Luck of the Irish

I have been eyeing this banner since before Christmas. I would love to have it hanging in my house. I found it on Bekah Jennings Etsy shop. She has beautiful banners for every occasion!

St. Patrick's Day is fast approaching. To be honest I haven't really done anything special for this holiday for my family ever. I don't know why. It's a really fun holiday. I can't really remember if and what my Mom used to do for us as kids (sorry Mom). I know she did something. I just can't remember. This year I'm thinking I might do something small like dye our milk green, but I'm to busy thinking about our impending arrival of a little boy to make any big plans. I have however already taught Miss. S about clovers and how the four leaf ones are lucky. We have a lot of clover growing outside our house right now. The first time she saw it she said "Hey someone made the grass look like flowers." It was really cute. Now every time we walk outside she has to run through the clover. She loves it. I think it's a fun holiday and I do plan to make some family traditions for it. Just don't be surprised if it doesn't happen this year.

It's 76 Degrees Today

Photo taken last year at the Wild Seed Farm. I can't wait to go back when everything is in bloom!

I love days like today. San Antonio Springs are truly the greatest. I know it's technically not spring yet but it's acting like it outside my window right now. It's making it really hard to focus on things that I need to get done. I had a couple ideas that I wanted to post about today, but I can see that it's just not going to happen. I'm to busy day dreaming about fun Springtime activities. Like picking strawberries, heading out to the coast or just spending time at the pool. I'm spending nap time today out on my patio practicing some embroidery. Not necessarily for anything in particular. I just want to do something creative and spend time in the warmth of the sun. Maybe I'll have something more exciting for you tomorrow. Today though is calling for me to be a little lazy.


Onesies: COMPLETE... but not without a lesson learned

Back in December when I made the Super Mario Bros. t-shirts for my nephews I decided I was going to be doing a lot more freezer paper stenciling. It's so easy and the results are really good. So I decided I was going to make a set of onesies in each size for the baby. This will not only give me good practice with stenciling but also dying. A wise friend told me the other day that practice makes perfect (thanks Chelsey!). So that's what I'll do.
Anyway... Yesterday I had my friend Carrie over so I could teach her how to freezer paper stencil. She worked on the green robot and I worked on the yellow rocket. It is always really fun to do crafts with friends and it's not something I get to do very often. So thanks Carrie for coming over to my messy house & having some fun with me. The lesson I learned from yesterday though was as much fun as it is to work with a friend I tend to get really easily distracted. I also tend to rush what I'm doing a little bit. I really really wanted to show her the finished result before she went home so I ended up peeling off the freezer paper a bit too early. Which resulted in the edges not being as neat as they could be. It's not enough to bother me, but it did teach me that sometimes you need to be patient with crafting. I also think I may have added too many coats of paint.
So last night I did the green monster onesie. I only used two coats of paint and I let it dry for several hours. Then to make sure it was all dry I took a hair dryer too it. You can never be too careful right? I think he turned out really good. They all turned out good and I can't wait to put my little one in them. This set is 0-3 months. Like I said I'm going to make a set for each size. You can never have too many onesies right? Denny has already requested a few that are music inspired. So that maybe the next set.


Diaper Bags

I'm busy today getting some onesies all done, but I wanted to take a minute to talk about diaper bags. I need a new one. Problem is I'm picky. I don't want a diaper bag that looks like a diaper bag. I think I'm going to just buy a bag and throw one of these changing pads in it. If I did get a diaper bag I think it would have to be the Skip Hop Studio Tote.
But I'm on the fence about. It's the best actual diaper bag though that I've found. I found a purse on Etsy from Kinies that I really like too. I like that it's really big and comes in some really great colors. I don't know what I'm going to do, but I better decide soon. This little guy will be here before I know it.


