Friday, August 17, 2012

Boredom Busting those kids!

I am going to share something that I made that has really come in handy for me! And did I mention it's super easy?! So, we buy our milk at COSTCO and having three little people plus myself and hubby who also like milk, we end up with A LOT of milk boxes!!! So, I turned one into a "Boredom Box" for my kiddos. 

How did I do this? I am sorry I don't have pictures of the actual crafting part, but I cut off the top half of the front of the box and all the flaps on top. After that, I took some leftover duck cloth (canvas like) I had from another project. Of course you could use any fabric you like! I covered my box with it and just used hot glue! Mod Podge would work too, but the duck cloth is so darn thick! Then, I made my little sign and glued buttons on.

So, what is in this magical Boredom Box? I change it regularly to keep the kids from getting "bored" with its contents. But these things are regulars:

  • Activity Books (We love PuzzleBuzz books from Highlights)
  • Laminated Hidden Pictures Puzzles taken from old PuzzleBuzz books
  • A dry erase marker and felt eraser to do the hidden pictures
  • Blank Paper and tracing paper
  • Educational Math and Literacy board games from Mailbox (This is typically my kids first choice out of here)
  • A Hundreds chart with a little jar of beans for counting/making patterns
  • A little spill-proof container of bubbles
  • Every night I also compile some fun educational worksheets for each of my kids at their level and staple them together with their name 

So, when my kids tell me they're bored, I can send them to their little boredom busting corner. My 3-year-old really likes to sit there while I do the dishes since it's right next to our dishwasher! Or if my 5-year-old wants to play video games or play outside with friends, I make sure he's done his worksheets for the day. This makes it WAY easier on me to make sure he's getting his brain working for the day ;)

So, there you have it. Hopefully this will help someone else whose kids constantly use that annoying "B" word! And usually after I've got them started using their brains in our corner, they almost always start using their brains to create their own play with each other! Makes me smile, I tell ya!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Mashed Potatoes? You tell me!

Love mashed potatoes? Me too! But they're not the most diet friendly food, to say the least! Some of the best advice I've gotten from my mother when trying to lose weight was to not eat carbs with dinner (rolls, potatoes, etc.). This one rule has been my saving grace, but it's also hard because I love those things!

So, here is a healthier alternative to mashed potatoes that eliminates the carb from your meal. (PS, this is my husband's dinner plate, thus the double serving of meat and ranch on his salad).

1 Head of Cauliflower
2 Tbsp butter or if you can do olive oil, it's even better!
Salt and pepper to taste

Steam your head of cauliflower after cutting into florets. Make sure it gets well steamed because the next step is mashing it with a fork. Use some of the water you used to steam it to create more of that creamy mashed potato feel. However, my husband swears it's the butter that TRULY makes them replicate the mashed potato taste. (I'm slowly "weaning" him if you will into olive oil, haha). I promise, the first time we had this, it fooled us into thinking we were having mashed potatoes (my dad originally served them to us on a visit). 

So, there you have it. A delicious and healthy alternative for those cursed (yet still delicious) mashed potatoes.

4th of July fun with straws!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Friendship Week - Summer Camp Party

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Master Shopping List

So, for almost 2 weeks now I have been working on something AMAZING! At least, I think it's amazing because it is going to be making my life so much easier! Seriously, so excited! I got inspiration from Pinterest originally. See?

I saw this menu board and was so inspired! I spend SO much time couponing, menu planning, flipping through cookbooks, etc. every week and I knew this menu board was a must for me! So, while I started compiling my list of menu options so I could make those cute, color coded cards, I was inspired again! I wanted to make a master grocery list for myself that I could simply print out every week and have my list already made. Sounds magical, right? I know...

