Monday, June 24, 2013

Dressed for the occasion

The Fourth of July isn't here quite yet, but Hayden is already dressed for the occasion. I just couldn't resist transforming this patriotic bandana (from our latest Eco Emi box) into a festive dress for the upcoming holiday or any other fun summer day. Although it came with a card showing multiple ways to wear and display the stars and stripes fabric square (I featured the hairstyle side of the card in my last post), I was inspired to create one of my own design.

The dress you see Hayden proudly modeling is actually a combination between this bandana apron idea and double-bandana girl's dress. I had considered making the apron for myself, but opted instead to sew something special for Hayden. Since I only had one bandana (I was so close to asking my sister for hers), I altered the original apron design to turn it into a child's size dress. Here's how I did it:

First, I searched my house for a thick ribbon or something to act as a tie. I found this white cloth ribbon that had been wrapped around a stack of wash cloths I had purchased quite some time ago. It was the perfect match.

I folded one corner of the fabric down, across the cloth ribbon, and pinned it to form the neckline. Then, I sewed it in place.

Here's what it looked like, as I planned the next steps.

I tied the fabric inside-out onto Hayden at the neckline and pinned the back seam. I sewed it and tried it on Hayden again to make sure it fit properly.

I felt it necessary to add some fabric to the bottom back of the dress, basically to cover her bottom when she runs around/bends over in it. Without hesitation (or ironing, as I was doing this project on a whim and right before a storm was about to take my good light away), I cut off the bottom triangle from the front of the dress ...

... pinned it to the back and sewed it along the original stitching.

I, then, gave the dress a new hem (yes, I know I still hadn't ironed it; if you have the time, make sure you iron yours).

Lastly, I decided to add even more interest to the dress by sewing a button hole (my sewing machine was acting up, so I quickly stitched them by hand) on each side of the back of the dress. The plan was to thread the extra neck tie length through them to create a crisscross back.

You can see the results in Hayden's photo shoot (obviously, she's happy with the dress; we took a lot of photos).

What do you think? What would you make with this bandana?

Friday, June 21, 2013

Happy Summer

Today is the official first day of summer, as well as time to unbox our June Eco Emi. The card in the box greeted us with "happy summer" and explained a little about all the products we'd find inside. There was even a patriotic bandana in honor of the Fourth of July, along with some ideas for wearing it and other fun uses. Hayden and I'll have to incorporate it into our next DIY, like the one we made last month.

As for the rest of the box contents, you can watch our reactions in the video above and/or read them belong:

Cuticle Care with Soothing Shea Butter by Badger: I've been buying Badger Balms for years. The tins are great for popping in your purse for whenever you might need a bit of moisture. The basic balms can be used for so many things (I've been known to rub a little into the ends of my hair when it looks a bit parched), but some of them are formulated for specific needs. My favorites are the After Sun Balm, Baby Balm, Sleep Balm and the Aromatic Chest Rub.

Coconut Hand and Body Lotion by Desert Essence: This is yet another company I've been purchasing from for years. I like their shampoos and conditioners, as well as their face products. When my skin broke out more, I would use their face wash, tea tree oil facial cleansing pads and blemish touch stick (actually, I still use that one). I'm amazed that I haven't tried this lotion. I love coconut, so I'm sure it will be a hit.

Vegan Lip and Cheeks in Peachy Rose by The All Natural Face: I've been loving every All Natural Face product featured in my Eco Emi boxes so far, and this one was no exception. This very natural looking lip and cheek cream is perfect for my complexion (it has argan oil in it) and is excellent for touch ups on the go. It comes in a tiny mirror compact, which is small enough to fit in Hayden's pocket. All I need is this and some mascara to create a carefree summer look.

Vegan Bronzer by Purely You Minerals: Okay, maybe a little bronzer would be nice, too, although I tend to just sport my own natural glow. This one just leaves a subtle glow and blends well with my skin. It might be nice for days when I'm lacking in the sleep department.

Purifying Cleansing Wipes by Nelsons Pure & Clear: Thank goodness my skin is outgrowing the acne face, but unfortunately, my son is just entering it. I guess these wipes came at the perfect time. Boys don't tend to be big fans of facial regimens, so these wipes have his name written all over them. He tested them out last night and this morning. All he had to do was swipe them over his face (no water was needed). He likes the feel of them on his skin, but doesn't care much for the smell (they contain tea tree oil and witch hazel). I know it has only been two uses, but his skin looks great. I might have to buy some more of these.

Chipotle BBQ Chips by Beanitos Black Bean Chips: We've had Beanitos before and ate them all up. I have a feeling these will disappear soon, too. Since I don't offer prepackaged snacks in the house very often, these will have to wait to our next outing.

All-Natural, Gluten-free Gummy Bears by Surf Sweets: Hayden got especially excited about these, and although I was hesitant to give them to her, she tore open the package before I even got a picture. Heads up that they are not vegan. She ate them anyway and loved them. Obviously, I'm not that strict about it.

Wheatgrass Organic Heirloom Seeds by Botanical Interests: Somehow I did not get my mom's green thumb. I meant to grow wheatgrass in the past, but it never happened. I think the universe wants to change that. If it works, I'll need to get the proper juicer for it (I actually enjoy wheatgrass juice) or just use it for decoration (it looks great on a spring table, especially at Easter time).

That's all for now folks. Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Happy birthday to my better half

No, I'm not talking about Hayden, although we do make a good pair. I'm referring to my husband Matthew, whose birthday is today. As he'd prefer to spend time with me, rather than me taking a while to post a lengthy post in is honor, I'm going to make this short and sweet.

My hubby and I have a lot in common, as well as our differences. Thank goodness opposites attract like in this "unbaked" version of Ben & Jerry's Half Baked ice cream. Although Matthew and I went to an actual Ben & Jerry's as one of our first dates, he is the only one of the two of us who still consumes the real deal. Therefore, I picked up some Chocolate Fudge Brownie for him and Jacob, and quickly whipped together a banana n'ice cream in this "indecisive flavor" (I can never make up my mind) for both Hayden and myself.

It's not my birthday, so I wasn't about to dedicate a ton of time to my dessert. I simply whipped up the usual banana n'ice cream base (frozen banana chunks, whipped into a creamy frozen dessert in a food processor, of course), removed half and mixed in some chunks of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Larabar. Then, I added cocoa powder to the rest of the plain banana n'ice cream, gave it another spin in my old school food processor and stirred in some broken up Black Swan Chocolate Berry Barre "brownie bites." Both flavors were served up as shown. Yummy!

Those Black Swan Barres are a fave of my tiny ballerina, who had her first recital last weekend (it was a hectic week, including a tech rehearsal, dress rehearsal and two recitals). We are so proud of our little performer. She did all the steps, despite the fact that the girl next to her ran off the stage. She's even asking to perform again soon.

Here are some photos from after the show:

Hayden was all smiles with her daddy, a.k.a. the birthday boy (recognize the pink roses from the photo at the beginning of this post? Oh, and the pink happy birthday candle was actually from Hayden's first b-day).

Obviously, I'm proud of my girl (I think I cried off all of my eye makeup) ...

... and she was proud of her Aunt April, who taught some of the other classes there. It was her last year teaching for now, as she wants to focus more of her time on performing in a dance company.

Anyway, my hubby is requesting some more of my time right now. TTFN!