This post is sponsored by Intel. Stay connected on the go this summer with Intel Tablets .
We had a grand time on vacation this summer. We started out with a quick trip to Vegas to see Chris’s grandma get remarried, then we headed to Los Angeles to play in the sun and introduce Penelope and Felix to the magic of Disneyland. And it. Was. MAGICAL. Chris and I both agreed that it was more fun to go as parents with young kids than it was to go as a kid. Seeing their faces light up with every little ride was priceless.
After the great food and fun times in the Los Angeles area, we headed east to see Chris’s family in Phoenix. Chris’s sister Shelley got back from an 18 month stint in the Chicago, Illinois area, so it was a happy reunion. Both Shelley and my youngest sister-in-law Brooke are in transition this summer.
Brooke’s transition has been the hardest. She’s playing a waiting game until she finds out where she’ll be in the next few months. Not being able to plan for the future has her in a rut of sorts. And bored.
So to beat the boredom, I busted out a calligraphy kit for her and we’ve spent some time working on calligraphy. It was wonderful to teach her and Shelley. They’re naturals and made fabulous company while I filled my practice sheets. Have I mentioned how awesome my in-law’s are? You should be jealous.
Learning artistic and domestic skills online has become quite popular recently. With the rise of online learning at istilllovecalligraphy.com, Atly, Craftsy, Skillshare and about a million others, there are so many things you can learn online. I’m more than a little biased towards the calligraphy class I offer at istilllovecalligraphy.com. It’s pretty awesome, if I do say so myself.
I LOVE, LOVE to reach out to people all over and get them excited about the art of Calligraphy and coach them along the way. Best part? Students can take the class wherever they go since it’s tablet compatible ( Intel Tablets work especially well).
What do you do to beat summer boredom?
#spon: This post is sponsored by Intel. All thoughts and content are my own.
Time is ticking on this baby bomb. I’m getting bigger and more uncomfortable by the minute. It’s not a complaint, just a fact of life when growing a human. Sleeping has been particularly tricky with this baby as I find myself waking up on my back multiple times a night.
I needed something to give me more back support while I was sleeping on my side, so I thought about buying a body pillow. Then Chris reminded me that we have a ton of memory foam just lying around that I’ve been hoarding for some undecided future project. BOOM. Done. I made myself a body pillow.
I ended up rolling the foam like a crepe (or burrito?), measuring and sewing two pillow cases for it. The interior case is just to protect the raw foam from drool or any other liquid that may come in contact with it (via my disgusting – but adorable – kids or me). The second case is decorative, made from amazing fabric* that I’ve had in my stash for about a year. I fell in love with the print, but couldn’t think of something awesome to use it for.
I boxed out the bottom of the case and made a simple drawstring for the top to keep everything in place. It weighs about 15 pounds and it’s a beast. We took it on a weekend family reunion vacation. It was brilliant in the car, both kids could cuddle and sleep with it. It also served as the perfect separator to keep Felix and Penelope from brutalizing each other in the back seat. HOWEVER, it was a little too big to sleep with.
I haven’t had much time to alter the design much, but I just plan on taking everything out and shaving off about 12 inches of the roll of memory foam. I think that’ll do the trick.
*Fabric provided by Modern Yardage. Check out the amazing collections available here.
SNOOZEFEST!! Yes. Another pair of leggings. In a floral print, no less. I just can’t seem to wear anything else these days. It’s all about comfy dresses and stretchy pants. I’ve been swelling more with this pregnancy than the last two (likely the fact that this is the first summer pregnancy I’ve had). No complaints, I just have to be mindful of what will and won’t work with my expanding and contracting body.
I tried to wear jeans the other day, and within 15 minutes I was grumpy because of how restricted I felt. As soon as I switched back to stretchy pants, I was back to my cheerful self! These pants are magical! Family accord is again restored!
I found this double knit 4-way stretch fabric at the thrift store on a complete whim. It’s very opaque with great stretch. Perfect for passing off leggings as pants. I keep meaning to pick up stretch denim to make more pants-like leggings, but that hasn’t happened yet.
I have only one shirt at this point that covers my backside, so I just own it and look forward to the day when I can dedicate more time to sewing a few tunic tops for the last 10 weeks of this pregnancy. YES. We’re almost in the single digits for weeks left! I can’t believe how quickly this pregnancy has just flown by.
Time for some nesting. And baby clothes making!
- earrings: Bijou Market
- necklace: c/o Sole Society
- top: H&M
- leggings: handmade
- bracelets: thrifted
- shoes: c/o Sole Society
I’ve been mildly obsessed with making cupcakes lately. I got the right size icing tips* that I’ve been searching high and low for. Getting the right icing consistency and cake density has now been my master goal.
I won a cupcake cook book at a blogging event nearly a year ago. I’ve been working my way through the cookbook with fabulous success for each recipe I’ve tried. Chris went wild for the frosting on these cupcakes. He’s been a pretty disciplined eater since January (losing 30 pounds in the process), so I get great satisfaction when I make desserts that are too tempting for him to pass up. I’m such a devil.
Since moving to the mountains two years ago (we’re at 6300 ft elevation), I haven’t been able to make a decent cookie, but cupcakes I can do! At some point I will figure out how to make all my mom’s cookie recipes altitude friendly, but for now I’ll just stick to cupcakes. Playing with frosting is too much fun, too.
Adapted from Lizzy Early‘s Strawberry Vanilla Cupcake recipe (Your Cup of Cake)
Makes 24 cupcakes
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- 4 egg whites
- 1/3 cup oil
- 1 cup milk
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Gently whisk egg whites, oil, milk, mayo and vanilla in a large bowl, until smooth. Add sifted cake mix and stir until combined. Fill cupcake liners, I used just shy of 1/4 cup batter in each cupcake liner. Bake at 350 for 17-22 minutes – I pulled mine out at 15 minutes and they were perfect. Cool.
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 4-5 cups powdered sugar
- 2-4 tablespoons raspberry jam**, or raspberry puree
Beat butter until smooth, about 2 minutes. Combine lemon juice. Slowly add powdered sugar until it reaches a thick consistency. Add raspberry jam (**I used Bonne Maman jam. That or a freezer jam would be ideal – don’t use the cheap super sugar stuff or you won’t get much raspberry flavor) slowly until it’s the right consistency. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes and serve.
* Icing kit and adorable milk jars courtesy of Bake It Pretty.
Instead of buying a dress, I figured I would make Penelope a dress for my brother-in-law’s wedding. I was already making my own, so I added hers to the docket as well. It was an incredibly quick sew, too. AND SHE LOVES IT. So much so that she’ll wear it while playing with the boys in our neighborhood. It’s adorable to see her hang with the boys in such a girly outfit. That’s my girly tomboy!
I used the same printing technique with the front of her dress as I did with mine using a rose stamp borrowed from my friend Miriam. I hadn’t quite nailed down the ink consistency with the imprint, so some of the roses are much lighter than others. I figure she’s going to destroy this dress in a matter of a few wears anyway, so I’m choosing not to care a whole lot about it.
I used the Recess Raglan (blogged here and here) as the base, then added a little extra length to the bodice (which I didn’t really need to) and a pleated skirt. I left the edges on the sleeves and hem raw, they’ve curled up nicely with wash and wear. For the pleats I cut a strip of fabric 2 1/2 times the width of her dress and eyeballed the pleats starting from the center front, working my way out; pinning them in place. Super easy, but some good eyeballing required.
This girl cracks me up with her sassy posing. She loves being in front of the camera.