Thursday, April 29, 2010


Look at all the pretties I found...

Spring = chicken salad + fresh fruits from the farmers market + picnic baskets + kids running barefoot + al fresco dining + back & forth between the kitchen and the backyard...Who am I kidding. It's really all an excuse to wear a pretty apron! I admit to a smallish apron obsession ;)

Scarlet Roses Apron

Aren't these yo-yos the sweetest?! You can find funktion aprons at many retailers including Layla Grayce.

Zoe tablecloth by funktion Berry Baskets dishtowel guessed it funktion! One of my faves. And I can't wait for this one! Hmmm...Mother's Day IS coming up.
{This is a hint for you, hon!} :)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

on blessings and rituals

For the longest time our nightime routine with the little pumpkin has gone something like this: dinner, bath, books (with daddy), prayers, cuddle time (with mama), lights out. Nothing out of the ordinary, right? Well, except one little thing. Ever since the little pumpkin was born, Lance tenderly referred to her as Gracie. Now, I'm not too fond of the nickname Gracie, I much prefer her given name of Grace, but coming from her daddy it DOES sound so very sweet. I'll admit I've called her Gracie Girl a time or two, substituting Gracie for "crazy" a fun, good-natured way of course. Well, a while back I remember coming in to her room ready for prayers & cuddle time and hearing Lance singing to her, Grace looking ever so tenderly at him filled with admiration like little girls do when looking at their daddies. He was singing Amazing Grace to her, except he called it the Gracie Song and she just soaked it up. Me too... x100. Fast forward to this week. Last night to be exact. Lance has been out of town for work so I'm pulling double duty (boy, am I tired!). Right after our prayers, Grace requested the Gracie Song. I hesitated. A ritual between father and daughter not to be tresspassed. I love rituals and traditions and family memories like you would not believe. I think they shape every fiber of our being. She insisted and so I did my best rendition of Amazing Grace. Thank goodness she was listening to me with loving ears for I'm no singer. At the end of the song, as she was beginning to drift off, she smiled sweetly, took my face into her little hands, and said "Amazing Mama"{insert heart flutter here} and then gave me a little kiss. Amazing how two little words can fill up your love tank and make you walk on air. Thank you God for the privilege you have given Lance and I to parent these two beautiful children.
It is the greatest gift on earth!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

how sweet it is... hear Hudson call me mama!!! It started last week and I can't get enough of it! I know he loves me...but now I know he knows who I an official sort of way! :)

I love you my dear son.
Hearing you say "mama" is THE best mother's day present EVER!


Woo hoo!
Grace's Vintage Strawberry Shortcake Party won
Sweet Charli's contest!!

See it HERE.


And read about it HERE if you missed it the first time.

Thank you to all who voted!

I've got my Dr. Seuss hat on and I'm having a fun time planning Hudson's 1st Birthday in less than 2 months. WHAT???!!! When did my baby get so big?!

P.S. If you see something cute - Dr. Seuss themed, let me know!! :)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

a lazy weekend

Those are the best, aren't they?

Other than taking the little pumpkin to a friend's birthday party Saturday morning we didn't have anything out of the usual planned for this weekend. Thank goodness! I needed some down time after the last couple of busy weeks we've had.

We enjoyed our lazy saturday by making this and completely cheated by using a can of store bought frosting. Which brings me to this thought...why don't they ever put enough frosting in a standard can to frost a layered cake??? Making a sheet cake just isn't the same. I like to see those layers stacked on top of each other with gooey frosting drizzled in between.

And doesn't everything taste better when served on a cute little plate? The little pumpkin thought it was hilarious we served CAKE on a CUPCAKE plate.

I was organizing our linen closet when it grew eerily silent, and all you mamas out there know that usually SILENCE = TROUBLE when you have little ones around. I tiptoed my way into the family room and this is how I found Hudson: And so it begins...the love affair between a boy and his TV remote. He entertained himself for a full 10 minutes never once looking up to see his crazy mama snapping pics of him on the floor. It was a good thing it was a lazy saturday because it gave us a chance to put this in place Yes, FINALLY a sofa replacement! I love the chocolate chenille but I'm not digging the matchy matchy pillows that came with it. Hmmm...I see a sewing project in my very near future.

And while we were at it, we also picked out this new table for our breakfast nook No more big high chair WOO HOO! We just strapped down our travel chair/booster seat and now we can all fit around the table much better. Hmmm...looking at that picture reminds me I need to make some muffins with those ripe bananas ASAP.

Oh, and see that old-new urn on the coffee table in the corner??? Yes, I must be a glutton for punishment. That's the same spot Hudson pulled my favorite pitcher from just the other week. We'll see how long that one lasts. At least there is no sentimental attachment to it whatsoever. I just found it while organizing the linen closet.

