2.11.2014

Easy Pillow Cover Tutorial

Do you have some "less than cute" pillows, like I do?  Instead of buying new ones, just cover them for a fraction of the price! I love being able to change the look of my pillows often without dropping a few hundred dollars every time I want a new look, and it is pretty easy!


Here is what you need:
-Your choice of fabric, I used about 2 yards for 4 pillows. (2 in the Aztec fabric, 2 in the gray) But it just depends on the size of the pillows your covering. You can use regular quilters cotton, or home decor fabric. You can even use furry or decorative fabric.
-Coordinating thread
-Sewing Machine (unless you want to do it by hand)
-Iron
-Pins

That's IT!

First lay out your fabric, place your pillow on top and wrap it like a present (but just 2 sides). You want the fabric cut so that the ends are overlapping about 3-4 inches. Cut your fabric so that one side overlaps (that 3-4 inches) and then the other two sides have about 1.5 inches extra after being sandwiched together. The pictures will help it make more sense. You are essentially making an envelope pillow case.





After your fabric is cut to the correct size, finish the 2 overlapped edges. Just fold the edge over 2 times and iron it. 

Sew the edge flat with a small seam allowance.

Lay your fabric down right side up. Place your pillow on top, and fold the finished sides over like an envelope. Fold it over so that it is pretty tight, you don't want a wrinkly pillow. 


Sandwich 2 of the side edges, and then pin right in the middle. (again try to get it as tight as you can) Be careful not to pin your pillow to the fabric, you will need to remove it later.


On the other side of the pillow you will do the same thing, but instead of pinning it shut, draw a line where you would have placed the pins. You can use a pencil or pen, just nothing that will leak through the fabric. 
Then slide your pillow out of your fabric.

 

Then pin the 2 layers over the line you drew. Now you can sew over the 2 sides that are pinned. 


You can trim the excess fabric to about .5inches from your seam. Then turn your cover ride side out! 


Just slide your pillow in, fluff it up, and you are done! 




 Enjoy your fresh new pillows!








2.05.2014

Not a Single Mom

While Ben was deployed I found that a lot of military spouses label themselves as a "single parent" while their partner is away. That rubbed me the wrong way. I wasn't a technical "parent" at the time though, I was pregnant with our 1st child.... So I figured I just didn't understand.
I'm a parent now. I've been a parent for 1 year and 20 days. And in that 1 year and 20 days, Ben has been gone enough times with the Air Force that I've compiled an opinion based on my experience. And my opinion is... I'm not a single mom. 


I feel absolutely unqualified to hold that label. I feel like calling myself a single mom is an insult to single parents. Don't get me wrong. I'm in no way telling all the Military Spouses they are bad or wrong for labeling themselves as single parents. 
BUT I personally cannot do it, and these are some reasons why:
I don't have to hold 3 jobs to barely skim the poverty line. 
I don't have to arrange visits between my child and their other parent. 
I don't get lumped into a statistic.
I don't have society judging my parenting abilities based on my relationship status. 
I don't have to go to parent teacher conferences or preschool orientation and feel nervous about explaining where Bennett's dad is. 
I don't have to explain to Bennett why his friends have 2 parents and he has 1. Or why he only lives with one. 
I don't have to be alone..
no matter how alone I may feel.... I'm not. 


NO matter how long Ben is away, or how often we do or don't get to speak.... He is thinking of us. We are thinking of him. And calling myself a single parent isn't only an insult to those who really struggle with all the things that single parents struggle with every single day.... it is an insult to Ben. 
I firmly believe that the relationship between a Military Spouse and their Military Member is either strengthened or broken down during time apart by one thing... Respect. In order for Ben and I to have a healthy relationship during time apart, I need to respect his role as a husband and a father while he is gone. 

What does calling myself a single parent entail in relation to Ben? It suggests that he isn't lending any support or aid! And as his partner... it is my job to build him up, to help him become better, to be there for him while he is away, to reassure him of our love and respect for him as the patriarch of our little family. He needs to know that he still has a role even when he is thousands of miles away. He needs to know that we need him. He needs to know that I don't think of myself as a single parent, because he is valuable. 


Being apart is hard. I would be lying if I said that being here alone with Bennett is easy while he is away. It is hard. I have laid in bed awake plenty of nights wishing and hoping I would wake up and he would be next to me. But no matter how many tears, or missed phone calls, or terrifying nights alone we have... I know its only temporary. And even though there is always a possibility that something horrible could happen... it is the exception..not the rule. 

I have the greatest and utmost respect for single parents. I can't ever pretend to know their struggle, and I hope I never have to. You are incredible, you are strong, and you can do it!
As a military spouse, I am not among these soldiers of parents. So please don't call me a single mom, instead... let a real single mom know you support them. Because they deserve it. 


2.02.2014

14 Days of Valentines! Free Printables!

I have seen 14 Days of Valentines done by people before, and I thought it was such a great idea! I couldn't find ones that had tags that matched things that Ben actually liked, so I decided to make my own and create a way that you could make your own too with blank ones!
& For all you military spouses or those of you away from your loved one this year, this would be a great thing to send your sweetheart!


This is such a great way to celebrate Valentines in a special way without spending a lot of money. :)
So even though February has already started... you can still participate! Just start today or tomorrow or even give your sweetheart a couple on the first day to catch up! Better late than never! :)
So here are 14 days of ideas! You can print them all at the bottom of the post, or make your own with the blank ones at the end of the printables!

Ben LOVES putting Lime juice in things. But for this one you could also use some kind of fun seasoning, a favorite flavor of ice cream or drink, or anything!

I think you are "Sodamazing"

"I go Bananas over you." You could also do banana candy!

"Thanks for sticking by my side" You could do some kind of gooey or sticky treat for this one instead of sticky notes!

"Being with you is always a treat" Again, you could substitute this with any treat!

"You are Flip'n awesome" with Flips!

"You're my favorite Krave-ing" with Krave Cereal.

"We were Mint to be together" You could do any minty treat, even ice cream! ;)

"You are one Hot Tamale"

"I am Nuts about you!"

"You have O'fish-ally stolen my heart"

"My life would be Mixed up without you!" You could make your own mix with this one, if you aren't horrible at it, like me. ha

"You are a perfect TEN" You could find anything with the letters T-E-N on it. Later I realized all these wonderful ideas for this one that didn't come to me earlier. haha oh well. 

"I wouldnt Chews anyone but you!" With a pack of gum! 

You can download the printables by clicking the picture below! Remember you can use the blank ones to create your own! :)
CLICK the picture to download the 3 tag pages!

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