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My first ever Spring Top Sew Along

May 4, 2013

I think it has been what, 5 months since I’ve written anything? Yeesh!

I have had several posts in the works…and never have time to finish them…

Well, this year, for the first time, I made myself a top! And just in time for Rae’s Spring Top Sew Along!

This is a fabric that I have actually bought twice. At two separate times.  Not realizing that I had bought it the first time! I guess I liked it… =)

I modeled the shirt after a simple top I got from India on a recent trip (more on that later!). It was challenging, but I made it through, and am happy with the result.  It has pin tucks in the front to allow for extra fabric to camouflage the post baby tummy (an ESSENTIAL these days..and probably for all days to come…).

As usual, I was making this shirt as a last minute thing, so was using stuff I already had.  I used bias tape to finish the arm holes, but the only color I had was the kakhi you can see peeping our of the arm hole… Not ideal, but it does the job…

I messed up a bit on the pin tucks.  The first time around I made them too long, which meant the shirt was a tad bit too tight around the tummy.  So I had to go back and open each open up from the bottom, and then sew the bottom again to lock the stitches. UGH. That was a pain!

And at the last minute, I added a couple of pleats in the back…and then I was done!

(I totally flaked on the collar.  I couldn’t take spending any more time, so I just turned it down and sewed it into place.  Not the cleanest or coolest looking…but again, it works!)


Fortunately, I was able to get some good pics of the kiddos too!

You can see some other great tops in Rae’s flickr pool!

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All Washed Up – Washi Tape for 70% Off! | Pick Your Plum

February 27, 2013

Well it has been forever and a day since I have written…too much going on and not enough time to write about it!

 

I thought I would share a quick note however, about a great deal over at Pick Your Plum on washi tape. I’ve put the info below – check it out if you are interested (and no, i don’t get any kickbacks…although that would be nice!)

———————–From www.pickyourplum.com———————–

All Washed Up – Washi Tape for 70% Off!

washi tape

All Washed Up – Washi Tape for 70% Off!

IF YOU ORDER AFTER 8:45AM (MST) your order will ship on or before MARCH 20th.  IT’S WORTH THE WAIT.  YES.

If “washi” was a question, the answer would be WHY NOT.  And do you know why?  Because washi is fun to say and is amazing for every single occasion/creation.  And it’s back by popular demand.  Take a gander at these amazing spring colors.  Stripes.  Birds.  Floral.  Lovely patterns.  It’s like we’re single-handedly ushering in the spring.  Use it on party invitations, make flags and pennants to stick in cakes and cupcakes.  Tape it on a neutral-colored wrapping paper and use it as the tag.  For more ideas on how to use it, click here.

Pick a color, any color:

1. Orange Bollywood

2. Birds on a Highwire

3. Summer Cottage Floral

4. Buckingham Turquoise

5. Back to 60s Yellow/Orange

6. Thin Summer Stripe

7. Pink Morocco

8. Candyland Stripes

One of Each

 Each roll of washi is 10m long and 5/8 inch thick.

via All Washed Up – Washi Tape for 70% Off! | Pick Your Plum.

The Lorax Birthday Party – Highlights!

January 14, 2013

 

I can’t believe it, our little girl is 4! We had her birthday party this eekend, and the theme was “the Lorax” by Dr Seuss.  Getting it all together was a bit challenging since I worked 10-12 hour days for 12 days straight up until the da before the party, and was out of town for the 11 days before that for the holidays.  So I tried to do as much planning in early december as possible, and have been staying up until 1-2am every night these last 2 weeks to get things ready!  Of course, it would’t have been possible without the help of my husband, parents and in-laws who helped carry out my unencesarily involved plans!

Anyways, I wanted to get a few pictures u to share with family, but I’l l do  a big post soon with tons free down loads with all the printables that i created for the party, and with more details about what I did!  Very much like my Elmo party page!

So here is the fornt of the house.  Just a simple banner out front, a couple of “truffula trees” and a welcome sign.


Some fun ruffled, multicolored streamers (tutorial on http://www.dana-made-it.com).

The wonderfully yummy and beautiful cupcakes from Velvet Sky Bakery neary by our neightborhood!

Plus the amazing cake decorated by the Baskin Robbins near us!

I baked cookies right as people were coming to make the house smell yummy…

Tried to keep some healthy options available.



