How to Make Baby Joggers From a Tee Shirt

It finally got too cold for shorts here in Phoenix, so joggers were a natural progression. I love that they’re stretchy and allow for plenty of running, crawling, and climbing.
Edison’s hoodie in the photos above, if you’re curious, is from A Quiver Full. Use the code “JESUS” for 20% off!
This project has been sitting on my Pinterest board for ages, and I finally did it! If my photos and directions below don’t make sense, check out the original tutorial I followed here. These really do take half an hour, or less! I made two pairs during one nap-time.

You will need: 

  • An adult tee shirt. I used an old shirt from Loft. 
  • 1/2 wide elastic for the waistband.
  • Paper for your pattern. 
  • A sewing machine and thread, scissors, etc.

Step 1: Make your pattern. On a large piece of paper, mark the waistband of the pants, and then the crotch, and then the ends of the legs on your paper, and fill in the sides. Add an inch to the top, because this will be folded over to make your waistband. Add a half inch around the edge, for your seam. Your patter should look a little more square than the pair of pants you’re tracing.

Step Two: Cut out your pieces.  Place your tee shirt on a flat surface, making sure the hem lines up. Then pin your pattern to the tee, lining up the legs with the bottom of the shirt (I didn’t get the left leg lined up perfectly, but ideally, they should both line up). Then cut through both layers of the tee.

Step Three: Turn the pieces so the right sides are together. Then, sew a quarter inch seam around the pant legs.

Step 4: Fold over your waistband, and sew down the edge, leaving a gap of a couple inches for putting in the elastic.

Step Five: Going off of the existing pair of pants you used for your pattern, measure your elastic and cut it to that size. Push a safety pin through one end, and then feed it through the hole you left in the waistband, and pull all the way through. 

Once you have the elastic all the way through, you’ll need to sew the ends of the elastic together. fold them over each other, and sew a few lines up and down to tack them together. Above, I’ve done it on a second pair of pants. Getting the elastic under the sewing machine is probably the most tricky part of this whole thing.

Step Six: Once the elastic is back inside, sew the gap closed, and turn right side out. 
Tada! Happy Christmas crafting! And enjoy some more photos of Edison modeling 🙂

Life Lately: Simple Christmas

Friday, I left work a little early to try to do some cleaning at home before Brian got off work and picked up Edison from daycare. I turned up the Christmas worship music, and starting from the living room, began mopping my way to the other end of the house. It was slow work, since we haven’t mopped for, oh, a few months? It’s bad when you can’t remember the last time you mopped.

But when I made it to Edison’s room, as I flipped on the light, I felt that the light switch was all sticky. And I couldn’t help but smile.

Sticky light switches make me think of our nightly bedtime routine. After Edison has his pajamas on and his teeth brushed, while I hold him up, he switches off the bathroom light, then the hallway light, and then his bedroom light last of all.

I never would have thought there’d be a day that sticky light switches made me happy. Or the puppies, trucks, books, and blocks I see scattered all over the living room floor from where I sit typing.

But when I see toys all over the floor, or touch a sticky light switch, I’m struck by that feeling. The one all mothers know, the feelings of overwhelming love, joy in this moment, fear that life is going by too fast, sadness of knowing how fleeting it is, sheer happiness in the present. All mingled and combined into the emotion that is motherhood.

So, I’m trying to take each day slowly. My house isn’t decorated as much or as well as I’d like, like the photos I can’t stop pinning on Pinterest, but Edison loves the Christmas tree (and especially the switch that turns the lights on and off) just as it is.

We haven’t made any cute Christmas crafts. I probably won’t have time to put together clever gifts for his teachers at daycare. I forgot to get the mailman anything. I’ve fallen behind on my Advent calendar and devotional, but the scripture and lessons for the days I have done has been a blessing. I might not get all the gifts for all the people I’d like, or send enough Christmas cards, or bake anything at all.

After all, people, I’ve just mopped my floor for the first time in … a very long while, so that should tell you where to set your expectations.

We probably won’t go do all the fun Christmas activities, or fit in all of the Christmas movies, or see all the people we’d like to see while we’re in Iowa for Christmas. But I don’t want this Christmas to go by wishing I’d done more, or seen more, or had more. I just want to be truly present in each moment.

I think that’s the best gift I can give.

