per week (30-40 minutes following NROLFW) with 15-20 minutes of HIIT cardio added in 2X per week (although some were on the same days as lifting).  I was pretty good about tracking my macros 3-4 days a week, but didn’t really track on the weekends.  All of my workouts had pretty well shifted to the mornings now, and I was now setting my alarm for 4:30 AM!  This trend continued for quite a while, all the way through February!

HotMomma

February 2016: I actually completed the New Rules of Lifting for Women.  That was a big milestone for me.  I wasn’t entirely sure what to do next, but I felt ready for something new.  I looked around on bodybuilding.com (they have tons of free workout programs, by the way), and just sort of did some different things here and there.  I did a bit of Jim Stoppani’s Shortcut to Shred, but found I didn’t have enough time to fit the entire workouts in the time I had in the mornings.  I did, however, love the cardio acceleration he uses in his plan and started doing that even when I did other things.  Then there were a couple of weeks where I just hit a lull and lost motivation for a bit.  I was tired, I had just accomplished something big, and I felt a little lost.  There were some life stressors, work stressors, and I just let it all sort of get me down.  Then I beat myself up for not staying motivated – you know how it goes.  So, for about 3-4 weeks, I didn’t do a whole lot.  I worked out here and there, didn’t really track my food most days, and didn’t really have any goals ahead of me.  So, I rested.  At the end of March I went on a nice little vacay with the hubbs for our ten year anniversary, and in April I came back, ready to get back to the grind.

April 2016: Still didn’t really have specific goals, but I decided to get back to work anyway.  I went back to Mallory’s plan, because I loved it so much and set a goal to hit the gym 3X a week.  Now, I moved my alarm time to 4AM so that I could eat a little breakfast and still be there when the gym opens at 4:30!  I got back into the groove and started loosely tracking my macros again, but didn’t want to focus on too much at once since getting back into the swing of things is hard enough without setting yourself up for failure – ha! It took a few weeks for my body to readjust to the super early mornings, but I forced myself out of bed at least 3X a week anyway, and now it’s getting easier again.

May 2016: Well, it’s now mid-May.  And, I’ve set some specific goals for the next long while, which I’m super excited about!  I’ve decided I would like to enter a powerlifting competition by this time next year, and I’d like to start out in the 57kg (125lb) weight class.  That means I’ve got to get serious about two things: shedding fat (and losing weight on the scale) and increasing strength.  I’ve broken this long-term goal down into some smaller, short-term goals, because that’s how I roll.  I started a program called Powerlifting For Fat Loss by Jordan Syatt.  Phase 1 of the program (which lasts 30 days) is FREE, which is always a plus.  Then I will move into Phase 2 of the program (which lasts another 30 days) which cost some $, but not much (I paid $57).  I will be following the suggested macros while on the plan – the first 30 days at the “sustainable fat loss” recommendations and the next 30 days at the “rapid fat loss” recommendations.  After that, I will go back to “sustainable fat loss” macros until I reach the 57kg weight class and will eat maintenance calories from there.  I have also already been looking at specific strength-focused beginner powerlifting programs to start after completing 8 weeks of Powerlifting For Fat Loss, and as of now I’ve landed on Powerlifting To Win, which will grow as a program as I grow as a lifter.  I won’t move past Phase 1 of this program until I “stall out” or stop making progress.  I’m looking forward to this new journey to powerlifting, and I will keep you updated on my progress!

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Oh, and here are some non-aesthetic changes that have happened in the last year:

Major Lifts (5 Rep Max):
Squat: 85lb to 135lb
Deadlift: 95lb to 155lb
Bench: 65lb to 80lb

Treadmill Intervals:
7MPH max for 1 minute intervals (10 minutes) to 8MPH max for 1 minute intervals (20 minutes)

Pushups to failure: ZERO “real” pushups to 8 “real” pushups

So, this is where I am.  I still have a long way to go and some pretty big goals ahead of me.  Another year from now, I hope to be competing in my first powerlifting competition!  I will keep you updated (and hopefully it won’t take me quite so long for the next update:).  Be sure to subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook to keep up!

 

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May
29

DIY Reversible Bandana Bib

Hey guys!  Well, it’s always a lot longer between tutorials than I’d like, but hey, ’tis the life of a lazy working mama:).

