Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I Dote over Totes

School has begun!  Not only are the kids carrying around their big backpacks, but moms seem to need to tote more stuff around too. 

Today's topic:  totes.  I know.  Real exciting, Tina.  But hey, I love bags, and totes are cheap and easy and carry a lot of stuff.
A friend of mine requested a tote to carry all of her Bible study stuff in...  The one that I made for her is pretty light-weight.  Could probably be shoved in your purse if you were heading to the library or grocery store as a "green" bag ;)

The same friend wanted bags for her boys.  At our church, when kids enter Kindergarten, they receive a new Bible and a mini-binder to keep their weekly devotionals in.  They bring these each week to church.  She asked for camo to make them more big-boyish for her Kindergarten and 2nd grader.  I searched high and low for camo fabric.  I found it online, but it cost more to ship than the fabric itself. 
I remembered a tutorial that I had seen on making bags with old camo pants.  I found a pair of my sons that had holes in the knees.  I cut them up and pieced them together to make the bag below.

Just had to purchase some heavy weight cloth for the strap.  SO cute.  I mean, boyish.
Check out the great usable pockets!

I just finished the bag below today.  I think that it's the cutest tote in the world.  Ok. Well maybe in my house.  It's made with upholstery fabric so it is SUPER heavy duty.  I kept telling my sewing machine what a stud he was for sewing through the crazy thick layers.  Brown houndstooth.  A-dor-a-ble.
I'm actually selling this one, so if you like it and want it, let me know.  Otherwise, it's going to our open house.
I have enough fabric to make a couple more.

Tons of fabric to use up for fall stuff.  Gonna be busy.

SO fall is my FAVORITE time of year.  One of the reasons for this is because I LOVE LOVE LOVE pumpkin recipes.  I'm planning on doing a pumpkin recipe posting at the end of the week.  If you have any that you adore, please send them along so that we can add them to the post (your name will be listed of course, and who knows?  Maybe we'll give one lucky person a key fob?)!  Email them to us at by this Friday.


  1. do you have the hca cookbook? my pumpkin spice squares are in it!

  2. Pumpkin Bars

    2 c sugar
    3/4 c vegetable oil
    4 eggs
    2 c flour
    2 tsp. baking soda
    pinch of salt
    2 tsp cinnamon
    2 cups canned pumpkin (I just use on 15 oz can)

    Mix sugar, oil, and eggs. Sift together flour soda and salt, add to egg mixture.
    Mix and add cinnamon and pumpkin. Spread in an ungreased jelly roll pan (15X10)

    Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes for jelly roll pan
    Bake at 350 for 13 minutes for mini cup cakes

    Cream Cheese Frosting
    3 c powdered sugar
    8 oz. cream cheese
    6 Tbs. of butter
    1 tsp vanilla
    pinch of salt

  3. OK, so these aren't pumpkin, but they are melt in your mouth heavenly rich...mmm,mmm,mmm! They must be, they are Paula Deen:)

    Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars with Streusel Topping
    Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
    2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
    1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
    2 large eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    Streusel topping, recipe follows
    1/2 cup caramel topping
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Press evenly into a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking pan lined with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
    In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 1/2 cup sugar in an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Then add eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla. Stir to combine. Pour over warm crust.
    In a small bowl, stir together chopped apples, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spoon evenly over cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle evenly with Streusel topping. Bake 30 minutes, or until filling is set. Drizzle with caramel topping.
    Streusel Topping:
    1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup quick cooking oats
    1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
    In a small bowl, combine all ingredients.
    Yield: approximately 3 cups


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