So, I sat down and made a list of ALL the things my family consumes every month, from produce to snacks to dinner items, to seasonings. I wrote it all down, PHEW! I had them sectioned off, by the way, starting with produce, Deli, Frozen, Dairy, Canned/Bottled, Baking, Grains, Snacks, Beverages, and Bulk items. After I had all my items, I took 3 different colored highlighters and went through to "label" my items: pink was once a month purchases, Orange were biweekly, and yellow was weekly. If it didn't end up with a label, that means I only purchase these items occasionally on an "as needed" type basis.

Now to the computer! I made four sheets in a word document (because I will be shopping weekly, so I have a schedule for week 1, week 2, etc). Then, I made each of my categories on each sheet and started dividing them up between the weeks. If there were 12 items under a certain category, I divided them equally, being careful to not pair 2 more pricey items together on the same week. And there I have my rough draft. I say rough draft because I may need to adjust my scheduling as I go to make it work better (we can't all be perfect the first time, right?). I think I got it pretty good though ;) After I did the food, I decided to include my cleaning and toiletry supplies in the schedule as well. Hubby will be so pleased to not have to run to the store for deodorant! Haha... I colored items that are periodic purchases in orange on my lists. So, if you'd like a template to make your own, click on the image below to download mine:

 Just as an additional tip, these lists are all things I CAN buy that week. Doesn't mean I have to if we have plenty in the pantry! Also, as I mentioned before, I'm a couponer. So, if a screaming deal arises that I gotta pounce on, I will be swapping those items out with a different list for that month, make sense? That way, I know I'm still saving the MOST money possible. Same goes with the meat (never know what's gonna go on sale!). My meat items listed are things we use in that genre of meat. I try to spend $20/week on meat for our family (or cheaper if I can!).

Also, if you wanna make your own fabulous menu board such as the one I shared above, I also have a template you can download for the cards. You will obviously want to fill in your own recipes, but it gives you an idea! You can download that one here.

 I hope I've inspired someone to get organized with your menu planning and grocery shopping! It really does save money and causes MUCH less stress since you won't forget anything at the store! With a master list, your pantry should stay well stocked and you should be avoiding impulse purchases. Only get what's allowed on your list! I read in a fabulous couponing mom book to look at your hours that you put in to saving your family money as your paycheck to your family each week. Love it! Hope your grocery shopping becomes more enjoyable and organized!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Space Saver Book Storage

 So, I have been working like crazy on so many projects around my house! But I am doing a post on something I actually created months ago! I took pictures back then, but I just made more tonight, so now I'm doing a tutorial finally! I got this idea from compiling different ideas I saw on Pinterest. I really liked the IKEA spice rack book storage, but we don't have an IKEA here and I really like to work with what I got ;) I saw someone else had used a double curtain rod to create some book slings! Genius! But I know how expensive curtain rods can be and since I'm a cheap skate, I thought, couldn't I just nail a pocket to the wall? And the answer is yes, my friends!

You start with a simple rectangle (mine measured about 20" by 27"). I totally eyeball them, though. Just fold your fabric in half to about the depth you want and the width, cut and voila, you are ready to sew!

If you can sew a straight line, you can make these, promise! Just fold it in half, right sides together and sew up the short sides. Then hem all the way around the top. Flip right side out and there you have it!

Now, for the nailing. Make sure you get that nail in the corner so the sides don't flop and make sure your nail head has a "lip" to it (meaning, your nail head is larger than the nail itself so the fabric doesn't just slip right over after you puncture it).

Cute, right? Vinyl makes everything better too! My kiddos really love sitting here and looking through all the books! I have some of these in each kids room and in the hallway between their rooms! Way better than a messy bookshelf around every corner!

