New Patterns: Linen Loungers and Little Loungers

Patterns for Pirates has released their two newest patterns, the Linen Loungers (for women) and the Little Loungers (for kids).  These two patterns are going to be a staple in your sewing.  With the options of curved hem or cuffed hem shorts, bermuda length shorts, capris or pants this is a year round pattern.

I tested both the women’s and kids versions.  The first pairs I made were in a linen.  Capri length for me, bermuda length for Cupcake.  

The comfortable elastic waistband is finished with topstitching to give it a professional looking finish.  There are two pocket options; slat pockets (picture above) for patch pockets.  

Cupcake got a pair in the bermuda length and she loves the pockets!   There might have been a rock hiding in her pocket during our photoshoot.  

Not to be left out, Pumpkin wanted a pair of shorts, too.  So I found this funky animal print linen and whipped up two pairs of shorts.  The elastic waist is great for the kids, so they don’t have to mess with buttons or closures.  There is a faux fly option, too, if you want them to look like they have a zipper.  

These are the cuffed hem shorts and I added a back pocket because a girl needs pockets.

Pumpkin loves having matching shorts with her sister.  And animal prints are her jam.  

I also sewed myself a pair of cuffed shorts out of a remnant of rayon I found at Joann’s.  For this pair I used the yoga waistband in a Supplex instead of the elastic waistband.  It makes for one very comfy, but cute, pair of shorts.  

Of course I needed pockets, too.  

You can use any drapey, woven fabric for these Loungers, so you can have a lot of fun with the options.  When it’s not 90 degrees outside I’ll have to whip up a pair of pants.  I’m also planning on adding a few pairs of pants to the girls’ fall/winter wardrobe in a chambray (since they don’t like to wear jeans).

And if you have little boys the Little Loungers will work for them, too!  Some of the testers sewed up some boy versions and they turned out great!

Pick up either pattern (or both in a bundle) today!  (on sale through Sunday, the 23rd)

Ragnar Relay Chicago 2017 Recap

Welcome to Friday Fitness: Ragnar edition!  A few months ago my friend, Katie asked me if I would be interested in driving up to Chicago to run with her team.  I thought for a moment and decided to just go for it.  If you’re not familiar Ragnar is a relay race made up of 12 runners covering 200-ish miles in less than 2 days.  You run day and night.  This wasn’t my first relay, but definitely the longest!

I drove up to Chicago on Wednesday and helped pick up our vans from the rental company (which took forever!!).  Then we ran back home, threw our stuff in the van and headed to our meet up point to pick up the rest of the team.  Once everyone was loaded (6 people to a van) we hit the road and headed towards Madison, WI.  We stopped along the way and had a delicious dinner (and were super disappointed we couldn’t take the leftovers with us).  We finally arrived at our hotel and crashed pretty quickly.  

Our team had an 8 am start time.  Van 1 headed to the start line early and van 2 (my van) arrived around 7:30.  We chatted, finished decorating the van (including strapping an inflatable flamingo, who we named Maggie, on top) and saw our first runner off.  Van 1 headed to the next exchange and van 2 headed back to the hotel to eat and pack up.  

We arrived at major exchange 6, went through our safety training, picked up our bibs and shirts and checked out the vendors and the merchandise tent.  There was a BBQ food truck there that smell so good, but I was runner #7, which meant I was the first runner of our van so I couldn’t eat.  *sad face*

My first leg was 7.5 miles and was rated “very hard.”  It started off (at 12:48 pm) on some surface roads and toward a trail, which was gravel and a little annoying to run on.  Luckily there was a good bit of shade, but the heat and humidity was rising.  I stopped to take pictures of flamingos and an MRTT magnet along the way, but the first 4 miles went really well and then we were off the trail and out into the blazing sun.  Mile 5 smacked me with a bug in the eye and a hill.  Mile 6 was a little better and then with about a mile and a half to go I choked on my water and a van pulled over to ask me if I was ok.  I was fading fast and it dawned on me that I hadn’t eaten!  I struggled to the exchange point, handed off the slap bracelet and headed to the van for food!!!

