Monthly Meal Plan

Now that I am pregnant, I am trying to think of ways to make my life even more organized. By establishing efficient habits now, I am hoping to ease some of the stress I may feel as a first-time mommy. One thing that I have started implementing is the use of a monthly meal planner. (more…)

Knitted Flowers

Knitted Flower

Back in the fall, I found a neat little book at my local library in N.H. on how to knit flowers. With all of the life changes we have endured since then (we now live in another country), it has taken me a while to complete the few projects I chose from the book. I still have a couple more I am working on-a knitted daisy, a knitted cactus plant, and several small knitted cherry blossoms. Here are some pics of my completed projects. I think they turned out to be pretty cute. Each one was knitted in pieces and then hand sewn to form a specific flower.


Knitted FlowerKnitted FlowerKnitted Flower








The first project is a knitted tulip. I knitted the stem and three petals. I then used black pipe cleaners for the stamens.

The last two projects are knitted roses. I made the pink one for a niece of mine and the red one for a friend. I personally like the red one better. I think the yarn was more pliable so the rose turned out to be not as stiff. The goal for the red one is to embellish it with some small translucent sequins to give it a little sparkle. I left two tails on the rose so that it can be added to a lovely black scarf I made my friend for Christmas.


[amtap amazon:asin=1844484939]Here is the book I used for my knitted projects. It offers twenty different knitted flower patterns with colorful illustrations of each. I would recommend this book for an advanced beginner. The book does not offer any insight into the terminology used, so you will not find descriptions on how to complete various stitches or techniques. If you love to knit and are searching for some fun projects that are not time-consuming, get this book!

Kid Birthday Party Planning

As a teacher, I know the most important thing to remember when organizing a stress-free kids event is to stay organized with a well-developed plan. No matter how simple or how elaborate you want your kids birthday party to be, you can implement a fun-filled party by taking advantage of a few birthday party planning ideas:

  1. Plan ahead. Being prepared will significantly reduce your stress level the days leading up to the party. Begin planning at least 6 weeks before the birthday party.
  2. Make a list, check it twice. Write down your ideas for the party and keep a party planning checklist of the things you will need to implement the party. Make multiple copies of your list and keep them in spots that are handy. You will be more likely to refer to the list and check things off frequently rather than rushing to get everything done right before the party.
  3. Don’t spend a lot. Money alone can be a source of stress. Don’t feel like you have to spend a fortune to give your child the best party. Most times, kids aren’t even going to remember all the fancy details. Instead, go green. Make use of household items for decorations, games, and party favors. Invitations can be personally made by your child on recycled paper.
  4. Consider the time of day. If you are not a morning person, then a kids birthday party scheduled for mid-morning is probably not a good idea. Other reasons for scheduling an afternoon party are to allow yourself extra time for the little details, allowing time for family and friends to arrive from out of town, and to have more control over when the party ends.
  5. Enlist some help. When it comes to party planning, kids can offer the most enthusiastic help of all. By having them help with decorations and game set-up, it teaches them responsibility and adds their personal touch to their own party. If that option does seem too stressful, don’t be shy to ask friends, family, and neighbors to lend a hand.

Sewing Books

Here is a list of some of my favorite sewing books for beginners. All of these offer some really cute projects for those learning how to sew. You will find that each one presents the directions for making each project in simple, user-friendly language to meet the needs of the beginner sewer to even the highly advanced. Some of these books also provide sewing patterns for each project directly in the back of the book! Happy sewing…

[amtap amazon:asin=1580176259]

My sister-in-law gave me this book (thanks Sara!) that offers 16 different styles of skirts to sew. Cute, creative designs offered in a user-friendly language. Love it!

[amtap amazon:asin=1603420924]

Of course I would include a book devoted to bags! I just love making them and you will to with this helpful book!

[amtap amazon:asin=0761139737]

This is by far the BEST sewing book I have ever come across! It is in essence a “sewing for dummies” book. It explains all of the sewing lingo, offers trendy and cute sewing projects, and it provides free sewing patterns! This is a must have for any sewer!

[amtap amazon:asin=1603424490]

This book has the cutest projects to make for kids. Who knew one could make so much with a yard of fabric?

[amtap amazon:asin=1589234340]

This book has everything you need to know about sewing and the pictures are great for us visual learners!

[amtap amazon:asin=0307347214]

Another great book for beginners. I love that this book teaches “the basics” in a basic way : )

[amtap amazon:asin=1564778770]

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the projects in this book! (Of course, many of them are bags.) I also love the choice of fabrics the author uses.

[amtap amazon:asin=1584796758]

Cute projects using creative fabrics-that’s Anna Maria Horner.

[amtap amazon:asin=0811851591]

Love her projects and fabrics. This book is crisp, clean and thorough. I like that it offers actual concepts about design.