Thursday, December 26, 2013

A quilt for Baby.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and was able to spend time with their loved ones and share lots of love and laughter. I know I did and I am reminded how blessed I am to be surrounded by so many people who care about me.

As of Tuesday, I am 35 weeks along and have 35 days until my due date (33 now). That seems so close! Things at the house are coming together. Baby Girl's room is looking like an actual bedroom and our cats are slowly adjusting to all the new things coming into the house!

This is a post I've been itching to publish! And today I'm finally doing it.

I can't wait to show you one of my favorite things we have awaiting Baby's arrival. Her new quilt!

I had her quilt made by a friend of mine, Dannielle, who is just simply amazing. [Visit her website here] She's crafty, she's creative and she sews! I'd seen other quilts and fabric projects Dannielle has made for others and knew she was the one to ask for a job like this. You see, this isn't any ordinary baby quilt. The fabric for this quilt is very very special.

The pinks and grays and blues are all old t-shirts that my husband and I could part with. Baby will always have a bit of us with her when she has this blanket. The pink backing is from a cashmere blanket I've had since college that has been to every apartment I've rented, every house I've lived in and beyond. It was the perfect color and the perfect softness for this.

The extra special features in this quilt are the white fabric pieces. The white hexagons and the trimming around the edges? Oh, yea, those are parts of my wedding dress.

When I presenting Dannielle with the idea of possibly taking a pair of scissors to my dress and creating a quilt for the baby, I was afraid she would call me nuts and refuse. On the contrary, she loved the idea! And it made me feel less crazy for suggesting it.

The truth is, the wedding dress will mean so much more in/on a blanket than it ever will just hanging in my closet. It got its use 2 years ago and now I can let it live on in something much more special and lasting.

My husband was on board. Dannielle was on board. So, the plan was executed.

She started with all the fabric I gave her: old t-shirts, my cashmere blanket and most importantly, my wedding dress.

Then she cut all those swatches into the half-hexagon shapes and laid them out.

She sent me pictures along the way to make sure I still liked the color scheme. . .  & of course, I did!

Once she had it where we both were happy, she got to sewing!

All that was left was to add the trimming on the edges (the satin from the bottom of my wedding dress) and the backing (my old pink cashmere blanket).

And it was done!

I'm beyond happy with what Dannielle was able to create and I LOVE the hexagon pattern, as opposed to a standard square pattern.

I hope this quilt will be something Baby takes with her beyond childhood and can treasure as much as we are sure to treasure her.

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Scarves Organized.

There are a lot of ways to organize scarves that I've found online. I used to keep all mine in a basket on the bottom shelf of our closet.

That was until my cat decided it was her new bed and kept sleeping in said basket. Not wanting my scarves to smell like kitty fur, I had to find a new way.

I've seen them hung on hangers.

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And I've seen them tucked in shoe organizers.

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I've also seen them folded in a drawer.

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But what's been working great for me is hooking them on a rod in an unused section of our closet. I can see all of them and I even have them color coordinated. Watch out!

It's easy to pick the right color for any outfit quickly.

And when I'm done wearing one, I just tie it right back onto the rod and it's ready for next time.

How do you organize your scarves?

Happy Organizing!

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Mozzarella Fails.

“If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.” 

Contrary to the quote above, I chose to expose my failures today. I've failed not once, but twice at making baked mozzarella cheese snacks. I just can't get it right. 

Recently, I attempted the homemade mozzarella sticks. Looked easy enough and I had the right ingredients. Seemed fool-proof! 

I was so bummed that the cheese just oozed out all over. 

Then a few weeks later, I attempted what seemed like another fool-proof snack: Pizza balls. Literally there are three ingredients. Pizza dough, pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese sticks. I made sure that the dough was sealed tight but somehow it got out again!

So, I failed again! 

Do any of you have an actual fool-proof way of keeping the cheese from getting everywhere? I need help. . . 

[un] Happy Cheesin' it!

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Monday, December 9, 2013

2 year anniversary.

I'm only about 2 months overdue with this post. I'd like to blame it on pregnancy, but the truth is that's not fair. I've just put it off and then forgot about it. My husband and I celebrated our 2 year wedding anniversary on October 8.

You might remember my post last year about our anniversary photo done at the pond where our wedding reception took place. We took a photo in a similar pose to our wedding photo and it appears we're holding the year prior's image. See original post on how I Photoshopped it here.

Fall 2012
This year, of course, we did it again. I plan to do this every year to document how our family grows.

Fall 2013
It's hard to see myself pregnant and see the weight I've gained. My hair is much longer - thank you hormones! Hubby looks the same (he's even wearing the same fleece). But hopefully in next year's picture, we'll have a beautiful little 9 month old girl and I won't look like a moose. You can even tell it was hard for me to sit up straight. Belly gets in the way these days more than I anticipated!

I love this tradition we've started and look forward to seeing our progression as the years pass.

Happy Monday!

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christmas Card Display.

It's been 11 months since my husband and I moved into our new home. I was flipping through old blogs about when we moved and came across the one about settling in.

