Summer Munchkin Dress

I love this simple summer dress for my little munchkin. She is so cute! It's nice because the straps are the binding extended from the dress. Very simple and versatile.
To make:
1. Using a dress of your daughter's now, cut an identical front and back piece.

2. Cut about 2 inches down in the middle of the back piece (at the top).

3. With right sides together, sew the sides of the dresses together.

4. Fold up twice on the bottom and hem.

5. With store-bought or home-made binding (I made mine), sew onto just the top edge of the front and back. On the back you'll have to make it go around the 2 inch slit you cut.

6. Begin the binding in the armpit of one side and begin to hem onto the fabric. Using a current dress, decide how long to make the shoulders of the dress, hem just the binding, and then join it back onto the back side of the dress to finish. Repeat on other side.

7. Secure the slit on the back by using a snap. (You could do a button or a button and elastic)

**If any of this doesn't make sense, let me know. I want to make another one of these, so I will be able to make a more detailed tutorial. Sorry this one wasn't.

Best Brunch Ever! And 4 Matching Aprons

What a good weekend I've had. Yesterday morning began with a brunch with some of my favorite people. As I've lived here in California, I've been serving in my church as the women's organization president (aka Relief Society Pres), but have been recently replaced in that positiong. It was an amazing opportunity. Together with these ladies it was all made possible. One of them hosted a brunch, gave us invitations, and had the cutest place settings ever!

She served mini poppyseed muffins, fruit, and the best quiche I've ever had. I've never been a quiche person, but this was REALLY good. I need to get the recipe.
I surprised them with aprons. These are the promised matching dishtowel aprons that have been sitting in the to-do pile. I buckled down and made them Friday night and Saturday morning. Finishing just in time. I love making things for other people and I think they turned out pretty cute.

There are so many things you can do with a dish towel!

P.S. I love the prego bellies with aprons. So cute.

Infinity Scarf

This is an awesome scarf! I'm excited to make more of these all different colors and varieties. They are so light and useful for spring, fall, and winter. You could cut them wider to make a thicker scarf or longer to be able to double around your neck. There are so many variations you could do. I'm ready to experiment. I found this idea at Meet Virginia. I love how colorful and bright they are!

The Jean Apron Tutorial

This is the tutorial that was featured on Ashley's Simply Designing. Thanks for the spotlight!

Here's the JEAN APRON tutorial. {this would be so cute in a darker wash as well!}

I have decided that I really really like this apron. It was fun, easy to make, and feels like I could smear dirt on it and not have to worry about it. The other thing I love...big pockets. These were my husbands old jeans and I've decided I love guy pockets.

What you need:
Some old jeans - preferably ones bigger than you normally wear
Other fabric (for neck and waist ties) - two 4"x44" pieces & two 3 1/2"x44" pieces

Guest Posting at Simply Designing

Hey everyone!  I'm really excited to be guest posting over at Ashley's newly made-over blog Simply Designing.  She has some fun things going on.  Check out my Jean Apron tutorial HERE and let me know what you think.

Sissy's Pillows

First up - I finally filled my "Tutorials" page and have added "My Aprons" page. Check it out!

And next - pillows are so fun and fast to make! I love that you can be really creative in such different ways on a small scale. My sisters's birthday was the end of March and I've now finished the promised pillows. Her decorating colors are, you guessed it, brown, green, and orange. Hope you like them, Sissy! They are headed your way.

Men's Dress Shirt to MY SHIRT!

So today has been so much fun! We played at the park, went to the library, made some good food, and {so exciting} finally made my own shirt.

I had seen the tutorial from Made for a little girl's shirt dress and have been saving some dress shirts. However, when I looked at them today they spoke to ME instead.

This is what it looked like before:
And after:

Aahh! I'm so excited. I'm still wearing it right now and I'll probably wear it tomorrow. It's just too cute. I can't wait to get my hands on the other shirts I saved. You could add ruffles and flowers and ribbons and wow, the possibilities are endless. {yes, I'm having fun}

In case you want to know how to make one yourself, I have a tutorial for you.

Nutella Chocolate Cake

So it was a fun weekend here. We hung out with my hubby's parents - i'm so glad we've lived close to them while he's been completing his PhD. Our Father's Day dinner was pesto paninis and {per requested for my hubs Father's Day gift} nutella frosted chocolate cake.

I made 2 cake rounds, spread nutella in the middle before stacking, and then smeared the top and sides with the addictive and chocolaty goodness. It was everything he hoped and dreamed of. I like easy gifts like that. Ever since he's thought of the idea, he hasn't rested. Now he can sleep in peace. :)

The Perfect Little Chair

Do you remember this little chair that I found at an estate sale??
I wasn't going to do anything to it until after I moved, decided where I really wanted it to be, and what color to make the seat, but it demanded more attention. I'm really happy with how it turned out!! Refinishing things is so fun and makes me feel very industrious.

