Monday, August 31, 2009

This Weekend

Warning: This is not a real post. This is a precursor to the real post to let you know that though this past Saturday was Little Sister's first birthday, and I spent a month planning and sewing and cooking, and I have a lot of pictures. . .it will have to wait. There is no time.

SO!!! Check back soon for birthday party pictures! They're coming!! And I'm excited to share them with you.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

New Dress for Peyton. . .or Charlie. . .

I whipped up a new dress for Peyton the other night. . .however, it just as easily fits Charlie. I'm thinking about giving up on buying clothes specifically for each girl and just have a communal closet for them instead.
They're the same size!!!
This plan may not work in the winter with jeans though. Charlie is still a few inches taller.

Regardless, here's the dress!


So cute!!
Now I just need to make one for Charlie . . . er, Peyton. . .whatever!! This could get confusing!

What do you think of it?


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

An Attempt at the Salsa Recipe

I was contacted in various formats about the recipe for the salsa I posted pictures of. However, there isn't one! Eek!! My variety of "cooking" usually involves a lot of throwing stuff in, tasting it and throwing more stuff in until it "isn't missing anything."

That being said, I hate to disappoint, so I pulled out my trusty blender again tonight and made an effort to measure everything I put in instead of just dumping and tasting.

Also, be warned. This made about 6 cups of salsa and filled my blender to capacity, so you may need to modify or cut it in half.

I used:
10 small to medium tomatoes, seeded and drained
1 yellow onion
2 jalapenos, seeds removed
1 bunch of cilantro
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3 Tbsp Lime juice
2 tsp salt (start with 1 tsp & add as needed)
1 tsp cumin (optional, I love cumin)

Throw all of this in the blender and then use the Pulse feature on your blender and the Chop button.

From this point, taste (with a chip of course!) and if you're happy, stop. If not, just start dumping. Usually works for me!!

There's a good chance it will look pink for awhile. But that's normal and is caused by the air being pulled into the mixture while chopping.

To give the flavors a chance to blend properly and to allow your salsa to turn from pink to red and to deflate, I prefer to put it in the fridge over night in an air-tight container.

(and let me know how this works out for you!!)


I may never purchase salsa again

If you know me well, then you know of my love for salsa. I even served the stuff at my wedding. (Along with fajitas!)

But not just any salsa will do. Really fresh salsa with cilantro, onions and garlic.

So when I was faced with an ever growing mound of tomatoes from our garden and a daily meal of caprese just wasn't putting a dent it in, there was really only one thing to do: Make Salsa.



It is so wonderful!! I'm making more tonight. . .


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bigfoot lives at my house

Since little sister recently started walking and is very soon going back to daycare, I figured it was high time I buy her a pair of shoes. This summer she's been home most of the time and carried, so since I'm all about comfort, I just let her go bare foot everywhere.

I can't remember why, but somehow I got it into my head that she wore a size 4. So when I took her to the shoe store and they measured her foot, I gasped in shock. (really, I did!) She wears a size 6!!!! For perspective, he sister wears a 7. I even made them measure again. . .twice.


Little Miss P isn't exactly small. . .


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Skirt. . .finally done.

So you may remember that I claimed that I was sewing a skirt and showed off the fabric and such a few months ago.

Well, I did sew the actual skirt, but there's an apron overlay that tripped me up a bit. I didn't read closely enough and the pattern was to make a reversible apron. I needed more fabric!! But I couldn't decide. Then I found it. Ordered it and got it delivered a few weeks ago. You might have caught a glimpse here.

Well now it's done!!
And very cute. (if I'm allowed to say so myself—which I believe that I am!)




Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Whirlwind weekend

Did I tell you that this weekend was busy?
Because it was.
Didn't sleep much.
Covered in sawdust most of the time.

But things are looking really GREAT!!

Instead of exhausting you with words, I'll just start adding photos!


Nate started tearing apart and laying the floor before I had a chance/remembered to take a "before" photo of the girls' room. It wasn't anything especially awful—just normal, run-of-the-mill beige carpet with all it's little kid stains.


We worked so hard that my shoes literally fell apart.


Fine, they're old. But they did fall apart while I was working!

Are you exhausted yet? I am just looking at all of these!! Nate and I made a pretty good team laying the flooring. I measured and cut the boards while he nailed them in.

