Archives for category: baby

So it’s been a few years since I have written on the blog (or accessed the dashboard to do so….holy moly it looks intimidating) but it’s time for my triumphant return. First, let’s take a look back on some things that have happened since my disappearance, shall we?

  1. A huge reason why I stepped away in the first place was a little guy I was growing. Remember that birthday party I didn’t have the heart to do much for? It was because I was so.sick all the time. Funny how I went as a house for Halloween that year…I was perhaps hiding a bit of a bump behind it all 😉  After the first few weeks of the pregnancy, things did improve dramatically. Baby Heath arrived in June 2014. He’s a little firecracker now of course.img_1698
  2. While pregnant with Heath, we of course took on the kitchen renovation. And by pregnant, I mean 9 months along. I had called and asked for some shelving to organize the kitchen a little in a nesting rage…and that night the husband starting knocking out  walls. Anyway, it turned out gorgeous.
  3. We’ve done plenty of other house projects too, including both kids rooms, front door, and backyard. Maybe I’ll write about them one day. Probably not.

    4. I’ve still been cooking and sewing and schooling nonstop throughout it all.

    5. And we have done a few ridiculous birthday parties…12238248_10107734921237651_4402035916461737501_o6. As well as epic Halloween costumes…

    The biggest news of all though is what is yet to come, and the reason for my return to the blogisphere. We are embarking on the next huge chapter of our lives–a move to IRELAND! What?!? So in an effort to document that journey, I am back!

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I can’t believe my little guy is 5 months old!

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Ah! Those eyes!! Love him!

Aren’t those cheeks adorable? I kiss on them so often, that Starr Lily repeatedly tells me, “don’t eat him mami!” It is too cute. Stone is so much more aware now and hitting all kinds of new milestones. Last month he found his hands and now he is actively grabbing things and holding on to them… sometimes, haha! I’m pretty sure those pesky teeth are starting to make an appearance too since the drooling is in full force now.
A few weeks ago I bought Stone this little wooden teether whale and he can hold on to it, chew on it, but every so often, it goes flying. I decided I wanted to make one of those toy/paci/cup tether strappy things so it doesn’t go on the floor. (Do they even have a real name?) I found this one on etsy and really like how it looks, but I wanted it to have a clip that I can attach to his shirt too. So I made my own!

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Do you want to make one too? It was super easy.  I had some fabric on hand, but I did make a quick run to Joann’s.  This is what you’ll need:

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3″ by 24″ piece of fabric

1/4″ elastic cut into a 12″ piece

suspender clip

snaps (or velcro)

teething toy

Step 1: Fold the fabric in half, right sides together and press.

Step 2: Pin one end of the elastic to the raw edge of the fabric.  Measure halfway down the elastic and half way down the fabric, pin those together on the raw edge as well.

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Step 3: Secure the elastic to the end of the fabric first.  I backstitched a couple of times to make sure it was secure.

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Step 4: Sew the elastic on to the fabric by pulling it taut as you go.

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a zigzag stitch is great for this!

Once you’ve sewn a little piece, guide it out the back, keeping the elastic tight.

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This is what you should have now:

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Step 5: Arm yourself with some patience and maybe a glass of wine, and flip the fabric right side out.  <–or steal someone’s bodkin (-Amanda)

Step 6: Fold the raw edges in and stitch those down.  Back stitch these well since this is where most of the action will take place and you won’t want it to unravel.

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Step 7: Slide in the clip and sew it down.  You could Velcro it or put snaps in, but since I don’t plan on moving the clip, I skipped on the snap.

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Step 8: Add the teething toy and snaps on the other end. (Maybe get your little helper to help)

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And that’s it!

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great idea!! And you can unlatch that toy and add a sippy on when he’s past the teether stage and more into the ‘let’s throw the cup to see mommy have to get it 100 times’ stage!!

This little whale is sure to stay with my little guy now.

I’d love to see how yours turn out!

A little over a year ago, a good friend asked if I would make a liner and bag for her new stroller, and since I always love a sewing challenge, I took it on.

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the snaps are a great idea!

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minky is soooo soft!

 

Inspiration for the bag come from this great tutorial at Make It and Love It for a Two-in-One stroller bag. The bag snaps onto the stroller, but there is a long strap to convert it into a messenger bag, too. Plus, that strap doubles as a handle for older children when you’re out and about. The stroller liner reverses to green robot fabric if you’re not having a minky loving day, or I suppose if it’s messy and it needs to be turned over before you can wash it. I thought some strap covers that easily snap on and off were a must have, too. I think they might be reversible, too. I mostly made up everything as I went but was pretty happy with how it turned out.

Fast forward to now….that friend let another friend borrow her stroller, and the other mom just needed a stroller bag, too! So here’s what I came up with for her:

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Love the skulls!

