Thursday, May 31, 2012

Slacker

It would seem like I’m quite the slacker these days… after all, I haven’t had much to show you lately. But the truth is, I have been crafting! For the last several months so many of my projects have just been sewing, so it’s a lot of fun to get back to some true crafting. And the motivation for that crafting?

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I’m participating in a campaign for Plaid and Walmart through The Blueprint Social and received a fun box full of these Plaid products and a Walmart gift card. I’ll be sharing some great tutorials with you in a few weeks, but for now I’ll show you where all my projects will go…

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I’m making over my front porch. It’s a great space and I have a fun Adirondack chair and vintage school desk and a few flower pots there already, but there’s so much I’ve already done and am working on. I love the progress I’m making!

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And today I received an AMAZING box full of Mod Podge products for another campaign through The Blueprint Social. It’s seriously like a lifetime supply of Mod Podge. I’m already dreaming up so many projects!!!

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I don’t have a good picture to show you yet, but this one from my SIL’s phone will have to do for now. When Nolan’s sister and her husband built a new house almost two years ago, my plan for a housewarming gift was to make them a large piece of art for their mantle. I had seen THIS beautiful piece of artwork from Our Humble A{bowe}d and knew I’d like to do something similar for them. I bought a large cupboard door from the Restore, a paint sample from Home Depot and prepped the door with a coat of white. Then it sat there for almost two years. Well, I finally finished it for her birthday! I forgot to take pictures before giving it to her (I know, where was my mind?), but she sent me this shot once she put it in place. I’m wanting to make her a few more pieces/plaques to go with it.

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I’m a part of Kojo Designs’ Color Your Summer series and LOVE what I made for it! You won’t get to see it for another week, but for now, here’s a little hint.

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I bought the paint for Reese’s room this weekend. The walls will be Blue Horizon from Sherwin Williams. Now I just need finish cleaning out my closet so Nolan’s clothes can join mine, then clean out his closet and turn it into my crafting space, move the craft/sewing supplies I’m keeping into there, and get rid of everything else in what will be the nursery. THEN I can paint. I’m tired just thinking about it. It makes me miss when I was pregnant with Jace and could work on his room at whatever time I felt like it. These days I’m limited to nap time, otherwise it’s just too fun for Jace to “help” me. I still have 4 months left, though, so it’ll all get finished.

And now I’m feeling inspired to sleep so that I can feel inspired to create more tomorrow! Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What I’ve Been Eating

pinterest inspired

I have been doing some fun sewing and crafting lately. They’re just all projects I can’t show you yet (of course). And while I may go several days between being creative with fabric, paint or other fun mediums, there’s one way that I create just about every day. And that’s with food. I’ve actually noticed that since being home full time I make a lot more treats. I don’t think it’s the pregnancy. I think it’s that I have the time to decide I want something sweet and then actually make it. And as I posted here, here and here, I love looking to Pinterest for great recipes. A few that I’ve tried out recently and enjoyed are…

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I wanted to make BBQ chicken sandwiches on Saturday but didn’t want to go buy buns. So instead I tried out THIS recipe from Alexandra’s Kitchen. They were simple to make a delicious. A little denser than I expected but the flavor was great.


I love chocolate crinkle cookies but am typically disappointed by how hard they become if you don’t eat them all straight out of the oven. These Brownie Crackle Cookies from Cheerios and Lattes stayed soft and maintained their flavor for a few days after I made them. I think I prefer straight up brownies to the cookies, but for crinkle cookies, I was very happy with their maintained softness. I used a brownie mix that came with chocolate chips in it, so I chose to add white chocolate chips instead. Yummy!

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A local bakery makes the best Challah bread, so I thought it would be a fun challenge to make some myself. Since this is also called Easter bread, I thought it fitting to make it for Easter. THIS recipe  from Tasty Retreat was the one I settled on after looking at several. It was an easy recipe to follow and it tasted good. I over baked it a little bit (which was surprising because I took it out at the earlier recommended bake time and typically my oven bakes cool and I always have to add extra time to the baking) so it’s hard to compare to the perfection from the bakery I love. I’ll have to make it again, bake it less and then see what I think.