So that's it. Nothing too exciting around here. Getting ready to work on a May Day project with the little pumpkin while trying to keep Hudson from eating paper and glitter :) Gorgeous weather...lazy day... surrounded by loved ones...I love it!
Doesn't get much better than that.

Friday, April 23, 2010

there's a first time for everything...

Yesterday was one of those "first" days for the little pumpkin, so of course we had to document - a day late, but better late than never, right?

Notice anything in this picture? Here, take a closer look. Yup, she got a "big bad bruise" {her own words}. According to her teachers a couple of kids were playing around the slides and fell into a big pile. When they went to get up one of the other little girls accidentally wonked Grace on her eye/cheek and scratched her trying to get up.

I asked her if it hurt and this is what she said, "I went AAAAAAAAAAHHHH." Yes ma'am I believe you 100%. This little pumpkin of mine is part drama queen :) Then gave me a replay in case I didn't believe her the first time...about blew my eardrums out. What made matters worse was that when I got home, hands full trying to get everything out of the car in one trip, I swung the door open HARD and it just so happened that Grace was walking behind the door at that very moment so WHAM! another "big bad bruise", this time to her eyebrow bone - hence the swollen eyelid in the 2nd pic. Two shiners in one day. Yikes! I felt horrible even though it was just one of those things that just happens.

Now, onto a happier "first". Today the little pumpkin got her very own library card!!! We love to read in this family so this was a big deal! Here she is listening attentively as the sweet librarian told her she could now check out books with her very own card. She wasn't excited or anything. ;) And one more thing...if you are the mama of a little girl, don't you think you could use a sWeeT & fUNky little denim jacket like the one Grace is wearing??? Of course you do! My uber talented photographer-designer-decorator friend Jenn has some adorable things for sale in her etsy shop. Best part? All the funds from her etsy sales go toward bringing home her sweet baby from Ethiopia. Check out all the fun goodies HERE!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

mother's day brunch

Breathe in. Exhale. Enjoy.
That pretty much sums it up.
Photo by the incredibly talented Jill Thomas. See more of her amazing work HERE.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Official Correspondence. Mimi & Noonie~ I hope you liked the letters Grace mailed you yesterday...her first official letters to mail. She was so proud of them, the sticker "stamps" and all, and so excited to know if you had received them.

Cuddly Critter. Oh, my! This little one takes my breath away. He is so deliciously sweet and cuddly. He is a snuggler. He loves nothing more than being snuggled up in our bed. He will wiggle and scoot - even when completely asleep - to snuggle up right beside me or Lance, whoever is closer. Yes, this means he usually ends up in our bed when he wakes up in the wee hours :) I love the little sounds he makes while sleeping. Love the way he smells right out of the bath. Love this boy in his jammies! Dinosaurs. Trains. Boy jammies are so much cuter than girl jammies ;)

By faith. This past weekend at a local spring market, I found a jeweler that sold those two charms above (the faith one and the one with the little bird). I had the word FAITH hand stamped on the doily charm. I should have had BY FAITH stamped on it. That's why I got it. I want to remind myself to live by faith alone.

Fabric Love I'm lovin' these fabrics! Maybe for a fun little sundress like this one: Tiered Flouncy Sundress - find the pattern HERE. I want to make it. Sewing bug - why did you have to come and bite??? :) And because sadly I hoard fabric like Grace hoards crayons, I reeeeaaaally NEED this one: Alexander Henry Paris Park in Blue

Fishing. Never done it. Honestly, something about seeing those poor little fishies with a hook down their throat makes me squirm. I have no problem eating fish, though! Double standard, I know. This past weekend we went to a fishing tournament for work. I learned a lot, like how they weigh fish and that they put the fish back in the water (whew!). The littles had fun checking things out. Here's Grace - eyes wide open - as they took a large fish out of what looked like a ziploc bag and plopped it down in a target-like shopping basket to weigh it. Poor fish was flopping all around. Yes, a first for me. For Lance. For Grace. For Hudson. Fun times.

Monday, April 19, 2010

giddy with excitement...

No, not just because of this fun lollie! Although it IS so very yuMMy and SwEEt! And so very, very StICky!!! This lollie is serious business, you know? One big bite and... ...sometimes your lollie just goes ka-bunk :(
It makes you sad, but...
...not for long BECAUSE... ...we are Minneapolis bound!!! Yay!!!

For our annual Mother - Daughter - Granddaughter, make that Grandkids :) Trip this year we selected Minneapolis and couldn't be more excited. We're leaving the week after Mother's Day so it's part Mother's Day present too! And I'm super excited that not only will we be in a fun new place (Mom has been but I've never been) but I get to meet a dear friend IN PERSON!!!

