Thursday, April 26, 2012

RIT dye project

I've been wanting to try out fabric dye for a while and Avery's over-worn GAP jeans were the perfect excuse.  They're almost too small for her but they're good quality.  I fully intend on passing Avery's best clothes to Zara so I look forward to seeing them get more use.
I've been told to have no expectations when using fabric dye.  For example, I was surprised that the blue metal tack on the side pocket turned black.  My favorite parts about this project was how easy and inexpensive it was.  The stove top method was perfect for this size project.  The only thing I would do different is wear latex gloves.  I look forward to mixing dyes to create new colors and trying different techniques.  The end product was just what I desired.  Not sure what took me so long to try it out!  If you've done any fabric dying feel free to  leave a link below so I can check it out!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

sewing project: Zara blessing dress

You know how when you work so hard on something and when you're done all you can see is flaws?  It took me a day to get over that with this dress.  Now all I feel is pride.  If you've been a follower for a while you would know that one of my favorite things to sew are little girl dresses.  This one was a challenge because it's the smallest dress I've ever sewn.  It's tied with this dress as a my favorite sewing project.  Reason being, they both turned out pretty much how I planned them!
To make her dress I took apart a sleeveless dress I never wore because I couldn't make it work.  I loved the fabric so I held onto it for some reason.  Glad I did!  It allowed me to cut a few corners.  I didn't have to hem the bottom of the skirt or put a zipper in!
My mom made Avery's blessing dress so I'm glad Zara's also has sentimental value.  I hope she treasures it and possibly dresses her daughter(s) in it some day.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Avery turns three

My little girl had a fun birthday. She talked to Nanna and Grandad, playing at the park, opened presents, picked out a big chocolate cake, played with cousins, started wearing big girl underwear and was very content.  I like to call Avery my "free-spirited" girl.  It's so true.  She only does things that make her happy and if Elliot gets mad at her it just bounces off.  I have a lot to learn from her.  I'm so humbled to be her mother.  Since she was born on our anniversary we tried to do things as a family but still make her feel special.  What a day!  What a girl!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

sewing project - Avery pj top

You know how pajamas, among other things, are totally over-priced?  Yea well, I decided to sew Avery a pj top (she still fits her 12-18 month bottoms) instead of give-in this time.  With the weather warming up it's time to put her long-sleeve tops put away.  So I've never sewn with knit fabric before and since not all fabrics are created equal this was another learning experience.  I learned that this would have probably been easier with a serger, not that I've ever used one. It's also tricky to cut the fabric because it keeps curling up at the sides.  You know how annoying it is when you get a t-shirt with a crooked seam at the side?  Turns out it's hard not to get it.  In the end the shirt is far from perfect but since she's only wearing it to bed it's no big deal.
I have another knit fabric I'm thinking of using to make another pj top for her but I kind of want to sew her a cute little night gown.  Perhaps one similar to Wendy's.  What do you think?
Sometimes I feel a little silly posting all my sewing projects but I'm honestly really proud of them.
Here's a sneak peek at something else I sewed this month.
Also, if you didn't get to here this the first time, or even if you did, this is amazing.  Pres. Eyring is my favorite General Authority to listen to right now.  I just love how unashamedly emotional he is at times, and he speaks with so much power and authority.

This post is linked up over here.  Try a new adventure today!

Monday, April 16, 2012

recipe: Simple Strawberry Smoothie

So today is Day 1 of Andrew and I are not having sugary items for a month.  This is nothing new to us.  Whenever we feel a little heavy doing a no-sugar diet helps us balance our diet and shed a few pounds.  This afternoon I needed a little boost so I made a smoothie to get me through the day.

Simple Strawberry Smoothie
:: 1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries
:: 2 cups milk
:: 1 banana
:: 2 Tbs. honey

With the summer months ahead I think smoothies will become a regular.  I'll try to share some more smoothie recipes this summer.
This past weekend was a very special one for me and my family.
Here are some of the high-lights:

Saturday, April 14, 2012
:: Avery's 3rd birthday
:: Our 6th year wedding anniversary
:: Andrew's parent's (Carol and Neville) 33rd year anniversary
:: first day potty training Avery

Sunday, April 15, 2012
:: Zara's baby blessing
:: 4th year anniversary moving from England to AZ

Come back soon because I have lots of photos to share!

Friday, April 13, 2012

A&M circa summer '06

My mom found a cd of pictures from the first couple months after I moved to England and dropped them off  today.  I thought these pics were long gone since I haven't seen them in years so I was so excited to look through them.  Don't we look like babies?!  Actually, I look like a teenager and Andrew looks the same: as handsome as ever.  Since it's our anniversary tomorrow I just had to share a few of the pictures.  The picture above was from June 2006 the first week after I moved to Hull, England.

