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Month: March 2012

I made another Quilt.

I made another Quilt.

I’ll admit it I caught the big. The quilting bug. Honestly though I made a quilt for Lexi what kind of a mom would I be if I didn’t make quilts for the rest of the kids too. I started back in January cutting out pieces for the boys quilts. Then because his birthday was coming I decided to complete Rory’s quilt first. Now remember back to Christmas Stockings in the December Recap, you see there was some reason to my madness of the different stocking styles.

I was lucky on this one because I had a couple pieces still left over from to get started. I used THIS Moda Bake Shop  tutorial from Amanda Jean over at crazy mom quilts for the Cartwheel Quilt. Of course I forgot to take any more middle pictures of the construction (because I don’t think like a quilt blogger…yet), so you will have to just take a little jump with me to the layout pictures when I was pinning his mini quilt.

Look its Ginger approved.

I was so proud of myself for attempting to quilt the mini all on my own! My first big project and I attempt to freehand stipple. Ignore the bad lighting it was night time.

I was so excited when the package arrived from the wonderful Tarabu with the finished twin size quilt. I ran right outside grabbing my camera along the way and tossed that baby over my lawn furniture and got snapping!

I LOVE how the quilting really brings it alive! Unfortunately someone noticed me snapping pictures and got a sneak peek.

Don’t you worry I still put it away for his birthday. I love that he was just as excited to open it as he was getting that first glimpse!

Later that night he talked me into putting it in the playroom and letting him sleep there for the night. Its so big and fluffy it nearly fits a full size bed!

Rory’s Rainbow Spectacular

Rory’s Rainbow Spectacular


The planning for this party seemed to start forever ago! I asked Rory what kind of birthday he wanted this year and he excitedly told me a rainbow and unicorn party. I think easy enough and plan on a few decorations and to make the same strawberry cupcakes (note: I alter the recipe to have 1c pamela’s gf pancake & baking flour & 1/2c pamela’s gf bread flour) I made him last year because they were delicious. Then one day I start thinking about the decorations I saw on Facebook a while back of OhMeaghan’s Rainbow + Rollerskate party and dropped her an email which led to her rainbow pinterest board  and me following the links that really excited me and repining and adding to to make my own rainbow party pinterest board.

It started with a trip to the fabric store to get some fabric to make a little bunting. On the way home we stopped at michael’s craft just to peek and came home with the amazing rainbow ribbon and the flowers I later used as a center piece on one of the tables. On the way home from this trip we were talking about food for the party and he said “I hope you have enough cake stands for this.” cake stands really?!?!? who is this child so a discussion about the type of cake stands he wanted happened.

We continued to collect items and narrowed down the menu and ideas. This is when things get really interesting if you know me and know about all of my food “rules”. There have been no, none , zero zilch food dyes allowed in our home to the best of my abilities since 2003. We eat very naturally, organic as often as possible, few preservatives, even fewer “processed” foods, very little soy, at times gluten & dairy free and for three ish years now corn free after realizing many of Rory’s behavior and sensory problems were from him detoxing off high fructose corn syrup. I’ve been known to call it nightmarish because for me it is. I’ve been limiting, over bearing and controlling of what food comes in our home and more preachy than sharing and partnering with my children, This was blatantly pointed out to me not very long ago by Sandra Dodd I had mixed feelings about it but I listened, and thought why not?

The Invitations were ordered. Actually I fell in love with the whole set from the TomKat Studio that I ordered the entire rainbow party pack!

Preparing for the big day involved a ton of butter and baking and excitement by me for rocking a red velvet cupcake.

The day before the big party was Rory’s actual birthday. He started the say off with a mini birthday cake breakfast out on the patio. Rode his bike like Pee Wee Herman in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure his current favorite movie. We finished off the afternoon painting a a rainbow sign for the big day.

Then I put the kids to bed and the frosting started. Who knew frosting a 6 layer cake would be as both easy and difficult as it was. Each layer brought new excitement and fear. In the end it was slightly crooked but I am not a professional baker or cake decorator just a mom of a 6 year old rainbow and unicorn loving boy so this was good enough for me. By the time I finished frosting the cake and the 3 dozen cupcakes Steve was finished making the sandwich skewers so it was off to bed with us as well.

The big day was upon us. I put Rory’s rainbow sign by the front door and hung the Welcome sign and some rainbows from my TomKat Studio Rainbow printables.

I hung one of the buntings and the TomKat birthday banner on the wall behind where I set up the food table. I loved seeing the excitement on Rory’s face when I pulled out the rainbow unicorn table cover which was actually a little too narrow for my 8 foot table.

