Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Exercise Week 3

I have to admit that I am getting lazy with exercising. This tends to happen to me. No matter how great I start out all that enthusiasm fades away and then it's just plain boring. I know that getting in shape is something I really want, but on the other hand I just don't want to do the work to get there. Not much exciting to report this week other than I am beginning to notice a slight difference in the appearance of my calves since starting the squats challenge last week.

Wednesday April 9th: nothing.
Thursday April 10th: nothing.
Friday April 11th: 70 squats.
Saturday April 12th: 2 sets of 20 on ab lounge
Sunday April 13th: 75 squats, 2/20 ab lounge, 80 squats.
Monday April 14th: 90 squats.
Tuesday April 15th: nothing.
Wednesday April 16th: nothing.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

3 Steps to Getting Notifications of New Posts From Your Favorite Facebook Pages

Super long title, I know, but that's what this post is about.

This is to help you find out and fix why you're not getting Facebook notifications from pages you've liked.

Have you liked a Facebook page for a favorite blog, singer, actor, movie, book, etc. and then realize you never see posts from that page?

Or maybe they posts used to show up in your news feed, but now they aren't.

I'm sure there are many explanations, but here are a couple of ways to boost numbers for your favorite pages, and more importantly, for you to receive posts:

Facebok's algorithm will only show you a fraction of what your favorite pages post. But if you follow these instructions you can work around their system and see whatever your favorite page posts.

Due to Facebook pages, if you don't Like, Share, or Comment on posts, Facebook will dramatically limit, and then stop sending posts from your favorite pages to your newsfeed. (how dare they?! lol) Supposedly this is due to Facebook deciding that if you do not interact with a page's posts, it means that you have no interest in the posts; therefore Facebook with stop sending them to you.

Please Like, Share, or Comment on Facebook posts that you enjoy!!

Facebook is a business and they have the right to run it any way they want, but this is one way to get more of what you want so share, share, share! Share this with your friends so they know too. (Click here to share this blog post from my BEBBlog Facebook page!)

When you like a new page it takes just an extra click to get the notifications, but for pages you've liked in the past you'll have to go through and click 'get notifications' to keep updated on their new stuff. It might take more time to go through the old pages, but you'll probably want to go do this so you get their notifications too!

In 3 Steps you can start getting notifications from your favorite pages...

I'm going to use Miranda Lambert's (country singer) Facebook fan page for the example below.

{Miranda Lambert Facebook Page}

STEP 1. Go to the page you want to 'like'.

STEP 2. Click the 'like' button.

STEP 3. Click on or scroll your mouse over the 'liked' button and then click 'get notifications'.

Now, do keep in mind that once you've clicked 'get notifications' anything posted on the pages you like and do this to will send a notification to your personal notification box (that's a lot of 'notifications' but don't know how else to word it). Example:

{Oak Hill Homestead Facebook Page}
{Country Living Magazine Facebook Page}
{Southern Living Facebook Page}

This *could* get super annoying so you may want to consider only selecting 'get notifications' for pages that you're really interested in keeping up with. Favorite blogs, magazines, local groups, etc.

Quick tip: When you do this you will be getting a lot of notifications as these pages update with new status updates and photos. If you don't want to read them all or you've scrolled through the notifications and selected the ones you were interested in but still have 'blue ones' showing up click 'mark as read' and those that have already been posted and you've scrolled through will no longer show up as new things for you to check out.

Another quick tip: now that you're getting all these notifications you may realize you don't want some of them. Just go over notification and there will be a little 'x' on the right. Click that and then click 'turn off'. This will stop the notifications from that page, post, or photo from continuing to blow up your notification box.

Hopefully this post will help you get more out of those Facebook pages you've liked but haven't been keeping up with! See my post Bloggers: Use Facebook to Keep Up with Favorite Blogs to see another way to get notifications without blowing up your personal page notifier (you will have to use the technique shared in this post along with the idea suggested in the linked post).

Thank you for reading!

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Sister Style | Stripes & Grey

Stripes are SO much fun to wear! If you don't own clothing with stripes on them then I highly suggest you at least go and try on a some that do to see if you like the way they look on yourself! Stripes in the form of shirts, cardigans or tank tops are a great way to to step away from wearing all solid colors.

