Ginger Mail **Giveaway**

Alright, you lovely people, I have an adorable giveaway this month from Ginger P Designs.  If you haven’t heard of this wonderful little paper company, then definitely check out the link. They offer invitations, greeting cards, place cards, menu cards, and so much more with designs that are clean and simple.  They also have this neat little mailing service called Ginger Mail which sends you a little package of greeting cards (related to upcoming holidays), a cute little calendar for the month, and other adorable stationary items every 6 weeks!

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE the idea of this mailing service.  I am the type of person who always intends on sending that birthday card, but never actually picks it up at the store. The day comes, then goes, and I am, once again, that mediocre friend who didn’t send a birthday card.  I’ll share with you the Ginger mail I received for the December 1st mailing:

December Ginger Mail

 

There was also a shopping list notepad, but I have been using that religiously, so it’s almost gone.

I’m giving away the January 15th mailing which includes lots of Valentine’s Day goodies and a few other fun things.  To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment below along with your email address (so I know how to contact you if you win).  The giveaway is open from today until Friday, 1/31 at 12am MST.  The winner will be announced and contacted Friday morning and will have 48 hours to claim the prize.

In the meantime, check out these adorable freebie printables from Ginger P Designs….Valentine’s Day Wine Labels!!

Valentine's Day Wine Labels

Photo from gingerpdesigns.com

You can find another Valentine’s Day printable, and some fun Mother’s and Father’s day printables too!

**Giveaway open to residents of US, Canada, and UK. Disclosure: I did receive these items for free to review, however, I am not receiving any other compensation**

Babies and Book Ledges

Hola! I actually have a legitimate excuse for not posting for so long. I had a baby! Charlie Fay was born last Friday morning and she is absolutely perfect! I will post the birth story another day since I am still working on it, but I do have something pretty awesome to share today!

DIY Book Ledges

Sam has been busy on his paternity leave! I am so happy his job allows him some time off. It’s been really great for us all to bond with Charlie and for Milo’s transition into sibling-hood.  Sam built these amazing book ledges using this tutorial from Ana White’s website.  We were able to keep the $10 budget by splitting the 8ft boards 3 ways. The only thing he didn’t do was use a nail gun on the front ledge.  We don’t own a nail gun, so he just used wood glue to hold the front part in place.

DIY Book Ledges

Milo was just thrilled that all of his books have a home now. It’s more fun for him to pick which books he wants to read before bedtime with all of the covers showing.

DIY Book Ledges

I love these book shelves and can’t wait to hang some on Charlie’s wall, too! We also plan on doing some honeycomb shelving in her room to show off her girly trinkets.

Well, that’s all for today! Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Learning to Knit: Knit Kits!

I have been aching to learn how to knit for Lord only knows how long now! I know there are a ton of free tutorials and videos all over Internet-land, and I’ve looked at a few, but I’m seriously considering investing some $$ into one of these awesome Craftsy classes. That, or take a night off from being mom, head to the local Chilis for a fruity drink, then hop on over to Joann’s for one of their knitting classes. I know what you’re thinking…”Whoa there, little lady!”

Really though, I’ve been super inspired by these little knitting kits I keep seeing on Pinterest and Etsy, so I thought I would share them here with you lovely people!

1. Oyster Gray Kit from Purl Soho – $62.00

Purl Soho

Purl Soho

2. Sleepy Owl Starter Knitting Kit from LittleKnitKitCo – $33.71

LittleKnitKitCo

LittleKnitKitCo

3. Hat and Hand Warmers for Beginners from Purl Soho – $62.00

Purl Soho

Purl Soho

Okay, so I only found 3, but that’s enough to keep the fire lit for wanting to learn how to knit! Hey, they rhymed! It’s also given me a great idea to do a crochet kit. That may be my next project on Me + Three!

Do you knit? If so, how did you learn? I always get excited when people say, “YouTube videos!” Gives me hope that I, too, can learn how to knit from those videos!

