Monday, March 31, 2008

One Can Never Have Too Many Hats

I made Natalie this hat. I'm in love with this fabric, but I only got just enough for the hat, so I just might have to get some more. Anyway, I've been surprised at the lack of summer hats for toddlers, while there are so many for smaller babies, and so I just made one. Hopefully I'll make some more for the shop soon. I have exciting shop news to share, but it will have to wait until some things are up and finalized. I've also started knitting a hat for the new baby, now that we know he's a little boy. I'll share a picture of that too when it's all done.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Baby News!

We are happy to announce, our new baby is a BOY!! Casey is especially thrilled :) Natalie came with us to the ultrasound, while Layla stayed with a friend and she was a little disappointed at having a baby brother instead of another baby sister. But, it didn't last long and she is now pretty excited, I think. We are off to some friends' for dinner, but I just had to share before we left!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Long, Long, Twirly Dress

Okay, I'll get to the dress in a minute, but can I first acknowledge how beautiful she is???? Those eyes! Just gorgeous. Anyway, I made Natalie this dress today and she really loves it. I got this fabric some time ago for $2 a yard and a Butterick pattern for $1.99. Can't beat that, eh? Anyway, it came together really fast, despite poorly written instructions. I cut it out last night and sewed it today between an emergency trip to Target because we ran out of diapers and a major bubble bath catastrophe. The wet hair and red eyes are both due to the latter :)

On a side note, I came across a brand new blog dedicated to kids art and craft ideas. It's called The Crafty Crow, if you'd like to take a look.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Weekend

We had a wonderful last few days. On Saturday, Casey was home all day (rare but always great) and so we colored some Easter eggs with Natalie. Layla missed the fun because she was napping. I planned it that way actually :) She LOVED the whole experience and Casey and I had fun too. He made an *I love Natalie* egg and I made him a Pepsi egg.

On Sunday we had a lovely breakfast at church and then a good Easter service. After that, we went straight to some friends' house for lunch and stayed there until we were all bursting at the seams. I apologize for the cruddy quality of the last few pics of Easter morning; I had the camera on a weird setting by accident. And also, I'm kicking myself for not taking pictures of the Easter basket fun. Natalie is still carrying hers around today after sleeping with it last night.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Incredible Non-Edible Egg

I whipped up some of these irresistible Easter eggs this week. I couldn't help myself after seeing the tutorial on The Purl Bee. There are instructions for knitted eggs too, which I love, but will have to wait for another year, not the week before Easter. I love all the Easter trees I've been seeing lately and I want to have one next year. Maybe if I make a few eggs a year, I'll have a nice little tree a few Easters down the road. Of course, I have plans to give half of these away, one as a little hostess gift along with some homemade jam (we got invited over for Easter supper after church) and one just because I know someone special will love it. I had one for another someone special, but Natalie was holding it in the car on the way to her house and completely lost it. I was dumbfounded, since it was zipped into a bag she was holding, the windows weren't down and we made no other stops! I'm still baffled, I just don't know what could have happened to it!!! Anyway, enough. Is it obvious how much I have loved these Heather Bailey fabrics the past several months? I ordered several quarter yards before Christmas and they have just lasted and lasted and been perfect for every little project, I just can't get enough!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Spring! and a Shop Update

What a wonderful first day of Spring!! It's in the air for sure, at least it is here in beautiful Colorado. I added these iPod cozies to my Etsy shop today, plus one more that's not in the picture. Take a look if you want!
We spent some time outside today, as you can see, and we plan to do more of the same after Layla wakes up from her nap. I know many people think Easter seems too early this year, but I find it lovely that it happens right at the same time as Spring's arrival. What better way to celebrate a world made new?!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Inspiration and a Must-Read

Last week, I entered an inspiration challenge hosted by Thriftin' and Craftin' and this is the scrapbook page a came up with. Every month, she'll post a new inspiration piece and those participating can create anything in any medium that was inspired by the piece. Fun, huh? You can see the super-cool mini-quilt that inspired this page here. In this page, I used her idea of the brightly colored raindrops on the brown linen background. Fun, fun.