Striped Shirt: Max Rave.
Grey tank top: Arizona.
Denim skirt: Old Navy.
Sparkly Shoes: Faded Glory.

I just love the lace detail on the edge of the tank top my sister is wearing! I think that adds a little something extra to this outfit. This shirt is nice and thick so the grey underneath isn't as visible as it would be in a thinner shirt, but that's not really a bad thing! Many shirts these days are made too thin I think. The grey goes well with the sparkly shoes too:

Monday, April 28, 2014

My Episode with Baby Blues

This photo was taken at the hospital. Little Man is probably 1 or 2 days old here.

I don't think anyone could ever get used to depression, even if they're like me and suffer from depression on and off throughout the week (which for me is due to the brain injury I got in the car wreck a few years ago). Before I had Little Man I had talked to my midwife (who oversaw most of my pregnancy care, but didn't do the delivery) about postpartum depression. I was worried about getting it because I had problems with depression already and I thought I might get really bad Baby Blues... like to the point that I wouldn't want to be around my son. This was a big worry for me before he was born. She said because I deal with depression already it was likely I would get Baby Blues, but how bad they would be is something you really can't pre-determine.

Around 5 weeks after LM was born I suddenly felt like I had been slammed with a black cloud. I knew I was severely depressed, but couldn't figure out why because the few weeks since LM was born I had been doing so much better with my regular depression than usual. I had been happy, I loved spending time with my son, and I felt like over-all life was great. A few days into this depression session though I was starting to worry. Nothing I did would shake the severe sadness, the feeling of not wanting to get out of bed to do anything, not even a shower helped ease this depression!

I think around the 5th day I ended up talking to my mom about what was going on. I told her how I couldn't figure out why I was so depressed, how I was having trouble functioning (eating, sleeping, general stuff I usually did like cleaning house), and that I just felt like a giant black cloud was taking the light out of everything around me. She suggested that it might be Baby Blues and to just keep an eye on it and see how long it lasted. At that point I had completely forgotten about Baby Blues and even at that time I didn't really think that's what it was. Looking back now I'm quite sure that was my Baby Blues. Fortunately I didn't get those feelings of not wanting to be around my child. In this case, being around him actually helped me overcome a lot of the depressive feelings.

I don't really know how long the severe depression went on, but I'm thinking it lasted about a week. I am glad that it's over and that I survived it. There were a lot of random busting into tears for no reason, a lot of laying in bed sleeping/resting (or trying to sleep!), and a lot of eating chocolate and sweets. For some reason I couldn't get enough sugary foods that week either. I ate a ton of brownies (which I made several times because A. they were easy to fix and B. they had less sugar than a lot of other things I could've made). I actually perfected the recipe and added in semi-sweet chocolate chips too which made them really fantastic (if you love chocolate then these brownies are to die for! Hubby likes them but isn't a huge fan of all the chocolate). {Brownie recipe here!} I crave chocolate when I'm severely depressed.

Since that week I've only had the usual occasional depression stuff that I've dealt with for the past two and a half years. Nothing major and certainly nothing I can't handle. That Baby Blues stuff is something completely different though. I don't think I've ever experienced a depression so awful as that. Of course I may not completely remember all the depressed feelings I've had due to my brain injury which makes my memories quite hit and miss, but I'm pretty sure that's the worst depression I've ever had. I am grateful it didn't last long and that it's over now, that part was not a very fun experience!

That's my thoughts and feelings on the Baby Blues. I debated on writing this post, but I thought maybe writing about what I've been going through since having LM would help me remember some of the important things next time around and in the meantime they might help someone else who is going through the same things.

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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Our Cat Demi Tom

Demi sleeping on the back of our recliner. One of his favorite spots.

Hubby says that 'Demi Tom' is a silly name, but my sister and I recently started calling him that because we think he looks so much like Tom from the Tom & Jerry cartoons. Not only does he look like Tom, but he acts crazy like him too! I think our cat chases ghosts around our living room. There is literally nothing there and he will run and jump from couch to chair to table to couch without stopping. It's quite entertaining to watch.

This photo is from October. Demi would climb on the bookcase and lay on my stacks of jeans & shirts to sew.

