Friday, November 28, 2014

Christmas Kindness Challenge

Every year when Christmas comes around I am always asking myself how I can teach my kids a more Christ centered Christmas.

This year I want to help them and myself to understand the true meaning of Christmas and the real magic of it all. Sometimes I worry so much about teaching them and making sure they are doing what they need to be.  But am I?  I want to lead by example, like the Savior did for me.

Christmas is such a magical time of year.  It can be a busy time of year though.  And in that busyness, do we sometimes forget what we are celebrating.

In my thoughts as I have been thinking about how I need to remember the simple joys of Christ's birth and not get caught up in the pressures.  I decided to make this challenge.

President Thomas S. Monson said, "Our celebration of Christmas should be a reflection of the love and selflessness taught by the Savior. Giving, not getting, brings to full bloom the Christmas spirit. We feel more kindly one to another. We reach out in love to help those less fortunate. Our hearts are softened. Enemies are forgiven, friends remembered, and God obeyed. The spirit of Christmas illuminates the picture window of the soul, and we look out upon the world’s busy life and become more interested in people than in things. To catch the real meaning of the spirit of Christmas, we need only drop the last syllable, and it becomes the Spirit of Christ."

What was something that I could give the Savior for celebrating his birth.  I want to give back.  I want to live through his example.  What could I give?

Christina Rossetti said,
What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb.
If I were a Wise Man
I would do my part,
Yet what can I give Him?
Give my heart.

So here is my challenge to myself and to all of you.

1. Contact 5 people that you have not talked to in a while.  We all have that someone that comes to mind during the rest of the year.  Sometimes we think about them and just don't let them know they were in our thoughts.  What more perfect time than to let them know they are in your thoughts and prayers than now.  Lift their hearts, find out how they are doing, give a helping hand.
Ideas - 
 Send them a private message on social media
write them a good old fashioned letter
Make someone dinner
Drop off a Christmas treat
Give them a Christmas book
Give them a hug 
2. Do 5 random acts of kindness for a stranger.  Sometimes it is easier to do something nice for a stranger.  I don't know why this is, but everyone needs something to uplift their day.
Ideas - 
Donate to a charity
Give a candy cane to the clerk at the store
Pay for the person behind you at the smoothie or coffee shop
Make sure they know you see them, Say hello, give a smile!
Leave an extra tip or just a special note for your server.
Buy a gift for a child in need.
Give an coat or boots you are not using to someone who could greatly use them.

3. I know that both number 1 and number 2 can't be done right away.  It may take a week or two to get both 5 kindness tasks done.  So instead of waiting until you are done.  Let's make sure this challenge gets to as many people as we can before Christmas.  Share the image below on your social media site with the rules of the challenge.  Then tag 5 people who are in your circle that you would like to take on this kindness challenge with.

President David O. McKay said, “True happiness comes only by making others happy—the practical application of the Savior’s doctrine of losing one’s life to gain it. In short, the Christmas spirit is the Christ spirit, that makes our hearts glow in brotherly love and friendship and prompts us to kind deeds of service.  It is the spirit of the gospel of Jesus Christ, obedience to which will bring ‘peace on earth,’ because it means—good will toward all men.”

My hope with this challenge is to find the real Joy in Christmas.  Make the Savior the focus.  What better gift to give him than to follow his example.  Gifts of Service, friendship, compassion, kindness and compassion have a greater value than any gift that we can buy.
By any means, this challenge does not mean that you need to spend more money of someone that you didn't originally plan to.  There are plenty of things that can be done that do not cost a dime. 


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Pattern Designers United for a Cause

My good friend Frances has put together a fundraiser for 2 fellow pattern designers.

Both with young children at home, are caring for husbands fighting cancer. Both men have served in their country's military, both have a long road ahead of them.

This fundraiser is intended to help take some financial burdens off them and give them room to breathe. These sweet, strong women never complain. Anyone who has ever cared for an ill person can understand the demands placed on these women. It is a long road and a tough battle, but as one of the women said of her husband, "I still choose him so there isn't another option".

If you would like to visit each of these ladies shops, click on their pictures to shop!

