Friday, July 20, 2012

Smoothie Love

With all of the fresh fruits available right now, we have been enjoying some delicious smoothies! We have tried many varieties and combinations of fruits, yogurts, juices, and such...I think I found a winner this morning!


1 medium banana, peeled
6 medium strawberries, cleaned and cut
handful of cherries, remember to remove seeds!
1 4oz container of Mott's Blueberry Flavored Applesauce
1/2c. Dannon's Light and Fit Vanilla Yogurt
2tbsp. ground flaxseed meal
1c. ice

Throw it all in the blender and blend on high until smooth!! Filling enough to drink as a meal replacement, and oh-so-refreshing.  

Enjoy :)

*makes enough for 2 large smoothie's! ClaireBell always enjoys drinking them with me.

*178 calories, 2.5g. fat, 5g. protein. -Per serving  

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sweet Firsts

Lately it seems there have been so many firsts. As I watch my babies growing in both age and maturity, every day is an adventure. I feel the urge to take pictures of everything, wishing I had the time to write it all down too. I even pulled Clairsy's baby book out the other day, writing down funny things she says, things I don't want to forget.

I hear parents say all the time, "I'm so sad they're growing up!" or, "they're growing too fast!"....and don't get me wrong, I get it! And I've even said those things before! But more than anything else, I'm excited! It's sad they'll never be "babies" anymore, but they will continue to be babies in something for a long time. The next few years hold so many baby steps, reading, writing, learning about Jesus, singing, sports.

So I tell you, I am enjoying these sweet firsts, sweet baby steps...quite literally for my BABY Ryder :) And I look forward to the coming months, years.

As I write this, I look out into the family room and see Ryder letting go of the table, taking those few wobbly steps til' he falls to the ground. And you know what he does?? He gets back up, smile on his face and tries again. I also see ClaireBell, playing a hooked-on-phonics game, finding the letters that are spoken and pressing the buttons. And when she gets one wrong, she takes the next letter A is purple...until she gets it! With a big smile on her face, she punches that button and says, "I did it!" So proud, I tell you.

If only I were as motivated as them. If only I had the patience of a child. If only I could learn so quickly that when you fall or get something wrong, you don't give up! You try again. You try until you get it right. And then, you don't stop there! You keep learning, you keep failing. So I am trying, I am falling. I am taking those baby steps right along with my babies. Looking forward to what God will teach me next.

Clairebell's firsts this month have been:

writing her name
coloring inside the lines...or trying to
praying all by herself
using water wings
being brave enough to go "deep" into the waves at the beach
building a sandcastle by herself
using the potty during the day! *big hooray for this one*
holding a live crab

Some of her favorites are:

the beach
the pool
hide and seek

Ryder's firsts this month have been:

TEETH! he has 4 now
dancing to music
clapping his hands
throwing a ball

Some of his favorites are:

food...of all kinds
stuffed animals
splashing in the bath, ocean, or pool

What a blessing it is to have children! What amazing gifts God has given us. I learn so much from them every day.

Baby Steps. Sweet Firsts. Its how we all learn.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Weekly Highlights

We have had a fun, busy month so far! Its hard to be motivated to sit down on the computer when the blue skies, white sand, and salty water are calling my name! But since its storming today......

Here is my tip of the week:

Add a teaspoon of basking soda to your water while boiling eggs; the eggshells will peel right off! No more ice, watching the timer, or any of the crazy things we try!

My project this week (which was actually about a month ago) was this:

I helped my Mama decorate her mantle. Which consisted of the framed paper quilt, painting and baking the dishes, painting the "It is Well..." and digging through the garage to find more treasures!

*I also made matching aprons for myself and ClaireBell, which you can read about below:*

Recipe of the week goes to:

This sausage and vodka sauce Radiatori Pasta. I served this with a simple ceasar salad and fresh, toasted, french bread. I wish I could give the recipe because it was delish! But I really have no idea what I put in I love cooking that way!

There's no way I could pick just one pic from the last month, so here are a few:

Ha! My three favorite people :) 

Clairsy loves her babies! Love her big brown eyes

Grandpapa and Ryder playing at the baseball field! So sweet

I took the kids to the beach by myself this week! We had a blast!

Ryder being too smart ;) He turned this basket over and climbed up to get Clairsy's crayons! He was so proud

Happy Monday friends! Looking forward to another week. Praying God will teach me how to be a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Something for me...Apron Tutorial

In my two years of sewing, I've yet to make something for myself. So yesterday I decided to change things up a little bit and go for it! A little bit of a cop out since its just an apron, but I love it! .....and I needed one!