Rit Dye Attempt #2: Good

So attempt number one was not great. Yesterday's attempt was good. A lot better than the first, but far from perfect. Hopefully next time will be better than after that will be the best. We'll see. So here is the finished results for the onesies.
The color turned out pretty even. No splotches (the picture makes them look not so even, but it's just the way the light is hitting them.) Nice and vibrant. The grey one turned out just how I wanted it. With the exception of some funky coloring in the crotch. You can barely see it in this next picture. I'm not too worried though cause it will be covered by pants. I used half a package of dye and it sat in the dye bath for about 5 hours. I think the key with the powder dyes is to make sure you dissolve it in 2 cups of hot water before adding it to the rest of the bath. I used just enough water for the fabric to move around and be covered.
Now the blue and green did not turn out to be the exact colors I wanted at all. Now that's not to say I don't like them. They still look pretty good. However not what I was hoping for. This is what I was trying for with the blue.
I know it's small, But it was the only picture they had on the Rit website. This is what I got.
As you can see this onesie is definitely not light evening blue. It was left in the dye bath for about an hour and a half. I have some ideas as to why it didn't work, but I'll leave that until later.

For the green this is what I was going for. Yellow-Green 515.
This is my result.
Not exactly the same, but still I like it. It was in the dye bath for a little longer. About 3 hours. So I would chalk this up to an ok attempt.

Here is what i think went wrong with the last two colors. I followed the instructions given on the Rit website the best I could understand them. I had to increase the recipe for both. I think what I should have done was just increase the water amount. Not the amount of dye. I think that would have made the blue one lighter. For the green I think it needs a little more yellow as well. This is what I'm going to try next time.

Not a bad attempt. These onesies are far from over. Check back tomorrow or Friday to see them all finished. Have you ever dyed fabric (not including tie dye)? Do you have any tips for dying smaller items?


An Experiment

Today I'm experimenting with Rit Dye. I've only dyed fabric once before. For Miss. S's Halloween costume this past year. I have to admit it wasn't the best attempt. It worked because it was for the t-shirt she wore under her cute pumpkin costume. So the flaws were all well hidden. However I was disappointed with the attempt and I really wanted to give it another go. Since I have this little guy coming into my life shortly I thought I would try it out again with some baby onesies. There are so many fun things you can do if you know how to properly dye fabric. Beyond tie dying (because I don't think I'll be doing that any time soon). So I really want to learn how to do it. So that is what I'm figuring out today. I'll be back tomorrow with the results. Hopefully it's better than last time.
Attempt Number 1. The pumpkin Halloween costume. I dyed a hanes white cotton t-shirt we already had orange with the powder Rit Dye. As you can see only the arms are visible. The body however was a little splotchy. I could tell that not all the powder dissolved. So I know to be more careful this time around.


Baby Tunes

Last night we put together a mix cd for when the baby arrives. We had several Rockabye Baby! cd's from when we had Miss. S. So we put all of our favorites together onto one mix. We love these cd's! It's so fun to hear some of your favorite songs made for your little ones. Everything from Bob Marley to Coldplay or even ACDC. Let's be honest kids music can get really old after you've heard it over and over. These really aren't so bad. Miss. S listened to music during every nap so they came in really handy.


Spent Our Morning Here...

And now we are totally pooped. It was a lot of fun though. If you live in the San Antonio area you should try to make it out before it's over!


Feeling HUGE & A book Review

As I mentioned in a post earlier this week I only have 6 more weeks left of being pregnant. Actually according to my doctor it's probably less than that. This is exciting yet at the same time I'm freaked out. I had high hopes for this week. I really wanted to make some onesies for this boy and do a couple other things. However I have been truly uncomfortable. Not sleeping well, achy all over, feeling enormous. Just plain uncomfortable and frankly it has held me back a little from getting some things accomplished. I keep thinking that physically I am so ready for this baby to be out, mentally though... not so much. I'm not quite prepared yet. But physically YES! I'm ready to sleep on my back again, and not have weird muscle pains. Right now if I could just manage a comfortable good nights sleep that would make a world of difference. I'm not really looking for sympathy. Every pregnant woman goes through this. I guess I'm just telling you this because I feel bad that the quality of posts this week have been... well... weak. I'll get back on the ball. I promise. Just bare with me. Hopefully this weekend will revive me.
So what does one do when they are exhausted and uncomfortable. Open up a book. I picked up Flipped from Half Price Books the other day. I had heard good things about it from a couple people, and since it was only a few dollars I thought it would be a good way to spend my time this week. It really was a cute book. First off it's 212 pages and written for preteens. So it was a really easy read. It had a really good message too. Always look at people from the inside out. Don't judge someone from what you see on the surface. It was fun to see these characters learn that in the course of the story, and to see them change. The earlier kids learn that the better. I just felt like the story cut off a little short. I would have loved to read more about their friendship after the last page. I felt like it left me a little up in the air. Overall though really cute and really easy! I would definitely recommend this to any middle school age kid.