DIY Christmas Decor: Marble and Gold Letters

So, I told you marble contact paper was addicting. 
Last week was Thanksgiving, and despite the contentions and deep divides around us, I hope you had peace around your Thanksgiving dinner table, and you were able to be truly grateful for those with you and your many blessings.
I think “peace” is especially applicable this Christmas season. As Advent begins, the season of expectant waiting, it’s a reminder that the Prince of Peace did come to this world as a baby, and live with us. He’s the Healer, and ultimate King.
Also, I’m writing this post before Thanksgiving, and I may or may not be listening to Christmas music. Ok, I’m definitely listening to Christmas music. 
Have you seen the Christmas decorations at Target? I fell in love with the marble Christmas trees. Marble matches everything, and is so classy.
I took that marble idea, and expanded on it for these marble and gold letters!
You’ll Need: 

Step 1: Fold your contact paper so that right sides are together, like it is in the image above. 

Step 2: Then trace and cut out your letters. You may need to use a craft knife to cut out some shapes, depending on what letters you choose. “JOY” would have been a bit easier!

Step 3: Peel and stick the contact paper letters to the cardboard letters. Smooth out any bubbles under the surface. This part is the most fun!

Step 4: Paint the edges of the letters gold. I’d tried to use my copper contact paper, but without success. Paint is much easier, and I love the finished result!
Now that Thanksgiving is over, it’s now acceptable for me to take down my fall decorations and bust out the Christmas stuff. These will find a new home on my mantle. 
(And if you like that painting … I made that too, and I can post a tutorial for that also. The premise behind it is so easy, anyone could do it.)
So bust out the Christmas music with no shame, and get to spreading that Christmas cheer! Peace on earth, good will to men!

Life Lately: Edison’s First Christmas

Oh what fun!

Per usual, I had big plans for Christmas crafts, actually baking, great gifts, and Christmas cards. But this year, ain’t nobody got time for that.

But I did make the “Silent Night” artwork on the mantle, and decorated the house, and the tree. And since we didn’t get family Christmas pictures taken, I took a few of Edison under the tree.

Edison has loved the lights and ornaments!

Christmas festivities included tree shopping, going to see Winter Wonder – a Christmas production by Scottsdale Bible Church, watching Elf and enjoying fires in the fireplace.

We opened presents as a family, and Edison got to try out the bouncer we got him, before we flew to Iowa the next day. He was a trooper! He fell asleep before the first takeoff, was content to suck on his pacifier or bottle for the landing and next takeoff, and only cried during the last landing, which was a little rough for all of us. He had no problem getting through security, and since we’d figured out a few days before that he liked being in the infant carrier if he faces out and can see all the people, that made it easy to transport him around the airports.

Since we’ve been in Iowa, we celebrated Christmas with Brian’s immediate family Christmas Eve morning, my immediate family Christmas Eve evening, then drove two hours that night so we could celebrate Christmas morning with Brian’s extended family, leaving early afternoon to celebrate with my extended family, and then driving back to spend the night with Brian’s extended family. Then we visited with Brian’s extended-extended family the next morning, and early afternoon make the trek back to Brian’s parents’ house, where we’re staying. And then we took long naps.

This week, I’m trying to fit in more time with family and friends, while not overdoing it. I’ve figured out that as much as Edison likes people, he needs time to recharge, which has meant crying most of the day on Monday and refusing to sleep. But we’re figuring it out, one day at a time. And seeing my family enjoy spending time with him is totally worth it.

Edison turned five months! Even in the time we’ve been here, he’s started sitting up mostly on his own, rolling over more, making lots of new sounds, and sometimes I’m pretty sure he recognizes his name. He’s chewing ferociously on everything, but no teeth yet!
I got my wish for a white Christmas! And then some – we got hit with a blizzard, which allowed us some much needed down time for naps and working on New Year’s Resolutions. 
Travel, snow, family, friends, decorating cookies, cozy pajamas, great presents, sleeping in late and drinking hot apple cider out of giant mugs – it’s almost like a story out of the Hallmark Christmas movies we’ve been staying up late to watch. Minus dumping the handsome attorney for the rugged country boy, and having to choose between a promotion in the big city and said rugged country boy. In this story, I will still go back to the big city, and I’ll take my rugged country boy with me!
Merry Christmas from us! I hope you have a fantastic New Year!

What’s On My Christmas List

For the longest time, I couldn’t figure out what I wanted for Christmas this year. The idea of getting lots of “stuff” just was not appealing. But gift-giving at Christmas is such a wonderful opportunity to be a blessing to others – not just just the person you’re giving a gift to, but also the companies and workers you support by your purchase. 
In years past, I’ve shared gift guides for gifts that give back, but this year, I don’t really have time for that. You know those “what’s in my purse” posts? I thought I’d adapt that, and share what’s on my Christmas list this year. 
My Christmas List

1. Black Metallic Desert Wedges. I love, love, love every pair of TOMs I’ve owned, but I’ve never tried anything other than flats. I’ve also never ever worn ankle booties. I could really use a new black pair of shoes for work, and instead of getting another pair of flats, I’d like to add these shoes that give a pair of shoes to someone else.