Happy eating and thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

My Favorite Things: Pregnancy Edition

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I’ve shared before that I enjoy it when bloggers share their favorite things. I also go through my days recognizing which items I would classify as “favorites.” So here’s another round in the series (first favorite things post found here, second here), this time it’s the pregnancy edition.


In the first trimester I get to deal with lots of nausea, and I’ve found that a great way to keep the yuckies at bay is to suck/chew on a strong mint candy or gum. When I was pregnant with Jace Lifesavers Wint-O-Green flavor was, well, a life saver.

Boppy Total Body Pillow

I bought the Boppy Total Body Pillow when I was pregnant with Jace and I think it was the best $50 I spent during those nine months. I got mine at Target, but I don’t think they carry this particular one anymore. I had a lot of sharp hip pain any time I laid on one side longer than a half hour to forty-five minutes during the night, so this pillow made a huge difference in at least comforting the rest of my body. It curves between your legs, thins where it will settle under your belly and the curves under your head. The fit is, in my opinion, perfect. It does take a little getting used to with figuring out what works best for you during the night with rolling over, etc. But when I got it out for this pregnancy, I felt like I’d been reunited with an old friend.

Lemon and Cherry Gummy Prenatal Vitamins Without Iron

I didn’t have much of an issue with swallowing big prenatal vitamins in my pregnancy with Jace, but I have since discovered the gummy version from Target and love them. I actually look forward to taking my vitamin each evening before bed. The texture isn’t too bad, in my opinion, and I kind of like the flavors (but then again, I still love Flinstones vitamins). They cost a little more than the standard kind, but buying the Up & Up brand keeps it a little more reasonable.


I discovered that not many people take pictures of the free water jugs hospitals give out. But I LOVE mine from when I had Jace. Drinking a lot of water is not something you’ll find me doing while not pregnant, so when growing a little baby it takes a little extra focused effort for me to get my ounces in. In my first pregnancy I had a bottle that I loved from Target and kept refilling it with nice, cold water from the cooler at work. This time around I’m toting my big 32 ounce jug thanks to and icemaker that doesn’t know how to properly make small ice cubes. This one is great because I can fit all my ice in, I only have to get through two of them in one day and it’s insulated. Drawback? Jace LOVES drinking from it. The kid can down 20 ounces in no time flat with this thing.

OPI

And finally, pedicures. Most specifically with my favorite toe nail color, OPI’s Pompeii Purple. I love the way this bright pink with a bit of shimmer looks on toes—especially tanned toes. When I was pregnant with Jace I treated myself to a monthly pedicure. But back then we had two full time incomes and few expenses. Things are a little different this time around, but I’m hoping to budget my fun money wisely to enjoy this luxury once in a while.


How about you? What were/are some of your pregnancy favorites?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Ultimate Wedding Chandelier

We went to a beautiful wedding last night. It was like a royal wedding within our church since the Executive Pastor’s son was marrying the High School Girls Director. The couple was precious, the people were beautiful and the decorations were a DIY dream!

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The team who put the décor together transformed the building, but the most stunning piece was the “chandelier” they created for the large auditorium where the reception was held. I heard the original plan was to use a king size bed frame to make this, but when I studied it at the reception it looked more like a large piece of chain link fencing. Which was then beautified with burlap swags around the outside, looped strips of a linen or muslin looking fabric and finally all sorts of lamp shades hanging down. I can’t even begin to tell you how stunning it was.

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The room was lit only with candles, this chandelier, a few strings of light and some of the stage lights. The atmosphere was incredible and this chandelier definitely took center stage above the dance floor.

wedding chandelier dance picture

I snagged this picture of the happy couple dancing under it from a Facebook friend.

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“The South” as the auditorium is called (because of its location…. we’re oh-so-creative) hasn’t really been what you would have thought of as a lovely reception site. But some new paint and carpet in the past few years certainly improved the space. Even then, though, I would have never imagined it could be such a charming space.