Happy New Year 2014!

Hello!! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday break. We spent our time with close family at home, which is the best way to spend the holidays, in my opinion! Milo was really able to enjoy Christmas this year, since he wasn’t just a little fat-ball baby anymore.  He loved opening presents and spending time with his Grandma, who he has lovingly named “Michael”.  We are a little lost on that one, but whatever floats his boat.

Milo_Christmas2014

I’m working on many new things for Me + Three.  Since we will be welcoming our second child sometime in the next three weeks, I have decided to cut down from 5 postings a week to 2-3.  I still want to focus on real food recipes and crocheting/sewing, but I also want to talk more about gardening and my kids since those things are a pretty big part of my life.

Speaking of my children, I recently became an Ambassador for the independent children’s publishing company, Barefoot Books.  If you’ve never heard of them, please, please check out their website! Their children’s books go above and beyond the norm with always-gorgeous artwork and incredibly rich content.  Most of the stories are fiction, however, at the end of most of the books (aside from the board books) there is an educational section with factual information having to do with the story.  For instance, in our favorite book, I Took the Moon for a Walk, the extras in the back talk about the different stages of the moon and creatures of the night.  They have a beautiful World Atlas that I couldn’t help getting for Milo, and surprise! There was a gigantic world map in the back that I am going to frame and hang on his wall!

World Atlas Barefoot Books       Anyway, being an Ambassador is a great way for me to stock my kid’s library and get involved with the community (um, and make a little bit of money).  You choose how to run your own business, so there is no monthly quota, or whatever, to meet.  I am choosing to participate in book fairs at local schools, daycares, and preschools and the local Farmer’s Markets, as well as fundraising opportunities for local organizations.  Many Ambassadors also do in-home parties and birthday parties, and I’ve also heard some do story time at the local libraries.  So it’s a great way to get involved with your community! If you’re interested in becoming an Ambassador, January is a great time since the starter kit is $40 off! I got mine a few weeks ago and decided that even if I didn’t do one thing with my Barefoot Books business, well, I just got $300 worth of goodies for $100! But, of course, I am totally going to do something with my business..haha. Anyway, click on the photo below to find out more about joining my team and what Barefoot Books is all about!

Barefoot Books Ambassador

Alright guys! I’m excited about the new year and everything that is in store for Me + Three! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

DIY Baking Soda and Cornstarch Ornaments

Hello! I haven’t fallen off of the face of the earth, I have just been so busy with holiday activities! Also, my Milo has been a sick little boy for the past 5 days…a little goodbye gift from his last day of preschool, I guess.

Anyway, I wanted to update and let everyone know that I am going to be absent for a little while longer, but I am coming back after the holidays with a new look for Me + Three {and counting…}! I’m really excited for all of the upcoming changes and anxious to see how I manage to stay on top of it all while adding a new baby to the mix.

I will leave you with a one more Christmas DIY project that I completed yesterday. I am not sure if these have another name besides “baking soda and cornstarch ornaments”, so that is what I’m calling them.  These are probably my favorite DIY ornaments because I can be totally lazy and leave them as they are, white and sparkly, or I can paint and decorate them how I want!

Baking soda and cornstarch ornaments

Baking Soda & Cornstarch Ornaments

Makes roughly ten 3″ cookie cutter ornaments

1 cup baking soda

1/2 cup cornstarch

2/3 cup of water

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and place over medium heat. Stir constantly until mixture forms a ball of dough. Transfer dough to a bowl to cool enough to handle. When dough has cooled, knead until dough is nice and smooth. Roll out to desired thickness of ornaments (I did about 1/4″). Cut out shapes with cookie cutters, use a drinking straw to make holes (for the string) at the top of the shape, then allow them to dry overnight so they can harden. Make sure they are drying on a flat surface and if they begin to curl up, just flip them over to flatten them out again.

