Sunday, September 30, 2012

Want to make a dress for $1.15? I do!

Now that I have re-learned a couple things about sewing I am back into the groove... Hopefully...
What did I make and succeed at? A tank dress! Yes indeedy!

Its kinda like the T-shirt Dress but with a ribbed tank top. Anyways, this is a PERFECT project for new beginners and summer/spring wear. It is INCREDIBLY comfortable and just sooo cute! Dress it up with a cute necklace or belt!

I have a bunch of tank tops that are too short... I am not sure if they were short when I bought them or if that shrinking machine I have that cleans my clothing made them just that much shorter. One thing I will never know I guess...

Anyways back to my little project. I have 4 of these ribbed tanks that I do not wear anymore but didn't have the heart to throw out or donate so I kept them. They count as free! Next is the fabric. I spent a whopping $2.30 on the fabric. I only used half the fabric! So really this dress cost me $1.15 to make!

You can find a great tutorial here. The only recommendation I would make is to not double the fabric and just hem the seam. I found it was too bulky when I doubled it.

And here is my final product :) It looks good without the bow belt but I put a thick brown belt around it too which looked a little better.

 Happy Sewing Friends!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Make your own MILK?!

Pardon? Make your own milk? What kinda statement is that? Yeah... I know I wrote it...
I have been doing some reading and watching documentaries on milk (as I am a lover of cheese and want to ignore that they are under the same food group). The documentary that tug on my heart strings was called Food Inc. This is a must watch! Deconstructing Supper was also pretty good, but thats for another post.

Anyways back to the milk. I decided around the end of June to start drinking either Almond milk or Coconut milk. Not Soy milk as it has an abundance of hormones. Why you ask would someone stop drinking milk? My poop started to get really runny and my stomach was in knots every time I drank it. So milk is now off the list for me. (My man likes the taste of chocolate anything but not the original so he has officially switched to organic milk. :) Since I have made the switch I feel sooo much better. I don't feel bogged down, my poop went back to normal and my stomach isn't in knots anymore.

Almond and Coconut milk are both just a little bit more expensive then regular milk but for me the health benefits outweigh the cons.

Ok, so I started buying chocolate almond milk and regular coconut milk. I looked at the expiration date which didn't expire for a whole month. Is that normal? Why is it lasting in the fridge for so long? Hmm... Did you know like everything else they pile preservatives into it? This does not really sit well with me as I am trying my darndest to get rid of at least some preservatives... I know they are in everything but I am going to try...

So what do you do when you don't like something about a product that you need? Cereal duh! Research it and find out how to make it without dumb things like preservatives in it!
Did you know Almond milk naturally only lasts in the fridge for about 3 days... that is 3 weeks and 4 days shorter then what the store bought milk lasts.

Soooo I found a recipe and tweaked it a little bit to suit my taste buds of a new almond milk drinker.

So here is how you make Almond milk.
1. Take 1 cup almonds and soak them overnight.
2. Drain almond water out and put almonds in a blender with 4 cups of water. (the amount of water can be changed depending on how thick you like your almond milk.
3. Blend for about a min until the almonds are tiny chunks.
4. Over a bowl/container you want your milk to go in (I put mine in 2 Mason jars) drape a cloth over it that catches the almond chunks
5. Put almond chunks aside for later brownie/banana muffin making (yes I did both)
6. Ta-da you have almond milk!
I like to add a little bit of vanilla syrup to give it a little bit of a sweeter taste, but other wise

Almond Milk in my Mason Jar                                     Amazing Almond scraps that went into brownies   .                                                                                       and Muffins

Shake and enjoy!

First Sewing Project

This one beautiful morning I woke up and decided I wanted a sewing machine. So what did I do? Researched like I have never researched before! I compared prices to what I thought I could/would use my sewing machine for and hoped I made the right decision. I walked into Walmart where they had an incredible deal on Singer Fashion Mate sewing machine and starter kit. (I need thread, pins, measuring tape and seam ripper after all don't I?)

I walked out of the store pondering all the amazing items I would create thanks to online tutorials, Pinterest and a little girl that needs some hemming done.

