Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Living Room Updates

 Hello!  I am back with a post to finally show you all of the updates we've made to the living room since we moved in. It is hard to believe that the room that you see above once looked like this:

Those dark purple walls were really making the room much darker than it needed to be so the first thing that changed in the room was the wall color.  I love this lovely greige by Behr called Silver Drop.  In fact, I love it so much that I'm thinking about painted all of the remaining walls in the upstairs the same color.  I am also going to be using painting the family room in the basement this color.
The second big change was that fireplace.  You can read about that transformation in this post.  The other new items that you see from this angle are our new sectional, a large storage ottoman, a couple of Agen Armchairs from IKEA, and some white linen curtains that I found at HomeGoods.  I hung up my watercolor skyline of Tulsa that you can read more about in this post.  I made the cushions on the Agen chairs (they aren't my best work so I won't be sharing a tutorial with you but they get the job done haha).  The pillows on the chairs were ones that I already had but I plan on eventually getting matching pillows for those chairs. We removed the ceiling fan in this room (it was just the fan, no lights on it) and put up this light fixture from Wayfair.  I love how the black of the light fixture works so well with the curtain rods (another Target purchase) and the black in the tile of the fireplace.
These pillows came with sectional and I may eventually change them out but the yellow actually works well with the yellow fabric on the backs of bookcase.
On this side of the room we set up the two bookshelves that were in the corner of our old living room on either side of the Liatorp sideboard that was in our bonus room in our old house.  The baskets on the sideboard are all TJ Maxx and HomeGoods finds.  Those bookshelves are kind of messy right now, eventually I will get them more organized.  Also our vacuum cleaner has a nice cameo in this picture oops.

Speaking of messes, note the lovely pile of toys behind the blue chair.  Our old storage ottoman from our living room is housing most of the toys but there is some overflow.  I plan to get some nice large baskets for some of them and the rest will move to Lyla's room.
And here's the not as nice angle in the room.  This way you can see more toys and a lot of blank walls.  I definitely need to put some art and decor on those walls but I like to be really purposeful about what I put up so I'm still coming up with ideas.  The blue armchair will probably move to the far corner where those toys since it is kind of crowding the piano area.  I plan to either get a new end table or give that one a makeover.  I like that it has storage inside of it but it is a little chunky.  Other plans for this room include getting a small table to go between the IKEA chairs, making roman shades out of the mini blinds on the windows, finding a lamp to go on the end table and maybe even  buying floor lamp for that corner where the blue chair might be moving to. I am pretty happy with how this room has turned out and I love spending time in here and having people over to hang out in here! 

Next up for the blog I have a large post for the Sewing for Baby series which will also include an update on cloth diapering in our household.  I have also begun work on my sewing studio in the basement and I have several projects in there that I will be excited to share with you.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Valentine's Day 2018

Over the past several years I've had fun making valentines for my older daughter's daycare classmates. 
All of the ideas that I have used have been non-candy ideas because between Halloween and Christmas I feel like kids are just saturated with candy.  You can read about the sock valentines here and the gold fish valentines here.

This year I had two set of valentines to make with two kids in daycare.  I also decided to make a little something for the teachers too. 

I made these cute teether valentines for the baby room at daycare.  I love a good pun when it comes to Valentine's Day if you haven't noticed.  I found these adorable silicone teethers on Amazon.  They come in packs of 5 so I needed two for the 9 babies in Ana's room.  That means that Ana got one too and she loves it.  It is so easy for her to hold and she loves chewing on it. 
They are food grade silicone and can be put in the refrigerator to get them chilled to help with sore gums.  I used my Silhouette Portrait to make, print, and cut the tags that I tied to the teethers. 
The teethers are supposed to be fruit shaped and it says on the package that this one is supposed to be a pineapple.  I don't know about you but to me this looks like an ear of corn ha ha!

For my two year old's classmates I made these play-doh valentines.  I just bought the party pack of play-doh (found in the party aisle at Target).  I made the cards on my Silhouette of course.  The holes ended up being a little small for the play-doh containers so I just snipped around the circle to make the opening a little bigger. 

