Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My Little Pumpkins

Happy Halloween! I’ve been enjoying a bit of a blogging break as I enjoy both my babies and settle into this mommy-of-two thing.

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 Ever since seeing THIS PIN weeks before Reese was born, I knew she was going to be a pumpkin for Halloween. And without any better ideas coming to mind for Jace, it was decided he’d be a pumpkin too. He didn’t object—he’s been LOVING pumpkins this fall season. We have three on our front porch and every time we leave the house or come home he says, “Bye punkins!” or “Hi punkins!”

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Reese’s costume was very simple—I crocheted her a hat with orange yarn and a green yarn center with a stem coming out of it, made a tutu with two shades of orange tulle, and glued some orange ric-rac around the neckline of a white onesie. She needed something on bottom and her polka-dot leggings were perfect. 

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For Jace’s costume I picked up a Simplicity pattern, but only used it for the pattern pieces. The assembly was simple (especially since I wasn’t sewing with a pregnant belly!) and I put a bunch of stuffing between the outer and lining layers. I wasn’t going to do the jack-o-lantern face at first, but Nolan pointed out he kind of looked like an orange blob without it (and a coworker of his said Jace could easily be a traffic cone). So I quickly cut out the face pieces and glued them on (and now need to glue them on again better). His hat was crocheted the same way as Reese’s. 

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I love my little pumpkins!

You can check out my past costume posts HERE.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Baby Pics, Photo Editing & A Crochet Cocoon

Wow! How’s that for a title? We’re settling into life as a family of four over here and I’m loving it! My mom came to stay a month before Reese’s due date (she lives in Maryland and my dad had some out of country business trips planned, so she figured why not make sure she would be here in time for the birth?) and then for a week after she was born. It was so nice having all of her help—she made sure my house was clean from the baseboards to the laundry to the bathrooms, understood Jace’s routine and was just great company to have around. Since my parents moved across the country from me six and a half years ago I’ve missed her physical closeness, so several weeks of her in my home was wonderful.

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I have been looking forward to taking pictures of Reese since I did my tutorial on knock off professional infant photos. I love the look of sleeping babies all curled up in cocoons and wraps and decided to crochet one of my own. I had some chunky, really soft yarn from last Christmas that I knew would be perfect. I was too cheap to buy a pattern, so I kind of made one up. I’d love to share it with you, but my crochet knowledge just isn’t strong enough. I used a large hook and followed the pattern for the Time Out Cowl I made for Rachel’s Crochet Along last year. It would have been great—except my daughter (the one who was seriously sleeping 22 hours a day and almost impossible to wake up) decided to be wide awake and alert for her photo shoot. And she thought it would be fun to showcase her stretching skills. So the intended adorable curled up ball turned into a stretched out cocoon that she stretched out and kept pulling off… And then she got cranky.

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So that night I made a new cocoon—this time I just started it like a hat at the base of it, and worked it out using a double crochet until it was as big around as I wanted and then kept going until it was the right length. I did a single crochet in pink around the top because she’s a girl and I’m loving the pink!

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For the second photo shoot she managed to stay asleep a little longer.

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I followed my tips from the previous tutorial, but this time used large pillows and a couch cushion instead of the boppy pillow. I liked how they worked a lot.

before and after

I thought I’d show you what a little novice light editing and rotating can do for a picture. I use iPiccy for my photo editing. Shelly, at House of Smiths, did a great mini tutorial for adjusting the lighting in just portions of a photo, and I’ve used her tips over and over since then and love the results! You can find it HERE. Cheri, at I am Momma Hear Me Roar, has some video tutorials found HERE for editing in iPiccy as well. I’d highly suggest checking both of these posts out.

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Before taking the pictures I looked at so many newborn pics online—especially in the Facebook albums of a local photographer that I love (check them out HERE). I studied the angles of the final shots (and realized a lot were probably either rotated while taking the picture or in the editing stages), what she focused on, and especially paid attention to the non-straight-on-face-shots. I love that my mom suggested I get a shot of her hair.

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Reese especially loved the softness of the cuddle fabric I laid her on. I also tried using some ruffle fabric, but didn’t get any shots worth sharing. I had a pile of hats, headbands, and her blanket all beside me and tried different looks and wraps. And then I just kept snapping pictures, hoping there would be some winners in the bunch. In the end, I had over 200 photos to weed through, and ended up with just 13 that I thought were worth editing.

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We ended the shoot with big brother, who absolutely adores his sister. He was precious and adorable and LOVED being a part of this with his sister. She wasn’t such a fan. I’m getting this one printed and framing it because it makes me happy.

