Style: Raglan Maternity Top

My midwife says that I could go into labor at any time. I’m thrilled with this news as we’ve experienced a little heat wave in our neck of the woods lately. As I keep mentioning, I just can’t wait. We don’t have everything in order just yet, but we’re getting closer. I still need to sort through all the little miss’s clothes and blankies. I may end up making a few new pieces for her. I’ve had this design for itty harem pants in my head for some time and I need to actually make them!

melissaesplin-maternity-raglan-high-sides-1

Not long before making the wiggle skirt last week, I busted out this maternity top. I used the same pattern here as I did in my long sleeve version blogged here, but I ruched the sides. The side ruching helps the top duck under my belly just a little bit, so it doesn’t quite have a tent effect.

melissaesplin-maternity-raglan-high-sides-2

Putting this piece together was easy since I had the pattern already cut and ready to rock and roll. The ruching adds a little different detail than my other version. I like that it goes high on the sides (like many popular tunics these days) to elongate my legs. Since I’m rarely wearing heels (save for Sundays, I can wear heels for 3 hours of sitting no sweat!), I want that extra length, but I also want the behind hider of the tunic. It adds a teensy bit of drama to an otherwise plain tee.

melissaesplin-maternity-raglan-high-sides-5

melissaesplin-maternity-raglan-high-sides-3

I may or may not have been feeling a contraction when I took this photo. I’m looking forward to lots of long evening walks in the coming days.

Outfit details:

  • earrings: thrifted
  • necklace: handmade by my dad
  • top: handmade
  • leggings: c/o Agnes & Dora
  • shoes: Sole Society

 

 

Foodie: Liege Waffles and Peach Preserves

Sometime in 2009 I was introduced to the Liege Waffle. Transformative is the only way I could describe this experience. I’ve always enjoyed waffles, but this was unlike anything I had ever had in my life. Caramelized, dense, crunchy, soft and the perfect amount of sweet. Knowing it was a dough-based waffle that required yeast (not my best friend), I brushed it off as one of those foods that I’ll never be able to make.

melissaesplin-liegewaffles-peach-recipe-1

Until . . .

Feed Zone Portables. It’s a recipe book that Chris bought while researching portable recipes that he can make for pre and post-workout snacks.

I haven’t talked about it much here, but since January Chris has lost 30 pounds and become quite serious about his exercise and diet. We had no idea he would lose that much (and keep it off). It’s been annoying to me that he’s been shedding the pounds while I’ve gained them. He’s supposed to gain sympathy weight with me, right?!? Back to the book – the book is full of on-the-go recipes for athletes, the salt/water content of each recipe (particularly the rice cakes) is made to keep your guts happy before, during and after a workout. It’s a really interesting book with easy recipes to grab from the fridge/freezer and go. Perfect for school lunches.

While thumbing through the book, Chris and I came across a liege waffle recipe. I’ve made it half a dozen times already with 100% success every time. Yes. I made a dough that works!I’m beyond stoked about it. So now I’m going to share it with you.

melissaesplin-liegewaffles-peach-recipe-2

Liege Waffles

From Feed Zone Portables | Makes 12 waffles
  • 3/4 cup warm milk
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 3 eggs + 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pearled sugar or raw sugar

Combine milk, yeast, sugar and 1 cup flour with an electric mixer until smooth. Let dough rest for 15 minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, syrup, butter and vanilla. Add egg mixture to the dough along with the remaining dry ingredients (no pearled sugar just yet). Dough should be tacky. Add a little extra flour if it’s too sticky. Cover and let rise for 1 hour. Punch down the dough, cover and refrigerate overnight.

Divide the dough into 12 portions, roll in sugar and cook in a waffle iron until dark golden brown.

Notes: You can easily double this recipe and freeze half for later. After you roll the dough in sugar, wrap each ball in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container. For a little extra punch, put some chunks of chocolate inside the balls of dough and cook. Serve à la mode with bananas and peach preserves for a tasty Sundae.

melissaesplin-liegewaffles-peach-recipe-3

Tart Peach Preserves

From a recipe that my mom gave me | Makes 1 quart
  • 4 medium-large peaches, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pectin

Peel the peaches (I use a blanching technique like this one). Slice into about 8-12 slices. Place in a bowl. Pour lemon juice overtop. In a separate bowl, mix sugar and pectin together, then fold in gently to the peaches. Serve or freeze. Preserves last about a week or two in the fridge. This makes for the perfect topping on waffles, ice cream, cheesecake and more. Add some peppers and put in a fish taco!

Our neighbor’s mom gave us 3 large boxes full of peaches last week. So you may be seeing more peach recipes here soon! I can’t seem to get enough. I’ve already canned a gallon of peach jam, nearly 3 gallons of frozen sliced peaches and a couple of quarts of the above sliced peaches. Penelope is already tired of them, but Felix and I aren’t!

