Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Time to simplify

After much deliberation, I have decided to close shop on this blog and post everything - be it related to crafting, cooking, or family - on my other blog. With three little ones to contend with, simplicity is what I'm craving at the moment! My goal is to move all of the recipes I have posted here over to the other blog (If anyone knows of an easy way to do this, I'm all ears), but until then, they will all remain available here. I have come to use this blog as an online recipe organizer of sorts!

I hope everyone who reads here regularly will follow me in this move! I would love for y'all to follow my goings-on over at The Bell Family blog.

Love to all,

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

To help everyone get into the Halloween spirit, Jack would like to share his favorite Halloween book with all of you.

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

Have a safe, spooky Halloween, everyone!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Best mom ever!

I just opened up my email to find pictures of the diaper bag my mom made for me this weekend. Isn't this fabulous?!! I cannot wait to carry it!

FYI: For anyone interested, I'm sure Mama Reita would be more than happy to do commissioned work!
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Thursday, September 10, 2009


Cecily Evelyn Bell
6:08 p.m.
7 lbs. 11 oz.
21.5 inches

Monday, August 17, 2009

Kids' rooms

Here are some photos of the kiddos' finished rooms. I put the full description of everything on our family blog if you want to check it out!

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Ginger Krinkles and Menu Monday

I just love to make a batch of cookies, and even though it does heat up the kitchen when I fire up the oven to do so in the middle of the summer, I have found it to be a very good activity to keep my two little assistants busy when it is just too hot to venture outdoors! This particular recipe has been in our family for a very long time; my mom's mom, my Mammo, loved this recipe and made it very often.

Ginger Krinkles
(I don't know why we spell this with a K instead of a C, but that's just the way we've always done it - lol!)

2/3 cup cooking oil
1 cup sugar
1 egg
4 tablespoons molasses
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix all ingredients together. Roll into 1-inch balls and dip in sugar. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. (Do not overbake. These cookies will still be very soft when they come out of the oven, but they will firm up to a chewy texture once they are cool.)


So now that I've covered dessert, here's what's on tap for us for supper. ;)

Monday - Veggie Night: Balsamic Green Beans with Potatoes and Caramelized Onions, Steamed Squash, Caprese Salad, Bread
Tuesday - Spicy Black-Eyed Pea Soup with Bacon and Jalapenos (using my recipe here that I originally made with fresh pinto beans)
Wednesday - Movie in the Park Night: Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Hoppin' John Salad, and Orange Stuff (and orange jello salad made with buttermilk and crushed pineapple - so cool and delicious!)
Thursday - Chicken Marsala with Fingerling Potatoes and Broccolini
Friday - Out to dinner for my birthday! (Leftover pork for my mom and the kiddos)
Saturday - Fajitas with Black Beans and Guacamole
Sunday - Pork Chops with Leeks in Mustard Sauce with Roasted New Potatoes

My mom is coming on Thursday of this week to help me continue in my nesting quest. I can't wait to have her, and I'm hoping we get enough accomplished to also sneak in some sewing time while she's here!

Have a great week!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

This week's menu

We just got back from our marathon trek to New Mexico yesterday, so today was our day to get back settled in. I am really looking forward to everything on tap this week. I love that feeling!

Tuesday - Broiled Cod Fillets with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto, Farfalle and Peas
Wednesday - Beef with Broccoli and Yams, Brown Rice and Bread
Thursday - Spaghetti and Sauteed Mushrooms with Bread and Salad
Friday - Tamales Compuestos (Thanks to Mama Reita for hooking us up with some scrumptious tamales she and her friends put together last fall!) with Black Beans
Saturday - Barbecue Chicken with veggies from the farmers' market
Sunday - Veggie Night (We love having a veggie smorgasbord just after our runs to the farmers' market each Saturday)

