Saturday, December 3, 2016

Gingerbread Girl Purse {Tutorial}

Last year My super talented mother-in-law and her sweet mom (Grandma Sweetie)
made the girls the cutest gingerbread men beanies. Winter has hit Southern California
(think a chilly 60 degrees) and we recently pulled out the cute gingerbread hats for
carpool mornings and later afternoons at the park. Since Grace loves purses and
carrying all her necessities (think Shopkins and ponies) around with her, I decided to
make her a cute Gingerbread Girl Purse to match.

The Gingerbread Girl Purse is made of soft fleece, a bit of felt, rick rack, some ribbon
and cotton print fabric. The tote purse took about an hour to put together. However, if
you don't have sewing ADHD, because you're trying to binge watch  
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life or a spitfire toddler demanding your attention,
then you could finish it even faster.


  • 2 pieces of brown fleece cut to 9"x11"
  • 2 pieces red cotton fabric cut to 9"x11"
  • 2 pieces of 5/8" white ribbon cut 16" long
  • scraps of black and red felt for eyes, cheeks, bow {optional}
  • white ric-rac (about 12")
  • scissors
  • sewing machine
  • pins
  • basting adhesive {optional}


I cut my two pieces of brown fleece to 9"x11" and cut the pieces for my gingerbread
girl's face. Then, I laid them out  to see how I wanted to them to fit. I just eyeballed my
eyes and cheeks by free-hand cutting circles out of a scrap of felt. I used glitter felt for
the cheeks because I like the pop it added. Once I adjusted the size of the eyes and
cheeks, and figured out how much ric-rac I needed for the frosting stripe and the
mouth, I got to sewing!

First, I sewed the frosting stripe and the mouth onto the brown fleece with a zigzag stitch.
Just go slow and adjust as needed. I did pin the ric-rac down as best as I could, but it
definitely was a bit tricky. I didn't mind if it wasn't perfect, but I wanted it pretty close.
Also, make sure the ric-rac doesn't get too close to the top or bottom. This way it
doesn't get swallowed up in the seam allowance when you start putting the bag together.

Next, I put the cheeks on. Instead of using pins, I used some basting adhesive. Again, I
used a zigzag stitch to put the cheeks on. For the eyes, I sewed a couple of "X"s to make
them look like buttons. If you want to use large black buttons instead - you can. I didn't
for two reason: {1} I didn't have any that were big enough and {2} Since I am making
this for a little girl, I didn't want to create a choking hazard.

Once your face is all sewn on, then you can make a little felt bow if your gingerbread
purse is a girl like mine. I took another scrap of felt about 3"x4", folded it in half and
sewed the open edge. Then, I flipped it right side out and sewed up the open edges.
I took another little scrap and made a middle piece, scrunched up the bow in the middle
and hand sewed the middle piece to secure it and make a cute bow. It's a lot
like the bow I made for the Corn Heating Bag.

Now, we're ready to sew the bag! Put your two fleece 9"x11" pieces with right sides
together and sew together with 3/8" seam allowance on three sides, leaving the top open.
Repeat this process with the two red pieces of cotton fabric. Then, since I like the
square/boxy look on a purse, I pinch and flatten the corners and sew across about 3/8"
from the tip. If you need a better visual, I used the same technique for
my Harry Potter tote bag.

It's so adorable!!! Time to put the liner and the outside of the bag together.
I didn't put the bow on until the very end, it's just on there right now to see how it
will looked finished.

You'll need your two pieces of 16" ribbon as we are going to make them into handles
for the purse. This part is tricky and you'll end up with your  bag sewn together wrong
(believe me I've done it!) if you don't slow down and double check that you've got
it put together right.

Take the outside of your bag (your fleece gingerbread face piece) and turn it
WRONG SIDE OUT. Take your red lining piece and turn it RIGHT SIDE OUT and
slip it inside your fleece gingerbread face piece. Now, the RIGHT SIDES will be together
on the INSIDE of your bag and your WRONG SIDES will be visible on the inside and
outside of the bag. Pin the side seams and then tuck your ribbon handle pieces in
between the RIGHT SIDES together and pin about 1" from the side seams.

Then pin all the way around - being sure to leave a 3-4" opening for turning.
I mark my start and stop with blue pins so I don't accidentally sew the bag closed.
Sew from START to STOP point (being sure to leave the opening!) with a
3/8" seam allowance.

Time to flip it! Through the opening you left, pull your RIGHT SIDES out.
You're almost done. Tuck the lining back into the bag and sew the hole you left
for turning closed. You can sew all the way around and make a nice finished looking
topstitch, but I didn't do that for this bag.

Now is the perfect time to either sew or glue your felt bow on. You can use
grosgrain ribbon if you want something less bulky. I like how the felt looks with the
fleece and it's sparkly! Now I want to make some more little purses for all the little
girls that I know. Then they can all be twinners at park playdates.

We're very glad that the 90 degrees of October are gone and can finally wear our cute
winter clothes. Grace insisted that we add the yellow flower to her gingerbread man
hat to make it girl like her purse. I need to make a red bow so the purse and the hat
can be twinners too! Happy sewing!

This post was originally published at Skip to My Lou on November 13, 2016.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Family Adventure at Pirate's Dinner Adventure #PiratesBP

Disclosure: We attended Pirate's Dinner Adventure as guests for review purposes. All opinions are our own.