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It’s always fun to see creative people transform a room into something so beautiful. It was the perfect ending to a lovely wedding. And I knew you’d love to see it!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pretty Pretty Pretty

We’ve decided on some fun details for our baby girl! The first is probably the biggest—her name will be Reese Elizabeth. Reese means “enthusiasm” and Elizabeth is my middle name. I think it’s beautiful.

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This will be our color palate. I am in love with it! They’re all Sherwin Williams colors. I love that Sherwin Williams can color match any lighter shade for their low/no VOC paints, and they’re having a paint sale this weekend for 30% off! The walls will be Blue Horizon and the rest will be accent colors. I’m going to have them order Krylon spray paint in Coral Isle for us to paint the daybed with, and the other colors (including the coral) will be accent colors. I’m in love…

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And speaking of love… I found the perfect fabric line by Moda—Vintage Modern. Poppyseed Fabrics on Etsy carries the entire line so I went ahead and ordered six fat quarters last week and they arrived today. I’m so excited!!! The ones in the picture are: Floral Wish Aqua, Floral Vintage Cream, Houndstooth Pink, Floral Swirl Aqua, Floral Swirl Red and Hopscotch Multi. I have a really fun décor idea in mind for these and then would love to order more to make pillows with for the daybed. I still also need to come up with a fabric to cover the bumper with, so we’ll see which one from the line ends up in that role. You can find my other nursery inspiration pins here.

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A friend from church saw my color palate and had these three fabrics that match beautifully. She was so sweet and gave them to me! I’m thinking they’d make an adorable diaper bag.


I’ve had this one from Fishsticks Designs pinned for quite a while and think it would be the perfect style for this fabric!

ruffle romper

And finally, Emily from Baby Lace Rompers sent me this beautiful lace romper in light teal for my little Reese. I’ll be doing a full review of it soon, I just want to have my friend’s new baby model it so I can show you just how sweet it is.

Expecting a little lady is just so much fun!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Tutorial: Maternity Tank Style Maxi

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I’m officially declaring this the summer of the maxi for me. I showed you my first ruched maternity maxi in THIS post a few weeks ago. Since then I’ve made two more and perfected my pattern and methods.

ruched side maxi tank dress

This dress takes me less than an hour to make from cutting to finished. The most time-consuming aspect is finishing the hem, neckline and arm holes, but I’ve made those go even faster by not pinning first. And I could probably shave off a few minutes if I wasn’t so good at breaking twin needles. I love the simple tank style with the ruched side that will accommodate my growing belly. This dress would work great for a non-pregnant lady who either would just wear it straight or do less ruching to cover a little bit of tummy.

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I’m finding that one of the best solutions to how I’ll store all my fabric once I move into a smaller crafting space is to actually use it up right now. I bought two yards of this purple with white polka dot ultra-stretch poly/lycra jersey months ago from fabric.com for something around $6. It was too light weight for the scarves I intended it for, but perfect for a maxi dress.

To make one you’ll need two yards of a stretchy knit fabric and coordinating thread.

tank maxi pattern
(Consider this your sneak peak of my project for Kojo Designs’ Color My Summer. This picture turned out better than the one I took with the purple fabric.)

If you don’t already have a tank style maxi pattern (which I definitely didn’t), it’s simple to create your own pattern. Use either your favorite tank pattern or trace around a favorite fitting tank, and then extend down from the waistline (or just before it starts to curve in if it does that) for an a-line. For your maternity dress, curve out at your natural waist by an extra inch. I used my new Megan Nielsen Ruched Maternity T-Shirt pattern for the top and then freezer paper for the rest of my pattern because that’s what I had on hand. I like that it’s sturdy and lasts from dress to dress. To account for ruching the sides, just add an extra five inches of length to the front piece of the dress. If you aren’t making this maternity style but are still ruching for a more flattering fit, just add an extra 3 inches to the length.

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To ruche the sides, sew a gathering stitch starting about 6 or 7 inches below the arm (or just before your waist starts to curve out) to about 10 inches lower on both sides of the front of the dress. You can see in the picture above about how far apart the two points are. 

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Line up the front and back of the dress at the arm holes and hem, and then tighten your gather until they are the same length.