Nesting has now hit in full force! This week's goal is to get as many of the nooks and crannies in the house cleaned out as possible (I tackled my laundry "closet" today, something I am very happy to have behind me!), and this weekend we will start the transition of moving Charlotte and Jack into the same bedroom. I am so nervous about how they are going to sleep with their new arrangement!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Another outfit for Miss Priss

My weekend sewing convention getaway with Mom last week was absolutely amazing! I learned so much, but the real fun was in spending so much time with Mom, just the two of us. I cannot remember the last time we were able to do that! After getting so many cute ideas, I had to put them into practice this week, so I fired up my machine and made Charlotte another little outfit. I am hooked on these ruffled skirts and matching tops! The little peacock here turned out a bit than I had originally intended, but I think it's pretty darn cute, if I do say so myself. I finally had to cut myself off from adding extra "touches"...designing these shirts is so much like scrapbooking!

Here's Miss Priss in her new duds...I am fairly sure these grins mean it got her "fancy" seal of approval. :)

I love this shot of Jack.

And Charlotte's (very accurate) Mama impression! Here I am this week, at 27 weeks (now in the third trimester...gulp!). This shot was taken post-workout, so you'll have to bear with my lovely hair. ;)

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Made by Mama

There is something so incredibly gratifying about dressing Charlotte in something I made for her myself. I was given the tip to check out this adorable ruffled skirt tutorial a while back (thanks, Donnell!), and with a few adjustments in the measurements, I was able to make one for Charlotte lickety split! I even fancied things up a bit by adding some ric rac to the top tier. This one was so easy and fun, I have fabric in mind to make another very soon!

I am off in just a few minutes for my sewing convention getaway with my mom in Dallas. So excited!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Everyday Treasures

My scrap table has sat by its lonesome for many, many moons, and I am embarrassed to admit that I finished this page up well over a month ago and only just now got around to scanning it in! I wanted a page to document the little things Charlotte was doing around the time I took these precious photos of her in her pretty Easter dress, and this is what I created. I had fun mixing and matching lots of different products on this one, with some new things (the American Crafts stickers in the title are so fun to work with) and some old (I managed to use up the very last of the Chatterbox felt stickers I've had such a love affair with since they arrived in my Scarlet Lime kit eons ago!).

Journaling: You won't go anywhere without your baby in tow ~ You give me your pouty, pursed-lip face any time I tell you to look at me ~ You say "hold you" instead of "hold me" when you want to snuggle ~ Your version of the ABC's skips from ABC to HIJ, then repeats ~ You love to do a twirl in your dresses to hear how pretty you are ~ You say "ho-ho" instead of hello ~ You never finish a meal without being covered in the menu du jour ~ You have just enough baby-fine curls for a little ponytail right on top of your head.

Thanks so much for stopping by! A.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Spicy Pinto Bean Soup with Bacon and Jalapeños

Until we happened upon them at the farmers' market this weekend, I had honestly never considered cooking with fresh pinto beans. I will certainly seek them out from now on when they are in season! I came up with the following recipe tonight to utilize as many of the fresh ingredients we'd purchased at the market on Saturday as possible. I was so pleased with the end result! The drizzle of balsamic vinegar at the end was just what the dish needed to add a tangy finish to the lovely spicy flavor. If fresh pinto beans are unavailable, I'm sure this recipe would work fabulously with black-eyed peas. Enjoy!

Spicy Pinto Bean Soup with Bacon and Jalapeños
3 slices thick pepper bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lb. fresh pinto beans or black-eyed peas
1/3 cup dry red wine
3 cups chicken stock
2 large tomatoes, chopped
2 jalapeño peppers, finely chopped (or less, depending on your heat preference)
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
Balsamic vinegar

In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, saute bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from pot to drain on paper towels, pouring off all but 1 Tbsp. of drippings. Reduce heat to medium, add onion, and saute until translucent and golden, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and pinto beans and saute until garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes more.

