Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Tom and Chee Review

Sooo one of my little known obsessions is the show Shark Tank. I think part of the reason I love it so much is the person inside of me who loves to cheer on people and their products/ideas and another reason is that I like to be ahead of trends like that. The basis of the show have you not seen it is basically hopeful entrepreneurs go on the show in front of 5 gazillion dollar investors and try to get money and a partnership to grow their business/product.

A whole ago there were two guys on the show with their restaurant Tom and Chee, a gourmet grilled cheese and tomato soup restaurant. They wanted to grow and expand their restaurant all over the states. They are really known for their signature doughnut grilled cheese. They got struck a deal with two of the sharks and I was so excited for them. The only disappointing thing was that they were based out of Indiana(?) I think, so I wouldn't be trying any of that goodness anytime soon.

Then a miracle happened and I found our that they were going to be building their first ever one here in the south, low and behold they were building in my town of Kennesaw, Georgia. To say I was excited is an understatement. My friend Madison and I bond over Shark Tank and especially over Tom and Chee. Once we knew they were coming we started following their Facebook page to get updates on when it was going to open. The official opening day was last Wednesday, April 9. We were unable to go that day so we planned on the 10th. 

The day finally arrived and we had looked at the menu online and were so ready to get some of that goodness. Once we got there we stood in awe at the menu board and just the fact that something we watched happen on TV was right in front of us, we were in a way star strucked. 

The menu was full of so many options. I was tempted to get one of the dessert like doughnut grilled cheeses but since we were there for dinner I decided to get a regular grilled cheese. After going back and forth I finally decided on the Flying Pig, a sandwhich on white bread with turkey, bacon, pickles, and Gouda. I added a perfect sized tomato and basil creamy soup dipper and some chips and a drink. Let me talk about that dipper, it's only like a dollar fifty and it really is perfect for dipping that sandwhich. I am not the biggest fan of tomato soup but this enabled me to have some without too much. Brilliance.

It was a little busy in there but it was only the second day and we were willing to wait for the goodness. Finally my food was placed before me. 

As you can see I was a little excited and bit right in before I even took the picture. It was heavenly!!! Everything was so warm and the cheese was melted perfectly. I could taste the butter on the outside of the bread, and dipping in that Little Dipper was just icing on the cake! 

I took one of the to-go menus with me just so I could stare at the options and am planning to take a trip back soon. I really want to try one of those doughnut grilled cheeses for sure! 

Over all, it was awesome. I would recommend it to anyone.

T Shirt Quilt Along Part 2

Welcome back to the T Shirt Quilt Along, by now I hope you have hopped over to this post here and have all of your shirts gathered and cut and ready to go. If not, no big deal, hop on over and make it happen and then head back on over here for the next step.

This week's part of the quilt along is getting all of those t shirts into rows to make it easier to attach to each other. It's fairly simple as long as you have the right tools. I believe I mentioned how I use a Jelly Roll just to make my life easier. They are strips of fabric, that are pre-cut 2 1/2 inches by width of the fabric. I usually get mine at JoAnns and use my handy dandy coupon to get a good deal. You can also find them on Etsy or on sites that sell fabric.

They usually look like this:

When you unroll it you get all these neat fabric strips.

The next step that I do is basically a lay out. We are using 30 shirts so I am doing 5 across the top and 6 down the side. Now this is the place you can move stuff around and decide where you want shirts. It's entirely up to you. I don't like all the white shirts to be in section and all the blue in another, I like to be somewhat spread out all over the quilt. It's up to you, lay them out and have some fun. (I end up keeping this photo on hand to remind me which shirts go where because I often forget.)
**Not pictured - usually after I lay them out I start at the left and stack the shirts in order based on their row and then fold them in half, it helps me to keep them organized.
Now comes the sewing. Grab your first shirt and one of your fabric strips. Then you will put them together right sides facing together along the right side, and place that in your machine. It's up to you on what size seem you want to use I just always use the second line on my machine as my guide, you can as well or whatever else you decide to use.

Give that pedal some gas and let it go making sure that your fabrics are still matching up and not sliding back and forth on you. (Yes, you can use some straight pins if it will help you, but the shirts are not that long so I don't use them until later in the project)

** Your fabric strip will most likely be longer then your shirt, I just leave it on there until I am done sewing to the end of the shirt.

