Friday, September 30, 2011

Adventures in Wonderland

It finally happened.  I have fallen into the rabbit hole known as Pinterest and cannot get out.  I've been creating boards and pinning things to them for about a week now and I have to admit, I'm completely addicted!  For those of you unfamiliar with Pinterest, it's a virtual bulletin board for your ideas, a place for you to "pin" the things you want to save for later, such as recipes, craft and sewing tutorials, home design inspiration, fashion finds, etc.  Anything goes.  If you find it on the web, you can pin it.

Here is just a tiny sampling of the things I've "pinned" this week...


You can view the rest of my boards and pins HERE.  You can browse Pinterest until the cows come home without actually joining the site, but you need an invitation to start pinning things to your own boards.  If you would like an invitation, feel free to leave your email address in the comments section or send it to me in an email at and I will send you an invitation.  **Disclaimer - I am not responsible for the many, many hours you will waste away pinning ideas!  ha!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Finds

I spend way too much time window shopping on Etsy.  If there is a limit for the favorites list, I have no doubt that I'm quickly approaching it.  The best (or worst) part is that my sister is in my Etsy circle, so I see everything see adds to her favorites list too.  Of course, I feel compelled to check out her picks, which leads me to new shops with new items to add to MY list, and so on and so on.  It's like a huge snowball rolling down a hill.  A gigantic crafty snowball.

Today isn't just any Friday.  It's the first day of fall y'all!  So in celebration of the official end of summer in Texas, I thought I would share a few of my recent Etsy finds with you today.

via tomdesign

I love these earrings by tomdesign.  But I also love this bracelet, and this necklace, and this necklace, and the list goes on and on.  I think it's safe to say that this entire shop is one of my favorites.

via claylicious

Owls are very popular right now, and these ceramic owls from claylicious are adorable!  I especially love the little turquoise guy in the back.  He would look great on my bookshelf.

via RaspberryCreekFabric

This fabric bundle by RaspeberryCreekFabric is sitting in my cart at this very moment.  It would be perfect for a quilt for a baby boy.  Now I just need to decide if I should buy fat quarters or half yard cuts?

via fabricshoppe

 This collection of fat quarters by fabricshoppe is screaming "Oh me, buy me, buy me!"  It would be rude to ignore it, right?

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Great Costume Debate

It's hard to believe that I'm already thinking about Halloween costumes for my kiddos.  Bailey is having a tough time deciding on a costume.  One minute she wants to be a cowgirl, then the next she wants to be Foofa from Yo Gabba Gabba.  Just in the last week she's also mentioned possibly being a kitty cat, Tinkerbell, or a robot ninja. Decisions, decisions!

In the past, she's been a ballerina, a bumblebee, a cheerleader, and Ming-Ming the duck from the Wonderpets.


Jake, on the other hand, is still at the mercy of his Mama.  Last year he was only 3 months old, so he wore a little cow print jumper and matching hat.  This year, I have so many ideas for his costume (a gnome, Yoda, Dwight from The Office, DJ Lance from Yo Gabba Gabba), but I have a feeling he will veto anything that involves glasses or a beard.  He'll most likely be the bumblebee, just like Bailey was at the same age.  Whatever he dresses up as, it'll be adorable!

Since Halloween is just around the corner, I've added a few Halloween themed bib and burp cloth sets to my Etsy shop!   


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

10 Down, 10 More to Go

My little guy developed a sinus infection last week and as a result, his naps were short and sporadic.  He only wanted one thing all week...attention from Mama.  So I didn't finish the entire quilt top like I had hoped, but I did complete 10 blocks.  Now I only need to make 10 more to have enough for a nice sized lap quilt.  I think it's coming along quite nicely.  I'm still trying to decide whether to add 2 1/2" white sashing between the blocks.  I'm leaning toward yes...any thoughts or suggestions? 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mmm, Mmm Good!

It may still be 90 degrees here in Dallas, but it's beginning to feel more like fall.  Fall is my favorite time of year.  I love everything about it, but I especially love Sundays filled with football and good home cooking.  These chicken and dumplings definitely fit the bill as a perfect Sunday dinner.  I am notorious for altering recipes with a little dash of this and a little bit of that, and this is a great basic recipe that you can use as a starting point in creating your own fantastic bowl of yumminess.  The original recipe uses a crock-pot, but I didn't get mine started early enough in the day, so I cooked them in a large soup pot on the stove instead.

Chicken and Dumplings
adapted from Bubble Crumb

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons butter
2 cans cream of chicken soup
4 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 cup frozen peas and carrots
1 tube Grands buttermilk refrigerator biscuits, cut into bite sized pieces

Add chicken, butter, chicken soup, chicken broth, and seasonings to a large soup pot.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 30-45 minutes.  Remove chicken, shred with a fork, and return to the broth.  Add frozen veggies and return to a boil.  Add biscuit pieces, cover, and continue to cook until dumplings are cooked through, about 15 minutes.  Ladle into a bowl and enjoy!