Add wine to pot, using a wooden spoon to scrape up browned bits from bottom of pan. Stir in chicken stock and next 6 ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat slightly so soup comes to a steady, but not rolling, boil. Cook until beans are soft and liquid is thickened, about 1 hour. (If you prefer your beans on the softer side, I recommend an additional half hour or so of cooking time.) Stir in reserved bacon. Drizzle each bowl of soup with a touch of balsamic vinegar just before serving.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Menu Monday

I'll be out of town Thursday through Sunday to attend a Martha Pullen sewing convention in Dallas with Mama Reita (wahoo!!), so a lot of our menu this week revolves around leftovers and things Matt can put together easily for the kiddos on his own. This will be his first-ever time with both kids overnight. He's petrified. ;)

I am loving planning recipes around the delicious goodies we're buying each week at the farmers' market! Tonight's recipe was 100% locally grown or produced, and Tuesday's dinner will be the same. Nothing tastes better than ingredients from just down the road.

Monday - Spicy Pinto Bean Soup with Bacon and Jalapenos and Cornbread
Tuesday - Veggie night: Squash Casserole, Skillet Creamed Corn with Bacon (I dream about this recipe!!), and Fresh Green Beans and New Potatoes with Brown Butter Soda Bread
Wednesday - Lasagna with Salad and Bread using my Marinara Sauce found here
Thursday - Spaghetti and Marinara Sauce with Broccolini, Salad and Bread (I am doubling the sauce recipe on Wednesday so this will be a quick throw-together for Matt)
Friday - Leftover Lasagna
Saturday - Bratwurst with Red Cabbage, Apples and Onions (Matt knows the only time he can get away with cooking red cabbage is when I'm out of the house - lol!!)
Sunday - TBD

I'll be sharing quite a few recipes from this week's spread over the course of the next few days, so be sure to stay tuned!


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Chicken Pot Pie

Growing up, when I was asked about my favorite food, I never responded with typical kid fare like chicken nuggets, pizza, or ice cream. Oh absolute favorite thing in the world to eat was Mama Reita's chicken pot pie! This recipe is a breeze to prepare, and it is so easy to adjust depending on the ingredients you have on hand. Enjoy!

Mama Reita's Chicken Pot Pie
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
3 tbsp. butter
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups chopped, cooked chicken
1-1/2 cups frozen veggies (you can use any you like, but I find the carrot, pea, corn and green bean medley works fabulously)
1 can chopped green chiles (optional - but the New Mexican in me can't help but put green chile in everything ;)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 (8 oz.) package crescent rolls

Saute onion and celery in butter in a sauce pan; stir in soup and sour cream. Blend in chicken, veggies, green chile (if using), and seasonings. Pour into 12 x 8 greased casserole. Top with unrolled crescent rolls. Bake at 375 until browned and bubbly, approximately 20 minutes.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Card Sketch #1

It's been ages since I last shared a sketch with y'all. I have to admit that my scrapping table has sat completely neglected for the last little while as my sewing obsession has taken over. I have, however, managed to put together a few cards, so I thought I'd post a card sketch today to fill in the gaps until I finally get to scrapping again!

Have fun!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Menu Monday

First week on June - how on earth did that happen!? Here's our spread for the week:

Monday - Vegetable-Quinoa Pilaf (didn't get around to making this last week) with Salad and Bread
Tuesday - Pecan-Crusted Tilapia (based loosely on the recipe here) with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto, Farfalle and Broccolini (so excited to make our first pesto of the year - yay for basil!)
Wednesday - Pork Chops with Leeks in Mustard Sauce with Baked Sweet Potatoes
Thursday - Sausage, Fontina and Bell Pepper Strata with Salad
Friday - Beef Brisket with Lemony New Potato Salad and Corn on the Cob (brisket recipe to be posted later this week)

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Chalupa Bowls

I don't use my poor, neglected Crock Pot nearly as much as I should. Even though I love the idea of having dinner put together in such a snap, I'll be honest: so many of the recipes I've tried lack the texture and flavor I'm looking for. This recipe appeared in Southern Living magazine eons ago, and I was super pleased to see it make an appearance in their new cookbook. (Some of you might remember me posting this on the Feeling Scrappy blog a while back.) I serve this in crispy taco bowls the first night with cheese, sour cream and salsa, and then I use the leftovers for quesadillas or soft tacos. Leftovers also freeze well, which is an added bonus!