Sew all along the length of the shirt and make sure you give a little back and forth motion on that sewing to give you some insurance so that strip doesn't decide to disconnect from your shirt.

You can see my little insurance down at the bottom where the string is a little thicker.

Then I flip that shirt over so that it is on top and I can see a direct line to cut off the remaining strip.
Take those fancy (or not so much) scissors and cut it off. (If you don't already I highly recommend owning a good pair of fabric scissors and guard them with your life. They are such a good investment and will be a life saver when it comes to cutting fabric as long as they are not used for other things.)

There you have it, keep that extra strip we will use it!

Then get that iron and ironing board ready. (Apartment living with limited space means, ironing on the kitchen counter. One day I will own a craft room...)


Basically, all you are going to do is press that seem so its flat and not trying to curve away. Just go along the seem and press as you go.

Keep going to make sure and get the entire length of the seem.

Now we are going to attach the next shirt. Lay down your first shirt with the strip attached right side up and the next shirt in your row next to it right side up as well.

Then flip the new shirt over so that the shirts are facing with right sides together and line them up along the right side again.
With your same seem sew down the entire length of the shirt. (or in my case as long as the shorter shirt, my cutting might not all be even, but hey we mentioned this wasn't going to be perfect!)

Take that joker back over to your ironing board and now you are going to press that seem the entire length again.
From here you are going to attach the next three shirts in that row. Start with another strip and then add another shirt until your last shirt. Making sure you line up right sides facing, sew, and press, and repeat. Once you have attached your 5th and last shirt in the row then you don't need to add another strip. The row should look like this when you are done.

I also like to alternate my strips of fabric but it's entirely up to you, let your creativity be your guide.
Continue with this until you have all 6 rows finished.
You can also grab a sewing buddy, or in my case, my roommates dog, Milo who loves to sit right at my feet under the table as I sew.
Next week we are going to be attaching all of those rows together to get the front of your quilt.
See you then!!

Monday, April 28, 2014

A Not So Quick Catch Up

I don't think I have done a catch up post in a long time. Not that it's really even a thing, just basically letting whoever wants to know what's going on in my life. There are a few major things so I am going to try and break it up into those things and go from there.

Living Situation - My roomie Lindsey is getting married come December (you can see her awesome proposal story here). It really is an exciting time and I am so pumped for her and Braden. We moved up here two years ago and found a great apartment, then when that lease was up we moved closer to friends and community, well now the time has come that our lease is up yet again. We love where we live and would like to stay, but the prices are gong up $200 and that's just something we are not able to budget.

The situation is crazy considering she will be moving out in December so people keep asking me what I am going to do and what the plan is. Luckily at our amazing church we have met some awesome people, and one is this awesome girl named Holly. Her lease is up in June and she was looking into maybe getting some roommates. We really want to live in the Marietta area and we really wanted to be in a house. After looking at a ton of houses and attempting to call people who never call you back we finally decided it probably wouldn't be in the cards for us. The up front costs of moving into a rented house are also nuts considering they need one whole month on top of paying for that first month's rent. Who wants to drop $1000??...not Jenny. After many a discussion the best thing that seemed to be possible was to find an apartment.

That is the place we are at now, looking at apartments in the area that works for all three of us (who work in three different parts of Atlanta) and making sure they will take two dogs. It's stressful but in about a month when I am sitting in my new apartment and all of it is over with, it's not going to be a blip on my radar. I just have to remember to take one day at a time and know that in the end stressing out causes nothing but bad things and negativity, and I don't want to live in that state. This is the week we will most likely decide and sign some papers, so please be in prayer with us as we move ahead.

Job / School - Soooo on this subject...if you have been following along you know that I had decided to completely change my career from Teaching to being a Child Life Specialist. I took my GRE and attempted to get my masters, ended up not getting into the program I applied to, was totally ok with that, decided that it was cheaper to do it another route, applied to University of Alabama to do long distant learning, got accepted, and was planning to start taking classes in the fall...well yeah that's changed yet again.

