Tuesday, February 26, 2013

what Natalie made

I have shared some of Natalie's hand sewing projects here before, but months ago, my mom got her started on the sewing machine and there has been no stopping her! Well, there has been stopping her, actually, because she has rather grandiose ideas and if I don't redirect, she'll pull out my nice fabrics and start designing a ball gown or something equally extravagant ;)

But, as I was cleaning out my fabric stash (more on cleaning out to come), I came across a small bin of leftover squares from my nine-patch quilt and asked Natalie if she'd like to make a doll quilt. And so we did! She did all the sewing, I only helped some with pressing and rotary cutting the borders.

Ariel finds it quite snuggly, but I have a feeling this quilt will belong to another doll very soon because Natalie's birthday is this Saturday!! Which partly accounts for the blog silence, because I have been sewing up 18" doll clothes like mad, cutting out photo booth props and painting washer necklace samples with nail polish. Can't wait for the party!!

Cheers! :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Do not grow weary

I would say this homeschool week was just short of an utter failure. Our weekend was jammed packed from Thursday to Sunday and so I had zero time to plan school for this week. When that happens, barely the bare minimum gets done and what we do manage is haphazard at best.

This morning I was discouraged. I had a lot to do today. School goes really well when there's nothing else going on, but add in anything else--a holiday, a birthday, a weekend trip,  illness, ministry commitments, co op, errands, a house in desperate need of cleaning-- and it can sometimes feel pretty impossible.

After spending some time in Scripture this morning, I began cleaning the kitchen and came upon this and almost cried...

Natalie always draws on the papers in the bulletin on Sunday mornings and this was in the pile from last Sunday. So see?? I AM teaching her something! Clearly not spelling, ha! But what's important is getting through. Praise the Lord :)

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. 
Galations 1:9-10

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

dairy, gluten, Paleo-Schmaleo

Hi! I'll just dig right in :) I have embarked on a dairy-free and gluten-free lifestyle and although it's been about 6 weeks now, I've been debating about whether or not to share much about it here or not. BUT, I have hit on such great recipes and food ideas that I just can't resist any longer :)

For a basic explanation, I went dairy free in January in hopes of healing some chronic, life-long sinus issues that I just plain got tired of living with. Cutting dairy did not fix that particular issue, but to my surprise, solved several other issues that I really never even realized were issues--namely, every PMS symptom I had (and I have had several very irritating ones for about a year now) simply disappeared, along with any and all stomach pain, bloating and general discomfort that I just thought was part of life.

But, I still had the sinus problem. So, I moved on to gluten. This change was much more difficult for me! Gluten withdrawals are a real thing!! I felt pretty cruddy for about ten days and felt like I couldn't eat anything but eggs and salads. No dairy, no gluten, no sugar--it was hard to think out of the box! But started being more diligent about my daily vitamins and started playing with variety in foods that I could still eat and then began to feel much, much better. Three weeks in ... SINUS PAIN AND PRESSURE WERE COMPLETELY GONE!!!!! Plus, I wake up easier in the mornings, have zero headaches (I used to get headaches almost every day), my blood sugar stays stable throughout the day and I no longer must eat every two hours for fear of what might happen. I have more energy, less mood swings and just generally feel good.

So what I eat now is mostly meat, veggies, eggs, nuts/seeds and fruits. This is basically what is known these days as the "Paleo" lifestyle. As a disclaimer, I am a creationist and believe in a young earth and so cannot agree with the Paleo principles based on agriculture being a new practice. I believe it's as old as the Old Testament :) However, the "Frankenwheat" that we have been chemically changing over the last several decades into what we now ingest, is certainly not what God intended, which is why wheat makes so many people sick today.

ANYWAY, that was long, so if you're still reading, here are just a couple super yummy things I have cooked recently!

The sweet potato chips from Everyday Paleo were amaaaaaazing and we all loved them:
 Just the smell of that coconut oil in the pan makes the house smell irresistible! Seriously yummy.

