Saturday, June 30, 2012

From the Stash: Changing Pad Cover

It's been a while since I posted a from the stash post. But I haven't had a lot of time for sewing, until the last couple weeks. And I was so excited when Pip when down for his afternoon nap to be able to sew for a little bit. A while ago I shared some fabric that I bought, and thought would look cute as a changing pad cover. Recently I decided I was sick of staring a white while changing Pip, and found a few spare minutes to finally whip up this cover:

Since it was rather simple. I thought I would share. First measure your changing pad across the top and the sides. Add the side measurement to the length and width across the top and then add another 2-3" to these measurements. Cut your fabric to the total length and width measurements, or in my case piece together scraps to make the size you are looking for.
Fold the fabric in half lengthwise, and then widthwise. Make sure the corners are perfectly lined up and then cut a 2"x2" square out of the corner. With right sides facing, sew the edges of the cut out squares together.
I chose a bit of a shortcut for the edges of the pad. With the right side of the fabric down place a 1/4" elastic 3/8" from the edge of the fabric, fold the fabric over the elastic, and stretching the elastic out use a zig-zag stitch to hold the fabric and elastic in place. I chose to secure the elastic around the short ends and about 1/4 of the way up each of the long sides. You could go all the way around with the elastic if you wish. I did continue to fold the fabric and zig-zag stitch on the long sides.

Now to make this babe friendly I used an iron-on vinyl to make it easy to wipe up messes. You can do this before the sewing, or once the cover is finished, I felt that it would be difficult to iron on the vinyl when the edges we elasticized, so I chose to iron it on after sewing my three pieces together. And as you can see in the bottom photo I added an embellishment stitch just for fun!

So those instructions were a little quick, if you have an questions feel free to leave a comment and I will get back to you! We are loving this changing pad now, a little visual interest for mom and a super easy surface to clean for Pip (while the cleaning is for mom).

Have you created anything lately?

Friday, June 29, 2012

Contributing and a Simple Recipe!

Want the simple and delicious recipe for this inexpensive breakfast treat? Hop on over to After Nine to Five and check it out!

My latest endeavour: I am now a contributor to Ashley's Blog, After Nine to Five, as the money saving contributor. So you can find me there every other week, sharing simple recipes, some DIY projects and tips and tricks for saving money around the home. Be sure to check it out! :)


Thursday, June 28, 2012

It's Almost July! Sponsor call out :)

I can't believe that June has gone by so quickly! I suppose because I have been busy learning how to be a mom time is flying quickly. Anyways, Pip wanted me to let all you lovely people know that we still have sponsor spots available and we'd love to have you as part of our blog in July. For sizing, pricing and stats please visit my sponsor page, or you have any questions please send me an e-mail!


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Let's Catch-Up!

Today I have a little catch-up post, to check in with my sponsors and see what they've been up to recently. Take a look at all the interesting things they have going on, and be sure to follow the links over to their posts!

In the past couple of weeks, I have been working on launching my new shop. I'm selling recipe and home decor prints and having so much fun selling them and creating custom prints too. The new shop header just got designed last week and I am so happy with the way it turned out. My sponsor page got a little makeover too so go on and check it out!
~ Danielle

June has been a huge month over in my world.  I celebrated my 26th birthday, I had my first cupping massage and I've done a whole lot of running.  I also finished writing my e-book: Living frugally without sacrificing your style.  I hope you've all had a brilliant month too!
~ Vanessa

This month I was really busy prepping for my trip to Europe - and now I am traveling around the continent for a few weeks! I also celebrated my blogiversary - and am currently hosting a giveaway with Margot as a celebration. There is still lots of time to enter!
~ Brynn

Moving into the third trimester with baby #2 has been nothing but busy - baby brother was honored at a very special mustache baby shower and this month my sisters and I launched our Etsy shop, Prairie Pretty. I reflected on my first birth and laughed a whole bunch a these videos :) Since we'll be growing from a family of three to four in a few weeks I'll be offering an awesome sponsor special for July-September ... BUY ONE, GET TWO FREE! Just use promo code BABYMOON during sponsor checkout.
~ Gretchen 

