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Friday, May 30, 2014

Converting long-sleeve shirts into short-sleeve shirts

My son is growing so quickly that it's hard to keep up! I find myself constantly going through his clothes and picking out things he's too tall for, or shirts that are too short. Sometimes, though, I come across shirts that still fit great, but are long-sleeve. I know that I've got 2 options—throw in the donate pile, or convert them into short-sleeve shirts. They definitely won't fit him by winter.

Being a thrifty mom, I decided to convert them. Here's how I did it (if you don't have a sewing machine, look into hemming tape, which you can find in any fabric store):

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Quick, Thrifty Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

I've been extremely busy over the last couple of months, so I squeeze in an entry when I can. Yesterday, I made a very simple, thrifty, and satisfying soup for dinner, so I thought I'd share the recipe; just look at this yummy goodness!

Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe
Shredded or diced cooked chicken (I had about 3/4 of a pound that I had frozen from a previous meal, but a rotisserie chicken works well for this, also.)
1 can fire roasted tomatoes or Ro-Tel tomatoes
1/2 cup salsa
1 can Charro beans (or any beans you have on-hand)
2 packets taco seasoning or 2 handfuls of your home made taco seasoning
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels 
2 cups chicken broth
Sliced corn tortillas or crumbled tortilla chips
Salt and pepper, to taste

Optional Toppings:
Diced avocado
Sour cream

Pour all ingredients except chicken and sliced tortillas or tortilla chips in soup pot. Bring to a boil and let them simmer for 15 minutes. Add cooked chicken and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit, 10 minutes. Just before serving, stir in tortilla strips or tortilla chips. Top as desired.

Like any soup, this recipe can be modified as desired; omitting or adding ingredients as you wish, and if you have a family who isn't into chunks of tomato, you could just blend the cans to create a smooth base. This meal was under $10 and serves 6, for a meal that is less than $2 per serving! 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Getting Longer Use Out of Baby Clothes

When my youngest son was around 6 months old, he started outgrowing all of his onesies in length. I cloth diaper, so I preferred t-shirts, anyway, and asked my crafty mother-in-law to convert my onesies into t-shirts, by cutting the bottoms and hemming them. This worked great and I got many more months of use out of them.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Thrifty Baby Clothes Tips

There are tons of expenses with babies, but clothes can be really low on the list, if you follow a few simple tips.  Here are my best ways for cutting costs on baby clothes:

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Top 5 Thrifty Family Travel Tips

This week's blog post is centered around family vacation travel!  We are taking our 3 children on a short trip soon for spring break, and I thought it might be helpful to post a list of things I have done for years to ensure we don't go outside of our budget during trips.  It is very possible to take a family vacation, without spending much money at all!

Here are my top 5 tips:

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Upcycled Shabby Flower Tutorial

It seems that my blogging schedule has changed to once a week, since opening my new shop!  I have tried to get to twice a week blogging, but so far, I haven't been able to.  I'm just going to go with what I can do and accept that I'm not superwoman, so if you are still following along on my blog, I love you!  

Now, on to this week's post!

A Facebook page friend asked me if I had a tutorial for my shabby flower that I sewed on baby girl's sweatshirt (that belonged to my teenage son, and my younger son) to jazz it up.  I know that I used one when I sewed this summer, but I can not find one that incorporates both of these techniques, so I decided to create my own.  First, the cuteness of this child flower:

Here's how I did it.  Cut a small amount of fabric from anything cotton (I used an old dress).  Rip the fabric the rest of the way, so that it frays. Any width or length is good, but err on the side of larger, so you can trim it down if you want it smaller or shorter.

Thread a long sewing needle, no knots at the end. Also, yes, my leopard-print leggings are amazing.  Be jealous.

Run a basting stitch through the bottom part of the strip, leaving a long strand of thread at the end.  Just keep loading up your needle with fabric, it doesn't matter at all how straight or even you get this.

At the end, you'll have an accordion.  Pull your needle through and make sure you have 2 long tails of thread on either end.

You'll have something like this:

Now, pull each side, shaping your ruffle into a round flower. and tie both pieces of thread together into a knot.  Trim.

You'll have an overlapping flap.  If you are making a hair bow or anything that won't be washed, you can simply run a line of hot glue across this to seal.  You could also use washable fabric glue.  I sewed it closed, though.

And you have your flower!  You can trim up the outside if it's too large, or even run another basting stitch higher up to gather it even more if you want it even more "ruffly".

At this point you could call it done, or put a cute button in the center like this:

If you want to finish it the way I did the corsage flower in the sweatshirt, you'll need that second strip of fabric.  Tie a knot into the end.

Fold the strip in half, length-wise.  

Using your knot as your beginning point, roll the clean edge of fabric around it, turning the fabric under a bit with each turn. If you are going to wash this, you need to have your needle ready to begin adding a stitch every couple of turns to keep it together, or try fabric glue.  If this will be a a hair piece, just use hot glue at every few turns.

Twist and turn around and around.

And around…

And voila!  (Random lint piece wanted to come play in this photo, sorry!)  I love these little rolled rosettes and actually like them all alone as well.

But add them to the center of your ruffled flower to make it extra special (stitch it or use fabric or hot glue).  Trim up the outside as you like.

I like to cup the flower around the rosette and stitch it just along the bottom part of the top edge of the rosette, or hot glue it there, to give it a bit fuller dimension, but it's lovely as-is above.

There you go: shabby chic flowers, good for hair, clothes, embellishing bags, tea towels, as brooches, oh, the list goes on!  

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

4 More Meatless Monday Ideas

I've got more ideas for Meatless (no red meat or poultry) Mondays! If you tried any from this post, you know how tasty days without meat can be, and the following recipes don't disappoint.