Friday, February 25, 2011


          In general this blog is about my life and making it a happy one by living simply. Not today. Today I'm preaching awareness. Child abuse awareness. As many of you know I live in South Florida. I'm not sure if it's made it to national news or not but our news stations have been continually covering a horrific case of child abuse and neglect. I won't go into too much of my own description but you can read about it here. (There are a lot of links with a lot of information but I do encourage you to read.)
          Long story short, these children were neglected and abused. One ends up dead and one severely burned with chemicals.
          This little girl and her brother were adopted. Meaning the Department of Children and Families said these people are fit to be parents! How is it that adoptive parents are so looked into but this is what they do to children? Why did they want the twins? To torture them? As a status symbol? I can't find it in my heart to say these people had any good in them at all. One of their neighbors even said he didn't even know any children lived there. 
          Also the Department was notified of possible abuse and didn't act immediately. Instead waiting too long and letting this little girl meet such a fate. There is some say that people knew of the abuse and didn't do anything about it. So if the department acts so slowly and people are to afraid to say anything, how do these little voices speak? 
          Children are innocent. It's everyone responsibility to make sure they stay that way. Speak up, speak out, let it be known. Save our children.
          For Nubia there was no help and that just shouldn't happen. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Taking Family time

          Today Doodle Bug had his first field trip. They went to see a production of The Jungle Book. It was a really cute play and the kids all seemed to have fun. It was just me and one other room mother plus the teacher but the kids all behaved very well for us. This is one reason I love being able to be a stay at home mom. Other wise I wouldn't get to experience these times.
          On Friday we will be traveling to go visit the in-laws up north a bit. It's time for some family time, so I'll be gone from now until next Wednesday. Hopefully I'll have some new, fun, amazing thing to share with you! See you then!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Technology, when is it too much?

          I grew up in the country. We didn't have AC, we heated the house in the winter with a wood burning stove. For as far back as I can remember I helped bring the fire wood in. We didn't have very good TV reception and only got 2 channels on rabbit ears on the TV in my parents room. We did have a VCR and a Sega Genesis. I watched a lot of Disney movie and I can only remember playing Sonic and Tails every now and then. We finally got satellite when I was 14. We also got a DVD player around then. Most people had already had those too. We had computers. It started with one and then my dad built more! I didn't even know about cell phones until 2000. Car phones where still a big thing to me! Game Boys where popular and I never touched one. I was perfectly content with the low tech country life. I played outside. I read books. I made things. I interacted. I didn't sit with my face glued to a personal game device or phone. 
          Now being a mom I want my children to grow up like that. So much easier said than done. First of all we do partake of *what I think are* luxuries such as AC, cable TV, Internet, and cell phones. In today's society these are things that most people say they can do without. We can if we have to. I do however feel kids today need to put down the personal devices. Between seeing teens who won't stop texting, kids playing personal games while out to dinner, and seeing a family sitting in a restaurant not even talking to one another because they each had some sort of technology in their hands, I'm worried for our kids. I don't think you need to take them away altogether because they are handy at times. I do however believe we need to take them out of our hands and realize there are people and things around us we are missing out on. It worries me to see kids who get bored without technology. Why can't we just talk to those who are with us instead of texting everyone else we know? My Mom's one friend (who is not American by the way) actually told her, "I can't talk to you when you do that." I think he's got it right. He has a modest home, and isn't all caught up in technology. He sat on a wall for over an hour, just waiting, and enjoying the day when my Mom's flight was late. How is it we American's have become so addicted to our technology? Most say they can't live without it. I feel bad for us in a way because we are so addicted. But on the other hand we are lucky to be able to connect with anyone, anywhere. But when is too much too much? When has it gone too far? When will we look up from our gadgets and realize we don't even really know the people who are right within arms reach? When will we enjoy each other again without worrying about our cell phones and who's on the other side of it?
          So to sum up, technology is a good thing... in moderation... and at the right times. It's up to each of us individually to put down our gadgets or just plain leave them at home or power them down and just enjoy the people and things around us. We do still live in a beautiful world. We miss a lot of it though. Like Route 66, we are losing touch with our roots. We can do without so much technology but if we lose our roots we're really just alone.
          Yes, I know I'm using my laptop and my wireless internet right now. But I'm also the only adult at home and the kids are sleeping. So yes, I do think it's okay right now. :) Thoughts? Comments? Ideas? Let's hear it!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Getting fresh

I'm working a lot more fresh fruits and veggies into my family's diet. We all love them but sometimes get bored and want something different but can't figure out want to do to make them like-able again. Unfortunately when we get bored we stop eating them! Well except Peanut, give her a bag of grapes and she's happy. Banana? Sure she'll take that too. That fruit plate you ordered instead of fries, oh yeah, she thinks it's all her's! So this week I probably spent 2/3 of the grocery budget on fresh fruits and veggies. I made two fruit salads, a cucumber-tomato salad and have been snacking on fresh veggies. These are the two salads I made last night.
The fruit salad has cantaloupe, mango, kiwi, and grapes. The first one I made had strawberries in it but it made it just a tad too sour for me although the family loved it. 3 pounds barely lasted 2 days! The cucumber-tomato has of course cucumber, and tomato plus white onion, vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. They are awesome! I strongly suggest going out for some fresh made salad fixin's and Get fresh! Just throw your favorites together and enjoy. Your body and taste buds will thank you!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

So, my Mom wants to be a mermaid...

