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Typically the joke’s on me when I attempt to sew “The 20-minute project!”
20 minutes?
I have that.
Oh wait, you mean they lied?

Usually the project is a dress or something…
I can’t pick out a dress to wear in 20 minutes,
let alone make one.
So yeah, that’s usually how it goes for me.



HOWEVER! I am here to tell you that this project really did take very little time!
My sister-in-law Shannon’s birthday was yesterday.
I decided I wanted to make this as a gift for her.
Umm, yesterday morning.
(It’s no secret I am usually behind in life)
So, I went out to the store around 11,
and completed it start to finish during nap time!
It took me about 2 hours.
Which, maybe somebody else could make this in 20 minutes,
but I’m going to try and give you a more realistic estimate.
I could just be slow,
but hey – at least I’m honest.

I first got the idea from my friend, Steph, who made this as a gift for her sister who was in art school.
Shannon is also in art school, so I figured I had a winner.
I found the tutorial over at Prudent Baby.
I customized it to fit pens and pencils instead of crayons,
so I used rectangles that were 9”x 18”.

I got some fancy art pens to go inside…


And of course some fun owl ribbon.
I sewed two pieces of ribbon together
(wrong sides facing)
so that there were owls on both sides ,
regardless of how the ribbon was laying.


It made the roll much sturdier.
Although, I accidentally Heat n Bonded my ironing board…


The inside…


The outside…


Stuffed with pens and pencils…


All wrapped up and ready to be gifted!


Happy Birthday to the lovely Shannon!
May your 20th year be full of all things lovely and exciting 🙂


This weekend, I made tea bags for a dear friend of mine.
Traci is expecting a little boy in only a few short weeks.


Design Sponge did a Valentine’s Tea Bag post, and I just customized it for what I needed:  a baby shower gift.
Specifically, a “mommy” baby shower gift.
With my (very) limited experience of being a mom, I have found that there will be fabulous times, and there will be “challenging” times.  Is that an understatement? 🙂
Whichever time it is, God is always using it to make us more like Christ and increase our joy in Him.
And I have found that tea helps the process 😉
So I made my teabags with tags to fit all the various occasions.

Traci, I cannot WAIT to meet this little man.  You are such a great mom already, and I know you’re going to do a fabulous job with this brand new addition. 
God will certainly multiply not only your love for these little people but also His grace to care for them.

I told you I was not original.
I stole this from Meghan
And I made them as Christmas presents for both my mom and mom-in-law.
If they don’t like them, they still have to pretend they do.
Because that’s what you do when your child gives you a homemade gift.
We all remember those popsicle ornaments that our parents didn’t want but we made them hang them on the tree. 
Hopefully this is a slight upgrade from popsicle sticks.
You can find the tutorial here.
The felt flowers are my favorite.  I made a zillion of them and used them instead of sticky bows to decorate my Christmas gifts this year.  Try it!

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I know I’ve shared this before, but I just had to reiterate how much I love this store!! 

My mom got one of their bibs for Julia, and it is by far my favorite.  We just started doing solids, and it is PERFECT for the task.  It’s beautiful AND cleans up in a breeze!

Here are a few of my current favorites:

Baby Blanket in Lace

Lace Boutique Wipes Box

Lace Boutique Burp Cloth

If you couldn’t tell, I’m in love with the Lace Boutique pattern. ;)  I just went through and added a bunch of stuff to “Julia’s” Wishpot haha. 

They make great gifts, too!  Check it out! 

Formula for a Fabulous May Day:

Step 1: Make Raspberry-Lemon Whoopie Pies.  And be sure they turn out more like Pancake Pies……
I think it’s because I used skim milk instead of whole…oh well…live and learn!

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Step 2: Pack some up for a friend.

You can find these parchment sheets at any party store.
Use them to package fun little treats (such as Pancake Pies).
And then stuff said treats in a pretty bag for a friend.
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Step 3: Go on a walk with afore-mentioned friend.
Be sure to bring “one-sock-on, one-sock-off” with you.  But be prepared to stop at Carlino’s to get a piece of cheese to appease Sock Girl.  Also hit up Starbucks for Frappy Hour so you have something to enjoy on your walk.

