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!

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!

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!

Last Day in Town…

Yesterday, we worked pretty hard and got the house 95% packed.  Today, we blew off pretty much the entire moving process and decided to enjoy our last day in my sleepy little Florida town.  I think it was pretty much a great idea to build in a day of relaxation and enjoyment into this process – never underestimate the importance of morale!

We started out the day, bright and early and headed to our favorite Flea Market.  I’m REALLY going to miss this Flea Market – it’s one of my very favorites, in all of the places I’ve ever lived.  We ended up with James Bond Monopoly for $2, an antique potato ricer for $4, and some books for the Monkey, 3/$1.  Certainly not our largest or most exciting haul, but.. we had a great time, simply walking around and enjoying our morning.

By 10:30, we were done there, having walked the 2 miles around the marketplace.  So, we headed to Target, to see if we could pick up some goodies for Miss Monkey’s new room in the Atlanta House and check out the Halloween costumes as well.   We ended up finding her some new organic cotton sheets for $5, marked down from $25.  So, score there!

Then we drove out to the Beach and had lunch right on the Beach.  We went to this little Seafood place that I absolutely love.  Lunch couldn’t have been more perfect – they sat us directly next to the playground in the sand, and right near the Beach Volleyball nets.  Monkey made quick friends and played the afternoon away on the playground equipment, and The Fiance and I enjoyed some amazing shrimp and seafood on a gorgeous afternoon, watching the water and people play Volleyball.  It was simply beautiful.  Oh, and we finished it all up with an AMAZINGLY HUGE piece of incredible Key Lime Pie.

We came home and took naps, and then Monkey and I went out for sushi for dinner while The Fiance got up, took some tums and extended his nap into what will probably be tomorrow, because his tummy isn’t feeling so good.   He worked hard for us yesterday and he’ll be working even harder tomorrow – so he absolutely deserves a comfy long nap.  I’m going to go snuggle with him in a few, once I load a few episodes of How I Met Your Mother onto my iPad, and see if he wants to do a little cuddling and TV-watching before retiring for the night.

How to start fresh with organization when you move (part 1)

This is going to be in 2 parts.  The first part is here, in Florida – as I am packing on this end.   The second part will be from The Atlanta House when I am setting up a new household.  

So, the countdown to The Atlanta House is in full swing. The Fiancé is holding it down in Atlanta, painting and prepping for our arrival, and Monkey and I are in Florida, packing our things in preparation for moving day.

I’ve taken this opportunity to reevaluate our organization, what has been working for us, what hasn’t been working for us, and how things will change with a different living arrangement. I’m going to share some of these tips with you today.

1. Purge as you pack.. This seems like advice we hear a lot, but the implementation is usually not as easy. Well, let’s make it easy. There are no other scenarios other than moving where you are literally faced with every single thing you own, so now is the time to make some decisions.

Next to each box that I pack, I place a second box — the goodwill box. As I empty each drawer, cabinet, and closet, I envision The Atlanta House and how those objects will fit in to the house in my mind, as well as their use when I get there. The Fiancé and I have some duplicate items, so we’ve previously discussed who’s toaster, microwave, etc. stays. Therefore, these are a no-brainer. Other things such as sheets… I’ve been keeping three sets of sheets in each bed size, and either donating additional sets, or evaluating their usefulness as fabric for other projects.

For my closet, I sat on the bed as the decision maker and clothes folder, while The Fiancé and my Monkey took care of all the things that involved moving. Monkey pulled all of my dresses, one by one, out of the closet, and I evaluated them from the bed, either having her hand it to me, to be folded and packed, or having her hand it to The Fiancé, to be folded and donated. Once we’d been through all of the clothes in the house, The Fiancé had many bags of clothes to donate, which he took up to Goodwill the next morning and brought me back a receipt.

2. Reevaluate where you want to store your belongings.. This has been crucial for me here in Florida. I have had to be very creative with the storage space available to us in our small little home, and thus – some items are stored in rooms where I might not necessarily store them if I had more room available to me. There are also those little things that stray from their like items, such as the lotion that manages to make a home next to the bed, or the DVDs that meander to a tv in a room that isn’t where they belong, etc.