          So, yeah, you read that right. My Mom wants to be a mermaid... for Carnival (Cozumel, Mexico's annual Mardis Gras that is held around February every year). She spends as much time on the island as her life will allow and in general blends with the locals. But anyway, I've been charged with costume construction. So last weekend we head out to the fabric store and she bought these.
to start making this. (the adult one shown in peach, of course!)
Peanut also fell in love with it.
So there will probably be a toddler version sometime too!

Either way, stay tuned for this construction! I don't usually use factory made patterns so it's a big switch for me. Let's see what I can turn out together!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Water bottle cozy tutorial

          I did it! I finally got around to making up this tutorial. Even though I had all weekend I didn't start it until around 8:30 Sunday night! I felt a little like a kid trying to get their homework done.

          I've been making these for all of our steel water bottles for over a year now and it's a really adaptable project. I've been able to make them for the little sippy style all the way up to the 24 ounce talls. I take a bottle with me wherever I go and a lot of the time it's in my bag or on the floor of the car. I hated when it would get hair and weird fibers stuck to it. And even when I was able to keep it lint free, it would sweat like mad, and the ice would melt way too quickly. So a little (polar) fleece, cotton fabric, and velcro later my bottle cozy was born! Now my drinks stay cool, and my hands, bottle and bags stay dry!

You'll need:
Cotton fabric (perfect fat quarter project by the way!)
Fleece, any will do but Polar is best
Sheet of paper
Cutting tools
Basic sewing tools

Set your bottle up and wrap the paper around it. Cut it down so it's at the same height as the lip of the bottle. Also make sure your paper overlaps, if not grab another sheet and some tape and extended it so it's long enough to overlap about 2 inches.

Now use that as your pattern and cut out one each of the fabric and the fleece. It easiest if you have a rotery cutter and you can cut them together.

Now with the right sides together, sew around the left bottom corner all the way to the right bottom corner. Leave most of the bottom open.

Clip the corners and excess fleece from around the edges to reduce bulk.

Flip and press out corners with a pencil or chopstick or really any small pokey object you have around. Press the edges down. You can iron it but I usually just smooth it down by hand.

Tuck the raw edges in and sew all the way across the bottom.

Now wrap it around your bottle and mark where you want your soft velcro peices.

Sew on soft velcro to body of the cozy.

Sew on rough velcro to edge of the cozy.

It should now look like this when laying flat.

And like that when it's on your bottle.

You could leave it just like this, which I've done for over a year or take it one step father and grab some elastic and sew it across the top. Make sure you stretch the elastic as you sew so it will pull in.

I really like adding the elastic top. It makes it look more put together. But it does work just as well without it.
Hope you enjoyed this tutorial, let me see if you make one!

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As with all of my projects, I have designed them for my family and love to share with you so you can have them for your families as well. All projects, patterns and directions are meant for your personal use and neither the patterns nor completed projects are to be used for monetary gain.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Life happens...

Especially when you have a school aged child! I had planned on last night being a sewing/tutorial writing night but instead I spent it studying spelling words and charged with a surprise task. Most of the time I'm pretty well informed about everything going on a school. And usually I'm at the school for their celebrations and such but I haven't been able to do very much with the 100th Day of School Celebration. So when Doodle Bug came home from school yesterday with a note saying he needed a costume for today, I was taken off guard! I had to make him either 100 years old, someone who lived 100 ago, or someone who lives 100 in the future (think Jetson's or StarTrek the note said). So with what I had on hand I decided I would make him a Jetson's character.

I was going to make him Elroy but didn't have green fabric so I choose navy blue thinking he could be one of Elroy's school mates. Once I got the overall part done and tried it on Doodle Bug it really lent it's self in the other direction... so was born my new costume concept "1911 Farm Boy"!

It works because he didn't really get into the Jetson's idea, but likes have 'dirt' on his face!

So I will try again over the weekend to get that planned sewing project and tutorial done. Hey, I'll get it done one day, right?

And one more, just because I'm excited!And I had to make it "old"!
See you Monday!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

And the winner is...

Okay so I had a video of Doodle Bug picking the winner, which was sooo cute! But, alas, I'm not good at this stuff and I spent 2 hours trying to figure out how to add it. Every time I tried and tried something else it just wouldn't go, errors, errors, errors! If your really interested go to 
I gave up trying to get it on here, but anyway the winner he randomly selected was...

Tracy from Having Fun Saving!!!! Woo-hoo!
Tracy has a great money saver blog, go see her!

See you all tomorrow with a brand new tutorial! It seems like it's been forever since the last one!