Thursday, January 22, 2015

23 Week Bump and Baby Update

Apparently I am not very good at documenting the baby bump, week 17 was the last time I officially took a photo. How awesome am I? But at the same time, I was completely aware that there isn't a huge change week to week and so I like putting a little gap in between.

I also like making excuses to make myself feel good about not getting things done.

You can't tell in the photo, but I took this in our dining room, which we just ripped all the wallpaper off of this past weekend. So I am keeping busy!

You can see the 17 week bump and compare.

So what is has changed since last time?
Well, I'm still in love with junk food and spicy food, all of which kill me. But she also enjoys a salad and kind of lets me eat deer meat. She was totally into duck and dumplings soup the other day, but cravings vary day to day.

I have oddly specific cravings too, like the other day I was craving brownies. But I didn't just want brownies, I wanted a whole pan, to myself and I wanted to slowly eat it with a fork while it was still warm.

To be safe, I just didn't have any brownies, at all.

She's moving like crazy! My son and my husband have their hands on my stomach anytime they see me placing my hands where I feel movement. I've especially fallen in love with her fondness for her Father, he'll fall asleep next to me with his hand on my stomach and I can feel her pressing against his hand. Not kicking, punching or moving, just resting there where her daddy is.

And I just got all misty eyed, the second trimester has been all about ill timed tears for me. This morning I noticed I couldn't see my feet when I looked down, so I started crying. The tears just started rolling, it's ridiculous.

I've named my second trimester, The Weepies, for this reason.

And baby's health?

According to our last ultrasound and Dr's appt, baby is doing great and so am I. We're both healthy and looking good. She is running small, Dr. Miller said she was only missing growth by 2-3 days, so this early it wasn't anything to be concerned about.

My son was 9lbs 5oz, so I could really go for a smaller baby. Maybe she'll be a petite gal and I will actually have a kid that won't outgrow me. I see my son towering over me by the time he's 10, he's tall like his father.

And baby's closet?

Ha.... One of my friends offered me an intervention because of my Baby Girl pin board with 300+ pins. I haven't bought a ton for her, though I've hit a few consignment stores in the city and online to catch summer clothes on the cheap. I've been able to get several GAP, Old Navy and other nice baby brands without spending much.

I'm trying to hold off buying anything else until after my baby shower.

As far as baby items, I have been blessed by my friends generosity with hand me downs. I don't complain about free stuff, even if it's blue, who cares? So we have a swing, bouncer, bumbo, boppy, rocky bassinet thing and a walker, hooray!

I made registries at Target, Walmart and Amazon to maybe fill the gaps, but we plan to make an Ikea trip in March to pick up furniture for her room. [The nearest Ikea is 3 hours away in Dallas, so it's a trip!] We have all tile floors, so she needs a rug and I'm demanding new rugs in other rooms too. I'll have a baby on the floors soon, no nasty old rugs!

And that is all I have at this moment. I have an appt on Friday, so I'll try to update on the bump next week.

- Amanda

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Sweet Little Maeve

With the busyness of the past month, I have not had a chance to get on here and properly announce who we will be welcoming in May. I had a grand idea that involved tons of sequins and maybe some balloons... but we just let Izzy announce via Instagram holding a darling onsie he picked to pose with.

He's becoming a big brother and he is so darn proud, I just let him take all the attention for it.

We found out on December 19th that we will be welcoming into our lives a little lady, which over joys me because I'm ready to even the playing field in this boy ran house.

I have loved the last 5 years with just our son, he has let me enjoy my super geeky side. We've indulged in Star Wars, Ninja Turtles and video games, obviously all things that a girl can do too, but there was no balance of princess fluff! And while I'm geeky, I am girly! So she'll probably be a total tomboy and daddy's girl, but I'll enjoy it while I can.

The other great news was we already knew her name, if she was in fact a girl. And if baby had been a boy, then my husband and I would have continued to disagree on names.

My boy name was Gabriel, which he didn't like, so I present Caellum and it was iffy.