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Sew the dress together at the sides and then the shoulders.  This is how it will look when you sew it together. I needed to then unpick my gathering stitch since it was just inside the side seam. Then just sew your hem and finish the neck and arms. I love the finished look of a twin needled, but broke mine on its second use earlier today, so instead I did two rows of knit stitch around everything. I actually ended up loving the way the wonky zig-zag looked in the contrasting white thread on the purple fabric.

I love the way the dress fits, but while I am pretty slim, it does come awfully close to letting everyone see the lines where I have a little extra “me” on my back above the hips. I think even if I cut it larger, the nature of knit could still be a little less than flattering. So if you’re concerned about some of that extra-ness showing on you, I’d suggest cutting the back piece an extra 2 or 3 inches long and ruching it a little in the back as well.

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I’m going to wear this to church tomorrow paired with a white cardigan and a belt. I love the way this look turned out! And considering if I use coupons at Joann’s, I can make a dress for about $9, I foresee my closet filling with these very quickly!

Thanks for stopping by!

Parties I like to link up with:

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

It’s a…

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Girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah. I’m just a little excited. And the tech confirmed little girl parts three times, so we’re feeling pretty confident. I would have loved another son as well. But with a little lady on the way, I can turn some of my “wishful thinking” pins to reality…

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I can’t decide if I want THIS ONE or…

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THIS ONE to be my color inspiration.


But I will for sure be painting my daybed, and probably in a similar color to THIS ONE.

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And I’m thinking some lace or ruffled rompers will be a must.


And I’m sure I’ll put quite a bit of my fun fabrics to use in making THESE dresses.

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And she’ll definitely need some headbands.

But for now, I’d really love it if we could give her a name.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Spoiled

I feel like I’ve been spoiled lately.

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For my 30th birthday a few weeks ago, Nolan surprised me with a great date night up in Portland. We had dinner at PF Changs followed by seeing Ovo by Cirque du Soleil. I had no idea what we were doing until we drove within sight of the big top tent. Tickets like this definitely don’t fit into our birthday budget, so Nolan was sweet and used his fun money. It was an incredible night!

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The next day Nolan, my mom and sis-in-law threw me a party with a few friends. I'm with my niece and nephew in this picture. She was a little jealous of the tierra I was given to wear for the evening but more than thrilled to have me give it to her after the party.

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We’ve had some uncharacteristically nice weather here in the northwest. A few weekends ago Nolan started a major overhaul on my rose beds. They’d become VERY overgrown with weeds over the past few years, so he took a hoe to half of the bed along the back fence and then we laid down landscapers fabric and mulch. It was pretty funny—if you looked out a back window from one spot, it looked like we had a gorgeous rose bed. But then if you moved a little you could see the distinct line of where we stopped and the weeds began. Yesterday he finished that bed, so now we just need to do the bed along our side fence and then we can actually enjoy looking in our back yard!

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Last weekend we spent two nights at the coast for our sixth anniversary and the weather was gorgeous! If you’re very familiar with the Oregon coast, that kind of weather is pretty unusual to find. I had been given a two night stay at a hotel from our church when I stepped down, and I’m so glad we saved it for now! This was the view out our room.

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We had such a great time really getting away. We’ve had a night here or there without Jace when he’s had sleepovers with his cousins, but never actually gotten away since he was born. I love walking through the little shops in costal towns. We picked up some salt water taffy for my brother’s family since they took care of Jace and munched on yummy caramel corn while walking around.

Mother’s Day was sweet today with a card from my boys and some relaxing time sitting on my new chaise lounge for our yard in the 87 degree sunshine. And tomorrow we find out if we’re having a boy or a girl, which will be followed by a lunch date with Nolan. I’m telling you, I’m spoiled!

In other news… I started and almost finished a maxi dress inspired by this one yesterday:

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I finally hit a point where I needed to walk away or I might end up messing something up. I’m hoping to finish it tomorrow because I’m in love already.

I also received my Megan Nielsen Ruched Maternity Shirt pattern yesterday (I had to go looking through the online retailers who carry it to find one that actually had it in stock) and can’t wait to get sewing on some tops that will fit right the first try, and also lengthen it into a maxi dress.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Satisfied with Adequate

satisfied with adequate

I try to keep the majority of this blog to the crafty, sewing and creative parts of my life. After all, that’s what you’re following for. And while I do add some personal posts in here in there because I want to show you the real me so we can connect a little better, I try to not get carried away and forget about the purpose of this blog.

