Whatcha Wearing Blog Tour: Winter Accessories round up

I put together a round up of sewing patterns for winter accessories like hats and ear warmers, mittens, scarves and slippers. I’ve included both paid and free patterns so that you have plenty of options!

As you may or may not know I live in Montreal, Canada. It can get pretty cold and snowy here, and winter hats and mittens are a must. Well, if I’m honest I rarely wear a hat unless it’s below -10C out, but there are times when even I will wear one.

Please note: This post contains affiliate links. All affiliate links are marked with an asterisk (*). If you purchase something after clicking on one of the links I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting this blog!

If a pattern photo is missing it means I hadn’t heard back from the designer by the time this post was published.

This post is part of the Whatcha Wearing Blog tour being hosted by Tibeca of Sewing by Ti. More info on the tour at the bottom of this post!

Sewing Patterns for Winter Accessories

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10 Illustrated Chapter Books for Early Readers

Reading Challenge 2017: 10+ Illustrated Chapter Books for Children

Standard Disclosure: In order to support my blogging and maybe buy a tea every once in a while, I include affiliate links on my blog. Affiliate links are marked with an asterisk and I may receive a commission if you purchase from those links. Thank you for your support!

I love children’s books!

There are tons of fantastic picture books out there. Some of my favourites (and more importantly my daughters’ favourites) are The Love Monster*, The Best Ever Bookworm Book*, and Shh! We Have a Plan*. I love these just as much for the artwork as for the story.

But this year I want to read more chapter books to my daughters.

I’ve tried in the past but the ones with lots of words and no pictures don’t really hold my older girl’s interest for long (and not at all my youngest girl’s). So I’ll be reading the ones that are so heavily illustrated that they are almost like junior graphic novels. We’ve read the first two Princess in Black* books, and they both love them. They’re cute books, I really enjoy them too. The words and sentences can be a little challenging at times; but they’re colourful with illustrations on each page so it keeps their attention. And the princess doesn’t need saving by a prince.

Here are the 10 chapter books (with lots of illustrations) for junior readers that I will be reading with my girls this year:

  1. The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde*. This is #3 in the series so read the first two (The Princess in Black* and The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party*) if you haven’t yet.
    Olive & Beatrix: The Not-So Itty-Bitty Spiders*. I’m hoping Silly Bean likes this one. The story sounded cute and it’ll be a (nice) change to read about witches instead of princesses all the time.

  3. Owl Diaries: Eva’s Treetop Festival*. Looks cute and the illustrations are pretty. The diary format might be a little confusing to read at first.

  4. Lotus Lane #1: Kiki: My Stylish Life*. Another one with cute illustrations that is perfect for early readers also in a diary format. The only thing I’m not too fond of is much it seems to focus on fashion and makeup but my goal this year is to get them more interested in reading longer books.

  5. To balance out all the cutesy books I’ve already posted there is Dragon Masters: Rise of the Earth Dragon* that I’m looking forward to reading. I don’t want the girls to feel like they only need to read about about princesses and fashion (even if the princess has ninja skills!)

  6. Danny’s Doodles: The Jelly Bean Experiment* Has good reviews so I’m looking forward to reading it. (Again trying to get away from princesses and make up a little bit).

  7. I’ve had this Ivy+Bean* book in my shopping cart on Amazon for months now and am looking forward to finally reading it this year. If I could buy every book I wanted I would probably be running a library.

  8. Clementine* sounds a bit like Ramona, and I absolutely loved Ramona books when I was little. From reviews the book sounds funny and engaging for younger readers so even though they are most likely less illustrated than any of the others on this list I hope that it catches my daughter’s interest!

  9. Another one of Scholastic’s early reader Branches series: Missy’s Super Duper Royal Deluxe #1: Picture Day*. Missy’s fashion sense sounds just like my girls’ so I think they’ll enjoy this.

  10. And one more of the Branches series… Princess Pink and the Land of Fake-Believe: Moldylocks and the Three Beards*. It’s supposed to be a funny series, so I’m looking forward to this one as well.

