Homemade Pajamas for my Monkey

Today was Pajama Day at school for The Monkey.   She asked me to make her some new jammies to wear, so when we went to JoAnn’s last week, I looked for some snuggly soft fleece to use for the pants.  Her school mascot is the Jaguar, so we found some Animal print fleece to use to make her both pants, and then I decided to applique a t-shirt for her to wear with the pants.

I used this tutorial to make her pants from an existing pair of fleece pants she owned.  They turned out great and only took about an hour from start to finish.

On her way out the door to school this morning, in her Jaguar Jammies!

On her way out the door to school this morning, in her Jaguar Jammies!


For the shirt, I made a quick copy of the logo and scaled it in Word, then printed it in black and white on my printer.   I laid the t-shirt down on my cutting mat, laid the fleece on top of it, and then the paper with the logo.   I used some pins to pin all three layers together, and then I put the whole thing under the needle in my sewing machine.  I stitched around the outside of the logo, through the paper, fleece, and top layer of the t-shirt.  Then I removed the pins, spritzed the paper with water, and tore it away from the fleece.  I took my scissors to cut carefully around the stitching, just through the fleece.  Because I used fleece, there wasn’t any worry of the fabric fraying, so you can just use a straight stitch, no need to catch the edge in a zig-zag like you do with traditional applique.

I had her try everything on before she went to bed, hemmed the pants, and then I thought she might like a little something to go in her hair.

Jammies 03

A matching hair bow!

So, I took a 24″ x 3″ strip of fleece left over from the jammies, and ran a running stitch along the bottom, gathering it into a circle.  Once it was gathered into a circle, I did the same with a 24″ strip of ribbon from a spool I picked up at the dollar store.  I stitched that down onto the fleece gathered circle and then looked for something I could use in the center.  I originally was going to use a button, but after going through my stash – I didn’t have any buttons! Ha!  What I did find in my little box I use to gather random trinkets I find around the house was a junky little plastic-painted-silver adjustable ring.  The kind you’d get from a quarter machine.  I used my scissors to snip off the ring portion, and then hot glued it into the center of the flower I was building.

I flipped the whole thing over, and hot glued an alligator clip onto the back and secured it with a couple of additional stitches, “just in case.”  I think it turned out great, and she was really happy this morning to have a little something extra to go with her new jammies!

Fit for a Jaguar Princess!

Fit for a Jaguar Princess!


I loved how this project came out, and this year, I’ll be making her Christmas jammies, so having a little practice-run was a nice confidence boost.  I’m ready to do this again!

Printable Dinner Menu

A few weeks ago, Walgreens was offering a free 8×10 print so I took advantage, creating a write-on/wipe-off dinner menu to go in our kitchen.  I used a frame I got from Thrifting that same week.  It was lightweight, and I didn’t even need to spray paint it.  It was 50% off day, and the frame was originally marked $1.91, so I spent a total of $0.96 on the frame, plus the free print from Walgreens.  I had some magnet tape in my stash, which I hot-glued onto the back of the frame, and voila!  Reusable dinner menu for under $1!

Click the menu above to receive a free copy of the printable I used!

Click the menu above to receive a free copy of the printable I made!


So, how does it look, once it’s up on the fridge?  You tell me..

Free Dinner Menu printable - Make your own reusable dinner menu from a recycled frame, some magnets, and this free printable!  http://www.themadminx.com

We just use a dry-erase marker to plan out the menu for the week and then wipe it off with a paper towel when it’s ready for the next week.   Given that my fridge is located directly next to my sink, and the side of it faces out into the room, it was the perfect place for it.   You could also hang it on the wall, or stand it on the counter if you chose.

If you use my printable (or any other).. and you make this project, please be sure and comment so that I can see your beautiful menu, too!


My Christmas Mantel

I have a picture in my closet that I look forward to bringing out all year long.   In fact, a few years ago when I moved and only had very limited space, I had to get rid of almost ALL of my Christmas decorations.  It broke my heart, but  I knew I would eventually build a new collection of Christmas things.  This painting is one of the very few things I kept – and the ONLY thing that wasn’t family related.  It is a painting of the Nativity and it makes me smile every time I see it.