Tips for a sturdy book sling:
  • A sturdy fabric is helpful to hold the weight of the books and the nail hole won't rip! ( I used flannel in these pictures)
  • Like I mentioned before, making sure you have a good size nail head!
  • Nailing also in the middle (only through the back layer) of the pocket and also through the double thickness is a good idea!
  • Sewing an additional vertical line down the middle to make separate pockets is good if your pocket is kinda long. This helps prevent a saggy middle!
Okay, so while I'm here and speaking about flannel, I thought I'd share some other things I've done with flannel around my house. Jo-Ann's always has that stuff for WAY cheap on Black Friday, so you gotta get creative, right?!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Nutritious Faux "cheesy" popcorn

Today, I am going to be sharing a favorite recipe of mine and my kiddos love it too! And you know what is so awesome about it? It's super healthy and low calorie! Woo hoo! Perfect for when you need a "salty" fix!

For starters, you need popcorn kernels and an air popping machine. If you don't have an air popper, you need one for sure! Air popped popcorn is so much healthier and lower in calories (you know, not being popped in oil and all). This part is so much funner with a little helper! My kids LOVE watching that popcorn start exploding out the top! On this day I took pictures, my Kelsie Lou was the only one here and/or awake, so she was my most awesome helper!

After you get your corn popped, you'll need some olive oil. A little bit of facts about olive oil:
  • It's a healthy or "good" fat, which helps aid in digestion and helps your body absorb nutrients from other foods!
  • It can help improve cholesterol levels
  • It's still a "fat" food, so moderation is key in order to gain the health benefits! Remember, a serving size is only 2 teaspoons!
So, you are going to lightly drizzle your popcorn with the olive oil and I like to use a spoon to stir it around so all the kernels get lightly coated to help our other toppings stick! (If you have distributed your olive oil but are still feeling the need to add more for sticking factor, I use nonstick cooking spray (it's fat free). That way, I avoid adding those extra calories and fat.

After you get your olive oil, you are going to salt your popcorn. Now, here is where I can misbehave a bit, I like my popcorn salty! Ha ha ...But I use RealSalt. What is RealSalt you ask? It is salt with no heat processing, chemicals, or additives. But what is DOES have is many trace minerals still intact, including iodine. It is delicious too! So sprinkle away I say!

The next topping to sprinkle that will give you the "cheesy" flavor is nutritional yeast. I grew up stirring this power food in my orange juice, but it tastes so delicious with salty foods! It has a unique, nutty cheesy flavor. Makes it sound yucky to add to orange juice when I describe it that way, but I still love it in my juice. You can buy this in the health section of your grocer or I now buy it in bulk from Winco. It is an excellent source of protein, fiber and rich in vitamins, especially the B vitamins and folic acid. Anywho, take those flakes between your fingers and squash them as you sprinkle so it's more powdery. Make sure you annihilate those flakes extra well if you have picky eaters that have an aversion to odd new additions to food! Ha ha. Anyway, I sprinkle a lot, but do as much as you like here. My Kelsie Lou licked that yeast right off her fingers after helping with the sprinkling!

Now you are ready to eat your delicious, healthy snack! Enjoy!

Additional tips for using yeast: I also sprinkle this on buttered whole wheat toast (my baby's favorite), stir it in spaghetti sauce or drink it in my juice, as I mentioned before. I have recently read to sprinkle it on garlic bread, I bet that's delicious!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Boys Wallet Tutorial

It's always a challenge finding things to sew for boys. But I sure do love finding projects and my oldest boy loves it too (little one is too young to notice!). So for Easter, I sewed my son a wallet to put in his basket. He loves it so much and it is so simple to make! Even better, I only needed a scrap of fabric I had left over from a different project! So, here's a list of supplies:

Scrap Fabric
Fusible Interfacing
6" zipper
Velcro Square

I am very much an "eyeballing it" type of person when it comes to measuring my projects, but I took measurements after I cut to give you an idea of the size. So, you need to cut (2) 7.25" x 3.25" rectangles, (2) 7.25" x 2.75" rectangles, and one 3" x 3" square. Additionally, cut one piece of fusible interfacing to match each set of rectangles. Iron the interfacing onto the wrong side of one of each rectangle size (see picture below if you're confused). Now you should have all your pieces ready for action!