My Mascara Obsession

Some of you may know I'm obsessed with mascara. I'm constantly on the search for the perfect one. The closest I've ever come is Diorshow Blackout. I love how full and dark it makes my lashes look. Almost like wearing false lashes. However for $25 a tube it is a splurge when I get it. Also I feel like it dries out faster than any other mascara I've ever used. When you pay that much you want it to last a few months at least. I wonder if all Diorshow mascaras have the same problem. Since I can't always splurge on my favorite I've been using Maybelline Great Lash Blackest Black Mascara. Honestly it's a pretty good substitute, and for around $5 a tube you really can't beat it.
However as I get older I have the same problem that many other women have. My eye lashes are getting thinner and thinner. Those Claire Danes Latisse commercials are super tempting, but having to go to a doctor and get a prescription is a pain. Not to mention I'm sure it's expensive. So when I saw the advertisements for a drug store version by Revlon my interest was piqued. I wasn't running out to buy it though, because who knows if it actually works. So about two weeks ago I was in Walmart waiting for an oil change and I walked by the makeup and low and behold Revlon Grow Luscious was on sale. So I snagged a tube. So after 2 weeks of using it I thought I would do a little review.
I'm actually pretty impressed. The reviews online were really mixed. I got it in black shimmer which is supposed to add a little shimmer to your lashes. Honestly the color isn't all that great. I'm used to really black mascaras so this one felt a little weak. The brush is huge which I'm not sure I love yet. I takes a few coats to actually look like your wearing mascara. OK all that doesn't sound great. Here are the good parts though. I didn't buy it for color or anything other than strengthening and hopefully to grow in some new lashes. I already had another kind for everything else. You know what? I've noticed a difference. My eyelashes were falling out when I was washing my make up off at night, and now they aren't. So less eye lashes falling out means fuller lashes. So it does indeed strengthen my lashes and in turn keeps them thicker. I wish I had taken before and after pictures but I didn't. You'll just have to take my word for it. If I use one coat of this and one coat of the Maybelline blackest black then I get the desired look I want. It's way cheaper and a lot more convenient than Latisse too. So overall it did what I wanted it to do. I would say it's totally worth it, but maybe layer it with another favorite brand.


Celebrating Boys!!!

One of my very favorite blogs is MADE. It is an endless (and I do mean endless) source of inspiration for sewing and craft projects. I've been looking forward to this day for a little while now because Dana at MADE and Rae at Made by Rae have begun Celebrate the Boy month. A whole month dedicated to the little fellas in our lives. Since this little guy I'm carrying is coming in about 6 weeks this is perfect timing. I need to get cracking on some fun things to welcome him into this world. So far I only have 5 receiving blankets. Yikes!!! I know a lot of you have sons and some of you have only boys. There are so many cute projects for girls and it's hard to find cute things for boys. Well this month you are in luck! Amazing boy projects galore!!! So head over there and see for yourself all month long. I've been browsing the archives from last year and it just gets me more excited!


The Final Product

So this is what I came up with for our home made Valentine's. I really liked the heart dum dum flowers from before. I just wanted to involve Miss. S a little more. My cousin actually gave me the idea for this. She suggested turning her paintings into greeting cards in the post about kids art. I just thought that was such a good idea. So it inspired me to make the same Valentine's as before but have Miss. S paint the hearts. I think it turned out much much cuter and it actually got her in to the whole process. Instead of me just taking over and making something for her. She loved doing this and she is so excited to give them to her favorite friends!
I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine's Day!


Homemade Valentine's

I started making these babies yesterday, and now I think I want to change them up a little bit. They are really cute and we had everything around the house already. I just think I want to get Miss. S a little more involved though. Since they are for her friends I feel like they need to be a little more personal from her. I'll post the finished product on Monday, but until then I wanted to share what I had begun. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!