Demi is our only indoor pet now. We had some problems with Emerald and she had to go. Demi has become a completely different cat now that she is gone. He is much more playful and seeks out attention and loves snuggling and being petted. I think he is much more fun now than he was in some of the previous months. (We got him when he was about 6 weeks old and he was a friendly cat then, but at some point he changed and was more stuck up like Emerald vs. the fun playful cat he is now).

After Emerald was gone I was curious to see how Demi would react to the change and what his personality would be like. If he continued to be a stuck up, boring cat I was considering getting rid of him too. Obviously he is now quite entertaining and very much like Tom. I like him much better with his fun personality. Since he has changed for the better we went ahead and got him fixed and had his front claws removed.

Demi likes sitting in the kitchen chairs and he won't move if you go to sit down.
I've literally sat down on him and he doesn't move or make a sound. He is weird!

Getting him fixed was a necessity since he had started to pee in different rooms of our house. It was awful! It smelled musty and at first I wasn't sure where the smell was coming from, but after I caught him marking his territory we quickly made a vet appointment to get that taken care of. I haven't had any problems with him peeing on things now that he's been fixed.

Demi jumped in the laundry basket one day when I was doing laundry. He stayed in there for quite awhile too.

I was torn on whether or not to take out his front claws. Thanks to Emerald's influence in clawing on the ends of the couches he was bad about doing that too. He also kept trying to climb the curtains I had in our room (before the makeover) and in Little Man's room. He had poked a ton of little holes in the sheet and comforter on our bed from where he jumped up on it when he was really little and even now with him being around 8 months old he still got his claws caught up in my sheets. I wanted to get some new sheets, curtains, and a comforter for our new bedroom makeover but didn't want them torn up. This is where the waiting to see how his personality changed came into play. If he was boring I probably would've let him be an outside cat (he was an outside cat when we got him). But because he's not, I decided it would be best to have his claws taken out so for the rest of how ever long he is with us he at least wont be tearing up the furniture and linens.

Both surgery's were done at the same time. He was at the vets for two nights because I had to drop him off the night before his surgery and he had to stay over one night with his claws being done. When he got home he had to use a special type of litter for that first week. It was called Yesterdays News and was basically old newspapers turned into pellets. It was awful stuff (smelly) and I was SO glad when we were able to start using our regular litter again. That first afternoon when he got home he seem a little mad at me. He wouldn't have anything to do with me for several hours (I was the one who took him up to the vet and brought him home), but eventually he came around and now he is back to normal.

Demi's "I've been caught" face. He likes roaming around in the bath tub.
He's even hopped in the shower a few times when the water was running!

Demi took a little time adjusting to not having his claws. He was used to using them to climb on the furniture (not that he needed them to jump on the back of the couch), or play with our feet so the first few days when he would do something and realize his claws weren't there he was confused. He would look around like, "what is going on? why isn't this working like it's supposed to?" Once he adjusted how he jumped on the furniture or played with things he was fine.

I have noticed that since Demi doesn't have his claws he seems to over compensate with his teeth. He doesn't actually bite down, but he does put his teeth on your hand or your foot (which ever he is playing with) so I've had to work with him so he won't do this. I was a little concerned about this habit when he started it up, but he isn't as bad about it now as he was at first. I was mostly concerned because of having Little Man around him, but I don't think I'll have to worry about Demi biting him.

Demi snuggling with LM.

That's another thing to bring up: Demi is great with Little Man! In the beginning he could care less about him, but I think he's figured out that LM is here to stay. Demi usually sniffs his head and walks on, but occasionally he will lay on the play mat with LM or come snuggle on the couch with us. I can't wait to see how they react together when LM gets older.

Sprawled out on the couch. Demi does this quite often.

I swear Demi is part dog. He sniffs EVERYTHING, drinks out of the toilet (also a habit of his I don't like and can't get him to break), tries to lick you, and lays sprawled out on the floor or the couch or the bed. He is the perfect cat for me because I would love a dog, but can't have one right now. Yes he is still a cat and still does mostly cat things, but he also does these odd dog-like things and it makes me laugh.

