In a mere two days, my little baby boy will be a whole one years old. Hard to believe, oh how the time flies. We had to push back his birthday party a bit because of the never ending illness around our house these days, but that is ok, it gives me more time to plan and prepare. I am thinking about going a simpler route for his cake. One cake for the party goers, and cupcakes for my little man and the kids. I always scheme these elaborate cakes and then end up cursing and swearing I'll never do it again, especially since all my cakes seem to fall into a million pieces every time I have to transfer them. That being said, I am sticking with it, going the easy route, and plan to do a simple cake like the one below. Easy enough right? Maybe I will fancy it up with a pudding layer in the middle. Yum.
Speaking of cakes, I realized I never shared the cake I made for my older sons fifth birthday. A pirate cake, yes, he is still obsessed with pirates, which is fine with me! I found this image originally through Pinterest, but have included the direct link here, just in case you attempt to make one yourself. I was pleasantly surprised to find all the supplies needed at Walmart, all those different pretzels and all! The only thing I did differently was to eliminate the breadstick on the front and instead just use another pretzel rod in its place.
What do you think? It turned out pretty good, in my opinion. I have a number five candle and 4 pirate themed candles stuck in the center if you were wondering what all that junk was. The only thing I would do differently is to make the sails a tad bit smaller and work at getting more of a "yellow" icing color than the peach that is below. My son was tickled pink and that is all that matters. I had left over icing, so I dyed it blue and made the "ocean" around the ship, which also hid those crumby edges. As good as this looks, the cake fell into a million pieces and is held together by mushing it with my hands and icing. Very frustrating at the time, but at least the end result is good. All this talk of cakes falling apart had me wondering, do you know of a store bought cake mix that holds together well? I know for sure that Pillsbury is just too spongy and soft, it falls apart every time. I used to think that Betty Crocker was perfect, but lately those cakes have fallen apart too? Any ideas or suggestions?
Linking up to Tuesday at the Table over at A Quilter's Table. Hop on over and visit all the other wonderful link ups.
A few random bits today...
I recently joined up to the largest time waster of all... Pinterest. Yes, I know I am late to the game, and I tried not to join the band wagon, but alas I caved. I am trying really hard to use this website as efficient as possible and mostly signed up to keep track of the tons of bookmarks that were piling up on my computer, and this site is perfect for that. I also wanted to keep track of great recipes and cooking ideas, especially those that have been tested by others out in blog land and proven delicious! I'll be sure to share those great ones I run across also! If you want to follow me on Pinterest, you can find me HERE.
Today I wanted to mention the whole idea/concept of menu planning. I'm not really talking about week to week menu planning but rather doing it monthly and doing some serious planning in hopes of doing some serious time and energy saving. Have you heard of or tried this approach? I am going to write it out this week, gather grocery lists and plan to start with October. Click on the photo below to read this gal's plan and concept.
Going hand in hand with the above concept is the idea of preparing a ton of meals at once (raw) and then freezing them for future use. This concept utilizes the Crock Pot and I am really curious to try it out, though I do have some reservations in doing so. For instance, I know a lot of meats actually need to be browned first before they are thrown in the Crock Pot, so I'm thinking of sticking to the recipes that don't need that step. Also, am I crazy in saying this, but I thought some vegetables (like potatoes) don't freeze that well? Or did I dream that? I am really thinking about trying this, but on a smaller scale, like freezing 5 meals, trying them out and seeing what recipes I like and go from there. I'm just trying to stop the "What is for dinner?" debate that rages in our house daily. I'm tired of thinking about it honestly. Maybe a few days worth of planning can provide for a whole month of meals? Click on the photo below to visit this gal's website that includes directions and a ton of recipes for this technique.
I lucked up and had one of these babies this weekend (see photo below!) It had been years since I had one and little known to me our local Dairy Queen just started having them on their menu! Yeah! And yes, this Orange Julius was all that and a bag of potato chips! Yum, I see more in my future!