Here at Life as I know it we've been hoping for Summer to start! We have had a lot of rain, and not near enough sunshine! With a 10 year old, a 1 year old and a pregnant mama, we need to get outside and burn some energy and it's just not happening enough! Come check out what we are doing to stay busy! Life as I know it and come find me on Pinterest to see what I have project I'm hoping to work on next! 
~ Kate

 My neck of the woods has been busy!  Just waiting for the down time of summer so I can have fun with my kids, focus on SewTara and not have to watch the clock all the time! It's going to be great. Some recent posts on my blog: Recently acquired scraps, New Cozy design, Etsy event in Toronto.
~ Tara


Aren't they a lovely bunch of ladies! I am so happy to have them as friends and sponsors :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Baking Challenge: Raspberry Vanilla Cake

The Baking Challenge started with a recipe posted by a good friend. She was unsure of how to decipher a recipe in a thrifted church cookbook, and I took it as a challenge to try it out. To see all The Baking Challenge posts, click here. And please join in and try out any that seem enticing!

Also, if you have any challenges for me please comment below or send me an e-mail. I'd love to try something for you!
Two weeks ago I stated my next baking challenge was going to be a cake. We celebrated Reggie's sister's birthday on the a week ago Friday and Wendel and I managed to make a yummy cake for the occasion. I found the recipe in one of my Canadian Living magazines, and copied the online version for you to see:
Click for a larger version - Source
I altered the recipe just a little, while I altered the decorating instructions partly because of time restrictions and partly because I was worried cutting the layers in half would end in a bit of a disaster. I really liked the recipe though, the cake was a little heavy which I love and tasted great and the butter cream frosting was delicious! I have some left, because I didn't follow the instructions and ice in-between layers - cupcakes anyone?

I decided to add some strawberries to the decor on top of the cake, my niece and nephew both really like berries so I thought that would be a big hit with them! Everyone really seemed to like it, and it helped my cake confidence so I am happy with the outcome! I think if I tried it again I would attempt the 4-layer version, because it just looks so good!

Since it is summer, and we had a bit of a heat wave last week to bring summer in, my next baking challenge will be to make ice cream. I've made it before, it's not a big deal, and Reggie and I got an ice cream maker attachment for our wedding, but I've only ever made a couple kinds. So this time around I'm going to try something other than vanilla and maybe try making something with the ice cream - ice cream sandwiches anyone?

Have you baked anything lately? Have you tried any of these challenges? Please share below!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Not a Newfoundlander! (and a giveaway)

Welcome TGCBB particpants, if you are looking for the giveaway please scroll down!

I know I have mentioned this before, but unlike you might think by my blog title - I am not a Newfoundlander. I live in Ontario, the most highly populated of Canada's provinces. Ontario is pretty diverse and I love where I live, but after visiting Newfoundland numerous times and living there for one summer I often wish I could call it home :)

While in Newfoundland I had the chance to do a lot of hiking and I re-visited one of my favourite hobbies - photography. No photograph can really capture the vast beauty of nature, but one can always try. I have had the ability to travel throughout most of Canada, and although I am strongly drawn to the East Coast - all of Canada is pretty amazing. I have also had the amazing opportunity to photograph many beautiful scenes across Canada's countryside. And this is where the inspiration for my shop, Knotted Tree Photography, came from.

A few samples from the shop:

Since Canada's birthday is quickly approaching I thought perhaps it would be nice to offer a giveaway of some of my Great Canadian Prints! So you have the chance to win 1-8x10 and 2-5x7s of your choice from my shop! Enter below:

To enter: simply visit my shop and let me know what prints are your favourite!

