Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas Patchwork Pillow Covers

Every year I like to add something new to my Christmas decor. This year, my goal is to make Christmas pillow covers for my couch throw pillows. (This may be more than I can handle in one month. I have a lot of throw pillows. I also can't seem to work on Christmas projects before December. It's a real problem.)
I have seen some fun ideas on Pinterest using old sweaters, but first I wanted to use up some fabric.
I had some leftovers from a previous project that I really liked. 
It has been a long time since I have done any patchwork and I have recently been inspired to do something myself. So I took those leftovers and made a patchwork pillow cover.

I am really happy with how it turned out. 
I cut 4 1/2" squares, used a 1/4" seam allowance, and covered a 20" pillow. I finished it off with a simple envelope back in a coordinating fabric. I was really surprised it all came out okay, because I didn't follow anyone else's pattern. I made it up on my own. That was a super risky move on my part.

I quilted every other square. Although if you look closely, you'll see I missed one!

I really like the patterns and colors and how it came together. 

I have 2 pillows of the same size on my couch. However, I didn't have enough fabric for another patchwork pillow. I decided to make a contrasting pillow. I sewed strips instead of squares of the remaining fabrics together to make the second pillow cover.

Some straight line quilting pulls it all together in a simple and efficient way.

I am happy with the way they turned out. I actually really like that they aren't matchy - matchy but coordinate instead. 

2 down, only about 10 more to go! 

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Russian Tea; A Family Recipe

One of the flavors of my childhood Christmas was Russian Tea.
 My mother would make it and we would drink it by the gallons. 
In my opinion it is even better than hot chocolate. There is nothing better to warm my insides after a day spent outside playing in the cold snow
I have no idea why it is called Russian tea. None of the ingredients have anything very Russian about them. This recipe was passed down from my Aunt to my Mom and from my Mom to me. And now from me to you! 
It has been a few years since I have had any of the tea made up for the holidays.  Recently Hunky Hubby reminded me about it, thinking the boy tribe would enjoy it. 
He was so right!  

Let me share the recipe, so that your family can enjoy it too.
* disclaimer:
This tea has no health benefits. It just tastes good!

Collect your ingredients:

I was able to find everything at my local Wal-mart store.

You will need:
4 Cups instant lemonade powder
2 Cups TANG
1 Cup instant unsweetened tea
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground cloves

Stir it all together. I like to mix all of my ingredients into a big bowl, and then transfer it to a storage jar.

I keep mine in a jar on the counter. Doesn't it look pretty? Sometimes I think it should be called tiger tea because of the stripes that appear when you pour it in a jar. 

Add about 3 TBS to a mug and fill with hot water.
Stir, and enjoy! 
The flavor is very citrusy and not very tea like. That's why my kids like it. But the spices add just the right amount of something to make it delicious. 

You can make a large batch and fill up mason jars to pass out to friends as Christmas presents. Trust me, they will thank you for it. 

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Monday, October 27, 2014

At The Doctor

The other day Wyat and I had to spend some time at the Dr's office. 
Let me tell you, Dr visits are so much easier now that the kids aren't toddlers. I mean really, is there any place you can think of where it is harder to keep an inquisitive toddler entertained for those slowly moving minutes?
Kids are definitely easier, as long as you bring along technological devices. If you don't there is still a lot of touching of inappropriate things and asking of awkward questions.
Wyat, "Mommy, what are these for?" 
Me, "Peoples legs."
Wyat, "Why would your legs need to go in these?"
Me, "Just because they do sometimes. We'll talk about it later."
Although I have no intention of bringing up that line of questioning again. I already have had to field the "Mom, what made them get a baby in their tummy?" questions. I am sometimes astounded and amazed at the simple answers this kid who has a thousand questions will actually accept. 

One thing you can do if you have to wait in the Dr's office for cultures and blood tests, is take pictures on your phone. 
So we did. 
It resulted in these fabulous close-ups of our eye balls.

