Friday, June 29, 2012

I Made It: Baby Dress

While my son was with his grandmother yesterday, my daughter (who will be 5 months old tomorrow) and I went to Joann Fabric and had some fun!  I found some really cute fabric that I wanted to make some dresses out of for her.  I made this one last night and it was a bit of trial and error so I didn't document it as much as I wanted to but I have another fabric that I want to make another dress out of so I will document the steps for that one and do a tutorial hopefully next week.  I was so excited about how it came out that I just had to share a few photos with you now.

The fabric I started with and the dress I used for size reference. 
I used the bottom of this onesie to put inside the dress to help it stay down.

Here is the finished product, sorry for the bad lighting, it was taken late last night.

The top of the dress, showing some of the detail of the dress and fabric.

My little model...I think she likes it!

You can see the onesie in this picture.  With little babies,
dresses tend to ride up but the onesie helps to keep it down.

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Friday Favorites

1. My husband is a huge fan of funfetti frosting and will eat it by the spoonful (or just dig his fingers into the frosting container if a spoon is not immediately available), so I was super excited when I found this recipe for a funfetti dip while browsing Pinterest the other day.  It is called 3-2-1 Funfetti Cake Batter Dip and it really is as easy as 3-2-1 and it is oh so good!  For the full recipe visit Liz at Little Bitty Bakes.

You just can't help but eat it by the spoonful!

2. I got an invitation on Facebook the other day from my cousin to "like" his band, Stella and the Fire, on Facebook so I checked it out and have found a great new song!  Check them out and show them some Facebook love if you like them too.

3. It is supposed to be very hot here this weekend and I am excited to try something that I found on Pinterest.  It is a sprinkler made out of a soda bottle!  Looks like a lot of fun for everyone.

4. I made the best salad last night and it will be made again today for lunch!  It is a BBQ Chicken Salad made with lettuce, spinach, tomato, cucumber, black beans, corn, shredded rotissere chicken, shredded cheese, BBQ sauce and ranch dressing.

5. I hated coffee for the longest time and even though everyone said that I would find the love of coffee in college, it didn't happen until a few years after I graduated.  It wasn't until one of my good friends and I went to a cute little coffee shop to have some girl time and she made me a cup of sweet, french vanilla coffee with lots of cream and sugar, did I realize what I was missing!  Even though I love a good cup of hot coffee, its iced coffee that is my weakness!  On my last shopping trip I found my new obsession, International Delight: Iced Coffee!  I got the mocha flavor but there is also original and vanilla.  It is good over ice but I bet it would be really good frozen as well, if only I had a good blender. 

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I Clicked it Up a Notch: June

I Clicked it Up a Notch this month!  In case you don't already know, this is a photography blog that I have been following for the past few months and I have already learned so much!  Courtney, the woman behind the blog, hosts a photography contest each month and I have decided enter this month.  My photo doesn't really stack up to the other entries but I am hoping this will help me to push myself each month to get better.  Here is my best photo from June. 
A bedtime walk

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Click It Up A Notch

Dream of Success

Right now, its just a dream.  A dream that I will slowly work at until I can make it a reality.  This is not a matter of "if" but "when".  I believe in myself and I am (just as the quote says) crazy enough to think that I can do it.

What is this dream of mine?

My dream is to open my own Etsy shop where I will sell my crafts.

I have always loved doing crafts and this dream has always been at the back of my mind to do it for a living.  Just recently did it cross my mind that I could do it for a living if I really wanted to.  It is going to be hard work but its going to be work that I enjoy. 

Right now, we don't have any space for me to do my crafts so I know that I can't open my actual shop up yet but I can do some research and prep work.  This blog is part of the creative process and is helping me figure out what I want to do for branding.  I have secured my etsy shop name and all I need to do is set it all up (figure out pricing, shipping, listing, etc.). 

I will continue to document my progress here and I know that this dream will become a reality before I know it!