Miss. S Loves To Paint

This is my fridge today. Everyday a new painting gets added. She loves to paint. She begs to paint. She would rather paint than do anything else in this world. Last week she discovered water colors and it was love at first brush stroke. Now the conundrum is how am I going to go about displaying her masterpieces with out my fridge looking like a hot mess. Don't even try to throw one of her creations away. That would just be heart break. I would love to save up all these little pages and scan them into my computer and create something digitally. However until I have enough I need another option. I'm leaning towards this budget friendly idea...
It has some major style without a huge price tag. Which I love. It's also not permanent like a paint treatment would be. Which is perfect for us renters. I can easily accomplish this in an afternoon.

I found this on Ohdeedoh (originally found here). They find such great options for art displays. How do you handle the accumulation of your kiddos art?


My Go To Pasta Dish

Making pasta around here isn't the easiest task. Denny doesn't like marinara and I don't really like to eat heavy cream sauces. Don't get me wrong I love the taste of them. I just tend to over do it then I feel full, fat & sick. So it's just best to stay away from them. I can't tell you the last time I had Chicken Alfredo. It's been a while. So when I saw this recipe on Everyday Italian I had to try it out. It seemed like a good happy medium. Of coarse I tweaked it a little to suit our needs. So here is our favorite Pasta Dish.

No Sauce Creamy Farfalle

1 Box Whole Grain Farfalle (Bow Tie Pasta)
1 lb Fresh Mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 Bunch Thin Asparagus, trimmed & cut into 1 inch pieces
3 tablespoons Butter
1 Dash of Garlic Salt
A pinch of freshly Grated Nutmeg
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 Cup Chopped Pecans
1 Cup Mascarpone Cheese
1/4 Grated Parmesan Cheese

1 Cup your choice of meat...
Shredded Rotisseri Chicken
Grilled Chicken Breast
Diced Prosciutto Ham

It tastes great without meat, but Denny likes it best with Prosciutto.

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until Al Dente

2. Meanwhile add butter to a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and garlic powder and sauté until mushrooms are tender and most of the juices have evaporated, about 5 min. Add asparagus (and prosciutto if you choose to use it.) sauté another 5 min.

3. Remove pasta from pot into a large serving bowl saving 1 cup pasta water. Add vegetables. Stir in Mascarpone Cheese until pasta is evening coated. If you feel the pasta might need more moisture then add a 1/4 cup pasta water at a time until you feel like it is moistened enough. It may not need it. Stir in Pecans and nutmeg (If you chose to use Chicken this would be the time to add it). Season with Salt and Pepper to taste and top with Parmesan Cheese. Enjoy!


Under Construction

I'm trying really hard to get this blog all prettied up and organized better. So please excuse me while I'm moving things around and tweaking things here and there. Hopefully soon I'll have it just the way I want it. I've been working on labeling my posts better so that if you are looking for a specific post from the past it will be easier to find. However it's not the easiest task. Oh well it'll get there. I hope it will be an easier blog to navigate when I'm finished.

Remember this post about new bedding from a couple weeks ago? Imagine my excitment when I saw this photo on Apartment Therapy yesterday.
Kiki from Kiki Creates made this bedding. Amazing right? It is exactly what I envisioned when I saw that bedding on Urban Outfitters. All white with pops of color in the pillows. It is perfect! She did 4 big projects in this room for under $70. So impressive. I admire her skills.

Book Review: My Life In France

I just finished reading My Life In France. The autobiography of Julia Child about her time spent living in France with her husband Paul. It was delightful. I think Julia Child is a wonderful example of a strong successful woman. She proves that you are never to old to do what you truly love. Did you know that she didn't even learn to cook until she was almost 40? Amazing. She was determined and passionate. Not to mention witty. She had such a great sense of humor. Her relationship with Paul was love at it's finest. She was a loyal friend. However she also knew what she needed to do to be successful and happy. She wasn't afraid to take tactful action. She lead a full, lovely and delicious life. I loved this book. I just wanted to pass along the suggestion. Just don't read it on an empty stomach!


