09/3/14
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sewing lately: 9.3.14

My last sewing lately post was back in February!  In fact, it was right before Zoe was born, so let’s see what all I’ve been sewing up during these past 6 months.  I’ve included links to patterns used when they are available.

Prepare for picture overload!

February

Check out this post for what I’d sewn up to the middle of Feb + this post for what I’d sewed when I was past my due date.

March

Headband for Zoe and hair bow for me.  Matching of course for Zoe’s baby shower.  Self drafted project.

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This project was so simple and serves an awesome purpose!  I sewed up 2 diaper pail liners out of PUL using this tutorial.  While one is in use, the other gets washed with the cloth diapers.  Why did I wait until my second baby to get this system in place?

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This isn’t the final picture, but I made 3 matching bow ties for my friend’s boys – one for daddy, one for kid and one for baby – self drafted.

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April

I made this crossover pinefore for Zoe.  The free pattern is here, which I sized down hoping it would fit her around 3-6 months, but it’s still pretty big.

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I just love this retro green flower fabric.  It was a steal of a price since I purchased it as a queen flat sheet at goodwill for maybe $2-3.

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Easter came around and for part of Hunter’s basket I made a basket of fabric eggs using up scrap pieces.  This tutorial shows how to make them.

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Also for Easter I decided Zoe needed some cute new pants, so I whipped up a pair of newborn pants (free pattern).  Quick, easy and adorable on her – don’t mind the wrinkle.

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I sewed up two items for my niece’s birthday.  The first being bubble pocket shorts – pattern here.  Love.

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Then another crossover pinefore (linked to above) in the 6-12 month size the pattern provided.  The pattern is huge.  She turned 1 year and this will more likely fit her when she’s closer to 18-24 months.

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For my other niece I made a bonnet to go with an unpictured dress I sewed up for her birthday.  Free bonnet pattern and tutorial here.

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May

Hunter’s birthday was in May so we DIY’s a workbench for him, and I sewed up a tool belt.  Tutorial here.

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June

More birthday sewing!  For Hunter’s friend Mabel I sewed up a pleated playsuit in red linin blend with a sweet and delicate strawberry contrast fabric.  Free pattern here.

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Zoe got a new dress – a geranium dress (which I’ve made many of now) in knit fabric.  I added snaps instead of buttons for the closure.  The knit is so soft and comfy.

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Jacob even got something sewn for him!  I used a good fitting tank top of his to created a pattern for this tank in some sa-weet fabric I was given.

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And since I sewed Jacob a tank top, I made one for myself as well.  This was my tester fabric for a pattern I drafted, which I liked still so I’ve been wearing it.

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Lastly, I made a couple bibs for a baby shower gift, so I sewed up one extra for Zoe/Hunter to use.  Pattern self drafted.

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July

I loved Mabel’s pleated playsuit so much, I sized down the smallest size on the pattern and made one for Zoe.  The only downside to this pattern is when you have to change a diaper, the entire outfit needs to come off.  But it’s so cute!

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Then I made a blue top knot headband for Zoe as well to complete her 4th of July look.

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And one more crossover pinefore (linked to above) for a gift.

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August

In August I realized Zoe needed shorts, so she got a pair of bubble pocket shorts!  Wishing I would have made this earlier because the sizing runs small for sure (this is a 6-12 month and slim fitting).

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And to finish off her summer sewing I did some more pattern drafting and creating.  Another pair of shorts, but these are much looser fitting with an added cuff at the bottom + a delicate and sweet dress than will fit for a while turning into a top as she lengthen out.  It’s roomy so it’ll last a while.

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And that’s it!  It’s so fun to look back and see what I’ve sewn up.  I try and take a picture once I finish a project so that I can easily look back and visually see what I’ve made.  My September sewing list has begun – I’m excited to see what I turn out!

Until next time!

Heather

To read more sewing posts check these out:

07/2/14
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healthy on $75: week 3 grocery haul breakdown + meal plan

My original plan was for June to be all about healthy on $75.  And now June is gone so it’s going to continue on through July!  I still have so much to share, and it turns out I’m a little slow at pumping out the posts on it.  Here’s the third installment of my grocery haul breakdown.  Enjoy!