His boy names were Phinehas, Hezekiah and Methuselah, as you can guess, I was against them all.

I have this thing I do, where I imagine trying to grow up and introduce myself with the name I choose and none of his were working.

On to our little girl, we chose the name Maeve Lorraine. My husband really wanted to use Lorraine, it's his Mom's middle name, his sister's middle name and actually a variation of my Grandma's name, Lorene.

At one point I started to like it a little less and came back to a name I saved in a my phone long before I was pregnant, which was Maeve.

Maeve is Celtic and, well, it actually has several meanings. I have latched onto "The Cause of Great Joy" but it can also mean, "Goddess of Song" or "Intoxicating." Obviously I have taken to the first because her surprise arrival into our life has only brought me joy!

I had a difficult time finding a middle name, I played with Lucille and then ended up coming back to Lorraine, which was a perfect fit for me.

Lorraine just means, "From Lorraine" which is a region in France. It's also where the The Maid of Orleans was born [in the village Domremy], or as most know her, Joan of Arc.

I do my research!

I have just started working on projects for her nursery, we had a spare room when we bought the house and I always called it the nursery. The photo above shows my first project, her name in sequins. I'm actually planning on keeping most of the decor fairly simple, so I had to put at least one thing glitzy in there!

I cannot tell you how much we all look forward to our sweet little Maeve to arrive in May, even if it means I won't make it to the theatre to see Jurassic World. Life of a parent, right? [I'm a life long Jurassic Park fan/Dinosaur lover, that's all.]

Onward to May!

- Amanda

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

That Day it Snowed in December

We had a very interesting snow day in December, they said we'd only see maybe 1 inch, 2 if we were lucky. But it ended up looking like a full on blizzard that day!

My husband was gone hunting and while my pregnant self would have rather stayed inside where it was warm, I have a 5 year old that has a very different opinion when it comes to snow. So I bundled up the best I could, because normal clothes are fitting me less and less all the time, and took the boy outside.

Of course, there was one condition, he had to let me take pictures before the snowballs started flying! 

You can see in the above photo how the flakes were coming down. If you live up North, it's probably not that big of a deal, but here in OK seeing those big fat flakes is a treat. We usually just get ice... hooray.

Below you can see the snow accumulating on him while he patiently took a few photos [the word patiently should be read sarcastically!].

I indulged him in his snowball fight and for the first time, I think I actually lost. I'll blame pregnancy but his aim is so much better and he kept catching them at the top of my coat and boots so the snow would get inside and slowly freeze me out.

Smart kid.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Polar Express in Bristow - Christmas 2014

I'm aware that this is Christmas related, but umm, I'm trying to catch up and I finally have time to catch up! Yay!

I've been knocking out little projects at home: Finishing baby quilts I started as gifts before I was pregnant, peeling off wallpaper in my dining room, doing various crafty things for baby's room and preparing for our new little one. And now that school has started back up for Mr. Handsome, I have time to sit at the table while he does his school work.

Every year we try to do something for Christmas as a family, we've been focusing less on getting "big" gifts and more on spending the money on events that give us time together. We miss out on a lot of time together during the holiday's simply because it all falls around rifle season for deer, so my husband spends the majority of his time freezing in a deer stand. And I'm not complaining, because if he gets a deer, that's food for our family as well as the fact that he only gets to do this once a year.

So we pick an event and set that day aside for our family.

This day was a little more special for us, we had the train in the evening but first thing that morning, we had a ultrasound appointment.

THE ultrasound appointment.

So not only did we get to treat the kiddo to a train ride, he got to find out if he was having a little brother or sister... but that's another post. [Just look on instagram]

We bought tickets for the Polar Express almost as soon as I found out about it online. Mr Handsome is a train fanatic and he loves the movie, The Polar Express.

The ride took place about an hour north of us in a quaint little town, Bristow, OK.