A few weeks ago I was hanging out with my friend Jennie who goes to my church, we were going to have lunch and then go to her kids school and pick them up early and take them to get ice cream. Her husband Chris also works at that school. I was fascinated walking the halls because it was a private, project based learning school and I was loving what I see. I jokingly said I would love to teach in a place like this, but I wasn't going to be teaching anytime soon. Jennie said she could so see me there and that I should look into it. So I did. I researched so much and fell in the love with the school. I decided to go ahead and apply and see what would happen. I was extended an interview and ended up not getting the job. It was a great experience and if anything it brought me back to a place where I realized that teaching is still a passion I have.

Luckily, I am so honored to get to walk around people who are so wise and speak into my life and helped me as I mulled over not going back to school and jumping into the teaching field here in Georgia. I was learning that my biggest issue was my pride, after telling everyone I was going to change careers and not teach, I was having a hard time taking that back and thinking that others would think I was so wishy washy. But I realized that I am only 24, it's ok to change my mind, I have a while to figure it all out, in the end it's all about what gives God the most glory. So where does that leave me? Well I am still nannying for now, but the goal is to take the GACE which is the teaching test here and then get certified here in Georgia. I am giving myself a goal of getting my act together to start teaching next fall at the latest, possibly sooner should the opportunity arise.

Finances - Growing up I remember a few things about finances. I remember when my parents were completely out of debt and it being a big deal. Other then that, I don't remember too much. I had my first tax paying job at 12 when I delivered papers with my mom every morning for a year and half. From that day on, I would babysit or have some sort of job to pay for things that I wanted. I loved being able to buy things (and I still do). Moving up to Georgia and getting an 8-6 job where I was making salary was a big change. In college I got a couple of credit cards and a ton of student debt. I worked in college but that paid for rent and other expenses and still left me in a heap of debt.

After I graduated everything was put into my name. A phone plan, insurance, rent, utilities, car maintenance, everything. I was completely independent and that's the way it needed to be. For the first few months of me working full time I was just spending money because I was making way more then I ever did in college and wasn't really keeping track of my finances. I would just attempt to make sure I wasn't late on my bills and would overdraft my account about once a month. Finally I started writing down a "budget" and that's what I have been doing for the past year. I say budget loosely because often it was changed around because of stupid things I would buy or spend my money on.

Then I was reading my emails and one talked about how Dave Ramsey had one of his books for a free download, so I decided I would download and read it. As I read it, things started to click and I really loved the way he talked about money and getting out of debt. Finally the wheels started turning and I realized I needed to get my finances on crack down ASAP. So I printed out a couple of his budgeting sheets which talk about getting every dollar a job, and then I ordered another one of his books that should be coming soon. I also took a major step and cut up all my credit cards. I had cut one up last year and so it was finally time to cut up the other two. He talks about his baby steps and the first one is to put $1000 in an emergency savings account before tackling debt. So that's where I sit now, shoveling any and all extra money into an account and then getting ready to start tackling debt. I love math and numbers and so I sat down and crunched numbers and realized if I stick with my budget, I will be credit card debt free September of next year at the latest! That would leave me with just student loan debt left and I will be ready to tackle that.

So anyways, that is kind of where I am at in life. Lot of big changes and I am ready to buckle down and make it happen.

Happy Monday,


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Preparing for Summer

Well the Summer is fast approaching for this nanny, and that means it is time to kick it into hyper drive and get my stuff together. This year has been a major adjustment for me because my youngest, W went to Kindergarten. That meant some major changes for this nanny, but not really. I still work 8-6 but I don't get my kids until they get off the bus at 3:00 and then it's the million after school activities we have until I leave and do it all again the next day. The one thing I really miss is having my kiddos home and having time to do arts and crafts and go on adventures. But in one short month they will be home for a while and we will get to pack in as much stuff as possible.

Last year I attempted themed weeks which worked for about half of the time but then with life and camps, and vacations kind of fell off at the end. The kids asked if we were going to do the same thing this year and we were really pumped about it, so of course I said yes and let the pinning and planning begin.

The first weekend of summer I happen to be spending with the kids so mom and dad can take a romantic getaway for their birthdays. I am so excited and the kids are as well! We haven't made any plans yet but I am sure there will be many a talk about all the fun adventures we will have in the solid 48 hours I spend with them. Luckily, that Monday afterwards is Memorial Day so I will get to rest before gearing up for the first week of summer.