You're going to start by folding your 3" square piece in half, right sides together and sew along the edge. Turn right side out and fold a bit of the top back inside and stitch close to the edge to create a finished edge. This piece will be your strap. So, you will no sew velcro onto the inside of the strap (over the seam) and near that finished edge you just sewed. Set the strap aside.

You will now be working with your largest rectangles. On your piece with the interfacing you're going to sew the other half of your velcro on the right side of the fabric near one of the short ends (doesn't really matter which one at this point). See the picture if you need more of a visual for placement. Now, with right sides together, you're going to sew the largest rectangles together. Leave about 1 inch at least open for turning. Before you turn it right side out, clip the corners so it will lay nicely. After turning it right side out, iron it flat turning in that edge of the opening. Sew the opening shut close to the edge and continue to create a top stitch around the whole rectangle. Set that piece aside now.

Now take your next set of rectangles. You need your interfaced piece and a ruler for this next step. On the interfacing, about 1" down from the top, you are going to draw a 5"straight line with your ruler. On the ends of that line, you will then draw little v's (see picture below). Cut along those lines.
Now you will fold the edges in of that opening and iron it flat. It should be a skinny rectangular opening with the flaps on the interfaced side. Now place your zipper onto the opening so that the zipper pull is against one side and pin it in place as shown in the picture. Stitch all around the zipper using your machine's zipper foot. If you need to shorten your zipper, be sure to stitch back and forth a few times over where you want it to end and snip off the extra!

Now put the two rectangles right sides together, sew around the edge with an opening, clip the corners, flip, iron, top stitch just as you did the previous set of rectangles!

Now for assembly! You are going to stack the layers, starting with the largest rectangle. The velcro should be touching your desk and to the left. Then place your strap centered on the right with the velcro facing up and the raw edge in almost an inch. Next, place your zipper pocket, zipper side up, lining up the bottom and side edges. Pin all these layers in place and stitch right over your top stitch.
Now, fold the wallet in half, creasing it with your fingers, velcro it shut and there you have it! Your little one will be feeling very manly carrying some cash in his very own wallet! My son won't go to the store without it now!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Copy Cat Bare Minerals

My post today is a beauty product review. I am always on the lookout for a great beauty product that makes my getting ready in the morning simpler, faster, better. Aren't we all? I am not a high maintenance makeup person. I like to keep it fairly simple because I figure the more natural I look, the less scary, I mean different I'll look when I'm not wearing it, right? Plus, I'm just downright lazy about it and don't like to take more than 30 minutes to get ready, hair and all.

Well, quite a few years ago, I discovered Bare Minerals foundation and I fell in love!It is so lightweight, fast to put on, looks amazing on all skin types, covers well, and gives that great healthy glow we all strive for on our skin. Not only that, but my skin really did improve (as far as breakouts go) after I started wearing it. So, I am totally a Bare Minerals girl.

However, the semi-hefty price tag on it has caused me to wander and try other products on the occasion. Plus, I have to buy it at a salon-type beauty store instead of say, Target! So, anyway, I have really tried every other kind of mineral makeup from Mary Kay to Physicians Formula to try to save myself a buck and longer trip to the store, but it was always a waste because nothing has even come close to Bare Minerals. But a week and a half ago, I was out of my Bare Minerals and was in a pinch. I was shopping at Target and had a coupon for L'oreal face product. So, I thought, "What the heck, I'll give something new a test run." After scouring the isles looking for something I hadn't already tried, I found L'oreal True Match Naturale Gentle Mineral Makeup. So, coupon in hand I headed to the cash register and paid my $6.99 for it (WAY cheaper than my true love).