Bristow looked like the kind of small down that would grace a Hallmark movie, with the small antique shops, a welcoming coffee shop and Christmas decor everywhere. We showed up early and to the dismay of the little guy, spent some time shopping for antiques.

Around the train depot, they had many pop up shops selling Christmas items, kettle corn, candy and the likes. As well as many food trucks ready to serve you a warm meal or drink.

I loved Bristow, after our train ride we drove around to see lights on all the beautiful, old homes in the town. I grew up in a small town and I will always love the charm they have.

But as soon as the train pulled into the station, it was time to go, we couldn't convince him to wait even if we couldn't board for another hour.

But that's okay, it gave us time to sneak over and take pictures with the train. No one said we couldn't! My husband didn't know if we should and I figured someone would say something if we got too close. No one ever did! And he was super excited to get that close to the train.

When the time finally came to board, I gave him his golden ticket. I'm not usually prideful as a parent... but I kind of take pride in NOT giving my son his ticket before. He didn't need it until he was on the train and unfortunately we heard the shrieks of children crying because they dropped theirs. Mine may have been disappointed that I made him wait... but at least he had his. I'm just saying.

We rode coach [cheap seats] and the kiddo loved the experience. They played music from the movie and had a narrator read the story. I wouldn't complain because I knew it wouldn't be a hollywood grade experience to begin with and my son enjoyed every bit of it.

They gave out big sugar cookies and hot chocolate for the ride, which took about an hour round trip to the North Pole and back. I've seen a couple of complaints about not getting to get out at the North Pole [which was just a little wooden fake town where Santa was waiting] but personally I understand that it would have taken so much more time to unboard and board all the passengers again. Not to mention the risk of people getting left behind because not everyone pays attention!

When we reached the North Pole, Santa boarded the train, asked each child if they had been good and then gave them a silver bell just like in the movie. I couldn't help but laugh on the ride back as our car was full of the sound of ringing bells.

I have to give a special shout out to the crew that was running the cars. Our conductor, a young man that probably hadn't hit 20 yet, was kind and patient with each child. He punched their tickets, posed for photos and answered their questions. When my son told him that he really like his train, the young man replied, "Thank you, I take a lot of pride in my train!", way to stay in character. All of our servers were kind and patient, Santa was in and out but he had a lot of ground to cover and the elves took time to sit and talk with the children. I think my son quickly developed a crush on one female elf that answered a ton of his questions.

Will we go again next year? Probably not. We enjoyed the ride and the experience but my son has memories of another Christmas Train we rode and has repeatedly asked to return there. So we'll just be doing a different train.

To my knowledge the Eastern Flyer plans to bring the Polar Express back next year, as it was almost completely sold out most days. The majority of reviews has been positive, as was mine! Whether your child is a fan of the movie, a train fanatic or you just want to do something as a family, I think is a great way to spend a day or evening as a family for Christmas.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

17 Week Bump and Baby Update

Oh happy day, I've finally hit the second trimester and I'm finally getting some energy back, day by day. The appetite comes and goes, but at least I have one now!

About the baby, everything is going fine with him/her, growing well, labs are all good, at this time we have nothing to worry about. Except for maybe, who is in there!?

I had a doctor's appointment this past Monday and our Doctor offered to take a peek if we wanted to, of course I wanted to.

Our wonderful nurse looked around, but baby was a squiggler and the umbilical cord kept getting in the way, but she thought she saw something. Our Doctor took a look too, she faced the same issues with baby but thought she saw the same thing. But we won't know for sure until our official ultrasound appointment on the 19th, then the fun can begin!

What did they think they saw? Well... they both thought they were seeing girl parts, but due the umbilical cord they couldn't get a clear view and encouraged us not to jump on the pink wagon just yet.

I haven't bought anything but I'm totally riding the wagon, so says my secret pinterest board.

If you're a boy, I'm really sorry for all my poor planning! At least pinterest boards can be deleted, I'm not painting or decorating yet.

On another note, I have not taken the obligatory baby bump photos, mostly because my bump is still so small! I have hardly gained weight, so it's all baby up front right now and he/she just reached the growing stage, so I'll have more bump in a few weeks!