I thought it would be timely to show you again how I organized and displayed all the Christmas cards we received (while homeless at Christmas last year). Even though it was January when we moved in, once we got in I was anxious to put all the lovely cards up somewhere to appreciate since we spent the month of December setting them aside.

If you'd like to read the original post click here.

All I used were some basic ribbon and mini clothes pins (found at most craft stores or box stores) to secure the cards to the ribbon. You could use tape if you decide the pins aren't your thing, of course.

Click on the photo to view larger.
This year I'm using the neat card display stocking I usually use since I was able to bust out all the decorations again! It's crazy to think that it's been 2 years since I saw most of the Christmas stuff.

Is your house all decorated for Christmas already? When did you start (I mean, did you wait until after Thanksgiving like I did) or did you have stuff up at Halloween?

Happy Holidays!

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday 15: Junk Foods

Like most people, I like junk food. It's everybody's secret (or not so secret) guilty pleasure. And as I was getting prepared to write this post, I turned on the TV and what do you know is on the Food Network? Unwrapped. Gosh I love this show.

Some people think of junk food as anything with sugar. I think of junk food as anything with sugar or salt or preservatives that comes in a package that I usually regret eating too much of. I'm talking "Holy Halloween, Christmas, Easter and county fair that's a lot of junk food!"

So, without further adieu, a list of 15 of my favorite junk foods!

  1. Oreos. Oh, Oreos.
  2. Popcorn! 
  3. Milk Duds *just had some last night at a movie!
  4. Elephant ears *I must get one at the fair every summer.
  5. Honey Roasted Peanuts . . .  and almonds.
  6. Ice Cream! 
  7. Kit Kats. Give me a break.
  8. Tortilla Chips with white Mexican cheese.
  9. Pizza. My favorites? Papa John's, Pizza King and our local joints Old Time Pizza and California Desert.
  10. Dots. ("If all the raindrops were lemon drops and gum drops, oh what a rain that would be!")
  11. Corn Chips. Ever had a walking taco? Best corn chip concoction ever.
  12. Fudge! Chocolate, peanut butter, I love it all.
  13. Popcorn chicken or popcorn shrimp. Fried, battered goodness.
  14. Caramel apples. I was really craving these last month, but they're kind of good for me since they're made with a whole apple, right? 
  15. Ruffles potato chips with French onion dip.

There you have it, readers. My confession to what I crave and what makes my tummy hurt after I've had too much. I feel so exposed. Why do I do this to myself?

Happy snacking!

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sharpie Mug Craft.

Until my little bun in the oven is big enough to appreciate crafts I get to do fun stuff like this with my awesome niece. She generally enjoys coloring, using markers and making fun foods and sweets while at Aunt GiGi's house.

I've been seeing this craft all over Pinterest for a while now and knew it was something I wanted to try. With a wedding anniversary approaching, I figured that it was the perfect time for Miss A to help me with a project she could give to her mommy and daddy (my sister and brother-in-law).

Here's how we made some ordinary mugs special.

We used:
• 2 Corel mugs ($3 each at local discount store)
• Sharpie Markers
• Sticker letters (used for scrapbooking)
• My oven

**Important note**
Most online tutorials suggest using oil-based Sharpies or enamel-based paints made specifically for ceramics in order for these to be dishwasher safe. Ours were made with traditional Sharpie markers, therefore they are only to be hand washed (not dishwasher safe). Consider yourselves warned. 
We started by applying some sticker letters to the mugs. And by "we" I mean "Miss A." She did a great job doing this with guidance. I liked the effect it gave the mugs once the letters were removed and also I have about 4,254 letters to use and figured what better way to use them!

It also helped create a "cleaner" look so the mug wasn't just covered in scribbles (though, that is just as adorable when you're dealing with a 4 year old's artwork).

Then I just let Miss A go crazy coloring on top of the letters and signing her name. She was fun to watch do these. She was sure to make plenty of swirls, too.

By the way:
Yes, letting a 4 year old play with permanent Sharpie markers is risky and messy and a bit crazy, but you know what? I don't care. She loved it. We were busy making memories, yo.

Plus, I have a wicked awesome stain remover product that took that blue Sharpie marker right out of my suede seat cushion, so no worries. No worries at all!

It's important, if you're going to do this using stickers, to make sure that each letter is 1) securely stuck on the mug and 2) surrounded and covered with color of some kind.

This is to ensure that when the letters are removed you can see what letter is exposed.

Once Miss A, the artist, was satisfied with her product she had a huge smile on her face! I didn't mess with any of the artwork, but before putting them in the oven I did add "2013" under each handle for keepsake purposes. 

Next, we popped those babies into the oven to set the ink! Most online tutorials suggested putting these in at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, so that's what we did.

Miss A was very proud of them and had fun giving them to Mommy and Daddy! This was a fun craft to do with her.

I'm hoping to find time soon to do this again on my own. I've found a few ideas online for "adult" versions of these and I think they'd be great fun to do by myself! These are some of my favorite ideas that I've found.

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Has anyone else done this craft? Did you use normal Sharpie markers or did you buy the special oil-based markers? I'd be interested to know how yours turned out!

Happy Crafting!

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