2. Rose Gold Round Watch in Pale Pink. I love wearing a watch, and this classy handmade watch is is sustainably made from new scrap leather that would otherwise go to waste.
3. #GIRLBOSS. “In the New York Times bestseller that the Washington Post called “Lean In for misfits,” Sophia Amoruso shares how she went from dumpster diving to founding one of the fastest-growing retailers in the world.” I think this is basically required reading for 20 something women these days, and it sounds fascinating.

4. Styled: Secrets for Arranging Rooms. Emily Henderson wrote a book! I’m an avid reader of her blog, and I’ve been awaiting this book release with great anticipation. 
5. Moscow Mule Mugs. Because, copper. I can’t get enough. Honestly, I could see myself drinking hot chocolate out of these. How cozy would that be? 
6. Causebox by Sevenly. This would be like Christmas every few months! It’s a subscription box filled with ethically made, goodies that give back. It’s not cheap . . . so a Sevenly Giftcard to go toward a shirt or print would also be much appreciated!
Not pictured: a lot more books, and some Disney/Pixar animated movies – namely, UP and Wall-E.

For more gift ideas that give back, you have to listen to The Happy Hour Podcast’s Christmas episode. So many great ideas! And Jen Hatmaker. Seriously, it’s a gift just to listen in! And, I’ve got a Gifts that Give Back pinterest board for more inspiration. 
How’s your Christmas shopping going? I have started … sort of. The problem I have, is that I find cool things, and then I want to keep them for myself. Anyone else? Let me know in the comments below!

Five Friday Finds 10/9

Happy Friday! Just a handful of things/blogs/shops/articles that I found inspiring, encouraging, or entertaining: 

1. The Happy Hour Podcast with Jamie Ivey. Disclaimer: I’ve only listened to one episode so far. Disclaimer to my disclaimer: that’s all it took for me to know that this podcast is excellent. It really is like sitting with your best girlfriends for happy hour, except that in this case your girlfriends are all the authors, bloggers, artists, and creative women you admire from around the whole internet. So you should gather the real life girlfriends you admire, and tell them to listen to this podcast with you, during happy hour. 

2. 4 Easy DIY Halloween Costumes and 3 Easy DIY Princess Costumes from Merrick’s Art. The Elsa dress! You guys! And the modest Ariel outfit! And don’t even get me started on the Kate Middleton costume – I could wear that every day of the year, not just for Halloween. 

3. “Make Room” Advent Calendar and Devotional from Naptime Diaries. I love Advent. Well, I should say, I love the idea of Advent. Don’t we all want to slow down and savor the true meaning of the Christmas season? I’m just really bad at it. This advent calendar and devotional would provide that motivation and accountability. Plus, it’s just pretty.

4. Life Lived Beautifully Fashion Week with Gretchen. I so enjoyed Gretchen’s series last week on fashion from a Biblical perspective. This post especially, Fashion and Real Life, is chock full of practical advice. Gretchen has a four month old, and I have an almost three month old, so if she can get dressed every day, I can too! She introduced me to several new ethical fashion brands that I’m excited to check out.

5. New and improved Decor and Storage Ideas for Your Dorm Room (And Other Small Spaces) Part one and Part 2. Can you believe that Pinterest wasn’t even really a thing when I first wrote those posts?! I’m almost considered old in blogging years. So this week I took some time (actually, a TON of time, like, days) to fix all the broken links and images for things that no longer existed, and added brand new thrifty decorating and storage ideas that you can try out really anywhere you need to maximize your storage or add a little flair.

That’s what I found this week! What about you? Let me know in the comments or on Instagram.

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The Christmas Crafts I Did Make

As I started taking down my Christmas decorations yesterday, I realized that I never posted which of the Christmas crafts on my list I accomplished. So yes, we’re halfway through January, but we’re supposed to honor the spirit of Christmas in our hearts all year, right?