Chalupa Bowls
1 lb. dried pinto beans
3-4 lb. boneless pork loin roast
2 cans chopped green chiles
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 (32-oz.) container chicken broth
1 can Rotel

Rinse and sort beans. Place beans in crock pot; add roast and next 6 ingredients. Pour chicken broth over roast. Cover and cook on high 1 hour; reduce heat to low, and cook 9 hours. Or, cover and cook on high 6 hours. Pull roast into large pieces with two forks. Stir in Rotel. Cook roast, uncovered, on high 1 more hour or until liquid is slightly thickened.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Menu Monday

Another week of travels for Matt; another easy menu for the week. I seem to be in a bit of a rut when it comes to our go-to recipes, but I just can't stop craving the same things!

Monday - Green Chile Cheeseburgers with Sweet Potato Fries and Cantaloupe
Tuesday - Vegetable-Quinoa Pilaf with Salad and Bread
Wednesday - Stir-Fried Beef, Broccoli and Yams with Salad
Thursday - Pork Chalupa Bowls (a great Crock Pot recipe I'll share later this week)
Friday - Pizza and Salad
Saturday - Pork Quesadillas (with leftover meat from Thursday)

Happy Memorial Day! We owe such a debt of gratitude to those who serve or have served this great country of ours to guarantee the freedoms we all too often take for granted.

Friday, May 22, 2009

My current craving

When I was pregnant with Jack, I had a mayonnaise fetish. Considering I really don't like to have much to do with mayo when I'm not expecting, that was a very odd thing for me to want on a continual basis! (Needless to say, I certainly packed on the pounds with him...) We had a church picnic last Sunday, and as I was considering something picnicky (I am almost certain that is not a word) to make, the first thing that came to mind was a recipe I nearly ate my weight in with him: pimiento cheese!

I am not a fan of store-bought pimiento cheese. The sweetness of it generally puts me off, and it all tends to have a certain tang I'm not particularly fond of. The homemade version, though? Scrumptious! The following recipe came from my mom, and it is ridiculously easy to make.

One tip: if you can possibly get your hands on it, I highly recommend trying Duke's mayonnaise in this recipe. Man, is that stuff good - so fresh and lemony! I have to thank Miss Donnell for introducing us to it. :)

Fabulous Pimiento Cheese
1 (8-oz.) loaf Velveeta, cubed
1 (8-oz.) package shredded sharp Cheddar
1 (8-oz.) package shredded Mexican cheese blend
1-1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 (4-oz.) jar diced pimiento, drained
A few drops of Tabasco (optional)
1 cup (yes, an entire cup!!) mayonnaise

Process half of cheeses in a food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Transfer to a bowl. Process remaining cheeses, sugar, salt, pepper, and Tabasco in food processor until smooth, stopping once to scrape down sides. Stir into cheese mixture in bowl; stir in pimiento and mayonnaise.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Today's project

I thought I'd share this little outfit I made today for Charlotte. The pant pattern is Britches and Bloomers by Jackie Clark, and although I am going to have to tweak the sizing a bit the next time around (she needs more room for her little caboose! :), I really enjoyed working with it. The t-shirt I picked up for $1.50 at Wally World a while back, and I added some coordinating fabric yo-yo's and some leaves I cut from the pant fabric. (I stitched the yo-yo's and the leaves on with a small zig-zag.) If you've never made any yo-yo's you really should give it a try. They are so simple to throw together, yet the options for using them are endless!

Monday, May 18, 2009


I've been trying my hand at making some more bows for Charlotte (those little bug bows got me hooked!), something kind of fresh and out of the ordinary to go with all of the cute outfits Mammo is always sending her. I came up with this little flower design, and I have to say I am really digging these things! I made my own korker ribbon for the flower centers. It was so easy to do, and I think it really adds a lot.