Make sure to hop over to A Quilter's Table, visit Debbie and see all of the other delicious link ups and recipes!
Last, but not least, time to announce the winner of the Traveling Stash Giveaway! I had 16 entries, and the winner is...
Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2012-09-25 13:20:28 UTC
Number 6 is Kathy! Kathy blogs over at Qreative Quilts and Quests and the Traveling Stash will now be traveling to her house! Kathy, look for an email from me in your inbox! Congratulations! Thanks to everyone who entered and visited my little blog!
Oh Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer, not technically Fall, but not really the Summer anymore either. Since most beach days and time spent at the pool are over for most I thought I would share these beach robes that I actually made last year and never got around to sharing on my blog. These beach robes are from a pattern from Dana over at MADE, and are so fabulous! You can purchase The Beach Robe pattern HERE. I sewed up three of them, two for my big boy and one for my niece. I love them, and honestly think this pattern and use of towels are just genius! They work great, are easy to sew and the kids love them too.
The pattern uses either regular towels or beach towels, one or two depending on the size of the towel and size you are wanting to make. I managed to squeeze by the skin of my teeth each of these robes out of one beach towel, each one was the 3T-4T size. Since I was making the biggest size the pattern offers, I had to make the robes short sleeved in order to make these robes out of one towel, but honestly that works out great since it is so hot outside anyway! I lined the hood of each robe with either cotton prints or solids and made my own bias tape out of matching colors of cotton. All of the edges are either covered with bias tape or enclosed in some way, and the only exposed seams I used the serger to make them nice and neat. The first one I made, the girly flower one took the longest, maybe about a day, on and off, but the two for my son went together so quickly and I finished both in one day. I absolutely adore this pattern, and plan to make more for my new little guy next year when he is bigger. My son wore these last year (that is when I took these pictures) and even though he has grown considerably they still fit great this year, and I honestly think he will be able to use them next year too, which is awesome.
The most challenging part of this pattern is the cutting out process and since I bought each of these towels on clearance for less than $8.00 each, I was bound and determined to make the pattern fit onto one towel. Two of the towels (the monkey print and the blue and green color blocked) are directional prints, but with a LOT of thought, I managed to squeeze all the pattern pieces on the towels. Two of the towels also featured unusual ends, the flower print featured "Tommy Hilfiger" strips on each end that I was able to make work perfectly for the ties on the robe, and the blue and green color blocked towel had a different type of fabric on the ends that wasn't terry cloth, so I had to avoid using it for the main body, but managed to use it for the ties also, which worked out perfectly for both robes.
This pattern is a great beginner sewing project, especially if you are new to sewing clothes. Dana suggests the easy way to add sleeves (great for the beginner) or the harder (or normal way) to add sleeves, which is what I did, but either method works great and creates a very professional finish. Everyone who has seen these robes can not believe that they are handmade and wanted to know where I purchased them. Nothing better or more complimentary than that! I think you can tell from these pictures just how much my little guy enjoyed being "warmed up and dried off" after getting out of those cold pools!
Sad to see the end of Summer, but excited to bring on the colder temperatures and routines of Fall!
I had to share what has been at my table lately! This little mess! First rice cereal, below peaches and most recently sweet potatoes (not shown.) Rice cereal is good, but peaches are the pits! Ha-Ha! No seriously, he doesn't like peaches. So far sweet potatoes have been a hit. Hard to believe that he will be seven months old on Friday!
Linking up an nontraditional post to Tuesday at the Table over at A Quilter's Table! Head on over and check out everyone's delicious recipes!