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Organizer Blessing

Ever since we moved to our home in the country my silverware drawer has been a mess. I had the old organization system in place that I used at the apartment (see our organized Apartment Kitchen here), but the drawer where I keep the silverware in our new house was much bigger so the baskets were always sliding everywhere and my neat stacks of silverware were always falling over. This bugged me for the longest time, but I wasn't really sure what to do about it.

One day I finally figured out that what I needed was some no-slip drawer liner. Being the forgetful person I am, I didn't write it down on my shopping list and so a few months went by and I still had messy drawers.

A friend of mine was getting rid of some things she didn't need any more, and you will never guess what was in that bag! That's right, no-slip drawer liner!!! I had completely forgotten about wanting to buy some. At the time when it was given to me I knew I had wanted to buy it, but couldn't remember what I wanted to use it for (I tend to do this a lot and it's because I have a brain injury which causes me to not remember hardly anything).

About a week ago I was putting away clean silverware when it hit me! This is what I wanted the drawer liner for. Here's what my silverware drawer looked like for well over six months:

Thanks to the no-slip drawer liner and a pair of scissors this is now what my silverware drawer looks like:

So much more organized and the silverware now stays in pretty little stacks like it should! I thought it was really neat how I needed something, forgot about it, and then was blessed to have it given to me. I have another drawer in my kitchen that needs this liner stuff put in it and I will be doing that very soon!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Cloth Diapering | My Thoughts at Two Weeks In

***At the time you are reading this post I've been cloth diapering for over two months. These are my thoughts about cloth diapering when I had just started the process. I will be sharing another post on my thoughts now that I've been doing this awhile, but that's for another time.***

Mid-February marked the first days of cloth diapering for us. In early January I had purchased 10 of the Econobum cloth diaper sets from They were washed and ready to go before the baby arrived, but I was in no shape to start the cloth diapering adventure then! I was having a hard enough time taking care of basic needs for myself and Little Man right after he was born and with him having the 'black poop of death' (as hubby called it) I didn't think cloth diapering was something we were ready to start. I decided that when I could take care of both myself and LM and be able to keep up with the housework again that I'd give cloth diapering a try.

I originally looked into cloth diapering because I knew our budget each month would be tight and there would be times when we wouldn't be able to afford paper diapers (as my grandma, Great Mary, calls them). I did a fair bit of research into the different styles of cloth diapers and the different brands available. I also looked into making them myself, but wasn't able to afford that option though I probably would've liked it best of all. {You can read more on my research here.}

I settled for the Econobum diapers because they were the style I wanted and were what I could afford to buy. Almost two weeks into using these diapers I have to say that overall they aren't that bad, though there is one thing I really dislike about them: the PUL fabric (which is what makes the diapers mostly water proof aka keeps them from leaking out onto clothes) doesn't cover the front top part where all the snappies are. I didn't know this and the first few times I put the diapers on LM they leaked at the top. I examined the cover and discovered that the top part didn't have the PUL fabric lining it. So now I just make sure to place the cloth diaper insert lower that way it doesn't have the opportunity to leak through the top.

The changing table in Little Man's room.

The Econobum prefold style diaper is wonderful. I can fold all the diaper prefolds ahead of time and have them sitting on the changing table shelf all ready to go. When it's time for a diaper change I pull out the next clean diaper, remove the soiled diaper, and if the cover isn't dirty I give it a quick wipe down with a baby wipe, put the clean diaper in and we're back in business. If the cover is dirty I just grab a new one and put the new prefold in that and we're still good to go (I usually only have to do this if he's pooped a lot and it gets on the inside of the cover). Once I have LM's new diaper on his butt I take the dirty one to the bathtub, wash it off and then put it in a bucket of water (I have a 5gal. bucket half full of water with 1/2 cup baking soda in it sitting in the bathroom in the tub) to soak until the next time I wash diapers.