I printed out my calendars on paper so that I could have something to carry around and make me feel more organized. I also printed out weekly pages with slots for me to write exactly what we are doing each day and the supplies we will need.

The other main thing I plan on utilizing this summer is our bulletin board. It sat upstairs in the hallway for about 2 years before I changed it out right before Thanksgiving.  I have decided it is going to be the place where I put what our plans are for each week and then also put up pictures and our summer bucket list, which we are going to be working on soon.

I made this amateur drawing on PowerPoint and printed it out to execute. 

This is the final product! 

Consists of 3 main areas. 

1. The Bucket List- I got these cute tags on sale at JoAnns and the kids and I will write things we must do this summer and as we do them we will take them down.

2. The Theme and Activities, every Monday my plan is to come in and post the weeks theme and some of the activities we plan on doing. 

3. Pictures - the kids mom loves pictures and so do I and the kids. We will pick a few pictures every week to put in this area. (Yes I know that pictures is spelled wrong...but I fixed it haha) 

I have big plans for this board, so get ready to see a lot of it this summer. 


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

T-Shirt Quilt Along Part 1

So let me go ahead and throw out a disclaimer before I begin, I am in no way a professional sewer. I love I sew and and create things and that's about as far as it goes. I like to make it as simple as possible while looking good as well.

I made a T-Shirt quilt about 5 years ago out of all my old t-shirts. I kind of hoard them, as in I love them so much I wear them almost always and I usually get tshirts when I go on trips or to events, it's like my souvenir. Eventually they get to the point where they really aren't wearable and I put them in the pile to be made into a tshirt quilt.
After I posted this picture on my social media I got a lot of interest in how to make one. Luckily I am starting to make my sisters quilt for her 16th birthday so I have decided to do a quilt along. Step by step on how I make one. Again I am not professional, just a person who loves to sew.

Part 1 - Gathering and Cutting 

So for the quilt I am going to be making roughly a twin size quilt, it could be a little bigger, or a little smaller. 

First gather all of your shirts, you will need 30 total squares, so either 30 shirt fronts or 15 shirt fronts and back, or an combination in between. 


Then make sure you have your other supplies, I use fabric scissors (left handed for me), a sharpie, and a ruler/straight edge.

Now for me the first one is always tricky, trying to make a square that is the dimensions you need. We will be using rectangles that are 12.5 inches wide (across the top) and 15 inches length (along the side). I usually find a shirt that has a design on the front to help guide in making straight lines. I also use my ruler to help guide me in marking the lines.

Once I cut out the first shirt, I use that as the guideline for the rest of the shirts. I lay it over the shirt and then place the ruler down and trace with my sharpie. 


Then continue until you have 30 rectangles ready to go. 

That's it for this part, it can be time consuming cutting out 30 rectangles, trust me I know. But to me its the most tedious and easiest part of the quilt, so just push through and knock it out during a good few episodes of your favorite show.
Next time we will be using a jelly roll to connect the pieces together, see you next time!

(If anything in unclear please feel free to email me and I will try to explain the best I can!)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Weigh in Wednesday - Off the Wagon

 Happy Wednesday Y'all!

Today is April 2nd. This means that it's Autism Awareness Day which means a lot to me because my little sister Jessi has Asperger's. I originally went into Special Education because of a heart I had for children with Autism. I have met so many wonderful people who have Autism or who know someone who has it. Today is a day to just shine some awareness. I am wearing blue so that we can "Light It Up Blue" for Autism. It also means that tomorrow is my birthday.... woah! I don't have any big plans other then dinner and a movie with some girl friends but that sounds perfect to me.

I have not linked up with the weigh in Wednesday crew because of all the crazy stuff happening in March. I knew that I had gained just because of everything and at first was not going to link back up until I had lost, but then I realized that everyone goes through a gain period and so might as well put it out there.