Homemade sign…still up =)
My truffle pop forest centerpiece. This was one of my favorite decoration items.

The “place settings.” All paper (which is recyclable!) except for the utensils.

I think someone liked it!

This was one of my favorite items.  I fell in love with these mason jars and their lids, especially when used with a fun paper straw!



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Abdorbed in one of the actiities…


And another…

The favor bags…

And cake cutting time!

Of course, we ended the night with a jam session with all the kiddos.  It was quite a site to see!

Stay tuned for more details to come!

Mystery Monday 16 Answer + Tree Spin Art

December 12, 2012

I don’t have a new image to post today, but thought I would at least post the answer to the last Mystery Monday challenge.

Here was the picture:
mystery monday 16

and it got these guesses:

christmas lights
part of a wreath
an ornament
ball of red twine/ribbon

The answer is:

A tree with christmas lights strung up from top to bottom in straight lines.

I stood inside the canopy of lights, and spun in a circle while taking the picture!

Here is the same effect on a tree during the day:

The key is, you need to have a long shutter speed so that your shutter will stay open while you spin.  If you are doing this at night, you wont have a problem.  Just make sure you keep the flash off.  If you are doing it during the day, then some tricks for making your shutter speed longer are to:

1) set your ISO to the lowest setting possible

2) set your aperture to the largest number possible (i.e. smallest aperture)

3) Use an ND filter on your camera….although if you have one of those,  you probably don’t need my tips!

Anyways, then you just point your camera up, and start spinning, then release the shutter while you are spinning.

Try your best not to shake the camera in the other direction, otherwise you will end up with this:

You can also experiment with making the focal point of the picture off center.  And depending on your exposure, you can get an overall darker or lighter picture.  Looks very different!

You can also move in different directions.  In the following picture, I basically fanned my camera top to bottom in one big sweep while pressing the shutter release:

This is another fun movement picture.  It is of the leaves on the ground.  In the first picture you can see the leaves etc on the ground and how they essentially leave a color trail behind them.

Well if you leave the shutter open long enough, you can completely blur our the leaves and just make a cool design.  This could be a fun background to use for something else…or it might just live on your hard drive forever as mine often do…

And then you can have some fun with the picture in Lightroom/Photoshop/iPhoto (you get the point) to get some different effects and bring some of the colors out!


 

Well that’s it for the day.

Hope you have some fun experimenting!

oh and by the way – pretty much all of this can be done with a point and shoot too.  Just turn off your flash, and if you can, decrease your ISO.  If you can’t, then try putting the camera on landscape mode and see if that works (the camera will automatically use a very small aperture).

Have a good day!

A simple, no frills breakfast

November 30, 2012

 

I am all about QUICK, healthy, and easy meals.

So I thought I’d share my healthy option for the morning (the other non-healthy option is cereal. not so unhealthy, but lots of calories): an egg white omelet with lots of flavor!

It takes about 10 minutes to make.  I use egg white cartons.  To be honest the main reason is because they are EASY.  You just pour.  You don’t have to discard the yolk, or worry about salmonella all over your hands and counters (I have issues with bacteria…nuff said?), and you don’t have to worry about it expiring too fast.  These cartons are ultra pasteurized, so you can buy in bulk and they will last for a while!  BUT – once you open one, you usually are supposed to consume within 7 days.  At least that’s what the carton says.

Anyways, I keep mine pretty simple: egg whites & taco seasoning, paired with chalula garlic sauce.

That does not mean I don’t like cheese, scallions, mushrooms, garlic, ginger and many other things in my omelets.  I’m just too lazy to do all of that on a regular basis.  If i have anything pre-cut, then I definitely throw them in.  But it is rare.

It has taken MANY, MANY, MANY messy attempts, but I have finally come to see eye to eye with my omelet pan.  This is our dance:

1)I turn the stove on medium low.

2) Once slightly warm, I spray the pan lightly with cooking spray.

3) Once a little warmer, I pour the eggs – straight from the carton (remember…ease is the #1 goal. why make another bowl dirty?).  If I am adding anything extra like garlic, ginger, cilantro, scallion etc, I do this now.  I used to saute them first, but I never really felt like it changed the taste, but it DID mess up my pan and make everything stick.  That means more time cleaning.  No good.