I was super excited to try it the next day, but honestly, expecting disappointment as has always happened before. Let me tell you how stoked I was to see nearly the same results as Bare Minerals! I am so very impressed with this product. It covers great like Bare Minerals, blended great and still had a subtle glow! Yahoo! All in all, I found a very good replacement for when money is tight. Bare Minerals still is a tad bit better (it has more of a glow and that "sheer" look), but you can barely tell the difference in my opinion. So try it out and tell me what you think!

Have a beautiful day!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Party Ruffle Skirt Tutorial

I hope everyone had a Happy Easter with their family! We sure did and I enjoyed so much seeing my 3 cute kids in their matching outfits for church! The boys didn't last in their ties, of course, but my little princess enjoyed wearing her skirt all day long! And it is mighty cute, if I do say so myself! So, here's the tutorial for it!

In preparation ahead of time, I had FINALLY tried out my bias strip maker and made some super cute polka dotted bias tape (I made a few yards, you will need 8' total for this skirt, using these measurements). But if you don't have a bias tape maker, have no patience for making your own bias tape, or have no desire for buying pre-made stuff, just a simple hem will work just as well.

Okay, so now for the actual instructions! This skirt with these measurements was made for my almost 3-year-old, who is quite the skinny mini, but has ridiculously long legs! So, if you need to make it bigger or smaller for your little miss, take that in consideration. So, first cut 3 rectangles: 2 ruffles, 5.5" x 48" and 1 skirt piece 10" x 24". The actual skirt will be longer than 10" by the way.

First, you need to "prep" your skirt piece by sewing down the 10" edge, right sides together. You should have a "hoop" now. Next, hem the bottom by folding 1/2" up and sewing all the way around. After you've hemmed the bottom, you are going to create the elastic casing at the top by folding down 1" and sewing along your 5/8" guide on your machine, but leaving a small gap in your stitch, which is where you will feed the elastic through when it's time (not yet!). The next step in prepping your skirt is wrong side out, fold it in half with your stitch on one edge; carefully using a straight edge of some sort, mark a center line with a washable fabric marker along the fold. Now you can set your skirt piece aside.

  Now, you will get your accent bias tape and fold it around the bottom edge of your ruffle rectangles, stitching it in place as you go. Clip your tape even with the edge of your ruffle. Or, if you're one of the hemmers, go ahead and hem! Next you are going to create a "hoop" out of the ruffle like you did the skirt, stitching the short end, right sides together. At the top of the ruffle, you are going to fold down 1/2" as if you were "hemming" it, but instead of a normal stitch, you are going to use the longest straight stitch your machine has and sew along the fold, leaving a small gap where your seam is. DO NOT backstitch at the beginning or the end, leave extra thread hanging off. Make sure both of your ruffle rectangles are ready like this before moving on.

Now it is time for the pinning. You will need your skirt piece right side out. Take your first ruffle, find the center across from your seam and pin it with a vertical pin to the front center of your skirt you marked earlier; you will line it up roughly one inch away from your casing stitch. Now, line up the ruffle seam with the skirt seam, still staying one inch below the casing stitch, and pin it with another vertical pin. Now is the tricky part. You are going to gather your ruffle starting by the seam where you left thread hanging. Gently pull the bobbin thread so your fabric starts to gather. Take this part very slow and gentle so your thread doesn't break. If you find it's getting hard to pull,work your gathered fabric "down the line" to free up space where you're pulling. Gather it all the way to the center pin, until the ruffled part is the same length as that half of the skirt and pin it in place. Repeat on the other side. Now, I went ahead and stitched it in place so I didn't have to worry about things falling out of place while pinning and gathering the other ruffle.

Now you will pin and gather the second ruffle in the same manner, this time lining it up just under where the bottom of the first ruffle hits. Stitch it in place. You should have two tiers of super cute ruffles!

