Friday, September 30, 2011

90 Minute Shirt

Here's the birthday shirt I made for Bennett's first birthday. I wanted to test out the 90 Minute Shirt tutorial from MADE and I thought his birthday would be the perfect opportunity. I purchased a men's t-shirt from goodwill and went to work on it. I wanted his birthday to have a theme, but since he is only 1 year old and we didn't want to have a big party with friends I ended up deciding to go with a simple theme of balloons. That's why I made the balloon wreath and hung balloons from the ceiling. I also thought it would be fun to add 3 balloons (hand stitched) to the front of his birthday shirt.

I thought the balloons turned out cute, but I am really not skilled with hand stitching. I think this was actually my first attempt, unless you count sewing on ribbons and elastic to pointe shoes (which is definitely not the same thing). The fabric ended up gathering a little but once it was on him you couldn't really tell. I think you can probably tell that the perfectionist in me has died. At least when it comes to anything handmade by me. I think I am still a huge perfectionist when it comes to dance.

This is the best picture I captured of him with his birthday shirt. The other good ones I have you can't see the front of his shirt. I was very proud of myself for making a shirt for him. I like the idea of making them for him in the future, but I probably will only do it for birthdays. Then it can be a special birthday tradition. So there you have it. My first handmade clothes item for my son. Now I mark that off as completed on my goal check list for the year.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Big 1

In May my cute son turned 1 year old. It was so much fun to plan a little birthday celebration for him. We didn't have a party but my brother flew into town to help us celebrate and my parents came the weekend after to celebrate at the local zoo with us. Even though we didn't have a big party with friends I did go all out and make it special.

I made a big birthday wreath for our door (which we can now use for every birthday in our family). I LOVE how it turned out, except I think I will add even more balloons so that you can't see the straw on the sides of the wreath. These birthday balloons are everywhere in blogland. But I think the initial idea came from How Does She?. The tutorial for the birthday wreath can be found HERE. I bought my balloons at Walmart and loved the colors.

We also hung balloons from the ceiling in our kitchen, which our little guy loved. I did not come up with that idea on my own, but rather it was Dana's idea over at MADE. I also made Bennett's shirt using a tutorial from Dana's website. I post all about his shirt soon.

We spent the day at a local amusement park for little kids and while Bennett was napping we whipped up cupcakes for dessert.

The cupcakes were amazing. I think they tasted better than any white cupcake I have ever had. And the frosting was yummy too. I'll share the recipe on another post as well.

He enjoyed his cupcake a little bit, but was pretty tired by the end of the day. We definitely wore him out celebrating. He mostly just smothered himself in blue frosting and ended up looking a bit like a blue smurf. See what I mean...

He went straight to the bath afterwards.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Bow Tie Diaper Banner

Okay, I really am far behind. I took these pictures back in May. That is crazy. And if you think that is crazy, I still have posts in the works from Bennett's birthday, which was also in May. Anyway. I have 2 friends who both had twins - 1 set of girls and 1 set of boys. This was a baby shower I helped with for the twin boys and their mama.

We didn't really have much of a theme. We just went with bright colors and had yummy food.

I made this cute diaper banner. I first saw the idea HERE and thought it was too cute not to do. I might throw an all out bow-tie themed baby shower someday in the future since this was the only element of bow-ties at this one. I just love bow-ties for little guys.

The two twin mamas ready to meet their babes (or almost). Valerie (on the right) had her baby girls a couple of weeks after this picture and Kristen (who the baby shower was thrown for) had her baby boys in early July. It is so fun to see them together now with all four babies!

I didn't get any other pictures but it was a very fun evening! Congratulations Kristen on you beautiful babes.

Friday, September 23, 2011


A couple of weeks ago I made this delicious dish of Ratatouille. It was absolutely amazing. My 16 month old gobbled it up. He could not get enough. And my husband and I loved it as well. We didn't even have leftovers the next day because we ate the entire thing between the 3 of us. I was so bummed that we ate it so fast that I made it again last week.

Me making our masterpiece the first time. It got slightly too browned for a good picture after it was baked.

Our second go at it. I made a bigger batch the second time around. Aren't all of the colors beautiful? The pictures are prettier HERE where the recipe comes from.

Doesn't that look scrumptious? Here's the recipe:

Ratatouille’s Ratatouille
As envisioned by Smitten Kitchen

1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
1 cup tomato puree (such as Pomi)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small eggplant (my store sells these “Italian Eggplant” that are less than half the size of regular ones; it worked perfectly)
1 smallish zucchini
1 smallish yellow squash
1 longish red bell pepper
Few sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
Few tablespoons soft goat cheese, for serving

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Pour tomato puree into bottom of an oval baking dish, approximately 10 inches across the long way. Drop the sliced garlic cloves and chopped onion into the sauce, stir in one tablespoon of the olive oil and season the sauce generously with salt and pepper.

Trim the ends off the eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash. As carefully as you can, trim the ends off the red pepper and remove the core, leaving the edges intact, like a tube.

On a mandoline, adjustable-blade slicer or with a very sharp knife, cut the eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and red pepper into very thin slices, approximately 1/16-inch thick.

Atop the tomato sauce, arrange slices of prepared vegetables concentrically from the outer edge to the inside of the baking dish, overlapping so just a smidgen of each flat surface is visible, alternating vegetables. You may have a handful leftover that do not fit.

Drizzle the remaining tablespoon olive oil over the vegetables and season them generously with salt and pepper. Remove the leaves from the thyme sprigs with your fingertips, running them down the stem. Sprinkle the fresh thyme over the dish.

Cover dish with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit inside. (Tricky, I know, but the hardest thing about this.)

Bake for approximately 45 to 55 minutes, until vegetables have released their liquid and are clearly cooked, but with some structure left so they are not totally limp. They should not be brown at the edges, and you should see that the tomato sauce is bubbling up around them.

Serve with a dab of soft goat cheese on top, alone, or with some crusty French bread, atop polenta, couscous, or your choice of grain.

Note: I put this over brown rice and it was delish!

Monday, September 19, 2011

"ABC" Magnets

In August I started working on crafts for our annual craft day at church. It only happens once a year and I was asked to help by contributing a couple of crafts to teach. One of the crafts that was picked for me to create, display, and teach were these alphabet magnets.

These are so much fun. They are easy to make and great for kids. I saw them on Pinterest of course. Which led me to THIS website with the instructions. I made a set for my nieces and nephew and will probably make a few more sets for other nieces and nephews in the future. Plus I made a set for my own little guy - which I quickly discovered he is still too young for. I think I will make a younger version of these with fabric for him to play with and learn his ABC's.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Abby's Baby Shower

Last night I hosted a baby shower for my good friend Abby. She is having a baby boy sometime this month (or maybe even October if he is too comfortable to come out). It was a pretty simple night, with snacks, conversations, and opening gifts.

We went with green and brown, which were the colors Abby chose. I love how it all turned out.

I made this banner. It was super simple but I thought it was the perfect touch for the simple shower.

And my husband helped me make these divine mint chocolate cupcakes (the frosting and the Andes mint on top were the best parts). These little beauties deserve their very own post.

We crammed 20 people in my tiny apartment. It was packed but very fun.

Doesn't Abby just look so happy? And that little girl is her darling daughter, Avrielle. She is 7 and is WAY excited to have a baby brother.

I thought this picture was perfect! Abby & Avrielle. Thanks for having a baby Abby so that I could throw you a party! It was so much fun! Lets do it again in say...2/3 years?