Mine took about 12 hours to harden enough for me to paint them. I picked up some Martha Stewart patterning tape along with some of her metallic paint in yellow gold to make the stripes. And you can decorate them however you like! These are definitely going to be an every year DIY ornament project for my tree!

DIY Baking soda and cornstarch ornament

And here’s the {mostly} finished tree! I seriously need a tree topper, but with Christmas being in a week, I don’t think we’re going to have one this year.

rustic christmas tree

Alright, I’ll see you all in a few weeks! Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Weekly Dinner Menu {12/2 – 12/7}

Weekly Dinner Menu

 

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! We spent most of the week in California with my husband’s family, which is always fun! I was loving the change in scenery from brown to green and spent most of my time admiring everyone’s colorful landscaping.

Anyway, here’s what we’re having for dinner this week. I like to share my weekly dinner menu with my readers just in case they have as hard a time coming up with something good and wholesome to cook for dinner as I do. I hate coming up with meal plans and have even considering hiring someone to do just that for me. Haha. My husband doesn’t help much since he only has one answer whenever I ask him what he wants for dinner: tacos. I think he married the wrong woman. I am not a taco fan.

Monday: Perfect Roast Chicken with sautéed Brussels Sprouts

Tuesday: Easy Chicken Salad Wraps with Sweet Potato Fries

Wednesday: Pork Roast with Apples & Onions and Wild Rice

Thursday: Rich Autumn Pork Stew with 30 Minute Rolls

Friday: Leftovers from Thursday

Saturday: Pizza night using this crust recipe

In other news, I have decided to get a real tree this year! I have come to the conclusion that having a real tree is better for the environment and for my family. Who knows what those fake trees are made of. On top of that, they always cut my hands up when I’m fluffing their branches and nothing beats the smell of a real tree..not even that Yankee candle. Also, I learned that I can either use the tree as mulch for my garden OR I can participate in this cool thing called TREECYCLING! If Yuma, AZ has a program for it, then your town has a program for it, so check it out!

Until next time…

Crocheting for a Cause! {Preemie Hat Pattern}

I recently found out, from a fellow USMC wife on Facebook, about the Sunset Crochet’s Annual Christmas Charity.  This is such an awesome and easy way to give this holiday season if you know how to crochet. The challenge is to crochet 12 preemie hats over the 12 days of Christmas and donate them to your local NICU.  Last year, over 20,000 hats were donated to NICU’s around the US! That’s amazing, right?

Sunset Crochet 3rd Annual Christmas Challenge

Photo Credit: Sunset Crochet

I wanted to get started right away on this, but I don’t have much knowledge about how big or small a preemie hat should be. Lucky for me, there are plenty of size charts available on the internet, like this one that I used.  I know there are already plenty of adorable hat patterns out there {you even get 13 of them free when you commit to this challenge!}, but I wanted to come up with something of my own that was okay for both boys and girls.

I’m loving the puff stitch lately, along with the reverse single crochet edging technique that I recently learned, so I combined the two and made this!

Crochet Preemie Hat Pattern

I realize that this is crochet and it’s kind of hard to come up with my very own pattern since so many already exists, but I couldn’t find any quite like this, so as far as I’m concerned, this is a pattern that I came up on my own with inspiration from previous patterns. I just switched the stitches out for my preferred ones. Now get to crocheting those preemie hats! These seriously only take about 15 minutes to make.

Preemie Hat Pattern

Puff Stitch Preemie Hat (1-2lbs)

Materials:

H hook (5.00mm)

Favorite baby yarn (I used Vanna’s Choice)

Chain (ch) 3. Join in first ch with slip stitch (sl st)

R1: Ch 1.(does not count as sc) 10 single crochets (sc) in loop. Join with sl st in first stitch.

R2: Ch 1. 2 sc in each stitch around (20 stitches). Join with sl st in first stitch.