10 Illustrated Chapter Books for Early Readers

 Any illustrated chapter books you would recommend that I try reading to my girls? Let me know in the comments below!

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Monthly Blog & Personal Goals : : January 2017

It’s a new month and a new year. Yay! Happy New Year everyone!

I will be posting this smaller blog and personal goals every month. I also have some larger goals for the entire year but I will share those at another time.

Blog and Personal Goals for January 2017

Blog Goals

  1. Update 5 old posts for SEO and Pinterest (and adding in affiliate links). I’m going to start with the posts that are the most viewed then move to any that might be relevant to any upcoming holidays.
  2. Create a landing page. I started one in the past but never finished it.
  3. Schedule old posts to share on social media using Buffer.
  4. Write 6-8 posts
  5. Post more frequently on IG (I’m working up to posting 3x week). I need to carve out some time to take and edit photos.
  6. Create one tutorial

Personal Goals

  1. Limit my FB surfing to 15-20 minutes per day. It is so easy to get sucked in for way longer than I planned.
  2. Plan meals for the week the Saturday before (or even the Friday before). Try to include more veggies, and at least one meatless supper per week.
  3. Exercise more. It’s hard to incorporate a workout right now, I’d prefer to work out first thing in the morning but I don’t really want to wake up at 5am. For this month, my goal will be 15 minutes of cardio per day and doing some light weights 3x a week for 15 minutes. I want to focus on my arms and belly, (and thighs while I’m at it). I also eventually want to do yoga once per week but I think I will work the yoga in next month.
  4. Stop drinking pop! I need to find an alternative. Water gets boring after a while and I drink those bottles of juice way quicker than a bottle of pop, so juice is not much better.
  5. Comment on three blogs per week. I read lots of blogs but I don’t leave comments too often. I’ll change that!
  6. Meet up with a friend. I work weekends and during the week and find it really hard to find time to get together with friends and get time with my kids as well.

That’s it for this month! I think I’m going to print these out and stick them on the fridge as a reminder to myself.

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Sunday Lately #105

Sunday Lately #105 : : It’s a New Year

Sunday Lately is a weekly linkup hosted by the Blogger Tribe which is led by Angelica, Meaghan, Nicole, and Katy.
Every week we share what’s happening in our lives using the prompts. Technically we’re supposed to share every week but most of the time I start my post but don’t get it finished until the next Sunday is up so nothing winds up being posted. Ha! I’m hoping to play along better this year. 😉
Sunday Lately #105
Up the mess that Christmas leaves behind. We did better this year. We had no choice considering our finances, haha. But even so, the girls weren’t overwhelmed with too many presents from the whole family so the picking up didn’t take too long. Lots of boxes to go in the recycling bin and of course for the first time ever the Recycling truck passed by before 7am (they normally only get to our street around 4pm!). We’ll borrowing our neighbours recycling bin until the next pickup in two weeks.
You all that I’m planning to cut back on blog tours and such this year. I like hosting tours but working full-time doesn’t leave much time for sewing and blogging and hosting. And hosting tours doesn’t pay so I have to work. 🙂 Also I’m going to be pickier on the tours I participate in. I like them when they’re more open and free and not restricted to a specific pattern or designer (because of the lack of time it’s easier on me when it’s less restrictive for some reason). I hope to get back to hosting a tour from time to time but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

Changing up the blog. Right now I’m not doing much sewing. I’m mostly working and spending 2.5 hours commuting to work daily on public transportation so I’m doing lots and lots of reading. I think I’ll be sharing a little more of the books I read and life type things and hopefully incorporate some sewing and kids crafts from time to time as well. But at the same time I kind of want to keep it mainly sewing and craft related. Hmm..


Up dough. Every time I make a batch of bread, I think to myself “Why don’t I do this more often? It’s so easy!” But then I don’t. I need to change that. Homemade bread is so good! (And even mixing and kneading by hand is easy and oddly relaxing).