Finally I made some heart cookies for the teachers and attached this cute card to each box.  I got the boxes from work.  Someone had brought the teachers at my school chocolate covered strawberries from Edible Arrangements and they came in these boxes.  I covered up the Edible Arrangement logo on the front of the box but didn't realize there was one on the inside lid too.  One of Ana's teachers said "I didn't know Edible Arrangements made cookies."  So funny. 

The cookies are chocolate sugar cookies that I made using this recipe from the blog Baking a Moment.  These cookies are fantastic.  They don't spread and you don't have to chill the dough because the recipe calls for chilled butter. I used a scalloped heart cookie cutter to cut them out.  For the frosting I used this recipe from the blog In Katrina's Kitchen.  This was my first time using the recipe and I really like it.  The flavor was good and it was easy to pipe.  I added a couple of drops of red food coloring to get this nice pale pink color which ended up matching my little pink pearl sprinkles perfectly.  I love to bake but I am not the best decorator in the world but this frosting made it easy to make a pretty finished product.

That's all for now.  I've got to get back to sewing now.  I think my next post will be another installment of my Sewing for Baby series as I have been working on a ton of baby related sewing projects lately!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Pumpkin Spice Lactation Muffins

Happy February!  It is crazy to me that it is February already and that my littlest one just turned 4 months about a week ago.  The last few days before she turned 4 months were not very fun as the stomach flu hit our house pretty hard.  The girls and I both had it and it was a pretty nasty strain of it.  No matter how much water I try to drink when I have the stomach flu I still tend to experience a little bit of a dip in my milk supply and this time was no different.  When Lyla was a baby I came across these delicious pumpkin lactation muffins and made batches upon batches of them.  I struggled a lot more with my milk supply in general with her.  When Ana was born I decided to make a batch of these right away but was dismayed to see that the recipe and post no longer existed.

I found a couple of other recipes for pumpkin lactation muffins but they just weren't the same.  So I decided to see if I could recreate the recipe myself and I am happy to say that I was successful.  I am writing this post more for myself to preserve the recipe but they are quite tasty so I'm sure others will appreciate this recipe as well.  Now I am not a food blogger so my pictures leave a lot to be desired.

Trust me they are much better than my not so great photos lead you to believe.  These muffins are perfect.  They taste like good pumpkin bread and are so moist.  I love to load them up with dark chocolate chips and walnuts.  They are seriously my favorite and if you leave out the brewer's yeast and flax they could be some tasty regular old muffins as well.

Here is a link to the recipe if you want to print it.  Next up for the blog: I have a few sewing projects, another idea for non candy homemade Valentines, and someday I will finally share all of the updates to out living room because it has come a long way from the dark purple room from when we moved in.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Ana's Advent Baptism Brunch

I can't believe that it is already the end of January and Ana is already almost 4 months old!  Today I an finally getting around to blogging about Ana's baptism brunch which happened in the middle of December.

When Lyla was baptized I held a brunch at our house after the service and you can read more about that in this post:
This time around I decided to make the decor and cake Christmas themed since the baptism was during Advent.
I had a hot chocolate bar similar to the one from this Baby It's Cold Outside baby shower.  I used a cake stand and a tray that I already had decorated with some Christmas decor that I had on hand.
I served the hot chocolate in my Cocoa Latte dispenser.  This appliance is no longer made but I love it because it keeps the hot chocolate at the perfect temp and stirs it too.  I also served water with orange slices.
I decorated the table with these simple vases wrapped in velvet ribbon.  I found the fake pine bouquets at Joann Fabrics.  I served three types of breakfast sliders and a hash brown crockpot casserole.  The sliders are so easy because they use King's Hawaiian buns.  I didn't really use a specific recipe.  I just looked at a few and made my own.  I served three types: bacon, egg and cheese, ham and cheese, and mushroom, spinach, egg and cheese.  Each slider had a different glaze on top.  The ham ones were topped with a butter, honey and mustard mixture.  The bacon ones were topped with a butter and maple syrup mixture.  Finally the vegetarian ones were top with a garlic herb butter mixture.
I made this cake topper using my Silhouette Portrait and gold glitter card stock.

