Thursday, November 15, 2012


Wow its been awhile! Life just seems to get busier and busier around here. Growing up you always heard the older ones talk about how time flies...never really understood it til now. This past year has been a big time of readjustment for us. As my family is getting older so are my priorities and thus I needed to make some changes.

About 3 months ago I was feeling completely overwhelmed and just tired. I was trying to keep up with the demands of my bag business and take care of my boys and their schedules. It got to the point where nothing was fun for me anymore. I was just tired and worn out! So I put my bag business on hold and just focused on the boys. It worked...for awhile. You see for me the bag business wasn't just a was part of my soul! I LOVE sewing, its like oxygen for me. I can go a little without it but then I start to sink. Around this time I also went back to driving school bus for my boys. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!!!!!!!  I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoy taking them to and from school. I love kids...their stories...their drama...most of all their HONEST expression of their feelings. Going back to driving was like putting on your favorite pair of PJ's...just so comfortable!

The only drawback was I was now working 2 jobs, taking care of 3 boys and totally missing sewing. Something had to go!

So this week I made the decision to quit working at the hospital.

I have been there almost 9 years but as I sent my managers an email I felt the weight of the world lift from my shoulders and a smile cross my face!

I feel so blessed that I am able to leave frees me up to resume my bag business and to my absolute love of sewing! I am so excited for the new year to start and to be able to do what I love without any pressure. I already have quite a few shows lined up for next year and some AH-MAZ-ING bags to show off.

So stayed tuned....2013 is gonna rock!

♥ Christina

Monday, July 23, 2012

Gorgeous Nails!

Wow...its been a long time since I blogged. Life as always has been absolutely crazy. Summer is in full swing in my household. Meaning lots of pool parties, play dates and movies! My oldest son is playing football for the middle school this year and has work outs EVERY morning! Some days I feel as if all I do is run around...I think any mom out there would understand!  Today's post is about a great little secret ( its sold at almost any store so its not a REAL secret) but one that most women walk right by! I love,love, love having my nails done but I absolutely HATE paying for them. I keep myself on a tight budget and this is just one extravagance that I cant justify! So I just paint my own...what a spend a nice amount of time on your nails and within a day what happens????
This!!! EEEK..look how gross they look. Seriously this is only after 2 days!!!! I am trying so hard to grow my nails out and love to have them polished but this just makes me want to pick at them. UGH!
So I did what I always do and researched a better way...and this is what I found!
Sensationail gel polish kit that COMES with a LED Lamp!!  It has gotten 5 star reviews from everyone that has tried it. It sounded good so I went to my local Walmart and bought one. It is initially pricey at $49.98 but it will last at least 10 polish changes. So if you figure twice a month like at traditional salons then this will last you 5 months.

It comes with absolutely everything you need for perfect nails. The Lamp, plug in cord, cleanser, primer, gel nail polish (each kit contains only 1 color...additional colors can be purchased for 9.99) gel top coat, nail file, cleansing cloths and a cuticle pusher. The instructions are very easy to follow and overall it took me about 20 minutes to do all of my nails. This is from start to finish because once you are done...YOU ARE DONE! There is no drying time!!!
Here are just a few of the colors you can get...there are alot more!

 I did mine in my dining can't see on here but all 3 boys were enthralled with this light!

and VOILA! Perfect nails. Now please excuse my stubby ones....I am trying to grow them out! I had gel tips on and they made my nails so brittle and soft.

If you want something that you can do at home that is inexpensive and works then this is the thing for you. I am not getting paid for this endorsement...I just loved it so much I wanted to share it. Be the first to comment on here and I will send you a $2.00 dollar off coupon to try if for yourself!!!

♥ Christina

Ps: check back next week as I will be sharing my all time favorite make up secret...flawless foundation!!!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Have your cake and eat it too!!

Chocolate cake...the absolute death of  me.  I love it! Could eat it all day long! In my house I am the only one with a sweet tooth. My boys and husband like salty things...chips do not last long around here. But I like my sweets. Especially chocolate cake. The biggest problem with that is if I make a typical cake no one will eat it but me..and I end up eating the whole thing. Not good! While perusing the Internet one day I came across this recipe...and fell in love!!!! I cannot begin to tell you how good this is! And it is less than 25 calories a serving!  So here is the best cake recipe ever...

 1 box of Chocolate Sugar Free cake mix ( or use whatever flavor you love)  
1 box of Angel Food cake mix

you need an empty Tupperware container that you can seal..

mix the two cake powders and dump into your container

That's it!! Now for a fabulous piece of cake you take 
3 Tablespoons of cake mix
2 Tablespoons of water 
Mix it in a coffee mug and.....................