Out of all our projects that we swear we will never do again without hiring someone to do it for us, this one is not among them. The floor looks great and while it was a lot of work, it was sort of fun.
Now we just have to find time to finish them! (and hopefully before a certain someone's birthday party. . . )


Monday, August 17, 2009

Ants in my pants sort of day!

BIG BIG Morning.


Nate started his new job this morning.
Big sister started her new school this morning.
Little sister is hanging out with her Nana for the week.

Lots of new things and I just want to know how everyone is getting along!!

I'm sure all things are great, but still, I'm a little preoccupied.

This weekend wasn't so insignificant either.

Friday night we put crown up in the living room. (Damn those non-square walls!)

And Saturday and Sunday? I think I'm going to save that for the moment.
( I have pictures!! Lots of pictures. [we were busy])

Oh, and guess who started walking?

This little gal!!!

OK, walking is probably too much, but stepping she definitely is doing! She'll be running after her sister by her birthday!


Friday, August 14, 2009

Crown is up.

Glimpse of what we worked on last weekend and what we'll be doing more of this weekend.



The trouble with putting crown up in old houses is that nothing is square! Nate is getting pretty good with a caulk gun, so once we get the nail holes filled in and painted, we'll almost be done with the bathroom!! I just need to pick out a paint color for the walls. . .any suggestions?

I think I'm using this shower curtain from Dwell for Target.

Although, I've got to be honest, I'm not loving this image. . .Hmm. I'll have to go back home and look at it again.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Didn't I say something about a smocking tutorial???

My plans seem to always be more ambitious than I can deliver. And while my blog may be looking a little boring lately (sorry), the whirlwind that is my life at the moment is anything but!!!

However, I remember mentioning a tutorial on smocking and it's about time I deliver!!!

This is such a fun and easy thing to do with great results!!

For little girls, start with about a yard of fabric (or a little longer than your desired finished length), at least 45 inches wide. You will also need a spool of elastic thread and a small amount of fabric for straps and any embellishments.

On the top unfinished edge, measure and fold over 1/4th inch to the wrong side of the fabric.

Fold over again 1/4 inch so that the unfinished edge is inside. Iron well. (Don't sew anything yet.)

Open folded edge and measure down 1 inch and mark with disappearing ink pen all the way across. This will be your guide line for your smocking. (A quilting ruler in incredibly helpful in the step.)

Using your first line as a guide, measure down 1/2 inch and draw a line all the way across. Repeat for a total of 6 lines (8 for larger sizes).

Take your spool of elastic thread and wrap LOOSELY around bobbin. As in the picture below, setting it down should not cause it to unravel.

Load the bobbin with the elastic thread as you would normally, making sure that it catches in the same places normal thread would. This is important to get the right tension. Load your top thread as normal.

Using your lines as guides, Set your stitch length to 0 and make a few stitches to lock it, then set your stitch length to a normal setting and start sewing! Finish the line of stitches off the same way you started.

Your stitches should start to pucker a little as you sew. If the fabric is not, go back and check that you loaded the bobbin thread correctly.

Repeat until you have the lines sewn.

To get the elastic to fully contract, mist with water and then use a hot iron on the stitches. You will see them instantly shrink!!

Measure the circumference of your child's chest and subtract just a little bit. You want the dress to be fitted, but not uncomfortably tight! With right sides together, match the edges of the fabric and sew down the length of the dress (it's now a dress!!) making it the desired width. Cut off excess fabric to 1/4th inch and zig-zag stitch down the length of the cut edge to keep from fraying. Fold and iron to one side. On the right side of fabric, stitch down the length of the dress, keeping close to the seam.

Go back to the top edge that you folded over. Refold, pin and stitch to finish off top of dress.

Make your straps or if you'd prefer, use ribbon. To make straps, cut fabric into 1 inch strips, fold in half, wrong sides together and stitch 1/4th inch from unfinished edge. Using a turning tool, turn right-side out and cut to needed length.

Try the dress on your child and mark you want to attach the straps and sew in place (taking the dress off first, of course!).

Finish the bottom edge as you did the top edge, embellish first if you wish!

Not to mention CUTE!!

Happy sewing!!!


