Friday, October 18, 2013

My Pumpkin Misadventure: Cooking up my Fall Decor Pumpkin

In January, I decided to break into my pumpkin from my Fall Decor.  I bought it in September and thought for sure it would be rotten inside, but just in case I didn't want good pumpkin to go to waste.   I cut into and it was perfectly fine!    I haven't done much cooking with pumpkin and was excited to try to find some yummy recipes to use it in.

My first task was to figure out how to take it from a whole pumpkin to usable for recipes.  I searched around and one of the solutions I found was to cook it like acorn squash.  Cut it up, put it the oven, fill the bottom with an inch or so of water, and bake until soft.  It kind of worked, but turned out to be a much bigger ordeal then planned.  The pumpkin was so thick that it took much longer to get the pumpkin soft then expected.  By the time it was soft in the middle the top had a nice crispy crust which I had to peal off in order to use the soft pumpkin underneath.  The other problem was because it was taking so long,  the water kept evaporating, so I kept needing to add more water.  One time, I wasn't thinking, and I added cold water to my pan instead of hot water.  The below picture was result of that mistake.  BAM! Explosion - glass everywhere.    :(   I'm sad too, because I can't find another blue glass 9 X 13 pan.

How do you cook a pumpkin?

The first thing I made from it were pumpkin pancakes.  They were quite yummy, soo moist.  I unfortunately don't know know what recipe I used.  Anyone have any good pumpkin pancake recipes to share? I'd love to try them out this season!

The one thing that I do remember was that all the recipes called for pumpkin  pie spice mix which I did not have because I don't like pumpkin pie  (yes, I know, how could I not like pumpkin pie? Well, I don't like cheesecake either. I'm weird - it's just a texture thing I have).  I looked up how to make it from scratch and all recipes included nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, and ginger - all ingredients I had on hand.

The other recipe I tried was from a blog I like to read - Something Swanky: Desserts and Designs . Her blog is all about desserts and diy blog design tricks... kind of a weird combination but two things which I'm very interested in.  It appeals to both my tummy and  my brain.  :)

This recipe is to die for - so yummy and fairly easy to do too.  I recommend you don't pass this recipe up this fall season.

Photo Credit: Something Swanky
This is a pumpkin roll with cream cheese frosting... oh so delicious.  Just give it a try yourself, you'll be glad you did.  I'm bringing this recipe to the next Thanksgiving gathering I go to this year.

Pumpkin Roll from Something Swanky.  

So the season for pumpkins is here again - What are your favorite pumpkin recipes?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


So I'm sure all of you out there are wondering why I stopped posting.  You probably noticed that I had fallen off the face of the earth and just disappeared.  Or not.... most of you probably didn't even notice.  :)

Well the reason for my very long absence is finally here.

Introducing our newest addition to the family... Alexis.

Pictures Copyright Megan Lamb of Bella Baby Photography

Friday, May 3, 2013

Mod Podge Storage Containers

I thought I'd put up a quick and easy project that only took a little bit of time, took very little money, and made my house look prettier.

So having an almost two year old leaves the problem of having toys all over the house.  I could keep them in her room, but her room is upstairs and we spend most of our time in the living room downstairs.  We had her toys in boxes out in the open but they just looked cluttered... we finally moved the boxes to behind the couch and moved the couch away from the wall so she has a little bit of a play area behind there.  It makes the room look so much less cluttered storing them out of the way and she can still easily get at them.

She does have little toys which don't work well in boxes because they get lost in the bottom and the pieces get separated and then she never plays with them.  So I came up with a cheap solution.  I eat oatmeal everyday...  I hate oatmeal, but it's for my cholesterol... so I continually have a surplus of empty oatmeal containers.   Well, I started storing her little toys, like her tea set, her legos, and puzzle pieces in these oatmeal containers.  I discovered they fit perfectly on the bottom shelves of our book shelves... (we're big book people... so have lots of book shelves all over the house).  But people would kind of look at us funny, seeing rows of oatmeal containers sitting out, so I solved that problem with this little craft.

I started with an empty oatmeal container.  I peeled the paper off.

I cut scrapbook paper to fit my container.  I had to use about one and a half sheets per container to cover the whole thing.  

I put a layer of Mod Podge onto the oatmeal container to stick the paper to it. I smoothed out the paper as best as I could, and then covered the paper with another layer of Mod Podge.

I let dry and I loved how they turned out.  I picked colors to kind of match my living room and I think it looks so pretty in a neat row on the shelf.  So much better then a row of oatmeal containers!!

I did have one little issue, the paper bubbled a little bit in places, but I've never used Mod Podge before, so anyone have any tips to get rid of this issue in the future?