4) I sprinkle taco seasoning directly into the eggs.  I usually wait until the eggs are warm – the spices clump less then.  But if you forget, no worries.  Once the eggs warm up, the spices will dissolve.  I just swirl them a bit at that point (without scraping the bottom of the pan).

5) I let it sit for a while until I see bubbles, and I can tell that the underside has cooked a bit.  Then using a rubber spatula (make sure it is rated for high temperatures), I lift the edges of the omelet and let the runny eggs go underneath to get cooked.  I do this all the way around, and end up with this:

6) Once almost all the runny eggs have been sent underneath (I repeat step #5 a few times), I can safely flip the omelet without splashing eggs all over the place.   If you want to add cheese, I would do that now, right now top)

7) I like my eggs a little (or a lot) on the well done side so I let it cook on the other side for a bit, and then that’s it!

Yummy and healthy!  And only one cooking dish to clean up!

Ok, looking at this picture, LOOKS are clearly not a priority for my meals…but it does taste good!

Enjoy!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful

November 27, 2012

It’s been a long time since I have participated in any weekly photo themed posts.  Not that I haven’t thought about it or meant to…but you know, life just gets in the way sometimes.

This week’s theme at The Daily Post is “Thankful”

The MAIN thing I am thankful for is family.  Well, family and friends.  For all the time we get to spend together, for everyone’s health, for their kindness, for everything.  We had a great thanksgiving weekend with family.  it is so important to me that our kids grow up spending good QT with their grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins.  So it was great to see then playing with everyone this weekend!

Back to the photo challenge, a couple of pics of my kiddos, that I am OOOOHHHH so thankful for.


Geez…I gotta get more pictures of the little one!

I’ll take the MOM part without the GUILT please

November 26, 2012

Motherhood

Guilt

Sometimes I feel like you can’t have the former without the latter. i.e. I feel guilty all the time about everything I do! and everything I don’t do!

the current issue: weaning my 8 month old son.

With my daughter, I was obsessed with pumping every day and nursing her and making sure I was making enough milk. Constantly worrying that I wouldnt. Well, it turned out that she barely drank anything (and still continues that trend) so I had plenty of leftover milk. I didn’t set any goals for when I wanted to keep nursing until, but ended up stopping around 7 months. The main reason? I wanted my body back. Some people look GREAT when they nurse, and they shed weight like crazy. OTHER people (ahem…me) just stack up the fat (as if we don’t have enough already) to put into the milk. Top it all off, all that extra fat is stored in my upper body – my face, chest, arms…it does WONDERS for my already stellar self image.

Here comes the guilt.

Is it worth stopping nursing for my own vanity? To “deprive” my child of the nutrition of breast milk and all the antibodies that come with it (especially during winter time) so that I can “look better?”

Well, like I said, I stopped at 7 months with my daughter. I had enough stored millk to last about another month with her, so she essentially was breast fed until 8 months. Then she had formula for 4 months before switching to “regular” milk. I remember thinking, “what was the big deal??? Why did I have so much angst over giving her formula for a couple of months? I’m NOT going to be so anal about this next time!”

Right!

So now flash forward 3.5 years. Again, no real goal for when I wanted to nurse until – except that I knew I wanted to make it at least 6 months (when infants’ immune systems start to kick in). Well, now I am 8 months post partum and in the process of weaning…and I’m feeling sooooo bad about it. I acutally wasn’t even planning on doing this now – but after my last 12 day stretch of working without having adequate time to pump, my milk supply dwindled quickly. So fast, that I was no longer making enough milk to keep up with S each day. Plus, my breast pump is on its last leg…so there’s that. I decided to stop. And literally every day, every time I warm up frozen milk (not even formula yet!), I beat myself up over it. Thinking: “maybe I should just keep pumping what I can? Maybe I should just keep pumping once at night (this is still a possibility)? Do I really want today to be the last day I ever nurse one of my children ever again? So sad!

Or Maybe I should quilt all together and stop torturing myself? Is it really so bad to start to care about what I look like and what I FEEL like again? After an essentially 4 year hiatus from the time I first got pregnant, perhaps it is about time to start putting a little more importance on what I need to feel good about myself?

I think so.

I’m sure this internal struggle will continue (and sometimes externalize into my husbands blank stares).

Couldn’t I just have all the happiness of motherhood without all the guilt? Or at least a LITTLE less of it?

.

What am I doing now while I write this?

PUMPING

=]

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