Tuesday, November 2, 2010


So, we had an amaaaazing Halloween, and an amazzzing 2nd birthday for Biggie Smalls.  I'll start with Halloween, and hopefully will be able to add more pictures later.  Here are just a few.  We attended Truck or Treat with my nephew that his preschool threw.  It was really cool.  Carter got to climb all over big trucks, fire trucks, motor cycles, jump houses and play all sorts of learning games.  We found the best costume at Target, decided not to get it, and then at the last minute picked it up with a great discount!!  This gnome costume was a huge hit and Carter loved every minute of it also.  Hope you do too!

Friday, September 24, 2010

curse out loud

I'm obsessed with baby booties.  Really... obsessed.  I didn't know about them when Carter came along, but he would have had a million of them if I had known.  I love making them for my friends and thinking about the sweet little precious baby feet that will be in them.  I feel sure they aren't as crazy about them as much as I am.  Oh well. 
Last night, that sweetness was thrown out the window.  I usually use the Stardust Shoes pattern, which is relatively easy once you get it down after a few trial and errors.  I found this new pattern and just died.  I was so excited that one of my co-workers is having a girl and I could try it out on her.  Love the look of this shoe.  Hate what it did to me last night and this morning.  I cut all the pieces the night before to save me some time, then started piecing it together and getting it so pretty last night.  Then, the inevitable happened.  I looked at the strap closely and noticed that a quarter of it hadn't been sewn in with all the other layers and could rip off very easily.  Of course, this strap was one of the first things to be put on and I noticed this as I was doing the VERY LAST step in trying to get this shoe together.  It was so late, so I cursed whimpered loudly to myself at my table and retired for the evening thinking that I would just not have this little handmade item in my gift to my friend.  I got up and called into to work so I could work on my booties (I'm so bad!) and then set out to fix them.  So, I tried to pull out the seams to the booties and ended up ripping the top portion of one of the shoes.  I cut out a new pattern and started all over again.  The other bootie was fine, but looking a little worn around the edges of my fabric.  I trudged ahead.  A little too nonchalantly.  I sewed the fabric inside out.  Of course.  Out comes the seam ripper again.  I sew it again, move forward, and make it to the next step in the pattern.  Then, realize that i sewed that inside out TOO!  Out comes the seam ripper again.... (ggrrrr!!)  At this point the fabric is a pile of strings.  Fix the mistake, get to the last step.  Then I realize.... that stupid strap is in the wrong place AAAAAND it's STILL not connected to the fabric!!! AAAAAGGGGGHHH!! ...***insert steaming head here***...

Note to self- when you've worn the threads down in your fabric, your seam ripper goes into hiding, and you get so mad you start cursing like a sailor and then snorting- it's time to hang it up.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Ducky baby shower

Phillip's cousin is having a baby.  Nobody knew what it was, so we went very gender neutral and stuck with the duck theme.  My camera's battery is dead, I can't find the charger (stillll!!), and I can't find the cable to connect my camera to my computer..... sooo..... my cell phone will have to do (again!!!)

Here is the diaper cake.  Yup, it's a little lopsided, but only b/c I was just looking at it to see how the decorations were coming together before I took it to the shower.  It was very plain b/c she is not a "frills and lace" kind of girl.  I found a beautiful green ribbon that didn't clash with the print on the diaper, and then I found a ribbon of baby bottles in yellow that went on top of the green.  It was my favorite part of the cake, but I think I'm the only one who noticed. 

(and yes, that is an old metal helmet with a "medic" symbol in the background.... This is one of the little things that makes my husband so weird, and it makes me love him even more....)
The mother-to-be is not a girlie girl in the slightest bit.  She is not the kind of girl you would slap a "baby sock corsage" on, or even a beautiful rose.  So, I got a painted wooden duck from Hobby Lobby, hot glued a pin back to it, tied a ribbon around it, and used rub on transfers from a Mother's Day pack that I found.  The only full word that was in the pack was "Mommy" and the rest of the words were cut up from other sentences that were on the page.  It think it turned out pretty well.  I think it's actually something I will do again if I need to.  It was SUPER cute.

Wish I had gotten more pics from the shower.  But, enjoy the pin and the diaper cake anyway.  Thanks for checking in.

Carter is growing and changing every day.  Little man decided to start potty training himself and started sleeping in a big boy bed all in one week.  It's been a crazy ride.  Can't wait to catch you up on it!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Chicken & Waffles