Washing the diapers isn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I get most of the yucky part done by rinsing them out in the bathtub in our front bathroom (we don't use this tub for anything else, but I do spray it down with bleach water and wash it out any time I rinse out a dirty diaper). Soaking them in the baking soda water in the bucket helps get rid of more of the poop/pee residue that doesn't come out in the quick rinse I give the diapers before they're put in the bucket. I wash the diapers every other day or so (two or three times a week, depending on how much I use cloth diapers that week since we're not strictly cloth diapering). I dump the bucket of water in the tub to drain them, put the diapers back in the bucket and haul them to the washer. I wash them in cold water with 1 cup of my homemade laundry soap {recipe here}, which I love, and then-because I'm still trying to figure out how to completely get rid of the yellow poop stains-I hang the diapers up on hangers to air dry. {Update: check out the post Getting The Stains Out.}

I have to say that I'm glad to be a stay-at-home Mama. Spending all of my day with my Little Man is such a blessing! For the most part I don't mind cloth diapering and think it's a great way to save a little money every month. In January we spent about $30 on diapers for about three weeks worth of diapers. That's about $10 a week (since we had him in the second week of January) so on a guesstimated average if I cloth diaper MOST of the time I'd save at least $35 a month (considering I still buy one package of current size diapers to use when we go out for things like doctors appointments and those run about $6 for Parents Choice from WalMart). I like that we're going to be able to save some money each month by cloth diapering. That's what helps me keep doing it on the hard days when those diapers are really dirty and I don't love washing them out!

My thoughts on using cloth wipes: I have thought about using them and that's just something I can't bring myself to do. I really love opening a package of wipes and having them ready to use and easy to dispose of. I am pretty sure that I won't be changing my mind on this. I'd much rather pay $6 a month for wipes than try to make my own up constantly. For me I'd rather save in the area of diapers (which are much more expensive) than save on wipes.

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  • Wednesday, April 23, 2014

    Exercise Week 2

    It's funny how in just one short week a goal you thought you could maintain doesn't work out so well. I am finding myself at that place right now as I'm writing this update. This past week I've found it difficult to keep up with my exercise routine. My original plan was to use my ab lounge and do my favorite Jane Fonda Aerobics workout video five times a week. I've quickly realized that this isn't a realistic goal for me and so we have our new goal:

    I would like to do the Jane Fonda Aerobics workout video at least THREE times each week (my weekly updates run Wednesday to Wednesday). I would still like to use the ab lounge five times  a week since that doesn't take nearly as much time and doesn't put me in a soaking sweat which would require a shower.

    Being soaked in sweat after the video workout is one thing I am really disliking. The main reason is because I have to take a shower so that's a good 1 hour every day that I'm spending working out and showering. Not that I don't want to workout, its the showering that's bugging me.  That and my body isn't used to working so hard so I have some super sore leg & butt muscles that need a break inbetween workouts.

    {photo via 30 Day Fitness Challenges}

    I was talking to one of my sisters and she told me she wanted to do one of those 30-Day-Challenge workouts on Pinterest. She and a friend were going to work through it together. I asked her what you had to do for it and she said all you have to do is a certain amount of squats every day. I was like, "oh I can do that!" So I will be joining them on that for the next 30 days. We got through the first three days of the challenge this week!

    Workout Info for Week 2
    Wednesday, April 2: nothing.
    Thursday, April 3: nothing.
    Friday, April 4: nothing.
    Saturday, April 5: nothing.
    Sunday, April 6: Jane Fonda Aerobics video, 2 sets of 20 on ab lounge.
    Monday, April 7: 50 squats.
    Tuesday, April 8: 55 squats. 2/20 ab lounge, JF Aerobics video.
    Wednesday, April 9: 60 squats, 2/20 ab lounge

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    Tuesday, April 22, 2014

    After Pregnancy Style

    Something I thought before I gave birth: I would finally have a flat stomach and be able to wear my old clothes again. The truth? haha!!! After giving birth I felt like I had a 4-months-pregnant belly. Yes it was much smaller than right before delivering, but oh to my disappointment it was no where near flat! And unlike the real 4-months-pregnant belly, this one is squishy and weird instead of firm and cute.

    After giving birth I attempted to wear some of my old clothes again. Having bad luck in getting my old clothes to fit right I finally decided it was time to clean out the closet. Since I am also breastfeeding I have a whole other area of my body that was definitely bigger than the pre-birth body which made many of my tops not fit right either. I know some things might fit again with consistent exercise and healthy eating, but there are quite a few things I'm certain will never fit again.

    The closet clean out when better than I expected. It was really sad to see some of my favorites go, but it was also really nice to have enough space to hang all my clothes in my closet (before I had them in multiple places because they didn't all fit in the main closet...yes, I'm aware that I have a lot of clothes).

