Thursday, December 31, 2009

Made From Scratch

Just finished reading this book and I highly recommend it. Jenna Woginrich does a great job of simplifying how to start your own homestead no matter where you live. She is funny throughout the whole book and keeps you interested. If you want to know more about raising your own chickens, sled dogs, sewing (of course we are), cooking or just interested in a simpler life. READ THIS BOOK! She also has a blog at Cold Antler Farm.

Free Downloads for a Great New Year!

A new year always has me working toward better organization. And of course if you I am better organized I have more time to craft! I came across a few free (love that word=) downloads today that I thought might help to be organized. Hope you find them useful as well! Have a great new year!

Menu Planning:
A trip to the grocery store without a menu and list is a very dangerous thing for me. I get home wondering what I'll fix for dinner and why I bought all this random food. I normally find a crumpled old piece of paper and list my meals there. No more! In style I will plan! Okay, enough of that=p

from Nannygoat: Thirty Meals Plan

Probably the best idea I have heard in regards to meal planning. A little work to begin with but an amazing payoff! Here is how they explain it:

Okay, this is so simple and yet SO BRILLIANT!
The idea is to find 30 meals that your family loves MOST and compile those meals/ recipes so that they are easy to access. Then make a master list of all the ingredients you would need for all of those meals so you can keep your cupboards (and food storage) stocked so that on any given night you can pick a meal and whip it up in a jiffy or plan a week-month at a time... easy peasy!

from Nannygoat: Save the Date Organizer
This is an amazing way to organize all those dates, anniversaries, birthdays that you are supposed to remember but struggle with. Wish I had come up with this awesome idea=) Here is how they explain it:

Fill out these sheets with all the information you need to remember your loved ones special dates. It includes all the ways you can get a hold of your loved one (address, phone #, email, facebook, etc) to tell them "Happy Birthday". Oh, and when your BFF mentions to you that she loves that thing she saw at the store today hurry and write it down under "gift ideas" so when her birthday or Christmas comes along you know exactly what to get her!

from The Rubber Punkin: Super Cute Circle Labels
These are already downloaded on my computer waiting to be printed. She has some that are already labeled and some that are blank. She also has different designs: funky and fun and classy and chic. A new blog worth following!

For the kiddos:
From Living Locurto - Morning routine cards. These are fun and colorful and I might print them to help me in my bleary-eyed mornings=) Sometimes that third step gets completely forgotten (love my fuzzy, pink robe=) and step ie ie!

From Alpha Mom - Lunch box notes

I kind of wish that I had a packed lunch so I could get these=) Even if your kids are home during the day or you homeschool - this would be a sweet way of saying I love you during a snack break or at their seat at breakfast or lunch. You could even slip it in your spouses lunch box=)

Make your life beautifully organized!

Love in Pillow Form

For Christmas, Leslie made a family member a pillow with a tree and the family named embroidered on the pillow. When she showed me, I wanted it...and promptly told her so! Then the weeks went by and I forgot all about it - out of sight...

So, when we met to exchange Christmas presents, I was giddy when I saw she had made me one as well=) And touched when I found out she had worked on it while the kids were not napping so she could finish in time. Now that's love!

It now is proudly displayed on my living room couch. It does look a little lonely though... (hint, hint;)

I love it Les - one of my favorites this year!

Friendship is a sheltering tree ~ Coleridge

Make your life beautiful!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Granny slippers to 50's hot mamma slipper tutorial

A few weeks ago I saw a tutorial for granny-to-chic slippers at one of my favorite blogs Ruffles and Stuff. So yesterday I found these slippers...

at Target for $2.50! I liked them but didn't love them. So, with Disney's slippers as my inspiration, I transformed my own granny slippers into, what my husband calls...

50's hot mamma slippers!

The how-to is below. It is so simple and took less than an hour.

What you need:
1 pair of slippers
1 strip of material 14 x 1 1/4 ( I made a small cut and then ripped my material to get that frayed look)
needle and thread
coordinating button

1. Remove the bow that does not match at all.

2. Thread needle along one edge of the strip of material. Hold the end and pull to scrunch the edges and then curve to form a flower. *I'm sorry it's out of focus but it was hurry and post during nap time or never post at all=)*

3. Sew flower unto the slipper.

4. Cut two tulle circles -1 the size of the finished flower and 1 slightly smaller
5. Center the tulle on the flower and attach with needle and thread. The tulle is hard to see in the final picture but it adds depth and looks a lot better that just the flower.
6. Sew on button.
7. Enjoy cleaning and lounging around your house in fabulous slippers!

