Monday, November 30, 2009

A Classic


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Good thing Isabel doesn't get the concept of Santa yet -- because she's most likely to be on his "Naughty" list based on her encounter with him the other day.

It was hilarious how many people stopped and "enjoyed" her photoshoot at the mall -- she attracted quite a bit of attention with her loud wails.

I am quite tempted to use this as our Christmas card photo -- it's such a classic!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

What Happens When...

A certain little girl steadfastly refuses to take a nap the whole entire day...

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She fell asleep after 2 fistfuls of food, woke up an hour later, and proceeded to finish her dinner like nothing happened.
She is something else.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

T-shirt/Onesie Dresses: Part 2


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As part of Isabel's Christmas-time wardrobe - they are more satisfyingly twirly now, compared to the first attempt...Although this time, I kept the onesie intact --- making it ten times more difficult to attach the skirt to it...and also resulting in a minor mishap at the back of the shirt (*cough* a tear *cough*)....

My husband gave a suggestion to hide it with a bow, so I quickly whipped one up...a really (really) quick, rough one...actually, I'm a little embarassed of it -- ah well - That's not my point though -- my point is, don't you just love it when your man takes an interest in your silly little hobbies? I love you, HM!

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And actually, I really love the look of a bow --- I think it'll be cute in the front of the dress.
Third time is the charm, right?




Friday, November 20, 2009

Cookie Countdown #1


When we go up to Michigan for Christmas, each family will always bring their batches of baked goods for the cookie stash.


This year, I'm trying to find new recipes so that there'll be something a little different than the same old chocolate chip cookies that hubby always ends up making. And there's really no other way to go about doing this than to test drive it (I know, it's such a sacrifice!)


First up are these chocolatey minty cookies from allrecipes.com that I found via How Does She


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According to my husband, it's a keeper - he's only ate like, oh, 5 since he came home about 10 minutes ago. If you like cakey type cookies and chocolate, then this is for you

(And don't you just love the cookie jar? It's my husband childhood one)


Chocolate Mint Candies Cookies



Ingredients:
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt


3 (4.5 ounce) packages chocolate covered thin mints (like Andes mints)


Directions:
In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the sugar, butter and water, stirring occasionally until melted. Remove from heat, stir in the chocolate chips until melted and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.


Pour the chocolate mixture into a large bowl, and beat in the eggs, one at a time. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt, stir into the chocolate mixture. Cover and refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets. Roll cookie dough into walnut sized balls and place 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.


Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, be careful not to overbake. When cookies come out of the oven, press one mint wafer into the top of each cookie and let sit for 1 minute.


When the mint is softened, swirl with the back of a spoon or toothpick to make a pattern with the green filling of the mint wafer. For smaller cookies, break mints in half.


Yields about 3-4 dozen cookies

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Day at the Farm

A few months ago (has it really been that long??!) we met up with a couple of friends, along with their cheery son, Corbin at a local farm (or was it orchard??), to pick pumpkins - and there were a LOT of pumpkins

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There was also a little penned-off area with wooly creatures that were very...licky

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One got a little frisky and started biting nibbling affectionately....she had a thing for my husband

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If you look closely, you'll notice that the creature probably has a full-blown case of the cataracts - just saying ;)

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Isabel didn't think particularly much about the four-legged creatures

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Although the "kid" of the bunch was pretty cute

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She had more fun with the GIANT pumpkins

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And with some of those that were more her size

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Staring at the rolling hills was also an enjoyable activity...

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So this is one of the perks of having friends around -- you get family pictures!

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Because this is usually all we get: just Daddy and her

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Here's Kevin and Jackie - Look how much Corbin has grown! He's a couple of days older than Isabel and at the time of the trip, he probably has 7 teeth and was THIS close to walking!

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Jackie is an avid photographer

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Her lenses make mine feel like a pre-kindergartener.

There was also a corn maze at this farm/orchard

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Before you enter, there's this story board at the entrance

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Like the good, observant students we are, we skipped reading it.

