Amazon Prime Day- Go grab an Instant Pot!

So there are a ton of sales right now on Amazon Prime Day but one of the best ones of the day has to be the Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker!  It’s on sale TODAY ONLY for $89.99!!!  I love mine and ordered another one since it’s bigger to feed my growing boys!

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There are literally so many things you can do with this thing!  Make hard boiled eggs in 6 minutes!  Make potato salad in 4 minutes!  Lasagna, meatloaf, spaghetti and soups!  Cook a whole roast with carrots in potatoes in minutes instead of hours!!

One of the websties I love to get recipes from is www.pressurecookingtoday.com or www.hippressurecooking.com

I am also in a bunch of Facebook groups that people post about different things they make and other recipes.

Some make homemade yogurt for a fraction of the cost of store bought!  The possibilities are endless!

RUN and grab yours today, because this sale is only good today!!

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My first handmade T-Shirt Memory Quilt

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I was so excited at the opportunity to make my cousin a t-shirt quilt for her graduation party.  My aunt asked me if I’d be interested in making one for her, I jumped right on that opportunity!  I have a couple friends that I’ve met online that have made t-shirts quilts and I really wanted to get started on making them!  The ones I’ve seem are amazing and it’s such a great way to remember the things you’ve done while growing up and before you head off to college.  Of course you can use these for other reasons too!  You can have a bunch of sports jerseys made into a memory quilt so you can remember all the sports you played growing up also.

These quilts take a long time to create, it’s a process to get everything ready and ironed and quilted and binding finished.  I decided I wanted to show all the steps along the way!

TOOLS:

Rotary Cutter

Cutting Mat

Scissors

15″ Quilting Square

Iron-on Interfacing

T-shirts

Cotton quilting fabric

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So the first step was for me to take a day off my regular job so I could just focus and get the whole quilt front completed in a day!  I wanted to make sure it went smoothly so I was excited to just do what I love all day…..SEW!!!

I laid out all the shirts they gave me and I put them in the pattern that I thought best fit.  I tried to space the colors out and since there was a lot of black ones I tried to mix them around with the colors and line them out the best I could.

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Once I had them all lined out, it was time to get the shirts cut.  Now this is where you can do variations of what your doing.  I decided it was best to just use a 15″ t-shirt square I picked up to make sure that all the squares were even and straight.  This was the fastest way I knew how.  But now, if your doing some smaller sized shirts, you could also use a different size pattern to make your quilt.  It’s really up to you!  The possibilities of what your quilt could turn out like are endless! It might also depend on what size your wanting for the end product.  img_8027-1

img_8028-1I would iron to the iron-on interfacing to each shirt before I cut it to make sure it was laying flat and that I had the design in the middle of the square I was trying to cut.  Now this won’t always work because sometimes the pattern is too high and you don’t want the neck hole in the quilt but generally it’s fine.  I also had to patch a few shirts because she played volleyball and they were v-necks or tank tops and so they weren’t quite big enough so I had to sew some of the backing to the front or sew around the necklines so they’d lay down to fill up holes.  This took quite a few hours to complete.  At this time I also would lay the quilt out as I was cutting it and move things around if I felt they better fit somewhere else.

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Now this is my 8 year old son laying on the quilt to show the size of it.  It turned out to be massive.  It was about 86″ long by 72″ wide when we finished up the take the quilt to the quilters.  I was lucky enough to find someone local in the Lansing, MI area to do some fabulous quilting on this.  She just did a stippling pattern but it didn’t take away from the quilt’s patterns and it wasn’t too overpowering.  But before I did drop the quilt off, I had to sew the 2 back pieces together because the quilt was so wide, that 1 piece of fabric wouldn’t fit along the back.  I had the idea since I have my embroidery machine to make a special patch on the back with her name, school and year she graduated so she’d also remember this quilt when she’s a lot older.  Maybe her grandkids will love this quilt!

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This quilt was almost finished and I just had to finalize the binding so I took it with me on Memorial Weekend to our family’s lake house to finish up the binding so I could make sure it was done in time for her open house.

