Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Years Eve! 2015 Review

Can you believe it is the end of 2015? Next year I am going to have an 8yr old, a 6yr old and a 2yr old. What madness is this?!

Before we get ahead of ourselves let's look back at what an awesome year 2015 has been. Have you heard of It's a website where you put in your instagram name and it will generate your 9 most liked pictures from the year. So I did it and shared it on IG yesterday but I thought I'd share here as well.

2015 Best Nine:

So much fun to look back at everything!
A few other things I enjoyed in 2015:

Snow time with the kids
Selling some paper pieced patterns
Getting involved in mini quilt swaps
Lorelai really caught her stride sewing this year. She made this quilt with 100 pieces for her 100 day project at school. Untitled
We also had a ton of fun with soccer this Spring. Untitled
We NEED more Emily in our lives. Untitled
oh! I made a moose quilt?! Of all the things, haha. Untitled
Spent some summer weeks in California and had a great time at the Carroll Family Reunion! Untitled
I got active with this kiddo for the Cherry Creek Fitness Festival and then Girls On the Run Untitled
This baby turned ONE?! Untitled
and this baby turned FIVE?! Untitled Finally, this pretty girl has started piano and is loving it. Untitled
2015 has probably been my favorite year so far, I can't wait to see what 2016 brings.

BTW this evening brings our 5K! Wish us luck :D
What was your favorite part of 2015?

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Born to Run Born to Sew?, Thursday's Goals

Last night was our last run before our 5k on Thursday. It went very well and Brett and I feel like we will be ready for tomorrow!
On New Year's Eve Brett and I are running in the Res5k_Website_Header
and we are very excited.

We only started training one month ago so I don't have high expectations at all. I'm coming from a few years of very minimal exercise and we wanted to be sure to start out slow to avoid injury and/or burn out. We've been following a 5k plan on my phone and I've been extremely happy with how things are going.

They say when you are approaching a race you should set 3 race day goals.
A. One that is stupid easy to accomplish
B. One that should be attainable based on your training
C. One that could happen if all the stars align, the weather, wind, and roads cooperate and you manage to fart at just the right time.

That way if B& C fall through at least you have A.

So here are my goals for Thursday:
A: 45 min finish. A few months ago Lorelai and I did a 5k that I did not prepare for in anyway and we finished in 45 min.
B: 36 min finish. Brett and I have been running about a 12 minute mile so barring any unforeseen drama, this should be attainable.
C. Sub 33 min finish. Ha, who know's maybe conditions will be perfect, maybe adrenaline will be out of control and the perfect fart will propel me across the finish line at just the right time. Then again maybe not ;)

I'm hoping for B.

I haven't sewn in several weeks. I've been wanting to get back to it for a long time, I am soo behind on several obligations but things have been SO busy and we were sick for several weeks it just kept not happening. Until yesterday!
I was able to quilt this mini and sew several other blocks to get me all caught up on the I Heart B and C Sampler Bee. I just need to hand sew the binding on the mini quilt and mail everything off. That's going to feel so good!

I might have been able to get some sewing done on Monday but I was completely wrapped up in needing to finish my book. Late Monday afternoon I finished Born to Run by Christopher McDougall and it was excellent! I highly recommend this book to runners and non runners alike. It was well written and so inspiring. It focused on the Tarahumara tribe down in Mexico and the authors journey to run with these super-human runners. As I ran last night I thought a lot about what I had read and applied it to my form and general enjoyment of the activity. I'm trying to hunt it down on audio so I can get Brett to listen to it. I desperately need someone to chat about it with me!

What kind of races have you done recently?

Do you have a book you're super excited to talk about?

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Some Weekend Stuff

While Em is partying hardy in the happiest place on Earth,
I am chilling at home doing nothing terribly exciting and hanging out with my favorite people.

Not much has happened since Christmas and while that has been great I am ready to start getting stuff done.

