Friday, January 29, 2010

Making the most of my time...



My sewing time usually occurs during Ezra's afternoon naps. Occasionally I'll get a couple of hours in the evening after the boys have gone to bed and if Mike is busy doing other things.
During my afternoon power sewing sessions the house is remarkably quiet and cozy. I used to just enjoy the hum of the sewing machine and get lost in thought. Over the past few months I have begun incorperating something new to my sewing time.
I pull the laptop over to my workspace (we are a sans I pod house:), and I listen to various Bible teachings online.
Incorperating this little practice has really been such a renewing time and a time to discipline my mind and keep it from wandering to things that it can wander to...worry, to-do lists, etc...
If you are interested, here are a couple of websites I get some great stuff from each day:

Here

Here

and Here


Back to sewing while Ezra continues napping. I am trying to finish five aprons for the shop by Monday. Wish me luck!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Freezer Paper Stencils

Canaan's birthday is right around the corner and I am working hard to get a couple of tee shirts done that he has been asking for. Tee shirt #1 - a lobster shirt reminiscent of one he saw last summer in Crew Cuts (J Crew for kids). Tee shirt #2 is a yo yo shirt inspired by one currently in Mini Boden catalog.



The lobster will actually be appliqued onto a green shirt and I'll stencil lettering on the shirt directly. The yo yo shirt is near completion and is oh so cute! I'll post pictures once his birthday arrives.



I had all but given up sewing during these last few weeks of pregnancy. It has just been too uncomfortable to sit for long periods of time at the machine. But it has been hard to stay away, I will admit. I have been pacing myself and just sewing a little bit each day to get some aprons done for the shop. I had an incredible holiday season at the shop and all but sold out of inventory.

A little over three weeks until this new little guy arrives. There is a excitement building in the house as the boys can actually sense the pending arrival. Mike has been hard at work finishing up a bathroom remodel we started a few months back. Once that is finished (hopefully in a week or two) we can get things in order around here to bring home baby!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Family Pictures



We had family pictures done this weekend by our uber~talented photographer friend Morgan Siler. Check her out here
Click here for more from the shoot

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Interview



Yesterday a reporter and photographer from the Lexington Herald Leader came to our home to interview Canaan about his marshmallow endeavors. He was a pro! During the actual interview portion he was fidgety and scatterbrained (as are all 6 year old boys) but once he started making the marshmallows (they wanted pictures of him in action) he turned on the Food Network tv show dialog. It was great. He walked them through each step and carefully explained his process.
The article will be out on February 4th in the food section of the paper. We are so proud of him and happy to be on this fun ride with him!
For those of you who have asked, he now has a website to sell his delicious treats.
www.themarshmallowscompany.com

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday Brunch

We had some wonderful friends over for a rainy Sunday brunch.





It was a fun afternoon of chatting amongst us gals, listening to the kids play, watching the guys help tackle a bathroom remodel project, and enjoying some food.
It is always so fun talking with friends who inspire, encourage, and cheer us on in life and whom we can do the same.






Bringing the meal together was a cinch. I worked on it throughout the week as I had time and pulled it all together this morning.
It was an odd menu~not necessarily foods that typically go together but I like to use what I have on hand without spending a small fortune at the store to bring it all together.
Here was the menu:

Homemade goat cheese with homemade black pepper crackers (both are make ahead)
Apples drizzled in honey and roasted pecans
Chorizo Egg Casserole (assemble ahead of time, bake 1 hr before)
Maple Oat Scones with homemade apple butter (dough is make ahead)
Chocolate French Macaroons (make ahead)
Homemade granola with mangoes and yogurt (make ahead)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Staying Organized



Living in a 50 year old house with very limited closet space presents a daily challenge with two active boys and two active adults.
The only way to stay on top of it all is to keep this home as organized as possible. Everything must be easy, obvious, and strategic if we are going to enjoy our home to the fullest.
I have mentioned before including the boys in the organization of the home as well. I have realized that I do not want to be the mom that just does it all for my kids because it is easier than asking them to help. It goes back to that whole "teaching someone to fish" principle.

