Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Organizing PDF Sewing Patterns {Self Care}

Organizing our things. How do we do it, how to get our plethora of junk squared neatly away in tidy places so we can find it when we need it and put it back when we are done with it? I am not the greatest at giving my things homes. I have too much stuff. And I am definitely not great at putting things away when I am done with it either, but I have been working on it and getting better.

But, as a sewist of PDF patterns, how do we organize those? And I am not meaning the ones already printed. I have yet to find a system in place for those. The hanging file folders in a crate is no longer working since it won't hold all of them! I am talking about those the digital copies we all have a knack for collecting.

Just having my pdf sewing patterns stored on Google drive, in a folder is starting to get a little bit stressful. I have a lot of patterns (not nearly as many as some though) and having them in one file got too cumbersome to sift through. Then I started separating them out by the designer.

It's really nothing special. But it does help a little. Surprisingly I am familiar with most the sewing patterns I have, but of course, tend to go to the same designers for the kids and certain designers for me.

Yet I needed a better way to catalog. So I went through and wrote down all the patterns I had in google sheets. I have them listed by designer, pattern name, the type, how many times I have sewn, and whether it is woven or knit (I think I may need to fix several).

Speaking of how many times I have sewn a pattern, these numbers are crazy and I definitely need to sew from my stash...
women's patterns owned: 52
                            Sewn: 17
                            Not sewn: 35...
                            that's about 33% of my sewing patterns I have sewn!
Kids patterns owned: 115
                      Sewn: 59
                      Not sewn: 56...
                      51% have sewn.

I locked the first row so I can sort the columns in alphabetical order by any of the categories. Which I love and has been a great help!

And I love having the different tabs at the bottom. Since In my folders the kids and adults patterns are all mixed in together, this makes it easier if I am looking for something for me or for the kids.

The kids' patterns I have listed the sizes so I can sort by size too.

I saw in one of the facebooks groups someone link to this tutorial from "Attack of the Seam Ripper" on using Trello to index your sewing patterns. Now, I am a huge fan of using Trello, but this process is taking me a lot longer than the spreadsheet! I am doing it a lot more slowly. I do love that I can link to the pattern I downloaded in google drive, I can link to project plans in another Trello board as I sew, and I can link those to my blog schedule board. 

I just don't know about organizing them at the moment, and I think I may end up changing the lists around. I'm just not super sure yet. But, it is neat to see them. all laid out so nicely.

There are so many different ways to organize your digital sewing patterns and to catalog them. How do you organize and catalog your sewing patterns?

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Meal Planning Hassle {Home Life}

The never-ending necessity... It's like Laundry; you do it one day only to have to do it again the next.  It's exhausting. Especially when you have to fit it into a budget.

It makes me tired just to think about it.

What's for dinner?

If you can wing it with contents of your cabinets, freezer, and fridge then power to you! I need to have a plan. I cannot just wing it. It stresses me out.

And trying to decide what to make?! I still have issues like I talked about in this post from over a year ago. Do I cook for something I will enjoy, or something everyone else will? Granted, the family needs to eat too.

I gave up and stopped planning. What we spent on groceries pretty much doubled. We ate fast food and processed pre-packaged way more than we had been. Of course, at the time I wasn't focusing on the budget too much anyway. But, I needed to start figuring out food and lowering the expenses there because it was starting to hurt expenses in other areas.


I needed to get back to meal planning. I needed to have an easy answer for the "what's for dinner" question. So I started using the meals we were making and created a list in Trello.

As we went through the meals I would check them off so we had some variety until we ate from the whole collection and then uncheck them and start over.

It worked for a while. But I quickly grew tired of the process. I wanted to not have to be the only one making the decisions, but none of the meals sounded good to the other members of the family.

A friend had posted, on Facebook, about a freezer prep and planning site with meals to make for the month. I could fit the subscription into the budget, but the number of meals to pick from overwhelmed me, and fitting food for one month into the budget of half a month was not an option. I would have to at least go every two weeks.

Meanwhile, the question still lingered. Every day. What's for dinner.

These are the things I have started using to help alleviate the meal planning hassle recently and it's been working for the last few months.

