Monday, January 27, 2014

checking in

As with much of the country, we got some snow here last week. I'm not gonna say I was thrilled about it, but I will say I'm super glad I kept the bin of snow gear, just in case! The kids played in it for most of two days and I was delighted to see them delighted.

 School was cancelled for the entire week, not that that matters for homeschoolers, other than that the neighborhood friends were more available than usual :) We were told that the southern states freak out about snow, but this was almost laughable. The entire post shut down, including the commissary and everyone was sent home ... hours before it ever started snowing. LOL! Coming from a place where school is not cancelled for anything less than white-out conditions and 18 inches, we thought it was funny.
 We ventured out to the mall on Thursday and my fave flavor of candle was on clearance for $5! Score. Then we came home and I lit it and cleaned the house. I couldn't handle the mess anymore, haha.

Aw :)

My kids have passed a cold around the past few days. I'm not saying I'm glad they're sick, but it sure has been quiet around here. The girls have both rallied and are playing and Kelby is doing better today after going back to bed and taking an 8 a.m. nap. It's such a nice day out today, I'm hoping everyone will feel up to a walk later!

Randomly placed, I know, but here is a song I've been enjoying a lot lately. I'm not usually a Hillsong lover, but we sang this in church and then I bought it on iTunes. It's been speaking to me. A prayer and praise in all seasons of life.

Also random, I am super envious of anyone who has a Wegman's grocery store. I was in one a few hours north of here and it was awesome. I took a phone pic of the produce section, it was just so pretty, ha! I almost wish I'd never seen it. You know that commercial about food deserts? That commercial used to get an inward eye roll from me. Then I moved here and I kinda get it. Excuse me while I go order some coconut aminos on Amazon.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Twig art heart

Well, I said we were going to make this yesterday and by golly, we did :)

I was feeling rough yesterday. A bit overwhelmed with another move coming up, maybe, I dunno. People were coming over to assess our household goods for the moving company. You know how it is when someone's coming over to visit every single room in your house? Lots of those moments with a military move.


We grabbed a bin and went out back to pick some twigs for our heart. Then we got busy painting them. I just pulled out all the craft paints we have. Many of them were low and since we cannot move with liquids, it was an awesome way to use them up! We mixed more colors and it was just really fun and relaxing all the way around.

I tell ya what, having art shirts and newspapers in my art hutch at all times makes projects like this so much more likely to happen!

 I used 24 gauge wire and just rigged it the best I could. Then I put a dob of hot glue on the back of each spot where I'd wrapped the wire around each twig, just to make sure it holds and doesn't get shifty. I love it! The kids are proud of it too :)

Monday, January 20, 2014


Summer is coming. Summer is coming. Summer is coming. 


Sheesh, what the heck is it about Winter that just gets to me? Every year!? I seriously try not to complain about the cold and purposefully do things that boost my spirits, but I always find myself just longing for warmer days, when we can get outside more during the week and take care of flowers and have water playdates with friends.

On Saturady I was going through some 2013 photos, flagging the ones I want to get printed. I was in May and June. I seriously cried over those photos, you guys! I just miss our house in Aurora, I miss our backyard, I miss our friends, I miss our life there. Not that I don't enjoy life here, now, (I do, in so many ways!) but, ya know. I need to snap out of it. After I cried, I got off my rear and exercised. It helped, as always.

We are stuck in the house a lot lately. There's not a lot to do around here as it is, much less when it's too cold to be outside. (I tell ya, humidity really adds a bite to cold weather!) So we've been in the house a lot. But, there are plenty of things in the house that make me smile :) So I did what I always do when I feel down and took some pics of the happy things.

 As you can see, our record collection continues to grow. It's still soooo much fun.

 This being only a six-month stay, we didn't both unpacking many decor items. These few are some of my favorites, though and they sure do make me smile. Our friend Cynthia made the twig art for us for Christmas! Isn't it great!?