 

 I had standard fruit and veggie platters only I arranged them in rainbows as I had seen on pinterest.

I made a quickie tortellini chicken pasta salad and the sandwich sticks I fell in love with.

There were the red velvet cupcakes and strawberry cupcakes both gluten free.

This rainbow cake was all about me being outside my comfort zone first it was SIX layers, called for a TON of food coloring something I haven’t cooked with before this week since 2003 when I eliminated them from our diets at least from home, and I used fondant for the very first time that included corn syrup and yet even more dye for the decorations.  I pulled out my x-acto knife and freehand cut out the letters for Rory’s name ever thankful while doing so that he has a short name.

COOKIES! We had some kid decorated lemon sugar cookies (I used lots of lemon zest instead of orange), cinnamon sugar butter cookies, and RAINBOW shortbread style cookies!

To drink I made our family standard fruit punch (equal parts cranberry pomegranate juice and sierra mist you know because its corn syrup free and a splash of pineapple juice) and pink lemonade I don’t know why the color was so dark on mine but it tasted AMAZING! I supplied ice with a scoop in a rainbowish striped bucket and my favorite thing was the colorful striped paper straws. I put out mason jars in both pints and half pints to drink out of and its a good thing I have a lot of both.

The rainbow bunting and the pom pom & yarn garland were both hung on the back fence for a splash of rainbow color.

The balloons tied to rainbow yarn were brought out with extra pink for my pink loving boy!

With the arrival of our first guests (thank you Julie, Diana & Frances) we were able to get a picture of our rainbow dressed family I even got to have our unicorn leader sit on my lap! I really wish Finn wasn’t holding that balloon and you could really see his green shirt though.

 

 

 

We ate some food & opened some gifts.

Then it was time to sing happy birthday and blow out the candles. If you look closely or even not too closely you will see how butter creme, fondant and hot Miami weather may not be the best of friends as the polka dots were sliding a little bit. I also didn’t realize until about now that I forgot to put the little mini felt cake bunting on the skewers that were more structural than decorative.

I cut the cake and sadly realized the cake slices were too big for the adorable rainbow unicorn plates I had purchased for the party so we just used some boring non matching paper plates I had.

These amazing brilliant colors were totally worth the insane amount of food coloring needed to get them to see the smiles on not only my rainbow boy’s face but the faces of every other person child and adult alike.

At the end of the day the party goers were able to grab a gift bag filled with temporary tattoos & a stained glass mini coloring book (either unicorn or dragon themed), a unicorn swirled lollipop, a pack of crayons, a rainbow crayon & colored pencil and a sandwich size ziploc bag to fill with candy from the candy bar. I had filled jars with skittles, m&m’s, sunkist fruit chews, and little mike & ikes.

What surprised and saddened me the most at the end of the day was the little girl who didn’t fill her bag with candy but filled it with the leftover fruit from the fruit platter. I don’t know if it was dietary or if fruit was that big of a treat to her and I didn’t ask mostly because I didn’t want to embarrass her either way but I will now make sure when she is over to bring out some fruit.

It was a busy day because in addition to my own 5 kids there were about 15 added kids from the neighborhood at any given time (they just all started dropping in and at one point I panicked that we wouldn’t have enough food) in addition to 8 or so adults. I just love that I am STILL hearing from my own kids and party attendees how awesome the party was. Totally makes all the broken food rules totally worth it and not such a big deal at all in the grand scheme of things. When asked what he liked the most about his party he said everything he only wished that Brenna was there for it too because he really misses her.

I’ll update later on with links for all the recipes and inspiration posts and suppliers but for now I’m  going to have a cup of tea and watch my kids play in the pool because this post took much longer to write than I had anticipated.

February Recap

February Recap

 

Woo Hoo this is the last monthly recap post tomorrow I’ll have just a regular concise post for you aren’t you excited? 

Early in the month I decided to restock our freezer with pancakes. What started as a couple batches of pancakes turned into making 125 pancakes 3 at a time in a pan on the stove I know crazy right? I started with plain, then was asked if I’d make apple, then banana nut, then I went crazy and also made cranberry orange, lemon blueberry and a savory tomato, basil & mozzarella that we had for dinner.

Jack received this new friend also named Jack from the amazing danamarie you can check out her work in both her greenstarstudio and mightMIGHT shops.

We went on a shopping trip to get some new clothes and Rory said he needed these sunglasses.

We played in the rain and painted.

Lexi got a guitar after so many months waiting. Remember this?

After the insanity of making all those pancakes on a pan I splurged and bought a griddle and waffle iron so we tested them out with  strawberries and fresh whipped cream and dinner outside under the moon on the patio.