(and let me know if this was helpful or I missed something!)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

UGH! Followed by a big YIPEEE!!!

Have you ever had to look for childcare?
It is one of my least favorite things to do.

You want to find a place where you know the teachers are educated, attentive and will love your child almost as much as you love them.

But, those places are expensive and have a waiting list.

So we've come to terms with the initial shock of how expensive daycare is. But that doesn't take care of the difficulty of getting into the daycare of choice.

We had both our girls in a wonderful place that took about a year to get into (little sister wasn't even born when she joined the list) up until Nate got laid off in April. Now that Nate is starting his new job this coming Monday we quickly called them up to see if the girls might be able to slip on in, in some miraculous turn of events.

They were able to work big sister in, but as younger slots are in higher demand (due to smaller teacher/kid ratios) we were out of luck with little sister.

Thus the search began.

What makes it more difficult is that right now she's 11 months, but on the 29th she will turn 1. Infant classrooms ALWAYS have an incredibly long wait list. Toddler classrooms are easier. So almost every place we've encountered can't possibly get her in until Monday, the 31st, once she's turned 1. Leaving me with 2 weeks of very little options!

Then there are the centers themselves.
Most of them are really great. All very comparable.
Then there's the one that can get her in next week, costs a fraction of what the others cost (but one has to ask why), the teachers are obviously not college educated in young child development, and overall you just dread that you're going to have to leave your baby there because there are no other options.

Because remember, the good ones have waiting lists.
So you hope that the 1 or 3 people ahead of you (because if it's any longer than that it's no longer an option) are no longer interested.
But until you know for sure, you keep looking.

We got into the Cadillac of daycares!!!


Video monitors, 4 year degrees for all of their teachers, developmental classes, baby yoga, the whole 9-yards!!! Huge sigh of relief—except that they can't get her in until she's 1.

Not a huge deal. We can work it out. The last week my mom will be back in town, so she'll have her then. But next week. . .?? Still not sure. I've got a couple of possibilities in the works. . .


Monday, August 10, 2009


Crazy crazy weekend!!

Now that Nate's time at home is quickly drawing to a close (yeah!!) we are working in hyper-speed to finish all projects that we had wanted to get done during this period.

Our house is a little bit of a fixer-upper as I believe I've mentioned before. I don't tend to show too many photos of it because, well, we're right in the middle of it. I don't mind when people come over because you can see quite obviously that work is being done and so the unsightliness of it can be forgiven. But actually taking pictures. . .well, that embarrasses me.

Especially since there is not a single wall in our house that is square and not a patch of floor that is level. If you've ever done any sort of remodeling, then you know that often means quite a bit of jimmy-rigging. We tend to walk away from each phase of a project saying "Well, I guess that's as good as we can expect to get it!"
And then follow through with a caulk gun.

This weekend we tore down the crown molding in the living room (that we don't have enough of once we added a closet to the room) and put it up in the bathroom. It looks pretty good, but definitely needs that caulk gun before I show pictures!!!

I put on pretty coats of blue paint to big sister's dresser and am poised and ready to distress it as soon as a moment comes open.

My mom and I had some girl time at Anthropologie and I walked away with a great shirt and sweater!

Did some party planning, scoured craft and fabric stores for supplies and put my Mom to work when we got home—I was busy painting!!

We also took my Mom to my favorite sushi & thai place. She doesn't like sushi. But I figured she has just never had the RIGHT sushi.

She ate it.
She didn't hate it.
But she still doesn't like sushi.

Oh well, I got to eat it!! (and she did like the pad thai, so she didn't go hungry)

Overall, good weekend. I'm a bit tired from it, but we got a lot done and spent time with people we love. Isn't that what it's all about?


(pictures will come. I promise!)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Squeals of delight!!!!!!!

NATE GOT THE JOB!!!!!!!!!!!

True, I didn't tell you about it, but he had an interview on Monday and just called to tell me he got it! So freakin' excited!!! Reservations are being made at Ruth's Chris to celebrate!

Now, Holly Street. . .how quickly can we get the girls back into daycare. . . .????