Below is my bday card from my parents from Mongolia. I love it, it's so happy. They send the coolest cards! Oh, and my Jane Austen collection (with a few other chick lit classics).

 I'm still making fun bath bombs. I've been experimenting with different essential oil blends. The orange almond smells sooooo good and the Eucalyptus mint is great when you need to breath easier! The yellow ones are lemon lavender, my personal favorite. I make them in fun kid shapes for my kiddos, they think they're the coolest things. I use this recipe. Because they have coconut oil in them, they moisturize too, I don't even have to lotion up after a bath!

I saw this on Pinterest the other day. More twig art! The kids and I are going to make this. I think we'll get started today :) Source here.

Okay, what makes you happy in the winter?? How do you make it through with patience and contentment? I need help!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

More Project Life (knock-off)

I've been a busy bee! I organized all my scrapbook stuff and got busy last week. I really want to finish 2012 before we move from here at the very end of March and seeing as I've blown through almost three months of photos over the last week, I think it can be done. Ideally, I'd like to work only one year behind. I like to order the entire year's worth of photos in January. So I'm about to order all of 2013 and get started on scrapbooking them once we get settled at our next duty station.

Here's what I've done in the last week! (Taking pictures of pictures never gives you the best quality, but it'll do.

I love that I can insert a smaller photo page in wherever I want, like I did below! This system is so versatile and keeps the photos the main event. I love it. 
Here's the other side of that smaller page:

I've done half the year! Hooray for progress! Honestly, I considered just going with a Shutterfly photo book for 2013. But, I just have so much fun doing this. I really enjoy the process and the kids really love looking at it. Sometimes Natalie sits and makes pages for her book with me too, which is always sweet. I pass along the photos I don't use to her. I hope my girls and I have many years of scrapbooking together ahead of us! 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

catching up!

I am super behind in show and tell!! I have made several things over the past few months. I managed to photograph three of them today. The rest will probably have to remain unblogged--a couple of them I just don't love and another is too basic to be very interesting, ha!

I opened allll the little mini blinds in my house to get a bit of natural light in here. Having no fences and sharing a backyard with many other homes makes setting up the tripod outside just a little awkward. I know I shouldn't care. And sometimes I don't, but ya know...

Anyway, first up, I made this dress in recent weeks and absolutely love it.
 This is Butterick 5784. It has a cute tie/knot detail on the left shoulder, that you can sorta see in these pics. I am very proud of this one because conquering a style like this is a major accomplishment for me! In sheath dresses, I have always had too much fabric in the back, which I now know is because I require a swayback adjustment in eeeverything! I added a center back seam to this and made the right adjustments and it worked. It's so comfortable and pretty, I can see it being a go-to dress for Army functions when we move to Hawaii. The fabric is from JoAnn's when they had all the simply silkies on sale for %70 off! I fell in love with the color.
Next up, a dress I love equally as much!
 this is McCall's 6890, one of the brand new line. I've had this pretty piece of lace around for a long time. It used to be a much bigger piece, but I have made TWO failed things out of it!! It was a bummer because non-scratchy lace like this is hard to find! This dress is really simple to make and I think the fit is perfect for me. My hem in the front looks a little wonky, but I'm gonna say it's the high-lo trend and call it good ;) Since it's still winter, last week I wore this out with a jean jacket, black leggings and boots and a pretty purple scarf Casey gave me for Christmas. It look great belted too! Definitely a pattern I'll be making again.
Third, I whipped up this top a couple months ago, but just recently I liked it enough to actually wear and I've worn in a few times since.
I only had about a yard of this rayon fabric, which dictated my pattern choice. I used Simplicity 1693 because View C doesn't require much fabric. I really love this print so much! Next time, I'll add a bit of length so as not to require and undershirt. The neckline and arm holes are perfect, though.