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I had to cut all the binding into strips and sew that together and then attach it to the quilt.  This takes awhile too as your wanting to make sure it’s laying flat and matching up front and back as your going.  I sewed it on with my sewing machine but some people hand stitch their binding.  My hands go numb when I try that stuff so I’ll stick to using my machine!

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Here is the final product!!

This is my cousin Taylor standing next to her quilt.  We had an awesome stand and it worked out perfectly to have the blanket up for display during her whole open house in the garage.  So many people complimented on it and I was so proud of how it turned out!  If you are interested in having one made- contact me!

I have the pricing list on my Facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/notes/sew-wonderfully-jamie/t-shirt-memory-quilt-pricing-guide/10155279435283343/

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Happy Sewing!

~Jamie

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Summer Camp

So we dropped our kids off at summer camp on Sunday.  This is their first time away from us or any other family members for more than 3 days.  They are away for 6 days.  While they are at the same camp, I think that Brody and Caden will both enjoy growing up and making some decisions on their own.  I keep reading articles about how summer camp is good for kids and then there are some parents that think it’s crazy to send your kids away.  I think that it’s a great learning experience for them.  They get to grow and depend on themselves and learn independence from their parents.  They get to meet new people and look up to their counselors and peers and maybe even make new lifelong friends!  I never went to a summer camp when I was little so I am wanting to give my kids the experiences that they can have for a lifetime.

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I found this article online and I loved it.

http://healthland.time.com/2012/08/03/summer-camp-great-for-kids-maybe-even-better-for-parents/

Yes Caden is only 8 and he was a bit anxious to go but he heard all about Brody’s 7th grade camp experience and he wanted to do something like that himself.  They both also went to a day summer camp for a few weeks last year and they loved it too! So I think the overnight aspect is something he will grow from.  Of course, some kids at the age of 8 aren’t ready to stay that long away from their parents, and that’s quite ok.  But my kids were ready.  I’m sure it helps that Brody is at the same camp, and he’s actually right across the hall at the bunks so that might help with Caden being nervous at all.  

Now Brody is begging to go to summer camp, he is at the age where he wants nothing to do with us, he’s too cool for his own good and I’m ok with that.  Maybe going away to camp more will help him learn to pick up after himself, be more independent and we can be more reliant on him in other aspects too.  He is also there without his phone, so free from distractions and any other electronics is great for a 12 year old’s brain too.  He kept saying he needed his phone, but nope you sure don’t!

And most camps these days, your not out of the loop as to what they are doing.  I’ve already gotten an email, I’ve seen pictures of their first night and we can send them emails and they get them as daily “mail” too.  I could send them something in the regular mail but let’s face it, it might not get there in time!  

The camp they are attending this week is called Camp Corral. The mission of Camp Corral is to transform the lives of children of wounded, injured, ill, and fallen military heroes by providing a unique summer camp experience.  My husband is a disabled veteran and some of my friends from the Army mentioned this camp to me and I signed the boys right up!  It’s a free camp because of donations from Golden Corral and other companies to give kids that might not be able to experience camp a way to enjoy their summers off.  Kids that come from a military family sometimes have a different life at home, due to different injuries their parents might of had, or different situations at home due to PTSD and or the loss of a limb, this is the opportunity for them to forget about the tough times they might have and enjoy it with kids their own age.  Maybe they will even make some lifelong friends!  Our kids are fortunate enough to have met some other Army Brats in hockey and they are at this camp too so they know some friends already!

I can’t wait to see them on Saturday morning and I know they will be dirty, tired and worn out but I bet they have memories that last a lifetime.  And they might of build up some more self confidence along the way!

Send your kid to camp, they will love you later!

Happy Sewing!

~Jamie

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Made by Me!

Last year I took interest in sewing adult sized clothes, after making quite a few kid sized things for years.  I decided to purchase a serger and get serious about making something that was wearable.  There are so many companies to get patterns from and tons of fabric sites that sell all sorts of different fabrics.  I did my research and found what I wanted to tackle!

