Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Think About It.

Last month, my friend Amy shared this post on her blog. She was brave, and shared with the world how much Facebook, Blogger, Instagram, and just technology in general was taking over her life.

As I was reading this post, I kept thinking "Wow, that's nuts! She's late to get out of bed in the morning because she's checking Facebook on her iPhone?! Who does that?!" And then it hit me. I did that. Every single day. Talk about a reality check. 

I am an addict. I am addicted to anything and everything that an iPhone, or any smartphone for that matter, can do. I love Instagram. I love taking a billion pictures of my kids. I love texting. I love the music. I love the games. I love the apps. And, oh, do I love Facebook. 

I couldn't make it through a day without having to charge my phone mid-day. My husband, poor guy, would try to talk to me and was ignored because I was on my phone. I checked my FB while driving. I checked it at the grocery store. I was on FB while giving Evan a bath. I was on my phone while "playing" with my kids at the park. 

I was seriously sickened after becoming aware of how much I was on my iPhone. 

That's when I decided I needed to break this habit. I started searching for iPhone rehab centers - just kidding. Kind of. Unlike Amy, I was not able to exert enough self-control to limit my time on my iPhone. So, I sold it. And purchased a non-smart phone. 

Wait, what? 

Yes, that's right. Non-smart phones still exist! 

It's been almost a month now since I sold my iPhone on eBay. Honestly, I expected to have physical signs of withdrawal - the shakes, sweating, irritability. But I'm fine. Really! Sure, there are times where I miss my iPhone, like when I'm in another city and get super lost and can't whip out my GPS. Or when I'm in the store and want to compare products. Or when my mama group is posting last-minute meet ups and I am missing out. But it's ok. You know why?

Because my kids and my husband now come first. I am no longer the mommy pushing her child in the swing with one hand and checking her phone with the other. I am no longer telling my child to hold on a minute because I'm too busy with my phone to pay attention to her silly song and dance. My husband is no longer talking to a brick wall. I am no longer missing out on REAL LIFE. I'm free! 

Free, free at last, and it feels so good... 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Semi-Homemade Christmas

This year I have been having sew much fun (get it?) hand making gifts for the little ones for Christmas. Everything I have made so far has been relatively easy and the perfect project for a beginner seamstress, like myself! I will say though, I think I may be moving up to intermediate after all the sewing I've done this holiday season! 

While some of my projects must remain secret til after Christmas, I will share with you two DIY's I've made for my kids, cousins, and little friends. Feel free to comment if you have any questions, or to share with me your end product! 

Car Caddy 

These little things are going to be a huge hit with the boys in my family! They are inexpensive to make, I spent about $5 on each one. Your price will vary depending on the cost of your fabric. (Hello Hobby Lobby Coupons!) I'd say after the first one, and after the cutting (I cut all of mine out in the beginning) the rest took me about 30 minutes each to sew. 

I semi-followed the directions off of this website. I, personally, do not like the denim fabric used and did not like the closure, or the applique. Picky much? Yes, I know. 

two pieces of duck cloth, or other heavyweight fabric, for the outside and car pockets (17" x 10" and 17" x 6")
one piece of coordinating fabric for the inside background (17" x 10")
one piece of iron-on medium weight interfacing (17" x 10")
black and yellow or white felt (black felt cut to 17 x 3 inches, yellow felt cut into five 1" x 1/4" pieces)
24" Coordinating ribbon 
Fabric Glue
sewing machine and supplies

1. Cut out all your fabric. If you are planning on making more than one, cut all of your fabric now to save time. 
2. Iron all of your pieces. I hate this. I hate ironing. But do it. You need to press out those fold lines. 
3. Iron on your interfacing to the back of your inside background piece of fabric. 
4. Take your 17"x6" piece of fabric, fold in half so it's 17"x3", and iron to press. 
5. Line up the raw edge of your car pocket piece and the bottom of your inside background. Pin on each side. Line up your road felt on top and pin on the sides. 
6. Sew along the outside of the road. 
7. Measure 3" from the left side of your pocket fabric, mark a line (with a disappearing ink marker or pencil specifically for sewing), then measure 2.75" and mark a line until you've made 5 marks total. Stitch vertical lines down at each mark, making sure to backstitch at the top and bottom of each pocket. 
8. Take your ribbon, fold in half, and pin on the right side, middle, of the car pockets. 
9. Lay your outside 17" x 10" piece on top of your inside piece, making sure the right sides are facing each other.
10. Sew around the entire thing using a 1/4" seam and making sure to leave a 3-4" gap to turn it inside out. Be careful not to stitch around the extra ribbon laying inside! You only want to sew one edge of it. 
11. Once turned right side out, you can either just stitch your opening closed or stitch it closed and continue to stitch around the entire thing. I did it both ways and do not have a preference for either way. 
12. Press entire thing, it will be wrinkled after turning. 
13. Glue your road dashes on your road using fabric glue. (If you'd prefer to take on the tedious task of stitching on the dashes, follow the directions on the website.) 

And that's it! My directions may seem long and tedious, but I wanted to clarify everything that I found confusing on the original site! As you can see, I made a few changes to make this project a little easier. Look at how adorable these are once the little cars are inside! Evan will be receiving one as a gift as well, I can't wait to throw this in my bag and pull it out when we are at a restaurant to keep him entertained!   
I'll post the second project later today! Xoxo