Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Best of 2011

****Don't forget to enter the Shabby Apple Giveaway HERE!!!****

I often find myself thinking. WHAT THE HECK DID I ACCOMPLISH TODAY??? Usually the list is LESS than impressive.

My kids are fed and (moderately) happy.
My house is still standing, although tentatively.
I am not wearing sweats.

Yep. That is pretty much the list.

SOOOO I have decided to make a list of the top 11 posts and projects of this year. Now I know my posts are all quivering with excitement wondering which ones will make the list….this is how I decided. 1. Top viewed links. 2. Top commented on links. 3. MY favorites  :)  Because my opinion matters ON THIS BLOG!! So here is the BEST of HANDYPANTS for 2011.

1. From Onesie to Diaper Cover—For the 2nd year in a row, this is the number one viewed link on my blog. I guess re-purposing old onesies into NEW dresses with matching ruffle butt diaper covers is popular these days!!!

2. Dora Backpack—Another re-purpose. Using an old sweatshirt to make a new FABULOUS Backpack. Perfect for all of those EXPLORERS out there!!

3. Scarlett O’Hara skirts—Just like Scarlett, I re-purposed curtains to make some cute little girl skirts. No hemming!!! So simple!!!

4. Shortie Skirt and bandana shorts---Just like last year I could not stop sewing with bandanas. I am glad I looked back to remember this one because soon it will be skirt weather again and I will need to make A BUNCH of these skirts with built in shorts---perfect summer attire for a 3 year old. (Although THIS summer she will be FOUR…sniff sniff!!!)

5. Peppermint Sugar Scrub (with Printable Tags)

6. Re-purposed Winter Attire—This post was 3 re-fashions in one. How to make a cowl scarf from a thrifted sweater. How to make faux leg-warmers from sweater sleeves. AND how to re-fashion a winter hat. BTW…I am still LOVING my leg warmers…best re-fashion for mommy YET!!!

7. Easy re-fashioned skirt

8. Maternity Sweat Pants---because sometimes even SWEATS just are not comfortable enough:)

9. How to clean a flat top stove---There must be a LOT of messy cooks out there JUST LIKE ME..haha!!

10. Toddler Sheet FIX. How to add elastic to a toddler sheet so that it WILL STAY PUT!!! Can I just rant here for a second…oh right…it is MY blog. I had to change the name of this post AND edit out a few words because I was noticing that Dirty Pervs were finding this post by typing inappropriate searches into google. Totally makes me both ANGRY and SICK. I mean seriously… (rant over)!!

11. AND finally….The Vested Onesie. This was not my original idea, but it is by far my FAVORITE creation of the year (besides the cute little guy wearing it…that was a pretty good one too!!)

AND because we cannot craft ALL THE TIME…here is the MOST VIEWED NON-CRAFTING post. LIFE IN THE MOTHERHOOD, my rant opinions on MOTHERHOOD. Just in case you need a good New Years LAUGH:)

GOODBYE 2011…Its been fun!!!

In case you missed out on last years fun…here is the top 10 of 2010!!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Shabby Apple Giveaway!!!

Dresses from Shabby Apple

You know as you start to grow up...get older...have kids...and just CHANGE????  You want to stop dressing like a teenager or a college kid and express your own style.  Less going with the flow and MORE desire to be your OWN person.  The person that you ALWAYS wanted to be but just hadn't let out yet.  Well that is where I am right now.  I am ready to be ME.   A little quirky, mixed with some vintage flair, and a HUGE dash of awesome:)  At least that is the goal.  Clearly I might be rambling right now....

On to more important things.  Have you ever heard of Shabby Apple???  Well they recently contacted me about having a giveaway on this blog, and after taking a look (which may or may not have lasted for 3 hours) at their site, I was like....YES PLEASE!!!  Shabby Apple offers vintage inspired dresses, beautiful little girl dresses, amazing jewelry and accessories, and much more (even swimwear).   And the best part....their clothing is beautiful, feminine,  AND modest.  LOVE THAT!!!!
Here are a few of my ABSOLUTE favorites...I am thinking maybe some of my Christmas money may have just found a new home!!!

