Simple Sewing Project- Pillow Cases!

I love making Pillow Cases- They are quick, simple projects that you can make for a very small amount of money, and they really can tie together a room.

I tend to buy plain colored sheets for the kid’s beds. Then I make pillow cases with colors or characters they like. In the past I’ve made Batman pillow cases and Thomas the Tank Engine pillow cases for Henry, and floral print and eyelet lace trim for Margaret. Most of our blankets are either down comforters in plain colored duvets or handmade quits.

I found a bunch of 1 yard pieces of fabric this morning, so I decided that today for art for 100 days of art, I was going to make a pillow case or two. I’m doing 100 days of art and chronicling it on Instagram. I’ve done some pretty cool projects so far!

You only need a yard of 45 inch wide 100% cotton fabric, matching thread and about a half hour of time. Oh, and a sewing machine. If you are looking for a good, basic sewing machine, I like this one-  It’s similar to the one I use.

Pre-wash your fabric in hot water and dry on high. This gets all the sizing out of the fabric. There will be no further shrinkage.

IMG_8710Lay fabric out, right side facing up.

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Fold fabric in half so selvedges (the finished edges)are together.

IMG_8711.jpgUsing a straight stitch on your sewing machine and a 5/8 inch seam allowance around one skinny end, turn the corner and sew up the side with the selvedge. IMG_8713

My sewing machine has measured out and notated hash marks on the throat plate (that’s the silver part in this photo).

I use a 5/8 inch seam allowance. It’s what most commercial patterns use as well.

 

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Trim off any stray strings. Set your machine to zigzag stitch, and stitch over the free edge of the fabric. I recommend using matching thread, I used a contrasting thread, so you could see my stitches.

 

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Fold the open edge over twice, pin or press down. Stitch down the folded edge. Take care to open the pillow case and slip the arm (the part of the machine with the bobbin in it) into the pillow case so you don’t end up sewing your pillow case together.

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Clip off any stray threads, and turn the pillow case right side out. Pop your pillow inside the case and you are all set!

This is a great 1st sewing project for kids and adults. You can make your pillowcase a little fancy by adding lace or ribbon around the hem of the open side.

I’d love to see what kind of pillow cases you make!

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Playing and Learning with Safari LTD.

2B6678AB-B924-49B9-81D9-A9E4F2510AAE.jpgEver since Henry was itty bitty, one of his favorite kinds of toys were what he calls “Mean Animals”, you know those plastic animals that you can buy everywhere? Some of them are realistic, and some not so much.

We have a pretty hefty collection/menagerie of mean animals, but we are always open to increasing our herd. Last week we received a package from Safari LTD that contained our three newest friends: Frogfish, Hermit Crab, and Sea Turtle. As you can see from the picture above, Margaret has taken a shine to Sea Turtle.

IMG_8450.jpgThese new friends are not the usual tiny animals that come in a plastic bag or tube, these guys are BIG! I mean, look how big the Sea Turtle is in Margaret’s hands! And they look realistic too! That’s what I love about the toys from Safari LTD. Regardless of the size, all of their toys look real. No purple rhinos or bright green whales. Everything looks like it could come from a nature magazine. In fact the hermit crab scared the cat!

Safari LTD. has a great selection on Amazon, but you’ve probably seen their “Toobs” at Michael’s and some of the Good Luck Minis and Fun Packs at museums and aquariums. You can also buy them on the Safari LTD. Website too. Henry loves animals. Some of our favorite family animal based shows include: Wild Kratts, Octonauts, Blue Planet, Dinosaur Train, Zoboomafoo, and Coyote Peterson on Youtube (it is one of the few things I am ok with the kids watching on YouTube), so I was stoked to discover the SafariPedia on the Safari LTD. website. The SafariPedia has a full, amazing wiki with tons of information about all of the animals and creatures of the toys they make.

IMG_8457.jpgWe play really rough with out toys, and our ocean gang has held up to some pretty rough play. They are no worse for the wear.

I asked Henry if he would recommend the Safari LTD. toys to his friends, and he said, “Yeah, these guys are awesome. They are cool and look real. I think we should buy some Mean Animals for (insert the name of two of his friends) for their birthdays!” So there you have it- Mom and kiddo approved!

Thanks to Safari LTD. and Mommy Con for the three new animals. All opinions are my own, and I received no financial compensation for this post. Some of the links posted may be affiliate links that may generate a commission or revenue. Please refer to my disclosure policy.

 

 

Shopper Army: Contests, Rebates, and more!

Screen Shot 2018-01-09 at 3.42.59 PM.pngI recently learned about Shopper Army: A website that offers great rebates on products people actually buy.  They also have really cool contests.

You can sign up here.  Here are just a few of the rebates they are offering right now:

20171110222411_head.pngFree Friendly Farms Organic Lowfat Chocolate Milk

Free Premier Protein Dark Chocolate Mint High Protein Bars

Free Elevation by Millville Protein Powder

Free The Greek Gods Seriously Indulgent Marionberry Yogurt

Free Nature’s Path Dark Chocolate & Red Berries Granola Bars

Free Runik Red Blend Wine

 

Many of the rebates are for 100% of the cost, but a few are 75% or so. Either way, if these are items you buy or use, this is a great opportunity to stock up and save!