I got home so excited to create my first project... Until I realized I didn't buy any fabric... So off to the fabric store I went. Do you people know how giant Fabricland is??? It looks tiny from the outside!!! There are giant piles and sections of fabric that have signs sticking out of them with words like Polyester, Nylon, Silk and Acrylic. I started turning around in circles... What the heck do these mean? What is the difference in the fabrics? What kind do I need to make a bag that holds fabric? Hmmm... It was completly overwhelming until.... I asked someone.

First step in buying fabric? ASK SOMEONE, apparently they know all!
Did you know that there is a little section at the back of most fabric stores that have hundreds of colors and types of fabrics that are on a HUGE SALE?!

I bought 4 different types of fabric. One was 2 meters, the other 3 were a meter each. I paid a whopping  $14 for all the fabric! What a steal!

 So home again I went. I felt unstoppable! Until I started sewing my first project....

It was a bag. I wanted a really big beach bag to hold all my fabric! I sewed it inside out, made the bag outrageously GIANT and the handles much too long. This was the BEST mistake I could have made! What? Best mistake? Ruining a bag? I remembered techniques back from high school. So here are some tips for beginners without a pattern and a great idea in your head.

1. Right sides together
2. Fold the outside seam under twice before sewing or else the fabric might fray
3. Measure both sides if your folding so the bag isn't lopsided... ex. if your measuring a square the fabric might not have been cut exactly straight...
4. Hold the bag up to you to imagine where the handles go. I put mine on sideways...

 Want to see my first Project? I ended up ripping out many seams and re sewing the handles on.

Happy Sewing Friends!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Sick... Or feeling better? Throw out the drug store brands

Cough, Cough, Cough....

How the heck did I get sick?! Oh yes, my sick man kissed me... and it probably does not help that we snuggle every night. TMI? No way!

For a few days I have been congested, sneezing with my entire body (sooo much pain), and completely stuffed up. All I want to do is sleep, TV hurts my eyes right now... I really don't like taking drug store medication so I am googling natural home remedies. Besides why spend $20 on something you use once a year when you can use things that are probably already in your home?

I am going to share some home remedies that I use that makes me feel better :)
Salt water rinse

My momma always told me to rinse with salt water so I am doing salt water rinses and mixing up salt and warm water and putting it in one nostril and letting it drip through the other (I can't remember what this is called if any of you know).

How Salt Water Works: When your throat is sore it contains inflammations called edemas. These edemas are filled with water and bacteria. The bacteria makes you sick. Gargling with salt water gets the salt to the back of your throat where it can attack the edemas by dehydrating them. When the salt dehydrates the edema it takes the fluid out of the edema. The bacteria can not survive without the fluid so the bacteria dies. If there is no bacteria to keep you sick you will then return to optimal health. So while the salt isn't actually doing the curing, it is taking away the very thing that allows the bacteria to stay alive. Remember Osmosis in school? Just about the same thing.

Salt Water Rinse Recipe
3/4 teaspoon Salt
1 cup warm water

I am also eating a whole lot of soup piled mile high with garlic. It not only makes your breath stink it is incredibly tasty and therapeutic. So pile on the garlic sick people!

Garlic Benefits:
Fresh garlic has many active constituents including alliin, allicin, alliinase and unique sulfur compounds. Allicin and the sulfur compounds of garlic are the ingredients primarily responsible for garlic's potency as an antibiotic, anti-viral and a fungicide and for its use in treating high blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, and for helping to prevent certain types of cancer, as well as its use as an immune stimulant. Allicin is a strong antibiotic agent produced when the alliin and alliinase are merged together, as happens when a fresh garlic clove is crushed or chewed.

Today my man made me some homemade ginger lemon tea. When he wasn't looking I snuck into the kitchen to see what was in the pot. Uh... Strange... ginger chunks?

Ginger Lemon Honey Tea (makes about 4 servings)
2 inches of ginger root peeled
7 cups of water
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
Honey (as much or as little as you prefer)

This is just a few things that have really worked for me now that I am switching to more natural things.