That title in itself send my sensory issues overboard and my head spinning.  There is a new place close to my office called "Dame's Chicken & Waffles" in downtown Durham.  They are having their soft opening right now and I went in to get a check on how things are.  The menu in our office had a lot of items that sound out-of-control-good.  They also have a good variety of "schmere's" and butters that sound really great too.  I got the "Classy Hen", and it was definitely one of the more simple items on the menu.  It was a choice of a fried or grilled boneless chicken breast, a side (mac & cheese, greens, or grits), and waffle.  It was beautifully presented, even in my to-go box.  I snuck a peak at everyone's meals in the restaurant and it definitely looked promising.  With a sweet tea it came out to $11.97.  Way over priced for the product.  Bring it down to $8 (without drink) and I'm definitely on board.  The waffle was a good size, and amazing.  It had a great tinge of cinnamon or clove.  The chicken was fresh out of the fryer and was good also, but had an unexpected spiciness to it  (but it certainly didn't keep me from devouring the whole thing!).  I know the waffle and syrup are supposed to pair well with it as a bite together with the chicken, but it's just not my thing, and I just preferred to eat it separate.  The syrup was yummy, as well as the chocolate hazelnut spread that I substituted for the usual almond that it came with.  The guys running it were very nice and eager to make sure I got everything I needed.  I'm looking forward to their grand opening on August 24th.  Their extended menu looked great and I'm excited to try their salads and sandwiches.  The decor was very pretty.  It's definitely got some of the historic downtown Durham appeal inside with some beautiful architecture, and it's painted different shades of brown with soft blue accents.  It definitely made me want to go home and paint my house.  I think the place will definitely do well once they have a full menu and lower their prices.  Here's to hoping they stay open, and then have a breakfast menu with their delicious waffles and some bacon
A crappy pic from my cell phone of my take-out "Classy Hen" (I'm already loving the name!):

I grabbed a business card on the way out and their website is www.dameschickenwaffles.com
Good luck Dame's!  Hope it goes well for you!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Last Call

Sooo sad to be enjoying the last part of the VERY LAST JAR of my incredible Strawberry Jam I made this spring.....

What a yummy way to start off the day at work though!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Planning Period

It's almost that time again..... birthday palooza and autumn!!  EEEEEKKK!!  This girl is soooo excited!  The marching bands are hitting the fields for practice, and soon we will be able to go watch football games (not so excited), watch the half time shows (very exciting if you were part of the amazing Pride of the Mountains like I was!!!), and see all the beautiful colors in the trees.  Paisley's birthday is August 18th.  My sister's birthday is September 28th.  My dad's is September 30.  My b-day is October 2nd. (AND IN CASE YOU DIDN'T CATCH THAT, IT MEANS 3 BIRTHDAYS WITHIN A 5 DAY PERIOD!!) Carter's birthday is October 12th.  This girl has got to kick it into gear.  Paisley has requested butterfly cupcakes for her party and I've been scheming and planning already.  I'm also gearing up for a train themed birthday party for Carter. 

I love a website called youcanmakethis.com  It has amazing tutorials and patterns that keep my creative juices flowing.  They sent me my monthly newsletter that included several Halloween projects (EEEEEK!!  That's another one to plan for!!) and it reminded me how close all these events are.

...........Seriously... let me catch a breath and back-track for a second, because I truly just remembered about Halloween!!  Oh, the planning for costumes to do!!  yayyyyyy!!!............
Ok, snap back to reality.  That site got me thinking about all the fall decor that I love putting around my house and how there were so many projects I wanted to get around to last year, and never did it.  I was sooooo excited about this little thing here from Beth's website that I went and got the fabric, stuffing, ribbons, and wires..... but never did it. 

Insert big "FAILURE" here.

I can't wait!!  Oooooohhh!!  I'm so excited to jump back into it!!  Gotta get back to work, but I had to splurge my energy and excitement somewhere!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

quick interruption of your day....

Just taking another moment to completely gloat about how cute my baby and my niece are... thank you....

Gotta love Spider-Man sunglasses!

And to share what we've been doing a lot of this summer.....

  Being super silly in daddy's broken sunglasses

Driving daddy's boat

Lots of lake time (which means this little momma has a tan for the first time in 3 years!  Woot!)

Hopefully more pictures from the lake and the beach as soon as I can find the stupid cable that connects my computer to my camera!!  (arg!)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Never got to post these...

I wanted to post the pictures from the most recent Mother's Day because I just love being with my family.  Paisley and Carter are growing so fast and they are such great playmates.  It's hilarious to watch them as they enter a room together.  It's like firecrackers!  Carter starts squealing, kicking his feet, and yelling "Paibley, Paibley, Paibley!" and Paisley squeals back and always goes running for a hug from her "Car-Car".  It's the sweetest thing!  They all came to my house for Mother's Day and we ribs on the grill, fresh veggies, and a nice cookie-cake dessert (looooooooove it!).  

This boy loooooves his rainboots!

I love that she looks just like me!

...but she acts just like her momma!

This is my favorite picture, almost of all times!  My mom is so good with our babies and lets them be wild babies, but has a good ruling hand if she needs it!

My little family  :)

I have to post these next photos just because I have the cutest kid in the world and he has quite the personality.  I've always had VERY curly hair.  I use a good brush now that pulls out some of the curl, but I still have to use the straightener on it.  So, I've always imagined that my youngin's would have my curly hair.  Not so much.  He has my blonde hair, but he has his daddy's hair line, hair texture, and hair "direction".  It always lays flat on his head like his daddy's, and it parts the same way as his daddy.  So, this girl was dying to have a curly headed day for Carter.  So, I got it all wet, scruched up his curls, and then sprayed the crap out of it.  He looked like a crazy fool with his hair standing straight up on his head, but I thought it was cute!