To make this recipe in your crock-pot, simply add all ingredients except for the biscuits and cook on high 4-6 hours or until the chicken is tender.  Shred the chicken with a fork and return to the broth.  Add biscuits pieces and cook an additional 30 minutes or until the dumplings are cooked through.  Depending on the size of your crock-pot, you may need to reduce the amount of dumplings.  The dumplings are my family's favorite part of this dish, so I always use the largest dish in my crock-pot so we can enjoy every bite of dumpling goodness!

As you can see, this recipe is kid tested and approved!  Enjoy!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Photography Challenge - Week 7 & 8

It's time for another update in the Photography Challenge at A Step in the Journey.  Last week I posted my photo to Flickr, but never got around to blogging about it.  Last week's topic was "what are you wearing today?"

On the particular day this photo was snapped, I was ready for some football!  Even though I live in the heart of Cowboys country, I am a Colts fan.  I truly believe that Peyton Manning is the smartest quarterback to ever play the game.  Hopefully he'll recover quickly and get back into the game this season.  Go Colts!

This week of the challenge focused on black and white photography.  Now this is where I decided that the guidelines of the challenge are pretty flexible.  I didn't actually take this week's photos, but instead decided to use Picnik to edit two of my favorite family photos.  Both were taken in 1977, three years before I was born. My mom will probably want to strangle me for putting these on my blog for all of the world to see, but they are so great that I can't resist sharing them.  Sorry mom!

This is my mom.  Back in the day, she was a bullrider, and she's got the trophies and belt buckles to prove it.  I believe she was 17 when this photo was taken in 1977.  I have always been fascinated by this photo.  The original was in color and a bit larger, so I cropped it, switched it to black and white, and adjusted the exposure, sharpness, and clarity.  I think I love it even more now.

This is one of my all-time favorite photos.  Also taken in 1977, this photo shows my mom and dad at the rodeo.  Such a cute couple!  This one was already black and white, but I adjusted the sharpness and clarity just to make it a little crisper.  Don't you love the clothes?

Next week's theme...a mess.  With two small kids, a husband, and dog, that one should be easy!  :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Work in Progress Wednesday

My daughter started back to preschool last week, and even though my (now walking/running/climbing) son is a handful and a half, I still manage to squeeze in a few minutes of sewing every day during his naptime.  My to-do list is about ten miles long.  It reminds me of a scene from an old cartoon where a little kid is reading to Santa from his little wish list, and just when Santa thinks he's finished the rest of the paper unrolls and you see that the list is reeeeally long.  Yep, it's like that.  It's time to kick the sewing machine into over drive.

At the moment I'm working on turning this set of strips...

into this...

The 2 1/2" strips are from a jellyroll that I bought at JoAnn's.  Cutting fabric is my least favorite part of the quilting process, so I love buying pre-cut sets of fabric like charm packs, fat quarter bundles, and jellyrolls.  Plus, I am very indecisive and spend way too much time trying to figure out which fabrics look best together, so it's an added bonus that the fabric are already coordinated for me.  I'm sure this particular block has a name, but I have no idea what it is.  I'm just making it up as I go along, trying to make the most efficient use of my jellyroll fabric.  The end product will be a quilt for a family friend who has been recently diagnosed with cancer.  Hopefully I can crank out all of the blocks this week and share a picture of the completed quilt top next week.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Once Upon a Bedtime Story

Before I started this blog, I dipped my toes into the water with another blog, Once Upon a Bedtime Story.  Bailey and I are a couple of bookworms.  One of our favorite mother/daughter outings is a trip to the library to restock the pile of books next to her bed.  Once Upon a Bedtime Story is a place where we can share some of our favorite books with you.

This week we kicked off the A to Z Challenge.  We're showcasing a book for each letter of the alphabet during the month of September.  Today's post is brought to you by the letter's not too late to join in the fun and discover a few new books to add to your bedtime collection.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fun in the Sun

Destin, Florida is a beautiful place.  I just wish I didn't have to drive 12+ hours to get there.  The kiddos actually tolerated the road trip better than I had anticipated.  Bailey was armed with a new Magic Noodle (a.k.a. MagnaDoodle), a View Master, and a few books.  In between naps, Jake was happy just looking out the window at the scenery go by.

I'm a huge history nerd, so we made a little detour through the Vicksburg National Military Park before stopping for the night in Jackson, Mississippi.  

After another full day on the road, we finally got our first glimpse of the beach.  It was so white it looked like snow!  But that was nothing compared to the view from our room at the Hilton Sandestin Resort...

We spent the next three days swimming in the sea (but mostly in the pool), digging in the sand, and soaking up the sun.

The beach was amazing!  The sand was so fine and soft, it was almost like walking on sugar!  Jake didn't care for the sand at all.  He is definitely not a beach baby.  But Bailey loved digging in the sand and searching for sea shells.  She said she wants to live at the beach and be a dolphin trainer when she grows up.

On our way back to Texas, we stopped again in Jackson, MS to spend the night.  The Mississippi Braves minor league ballpark was right across the street from our hotel, so we decided to walk over and catch the game.  Both kiddos loved their first baseball game!

In the end, we traveled over 1600 miles across 5 states.  We all had a great time and ended the trip with a much needed nap.

Florida was fantastic, but are very glad to be back in Texas, home sweet home.  :)