Today, I want to share a super simple, but oh-so-adorable bandana bib with you.  And, it’s reversible, which means it’s pretty much necessary for anyone who might be in the habit of getting food, drool, spitup, or other gross things on the cute things you put on them:).

What you’ll need:

Scarf_1

  • 2 pieces of scrap fabric (lighter fabrics will work best as far as the fit goes, but you can pretty much use anything).  You just need enough to make a 12″X12″ square of each.
  • 2 small piece of heavy felt, cardboard, or thick fabric (this is for reinforcement to keep the snaps on well)
  • Snapsetter and snaps (I use KAM pliers and snaps) OR you could use velcro in place of snaps
  • Basic sewing supplies (scissors, sewing machine, measuring tape, etc)

Step 1:
Measure and cut a 12″X12″ square from each bib fabric.  Also measure and cut two small rectangle strips from your felt (or cardboard, etc).

Scarf_2

Step 2:
Lay the two squares on top of each other with right sides of fabric facing together and place your small felt rectangles at two opposite corners (approximately 1″ in from the corners).  It’s okay if the felt hangs over – we’ll cut the excess later:).  Pin all the way around and sew each side closed (making sure to also sew the felt pieces down), but be sure leave an opening big enough to stick your fingers through!

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Step 3:
Cut off any excess felt that may be sticking out, then take out all your pins and turn the square right-side-out.  Make sure you poke those corners!

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Step 4:
Top stitch all the way around the square to close up the hole and add a pretty detail:).  Please ignore the fact that there are snaps already in this picture – forgot to take a pic before I added them – oops!

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Step 5:
Feel to find the felt inside and add your snap!  Repeat on the opposite felted corner to finish the snap.

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Step 6:
Fold it in half to make a triangle, snap it in the back, and put it on an adorable baby!  Then just flip it the other way if you want to show the other side:).

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That’s it – you did it!  Wasn’t that easy?  Who knew something so cute AND functional could come from a couple of squares of fabric, right?!  Hope this brings a little joy to someone little in your life:)

Be sure to like us on Facebook and subscribe to our blog to keep up with all our tutorials and posts!

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Dec
13

Christmas Traditions

I love Christmas. Having kids has only made me love it more and given me a whole new appreciation and excitement for the holiday season. Starting new traditions is one of my favorite things about growing up and starting a family of my own. This will be our fourth Christmas with kids so our family is probably still too young to have traditions, but there are a couple small things that I’ve done the past 4 years that I’d like to continue. The first is our holiday video that incorporates our girls. This year may be my favorite so far.

And the second is a Christmas Poster that we give to family. This year I revisited my first design and created two more posters to fit the theme. While it isn’t “Christmas” themed it still centers around what our family views as the importance of the season.

I will try to put some of the extras we printed in our etsy shop soon if you are interested.

Christmas_Poster

I’m looking forward to making many more family traditions and memories for the years to come.

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Dec
9

A Few of My Favorite Things

I’m a little late in posting this, considering there are a mere 16 days until Christmas Day is upon us.  But hey – in a world of internet access and oodles of shipping options, 16 days might as well be a lifetime, right?  I wanted to share a few of my favorite things in case you are still searching for that perfect something for that perfect someone!  These are things I already know and love and would gift to my very favorites:).

 

  1. Sevenly – Apparel for men, women, and kids with a cause.  Each week, Sevenly supports a different charity and donates 7% of every purchase to the cause.  They continue to donate 7% of each purchase even after the campaign is over.  They also have posters, sunglasses, coffee bags, and a number of other fun things if you’re not into shirts:).  Recently, they added a subscription box (Causebox) filled with goodies from companies who give back.  I am a huge fan of their mission as well as their products.  I will be buying from them for years to come!

Sevenly

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2.  Amazon Prime – If you don’t have it or know someone who doesn’t have it, get it or gift it!  That’s right – now Amazon has an option to gift Amazon Prime!  Free two day shipping AND streaming TV and movies – what’s not to love?!  I seriously use my Prime membership on a daily basis, whether it’s buying presents for someone else, subscribing to have diapers show up on my doorstep every other month without me having to remember, or watching the latest Downton Abbey episode.  And guess what – you can actually give back a little with every purchase through Amazon now, too!  Every time you use Amazon, just go to smile.amazon.com and a portion of every purchase is donated to the charity of your choice!