Until then, I present my speed bump:

Other pregnancy occurrences include my skin reverting back to teenager stage, looking uneven and acneish.

Also, chili cheese coney cravings like MAAAAADDDDDD.

As well as queso, anything chocolate, peppermint, coffee, orange juice and sherbert.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Halloween 2014 - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle: Raphael

I know, it's almost Thanksgiving... that's just how far I am running behind... on everything right now.

Forgive me.

Anywho, let's rewind a few weeks so I can talk about Halloween! Because I love doing Halloween with our son, we always have so much fun and I enjoy eating all his hard earned candy afterwards.

Last year, I reviewed all the costumes we've done so far, I was hoping to have time to do that a little bit this year, but the speed bump just doesn't allow me much time. So I'll just do a quick summary before jumping into this years costume.

- His first Halloween was in 2010, he was an adorable little dinosaur, I did not make his costume this year. I actually hadn't even considered making a costume at this point.

- In 2011 he was Batman, because, I'm his mother and I put things together so I get to pick Batman over Superman. My husband is a Superman fan and I'm a Batman fan and the poor kiddo is just stuck in the middle. I sorta made this one, I put him in black sweats and a Batman tee, then made the cape and mask. He was almost two, it was cheap and worked!

- In 2012, we had Doctor Who, Matt Smith's 11th Doctor. My favorite is Tennant, but he was only familiar with Smith and he got to wear a Fez [And a bowtie!]. He looked great as the Doctor, he even has a Matt Smithish look. I didn't really "make" this costume, I just bought bits and pieces to make the look.

- In 2013, he was my favorite so far, Link from the Legend of Zelda [Not to confused with Zelda, the princess]. I'm a long time nintendo geek, pretty sure I was "playing" nintendo before I could stand. I actually made this costume from scratch, aside from a couple of obvious things like his pants. I drew most of my inspiration from the Skyward Sword Link, while picking out parts I loved from other Links. My son loved this one and even asked if he could wear it again, sadly he outgrew it already, sniff.

And that brings us to the current year, 2014!

I actually had plans to make a Wolverine costume this year, classic Logan in yellow. I had it planned, I had been working on drafts when, well, the fatigue and nausea started up. I lost most of my desire to do anything, but of course, I was going to power through for my kid.

And then he threw a wrench into my plans.

I am a crafty mom, I love making things and really looked forward to making his costume. But the truth is, the costumes and all the fun we make out of Halloween, we do for him.

So when he came running in one day to ask if he could trick or treat as a Ninja Turtle, I immediately said yes.

Sure, I was a little disappointed but again, it's about him having fun!

I did spend a week searching for ways to make an awesome costume. But as I began sifting through and saving works from cosplayers [Yea, I can't just look at what a normal person would do, I had to search the professionals!], it just began to look like more work than I had the energy for.

And let's be honest, kids like the cheesy store bought costumes I loath.

So I swallowed my pride and just bought the costume. Done.

And then I probably took a nap.

I did have to do ONE thing to make myself feel better, ha, I bought green face paint and green hair paint so he would at least be all GREEN. If you pop back up to the top image, you can see his face is all green and I outlined his eyes in white.

I also had plans to at least take him downtown and take photos in the city, you know, where a Ninja Turtle lives and it just never happened. I was sick all the time, could hardly eat and hardly had energy.

So I took a few photos prior to starting trick or treating and guess what, life went on!

Despite not getting to make a costume or do my photoshoot, everything went on just fine. The kiddo had fun, he got candy and he was HAPPY.

Okay, I'm lying just a little.

He was not happy about taking photos directly before trick or treating, but I knew it was my only chance!

The good news for me?

He talked about wanting to do something more original next year. Like a Zombie or Vampire... I know that's not "original" but he wants to break away from being a specific character and I love the way he thinks.

Trust me, I'm plotting. You can't just be a zombie! Maybe you're Zombie Mozart or a Zombie Cowboy!? 

