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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Hello Kitty Room!

Peighton has been LOVING Hello Kitty lately.
I kinda like her too.
We decided to do a much needed room makeover during Christmas break.
It is SO MUCH cuter!!!!!


Dustin painted her room a light pink.
It was green on the bottom and yellow on top with a weird "wave" connecting the two.
It looks MUCH better now!
I designed the quilt (there was A LOT of math involved!!!!) and we love how it turned out!
A little Hello Kitty, zebra, chevron and hot pink and black minky.
It's C-U-T-E!
I also ordered some Hello Kitty artwork from a seller on etsy.

I painted a bag canvas hot pink and put the vinyl picture top of that.
It's BIG and looks great on the wall.
I did a quick valance for the window out of the leftovers.
I also made a pennant out of the scraps and reused her name letters that were originally in her BABY ROOM!
Peighton loves it and so do I!
We have also added a very cute Hello Kitty clock too!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Winter F-U-N!!!!

We went from playing in the puddles a few weeks ago to playing in the snow again!
It was a really nice day to play in the snow with no wind and it wasn't super cold either-my kind of playing in the snow!!!!!
The kids got an inflatable sled for Christmas and we finally got to use it!

Peighton could sled all day.

I LOVE Preston's face in this picture!
He looks like he is planning something...

When he walks up the hill he looks like he is climbing a mountain.

We also took a little walk along the trees and looked for animal tracks.

Peighton never misses an opportunity to pose... ;-)

Then we had to go check on the newest additions to our house.....3 kitties!
They live out in the barn with "Heifer," as Preston calls her.
We have:
and Giddy-Mow-Mow. (My personal favorite.)

This would be Giddy-Mow-Mow.
He is the friendliest so far and the kids like to follow him around!

She was "being a cat..."

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Maxi Dress for me!

I bought Amy Butler's Cabo Halter pattern awhile back.

 It sat on my desk as I decided what fabric to use and if I'd actually wear it once I made it!
I've made myself LOTS of bags (I have no idea how many!) but have only made myself a few items of clothing.
It's much more intimidating than bags!!!!!
I've boughten quite a few maxi dreses lately.
Sometimes they fit really well in one area but not so much in others.
As I kept looking at this halter top pattern I started to think how cute it would be if it were a dress....made out of knit!
So, what started out as Amy Butler's halter top with woven fabric and an invisibile zipper turned into a comfy knit dress with no invisible zipper!!!!!
Kinda hard to take a picture of a dress on the floor but I'm just not willing to model at the moment!!!!!

The best part of making this is that I was able to choose a different size for each of the pattern pieces to fit ME perfectly.
I tried it on multiple times as I went along and it fits like it was made just for me-oh wait, it was!!!!!!
And I got to make it the perfect length for me too-most maxi dresses are quite a bit too long for my short self. ;-)
I am super happy with the way it turned out.
A great addition to my summer wardrobe for going to the beach or the pool or just hanging out!
Someday when I'm feeling super brave I might try the woven version with the invisible zipper.
I think it'd be really cute and summery in a bright white fabric!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Amish Cinnamon Bread

A rainy Sunday with the kids required some baking.
Peighton chose this Amish Cinnamon Bread Recipe  from my Pinterest boards!
She chose well!!!!!!
It was quite yummy with our hot chocolate and coffee!

Monday morning, the twins gave it two thumbs up as well as they shoved it in their mouths!
 Amish Cinnamon Bread
1 cup butter, softened (I replaced all of the butter with applesauce)
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk or 2 cups milk plus 2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
Cinnamon/sugar mixture:
2/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Cream together butter, 2 cups of sugar, and eggs.
Add milk, flour, and baking soda.
Put 1/2 of batter (or a little less) into greased loaf pans (1/4 in each pan).
Mix in separate bowl the 2/3 c sugar and cinnamon.
Sprinkle 3/4 of cinnamon mixture on top of the 1/2 batter in each pan.
 Add remaining batter to pans; sprinkle with last of cinnamon topping.
Swirl with a knife.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 min. or until toothpick tester come clean.
Cool in pan for 20 minutes before removing from pan.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Pasta

I'm LOVING my Crockin Girls Cookbook!
From the “Slow Cookin’ Mamas” Slow Cookin’ Companion Cookbook
I've tried a lot of their recipes lately and I haven't found one yet that wasn't fabulous!