Over 65 pdf pattern designers have come together to show support for Naomi and Annemieke. We are wives and/or mothers like they are. We love our families and we know it could easily be any one of us facing the same battle. We are not competetitors or rivals, we are a family. We stand together, united in support of Naomi and Annemieke. We lift them up and hope that we can do something to make life a little easier for them.

Our fundraiser is a way to let them know that even though we can't attend the appointments with them, that we can give them a virtual hug and that they're not going through this alone. They have friends, fans and family that know what they are going through and that we are happy to help. 
We are reaching out to ask each person who visits for a $2.00 donation and/or a supportive comment. You are welcome to donate more if you wish.

The Pattern Designers want to thank you for helping our friends. From now until 11/30, we have a giveaway for you. Please leave a comment on the youCaring site and you will be entered to win one of several pattern bundles from us, no purchase necessary. Thank you for spreading this fundraiser around! 
Some of the designers are also offering percentages of their sales to benefit Annemieke and Naomi. You will see the pattern bundles and the coupon codes by following the link to our Facebook group below.

Please copy and paste the link if necessary. If you are not on Facebook, send a message with your contact info to the organizer so you can be entered into the drawing for the pattern bundles.  Here is the link to the donation site -

Winners will be announced on our Facebook page on December 2. Please visit the Facebook page at 


Saturday, November 8, 2014

T-Shirt Re-Do

Do you get t-shirts that are over sized, or just don't give you the fit that you want?  Do you wear them, or do you just stuff them in the back of the closet.  I always tend to stuff mine in the back of my closet for frumpy days.  Because we all have frumpy day's right!?  But sometimes there are those t-shirts that I just love, and I want to wear them not feeling frumpy.

I have had this shirt for 6 months now, and never worn it!  I love this shirt, I worked hard for it, and I thought I should show it off.  But every time I put it on, it didn't stay on, I changed into something that looked better.  If you want to find out what I did to win this shirt, send me a message, you can win it too!

So I made a quick tutorial on how to re-fashion your over sized t-shirts to a regular size.  This is a quick easy job.  No serger needed.  The fabric is knit, and it won't fray.  So anyone can do this!  It took me an hour to get mine done.  I am putting this together quickly, so if you have any questions send me an email or leave a comment below.  Some of the pictures are flipped sideways, and messy looking.  Sorry for that.  I was excited to wear my shirt!

 1. Because my shirt wasn't to over sized, I needed to take out the hem, so I had plenty of fabric to work with.  If you can see in the second picture, I have placed one of my favorite shirts over the top to use as a guide.  See step 2 to decide of this is necessary for you to do with your shirt.

2. Cut 2" off the bottom of the shirt.  Make sure the hem is not in this.  That is why I picked my hem out. my shirt was not long enough.  This strip will be used later for the neckline.

3. Cut the sleeve out of the arm hole.  Make sure to take the whole seam out.

4.  I have my favorite sleeve laying over the top of the shirt for a guide again.  To keep the original hem, lay the guide shirt over top with the hem's matching up, and the top of the sleeve matching up.

5. This is where it may look confusing.  You are more than welcome to email me with any questions.  I needed to use the seamline of the guide shirt on my sleeve.  So I folded the shirt out of the way, and cut the excess sleeve off that I didn't need.  If you look at the second picture here, it helps pull the idea together.  Keep in mind using the guide shirt, you will need to remember to add enough for your seam allowance, or your shirt may become too tight!

6.  Again I put the guide shirt over top of the shirt.  Notice that I have folded both shirts in half so the side seams are together.  I wanted to make sure they were the same on both sides, so I would recommend doing this for you.  Then cut.

7.  Now the shoulders.  I trimmed off about 3/4" on the top and curved it down to the arm pit.

8.  Still working on the shoulders.  The front of your body and the back of your body are not the same, so I wanted to make a little less ease for the front of the arm hole.  So only to the front of the shirt, I cut a little more of an angle.

9. Neckline.  Fold the shirt in half, having the center front and center back of the shirt be the fold line.  Cut the neckline off of your shirt, unless you want to keep it the same.  I wanted a v neck shirt, so I cut a slight v at the front of the shirt.