Step 4: Make Vegetable Pad Thai to bring with you to Husband’s softball game (and to share with Meg). 
This meal takes literally half an hour to prepare.  I love it!  Oh, and for additional fun, make sure softball team wins!
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It was a fantastic day!

Vegetable Pad Thai
Source: Martha Stewart Everyday Food

8 oz. dried, wide and flat rice noodles
2 T dark-brown sugar
2 T fresh lime juice, plus wedges for serving
3 T soy sauce
2 t. vegetable oil (I used Toasted Sesame oil)
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 c. fresh cilantro
1/4 c. chopped roasted, salted peanuts (I used Honey Roasted)

1) Soak noodles according to package instructions.  Drain. 
2) In a small powl, whisk together brown sugar, lime juice and soy sauce.
3) In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high.  Add scallions and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 30 seconds.  Add eggs and cook, scraping skillet with a spatula until eggs are almost set, about 30 seconds.  Transfer egg mixture to a plate.
4) Add noodles and soy-sauce mixture to skillet; cook, tossing constantly, until noodles are soft and coated with sauce, about 1 minute.  Add egg miture and toss to coat.  Serve noodles with lime wedges, topped with cilantro and peanuts.  (Or if you have a cilantro-hating husband, omit this part).
5) Eat and enjoy! 

***Note – easy add-ins would be chicken or shrimp!  Yum!***

Meaning, if you’re a guy and your wife is pregnant…
Sort of along the same lines of “my brother is going to be an aunt…because we’re having a little girl…Aunt Andrew…”
OK nevermind.

The point is, I have the best husband (for many reasons), and the following picture explains one of those reasons.


That’s right, a body pillow.

To all my preggo girls…get one of these ASAP…it may actually help you sleep through the night!

My parents have one of these, and when we were staying at their house I tried it and LOVED it.  And apparently Michael the Husband took note.  Because the other night when I came home from work, guess what was waiting for me?

I love how thoughtful and observant he is. 

It helps my back pain like you wouldn’t believe and, yes, even gives me a full night’s sleep! 

Yes, you need this.  So go to Target and find one.  Or better yet, drop hints to your favorite man and convince him that a Target Trek sounds like a smashing idea. 😉

So have you ever taken a thought and followed the train back to where it originated in the first place?
That’s what I had to do in order to explain myself on this post about butter.

It went like this:
– I looked at a recipe with fat-free mayo in it and exclaimed to Margie “what is this fat-free-mayo industry anyways? isn’t the entire POINT of mayonnaise to be fat? i mean, literally, that’s what it is.” We then discussed how gross the fake version was.
– Then Margie said it was like fat-free Half & Half. I mean, c’mon, peoples!
– THEN Margie admitted that she had actually bought some and it wasn’t that terrible. (A Travesty)
– Then I wondered aloud how one even makes fat free half and half if the point is to have half cream, which has fat.
– Which got us talking about cream and how to get fat out of it.
– Which led us to buttermilk, which is actually NOT fattening because it is the milk that separates from the cream and leaves only butter (which is the fattening part.)
– Which led me to tell Margie how my dad and brother and I had made butter once in a jar and shook it like jingle bells until at last we had butter.
– Which led Margie to tell me how to make it with a stand-up mixer. And she sent me this link:
Instructables: How To Make Butter

I just love the word instructables. Instructables instructables instructables. I could say it all day long.

***DISCLAIMER*** Margie would like me to inform you all that she is not so much naturally full of all this wonderful info as much as she is addicted to google. She is “a google junkie”. I, for one, am glad she is because she shows me all these exciting things that abound on the world-wide-web.

Also, here’s another link I found that seems to have more concise instructions. Over the Hill & On a Roll

So THAT is the long train that brought about the topic of making butter. And I do believe I am going to try it. It not only tastes fresher and phenomenally better (so I’ve heard), you can also add in all kinds of things: honey, herbs, cinnamon, sea salt, etc. And I hear it makes wonderful gifts! *coughtracicough*

So, Project Butter. I will let you know how it goes. I may have found a new hobby. Oh, and I promise you, this will not be fat-free butter. Goodness.

Collective Reminiscings

The Smittys

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