Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Monthly Weigh In - January

Here's my weigh in for the month of January. I'm still doing Jenny Craig, but since I'm getting close to my goal weight, I'm only eating JC for about 1/2 of my meals. I'd say this month went pretty well, I had a couple days where all I wanted to do was eat, but in general I made great food choices and kept up with my workouts. I did have a giant piece of chocolate cake that I shouldn't have, but it was so worth it! I would also like to mention that my husband lost 15 pounds this month too! Go us!

Previous Weight: 170 lbs
Current Weight: 159 lbs
Monthly Weight Loss: 11 lbs
Total Weight Loss: 54 lbs

Friday, January 27, 2012

Fat Quarter Friday: Easy Quilted Baby Blanket Top

This week I made a quick and easy quilted baby blanket top. If you've never tried quilting before this is a simple and cheap way to figure out if you like it!

4 Fat Quarters

Step 1: Trim up your fat quarters so they are all the same size, I cut mine to be 17" x 20".
 Step 2: Cut your fat quarters into ten 2" strips. Make sure that you fat quarter is situated so that the 20" long sides are top and bottom and the 17" long sides are on the sides.
 You should end up with 10 strips from each fat quarter, so 40 total.
 Step 3: Lay them out like so, with two rows of 20 strips. You can do any sort of pattern you want, or make it random. I did a simple repeating pattern and made sure my two rows were off by two so that none of the colors matched up. Something you may want to do at this point if you really like your set up, or you have a bad memory, or you just love technology is to take a picture of your lay out. This way you can refer back to it as you go since it can be easy to mix up placement if you're not careful.
 Step 4: Take the right most strip and fold it over on it's neighbor to the left. So in this picture above, the pink polka dot strip in the bottom right will go face down onto the brown swirlly strip next to it. You will do this for each fabric so that you end up with 10 pairs on your top row and 10 pairs on your bottom row. Again, all of your pairs should be right sides together.
 Step 5: Now we do some sewing. Start by taking that first pair we turned over from the bottom right and bring it over to your sewing machine. You will then sew down the right hand side of the pairs with a 1/4 inch seam. Then bring over the next pair, and the next pair, and the next until you have them all.
 Step 6: Once your strips are sewn into pairs, you'll need to iron the seams. Lay your pairs out on your ironing surface with the seam on the right. Then take the top fabric and open it, ironing as you go. This will ensure that all of your seams are facing the same direction.
Step 7: Once all of your pairs are sewn and ironed, lay them out in your set up again, referring to your picture if needed. Here is where you are going to repeat steps 4-6 again and again until all the strips in your two rows are sewn together.
So fold over your right most pair onto it's neighbor, right sides together. Repeat so you end up with five pair on each row. Sew them together on the right hand side.
Iron them open like before. Lay them out and repeat the steps until completed.
Step 8: Once all of your strips are sewn together lay them out again (remember, you should have 20 strips on top and 20 on bottom).
Fold the top row down onto the bottom row so that they are right sides together. Pin the one side together every few strips and sew it with a 1/4" seam. Iron the seam open.
Your baby blanket quilt top is now complete! It's pretty cute! Check back in later this week to see how to finish the blanket!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Acorn Squash is Actually Delicious

In an effort to eat out less, Brian and I have been trying to cook with new things to keep our meals fun and interesting.

This acorn squash recipe is so amazingly easy and tasty, it turns out a little bit like sweet potatoes but much easier, cheaper, and probably with fewer calories. Plus it looks freaking fancy, so you'll impress the heck out of the people you're cooking for. We got this recipe here !
1 Acorn Squash (feeds two)
2 T Brown Sugar
1 T Butter or Butter Substitute

Step 1: Buy an acorn squash. They're super cheap, we got ours for $0.89. Preheat the oven to 350.
 Step 2: Cut your squash in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. This part is very similar to hollowing out a pumpkin on Halloween, what fun!