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Monday, June 25, 2012

The First Haircut

I can't believe that in two short weeks, my little man is going to be 2 years old!  We got his hair cut for the first time last week and he looks so much older.  He is really starting to look like a little boy and not so much like a baby.  We all loved his hair, it was blond and curly and full of life, but it was starting to get a bit out of control.  So I called my hairdresser and made an appointment.  I have no crazy stories to tell about his first haircut because he was such a good boy and sat so still.  No running around the salon or squirming in the chair, he really was a big boy.  I know there will be many more times where I will realize that my little boy is growing up but this was definitely one of the firsts. 
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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunday Snapshot: On the Line

It was a great day to hang diapers up in the sun to dry and get bleached by the sun.  We had a full line today and I was thankful for the fact that we have a really long clothes line.  I love using the power of the sun, it's super effective and free!

f1.8 1/4000 iso200

f1.8 1/4000 iso200
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Ni Hao Yall

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Favorites

1. Strawberry Shortcake!  After we picked all those strawberries earlier this week, I was excited to make one of my favorite desserts.  I was so excited to eat it that I forgot to take a photo of my creation, not once, but twice!  Maybe next time...
2. Reading in my hammock, in the shade, on a beautiful day, while my kids nap!  I know that this is a very specific favorite but it actually happened yesterday and it was amazing! 
3. Air conditioning! We have had a couple of really hot and humid days this week. I don't mind the heat so much as the humidity. My husband put our 2 window units in earlier this week and it has made it so much more comfortable to be home all day with 2 young kids.  We all sleep better, which makes for much happier days!
4. A quiet evening walk with my kids.  We managed to get out after dinner the other night and it was so peaceful.  I put my kids in their jammies and off we went.  The lighting of that time of day was beautiful as well, I'm glad I grabbed my camera.

Stay safe and enjoy your first official weekend of summer!

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Sweet Summertime

Summer has officially started!  It was hazy, hot and humid here in Maine today.  With highs predicted to be close to 100 with the heat index, I decided it was time to get a small pool for Levi (Lily is still a bit young for a pool, we will stick to a splash pad for her).  We got it set up this morning before lunch so that the water would have a chance to warm up a bit while the kids napped.  Once Levi was up, I got him in his swim suit, grabbed my camera, and out we went!  He had so much fun and it was the perfect size for him.  Here are a few of the pictures that I took, all in manual!

f2.2 1/1000 ISO400

f2.2 1/1600 ISO400

f2.2 1/1000 ISO400

f2.2 1/1000 ISO400
We got to check off one thing on our Summer Bucket List as well...go swimming!

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Summer Daze Fun Photo Party

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Strawberry Picking

My Mother-In-Law called me this morning to see if the kids and I wanted to go strawberry picking with her this afternoon.  I couldn't resist!  What a great way to spend the afternoon, the kids would get to spend time with their Grammie, we would get some super yummy, fresh picked strawberries, and I would have another great opportunity to practice my photography skills. 

Levi loves his fruit, especially berries!  He had fun picking and eating a few strawberries before he was distracted by the irrigation system and the tractors on the farm.  What can I say...he is all boy!

Lily just hung out in her car seat and guarded the strawberries!  

My photography lesson of the day had to do with catchlights.  I am just really starting to learn more about how to make eyes pop in photos, so I love when I manage to get my kids in the right setting to get the catchlights in their eyes.   The hard part about practicing this technique on kids is getting them to look in just the right direction.  See the difference in Levi's eyes in the next two pictures?

His eyes are so much more alive in the second picture!  You can really see how blue his eyes are.

What are you hoping to improve in your photography or what do you want to learn more about? 

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Fun in Manual

I have made it my goal this summer to learn more about my camera and to shoot more of my pictures in manual.  There are lots of flowers in bloom around my house so I threw the kids in the stroller and we went for a walk and I photographed flowers along the way.  Here is a sampling of my photos. 

Let me know what you think, I welcome constructive criticism.

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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

I just want to say Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful Dads in my life!  There are two that hold a very special place in my heart, my Dad and my husband.

Dad, I am so lucky to have you in my life and you have taught me so much.  I am proud to say that because of you, I know how to change a tire, change my oil and drive a standard.  You gave me the love of learning and wanting to know how things work.  You also taught me the saying "its better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it".  Although this has saved me from needing to quickly find somewhere that sells diapers or baby clothes, this also means that I over pack everywhere I go!  With two kids, this means that I feel like I am going away for weeks when I go out for the day.  I have so many great memories but the two that stand out are the day I graduated from college and the day I got married.  The pride you had for me when I got my degree will not soon be forgotten and having you walk me down the isle and dance with me on my wedding day is a memory I will cherish forever!  I love you so much!