I’m sure most of you have heard of a popular company called LulaRoe.  Well I saw a raglan “Randy” shirt last summer that had a grey body and 2 different sleeves.  It was 4th of July patterns, one sleeve was red and white stripes and the other was blue and white stars.  I wanted one so bad but the $45 price tag was not in my budget.  So I wanted to try and duplicate that.

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Bring on Patterns for Pirates,  an amazing group that I found while searching for patterns for adult sized clothing.  I decided to join their Facebook group and it has helped me tremendously!  They have so many cute patterns to choose from and they have kids and adults combined!  I immediately bought a few patterns but the one I’ve tried and had success with was the Slim Fit Raglan pattern.  It’s based on a baseball style raglan t-shirt and it’s very similar to the “Randy” LulaRoe shirt style that I was wanting to copy.

I finally found the right fabric that I wanted this year at Girl Charlee online.  They had all 3 patterns that I was looking for.  I was able to purchase the fabric and have it at my house within a week!  img_8338-1

Now this pattern doesn’t take long at all to sew up! I was cutting it up one Saturday morning with enough time to wear it to my cousin’s graduation open house that afternoon!  It feels so satisfying to be able to wear something you made yourself.  You should try it!!

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I had my son take a picture of me in my shirt, kids are always so helpful in taking such flattering pictures!

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 My shirt was featured in the Girl Charlee June Knits Picks contest which is on their Facebook page!  Your voting can help me win a $20 gift card to girlcharlee.com!

http://blog.girlcharlee.com/2017/06/knit-picks-voting.html

Happy Sewing!

~Jamie

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Honorably Discharged Veterans can soon use Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES)online!!!

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News alert for all you active military members and veterans!

Starting November 11th, 2017, all honorably discharged veterans will have online access to the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES)! According to reader, Aly, “this is a huge deal because unless you retired with the military, you would not have the privilege of tax-free shopping. Now, all vets will have the lifelong benefit and be able to use the exchange online, price-match, and get a military star card if they want to avoid shipping fees”. Check out this Press Release for more information.

Not familiar with AAFES? The Exchange offers products in every category and the same national brand merchandise found in brick-and-mortar stores. Online shoppers pay no sales tax (awesome!) and enjoy free delivery when using a Military Star Card or when their online purchases total $49 or more.

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Fidget Spinners- Handmade in the Michigan, USA

So I am sure if you have a child between the ages of 7-18 you know what the fad is all about.  That’s right, fidget spinners!  The item that us as adults don’t understand why the heck you’d want to play with one but all the kids want them so your kids have them too!!  Well we decided to start making some!

My husband used his CNC machine and milled some out of aluminum and the kids are loving it!!  It’s sturdier than the cheap plastic 3d printed or ones that are coming from China.  Perfect end of the school year present to keep your kid busy during the summer and maybe help them from saying “I’m bored” every 5 minutes!

These are the same exact sizes as the other spinners, just made of a better quality aluminum product that withstand the test of time.  No more replacing these spinners because they break, buy a Michigan made spinner!  Most stores are selling out of these, get yours NOW!

https://www.etsy.com/listing/529494387/aluminum-fidget-spinner-hand-anxiety?ref=shop_home_active_1

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Meijer M-Perks: FREE NESTEA!

Calling all you Meijer mPerks users!

Head on over here and log into your account to see if you have an eCoupon valid for a FREE 6-pack of NESTEA RTD Tea (.5 liter bottles) – choose from lemon, peach or raspberry!

This eCoupon is valid through May 5th and can only be used once (not valid with any other manufacturer’s coupons). To easily find this coupon, simply search for “NESTEA”.

THANKS MEIJER COUPON FACEBOOK GROUP!

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Panera Bread HACK! Passionfruit Papaya Green Tea

Now, we all love Panera Bread, and we love it even more now that their food is clean.  It has no artificial preservatives, sweeteners, flavors or colors from artificial sources.  That makes it even better.  And when your slurping on that bowl of broccoli cheese soup from there, it’s even better than amazing.