 Step 3: Turn the two halves upside down on a tray with a lip and bake for 30-45 minutes. Basically until they're a little soft and mushy and look like this.
 Step 4: When they're soft, pull them out and turn them right side up and place 1 T of brown sugar in each half and 1/2 T butter or butter substitute in each.
 Step 5: Bake for another 30 minutes and then enjoy their tasty goodness. They are seriously amazing!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Fat Quarter Friday: Small Pet Bed

I love my little dogs, so I think they should have nice places to lay around the house. Hobi's old bed that I made for him was looking rather disgusting, so I decided it was time for a nice new one.

2 Fat quarters
2 Large buttons
Corresponding thread and needle

Step 1: Place your fat quarters right sides together.
 Sew around the edge with a 1/4" seam. Leave about a 4-5" wide opening on one side.
 Step 2: Turn the bed right side out and stuff with polyfil. Put in as much as you think your dog will like, but don't fill it too full or else it's too round and not great for sleeping on. Once it's full to your liking, whip stitch the opening closed.
 Step 3: Pick out two somewhat large buttons and position one in the middle.
 Take your needle and thread and poke down through the button and the bed to the other side.
 Take your other button and place it where your needle came up through the other side. Continue to run the needle from one side to the other going through the buttons until you've been back and forth several times.
 To tie off your needle, pull up the button like so and thread the needle through the other hole but not through the bed. Now wrap the thread around the underneath of the button several times and tie off the knot. Now your buttons are more secure and your knot is hidden.
 Your done!

 Gross old bed.
Nice new bed.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Fat Quarter Friday: Grocery Bag Holder

This week's Fat Quarter Friday project is a plastic bag holder. I know we should just use the reusable bags, but we forget to take them into the store a lot, so we end up with a lot of plastic bags. We keep them under the sink and use them for various odd things. About half of the space under our sink was being taken up by these bags, so I decided to make a cute little bag for them.

1 Fat quarter
Some plastic bags

Step 1: Find something around your house with about a 5" diameter (from one side of the circle to the other). I used a cd case. Trace it and cut it out.
 Step 2: Mental Math Time! If you used a different size circle you'll need to do some math. We need to figure out what the circumference of the circle is diameter x 3.14 (pi). Since our circle has a diameter of 5, 5x3=15. Add some for the .14 and the seams, so 16". Now you know your number, cut the rest of the fat quarter to be a rectangle with two sides 16". It doesn't matter how long the other side is, just use what you've got.
 Step 3: Situate your rectangle so that one of the 16" long sides is up at the top with the wrong side facing up. Now measure down about 5" on each side and iron down 1/4". These are going to make our slit on the bag.
 Now sew these down with a quick seam.
 Step 4: Now we're going to make the loopy area for the drawstring. On the 16" long edge that you were just working with, iron down 1/4" along it.
 Now fold it down again about 1 1/2" and sew it down.
 Step 5: Fold your fabric in half, right sides together and sew along the side where indicated. Make sure you do some back stitching. Iron open the seam.
 Step 6: Take your circle and your tube you just finished and pin them together. They probably won't match up perfectly and that's okay, just fudge it. Sew around it.
 Turn it right side out. You're done with the bag!
 Step 7: Now we're going to make the tie for the draw string. Take your left over fabric and cut two strips 2" wide. It doesn't really matter how long they are, just make them as long as you can from your scraps.
 Place them right sides together, sew along one of the short sides and iron your seam open.
 Step 8: Take the short edges and iron in a little 1/4" seam.
Fold it in half hot dog style and iron.
Open it up and iron in one of the sides up to the crease in the middle.
 Repeat with the other edge, so that they meet in the middle.
 Now fold it in half again hotdog style and pin in place.
 Step 9: Sew along the three open edges. Now you can thread the drawstring through the top of the bag and fill it up with your plastic bags cause you're done! It will hold around 20 bags.