To address this, I’ve started 4 different boxes, labeled for the rooms where I ultimately want things stored in The Atlanta House. For my purposes, I have Bathroom, Family Room, Master Bedroom, and Dining Room.  Bathroom – because that’s where items tend to migrate away from in my household.  Family Room because in The Atlanta House, we will be combining the Office(s) with a living space, which is different than either of our set ups at the moment.  The Master Bedroom because in my current set up, I do not have a dressing area/make up area in my bedroom, but in Atlanta I will.  And Dining Room because my teeny tiny little Florida House does not have a Dining Room.  My Dining Room furniture is currently in storage and all of the things I would typically keep in the Dining Room are sporadically stored throughout the house as I have found space for them.

With this set up, I will avoid the unpacking of items in a room I do not ultimately intend for it to wind up.  That way, as I am packing my bedroom closet, instead of packing my tablecloths from the top shelf into my bedroom boxes, they can go straight into the Dining Room box, to facilitate easier unpacking when we get to our destination.

And finally..

3. I have packed all of my baskets, storage bins, containers separately on their own.  Why?  Well, I have many different baskets, bins, jars, totes, boxes, etc… And they are being utilized in a way that makes the most sense for the space that I have here in Florida.  The spaces in The Atlanta House are much different, so I figure when I unpack – having all of the storage containers in a central location will allow me to assess each space and shop from my own collection as I go about organizing our things.

I love starting fresh and having an opportunity to fine-tune the organization in my home..

How about you?  How do you handle moves?

Desk made for 2..

So, The Fiance and I both work from home.  We’re also both video game dorks.  With that comes a need for 2 work spaces and various gamer-intricacies.  For example – my monitor is 32″…  and The Fiance rolls with 2 monitors that are 27″ each.

Small desks won’t cut it here.  Also, we don’t really want to be segregated from the rest of the family (read: kiddo(s)) if we are on our computers, because we both spend a greater-than-average amount of time sitting at the computer.. For either work or pleasure.

Beautiful, but this won’t work for us. (Photo Source: Young House Love)

And finally – I didn’t want a side-by-side-looking-at-a-wall-or-out-a-window linear configuration for a number of reasons.

  1. I’d really prefer not to have my back to Monkey or the rest of the family when I am working.. it’s not very conducive to conversations.  It also encourages little eyes over my shoulder when I’m on the internet and I’m not a huge fan of that.
  2. I didn’t want my family room to be the background when I am using Skype to connect with a client.  It takes away from the professionalism a bit when  you see my child hopping around in the background, playing Wii.
  3. I’d really rather see The Fiance’s face when we’re both at the computer, as opposed to his back or the side of his head, etc.

So, I went internet hunting for a possible set up that would could DIY.  We originally saw this in IKEA:

GALANT series from IKEA, set up as a 2-person workstation.

This had a couple of problems.  First, it was $610 for that set up.  That’s a bit steep.  Also, I don’t really like the legs at all.  And finally – it has ZERO storage.  I’d be paying $610 for a funny-shaped table.  No drawers, no shelves, nothing.  So, we continued to hunt and brainstorm.

Then I came across a post on IKEA Hackers.  The guy who posted it turned some IKEA Expedit units into the support for a desk and used Vika Amon Tabletops to build a super big workstation for two!  There are many things to love about this.

Isn’t this great?! Look at all that space! And the storage! (Photo Source: IKEA Hackers)

First, I already own those exact IKEA Expedit pieces.  In my bedroom, I’m sporting (2) 2×4 and (1) 2×2 units.  We talked about it, and The Fiance would also like a 2×2 on his side, so we’ll need to buy one more, in addition to the table tops, but that brings us from $610.00 down to about $112.  Considerable savings!  Plus, it just looks so much better and HOLY COW, the storage!

I’m most definitely excited to bring this together.

Do any of you have to balance two workstations?  How have you solved this?