just shipped!

custom order for bibs 3" longer than our standard size


red + aqua...

on an engine! When we find the old pick-up the husband's going to fix-up for me, I know what color scheme I want now.

If you can't find your own bomber to take the seats out of (haha), from what I'm told there's a guy on killbillet.com that makes them, or you can make similar style seats out of kegs. ;)


labor day

Thank you to JoBead for adding our Baby Genius bib to her Labor Day treasury!


black bottom cupcakes

My hubby's all-time favorite dessert is Black Bottom Pie, like his Granny used to make. When I got the Crazy About Cupcakes book over a year ago, inside was a recipe for Black Bottom Cupcakes. I thought it was too good to be true - we found out that while they shared the same name they aren't exactly the same result, but veryverygood. Definitely in our top 5 favorite cupcakes!

Have one of your bestest Oreo taste-tester specialists place a cookie in the bottom of 24 cupcake liners. If you google "black bottom cupcakes" you can find the exact same recipe found in the book - but instead of using a chocolate cookie many add cocoa powder to the batter. Or use a cookie and cocoa powder. Adding a cookie gets you about half a dozen more cupcakes too because they take up more room. :)

Cream together 1 cup of sugar, 1/3 cup of vegetable oil and 1 cup of water, then add 1 tablespoon white vinegar (some recipes online call for apple cider vinegar) and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. In a separate bowl sift together 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture.

In a medium bowl mix 8 oz of room temperature cream cheese, 1 large egg, 1/3 cup sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Fold in 1 cup of mini chocolate chips.

Fill the cupcake liners half full with the cupcake batter. This is where I'm wondering if there was an error in the book, leaving out the 1/3 cup cocoa powder found in so many of the other recipes online. It calls for filling the liners half full with the "chocolate batter" and then topping with a heaping tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture. But either way, with cocoa powder or without, with a cookie or without, these are yummy. Trust me. ;)

After filling the liners halfway with the cupcake batter and topping with the cream cheese mixture, bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. The edges of the cupcakes will look puffed but the cream cheese should still look moist.

These don't last very long around here. After they've cooled and have been sufficiently taste-tested, refrigerate any leftovers (I think they taste even better after chilling in the fridge).


clippies from Ivey Handcrafted

Today we received a fun package of pretties from Tobi of Ivey Handcrafted.  I ordered the clippies for our soon-to-be-taken/long-overdue family pictures, and couldn't be happier!  Now I just have to finish their dresses. :)


I stop for polka dots

Etsy seller daintyblooms added our Citrus Disco Dot bib to her I Stop For Polka Dots treasury. Her Etsy shop is full of hair clips and accessories, like these pretty blooms:


pins and needles

is what the girls have been on waiting for these fabric panels to arrive!

We found the sweet modkid ragdolls after browsing Patty Young's blog here. They have been oohing and ahhing over her Life in Plastic, It's Fantastic! post about the Barbie exhibit at the Indianapolis Children's Museum (okay I've been oohing and ahhing it too, I still love a Barbie).

On the sidebar of the blog she had a link to her Potty Girl A-Line dress pattern - they said "what is that for?" so we had to find out. :)

And now the doll panels are here and ready to be sewn up with some little dresses!

Some more Playdate fabrics arrived too - you can view the rest of the fun collection on the Michael Miller website here.

Shirts? Dresses? Maybe new bibs? Who knows! But my little Vanna White likes 'em.


we love our Jennifer Paganelli

Love her, love her fabric! She featured a couple pics of the tank shirts I made with Sis Boom fabrics on her blog today.

I almost burned some Twinkie cupcakes in the oven because I was so excited and had to write home to mom and dad (er, email).

these got me through...

a *couple* boring classes in college - thanks IA State Daily!

Now part of my only "me time" during the week is when the new issue of People magazine arrives and momma gets/attempts to sit on the couch and spend 5 minutes doing the crossword puzzle. :)

Thank you to Purple Elephant Designs for including us in your treasury!


mess with Mod Podge

This morning I saw a beautiful piece of mosaic art on the Sis Boom Sightings flickr group. Melissa of A Hundred Billion Stars adds some of the most amazing goodies to the group - check out some more of her pics and other fun creations made with Sis Boom fabric here!

Since the heat index is 107 degrees, the parks are flooded, and the thought of tackling the weekly grocery shopping in a store where they don't have water gave me the heebiejeebies (the city south of us had 8 water main breaks), we opted to stay home this afternoon.

Inspired by Melissa's fabric mosaics, we spent some time making a mess of our fabric scraps - always a favorite passtime around here! Then I let them loose with their own canvases and Mod Podge.

Colby started by placing squares side by side, then went for the layered look

all finito!

her little sister was ALL about the glue :)

she declared "All done! Isn't it fantastic?"