But enough about that, I just found a genius hack from Panera Bread!  I had a $10 Panera Bread gift card that I could only use at the store and not online, so I decided that since I usually order online for lunch at work, why not go in and get some of their very yummy Passionfruit Papaya Green Tea and take it home.  I was going to buy the to-go bottles since then I could take it to work and drink it or just sip on it during this wonderful weather we are having!  Well I was checking out and it was like $14 for 5 bottles of tea and the cashier was like wait, I think you can get more for cheaper if you order it through our catering specials.  I was like sure, because I was only taking it home anyways.  She said well I can get you a gallon of the Passionfruit Papaya Green Tea for only $9.99.  I said SOLD!!!  So now I have fresh tea to drink at home and whenever I want and it was way cheaper than the original route I was going for!  Now I’m even considering bringing one of them to work and leaving it in the refrigerator at work so I can have it there too!

If you know me, you know my addiction to Cherry Coke was real.  Well in February after watching a bunch of documentaries about eating whole foods, less meat, more fresh veggies and less bad things, I gave up pop.  It was hard at first, but I don’t even crave it anymore.  But I was struggling with the caffeine part, and now I can have my fix so my afternoons don’t drag anymore!   I had went a few weeks without any caffeine but some nights when we have lots going on with sports for the boys, I need something to carry me through and I am not a huge coffee drinker.  So I think I found my answer, GREEN TEA!!

I had googled how to try and make this tea at home and lots of others had tried too but it wasn’t something that you could really just buy in a store.  So I’m excited to give this a try!!

Also, I was also super excited that a few months ago, I had free bagels for a month! It worked out great, I’d pick one up in the afternoon and eat it for breakfast the next day or my son would grab it on the way to hockey practice on the weekends.  THANKS PANERA BREAD!!

P.S.- I’m still debating on chopping my hair off again.  It’s just not working out for me long, always in a pony tail and giving me a headache.  A graduated bob or a-line bob is more of what is calling my name right now, although wearing a hat in the summer is a nice thing and with short hair, you look like a boy.  Decisions, decisions.

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I gotta go wash my hair

I’ve never been one to be able to go a few days without washing my hair.  I have to wash it everyday or I know that it’s dirty and I can’t even fathom going out and about with dirty hair, even though it might not look dirty.  I’ve struggled for years to have a “hairstyle” because honestly, I’m lazy and a tomboy.  If I even blow dry it, sometimes that’s a miracle.  My hair is fine, thick and straight.

But I’d like to be able to do some fun, cute hairstyles and I watch all these bloggers and youtube videos but I can never seem to get my hair to do anything remotely like those girls.  I like to watch Kate from The Small Things Blog on her YouTube, Facebook Live or her SnapChats but her hair is always so adorable!! I also just don’t give myself time.  I enjoy sleeping until the last possible minute, rushing to get in the shower and having time to barely blow dry my hair every morning to get to work by 7-7:30am every day.  And then my weekdays are so jam packed with sports from my 2 sons that I just don’t care about my hair/makeup to get up any earlier those days either.

This picture is of me and my mom after 8 months of growing out a BAD haircut.  I asked for a graduated bob and got a pixie cut in the back, it was a very sad part of my life that year.  It took FOREVER to grow out and even today I’m still just getting slight trims to even it out and just grow it long since it was SO SHORT for so long. 

So I’ve tried curling wands, I’d tried to curl it with my straightener, I’ve tried dry shampoo and I’ve tried beach hair sea salt spray.  None of which have made me have fabulous hair at all.  Maybe it’s the user, maybe it’s because I can’t stand to have dirty hair so my hair isn’t dirty enough to do any of these cute hairstyles.  I see some ladies say they haven’t washed their hair in 3-4 days, I’d be itching my head thinking I had lice or something if I didn’t wash my hair that long.  I don’t think I’ve ever made it past 1 day of not washing it.  Even when we go camping I have to at least take a shower every day, it’s just not in my being to be dirty!

So if you have any hints on helping me learn how to do something cute with my hair, let me know your secrets, because I’d love to learn how to have cute hair and keep my sleep too! 🙂

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