...but rather an official "big boy." First day of Pre-K, as you can see, he was super excited. In his uniform and awesome new "super power" shoes that he adores. We were fortunate enough to be chosen in the "lottery" to get a slot into Pre-K, in an Arts and Technology specialized school. Even though this process was years in the making, I guess I'm still not ready, but what mother is? I didn't cry, but am a bit sad. The house is awfully quiet. When we kissed him goodbye this morning, he had the look of "wait, where are you going?" I pray that the day goes smoothly and that he isn't too upset. When we left, he was already making fast friends, which is the ultimate benefit of this whole thing, other kids to play with! Let's hope we have a happy and productive school year, filled with learning and new friends!
We visited the in-laws for Father's Day this year and my mother-in-law treated everyone to BBQ ribs and a host of other sides and deserts. Aside from being delicious, we also got to bring home leftovers. Score! Nothing better than having a bunch of home cooked food that I didn't have to cook!
Last night was time to eat the leftovers, and rather than just reheat them, I created what I am now calling "Lazy Pulled Pork." The meat from the ribs was already falling off the bone, so I just finished pulling it off the bone and created this super easy, quick dish.
Lazy Pulled Pork
Left over rib meat. I used the equivalent of one rack of ribs. Meat pulled off the bone.
1/2 red onion, chopped into thin strips.
Your favorite BBQ Sauce, preferably one made with Sugar and not High Fructose Corn Syrup. (I used Bull's-Eye Memphis Style) I have found that BBQ sauce made with real sugar tastes better and caramelizes better too!
1 Tbsp Oil (your choice)
Hamburger buns, pickles and anything else you would like to top it with.
Heat 1 Tbsp Oil over medium heat in a large pan. Add red onions and cook until nice and soft. Add rib meat and heat through. Add BBQ Sauce, enough to make everything nice and covered and saucy, I used around 1/2 cup, but it is totally up to you. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until everything is nice and hot and bubbly. Toast buns, and serve topped with pickles. Enjoy!
Yes, I said it, and no Patty Young, I don't love you in that way, but boy do I love your pattern, Natalie and Nate. I mean, I am IN LOVE with this pattern, it is honestly the BEST THING EVER! I have made two so far, and have enough fabric to make at least 5 more, and I am dead serious about that. It is one of those patterns that is just genius, the construction is so simple, no exposed seams with the exception of the bottom leg bands, and it goes together so quickly. The hardest part is picking out the fabric, and maybe the two button holes. I think I'll have more children just to be able to dress them in these outfits! Ok, that was a little much, but I am considering it!
My 4.5 month old son is currently in 6 month clothing (what a chunk!,) so I made the 6 month size, and it fits perfectly! The two buttons on the shoulders allow for great adjust-ability, in these pictures he is wearing it buttoned on the second button, for a slightly tighter fit around the neck. I was able to cut the exterior and interior fabrics out of 1/2 yard of fabric each, with leftovers to spare. The exterior print is Backyard Baby, Bug Jars in Gray by Patty Sloniger and the interior print is Early Bird by Cosmo Cricket. This project only took a few hours, and I think it would be a great outfit for anyone who is considering getting into making clothes for your kids or grandchildren. It is totally do-able and the pattern instructions are so detailed and easy to understand!
When my first son was born, I searched fruitlessly for a cute romper pattern for him, and alas, never found one, so as soon as I saw this pattern, I quickly snatched it up, and went to work! I love the fact that you don't have to finish any of the seams, because they are all enclosed, no annoying scratchy seams to irritate that precious baby skin! It has a snap crotch for easy diaper changing, and the pattern includes sizes 6 months - 3T, which means we will be enjoying these rompers for years to come!
Alright, enough gushing about Patty Young and her wonderful pattern. I am linking up to Ellison Lane Quilts, Summer Sewing Contest, be sure to head over there and check out all the other fabulous entries!