Hope it helps you!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Coconut lotion

I was looking through the GIANT stash of lotions that I have underneath my bathroom sink and I realized most of these lotions are not something I would want to put on my little cookie so why the heck am I putting these on my body? Hmm... Why did I have so many? Why did I decide to stop using one and switch to the next? Initially the reasons varied. At first it was the smell was too strong or too weak, it was too greasy or felt like it was not doing anything. Then later one of my friends M told me to look on the back of the bottle and pick one ingredient that I was insure of and look it up both good and bad sides and do real research not just googling it online... If you do not like the outcome of that ingredient throw it out or find a better use for it somewhere else.

So what is my solution? Really I had no idea what my solution would be at the time. I pulled out 13 bottles of lotion that at one time or another I have used. I walked out of my bedroom, downstairs and out the door with them all. I tossed them all right into my garbage can! Apparently the ingredients didn't  sit well with me. Great. Now I don't have a lotion that I feel comfortable putting on my body and most importantly on my little cookie's body.

Blast. I should have taken a picture of all my lotions before throwing them away!

So I started scouring the web. Surely there must be something out there that I can use on me that smells great, isn't too greasy, and does not have 100 chemicals that I cannot pronounce.

Then I came across Coconut Oil. Hmm... I have heard of a few benefits of coconut oil but did not think about lathering oil all over me...

So lets check it out.

Coconut Oil Use:
Hair care
Skin care
Stress relief
Maintaining cholesterol levels
Weight loss
Increased immunity
Proper digestion and metabolism
Relief from kidney problems
Heart diseases
High blood pressure
Dental care
Bone strength
These benefits can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and its properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, and soothing properties.

Why not try it right? 

Off to the store I went. Coombs Country Market. After searching for about 15 min I found it hiding away on a bottom shelf with no other oils in sight... Strange place to put it... It was hard... Soooo this is why we are mixing it! And its in a glass mason jar. Not oil like at all. I read the ingredients: Organic Coconut Oil. Thats it? Perfect! 

I'll let you know in a couple weeks how I like it. I'm using it as a moisturizer on my face too. Yikes. I know, oil on the face? Apparently it is supposed to be a great moisturizer. Only 1 way to tell!

How to make Coconut Oil Lotion by The Nourished Life
Only 2 things I did differently is use an electric hand mixer for 7 min and I did not use Vitamin E oil.  Make sure all the oil is being mixed (might need a spatula)
I just spooned it into a mason jar I had lying around.

Day 1: Love it. Don't use too much though as it will feel like it does not rub in properly.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

First Post: All about this blog

As some know I have been unemployed for 3 whole months. 2 of those 3 months were by choice (best summer ever). In my 3 months of cleaning, cooking, camping, beach time, and acting like a tourist on Vancouver Island I have also been busy learning how to be more healthy.

We are slowly changing our grocery stores from Save-on-foods, Superstore and Thriftys to Island Naturals and Old City Organics or visiting the farmers markets on Fridays. These stores have locally grown or organic foods.

The next thing we have completely changed is that both man and I are running every second day. Before summer we were running 10km... now... not so much... its 5km every second day which isn't so bad but I am ready to start training for a half marathon soon.

The third thing that we have changed is getting rid of many harsh chemicals that is living in products in our home. You know, that blue or purple spray that has a giant ingredient list that cannot be pronounced. Or the carpet cleaner that costs an arm and a leg just because my house is full of carpets and we have a pup. The worst chemicals that I really cannot wrap my head around some of the ingredients and I dread putting on my body every day but NEED desperately is soaps, lotions, face wash, makeup. I now know there are options out there and will be sharing them as I learn some techniques.

The final thing I have been learning and have now fallen in love with is sewing. I used to sew in middle and high school and loved every moment of it. I  made quilts, pants, shirts, jackets, and bags. I cannot remember why I ever stopped sewing but I did and now I have started up again and am so incredibly happy for it. I LOVE sewing clothing for myself my little cookie and my man. We have already made so many outfits that I will share with you and links that gives great tutorials to.

I am so excited to share what I have learned this summer and my continued journey to becoming a healthier friend, sister, daughter fiancé and mother.

I must note I have now found a job for 1 day a week with a very kind dentist that is within walking distance from my home as well as have a working interview right after Thanksgiving weekend.