After the canvases were finished they painted their new snakes from Hobby Lobby. A couple weeks ago they each picked out one of those plastic snakes at Happy Joes with their tickets (those broke of course) so when they found these they were beyond excited.


chicks & mixtapes

Thank you to DaniJoDesigns, Pennamite and tlynette418 for including our bibs in their recent treasuires!


strawberry lemonade jelly

Since the pickles turned out so well, I was feeling domestic and wanted to try something new the next day. There was a recipe in Fannie Farmer for lemon jelly that was marked with an asterisk to mean "family favorite" and decided this would be a yummy one to try (I've been on a lemony kick lately).

a dozen lemons + 4 large apples

Thinly slice the lemons and coarsely chop the cored apples. I added some strawberries too.

Add just enough water to cover the fruit in the pot.

Cook until the fruity is mushy, then strain through cheesecloth draped over a colander.

Measure the amount of juice - for every 1 cup of juice, add 3/4 cups of sugar. I added 2 pouches of liquid pectin after the sugar dissolved - because of the strawberries we ended up with a lot more juice than the original recipe estimated. Bring to a boil and cook until the mixture reaches 220-225 degrees, Fannie says 15 minutes, but we ended up boiling for a bit longer.

Pour into the jars and assemble with the lids and bands, then process in the canning pot for 10 minutes in boiling water.

Strawberry lemonade jelly! Sweet and tangy and I love how the color turned out.

We made up a batch of apple butter too. A couple of years ago we caught a Food Network show about apples, and my BIL said that they would always eat bagels + cream cheese + apple butter growing up. Pretty sure I was pregnant at the time - so that turned into a craving that we've been eating ever since. This recipe is more like glorified creamy applesauce, or maybe pureed apple pie. :) It is goooooood.

adventures in canning

A few weeks ago I told my neighbor I was planning on making pickles from the cucumbers in the garden, and bless her heart if she didn't bring me 2 huge bags of cukes from her garden last week. So now I pretty much had no choice but to walk the walk and not just talk the talk of canning.

I found a recipe for Janice Pike's Perfect Pickles in my go-to cookbook (Fannie Farmer: one of the most practical/favorite gifts ever from my momma...I had no idea that Christmas just how often I'd use it). We made a quick trip to the grocery store, made an executive decision to go with one large Walla Walla sweet onion vs. 18 small white onions (still anti-onion since childhood unless they're breaded and fried) and went with apple cider vinegar vs. regular cider vinegar.

Cucumber-cutting commenced and continued for the next hour or so while baby slept and the girls played in pool/hubby played in dirt outside. I cut some into spears and some into slices. 3 red bell peppers and 3 green bell peppers also had to be cut up - and when hubby saw the massive amount on the cutting board his eyes bulged out. At this point I was having some self-doubt about the outcome of this recipe, but since I had spent so much money on the dadgum peppers I was committed to using them. All the veggies had to be covered with 2 trays of ice cubes and coarse salt to stand for 3 hours. Enough to fill 3 of my huge pots. Now I was asking myself how I was going to keep the jars hot (answer - dishwasher) and get the waterbath going in another pot to process the pickles (answer - husband went to the store to get 2 gigantic canning pots thank goodness) if all of my big pots were being used just to cook the pickles.

After 3 hours they needed to be rinsed, drained, rinsed again, and then cooked to a boil with the additional ingredients. He filled the jars, I put on the lids/bands and he stuck them in the canning pots to process. He likes to take-over certain parts of projects where I might burn or harm myself, and I am thankful for this.

But the end result - SUCCESS! After 24 hours they're all sealed perfectly, and the pickles seriously live up to the name of the recipe. I was actually surprised at how good they are - even our 6 year old couldn't stop eating them. Not too shabby for a first attempt at pickles - let alone first attempt at canning!


step away from the sewing machine

I went a little sew-happy making these shirts over the last few days. They're kind of addictive.


rainbow cupcakes

I spotted this the other day in my contacts' photostream on flickr and have been obsessing over it ever since. This afternoon the girls and I made a batch, and they had a blast. We started with white cake mix and split it into different bowls to dye with neon food coloring. Then I put the colors into separate pastry bags to make it easy for the girls to fill up the cupcake liners.

They were so proud of their cupcakes, they didn't even want to put frosting on them...at first. We'll finish up the ones they haven't already scarfed down after supper. :)


back to school clothes

I finally had some time today to finish the hems on some back-to-school clothes for the girls. We made them an inbetween size so they'll work as shirts for the oldest and dresses/long shirts for the preschooler. I wanted to sew up a bunch of new clothes for them to wear this summer, but now all of a sudden school is starting already. ;) Where did this summer go?

Love these fabrics from Michael Miller's Peace line!

Since fall is THISCLOSE now, they'll be able to wear them layered over a tshirt or long sleeve tee.

We originally picked out a bunch of these fabrics well over a year ago, whoops. So it was fun to finally get them out of my to-sew pile. :)