Make your life beautiful!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sewing Dork Exchange

  Melissa and I did the gift exchange over at Sewing Dork's blog and I'm just getting around to showing everyone what Rachel sent me.  She saw that we did (and promise we will do) Refashion Fridays so she went ahead and refashioned a basic short-sleeved button down shirt into this fabulous apron.  The pictures don't do it any justice because this quality made!! love it. Thank you Rachel.

Here's what Rachel wrote me:
"When I first signed up for this, I wanted to refashion something, but I wasn't sure how my recipient would feel about that. Then I saw that you were participating in the refashion challenge and knew you wouldn't mind.   I forgot to take a "before" photo, but this just started out as a basic short-sleeved button down shirt.  The only distinctive feature was button tabs at the bottom of each sleeve, which I've incorporated into the final design. Enjoy" -Rachel@titus2homemaker




P.S.  I look awful!!!!! sorry i had to write that.  just focus on the apron not my cheesy self!


Christmas Thank You Cards

If you are anything like me you saved at least one or two pieces of the really pretty Christmas paper from your presents=) So, I decided to incorporate it into these thank you cards!

What you need:
blank cards or card stock
photo paper
leftover Christmas wrapping paper
stamps, ribbon, or other embellishments

1. Print out a small picture of the receiver using or wearing their gift. Nothing is better than receiving a thank you card with a picture of the gift you gave (of course this would not work if you are planning on returning or re-gifting that adorable snuggli;)
2. Arrange the paper and photo until you are happy with the placement then glue it all down.
3. Add embellishments or stamping, write your note and you are all set!


Unique and fun thank you cards!


Make your life beautiful!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Hope Everyone Had a.....

happy and safe Christmas!!! We are getting back to the swing of things and getting our houses back in order. We are actually having dinner tonight together so we will probably be brewing up some new ideas for the new year, sew talking, farm obsessing, organic eating, and chasing after our kids!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Table Runner

My dear friend and neighbor , Katie, gave me this table runner for my birthday. It's beautiful. I love it. She did it without a pattern and its her own creation. Makes the gift a one of a kind! She is very talented and I am trying to get her to sell these but right now she is concentrating on her pregnancy (she is due in March). If you are really interested in one, let me know and I will pass on the word to her :)



Made these blocks for Chloe :) Here's the tutorial from ohsohappytogether.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Simple and Fast Christmas Table Decoration

I was so excited when Les asked me to join her on Mamma Tortilla!  So here I am with my first post=)

Yesterday afternoon the house was its usual weekend messy and at 3:00 we decided to ask over a couple to dinner (the only ones who could make it through the 2 feet of snow to our house in the woods)  Dinner was at 6.  Let's review -- messy house + no dinner plans + company coming in 3 hours = ahhhhh!  Well it wasn't that bad=) Nothing like company to get that bathroom spiffy! 

The house was clean and the stew simmering so I turned my attention to the table.  It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy when the table is pretty, but I had just a few minutes before our friends came and I still had to make the biscuits.  I decided to go for simple and classy (read - the least amount of work=)

Rolled the napkins, tied a ribbon and slipped in a candy cane. Easy peasy!

Stamped names on scrapbook paper (had hubby cut it out and clean the stamps=)

Added a few candles...voila...simple and classy=)
Make your Christmas beautiful!

Please Welcome...

Melissa West to the Mamma Tortilla Blog. As you know, Melissa does join in for Refashion Friday (which will start up in January) and is part of Mamma Tortilla behind the scenes A LOT. You see that banner....she did it!! So we talked, laughed, conferenced, and decided that Mamma Tortilla wouldn't be the same if she wasn't part of the blog.

She will be posting on here from now on. So please give her a warm welcome to the new member of MT :). I am very excited.
Les :)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Greenhorns

My secret dream has always been to have a farm and have livestock. CRAZY I KNOW! When I was younger my mom always said she wanted a farm (she is actually looking to buy land in Colombia to have a farm). Since Austin and Chloe have been born, I have changed in so many different ways. I want to give them a farm and teach them how to take care of it, want them to go outside and breathe fresh air, I want them to learn how to grow and eat fresh vegetables, I want to show them how to sew and more importantly teach them how to appreciate the simpler things in life.