The Pirate's Dinner Adventure is a two-hour live performance that features special-
effects wizardry, aerial artistry, swashbuckling swordplay and duels! I was excited to get
to take the family to see the Rise of the Dragon Show. JT really got into the spirit of the
show and wore his pirate eye patch. When you arrive and check in you are assigned your
pirate and seats. Isabella was thrilled that we were team ORANGE PIRATE and Grace
was thrilled to get some bling to wear during the show.

Before the show there are appetizers and the pre-show. I recommend getting there
EARLY so you can grab your seat in the great room for the pre-show. Check-in starts
an hour and a half before the show on weekdays and two hours before the show on
weekends. We were there about an hour before the show and it was already packed.
However, we found a spot near the Pillage and Plunder Exchange Gift Show and that's
right where the servers come out with the trays of appetizers, so we got first pick!

After the pre-show you will follow your pirate into main show room where your seats
and the pirate ship awaits! There is time before the show to greet your pirate and
snap a few fun photos. We were big fans of the Orange Pirate and I had the honor of
hoisting the our orange flag, which was a fun treat! Your pirate will get you all pumped
up for the pirate games - be sure to cheer loud! And if you're lucky, you might even
get to be part of the show!

Then comes the food! We we started with our choice of soup or salad. The adult meal is 
served up with roasted quarter chicken leg and thigh. It is bottomless - upon request! 
So eat up! We were also served a shrimp and veggie skewer, mashed potatoes, and a 
delicious mixed vegetable medley. There are also Pepsi products (free refills), water,
and lemonade to drink. Vegetarian and gluten free options available.

The kids were thrilled with the children's meal. There were all the favorite - chicken
nuggets, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes and fruit. I wish there was a veggie, but
two out of my three probably wouldn't eat it, so I get why it's not included. They
were all thrilled to have bottomless Sierra Mist to drink.

We all enjoyed the Rise of the Sea Dragon show. I get nervous with a toddler because
you never know what you're going to get with her. However, the show is so fast paced
and exciting and the food is yummy, so she was a happy camper and enjoyed cheering
for our Orange Pirate. Of course Isabella needed to use the restroom at the climax of
the show when the dragon shows up. My husband said Grace was fine with the
dragon - he just had to hold her. I was worried there might be tears because it was 
scary, but she was fine. 

I especially loved the cirque portion of the show when the Golden Gypsy takes to 
the rings and does some amazing stunts with the help of her true love.

We all loved the dessert! And it was fun to eat just as the excitement of the show was
coming to a climax. You might be surprised how the show ends, but I won't give you
and spoilers so you can find out for yourself!

We had a blast at Pirate's Dinner Adventure and really enjoyed the Rise of the Dragon
show. During the month of October the show features the Vampirates and takes on a
spooky and sinister setting which is perfect for the season. This holiday season 
Pirates Take Christmas! is the theme and I think it would be fun to see the pirates
kidnap Santa - hopefully he is able to escape in time!

Pirate's Dinner Adventure in Buena Park is conveniently located off the 5 and 
91 freeways - just 10 minutes away from the Disneyland Resort and 15 minutes from 
John Wayne Airport. Complimentary on-site bus, car and handicapped parking.
The showtimes are different depending on the day of week, so be sure to check out
the Pirate's Dinner Adventure calendar for booking details. 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Ballet Etudes Presents The Nutcracker + {GIVEAWAY}

Ballet Etudes celebrates the 20th anniversary of its annual production of the beloved
holiday classic The Nutcracker. This enchanting, 90-minute child-friendly
production returns to Huntington Beach High School Auditorium for five performances
on December 3,4, 10, and 11th. To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Ballet Etudes will
be donating up to 100 tickets to every performance to local disadvantaged families
in the Huntington Beach City School District.

The Nutcracker is set to the timeless music of Tchaikovsky and tells the story of Clara
and the nutcracker gift she receives from her mysterious godfather. During the night
magical events unfold as Clara's nutcracker comes to life and battles the terrible Rat
King. When Clara's act of  bravery distracts the Rat King and saves the nutcracker,
he is transformed into a handsome Prince that takes Clara on a magical journey to the
Kingdom of Sweets. There she meets the Sugar Plum Fairy and is rewarded with a
celebrate of dances.

Isabella and I attended Ballet Etudes's The Nutcracker last year and we loved it! 
I've been to other performances of The Nutcracker and this one was my favorite. 
Isabella is a dancer and has been in ballet since she was two and a half years old and 
she was smitten with the beautiful costumes and story of Clara and her nutcracker. She 
especially loved the Sugar Plum Fairy and was so excited to get to take a picture with 
her after the performance. We can't wait to see it again this year!


Huntington Beach High School Auditorium
1905 Main Street
Huntington Beach, CA

Ticket prices range from $25-35 and can be purchased at
Group discounts are available for scouts, churches, seniors and home-school groups.

Educational pre-show presentations are held before the 2:00 P.M. performances, 30
minutes prior to curtain. After each performance, the cast comes out to the lobby and
poses for photos with audience members.

There are also sweet, treats, and nutcracker souvenirs available for purchase in the lobby.

The Sugar Plum Fairy Tea Party will be held on Saturday, December 10th, 
after the 2:00 P.M. performance and admission is included in your ticket price. 
See the image below for details.

I am so excited to be able to giveaway a family four pack of tickets to
Ballet Etudes's The Nutcracker for the
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10th 7:00 P.M. performance.
Enter below and good luck!

Ballet Etudes is a non-profit youth ballet company which provides dancers with
character development through a professional performance experience. Ballet Etudes
has outreach programs to enrich the local arts community and expose young dancers to
the beauty of ballet. They perform a full-length Nutcracker as well as two original
children's ballets each year.


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