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Like I mentioned in week 2′s breakdown, this week was also a bit off since we were on vacation for part of it.  As I begin to write this I haven’t added up the total I spent yet so it’ll be a surprise for me too. :)

What we ate

Dinners

Friday: BBQ’d steak and bratwurst, avocado, tomato and mozzarella salad and watermelon (vacation meal I didn’t cook)

Saturday: burritos + corn on the cob (vacation meal I didn’t cook)

Sunday: sushi from the grocery store (which was ehh but after 7 hours of driving I was not down with cooking) + peas from the garden

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Monday: brautwurst and potato salad (dinner at my parents + world cup watching!)

Tuesday: fried rice with fresh peas and kale chips

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Wednesday: burritos and brownies (dinner at my parents + world cup watching!)

Thursday: whole wheat pasta with feta and sauted zucchini in a light yogurt sauce + teriyaki chicken

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Breakfasts doesn’t vary very much: banana custard oats with peanut butter, scrambled eggs with cheese and fruit,  blueberry yogurt pancakes with applesauce. Coffee + milk.

Lunches: on vacation deli sandwiches provided by my parents – back home tuna sandwiches and leftovers.

Grocery haul breakdown

In addition to the visual of what I purchased, I’ve included a picture of the receipt (when available) to show prices.  There is also an explanation of what I picked up on sale and used a coupon with and any other notes.

Safeway

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  • 2 different pre-made sushi packs

Now normally I don’t include meals out or take out in our food budget, because it’s a rarity, but this is getting included because after a long drive instead of cooking, we picked up food.  Yes, I could have made something, but I went with the easy route.  It tasted okay… but I totally could have made something better.

Safeway total: $12

Chuck’s Produce

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  •  gallon of organic whole milk
  • 2 packages of chicken breasts (on sale)
  • ground beef (discounted)
  • creamer
  • dozen eggs

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  • bananas (on sale)
  • ripe bananas (discounted)
  • 2 lb bag of avocados (on sale)
  • zucchini (on sale)
  • nectarines (on sale)
  • apricots (on sale)

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I picked up one extra package of chicken breasts, which went right into the freezer.  The produce was all on sale saving me money on items I really want!

Chuck’s Produce total: $37.42

Walgreens

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  • 2 package sof starbucks coffee (sale and coupons)
  • 2 deodorants (sale and coupons)
  • toothpaste (sale and coupons + register rewards earned)
  • sardines

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Walgreens total: $14.67

Target

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  • toilet paper (paper and mobile coupon)
  • frozen peas (mobile coupon)

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Target total: $4.68

Dent room

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  • 3 cases of yuuuuuumy microbrews (42 bottles total, 18  x 22 ounces and 24 x 12 ounces)

I wish I could say everyone could get this deal, but it’s special from my husbands work.  He worked in the beverage industry and they have a room called the dent room where you can piece together cases (or get full cases) of beer.  A case of microbrew is just 9 dollars… it just cannot be beat.

Dent room total: $21

Grand total for 5 places: $89.77

Thankful it’s lower than the previous week!  It goes to show that making food at home saves money… had we not picked up sushi, I would have been right near my target of $75.

How I saved money this week:

  • I looked through the chuck’s produce ad before going shopping to make my list based off of what was on sale.  Almost everything I purchased there was at a lower price than regular.
  • I decided on a walgreens and target run to stock up on some items that we always need – mainly the coffee and toilet paper.  The deodorant deal was too good to pass up (just 50 cents each after the register rewards!).
  • In the long run the extra beer will save us money.  All three cases will last a while and since it’s summer time and we’re entertaining more, the extra cost of buying beer each week won’t be needed.

How was your grocery shopping this week?

Heather

06/20/14
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healthy on $75: week 2 grocery haul breakdown + meal plan

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Weeks 2 and 3 were a bit off for me as far as grocery shopping and meals went.  Our vacation was in the middle of both weeks, so my shopping and eating will look a little different than normal for each week. I also didn’t have to cook a lot which made it different too.

What we ate

Dinners

Friday: cheese (sharp cheddar and gouda), sausage and crusty bread plate (at home date night)

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Saturday: greek lemon chicken and bean rice bowls

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Sunday: burgers at the in-laws

Monday: BBQ chicken, bratwurst (extra from Friday), veggie salad left over from Saturdays chicken dinner, bbq’d broccoli, rice (also leftover), fresh fruit and unpictured (leftover) crusty bread {if I could eat this dinner every day I would!)

