today, I blog!

This is me...not blogging.

it is what it is.
baby steps.

I click publish today, tomorrow we think about content.

Well, maybe after Christmas.

hmm.  since we're dealing with reality here, Let's shoot for next year.

Hooray!! A post with substance coming next year!

clicking publish….
that feels good.


so sorry, sweet blog.

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You have every right to be mad at me.  I have completely ignored and abandoned my blog, and I feel sad about it.

Things have been a little upside down here lately.  Not bad, just different.  Kacie, our youngest, started Kindergarten and everything changed.  My kids were all of a sudden...big.  I expected lazy days to read 10 million books and have a clean house every day and study and sew and blog and have Barefoot Contessa caliber dinners and lunch with friends and volunteer and have an overwhelming sense of great personal accomplishment at the close of each day, and it just hasn't turned out that way.  go figure.  There's just so much to do.

I've been a little surprised by how hard it's been for me to make this transition.  It's just being a different kind of mommy now and I didn't think it would take getting used to for me, but it has.  It's still about the kids, and always will be, but now there is this element of me in there that has thrown me for a loop.  Now what do I do?  Now who do I be?  They're growing up, dang.  I really didn't expect these growing pains.

Oh I love my kids.  My crazy wall climbing ninja children.

So forgive me while this dear blog waits for me to get it together.  I will share my life and my makings with you...eventually.

I think that's the theme word of my life.  I may put it on a necklace...



I was in love for a couple hours.

So I was in my pajamas in the van, in the garage with the doors open, waiting for Dani and Jake to finish their breakfast so I can take them to school, and they're not coming.  Yes, I wear my pajamas to take them to school, sometimes.  On this particular morning I happened to be wearing my pajamas...I was unaware it was going to become a significant day or else I may have chosen to dress a little more appropriately.  But I didn't know.  Regardless, I was getting impatient waiting for them to finish their toast,  then Jake comes jumping out of the house - not saying anything but just pointing into the kitchen and huffing and puffing and shaking like a maniac.  And so I firmly and not so patiently request that he stops fooling around and gets in the car!! And he just looks at me with these wide crazy eyes like there's something magical going on but is too scared to say the word to his momma, until I yell...I mean, emphatically request for him to just tell me what the whooey is going on!!!

and then he says the word.  


in my kitchen.

I'm not an animal person.  Our pet rule is that the kids can have any living thing they want as long as it doesn't poop.  So a dog in my kitchen definitely does not fit within those very safe and firm animal guidelines.

At this point I choose NOT to get out of my car but continue to yell, emphatically request, at my children to get the dog OUT OF THE HOUSE!  "Just get it out of the house, get it out of the house!  Do not pet the dog, do not feed the dog, do not love or admire or develop any emotions for the dog, just lead it out of my home and direct it towards its own dwelling and it will know where to go!" (don't judge me.)

Then Dani shoots out of the house proclaiming that it has no collar and therefore under the "No Collar Act" she just made up she has the lawful and legal right to keep the dog and make it her own.  So I'm yelling, requesting, louder now and beginning to think I should get out of the car to take care of business myself but I really don't want to leave my seat warmer and in mid yell Dani holds up this sweet face:

I turned the car off and left my seat warmer.

We put him in the backyard and I took the kids to school, borrowed some dog food from a friend, then checked the Animal Shelter and Craigslist listings for lost dogs and sighed because I knew there was a sad family looking for Sam. That's what we named him.   I sat in the back yard with Sam and tried not to admire or develop emotions for him while we waited for the shelter to open, but I did.  On accident. 

He didn't have a microchip so we couldn't identify his owners right away, so I filled out adoption papers for him in case nobody came to claim him.  They told me they'd let me know.   I handed him over, and secretly echoed Dani's earlier wish that if the owners showed up we could pull an Old Yeller and trade them a lizard for him. 

A nice girl from the shelter called a couple days later and told us the owners came and claimed him.   I thanked her and said that was so great for Sam, I was so happy they found him.  Then I hung up the phone and told the kids, and went in the backyard and cried just a little.