A Tiny Heart

I love all things miniature. The smaller the better in my book. This weekend I was experimenting with a few things. I'm trying to plan an activity for 12-13 year old girls for my church so I was trying out different crafts to make. This is not the craft I chose (to timely), but it's the one I think turned out the best out of all my attempts.

I used a 3 inch embroidery hoop (tiny). I measured my fabric to fit the hoop. Before putting the fabric in the hoop I freezer paper stenciled on the heart & let dry. Then I put the fabric in the hoop and glue gunned the excess fabric to the inside of the back of the hoop. My paint had a couple very small leaks under the stencil so I decided to do a simple back stitch around the outside of the heart to hide the flaws. That's it! It was fairly easy. Every body likes tiny things right? Of coarse if you don't you could always use a bigger hoop. The 3 inch hoop was what I had on hand. This project didn't cost me a dime as I took everything out of my stash.

Embroidery hoop art is everywhere right now. Including right here previously on this blog. I think it's because you can make a big impact in a space without breaking the bank. I see it a lot in nurseries (which is where I used them before), but I wouldn't be afraid to try it out in a living room, kitchen or craft room.


The Chinese New Year Festivities

We had a fun time as a family last night for Chinese New Year. We ordered in some Dim Sum (including my beloved Char Siew Bao), walnut shrimp & Moo Shu Chicken from Golden Wok. Golden Wok is owned by some really great family friends of ours and they have the widest variety of Dim Sum available in San Antonio. It truly is delicious! If you're not really sure what Dim Sum is visit their website and you will wonder no more.
After some good eats we got our paper craft on. We made lanterns, fans & fortune cookies. Miss. S is still pretty young and has a hard time with most crafts. So I involved her by letting her color the paper for the lanterns and the fans. She also wrote "letters" for the fortunes. She had such a good time and was really proud of what she made. I have to admit the fans didn't turn out so good, but the lantern & cookies were really cute. If you are going to make paper fans with your kids make sure to use a thinner type of paper. It will make folding them much easier.
The fortune cookies were my favorite. After writing out our own fortunes we glued them to the inside of paper cupcake liners. Then you fold the cupcake liners back and glue the bottom together. They turned out pretty cute and so easy!
All in all our Chinese New Year was a success. I think it's important to teach your children about other cultures. They love it! It's so much fun watching her soak up new things.

Snow Day!!!

I can't believe the snow we got in San Antonio! Highways, schools and some businesses all closed today! We got a little snow last year but it was more of a slush. This time around it actually stuck. And don't be deceived by the fluff. It looks innocent enough but underneath all that white there is a thick sheet of ice. I know because I feel flat on my back this morning playing with Miss. S. If you live in San Antonio have fun today, but be careful!
I'll be back later today to share our Chinese New Year Festivities with you!


Happy Chinese New Year

Today we're ringing in the Chinese New Year. It's the year of the Rabbit! I don't think I've ever mentioned what Denny does for a living on this blog. His parents own Fire Wok a Chinese Restaurant here in San Antonio and he manages it for them. So The Chinese New Year is an important holiday around this house. I would love to say that I'm celebrating by cooking up all sorts of Chinese Delicacies and throwing a party. However that is just not going to happen this year. I'm way to big and uncomfortable to be slaving over the stove all day. Maybe next year. I really would love to learn to make Char Siew Bao (steamed pork buns). Yum! Just thinking about it makes my mouth water. Anyway I'm sure we'll do something fun. Perhaps I'll post about it tomorrow. Go enjoy your day and if your trying to figure out something good to eat try some Chinese Food!


My Amazing Sister-In-Law

This is Katie...
She's Denny's younger sister. She's pretty awesome. She lives in Los Angeles and has worked really hard to be a professional actress. She's appeared in a slew of nation wide commercials, guest spots on T.V. shows, and several independent films. You know what? Her hard work has paid off big time! A pilot she worked on back in November was officially picked up by ABC Family!!! It's called Switched At Birth and will begin this summer. It will air after The Secret Life Of The American Teenager. If you would like to know more about it here are a couple articles. One on Entertainment Weekly, and the other on The Hollywood Reporter. We are so excited and proud! I can't tell you how awesome it is to see all the hard work she has put into this career pay off. We love you Katie!