Thursday, January 31, 2008

Tiered Skirt Tutorial

I made this little tiered dress for #2 using the tiered skirt tutorial posted by Kuky Ideas. The dress is completely reversible with the inside being the exact opposite of what you see here. #2 loves the full skirt. She is a big fan of sashaying and also lifting her skirt above her head. Not quite a lady yet :) It was fun because I got to learn how to use my button hole foot on my sewing machine. THAT WAS AWESOME! Also I used my machine to put the buttons on. I didn't even realize you could do that. It was so funny. I like the idea of a skirt though and if I get some time this weekend I'm going to make one out of some teal fabric I have. I think it would go supper cute with the white leggings I made. It is fun to sew when you have a daughter to sew for! Oh Kuky Ideas also has a making a shirred dress tutorial. I didn't even know you could do that but I looked at my sewing machine last night and found I have a stitch for that. I love the internet. It gives you access to all kinds of cool ideas. Thank you internet and thank you Kuky Ideas.

Carambola - Star Fruit

There are weeks when I just feel like we just eat the same old thing over and over. So this year I decided to make a goal to pick up something new and different each time I go to the grocery store. I figure this way I can get more acquainted with the unique and hopefully that will spice up my monthly menus a little bit. Last week I brought some carambola or star fruit home. The kids loved the star shape! You just slice it and poof stars. It has a bitter sweet flavor. Is that even possible? Truthfully it reminded me of eating a flower. I thought if flowers tasted like they smelled this is what they would taste like.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Laced Trimmed Capri Leggings

On Monday I took the kids to the mall to play on the overstuffed playground they have inside. On the way back out to the car we stopped at the Children's Place and I saw the most adorable accessory for spring...laced trimmed capri leggings. The only problem...these little babies cost ten dollars or two pairs for $18. No thank you! So yesterday I went to the dollar store bought a couple of pairs of tights. Then I went to Joann's and used my 40% off coupon to buy a yard and a half of stretch lace which normally runs about 1.99 a yard. So for a little more then three dollars I made #2 three pairs of lace trimmed capris. Seeing as she loves all things girl she loves these, especially since her little feet are free to climb and run all over. What follows is how I made them.
Put the tights on your daughter and decide where you want the material to end. Keep in mind the lace will go down at least an inch or so below the cut. On the white tights I made a mark in pencil. With the pink and black ones I marked with a small pin. Take the tights off and cut one foot off. Fold over and cut the other side to match.
Now you are going to have a lovely pair of footless tights. Take your stretch lace and measure how much lace you will need to go around the circumference of the tights plus a little extra for a seam.

Cut the lace and then use that piece to cut a matching piece for the other side. Fold the lace in half and sew the edge. I used a zig zag stitch but you can use whatever you prefer. It does need to be a permanent stitch though because this part will not be sewn again.

Flip the lace circles right side out so the seems are on the inside. Then pin the lace to the leggings. I have about 1/4 of an inch overlap between leggings and lace but that is up to you. Also you have to pick where you want the lace seam to go. I put the seam on the inside of the leg because I figured it would show the least there but you could also put it on the backside.

Stitch the leggings and lace together. I used a feather stitch and it worked AWESOME! First off it actually looks like a stitch that you expect to see on lace. Secondly this part was the hardest by far. I could only work on a part of the lace at a time and had to readjust constantly so as not to sew the legging holes together. The feather stitch could be picked up and started again easily and still look great. It is possible that it would be easier to sew the lace on while still in a strip onto the leggings and then sew the edges of the lace together. In fact as I'm sitting here thinking about I think that would probably be the case but I haven't tried it so I can't say for sure. Anyway now we have a pair of bright pink, black, and white tights and they are so cute. I still have some leftover lace so if I buy some more tights I'll try attaching the lace first to the leggings and then sewing a back seam on them to see if that is easier.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Reversible Jumper

This is the reversible jumper I made for #2 with left over fabric from baby blankets. It is nice because it is warm for winter and she loves to twirl in it and sway the long skirt. Such a girl! The other side is white. What was I thinking? I'll tell you what I was thinking. I was afraid I would mess it up seeing as I made the pattern on a piece of brown paper sac using a two small jumper for the main pattern and scraps for the fabric but I think it turned out pretty good especially when you consider this is the first piece of clothing I've ever sewn. I love my new craft :) Now I just want to make one with a tiered skirt and cotton material left over from the purses. I'll let you know how it goes.