But long before I sewed my first stitch or painted my first stroke, I was a writer. I have spiral notebooks full of stories I wrote dating back to when I was in first grade. I majored in English Communications in college and had aspirations of becoming a writer. I even had one paid published piece my Sophomore year of college when a short story of mine appeared in the book, Stories for A Woman’s Heart: The Second Collection (a Chicken Soup for the Soul kind of book). But as time went on and my life became busier, those dreams of writing stayed that—something in my head and not on paper.

After stepping down from my job and staying home, I started to pray about how the writer side of me may be able to make a regular appearance. And not just in craft and sewing tutorials, but in story telling, devotional thoughts and eloquent journaling. A blog seemed the logical choice. But I didn’t want it to just be random. Or full of venting. Or unread. Or for my own glory. I wanted it to be something with a purpose that could make a difference in the lives and minds of others. So I prayed some more. And I feel like I’ve been given a story to tell. Satisfied with Adequate will be about my journey as a wife and mom while still having my own identity in the midst of those two roles. My faith will play a key role in the posts.

So if you’d like to connect with that less than crafty part of my life, feel free to stop by. And if you don’t, I’m glad you’re here connecting with the crafty side! I’ll be back soon with some more fabric goodness.

Thanks for stopping by!

Frozen Meals Bachelor Style: A Great Birthday Gift

My younger brother turned 28 last week. He’s about as bachelor as you can get—living with several guys, his dogs are his world and putting together healthy meals isn’t a high priority for him. Not to mention, his funds are really tight, so once his money runs out each month, he just lives on peanut butter and jelly. He doesn’t usually get too excited about birthdays, and feels guilty when we give him gifts. So this year I came up with the perfect gift that he couldn’t refuse—freezer meals.

The key to making these meals work for him was storing them in individual portion sizes and making sure they would be easily reheated—no crock pot meals for him! I ended up giving him 13 meals—seven of a ham and potato casserole and six of my favorite taco soup. This ham and potato casserole is one of my favorites and quick to throw together to either eat that day or freeze for later, so I thought I’d share it with you!

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You’ll need:
-Small package of frozen hash browns (because I was making meals for my brother, a frozen dinner for a friend who just had a baby and dinner for my family, I used two large bags from Walmart). If you’re planning on freezing the meal, just use the hash browns frozen. If you’ll be cooking it that day, thaw them first.
-1 can cream of chicken soup
-1/2 cup sour cream
-1/2 cup milk
-1 container of fried onions
-1 package cutting board style lunch meat ham (or you could just use any cooked ham, but using the package of lunch meat makes it very easy and the cutting board style is key so it’s thick)
-1 cup cheese (not pictured)
-Pepper (not pictured)

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Chop up the ham. I was using 3 packages since I made so many meals, which is why there is so much ham here.

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In a bowl, mix the cream of chicken soup, sour cream, milk, cheese and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Stir in the ham and half of the fried onions. Then add the hash browns and mix until everything is evenly coated.

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For my brother I filled the mini aluminum tins, and a square cake tin for my friends. My portion went into a baking pan.

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I topped each pan with foil and wrote the baking instructions on it. For my friend, I told her to allow it to thaw in the fridge and then bake uncovered at 350 for 20-30 minutes until heated through. I also gave her a bag of the remaining fried onions to top the dish with for the last 3-5 minutes of baking. For my brother I didn’t think he’d ever warm a meal if he had to thaw it first, so I told him to bake it covered for 30-40 minutes and didn’t give him the onions to top them off with.

It was so fun showing up at his house with a cooler full of food for him. He said he couldn’t wait to eat them and wanted to make sure I wasn’t giving him any restrictions on when he could have them. I said if potato casserole sounds good for breakfast, go for it! I’m glad to have found a gift he’ll enjoy and think I’ll have to make freezer meals for him more often.

Thanks for stopping by!

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