Here's his best "Ninja Pose"... it says, "Please hurry up and take your photo so I can go!"

Oh and I forgot to mention he was Raphael, if you're a turtle fan you knew that but just in case! He chose the Turtle, I thought he'd want to be Donnie or Mikey, but he chose Raph.

I even triple checked with him before hitting the order button.

Raphael is my favorite turtle, this kid is more like me everyday.

Must be scary for my Husband.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Life: It's a Baby!

I haven't been able to write, at all for over a month now. It all started with fatigue, so much fatigue, which I credited to other circumstances in my life at the time. And then a very important monthly appointment passed, a day or two late is no big deal, right?

But what if you've been on time for a good year straight!?

And then, as suddenly as an unwanted stomach bug, the nausea kicked in and regrettably the other half of that symptom came with it.

I didn't need a test to tell me, after all, this was not my first rodeo! Four days late and I was 99.9% sure I knew. I gave it 7 days and the test confirmed...

We're having a BABY.

I've been unable to write anything, despite the many drafts I have waiting. I can't stand to look at the cute clothes I was going to post as what I wear when... I can hardly wear them anymore.

And food. How can I write you a recipe about food when I look at the photo and just want to puke at the sight of food. Not to mention my taste buds are malfunctioning, I couldn't honestly tell you if the recipe was good.

Plus, all I can think about are babies and I wasn't ready to share!

But now, I've reached the point that I'm ready to share, everyone knows including facebook, instagram and twitter, so it's time it graced my blog so I can focus on telling you all how miserable I am.

I am happy and excited to be having a baby.

I am miserable because I can hardly eat and so much won't even stay in my stomach, my son was never this horrible to me when he was in utero.

When I was pregnant with my son, I would feel nauseous but I never lost my lunch. I just avoided the foods the triggered my nausea and ate what I liked beside that.

Whoever is in utero now? They hate EVERYTHING. One day I like carrots, the next I can't stand the sight of them. One moment I decide I want queso from Ted's and by time my husband drives there and back, the thought of it makes me sick.

Many people think this means I am probably having a girl, we shall see!

So here is where I am now:

- I am 12 weeks along
- I am negative 6 pounds off my already healthy weight, sad face
- Sick and tired, all the time
- I have zero favorite foods, it hurts to be a foodie
- I crave red meat! I was a vegetarian with my son, couldn't eat meat [except for chicken strips]
- While I am super tired all day, I struggle going to sleep and feel wide awake most nights. It's not much fun staying awake until 3 am and being woke up at 7 by my kiddo. Yaaaaawwwwnnnnnn.

And that pretty much summarizes my pregnancy so far.

I don't have any definite feelings on a boy or girl, I really want/need a little girl in my life but I am in love with the idea of brothers. I just love babies and children, I'll be happy either way! 

People say the terrible sickness is a sign it's probably a girl, but you just never know. Every pregnancy and baby is different, I don't think there is one tell all sign that fits everyone.

The Chinese baby predictor says it's probably a boy though, ha.

Only time will tell.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Photography: Eleanor Turns Four

I've been absent for a couple of weeks because the kiddo and I have been super sick, sad face. It's just allergies but this round has really kept the two of us down, taking naps on the couch and watching movies while we blow our noses.

What better time to share a photoshoot from back in June? I always hold on to these and post them when I'm too busy to come up with regular content or in this case, too sick.

In June, my friend's sweet little girl turned 4. I know mine is already 4, but I wish I could stop them all from growing up. I've been photographing this girl since just hours after she was born. It's a little sad seeing all these babies grow up.

Eleanor had a "Monster Party" this year, so for her pictures she wore a monster dress that her mom made, it was so adorable! Googlie eyes and lace for teeth, I was in love.

I really need a little girl of my own.

We took the photos in downtown Oklahoma City at the Myriad Garden's Children's Garden. I love the atmosphere there, fun things to do while surrounded by beautiful flowers and an actual vegetable garden. After photos we spent an extra hour just hanging out, letting the kids play.