I loved this project, it was easy to do while watching tv, and cheap too.  We'll see how long they stand up to a two year old, but if I have to make more, I have plenty more oatmeal containers and paper so that I can quickly replace any that get too beat up.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Pattern Review: Boy Jumpsuit - Jungle

So I know it's been absolutely forever since I've posted anything.  I hope to be back to posting soon, but I have had a lot of personal things going on all at once.  So much to do, so little time, and so little energy, so of course blogging falls by the wayside since for now it's not making me any money and it really is just a hobby.
Since I haven't had a lot of time, I thought I'd do just a short post and review a pattern I did recently.   Well, maybe not so so recently now, since the baby is already 2 months old.

When my friend told me she was having a boy, I had a pattern all ready to go, and went shopping for some boy fabric.   I picked this blue jungle fabric out but had a hard time finding the right color for the pockets.  I eventually settled on this green.

The pattern was McCalls M6494. As far as the pattern went, it was a fairly easy pattern overall.  Though when I had the pieces cut out, I was somewhat baffled how they were going to fit together.  They just didn't seem to go.   But I followed the directions, and magically it turned out to be a cute little jumpsuit.

I had never used snaps before (the previous pattern I had done called for snap tape) and didn't know what would be best for a baby outfit - the kind you sew on, or the kind you hammer on.  I finally settled on the kind you hammer.... anyone have any opinions on which is the safer option?

The other issue I had was sizing. The last McCalls pattern I did was extra big so instead of doing medium, I did small.  Still the outfit looked like it won't fit the kid until next year, but oh well.  I guess it's better too big than too small.
McCalls Pattern M6494: from  McCalls

This pattern was not my favorite.  I imagined it to be way cuter then it turned out to be.  I think that might be my choice of fabric though.  Had I picked stripes or plaid like the picture, I think I would have liked it better.    I have discovered that for small children's outfits, large patterns just don't look right.  Since the outfit is so small, when you have a large pattern it gets lost... so from now on I have to choose a smaller pattern.  I still think the fabric is cute, just better for a blanket, curtains, or a crib skirt.

In the end I really liked the pockets in the green and the bibs that went with it.   I still think the outfit is cute, just not what I was hoping for.  

Ever have a project come out well, but different then you pictured?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Sewing Party: Burp Cloths

So since I've started up sewing again... and blogging about it, I've discovered that a ton of my friends sew or want to sew.  I thought it was kind of a lost art because it's so much more economical to buy your clothes from a store... and really it's just so much quicker too.  But I guess there is still a sweetness and charm to getting something handmade.  It's nice to know that someone put effort into making a gift and handmade items are so much more unique then store bought items.

After discovering all the other people I know that sew, a few friends and I decided to have a sewing party. Since we were all at different levels we decided to do an easy project.  We all have (or were about to have) babies, so we decided to make burp cloths.

Before starting the project, we practiced on scraps to make sure everyone was on the same level and could use the machines.  We only had 2 machines for 4 of us.

We used two fabrics for our burp cloths.  A patterned fabric for one side and chenille for the back.  For the patterned side, you can use pretty much any washable fabric. Remember, it's going to get spit up on a lot! I believe we used cottons, flannel, and knit. 

We used two different tutorials (which I give links to at the bottom of the post).  The tutorial from cloud 9 had a contoured shape which was kind of cool.  The second tutorial recommended the chenille which we liked because it made the cloths so soft.   So we combined the two to make our own version. :)

They really are quite an easy project and you feel like you've accomplished something because you have a finished project in a short amount of time.  

Sewing aside, it was nice to get together with friends and hang out.  It's also nice to be able to share a hobby together.  It also makes the tedious parts of sewing much more bearable because you're chatting as you work.  And it wouldn't be a party without goodies to eat!

My baby was older, so she didn't really need a burp cloth anymore but I still did the project.  I didn't make it contoured like my friends, and just made a rectangle shape.  It turned out great though, because I brought them home and my little girl immediately decided they were her new lovies.   And now that she's a little older, she's gotten into babies, and now the burp cloths are perfect size for blankies for her dollies.  

For your own burp cloths, try these.
Celebrate BABY - Tutorial: Burp Cloth Gift Sets by MADE
Tutorial: Contoured Burp Clothes from Cloud 9 Fabrics

Since then, I've gotten together with a friend or two to sew projects, usually whatever each of us are working on at the moment.  It's great to sew with someone else because you have someone to talk to and you can even do it with kids because you can take turns between watching the children and sewing.   But I think it's time for another party soon....

Do you know anyone in the area that has the same hobby as you?  Why not share it!?!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Boy Romper: Elephants and Giraffes

So last year, I did Boy Romper: Cars and Trucks from the McCalls Pattern M6309.  I loved it so much that I did a second one for another one of my friends.

My favorite part about this version was the Dungaree buttons. I found them in my stash and I have no idea where they came from, but I thought they were perfect for the little outfit.

And as usual, I made some bibs to go with it.  No matter what I make, I always make coordinating bibs... it's kind of my thing.