If you like rebates- This is a great website. They have tons of rebates available now!

Baby Deals and Freebies

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I know so many people who are either expecting or adopting in the next few months. I thought I’d share some really great deals and freebies, since we all know kids are super expensive!
Looking for a great Baby Shower Gifts? Here are a few free, cool gifts that are actually useful!
Free Walmart Baby Box! Includes samples and coupons

Regardless of any personal beliefs, a fed baby is best. I always recommend having a stash of formula samples and different types of bottles on hand. Thankfully, there area few formula companies that send samples and coupons! Similac and Enfamil are the two that send goodies most often.

When you sign up for a registry at Babies R Us  you will get a little welcome kit, and that frequently contains a bottle, samples of toiletries, a few diapers and wipes. I recommend starting a registry online, and then go into the store to check out some of the bigger items like a travel set and furniture. You can add items to your registry in the store.

If you are an Amazon Prime member, check out this free baby box of goodies!

And don’t forget that there are always great printable coupons for much needed baby supplies online!

Here are just a few of the ones available right now:

Save $2.00 any ONE (1) package of HUGGIES® Diapers (Not valid on 9 ct. or less)
Save $0.50 any ONE (1) package of HUGGIES® Wipes (48 ct. or higher)
Save $1.00 on any (1) JOHNSON’S® (Excluding 1oz to 4oz, trial sizes and gift sets) or any (1) DESITIN® product (Excluding 1oz size)

Looking for more tips on how parents can save money? Check out this post.

Healthy, Frozen Fruit Pops!

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It’s summer and my kids would eat popsicles 24/7 if I let them. Most commercial popsicles (or as they are sometimes called, frozen dessert confections) are full of sugar and artificial ick. A few months ago my dad bought me a package of Zipzicles on Amazon. Zipzicles are long, skinny zip top freezer bags that can be filled with whatever you’d like and frozen. Think DIY Otter Pops.

What I really like is that you can be creative, use what you have on hand, and create healthy and fun treats with your kids.

Here are two recipes that the kids and I came up with. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen this pictures recently.

Screen Shot 2017-06-23 at 7.46.47 AMMixed Berry Pops

Makes about 12 pops

  • 2 cups mixed berries (use whatever you have, I used 1.5 cups of strawberries and 1/2 cup blackberries)
  • 1/2 c water
  • 2 t. honey

Place all ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth. Use a small funnel to fill the zipzicle pouches. Place all Zipzicle pouches into a cup or larger zip top bag and place in freezer. Ready to serve in approx 4-6 hours, or as soon as frozen solid.

Screen Shot 2017-06-23 at 7.46.35 AMTropical Pops

Makes about 20

2c frozen bananas
2c frozen Strawberries
1 pkg frozen mangoes
2c Orange Juice
Blend together, pour into Zipzicle pouches ( I use a funnel). Store in freezer until it’s time to consume.

They are so good, and no extra sugar is needed, because the bananas are so sweet.

Next, I think we’ll be making Bachelor Mousse treats. I think it will freeze well, and everyone loves fudgsicles!

For your convenance, Zipzicles can be purchased here (affiliate link), but you can also find them at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

What would you put into your Zipzicles?

Incredible Deal on Visa Gift Cards at Staples! #StaplesEZ20

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You know I love a good Gift Card Deal! Right now through March 18, 2017 when you purchase $300 or more in Visa gift cards at Staples you will receive a $20 EZ Rebate. See store for more details, find your local Staples here. What is great about this deal is you can choose different denominations of Visa Gift card to reach the $300. 

There are so many great ways to work this deal!

  • Use your points or cash back credit card to purchase the gift cards for a double dip! Our American Express Card gives us 5% cash back when we shop at office supply stores.
  • Pick up gift cards in smaller amounts ($25) and give to your child’s teacher to help with supplies a few times before the school year ends.
  • Great for sending to college students!
  • Use the gift cards to stay on budget for gifts and online shopping! Because you can shop in store or online with gift cards, it’s a great way to triple dip (use a cashback online shopping website like ebates or Topcashback to redeem your gift cards. You will earn even more cash back!).

Right now, you can enter to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card! Stock up on essentials for upcoming spring break, or buy yourself something nice! Click here to enter (the Rafflecopter may not be mobile friendly).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a sponsored post, thanks to Tatu Digital Media for including me on this awesome offer and giveaway! All opinions are my own!

Enter to Win a $50 Amazon GC!

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I am so glad that I’ve been able to grow my social media presence organically, meaning, just by word of mouth. And now I want to thank my followers, however they discovered me!

To celebrate 500+ Instagram followers, I am giving one lucky follower a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Entering is easy!

  1. Follow me on Instagram.
  2. Leave a comment on this post with your Instagram handle.
  3. For a bonus entry, share this blog post. Leave a comment as to how/where you shared it.

You must be an Instagram follower to win (and yes, I will check).

 

I will choose a winner on 1/31/17. Winner will be notified via Instagram and/or email.