On My To Do List

Finish painting big sister's dresser

Sand and paint little sister's dresser
Make curtains for the girls' room
Finish the apron overlay to the skirt I made months ago
Tailor the skirt I made months ago
Help tear up old wood flooring in bedroom
Help tear up carpet in girls' room
Make/Design little sister's bday invites
Plan little sister's bday party
Crop & order photos to fill the empty frames floating around my house
Design pallet headboard/bed (not sure how far I'm taking the idea yet)
Make pallet headboard/bed
Pick out paint for bathroom
Sand kitchen cabinets
Paint kitchen cabinets
Paint kitchen
Figure out window treatments for my bedroom
Make magnetic board thing for photos over sofa
Order photos
Edit & order photos from the last 2.5 years (minus lake house vacation!!!! I did that!!! HUGE FEAT on my part) and put into albums
Make Tinkerbell/Fairy Halloween costumes for the girls (inspiration came early this year!)
Reupholster & refinish the antique love seat we picked up on the side of the road 3 years ago & has been sitting in the basement since (I think I've finally picked out fabric)

How about you??


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Presents in the mail!!

Who got a lovely, fun package in the mail?


I DID!!!!

Thank you!!! Beyond speedy, as always (free shipping and received in 2 days rather than the 3–4 promised!!) and wrapped so pretty along with a personalized note. Love doing business with them!!


Now I need to time to sew. . .(always seems to be my problem!!)

Other news at my house that I've very excited about—we've ordered new flooring for both my bedroom and the girls'! We have so many things going on at our house it's an absolute whirlwind!!!

Thank you Mom for visiting so we can dump our kids on you and get some work done!
You don't mind, right?


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Progress on the dresser!!

This weekend I was able to work on the first of the 2 dressers!
They are going to be so stinkin' cute you won't be able to stand it!!

I forgot to take the official before photo, but here's what I can give you:


So I got everything sanded down and the first coat of paint on.


I was able to get 2 coats on all the main parts but for some reason, I'm not looking forward to painting these little baubles.


I believe I would be tempted to keep this white if I didn't know what was coming next. But this blue is much too amazing not to get excited about!!!!


It's going to be freakin' AWESOME!!!

If I hadn't just bought new dressers and painted my bedroom walls green, I might be tempted to just steal the dressers back for myself!!!


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Being a Mom

This will be a very obvious "duh," but being a mom is hard work. For the other mom's reading, I'm sure you know what I mean in a way that non-moms won't fully understand unless they become moms.


To top it all off, I find it hard not to compare my mom "skills" to other moms around me.

Mom A puts her baby only in cloth diapers. . . .we use disposables, does that make me less environmentally savvy and am I doing my child a disfavor?

Mom B stays home with her kids. . .I work, so does that mean I'm neglecting my kids somehow?

Mom C's kids are always so clean with cute, matching little outfits and bows. . .it doesn't matter what I do or how many times we bathe them, my kids tend to get DIRTY. Why aren't we more "put together"? and are my kids too rambunctious?

You know what I'm talking about?? or are all of you Mom A, B, & C and I'm alone on this one?? :)

Perhaps I wouldn't be so hard on myself if I wasn't so aware of the fact that I'm going to mess up.

At some point.

And I don't believe that any Mom knowingly does the thing that makes them mess up.
So I'm on the watch.
Trying to take cues from other moms.

Probably doesn't help my inner-struggle that I read a lot of blogs written by stay-at-home or work-from-home moms. They're way of doing things has become my ideal.

Funny story.
(OK, not really a story, but anyway. . .)

I found out not too long ago that my Grandpa, bless him, was concerned about what kind of mom I'd be when I was expecting my first child. Luckily, (for me and my child!!) he was very pleasantly surprised to see how well I did with her when we went home for a visit one year.

I'm not mad or hurt by his initial concerns. In fact, I understand where he's coming from.
I'm not a traditional mom. I'm sure in his way of thinking, a traditional mom is the only good way to be and anything else has it's cause for concern.

While we were on vacation at my Aunt & Uncle's lake house, before they left, my Aunt put her hands on my shoulders, looked me in the eye and told me that I was doing a good job.

Maybe it's silly, but I almost cried.

I think we all want to hear that.
That someone can look at our kids, see that they are well behaved, happy and secure and know that in spite of our shortcomings, we're doing something right.

So Bobbi, if you read this, which I'm sure at some point you will, Thanks. You're words of encouragement mean so much!

And everyone else, You're doing a good job, too.




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