Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The State Fair Frock Grosgrain Giveaway

I found this fabulous blog , Grosgrain. I would highly recommend checking it out! Kathleen's style and creativity is amazing! When I found her blog I discovered she is giving away this awesome dress. Just wanted to let you all in on the giveaway I found. But, you have to promise me if you enter and win that you will at least let me borrow the dress :)



The State Fair Frock Grosgrain Giveaway

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Big Brother Love


Miller has loved Sara Wells since the minute he met her in the hospital, but he has not always been that interested. He would give her a kiss or hug and that was about all he wanted to do with her. Not that he did not love her, he was just kind of indifferent. Ella, as we all know, has been the very opposite of indifferent! She is never far from Sara Wells. So, while Miller was somewhat indifferent, I think that was just one area he did not care to compete with Ella so he let Ella have all the fun with Sara Wells. Sara Wells is now staying awake longer and is a much bigger part of our days. So one, Ella's attention is falling away a little bit (don't get me wrong she is still obsessed, but she moves onto other things in the course of Sara Wells's awake time). And two, Miller is realizing how much fun it is to be an older brother! Today Ella stayed with Murray after church so Miller had time with just Sara Wells. I asked Miller if he wanted to read to Sara Wells while I got lunch ready. His answer, "oh yes Mommy. You go." After I walked away I even heard him shut the door. He sat in her room and read to her for about 15 minutes. Honestly, this is probably the first time Miller has stayed in one place doing one thing for 15 minutes besides watching a movie.

This is a terrible picture because I was trying to take it without him noticing to catch him in full action. It is hard to tell but he is reading her his Thomas book, singing all the songs. It is very easy to notice that he has pulled out every book in the book shelf, he probably read them all. He even got out a toy and put it on Sara Wells so that she could have something to play with! Melts my heart! Miller may be wild and crazy but he has got the sweetest heart! This was the first time I have left him alone with Sara Wells, so I was a little nervous how it might turn out. But you can imagine the bubble that crept up in my throat when I peeked in and saw this!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Twenty Minute Skirt

I saw this a several weeks ago on a blog that I absolutely love, Ruffles and Stuff. Whenever I see a sewing project titled 20 minutes I know that it is too good to be true. But after reading her tutorial, I thought, she might actually be right. Murray keeps telling me I should sew for myself. But one, where in the world would I find the time to sew for myself, I barely have time to sew for the kids. And two, I feel confident in sewing miniature, but sewing "real" clothes seems very out of my league. However, I thought if I am ever going to try to sew for myself, this is the thing to try!

So, here is the result



I promise you, this is so easy! Zig-Zag stitch the gathered skirt onto wide elastic and you have got yourself a super cute skirt! You can get her tutorial HERE.

As much as I would like to be back to my "normal", pre-baby body (after 3 kids in less than 4 years don't know if that really will ever happen) I am not quite there. I usually have the rule that I do not buy new clothes until I am in my normal size. However, when spring rolls around, there is just something in the air that makes a girl want to have new clothes! So, this was my perfect solution. I am technically not buying anything that is not my true size and when (if) I do get back to my size, the waistband is elastic so it should still fit.

And another thing that makes me super pumped about this skirt, I think I made it for $5 or $6! I yard of elastic and 1/2 yard for skirt. Doesn't get any better than that! Let me know if you give it a try.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ruffled Letters

I am doing something I have never done before. I am going to do a (very basic) tutorial. I have gotten so many ideas and tips from other blogs that I decided it is time that I give back to the blogging world instead of just take, take, take.

I just made the cutest outfits for Ella and Sara Wells and thought this would be the perfect idea to share as a tutorial. So here we go...
The Ruffled Letter Tutorial.





1. First you need to decide how big you want your letter to be. I used a piece of string to "lay out" the letter and then measured the string. Since you are going to ruffle the letter, You want to double the length of the final letter length. For Sara Wells, her "S" ended up being 7 inches so my fabric length was 14 inches.


2. Cut your strip of fabric. For Ella I used a 1 inch wide fabric strip which was a perfect size for a big girl. For Sara Wells I used 3/4 of an inch which worked out great for the onsie. I do not think it ended up being too big for a baby.

3. Edge the strip. (I accidentally deleted the picture for this step)
I thought it would be really cute to do a contrasting color for this fabric to make the letter pop!
Zig-Zag stitch all the way around the strip of fabric so that there will be no fraying. I used 4 stitch length and .75 stitch width. I would suggest practicing on a piece of fabric to see what would look best on your fabric.

4. Gather the strip of fabric.
Set you stitch length on the longest stitch length and sew a straight stitch down the center of the strip of fabric. Leave the stitch "open" (do not reverse stitch when beginning or ending) so that you can pull the bobbin thread. Pull the bobbin thread to gather the fabric to desired length. Again, a picture here would have been nice. Hopefully I will get better at doing this.

For gathering thread use a color thread that matches the fabric.



5. Pin the letter on t-shirt and sew in place with a straight stitch. Do not forget to change your stitch length back (I often forget this). On this shirt I decided to use thread that matched the fabric, but it could also be really cute with a contrasting thread!


And the finished product!


Sorry, I did not have the most cooperative models today, but I think you can get the idea.

I added ruffles across the bum of Sara Wells' onsie which I think is just so cute!!! Same principle. Measure how long the area is you want the ruffle. Double that. Cut your strip of fabric ( I did 1 inch wide strips). Gather. Pin. Sew. And poof, super cute baby outfit. Tops, 30 minutes! That is the kind of project I am after! The longest part was zig-zaging around all the strips. If you wanted to cut that step out you could always use pinking shears to cut out your strips and then you would not have to worry about fraying.