The one trick to this was that they didn't know the sex of the baby and so I had to make an outfit that was unisex.  I tried to find some neutral fabric, which I thought I did a good job at but afterward doubted myself. No matter how hard I try, I always see either boy or girl  when I look at a fabric not both.  Technically also, the pattern was a boy pattern but I thought overalls where fairly gender neutral.  

As cute as it turned out, in the end, all I could see was "boy", which is kind of lucky because they had a boy!

Anyone else have trouble finding gender neutral baby gifts?  What colors do you think are unisex?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

My Favorite 12 posts of 2012

Happy New Year!  2013 is here already, crazy!?!    Hope you all out there had wonderful holidays, spent lots of time with family, ate tons of yummy food, celebrated, and even got some rest. 

I thought I'd start this year with a look back at my favorite posts of this past year.  It's kind of been a cool year in the blogging world.  I started this blog two years ago but never really wrote on it, but then started in full swing in April of this past year. And even though I'm still a little blog, I am happy for the successes I have had. 

First off,  I wrote 75 posts.  Wow... that's a lot, especially since the previous two years I had only written a total of five.   Sometimes as a stay at home mom, you don't always see the fruit of your labor, but to see that in print - 75!  Now that's cool.. and not only did I write 75 posts, but I had to do all the crafting, sewing, cardmaking, and cooking to be able to have the content for all those posts. 

Second of all, I have just past 5000 hits on my blog.  Which may be small potatoes to some of you out there, but I'm proud of it.  I'm thankful to my few followers for being faithful readers and helping me hit that mark. 

Lastly, I have learned a lot.  I have learned about how to make my pictures better.  I have added a watermark, and personalized my site a bit. I have also discovered that blogging is hard work.  I have learned from mistakes and I am looking forward to a exciting new year full of exciting new posts and learning even more.  I hope to grow a little bit more and get a few more followers along the way.

So here's my favorite posts from the past year. These aren't chosen for how many hits they received, but more are significant marks in my journey over the last few months.  Hope you enjoy!

1. Little Red Riding Hood -The Cape.

So this to date is my most pinned post.  I wasn't expecting much traffic from it because I posted it late after Thanksgiving, but for some reason it took off.

2.  Baby Drawstring pants

I was just really proud of these.  I started out to make a pair of pants and it evolved into something more interesting.  I really loved the drawstring look which gave them so much more character.  It's nice to be able to go from just relearning the basics to being skilled enough to start being creative.

3.How to make an Ice Cream Cake

This was my favorite food tutorial.  I mean, who doesn't like ice cream??

Ice Cream Cake Tutorial Picture

4.Crafty Time: Angry Birds Pinatas

This was my favorite craft of the year.  It was a lot of hard work and I definitely messed up a lot!  But because of my mistakes I learned a ton and am totally proud of how it came out in the end.

5. Baby Girl Gift Set: Flower Applique and Two Tiered Circle Skirt

This was my favorite onesie set.  I started out with one idea in mind and totally had to rework it.  It was the first circle skirt I had tried and it turned out to be trickier then planned, but still came out soo cute!

6. Chevron and Circles Baby Shower

This was my first free printable.  This was also before I started using GIMP and was only using Paint.  I totally realized that sometimes it's worth it to find good software.

7.Orange Sherbet Tee

This was my first free pattern.  I learned a lot about how to document a tutorial (though still am learning).  I also had to work out lots of kinks trying to scan in the pattern and upload it so that it would turn out the right size.  Who knew it would be so difficult?

8.Boy Romper: Cars and Trucks

This was my favorite store bought pattern.   I hadn't done a pattern in years, so got to go through the wonderful process of trying to understand the instructions.  Sometimes I felt like I needed a translator!  But it turned out better than I'd hoped and I even made a second one.  (post to come)

9.Yoga Skirt: Maternity

This was my first attempt at sewing for an adult. My friend requested I make her a maternity skirt.  I agreed, but was a little scared of sewing for an adult.  I found out about sewing with knits, but with a little trial and error, it turned out great!

10.Shades of Blue Dress: The Ombre Skirt

This was my favorite upcycle. I don't know if this technically counts as an upcycle, but I took a shirt and turned it into a dress.  I was pretty proud of how it turned out, though you can't really tell how cute it is in the pictures because I hadn't started editing my photos yet.

11.Dolls for Fiji

This technically wasn't my own project.  I helped make dolls with my church to take on a mission trip to Fiji.  I think this was the project that took the most work but was the most rewarding. We made over 100 dolls and it was really cool to see afterward the pictures of the little kids holding their dolls.

12.Flowers in the Sunshine Dress

This was my first outfit made without a pattern.  I ran into a few hiccups here and there which I had to work out.  I had to do a lot of planning before I started sewing so that I did it all in the right order.  It came out a little big but otherwise turned out just as I pictured.

Thanks for following along on my crafty journey.  I'm excited to see what more is in store for the next year!
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