Extra entries (please leave a separate comment for each:
- Follow Newfoundlander at Heart (NaH) via GFC
- Follow NaH on Twitter
- Like NaH on Facebook
- Heart Knotted Tree Photography on etsy

You have until 11:59pm EST on Sunday July 1st to enter, a winner will be drawn using and announced on Tuesday July 3rd.

Thanks so much!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Pip Update: 6 Weeks (almost)

From the eyes of a sweet little Pipster!

This weekend mom and I went to visit her parents. And all everyone keeps saying is how much hair I have and how big I am! I guess now that I am almost 6 weeks I am getting pretty big. I have nice long toes, and every once in a while you can catch me smiling! It was nice to visit with Grandma and Grandad, later daddy came and brought Gunner with him and there was lots of commotion!

Grandma took lots of time getting the antique crib out of storage, and washed all the blankets for me. And it must be really lucky because last night I slept more than six hours at once! Mom wasn't sure what to do when she woke feeling rather rested. This morning I got to snuggle with Grandma, there is nothing better than snuggling with Grandmas! I also received a present from my Great Aunt Ann - mom wrapped me in my new burrito blanket for my morning nap and it was great!
I'm eating lots, sleeping more, and growing so fast! Before you know I'll be walking. Grandma thinks that I don't want to be a baby, I just want to grow up and be a little boy. And I'm not sure what being a little boy is all about but I think I sounds pretty neat.

Thanks for catching up with me, I'll be sure to check in again soon!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Strawberry Inspiration

Strawberry season is upon us, and I am itching to go out and pick some fresh, juicy local strawberries! For the last two years I went out and picked lots of strawberries! I made jam, crisps, sauce, pies, and froze lots for winter treats. I am hoping that Pip and I can get out sometime soon and pick a few, so I can make a little jam and have a few in the freezer.

In the meantime I have been drooling over a few strawberry inspired recipes I found on the web!

Strawberries and Cream Biscuits - Source
Strawberry Brown Butter Betty's - Source
Spiced Strawberry Chutney - Source
Killer Strawberry Milkshake - Source
I also found a delicious looking recipe for Strawberry Lemonade. I'm not sure if I am actually going to be able to make all these delicious treats, but one can always dream!

Are there any recipes you are hoping to try this summer? That's right, summer is officially here! :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

5 Penny Pinching Tips: Shopping dos and don'ts

Reggie and I have been looking to cut back on costs recently, with the baby arriving, and my income decreasing drastically we thought we would prepare ahead of time. So every other week I plan to share some of the ways we have found to cut monthly costs. I hope that this might help any of you who are looking to do the same.

Today we are going to look at shopping habits. Most people don't realize that they spend as much as they do, especially with the convenience of plastic money. The tips I am sharing today will encourage you to look at your spending habits to help you determine if you are spending unnecessarily.
  1. Take fewer trips to the store:  This seems really simple, and it is! The more you expose yourself to chances to spend money the more money you will spend. For groceries I would recommend you put aside a certain time each week to do a big shopping trip, make a list and try not to visit the grocery store when it is not grocery day. Also, avoid passing time by 'browsing' it is so easy to convince yourself to buy that shirt that fits so perfectly, or to pick up a Christmas present 6 months early - if you are not in the store you can't make the unnecessary purchase.
  2. Do you really need it? If you do like to spend time browsing, remember this phrase when you are out and about. Often times if you ask yourself if you really need it, or actually want it you give yourself the chance to second guess the purchase. Many people will use shopping, or spending, as a method of controlling boredom, or to fill an emotional void and usually the items purchased during these trips are rarely used, worn or looked at afterwards.
  3. Avoid over-consumption: Following with the previous two tips, if you try to be conscious about what you spend and what you are spending on you can try to avoid over-consumption. Our society these days is obsessed with stuff. Reggie and I just had our beautiful baby boy, and it is amazing how much stuff people think a baby needs. Now, don't get me wrong we appreciate everything we have been given! But it seems some people think we don't have enough stuff and it is a little overwhelming. Anyways, the point being most people in our society are consume much more than is actually necessary. Just by being aware of this, you can start to reduce it.
  4. Buy something, get rid of something: This statement might seem like it is encouraging over-consumption, by encouraging you to throw something away, or donate it, just so you can feel ok about purchasing something new. This is not what I am trying to say, instead I encourage you, every time you go to make a purchase, to think of what you have at home and what you would give up in order to bring this new item home. I guarantee there is something similar at your house already, and if you aren't ready to part with it, then you aren't ready to purchase a 'new one'.
  5. Challenge - Track your Spending: Finally, I have a challenge for you! Over the next two weeks, until the next Penny Pinching Post, write down every purchase you make. This includes your morning coffee and afternoon snack. I would encourage you to keep track of categories: household (bills), food, entertainment, clothing, car (gas, repairs, insurance)/transportation, gifts, other. Feel free to arrange the categories as you see fit, these are just suggestions. And after two weeks take a look at what you spent, and take a look at each category, and see where you spend the most. This is a good exercise, which I have done numerous times, that gives you a great look at what you spend and where you spend it. It is also a great way to find places to reduce spending. I will do the challenge also, and report to you in two weeks and share my spending habits. 
So there you have it, a few more tips to help you save a few pennies. I hope you will join me in tracking your spending. I ensure you it is a good exercise, and you might even notice a pattern and begin to alter your spending habits before the two weeks are over.