Anyway, less me talking and more adorable kid, right?

[This is one of my favorites from here photos, I caught her childish, carefree flick of her hair as she looked at the flowers.]

[And this one, full of sweet attitude!]

Monday, September 15, 2014

DIY: Coloring Tote with Bow

Well, folks, this was intended to post on last Monday but I fell behind and thought I would just get it posted on Tuesday.

But, when I came back Tuesday morning, I learned that apparently my draft didn't save and it was GONE.

Yep, gone.

This is a lengthy tutorial to write up and I have to start from scratch!?

I tried to make it by Friday, but here is it the following Monday... afternoon.

Honestly, it wouldn't be a big deal if I hadn't been sick. Thanks seasonal allergies!

My mind has gone blank as far as what I wrote for an introduction last time, oops, so we'll just start over really quick and then hop into the tutorial.

Shall we?

We shall!

I created this bag for my friend's little girl on the occasion of her third birthday. I had asked ahead of time what she liked, but I didn't have any luck locating an item that I wanted to buy.

She wanted Lions and Dragons, fyi.

After her birthday, I happened upon a 2 foot tall dragon at toys-r-us that would have been in budget. I regret that this dragon and I hadn't crossed paths sooner. I would have tied a bow around his neck and brought him in like a new puppy.

He would have been amazing.

If you want to make a bag of your own, here is what you need:
  • 1/2 Yard Fabric for the outside of the bag
  • 1/2 Yard Fabric for lining and straps
  • 1/4 Yard Fabric for pockets and bow
  • Rotary Cutter, cutting mat and ruler
  • Coordinating Thread
If you don't have a rotary cutter and mat, I highly suggest you get one. You may not use them all the time but they're really great when you need to cut something precise and straight. You don't need to buy the most expensive cutter or mat on the market, I certainly haven't. But a project like this really demands straight cuts that only a using a rotary cutter, mat and ruler will get you.

[Rotary Cutter, Mat, Ruler, Fabrics: Gold Dot Stripe, Black Kona Solid, Gold Chevron {Not online, find in store at Hobby Lobby}]

To begin, you need to wash, dry and iron your fabric.  You can skip this step if you're in a rush or lazy [like me!], but I highly suggest you wash and dry the fabric. If you don't and you decide to wash and dry when the project is complete, the fabric can shrink up and ruin the structure.

Honestly, I had no plans of washing this when I finished, so I skipped.

But I still suggest you do it.

We're going to begin by cutting and evening out our edges. If you look above you can see the selvedge or factory finished edge on the right. Line you fabric up by that, it should be straight and helps you get a start. BUT if you notice, mine isn't lined by the edge, I'm working with stripes and had to take the extra time to make sure my stripes line up because they clearly were not printed on straight.

Stripes are a little harder to work with, keep this in mind when buying your fabric!

Once you get your edges lined up, go ahead and fold your fabric in half one more time. It doubles up the fabric but makes for less cutting. You want to be able to make the entire cut at once instead of cutting and then moving the fabric the finish cutting the rest of the way down, does that make sense?

Now, ignoring my chipping manicure, we're getting ready to cut. Take notice above on how I have my fabric lined up with the measurements on the mat and on top of that, I use the mat to help me line up my ruler. This helps me ensure I'm getting the straightest cut possible.

When you cut, you want to use one hand to hold the ruler firmly in place, if the ruler moves, your cut will go crooked.

You'll keep the blade of the rotary cutter against the ruler when you cut. Start at the bottom, apply pressure and push the cutter up until you reach the end of the fabric. You should be able to cut through it all in one pass if you're applying enough pressure.

If you're new to using the rotary cutter, I suggest using scrap fabric to practice your cuts first, just to get used to using it.

You can see here how I cut through mine. My cut isn't completely clean, my blade is getting dull, but it's good enough for today!

Now, I moved my fabric over just enough to even that far right edge out with my mat. Then I measured over 10 inches.