Angel and I first "met" after I had the little pumpkin and I fell in love with her beautiful designs under the label TaDa! Creations. Well, fast forward to many conversations later, we've become good friends and I can't wait to visit with her and let our kiddos - 5 under 5 - play together!

Wow! Canton...Mother's Day...Minneapolis...Our wedding anniversary - May is turning out to be a super duper fun month!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Vote for Grace's Party!

The little pumpkin's Vintage Strawberry Shortcake Birthday Party is 1 of 20 entries selected in the Sweet Charli Party Contest! Will you help us win? Win what, you ask? A gift certificate to Pioneer Party & Gifts...hmm, that would certainly come in handy for Hudson's Dr. Seuss party in June.

Only 1 vote per IP address. Go HERE to vote. Her party is #20.

Thank you!!!!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

transform your cardi {tutorial}

I'm so very excited about THIS book I pre-ordered on amazon for $11.46 (such a great deal! get yours now!!), I decided I couldn't wait until the May 6 delivery date - I needed to give my cardi a transformation NOW. My mom and I had already planned to sew yesterday so I was glad she didn't mind my little project switcheroo. I cheated a bit and selected an old Old Navy cardigan that already had some fun embroidery (and that I only paid like $5 for - gotta love ON sales!) and then lucked out that some of the fabrics in my stash went perfect with it - love it when things work out that way! :) So here's a mini tutorial from someone VERY new to sewing (thanks for helping me so much and for being so patient, mom!), with lots of photos because honestly it's as much for me (as a reference) as for anyone else who might benefit from it!

And if you want the professional version, then wait another couple of weeks and pick up Sandi Henderson's new book - I just know it's going to be fabulous!

So here it goes...

We started by figuring out how wide we wanted the finished ruffles to be and then FOLDED the fabric (we wanted the ruffles to be finished on both sides) and cut 2 strips 22" x 3.75" (seam allowance included). Then with the right sides of the fabric on the inside, sew the 3.75" sides together and press the seam flat. Turn the fabric the right way and fold it like you originally had it and it should look like a circle, with one closed side and one open side (in my photo, the open side is resting on the ironing board). You could use a ruffling foot to gather the fabric on your machine and make the ruffle for you, but we did it by hand. Proof that I did some of the steps all by myself - ha, ha, ha! Baste stitch it gathering the ruffle to your liking, then pin it to your cardi sleeve at the desired length, distributing the ruffles evenly (Note: my cardi was already 3/4 sleeve so that made it even easier.) When pinning, make sure to match the fabric seam with the sweater sleeve seam. Then TRY IT ON! - be careful with all those pins! Why try it on? To make sure that you haven't gathered it too much! Your sweater sleeve will stretch to accommodate your arm (knit fabric) but once you attach your decorative ruffle (cotton, not knit) there won't be any give, so make any necessary adjustments NOW even if it means unpinning, stretching your sweater sleeve a tiny bit, widening the circumference of your ruffle to make it a little loser, and pinning the ruffle in place once again.

You're almost there! Because there were so many pins, we decided to baste stitch the ruffle onto the sweater prior to serging it. Your sweater sleeve should now look like this: Starting to look pretty, huh?

Time to add a little decorative finish! I chose a coordinating fabric print, but you could choose a number of other trims, like ribbon, premade trim (Hobby Lobby has some cute ones right now, like pre-ruffled grosgrain ribbon), ric rac if you were embellishing a little girl's sweater - you name it!

So for my trim, I cut two 16" x 2" strips of fabric, folded it in half lengthwise, right sides of the fabric on the inside, and sewed it into a little tube closing one end and leaving one end open to be able to turn it the right way. Using a very professional tool, aka one of Grace's skinny paintbrushes :), we turned the strips inside out so that the pretty side of the fabric would now be on the outside once again. Pin it in place matching the sweater and ruffle seam. Cut off any excess trim, but leave a tiny bit at the end to fold under and make a nice finished edge along the sweater seam on the back of the arm. Baste stitch...or not - we did because there were so many pins and it was such a narrow strip that it would have made it a bit difficult to sew, say 1/2 inch, then stop, remove next pin, sew another 1/2 inch, and on and on! Then sew your trim on, tucking under that last little bit of trim when you get to the seam on the back of the sleeve. Top stitch both the top (sweater side) and bottom (ruffle side) of the trim. Optional: Hand tack the trim seam to reinforce it a little bit more. Things just look prettier when they're finished all the way, don't they? :)

And you're done! Your sweater has undergone a CinDEreLla TrAnSfORmaTIon! Seeing the sleeves stacked one on top of the other makes me think that even a double ruffle might be cute on a plain cardi - the possibilities are endless! So go dig through your closet or pick up a cheap cardi and make it tres chic! Not bad for a $5 cardi, huh?

Transform Your Cardi is linked up at
Join us Saturdays at for the weekend wrap up party!