    Not too long after I cleaned out my closet a friend passed along some of her clothes that she no longer wanted. The best thing? A lot of them were super cute, most of them fit me, and quite a few of them were my favorite brand: Old Navy!!! Couldn't get much better than that, right?!

    These photos were taken about 6 weeks apart. You can totally tell that I'm starting to lose weight!

    I've taken two outfit photos since having a baby. I'm not thrilled with the first outfit or the way it fits me. I think there is going to be a lot of adjusting to the way my body looks now that I didn't even think about before giving birth. I started working out a few weeks ago (beginning of April) and already I can tell a difference in my body! The second outfit is close to three weeks of working out consistently. This process is taking some time and a lot of effort, but I am willing to do what's necessary to feel good about myself again.

    I'm hopeful that some of the new clothes I was given will make some cute outfits. If I get something on that I feel really cute in I'll try to get pics so I can share the outfits with you. Until then my sister and I put together some Sister Style posts so that we're not completely lacking in the outfit ideas department while I get back in shape!

    Monday, April 21, 2014

    Adding A Personal Touch To Baby Thank You Notes

    My mom raised me to write thank you notes and I remember writing them all the time as a kid. However, since moving out on my own I have had a difficult time keeping up with thank you's. For example: I still haven't written wedding thank you's even though I bought the cards and stamps right away. I know. That's awful... The reason they aren't done right now? I lost the list of people I was supposed to write thank you's to!

    I thought these Hallmark cards {I bought at Walmart} were appropriate for sending boy thank you's!

    Anyway, I promised myself I wouldn't take so long to send out thank you's to all the people who gave us gifts for Little Man. And at three months old his thank you cards are written, signed, and waiting for stamps so I can mail them off! I feel quite accomplished!

    I wanted to add a little something from LM. I thought putting a tracing of his hand in each card would be the perfect thing to do. Little did I realize how difficult it was to hold a child, hold their hand and trace their hand all at the same time! If you try doing this then I suggest getting someone to hold the baby while you do the hand holding and finger tracing parts. That's what I ended up doing and it worked out SO much better.

    Here is a pic of us holding his little baby hand in the right spot so we could trace his fingers. It was a little difficult, but they turned out really cute and I'm glad I did this!

    After it was done I wrote his name and put "3 months" in the hand print so the person receiving the card would know how old he was when it was traced. I thought this was especially cool since most of the gifts we received were from out of state friends & family who don't get to be apart of his every day growing up (I'm from Oklahoma, hubby is from Mississippi).

    I just wanted to share this with you all since I thought it was a neat idea. I didn't see it anywhere or anything like that. Usually my ideas stem from Pinterest stuff, but not this one! It's all Blue Eyed Beauty original!!!

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    Saturday, April 19, 2014

    DIY No-Pin Skirt Hem

    I recently made a LOT of new jean skirts. Most of them have been for myself, but I made some for my little sister, and some for a few other people. One day I was really getting frustrated with pinning the hem of a skirt so I decided to try something new. And it worked so well that I made the rest of the skirt hems the same way!

    Step 1: Make your skirt! If you're doing a denim skirt from jeans, go ahead and do all the steps up to making the hem line. If you need a tutorial I have several to choose from:

    Step 2: Once your skirt is made up to the point of being hemmed, go ahead and check the bottom to see that the inserted pieces are fairly even with the leg part of the pants. I know the bottom of the skirt in this photo doesn't really look even, but it is.

    Step 3: Take the skirt to the sewing machine. Start on either one of the side seams and fold it over just as wide as the presser foot of your sewing machine. **Hint: You don't start in the front or back because it will be more obvious when you're finished.

    This is the edge of the skirt where you should start sewing. I used a pin to hold flat the flaps so you could see what it should look like before you sew. I only used the pin so I could take the photo.

    Step 4: Sew around the bottom of the skirt, keeping the fabric folded so that it is just as wide as the presser foot all the way around the bottom. Once this is done continue on.

    Step 5: Now, fold the hem part that you just worked so that the folded edge is even with the left side of the presser foot and the bottom edge is even with the 3 mark on your sewing machine. Start on one of the side seams (see hit in step 3) and work all the way around, keeping the fabric even as you go.