   We had some great family time all together again with the kids really enjoying the pool.

Rory and Finn helped me plant a teeny garden late in the season for Miami but hey better late than never right?

Rory and I went shopping and started gathering supplies for his Rainbow Spectacular Birthday party.

We also got an Xbox and I have really enjoyed watching the kids play Just Dance! By the smiles on their faces I think they like it too!

 

 

January Recap

January Recap

I didn’t take a ton of pictures in January so you are saved from a post with eleventh billion pictures in it again. 

Lexi got a kindle and this was how we found her (and often still do) for hours on end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I spent a bazillion hours on the couch watching the 1st season of Game of Thrones and part of Homeland and talking with my Dad who was still visiting while I knit Jack up this new friend from this pattern.

Then even though it seemed like we had just gotten healthy again we were all sick again. BOOOO.

We became obsessed with brussel sprouts. Our favorite way to prepare them a little butter & oil some sautéed garlic and bacon bits. We are currently going though about 6-10 lbs of sprouts per week because we love them so much.

Then I cut fabric for quilts for the boys! I was so excited Finn’s is so fun! Jack’s is so orange. Rory picked out most of the fabrics for his by himself I was so proud. Aidan’s is blue blue blue. Its actually quite hard to find blue quilters cottons not in florals who knew?

  

I brought the kids to the dentist. It was Finn’s 1st time he did really great! Rory and Aidan were paired and Rory was able to ask the hygienist 84,000 questions during Aidan’s cleaning before it was his turn. I’m pretty proud I brought all five kids to the dentist and we walked out with ZERO kids with cavities! I also walked out with appointments for Lexi and I to see the in house orthodontist the following month.

To wrap up the month our mugs arrived from the wonderful Brenna (a different one) each kid got their own mug so they would leave mine alone! Rory also added this beautiful tea pot to his collection he named her Cassie.

 

 

 

December Recap

December Recap

For as busy as November was December was even busier! I hope you enjoy pictures! 

December started with a revamp of all the body butter packaging.

Then came my last show of the year with the West Elm + Etsy event. I had a blast stepping outside my box display wise and using props from the store.

Then because Rory had gotten his cast off he was ready to start riding his bike. Finn couldn’t be out done so was happy to play on Jack’s scooter.

Then I had the kids paint some wood cut out birds as decorations for our tree as I didn’t think glass ornaments and hard tile floors would get along well. The kids decorated the tree and we were lucky to have Steve home to hang some lights on the outside. Even if the weather was 70+ it was beginning to feel a bit festive.

Lexi with all her culinary skills made us some fab chicken stir fry one night for dinner.

After the ornament painting the boys were on a painting kick.

As a special request I made some just plain scented bath salts.

My poor mail carrier this is what she saw on a pretty regular basis through November and December.

We decorated some gingerbread houses.

Jack turned 8! Can you believe it EIGHT!!! Pirate themed and an ice-cream cake!! All he wanted for weeks before was a cat so we searched for days on craigslist and scored this sweet little girl he aptly named Mason.

Then it was the first night of Chanukah  and Steve said the blessings for us over the phone and we had amazing sweet potato latkes which I forgot to get a picture of.

Then I decided to take on the insane task of making everyone in the family stockings. Not just any stockings stockings that would match their quilts to come in the future. So now just a week before Christmas while still packing and filling orders I had to nail down color schemes and actual quilt patterns for at least 5 people. Lexi’s actually used leftover pieces and an embroidery square from her quilt. Jack’s was actually easy I knew he wanted an orange zig zag.  Rory would want pink, Aidan blue, and Finn green, but to find patterns to match their personalities was hard.  In the end I think they came to great.

 My crafting actually inspired Aidan to get his craft on too!

On Christmas Eve we were invited over to a friends home to celebrate Nochebuena (Christmas Eve) the food was AMAZING!!! There was mojito pork, rice, beans, fried plantains,  Tres Leches Cake and great friends! We had so much fun and like we belonged! THANK YOU Frances, Julie & Families!!

Then we hurried home to unwrap our traditional Christmas pajamas and climb into bed! If you look closely Aidan & Steve have matching pants.

Then we woke up and opened up some fun presents. That apron Lexi is holding up and the bedside organizer Steve is holding up those were made by Aidan back when he got his craft on. That tshirt I got Steve was really an joke because at EVERY show I do I get asked at least once if when I make soap if it is like the scene in Fight Club.

Then one day I finally followed my kids out with my camera to catch some shots of them all riding their new bikes they got earlier in the month for St Nicholas Day.

We wound up both the month & year with a visit from my Dad and a little New Year’s Eve swimming.

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