4.26.2016

Smash Cake Session with Elizabeth Cavagnaro Photograpy


In the past two months, the last two of my college roommates got married. As I've said before, these girls were, and still are, my family during college. I had a 3 entire kiddo free days to see one get married {and shower more that being a mommy has ever allowed}. The second was a big family vacation filled with seeing Papa, Uncles, wonderful friends, and Auntie Photographer {I've decided that's what I'm going to teach Wesley to call you, Liz}.


 Our trip was one week shy of Wesley's first birthday. I have yet to find the right words to describe what its like to have my last baby pass this threshold into toddlerhood. Its heart wrenching and beautiful and all the other emotions of being a parent.


Thankfully Auntie Photographer was able to capture some beautiful moments with my sweet little boy and his smash cake.


I figured Wesley would dive face first into his smash cake. Being the second child, this wasn't his first trip to the rodeo. Between a daddy who has been sharing his ice cream since before Wesley could sit up and a sister who is always willing to do something to make him smile, Wesley is well versed in the gloriousness that is desserts.


Turns out Wesley had two ear infections and a raging sinus infection at the time of this shoot. Most of the pictures have tears in his eyes and snot on his face. Best parent ever! As a result, Wesley mostly colored his legs {and hurting ears} with frosting.


If you're in San Diego and looking to capture your kiddos' personalities, I can't say enough about how wonderful Elizabeth Cavagnaro Photography is. You can see some of her other beautiful work for our family here and here.


The smash cake was from Edelweiss Bakery in Rancho Bernardo. He's wearing a bowtie from Amazon {blue with light blue dots}. The tie part was way too small {it's a 6-18 month and he wears 18month clothes}. We had a shipping fiasco, which Amazon helped make right, that left no time for realizing his bowtie was too small before the shoot. The diaper is a Freetime from BumGenius in Hummingbird.

4.05.2016

Five Surprising Places to Buy Fabric


As a fabric addict, I'm always looking for new places to score my next fix. While my local quilt shop is a favorite, it doesn't always have the selection I need. Here are five surprising places I check when my fabric needs arise:

Most in the DIY community have a soft spot for Ikea. Honestly, I crave Ikea. When we first got married, my husband and I literally lived 1/2 mile down the road from an Ikea. When we were bored and it was too cold or rainy to walk outside, we'd walk Ikea. Living in a tiny one bedroom apartment {and on an even tinier budget}, we weren't too big on buying things. I curse the old me now. The nearest Ikea is more than an hour drive {and like $7 in tolls} away. And oh how I always seem to "need" something from Ikea. 

Enough about my Ikea obsession...let's talk fabric. Ikea has a variety of home decor weight and quilting cotton fabrics. The selection pretty much stays the same for the year. They're also affordable. Plus, the fabrics tend to be between 52 and 59 inches wide. More bang for your buck!


West Elm sells a beautiful collection of home decor fabrics. They are a bit more expensive than Joann's with a coupon. But, they are infinitely better quality. Oh how I wish I was brave enough to reupholster something! I mean...look at that print.

Amazon


Yep..that's right. Amazon sells fabric. They actually own Fabric.com. But I'm currently mad at Fabric.com. Did you see they now charge more if you only buy a 1/2 yard of fabric. Come on no! Until they deal with that and embrace my wonderful idea to allow for free Prime shipping on Fabric.com, I'm pretending like Fabric.com doesn't exist. We'll see how long that lasts! I digress...
Many of the fabrics listed on Amazon are Prime eligible. Shipping costs are always the downfall of me buying fabric online. Really, it just makes me buy whatever the minimum for free shipping is. It's better for my wallet to find something I like on Amazon.

Etsy


Etsy is perhaps the most obvious place on this list. I include Etsy because its a great place to look for out of print fabric. Oh Flea Market Fancy, how beautiful you are. I really picked up sewing again about four years ago. I spent most of that time at Joann getting the cheapest fabric possible. Then, I discovered designer fabric. Ah the quality. Oh the beautiful colors. I'm still all about a deal, but man of man give me a deal on the good stuff! Flea Market Fancy was just leaving stores as I discovered the beauty of designer fabric. And I love it. So from time to time I drool over the beauties still available through Etsy. Long story short; if there's an out of print fabric you just have to have, check Etsy!

Ebay


I have a love/hate relationship with Ebay. I think many people do. However, it's always worth checking out Ebay when you're searching for out of print fabrics or random deals. Scrap bags are easy to find and fun to use. Need ideas as to what to do with all these scraps? Check out my Pinterest board for ideas galore.

What unusual spots do you score great fabric?