Microwave for 1 minute and you have a perfect single piece of cake!!!! 

I promise you will love tastes so good. I love to put sliced bananas and sugar free cool whip on top of mine. At less than 25 calories I can have a piece of cake a day! I also love that you can store the powder in your pantry. 

Try it!!!!

♥ Christina

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sewing with Laminate

One of my custom orders was for a diaper bag made out of laminated fabric. I have never sewn with laminate before and it was quite the experience! I love how the bag turned will be very easy to keep clean. It had 2 front pockets and 2 side pockets...a large back zip pocket and 5 interior pockets. I also made the strap adjustable for over the shoulder or messenger style wear.

as you can see from this picture it is super shiny!

While I was sewing this I came up with a few tips. I simply used the same pattern that I would for any bag I make but there are some adjustments that need to be made. 

1. I still interfaced all pieces of the bag with Thermolam. This actually helped me sew it as the laminated part was on the inside as I sewed. 

2. To sew a top stitch I had to use my walking foot. If you don't have one it is well worth the investment to get it!!! 

3. I also had to increase my stitch length to 4. 

5. I had a heck of a time with my bottom thread having "gathers" as my thread was going too loosely through the machine for this type of sewing....I had to put tape on my spool to make it go through tighter. 

6. I did not have any problems with wrinkling like some people have stated. I even turned mine out and in a couple of times.  You can see in the photo that its not very wrinkly and looks good. I think the key here was that I interfaced everything. It gave it a good bit of support. 

7. This is a slow bag to make. Most times I can whip out a diaper bag in 2-3 hours....this one took about 5 to make. 

All in all I loved the laminate and there are so many fabulous prints in this fabric.....I cant wait to make more!!

♥ Christina

Friday, January 27, 2012

Adding a Hard Bottom to Your Bags

 I love a hard bottom on a bag...I think it adds a touch of polish not to mention helps it be more stable and durable. This tutorial is how I add a hard bottom to a simple tote bag. I have been doing it this way for awhile and I think its one of the simplest ways out there. 

For this tutorial I am assuming that you know how to make a simple bag. While this tutorial is easy to follow you do need to know how to make a basic bag to follow along. If you do not know how to make a basic bag Creative Little Daisy has a great tutorial on one. This picks up after you have cut out all your pieces and interfacing.

If you follow a basic bag pattern for a square know that you need to cut a square out of the corners of your bag front and back like the picture below....for this bag I used a 2 inch square

Line up your front and back pieces and sew across the bottom. 

Open up the pieces and iron flat

Measure the front part of the notch 

and the long side part of the notch

Cut a piece of interfacing the same as your measurements.

Tip!! I always use Pellon #72 for my bag bottoms. It is double sided fusible and it is super stiff. For this tutorial I didn't have any so I used Pellon #71 It is one sided fusible. I just used two on top of the other and put the fusible side to the outside on both. This works fine..but I still prefer the #72.

Cut a piece of your main bag fabric big enough to put the interfacing in the middle like below. Make sure you have at least 1 inch of fabric on the ends.

Fold over the sides and iron flat (this is where the fusible is so necessary!!)

On your bag pieces lay the hard bottom piece on top of your sewn line...making sure you center it up. Pin in place.

Sew down the sides of the bag twice...making sure your lines are nice and even as this will be seen on the bottom.

Tip!!!! I always use a #18 size needle when I make bags. I never have a problem going through all the layers this way!

Now you assemble the bag like a basic bag pattern...sewing down the sides

In a basic bag pattern you square off the corners and sew do the same thing here...just make sure you pull the ends of the hard bottom fabric through your opening and smooth it out!

Sew across the bottom!

Tip!!!! I never do a back and forth motion on this part....I have had my needle jam as there is alot to put through your machine. I simply sew across....pull out and start at the top again and sew across once more.  This adds durability without trying to shove everything back words.

Do the same thing to the other side and you will have a nice square bottom.

Turn everything right side out and there you have it......a hard bottom for your bag. Just simply finish your bag the way you normally would. 

I hope this helps...if you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask!! 

♥ Christina

PS: Next week I will be sharing a tutorial on how to install a inset zipper to the top of your bag like this

I am adding this to Amy's Sew and Tell Friday....check it out!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Make Your Own Febreeze!!

I absolutely love the smell of febreeze!!! Love, love, love it! But I hate the cost. With my boys (seriously why do boys stink so much?!) I go through it alot. A year ago I found the best recipe was how to make your own febreeze! I wish I had bookmarked the had the best house tips! I have used this for awhile and I absolutely love it...I will never go back to febreeze!!