1. Something involving a deer and gold glitter. 

Fail. I was intimidated by the deer, and couldn’t make up my mind what to do with it. 
2. Something involving book pages and pinwheels. 
Success! I made a book page Christmas tree. Here’s how: 
  1. Fold your book pages like an accordion. Then, shape them like a fan, and attach them to each other to form a full circle. As you make more circles, trim the edges to create smaller and smaller layers. Eventually, bend the accordion in half, and then create your full circle. Fold and trim until you have enough layers to form a tree-like shape.
  2. Pour some glue on a paper plate, and pour some white chunky glitter on another. Dip the edges of each layer in glue and glitter, and allow them to fully dry.
  3. Then you’ll need to attach the layers together. I used a small scrap of paper between each layer for more surface area. 
  4. Let it dry, and you’re done!
3. Something involving cones and fancy paper. 
Success! I wrapped styrofoam cones in gold glitter paper (which also made elegant wrapping paper).
4. Something involving a big chalkboard. 
Fail. I’m still looking for a big chalkboard on Craig’s List, but I’m also trying to talk Brian into making me one. 
5. Something involving bottle brush trees, and more glitter. 
Well, I didn’t end up bleaching or dying any bottle brush trees, but I did find some sparkly ones at Target that light up. So, close enough.
I also made those white Christmas trees with cones and not-fancy paper – coffee filters, actually. 
Here’s how: 
  1. Fold each coffee filter in half, and starting at the bottom, glue each filter to the cone, layering and overlapping them. I used Elmers glue, but a hot glue gun would probably be faster.
  2. Pinch the top filter to form a nice tree point. That’s it!
And here’s the final Christmas mantle: 
Wait, four stockings? 
Yep, I’m so creative, I made a person. Merry Christmas!

5 Christmas Crafts On My List

So, you know that moment when you’re in Joann’s looking for Christmas craft supplies, and without warning your phone dies – the phone which contained the note with your shopping list. You can’t remember what was on your list, and you’d check your pinterest boards but oh right, your phone is dead. And you’re in Joann’s alone, with no accountability. And all the Christmas stuff is ON SALE. 
No? Never been there? 
I pity you, my friends. 
A sampling of some of the things you might bring home
You end up with some great stuff. Random, but great. With that said, here’s some of the craft’s I’m working on for this season:
1. Something involving a deer and gold glitter.
Stripes, gold glitter, deer – I love Lauren’s, but since my deer head is three dimensional, I need to come up with a new twist that I can hang over the fireplace.
2. Something involving book pages and pinwheels. 
I love book crafts, and BHG has some great ideas, but this year I’ve got an idea I’m anxious to try that will take book page pinwheels to a new dimension. 
3. Something involving cones and fancy paper. 
Aka, something exactly like the photo above. Here’s more ideas from the Budget Decorator.
4. Something involving a big chalkboard. 
I have the perfect spot for a big chalkboard, and I’ve been scouring Craigs List every day. If I can’t buy it, I might resort to building it.
The chalkboard above is from the Christmas home tour at the Lily Pad Cottage. You seriously have to go look – the entire house is a white Christmas dream.
5. Something involving bottle brush trees, and probably more glitter.
From Tumblr
A mini winter wonderland! I’ve read that it’s easy to bleach and glitterize regular bottle brush trees to make your own white Christmas, and I can’t wait to try it. Here’s the tutorial from I plan to use, from Going Home to Roost.
What’s on your Christmas crafting list? Tell me what you’re most excited to make in the comments below. 

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Fair Trade Gift Guides All in One Place

First of all, I have to say, working full-time and blogging is hard. I have so much respect for all the bloggers out there doing it! Even after writing all day, surprisingly, I have no shortage of post ideas. It’s just the time it takes to put them together, when I need to do laundry, make dinner, eat, and all I feel like doing is taking a nap, drinking hot cocoa, and watching Christmas movies. 
For weeks, I’ve had the nagging feeling that I should be putting together fair trade gift guides, but I just didn’t have the energy. But why reinvent the wheel? There’s so many other great fair trade gift guides out there already! I hope you’re inspired!

1. Cyber Monday, The Fair Way by Mercy Ink. Even though Cyber Monday has come and gone, this post contains a compilation of 10 amazing fair trade companies to shop from!

2. 25 Days of Gifts, Made in the USA from the Fair Trade Fashionistas. Stunning and unique gift options that create jobs and support local craftsmen, including those fantastic tablet and laptop cases above! In addition to this post, I think she’s planning more gift lists in the future, along the line of this one for travelers.

3. Fair Trade Christmas Gift Links from Redemption Junkie. This mega list of 19 fair trade and ethical companies to shop from won’t leave you empty handed. 