My extra towels

My towel shelf is always a disaster. For some reason those pesky towels just don't want to lie flat when folded. Finally after having to deal with the mess one too many times I figured why not roll them like all those fancy spas do. Guess what...the towels actually fit nicer. Who knew.

Easy Cherry Pie

So we got this idea out of the February Friend under Kitchen Krafts. A couple of months ago they had a experience what your pioneer forefathers did traveling from England and try hard biscuits and lime water. We did not try that one. This idea though sounded good and number one had a great time helping me prepare it.

Easy Cherry Pie

1 graham-cracker piecrust (10 inches/25 cm)
1 pint (.5 L) vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt
4 ounces (113 g) cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 package whipped topping (8 ounces/227 g), thawed
1 can (21 ounces/595 g) cherry pie filling

  • 1. Fill the piecrust with ice cream or yogurt. Cover and freeze for 30 minutes.

  • 2.In a mixing bowl, mix cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Stir in whipped topping.

  • 3.Spread the cream cheese mixture over the ice cream. Cover and freeze for 4 hours.

  • 4.Before serving, spoon pie filling onto the pie. Cut into 8 slices and enjoy.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

My First Quilt

I'm so excited I finally get to post this. My baby sister is having a baby in March. Sometime a couple of months ago she called me and asked if I thought $40 was too high a price for a baby blanket that felt like a stuffed animal. I of course said yes and promised I would make her one. So for her baby shower which was today I put together my first quilt with minky(sp) chenille on one side and flannel lined satin on the other. I've never tried to make any kind of quilted blanket or to do a turn over edge so the whole thing was rather new. When I finished though I totally loved it. For anyone who wants to try I suggest using your JoAnn's coupons to get the minky at 40% off. Heck go a few days in a row so that you can use your coupon on each piece of fabric you need cut. Then for the turn over edge just make sure to use lots of pins :) And just so you know yes the minky was pretty expensive but since it was a labor of love this blanket cost nowhere near $40.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Next Project...

So I finally got around to sewing the reversible jumper for #2 out of scrap fabric I had left over from making baby blankets. I'll get a picture posted after Sunday. Considering I drew out my own pattern I think it went pretty good. My biggest problem...I used white fabric for one side and what is the point of doing a reversible jumper if one side is just plain and boring. I'm thinking about maybe taking the hem out and sewing a butterfly onto the white side but maybe I'll just leave it alone and move on to this next project I desperately want to try. This dress is made from a man's dress shirt. How cute is that! My only problem...finding a dress shirt suitably cute to begin. Dr J has some cute shirts but those are the ones I like seeing on him so I'm not willing to sacrifice them. I guess I need to go to Good Will but that will take some serious will power on my part. I know that isn't how I was raised but mom I HATE THRIFT STORES! It isn't the cheap used clothes I mind. I go to consignment stores and garage sales all the time but I just hate Thrift Stores. Anyway I realize it is a mental block I need to get over if I ever want to try this project...or mom could you just keep your eyes out for cute men's dress shirts. Here is the tutorial if anyone wants to try it. Let me know how it works for you.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

First Hair Cut?

With your first daughter when is it OK to do her first hair cut?


Mother tip: painting the toenails of a 13 month definitely easier then those of a six month old :)

Dinner Pancakes

We are breakfast cereal people. It isn't that we don't like pancakes, French Toast, or bacon and eggs, it is just cold cereal is easier. We do love other breakfast foods though so when I can't come up with a good dinner idea we always eat breakfast for dinner. I guess what takes too long for the morning doesn't for the night. Last night as I was starting dinner at six I decided to spice up our pancakes a bit. I chopped up canned peaches and added the fruit to the pancake batter. Then I took the peach juice, put it in a sauce pan with 1/3 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, and a tablespoon of corn starch. I thickened that up and then we had a nice fruit syrup to go with our peach pancakes. Delicious and a meal the kids both ate with gusto!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Cookie Experiment

Today I decided it was time to try something a little different with my cookies...a cookie experiment I guess you could say. I made a normal oatmeal cookie:

3/4 cups softened butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tbs vanilla
1 tbs baking powder
1/2 tbs baking soda

Then blend in
1 and 1/2 cup flour
2 cups oatmeal

Then came the good part. Instead of the plain boring raisin cookies I normally make I added semi sweet chocolate chips and Crasins. OH MY GOODNESS...DELICIOUS! I love CRASINS!