Exhibit A: Wyat

Exhibit B: Me

Don't we look exactly the same?
DNA is seriously cool. 
We may not have the same color eyes, but there are a few things we share. 
We are both the last born child.
Because of that, we share a few personality traits. 
(If you've never studied birth order, you should. It's very interesting. Here's a link to a good book :
We both bruise easily.
We both love soft blankies and chocolate.

So, regardless of the glaring difference of our eye color, we are alike. Mother and son.
Nothing like an extended Dr apt to make you feel all warm and fuzzy about your baby.

Ideally, I would like my good qualities to be what my children inherit from me. That means I have to model those good behaviors way more than I model the bad ones. That old phrase, 'do as I say, not as I do', really doesn't work. 
Just reason #28,765 why it's challenging to be a parent. 
Incidentally, my baby is fine. It turns out he had mononucleosis and we didn't know it. So, FYI: if your kid has a day with a little fever, and complains of a sore throat for over a week, and complains of bellyaches off and on for over a week, he might have mono. 
Having mono doesn't mean that your child will be laid up in bed for a week or more. My child was acting normal, playing normal, and eating mostly normal. He just kept complaining off and on of these aches. Early on, we took him in for a strep throat culture that came back negative. By the time we took him in for blood work, he was mostly over it. 
                                        Lesson learned.  Pin It

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Labradoodles and Their Forever Families

The puppy whirlwind has come to an end. 
Within the span of 4 days they were all placed with their forever families.
As each one was picked up, it was a bittersweet moment of saying goodbye. We enjoyed them so much and had so much fun with them. They were so entertaining and cute. We put a lot of time and effort and love into raising them up. My hope is that they will each grow to be a wonderful companion and friend for their new family.

Each puppy was placed with great new moms, dads, and families. Everyone was so excited for a labradoodle of their own.
Plus, each new puppy owner agreed to have their picture taken with their new baby for the blog. Thank you!
Here they are for you all to say good bye to.





P.J. (now called Homer, as in home run)

Everyone was excited to take their puppy home. I am hoping to see some pictures of our babies as they grow up. I am eager to see how they change and mature. And to see how big they get! Those paws don't lie.

Thank you to all of you who shared my posts or talked to people about our pups. I am very thankful for all of the support and sharing you have all done.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Labradoodles - 7 Weeks

Admit it.
You thought they couldn't get any cuter.
Well, I am about to prove you wrong. 

PB the stoic
Little Luna

Scotchy boy
Hey Jude
PJ the cutie patootie

My boy and his pup

They are 7 weeks old and incredibly adorable. However, it won't be long before they join their forever families and I won't be bothering you with cute pictures anymore. 

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Monday, June 30, 2014

Puppy Pictures That are Too Cute to Resist

5 1/2 week old puppies are too cute.
I mean it.
Too cute.
They could chew up my favorite pair of shoes and it would be hard to get mad at that adorable little face.
That's how cute they are.
Because I have to be under the spell of puppy cuteness everyday, I am going to share some pictures to torture you as well. No one should have to suffer alone after all.

You are welcome for sharing this particular form of torture. You know you like it.

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First Bath for the Puppies

The cute puppy breath  was getting overwhelming and morphing into something stanky. It was a good indication that it was time for the babies first bath. 
They weren't very happy about it, but it was necessary.

Scotcheroo thought he could hide where I couldn't see him.  Little did he realize I could tell exactly where he was.
Luna and Jude were so tuckered out after their baths that they fell asleep next to me.

Shaking the water off.

Wet puppy faces are cute.

My photography assistant took a selfie. 
Too cute.

All the babies enjoyed being toweled dry.

Look Mom, I'm fluffy!

Giving a big dog shake to get the water off.

P.B. was uninterested in bath time. 

But he got one anyway. No sleeping puppy was safe.

So Fluffy!

An exhausted Luna catching some z's. 

Jude cuddled up with his stuffed buddy for some snoozing.

P.J. took advantage of some cuddle time.

Overall the babies did well. They acted just like their mom in the bath, like it was a form of torture. The funny thing is, they will all love swimming in a lake or river when they get older. But the bath? Horrible! 

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