You'll repeat your cutting steps, line up the ruler and cut the fabric.

Tada, you now have a 10 inch wide strip!

Now, we want to even out the raw edge, this is the edge that was cut when you purchased the fabric, it's raw on both ends. But since your fabric is folded at this point, you have both raw edges on one side, waiting to be evened out.

Line your edges up with the mat, line your ruler up and cut off the raw edges.

Now you should have a nice clean rectangle!

At this time, you can undo the single fold and lay your fabric out flat.

Heads up here, you have two separate layers of fabric at this time, do not separate these! We want to cut them both together.

Measure from one end of your fabric, 14 inches, line up your ruler and cut.

Now you have prepped the outside of your bag, go ahead and set this aside and grab your lining.

You're going to repeat the entire process with your lining fabric, even out the edges, measure it and cut it 10 inches wide, even out the raw edges and unfold it, keeping the two layers together.

But for the final cut, you're going to cut it at 12 inches instead of 14. When you're done, you may set this aside.

Now, using the same fabric, we're going to cut the straps. Fold it in half and line it up on your cutting mat like above.

You're going to measure over 2 inches and cut. Then repeat.

Now you have two straps!

And if you pull them apart, you have four pieces. You can now set these aside.

Now we are going to grab the fabric for our bow and pockets. Fold and even the edges just like before.

This time you will be cutting three different sizes.

6x6 - For your pockets
6x3 - For the Bow
5x2 - Also for the Bow

If you folded your fabric up properly, each cut should have two pieces of fabric. Set aside the pocket but hold onto the bow, we're finally going to begin sewing!

Taking your 6x3 piece, sew it on three sides like above.

Clip the corners.

Turn it right side out.

And press it flat.

On the open side, fold the edges in and press.

Another view of it pressed in, just to help.

You have the option to slip stitch it closed or just top stitch it like I did.

If you top stitch it closed, then make sure you do that on the other side, just for looks.

Now, using your longest stitch, baste down the middle.

And then pull to gather your bow. Set aside.

Next sew your 5x2 piece, just once at the two sides, like above.

Take it back to the machine and sew two more times, about 3/4 to 1 inch from your first line.

Go back to your cutting mat and slice those puppies apart like I did above.

Turn them right side out and press.

Take just one of these and sew it into a loop, it should be about 2-2 1/2 inches in diameter so it can slide onto your strap later.

Clip off the extra material.

And turn it out.

Pick your bow back up and wrap the extra piece around your bow. Be sure the slip your ring on there as well. Look at my photo above to see how I've done it.

Then take it to your machine, make sure you pull it tight and sew it in closed.

Cut off the excess material and flip the raw edge inside.

Fluff that beautiful bow and set it aside.

Now, pick up your straps. Sew them together the bottom and up both sides leaving one end open.

Turn them right side out and press.

Press the raw edges in, just like you did with the bow.

Top stitch the edge closed. Then go ahead and top stitch each side of the strap, just like above, to give it a much more finished appearance.

Repeat on the other strap. You now have two finished straps, set them aside.

Take the fabric for the outside of your bag to your iron. For the first time, you can pull the two pieces apart.

Your going to press the top edge to the inside, fold it over 1/2 an inch and press.

Then fold it over again, 1 full inch and press.

Repeat on the other piece of fabric and set them both aside.

Now, grab both of your 6x6 pocket pieces and press them in half.

Like so.

Now, to prep your pockets, you want to finish the edges.

This is when I break out my serger because any excuse to use it is a good excuse.

But, if you don't have a serger, it's okay! I didn't have one until my Grandma gave me hers a few months ago. Just use the zigzag finish on your sewing machine. We just want to finish the edges so they don't fray.

Just sew it on two sides like above. Mine is serged, yours may be zigzagged.

Let's just take one more look at how beautiful serging is.

Now, you're going to press the finished edge in. I just pressed by the width of my stitch there, which is about 1/4 in.