First a few pics from our weekend.
Saturday we didn't manage to stay away from the shops. The kids got some Christmas money and were ready to spend it! Lorelai's $10 did not cover this $99 Chewbacca, too bad so sad.
Sunday was church, my last day teaching Lorelai's class! Followed up by an afternoon of this... new kindle, chocolate and my Wonder Woman snuggy. Perfection. I just finished this book and it was fantastic! I'll fill you in soon.
Untitled Monday a shocking belated Christmas gift showed up in the mail! I was so thrilled and Lorelai yelled, "Dad got you the purple one! He got the purple one!" I spent the whole afternoon excited for my run so I could try it out. It was fabulous in case you were wondering.Untitled

So here we are. The first in my long line of things to be productive about was to clean out the fridge. I am delighted with the loveliness that is my fresh clean fridge.

Now to get caught up on my sewing. I am DETERMINED to get sewing done today when Mark goes down for his nap and the kids get kicked outside for play. I will be getting caught up on swap blocks and listening to Harry Potter and the Sorcerers's Stone for about the 1000th time. So glad it's finally on Audible!
What are you doing this fine Tuesday?

Anyone still stuck in the holidays or are you ready to move on?

What are you reading?
I just finished Born to Run by Christopher McDougall and have started Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Snapshots from Christmas!

Merry Day After Christmas! Did everyone have a great time? It was such a great day I wanted to share a bit of it here :)

This is from Christmas Eve just before the kids went to bed. We are all so in love with our Joanie jammies this year! I need to get a pic of me and Brett in ours as well.
I decided at 10pm the night before Christmas that I wanted to have a special breakfast Christmas morning. I found this recipe from Our Best Bites and it was a smashing hit! I haven't been a huge fan of cinnamon rolls so far but these ones have changed my mind! I would say I'll be making them much more often but with one roll ringing in at 546 calories they will be saved for the specialist of special occasions. Look at the shade Scarlet Witch is throwing. I think she is jealous of our festive breakfast.
Kent got three different Lego sets this Christmas and somehow Lorelai only ended up with one. All the same the first few hours post gift opening were spent assembling legos.
I've known for weeks that Lorelai would be getting her first Kindle for Christmas and I've jut been giddy with anticipation. The big surprise however was that I got one too! Mine is on the left, Lorelai's is in the rainbow leopard print, haha.
She was thrilled to discover HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERERS STONE already loaded and ready to read. The nerd in her was very, very happy.
Here is Brett, asleep, with his brand new activity tacker...

Haha, despite the irony of this photo Brett and I have been very active lately getting a run in every night before bed. We've got a few fitness goals (largely running) coming up in the next year (including a 5k on New Year's Eve!) and Brett's  new VivoSmart will help get him in gear.
How was your Holiday?

What was your favorite gift you gave? and received?

Any plans for the weekend?
I'll be doing my best to not to go to any shops and just hang out with my family!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Appleton Dress My Review

When Kent and I were in the hospital in August I spent a lot of long nights scrolling my phone waiting for the midnight nurse to do her thing so I could go to sleep. It was during one of those nights that I came across Cashmerette's blog and discovered the amazing things she is doing for the curvier sewing community.

Side note: I almost never sew for myself. It is hard sewing for me. Patterns always have to be adjusted and mistakes are much more costly. If I mess up a dress for Lorelai it's not much more than a yard of fabric lost. If I mess something for myself it's often 3 or more yards down the drain.

So finding Cashmerette's blog was so exciting for me! She has been sewing her way through many, many patterns, blogging her adjustments and sharing what is worth making again and what was not. After following her blog for a month+ I felt motivated to try making myself something. I've been eyeing the ginger jean pattern and a few Simplicity patterns but then Jenny dropped an awesome bomb two weeks ago. A Cashmerette pattern release! The Appleton Dress is the first pattern by Jenny Rushmore. It's available in print or PDF and for sizes 12+ with a C-H bust. Be still my heart, no full bust adjustments required!! The Cashmerette team even offered a pattern and fabric option as it is so difficult to find quality jersey knit.

My mom bought me the kit for my birthday!!

