Tag Archives: Shopping

Fun with Felt and Fleece – Hooded Jackets

9 Oct

I saw these scrappy jackets online the other day – so cute and funky…and so very expensive! I have a hard time justifying spending $50 on a jacket that my kids will just grow out of in the next year, or possibly destroy :). I decided that, while I couldn’t afford to get those particular jackets, I could afford to be inspired by them. And I had way too much fun making these! I turned into a pumpkin most nights while I burning the midnight oil, piecing my little scraps of felt together. They are going to be for Christmas, but I’m too excited about them to hide them away in the closet for another couple of months – don’t show my kids! I plan on making one for baby boy too, but I haven’t found a hoodie pattern that goes small enough for him…yet.

I used fleece and the McCall’s pattern M6782 for the jacket, and various felt for the embellishments.

Rock & Roll:

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I’m a Hoot:

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Just finished baby boy’s jacket – just in time for Christmas! So, I had to add it to the collection.

Toad-ally Cute:

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Deviled Hotdogs w/ BBQ Sauce

23 Sep

I bought a pack of cotton balls at the store the other day – ‘50% more in the bag,’ it said. Jackpot! I love a good deal. Well, now I know their secret…there are 50% more cotton balls in the bag because they cut all the cotton balls in half. So, next time you see that oh-so-alluring come on, turn around. Walk away. It is better to have bought a bag of 50% less cotton balls that are normal sized than to have had to suffer through 50% more teeny tiny cotton balls.

Deviled hotdogs – I grew up on these. I’ve never seen anyone else make them except my mom and grandma. But, for hot dogs, this is about as fancy as you’ll get! And I still love them just as much as I did when I was a kid.



3/4 cup catsup

2 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp brown sugar

2 Tbsp mustard

1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp salt

hot dogs

Combine all ingredients except hot dogs and mix thoroughly over medium heat. Slash hot dogs and add to sauce. Cover with a lid and cook on low, turing the hot dogs occasionally, until hot dogs are cooked through and browned. Serve over rice.


Seatbelt Pillows

3 Sep

So, despite the fact that this is not a recipe (I can argue that a pattern is a kind of recipe…right?), I have to take a moment to brag…my kids fall asleep in the car in the most awkward positions (no, that’s not what I’m bragging about). I can always tell when my four year old has woken up because it comes with a wail and an, “Owie!!” because she’s kinked her neck from being flopped over for so long. I’ve seen infomercials for seatbelt buddies, or basically stuffed animals strapped to your seatbelt that you can rest your head on. Brilliant! Also, too much money! 🙂 What is the internet for, if not to copy the stuff you find in the stores for a fraction of the cost? So, I googled ‘seatbelt pillow’ and found rough measurements of what I would need, hit the fabric store’s 60% off fleece sale, made my own adjustments, and whipped out my own versions. And, darn it…they turned out so cute!


Here’s the basic guidelines for the pattern:

1 yard of fleece (you can use any fabric really, but I like the small stretch in fleece, and obviously the fact that it is soft)

* I ended up with extra fabric and made small blankets to go with each pillow as well

Felt or other scrap fabric for facial features

26″ long piece of Velcro, plus an extra 2″ if adding an animal head


Cut the fleece into 3 strips, each 26″x6″. Cut the third in half. With right sides together, line up your 2 bigger strips so that they are one on top of the other, then insert one of your smaller strips between (like a fabric sandwich) – one on each side. Sew the strips together on 3 sides, leaving the top open for stuffing and making sure that the more narrow fabric strips (the center of your sandwich) don’t get sewn into the bottom seam – they should end up like wings attached to a tube. Flip the fabric right side out and stuff. Stitch your opening closed. Sew your velcro strips down each length of the ‘wings’ – making sure that the velcro will close properly so it can be wrapped around the seatbelt.


There were some pillows that were simply the wrap around the seatbelt, but my kids wanted animals on theirs. I got one of them put together and then realized that I couldn’t sew the  animal head on the center because then it was useless as a pillow, but I also couldn’t sew it to the side in case they ended up sitting in a different seat and the seatbelt was on the other shoulder – then the pillow would be upside down! I decided to put a band that just velcro’s around the belt portion – that way they can move it whichever way is most comfortable, or take it off and play with it (turns out, an animal head can supply hours of entertainment- instant puppet! :)).


I just made up the patterns for the animal heads and used scrap paper for my pattern pieces. If anyone really wants them, I can probably figure out how to get a digital copy (aka, I can make my husband figure out how to do it :)). But I had a lot of fun creating these little faces, so don’t be afraid to try your hand at some serious creativity.

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Pattern basis found here: http://thefrugaldiymom.blogspot.com/2013/03/seat-belt-pillow-diy-tutorial.html

Lemon Syrup

3 Jul

When my mom was young, their family lived in Tonga. At that time, Tonga relied heavily on the boat that brought supplies and conveniences once a month to the island. They had most everything a family could need – except one thing. Maple syrup. They didn’t even have maple extract! I count this as a blessing in disguise, because had that simple ingredient been available, my grandma would never have ‘made do’ with her lemon extract. I don’t really even like maple syrup for the simple fact that I grew up on something way better. 🙂 My husband is another story – he doesn’t like my syrup at all. So, in my house, we have Mommy Syrup and Daddy Syrup – it’s a bit of an unspoken rivalry. I get a secret, small pleasure when the kids pick mine. Maybe not so secret… 🙂



2 cups sugar

1 cup water

1 tsp lemon extract

1 tsp butter

cinnamon to taste

Dissolve sugar in water in a small saucepan and bring to a rolling boil – until liquid is clear. Remove from heat. Add lemon extract, butter, and cinnamon. This is an easy recipe to make according to your taste – keep the sugar to water ratio 2:1 – the rest you can adjust according to your liking. Add a little more lemon if you like a stronger flavor. If you like a thicker syrup, you can also add 1 Tbsp karo syrup or cornstarch.