The Library Station


The way this can most easily happen is to have designated areas for everything. We have the ball box (for sports balls), the toy crock, the shoe bin, the movie box, and the library station (for checked out library books and movies). Having a title for everything helps the entire family stay on the same page when it comes to straightening up and keeping things organized.

The "headed out the door and Goodwill drop off" box

Using these systems for not only our main living areas but all other areas of the house eliminates alot of frustration when it comes to finding things quickly and having a more fluid flow in the home.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Spring Accessory Wishlist

Here are my 2 wishlist items for spring:



These




And This

How sweet is this necklace. 3 little blue robin eggs to represent the 3 beautiful boys I will have in my life this spring.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Cashmere Headwrap


A couple of months ago I made this little headwrap. I often come across luxuriously soft cashmere sweaters at the thrift store and then just as my heart begins to beat faster in excitement over my find...I see a hole, or two, or three.
The last time this happened I opted to go ahead and buy the $3 sweater anyhow and figure out a way to use it for something fun and soft to wear.
One of my favorite headwraps was cashmere and was purchased by my mom from Banana Republic years ago. Oh how I loved it...
So I decided that part of my $3 sweater would become a new headwrap for winter. It literally took less than 15 minutes and it is oh-so warm and cozy on my ears. I even wear it around the house when there is a slight chill in the air. Mike calls it my hippie head wrap.
I have a ton of cashmere leftover which I want to try to make some fingerless mittens...more like wrist warmers with thumbs that go up to my knuckles...what ever those things are called. Anyhow, I have been dreaming up all sorts of fun ideas. I would gladly welcome any other ideas too. There are many holey cashmere sweaters in the world needing a new home and a new purpose!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Writing

I can't believe I didn't write about this earlier! I guess with the busy holidays, time just got away from me.



Well here it is~ an article I wrote for our local independent newspaper, The Chevy Chaser. The article is titled "The Lost Art of Entertaining". It was such a fun piece to write and I was able to do the photography for the piece as well. I am currently working on the next article about spring cleaning for their "home" issue in March.




I had coffee with the editor a few weeks back and it looks as if I may be able to do quite a bit more writing for the paper in the future as well. Woo hoo!
If you're interested in reading the full article you can do it here

Painting


I generally go long periods of time (years) between paintings. I love to paint but also am fearful to pick up my brush and paint those first strokes when the time arrives. I have wanted a large painting for our kitchen for a while now...a long while. Mike loves landscapes and after seeing some of the landscapes in an old Anthropologie catalog taken in Iceland I thought I may tackle one.
Since my last painting was over 2 years ago and the one prior to that was even further back, my paints were practically hardened and my brushes I have had since high school were dry and brittle.
I asked for new paints and brushes for Christmas which both Mike and my parents bought for me. And as for the enormous canvas (36 by 48) I found 2 of them, unused, at the thrift store for $2.50 a piece!
The painting itself took a little over 2 days~working while the boys slept or were pre-occupied with their own crafts.
It still needs framed and hung a bit higher in the kitchen (I used a nail already in the wall from a previous frame) but it is a nice addition to our fairly minimalist, neutral colored kitchen.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Yoga


As the end of this pregnancy draws closer I am trying to keep up with doing yoga. Some days it is more of a chore rather than a relaxing practice but nonetheless it makes me feel more energetic and keeps me feeling healthy throughout the day when I take the time to do it.
Ezra loves yoga as well. He usually puts in his own kids yoga DVD's but he also joins in on my mommy yoga.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Holiday Sweets



I have been reading a great new cookbook recently called, "Falling Cloudberries" by Tessa Kiros. It is one of the most beautiful cookbooks I have come across in a long time. One of the recipes, Ricotta Tart with a Chocolate Crust, is simple and amazing. I used a gallon of whole milk we had on hand to make some homemade ricotta for the tart. The crust is so simple and really, really yummy. I can foresee using the crust for cheesecakes, berry tarts, and banana cream pies.




I also tried my hand at Rugelach. This recipe was really a good one. Some reviewers said it was difficult to make but I didn't find this to be the case at all. In fact, they came together really quickly (after chilling the dough), and baked beautifully.


Besides baking, there has been some outdoor playing in frigid temperatures as well as...




bubble making experiments.