As a final note: I took these pictures when Reese was 5 and 7 days old. The photographer I referenced recommends babies be between 5 and 10 days “new” when she does their newborn shoots, so I went with that as a recommended guideline for her age.

Thanks so much for stopping by! Hopefully I’ll be back soon with Halloween costumes for my little pumpkins… hint, hint.

Parties I like to link up with:

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I’d Like to Introduce You to…

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Reese Elizabeth


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She joined our family very early on Friday at 1:03 am, just 3 hours after we got to our room at the hospital.


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She is the perfect addition to our family and we all love her—especially her big brother.


You can read her full birth story over at our family blog HERE.

A Sentimental Gift

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My sweet grandpa turned 90 the other day. While planning out a gift for him, my mom wanted us to come up with something sentimental. Considering our family is located in Oregon, Texas and Maryland right now, it had to be something we didn’t need to all be present for. We each wrote up a note to him about our favorite memories with him, the little kids drew pictures, and my dad (his son) made a list of 90 memories.

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I took all the messages and put them together into a book using Microsoft Publisher. I used digital scrapbook papers for the cover. The book is 6x11”.

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Copy and pasted the notes and list, and ordered the book from oldest to youngest by family—My dad, mom, older brother, his wife and kids, me, and then younger brothers.

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The great-grandkids drew pictures and I scanned them in and added them to the book.

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Jace figured out how to draw circles the other day and was very proud of his “purple oranges”. We had the book printed, cut and coiled at Staples and love the way it turned out!

Thanks for stopping by!

Parties I like to link up with:

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

We Have Winners!


The winner of a pair of booties from the Pitter Patter Shop is




And don’t forget that you can take 30% off your purchases at Pitter Patter Shop using code MONDAY




And our two winners of the PDF Pattern for the Mama & Baby Bag from Fishsticks Designs are…








And the winner of the $20 credit to Yarnaholics is…




I have emailed the winners who included their address or had it linked to their profiles, so check your inboxes! If you didn’t get an email from me and you’re one of the winners, please send me a note at nolanandjill {at} gmail {dot} com so I can get you in touch with your sponsor.



Thank you so much to the sponsors of Oh Baby! Don’t forget to stop by their shops and show them some love.

Monday, October 1, 2012


I’m actually feeling inspired to create these days. I mentioned in THIS post that I haven’t needed the therapy that crafting provides since I quit working. That was almost a year ago, and I feel like I’ve finally gotten the itch to create back to where it was before—and without the therapy need! I think all of the projects getting ready for Reese reignited that love of creating in me. So, while I’m not up to actually making anything quite yet, here’s some of what’s inspiring me.

I am so looking forward to the day when I can wear non-maternity clothes again, and cleaning out my craft room reminded me of some of the great fabrics I have to sew with. I have two clothing pin boards—one for inspiration of what I would like to recreate and one for outfits I’d like to imitate.

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In December we’ll be dedicating Reese at our church and I’d love to be able to make a dress similar to this (maybe in navy?) and be able to look good in it. Maybe even put some type of sleeve on it so it’ll be more winter-appropriate without having to wear a sweater?

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In the mean time, I’ve been dreaming up ways I could make a slightly different version of this ruffle top. I have a few yards in two different ruffle fabrics, and I have lots of ideas running through my mind.

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But until I get those pieces made, I’m really excited about fall clothes. I love this outfits look!


And I love the sparkle added to this mostly-casual outfit.

But clothes aren't the only thing I'm feeling inspired by. I am really looking forward to being able to paint and not worry about VOCs.

I've been wanting to hang an old door on the wall in my living room, but could never justify the cost I saw at the ReStore. One day I happened to mention it to my mother-in-law. Turns out they've had a few of the original doors from their house (built in the 1890's) leading against a shed in their backyard and they were happy to give me one! My father-in-law even had a glass door knob to go with it!

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This isn't really what I'm envisioning, but it's an old door hanging on a wall, and that makes me happy and excited for my project!

Tons of decorating and room ideas! This would be perfect for the bathroom I have never painted (except white!)

My downstairs powder room is the most untouched space in my entire house. I've wanted to do something with it for a long time now but never had the right inspiration. Then my mom pinned this space and suddenly one night of insomnia turned into what I think will be a great look for our room! Picture stripes only on the wall behind the bathroom, a light graige and white with apple green accents. I'm pretty excited for the day when I get it done!

So that's a little of what's inspiring me these days. Although I will admit that most of my online time is being spent searching for natural labor inducing methods rather than sewing and home decor. Hopefully soon I'll have a little baby to introduce to you. She's due Thursday, but I've been having warning signs since last week and am pretty ready to be done with the waiting game!

Thanks for stopping by!