October 12, 2015

A Birthday, Some Pumpkins and a Bengals Game

This past weekend was full of so many fun things and lots of family time.

On Friday we celebrated my sister's birthday with my family. She requested a "breakfast for dinner" menu and apple pie as her "cake". We had a great time enjoying a leisurely dinner at my parents' house and just spending time together as a family.
Unsure about why Todd wrapped her gift in an old screw container. 
Todd had to work Saturday morning, so I stayed home and took care of some cleaning and things around the house. That afternoon we went to our nephew's football game. They won and are now headed to a tournament! We are so proud of him and his team.
After the game we headed over to a nearby pumpkin patch. None of us had ever been to a true pumpkin patch before. I mean, every year we go to the same one, but they always just have piles of pumpkins already picked and you can select the one you want. We had to take a hay ride from the parking lot out to their patch and then walked through the fields trying to find which pumpkin we wanted. It was quite the experience. Our oldest nephew was super into it and kept trying to find the biggest one. His younger brother was running around pretending to be Spiderman and wanted to pick the best pumpkin to eat. And our little girl was pretty oblivious to the whole thing and just wanted to play and wave to everyone she saw. It was quite the comedy act. haha. Todd's sister brought her nice camera with her and was able to capture some sweet photos of our little girl for us. We let our nephew pick out one for us, we took the hayride back to the main building, picked up some fresh apple cider, local honey and a quick snack and headed back to Todd's parents for some dinner and to watch some football.
Some friends invited us to the Bengals vs. Seahawks game on Sunday. Todd is a big Bengals fan and the Bengals were going into this game with a 4-0 record this year. Needless to say, he was pretty pumped. We didn't take our little one to the game, but she was certainly dressed for the occasion. My parents watched her while we were at the game. We met up with them before hand to drop her off and snapped a couple photos of the 3 of us in our game day attire.
This was my 2nd time at a pro football game. The stadium was so loud, the energy was contagious. Our friends had excellent seats 7 rows up from the field. The game was so exciting. We were down at the beginning of the 4th quarter and many people started to leave. We stayed to the end and are so glad we did, we saw one of the best come backs. The 4th quarter ended in a tie and the game went to overtime. We ended up winning with a field goal that bounced off one of the uprights. Such an exciting game! We had a blast with our friends. Thanks so much for inviting us!!

All in all, we had a great weekend. So many fun memories were made with dear friends and family.

October 7, 2015

Simple Applique Baby Quilts - Dinosaurs and Elephants

One of my closest friends requested a couple custom baby quilts for two of her friends that are currently expecting. She wanted the design to be relatively simple for both quilts. We searched Pinterest for some inspiration and after seeing this quilt she was in love. 
Photo Credit: Grapes & Hearts
We tweaked the pattern to make it a little simpler in style. We ultimately settled on a solid fabric for the front and a gray/white polka dot flannel for the back of both quilts. For the first quilt, she opted for a green cotton front with dinosaurs appliqued. The second quilt has a blue cotton top with elephants appliqued. Instead of piecing fabrics for the dinosaur or elephant, we settled on this fabric and also used it as the binding. She requested an all-over squiggle quilting pattern in matching thread. 

Here is a brief step by step on my process. I used an iron on stabilizer on the back side of gray and rainbow fabrics. I printed out an image of the dinosaur and elephant. I then traced this image on the stabilizer and then cut out all of the dinosaurs and elephants. Once everything was cut out, I removed the paper backing and laid them in position on the green or blue quilt top. 
Once I had the spacing and position finalized, I ironed them on to the green fabric. I then proceeded to sew around each of the dinosaurs and elephants to secure them to the quilt tops. I used a zig-zag stitch, but changed the stitch length so that the stitches were very close together.
Once the dinosaurs and elephants were all stitched on, I pinned the layers together (flannel backing, quilt batting and quilt top) to begin quilting. As I mentioned, she wanted an all over squiggle quilting pattern on these quilts.
Once the quilting was completed, I cut the quilt to size and evened up all the edges and corners. I then made the bias tape, enough to bind both quilts. I finished each quilt by binding them with my homemade bias tape in the fun rainbow fabric. 

I went through the same process for the elephant quilt. Since the gray elephants did not stand out as much against the blue background, I opted to use white thread for the applique to give a little definition and contrast. 

I just love how these quilts turned out! I think they are so adorable and perfect for a new baby.  The colors and prints are so fun and I love that the lattice pattern slightly resembles a "Block O" pattern. 

Dinosaur Quilt Specs: 
42" x 55"
Face - cotton quilting fabrics
Dinosaurs - cotton quilting fabrics
Binding - I made the bias tape out this fabric 
Back - gray / white polka dot quilter's flannel 
Quilting Pattern - free motion in an all over squiggle pattern

Elephant Quilt Specs: 
40.5" x 59.5"
Face - cotton quilting fabrics
Elephants - cotton quilting fabrics
Binding - I made the bias tape out this fabric 
Back - gray / white polka dot quilter's flannel 
Quilting Pattern - free motion in an all over squiggle pattern

You can see more of my sewing projects and quilts I have completed on my Facebook Page and  Etsy Shop.