10. Sew the sleeves into the arm holes with right sides together.

11.  Sew the side seams with right sides together.

12. Neckline.  Measure the neckline of the shirt.  Cut the trim piece you cut off on the beginning to the same length.

13. With right sides together, sew the short ends together.

14. Fold the trim in half with wrong sides together.

15.  With the right sides of the trim and the right side of the shirt, sew together.

16.  If you chose to sew a v neck also.  Sew at an angle on the trim piece down into the seam of the v.

17. Hem the shirt.  I chose to use a double needle.  When sewing with knit, you will need a double needle if you do not want your thread to bread every time you put your shirt on.  If you do not have a double needle go to this link for help with sewing knit fabrics -

18. Stitch around the neckline to give the professional look.  Again, I used the double needle.

WEAR AND ENJOY!  YOU DID FABULOUS!  Now you can show off your figure instead of feeling frumpy!  Go YOU!  I want to know how your shirt turned out, email me a picture, or post it below.
 If you want to find out how to win this shirt too, leave me a comment or send me an email!


Friday, October 24, 2014

Clean Eating Zucchini Bread

After trying to have a healthier life style for my family and myself, I have been a little nervous to go into this time of year.  Seriously, food is the best in the fall.  All the pumpkin and apple pies, loaves of yummy bread, caramel apples, all of that yummy stuff.  What is a girl to do when she had a fabulous bowl of soup and bread sticks are staring her right in the face!  Right!?

So this is what I did, to help myself out a little.  After trying a few recipes for zucchini bread that were a little healthier.  I couldn't get some of them to rise, or they didn't have any flavor.  So I kept trying and kept playing around with a few ingredients.  One of the recipes that I tried had used oats in it, and it was so moist.  But the flavor wasn't exactly what I wanted.  So I knew I wanted oats, but I knew I didn't want enriched flour.  So I had posted on facebook to some friends, asking for suggestions on flours.  I had quite the response to Almond flour.  I felt pretty good about buying it, since I knew the people who had suggested it to me were all fabulous cooks.

To compare the two flours from what I have learned.
 - Enriched flour, usually means that during the processing all the good for you nutrients were stripped out away.  Then to top it off, the "enriched" means that the flour has had more processed products, or preservatives put back into it.  Because it is so starchy we lose our energy more quickly since it is not being broken up slowly in our bodies.
- Almond flour, is made from raw almonds ground down to a fine texture.  A good source of protein, fat, and nutrients.  So we feel more full between meals, and keep our energy up.

Here is the recipe I came up with, and my family truly enjoys!

Clean Eating Zucchini Bread
1 cup Almond Flour
1 cup oats (ground)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
Dash ground cloves
1/4 cup olive oil or coconut oil
1/2 cup raw honey
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups puree zucchini
Preheat oven to 350
Grease and flour bread pan.
Combine all ingredients in mixer.
Pour the batter into your baking pan, and bake for about 60 min or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.
Cool, slice and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My Favorite 21 Day fix Snacks To Go

Why do we think healthy snacks are more work than unhealthy snacks.  We always grab a bag of potato chips, or a candy bar at the gas station thinking that is all we have time for.  Our days are busy, we all have the weight of the world on our shoulders.  If it is running kids around, working 2 jobs, taking care of animals, or just just being one of those sweet spirits that just can't say no and does it all!  So I wanted to put together some of my favorite snacks that I take as I am running around.  
I am color coding these snacks for those of you that love the 21 day fix program.  If you don't know what the 21 day fix program is, send me a message.  I would love to fill you in!  There are so many more ideas out there.  I wanted to show you what works for me, and to see how easy it is to have something healthy and something quick at the same time.  Who said we can't have it all!  I want it all!  So here are my favorites!

Green Container - 
snow peas
cherry tomatoes

Purple Container - 
berries(blueberries, strawberries, raspberries)
sliced apples

Red Container - 
Hard boiled eggs (we take these on the run all the time, they are my kids favorites)
Greek yogurt
Cottage Cheese
Can of Tuna

Yellow Container - This can be the easiest to grab on the go, but remember you don't get very many of these in the day.
small whole wheat tortilla
air popped popcorn
small whole grain crackers

Blue Container - 
Mozzerella cheese stick

Orange Container - 

These are all easy to mix and match too.  If you wanted you could dip the fruit in the yogurt.  Or put some peanut butter on the crackers.  My kids are always running out of the house with a few crackers smothered in Peanut Butter.  You don't have to make any of this complicated at all!  The key is to just do it!  Did you know that healthy people, not skinny people, will eat the same foods and just rotate through them.  They know what works for them, so they don't change it!

