Friday, May 29, 2015

Happy weekend:

Happy Friday, everyone! It's a very special Friday because today is Baby M's birthday! He is officially one year old! We have cleared our schedules in order to spend the entire day with the little man of honor.

We've got a huge day planned full of snuggles, giggles, a visit to the playground, and tasty treats. And we have some family coming in this evening to celebrate and spend the weekend with us so we are very excited.

Hope your weekend is just as fun filled! Have a great one!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

While you were sleeping:

Baby M is having his one-year photos taken this afternoon. I whipped up this cute little crown last night, in celebration of the event, between painting the kitchen and showering.

I had used this pattern and tutorial but I didn't like that the crown was only in the front and the back was just elastic to I went rouge and did my own thing. I couldn't measure M's head because he was in bed so I guestimated that his head was roughly 18 inches. I cut the pattern piece from my felt and augmented it a little so that it was 20 inches instead of 16. I followed the rest of the directions but instead of just attaching elastic in the back, I fed it through the entire circumference of the crown. I got to try it on M this morning and it fits really well. Now if we can just get him to leave it on his head.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Happy weekend:

Happy Friday, friends! What are you doing this weekend? Anything fun? I'm so excited for this 3-day weekend and the extra day to spend with Baby M. We've got a lot to do around the house and yard and hopefully the weather will cooperate.

Here's a little of what we've been up to lately:
  1. We've been repainting the kitchen in what we like to call Phase 1 of our remodel.
  2. I'm still sewing up a storm, trying to finish that birthday present for M.
  3. I've been so exhausted lately -- hopefully I can sneak in an extra nap this weekend.
  4. M has started pulling up to furniture and cruising around the couch. It won't be long before that boy is walking!
  5. My to-do list for this weekend and next week is astronomical. It may stress me out but, man, it feels so good to be able to cross stuff off it.
Have a great, long, start-of-summer weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

While you were sleeping:


Baby M's first birthday is rapidly approaching and I've been working like a mad woman to finish making a few things for him. Up first: a birthday bunting banner.

I have 52 pieces of fabric from his weekly photos (see here) and some of that is designated for a quilt but there is still a ton left over so I decided to pick a few of my favorites and make him a bunting banner. The idea is that he will have something just for him to pull out year after year to celebrate his special day. My hope is that even when he is grown with a family of his own, he will get it out every year and make it a part of his birthday celebration.

It was really easy to make -- just time consuming. Probably more so for me than it would have been because I kept changing my mind about things and adding fusible interfacing to everything at the last minute. But I'm happy with how it turned out and can't wait to string it up.

I've moved onto finishing that quilt --  here's hoping I can get it done in time!

Monday, May 18, 2015

New reads:

I just finished reading Mandy by Julie Andrews Edwards, one of my very favorite books from my childhood. Once, in the fifth grade, I lost my copy, and then for my birthday last year my mom (who bought me my first copy) gave me another one. I have enjoyed reading this again. It's such a sweet little story. 

Here's what it's about, in case you're interested:

"For an orphan child whose life is filled with comfortable, predictable sameness, with no particular hardships, life is, well, all right. Really, what does Mandy have to worry about? So it comes to a surprise even to Mandy when a small restlessness begins to grow in her. This lonely ache sets her to wandering father afield, and leads her to a startling and wonderful discovery over the orphanage wall -- a very old, very small, seemingly abandoned cottage. Embarking on a clandestine domestic fantasy involving gardening tools and soap flakes, Mandy finds herself being less than honest about where and how she's spending her days. Holding her secret closer and closer to her heart, this imaginative dreamer inadvertently endangers her reputation -- and her life.

For every child who has fallen in love with The Secret Garden or A Little Princess, Julie Andrews Edwards's 1971 novel will be a heartwarming discovery. Any sometimes-lonely child with a giant imagination will recognize Mandy's dreams and rejoice in her ultimate fairy-tale happy ending."

I was a terribly imaginative child (still am) and was immediately drawn to this story. I always wanted to be an orphan -- it was my favorite thing to pretend -- and I'm only now just realizing that's probably why I devoured books like this (and Little Princess, Secret Garden, and Secret Language). I longed to live in an orphanage (or boarding school) and discover a secret place of my very own. 

I didn't realize until I was much older (and really into Sound of Music) that this author and Maria Von Trapp were one and the same. 