R3: Ch 1. 2 sc in first stitch, 1 sc in next stitch. Repeat around. (30 stitches). Join with sl st in first stitch.

R4: Ch 1. Sc in each stitch around (30 stitches). Join with sl st in first stitch.

R5: Ch 2. Puff stitch (see below) in 2nd sc from hook. Skip 1 SC and puff stitch in next sc. Repeat patter around. (15 puff stitches). Join with sl st in top of ch. 2.

R6: Ch 2. Puff stitch in first space after chain 2, then puff stitch in between every puff stitch from the previous row. (15 puff stitches). Join with sl st in top of ch. 2.

R7 – 9: Ch 2. Puff stitch in each space between puff stitches of previous row for a total of 15 puff stitches in each row. Join with sl st in top of ch. 2.

R10 (edging starts). Ch 1. Sc in each stitch (spaces and top of puff stitches). (30 stitches). Join with sl st in first sc.

R11: Reverse sc all the way around. End with sl st in first stitch of row. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Puff Stitch Preemie Hat (3-5lbs)

Ch 3. Join in first chain with sl st.

R1: Ch 1. 10 sc in loop. Join with sl st in 1st sc.

R2: Ch 1. 2 sc in each sc. (20 stitches). Join with sl st in 1st sc.

R3: Ch 1. 2 sc in first sc, then 1 sc in next. Repeat pattern all the way around. (30 stitches). Join with sl st in 1st sc.

R4: Ch 1. 2 sc in first sc, then 1 sc in next two stitches. (40 stitches). Join with sl st in 1st sc.

R5: Ch 1. Sc in each stitch around (40 stitches). Join with sl st in first sc.

R6: Ch 2. Puff stitch in 2nd sc from hook and every other stitch around (20 puff stitches).

R7-10: Ch 2. Puff stitch in spaces between previous row (20 puff stitches in each row).

R11: Ch 1. Sc in each stitch around, spaces and top of puff stitches.

R12: Ch 2. Reverse sc in each stitch around. Join with sl st, fasten off, and weave in ends.

Puff Stitch Instructions:

*Yarn over. Insert hook into next stitch. Yarn over. Pull back through stitch (3 loops on hook). Repeat from {*} two more times (7 loops on hook). Yarn over once more and pull loop through all loops on hook. Chain one. This counts as one puff stitch.

Crochet Preemie Hat Pattern

Look how tiny the 1-2lb hat is!

Have a happy Thanksgiving to all who observe the holiday and eat tons and tons of yummy food!

DIY Easy Christmas Stocking {DIY Christmas}

DIY Christmas

Welcome back to Me + Three’s DIY Christmas! Sorry I skipped last week. I had made this stocking the day before I was planning to post it, but it totally didn’t work out the way I wanted it to, so I took a little more time, tweaked the pattern, added and subtracted a few steps and finally got what I had been going for!

Easy Christmas Stocking

Alright, so first of all, you can use any stocking pattern that you have. I drew up one of my own just because I didn’t feel like spending the money on one and I couldn’t find one that I liked on the internet. So, if you’d like to use mine, then you are more than welcome! Oh, and don’t mind the duplicated 4th page. It’s extra.

Christmas Stocking Pattern

Make sure that if you are using fabric that has a right side and a wrong side, that you flip the stocking pattern over to make the opposite side. I used some of the fabric leftover from my couch covers along with some pretty burlap interlaced with gold.  Also, if you are using burlap for the accent pieces, make sure your stocking fabric is heavy enough or just double up with a liner if it’s a super thin fabric. 

Materials:

stocking fabric and accent fabric (You could probably get 4 stockings out of 2 yards of fabric. You only need half a yard or less for the accent pieces).

Pellon 805 Wonder Under Fusible Web

Embellishments

Twine for stocking hanger and embellishments

Sewing and cutting tools (sewing machine, matching thread, scissors, pins, etc…)

So your first step is going to be to cut out the pieces. Don’t forget to use the toe and heel pieces to cut out the wonder under pieces.