So don't forget to have your containers ready to go for the day, or just throw your goodies in a baggie!  No need to stop at the drive through, or gas station.  Most importantly though, don't forget your water!!  You need to be drinking half your body weigh in ounces.  Take your water with you.  I have found that if I am hungry and know that it is a snacky hungry that I just need to catch up on my water.  So I will drink a glass of water and feel so much better, and proud of myself for not grabbing that yummy cookie I have laying around for the kids.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Happy Dance

Today was a pretty awesome day for me. I needed a new pair of jeans. With mine already taken in and then repaired one to many times and I couldn't keep up with the holes. And they were looking pretty baggy. So I took some time for myself and tried on pants. I went down 2 pant sizes!! Eek!!! I want to dance! I actually did when I was chatting with the girl helping me. Thanks to my second round of the 21 day Fix! 

What beachbody programs have you bought?

What programs have worked for you? 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Eating Clean

I have decided lately to take more time for myself!  I had been spending too much time worrying about the next great pattern, and ignoring myself and my family.  I had mentioned in a post earlier this year, that I need to take some time away from my sewing machine to focus more on my family.  Well I did that, and loved it!  I have really enjoyed my kids, and we have spent some great time together.  I still have been sewing, but only a few custom orders for people, and for my kids and myself.  I don't think I could ever stop sewing, I love it too much.  I feel relaxed while I am sewing.

Anyway, to get to my point of why I decided to post today.  I am so excited, that I have been feeling so wonderful for the past year.  My husband and I have been doing our homework to learn what is in foods and what we should and shouldn't be eating.  I had heard some of the most fabulous transformation stories from people.  I am so impressed my what I have learned!  So our family has been trying to eat clean for the past year.  Sometimes it is hard not to pull something out that is processed, but I can say that I have very little processed foods in my home now.

I am continuing to learn more about eating clean, and I also feel like I know enough to be able to help someone else wanting to eat better too.  So I thought that why not do this with friends!  I am going to start a challenge on facebook for anyone that wants to join in!? 1 WEEK OF CLEAN EATING! We will share recipes, ideas, information and facts about foods, eating clean, It will be the perfect place to motivate each other, share challenges and triumphs. I will start the group in a pre-season on Sept 15th to help get everyone ready for the official start day on Sept 22nd. Who's in?

If you are in, leave me a comment below and a way to contact you.  Or send me an email.  My email address is found on my contact me page!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Golden Rippy

I am always asking for testers, but this time I got to be a tester!!  This was so much fun, I loved this chance to make this top for Rachel with Golden Rippy.  Not very often do I get time to sew for myself.  Getting the pictures after I had made this was the hard part though.  I tried to get my kids to take pictures for me, but hello double chin!  I found one that they had taken that showed the top good so you could see without fingers or sunlight in the way.  So then I ran over to my good friends house and had her take one for you.  That way you could get a good picture of how the top turned out.

The Delilah Top is the grown-up version of the  Dahlia Top in the Golden Rippy shop.  It comes in sizes xxs - xl.  

With great instructions and such a quick sew, I was so proud of how my top turned out.  The Delilah top comes with two embelishment options.  I chose to use the bow option and place it over my right shoulder.  If you would like to see the other option, please stop by Golden Rippy's Shop.

I think this top would be perfect for a beginner to learn to sew on knit fabric.  It a fun quick sewing project that can be made in a day, and worn the next!  I made my top back in June, and I have worn it a bunch of times since.  I have had so many compliments on it everytime!  Gotta love the attention when we look good, right!  My daughter really love this shirt, so I am thinking I will need to be making the girls version, Dahlia, very soon.  Make sure to stop by and check out the Golden Rippy blog.  Rachel has recipies, tutorials, and more patterns to share!!