I have been a fairly delinquent blogger lately (bad me). My craft time is keeping me off of the computer for the most part! Between the bows and the maternity tops (I made myself another one on Saturday) and some card making, I'm a busy girl of late. More pics of my finished projects are sure to come.

By the way, menu Monday is getting pushed back to later in the week. It was such a wild one last week, I am still working on fixing some of the things I had planned for last week!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Menu Monday

Here's what's on tap for us this week.

Monday - Sausage, Fontina, and Bell Pepper Strata (from this month's issue of Bon Appetit) with Salad
Tuesday - Chicken Piccata with Angel Hair Pasta and Broccoli
Wednesday - Mama Reita's Meat Loaf with Mashed Potatoes and Peas
Thursday - Taco Salad (using my Taco Beef recipe found here)
Friday - Fajitas with Black Beans and Guacamole
Saturday - Frozen Pizza
Sunday - Church Pot Luck

I hope everyone had a lovely (and restful, if that's what you needed!) Mothers' Day!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Sketch #6

Happy Hump Day!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Menu Monday

Happy Monday! Here's what's on tap for us this week. We've got a crazy few days ahead, so lots of what we're having are go-to recipes.

Monday - Vegetable Quinoa Pilaf with Bread and Salad
Tuesday - Spaghetti with Sauteed Mushrooms, Salad and Bread (we didn't wind up eating this on Saturday as I had planned)
Wednesday - Stir-Fried Beef, Broccoli and Yams
Thursday - Chile Rellenos with Black Beans and Spanish Rice
Friday - Chicken Parmesan with Broccolini, Salad and Bread (I am doubling the sauce recipe on Tuesday to have enough for this as well)

We are having a party at our house Saturday, and Sunday will be a Mothers' Day surprise (fun!!), so that is about it!

Since we're having the quinoa again this week, I thought I'd share this pic from the last time I made it. All of these gorgeous colors have me looking forward to tonight's supper already! Isn't healthy eating gorgeous? :)


Saturday, May 2, 2009

My latest projects

Matt was gone for a couple of days during the latter part of the week, so I opted to stay productive during the evenings after the kiddos had been tucked in instead of concentrating on being lonesome. I have been wanting to make these little bug bows ever since Mom sent me the tutorial eons ago, and I finally got around to it! The supplies for these came 100% from my stash. Love that! In addition to these dragonflies, I also made a really cute layered butterfly, but since it is currently on top of Miss Priss's little head as she's taking a nap, y'all will have to wait to see that one. :)

I know I'm biased, but isn't she too cute for words?

I shared a link to the Sew Mama, Sew! blog a few weeks ago, so some of you might have seen the tutorial on there for the most adorable (and easy!) ruffled top. I am in dire need of some duds that accommodate my ever-growing belly, so just about the moment I saw the how-to, I headed out to buy some fabric. I am so pleased with how it turned out. (So pleased, in fact, that I think I'll probably make a couple more!) This wasn't designed specifically to be a maternity top, but because of the length and overall design, it works perfectly for that purpose. My handsome little man wanted to pose for the camera, too. ;)

I hope everyone is having a great weekend!


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sketch #5

Have fun!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hello, world!

I posted a few pics from our ultrasound last week on our family blog if you want to take a look. Here's a peek at one of them: five tiny little fingers waving hello. :)

Marinara Sauce

I'm sure y'all will start noticing that one meal that comes up repeatedly in our lineup is spaghetti. We absolutely love spaghetti with marinara sauce around here. LOVE it. I used to always think twisting open a jar was the only way this meal could be easy, since I had the impression that homemade sauces required hours of tending and stirring. Not so! Over the course of the last year or so, I have worked to develop a recipe for the best homemade marinara sauce possible. After lots of experimenting, this is the one I think I will stick with for the long haul. It is lively with a depth of flavor that belies the fact it only takes a little over an hour to make (with only about 15 minutes of that being active cook time!).