The packaging is beautiful and I really love the instructions made up into a booklet. Cutting the tissue pattern was no joyful basket of flowers but then I never enjoy dealing cutting out patterns and fabric. The need to cut out patterns and material will often put me off starting a project.
Now the sewing, this dress was so fun to sew! The instructions were flawless and I sewed up the entire dress in two hours :D There's really nothing more to say about that: the notches lined up, the sequence of instructions flowed smoothly, and the sizing was accurate. Happy, happy sewing day!
Untitled Untitled Untitled
There was only one problem with this whole experience and that was the fabric that came with the kit. The kits were advertised with, "we know how hard to find quality knit is so we've done it for you". I was stoked! It IS hard to find quality knit in fun prints. Unfortunately, the fabric didn't hold up to the hype. When it arrived I was a bit disappointed because it was thinner than I had imagined. After I pre-washed it I was really disappointed because it has already faded a bit and has that pill-y quality that some knit fabrics get. Finally, when I put on my dress, even though the fabric wasn't overly stretched across my chest the pink of my bra showed through. All that said, I still like the dress, I will still wear the dress (with an undershirt ;)) and I will be making another one! I have a gift card to Joann's burning a hole in my pocket... maybe today is the day, ha!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Spun Sugar Knitting Pattern

While I was hanging out on Instagram the other day I scrolled upon (you know, like stumbling upon) @stitchmischifs knitting project and it was love at first sight! I had to have that pattern immediately. I did some minor stalking and found the pattern called Spun Sugar on by Anadiomena.
I wanted to link to it but for some reason I can not find it again searching through Craftsy.
My mom bought the pattern as a gift and I was casting it on to my needles that same evening.

I have been knitting for only about 4 years now and only made two complete sweaters. The broncos sweater I just made is on time out in the kids closet because everything was perfect until the very last minute. His head wont go through the neckhole. I was so angry at it I had to banish it to the closet for the time being. The other one I made was a pretty blue sweater Lorelai. I was working on it last fall just before Mark was born and kept thinking, "there's no way that I'll finish this before Baby gets here!" but I was so wrong. I finished it and I was in love with it. Coming off of that finish I was feeling like I could handle ALL THE KNITTING patterns. Up until recently I was feeling really confident in my knitting skills and on top of that @stitchmischeif mentioned that this bodice pattern is GENIUS! 

Ugh. Maybe it is. Maybe I got too big for my britches but I struggled with it. I unknit and reknit a lot. Then I did it again. I battled my way through this sweater and fell out of love with it for a quite a while. When it came time to decide to add pockets or not I had, had so much bad luck deciphering this pattern I said heck no to dealing with pockets.
Now in the original pattern the designer had put rings around the bottom of the sweater but I really didn't care for them. They looked out of place to me so I opted out on the rings and threw in some cables instead, to tie in with the shoulder detail. Now my inexperience really is showing. What I didn't know before, but I do know now is that, that many cables would cinch the sweater together.
At the end of the day this was supposed to have a bolero-esque look to it anyway so I don't really care. I still like how the sweater turned out and I've learned a lot of lessons. The experience is too fresh I don't think I could knit this pattern again anytime soon but maybe sometime down the road.

I am interested in trying another one of her patterns though. I'm curious to know if my issues stemmed from

  • My deciphering skillz
  • If it just happens to be the way this designer explains things
  • Or was is a fluke
  I'm considering this one called Sweet Poppy.

What do you think of Sweet Poppy?

Is it worth trying another pattern by this same designer?

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Breazy Dress

Hi Friends!

It has been quite some time since I last did any apparel sewing and it has been bothering me. A lot. I had some sweet birdie fabric sitting on my shelf taunting me. I picked it up at Joann's a couple of months ago and it really needed to be whipped into a dress.This pattern has been bopping around in my head and I thought sewing it would calm my brain down but no, I've already got fabric and plans to make a second one!

The Breazy Dress. If you don't count all of the slip sliding around the fabric did you could even call this The Easy Breazy Dress. It only took about 3 hours to put together and that is including the cutting!
I love this dress, the style is so feminine and romantic and the birds add a lovely touch of whimsy!
Haha. Speaking of whimsy. This girlie adds a lovely touch of it too.
The "Lorelai poses" really show off the drape of the dress!
I want to know!
Did you notice how the dress pops more when Lorelai stands in front of the brick wall than when she is in front of the fence and ivy? I don't know the logic behind that but I found it very interesting!