In my wildest dreams I never thought it would take me this long to post about our newest family member, so I do apologize to those of you anxiously awaiting photos. Here he is, our 8 pound 10 ounce, 21.25" long bundle of joy. Born on January 24, 2012 at 7:26 am (which ironically, 7/26 is our wedding anniversary, how cool is that?) Arriving via a planned c-section, he entered this world healthy and cute as could be, but I am rather biased and in love with this little one. We had some real smiles this week, which is awesome. It is always amazing to me how quickly they change and how quickly it all goes by. We are slowly getting into a routine, and knock on wood getting a little more sleep each and every night. Big brother has adjusted amazingly well and is fascinated with little brother or in his own words (baby is) "so cute!" or rather "AWW SOOOO CUTE!" I do hope you forgive me for my extended absence, but I just want to soak up all the little moments with my new little one, because I know how quickly it all flies by.
Time to go... I hear a little one squeaking...
I thought I would share some 3D pictures that we had taken on Monday (11/14/11) of our baby boy. I am currently 29 weeks and in my 3rd trimester, baby is doing great, measuring correctly and so far everything is just trucking along. I am happy to say that I am feeling a tad bit better, and food isn't as disgusting to me anymore, which is really nice and makes a lot of food available that wasn't previously. Maybe I will have a normal Thanksgiving, or at least be able to eat a little of everything! That would be nice.
I had a little discussion with my Doctor on Monday regarding the fact that I had my first son prematurely at 35-36 weeks. I basically was asking if I had my first son early, what are the chances that would happen again with this pregnancy. I fully expected him to say that every pregnancy is different and you never know. But.....instead he said the odds were really good that I would have this one prematurely as well. I wasn't expecting that. So we are now mentally preparing for this baby to be born around Christmas instead of his January 28 due date. We would rather be mentally prepared (and physically prepared house wise) for an early birth than be totally surprised like we were with our first. If I carry him longer, great (and we are really hoping for that) but, I am no longer going to be delusional that it won't happen early again. This being said, I will be a little more vacant from my blog, preparing for not only the holidays, but also the arrival of our new baby boy. I'm not disappearing, I just have to shift around my priorities at this point, and unfortunately it does involve a lot less sewing....BOO! And yes, i am really sad about that aspect of this whole thing. But what can you do?
The good news is that since I am having another little boy, we virtually have everything we need already, and I spent the day yesterday washing little baby clothes and organizing. It is amazing to me that even though my first son wore all those items of clothing, I didn't even remember half of them, so I guess that says more about a new mom's frame of mind at the beginning! HAHA Wish me luck on my numerous projects and my one big really important one!
Hard to believe that this premature, 5 pound baby boy is now this 35+ pound rambunctious 4 year old. The little boy who was supposed to be a Thanksgiving pumpkin pie baby, who instead decided he wanted to join us early and be a Halloween jack-o-lantern baby instead. Time flies, doesn't it? (Taking a break to sob out/cry like a hysterical pregnant woman for a moment...) Happy Birthday ole' bear.
On a side note....Halloween. My little/big one was sick last year, and didn't get to go trick-or-treating, so that means that last years Hamburger costume didn't get used. So, this past Friday morning, I pulled it out to make sure it still fit him, because I had every intention of using it this year. It fit perfectly, too bad my son began to instantly scream (while tugging on the costume) "I don't want to be a burger!" So... I asked him what he wanted to be, and he instantly said, "a pirate."
Off we went to Hancock's in search of the fabrics needed. Luckily, I found everything I needed, and in about a day, whipped up his pirate costume. Inspired by the image below, my son was transformed into Jake from Jake and the Neverland Pirates, his current favorite show. Now, I didn't make the eye patch or the wristband (or glow sticks) or the rubber boots, though I did add a fabric cuff to the top of the rubber boots to give them that "pirate boot" look. I was quite thrilled at how well the whole ensemble turned out, and my son was equally thrilled to wear it last night, and to be transformed into his favorite character. He made quite the haul of candy last night, his pumpkin bucket was filled to the brim, and so heavy, the handle literally snapped into two parts.
We had quite the fun evening, and I'm hoping that you also had a fun filled Halloween!