Cook them for eight to ten minutes at 375 and enjoy. I'll add a picture soon when I'm not too lazy to go get the camera.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Homemade Pasta

Two Christmas ago Dr. J bought me the the Betty Crocker Cook Book. At the time I thought, "Honey do I really need another cook book. I mean I really love them but another one." Well apparently I did. This is the cookbook that is more then just a cookbook. It tells you how to set a table. It clues you in on how long to cook your meat. It lets you know secrets on how to make your cooking better. I LOVE IT. Anyway I've never made homemade pasta but two nights ago thanks to Betty I decided to try. Then I needed something to go with it so we made Chicken Marsala although we just used chicken broth instead of wine. So I guess it was really more Chicken Chicken Broth. Anyway #1 was supper help getting dinner ready. He loved rolling out the pasta and called himself the baker. He name #2 little chef and spent time trying to feed her mushrooms he had cut up himself with a butter knife. He also was a huge fan of smashing the chicken.


I mention this site from time to time. Wondertime is a magazine I get at home but really everything you have access to at home you can see online. They send out sheets to help you keep memories from what your kids are up to, give you access to fun printables, and have articles like, "How to teach your child to catch a ball." I love them!

Star Fall

Since starting preschool #1 always wants to be on the computer. My mom clued me into this site and we love it.

Check it out for fun reading games!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

What to do with black beans...

Dr J. is a mad fan of black beans. I blame two years in Mexico but since they are cheap and he pretty much accommodates everything we do in this house I accommodate him. These are two easy meals you can make with a bag of black beans.Meal one: Clean and rinse a bag of beans. Quick soak the beans by brining them to a boil in a pan of water, a sprinkle of salt and backing soda. Turn the heat off and let the beans sit on the stove for an hour. Dump water and put beans, several dashes of salt, water, chopped garlic, and sliced onion on to boil. Cook until tender (about one hour). We like to eat our black beans with corn tortilla quesadillas and Spanish rice.

Meal Two: Take four cups of cooked beans with bean juice and pour into crock pot. Add three chicken breast, a cup of salsa, and two cans of diced tomatoes. Cook on high for four hours. Add chips and cheese and you have tortillas soup.

A Fool Proof Methodology...or so we thought.

When #1 was born we spent significant amounts of time making sure that he had a routine for going to bed and with the exception of the three months we spent in Jordan when he was in bed with us our plan worked pretty good. Even when he got moved over to the bottom bunk on the bunk bed he would still get in after prayer and lay quietly until he feel asleep. Of course that was all pre little baby #2. That girl can and does scream every night when we put her in bed. It doesn't matter how tired she is, how low her eyelids are, what time it is, the technique we use. No that girl is going to scream. #1 hates it. I think that was spurred his exodus from his room although it is not completely to blame. For the last two weeks the second he can he sneaks out to try and negotiate a stay in our bed. When he is rebuffed he sets himself up in the hallway. We of course put him back in bed but somewhere around two and three the little guys sneaks across our floor and up into bed on dads side. He knows if he sneaks up into mine I'll wake up and send him back. Yesterday the answer hit me. Clear off the top bunk and get him up there. We did and he spent the night in bed, probably because he was to scared to attempt a night descent. Lets hope this is the answer and we don't end up with any broken bones or wet underpants.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Warning...when you are frosting your first cake stiff frosting is probably favorable...oops!

More Christmas Gifts

These little babies are beaded bookmarks. The wire letter sits inside the book and the beads sit on the outside of the spine of the book. My friend from church taught me how to make them, wire, beads, and a lot of twisting. That's the hard part, seriously. The first night I twisted when I went to wash the dishes...ouch, but after a day or two you adjust. I made one for all the parents. I wish I would have taken some more pictures. My moms was my favorite, imagine blue beads with swirls.

Christmas Gifts for my Sisters

Last February my lovely mother-in-law bought me a sewing machine. I intended to pull it out immediately and start making baby clothes for #2 but having a two year old and new baby just wasn't conducive to a new hobby. This Christmas after things slowed down a bit I decided it was finally time to teach myself to sew. I pulled the machine out and picked a project. I found these reversible handbags online. My attempts weren't perfect...far from it, but they helped me feel more comfortable with my machine and I hope my sisters liked them.