Now you can fold it back in half and press it again just to make sure everything is nice and flat.

Now, with it folded in half, stitch the bottom edge closed. Again, mine is serged but you may zigzag.

Now, going back to regular sewing, we're going to top stitch across the top edge just to make it look finished. I went for about 1/4 in, but you may do it thicker if you so desire.

Now, it is time to put the pocket on! Take one pocket and one of your outside pieces.

You need to take a look at were you want the pockets to sit, if you're following my measurements, I measured 5 inches from the bottom of my bag to where I want the bottom of my pocket to sit.

I placed my pocket at the top of my ruler. My pocket is upside down, if you'll notice, make sure yours is too. It might sound weird but I promise it will work out later, keep reading and see!

Make sure it's centered and pin it in place. You can barely see my pins above.

Now sew across to secure the pocket in place. You can't see my stitch clearly because of the serging, but if you notice the thread hanging off the right side, that's were my stitch is.

Now fold it up, pin it in place to make sure everything stays flat.

Now stitch down the sides.

Now, look above and notice my pinning. I measured 1 inch apart, I suggest you do too, this is for your crayons. 

Sew down where each pin is to create your pockets. Tada!

Repeat with your other pocket. I chose to just leave mine as a normal pocket, but you may create more crayon slots.

Now it is time to attach the straps! I measured 1 1/2 inches down and used my ruler to make sure they were even before pinning them in place.

Notice! I unfolded the part we pressed down earlier. You need that part to stay free.

I sewed them into place with a boxed in X for extra reinforcement. This bag shouldn't be carrying a lot of weight, it's just for coloring books, but better safe.

One more thing to pay attention to. I left a small gap between my strap and the top of my bag. This is so when I put the lining in, I can sew around the top without sewing over the strap.

I suggest you leave a gap as well!

On the side with the crayon slots, I added my bow on.

It will slide right into place with the loop we created earlier.

It's optional, but I stitched it into place as well.

I want my bow to stay right here, were I put it.

Now, take your lining pieces and sew them together on the sides and bottom. I would suggest you serge or zigzag this part for extra reinforcement.

Mine is black, so I don't really have a wrong side or right sight. If you're using patterned fabric, you want the sew this with right sides together.

Here I see I took another photo of my serging... and it made it through the editing process and the uploading process... so I'll just share it with you before the next step.

Now, you're going to sew the outside of the bag together, right sides together as you can see in this photo. Also, take notice that the top is unfolded.

Once again, we unfold the top, we don't want to sew it down! I'm being repetitive, so hopefully you'll remember.

I also went ahead and serged the bag on the top. Occasionally I do try to do things right.

Now you can fold the top back down! You can press it again if you need to.

Grab your lining and turn it right side out.

Notice, the lining is right side out, but the outside of my bag is still inside out.

I hope all those "outs" are not confusing you. Just look at the picture!

Slide the bag into the lining. Slide the lining all the way under the flap we've been avoiding sewing down. It should fit all the way to the top.

Pin this in place, putting your pins on the current "inside" of the bag.

Flip the bag right side out now, putting the lining inside. Your pins should be on the outside now, like so.

Now just take it to the sewing machine and top stitch across the very top of the bag, going above the straps where we kept that gap!

Now there is a little flap of material left on the inside. You may slipstitch this in place or if you're super lazy like me, this Heat 'N Bond does the job. Or if you want to beat me in the lazy contest, don't secure that fabric at all because no one will see it and it's not hurting anything.

And that is it, you're done!

It's a really cute little bag, mine easily fit two coloring books we bought in it with room for more.

And of course, the crayons!

They fit really well into the slots I made. The back pocket would have held the standard 8 color crayon box, but I ended up grabbing a 24 count box, so I just slid it into the bag as well.

If you make your own, let me know! Find me on twitter or instagram and share it with me.

I am far from a professional here, I just showed you how I did it. If you see room for improvement when you make yours, by all means deviate from my instructions!

I sew for fun for a reason... to have fun!

- Amanda