This cake was my absolute favorite part of the whole brunch.  I usually am not very successful at making cakes pretty but this one was pretty and extremely tasty.  The cake was a vanilla cake with mascarpone frosting and a cranberry cherry filling.  I used this recipe for the cake and frosting.  I used this recipe for the filling.  I made sugared cranberries using this tutorial and decorated the cake with sugared cranberries and sprigs of rosemary.  I used a mesh strainer filled with powdered sugar to sprinkle powdered sugar onto the rosemary sprigs to make it look like snow.
Here is what the cake looked like when cut.  It was seriously so tasty and I think this mascarpone frosting is my absolute favorite cake frosting ever.  It was not too sweet which is just the way I like my frosting.
I'm not sure what my next blog post will be since things have gotten really busy since I've gone back to work but hopefully it won't be too long before I post again!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Handmade Holiday 2017

Happy 2018!  I wanted to write a post on some of these things prior to Christmas so that they might be the inspiration for some last minute gifts but time got away from me.  I guess they will have to be next year's inspiration.  I have had so much fun making gifts for Lyla since she was born and now I get to do the same for Ana as well.  

First up: Christmas PJs.  Now the pajamas weren't actually Christmas gifts but I made them for the girls to wear on Christmas.  It is so fun to see Lyla getting to wake up Christmas morning and see her Santa gifts while wearing a cute pair of Christmas pjs.  

I made Lyla a pair of Movie Night Pajamas by Sew A Little Seam just like last year.  
This year I decided to make them entirely out of the deer fair isle Christmas fabric from Girl Charlee with the exception of the cuffs on the sleeves and ankles.  I seriously love this pattern so much and plan to make tons more of these babies.  In fact, I may never buy the girls any pajamas as they get older.  Here is a picture of my cutie in her Christmas pjs on Christmas morning:
Of course I couldn't leave Ana out of the Christmas pj fun!

I decided to make her a pair of Lullaby Line Snap Pajamas from Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop.  I really liked this pattern too.  I did make one mistake when I was sewing the gusset.  I was using my serger to sew the legs together and I accidentally cut right through the gusset.  Oops!  They still look cute though!  I don't have a picture of Ana wearing hers on Christmas because she blew out her diaper right away!
I did get a picture of her with her Christmas headband that I made when we had her snuggled into her carseat to head over to my parent's house.  I used this knot bow pattern and tutorial from Coral + Co.  It was a quick and easy sew.  

Here are my sweet girls together in their pajamas:

Next I will share with you the gifts that I made for the girls. 
For Ana I made a bandana scarf and a pair of harem pants.  For the bandana bib I used this tutorial and pattern from See Kate Sew.  It was a very easy project and I LOVE the mini pom pom trim.  Also this mustard dot fabric is the best.  Unfortunately Girl Charlee no longer has this fabric.

These harem pants from Made By Me Patterns was seriously the easiest pair of pants that I have ever made.  So simple and so cute!

Now for Lyla's present:

This adorable soft structure baby carrier is called The Mini and it is by Sew Toot Patterns.  Sew Toot makes patterns for actual baby carriers that are so amazing.  If I had the time I might just try my hand at the real thing!  They also have a pattern for a baby nest like a Dock a Tot which would be fun to make too.  The instructions for the pattern were so easy to follow and this really came together quickly.  I had so much fun sewing it and I think I might make a few of these to sell in my Etsy Shop. I made the carrier with grey canvas fabric and this lovely Michael Miller print for the accent piece. The Michael Miller fabric was on clearance at Hobby Lobby which made it even more awesome!
Lyla had fun wearing her new Thundar stuffed animal on Christmas day.  Go Bison!

I hope you feel inspired by this round up of handmade holiday items!  Hopefully I will get a chance to write a post about Ana's advent baptism brunch soon!

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