All you need is a spray bottle (use an old febreeze bottle if you have one) baking soda and fabric softner. You can pick any softner you like. I love Suavitel its cheap and the vanilla/lavender scent is divine! Let your nose be your!
To make your own febreeze (this will make a 16oz bottle)

1 Tablespoon baking soda
1/8 cup Fabric Softner

Add this to your bottle and then fill with warm water to the top. Thats it!!! Shake and spray!!!!

So, so easy isn't it? I find that the scent from this lasts a lot longer than normal febreeze and my house smells so good...even with the boys ;)

♥ Christina

PS: Let me know if you try it!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

20 Minutes and 20 Dollars for a years worth of Laundry Soap!!

Laundry detergent....the necessary evil. I have 3 very active boys and a hardworking husband...I feel like I am constantly buying laundry detergent. Or trying to find coupons so I can get it cheap. I knew there had to be a better way! I started researching laundry detergent and was shocked at what I found...there are TONS of chemicals in them. They put dye in... then they put chemicals in to remove the dye to sell it to you dye free! I also found that they diluted the detergent so much that it takes alot of it to wash your clothes.  No wonder I go through it so quickly.

While searching the internet I also found tons of recipes to make your own detergent. Alot of people do it this way. The Duggars make all their own laundry detergent. So I decided to give it a try. I used some of what I found and added my own little here is my recipe...

1 Box of Borax 4lbs
1 Box of Arm and Hammer Soda 4lbs
1 Box of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda 3lbs
1 Tub OxyClean 3lbs
3 bars Fls-Naptha Soap
1 Bottle of essential oil (your choice of smell)

Take a big bucket (I used a left over bucket from a previous purchase of laundry detergent) and pour all the powder ingredients into it.

 Take the 3 bars of Fels-Naptha and grate them. This is the only hard part...I promise :)

 Dump this into the bucket with the powder...
Take a big spoon and mix it all together.

Now this is the part that I do differently than most...I don't like "chunky" powder...I wanted mine to look more like store bought and I also wanted to scent it. So I took 5 cups at a time and put it in my blender..I also added 15 drops of the essential oil. Then I blended it til it was smooth. I forgot to take a pic of the oil...I got it a health food store and it was lavender/vanilla.

You can see by the photo below the difference. The left side has not been blended yet and the right side has. It just gives it a smoother texture. And it smells YUMMY!!!

I store the detergent in the bucket and use what I need for my jar. No one would ever guess that I made it myself!!!

Now the best part of all this is that you only use 1 TABLESPOON!!!  per load. For heavily soiled clothes like jeans I use 2. I absolutely love the stuff. I have not had any problems with my clothes not being cleaned and they definitely smell great!  My jar holds 10 cups of detergent...that 160 tablespoons....or 160 loads of wash! I still have another 20 cups in the bucket!!! WOW~!~
Total cost for all the ingredients were
Total time
20 minutes

If you make your own or have any different recipes let me know...I would love to hear from you!


PS: Check back tomorrow for how I make my own Febreeze!!!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Ball Jar Makeovers

Happy 2012 everyone!!! I hope the holidays treated you all with lots of love and laughter! I was so busy that mine just flew by. As always with the start of a new year I am on a major clean/organization spree. Time to get rid of the old and ring in the new! Since I am organizing (once again) my sewing area I thought I would share a little tutorial on how to "dress" up your ball jars. I love any and all crafts that involve ball or mason jars. They work fantastic for storage and it adds a bit of whimsy to any area. These are amazingly easy to do...all you need is

Spray paint...any color will do. I ALWAYS have black spray paint on hand so that is what I used. Modpodge...if you have never used this stuff...RUN to the nearest store and get some. It has UNLIMITED uses!!! can use cereal boxes or anything else you have on hand and scraps of fabric.
And of course Ball Jars with the lids and rings. That's it!

Remove the rings and spray paint them the color of your choice.

While these are drying take a lid and trace it on your cardboard.

 Cut your circles out and set aside

Pick out scraps of fabric that you like and want to use and trace the lid on it.

Once you have all your circles cut out this is what you will end up with.

Now for the fun part....spread a good layer of modpodge on top of the cardboard piece

Do as the picture

 Once the modpodge has dried gently push it into your Ball Jar ring. The cardboard will keep it nice and tight inside it. On some of them I glue them in but most of the time I don't.

and voila!!! Your newly decorated ball jar!

I absolutely love how they look on my shelf. They hold all my sewing essentials and look cute too!

 These are so addicting....have fun making them...betcha' cant make just one ♥
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 ♥ Christina