What are your weekend plans?
Tonight I am going to Women's Conference and then a GNO at Red Robin! So excited :D

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

NaKoa Mini Quilt

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

Lots of fun things going on around here :D
This past weekend Lorelai and I ran a 5k together.
Super fun news, my dad's new book comes out today! Go here to check it out and enter his giveaway for a Kindle HD7!
Now the best news of all for my sewing friends? I'm participating in Kylie's  Mini Charm Challenge. She challenged 7 of us bloggers/instagrammers to design and share a free pattern (that's right, FREE) using a mini charm pack.

I was thrilled to join in this challenge because I have a little pile of mini charm packs just waiting to be used. You're likely to build up your own pile if you participate in many mini quilt swaps because they are the perfect extra. Tiny pretty fabrics all bundled up and ready to go? Yes, please!

I decided to use my Color Theory by, VandCo for this pattern and while my husband and I were watching Hawaii 5-0 I was struck with my design inspiration. I went back the next day and got a still of the image that struck me.
Haha, my husband can't believe I was inspired by another man's "man nipples". Well I was and here is what I came up with...
I love the checkerboard that bleeds into triangles and I really enjoyed creating those triangles. Here's a quick visual for you.
You can pick up your copy of my FREE NaKoa Mini Quilt at my Craftsy shop. I hope you enjoy it and if you choose to make your own, please share pictures and #NaKoaMiniQuilt social media!

For your viewing pleasure here are the other stops on the Mini Charm Challenge:
Sept. 14 - Jennie ( Pencil Pouch
Sept. 15 - ME!! ( Mini Quilt
Sept. 16 - Sarah ( Placemat
Sept. 17 - April ( Baby Bib
Sept. 18 - Nina ( Mini Quilt
Sept. 19 - Konda ( Small Quilt
Sept. 20 - Mary ( Mini Quilt

Sept. 21 - Kylie ( Patchwork "Sew" Wall Decor

It's been great having you all here and I hope you return soon.
I want to know!

Anyone else watch Hawaii 5-0?
We do... we are a little addicted ;)

Any book recommendations?

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Behind the Scenes and Advice from 1949

A lot is going on around here in my world but at the same time not a lot at all.
Post surgically speaking Kent is finally doing really well. No more fevers or infections and he is getting more and more used to having a belly button tube put in every night. On the other hand, preschool is not going well. Sort of, he hates that he has to go but seems to have fun while he is there. I finished his sweater, yay! Not really, now that I've knit on the ribbing it no longer fits over his head. I need to undo it and add stitches. I'm so angry at the sweater I put it on time out in the kids closet for the time being. Naughty sweater. At least the orange yarn was nice to me. I had already finished off one sleeve, the bottom of the sweater and had just finished off the second sleeve when I realized this was all the yarn I had left. Score.
Untitled Lorelai has been off track for the last three weeks and finally went back to school today. 7 has been a really fun year. She is such a crack up to be around and old enough to start "getting things". She has been working on a quilt for her uncle and managed to get all the blocks sewn together for the top. Still needs the borders but she's feeling pretty accomplished right now.
Now Mark, He's just hanging out.
Haha, have you seen this advice from an old Singer manual?
You must have, it's been floating around the interwebs for a couple of years now and every so often one of my sewing friends will post it along with a big, YEAH RIGHT!

Honestly though. I think there is a lot of wisdom to this. That first bit about your mental state when approaching sewing? Absolutely true. A lack of motivation to finish a project is a total buzz kill but when I've pumped myself up mentally for a while I am ready to hit the machine and sew some awesome things!
Now I don't always change out of my pj's or put on make up before I sew but I do get my chores done! On the days that I don't I am distracted with guilt and hoping that hurry and get my stuff sewn so I can try and get some cleaning done before my hubs gets home. So instead I spend an afternoon turning my disorganized coat closet/pantry into this...
So that my mind it free to enjoy my sewing and I spend a peaceful hour or so making beautiful things like this:
and then my husband still looks like this--->     :D
I want to know!
How is your day going?

Do you get to sew today?

Can you relate to the 1949 sewing advice or is it total bunk;)?