quick, easy diy lunchbag

My lunch bag has been in dire need of replacement. There's only so long before the endless crumbs, oozes from leaky tupperware and overripe fruit can render a lunch bag useless. 

I've been meaning to make a replacement and I finally got around to it after hitting up my favorite Seattle fabric shop for some adorable fabric for the project. I came up with a pretty no-frills design, and guaranteed you can whip this sucker out pretty quickly. 

Note: I used laminated cotton, only because I preferred the print... but oil cloth works well, too. It will just be a little thicker. Also, I bought half a yard and maybe you could squeak by perhaps with a third of a yard, but I always err on the side of fabric caution.

Let's get started!

1) Fold the fabric in half and cut out one rectangle measuring 11 inches wide and 12 inches tall. Cut the top opening of the lunch bag on both sides with pinking shears. (This not only looks nice, but it keeps it from fraying. Oil cloth won't fray, but laminated cotton can.)

2) Place the rectangles right side to right side, as seen in the photo above, and stitch with a half-inch seam allowance down the right side, along the bottom and back up the left side, making sure to back-stitch when you start and stop sewing. 

3) To add extra depth to the bag, add box corners. Keeping the bag inside out, match the bottom seams to each other on the bottom corner seam, creating a triangle and measure one inch from the top of the triangle. Mark a line. You will stitch along this line.

Do this for both bottom corner seams.

Turn the bag inside out and you'll have nice matching box seams, as seen in the photo above.

4) Cut two 1/2 inch wide, 30 inch-long straps (you could do 1 or even 1 1/2 inch strap if desired.)
Fold the strap in half, and stitch along the open side.  Use binder clips or paper clips to keep the strap folded in place as pins don't work well on oil cloth! (This is a pretty no frills way to create straps -- if you want ones that look more "finished," follow this tutorial.)

5) Place the straps about two inches in from the seam, and about an inch and a half down. Stitch onto the bag.


I stitch a square with an "x" through the middle -- down one side, across the bottom, up the other side and across the top and then two diagonal lines through -- for added stability.

This is a really simple tutorial and you could do more with it, by adding a liner or pockets. But as is, it's a cheery option that will carry any lunch in style.

Now what to put in your cute new lunch bag? How about some printable lunch notes? My friend Tori from the Piccoli blog and shop, created an adorable download for you. Go check it out!


on being yourself + a free ebook

I probably win the most awkward kid award. You know you can picture it: Red hair, gangly with knobby knees and pointy elbows, with a tendency to stay up too late reading. You can imagine that when I hit junior high, I desperately no longer wanted to be like myself. And it's taken years for me to finally get back to a place where I am learning to accept and love who I am.

That does not mean that I don't need a little kick in the pants every so often -- to remind myself that hiding who I am helps no one. Maybe you need a little pep talk, too? First off-- be yourself, you were fearfully and wonderfully made and you are who you need to be. Second of all, there's a whole lot more of that in my friend Liz's e-book. She is a delightful writer and beautiful human being and she's offering her e-book "Get Naked: Why The World Needs You to be a Little More You" for free.

Confession: I read it. And I like it and I think you guys would like it, too. You can snag it on her website and also, in honor of her book being released (yay!) she has an awesome giveaway up on her site, with goodies like an Amazon giftcard, in case after you learn to be more like you, you want to celebrate. :)

So go on over, download the e-book, and say hi to Liz on Instagram. :)

Happy Thursday, friends!


real life is not hgtv

Recently I've been watching a lot of HGTV. My mom is an interior designer and she's always telling me about shows I should watch so I finally gave in.

The other reason I'm watching HGTV? The thought that it would give me some solace as the basement remodel stretches into its sixth month.

Yes. Six months. For a basement.

Part of it is that our house is old and all of the electrical and the plumbing needed to be replaced. Then there was a sewer issue. And a dryer vent issue. And another plumbing issue. And some financial stuff issues.

HGTV doesn't show these issues. In a half hour a room is transformed -- in an hour, a whole house. Little snippets. And I get why they don't show the discussions about where we should budget and the minatue of a sewer line replacement -- it's no fun to watch. Before and afters with light-hearted banter, now that's fun.

Yes, the obvious: real life is not HGTV. But now into month six, I realize that while yes -- it would be nice to have our space done -- some things just aren't instant, and that's just part of the richness of life. We just see small moments of life on TV, or even social media, but the back story is always more complicated... like a 6-month-plus renovation.

But I will have to say, we did some major work on our basement this weekend and even moved some furniture in. The 6 months will be capping soon.


friday links

happy friday friends. My week has flown by. I'm starting to plan for the holiday line for rouge + whimsy (I know, nuts right?) as well as doing all I can do soak up summer. Plus, I'm loving the possibility of finally finishing our basement this weekend and next week! (Six month remodel-- so not loving it. You can read about some of that here.)

currently reading: The Apple Orchard and the She Reads Truth Hebrews study

currently listening to: Hozier. Ohhhh I cannot get enough. I'm going to his concert in October.

currently watching: Fixer Upper and My Big Fat Renovation on HGTV. Home renovations on my mind... what can I say.

links to love: 

- Yellow Heart Art's new bridal line (and I love this behind-the-scenes look at her photo shoot!)