It is pretty much a given that every year it will be above my mantel, but the things around it change from year to year.  This year I decided to put up a Christmas garland that I made myself for $6.50.  I also added in some ornament wreaths, candles and angels.

Christmas Mantel - The Mad Minx

Seeing this every morning when I walk into the Living Room just makes me happy.  The wreaths, angels and candles are all from previous years, but this year I made the garland.   It was rather easy, took about an hour and a half, and the best part is – it cost $6.50!

Garland Close Up

I was inspired by Between Naps on the Porch, which I found on Pinterest.  I didn’t want to spend a whole lot here, so this is my breakdown:

Garland: $4.00

String of 100 lights: $2.50

The ornaments and wire were already in my stash, from last year.  The Fiance and I sat down to watch a movie, and I spread my garland out on the family room floor and just started wiring away.  Before the movie was over, it was finished!  (The movie was The Fiance’s choice, so doing the garland also gave me an excuse to look away from the gory parts!)

I rounded out the hearth with a basket full of pinecones collected by my two loves, and a painting that conveniently hides where I’ve plugged in the garland.. teeheehee.


Homemade Christmas: Marker Roll up for Under $10

This year, I decided to take advantage of my new-found space and ability to craft and make a lot of the presents for our family’s Christmas.  The Fiance took me to Craft store on Saturday and let me play in the Fabric remnant section as well as re-stock a lot of my adhesives and other fun stuff.  I just can’t say enough what a good man I’ve got.  🙂

I sat down last night after The Monkey was in bed and made her a Marker Roll-Up.   It’s similar to the Crayon Roll-ups I’m sure you’ve seen tutorials for.  I just adjusted the measurements a little because instead of 16, or even 24 crayons – the package of markers I used contained 30 markers.  I ended up with 31 pockets because I am FANTASTIC at Math. hehe.   So – she’s got a 30-marker-plus-1-pencil-roll-up!  I’m just gonna pass that off as intentional. 😉

Marker Roll Up - Under 1 hour, under $10!  http://www.themadminx.com

The process really wasn’t that hard.  My fabric was 40″, so I kind of went from there.  I measured the markers, which were 8 inches from bottom to top, so I made my fabric 9.5″ x 36″.

I cut 2x the Owl Fabric, which I got from the Remnant bin in Joann’s.  Isn’t it adorable?

And then I cut 1x the Flower Fabric 11″ x 36.

Marker Roll Up 3

I folded and ironed the Flower Fabric in half and laid it down on top of 1 of the owl pieces.  I pinned it in place and then stitched around the outside to tack it down.

Then I took my ruler and measured every 1″ along the flower fabric, made my marks, and stitched vertical lines down the flower fabric, forming the pockets the markers would slip into.

Marker Roll Up 5

After I’d stitched all of the little pockets, I laid the second piece of owl fabric wrong-side-up onto the whole thing and stitched around the outside with a 3/8″ seam allowance, leaving a 3″ gap for turning.

I turned and pressed and then top stitched the whole thing closed, slipping my length of ribbon into the 3″ gap I’d left before stitching that closed.

Marker Roll Up 2

After it was all stitched up, I inserted the markers from the package I’d bought, rolled the whole thing up and tied a bow with the ribbon.  Voila!

Here’s the price breakdown:

30 Washable Markers– $3.98

Owl Fabric – $2.75

Flower Fabric – $3.99 for a yard, but I only used half – so $2.

Ribbon – From my stash, I’ve had it for years. (Free)

Total:  $8.73

Marker Roll up 4

Even if I’d had to purchase the ribbon, you can find some in the dollar store, so this project would still be under $10.   I’m excited to include it in her Christmas gifts this year – she’s going to love it.  How can you NOT love those adorable little owls?!


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Sunday T&A

Today’s Thifting and Adventure post comes late in the day because – I just got done. LOL

Yesterday, we had my In-laws over to the house for dinner and spent our Saturday doing some projects around the house to sort of finish up the moving-in.  The Fiance and I engineered 2 new nightstands for the bedroom, and we finally started putting up pictures.

