Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Christmas Traditions

I know it is a bit early for talking about Christmas, but I was asked by Paperless Post (I wasn't paid) to share some of the traditions we have for the holidays.  I love Christmas and have Christmas on my brain anyways, since I'm helping to plan a huge party for my husband's work (75 tables!).

With the recent moves, some of our traditions have changed, but most remain.  For example, while living in Idaho, I loved going into the forest soon after Thanksgiving to find our Christmas tree and then decorate it while listening to music and drinking hot cocoa.  Now that the forest has been replaced with onion fields and vineyards, we got an artificial tree, which Michael loves, because it is prelit.  So we now we do the same thing just with a different tree.  Though we don't use Santa (except dressing up Vanilla as Santa), we put up stockings and put in small fun surprises and treats for the girls.

Something else we try to do each year is to make cookies and chocolates.  Growing up, my Grandma did this every year and since she passed, I have been trying some of her recipes.  One of my favorites of hers are Peanut Butter Balls, which I have blogged about here.  Someday when I'm brave enough, I will try making her Almond Roca.  In addition to those, we usually make Oreo Truffles.  For the cookies, we often make gingerbread cookies and sugar cookies.  One year, we make some Perky Penquins and Candy Cane cookies that we a huge hit.

Another tradition we have been starting for the girls have been Advent Calenders.  In the past we have read different parts of the Nativity Story each day.  This year I got a Meri Meri one, that I think the girls will love, since they will be building the Nativity Scene and can play with the little pieces.  A plus for me is that we can reuse it.

Some years we send out Christmas cards.  The year that sticks out in my mind the most is one where our Christmas cards were also an announcment that we were going to have baby Eleanor!  Looking through Paperless Post, there are a ton of amazing options (including a bunch of free ones) and they will even email or mail them for you.  I could spend hours pouring over them trying to decide which one I want to use.  You should check out their Christmas Collection here.

What are some of your favorite traditions?

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Bookworm Birthday!

Eleanor just turned 7!  To celebrate we had a little Bookworm Party at the park with some friends and family.  I didn't do a ton for it, but wanted to share a little of what I did do.  If you want to see my inspirations for this party, you can see them on my Pinterst board.

I made invitations to look like library cards.

My frosting job was beyond terrible, because I did it at the park and the cupcakes were sticky, but the fondant books and bookworm we made were really cute.

I used the 3D letter printable from Mr. Printables and glued book pages to the back before cutting out.  It took some reengineering since I made the letters inside out, but it wasn't too hard to figure out.  The worst part was being in the depths of despair from cutting up an "Anne of the Island" book I got from a thrift store.

Since the book was already cut into, I figured I might as well use it to make my wrapping paper and bow.  I love how where the pages meet it looks kind of like ribbon was wrapped there.

Eleanor just devours books (thus the bookworm theme) so we asked that if the guests wanted to bring gifts that they bring books.  She finished reading one of the chapter books in less than a day and a half and it would have been sooner, but we forced her to play at the park.

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Cottage Mama: Party Dress

This last weekend we went to the park right after church and I realized that I didn't blog about the girls' Easter dresses, so I took a few pictures before having them change into play clothes.

I used The Party Dress pattern.  It is a free pattern by The Cottage Mama.  I love the look of this dress.  It is a very easy sew, though it is a bit of a fabric hog.

I love this picture of Eleanor.  I just wish I knew how to edit the hair out of her face.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

4th of July Outfits!

See, I don't always use Ottobre Design.  For Fourth of July of weekend, I made my girls and niece some fun matching outfits useing the Sweetheart Halter by Peek-a-boo Patterns.

This is such an easy pattern.  All the pieces are rectangles.  I lengthened my girls' to be dresses and left the baby's as a tunic for ease of crawling.

I even tried making stars in the girls' hair.  Eleanor's is made from braids and Laurel's has twists.  I found the idea on Pinterest.

The tunic needed a diaper cover so I used #7 Tiny Toes Bikini Bottoms from issue 3/2016 of Ottobre Design.  I love the little bows so much.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Fourth of July!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Ottobre Design: #22 4/2015 Blackbird and Cherries Tunic

The next round of filling Eleanor's summer wardrobe involved sewing this darling tunic from the 4/2015 issue of Ottobre Design.

I love how it turned out, especially with that darling Paris fabric.  The shorts are from the shorts sewing spree a few weeks ago from pattern #21 Perfect Shorts from issue 3/2016 of Ottobre Design.  The shorts really are pretty perfect.  They have lots of pockets, elastic waist and a little bit of elastic in the back hems to give it a nice shape.

The tunic was fairly easy expect the hem band, which was a beast to do those curves.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Changes to the House

We are in the process of selling our house, so I thought I'd share some before and after pictures of what we have done.  There is so much more I would have liked to have done, but I'm looking forward to the next adventure.

The before pictures are from the listing from when we bought the house.

In the living room, we painted the walls Silver Screen by Behr .  I made curtains from a grey burlap type of fabric and changed out the rod.  I also flipped the paddles on the fan to hide the wicker insert.  The square light fixtures had been painted red (I'm not a fan of red) so I painted over that with a metalic pewter paint that I used on the chandelier.  We had planned on making cabinets to go on both sides of the fireplace and paint that wall white and I wanted to convince Michael to let me paint the brick (I'm not a fan of orange either).

We did the most in the dining room.  When we moved in the whole large wall was covered in floor to ceiling mirrors.  They went out as soon as we could remove them.  The girls would spend the whole meal just staring at themselves.  

Later, I painted the chandelier (you can read about that here) and the walls were painted the same as the living room. We changed the door to our room.  It was a pocket door which our cat would rattle through out the night and wedge open.  We added a craftsman style trim around the entry ways, wainscoting, chair rail, and baseboard trim all painted in ultra pure white.

Changing the trim around the kitchen entryway made a huge mess so we had to fill that in and painted.  I used Niagara Mist from Behr.

To create more space, Michael made a cool pot rack using plumbing supplies and put up some shelves.

In the girls' room, we painted walls, trim and ceiling the same colors as the living room and dining room.  We also put up some shelves and changed out the blinds.

Other than some other little things, I think that is about all we did inside the house.  We had a lot more plans and ideas, but we are looking forward to getting another house we can personalize when we move.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Ottobre Design: #27 B 3/16 Retro Swimsuit

Eleanor has grown out of most of her summer clothes so I have been busy trying to fix that.  A few weeks ago I made her five pairs of shorts that I should share if I ever get around to photographing them.  

Yesterday, she had a water party at school so that meant she needed a swimsuit.  I started the weekend before, but had sizing issues so ended up making the final product all on Tuesday. 

I used Ottobre Design design 27 B from issue 3/16.  It has a cute little skirt and criss cross straps and the other version has ruffles along the top.

It was a fairly easy sew and will probably sew another one, especially since I have one all cut out and started that turned out to be way too big for her.  Eleanor is so hard to size since she is 118cm tall but her waist size puts her in the 92cm size.