A tip: don't skimp on ingredients. Buy the best canned, WHOLE tomatoes you can find. I love these by Cento. Also, if you can locate it, the Italian tomato paste you buy in a tube is not only absolutely wonderful for its rich flavor, but it is also so much more convenient than having to pop open a can to take 2 tablespoons and leave the rest to spoil at the back of your fridge. (Haven't we all be there before?)

Amy's Marinara Sauce

1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 small carrots, finely chopped
1/3-1/2 cup dry red wine
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 (35-oz.) can whole tomatoes
2 tbsp. fresh basil, finely chopped
1 tbsp. fresh oregano, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Crushed red pepper (optional)

Heat olive oil in a heavy pot over medium heat. Add onions, and saute until golden, about 8 minutes. (Don't rush this step! Onions that are golden, and not just translucent, impart so much delicious flavor to the sauce.) Add garlic and carrots, and saute 2-3 minutes more, until garlic is fragrant and carrots are slightly softened.

Add wine all at once to the onion mixture. Boil, stirring constantly, until wine evaporates almost completely, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste. (At this point, your mixture should be very thick, with the wine/paste thoroughly coating the onion mixture.)

Add tomatoes, basil and oregano to the pot, stirring well. Using a potato masher, crush the tomatoes until sauce is fairly smooth in consistency. Season with salt and pepper. (You can also add some crushed red pepper at this point if you desire.)

Bring sauce to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally, until sauce is considerably thickened. (It is important not to cook the sauce too fast here; a slow simmer, with just a slight bubbling at the surface, will help the sauce reach its best consistency.)

This recipe can easily be doubled, and leftovers can be frozen in Ziploc baggies to be thawed for quick weeknight meals. Serve with your choice of pasta, and enjoy!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Menu Monday

The theme for this week? Easy peasy. Matt has a lot of business travel coming up, but I am going to try really hard not to do my usual and settle for the drive-through routine while he's away. Wish me luck!

Monday - Venison Loin with Twice-Baked Potatoes and Broccoli (We were too exhausted from working in the yard to make this on Saturday like I had originally planned!)
Tuesday - Chopped Steaks with Mashed Potatoes and Peas
Wednesday - Shortcut Beef and Green Chile Enchiladas
Thursday - Grilled Ham and Cheese Sandwiches with Potato Chowder
Friday - Frozen Pizza
Saturday - Spaghetti with Salad

This week's groceries are already bought and put away. Love that! I've started a little tradition of picking up a bouquet of flowers to have on the kitchen table each week, and I just had to share this pic of last week's selection. These were the most gorgeous grocery store flowers I have ever had! Stargazers make my heart happy since they were the star flowers in our wedding. :)

Have a great week!

Friday, April 24, 2009

She Would've Adored You

This page was based on one of my sketches for the Sketchapalooza class. I was so happy with how it came out. My Mammo passed away in 1995, but I want to pass her legacy on to my kiddos. Isn't it incredible that scrapping allows us the power to link generations?

I hope everyone has a great weekend planned!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The cat is out of the bag!

Matt and I went in for our big ultrasound this morning, bound and determined not to find out the baby's sex. Actually, we were really laid back about the whole thing, feeling really comfortable and excited about the prospect of waiting till delivery day for the big news. When we walked in for the appointment, the first words out of my mouth were that we didn't want to know the sex. The tech was very receptive to that, and we got everything started. I looked away every time I even suspected the tech was venturing to an area where I could inadvertently see something I didn't want to, and Matt was really great about it, too. We were so good! The scan went very well, and the baby (just one baby!!) is measuring perfectly and looks very healthy.

