Friday, July 30, 2010

Shop

And just so you know...the shop is now restocked. Just click the Itty Smitty icon on the sidebar and stock up ;)

Whatcha Eating?



Lunch yesterday wasn't so healthy, but oh-so-yummy. The chocolate cake was made a couple of months, yes months, ago. I had made a 3 layer chocolate cake and when leveling out the layers, I saved and froze the top parts for a later treat...or in this case, lunch.
In recent weeks my girlfriends and I have been talking alot about food. More specifically, what we're making for dinner, what we're feeding the kids for snacktime and budget friendly meals.

So this gets me thinking ~ what are you eating nowadays? Next week I am going to be sharing some of my favorite go-to recipes and I would love if you would share yours! Email me (megan@ittysmitty.com) this weekend or early next week and I'll post not only my favorites but some of yours as well!

See ya then...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bye Bye Guest Room

I blogged a few days ago about our decision to stay in this home of ours a while longer (although if the perfect house came on the market for the perfect price, I may change my tune). But for now, we are in the mindset of making it work and enjoying every square inch of it.



My biggest complaint all along has been the lack of a sewing studio/ office. Our solution to the office problem was to use our one and only large closet as a small office. This has proven to be a total disaster. Namely, it eliminated our only large closet so we have had nowhere to put our winter coats, hide the vacuum or hide those things that only large closets can hide. Additionally, the "office" was just a total wreck all of the time. Ridiculously disorganized and for me, enough to nearly send me over the edge most days.



Last weekend I had an "ah-ha" moment about it all and since then life here in the Smith household has taken a turn for the better.
The "ah ha" moment I am speaking of was the decision to sell the guest bed and turn the guest room (that is only used 4-5 times a year) into a sewing studio/office. Why did this take me nearly 3 years to figure out???
Yes, we love our guests ~dearly. And we plan to still house them but to completely eliminate one room in our house for the potential guest that comes through was just senseless given the square footage we are dealing with here.


(I'm still standing to sew for now ~ eventually we'll bring a sewing table up and the
office stuff under the window is still in need of some organization)

The new space is set up and I can't believe how in love with the whole arrangement I am. Now we can all be upstairs ~ Mike working on "officy" kinds of things, me getting to sew and the boys playing in their room.
And to now have my dining room area back without the crafty clutter is so refreshing.
Now if we only had a mudroom...all of life's problems would be solved....

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Extra! Extra! Read All About It...



Mike snuck off first thing this morning to grab a copy of the paper. We received an email yesterday from Herald Leader writer, Mary Meehan, that the interview I had done with her a couple of weeks ago about our travel site, Backseat Traveler, would be in today's paper.
She did a fantastic job of capturing the heartbeat of Backseat Traveler. Alongside her article was one that I wrote about our travels.

You can read them both here and here

The paper also had a little inset piece with an update about Canaan's marshmallow company that they had featured last fall, which was a really nice surprise.

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Place for Food



I have blogged before about this sweet 1950's bungalow we live in. Sweet...and fairly small...with nearly no storage.
For months now we have been tossing around the idea of moving to larger digs. The 1400 square feet we are in seems to grow smaller and smaller by the day as the boys get bigger and our creative energies and endeavors grow with them.
But although we don't see ourselves in this house forever, for the time being, we are just going to stay put and make it work.
The first thing on this new "make it work" mindset was creating some sort of a pantry space. My food has been limited to 3 small shelves and just trying to find space amongst the pans or pots to fit larger items like flour and oil.
After our big kitchen renovation a while back we had blank wall to play with...voila~ our new pantry space.
I asked for a home depot gift card for my birthday gift this year from my parents and we were able to make a cedar shelved pantry with a sliding door for under $100. Being able to make it ourselves meant we could measure out the perfect height of each of the 7 shelves (longer ones for cereal, smaller for cans).






















And yes, this is the look of our kitchen/ dining area each morning. Maybe yours is similar?

