Friday, April 25, 2014

15/52 + 35 weeks



So, this week it seems we've all been taking turns sitting in this rocking chair, ha. I found it while searching on the local classifieds (which I do waaaaaay too much of lately looking for a dresser for the nursery) and it was just too fun to pass up. 

1 - Every day we set aside some time for LM to practice reading out loud. It makes me so happy when she figures out new, harder words all on her own. I am really proud of her because she tends to get easily frustrated when she can't do something right the very first time, but she has overcome a lot of that frustration when it comes to reading (and life in general). It is beautiful to watch her practice patience and try again instead of melt down. Yay, for maturity!

2 - You can't tell in this picture, but I finally got around to taking Lark in for her first haircut so she is no longer business in the front, party in the back, ha. Lately, she has been blowing raspberries on my belly and yelling silly phrases at the baby like, "Hey, pooper brother, I'm your sister!" and "We'll read books, you tooter." So, pretty much I think they will get along just fine. 

3 - At 35 weeks I am starting to have some sleepless nights. Our new crib arrived but we have yet to take it out of the box as it's been a pretty busy week for us. I think today is the day though and that will be fun. 



healthy homemade fruit snacks



Healthy Homemade Fruit Snacks

2/3 C fresh or frozen berries
2/3 C fresh lemon or orange juice
2-4 T honey, depending on your taste
5 T grass-fed beef gelatin

Directions:

1. Combine juice and berries in a medium sauce pan and cook over medium heat until the fruit begins to soften.
2. Add in the honey and stir until fully incorporated.
3. Take the mixture off of the heat and let it sit for a few minutes, then puree until smooth (I love my immersion blender so I can leave it right in the pot).
4. Slowly add in the gelatin while continuously stirring to avoid any clumps. If you do get some clumping put it back over low heat and stir until they are dissolved.
5. Once the gelatin is all incorporated and dissolved pour the mixture into a 9x9 baking dish and put it in the refrigerator to set for 1-2 hours.
6. Cut it into squares and enjoy!

Keep them refrigerated to last longer.

If you follow me on Instagram (@stacyhartsew) then you already know that we made some healthy homemade fruit snacks the other day. I shared the recipe there, but wanted to share it here as well to help spread the word since I know a lot of kids love fruit snacks while a lot of parents won't buy them because of the icky ingredients. I fall into that category so I was excited to come across this recipe and try it out.

One of the main reasons I wanted to make some for my kids wasn't necessarily to give them a store-bought fruit snack alternative, but to offer them a food packed with natural collagen, protein, and all of the other health benefits provided by gelatin (if you live in Utah I got my Great Lakes grass-fed beef gelatin at Real Foods Market, otherwise you can find it online here, but you can use regular gelatin as well).

The recipe was easy to make and my kids have been enjoying snacking on them throughout the week, even if at first it did catch them off guard that they didn't taste exactly like the super sweet sugary fruit snacks they expected (I used 2 T of honey, but in my opinion it could have used more).

After we made these I came across this recipe using different combinations of fruit and veggie juice which I think I'll try out next time. It also adds in vanilla which sounds so yummy! Have you ever made homemade fruit snacks? What is your favorite flavor combination? We made a batch of strawberry and a batch of blueberry. I find myself partial to the blueberry.

Monday, April 21, 2014

14/52 + 34 weeks



Catching up for last week...

1 - If it were up to LM all of our Easter eggs would have been dyed purple. She is purple obsessed these days.

2 - Lark has started to test her ability to climb the apple trees in our backyard. She gets a little higher each time. I have no doubt she will climb up far enough to make me nervous by the end of the summer.

3 - I mentioned in my last post that I hung up all of the clothes I have collected for baby boy so far. Well, now they are the only thing in the nursery because this last week I sold our crib and changing table on a whim. Call me crazy to sell such an important piece of baby furniture while 34 weeks pregnant, but I just sort of wanted to see if it would sell? And it did! That same day. So I was left a little bit in shock as I looked into our empty nursery. But the extra cash allowed me to choose a new crib that I like a whole lot better, so phew, maybe I'm not so crazy after all? Now everyone in Utah stop searching for low mid century dressers on KSL so I can snag one up, okay? Please and thank you.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

13/52 + 33 weeks


1 - One of LM's favorite things to do right now is put on a twirly dress and do her make-up. And she is crazy good at putting it on. Seriously. Like she can apply mascara without getting any on her eyelids, or nose, or all the places I accidentally get mascara on myself all the time, ha. She is allowed to apply a little bit of mascara, blush, and lipstick, but I always make sure to talk about how make-up is just for fun and she is beautiful with or without it. She is my girly girl.