I came across another meal prep option, in video form. The people were prepping meals in 30-45 minutes for the entire week. I watched several videos in a row and was impressed. The concept was similar, the price was the same. I decided to give it a try and if we didn't like it I would cancel the subscription.

The meals were pretty good. It was different than we were used to. But they fit into our normal (not inflated) paycheck budget. Plus we've tried new things. Things we wouldn't have even thought to attempt before! Just this weekend we had salmon. Both of us have had bad experiences with salmon. It was not something we would have thought to try. But we did, and we enjoyed it!

Even the husband was joining in on the prepping of the food! If you want to check it out, it is

The question was still there. What's for dinner?

But the kids enjoy looking through the pictures and help planning the meals. They like helping do the work on prep day (we do it on Sundays). Sure it takes us longer to prep 5 dinners than an hour (we use mostly fresh ingredients), but it has been amazing.

I started using Ibotta again to help with the costs. Since it's a rebate program, the return is not as fast. Plus a lot of the items are pre-packaged which does not make it into our home as often. But, with snacks for the kids, cereal in the morning, toilet paper, and craft supplies it does indeed add up. I've had a few gift cards come through for Walmart, and used to buy things we needed! It's not points based but actually change. I prefer that so much more!

You can check it out through my referral code another bonus is it doesn't cost anything to sign up!


Have you jumped on board the Zaycon train yet? We first got some ground beef. It was amazing. The meat comes in 40lb increments, so make sure you have room! It was yummy meat.

They just had a 99 cent per pound chicken sale. I had to jump on that. When you pay regularly 1.99 per pound, 99 cents is amazing!

Check them out through my referral code: 
I only get credit if you buy something.

As of now, Zaycon's doors are closed. Sad as it was awesome meat.

Click List

Our local Fry's Foods (Part of the Kroger family) offers click list pick up. 

I don't use click list to order my food. I use it when I am planning to make sure I stay within budget. It keeps a running tally of the price. I can see whether items are on sale with the ad. 

Then when I am in the store I have the app on my phone and it has them listed in aisle order in the store. Perfect to make the trip go smoothly and quickly. I just go in order of the aisles as I shop! It's been life changing!

What do you do?
I'm still working on ways to keep my budget down or to stay in my budget. It's a constant learning game. What are some strategies you use to stay within your grocery budget?

Friday, June 15, 2018

Tear Paper Craft: The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli {Read and Play}

"Mommy, can you read this book to me?" ... or from the toddler ... "Read a book?"

Day after day after day, book after book after book. 

I love my kids' enthusiasm for reading.

I just don't love doing it all the time. the same book after book, over and over again.

And now that it is summer, it is the perfect time to get some crafty, playtime ideas together. 

Our MOPS group is bringing back Kids Book Club from when I was creative and activities leader and I am super excited, I had to jump in! It needed to be something summer-esque like watermelon or ice cream.

Ooh. Making Ice Cream would have been perfect too. 

We are not making ice cream. I'll have to file that for later.

I went searching the library and came across a few watermelon books. Have you seen how many watermelon crafts there are on google? I didn't even try Pinterest. We love some tear-paper art here. Can't go wrong with having kids tear their own pieces of paper.

"You mean I'm allowed to be destructive?" As their little faces beam with every satisfactory riiiip of the construction paper. Hey, It's good fine motor practice for those little fingers too.

You need:
half a paper plate
about a quarter to a half a piece to a full piece of red construction paper
about a quarter to a half piece of green
liquid glue
q-tips to dab glue
black paint for seeds (little fingers make cute seeds)
         or black construction paper circles cut from a hole punch if you don't want to brave the paint. We just ended up using construction paper

Kids tear and glue to make a slice of watermelon. then glue the black seeds down (or paint the seeds) on the red. Super easy, super cute, and the kids love tearing the paper.

We read "The Watermelon Seed" by Greg Pizzoli to go along with the craft. It's all about swallowing a watermelon seed. It made me laugh a little given my current state. The kids didn't quite get why I  thought it was funny.

I'm super excited that the big guy has enjoyed reading this book multiple times over since this activity.

What are some watermelon crafts you have done with your littles?