    The underside of the skirt will have two lines of stitching, but the top or outside of it will only have one.

    Step 6: Remove any excess threads, and you're done!

    Here are some photos of the finished skirt hem:

    And here is a photo of my sister and I rocking some of our other skirts where I used this same no-pin skirt hem:

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    Friday, April 18, 2014

    Cloth Diapering | Getting The Stains Out

    Since we've been cloth diapering I hadn't figured out how to get the stains out of the diapers. Being the forgetful person that I am, I didn't put bleach in the diapers when they were being washed in the washer for the first two months. I kept meaning to do that, but every time I went to wash diapers it wouldn't even cross my mind to add bleach to them. Well, one day I finally did remember to use bleach in the diapers and my stain problems are  now resolved!!!

    Little Man has yellow poop. It can be quite gross, and the worst part was when there were poop-explosion-diapers with it everywhere! Ugh. I hate changing those, but it's even worse to clean them out! Yuck. Anyway, because of these PED's almost all of the cloth diapers and their covers had yucky yellow stains on them. It was quite annoying. I will say that with one wash almost all of the diapers came out sparkling white again (there were a few that had light hints of stain, but after being washed the next round with bleach they look fine too). I've taken a comparison photo so you can see the diapers as they were before I did one bleach washing and after that wash cycle:

    Even our cat, Demi, prefers the bleached diapers! I picked him up and moved him several times, and each time
    he went right back to the bleached diaper!

    Bleach will now be a regular part of the wash cycle! I have been using just a little bleach in every load of diapers that I wash. So far I have no bad things to say about doing this. The diapers almost always look great (occasionally when there's a really bad PED diaper they have a little hint of stain...they are clean, but a little stained. The next time I wash them with the little bit of bleach the stain goes out the rest of the way).

    I just wanted to share with you that bleach does really make a difference in how white the diapers are. I just used off-brand bleach from Walmart. Nothing fancy. I wash the diapers on a small load, add in 1 cup of my Homemade Laundry Soap and I add in about 1/4 cup of bleach now. Those first two times when the diapers hadn't been bleached at all I did about 1 cup of bleach for the whole load.

    I'm happy to report that things are going well with cloth diapering and I'm really glad I started using bleach regularly. That makes a huge difference in their appearance... Not that anyone besides me really sees the diapers, but I didn't like them being stained so it's nice to see them all fresh and clean!

    Note: I use Econobum Cloth Dipaers which are sold online through Walmart.

    Second Note: I do not use bleach in every washing as I have learned it will wear down the diapers quicker and make them not last nearly as long. I do use bleach when there are PED diapers in the mix, but not always.

    Related Posts
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    Thursday, April 17, 2014

    Candy Filled Easter Eggs

    Over 400 hundred eggs and almost as much candy!
    Notice our cat, Demi, in the background sniffing all the eggs. I swear he thinks he's a dog!

    As this Sunday is Easter I thought I would share with you a few photos from stuffing our eggs with candy for the hunt we will be having at our house this year. I am really excited and do hope the nieces and nephews are able to come to find all these eggs!

    I bought the 'good' candy as well all call it. I got one bag of chocolate candy and the rest is all tootise roll stuff. I didn't realize until later that the dots & suckers don't fit in even the giant eggs so I just put an empty egg in the mix for each of those items and will let the kids pick out what they want if they get empty eggs when hunting.

    The peach egg is a 'giant' egg and holds most of the bigger stuff like the big tootsie roll logs. The yellow egg is the medium size and holds almost everything except the big stuff. The green egg is a miniature egg and holds most of the small tootsie rolls and nothing else.

    Hubby wanted the eggs counted so we wouldn't end up with eggs in the yard for months to come. As I filled them I set them to one side until I had a new set of ten and then I'd add them to the box below:

    As I filled the eggs I would put them in the big box I had for them. As you can see, it was quite empty to start with, but it filled up fast!

    It's probably gonna take awhile to get all these eggs hidden, but I'm sure the kids are going to have a blast!! We have one 'secret egg' which is a giant egg with a miniature egg and medium egg inside it (like those Russian dolls). The person who finds that will get a giant 2lb. Chocolate Easter Bunny. I can't wait to see who ends up with that!