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3.  Toms – Yep, I’m one of those Toms lovers.  I ask for Toms as a gift just about every year, and in case you can’t tell yet, I’m a big fan of companies that give back a little:).  Toms has branched out so much now –  sunglasses, bags, scarves, bags, and of course shoes and boots – they’ve got you covered for just about anyone on your list, both big and small!

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4.  Ten Thousand Villages – This company has been doing fair trade business since before it was trendy.  Ten Thousand Villages sells fair trade handmade jewelry, housewares, toys, prints, candles, scarves, and the list goes on…  You can read about their makers, shop by country, or just buy something beautiful because it’s beautiful.  The good news is, whatever you buy, you are helping sustain economic growth in an underdeveloped country.  Each purchase you make with Ten Thousand Villages is one you can feel good about, because you know the materials are sourced sustainably and the maker is paid a fair wage.  Not to mention you will be getting a one of a kind piece every time!

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Well, I did say I would share “a few” of my favorite things, so I will end here for now.  I hope you find something you love in this and make joy appear in more ways than one with your gift-giving this year:).  Be sure to subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook to keep up with all our tidbits!

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Sep
19

Getting Fit – Nutrition Train(s)

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Wow, it’s been waaaaaay too long since I added a post related to health and fitness!  Last time you heard from me in this area, I was nearing the end of my maternity leave and had begun Jamie Eason’s Livefit program.

Oh, how times have changed!  My babe is now almost 11 months old and I have found a good fitness routine, although it ended up not being Jamie Eason’s program (which is still quite wonderful, as far as I’m concerned).  More on my new fitness regimen soon, I promise:).

Today, I want to talk NUTRITION!  Because, whether we like it or not, it matters.  And let me tell you, I am no beginner at jumping on nutrition trains.  I have gone through many different phases of nutritional inspiration, and I have loved and hated them all for different reasons.  So, I thought I’d share a bit of my experience with you and give you some pros and cons of some popular nutrition band wagons I’ve found myself on, based solely on my own personal experience and highly non-expert (but very honest and humble) opinion:).

I’ll focus on my top three for now:  Weight Watchers, Whole 30/Paleo, and IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros)

W E I G H T  W A T C H E R S:
WW

Several years ago, in my early twenties, I embarked on what was really my first experience with weight loss.  I had never actually been overweight, but I was nearing the top of the “healthy” range for my whopping 5’3″ stature, and I wanted to get back to the low-mid range on the scale for my height.  I joined Weight Watchers and lost about 17 lb in roughly 3 months!  This was before the days of “points plus” and before all fruits and veggies became zero point foods.

P R O S:  You WILL lose weight on the scale (if you follow the rules).  Another big PRO – no food is off limits!  You have a number of points each day and even some flex points to allocate throughout the week if you go over here and there.  Basically, if you have enough points, you can eat it!  I really liked this about WW and still do.  It makes you feel like you’re not “cheating” or “ruining” your diet or day.  Also, another big PRO is that if you follow the plan and stay within your points, you WILL lose weight, even if you don’t work out.  At the time, I was playing roller derby, so I did get some good cardio in a few times a week from practice, but I had never “worked out” regularly in my life really.  I just had to follow the rules, and the weight came off!

C O N S: The biggest CON of WW is really that it is calorie-restrictive.  That’s why it works so well, I’m sure:).  The basic idea is to cut down on the number of calories you’re putting into your body, so that you’re burning more calories than you’re eating.  Basic science says you’ll lose weight, and in fact, you will.  But, this does mean that you’ll be hungry sometimes.  And, let’s face it, if you’re hungry, eating zero point celery just isn’t gonna cut it.  Also, there are plenty of foods out there that are delicious that pretty much take up your whole lot of points for the day.  Green beans for dinner, anyone?  Another CON of WW is that it does require that you weigh and measure your food.  If one serving of cereal is 3/4 cup, and you’re not measuring that when you put it in your cereal bowl in the morning – trust me, you’re eating more than 3/4 cup.  I mean, what are these cereal companies thinking – nobody just eats 3/4 cup of cereal!!  Once you are consistent with weighing and measuring for a while, you WILL eventually learn what 3/4 cup of cereal looks like and be able to be less rigid about weighing and measuring everything.  But until then, WEIGH AND MEASURE!  Oh, and it costs money.  That can definitely deter people.