Doesn't get any cuter than that!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Back to the Lake

This weekend we made our first trip back to the lake. There is just something about the lake that makes me breathe easier. Every bone in my body relaxes when we pull in the driveway. I know that we are going to have so much fun this summer! I was amazed at how much Miller remembered about the lake. Within the first 30 minutes, Miller and Ella tried out every "toy" at the lake. They even got in the water for about 30 minutes Friday evening. I wish I had more pictures, but I was so relaxed and in slow motion Friday afternoon and night that I did not even get the camera out of my purse. But here are some good boat pictures.

I love this picture. You can use your imagination for the reason behind that great expression on Murray's face.

Sweet Miller loving the boat!



And nothing says the lake like queso! I have had this recipe for a couple of years, thank you Mary Saxon, but I have never made it. We were assigned cheese dip for K-Group Sunday night. I decided it was a great time to try the recipe. And oh am I glad I did! It was soooo good and really not that hard. Basically it just takes the 30 minutes that it takes for it to cook. For those from Birmingham, you will know this is the best queso in town! It was a huge hit at K-Group.

LaPaz's Chile Con Queso

2 lbs White American Cheese, shredded or cubed
1 cup of milk
1 cup diced onions
1/2 cut roasted, diced green chilies (I just used canned green chilies I already had)
1/2 cup diced pickled jalapenos - start with 1/4 cup, add more to taste (I did not use 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup diced canned tomatoes, in juice
1 tsp fresh garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Heat milk in top of double boiler. Add cheese and melt until creamy and smooth. While cheese is melting, prepare the other ingredients and set aside until cheese is ready. Add vegetables and spices to melted cheese, cook together in top of double boiler for about 30 minutes or until onion is soft. Remove from heat and serve. To reheat, you may heat in microwave, stirring frequently. You can freeze this!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Strawberry Jelly

For the past several weeks I have been talking about making strawberry jelly, but have not done it. For some reason making jelly seems like something way beyond my culinary skills. I think because it reminds my of my grandmothers. They were both such great cooks, that in my mind it does not seem possible that I could be making the things that they made. I can still see all the jars lining Granny's pantry from all the vegetables that she had canned. I remember just looking at all the jars wondering how she did it.
Well this week at Wal-Mart the strawberries were on sale for $1.50 a carton. I figured if I really was going to make strawberry jelly now was the time. I bought enough to make one batch of jelly just to test my jelly making skills. I made wine jelly a couple of years ago and it really was not that hard (although I did ruin one batch because I skipped a step in the directions). So, with fingers crossed we all got started.

I knew that Ella would love chopping up the strawberries, but I did not know Miller would get so into cutting the strawberries. He stayed with us the entire time working very hard to make sure he got all the tops off of the strawberries.

If you look closely you will notice that Miller does not quite have his knife skills down.

Miller did not stay as focused when we moved to the food processor. However, he managed to keep himself entertained with the empty bottle of wine. Who knows why I still had it on the kitchen counter!

The finished product. 4 1/2 beautiful jars of homemade strawberry jelly!

Just like the wine jelly, the strawberry jelly was surprising easy to make! If you have been thinking about it, go for it while the strawberries are so cheap! I just used a box of Sure Jell and followed the directions inside the box.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Growing Fast

It is hard to believe that Sara Wells is already 3 months old! But what a difference a few weeks makes in the life of a baby! Her cheeks are growing and she is getting some good baby rolls! I just love it! She sleeps a solid 12 hours at night. She really only cries when she is ready to go to bed. She ooo's and ahh's all the time. Loves her playmat. And loves her brother and sister!



Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Easter

A little late in posting, but better late than never. It has been so beautiful outside that sitting down at the computer is the last thing on my list. We had a great Easter weekend! Here are some pics from the weekend.

Ella and Miller had a blast dying easter eggs this year! My only regret is that I did not prepare more eggs. They were finished in about 5 minutes, literally. They actually did it almost all my themselves, I just love this picture because everyone is weighing in their opinion on how it should be done.


Sara Wells thoroughly enjoyed the easter egg dying!


As you can tell from the new header picture, Miller was not quite up to having pictures made Easter morning. But this is a great picture of Ell and Sara Wells.

This is the closest I could get to getting a good picture of Miller and Ella all day.







Easter was Ella's 4th Birthday! I cannot believe my baby girl is 4!!! Where does the time go?




(Side Note: Did you notice that Ella had three outfit changes in about 2 hours! One day I really am going to do a post on the outfit changes of Ella)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

More babies in our Future:)

Don't worry, not ours. Murray's sister, Wellon, is 33 weeks pregnant with twins! Ella and Miller are thrilled about the arrival of Chloe and Fitz. Ella cannot wait to have two more babies to hold! There will be pictures soon, but for now we will just have to imagine these precious babies in their new onsies.





Funny story: If you look closely at Chloe's onsie, there is a dark spot above the "l". Typical me, I started these the night before Wellon's shower (I was actually late to the shower because about an hour before we were supposed to be there I decided to add the stitching at the top, which I think totally makes it!) Anyways, it was a Thursday night so of course I was watching Project Runway while still enjoying my glass of red wine from dinner. When I finished Chloe's, I held it up to get the full picture. Right above the "l" was the dot from the marking pen where I marked the middle and I really wanted to see what it looked like without the giant blue dot. Now, the right thing to do would have been to take 5 seconds, get up off the couch and get a wet paper towel. But as I said I was comfortable on the couch watching Project Runway and did not want to get up. I debated my next action, but figured it would be ok for such a small spot so I just licked the dot off. Well, the marking pen came off, but I left a little bit of my red wine on Chloe's onsie. Hopefully it will come out when Wellon washes it. If not, at least Chloe will know I was really enjoying myself when I made her present!