    Wednesday, April 16, 2014

    First Week of Working Out Consistently In Over A Year

    9 or 10 weeks after giving birth. Around 200 pounds, maybe?

    Okay so I know that's a really long title for this post, but that's what this particular post is all about! I'm thinking that the first six months before I got pregnant I didn't work out at all. It might've been longer than that, but I really can't remember so we'll just assume I didn't work out for six months before pregnancy. Then, since I hadn't been doing anything before I got pregnant, when I found out I was pregnant I didn't want to start doing anything new. I probably could have, but didn't. On rare occasions I'd go for walks around the apartment complex, and then we moved to the country and all physical exercise stopped completely.

    I think it's safe to say I haven't worked out in well over a year. Most of this is due to pure laziness. During pregnancy I gained almost 50 pounds. My midwife told me this was normal, but now that we're three months after giving birth I'm not feeling so great about my body and all this extra weight makes most of my pre-pregnancy clothes not fit properly.

    I wanted to give myself plenty of time to recover from giving birth. For me, it was a hard birth and I had a lot of tearing which took it's sweet time in healing. Having fibromyalgia didn't help with that either. Nerve pain was horribly uncomfortable in those areas so any kind of movement for the first two months after birth was awful! During the third month I was starting to feel a lot better, and that's when I decided I needed to start working out.

    I knew right away what I wanted to do, but getting there presented a little bit of a hurdle. Not only was my favorite Jane Fonda Aerobics workout on a VHS tape, but I didn't have a VHS player to hook up to our tv. On top of that? The bulb in our main tv decided to go out so I really didn't have a way to plug in a VHS player if I had found one! (We have a tv in the basement, but it weighs like 300 pounds-so it wasn't coming upstairs any time soon-and until recently I've avoided the stairs because they usually promoted that uncomfortable nerve pain again.)

    One day, when I was starting to feel desperate I decided that the next time I was online I'd try and see if I could find the Jane Fonda workout on youtube. I didn't write this down, so the next week or so went by and those few times I was online I forgot to look. Finally I did remember to look and I FOUND IT!!! The next problem? Figuring out how to download the video so I could use it at home where I don't have internet. This took some work, but I did get it figured out. The quality of the video isn't fantastic, but it's good enough that I can follow along without any problems and that's all I needed!

    So... On the last week of March I decided I would start working out with the video. Little Man was 11 weeks old and I figured it was time to start moving. Hubby had brought my ab lounge up from the basement the weekend before, but I had been busy with the major master bedroom redo project (see Part 1 here) so I didn't use it right away. Years ago one of my best friends and I would say, "we need to start working out again... let's start on Monday." Then we'd discover that that day was Monday and we'd say, "let's start next Monday!" We did this so many times. I think we eventually did start working out, but the point is: Monday and I do not get along well for starting new things! I decided Wednesday would be my first workout day instead. I hate middle of the week start-ups, but I had to do something I knew I wouldn't talk myself out of (such as the starting on Monday thing).

    My current goal in working out: Complete the 40 minute Jane Fonda Aerobics Workout video and do 3 sets of 10 on the ab lounge. I want to do this 5 days a week. I chose Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. If I want I will have Friday & Saturday off (those are the days hubby is home and I'd rather spend time with him), but I could also workout if I was feeling up to it. I want to keep with this routine for four weeks and then I want to up the amount of reps I do on the ab lounge.

    This is 9 or 10 weeks after giving birth. My 'before' photo.

    Workout Info for Week 1
    Wednesday, March 26th: JF Workout, 3 sets of 10 on ab lounge.
    Thursday, March 27th: JF Workout, 3 sets of 10 on ab lounge.
    Friday, March 28th: Did major grocery shopping = lots of walking and lifting.
    Saturday, March 29th: nothing! day of rest.
    Sunday, March 30th: JF Aerobics Workout, 3 sets of 10 on ab lounge.
    Monday, March 31st: 3 sets of 10 on ab lounge, JF Aerobics Workout.
    Tuesday, April 1st: nothing.
    Wednesday, April 2nd: nothing. Weight: 196 lbs.