The Buffalo Chicken Pasta proved to be great as well!
Dustin and I like just about anything that involves Buffalo Chicken.
I thought this one might be a winner.
And bonus points for being made in the crock pot!
It was too spicy for the kids so they had chicken nuggets!!!!
1 lb chicken, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup hot sauce
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup ranch
1 1/2 cup sour cream (I left this out because I didn't have any!)
3 cups penne pasta, cooked
Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in slow cooker.
Add the chicken soup, hot sauce,  and diced tomatoes.
Cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 2-3 hours.
Stir in the cheese, ranch, and sour cream, then turn off slow cooker.
Boil pasta, drain and add to the slow cooker.
Stir well and serve!

I forgot to take a picture of the finished product-I was more focused on eating!!!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

February in Iowa

You really never know what is going to happen in the month of February in Iowa.
Rainstorm...snowstorm...could be either.
Today it was rain.
When it stopped we decided to enjoy the 50 degree weather and all the puddles!
Preston was very excited to go outside and inspect all the puddles.

I LOVE rain boots!

Always posing for something...

I love it when they walk hand in hand.
She had to "show him something."

When we got to the other side of the house we found a pile of snow to play in!
We all decided rain boots are not very good for snow-all of our toes got COLD!!!!

Preston was pointing something out in the water.
I love to hear all of his ideas lately.

More cute boots. ;-)

Preston started to get a bit out of control here...which I knew was unavoidable!
But his giggle is just so cute.

And then they started throwing rocks and it got messy REALLY quickly!
We headed in for a warm bath and pizza.
Peighton says she can't wait for summer.
I agree!

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

Rain. Rain. Rain and a little sleet today.
Which means we stayed home!
And I only had to leave the house to feed the heifer-I'm not sure when I became the chore girl....that was not in my job description!
The kids and I made some yummy Chicken Pot Pie Soup for lunch on our rainy Sunday.
The recipe came from HERE.
She served it with pie crust pieces....I don't like pie crust so I didn't make that part!
We had ours with some yummy bread instead.
It didn't dissapoint!
 Both kids cleaned their bowls!!!

Chicken Pot Pie Soup
4 T butter
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/8 t basil
1/8 t thyme
1/8 t celery salt
1 pinch garlic powder
1/4 t black pepper
1/3 cup flour
3 cups milk
1 can half and half (I used milk for this as well)
3 chicken boullion cubes
2-3 cups cooked, chopped chicken
2 cups cooked, diced potatoes
1 1/2 cups mixed vegetables cooked (we used carrots, peas and celery)
In a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat, melt butter and sauté onions until soft.
Add basil, thyme, black pepper, celery salt, & garlic powder.
 Stir and sauté for a minute.
Add flour and stir for about another minute.
 Gradually whisk in milk and half & half, making sure to whisk out lumps.
  Add bullion cubes and continue to whisk until liquid comes to a simmer and thickens.
Stir in chicken & vegetables.
 Turn heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Friday, February 8, 2013

How many bags does it take for one night?

How many bags does it take for one night away from home?
The answer....A LOT!!!
This is my happy little helper this morning...still in his jammies.

And here's my pile of bags.
So glad I have lots of really large bags!
The middle bag is Amy Butler's Sunday Sling-it's huge and makes a great swim bag.
The blue one has snacks in it for the car.
It's also an Amy Butler pattern out of a book but I can't remember the name of the bag.
The bag on the left is an Anna Maria Horner pattern.
It's a great bag with lots of pockets which is why it's our car activity bag!
We'll be going on our little roadtrip by ourselves.
So, I thought I should have lots of things for the kids to do while I am driving...besides shout at each other and fight over toys!
Peighton is an awesome traveler.
I think it's because the two of us used to load up and drive back and forth from Indiana to Iowa by ourselves which is at least a 6 hour trip.
Preston, on the other hand, is the
complete opposite.
He can be quite high maintenence in the backseat!
Which makes Peighton mad and she starts yelling at him and it all goes downhill from there very quickly.
Here are some of the things inside our Activity Bag:

I saw this on Pinterest but can't find the exact link.
I sewed a strip of fabric down the left side of 4 ziploc bags making the binding for our books.
It was NOT easy sewing those 4 bags together!!! They were all over the place!

Inside the books I put words for Peighton to read to me along with numbers and shapes for her to work on.
I like that I can open the ziploc and add words when needed.
Preston's is full of Thomas stickers, Spiderman, shapes and animals.