Weigh In Wednesday

I did not take a picture of the scale this morning because I wasn't expecting to post today but I figured why not.                                                              

                                                                Starting Weight - 239.4
4/2/2014 - 231.9
Loss this week - +2.6
Total Loss - 7.5 lbs
Yes, a gain of 2.6 but it was worse, last week I was about a pound heavier so I'll take it for now. With this being my birthday week I am not too hopeful for next week but I am still going to make an effort because even just .5 lbs is a loss and I am hoping for one!
Hope you guys have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

10 Reasons I Want to Own a Farm

Hello Party People....

Well it's been a while, March has been a crazy month for me. It started with a wedding I attended on the 1st and continued with my Best Friend's crazy surprise engagement. If life wasn't crazy enough less then a week after that I hopped on an 9 hour flight to Germany to spend a week with my big bro and his family. It took me a week to get back to normal (and eat a good bit of my Germany candy I smuggled back) and now I am ready to get back on track.

Shout out to my friend Madison who follows my blog and ever so lovingly told me last night that she hadn't seen me post in 2 weeks...I gotcha girl!

My birthday is on Thursday as in 2 days. This is crazy to me, I am going to be 24, which means I am just 1 year shy of being the big 2-5 and ready for my quarter life crisis to hit. I think I might go buy a new car...actually a farm. Yes I want a farm for sure.

I posted a status on Sunday on my Facebook about what I think my future goals are and the people loved it!

All the likes and comments got me to thinking about how much I want to live on a good bit of land with a little farm and homestead it up with my big family.

I know you must be thinking, this chick is crazy! What does she know about living on the land??

Well let me tell you something. Over the last 48 hours I have been on a journey to look at all the benefits of living off the land as well as owning a farm. So I have decided to make my top 10 reasons I want to live on a farm in the future!

1. Owning a Barn. Not necessarily for a ton of animals, but because they are just too cute, I am on Pinterest all the time and just look at these pictures...who wouldn't want a cute place to host all the parties I am going to throw!

2. Land and Lots of It. I love land, I love all the unique qualities it gives. I love the possibility of having so much land that I can build all sorts of little buildings and tree houses and forts for my family. And who doesn't just want to frolic in the fields when the suns going down...I do!

3. I Can Wear Over Overalls .... and no one will judge me. I know it's the biggest fashion no-no but I love a good pair of overalls, they are amazing. (Yes, I do own a I don't wear them in public, only when I go visit my friend's family farm)

4. Chickens, Chickens, and more Chickens. I have been researching Chickens for a couple of months now, even looking into urban chicken coops for the time being. When I live on a farm though, I can have a good amount of chickens and that means lots of eggs for baking and eating.

5. Dairy Cows. I read an amazing article on the benefits of raw milk and then about owning a dairy cow. I think it would be a fun adventure for sure and if anything, I know I will get my friend Brittany up to visit so fast!

6. Room for A Big Garden. I have always had a dream about owning a garden, and tending to it and seeing all the things grow and then using the surplus amount to create new recipes. Also being able to give them to friends.

7. Make all the Pies I Want. Yes, I know I can do this anywhere, but while living on a farm it's almost expected (or at least I think it is) that you make all the pies you can. As well as all the other homemade food items, but who wants those when you can have pie!

8. Vacation Spot for Friends. It would be so much easier to convince my friends who live far away from me to come visit a farm with all the glories it beholds then to try and convince them to come to yet another house in the burbs. Just sayin.

9. Natural Learning Center for the Kids. I love kids, that's no surprise to anyone, with a degree in teaching, being a nanny, and going back to pursue a career as a child life specialist one can say kids are my forte. I want to have 6 children if I am able to. The endless learning possibilities of living on a farm make me giddy. It's definitely a possibility for me to want to home school my kids one day and even if I don't all of the valuable information they will get just living on a farm will be something that I know will go with them throughout their lives.

10. I Can See Myself 80 Years Old on a Farm. I know that I most likely will not get a farm for a while, but I do know that once I own one that it's someplace I can see myself, and my husband growing old. I can see grandchildren coming back to visit and playing on the tire swings. I can see me sitting in the craft cottage whipping up another prayer quilt for someone having a baby. And I can see us sitting in the rocking chairs on the porch looking at the starts because it will be so very clear and being content with what the Lord has done in our lives.

I think it's a pretty good list and a good case as to why I want to own one. I just need to start saving money and find me a man who is willing to be on board!!

What would you want to do if you lived on a farm??