I got settled back on the table for the second half of the scan after I was allowed to go potty (ooooh, I had forgotten how miserable those 40 ounces feel on a pregnant bladder!!), and the tech commenced to take a few measurements before she started to go over in more fine detail with us what all we were seeing. It is always such a miracle to see those little hands and fingers, feet and toes, and the little heart already pump-pumping along with arteries and veins reaching from one end of the tiny little body to the other. Life is such a precious gift! Buuut, as the tech was pointing things out to us, instead of saying "the baby's" head, or "its" head, she slipped about 8 times and said the gender-specific adjective! At first we thought it could be a fluke, but it soon became pretty apparent the cat was out of the bag. In spite of the slip-ups, the tech genuinely thought the sex was still a big secret when it was all said and done. (She really was a very nice person!) It is protocol at the clinic to send a detailed report of the ultrasound (which includes the sex of the baby) to the obstetrician, so when the tech handed me the envelope to deliver to him, Matt and I both conceded that to "know" with 99.9% certainty what we are having but not to really know would be pretty silly in the grand scheme of things. So, we looked, and it confirmed our hunch. I am thrilled to announce (although I have to say I am more than a little disappointed that the big reveal is now and not a few months down the road) that Jack and Charlotte will be welcoming a brand-new baby


some time in September! A boy and two girls...what a wild, wild time this is going to be! :)

Oh, baby!

There has been a true baby boom among my group of friends of late, and I am finally getting around to putting together some goodies for all of the new little ones. My sewing machine has been quite handy for this purpose! I can't get enough of making these little onesies and coordinating burp cloths. For the onesies I wanted to go with a shabby chic feel, so I opted to leave the edges unfinished as I sewed the layers together. These are absolutely addicting!

In the process of making these, I discovered the coolest way to use my stamps in a fresh way! There is an ink made by Tsukineko called Versa Craft that is permanent on fabric once it is heat set. I found a couple of my stamps that would be perfect for baby, and voila! A terrific accent for these little jewels.

I love this little elephant! I free-handed the shape on a sheet of chipboard to use as my pattern.

Something girly. :)

Burp cloths using Gerber cloth diapers. These couldn't possibly be easier to make!

They are fully lined on the back, with a little bit of trim along the bottom front edge.

And speaking of babies...we will be leaving for our big ultrasound to get our first peek of baby Tres in just a couple of hours. I would be lying if I said I wasn't harboring a slight feeling of terror over the prospect of hearing there are baby Tres and Cuatro in there! More details are sure to come!! :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

All through the house

I've been mentioning lately how many little projects I've been tackling here and there for the last few weeks. I finally got around to taking a few pics today!

Weekend before last, I repainted our bedroom in a slate blue/grey that I absolutely love. Amazing what a coat of paint can do to freshen up a room! This photo isn't the best, but it can give you a bit of an idea.

Living in a 20-year-old house has its challenges. The place is old enough to have its little quirks, but it's not old enough that those quirks would be considered charming. ;) Our bathroom was a total mess when we moved into this house. I wish I had had the foresight to take a picture before I started the total renovation project I took on a while back (a year and a half ago...ahem), but here are some of the after photos. We still aren't totally done yet, but I have to say I am really, really pleased with how far we've come. We changed out all of the fixtures, put in new floors (who on earth puts carpet in a bathroom, anyway?!), tore down five (!!) layers of wallpaper down to the drywall to texture and repaint, put in new mirrors and hardware, and, finally, I repainted the cabinets during Easter weekend. Anyone who saw our bathroom before can attest that this has been a huge project!

Spring in Arkansas is absolutely glorious, and we love to spend as much time outdoors as we can possibly manage enjoying the mild days before the summer heat ensues. I decided to make some outdoor pillows to make our outdoor furniture as comfy (and attractive, if I do say so myself!) as possible. There are many sewing projects that wind up being more expensive than just going out and buying the ready-made product, but this was certainly NOT one of them. For all of the supplies for these pillows and the supplies to make about five more with a coordinating fabric, I spent $75! That means I will have spent less than $8 for each of these once it's all said and done. Not too shabby!

I think my nesting instinct has started early this time!!