Sunday, August 31, 2014

DIY Uniform - Jeans and a white t-shirt.

I know this isn't a fashion blog - and I don't want it to be (particularly since I have little to no sense of style) - BUT this post applies.

It's fashion, yes - but it's a DIYer's uniform of choice - so it only seems appropriate that I share it with you...

If you are like me, your closet has more than a few pairs of jeans in it, and perhaps one or two or twenty t-shirts - all of which have at least one paint splatter, bleach stain or hardened crazy-glue patch on them.

Have no fear!

Those jeans and t-shirts ARE stylish - we just need to know how to accessorize to hide the goop.

I give you:

20+ Ways to wear a white t-shirt and jeans

Think there's only one way to wear a white t-shirt and jeans?

Maybe there's just one t-shirt and one pair of jeans - but you can create countless looks.

Here we have the queen of jeans and t-shirts - a simple necklace, brown belt and fedora make a statement.

(I've gotta admit - this is who I want to be.)

Add a camel trench coat and thigh-high boots.

Incorporate a scarf.

LoLo Bu

You can make it tomboy with boots, hat and military jacket.
Bess Be Fit

Or comfy casual with cons.

Use layers like this shirt, button down and blazer in one look.

Oh Styles

Don't feel confined by the skinny jean either.  Not many of us can sport that look - so go for comfort.
Baggy is stylish too if done right.

Belt a vest.

Elements of Style

Go fresh and flirty and add a bright shoe.

Style Pantry

Or sophisticated and sexy with a flashy belt.

Curves and Confidence

Tone it down with a monochromatic colour scheme for a business casual look.

Vistete Que Vienen Curvas

How about a classic black heel and a black blazer.

Or travel friendly with an embellished cardigan and flats.  

Take it trendy with ripped jeans, a gladiator sandal and volume scarf.

 Wear it across the seasons by adding riding boots and a winter cowl.

Even though this is untucked, it still speaks sophistication with the white blazer and wedges.

 Slick, city-chick with a leather jacket, tote and kick-ass heels.

 It's all about accessorizing to have these simple pieces make a statement.

In this case, the crew neck shirt with long sleeves was screaming for a bold necklace.

With a denim jacket overlay, you can wear a single pendant chain and have impact.

Double up!

I love this one because it shows you don't have to be a size 2 to look fantastic.

You could even take a sheer scarf and wear it like a cardigan for a polished look.

Proof that it's not about the pieces - but rather what you DO WITH the pieces that matters.

A bit of confidence will rock any look.

Me no more!

 Have a great one!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Stockpiling Lasagna

Something about back-to-school and fall always gets me in the mood to start stockpiling food.  
Making my Mom's tomato soup, creating a bunch of freezer meals to have ready for those evenings you have to run out the door to something or another…


I hate cooking.

It takes forever to do, it's gone in a fraction of the time it took you to make it and I almost always have an accident.

Baking I can handle - but cooking is not at all my strength.

Today I thought I'd try a new recipe from for lasagna.

I've never made lasagna before, but this recipe had almost 8,400 positive reviews - so I figured I shouldn't be able to mess it up too badly.

World's Best Lasagna - courtesy of

You will need:

1 pound sweet Italian sausage
3/4 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds


1.In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

2.Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
3.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
4.To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
5.Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
12 lasagna noodles
16 ounces ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
 I followed the recipe - boiled the noodles:

Browned the beef and sausage and let it simmer in the tomato sauces.

Layered; meat, pasta, ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan and repeat.

 But right about here I got ambitious and decided I'd get working on some shepherd's pies as well.

Out came (my nemesis) the mandolin slicer - and while I was thinly slicing the potatoes (so they'd cook faster) I cut myself not once, but twice.

I mentioned before that I can't stand the sight of my own blood, so the girls went running outside to get Daddy to save me.

He finished layering and we put down 4 lasagnas and sent one over to Nana's house.

Okay, we only put three in the freezer because we had to taste-test one of them.

Yes, it does taste as good as it looks.

Don't worry, there are no finger bits in any of the lasagna's… 

I'm not so sure about the shepherds' pies though?

Hint:  you have to sacrifice yourself sometimes to show the world (spouse) that life is better when you're OUT of the kitchen.  It's a technique I've mastered and keeps me off of meal duty.
Now if I could just screw up bathroom cleaning enough to be taken off of that chore I'd be laughing!

Have a great one!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Fabric Bins

So I'm still working on the first pair of jeans…
They really go a long way eh?

Today I thought I'd try to make a little fabric bin with handles.
You can use these to store yarn for knitting, or toys that need to be carried up or down stairs - really anything at all.  They are particularly nice because they are washable - and being made from denim - extremely durable.

This is one pant leg.

From it, I cut two rectangles.
Then you'll need two rectangles of interfacing and lining fabric in exactly the same sizes.

Iron the interfacing to the denim (which is going to be my outside).
The stiffer the interfacing the more stiffly the bin will stand.
In hindsight, I think I should have used something stronger, but this one did work.

You'll need two pieces of fabric for the bottom of the bin.
I chose to use the leftover material from the jean leg.

Sew, right sides together, the lining, base and then other lining.
Repeat for the outside pieces of the bin as well.

Fold these three-piece strips in half and sew both sides.

This is where I do my corner trick - like yesterday.
Line up the side seam with what would be the centre of the base.
Smooth the material out keeping this triangle in place.

Sew across the triangle - I did this right near the seam you see on the white.
Reinforce with zig-zag stitching and cut off the excess.

Repeat this on both corners of the piece that will be the outside of the bin, but only on ONE side of the lining of the bin.
Cut an opening where you would have cut the triangle off.  This will be the hole you use to turn the bin out.

Next up, the handles.
You can make them any length and width that you like - it's really going to depend on what you plan to use the bin for.
Iron a hem on both long-sides of the handles.

Fold in half length-wise and sew along the edge to seal.
Sew the other edge for symmetry.

Turn the outside of the bin out.
Take your handles and sew them to the top edge of the outside bin.
Measure them equally from the centre seam and sew close to the top edge.
Repeat on the other side.

Take the liner of the bin and tuck the outside into it, including handles.
This will be right sides facing each other.

Sew all around the top edge of the bin, making sure to get all edges and handle ends.

Turn the bin right-side-out through the opening in the lining.

Once you've checked that everything is how you want it, stitch the lining opening closed.

This is what you should be left with!

This is another project that I can't give you measurements for because it's going to depend on what you plan to use the bin for and/or how much denim you have.

This one will easily hold a couple of bottles of wine, or a decent sized stack of lego - whatever floats your boat.

If you sew this without the handles, you could turn down the upper edge and let the cute lining show.

Sew easy and sew cute!


Two pairs of jeans to go!

Have a great one!