4. Oxfam’s Christmas Lists. Shop for a Secret Santa present, a gift for “Mum” (if you’re British!) or gifts for kids. 

5. Rage Against the Minivan created a link up of shops and businesses that meet the criteria of at least one of the following: handmade, eco-friendly and/or recycled or upcycled, fair trade, portion of proceeds benefit those in need, made by artisans in impoverished communities who are earning a fair wage, gifts that give back. 

6. Fair Trade Gifts Under $50 from My Caffeinated Mornings. I love this girl’s style! 

7. Fair Trade Look Books. Gifts that Glitter, Merry and Bright, and more. 

10. Great gift basket ideas, for the cook in your life and that person you know who could use a little R&R. 

Of course, if you’re looking for more, check out my Give a Gift That Gives Back Pinterest board.

Let me know what you find in the comments below!

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Beauty Find Friday: Christmas Gifts

Our first Christmas in Arizona was a success. We didn’t get sucked into the bog of homesickness! Keeping busy helped, and choosing to focus on the gifts and blessings we have. Here’s a few:

Our annual youth group Christmas party went well, even though I wasn’t able to get off work until the end, and Brian fell on the ice and got a nice black eye and a sprained/hairline fractured wrist. He’s recovering well, and was able to still take care of all the kids until I got there. The youth group moms provided most of the food, and the youth group girls took care of serving dinner in my absence, and even washed the dishes afterwards!

We spent time with some of our Arizona family on Sunday night, playing games and hanging out with them and their family members who were in town, laughing until we cried. (By “Arizona family,” I mean friends who are our family here. Friemily?)

Christmas morning brunch consisted of our Williams Sonoma Double Chocolate Peppermint pancakes, turkey bacon and scrambled eggs. Our verdict on the pancakes? AMAZING. Not too chocolately, with just enough peppermint!

And Brian got to use his Christmas present from me: 
He’s been asking for that pancake flipper for months. No joke. I also bought him a stand with speakers for his phone. I’m hoping he’ll be inspired to spend more time in the kitchen!

We spent time with my family via Skype on Christmas Day! We got to talk to all of my siblings, my niece, and even my parent’s dogs. Later in the afternoon, we watched Elf, walked the horses, played games, and had Christmas dinner with our other friemily (spellcheck doesn’t like my new word).

Our families sent us lots of presents, and there’s more on the way! I’m happy to extend Christmas for as long as possible.

What did Brian give me for Christmas, you ask? Since he complains about not knowing what to get me, I actually gave him a list this year with two instructions. First, don’t go to Half Price Books and get random books for me, because I have limited reading time, and there’s a few books I’ve been dying to get. Secondly, don’t get a present for yourself and pretend it’s a present for me. I’ve heard of men doing things like that, and I’d rather he just bought himself a present instead of pretending it’s for me.

So, Brian did both of the above.

From the half price bookstore, he bought me a book called Blog: Understanding the Information Reformation that’s Changing Your World, written in 2004 when blogging was in it’s infancy, and the only blogs out there getting noticed were political. I had asked for a book about blogging called Blog Inc.: Blogging for Passion, Profit, and to Create Community by Joy Cho. The blogosphere is a different world in 2013 than it was in 2004. Still, it was nice of him to get me something close to what I asked for.

The second book he got me is for Dummies. If you haven’t heard of Mint, it’s free online tracking and budgeting for your finances. And I’m not going to make any excuses here: this was a terrible gift idea. I only use’s basic functions since Brian is in charge of our finances. After I opened it, Brian admitted, “That’s actually more for me that it is for you.” Thanks, babe.

And then, he totally redeemed himself.

The Williams Sonoma Baking Book wasn’t on my list either, but since October I’ve been addicted to the Joy the Baker podcast and devouring the Joy the Baker and Shutterbean blogs. Listening to these ladies rebirthed my desire to be a good baker, and seeing the gorgeous photos, now I’m totally sold. 

There’s a variety of skill levels, lots of technique instructions, and photos of every single recipe.

You can bake your own bagels! Who knew?

These are in my near future:

I’m so excited about this book! It’s like reading a magazine. I’ve even been taking it with me in the car to read up on how to sift, and the difference between cocoa powder and Dutch Process cocoa powder. Just kidding, I already knew the difference between those, thanks to the Joy the Baker podcast.

Back to presents. Brian topped it off by buying me a Vera Bradley.

It’s a Vera Bradley tea towel, and it’s adorable! I didn’t think he was paying any attention when I commented on them at the Vera Bradley store a few weeks ago. I should know better!

Just when I’m about to be disappointed, he always totally redeems himself.

What Christmas presents are you most excited about? How are your husbands/boyfriends at gift giving?  

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