Once the shelves were in place we knew we didn't want to just leave it open. But there was no room for a conventional door. Thanks to some smart thinking by my handyman hubby, we now have this amazing sliding door that not only covers the shelves but also gives the room a bit more interest and depth.
I still need to paint the unfinished side of the pantry (hopefully I can get to that sometime soon).I'd love to eventually find an old kitchen sign, but for now we put up a sign I saved from the trash in Michigan. Mike is going to make a big door handle at his metal working class tomorrow~ which I am excited to see.
I'll share a bit more this week about other projects in the works to bring some more organization and storage to our home. We're excited!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Clean Table



A clean kitchen table is a rarity in this home...so I just had to take a picture; for memory sake, ya know?
Usually it is a heaping pile of creativity. Sewing machine, needle cushions, loads of fabric, cutting board, scissors, and patterns are mixed in with coloring books, markers, more scissors, and glue.
But my back has been acting up more and more these days and although I can't fully attribute it to sewing, I don't think the sewing is helping it much. I have a few unfinished orders that need to come together, but for this week, the table is clean. The boys still pull out the craft supplies but I think they too are appreciating the "new" look of the kitchen area and have been cleaning up after each days craft time.
This makes me long even more for a sewing studio where I can leave my stuff scattered around and close the door. I don't particularly enjoy turning our eating area into work studio but for now I am ok with it and just finding the blessing in having a space to work and be close to the boys throughout the day.

So since sewing is taking a backseat, I have had a few days to play catch-up on some other things. Things like putting together a box full of goodies for my sweet friend, Jen, who lives in Papua New Guinea with her hubby and 2 boys. Oh how I love sending her packages in the mail!



I also have had time to pull out my favorite dream notebook and start writing down some future ideas, dreams, and thoughts. Do you have one of these? I love looking back and seeing all of the ideas Mike and I have had over the years. Business ideas, home decor ideas, vacation plans and family goals. I treasure it.




Ezra starting writing his letters this week. That has been a huge deal for him. Its thrilling to see him so proud of his accomplishments! He has been the sneaky one all of these months. I have been helping him learn the letters for a while now but he has acted very nonchalant about it all ~ very disinterested. Last week he pulled out a piece of paper and asked me how to spell "bang" (we were going to watch Chitty Chitty Bang Bang later that night). I told him the letters and he promptly started writing them down. Mind you, he has never written a letter on paper before this point. That stinker.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Midwestern Gal



I am a Midwestern gal. Born and raised right smack in the middle of Ohio. After high school I went to college in Milwaukee, got married and moved to Mississippi for a year. Back to Ohio for a short stint, then down to Florida. After some time there we moved here to Kentucky where we have been for 6 years.
Except for the occasional trip back to Ohio we don't get much Midwest time anymore. As much as people love their southern hospitality down here in Kentucky, I long for the people of the Midwest.
This weekend took a family road trip to the heart of the cornfields, Indiana. The landscape was breathtaking, the food was amazing and being with Midwesterners again felt so good.
Isn't it funny how much we long for our "roots"? Those comforting places and people that make up who we are? For my husband, his roots are deep in the mountains of Kentucky. For our boys theirs will be in the bluegrass...didn't see that one coming (our year long stay has turned into six).
In a couple of weeks we will head up to the Ohio State Fair. It is an annual pilgrimage for us starting when Canaan was a year old. A couple of weeks after that we will venture over to the Kentucky State Fair where Canaan and I are both entering a cooking contest (more on that another day) and submitting some things in hopes of winning a blue ribbon!
Here's a few pictures from our weekend trip. I will be posting about the stay later in the week on Backseat Traveler too.

This was an amazing shop in downtown French Lick, Indiana. Full of amazing things. I really wanted the large fish that had the tops of cowboy boots as its scales. It would have been a perfect addition to our home...Mike didn't agree.



Downtown French Lick




Croque Madame at a local brew house we found in New Albany, Indiana. Amazing food, amazing beer.



The Pommes Frites came with several dipping sauces. My favorite ~ lavendar syrup.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Movie Nights



This summer has brought with it a new tradition of family movie nights...almost every night. We seemed to have found excitement and comfort in crawling up on our couch, making a big bowl of popcorn and watching an old movie.

