Accessories Crafting

Keeping busy on a snow day

January 23, 2016
old fashioned modern living

It’s official, we are in the midst of Snowmageddon 2016. Suffolk County is in a state of emergency due to blizzard conditions and we’re waiting to see if we actually get that 18-24″ of snow that has been predicted.

I’m not a big fan of snow. It’s pretty while it’s falling and I like to see all the trees with that frosty coating, but the rest of it I can do without. I’m grateful that we had nothing to do today. My husband is home, and we can all just relax without having to worry about trying to get anywhere in this mess. Now of course, when I say “relax”, I don’t mean sit around and do nothing. I’m 99% sure that I am constitutionally incapable of doing that. So I’m coming up with things to do to keep busy.

First off, I had a mommy fail – I realized, with the snow already coming down, that Little Miss doesn’t have a scarf or gloves. Since I had to pull out the sewing machine anyway to hem some jeans, I decided to embark on a few little projects to remedy this. Project number one is…

The Easiest DIY Toddler Circle Scarf Ever

easy diy toddler circle scarf old fashioned modern livingOkay, maybe it’s not the easiest, because I suppose you could cut a strip of fabric and tie a knot in it to make it easier, but still, it’s pretty simple. You need some fabric, scissors, pins, a sewing machine, a little velcro and the most basic knowledge of sewing – this is all cutting rectangles and sewing lines.

For an 18 month old, I cut my scarf piece 26×8″. I used fleece scraps left over from the adult sized cape I made a few months ago. You can adjust the size based on your child’s size and your desired finished size. I had fleece so I used fleece, but any fabric will do. A flannel or even jersey will work just as well, depending on the look you want. Velcro makes it easy to get on and off, and will open easily if it gets caught on anything while being worn.

The steps:

  1. Cut your fabric to your desired size (again, I did 26×8″)
  2. Fold your fabric in half lengthwise, pin and sew the long edge, leaving the two short sides open. Unpin and turn.
  3. Fold each edge in on itself so the raw edges go inside the tube. Sew and unpin.
  4. Pin a piece of velcro to each side, then sew on with a simple rectangle, sewing along each edge. Remember the two pieces go on opposite sides of the fabric tube.


That’s it. You could topstitch around all the edges, but I chose not to because I want this full and fluffy rather than flat. Absolutely as simple as can be, this took maybe 10 minutes.

Quick and Dirty Mittens

quick and dirty toddler mittens old fashioned modern livingWhat about those little hands? I don’t expect that Little Miss will want to spend much time out in the snow (or that we’ll want her to), but I’d like to keep her relatively covered while she’s out. Enter the quick and dirty mittens. I used more of the same scrap fleece, traced around her hand to make a pattern and then cut out 4 of the same piece a little larger than my tracing to allow for seam allowances. I also added a little extra length so they will cover to her wrists and stay on. Next up, pin 2 pieces and 2 pieces, sew carefully with a small seam allowance and turn. That’s it. I didn’t bother finishing the bottom because fleece doesn’t fray, and since it has a little stretch, I didn’t even need to put elastic. I won’t use these forever, but for a quickie spare pair, they serve the purpose!

My pattern piece measures just about 6″ (including the extra I left by the wrist), almost 4″ from the thumb across the large hand part and about 2.5″ across the wrist, resulting in a finished mitten roughly 5.75″ long and 3.75″ across and just a tad over 2″ across the wrist opening. They fit and they stay on, and that’s about all I can ask for.

From Scratch Hot Cocoa

Also on the agenda today was some from-scratch hot cocoa. I like hot cocoa, but I tend to be less than happy with the ones I buy. I don’t drink much milk, so nearly a cup of milk, even with  premium cocoa mix in it is a lot. A lot of the packaged ones are too sweet for my liking, and anyway I’m not overly fond of all the “extras” – powdered milk doesn’t go far with my dairy-free husband, and preservatives and carrageenan can go away. The only extra mama wants in her cocoa is a shot of coconut rum – though maybe not during the day (no really, try it, it’s awesome). So I made up my own hot coca recipe from scratch, with all things I keep in the house anyway and I have to say, it came pretty nice.

It has the slight bitterness of real cocoa, a pleasant sweetness from the honey, and a slight thickness from the chocolate and milk. Best of all, it’s super basic and easy to customize. Add more cocoa, add more honey, leave out the spices – whatever floats your boat works.


  • Hot water (1 cup per serving)
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • dash cinnamon
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp mini semisweet chocolate chips
  • splash of milk or nondairy alternative
  1. While water is boiling, place cocoa powder, cinnamon and chocolate chips in a mug
  2. Pour boiling water into mug and then stir in honey, giving it a good mixing to get everything to melt and combine
  3. Add a splash of milk or your favorite nondairy alternative to thicken a little, and adjust to taste


That’s it. Experiment and make it your own. I like the real flavors, and knowing exactly what went into it. I don’t have to feel bad about drinking this cocoa!

That’s all here for now. We’re waiting for the snow to finish (though it may be awhile), and seeing what the rest of the day brings. How are you keeping busy today?

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