I had so much fun making these quilts for my friend to gift to her two friends. I hope they love them and their babes will grow up loving them too!

October 1, 2015

October Goals

I totally missed setting September goals, but as hot as it was most of the month, it sure felt like Summer, so we'll just pretend it was included with my Summer goals. I love Autumn and this week truly feels like sweater weather has arrived. We already have a jump start on some fun Fall festivities. We went apple picking, baked a pie and went to our nephew's football game last weekend. October will be full of lots of celebrations and family time. I can't wait!

Summer Goals (May - August): 
  • Catch up on little one's baby book 
  • Celebrate my first Mother's Day
  • Celebrate Todd's first Father's day
  • Go walking 2-3 times a week - also get new running shoes and hopefully start training for that 5k on my 30 before 30 list
  • Finish cleaning out the basement
  • Have a yard sale
  • Finalize plans to start finishing our basement
  • Go to the lake with Todd's family
  • Celebrate the 4th of July with friends
  • Spend many days at the pool and just take it easy

October Goals: 
  • Catch up on little one's baby book - I seriously need to get on this before I forget all the details. She is growing too fast!
  • Bake a pie
  • Go jogging 3 times a week
  • Finish cleaning out the basement
  • Celebrate two of our nephew's birthdays
  • Make homemade applesauce
  • Celebrate my sister's birthday
  • Finalize plans to start finishing our basement
  • Celebrate our sweet baby's dedication at church
  • Go on a weekly date night 
  • Finish a baby quilt for a friend
  • Get a jump start on Christmas gifts

What do you have planned for October?

September 30, 2015

9 Months

Sweetest baby girl,
You have learned so much in the last month. You have started to clap your hands and it is absolutely adorable! We have also started to teach you some baby sign language like "more" and "all done". We are hoping this will help you to communicate with us while you're eating. Right now your "more" is basically you clapping your hands. And when you want more food, you screech and bang your hands on the table, it is quite a noisy experience. You're figuring out your own way of communication and it is really fun for us to watch you learn and figure things out.

When you are standing and holding on to something, you've started letting go and are slowly figuring out your balance. You are crawling everywhere and once you get to a piece of furniture or a wall to hold on to, you stand up and cruise right along them. We picked up a little shopping cart toy for you a couple weeks ago and you love pushing it around the house. It took you a bit to figure your balance with it, but you love it now. Everyone has started to guess when you'll take your first steps, I'm sure it will be soon. If you see something you want, you crawl over there just as fast as can be. At bedtime when you are getting sleepy and just want to be held, if I walk to a different room, you will chase after me and climb up holding my legs. You certainly love to snuggle up with us at bedtime to read a book, have some milk and drift off to sleep.

You are starting to get more hair and after your bath, the hair on the back of your head gets the cutest slight curl. Right now it is a light brown, but in certain light it has a reddish tint. Your eyes have been changing color too. They are the most beautiful hazel. In some light they look brown and other times they have a green/gold color. People often comment how beautiful you are, especially your eyes. I wonder if you'll end up with dark brown eyes like your dad or if they'll stay a hazel-green like mine.

Your top two front teeth came through this week. So now you have two on top and two on the bottom. Apples, celery and carrots are your favorite foods while you're teeth are working on coming through. For the most part you really don't seem bothered by teething discomforts and you go about your day, just as happy as always. You have been waking more at night and you like to be held more during the day to help comfort you, but you also still love to play a lot.
Speaking of playing, you absolutely love playing with your dogs and us. You could also occupy yourself for hours if you had the right toys. You love to entertain yourself. You also love to work a crowd. If you know someone is watching you, you can be quite the entertainer. You laugh and laugh and if someone has a reaction and starts laughing with you, you just laugh harder. You are such a happy little girl, full of so much personality and joy.

You are still nursing multiple times a day and have bottles of pumped milk while I'm at work. You love trying new foods. Some of your favorites are: Greek yogurt, avocado, apples, carrots, green beans, chicken, hamburger meat, cheerios and applesauce. We give you finger foods and you love feeding yourself. You also love sharing with the dogs and passing out food when you're done with it.

At your check up today, the doctor said you look very healthy. You made your presence known and were squealing and jabbering and babbling on and on the whole time. We were cracking up at how much you had to say. The doctor said most babies will say their first word between now and 12 months old. We are all guessing what your first word will be. You babble on and on with different syllables like: da, mmum, baa. The doctor said you are quite the active little girl and are healthy as can be.

Love you,

Weight: 16 lbs 11 oz.
Height: 28"
Head Circumference: 17.5"
Wearing: 6 month clothing, 9 month pajamas
Size 3 diapers

waving to us, to the dogs, to anything really
climbing the stairs
bath time
feeding the dogs from your high chair and getting into their dog bowls at their mealtime
"helping" do the dishes - mostly climbing onto the dishwasher or holding the rack
being mobile and crawling everywhere - learning to balance and stand on your own now
pushing your toy shopping cart around the house
playing peek a boo
clapping your hands
pointing at things and laughing

During this month's photos, you were cracking up laughing at your daddy. I just love your expressions and baby belly laughs. Your laughter is contagious and these photos bring me right back to that moment, hearing your giggles.