He was never really my dog.  But I miss him.

I might need to buy myself a goldfish.



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We made these bags last year and it was fun to get them out again.  I told the kids that if this bag gets full it's time to come home and let mom go through all of it to remove the candy that might be poisoned.  I usually find a pretty good handful, or two, of suspicious looking KitKat's every year.  It feels good to save the lives of my children; such a sacrifice.

I've already eaten 2 bags of candy I bought early so I had to buy more today. Typical.  Our neighborhood is CRAZY on Halloween.  Literally hundreds of kids and never enough candy!  There's a house on the main drag that has a live band play on their porch, and a house at the front of the subdivision that sets up a real live haunted lawn every kid is scared of, but they hand out big treat bags so they go anyways.  Freaky house.

We told Dani she was too old to Trick or Treat this year and she has chosen to show her disappointment by shaking uncontrollably on the floor and holding her breath till she turns purple.  I'm not convinced.

We have the costumes all worked out, but there are always last minute changes so we'll see what we end up with tonight.  The Pretty Skeleton Girl came home from school a little crabby so we may end up with a Pretty Grumpy Witch Ready for Bed.

And in other news...my Holiday Mint M&M's are now in stores!  Time to decorate the tree.  Merry Christmas.


candy corn cookie fyi...


I was craving candy corn, so I conducted an experiment this afternoon.  I substituted chopped candy corn for chocolate chips in my favorite Oatmeal Crispies recipe.

My hypothesis was correct.
They melt. 

Pretty...not exactly.


Girls Camp Crafts - FishTail Bracelets

I was trying to think of one more bracelet we could do and started fiddling around with embroidery floss and braids.  Regular 3 strand braided bracelets were cool, but not different.  And I knew a lot of girls would like to learn how to fishtail braid, so there it was.

These took a LONG time though.  After about an hour of watching the girls I realized it would go a lot faster if you used 2-3 strands at a time.  So I began making them with 12-14 strands instead of 6-8, and I used 3 strands of the same color to cross over instead of 1 shown in the tutorial.  The result was a very cool, chunky, and much quicker version.  BUT because there were so many strands the knots were very chunky and hard to wear as a bracelet.  So we made much faster thick and chunky FishTail Key chains, too.  I didn't get any pictures though, sorry.  Too busy craftin'.

Figuring how to organize the thread was tricky.  I ended up cutting all the 1 yard strands myself and wrapping them around a clothespin so the girls could just unravel one strand at a time.  This worked pretty well, but I realized quickly that there is no real organized way to do anything with 100 girls and embroidery floss.  So it just ended up as a free for all with the floss all over the place.  Which is okay if they're okay.  I guess.

It was hard for me to walk away on that one.

Here's the tutorial:



Click HERE for another tutorial on Fishtail Bracelets I found, from Oh So Pretty.


Katniss Doll


Dani made this doll for her friend, Erin.  totally all by herself.

I know.  She's awesome.


Andy's Dinosaur Party

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Andy wanted a dinosaur party this year, and he wanted to do the menu by himself. He's awesome. However, he asked for a REAL cake this year! Uh...I do doughnut cakes, son, which consists of stacking Krispy Kremes on a plate, maybe your forgot.

Enter Sam's Club.  Real live cakes may not be my domestic forte, but easy and efficient are.  In fact, you could say when it comes to all things low effort, I'm a pro.  Self proclaimed.  So I bought a chocolate cake from Sam's and stuck an awesome T-Rex on top. Voila! Dinosaur Cake!!

I bought jars from the dollar store, glued a dino on top and filled them with gumballs, a rocky bouncy ball, Pop Rocks, and a geode for their "thanks for coming" gift.
And for the activity? to the park!! They searched for hidden dinosaur skeletons on the way home, and all were pre-historically happy and well fed.

I love simplicity.

And I love Andy.



