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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sunflower Mini Quilt

My latest quilt is based on a photo that I found. There were no instructions or tutorial that I could find, so I just had to wing it. This is the photo I used for Inspiration Photo credit to Nannette.

My notes.
I drew a simple scale drawing to figure this out.  The nightstand that I wanted the quilt to fit was 16 and 3/4 inches by 11 and a half inches.  My drawing's scale was one half inch to an inch. I laid out the circle of the sunflower based on the photo and also what I thought looked good.  Then I drew the petals free hand.  I did measure the photos in the drawing to get an idea of how large they are. The photo was of course, not the right size.

Next I picked out green fabric for the background, brown for the center and yellow for the petals.  The brown had more white in it than I would prefer, but I think it turned out nicely.  I counted the number of strips of green and yellow petals in my drawing to know how many to cut.  And I cut out several extras so that I could play around with how things looked.
I laid out the green in a pattern that I liked, then sewed the strips together.  First by pairs, then I sewed all the pairs together. Next I laid out the flower, to get a lay out that I liked. 




Once the I had a lay out that I like, I pined it the green background. Then I appliqued it on. To sew curves or turns on the applique, I keep the needle down, raise the foot, turn it, then lower the foot.

Quilt top appliqued together. 

Once the top was done, I made a "quilt sandwich" (layer your quilt all together), pinned it and quilted it all together. This was the first time that I have quilted using anything other than straight line quilting. I used green thread because I wanted it to stand out against the yellow flower petals.  I followed the lines of the green fabric, until I got to the flower petals.  Then I followed the petals.  This was the fun part for me!

Finished Quilt!



I chose a pink, gray and green back ground fabric. I like to use the self binding method, mostly because it doesn't mean messing around with my nemesis, bias tape.


I used the quilt to cover the top of nightstand in my room.






Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Welcos 10 Pack 3 compartment Meal Prep Food Storage Containers with Lids

I received a sample to review this item.  This review reflects my opinion and my first impressions of it.

These meal containers are great for prepping your food ahead of time.  They have three compartments, and give you plenty of room for lunch or snacks.  This package contains ten containers, lids and utensils.  This means that there is plenty for a weeks worth of meals.  And you don't have to dig around for a fork in the morning.  Just add the included wrapped utensil and you are ready to go. 

I find that I reuse these containers over and over.  They are great for putting away leftovers at night.  They can be hand washed or washed in the dishwasher, which makes them easy to use and maintain.  They are also microwavable.  They also all fit together, which is great for storing them.  I think we have all bought mismatched containers, and then you have a cabinet full of parts.  With this set, you have ten containers and lids, so you are sure to have to matching ones clean. 



These are made from plastic and fit together well. I found I had plenty of room for a healthy lunch.  I know it is much easier to stop by a fast food place. I even stop to get fast food on the way home from the gym.  With this containers and a little bit of planning I can have a healthy meal that is much cheaper.

Women's Retro 50s Floral Monroe Bikini High Waisted Ruched Tankini Swimsuit

I received a sample to review.  This review reflects my personal opinion and first impressions of this product.

I, like a lot of women, assumed that I couldn't wear a bikini.  After all, I have had four kids, and I have my fair share of problem spots.  However, after seeing plenty of brave bloggers try it out, I decided to give it whirl myself.  And much to my surprise, a high waisted bikini looks much better than I thought.  The top draws the eye up.  The bottom comes up high enough to hide any figure flaws.  And the bottom hits lower on the hip, so it is not too revealing at all. Add in the fun, vintage look and this bathing suit is perfect. 

This bathing suit can be found here on Amazon

The bottom of this bathing suit features a black background with white polka dots.  It comes up very high, past the natural waist.  It has ruching on the side.  This is not only very flattering, it also means that if you push the top of the bottom down, so that it fits better, it does not look funny.  The gathered fabric just looks like part of the ruching.
Up close view

Top and bottom. 

The top features a tie halter neck.  It also has pleats on the front of the top.  There is a tie in the front, and a tie in the back.  This makes it easier to adjust it to just the right fit.  The straps are wide, so they won't dig it.  The top has a foam lining, which is very flattering.  This top is nicely sewn with even straight seams.  It is made from a nylon Spandex blend.  Like all bathing suits, it should be hand washed and laid flat to dry. 

I ordered this in a medium, which is what I normally wear.  It fits me well. It is sewn with flatlock seams, which are very durable.  The seams are straight and even with no hanging threads. It seems to be of decent quality, but I have only tried it on. 
Bathing suit bottom.  You can see it is much higher than most.

Back view.

A Flattering Bathing Suit

I was provided a sample in exchange for my review.  This represents my opinion and my first impressions. 

We all know how hard it can be to find a flattering bathing suit.  Trying suits on is much like kissing a frog in search of your prince.  You gotta kiss a lot of frogs!  Well, I have found a bathing suit that I actually like the way it looks. 

This suit can be found here on Amazon

This suit has an underwire bra with side supports.  It also fastens in the back and around the neck.  The halter neckline is very flattering and the back closure ensures the "girls" stay where they should. The front of the suit has side ruching, which is very flattering. It helps hide any lumps or bumps in your tummy area.  After four kids I don't look like I used to.  This suit looks amazing though. 

Front view of the suit.