Now, you just need to add the elastic to the inside of the casing. Measure your princess' waist and cut your elastic. Pin a safety pin onto one end of your elastic and push it through your opening. Thread it all the way until it comes outside the other end, being careful to not pull your end through. Now, using a zig-zag stitch, sew your ends of elastic together, back and forth a few times so it stays in place. Now, stitch your opening shut and admire your work!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Power Smoothie

I am here to share an amazing recipe with you that I LOVE to have for breakfast! I call it a monster smoothie, power smoothie, or a Hulk smoothie when being served to my kids :) Ingredients are as follows:

1 Cup Water
1 mango, peeled and pitted
1 banana, peeled
 1 Cup Spinach leaves
1 Scoop vanilla whey protein
2 Tbsp Brewer's Yeast
Scoop of ice

I have a Blendtec Blender (pretty much exactly like Vitamixer) which I love so much, so it really annihilates everything! But a regular blender works just as well. I just plop in all the ingredients and serve it up. YUM! Even my baby loves it! A very healthy, filling and lightweight meal replacement or treat for the kiddos.

This recipe is so versatile, I don't always use a mango. Sometimes strawberries, carrots, grapes, kiwis...whatever! But it is so delicious and starts off my day with a good serving of spinach, which I love. And I love it even more because you really can't taste it, PROMISE! Carrots are a great addition if you have a Blendtec or Vitmixer, but I don't recommend using carrots if you have a regular blender. Just a tip!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Clip On Boys Ties

Well, here I am with Easter approaching and I have been SWAMPED with it being spring break and all; trying to keep the kiddos busy and happy! However, I have been determined to make my 3 munchkins their matching ensemble for Sunday! I cut out the ties almost 2 weeks ago and have just now finished them the last two days, how lame am I? 

I have two boys and a girl, but still like everyone to match. So, I made the boys matching ties of course, and am currently working on Little Miss' skirt. Here is a tutorial for sewing a clip-on boys tie. 

Materials Needed

1/4 yard fabric
piece of fusible interfacing
matching thread
alligator clip

First comes the cutting. I have an 8 month old baby and a 5 year old to sew the ties for, so for my baby (he was sleeping while I was sewing of course!) I measured the length of one of his button-down shirts and for my 5-year-old, I just measured from his neck to his hips for the length. Feel free to make them a little longer so they don't grow out of them so fast!

I found it was easier to start with a rectangle shape, so on a double thickness of fabric, cut whatever your length may be (mine was 15" for my 5-year-old and 12" for my baby) by roughly 5 inches, (again, my baby's I made slightly more narrow). Once you have your rectangle, start by cutting a point at the bottom; probably a good idea to fold it in half lengthwise before you cut to ensure you're making the point in the middle and both sides are at the same angle. Then, from where your angle hits at the sides, you will again cut at an angle up the length of the side of the rectangle (only going in half inch at the most) to create your tie "shape." Now you will also cut one sheet of this shape from your fusible interfacing. You will also need to cut another skinny rectangle for the knot at the top, roughly 4" by 6".

 Okay, now that you have your pieces, you are going to start by fusing your interfacing to one  piece of your tie shape on the WRONG side of the fabric. Now you will put both pieces right sides together and stitch around the edge, leaving the top open. Clip the point off close to your stitching as well as the side points so it will lay nicely. While you're at your sewing machine, fold your rectangle for the knot in half lengthwise, right sides together and stitch along the long edge. Turn both the tie piece and knot right side out and press. The seam on your knot piece should not be on an edge, but in the middle to create a "right" and "wrong" side.

After you press it flat, you will need to fold the sides of the tie piece in to meet in the middle and press again. 

Now you need that hand sewing needle and matching thread. I know, I know, I hate hand sewing. But trust me, this must be done! Starting at the bottom, tack the edges together in the middle every few inches going up the length of the tie. When you get to the top, you're then going to make an accordion fold so there's an indent on the front, top of the tie and stick your needle through all thicknesses, wrap around one time and make a knot. 