“I’m the littlest Christmas tree! Ho ho ho! Hee hee hee!” My 6-year-old had her first Christmas concert at school and performed that song with her class. The song is stuck in my head after listening to her singing it for weeks on end! Silly Bean was fantastic btw. She is so shy at school the teacher is always saying how during oral presentations she turns bright red and talks so quietly no one can hear her and during class she sits quietly and never says a word. (Hmm sounds familiar) But here she was during the song singing along being on point with all the movements. Out of roughly 30 kids there were five others who were also dancing along the entire time, but she really was the star of her group! I was expecting her to be like some of the kids who were kind of shell-shocked being in front of the strangers

(And you know what? I still would have been proud of her in that situation too for standing up in front of all the people watching. There’s no way you’d get me to go up on stage and dance to a song in front of strangers). 

My happiest little Christmas tree
Do you blog? You’re welcome to join the Blogger Tribe! Click the link below and request to join the Facebook group 🙂
Sunday Lately with Blogger Tribe
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One Thimble Issue 13: Felt Kawaii Ornaments

So I absolutely positively LOVE working with felt. I also LOVE ornaments and little cute things.

So when I saw the cute Kawaii ornaments in the newest issue of One Thimble magazine (affiliate link), I couldn’t resist.



Unfortunately, I’ve been working tons and I’m never home when the light is good so my photos are horrible. But they really are super cute.

There are 8 designs: popsicle, ice cream cone, cupcake, watermelon, rainbow, planet, star and sun. Originally I was going to make the 4 non-food ones but couldn’t resist the ice cream cone and watermelon so plans changed.


I changed things up a little bit. The instructions recommend using brads for the eyes and cutting out felt mouths, but as you can see I decided to embroider the mouth and eyes on. I didn’t have any brads and no time to get to the craft store and decided I would just embroider the whole face. It takes a little bit longer but not much. I traced the shape of the eyes and the bottom edge of the mouth onto Sulky Water Soluble Stabilizer (affiliate link) and placed it on the top shape where I wanted the face. Then followed manufacturer’s


I forgot to get a picture of the back of the ice cream cone, but I turned that one into a hair clip. It’s actually clipped to the Christmas tree for the picture. I cut two little slits in the back piece of the cone and slid an alligator clip in. See the how to do it in my tutorial for a kitty cat hairclip here. Edited to add: The pattern has instructions for making hairclips as well but using a different method than what I did. I sewed up the medium size shapes and the smaller size would probably suit hairclips better, but for the cone it’s not bad. I wish I was able to get a picture of it worn as well, but unfortunately as I said earlier it’s dark when I get home from work so pictures don’t look great.

There are also instructions on sewing the felt shapes as bookmarks, pencil toppers, hairclips, or brooches too. My girls want a bunch of Kawaii shapes for hanging in their room but first I want to try out the pencil toppers. I think they’d be cute little gifts. Can’t use them as stocking stuffers because my daughters would know I sewed them but maybe for party gifts.





11/10 Pattern Revolution, Beri Bee Designs, The Sew and Tell Project, SewSophieLynn
11/11 Create 3.5, GAAFMACHINE
11/12 Tales of a Tester, Little Cumquat, Call Ajaire
11/13 Happy Okapi, Sunflower Seams, Stitches by Laura
11/14 Made by Sara, Candice Ayala, Filles a Maman
11/15 House of Estrela, Snickerdoodle Stew, Swoodson Says
11/16 The Lady and the Gents, Lulu & Celeste, Pear Berry Lane
11/17 Finn’s Door, Blue Wren Handmade, Once Upon a Sewing Machine, Just Add Fabric

Twig + Tale Blog Tour

Wild Things coat pattern by Twig + Tale sewn by Lulu and Celeste


I have to say I was super excited to be taking part in this tour. For real! Not only is this a re-branding tour for the newly re-named Twig + Tale (formerly Big Little patterns), but we later found out that fabric would be provided for by the amazing Art Gallery fabrics! I ♥ Art Gallery Fabrics! Unfortunately I don’t buy it often enough but when I do get my hands on some I just want to spend the whole day petting it. Continue reading “Twig + Tale Blog Tour”