I also went to Wal-mart and bought cookie sheets for $.92!!!!!
I'm pretty sure a  $.92 cookie sheet is NOT going to make good cookies but it does make a fabulous tray for the car!
It's lightweight and it's magnetic.
I got some magnetic clips for holding thier papers and some new colored pencils, stencils, and stickers.
I have lots more ideas for these little cookie sheets.
I just need more time to make all of them!
I also found a box of wooden magnetic trains for Preston to play with.
He hasn't seen them yet but I know he's going to love them!
Hopefully they stay happy and busy in the backseat and we keep the fighting to a minimum!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Take Flight Handbag

Amy Butler's Style Stitches: 12 Easy Ways to 26 Wonderful Bags
I've checked another bag from this book off my list!
I tried out the "Take Flight" handbag and it turned out really cute!
I had filed this one away as something I'd never make.
This oversized flower/fan thing on the front of the bag was just not for me.

But I kept coming back to the pattern.
Over and over again.
I finally decided if I left that part off I'd probably like the bag.
And I do!
I've had this bright, cheery chevron in my stash for awhile now and hadn't found it's purpose.
It's purpose has now been found!

It's a nice medium sized bag which is good...I've made a lot of LARGE bags lately!

Of course I had to add a little flower!
My little helper thought he should have his picture taken too.
His facial expressions CRACK ME UP!!!!!
Look at that raised eyebrow!
I'm glad I tried it out.
It's a good sized bag and has a zipper too!
It might make a nice carry on bag someday soon to a tropical destination!!!

On a side note, I think my chair in this picture needs a funky new seat cushion!
That might be my next project.....maybe in a little chevron???
This chair has quite a history.
It was originally my grandmother's chair.
Growing up, it sat in my parent's living room.
When Dustin and I got married, it went along with us to our very first house in Nebraska.
It has moved with us to each new house since then.
From Nebraska to North Carolina to Indiana and then to Iowa.
This chair is well-traveled!!!!
I have sat and rocked both of my sweet babies in this chair too.
I think it's the only piece of furniture that has been in ALL of our houses.
It's been like a little piece of home wherever we have moved.
I think it deserves a little face lift, don't you?!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Sausage Gravy

Dustin loves biscuits and gravy.
If we go out for breakfast it's what he orders a lot of the time.
But I make a recipe that's MUCH better than most restaurants!!!!
And it's easy too.

I think the first time I made this was when we lived in North Carolina-if you're keeping track that was a LONG time ago!!!!!
It's been made lots of times and the recipe has stuck around so you know it's a good one!
Sausage Gravy
1 lb pork sausage
3 T sausage grease or Crisco
1/3 cup flour
3 cups milk
1 beef bouillon cube
1 T worchestershire sauce
1/2 t salt ( I leave this out, there's salt in the sausage, bouillon and worchestershire so I just don't think it needs it.)
1/4 t black pepper
Brown sausage in a skillet.
Remove sausage from pan.
Stir the grease or Crisco and add flour.
Stir constantly until golden brown.
Whisk in the milk.
Cook until mixture begins to simmer, then add sausage, bouillon and worchestershire, and salt and pepper.
Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Serve over homemade biscuits.
I often cheat and make Pillsbury biscuits though!
Either way, its really good although not at all healthy.
This is definately a treat at our house that only happens a few times a year!

Friday, February 1, 2013

A Beach tote for me!

There was a big snowstorm Wednesday outside my windows.
I was fine with it though...
I have a few really fun trips to look forward to and to make new bags for as well!
I finished one while that yucky white stuff was coming down.
It's from one of my favorite "go-to" bag books.
Amy Butler's Style Stitches: 12 Easy Ways to 26 Wonderful Bags
It's acutally a bag I never thought I'd make because of the handles-I HATE the kind of handles that the pattern has you make.
If you've ever made them  I'm sure you know why.
But I sat and thought about it and really liked the rest of the bag-especially the ruffle.
Finally, I decided there had to be a way to modify it and I was going to try!
I knew it would be a super cute beach tote for a few reasons:
*It's big-I need lots of room to carry all of Dustin's stuff ;-)
*It's open at the top-great for throwing everything in
*I can fold it into my suitcase easily
And did I mention it's cute!

The big change I made was the handles.
It's supposed to be one continuous piece-
I HATE sewing those where you have to cut the center circle out and then tuck in all the raw edges....HATE IT.
So I cut the piece in half horizontally and also made the opening a bit bigger.
If you look closely you can see my extra seams on the handles but it doesn't really bother me!
It turned out perfectly and it was much easier!

Who doesn't love a good ruffle?
I can't wait to use my new bag on a sunny beach in a few weeks!