Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Fabric and Tulle Tutu

Last week Thing One was invited to a Princess Birthday Party for 3 of her friends who were born the same week. Princess attire was requested and most of her dress-ups are my old dance costumes so I decided to make her a Princess Tutu for the party. I've already had some questions from the moms at the party about making a tutu so here you go! 

I started with a selection of 8 coordinating fabrics from the Quilters Showcase Fabric Line at Joann's. I went back a day later and added 2 more fabrics from the same line. It's good quality fabric at a good price, which means I don't care too much about how fast the tutu gets destroyed. I got the fabric 60% off so I was even happier. Did I add a few extra yards to the cart for future projects? Perhaps.... 

Thing One's best gal pal was one of the birthday girls so I made her a tutu also. Thing One's will be pink and blue and her friend's will be pink and orange.

I started by cutting the fabric into strips 3 inches wide, the width of the fabric. 

Cut the strips down to the length you want. I did a variety of lengths to give it more visual appeal. My shortest length was about 18 inches and the longest was about 26 inches. Most of the longer ones ended up being orange and going on the friend's tutu (she's taller than my little one). I wanted the tutu's to be a little longer than the ones you buy so that Thing One wouldn't grow out of it too soon.

 I cut the tulle a little longer than the fabric to give it a fairy-like look and more movement. I didn't take pictures because it was about 2 in the morning and things were getting blurry!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Mom, Mamma, Mommy....

 Thing Two is now 16 months old

and she has become quite the talker and much better at expressing herself and communicating her needs but some days this is what happens in my house:

In case you are wondering, no, I haven't lost my mind yet but some days I wonder if that is imminent. Thankfully she is super duper cute!

What do your kids do that make you wonder if you are losing your mind?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Mamma Bear Instincts

Yes, I am THAT mom.

Yesterday we ran to the mall to run an errand and I took my kids to the mall playground to release some pent up energy once we were done. The mall has a great treehouse playground with dinosaur bones "half buried" in the ground for the kids to play on. Thing One loves anything playground related and Thing Two has figured out that she loves slides and swings.

The behavior of some of the kids was appalling but the most appalling thing was the indifference displayed by their parents when they even noticed their little hooligans running around wreaking havoc.

When you as a parent take your kids to the playground, then sit back and let them run rampant it drives me bonkers!! I'm okay with your kids running around crazy as long as they stay away from my kids. Once they start climbing UP the slide that my kid is waiting in line for, cutting in line, pushing or hitting my kids my mamma bear instincts kick in. Yes I will make your kids go to the back of the line, no matter how many times I have to redirect them to the back of the line in a 2 minute time period. I will keep them from going UP the slide while kids are waiting to go DOWN the slide and I won't feel a moments regret from marching your kid over to you when they push or hit my kid. If you won't do it, I will.

You may not care about teaching your kids respect, obeying playground rules(and life rules in general) or being a decent human being but I DO care about teaching those things to my kids and I will not let your kids ruin my kids trip to the playground and give them bumps and bruises they don't deserve.
Look at these cuties! Who wouldn't unleash the mamma bear inside when necessary?

Monday, May 12, 2014

Never forget an ingredient again!

Growing up, I would be half finished with baking something and start wondering if I had added everything I was supposed to. My mom taught me a simple way to make sure you add everything on your recipe.
The answer is so simple! Set out ALL your ingredients before you begin and as you use an ingredient put it away in the cupboard or pantry. If you have something left on the table or counter when you think you are done then you forgot to add it.

This past weekend I made a Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake for a fundraiser at church to help the girls in our youth program pay their camp fees this summer. (And yes, I know I used generic cocoa, not Hershey's. I cross my heart and promise to use the real deal next time!) 

I started with all the ingredients on the table (I live in an 85 year old house so there is limited counter space...)

Once all the dry ingredients had been added this is what the table looked like, with only the wet ingredients left.

A. The last thing that I added was boiling water, hopefully you can see the steam!. This may sound strange but some of my favorite baking recipes call for boiling water to be stirred in at the end.
B.  After everything has been added and ready to be poured in the pans
C.  Greased and floured 9" cake pans with with bake even strips around the edges.

The finished product!

My mom's tips have been lifesaving (or at least taken a load off my mind) over the years. What baking tips have come in handy for you?

I used this tutorial by as inspiration for this cake!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Running, A New Start

Erica over at Minner Winner Chicken Dinner and I are going to be virtual running buddies! That means no more slacking for me anymore! NO MORE EXCUSES! And really, I do have an elliptical in the basement and a double jogger so I shouldn't have any excuses, although it did snow earlier this week, which was totally weird.... At the end of the week I'll (hopefully) post and tell you all how it went this week and how I stacked up against my goals.
I had my hubby print out some inspiring pictures that I have put up on the front of the snack cabinet in the kitchen and some that I will post in front of the elliptical as motivation. They are a combination of pictures. Some are pictures of me from my healthy/thinner days when I was comfortable in my body. Sometimes it's easy to feel discouraged and feel like my goals are unattainable and this way I have tangible proof that my body can in fact do this!

Also there are pictures of some fun outfits (both casual and more formal) from Pinterest that I would love to be able to rock.
I'm on the search for a couple of new running songs to add to my workout playlist so hit me up with your favorites! (just as an fyi, I try to avoid songs with lots of swears or innuendos) What songs keep you moving when you are exercising?

Weekly Recap

Finals for hubby were this past week and I am SO glad that they are over! Phew!! I almost feel like I was taking them also. With the hubs not having any window of time to fail a class and retake it he was under pressure to get good grades. He only has two more semesters before he graduates but with the time restrictions of the Delayed Entry Program he has to graduate in December. So, lots of stress, and late nights of studying around our house. But, finals are over and he passed all his classes!!
If you've spent ANY time with me at all you know that I am a stress eater, big time! That means that my goals of eating healthier and exercising consistently went right out the window this week. Add to that, Thing Two got sick and then Thing One got what Thing Two had and they were kind enough to share it with me. And it has been a terrible cold, the kind that makes you feel like you got hit by a truck and you don't have the energy to get up and move before the next truck comes by and whacks you again. Thankfully the hubby didn't start feeling sick until today, I was hoping he would be spared.
My friends, chocolate and sugar, stayed close by all week, unfortunately. They are determined to be my lifelong friends and I keep trying to break up the exclusive relationship we have but they are stubborn! Little do they know that starting tomorrow I will be dating around and sharing my friendship more closely with carrots, boiled eggs, cucumber and all things salad and lean meats. Pretty soon there won't be much room left for my old pals chocolate and sugar!

What snacks do you keep on hand to chase away the sugar cravings?