window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'UA-54570621-1'); Keeping it Real: June 2015

Monday, June 29, 2015

Easy DIY hair accessories organizer

Today I bring you a very simple and useful project: a hair accessories organizer. I made it for my daughter, so it matches her room decor specifically, but with a little imagination anyone can adjust the design to match another child or even an adult room. 

easy DIY hair accessories organizer

Friday, June 26, 2015

Scraps of Yarn June Crochet Along - part 3 is finished

I finished part 3 of the June scraps of yarn mystery crochet along on Tuesday night, bit I've been busy with other things and didn't have time to share it before (head over to Creative Crochet Toys to check out the patterns).

crochet, crochet along, scraps of yarn projects

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Blogging Schedule for the Busy Mom

…or how to fit blogging into your life in 4 easy steps!

Today I decided to take a break from my usual Thursday decluttering posts to write about something that has been on the back of my mind for quite some time now: how to dedicate time to blogging without negatively impacting the rest of your life. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday 25/June

Welcome to the first (almost) wordless Wednesday of summer! Today I bring you...ducks.

Yes, we went to the park and the kids had a blast feeding the ducks and chasing them around.

duck photos, wordless wednesday

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Upcycle: easy & inexpensive DIY napkin rings

...using cardboard tubes and washi tape!

DIY, easy & inexpensive napkin rings, washi tape, cardboard rolls

These are perfect for summer! For backyard parties, birthday parties, tea parties or any other kind of party! They are virtually inexpensive, can be made in a matter of minutes and can be customized to match just about any decor you want. And if in the end they are lost or damaged? No big deal, you can just make more next time.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day!

To those of you who celebrate it today!

father's day, father's day card

In Portugal, Father's Day is on St. Joseph's Day, March 19th. But you can never celebrate it too much, right?

Summer is here!

My favorite season of the year starts today!

summer 2015, summer card


Friday, June 19, 2015

Lego party printables - part 4 - DIY favor bags

Hello everyone! I'm finally back with part 4 of the Lego party printables series, and this time I bring you a printable favor bag.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Scraps of Yarn June Crochet Along - part 2 is finished!

Just a quick update to let you know that I've already finished part 2 of the June mystery crochet along!

And a day early to boot! 

Of course this was helped by the fact that I had a few days off work last week, which helped me moving ahead with a lot of projects... 

In case you missed it, check here for part 1 that I completed last week!

Here are the mini squares...

Monday, June 15, 2015

Sailboat pillow - tutorial & pattern

Last week I had a few days off work and I took the opportunity to finish a series of projects that I had planned for quite some time. One of them was the sailboat pillow. Because it's almost summer and sailboats rock! 

I ended up making two of them, one for each of my kids (of course) and then I decided to make a pattern and share it here in case anyone wants to try it too (this pattern is no longer free - an improved version of the pattern is now available on Craftsy for a symbolic price)

sailboat pillow tutorial and pattern

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday 10/June

Old fountains, wineries, Chinese statues painted blue, poppy fields and old olive trees...All photos taken by my husband on one of his latest bicycle rides.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Summer activity bag (with tutorial)

My kids only finish the school year at the end of June, and they they will have summer day camp during the whole month of July (mom and dad have to go to work...).

But the fact that they will be truly off school only during the month of August doesn't mean I'm not always looking for new things to keep them occupied and away from the TV, the Ipad and the Wii, of which they have too much already. This time, I came up with the summer activity bag. 

kids, summer activity bag, tutorial

Friday, June 5, 2015

Lego party printables - part 3 - birthday invitations

Hi everyone, as promised I'm back with another installment in the Lego party free printables!

It took me a while, but the birthday invitations are ready! I tried and tested several designs and ended up deciding that simpler was better.

lego party printables, free printables, lego birthday invitations

Thursday, June 4, 2015

No clutter in 2015: week 22 update

Well, I'm still not sharing this week the tips on how to declutter your pantry, for the simple reason that...I haven't finished decluttering mine. And I honestly can't publicly give advice I'm not ready to follow myself.

But I'm hard at work on it. Here is a before picture: 

Our pantry is kind of small, more like a kitchen closet will tall doors, and apart from food we also store there small kitchen appliances. The top shelf doubles as our medicine cabinet, to make sure everything is out of the kids' reach. 

This is an in-between picture: 

I removed all expired items and everything we are not going to use in the near future, cleaned the shelves and rearranged the items for a more organized look. But I still have a lot of work to do on the top shelves. 

Other than the pantry, I also went through a huge box of items that have been set aside, some of them a long time ago, for upcycling. Well, a large portion of them have been discarded for good. I have to convince myself that the days do not have enough hours for me to be able to fit it all in, and some things need to go. Let's just say that the trash can near our apartment building was well fed last monday evening. 