Seriously...A non fitted bathing suit....why have I not heard of this before????  LOVE IT!!!  Maybe I need to buy one and head off to Rome....just sayin!!!

The MIRAGE bracelet
There are so many lovely vintage inspired pieces at Shabby Apple, but this one I KNOW I could REALLY get some use out of.  Dress it up.  Dress it down. Wear it naked for all I care, JUST WEAR IT!!! 
AND finally...

Cute huh????  Ok....I lied.  One more.  Because they also have super cute boutique style toddler dresses
Like this AVIARY dress.  The little girl dresses are so sweet.  They are the dresses that we ALL want to make for our little girls but just don't have the time or skill:)

Ok.Ok...enough about me.  Now it is time for a little bit about YOU!!!

First off, if you do not wanna wait for a giveaway, or saw something you liked too much to ignore....Shabby Apple has generously given a 10% off coupon code to HandyPants readers.  Just enter "handypants10off" when purchasing and SAVE AWAY!!! This code will expire on JANUARY 30TH, so SHOP TODAY!!!

AND FINALLY....Shabby Apple has agreed to give away THIS beautiful KEY TO WONDERLAND necklace to one HANDYPANTS reader. 
1st entry:
Head over to www and look around for a while.  Pick your favorite item and then come back here and leave me a comment.
Giveaway closes Thursday January 5th at 11:59 pm (PST). 
For MORE additional entries you can do ONE or ALL of the following:
1. Like Shabby Apple on Facebook (lots of promotions and discounts over there) and then leave me a comment. 
2. Become a follower of HandyPants or let me know that you already are.
3.  Blog about this giveaway and then leave me a comment (please include the link).
4. Mention this giveaway on Facebook and leave me a comment.

Giveaway closes on Thursday January 5th at 11:59 pm (PST), so enter NOW!!  Winner will be announced Friday January 6th.
You must have a U.S. shipping address to be eligible to win.
There will be NO exchanges on the prize. HEAD ON OVER and take a look (the lovely photos are part of the fun). 
Dresses from Shabby Apple

Little Girls Dresses from Shabby Apple

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Life in the MotherHood!!

I often times find myself thinking back.  Back to when things FIRST got started.  You know...when the wedding bells stopped ringing and I spent an hour picking bobby pins out of my hair.  I remember those days.  How I thought that marriage was filled with laughing, happy days and nights.  Spending unlimited hours together talking and going on fun trips.  And then the babies.  I pretty much thought having kids went something like this...

You got a cute baby basketball bump that looked super sweet as long as you wore leggings and a smile.  Then you had the baby and came home wearing your old jeans.  Once the baby was home there were a few months of waking up at night, but then the baby would start sleeping well.  Once that happened the sweet little babe,  (who always smells like baby powder) would wake you up each morning with sweet baby babbling while she played with dollys in her crib.  Then you would get the kids up (I wanted 6 of course) and dress them in the cutest matching outfits and head out for a day of shopping.  You would buy AMAZING decor for your AMAZINGLY well decorated AMAZING home in a sweet neighborhood where your neighbors stopped by to chat and borrow eggs.  Then you would come home, let the kids nap (they put themselves down of course) and then you would watch Grey's Anatomy in your perfectly sparkling living room.  Of course you would have to then make a wonderful healthy dinner and eat as a the table...and have a nice conversation.  Followed by Family Game night (oh how fun).  Then after a long day, you would tuck those beautifully  clean babies (all in the cutest handmade matching pajamas) back into there beds, where they would stay until morning.  When they would wake up to the smell of freshly baked bread and bacon cooking....WELL you get the idea.

 I was TERRIBLY un-informed:)

Nobody told me that pregnant REALLY looked like THIS...
NOT this....

I can honestly say that I had NO idea what it would REALLY be like to try to get a kid to sleep in their own bed.  OR that the job would continue WELL past the first few months and then YEARS of their lives. 

And babies are sooo demanding.  THEY want to take everything from you.  Your sleep, your pride, your waistline....and THEN they still wanna eat your yogurt.  They are like little mini thieves.  They follow you everywhere you go and then want EVERYTHING you have.  Even if you feed them....Even if you feed them A LOT!!!  They will still steal every crust of bread RIGHT out of your mouth. 
They call it borrowing.  Yeah right.  We know how they borrow.  The last thing they borrowed was my body for 9 months....AND WE KNOW THEY DID NOT RETURN THAT IN THE SAME CONDITION THEY "borrowed" IT IN. 

And did ANYONE else picture their kids ALWAYS looking like this (even if your husband is white)????? 

 And then you had kids and realized that they REALLY like to stay in their pajamas all day and spend much of their day looking something like this....

Which is one of life's great ironies....they wanna stay in their pajamas ALL THE TIME...and yet they NEVER want to sleep....Oh the lack of sleep.  That is pretty much the clincher.  The mind boggling, bone crushing, turn your brain to mush lack of sleep. 

How is it that you and your baby are up TOGETHER all night. And yet in the morning when YOU feel like you downed a round of tequila shots and then got hit by a bus....
They seem fine?????  Like maybe lack of sleep is THEIR super drug and YOUR kryptonite???? 
Somehow they have MORE energy.  Like maybe while YOU were half asleep rocking endlessly in the rocking chair watching Season 2 of Gilmore Girls and wondering WHY Luke and Lorelai cannot just get together already....They were sneaking into the pantry for a little snack....????

I mean you really start to wonder if your kids secretly HATE you. 

Like maybe it is all just an evil plot by the babies of the world to cause their mommys to have a mental breakdown and turn control over the planet to the kids. 
It is a perfect plan.  They rip out all of your hair, get you in a pair of spanks, and turn you into a mental case.  They WIN!!!  And REALLY...they could rule so efficiently....BECAUSE THEY NEVER SLEEP!!!  How Clever!!!!

BUT Just when you think you will NEVER sleep again....
and like you should NEVER eat again...
and like you just might crawl under the bed and hide from your kids with the cat....

Something happens. 
Something magical!!!  Something that takes all of the craziness and makes it sound....WELL CRAZY. 
Something happens that reminds you what it means to be A MOTHER.

Sometimes it just a big gummy smile.  Or sometimes it is watching your babies first steps; with his arms held up in the air and his stiff little legs moving at MORPH speed.  And sometimes....just sometimes it is a quiet moment. 
A moment when sleep finally comes and your baby holds on to you for dear life.  When they find that spot where they fit JUST right.  Legs wrapped right around your waist.  Arms tight around your neck.  Fingers twisted up in your hair.  And their soft little head right in that spot.  You know...THE SPOT right between your shoulder and your chin.  The Spot where they can nuzzle in and you can smell their sweet baby smell and hear their sweet baby noises.  Nobody else gets that moment.  That moment is pretty much ON RESERVE just for mommies.  That moment is what makes the rest disappear.

And you can stop looking back to your happy, wedding, skinny, smiling, pretty hair pictures with envy and start remembering when your life REALLY began.  When you stopped being a person and became A MOTHER. 

When it STOPPED being about you.  When THEY became the center of your universe and YOU became theirs.  Of course they want to see you in the middle of the night.  Hello---you are their universe!!! 

SOOO  nobody told me about the stretch marks and the contractions, but they also forgot to mention that you literally give away a piece of your heart the moment you hold that squishy little bundle. 
You become a part of something BIGGER than you.  Weird that something so small can do that. 
So even though I still think that in my next life I would like to be a FATHER (mostly the same amount of good stuff, but with more sleep), I am SOOOO glad I get to hang out with my two MINIS.  Because life was pretty fun when I was a size zero and could stay up all night doing Who Knows What with Who Knows Who and eat WHATEVER I WANTED!!!  BUT somehow it just does not compare to watching my 3 year old sing JINGLE BELLS while ACTUALLY jingling bells with her pre-school class.  
OR watching Thing One and Thing Two become friends.
I guess this is what growing up feels like!!! 
I guess I should start being MORE thankful for the things that really matter and complain less about the stuff that doesn't.
I guess I need to remember that life has been pretty good to me and that there are much worse things in this world than NOT SLEEPING. 
I guess I should get off this darn computer and get to bed.  Because Soon....VERY SOON.... I will get the call.  The little voice over the monitor asking for HIS UNIVERSE to come and get him and bring him into HER bed to snuggle.  And perhaps I will get the OTHER call.  The call from the side of the bed that wakes me from a dead sleep.  The one from HER.  The one where she wants to be part of the party too. 
 I guess what those know the ones with all of the marital advice...should have told me on that day with the flowers and the cake.  They should have given me the advice of all advice.  The piece of advice that would SAVE marriage.  The advice to save the world from being taken over by the little people.  Here it is.  Are you ready????  BUY A KING SIZE BED.  Buy a KING sized bed and LET THEM COME!!!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

M is for MONOGRAM!!!

 You know when you see something and think...I CAN MAKE THAT!!! NO PROBLEM!!!  And then you buy all of the supplies and get started and think....WHY DID I THINK I COULD DO THIS????  This was one of THOSE projects.  Well on the Christmas List of a certain favorite person of mine, who may or may not have a name starting with M, was a simple little monogram pillow.  Now I KNEW that Lady M had had her eye on these monograms for a while because she had blogged about it, pinned it, and then of course it showed up on THE LIST.  SOOOOO I looked on PINTEREST and found sooo many cute ones.  THEN I looked on ETSY and saw SOOO many cute ones.  BUT they were all neutral colors and they were a little spendy.  NOW I KNOW WHY!!!!  HELLO you have to sew on all of those *#@& buttons. 
 Anyway...I have very little advice for you if you would like to make one of your own (run, run like the wind!!!!).  EXCEPT I would say not make the pillow first.  WHY???? because then you have to put your hand in the flap the whole time to sew on EVERY....SINGLE...BUTTON.  No Bueno!!!
Here is a quick rundown of what I did..,..just in case you still are crazy enough to make your own...
1.  Find a font you like in word and print out the letter in the size you want.  Cut it out.
2.  Place the letter where you want it on the fabric.  I had already made my pillow, so I put it right in the middle. If you are going to make the pillow after (might be easier to sew on buttons) then you will have to measure and mark where the middle will be. 
3.  Trace the letter with a disappearing pen.   BE SMARTER THAN ME AND REALIZE THAT DARK FABRIC=IMPOSSIBLE TO SEE!!!  I used a combination of disappearing ink and chalk pencil.
4.  Start on one corner and sew on your first button.  Work your way around the edge.  If you try to fill it in while you go it makes it hard to form a good outside border later.  I found it worked best to go along an outside edge and THEN fill in the middle.  I DID place a few of the BIG buttons throughout at the beginning and then worked around them. 
5.  Sew your buttons continuously.  Meaning...don't cut your thread after each one.  Sew on one, knot it off, and then move onto the next one.  This saves SOOO much time. 
6.  Take a break so that your poor dead finger will not FALL OFF!!!  Get some hot a magazine...anything to get your mind off of those buttons!!!!
7.  Continue sewing on buttons until you wanna die.  AND then you should be about done!!! YAY!!!
I would also say this....make a wall hanging instead and just GLUE the darned buttons on.  TRUST ME!!!

OK.. on a serious note though.  I bought the fabric HERE on Etsy.  It is Michael Miller and I DO LOVE THIS PART!!!
I also bought some of the buttons on Etsy, but most of them didn't make it here on time, so I just went to JOANN and picked out some that I liked. 
I used THIS great tutorial for making the envelope pillows.  This was my VERY first envelope pillow, and now I want to make a HUNDRED for my couch.  It seriously took about 10 minutes!!!  LOVE how easy it was.  The tutorial even gives directions for how to figure out how much fabric to cut to make OTHER sizes.  I looked around and THIS was the best TUTE....Trust me!!!
So if there is someone in your life who you LOVE more than your fingertips OR if you just love yourself A LOT and only kinda like your fingertips, then go ahead and whip one of these up today.  ORRR if you don't love anybody that much....maybe just a nice plain pillow would suffice....

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Walking in a Winter WONDERLAND!!!