ALSO, you can't miss this! My sister recommended to me the greatest book EVER for mommies and homemakers, called Passionate Housewives Desperate for God and it has literally changed my perspective forever. WELL, last night I was driving my cousin home after she baby-sat for us and on the radio were the authors! It was on a show called Family Life Today, but unfortunately, I arrived home shortly after they came on and it was too late for me finish listening. BUT, I got on to the Family Life website today and wouldn't ya know, it, I was able to subscribe to the podcast and so I'll get to listen to the whole thing today. Here it is, if any of you SAHM's are interested and you should be!!! :)

By the way, Becky's baby shower was yesterday and she LOVED the diaper bag. Several people told me I should have an online shop and I DO, but I'm finding it tough to sell anything from my Etsy shop because it's just so vast. Anyone else have this issue?

Saturday, March 15, 2008


I did not grow up eating potato soup, since my Mom did not like it, so I never tried it until I was an adult and now I really love it. I made a big crock-pot full yesterday and we ate it for dinner, so I thought I'd share a little non-recipe :) This is how we make potato soup around here:

Chop up a bunch of potatoes and toss them into the crock pot. (That's what Natalie's doing in the second pic.) We have a big pot and we've filled it all the way up to feed about 10 people, but last night I filled it about half full with taters to feed us and a guest. Then, chop up a bunch of carrots and celery and throw them in there too. Fill the pot with water until it just covers the ingredients, but pay attention to how many cups you're using, since next you need to put in as many beef bullion cubes as cups of water you used. Next, put 3 or 4 Tbls. of butter and some salt and pepper in to top it all off and let 'er cook for several hours. You can use your judgment on the high or low thing. Yesterday I had it on low from about 10 am until 1pm, then on high until dinner time. But, WAIT, you're not done yet! After several hours, the potatoes will be nice and soft. When that happens, drain as much water as you can from the pot and fill instead with evaporated milk until the ingredients are just covered. Let that cook until nice and hot, stirring every now and then so the potatoes get nice and mushy. Serve with chives, cheese and even bacon bits if you have them and enjoy!

P.S. Throughout my first trimester, I would get so irritated to click on certain blogs I read and find pictures of food that always looked so gross to me during that time. So, if any of my readers here are in that boat, I sincerely apologize! :)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

If I Must Say So Myself

Well, this is the diaper bag I made for my good friend Becky, who is due with her second little boy in about a month. She wanted some specific things, like a zipper, an adjustable strap, bottle pockets, etc. and I was going to try and adapt one of my own designs to fit the bill. Then, I just happened upon a McCall's pattern, that just happened to be on sale that day at Hobby Lobby for $.99!!! She had bought the brown canvas, the polka-dot lining and the ribbons and I added the orange corduroy and the strap stuff (whatever it's called, I don't know.) My own purse had to make a small sacrifice for the metal piece on the adjustable strap, but I think it was worth it. Anyway, I have to say, I think this is probably the coolest thing I've made from a commercial pattern in a long time (although some of the embellishing ideas were my own.) I was afraid it would look really homemade, but I am happy to say it does not. It has fleece sandwiches in between the layers and to make this pattern even cooler, you can see in the last pic that it includes a changing pad that attaches to the front with Vel-cro and folds down to use. It also comes off completely. (I tried to use the leftover lining fabric for aphoto backdrop, but didn't quite have enough for that last picture. I try to take good pics, but alas, a girl can only do so much!) So, now that I've raved about this pattern, it is McCall's #4403, if anyone is interested. The baby shower is on Sunday, so I'll let ya know how she likes it.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Baby Blur and an Unconventional Recipe

I couldn't have a post without a picture, could I?? This is a picture of my little girl being a big girl. She's developing quite the little personality and I can tell, she already loves to accessorize, just like her big sis.

But, on to the real point of this post. I had a nasty cold a few weeks ago and I'm over it, except for this constant lingering cough that's driving me CRAZY. Over the counter cough syrups just don't work, I'm absolutely sick of cough drops and most of the herbal teas out there for coughs are not safe during pregnancy. So, I got online and found the following recipe for a homemade cough remedy:
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 Tbl honey
  • 1 Tbl apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbl water
I had all these ingredients on hand and took 3 teaspoons to start with and let me tell you, it worked! I'm still coughing a little, but not nearly as much. This does not taste good, I repeat, it does NOT taste good, but if your cough is annoying enough to you, you'll be willing to give it a try. You can find a little bit more info on this here.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Back to Sewing

I finally got a chance to start on this bag I promised my sister's lovely mother-in-law awhile back. I finished the front appliqué, but went to start construction this morning, only to find I am out of navy thread. Erg. I often wish I could think of a system to carry with me the colors of thread, zippers, rick-rack, etc. that I have on hand so I can buy it if I need it and avoid surprises when I'm ready to sew. I am, after all, a genius, so I'm sure if I spend some time on it, I can come up with something. Ideas, anyone?