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Tuesday: beef, cheddar and avocado burgers, salad with caesar dressing and freshly picked strawberries

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Wednesday: spaghetti with beef sauce, asparagus and salad (vacation meal I didn’t cook)

Thursday: Hawaiian chicken thighs, cabbage coleslaw, grilled cauliflower and rice (vacation meal I was in charge of for 12 adults and 4 toddlers)

Breakfasts were the same mix as before: banana custard oats with peanut butter, scrambled eggs + toast, blueberry yogurt pancakes and french toast with applesauce. Coffee, coffee, coffee.

Lunches: tuna sandwiches, leftover rice bowls, deli sandwiches provided by my parents on vacation, lots of fruit always

Grocery haul breakdown

Again, lots of little extra trips… let’s see how I did.

In addition to the visual of what I purchased, I’ve included a picture of the receipt to show prices.  There is also an explanation of what I picked up on sale and used a coupon with and any other notes.

Natural Grocers

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  • Organic whole milk
  • 3 dozen cage free eggs
  • Bratwurst (on sale)
  • Extra sharp cheddar
  • Gouda
  • Feta
  • Sunflower seed butter
  • Raisins
  • Natural cane sugar

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Major savings from a living social I bought.  I spent $7.50 and got $25 to spend.  But, I didn’t need the sunflower seed butter.  That was a total extra.

Natural Grocer’s total: $18.55

Chuck’s Produce

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  • Bananas
  • Ripe banana (discounted)
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Orange bell pepper
  • Onion (on sale)
  • Cucumber
  • Grape tomatoes (on sale)
  • Apricots

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Chuck’s total: $11.92

Target

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  • Disposable diapers for Hunter + Zoe for travels (coupons used)
  • Disposable wipes (coupons used)
  • Toilet paper
  • Coffee (clearance + coupon)
  • Foaming hand soap
  • Contact solution (coupon used)
  • Bag of avocados (coupon used)
  • Strawberries (coupon used)
  • Mint Oreos (I was promptly ignored when I told Jacob “it’s not in the budget”…)

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Target’s total: 38.84

Philbrook Farms U-pick strawberries $1.45/lb

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U-pick total: $11

Fred Meyer

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  • Sharp cheddar cheese
  • Natural cane sugar (picked up for jam making)

Fred meyer’s total: $5.25

Oroweat outlet

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  • 2 loaves of white bread for Jacob
  • 1 loaf of whole grain bread for Hunter/I
  • Whole wheat hamburger buns

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Oroweat’s total: $4.40

Unpictured travel snacks the hubs picked up: water and chips

Total: $7

Unpictured trip to a market on vacation: brown and white rice, a lemon and half n half (organic)

Total: $10

Grand total for 8 places: 106.96

This is how my spending is when I don’t pay attention and plan well along the way.  Had I not gone strawberry picking and we hadn’t done extra vacation food spending, I would have been on target.  I really wanted to make jam though.  The  disposable diapers were an extra expense I don’t normally have.

I plan to balance this extra spending with staying under my budget the next couple of weeks of being back home and in a normal routine.

Still, I feel like there was savings, and here’s how I made that happen.

  • The living social deal I picked up saved me nearly 75%. Natural Grocers is a bit more spendy, but I actually ended up saving money by using the living social. I still have two more to use too!
  • Not cooking – I know this isn’t always an option for everyone (or myself), but with the vacation meals split and a get together I ended up not having to cook which meant less food to purchase.
  • I also brought organic chicken that I had purchased at home for a great deal, pulled from the freezer. Feeding 12 adults can be spendy, but I was able to keep the meal affordable by using up the last or my freezer chicken, using inexpensive veggies and bulking it up with rice. The teriyaki sauce I used was gifted from our neighbors, so I already had that on hand too.
  • I used lots of coupons at target saving me over $16.  Read how I coupon HERE.

My freezer supply of meat is dwindling, but as you’ll see over the next couple weeks, I’m already working on getting a small amount back in there.  And in a way that doens’t blow my entire food budget.

 What’s one item you happily splurge on?  Nut butters are always a favorite of mine.  We like good beer too.

Heather