This summers favorites have been Swiss Family Robinson, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Mary Poppins, the PBS documentary series "Frontier House", and old episodes of Lawrence Welk.
Although most families would head outdoors during the summer nights, the mosquitoes are ridiculously thick here and have their sights set on eating Canaan alive ~ so we tend to gravitate outdoors during the cool fall nights or build an outdoor fire on a wintry afternoon.



Otto is growing up so quickly. I keep telling him to slow down on that growing up stuff but he doesn't seem to listen. Oh its so heart wrenching seeing our last baby grow out of those sweet,tiny baby clothes.



Ezra has started playing basketball this summer. This is his self-proclaimed basketball uniform...down to the lime green shoe laced Nike's he bought himself for his birthday. After practice last week he came home and ate a whopping 4 plates of spinach salad ~ and then asked for more.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Vintage Fabrics and Sweet Treats



I scored some amazing vintage fabric this weekend at a friend's yard sale. She was sweet enough to give me the heads up that she was selling some of her stash, so I got first dibs the night before the big sale. Just look at all of those amazing colors and patterns!


Loving these colors!


And this one...oh this is dreamy!


In other news, lots of sweet treats happening around here lately. I think I am making up for lots of lost time while I was pregnant and wasn't feeling spunky enough to be in the kitchen.



While Canaan has still been working his way through Cake Keeper Cakes Cookbook (every single recipe has been amazing!), I have found my sweet tooth inspiration at David Lebovitz's website . The recipes are inspiring, interesting, and most importantly..delicious! Last week I made the Candied Bacon Ice Cream with a few tweaks. I substituted buttermilk for an extra tang (I love tangy ice cream) and also added more candied bacon ~ 5 strips of bacon is certainly not enough for a whole batch, right?!



Thanks to everyone who signed up for the giveaway! Amanda As A Bee is the winner! Congrats!! I'll contact you for mailing info and get the goodies right out to you.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

My First Giveaway!



For months...no years! I have wanted to do a giveaway on the blog...the time is finally here!
This giveaway is for a couple of things from my summer collection. A linen covered notepad and a linen and antique lace wrist cuff. I love wearing a cuff ~ just a pop of something fun with the cute tanktops or tee shirts.



And my linen covered notepad is something I use religiously. I keep all of my to-do lists in there, carry around extra cash, and write little notes to Canaan to stick in his backpack during the school year.



Here are the details~ To enter:

1. Tell me your favorite place to buy fabric/craft supplies online.

To be entered up to 3 more times~

*Blog about this giveaway and link back to it.

*Share with your friends on facebook.

*Sign up for the quarterly newsletter.


~Only 3 entries per person and be sure to leave a comment for each entry.



Giveaway will close on Sunday night at 9pm EST.

Good luck!

Holiday


Otto's first ocean experience.



Learning more about French Art Deco decor at this fabulous hotel



The boys first sushi dining experience


Browsing the art district downtown Cincinnati


An amazing holiday weekend indeed! Read more about our summer explorations here

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Pies




Yesterday was Lexington's kick off for the Fourth of July Weekend festivities. It began, as always, with the Great American Pie Contest and Ice Cream Social at Cheapside Park downtown.


It was a gorgeous 80 degree day ~ a much welcomed change from the recent near 100 degree muggy ones. Our dear friends Shawn and Julie came to hang out with us and do serious damage on some pizza from the local pizzeria, Goodfellas.



My pie, a Chocolate, Walnut and Fig Pie one second place in the semi-homemade category. I can make an ok pie crust but definitely not an award winning one. So I went the semi homemade route and used a store bought one...kinda cheating, but when they offer that category, why not utilize it?
(Like Canaan's cream pie teeth? :)


We came home and Canaan was inspired to make a pie as well. He titled it "Blerry" pie (that would be blackberry and cherry pie to you.)



We've also been using lots of fresh berries on crepes lately. Savory and sweet crepes are on the menu often around here.