There's just something about working a power tool that makes me say the phrase, "I am woman, hear me roar!" {even though it was just my staple gun and little power screw driver to put in the screws on the bottom}

Ruffle Apron #3

I am so happy to have a picture of this apron. I think since my family reunion and the apron selling for $65 at the auction, I'm kinda in the mood to make some more. Next up is a black and white version. I think this one is so pretty. See this post for more pictures.

Having fun and stuff is coming

I've been having so much fun! My kids have been playing outside so much, but I've somehow figured out a way to do some crafting in between the popsicles and sand toys. I just got off my cooking and baking kick, now it's back to sewing.

I completed 3 projects in 2 days and I'll finish another tomorrow. The up-side is that I have a tutorial coming. The down-side is you have to wait until next Wednesday. I'm going to guest post on Ashley's blog Simply Designing. She's in the process of a move and I'm helping her fill in. I'll remind you, but make sure to check it out next Wednesday. I'm excited. It will be my first every guest blog.

I really want to tell you the fun things I've been doing, but I'm holding the suspense so you can be surprised. Talk to you soon!

Make your own Angel Food Cake

This is the first time I've made angel food cake and it was fabulous! It has some fun steps that aren't in your typical cake making and the result is so delicious and moist. It will be gone quickly.

I got this recipe from allrecipes {yet again} and it really is the best:

Summer Scarf

I saw this post with tutorial and knew I had to try it myself. I was SO disappointed when I was one of the many that wasn't able to use the elastic thread in my machine. I guess I need an older machine on hand for just this. It's so cute that I think it just might be worth it.

I did the alternative route of gathering and then pinning a ribbon down the center over the gather and then sewing around the edges of the ribbon.

I think both looks are cute for different reasons. I finished this one in time for a welcome home gift for my friend.

Feta Recipes: Sliders and Orzo Pasta

I LOVE FETA CHEESE! I've even had it on pizza recently and it was amazing. Here are some recent creations with my new favorite cheese:

These are so super fast and have enough difference in them to make it feel like you aren't just eating traditional hamburgers. This last time we had a couple with the hamburgers and some with deli sliced chicken and they were even better than the mini hamburgers! Quite a versatile recipe.
{Thank you Rachael Ray for this one}

Look like this.
4 pita bread (I love to use homemade naan, you could also use tortillas)
1 1/2 lb ground beef (I think 1 lb is plenty)
1 tsp ground cumin (I probably put about 3 so you can actually taste the flavor)
Salt and pepper
1 romaine heart, thiny sliced crosswise
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved (or whatever tomatoes you have on hand)
1/2 cup dill pickle slices (sounds weird, but tastes so good)
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup hummus (buy at the store or make your own scrumptious version)

The alternative {or addition}: *Use Greek-style yogurt instead of the hummus and add feta cheese crumbles to the salad!

Preheat a grill to medium-high. Stack the pitas and wrap in heavy duty foil; place on the grill and cover to warm.

In a large bowl, combine the beef with the cumin, 3/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper; shape into twelve 1/3-inch-thick patties. In another large bowl, combine the romaine, tomatoes, and pickles; toss with the olive oil and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

Remove pitas from grill. Transfer beef to the grill, cover, and grill for 2 minutes on each side for medium. (don't overcook or they really are too tough) Spread each pita with some of the hummus, then top with some of the salad, and 3 patties. Serve with lemon wedges.

This recipe comes from a friend, soon to move away, and will seriously amaze you. It might not look all that incredible. Friends, it is. Try it.
From Kathie Weeks {I miss living close to you already!!}

16 oz. orzo pasta (find in the pasta isle)
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup & 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp dry basil (adding a little fresh would be good, but you really need the dry)
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped or pressed
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cup green/red bell pepper (one of each)
half bag of julienne cut sun dried tomatoes, finely chopped (make sure they're fresh)
6 oz. feta cheese
4 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley

Cook the pasta and rinse in cold water thoroughly. When pasta is fully drained of water, add in the olive oil, white wine vinegar, dry basil, garlic, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, bell peppers, and sun dried tomatoes. Mix all together. Chill in refrigerator for a few hours or even overnight. Just before serving, mix in fresh chopped parsley and crumbled feta cheese.

*Can also toss in cooked diced chicken for an entree.
*Half this recipe for smaller portions, serves about 10.

If you want your dish to be raved about at a potluck, this is the one!

Doggy Skirt

So this is kind of random, but my mom-in-law gave me this skirt she had made as a joke for her daughter. She thought it would be cute re-made for my little girl. I cut it down, tightened the elastic, and wa-lah, she now has her own doggy skirt. It's a little bit funky, but for a little girl who wakes up and the first thing out of her mouth is "woof," it's perfect.