WW IS BEST FOR PEOPLE WHO: Are willing to track everything you eat as long as it means weight loss.  It DOES work, but only if you are willing to work with it.  Write before you bite, scribble before you nibble!
Some inspiration if you’re interested in WW:
Instagram – @weightwatchers, @sianyshapesup, @heatherk_ww, @airdriemum
Blogs/Resources – Skinny Taste, Laa LooshDiva on a Diet

W H O L E 3 0 / P A L E O:
Whole30Paleo

I have chosen to group Whole30 and Paleo, because I sort of see Whole30 as a setup for a Paleo lifestyle.  I first learned about Whole30 a couple of years ago, when my first little was way little:).  I had lost my pregnancy weight, but had definitely put some weight on after I stopped breastfeeding from all the food I was eating.  Note to self – you can’t just eat whatever you want and not gain weight…  Especially if you’re not breastfeeding:).  The appeal for me was two-fold – one, to eat more whole/organic foods and two, to lose weight, even if it wasn’t fast.  During my first Whole30 (you can read ALL about what that is here), I did lose about 8 lb in 30 days.  Weight loss is not necessarily a goal of a Paleo lifestyle, but it does tend to be a symptom.  Not a bad symptom, right?!

P R O S: There is NO weighing or measuring anything – YAY!  Seriously, that’s nice.  As long as you eat approved foods (click here for more info), you don’t have to restrict how much you eat.  Another big PRO is that you are truly eating things that are good for your body.  You will have more energy, sleep better, and probably even live longer.  You will also likely lose weight, although at a much slower pace than traditional “diets.”  If you stick to a paleo eating lifestyle about 80% of the time, you will be happy, healthy, and will eventually see the number on the scale fall, whether you work out or not.

C O N S: Time.  Eating whole, organic foods takes a lot of time.  You are chopping, prepping, marinating, creating new recipes…  There is no convenience.  If you fail to plan well, this will not work in the long run.  Another big CON is that there are quite a few restrictions: no dairy, no alcohol, no sugar, no grains, no legumes.  That would likely cut about 70% of the foods you’re used to eating out of your current diet.  There are work-arounds to just about anything you used to enjoy (hello, Pinterest!), but again, making a Paleo cheesecake out of cashews and dates is a lot more time consuming than buying one in a box or a restaurant…  And, no matter how good it is, the sugar-laden one will always taste better.  ALWAYS.

BEST FOR PEOPLE WHO: Aim to have a truly healthy lifestyle and have time on their hands to make it happen.  If Sundays are usually pretty slow for you, this could totally work!  Having just one big prep day a week can really make the difference in a successful Paleo lifestyle.  So, if you’ve got a few hours to spare one day a week and are someone who truly wants to change your HEALTH more than your WEIGHT, the Paleo lifestyle could be your new thing!
Some inspiration if you’re interested in Whole30/Paleo:
Instagram – @whole30recipes, @paleogrubs, @nomnompaleo
Blogs/Resources – Whole 30 Guide, Three Diets One Dinner, MayDae

I I F Y M (I f I t F i t s Y o u r M a c r o s):
IIFYM

IIFYM is also called Flexible Dieting.  Get on Instagram and search the #iifym hashtag.   Many people who have been on a clean eating or Paleo lifestyle have transitioned to IIFYM and vice versa.  It is all the new rage and the latest train I have jumped on myself.  I really only learned about it a few months ago and am still in the learning/tweaking phase at the moment. I plan to give another update on this one after I’ve done it for at least 6 months:).  The main focus here: MACROS (Protein, Carbs, and Fat).  Also, the goal of IIFYM is to lose fat, not necessarily weight.  In the last three months, I’ve only lost about one pound on the scale, but I have managed to lose 1″ off my hips and about 3″ off my waist (and that’s without even doing it all that well) – yeah!  I have also been working out, considering most people who choose an IIFYM lifestyle aim to lose fat and gain lean muscle.  Yep, that’s totally what I want to do, too.  Who doesn’t?!