Back view of the suit.

Ignore the fact that I am pasty white!
This suit is nicely made, with straight even stitching.  It is a nice, strong zig zag stitch that looks great.  It has a fully built in bra so that it is very supportive.  It has thick halter straps that won't dig in or bind.  It is made from a polyester/Spandex blend that looks great and should last for years and years to come. 

Maxi Dresses aren't all Mumus!

I was provided a sample in exchange for this review.  This review represents my opinion and my first impressions.

This dress can be found here on Amazon.

I must admit, I was a little late to the party when it came to Maxi dresses.  I was afraid that they would be unflattering and hard to move around in.  I have four young kids to chase around, and I have to be able to move freely.  I also want to be comfortable, but look cute.

I tried this Zoozie LA Maxi dress and was surprised by how flattering it is.  It is made from a soft jersey fabric that conforms to your curves without being too tight or clingy.  It is not large and shapeless like I fear it would be.  In fact, it is rather cute!

I love the crochet detailing on the back of this dress. It gives it that extra little bit of detailing that takes it from something ordinary to something special.  This dress can be worn all summer long with sandals or flip flops.  I love to wear dresses to the beach.  They are very easy to wear, because there is no matching.  They are also very cool, which is important when it gets really hot out.  This dress, like most, can be dressed up with heals and nice jewelry.  It is perfect for date night or a special night out.


I must admit that ordering clothes on line can be rather tricky.  It is hard to know what size to order.  I have also lost a little weight recently.  I wear a round a size 6.  I ordered this in a medium, and I think a small would have fit me better in the bust.  I think of all of your measurements, your bust is one of the most important in determining the fit of this dress.  This dress not only has some stretch, but it also flares out a bit at the hips.  This is rather flattering, but it does mean that your bust is probably what is going to decide what size you need.  (Unless of course, your hips are MUCH larger than the rest of you).

Overall, I would say this is a nicely made dress. It has straight seams and no hanging threads.  It is a great neutral black that should go with tons of outfits. I can't wait to wear it this summer.

Great Tasting Energy Bars

*I was provided a sample of this product for my honest review.  This represents my first impression of this item.

As a runner for over 20 years, I have tried my fair share of energy bars.  From the classic old school bars, that were like eating a hard, gooey brick, to the newer bars that are more candy than anything else.  Today I tried New Millennium Energy Bars. They can be found on Amazon.

These were dense and did not go down like an energy gel would.  They did require some chewing.  They tasted great and are very sweet. The texture is a little gritty, but they did not have that fake taste that some energy foods can have. They contain 8 grams of protein and 32 grams of sugar. 



These bars come in 6 different flavors.  They are all fruit flavors.  A lot of energy bars and protein bars come in flavors like chocolate, which is my personal favorite.  These bars were pretty tasty, even if they weren't chocolate.  I tried the Raspberry flavor.  This bar looks like it would be hard, because of the way that it is packaged.  It is packaged to last for five years, so that makes it look hard.  It is not hard at all though.  It is soft and a little bit crumbly.

I think these bars would be perfect for keeping in your car, boat or emergency kit.  An emergency kit is something that I have been meaning to put together for quite some time now.  Since we live in the country, it is important for us to be prepared for anything.  These bars have 400 calories, which is a lot, compared to other bars.  Most candy bars have around 250 calories.  Of course, these keep MUCH longer than a candy bar.  They are also more of a meal replacement and that is why they are more calories.  Some situations you actually WANT more calories.


I would say that these would be fine for me to take on a long run, though I would be careful about eating this much sugar while running. (It can cause bathroom issues) You also want to make sure that you have enough water to properly digest these bars. They would fit into a larger pocket or pack.  They would also work well for hiking.  I would say that these are more crumbly than I am used to.  They left behind plenty of crumbs, which is something to keep in mind.

These do contain wheat, coconut, and soybeans, so if you allergic to those items, I would avoid them.  All in all, I found these to be tasty and an easy snack, especially if you are burning off lots of calories.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Adorable new collection at Gymboree.

*Sponsored Post.  No sample was provided.  This represents my and only my opinion.  This post contains Affiliate Links.

Those of you that know me know that I LOVE Gymboree.  They are the best at creating adorable childhood clothing.  I really struggled to find cute clothes for boys when mine were little.  And now that I have a five year old daughter, I have a hard time finding cute, age appropriate clothes for her.  Gymboree is my go to, for both boys and girls, again and again. 

Although we are not expecting any more babies in the Opelescent household, I still wanted to share some of my favorites from their latest collection. 

First up, I absolutely love this polka dot bloomer.  It is cute under a dress for baby girls, but also looks great with a t-shirt or snap top.



Up next is the adorable matching mother's day body suit.  You really can't go wrong, buy it for yourself, your daughter or best friend.  It is a great way to celebrate your very first Mother's Day.





And lastly, no I did not leave the boys out.  I love this tiger jacket:

Which, of course, has adorable matching pants:







As I said, sometimes it can be hard to find cute clothes for baby boys. I absolutely love these teal baby boy pants, the color is not what you see for boys all the time.  The tiger theme is soft and cute and not too grown up for baby boys. 



You can find these adorable baby gifts, along with clothes for boys and girls up to size 12 Here (Affiliate link): Affiliate Link to Gymboree