Since taking a leap of faith and going from a 9-5 career woman to a stay at home mom and living within our means. My outlook on food, clothing, commercialism, and wants vs. needs have changed. Its been hard trying to explain to friends how our lifestyle has changed and not having them judge us because now we don't have the money to have the "in" clothes or go out to dinner. I have learned to shop smarter, go to consignment stores/thrift stores, have learned how to make homemade applesauce!! Before I stayed home, I couldn't even boil water. NO JOKE! But, now that I have "less", my family and I are so much happier! Crazy how that works.

So my first step into farm life.....a chicken. Yes, my family and I will get an egg from Mommy Meatloaf and see it hatch into a chicken. Unfortunately, we can't keep it because of where we live but its our first step.

It feels really good to write this all down and actually get it out. So here is a clip from a documentary about young farmers. Maybe one day it will be The Rhodes Family :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Things have been pretty busy around here. Getting gifts made (which my husband won't let me post since family members are followers) and million other things. But wanted to post pictures of the people who inspire me the most and who are by far number one in my life, Austin and Chloe ..............

So when you see that I am not posting well I am busy enjoying every second that I have with my kids.

Les :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Last Minute Gift Idea

Need a quick last minute holiday gift for a co-worker, friend or neighbor? Try this non-sewing christmas ornament:) Here is the tutorial by WhipUp. Super easy and really cute :)


Friday, December 11, 2009

In Love.....

During my usual window shopping at my favorite place.....Etsy. I came across a seller that well lets just say........IM IN LOVE!!.  Everything in her store I want to buy buy buy. If I could describe my style by a store well Appetite Home would be it.  Check her out!! Ooooooooo almost forgot she has a blog too :) I always get excited when I find new blogs and new favorite etsy stores.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Thank You for A Great Ornament Exchange!

                                                           Ornaments by Paige :)

Just wanted to send a shout out to all those who participated in the ornament exchange!! It was a success.  I was able to be there when two people received their ornaments and the excitement on their face was priceless.  It amazed me how a small gesture from someone you dont know has such an impact on someone's life.  Tears, jumping up and down, showing everyone the gift you got and the smiles were heart warming.  It really made me realize what the holidays were all about.

 One person was going through a family loss last week and was hosting the party at her parents house when knocking at the door was one of Santa's Elves, the Mail Man.  She grabs the present comes running in to the back room where I was with Chloe and says "I GOT MY ORNAMENT!!". She was so excited and ripped open the box and there was this beautiful handmade ornament! For that second this ornament brought a smile on her face when at the time we were grieving for the loss of our Uncle! WOW.

The second person,  was a little down because she had been going through a tough week and was sad because she hadn't gotten the tree up yet which she always gets up on the same day every year.  That day when everything seemed to be going wrong again the Mail Man came knocking and handed her box.  She came inside and her kids were gathered around her waiting anxiously to see what was inside.  She opened the box and  there was this ornament and she gasped.  Her eyes filled with tears and the kids where jumping up and down in excitement.  But wait, there was more in the box.  The person had sent her one of a kind greeting cards.  That made the tears come down even more!  What the person didn't know is that She LOVES cards!. 

So, it's not all about the expensive gifts during the holidays. It's the little stuff that counts, the ones that come from the heart.  The women who participated in this exchange will forever remember that ornament that came in the mail and will always have a story to tell!

Happy Holidays,

Mamma Tortilla

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Check out Mommy Meatloaf

My good friend Melissa S. (yes, I know a lot of Melissa's) over at Mommy Meatloaf has some really creative ideas for ornaments. She made a light bulb into a cute christmas ornament. WAY TO BE GREEN! Become a follower of her blog. You won't regret it.

Les :)

Mouse Pad

For my birthday two of my bestest friends gave me sewing books! I got Homemade Home by Amanda Soule and Sew Darn Cute by Jenny Ryan. I highly recommend both of them. Well, since I am making all my holiday gifts this year, I decided to put my new books into use. From Homemade Home I made the really cute mouse pad. Easy to do and a great gift. I made two of them for some of our relatives.

Happy Sewing,

Les :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Black Apple Doll

Made one of the Black Apple Dolls by Emily Martin at Inside a Black Apple for Chloe` for Christmas. Love it. Here is the tutorial . I did make the legs and arms bigger because I was having trouble turning them inside out.

Les :)
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