Andrew's graduation July 2006
Andrew's cousin, Neil's wedding July 2006
It rained right after these pictures.  Can you even imagine a cool, cloudy day mid-July here?
Andrew's parents: Carol and Nev.
Woops!  How did that get in here?
I guess we were really bored one day and this happened.
Andrew's going to kill me for posting this picture but it's too hilarious not to! 
A lot has happened in the 6 years we've been married.  Some of the obvious are our three children but we also moved countries, bought a house, accomplished personal goals like racing, Andrew's gone through about 6 jobs, etc...  We've come a long way and learned a lot of lessons.  I hope the learning never stops!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

things once forgotten

Today I found myself looking through an old shoe box of letters and papers from 6+ years ago.  My mind was flooded with memories.  Things I thought I'd never forget about but I did.  There was a letter from NAU congratulating Andrew on making the Dean's list.  A letter from one of the sister missionaries who taught Andrew when he was investigating the church after she got transferred.  A letter my best friend told me to open on the plane when I moved to England.  A card "from" Elliot on my first Mother's Day after he was born. Andrew's baptism program and other such important papers to me.  But mostly there were love letters from me to Andrew with lots of doodles and stickers.  I only read a handful before I got tired of reading all my "I love you's".  I wish I were better at expressing myself because the letters were rather redundant.  I'm still glad I kept them.  It made me want to search for pictures from that time.
Andrew and I lived apart for a year while we were dating.  They say long-distance relationships make or break a couple.  For us we grew stronger.  It was during that time I decided I wanted to marry Andrew.  That I couldn't imagine a future without him.  It's been a struggle having Andrew in school the last couple years.  I really look forward to having more time to date and do things together.  How appropriate that I found that box today because it's our 6 year wedding anniversary this Saturday.  It reminded me how romantic Andrew can be and how I used to get butterflies every time we held hands.  I feel like I forgot how to "date" my husband.  Too often we go to a restaurant just to eat as fast as we can and move on to the next thing.  What happened to gazing into each other's eyes closing out the world around us, holding hands and just talking about us - not the kids or anything else.  I know I'm a romantic but I miss just talking with Andrew.  It's hard to find time for us these days.  Well, only 4 weeks and 2 days until graduation.  Not that I'm counting :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

house of hooligans

Last Friday was my 6 week postnatal check-up.  Before leaving my midwife asked me how I'm adjusting to having a baby again.  In all honesty it's not the baby that's difficult, but having three kids.  Right now I'm taking life one day at a time.  I'm not complaining.  I really love my family and I'm very happy but sometimes I'm just very busy.

I'm glad I passed the 6 week mark because now I'm running again!  Woohoo!  It's a little ridiculous how fast I get winded but it's a start.  I'm also glad to be recovered because Louise had her baby Easter Sunday.  She was born in their car on the way to the hospital.  We were able to visit Hazel that afternoon.  Louise and Hazel came home from the hospital yesterday.  With five children in my house there never is a dull moment.
Hazel Grace: 6 lbs. 14 oz., 20 inches
Grandpa holding Hazel, Grandma holding Zara
My my, they grow so fast!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

sibling rendezvous

Over a year ago my youngest sister, Ruth, asked all our siblings if we could do something together without  in-laws and children.  Ruth felt like she didn't know some of her older siblings and wanted a chance for us to share some childhood memories.  There are 16 years between Louise and Ruth, and Louise moved to Utah when Ruth was five.  Since Louise moved back a couple months ago all of us siblings live in Mesa, AZ for the first time since then.  Now that we're all married except for Ruth it's hard for her to connect with the rest of us and us with her.  High school was a long time ago but Ruth is my sister and it's important for her to feel a part of the family and not just the designated babysitter.

On St. Patrick's Day we finally made it happen.  I wish it were a year ago when I didn't have post-baby lbs. but oh well.  The plan was a potluck dinner and audio recording us sharing memories but I also brought my camera so we could have visual record of this occasion.  Mom took these for us.  The "Oooo" photo is a family tradition :)  You might have seen it at Nora and Garret's wedding.
(order left to right: Nora, Peter, Me, DJ, Louise, Ruth, Julie, Chris)
For the audio recording Ruth picked a few specific questions for us to go around the room and answer.  One was "Where do you see you and your family in five years?" Another "What's your favorite memory of Ruth?" There was no theme for the potluck so there was a lot of random food.  Crazy combinations from pizza to cornbread and enchiladas to cheese and broccoli soup.  Ha ha!  Gotta love it.
DJ was teaching me his skills :)
I'm so glad my siblings and I were able to get together to laugh and remember.  Just looking at these pictures make me laugh!  It was really a special occasion I hope we can repeat maybe once a year.  Thank you Ruth for the idea!  What a blessing that we all live in the same city so this was able to happen.  I love my brothers and sisters!  I couldn't imagine life without any one of them.