Who's with me?


Sunday, June 17, 2012

In the Garden: Growing

So last week I shared my sweet little pot garden. And I thought I would share some progress. With the warm weather and rain we have had recently the tomatoes are growing like crazy. I think that a couple of them will begin to ripen soon!
So far we have 6 tomatoes, with flowers turning in all the time, and lots more flowers on the plant! I am so excited for fresh tomatoes, right off the plant. For salads, toppings, fresh salsa, and hopefully a batch of spaghetti sauce to store for the winter. :)
And I decided to re-organize my herbs and add a few. I found this willow planter at the Superstore Garden Center and I think it is the perfect place for my herbs. So in this planter I have lemon thyme, cilantro (one of my faves!), garlic, dill, basil and lavender.
Something got into my dill plant, and ate all the dill off the ends! I'm hoping it comes back, this is one issue with gardening - pests! I'm just not sure what I am up against in this case :)
Anyways, aside from the missing dill I am super happy with the way everything is growing. I think this was the best choice for this summer, when I don't have a lot of time to spend out in the far end of the yard at the garden. Next summer Pip can frequent the garden with me, and it will be a little easier!

I hope things are growing well in your garden :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Pip Update: 1 Month

From the eyes of a sweet little Pipster :)

Today I am 1 month old!

Last week mom took me to the doctors and I weighed 10lb7oz, mom says I'm growing fast. I know mom and dad have had a hard time these last few weeks, because I'm big and my tummy is still small I'm eating frequently, even at night. Although lately I've been sleeping 3-4 hours at a time at night, and mama seems to have more energy and patience. I'll keep eating and growing mama, and soon all this frequent feeding will be a distant memory.
Last weekend I had lots of adventures. Saturday afternoon Grandma and Grandad Herd came for a visit. Mama wasn't feeling well, so she was happy to have them come visit. They brought some food for dinner, fixed up mama's front garden, and still had time for lots of snuggles! On Sunday I went to the beach for the first time, mama forgot her camera but I sure was cute in my little shorts! I slept through the beginning of the trip while my cousins Loo and Beri swam and played in the sand. And Mama even got the chance to swim while Grandma and Grandpa Innes stayed with me in the shade. Mama tried to feed me when I woke, but it was much too hot and I preferred to snooze until we got to grandma's and grandpa's for dinner.
Today is my Auntie Crystal's birthday and I am going to help my mama make her birthday cake. I am excited to visit with my family tonight. I can't wait until I am big enough to play with my cousins!

Thanks for reading along, I'll be sure to share another update soon! :)