Next you’re going to follow the steps on the wonder under and fuse it to the back of the accent fabric.

If you don’t have the directions then you simply put the rough side of the wonder under and the wrong side of the accent fabric together and press with a hot iron for about 8-10 seconds, or until it’s fused to the fabric. Next, damped a dish cloth or towel, peel the other side off of the wonder under, place on top of the stocking where it is to be fused to the fabric, cover with the damp towel and press with the iron for 10-15 seconds or until fused to fabric.

DIY Christmas Stocking1

Then it’s time to do a decorative stitch over the edges of the burlap toe and heel. You only need to do the stitch on the inside sides of the burlap because the other two sides will be hidden in the seam.  I switched my stitch to zigzag, set the length at 0, and stitched over twice.

Place the edge of the burlap right in line with the needle.

Place the edge of the burlap right in line with the needle.

DIY Christmas Stocking3

Next, cut 3 strips of your accent fabric that are about 2 inches wide, and the length of the top of the stocking (about 8 inches).   Lay one strip a the top of the stocking and sew, using about 1/4″ seam allowance (if you are sewing an embellishment on, like I did, then try to sew it on now. For mine, I just cut a 4″ piece of twine, threaded two cute snowflakes onto it and sewed it with the strip, then when I hemmed the top, I reinforced it by sewing it into the hem). Flip the strip up and measure about an inch from where you sewed the first strip. Sew your second strip there and repeat for third strip.

Now that the front of the stocking is finished, hem the top of the stocking. For the back of the stocking, cut a 4 inch piece of twine, loop together, and sew into the hem at the corner (this is the stocking hanger), about a half an inch into the stocking piece (the side that the heel is on). I did about 1/4″ hem on both pieces.

DIY Christmas Stocking4

Now you’re ready to sew the 2 pieces together. Simply lay the right sides together, pin, and sew, using a 1/4″ seam allowance (right in line with the edge of the presser foot).

Turn right side out, trim any random threads, press the stocking, and enjoy your handy work!

DIY Christmas Stocking

I know I normally do a weekly dinner menu on Monday’s but I’m only cooking tonight and tomorrow night for my family, so I’m going to skip this week and take some time to be extra crafty!! Have a wonderful Monday and don’t forget to check out the other posts from my DIY Christmas series!

DIY Rag Ball Bulbs

DIY Cinnamon Garland

Winner of **November Etsy Giveaway**

Hello! I hope you all are having a wonderful Friday morning. It’s been especially wonderful for me! You see, I woke up to rain this morning. Yep. That doesn’t happen much here in Arizona. So I am enjoying some time to myself, windows open, Pandora pleasing my ears, and coffee in hand!

But, oh! You want to know who won the November giveaway, right? Okay, okay…so the lucky winner is……..

Sierra (Femmefatale25)!!!

Sierra, if you could please use the contact form in the upper right hand corner of the page to get in touch with me! Winner will have 48 hours to claim prize, if I don’t hear anything by 11am (MST) on Sunday then I will move on to the next! Thanks to all who entered!

If you didn’t win, no worries. I do this every month.

December’s is going to be awesome-socks, so stick around, snoop around, check out my DIY Christmas series I’ve got going on or some awesome recipes like this persimmon spice cake, or this sweet potato and vanilla risotto.

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Last day to enter November’s giveaway!

Hi loves! Sorry I have been away this whole week. Seems like life had other plans than for me to diligently post every morning, like I normally would. The giveaway is still open until midnight! The winner will be selected and announced tomorrow morning, so come back to see if you’re the lucky winner! Also, I have an awesome DIY Christmas stocking project coming up! Still tweaking the design, but it should be up soon.

Have a wonderful Thursday and come back tomorrow to see who will win the handmade Christmas wreath from Alicia Rose Crafty Creations and a $25 Etsy gift card!