To my husband, our kids love you so much!  Although they can't tell you themselves quite yet, I can see it in how they look at you.  I only wish that you could see how excited they are when they see you drive up the driveway when you get home from work.  I know that you wish you could spend more time with us but I appreciate how hard you work to allow me to stay home with them.  You are the best Daddy that our kids could ask for!  I love you!

Happy Father's Day everyone, enjoy your day!

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Sunday Snapshot: Father's Day

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Ni Hao Yall

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Summer Bucket List

I have been seeing a lot of summer bucket lists in the blogs that I read, and with the official start of summer coming up next week, I decided to make one for my family!  I saved room at the bottom of my list so that we can add to it if we want.

What would be on your family's bucket list this summer?

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

A little help from my friends

"I get by with a little help from my friends" -The Beatles 

I was trying to plan my meals for the week while my kids were napping today with the plan to go grocery shopping after they got up, but when I got out my trusty meal planning worksheet, I drew a blank. 

What are we going to eat this week? 

Just because I have a great way to plan meals, does not mean that it makes it any easier to come up with meals to plan for.  This is one task that I sometimes HATE!  I get bored easily and don't want to eat the same thing week after week.  I am already getting sick of hamburgers and hot dogs and summer hasn't even officially started yet.

So I decided to get a little help from my friends (Facebook friends that is), and help they did!  Within minutes of posting that I was in search of some new grilling meals, I had 2 great ideas and after just a few hours, I had 10 meal ideas that had my mouth watering!  After just a quick search online, I had come up with a couple ideas on my own too.

Since my friends were so good to me, I decided to pay it forward and share those ideas with you!  Here is a list of some good grilling meals to help you get through the summer, straight from Facebook...thanks guys!
  • McCormick chipotle marinated either pork chops or chicken breast.  (Any of the McCormick seasoning packets are really tasty.)
  • Lots of veggies grilled on skewers and served on a bed of quinoa.  I also add Better than Bouillon veggie flavored paste to the water to give the quinoa a little extra flavor. You can add butter and fresh basil and asiago cheese to it once it's cooked for a delicious treat!
  • Grilled flank steak with grilled onions and peppers. Add some tortillas and beans and a little cheese or sour cream and you have fajitas--from the grill!
  • Pork ribs with BBQ sauce
  • Honey mustard grilled chicken with vegetables
  • I'm into fish tacos now! A little fish goes a long way if you stuff the tortillas w/ black beans and red cabbage :) I rub the fish w/ Cajun seasoning and grill on a cedar plank. It cooks quickly and it's fun outdoor picnic food :)
  • Beer can chicken
  • Teriyaki chicken on a stick
  • Marinate a boneless pork tenderloin then grill...done in no time.
  • Balsamic and olive oil portobellos on the grill
  • Hawaiian chicken kabobs - We had these tonight and they were delicious!  I added the pineapple juice from the canned pineapple to the marinade, yum!  I also marinated the chicken and pineapple separately and then used the marinade from the pineapples to make a "gravy" of sorts by adding a bit of corn starch to it and heating it up on the stove top. 
  • Grilled chicken and veggie salad
  • Provolone stuffed pork chops with balsamic vinaigrette
Happy grilling!  I hope you find something new to try and I hope you like it enough to add it to your grilling recipe arsenal.  Feel free to comment with a few of your own ideas!
"I'm gonna try with a little help from my friends" -The Beatles

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Guilty Pleasures

We all have them, those things that you may be ashamed to admit that you like to eat, watch or do. Here are a few of mine...

- I love to watch Secret Life of the American Teenager.

- Sometimes I make brownies but instead of cooking the batter, I eat it by the spoonful.

- I do the same thing with cookie dough and sometimes I just buy a tube of the pre-made cookie dough instead of making it myself.

- I love Nicholas Sparks books and movies and could read/watch them over and over and over.

- 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom are shows that I wish I could say that I have never seen but it's like a car crash, you just can't turn away!

After looking over this list, people might start to think I am 28 going on 13. So, what are some of your guilty pleasures?

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