The rest of my van ran through their legs and we headed to the next major exchange to trade off with van 1. While waiting for our runner to come in an announcement was made that the leg would be held because there was someone chasing runners on leg 13.  We hung out for a bit with the other half of our team (the only time we saw them was at the major exchanges) before heading out to drive towards our next major exchange, which was about 40 minutes away.

We stopped and had some dinner and then headed to the high school that served as our exchange point.  Some of the girls took a shower, most took a nap.  I tried to stay awake because I was the first runner and I figured if I went to sleep it would be really hard to wake up and run.

My second leg started around 12:07 AM.  I was really nervous about the night run, especially after the incident at leg 13.  I was hoping to buddy up with someone, but the closest person to me was planning on running about 30 sec. faster per mile than me, so I just headed out on my own.  She passed me about a mile in, but it turned out there were quite a few people out there.  I was never alone.  I even ran into a banana!  The scariest part was running under an overpass.  We crossed a few bridges, through a park. The last one had the sounds of a waterfall and then the bridge started bouncing!  There were 3 of us on the bridge at the time and we all let out a squeal when it started bouncing.  It through our footing off!  The cooler temperatures and the adequate fueling helped make the run less painful!  6.2 miles complete!

By the time our 5th runner was out on the course I was really starting to feel like lack of sleep.  I had been awake for about 22 hours at that point and I was starting to feel sick, so I laid down in the van and tried to rest as much as I could in a moving vehicle and arriving at exchange points.  I don’t know that I actually got any sleep, but at least I didn’t feel sick.  And when we arrived at the next major exchange at 5 in the morning we were greeted with a beautiful sunrise over the lake!  As our runner entered the exchange we sang happy birthday to her and it was a very cool moment.

And then we headed to the hotel to sleep!  I face planted into the bed and got 3 hours of glorious sleep!  I was really disappointed when I woke up after 3 hours!  But it turned out to be a good thing because van 1 was ahead of schedule and we needed to get moving!  We rallied the troops and headed out on the 45 minute drive the our last major exchange. After a stop for gas and to restock water we arrived with little time to spare.   

I started my last leg at 11:52 AM on a very hot and sunny day.  There was no shade on the path! Luckily it was a short leg of just 3.1 miles.  I decided not to even look at my watch and just run the best I could in the conditions.  I took it slow and easy and it went much better than I thought it would!  I was so happy to be done and checking off that final box!

With just 5 runners after me we were nearing the finish line!!!  We saw some great sights along the way, pretty houses, gorgeous views of the lake and lots of runners heading toward the beach!  The finish line was at Montrose Beach and because it was such a warm day the beach was crazy busy!!  We got stuck in a very large traffic jam causing us to miss our runner coming across the finish line.  Van 1 and runner 12 came across it together on our team’s behalf and we met them at the after party.  We were done!!!

We were rewarded with our bling and took lots of celebratory pictures.

We finished in 31:49:36.0, which was almost 2 hours faster than our predicted finish time!

We didn’t stick around too long for the after party because the 20+ mph wind gusts were throwing sand everywhere, including into our pizza.  

It was a crazy whirlwind of two days!  I’m happy I can check it off my bucket list.  I’m not too sure I’d want to do it again.  Sleep deprivation and I don’t get along!  But I had a great team who made it a great experience!  

Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mini chocolate chips cookies are a crowd pleaser!  These are perfect for taking to a backyard BBQ or picnic. We took these to a Girl Scouts picnic and they disappeared fast!  I mean who doesn’t love cookies!  And isn’t everything cuter when it’s small?

Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies #recipe #baking #cookies

These aren’t big cookies on a big plate.  They’re small cookies on a small plate.  Soft, delicious, chocolately cookies!

Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies #recipe #baking #cookies

Using mini chocolate chips adds to the mini fun of these cookies!  Make a big batch of these for your next party and watch them disappear!

Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies #recipe #baking #cookies

 

Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies
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Ingredients
  1. 2 1/4 cup flour
  2. 1 tsp salt
  3. 1 tsp baking soda
  4. 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  5. 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  6. 1 cup butter, softened
  7. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 12 oz mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine flour, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. In a large mixer bowl combine sugars, butter and vanilla and mix until creamy.
  4. Add eggs and mix.
  5. Add the dry ingredients and mix well.
  6. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  7. Line your baking sheets with a Silpat or parchment paper. Drop spoonfuls (tablespoon for medium size cookies, teaspoon for tiny cookies) of the dough onto the cookie sheet and bake for 7-9 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.
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Vivienne Pattern Release

You guys!  I’ve been dying to share these photos with you!!  I was so excited to help test the new Vivienne and Mama Vivienne patterns from Made for Mermaids!  I sewed up so many versions so prepare for picture overload!!!  

First up is this tunic in a purple strip from So Sew English and solid from Purple Seamstress.  This is Pumpkin’s favorite shirt!  She’ll even wear jeans with it!!  (getting her in jeans is quite a feat!)  

She loves the twirl factor!

Pumpkin’s not the only one who has a new outfit!!

I used the last of my precious Girl Charlee floral on this mini dress version of the Mama Vivienne.  I love the side panel for having some fun with fabrics.  I love stripes paired with floral, so of course I had to use them for the side panel in this version.

The Mama version of the dress isn’t quite as full as the girl’s version, so it doesn’t add a lot of bulk to the midsection.  

And when there are Mama and girl versions of a pattern we have to have some matchy matchy fun!!!  Cupcake and I had a sorority luncheon to attend so we needed new dresses! 

Vivienne and Mama Vivienne by Made for Mermaids

We were a big hit at the luncheon!  And comfortable, too, in this double brushed poly (also from So Sew English).  

And not to be left out…….

Pumpkin demanded a matching outfit as well.  Actually, I made her this dress version and as soon as she put it on she said I needed to make a matching one for myself.  Lucky for her that was the plan all along.  

Vivienne and Mama Vivienne by Made for Mermaids

I absolutely love how these ones turned out! This fabric from Bolt by Girl Charlee is just gorgeous!  

Are you counting………up to 6 so far……..yeah, there’s one more.

Vivienne by Made for Mermaids

And this one might be her favorite.  She’s worn it a million times already! As soon as it’s clean she wears it again.  And she wears it for important events, like her preschool farewell performance.  

I love it, too.  This Riley Blake fabric is just so sweet!  Again, paired with Purple Seamstress solids.  

And this pattern release is not just for the ladies this time!!  Be sure to check out the Dylan Tee and Men’s Dylan Tee, too! I didn’t test them, but the testers made some awesome versions and I can’t wait to sew some up for my hubby!!

All 4 patterns are on sale through Friday or you can get them in a bundle!  So be sure to pick up your copies during the sale!!

 

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Our Gnome Home

So, have you guys seen all the gnome and fairy gardens popping up everywhere?  When I first saw a fairy garden I thought it was the cutest thing and would be a fun project to do with the girls.  We found some really cute supplies at Joann’s and one day I was there when they were all 60% off, so I thought I’d pick up a few pieces and start our own.  Because of the sale there were some things that were sold out.  Namely fairies.  But there were still cute gnomes, so a gnome home is what we created!

I had an old, large pot that hasn’t been used in a year or two and thought it would be the perfect place to build our gnome home.  The girls helped me fill up the pot with some soil and then we started arranging.  First we put a big spiky plant in the back and settled the treehouse next to it.

And then we rested our gnome just outside his front door.  Isn’t he cute?  Back behind him is a little bird house.  We were hoping to bring it a little more forward, but it needed the help of the plan to keep it from tipping over.  But now it’s like a cute little secret back there.

We added some purple flowers along the side and tucked in some cute little mushrooms.

There’s a nice welcoming path of little “wood slices” leading to the front door and a pet snail.  We have a pet snail so our gnome needed one, too.  With a few pink flowers behind the snail our gnome home is complete.  

The girls love having a gnome home in the backyard and they check on him often.  A nice lady I met while picking out my items told me that making little fairytale gardens is addictive and I think she might be right.  I could see making a few more of these around the yard.