Next week my husband and I will be taking some days off work to see if we can finally paint our living room, so let's see what I can accomplish in between. 

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday 3/Jun

Bits and pieces of our weekend...

wordless wednesday

wordless wednesday

wordless wednesday

wordless wednesday

wordless wednesday

wordless wednesday

May 2015 crochet along - finished!

Ok, so we are already in June, which means that I'm (again) a bit late in completing the challenge. But it's finished! And all this work has become a great big bag, ideal to store all those summer projects I'm working on!

It started with a couple of yarn leftovers (check here, here and here for the progress), with some more added along the way and ended up like this: 

So, thank you Joanita, for the opportunity to work on this challenge (and for contributing to my decluttering efforts by helping me use a ton of leftover yarn)!

Enjoy your Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Summer Water Bottle Holder Tutorial

Hi everyone! I was missing in action these past few days, too busy to even sit down and try to get some posts together. But I'm back today with the perfect summer project: the water bottle holder!
water bottle holder tutorial, summer projects

For several years now we have banned plastic water bottles in our house. The kids have reusable bottles to take to school, and my husband and I have our own reusable bottles too. Carrying four full water bottles in a bag, however, is complicated, but it's exactly what we ended up doing whenever we are out together. Until now. 

The water bottle holder is a mini bag that fits just one bottle and that anyone, especially the kids, can easily carry out while on a stroll, running, riding a bicycle, going to the beach or anywhere else summertime may take us. 

I didn't make a pattern, because every reusable water bottle we have at our house comes in a different size, but I'm going to show you how to make a water bottle fitting whatever reusable or disposable water bottles you use!

First, you need cute fabric. This one was for my son and I used a Robert Kaufman fat quarter that I've had in my stash for years, waiting for the perfect project.

water bottle holder tutorial, summer projects

You'll need to cut two rectangles of fabric wide enough to go around the bottle (with seam allowances to spare) and tall enough to cover the bottle plus an extra 3 to 5 centimeters.

water bottle holder tutorial, summer projects

Then place the bottle over the rest of the fabric and mark a circle around it. Repeat for a second circle.

water bottle holder tutorial, summer projects

Cut around the circles leaving a wide margin. If you are used to sew with a 1/4 seam allowance, use 1/2, if you're used to a wider seam allowance, increase accordingly (otherwise the water bottle holder will be too tight and it will be hard to get the bottle in and out).

Sew the side of the rectangles length wise, right sides together (creating a cylinder)

water bottle holder tutorial, summer projects

Then pin one of the circles to the bottom of the cylinder, right sides together again, and sew all around. Now you have created a small round bag. Repeat for the other two pieces. Turn one of the bags inside out and tuck the other inside it (so that the fabric of both bags is wrong sides together)

water bottle holder tutorial, summer projects

water bottle holder tutorial, summer projects

Leave it for the time being, and let's focus on making the strap. Decide how long and how wide you want the strap to be and cut a strip of fabric accordingly (adding seam allowances).

Now you have two  choices: sew the fabric right sides together, turn inside out and press flat (prettier finish but hard to turn inside out) or fold the fabric as if it were bias tape, press, fold in half again and top stitch (not so prettier finish since the stitches will be visible, but much easier and faster).

water bottle holder tutorial, summer projects

With this water bottle holder I used the first method and cut the fabric in a way that allowed me to have a full row of cars on the strap:

water bottle holder tutorial, summer projects

The water bottle holder is almost finished! Return to the body of the holder and fold the edges in as shown below: 
water bottle holder tutorial, summer projects

Now tuck the tips of the strap in between the two layers of fabric and pin in place. Top stitch all around.
water bottle holder tutorial, summer projects

You're done! One water bottle holder ready for summer!

water bottle holder tutorial, summer projects

water bottle holder tutorial, summer projects

If you want to add a finishing touch (totally optional), sew a folded piece of elastic (or ribbon) over the back seam of the bottle holder and use it to tie around the top of the bottle.

water bottle holder tutorial, summer projects

It's totally optional, but helps to keep the bottles in place, especially if you're using it for sports.

water bottle holder tutorial, summer projects

water bottle holder tutorial, summer projects

Then of course I had to make one for my daughter too, in a cute owl fabric. It's slightly larger than the other, because her reusable bottle is bigger too...

water bottle holder tutorial, summer projects

water bottle holder tutorial, summer projects

 And here they are together: 

water bottle holder tutorial, summer projects

water bottle holder tutorial, summer projects

It's time to get ready for summer, so go and make your own water bottle holder now!


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