I have random thoughts and links to share today. First, I have finally found a tea that I LOVE! This pregnancy, for some reason, I cannot stomach coffee (quite a travesty for a mommy of little ones who is dependent on the daily pick-me-up) and actually don't really like Dr. Pepper, which I used to be pretty addicted to. SO, I picked up Celestial Seasonings' Lemon Zinger and boy, is it good! Yay, a solution!

Next, Sew, Mama, Sew is at it again. Last month was quilting month on their blog and so they posted a unique quilt every day, block-a-long opportunities and more and this month they are back to posting great tutorials every day! I've already determined to try this one and this one. Give them a visit if you're in need of inspiration or project ideas.

As a former collector of tiolet paper rolls and empty Kleenex boxes, imagine my delight to find this post on Soule Mama's blog about a solution for her son's crazy collections. (This is just for fun, and especially for you, Mom.) Also by Amanda Soule, I'm anxious to get my hands on her new book. It looks wonderful and I can only find good things to read about it.

Have a good Thursday everyone! We'll be spending another day here at home, since Natalie seems to have come down with a cold. Those things sure are common! hehehe :)

Monday, March 3, 2008

Party On

I am ashamed of how few pictures I took of the party! It's a good thing several others were taking more pics, so I'll have some good ones to share soon. Here is a picture of the finished mermaid cake. I am THRILLED with how she turned out and SHOCKED at how little was left! She's pretty big and I expected to have about half left over, but all we had was a fraction of her head and a few cupcakes. The instructions for this cake (and lots of other fun things) can be found here. Also, as you can see, Natalie loved the mermaid skirt, she has worn it for the last three days straight, with the exception of church yesterday. And the last pic is of several of her favorite gifts. Her Cinderella doll sitting in the wooden doll high chair from my parents, drinking tea from her new princess tea set. Again, sorry I don't have better pics! Anyway, the party was a success, although a little crazy with so many people here. Natalie had a blast since her little cousins were able to come. Thankfully, it was 70 outside and we were able to get the patio all cleaned up, which made it a little easier to accommodate everyone. Then, yesterday, we had a nice blizzard. Gotta love Colorado!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Sneak Peak

Grandma and P-Pa took Natalie with them to the store and Layla is taking her morning nap (at least that's what I'm telling myself, although I can hear her playing in there) so I find myself alone on a Saturday morning. How convenient is it that Sewing with Nancy is on, something no one else in the family ever lets my watch if they're around :)

I am awash in a Mermaid Kingdom today, as I prepare for Natalie's party. Here is the head of the mermaid cake. I know my frosting technique could use some work, but the face looks pretty good, if I must say so myself. I had to re-bake the tail part this morning, since I didn't have a real cake pan and it wouldn't flip out of the pan I was using. Do you know, it is impossible to find cake mixes that aren't "super moist"? And it's getting harder to find frosting that isn't Whipped too. These things do not work well for cakes that need to flip out of the pan and get cut into mermaid-shaped pieces! I suppose if I continue making my kids' b-day cakes, I will have to make the cake and frosting all from scratch. *sigh*

Here also is a picture of the box of decorations and activities. Here are my free tips for frugal kids' parties.
  1. Use fabric you have on hand to decorate tables. I have toooooonnnnns of fabric, and I have found something to go with every party I've thrown so far.
  2. Buy solid colors of plates, napkins, etc. Use other things to get the theme across, (like the fabric or a centerpiece) because those fancy schmancy plates and things are way too expensive to buy so many of.
  3. Skip the favors and do a take-home craft instead. Party favors are just a bunch of junk and the cost really adds up. I promise, these little favors end up in the trash sooner than you can imagine! And, as far as crafts go, you'd be surprised what you can do with paper plates! Try this or this.
  4. Plan the party at a time when a meal is not necessary and just buy snacks. This will save so much money and you won't have to worry about how many people are coming and if you ordered enough pizza!
I think all together this party has cost me $40, but I am proud to say, I threw Natalie's first b-day party for only ten bucks. It can be done with some creativity!