2 - Lark also likes to play with my make-up, but more so in a naughty-caught-spilling-it-all-over-the-bathroom-counter kind of way. She destroyed this pink lipstick all over the mirror a while ago so the only way to get any out is to stick a Q-tip in it. She starts out on her lips but quickly starts coloring outside of the lines, meaning all over her face, arms, legs... She is my mischievous one.

3 - I feel like I don't really have anything new to report pregnancy-wise this week. I hung up all of the clothes I have gathered for the little guy so far (which isn't much) and hung them up in the closet. I keep going in there just to look at them. :)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

handmade (squirrel) Easter dresses



You may remember that instead of having the girls wear vintage this Easter I mentioned that I wanted to sew them dresses, and I am SO happy that I made the time with a little motivation from KCW - I love how these turned out!

I used a vintage pattern but made some alterations, like changing the zipper up for an open button closure in back, skipping the peter pan collar so they would read a little more modern, and using piping on the bodice instead of bias tape. Since vintage patterns only come in one size I was lucky that I had a size 4 which is right between LM and Lark's sizes. Having sewed vintage patterns before I knew they run a little big (at least on my girls) so I was pretty sure that I could make two size 4 dresses and it would fit them both. Luckily, I was right!      


I would have added length to LM's skirt, but I had just enough of this darling squirrel fabric to eek out both dresses. The purple chambray is from a Target shirt I found at the thrift store in the XXL section. I used almost every inch of that as well, including using the sleeve cuffs as one of the dress belts.


I received the organic cotton squirrel fabric c/o Sew Fine Fabric. Squirrels are totally the new Easter bunny, right? ;) But seriously, this fabric was such nice quality and sewed like a dream! I believe the main difference between your sewing project looking more professional versus homemade (I don't really want to put a negative spin on that word, but you know what I mean, right?) is all in the fabric choice and Jodi is 'obsessively selective' when it comes to stocking her shop with only the best. I have my eye on all of these fantastic prints 1/2/3/4/5 and am thinking about using one in particular for a baby boy quilt. And... I just now realized I have never sewed anything for a boy before, ha. That will be different!


The girl's and I almost can't wait for Easter now that they have these new dresses to wear - bring on the egg hunt!

See all of my KCW projects here.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

kcw: gingham tank top with pocket

 

I decided to participate in Kids Clothes Week again. It's such a fun motivator for me to get back in the sewing room and make something! A quarterly challenge like this works well with my personality since I tend to be a binge sewer. Usually when I feel like sewing I'll spend a few days holed up in my craft room whipping up several projects in succession, then I feel like I scratched the itch and don't touch my sewing machine for weeks at a time. Do any of you do the same thing? :)

For my first project I made LM a tank top out of a dress I found at the thrift store. It can be a super cheap way to get fabric if you can find a print you like in good condition for a good price. I still have enough of this fabric left to make another shirt or possibly a skirt.

I just used a tank top she already had to draft up a pattern and then added a colorful pocket. It's a little big on her so I'm sure she'll be able to wear it next summer too.

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This tank fits right in with the black and white theme that was going on the last KCW I participated in, but the project I am working on now veers from that color scheme entirely. Can't wait to share more. Are any of you sewing this Spring? 

You can see my KCW profile and all of my projects here.



Friday, April 4, 2014

12/52 + 32 weeks



1 - LM chillaxing in her new suit and shades. The girls have been taking swim lessons for the first time the last couple of weeks and they are doing so well! Before they started both of them wouldn't go under the water without a lot of coaxing and now they are jumping off the diving board. It's so fun to watch your kids grow and gain confidence - such a rewarding part of being a parent!

2 - Lark feel asleep on the couch, so of course I took about a million pictures of her sweet, sleeping face. As one does.

3 - I think I'm starting to realize I actually have to give birth soon. Anyone else feel like they spend most of their pregnancy in denial? Ha ha. I really need to buckle down and practice my meditation and breathing because this baby is going to come out whether I am prepared or not, and I really want to feel like I am on my mental A-game for another natural birth.

And here's one more picture for you, just for fun :)