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great idea! the more zippers and pockets and hooks, the better.

She requested a basic black bag, so I used some black twill for the outside. I added a zippered welt pocket to the front flap for some easy to access storage, and I went with snaps to close it since I hate Velcro.

The inside has a fun Dia de los Muertos print for some added awesome, and I also included some pockets on the inside to keep her organized. I thought a key clip would be a nice touch, too, since I’m always losing my keys in my purse.

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I maintained the convertible factor of the tutorial, since that’s really what makes this bag what it is.

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Sweet! It doesn’t even look like a diaper bag really.

 

And there you have it!! Hope she likes it!

How do you keep yourself organized when you are out with kids and a stroller? Does your stroller basket look like a giant dumping ground like mine?

It has been so long since I have been able to sit at my machine and get some sewing done. A friend of mine had twins a few months back (in November!) and I promised her I’d make her a mei tai baby carrier. We even picked out new fabric and some fun Star Wars print so her hubby could enjoy it too. In the meantime, I let her borrow mine since I didn’t need it yet. Well, here we are, 6 months later and I still hadn’t made it! This last weekend I finally carved out some extra time and I was amazed at how quickly it came together.

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great job, mama!

Not only is it adorable, but I was also reminded how much I love sewing! When I was little my mom would make us some Halloween costumes and she used to make my little brother the cutest overalls. I remember mom taking my measurements and standing impossibly still while I tried on dresses with pins all in them. I used to watch her sew and we even made my dolls pillows and blankets, but that was it! The next time I touched a sewing machine was when I was preggers with Starr Lily. I bought an apron pattern and a sewing machine on impulse and just started sewing.

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Since then I have been inspired to sew for my little girl. There are so many adorable patterns and tutorials available online too! My machine isn’t fancy, just a singer that makes an occasional clunking sound, but after a little sweet talking and a break, she keeps plowing along for me. After a year, I found a serger on Craigslist (cause all the cool kids bloggers were talking about them) and that’s it! I’m a sewing novice at best, but I love the calm and focus it brings to the fun-filled day with kiddos. I’ve had some big sewing fails but I almost always learn something from it – even if it was to put down my project and go to sleep after a late night of sewing.

I tried to find a picture of a pair of tiny pants that I made a while back that ended up having a tail looking thing on the butt, but alas, the picture is gone. It’s probably for the best though, ha! I can just pretend it never happened.

So anyhow, back to this cute carrier! I made a similar mei tai for myself when Starr Lily was about 9 months following the scandi mei tai tutorial.

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Since then I have made a couple more and love how easy her tutorial is to follow. Now that I have the pattern pieces cut, it only takes me a few hours to put one together. I hope my momma friend likes it and enjoys lots of cuddles while wearing her babes. Baby Stone tried it out and gave it his approval!

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Stone is so big!!!

What inspires you to sew? How do you know when to walk away from your machine?

So Mother’s Day snuck up me this year! I hope the moms in my life still know I have nothing but love for them, even if their gifts are a little late, hehe. I didn’t know what to give my mom or mother-in-law this year and my sister came up with a great idea. She pinned this apron from Simply Kierste and wanted to get all the grand-kids to stamp their hand prints on it. Since I live the furthest away it only made sense that I buy the apron and then ship it to my sis, who in turn can give it to mom. And I can mail my mil’s too. So I looked around at some aprons, but nothing struck my fancy and I decided to just sew one. I searched online until I found the perfect one: the purl bee’s unisex apron. It has simple lines and no extra frills. I just skipped the pocket in the front and left space for the kids’ names and hand prints.

The tricky part was finding fabric paint and deciding how to write out everyone’s name. Kierste uses a Silhouette, but I’m not that cool. After a quick trip to Joann’s, I had some Martha Stewart craft paint and some pretty awesome stencils ready to go! Did you know that they also sell tons of adorable trim?! Yep, I scooped up some flower trim to give the apron a more feminine flair too.

During one of Stone’s naps, Starr Lil’s and I started crafting. First, we tried the paint and the stencil on some scrap fabric. And good thing we had some construction paper underneath, cause paint goes right through fabric.

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Love her outfit. Charlotte and Starr Lily share the same taste in clothes (everything goes with tutus and jackets, that is)

Then I wrote out everyone’s names while Starr Lily painted and danced and jumped.

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The hand stamping was the most exciting part. I asked her where she wanted her hand print and after finding just the right spot I brushed some paint on her hand and on it went. Then she stamped all over the construction paper!

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what a great idea!