P R O S: Major PRO – no food is off limits (much like WW).  The major difference here is that you are counting grams of protein, carbs, and fat instead of counting calories.  Another pro – it’s WAY less calorie-restrictive.  While you can cut calories if you want results faster, the ultimate goal is to be able to eat as much food as possible while building muscle that burns fat like a wildfire.  As time goes on, you can adjust or “reverse diet” to build your caloric intake without gaining fat.  Sounds like a dream, right?  I’ll let you know how it goes over time:)

C O N S: Once again, you must weigh and measure with IIFYM.  If you’re not willing to do that, this is probably not the thing for you.  Another downside – sometimes you’ll have to eat random things at the end of the day to hit your protein, fat, or carb goals.  Egg whites for dessert?  Yes, please.  Oh, and you’ll realize how little protein you’ve been eating before you started IIFYM.

BEST FOR PEOPLE WHO: Are seriously ready to get rid of the scale and focus on nonscale victories.  The number on the scale won’t budge much, and that is not the goal here.  It is also best for people who can add in some heavy weight lifting (even if its only 2-3 times a week).  This is for people who are looking to change their body composition, ignore the scale, be consistent for the long haul, and be patient with results.
Some inspiration if you’re interested in IIFYM:
Instagram – @skinnymeg31, @chelseagetsfitxo, @theroadtomrsguns, @tabtodd (that’s me!)
Blogs/Resources – My Life In Macros, Macro Cheat Sheet, MacroFit Calculator, IIFYM Calculator

 

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now.  I will follow up on my journey as time goes along!  Be sure to subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook to keep up!

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Aug
17

Giveaway – Personalized Fitted Crib Sheet!

Hey everyone!  I think it’s time for another giveaway, don’t you!?  We loved the custom crib sheet we made for Wren so much that we want to share it with someone special!

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We don’t sell crib sheets and we don’t plan to, so this giveaway is extra special:)  The winner will receive a custom crib sheet in the design shown with your name of choice.  Scroll down and enter to win – winner will be announced Saturday!

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Aug
2

DIY Fitted Crib Sheet

If you have a little babe in your life, you probably already know that babies are cute, cuddly, fun…. and gross.  Yes, I said it – babies are gross.  Between all of the adorable snuggles, smiles, coos, and giggles, there is lots of poop, pee, drool, and spit-up.  Because of this, I learned the hard way with my first child that you can never have too many crib sheets!  If you’re a lazy launderer like me, you always want to have extra crib sheets on hand so you’re not running to the washing machine every time your little one gets one of those gross things previously mentioned all over the crib sheet (trust me – it happens a lot more than you’d expect)!

So, you can of course buy lots of crib sheets to be prepared if you’d like.  OR – you can make your own from your fabric of choice, which makes them super cute and extra special!

Here’s what you’ll need:

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– 2 yards of cotton fabric 44-45″ wide (I got mine from fabric.com and also designed our own and printed through spoonflower)
– 80″ of 1/4″ elastic (can be found at your local fabric store)
– A paper clip or safety pin
– Basic sewing supplies (measuring tape, scissors, etc.)

Step 1:
Lay that large piece of fabric out on a large surface (I use the floor) and cut the length to 68″.  This means you’ll only have about a 4″ strip left, so if it’s easier, you can just measure 4″ and cut there:).  You don’t have to cut width-wise, because you’ll likely use the entire width.  The exception here would be if you purchased a fabric that is wider than 45″ – in that case, you can cut the width, but most of the time your fabrics won’t be wider than that.  Don’t worry about cutting of the selvedge edges, either – you’ll need that part, too!

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Step 2:
Fold your fabric in half length-wise, matching up edges carefully.  Then fold it in half width-wise and match edges up carefully.  What you’ll have should look like a large rectangle, with 4 layers of fabric.  Measure and cut an 8″ square from the corner of your fabric (make sure you use the side with no folded edges:).  These will create your pockets that will fit over the corners of your crib mattress!