I took this idea from one-yard wonders, which is a fabulous book, gifted to me by my M-I-L. Highly recommend it! I did a little tweaking and will give some tips on how to make it even better.

If you're looking for an easy, quick project, or maybe this is your very FIRST project, you've come to the right place. Easy Peasy

Are you ready to get started??

Here's what you will need:

1 yard of 44/45" fabric (any weight)
1 spool of coordinating thread
2 vintage or coordinating buttons (optional)..not optional in my mind because they add so much to the piece

Step 1: Measure, Mark and Cut
place your fabric in a single layer, wrong side facing up. Measure and mark the following pattern pieces, then cut them out:

Ruffle: 36" wide x 5" tall (cut 1)...if you have extra fabric, I would suggest making this wider/longer. It will create more ruffles..and who doesn't want that, right?!
Apron ties: 4" wide x 31" tall (cut 2)
Waistband: 22" wide x 4" tall (cut 1)
Apron: 22" on the top, 27" on the bottom, 20" from top to bottom (cut 1)..this may sound a little confusing. Just measure and mark the numbers I listed, then draw a diagonal line from the top measurements(22") to the bottoms (27") and cut.

Step 2: Hem the Apron
The directions said to make a 1/4" double-fold hem along the angled and bottom edge of the apron. I opted to use double-fold coordinating bias tape. I think it looks better and honestly, it's easier than trying to create a 1/4" hem!

Step 3: Make the Apron Ties
Press one short end of apron tie 1/2" toward the wrong side of fabric. Fold in half length-wise, NOT width-wise, with right sides together, aligning raw edges. Stitch along the unfolded end and the long side, leaving the pressed edge open. Clip the corners, turn right side out, and press. Top stitch close to the edges on all four sides. Repeat with other tie.

 Step 4: Make the Ruffle
Again, the directions called for a 1/4" double-fold hem on one long and two short sides of the ruffle. I wish I had used the bias-tape again here. There are two ways to do this next step:

1...Use a basting stitch to gather the top raw edge of the ruffle piece. So, if you're unfamiliar with these terms, just set your machine to the longest stitch it has and sew a straight line. Then you will pull one piece of thread on one end to gather the fabric. like so....

Option 2...set your machine to a long stitch, and set the tension as high as it will go. Then just sew straight...the fabric should gather right before your eyes! It's seriously the best sewing tip I've found. BUT I've also heard that it doesn't work with all machines and, from experience, know that it doesn't work with all fabrics. The lighter the fabric weight, the better it works in my experience.

With right sides facing up, place the ruffle along the top, unfinished, edge of the apron, aligning the raw edges. Adjust ruffles so they are evenly distributed along the width of the top edge. Sew pieces together.

Step 5: Attach the Waistband
Press one long raw edge of the waistband under 1/2" to the wrong side of the fabric. With right sides together, align the raw edge of the waistband to the raw edge of the apron/ruffle, and stitch.

Here are all three layers together.

Press seams toward the waistband.

The directions were very messed up in the next part so I improvised...just trying to figure out how to explain it to you...

Basically, you need to fold the waistband over, wrong sides together and fold the ends of the waistband towards each each other. Press. Then top stitch around all four sides of the waistband.

Things should look like this now...I'm sorry if that was confusing.

Step 6: Attach the Apron Ties
Pin one apron tie on the back side of the waistband, overlapping the edge 1 1/2" . Stitch in place. Repeat with other tie. For a little extra something, attach a vintage button on each side of the waistband where the tie attaches.

And you're done!! Please feel free to ask any questions or give any suggestions to make this better!

 I love how mine turned out, but there's something about sewing for your little girl that is just so much more rewarding.....that's why I whipped up a matching one for her today! I'm also planning to make some matching hot mitts and hot pads and give the whole set to her on her birthday :)

Happy sewing! 


Monday, July 2, 2012

Ashton, Ashy, Ash

She's a girl with many names. A long-haired, brown-eyed beauty. Her name is Ashton. We call her Ashy, Ash, Liz, Liz'beth (Elizabeth being her middle name), Ashio...and the list goes on. She is my baby sister. She was due on my 19th birthday, but came 5 days sooner.

How to describe her She is quiet, sweet, lovely. She'll never hurt you with her words, but watch out, 'cause she can pack a punch! hah.

Ashton turned 5 last week! FIVE. unbelievable.

What a joy she is to our family. An obedient daughter, a sweet sister, a wonderful playmate to her niece and nephew, and as faithful as they come.

It is so exciting to see her grow, watch her change, and get to know her better each year.

I love you, Ashio! Happy, happy birthday, sweet girl.