- Such a good post about small biz and sale numbers.

- oh I love what Lis posts and this one is no different.

- why learning something new can be tough

- in light of what is going on in ferguson, an interview with a pastor there.

- how a password changed someone's life ... this is incredible

- a good explanation of everything going on Iraq

- just discovered this: why the world needs makers to say no

what are you reading/listening to/eating/loving this week?

xo, erika


farmer market

The way to my (weekend-loving) heart? A day at the farmer's market and a bouquet of fresh flowers. Summer, I am not -- in any way -- ready to be over you.

crocheted tank: Nordstrom (similar)
dress: Anthropologie (similar)
shoes: BC shoes (similar)
sunglasses: Target


the importance of a staycation

Sometimes a vacation is not in the budget. Sometimes you can't take an entire week off... so sometimes the best vacation ends up just being a staycation.

A few weeks back the husband and I made a point to have a staycation day. Rather than default to our normal days -- me trying to get *all* the things done -- we put our phones away and took some quality time -- just us.

That day, laundry was forgotten. Dishes were left in the sink and we did nothing. We slept in, went for a leisurely run, watched TV (in the middle of the day!) and walked to the beach where I read and watched the sailboats while he dozed on the sunbaked sand.

To be honest, I have a hard time with nothing. I like to hustle. I feel guilty when I'm not checking off a to-do list but let me tell you, ignoring the phone, ignoring the have-tos and should-dos, was glorious. I think exactly what we are called to do sometimes.

All of us have things in our life we need to do-- we have responsibilities and checklists, but sometimes it's so important to throw those to the wayside, leave the phone on the nightstand and check out from the real world for awhile.


earn your stripes (a shop update)

I've been wanting to add stripes to the shop for awhile now, but it was a matter of finding the right stripe-- not too thick, not too thin. I usually have ideas in my head of what I want my fabric to be, and sometimes it takes me awhile to find exactly what I'm looking for.

The striped tote bag and crossbody had their first debut at the LA Renegade Craft Fair and sold out so I'm excited to share them with all of you on etsy. Use "launch" for 10% off your order -- today and Friday.

p.s. I have to be completely honest, every time I write stripes, I just hear the chorus of that awful "shots" song--  but as "stripes, stripes, stripe-stripe-stripe, stripes" instead.


things the husband says

my husband always, sometimes on purpose, makes me laugh

Me: You bought a lot a fish for just tacos!
Husband: I told the fish guy we had four people coming to dinner.
Me: It's just us tonight...
Husband: Yep.

(Husband goes to Pinterest.com.)
Me: You have Pinterest?
Husband: I don't know. (Tries to log in.) Nope.
Me: What were you going to pin?
Husband: I dunno. Can I pin sports stuff?

(Me pouring one salsa container into another, almost spilling it all.)
Husband: You've made a lot of decisions in your life. I don't know that this one was the best one. Here's a napkin for when you spill.

(Husband holds up three sports shirts.)
Husband: Which one is your favorite?
Me: They're all sports shirts.
Husband: They're all different.
Me: What about wearing a solid color t-shirt?
Husband: Then it would be just like wearing fabric. Like, look at my fabric with sleeves.

Husband: Something smells like skunk.
Me: I don't smell it.
(Husband pulls me in for a hug.)
Me: Wait. Are you hugging me just so you can smell me?
Husband: When is the last time you washed your hair?
Me: Yesterday!
Husband: OK, I don't think the skunk smell is you.

Husband: Do you know what I was doing for so long?
Me: Noooo...
Husband: I was researching.
Me: Researching what?
Husband: When was the first Mariners' game I went to. It was May 9, 1992. They played the Tigers. It was Bat Night. But they lost, 13 to nothing... which is pretty normal.

read a previous version here



Admittedly I can be a little behind the trends. Some times I see a trend and I wonder if it's "wait and see if it's it's a real" trend. Other times, I'm just behind.

Case in point. When I started seventh grade, everyone came to school wearing fleece vests -- specifically Old Navy performance fleece vests. (Anyone remember those?) I did not have one, but was able to get one for Christmas... but by that time, no one else was wearing them. And my vest went into the closet.

So a few weeks ago pineapples started popping up everywhere. Not to eat, but on shirts and on desktop backgrounds and table linens. 

I'm just now wearing the pineapple trend but I've decided it's no longer seventh grade, so even if we're into mangoes or peaches, I'm still going to rock the pineapple -- especially on this super cute tank. :)

pineapple tank: c/o stylelately
shorts: gap 
sandals: seychelles

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