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Step 3:
Unfold your fabric and take one of the corner pieces (where you see that there is a square of fabric missing:).  You are going to close the corner with the right sides of the fabric together.  Sew (or serge) that piece together.  If you don’t have a serger, no worries!  I would simply recommend that you sew it 2-3 times for some extra reinforcement:)  Repeat this step with all of the corners – if you turn it right-side-out you’ll see that you just made your little pockets – yay!

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Step 4:
Fold and press (iron on high heat) about 1/4″ all the way around the outside edges of your sheet.  Then, fold over another 1/2″ and press (this will hide any raw edges).  Remember – here you will want to lay your sheet with the right side down, and when you fold over, you are putting the wrong sides together.  You are creating a casing for your elastic!  Once everything is ironed, sew all the way around the sheet along the fold, but be sure to leave about a 1-2″ gap so you can put your elastic in!

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Step 5:
Take your safety pin or paper clip and attach it to one end of your elastic.  This step is important – it will make the next step much easier!  If you want to be extra helpful to yourself, you can actually put a safety pin on both ends of the elastic (we didn’t do this, but wish we would have when we accidentally lost the other end inside the sheet – UGH. Took forever to get it back out with no safety pin on it!!

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Step 6:
Stick your safety pin in the open gap and begin stringing it through the casing you’ve made.  This step is the most tedious and will take some time.  Just push that safety pin through, bunching up the fabric, then pushing it back.  You’ll get it through!

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Step 7:
Once you have your elastic all the way through, safety pin the two ends of the elastic together (this will help you not lose the ends and keep them together).  Then, use your hands to make the bunching around the entire sheet more even.  It might help to even shake it out a little (but I recommend holding on to the safety pin if you do:).

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Step 8:
Take of the safety pin, overlap your elastic, and sew it together.  Sew it up and down 3-4 times for some extra reinforcement!

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Step 9:
Sew the opening shut.

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Step 10:
You just made a fitted crib sheet – go put it on a mattress and feel proud!

 

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I hope you enjoyed this one!  Be sure to like us on Facebook and subscribe to our blog to keep up with all of our tutorials!

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Jul
16

DIY Growth Chart

Well, our two littles are growing like weeds.  They are short, yes, but growing nonetheless:)  Micah is always reminding us, “I’m growing up!”  She is so right, and now is the time to make as many fun memories as possible!

One small memory we both had growing up was measuring and seeing just how big we were getting – every kid wants to feel like a BIG kid!  When we were young, we just marked up the walls.  I suppose we could do that, but I would prefer a much cuter approach – enter the DIY Growth Chart!

This one is pretty simple – take a trip to your local hardware store soon and make one of your own!  Here’s how to do it:
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What you’ll need:

– board (we got ours at Lowe’s)
– wood stain of choice
– foam brush
– 4″ stencils for numbers (we got ours from Amazon)
– paint color of choice and a small paintbrush

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Step 1:

Stain your wood using your foam brush and let it dry overnight

Step 2:

Measure inches and feet, making a mark with a pencil.  Tip:  Start your first measurement at 6 inches that way when its hanging it looks better on the wall!

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Step 3:

Place your numbered stencils in the appropriate foot markers along your board (you can tape them down if you want to) Then carefully paint in the  numbers.

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Step 4:

Paint white lines over your inch and foot marks

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And that’s it – just let it dry, hang it up, and measure those kiddos!  We’d love to see how yours turn out!  Be sure to like us on Facebook and subscribe to our blog to keep up with all our tutorials and giveaways!

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Jun
17

Gift Set Giveaway!

We just made it to 500 likes on Facebook, and we’re celebrating with a giveaway!

In case you didn’t know, we’ve started creating personalized baby gifts!  We wanted to share our latest design with you, which is this adorable paper airplane in flight!  We design the fabric and have it printed on organic Kona Cotton Knit – it’s soft and perfect for cuddling!  Like it?  Win it!

This giveaway includes:

– 35″X35″ swaddle blanket
– Bandana bib
– Bunny ear teething ring
– All personalized with your name of choice!

(You can see what these look like in other patterns on our etsy store)

If you know a cool baby deserving of this little surprise, enter below to win!  Winner will be announced on Friday, and we’ll reach out to find out what name you’d like on the fabric:)  Good luck!

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