That's all for now! I've been trying to get out of a dull color rut that I seem to be in. It's winter. I get the blahs every January until Spring and I think wearing lighter colors that look pretty on me instead of my go-to gray t-shirt goes a long way in boosting my mood. Once I realized how much I gravitate toward gray and how much it does not look great on me, I started forbidding myself to buy it :)

C'mon Summer!!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Layla turns 7.

My little girl is 7!! It actually feels like she's been 7 for awhile now, she just seemed like a pretty mature 6-year-old. If that makes sense. But, hooray, now she officially really is 7 :)

We celebrated in a low-key way, but made sure she felt very special all day long.

We bought her roller blades, which is just what she wanted. She's been wearing them in the house all day, every day because it's been so cold outside. I loved her reaction when she opened them.
We invited our friends across the street to go to Sweet Frog with us for some frozen yogurt (Layla's favorite thing ever!)
 (Silly Natalie)
 Then we had hot dogs for dinner (easiest birthday request ever) and I brought out the surprise treat I had somehow managed to make secretly and keep hidden, thanks to the new Lego Friends present that kept the kids busy.
 Instead of Rice Crispies, I made Fruity Pebble treats. They were so colorful! If I could draw Layla as a dessert, it would totally look something like this. She is sweet and fun and spunky and brilliant and she brightens our world.

And now for a little flashback:

Layla's first bday:






Happy 7th, Layla Jane!!!!

Friday, January 3, 2014

back to regular scheduled programming

I have really been enjoying the handful of blogs I read this week! Everyone seems to be back to their regular lives, after all the Christmas hubbub and sewing for themselves again. Including me!

I bought the Lady Skater dress pattern with my birthday money and finally got a chance to try it out. I had a sweater-ish knit in my stash. I had plans for a drapey cardigan or something, but finding out about our move to Hawaii had me rethinking sewing anything long sleeved or warm. So I used it for this dress instead. I'm liking it!
 Try to focus on the dress and not my hair, ha! It is super windy ... and I'm trying to grow my bangs out. Recipe for a bad hair day. But the dress! I lined it with a lightweight super-soft grey rayon knit I scored on clearance at JoAnn's because the light blue parts of this fabric are almost sheer. It feels SO soft and comfortable.
 I am pleased to have overcome a huge fitting hurtle by learning to do a swayback adjustment. I noticed that clothes on me tend to always have extra fabric in the center back. Things with a waistline seam always tend to pull back on my shoulders, raising the hem in the front, making me look almost maternity. And things with no waistline seam always floated so far away from my back arch, which looked so frumpy from the side. Then I stumbled on this post and my sewing world was rocked! I've done a swayback adjustment on the last three things I've made and they all fit great!! You can see in these pics, I'm having no extra fabric issues in the back and my waistline seam and hem are hanging straight. Yay!

I can't wait to make this up in a couple other fabrics, it's such an easy everyday dress to wear. I'll for sure be making some sleeveless versions too.

On to the Spring patterns! Both McCall's and Vogue put their early Spring lines up. I hit the 5 for $7 sale at JoAnn's yesterday and got all the McCall's I wanted, which was a lot this time! Here are my picks:

6886: A simple knit dress pattern. If I can get the fit right, I think this could be a useful basic for me.

Next, 6887:

6891: I have the perfect plaid fabric in my stash already, I like the sleeveless view:

I like what they did with this pattern on this drawing:
6890: I bought a rayon yesterday on clearance that I'm excited to make this into. I think I'll try view C with the lace inset first because I have the perfect not-too-granny lace to match my new rayon :) Lace can be a tricky thing to pull off! 

Next up, 6905: It's been forever since I've bought a purse pattern! I like this view, but not the quilty cotton look. I do like the stripes, though. I'm thinking a striped canvas with more sophisticated straps, maybe even leather!

Lastly, the irresistible 6904: Doll sports clothes! Check out the shin guards!!

Whew! That was a lot, I think I'll save my couple of Vogue picks for another day. Did you hit the JoAnn's sale this week? What did you get?