Breakfast Cups and Scones

My friend is prego with a sweet little boy and I helped throw her a baby shower brunch this past weekend. I wanted to make easy finger food {even though I really wanted to do a crepe bar} and this was the result:

Breakfast Cups and Scones served with Salsa and Strawberry Freezer Jam

Everyone loved them and wanted the recipes. They are both fast to make and versatile.

Oh, Cinnamon Rolls

I usually use the same recipe for sweet rolls: the one from my grandma to my dad to me. I decided to try something different this time. THE RECIPE from allrecipes described this as "an easy alternative to buying those famous cinnamon rolls in the mall. They taste exactly the same, and the dough is made in the bread machine." I can testify to that!

This is going to be my go-to recipe for cinnamon rolls from now on! Some of the reviews said that the frosting was too sweet - it was perfect. The one thing that made them extra good was not overcooking them. They stay nice and gooey soft that way. I loved them, my family loved them, and my friends loved being my neighbors.

Apricot Strawberry Freezer Jam

Yesterday was so much fun! Some friends and I took our kids to a "you pick" berry patch. The only berries that were really awesome were the strawberries. They had trees full of ripe apricots as well. The kids LOVED it! The place we went seemed a little expensive for strawberries, but it was the experience that mattered.

I got home and had to make something. I now have apricot strawberry freezer jam in my fridge. The best part of making it is giving it away. That really is my favorite way of connecting with people: giving them things - crafty or edible.

I buy the packets from Walmart that you just mix with sugar and then add the crushed fruit to. Mix, let sit for at least 30 minutes to thicken, and indulge.

Wow Haitus

I knew it was bad when my sister called me to see if I was okay. "You haven't blogged in a week and a half!" I know, I know. One of my best friends just returned from a year in Tonga last week and everything has been quite busy. They moved in directly above our apartment {so much fun!} and with her moving everything in, I suddenly got the de-clutter bug. I think it might have been the presence of all the boxes that kicked it in gear.

You know when you pack and get rid of things as you go, that's what I've been doing. I have a huge pile in boxes and storage bins in our back patio for a garage sale next Saturday! This is my first time doing a garage sale and I'm kind 0f excited. I literally went through every drawer, every box, every cupboard and closet, under the beds, under the sink, and through the bookshelves. So I haven't actually packed any boxes, but everything has been gone through. When I do pack, I just have to put everything in and not think about what goes and stays. We still have 5 weeks, but I want to be prepared.

OKAY - enough of that, let's get to the fun part. I did have the chance to whip up a couple things and lots of food. Here's what to look for:
Summer Scarf
Little Girl Doggy Skirt
Diaper Changing Pad
Breakfast Cups
Sweet Rolls
Apricot Strawberry Freezer Jam

Auction Apron News

So I was gone for an extended weekend to visit family. It was a great trip. The first part was to visit cousins just the same age in Idaho Falls, Idaho. The kids played, had a slumber party, and practiced their love-hate relationship {all kids are good at that}.

The 2nd leg of our adventure was to a lodge in Swan Valley, Idaho. It is beautiful country. On Memorial Day weekend it always rains. I came prepared this year and brought rain boots and coats for all of us. It's super muddy, there are about 15 dogs {literally} that are running around outside the lodge, and a laid back reunion with LOTS of food. One meal is being cleaned up as the next people in charge of the next meal come in to start getting ready. Not a diet weekend.

SO THE EXCITING PART OF THE WEEKEND was that I brought two aprons to enter into the family auction. Every year family members bring things to auction off, from cheesy door welcome signs, to hot cocoa mugs, to hand made horse shoe coat hangers. I brought the Citrus Apron and the Ruffle Apron. The Citrus went for $32.50 {not bad} and the Ruffle went for $65! I should have brought more of those. And they are so much easier to make than the other! It was fun to show off my aprons.
Yesterday was a recovery, know, the "honey, the house exploded" day. Today I'm feeling much more back to normal {and the house agrees}.

So I have a couple of things to make. Really the list I want to get done before this weekend is kinda long...I'm not so sure I'll finish everything, but just so you can look forward to some things: 1) summer scarfs, 2) aprons, 3) baby burp cloths, 4) hooter hiders, 5) pillow cases, and 6) bow ties for baby gifts. Yup, not going to get it done.

So I found the cutest apron using old jeans! I haven't bought the pattern, but I think I'll figure out how to do it from the picture. So so cute!

Also, speaking of denim. I was at a "watch the train go by" play date with a friend and she pulled out this:
Her mom sewed it together after asking fellow church members to donate old jeans. It did weigh a ton, but is the perfect picnic blanket you'll ever need; it's not going to wear out anytime soon! I love how it is randomly patched together, yet really, is almost a perfect circle {when completely stretched out flat}. Just another reason not to throw out old jeans.
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