Wish we hadn't though, because throughout the maze, there were these:

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A wrong answer will take you through a dead-ended path.

Sometimes, they even throw you a curve ball

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And you'll end up wandering every which way

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And sometimes you'll start thinking, "Am I going to be stuck here forever??"

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Corn DOES get a little ominous after a while

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But, we found our way out eventually.

Here's hubby in his "macho" pose. Yes, baby girl -- your dad is a silly billy

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As with all good farms/orchards, they capitalize on every opportunity to make a buck (or five)

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We handed ours over willingly enough

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As for the pumpkin picking, we found a beauty

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It was too heavy to be registered on the scale

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The boys were mighty proud of their gourds

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Isabel was just knackered out

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Friday, November 13, 2009

11 Months!!!

My baby is 11 months!

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Doesn't she already look like a toddler (with highwater pants)?

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Less than 30 days before she'll leave babyhood for good...*sniff*
She's a cheerful, mischievous girl with a great disposition and LOVES to try and imitate things we do that cracks her up - like blowing raspberries on our skin.

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And Momma loves her very, very much!

11 months

As does Daddy (but Momma still loves her more =p)
The question should be, who does she look like more?

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Some milestones:

She knows how to walk (but crawling is still her preferred method of travelling -- it gets her to where she wants faster!)

She's imitating things we do and say more and more readily - she knows how to say "Dog" when she sees Buddy (Although it sounds like "dawk"), she says "Da" when she sees her daddy, she says "Uh-oh" when she drops something, both intentionally and accidentally (actually, it's more like "ack ack"....she's slowly getting to "ack och")


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She loves to share anything that she finds fascinating


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She's a great eater -- from cheerios and yogurt, to vegetables, meat and tofu. So it's definitely a boost for the amateur chef in me!

Edit: BTW, she was still toothless when she turned 11 months....although I can see all her bottom teeth in her gum. But on the 14th, her first bottom front tooth started poking through the gum. So long, gummy smile =(

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

So Smockin'' Cute!

I made this smocket using a tutorial from The May Fly* and it's so stinkin' cute!

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I absolutely love the back

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And look, it's reversible!



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An easy peasy weeknight project

* I made a slight change to the pattern in terms of the length in the front -- shortened it so that it's more "top" length - and I'm most probably going to put snaps or buttons in instead of tying the straps -- it's held together by pins right now

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Craft Hope


Now that it is getting chilly, there's really nothing better to do than to curl up in a cozy blanket with a stack of good books and a cup of hot cocoa

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But we won't be bundled up in this particular one - this one will be sent, along with hundreds of others, to homeless children in the Grand Rapids, MI area. This is made possible by Craft Hope and Margaret's Hope Chest - so thanks to both wonderful entities for this.

Michigan winters are brutal -- I should know - I went to school not 45 minutes from Grand Rapids, which is also very close to hubby's hometown.

While my quilt is far from perfect (it's my first time working with something this big!), I'm really hoping that it will help provide warmth and comfort to the child who receives it (and also crossing both fingers and toes that it holds up!!)


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Isabel seems to love it

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Which makes me want to keep it for her (since it'll probably be a LONG time before I attempt making one again!)

So it's on its way out


Wednesday, November 04, 2009

I Get Knocked Down...

But I get up again
You're never gonna keep me down
- Chumbawamba -

video

Dresses: Round 2

"Pillowcase" dresses this time

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I used
this tutorial, but instead of using a ribbon as the neckline, I followed Darby's example and made the armholes and neckline with biased tape (I made my own using this tutorial)


The only thing that seemed really odd to me is that the sizing of the armholes in the tutorial were the same for 6 months up to 2 T --- so when I have the dresses side by side, instead of it looking like one 6m dress and one 18m dress, it looks like a dress and the shirt/top version of it....hmmmm.....


Ah well, if it doesn't fit, Caitlin will just have to use it as a top when she's older.