Todd and I needed a PRE-HEADED TO CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL FOR A WEEK break.  So we decided that for OUR Christmas present to each other we would take a little trip.  I chose Leavenworth, and since I always get my way.....
 I have always heard that the Christmas lights were amazing and THEY DID NOT DISAPPOINT!!!  Besides the fact that there was very little snow this year, Leavenworth is REALLY a winter wonderland!!!  We got to shop, eat, walk, snack, and pretty much enjoy the sites.  It didn't really matter WHAT we did because we did not have to push a stroller, stop for nap time, or eat at McDonalds.  We were able to sleep in and I was also able to sleep through the night for the first time in....YEARS!!!  That in itself was worth it!!! 
 ANYWAY...Since I knew I was headed into the cold and winter weather, I wanted some new WINTER gear.  You know when you are headed to Vegas and you have to get a Little Black Dress....or when you head to Hawaii you have to get a new bathing suit????  YOU KNOW!!!  Right???  I hope that is not just me;)  Anyway...I wanted something new, but I really wasn't in a shopping mindset, especially with Christmas on the way.  So I came up with a few cheap easy WINTER fixes that reved up my Winter Accessories and made me SUPER happy!!!
 First off, I made some FAUX Leg Warmers.  These LOOK like leg warmers, or boot socks, but they are not REAL.  All I did was this (shhhh don't tell anyone how easy it was)....I cut the arms off of a thrifted sweater.  THAT IS IT.  Then I just slipped them over my legs to stretch them out a bit, and VOILA.  Boot socks. 

I wanted a cute button on the top (because the ones on pinterest had them), so I grabbed a cute button and sewed it where I wanted it.  I LOVE THEM SO MUCH.  I think they really did keep my legs warmer, plus they added a little SOMETHING to my 9 dollar Value Village boots. 

 NEXT, onto the neckwear.  I pretty much wear scarves EVERY day right now because they are warm and add a little cuteness to a boring outfit.  On PINTEREST there are so many cute ones, but I have recently been eyeing all of the cute crocheted Cowl Scarves.  TOOO BAD I DO NOT CROCHET.  So I did the next best thing.
I grabbed a knitted scarf from Goodwill.  Took all of the fringed ties off of the end.  Cut it the length I wanted.  Folded the end under and hemmed it.  Then folded it around my neck and sewed on some super cute vintage buttons (stolen from Gramma June's Stash). I didn't waste time making button holes, so the buttons are just for looks.  I just slip it up and over my head.  Not as HANDY as a REAL Cowl scarf made by hand by someone with some talent, but it only cost a dollar and I LOVED IT!!!  SCORE:)

 I loved it soo much in fact that I made another one fromt the leftover sweater (the one I made the legwarmers with).  I had to do things a little differently though.

I cut a large rectangle out of the back of the sweater (my front had a zipper, or that would have worked too).  I pretty much used the whole back of my sweater, but it was  a size small.  I bigger sweater would have given me more options.  Most importantly is that you keep the bottom edge of the sweater because it is the cutests part. 
Then I folded it right sides together and sewed 3 sides (leaving the cute ends un-sewn).  THEN flip it right sides out, wrap it around your neck, and sew on some buttons. 
Looking back at the pics, I decided that my buttons were not placed the way I wanted them.  I guess that is what happens when you craft at 2 in the morning the night before leaving on a trip:)  Easy fix though!!!!
The last item on my list was a cute hat.  I didn't want to spend much (because I had secret dreams of buying a new CUTER one once I got there). SOOO I headed to Target where they had all of their hats on clearance.  I got a plain hat with matching gloves for a buck fifty.  CANNOT beat that.  I grabbed a strip of black jersey (I just cut off the bottom of an old t-shirt) and then wadded it up (like took it and made it into a big messy wad of fabric).  Then I put the wad under my sewing machine needle and sewed back and forth until my wad stayed....WELL, wadded:)
Then I hot-glued a pretty little flower into the center.  I got the flower at Micheals a while back for something that NEVER got made....pretty glad it didn't too because the flower was perfect:)
So for about 5 bucks (a quarter of what it cost to ride in that carriage), I was able to re-vamp my winter clothes and fit right into to Boot-Land (aka-Leavenworth, but EVERYONE there had cute boots).  Happy Holidays Ya'll.  I hope you are enjoying these happy pre-Christmas days and having a little pre-holiday fun.  CHEERS to sleeping through the night:)