....and of course when I went to pick him up at the end of the day his hair was straight as a whistle and laying flat on his head.  Gotta love it.

This is his new water table.  He hasn't understood that you need to play with that water IN it instead of sitting ON it. 

He has always sniffed like he was smelling whenever I talk about flowers.  Ever since we've had dandelions growing in the yard he thinks sniffing is blowing.  Here is he is "smelling his flower" and giving it to mommy.

.... my sweet boy :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Yeah, we're still alive

I've totally gotten out of the groove of making posts.  Mostly because nobody reads this bad boy, and mostly because I haven't had time or money to cook creatively, or sew much.  But, I will share some of our summer activities.  It's been so crazy to have Carter moving and shaking soooo much more than last year.  It's opened doors that I never imagined we would be walking through.  Trips to the lake, trips to the store, spending time with family and friends have all been changed and rotate around what his schedule is and what his current bad boy getting into trouble activity is.  We started out the summer with a trip to a local organic strawberry farm.  I never pictured really caring about going to a strawberry farm that is purely organic until I saw Carter absolutely diggin' into the "bewies" (aka- berries) like he did.  He could have eaten every single berry in that place!  I never knew we had such a wonderful "you pick it" organic farm near us.  Isley Farms in Burlington, NC is just amazing.  The people working the farm are just awesome, and gave Carter a book about Strawberry picking and stickers.  Here are some pics:

We finally got home with our delicious strawberries and promptly decided to dig into the amazing ice-cream they manufactured with their yummy berries.  This was Carter's first go with ice-cream, and ..... well..... let's just say he was NOT so happy when I had to take it away from him.  I was going to put up a picture of the damage we did to that ice-cream but smartly decided against it :) 

Sweet little face dripping with ice-cream!

I've been reading throughout "blog world" for several summers now about how wonderful "freezer jam" is and how incredibly yummy it is.  I've always had this "southern girl" desire to learn how to make jams, jellies, and learn how to pickle, but never thought I could do it.  Boy was I wrong.  This was so easy and soooo yummy!!  I could not believe the beautiful red rubbies this recipe made.  I tried to take pictures of it to show how bright this jelly was, espcecially in comparison to store bought jelly, but the pictures do it no justice.  I've definitely decided that next year will be a year to furociously pick as many berries (of any kind!) as possible and to make this freezer jam as much as possible.  I looove opening my freezer and seeing these little beauties inside.  It makes me a very happy girl.  




3-1/4 cups prepared fruit (buy about 2 qt. fully ripe strawberries)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 box MCP Pectin
1 cup corn syrup
4-1/2 cups sugar, measured into separate bowl

RINSE clean plastic containers and lids with boiling water. Dry thoroughly.
CRUSH strawberries thoroughly, one layer at a time. Measure exactly 3-1/4 cups crushed strawberries into large bowl. Stir in lemon juice. Stir in pectin; let stand 30 min., stirring every 5 min. Stir in corn syrup. Gradually add sugar, stirring until well blended. Stir an additional 3 min. or until sugar is completely dissolved and no longer grainy. (A few sugar crystals may remain.)
FILL all containers immediately to within 1/2 inch of tops. Wipe off top edges of containers; immediately cover with lids. Let stand at room temperature 24 hours. Jam is now ready to use. Store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks or freeze extra containers up to 1 year. Thaw in refrigerator before using.

I had a wonderful reason to do a little bit of sewing again.  Not as much as I wanted to do, but a little more.  Another one of my friends was expecting a baby girl, the first in my group of friends- woooot!  So, I finally got to bust out the pinks and purples.  I wish I had known how to sew when Paisley came around.... well... maybe not, because that girl would have been spoiled 10 times more than she is now!! We had a beautiful lunch at "The Weathervane" in Chapel Hill.  The did a wonderful job setting up the area and having great helpers for me to decorate, and to serve.  We sat out on the patio next to a beautiful fountain.  I got to do a beautiful pink and orange themed shower.  I wish I had done it up a little more on the pink because I'm not sure if I'll ever get to do it again!  Here are some pics from the shower and the quilt and baby booties I made.  If you are a professional quilt maker you will probably cringe because it is far from perfect, but I loooooved the fabric and the colors together.  It made me cry when I saw baby Avery in a picture wrapped up in this little blanket.  It did



Here are the cupcakes, pre transit.  They were so pretty wrapped in that beautiful cupcake wrapper.  Then, they slid allllll over the place and got DESTROYED before I even made it to the venue.  



I found some really cute platters at Target and hot glued coordinating pink and orange ribbons to them to help tie in the color scheme.   I used the same ribbon on "sand buckets" that I also found at Target and put a little votive in.  You can see how the cupcakes were mooshed and destroyed.... so disappointing!!

Here is little momma in the middle with another one of our friends who is also expecting and
her sister-in-law.  


 A few present pictures (also with little momma's cutie patootie son):


 The beautiful letters for Miss Avery's room:

And a group shot of us girls: