Friday, December 3, 2010

Busy Day's Ride Home

Bella told us first thing in the morning she didn't sleep well last night. I laughed thing she had over heard one of us saying it. I think she was being truthful. She hardly got out of the stroller today and promptly went to sleep in the car on our way home.

As for this little face, it is always sleeping on the way home.

Now If I could only master getting them both inside without waking them!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

The first snow of the year!

Snow before thanksgiving. Oh boy, we have a serious winter ahead of us.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Bella's 3rd Birthday Party (a little late)

I must admit I had a lot of fun putting together Bella's ballerina birthday party. I made a couple tutu's and dancing wands with ribbons. Ordered the cutest pinata from Mommy Do on Etsy. I asked a couple close friends and family to help me out and bring some side dishes and bought you bake pizzas to save some money. My goal was to keep it as simple as possible... except for the cupcakes. Early to mid summer Bella started talking about wanting a strawberry birthday cake. I used my mama magic and convinced her cupcakes would work too. I am not so sure about my cake decorating skills mostly because I've never tried. I am kind of proud of how these cupcakes turned out so here is my cupcake tangent: I knew finding good strawberries in October was going to be a stretch so I froze some of the most delicious in season local strawberries over the summer. Not only were they sweet but they were also bright red. I used this recipe and absolutely no artificial anything. David started teasing me because I was so excited about the sprinkles I found that were colored with beet juice and the jelly beans colored with fruit juice that I guess it might have been mentioned to, well, everyone. Ok, now for the good stuff, photos taken by Faustino. He was paid in cupcakes.


And... my little baby girl is three! I have really cherished these last couple of months. She is growing in so many different ways. Her interests expand every day from different relationships and how they relate to her to the changing weather. I love that she can tear all the cushions off the couch and jump until she's sick or sit and color for an hour. Either way she is perfectly happy as long as she is doing something.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Handmade for Mama

I know! It's not very often Mama gets something new to wear. I haven't had the best of luck making clothes for myself so it has been a good year and a half since I have attempted anything. Since I left off I have learned that woven tops cut on a bias just work better because of the added stretch. AND that I love knits of all kinds and when given an option I always go for a knit top.

This one was made with some fabric I already had as a practice run. I used Simplicity's 2456 The front and back panels were cut on the bias which I learned will not work with plaids! Look how ridiculous that seam in the middle looks. It does fit perfectly so I plan on making it again. I plan on wearing this around the house until I find a better use for the fabric.


This shirt is made out of a knit fabric I picked up and Pacific Fabrics a couple months ago. I am not in love with it. I really think I picked it up because it was the first knit fabric print I've seen that I didn't hate. Because Knit is stretchy, I made a size smaller and even though I used the same pattern pieces I only made one panel for the front. I am really not crazy about the center seam. This shirt am really happy with. Even the hem isn't TOO bad. I wish I were a better garment photographer. This may be something to work on.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Big Boy Activities

Elliott is really starting to enjoy our trips to the park and not just from inside the moby wrap close and snug (and safe) with mama. Our last few trips we have braved putting this very mobile, walking, crawling boy down. He has loved it! This seems like such a small step but in a really big direction: Independence. I guess this was inevitable, I was going to have to share him with the world eventually.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Oliver + S Jacket: Complete!

So I finally sat down and forced myself to tackle the rest of Bella's jacket and to my surprise it went really smoothly.

I really like the unconventional use of color for the lining. I wasn't too sure how the dark lining would look but having spent so much money on the pattern and then on the Amy Butler Fabric I figured I would have to cut the cost of this jacket somehow. I happened to have a couple of yards of the lining fabric. Yes it cost me more to make this jacket then it would have to go to my local big box shop but I know this jacket will last a long time because I made it to last with quality fabric. I think if I were to buy something similar in quality and style it would have been a lot more. I thoroughly enjoyed making this jacket, even learning how to set sleeves. It turns out setting sleeves isn't as tricky as one might think.

I think I'm going to make one for Elliott with some red corduroy my grandma gave me (free) to feel less guilty about the 16 bucks I spent on the pattern!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Two Kinds of Productive Sundays

Mama took two kids to Pike Place Market for french pastries, new licorice root, spices, and tea, and bagel sandwiches. Yum! Not only was it nice to get out of the house and visit our dear city to the south. It turned out to be the most ideal autumn day. Light sprinkles, over cast and gray followed by light sprinkles and sun. [I know I'm not the only one who loves light sprinkles and gray.]

Papa stayed home to bottle his beer.

Both equally productive but we get to enjoy the fruits of our labor (shopping) today.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pumpkins.... Already?

Oh yes! I do love me some pumpkins. I think I burnt myself out of pumpkin last year with all those pumpkin pregnancy cravings, so I was a little hesitant to start so early. My mom brought by a home grown organic pumpkin last week and what was I suppose to say?!?! "no get the delicious thing away from me?" I roasted the pumpkin like usual, because we sure do love roasted pumpkin over here. Isabella and Elliott ate quite a bit of it just roasted and I put the rest in my best ever pumpkin soup. To remind myself what good soup is suppose to taste like:

Saute: two garlic cloves, 1/2 sweet onion and one jalapeno
Add: most of a roasted sugar pumpkin, 2 cups vegetable broth, 1 can coconut mulk, 1 tsp of cumin, a hand full of cilantro
Heat: thoroughly
Serve: with fresh cilantro and crispy sour dough bread

Sugar pumpkin's aren't the only thing being cooked up over here! Check out this super cute pumpkin I made!


Basicly this is a really big dinner plate sized yo-yo full of stuff and fluff. I couldn't pull my yo-yo quite tight enough to over the hole with just the stem so I made a little base and added a leaf. I stitched these on very carefully because I know that stem and leaf willl.... be well loved. I am still trying to use only scraps (something about this time of year makes me not want to spend money...??) so I pieced together the very few orange pieces of fabric I have. I like the homeliness of this pumpkin and I think I am going to make it some friends (at least one more for Elliott to play with since Bella has been a bit of a pumpkin hog). I am out of orange fabric so I am thinking maybe a blue or white pumpkin. And pumpkin season is officially here!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010

Scraps and Updates

So last year around this time I decided to challenge myself to sew from scraps and fabric I already own exclusively. It was a fun a fun challenge and I enjoyed going through a lot of my fabrics. Ok, so I am trying again. It is almost too easy this year because I have a lot more yardage and projects in the making to use up. I am buckling down and starting Isabella's fall/winter jacket. Which I have already bought all the fabric for. I am using this pattern from Oliver + S. [which is not only the most expensive pattern I have ever bought but also the only one Isabella ever decided to cut into itty bitty pieces while I was putting Elliott to sleep. ah!] It's by far the most difficult pattern I've ever attempted but I am feeling pretty good about it. That's pretty easy to say because I've only cut it out so far.

There has been a lot less sewing and even less blogging about sewing since Elliott was born. Lately I have been in a sewing mood and somehow squeezing in one to two hour sewing projects like this one:


We found this stroller for a couple dollars and the consignment shop. The seat it came with was looking kind of worn and sad. Bella picked this fabric out of the stash and now has a stroller of her own to push her babies around in. Instead of insisting on my pushing my stroller with my baby in it. Which, as you can imagine, slows us down quite a bit. To a stop.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Somehow..... I squeezed in time to make these

The best part about moving is getting to decorate. Looking for new fabrics... oooo. Trying to work around the wall colors so I don't have to try and paint anything with two kids (hahahahaha!) It's been a fun way to get the creative juices flowing.

The worst part about moving is having to decorate.

My struggle with the new house is big and dark and RED. It would be the kitchen/dining room. If you know me at all, you know a red formal looking room is not me. at. all. So I've been looking for ways to deformalize the kitchen while somehow blending my orange couch. (why the heck did I buy an orange couch?)


Conclusion: If you can not afford to make the curtains you LOVE with fabric you LOVE do not attempt to make them yourselves. Even if you save 10 bucks, It is not worth it! Net time I will just buy the boring fabric curtains and add the embellishments. It would have saved me tons of time and heart ache. Live and learn.


And this was so much fun to make.

Would it be weird to have multiple yo-yo quilts hanging in my house? Also, is there a better way to hang quilts?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Elliott is mobile!

[warning: turn volume wayyy down to avoid my cackle]

Friday, August 20, 2010

Adventures in Blueberry Picking

Needless to say, Bella's basket stayed empty. We had a great almost three whole hours roaming around the blueberry farm. After about 30 minutes of picking we just sat down betweens rows and ate our lunch. After we ate Elliott went to sleep in the mobi wrap and Bella and I walk around for more than two hours almost completely silent. It was definitely not your typical morning with a two year old and baby. I think we are going to try and do it again before the season is over!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

August Update

So we are officially moved. No, this not a hobby or life style of mine. It has just happened to be the way things worked out. Although I have been able to hold onto my sanity through these six (yes, SIX) moves in the last three years, it is getting harder and harder. Thank goodness I have these little bundles of joy to remind me what life is all about. If you ask Isabella, it's all about butterfly scones!

So we are packing everything up, our house is a HUGE mess and Bella wants to make muffins. Sadly, I have to tell her the muffin tin is packed up and we won't be able to make muffins again until we are in our new house. She shrugs and says "Okay, lets make scones". I open my mouth to say no we can't make scones when I realize we can make scones. Why shouldn't we just add to the piles of mess we call home? So Bella is mixing the dry ingredients as usual and mama is getting the butter ready. I plop the butter in the bowl and Bella without prompting picks up the pastry blender and gets to work. I just sat there and smiled. Blending the butter is usually my job, but she remembered what to do when the butter was blended and has watched me do it probably 500 times. (Of course, she needed a little help) She is probably a better baker at age two then I was a couple years ago.

You can see she is very serious about our baking.

Since we have been in our new home tea parties are all the rage. Almost everyday I get asked for a tea party and almost everyday I give in. I can't wait until we can start inviting friends to our tea parties. I am thinking about having a tea party style birthday party for Bella this year, complete with little kid sized finger sandwiches.


One more note and recipe from our kitchen: Bella's Strawberry Muffins


mix together: 2 cups organic whole wheat pastry flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 3 tsp baking powder, 1/4 cup of sugar
add: 1 egg, 1 cup milk, 3tbs grape seed oil, 1 cup cut strawberries
bake: at 400 for 15 minutes
enjoy: with butter and/or honey


and well this..... speaks for itself. You got to love that face!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Helping Papa Work

Elliott can't pass by Papa's office with out whole body shaking and jumping. At that point we HAVE to stop and visit.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ten Things I am Loving Right Now:

1. long summer days
2. simple meals
3. trips to the lake with good friends
4. consolidating, again
5. big washing machines
6. all these "firsts" with my babies
7. summer gardens
8. david and his devotion to our family
10. cool nights

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Dinner Table: The One Place Your Camera Should Never Go

Yet here I am invading everyone's nice meal in hopes of capturing my favorite time of the day. Often this is the only meal we eat together as a family and not for my lack of trying.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

My Ballerina Mouse

This girl is growing up so fast. I'm not going to lie, I just spent the last 45mins looking at every picture I have of her on the computer. Now I am feeling especially reminiscent. Everyday she has something new to share with me and everyday it catches me by surprise.

My favorite quote from our mama-big-girl-mouse-Angelina-ballerina-errand-run:
"I smell something bad! *sniiiifffff* I think it is a chipmunk"!


Take a close look. Yes, those are pigtails.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Story by Bella

Once upon a time there was a big woman and a little girl named Bella and Mama and she had a little brother named Elliott. They heard a thump thump thump. Do you know what that was? Does it sound like a monster? It wasn't a monster it was just Papa being silly!

-Isabella Brown 2 1/2 yo

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Summer Dress and a New Find

Here is Bella's summer dress. I have a serious sewing itch right now so I see more clothes in the near by future. I think I am going to make Elliott some matching pants with the left over fabric. The fabric was a little on the expensive side (10$ a yard!) but I used buttons, trim, thread, and lining fabric I already had. It probably came out to be about $11 and three whole hours. (not including cutting and reading the instructions time)

I just picked up this book recently, which is where I found this project. I love making little girl dresses, but hopefully I'll get to some of the other 24 projects.
This dress was amazingly simple but required a lot of buttons which means.... a lot of button holes. I obviously was up for the challenge. I finally feel really strong with my button hole making ability after eight, yes eight button holes! I knew I just needed to throw myself in there. Also, let me note that a good machine makes everything easier. Everything.

Look what I found on the side of the road in brand new perfect condition:
I have been invisioning something like this since Bella was a baby. I have even drawn pictures for David of the little book shelf I wanted, and there is was free! I am not crazy about the red fabric but the bars unscrew easily and I think when I can't handle the red any longer it won't be too hard to replace it.