We have also experimented with Brussel Sprouts. These chips were a great recipe! All the kids totally gobbled them up and ask for them every grocery day. (This photo is from Pinterest, it is not mine)

Another yummy Pinterest find were these mushrooms. I made them one evening to go with the coconut flaked fish sticks I had made and then ate the rest with my eggs on pastrami with spinach the next morning. Yummmmm. (Again, not my photo)

Today for lunch, I baked a salmon patty (from the frozen section) and had a bunless burger with avocado, lettuce, tomato, bean sprouts, fresh lemon juice and the Lemon Garlic Aoli (also from Everyday Paleo). 

I'll definitely be sharing more because if you're wanting to eat healthier or try solving some health issues with food, I am a believer in the Paleo way of eating! I am slowly transitioning my family to eating this way most of the time. I haven't made a big deal about it, and will never be crazy strict about it--everything in moderation ;) but I'm actually having an easier time getting them to eat these dishes than I ever did with the gloppier foods we used to eat! The kids are eating a lot more veggies without really even realizing it.

Everyday Paleo, the blog and the cookbook have been super helpful for me. There are a few more blogs and cookbooks and resources that I'll share in another post. Plus, these are just a couple of the amazing things we've been eating so I can't wait to share more! If you want to check out my Yum board on Pinterest, you'll notice the recent pins are all Paleo too.

Friday, February 8, 2013


This is my second attempt at a peplum top. I made the first one out of denim and while it looks cute on the hanger, I've yet to wear it. I think the denim just made the peplum stick out and it hit the widest part of my hips and just widened me in all the wrong places! But, when the Spring New Look line came out, I thought 6198 would work better than the previous pattern I had used (which had pleats on the peplum, only adding to the wideness).

Anyway, I wasn't sure I loved this at first, but I've already worn it several times--to our homeschool co op, to a baby shower and last night to an ARMY spouses' dinner. So, I guess it's a keeper! I just had to get used to the shape, I think.

My yellow cord skirt is still probably one of the most worn and versatile pieces I have ever made!! Love it. I actually did make this skirt again and since I'm behind and know I probably won't get around to posting everything individually, I'll just share some stragglers here while I'm at it :)
I like this skirt, but not quite as much as my yellow one. The top is another Renfrew! I really liked it. But, I didn't preshrink the fabric because I wasn't ever planning on putting it in the dryer. And then I put it in the dryer!!! Dumb. It shrunk up. I think I can maybe add a band to the bottom though, I can't remember if I had extra fabric or not.

And! I made another of these maxi skirts (don't think I made all this super recently, cause it's been over three months or so! I'm just behind in sharing!) Here's a kinda fuzzy Layla pic:

I think that's it! At least, that's all I have pictures of. I made another lace Renfrew that I keep wearing and keep forgetting to photograph. And I'm wearing another me-made outfit today!

I did take a clothing break and work on the remaining blocks for Jenn and my collaborative quilt project. And, I made some cute knit skirts for my girls for Valentines Day. Then I made a Kelby a super cute hat!! Can't wait to give those to them. Next up is some pillows for our family room couch and then doll clothes for Natalie's birthday!! Should I even show you how my 18" doll clothes pattern collection has grown?? It could get embarrassing... think I'll keep it to myself ;) Darn you, JoAnn and your 99 cent pattern sales!!

Monday, February 4, 2013


I am way behind on sharing some clothes I've made recently! This is the most recent, but it's my favorite thing I've made in awhile so I'm starting with it anyway. This is McCall's 6659, part of the new Spring line of patterns. I was drawn to the asymmetry right away. I used a rayon that I got in Reno when I visited Jenn last month, at her wonderful fabric store called Mill End. The prices for these super nice fabrics were unbelievable! This one was 3.99 a yard!! I like how the simpler print allows the pleats to show.
 I wore it to church yesterday with boots and a cardigan. The leather belt, by the way, and in case Casey's family is wondering where they've seen it before, was Casey's when he was a kid--his Dad made it! for him! I think it's adorable :)
Because elastic helps shape the waist, I think this is a comfy everyday option, which will be great for Summer rather than some of my more structured dresses.
If you'd like to see my notes on this pattern, my review is here. I definitely would like to try the one-shoulder version for a Summer date dress.

You can expect a few more finished garments on the blog this week! Happy February :)