Maternity Style: Making Do + Last-Minute Additions

I grossly under-estimated how large my belly would get at the beginning of this pregnancy. In fact, the only shirts that fit me now length-wise are Chris’s shirts, and a couple of printed shirts I bought last month. It’s hard to mix those printed shirts with the very loud printed leggings that I have in my wardrobe.

melissaesplin-maternity-style-making-do-1

I’m thankful that I have Chris’s wardrobe to help me muscle through these last few weeks (only 4 left! EEP!).

To help with the shrinking wardrobe, I made myself a little straight skirt that goes above the belly. The cooler temperatures are allowing for some over-the-belly action for my clothes, which is so helpful. Right now there’s so much pressure below the belly, I don’t want waistbands hanging around there if I can help it.

melissaesplin-maternity-style-making-do-2

To make this skirt, I used a really thick ponte knit and didn’t hem any of the raw edges. I’m that lazy.

I took my hip measurement (which is the same as my giant belly circumference at this point) and sewed up a rectangle with open top and bottom. After fitting, I tapered the top on either side just a little to contour to the top of my belly. And slipped it on. It literally took me less than 10 minutes to make this thing. It’s nice to have more church-appropriate clothing in my wardrobe for the next few weeks. I’ve been squeezing into my dressy clothes and feeling so uncomfortable during church! Being uncomfortable = ornery, so I tend to snap at Penelope and Felix more than they deserve. Chris has also born the brunt of my snappiness, too.

melissaesplin-maternity-style-making-do-3

See how happy I am? It’s because I’m wearing something that fits! YAY!

melissaesplin-maternity-style-making-do-4

Anxiously awaiting the arrival of Miss Juniper, but until I get to meet her in person, I’ll just sit and watch her turn flips from inside my belly. The girl is going to come out a gymnast, she’s so active!! YAY!! I’m counting my blessings with all this uncomfortable activity, though. My younger sister broke my mom’s ribs in utero.

Outfit details:

necklace: forever 21

top: Chris’s

skirt: handmade

bracelet: THP shop

shoes: c/o Sole Society

Summer Adventures

It’s been pretty quiet around the blog this summer. We’ve been busy and I’ve been tired. All of the plans I had made have shifted drastically to accommodate for my energy levels. I wanted to re-landscape my backyard, finish decorating my front room, organize all kids clothes, clean out the garage, sew a swimsuit, sew a bunch of maternity clothes and sew clothes for Penelope. A teeny tiny fraction of that actually happened. Sad, but true.

altsummit-2014-1

I had a lot of fun working with Bing at Alt Summit to provide attendees a fun little DIY distraction during their sessions. We made hand-lettered cards and tees. It was a blast!

altsummit-2014-2

Photo by Brooke Dennis

I even got a shout out from Martha Stewart on her blog (see image #34). Ummmm….. WHAAAA? Super cool. 

altsummit-2014-3

Photo by Izzy Hudgins

While at Alt, I also taught a group discussion on landing pages and their importance for conversions. I may blog about it, but I might not. Give me a shout out if you’re interested in the hand out and I’ll send it your way.

Since this Alt Summit was less than 6 months after the January session, I kept things simple. No new handmade wardrobe, no new business cards (just a repeat of January’s). I tried to keep it simple. As simple as I can make things, which is inevitably complicated.

Seeing old friends and making new ones was the highlight of the event. And being able to sit behind a desk for most of the conference, practicing my letters was pretty awesome, too. I love an excuse to sit and practice my letters.

Outfit details:

Recipe: Homemade Kettle Corn

Every once in a while our house gets inundated with 6-8 year olds. It’s great. Penelope has a little gang of friends that she parties with, they bounce around from house to house on their bikes scavenging for tasty snacks and things to do. I tend to keep a closed pantry policy most days, but every once in a while I bust out the popcorn maker and make a giant batch of popcorn and send them outside. It gives them something to do, something to eat and it’s incredibly easy/cheap to make. It’s also very allergy friendly as well (unless using peanut oil).

melissaesplin-homemade-kettle-corn-1

For some reason I thought that kettle corn was a tricky recipe with a tricky process, until last week. It’s not. Now that I’ve figured it out, I’m off to experiment with other flavors.

melissaesplin-homemade-kettle-corn-2

I found this recipe on How Does She?, a recipe for stove top kettle corn. Below is my adaptation for cooking corn with a regular popcorn maker. This would not work for a hot air popper. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!

Kettle Corn Recipe

Makes about 6 cups of popcorn | For popcorn maker adapted from How Does She?
  • 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 3-5 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
  • dash of salt

The coconut oil in this recipe makes a huge difference with the flavor. It’s incredibly delicious. A MUST add in my opinion.

Turn on the popcorn maker so the spinner is rotating, but the lid is off. Put coconut oil in the popcorn maker and wait for it to melt to an oil-like consistency (takes a minute or so). Add the popcorn kernels THEN the sugar. Replace the cover and allow the corn to pop until you hear a 1-2 second pause between pops. Pour into a bowl and sprinkle salt overtop. Serve. 

You may want to add more oil and more sugar for a more caramelized, intense flavor.

melissaesplin-homemade-kettle-corn-3

Measuring bowls c/o Red Envelope. 

full site