So, today we headed out to one of the Thrift Stores we found last weekend.  They have customer appreciation day on Sundays and there’s a coupon for 50% off everything in the store.  So, it’s likely to become a Sunday tradition.  With that as our sole intention for the day, we ended up going to 4 more Thrift stores, one that was new to us and 3 others that we hit last weekend.. just because.

Here’s the haul from this week:

That’s it for the week – it was a pretty great afternoon.

Have you had any amazing finds you want to brag about?  Use the comments to tell me about them!

The best laid plans…

I put off writing a lot because I feel like it isn’t good enough.

Not the writing, mind you – I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about my writing style or abilities.  I know that my audience understands me and that my points come across, so I don’t fret over every silly word.  I mean the content.  I read all the homemaking, DIY, crafting, parenting, etc. blogs.  I have a Pinterest account.  I see the wonder that seems to be everyone else’s creativity and resources and while I absolutely LOVE the project-sharing and inspiration that comes from these blogs, sometimes I think they come with a side of inferiority complex.

When The Fiance and I moved in last week, everything just kind of got placed into the pantry in the most haphazard way, just to get it out of boxes/grocery bags, and get it on the shelves.  To say that it needed organizing is an understatement.   Of course, as we prepared to make this move, I’ve pinned every beautiful pantry in the blogosphere to my Pinterest, planning and scheming in my mind’s eye how I would arrange ours.  I have a few things in mind, and this morning I was itching to attack the disorganization.   So, I went into the kitchen and started pulling all of the things off the shelves and putting them on the countertops, ready to clean, beautify and containerize my heart out.

Once everything was out of the pantry, I turned my Pinterest-trained eyes to the pantry itself.  Hmmmm… it could use a paint job.  What color do I want to paint it?  Am I going to start painting now, when I have 2 boxes waiting to be unpacked in the Master Bedroom?  Hmmm… I have a fair amount of jars and baskets, but they don’t all match, color or style.  Could I spray paint them to bring cohesiveness?  What about the mismatched styles?  Hmmm.. Canned goods are supposed to be on a lazy susan, right?  Didn’t I see that pinned?  But I don’t HAVE a lazy susan.  How could I possibly organize the cans?  Hmmm.. I asked The Fiance for a Silouette machine for Christmas, but it’s not Christmas yet.  What will I do about beautiful labels?

Talk about FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS.  Oh no, I have so much food all over the counters.  However will I make it beautiful?!

Snap out of it, lady.  Patience has never been a virtue of mine, but it’s one that I need to learn.  Yes, yes – One day I will have accumulated all of the things I have in my head that will make my pantry a place that makes angels sing whenever it’s opened.  But to do that, I’ll need planning.  And time.  And to be cost efficient – it has to be over TIME.  What on earth will I have accomplished by running out, buying hand-made artisan paper to line the walls, 45,195 of the exact same shape container, and painstakingly making the same number of matching labels for all of those containers in a single day?  Will I join the ranks of the Pinterest greats?  Will you, dear reader, canonize me and share, link, pin, tweet, and bookmark my post?  Probably not.

I will have a pantry that still feels like it could be tweaked, an empty wallet, and I’ll be too tired to make dinner tonight, so I’ll have a cranky family who has Chinese for dinner.  Over time, those things are all doable – accumulating the containers at the Thrift store and Flea market will be a much better option than running to Target today.  Stumbling upon the perfect pattern for the walls will be a delight and a joy, when it happens.

As I stood there in the kitchen, The Fiance walked in and I frowned at the pantry and said “This isn’t going to be blog worthy.”

He looked at my pout and said, “Okay, so it’s not blog-worthy.  You can still put it all back in a more organized way so that the pantry is more functional for you.”  Ahhhh, my voice of reason.  There’s a reason why not very many men have Pinterest accounts, ladies.  If an organized pantry was my goal, I’ve met it today.  If having the most awesomest pantry in all of blogland was my goal – I need new goals.

So, my offering today is a simple one.   I spent 20 minutes reorganizing my pantry today.  It’s functional and organized and for my family, it’s GOOD ENOUGH.

How about you?  Do you find yourself Paralyzed by Pinterest?  Tell me what you’ve done (or are planning to do) so we can celebrate, no matter how big or small the victory is!

Sunday T&A (Thrifting & Adventure)

Wow!  Yesterday was an AMAZING day!

The Fiance and I have had such a blast exploring the little Flea Market near my home in Florida every Saturday that we were truly sad to say Goodbye 2 weeks ago.  In fact, we even built in a final trip to it in the middle of all the moving mayhem.   So, with our first available Saturday in our new home, we set out to find new Thrifting & Adventure! (Haha – T&A..  I really do crack me up.)

First, we started with a Googled list of Flea Markets in our area, and settled on one or two we found in a neighboring town.  We set out to find the top one on our list and were delighted to realize they are on bordering lots, so when you go to one, you literally just walk right over to the other one!  Score!

At the VERY first booth, I found 2 old Mason jars, which I love.  They weren’t from a regular flea market vendor, just a man who had a bunch of stuff he was looking to sell, so they were pretty darned cheap!  He was asking 3 for both of them, and I offered him $5 for both, and he took it.  SWEET!  The day was off to a GREAT start!

From there, we meandered around the two Flea Markets and found a few other little treasures.   My little Monkeyface bargained for a Star Wars Lego Lunchbox.  Originally it was a few dollars, but she managed to get it for 50 cents.  GOOD JOB, PRINCESS!  Inside, it is fitted with a foam insert that holds a Nintendo DS and some of its accessories.  Perfect!

We picked up a few more little things.  The Fiance and I scored a cool globe for the house, and Monkey found a Beanie Babies Monkey she loved.  After the Flea Market, we were going to head to Big Lots, but I decided that I didn’t really want to go there – it would just be disappointing.  I didn’t really want to buy anything retail – I just wanted to sift through other peoples’ old junk.  So, we scoped out a couple of new-to-us Thrift Stores.  That’s when we stumbled upon Thrifting Mecca!   Apparently the first weekend of the month, there are a few open-air marketplaces set up in parking lots opposite each other at an intersection that ALSO houses 2 different Thrift/Consignment stores.  Woo!

We popped into one of the Thrift stores, because on my list this weekend was a Winter coat for Monkey.  Georgia has been MUCH colder than Florida, and she didn’t own one.  In the Thrift Store, I scored not only a Winter coat for this year, but a coat for NEXT year, too!  And a cute sweater!  All for around $10.  GO MAMA!

We stopped by the Open Air Markets, and Monkey bought herself a bracelet from a local artisan, and then we headed into a Goodwill that was in the same parking lot.  At Goodwill I found some picture frames, some of them 99 cents, and some of them just under 2 dollars a piece.

These were on my list, as well.  Well, 2 of them were.  The other three were just really good bargains that I couldn’t pass up.  Last week, Walgreens was offering a free 8×10 print that I took advantage of, so I used it to have a Dinner Menu and a Routine/Chore Chart for my Monkey made up.  That project will be up this week on the blog.  Stay posted!

Also, Monkey got herself a Robotic Dog toy and a book.  She was pretty pleased with her purchase.  The Fiance saw a book by Jon Stewart that he wanted.  When he found it, he told me “I wanted this when it first came out, but I wasn’t going to spend $30 on it.”  He got it for $2.50.  Go honey!

We finished out the day by hitting up a couple of cute little Independent shops back in our town, as well as Ace Hardware, where I picked up some Half-gallon canning jars and some black spray paint.  (For two other projects, planned on the blog this week.  If you’re counting – that’s THREE posts to look forward to this week!  EEK!  Are you tingling with anticipation?!  You should be!)

All in all, we spent 6 or 7 hours adventuring our new thrifting sights, with plans next week to hit up a few that are in the opposite direction from our home.  By the time we got home, my feet were sore, my spirits were high, and it was dinner time.  We ate some dinner, and The Fiance and I got to work setting up the new bed in our bedroom and then collapsed, ready to enjoy the extra hour of sleep from Daylight Savings Time ending.  It was a GREAT day!

A little recap:

The picture quality isn’t great, but like I said – it was LATE by the time we got home, and I couldn’t wait to take pictures, even if it had to be in the dimly lit dining room.

Have a great Sunday!