Rereading it as an adult, this story has lost none of it's magic. It's still just as charming as ever. I chose it as #25 on the "26 Books to Read in 2015" list: a book more than 10 years old. One of my favorites then and one of my favorites now.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Happy weekend:

Happy weekend, everyone! Sorry about the radio silence lately. We've just been so busy doing a whole lot of nothing and it's been very nice. I'm trying to give myself a little time off every now and then so we've been catching up on sleep and episodes of Outlander all week.

Time to get back to business as usual this weekend though. We've got some home updates to work on and I have got to finish that birthday present for M. What are you doing? Any fun plans?

Have a great weekend! Stay dry out there.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Happy weekend:

Happy Friday, friends! What are you up to this weekend? We have got a lot going on: prepping the kitchen for a mini-makeover, sewing, yard work, pizza and game night with a friend, and celebrating Mother's Day on Sunday. This is my first official Mother's Day and I am excited to share it with my own mom. She taught me what it is to be a mother and I have such new-found respect for her now that I'm seeing things from her perspective. I'm proud to be a new member of the mom club and looking forward to spending this day with her.

Here's a little of what's been going on with us:
  1. M learned to clap! We both cried the first time we saw him do it and it hasn't gotten old. His little baby hands clapping is such a sweet little sound. I cannot get enough of it.
  2. We are in the process of doing some improvements around the house. Tiring, but so worth it.
  3. I have been sewing every night in order to finish all of M's special birthday surprises.
  4. Spent some time this week catching up with my other mom friends. So glad I have those ladies in my life.
  5. We have spent every evening for the past few weeks watching every episode of 30 Rock again. Now, that's some good comedy! It is without a doubt, one of my favorite shows. 
Have a good weekend, everyone! 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Selfish sewing:

I have loved Emerson Fry (see here, here, and here) and their caftan forever. Seriously, for years. It's always sold out though and when it's not, it's almost $300. As much as I love it, I can never pull the trigger on paying that much for one dress. 

 So, I did some digging around and found something similar to make myself.

I think I'm going to use this vintage pattern (view 2) to make my own Emerson Fry knock off.

Here are some of the fabric options I've found:

Still hunting the perfect fabric but can't wait to get to work on this! It's going to be the perfect lazy summer day outfit. And much cheaper than the long-lusted-after one from Emerson Fry!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

New reads:

We have a tradition at our house, as I'm sure most of you do, of a bedtime story. We snuggle down after bath time and disappear into a great story. It's a tradition I'm hoping will continue as our family grows (you should see my list of books). Story time is one of my favorite parts of the day and I love sharing my love of reading with M.

Our local library is participating in 1000 Books Before Kindergarten and we are on board. It's a super simple concept: you read books to your child and keep track of what you read on paper. When you reach 1,000, you get free books. We're already close to 100 and we've only been keeping track of them since January so you'd be surprised by how fast it goes. I think it's a fantastic way to promote literacy and really great for those goal-oriented kids because they get to see their progress.

We've been checking out tons of new books from the library lately with plans to purchase our favorites for our home library. Here are some of the ones we've read lately:

  1. Dream Animals -- Such a cute story about dreams. The illustrations are beautiful. Hands down, my favorite of the bunch.
  2. Wolfie the Bunny -- Wolfie (a wolf) gets adopted by a family of bunnies. It's a great story about mixed and nontraditional families.
  3. A Sick Day for Amos McGee -- Amos McGee, a zookeeper, gets sick and can't go to work so his animal friends come to him! Again, gorgeous illustrations and such a sweet story. We really liked this one.
  4. Snoozefest -- A sloth goes to Snoozefest -- like a musical festival but for sleeping. Adults will appreciate the clever comparisons to real life. Or, at least I did. 
I fell out of the picture book circle sometime in early elementary school. Things have changed so much and I hadn't realized. The classics are still there but there are so many special stories out there. It's been a real joy discovering them all.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Happy weekend:

Happy Friday! What are you doing this weekend? Anything fun? We have big plans to work on things around the house. Andrew has been tackling the mess we call a backyard and has been making such progress! It's starting to look like an actual yard now. And we finally landed on a cabinet color for phase one of the kitchen remodel so I'm anxious to get started on the painting. I have to do some sewing too because I have birthday projects in the works for baby M (only 28 days away!) and really need to get on it. We're going to be insanely busy! Can't wait!

Have a great weekend, everyone!