She loved seeing how moving her fingers around made different shapes on the paper too. I didn’t want to put paint on Stone’s hand since it goes right to his mouth these days, so I painted his foot while he was sleeping. It looks more like a smudge, but it’s the thought that counts, right? My mom’s still needs a few more hand prints from the other grand kids, which my sis will put together, but for now they’re ready for the mail!

So here they are Mija and Nana Starr! Feliz dia de las madres, even if it’s a little late. We love you and miss you a whole lot!

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Great job, Mama!

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Did you get your moms gifts on time this year? Does grandma have a special nickname in your house?

Every once in a while my hubs gets really into a hobby and dives in. Recently it has been bread baking. I’ve baked some bread in my time, but in all honesty none even come close to how yummy some of his loaves are! The other day he even made some challah bread that reminded me of the little Jewish delis in Miami. Yummm

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In the words of Liz Lemon, “I want to go to there!”

It all started with a book. One of his friends recommended, The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, and since then he reads it all. the. time. He talks about it nonstop, to anyone who will listen and critiques every bread we buy!

Even though I love all the bread, my favorite part is really sleeping in on Saturday mornings while he and Starr Lily do some baking in the kitchen.

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Much more useful than rolling out play dough. I need to put my kids to work.

I often wake up to her enthusiastically proclaiming. “I want to mix Papi!” Since the arrival of baby Stone (I can’t believe I have a 3 month old already!) Starr Lily has really taken to spending extra time with her dad.

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If only all husbands woke up early to play with the kids and bake…..that’s what dreams are made of….

He teaches her how to scoop, how to measure, how to crack eggs, how to turn on machines; they count, they explore different textures, they taste, they make a mess, they dance and they sing. I hope these are the times she remembers when she’s older! Meanwhile, I get to have some morning giggles with baby Stone, and cherish these moments. Oh, and delicious bread is definitely a plus!

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Look how big I am, Mommy!

So I asked Morgan if he would like to make some bread to share with you all! He quickly opened his book looking for inspiration, and after flipping through a few pages, stopped on the English Muffin recipe. (Adapted from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice)

Here is what we used:

2 cups milk

2 tbsp butter

2.5 tsp instant (bread machine yeast)

4.5 cups flour ( we used bread flour because it’s what we have on hand, but all purpose or wheat flour work as well)

1.5 tsp salt

1 tbsp sugar

cornmeal

First, warm the milk and butter to about 105 degrees.

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Meanwhile, get your dry ingredients together: flour, sugar, salt, yeast. Make sure your yeast is alive and kicking! There have been many a batch of dud dough that doesn’t rise. Make a little well and add the wet ingredients.

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tip: you can proof your yeast before adding it into other ingredients by putting some into a bowl with warm water (like bath temp). Wait a few minutes. If it starts to foam, you’re good! If not, throw it out 😦

Mix and knead.

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Maybe have an occasional taste, or 2, or 3!

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Starr Lily loves her carbs

And knead some more. You want the dough tacky, but not sticky.

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The book suggests your dough pass two checks. 1) the temperature check, where your dough should be between 75-85 degrees.

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hehe I love his thermometer. Every kitchen needs one…hint hint…..

and 2) the window test. Hold your dough up to a window and let it stretch out a bit. You should see some light coming through but the dough shouldn’t break.

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If it does tear, keep on kneading for another 2-3 minutes and check again.

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Then, oil a bowl and let it rise for 90 minutes. Just cover it with some plastic wrap.

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or a damp tea towel if you are slightly anti plastic wrap

In the meantime, put on some sunblock and head out to the garden!

Here is the dough after 90 minutes!

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It’ll need to rise a second time, so punch it down again and separate it into 12 equally sized pieces and form them into little balls. You want to them coat them in olive oil again and dust them with some cornmeal. Do the same to the surface you place them on.

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Cover them with a kitchen towel and let them rise for another hour. Next comes the fun part. You’re going to grill these fantastic little balls of dough! Pull out your griddle or skillet and bring it up to 350 degrees. Oh, and preheat your oven to 350 degrees too. Using a spatula, place them on the griddle about 1 inch from each other. You don’t want to squash them, so be careful. And let them turn golden brown. It’ll take 5-8 minutes.

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Flip them over and cook another 5 to 8 minutes. Now they’re starting to look like English muffins!

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my stomach literally grumbled….need to make a visit.

Once both sides are nice and browned, place them in the oven for another 5 to 8 minutes to make sure the center is cooked. Let them cool for 30 minutes and there you have it! Delicious English muffins.

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Pin Me!!

These didn’t come out exactly like Thomas’ English muffins. They are a little more dense inside and a bit crumbly, but most definitely delicious. Let me know if you try these out and what you think of them! Now I just need some of Amanda’s strawberry jam or some Hollandaise sauce!

Is there something your littles like to do with their dads?