Now, you will take the knot piece,  wrap it around the top of the tie with right sides meeting together and pin it where it meets in the back and again at a fairly steep angle at the top (that way the knot will be wider at the top so it's realistic looking). Pull it off the tie and sew where you pinned; cut off excess fabric and turn right side out.

Now, you will slip the skinny opening back over the top of the tie and stitch it in place. Or, you could get lazy like me who, again, dislikes hand sewing, and hot glue it in carefully. I did that on my second tie and it actually felt more secure than my hand stitches on the other one.

Now, for the finishing touch, you will hot glue your alligator clip on the back top of your tie and VOILA! You have an amazing clip on tie for your little man made especially for him by mom :)

Stay tuned for my tutorial on the matching skirts to coordinate with the ties!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Daylight Savings With Kids

This new daylight savings is killing me! I'm pretty used to it now, except for the mornings. Man, I just cannot get my butt into gear as early as I used to. I guess the trick is just to make myself do it so my body fully adjusts. But, I'm still resisting! Ha ha

We did something fun this year on our last night of it getting dark early. We played flashlight hide and seek! It was SO fun and our kids had a blast! Oh, and we had lots of fun too. We invited my sister over with our nephew and teamed up in pairs with an adult in each group to be in charge of the flashlight. Then we ventured outside.

I had Carter and Baby Zachary on my team and we had lots of fun when someone would shine their flashlight in our direction yet still didn't see us! It definitely was cause for LOTS of giggles! The last hiding spot we had, we had flashlights shining in our direction multiple times but we still were too sneaky! Finally, fussing from an unhappy baby gave away our location ;)

It will have to be something we do camping during the summer or something because we had a great time! Definitely something to look forward to on the difficult "spring forward" transition!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ipod Arm Band

After I had my cute princess, I started running to lose weight, and I started running again after our last little munchkin was born. But to get me through those long miles I HAVE to listen to my music. And I don't know about you, but this is when I realized the serious lack of pockets on workout pants! I have nowhere to put my ipod except tucked in with the "twins" upstairs, and that becomes much too dark & sweaty for my poor ipod. So, I created an armband for myself out of some scrap fabric I had. I am not claiming to have invented this, I've seen them before. But if you have moderate sewing skills, this is how I made one!

I first laid out my ipod on a double layer of the fabric I wanted to use. I then cut with about 3/4" allowances on the sides and then measured 2X the length of the ipod plus approximately 1.5 inches. You will also need to cut an additional set of rectangles about 2.5 inches wide. For the length, measure the circumference of your biceps and subtract 2 inches. Now you are ready for sewing!

Start by putting your two larger rectangles, the pocket, right side together and sew all the way around the edge, leaving a one inch gap for turning. (I used 3/8" seam allowance). Then turn it right side out and press. Do the same with your band pieces.

Then do a top stitch 1/4" all the way around to give a nice uniform look and seal the openings.

Next, pin your arm band piece to the pocket piece starting about 1.5" from the top, centered in the middle. Sew a square with an X through it in the middle (not all the way to the edges of the pocket) to secure it to your "pocket" piece.

Now take your ipod and fold it in the "pocket" by folding your rectangle in half over it. Take two pins and mark on either side of where the headphones plug in at the bottom fold. Remove your ipod, open the fold and sew a button hole where you marked. Use a seam ripper to gently open the hole.

Next, you need a wide piece of ribbon, about two inches in length and secure it to the back, above where you just sewed the arm band. Now you will sew on your velcro. One piece to the end of your ribbon, the other to the "front" part of your pocket rectangle (the same side as the arm band, but the opposite end). This is also where I attached a bow, because I'm girly like that. But do as you wish!

Now you will actually create the pocket by folding your piece in half and sewing the sides closed. Be sure to leave your arm band free!

And for the finishing touch, take a 2" piece of elastic and attach it at either end of your arm band and VOILA! You are set for running in style with your music!

I hope that made sense! I love my arm band and if you decide to make one, I'm sure you'll love it too! Happy sewing!