3.29.2016

More What I've Been Reading Lately


I haven't been sleeping well lately. As a result, I've been reading a ton. I love seeing other people post about what they've been reading. It helps me find books I might not have otherwise read. Hopefully this helps someone else find a good read!

My favorites from the last couple of weeks are definatly The Nightingale and Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl. I need to read more by Kristin Hannah and watch Jesse Andrew's movie!

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
The Nightingale is a beautiful, difficult to read, enthralling story of two French sisters during WWII. The story looks at the different ways that the sisters stand up for what they know to be right. I could not put this book down. It was a stark glimpse into the struggles that had to be met day to day in the French countryside during Nazi occupation. This novel is a kick in the emotional pants. You're left with hope at the end, but its not an easy read!

Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky 
Another novel set in WII France, Suite Francaise describes some very similar scenes to The Nightingale. Nemirosky's novel was translated from French to English and was inspired by her own experiences surviving Natzi occupation of the French countryside. Suite Francaise is broken into two novellettes. The first tells the stories of Parisians fleeing to the countryside at the start of the German bombing of Paris. It follows this same families back to Paris as they live under occupation. The second novellette looks at the country folk who welcome the refugees and the occupation they face throughout the war. The book has a Love Actually plot device of telling many independent stories that are all interlinked. It can be a bit difficult to keep everyone straight.

Orphan Train by Christine Baker Kline
Not many people know about the orphan train that rain between the 1850s and 1920s. In yet another example of terrible harm coming from someone supposedly doing good, orphan trains were seen as charitable help. Children, and not always orphans, were taken from large East Coast cities and basically auctioned off throughout the Midwest. Some of these children were adopted into loving homes. Many were used as labor. Kline's beautiful story follows the retelling of one woman's story of her journey on the Orphan Train. While fictionalized, its an eye opening look into a dark chapter of US history.

After You by Jojo Moyes
Having read and loved Me Before You, I was excited to see there was a follow up novel. After You is what all these follow up novels tend to be. They are never as good as the story you create in your own mind. I think its worth a read if you liked Me Before You. But, don't expect happy closure!

Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews 
Ok, one of my bad night's sleep was totally this book's fault. I could not stop laughing. And I could not put it down. This Young Adult novel follows a high school senior and his downward spiral. It is all precipitated by his mom meddling in his social life. Greg's mom makes him spend time with an old friend who is battling cancer. His carefully crafted word quickly comes crashing down. This book makes you so thankful high school is long gone!

Please...let me know what I should read next!


3.16.2016

Easter Meal Planner and Shopping List Printables {plus a beautiful Evite invitation}


This post is sponsored by Evite. All opinions and content are my own. If you have any questions, check out my Disclosures Page.

Moving to Texas 5 months pregnant made me feel very isolated. My college friends were all still living their lives together. They were in each others' homes and lives in a tangible way. After throwing myself a pretty long pity party I set myself on the hard journey of finding community out here. Some of it developed out of sheer luck. Sometimes it was hard fought. I miss my people like crazy. But this new community I've developed is pretty wonderful too.


So, this Easter we've decided to host a Easter Egg Hunt and Dinner with our new people. I used an Evite® invitation to set the mood. I love the simple elegance of it. The wildflowers are just beautiful. I'll use them as a launching point for my decorations. Simple but cheery!

I want to have a kiddo friendly menu that adults will still like. Most importantly, I want the meal to be simple to make but delicious. I hate hosting people and then having to miss all the fun in the kitchen. To that end, I've made a set of printables to keep me organized.


The Shopping List keeps everything well organized, as I'll be going to several stores to get what I need.

The Meal Planner is great for keeping my spazy brain from making three main dishes and forgetting dessert! (Who are we kidding...I would never forget dessert!)

If simple but delicious are what you're going for, here's some dishes on my meal planner:


Crock Pot Maple Brown Sugar Ham from Life in the Lofthouse.


Slow Cooker Creamed Corn from Damn Delicious


Crock Pot Cheesy Potatoes from Julie's Eats and Treats


Strawberry Spinach Salad from Janette's Healthy Living

Now, I'm off to shop my house for bright and cheery spring decor to match the beautiful Evite invitation I used. Then, I'll be picking up all the flowers I can afford!

2.24.2016

Baby Boy Bibs! {or sewing for my little man}



Second babies get the shaft many a time. Hand me downs left and right. And boys! I can't seem to find anything good to sew for them.


When Wesley started eating solids I busted out Emma's old bibs. They were mostly pink and completely stained. Finally...a project to sew for Wesley. I beefed up the stash to compliment his piles of pink!

I busted out my bib pattern and got to work. I used a Target towel for the backing and some fat quarters for the front. 


I couldn't believe my luck when my LQS had some Children at Play left!


And I got to try out a friend's embroidery machine. It was so much fun to play with!