Out to Sea Dress Tutorial for Sarah Jane Studios


Sarah Jane's new Out To Sea fabric is finally in stores!  I love it.  Not only is the fabric awesome, but Sarah has put together an Out To Sea Blog Tour with DIY's from all the things you saw in her Quilt Market booth.  Yup, awesome.
{Sarah's photos, above}

Sarah sent me a sketch of a dress idea she had in her head and asked if I could make it.  So I channeled Little Engine and said "I think I can."  I got to work with some practice patterns and after a healthy amount of therapeutic seam ripping and half a bag of Nestle Toll House (semisweet, it helps me concentrate) I got it.

I love the dress,  and I love the fabric, and I love that she's sharing all of it with you!  Here it is:

Notes before you begin:
  • This tutorial is not for beginner sewers.  I don't go into detail on basic sewing techniques.
  • I always buy more fabric than what the pattern suggests, especially when it's totally cute and I know I can use it later for other projects.  This way I'm not stressed out if I make the wrong cut or rip the fabric with my seam ripper, etc.  More is better.
  • Read the tutorial all the way through to make sure you understand all the steps and have a good visual idea of what you need.  If something is unclear, email me and I am happy to help.
  • Always read a couple steps ahead before you sew something together or make a cut, there may be a note you don't want to miss.  
  • This is a tutorial, not a pattern.  I explain the steps for you to make your own template/pattern, but it helps if you are able to take measurements and try the dress on who you're making it for.
  • Your seam ripper is your best friend.  Don't stress out if you need to use it, often.  Making mistakes makes us better.

What you'll need:
  • 1/2 yard Out to Sea by Sarah Jane, Pirate Stripe {Raspberry}
  • 1 1/2 yards Out to Sea by Sarah Jane, My Favorite Ship {Breeze}
  • White and Navy Blue All Purpose Thread
  • 1 7-9" White Invisible Zipper
  • 1/2 yard muslin or scrap fabric (for your practice pattern)
  • Piece of Pellon Thick Stabilizer, or craft paper, wrapping paper, posterboard (something to use as your pattern)
  • Scissors, Straight Pins, Pencil, Black and Red pens, Measuring Tape, Iron

For the Pattern:
  • By "scoop" I mean not a tee shirt with a high neck.  It doesn't need to be a huge scoop.
  • Choose a tee shirt that fits snug, not really loose.
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For the Top:
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For the Armhole Binding:
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  • Give the top a nice tug under that binding to make sure it's caught good and tight.  I had to redo my binding twice because I didn't get it tucked in enough.
For the Neckline:


  • In hindsight, I would turn your dress inside out and make this mark on the WRONG side of your fabric.  Pencil washes out, no big deal, but marking on the wrong side is always better.

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  • If you made that mark on the WRONG side of you fabric first, you don't need to mark it again on the square.  Just pin your square on and follow the pencil line on the other side when you sew it.

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  • Emphasis on PRESS WELL.  This part may be tricky and the best advice I can give is to keep tugging and pressing.


  • Yeah, don't worry about the pencil.  But it still bugs me.
  • The reason we do this with the V is because there needs to be space for the knot of your cute bow or else the dress just looks all wonky.  We don't like wonky.


For the Collar:

  • neck measurement" x  2 + 15" = collar piece
  • The width of your collar pieces should always be 2".

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  • Just press over ONE end.  Not both.

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For the skirt:
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  • We do this so there isn't a wonky seam right down the middle of the dress.  This way the seams line up nicely with the side seams on the top.

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For the Zipper:
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  • Use a LOW setting on your iron so you don't melt your zipper!
  • There's a great video tutorial here on using invisible zippers HERE.  I don't have an invisible zipper foot.  They're nice, but you don't HAVE to have one.

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Finishing the Dress:

  • No need to trim the the zipper.   And I don't finish this seam because it's tricky when you're serger gets close to the the zipper.   (yes, i'm making fun of my typo)

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  • Before doing your hem, try the dress on your little girl to make sure you get the right length you want here.  Sarah Jane wanted her dress to be right above the knee, which is best.  If you want it longer, or shorter, just trim the bottom of your dress until it's 2 1/2" LONGER than where you want the bottom of the hem to be.

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Make sure you take pictures of your dress and add them to Sarah's Out to Sea Flickr Page!

You can buy her fabric from these guys.