Sunday, January 22, 2012

My First "Real" Quilt

I am so behind on blogging that I am just now getting around to posting on this project, which I finished back in October. This quilt was Benjamin's birthday present, and with our chilly winter, I am so glad he has it! This was my first bed-sized quilt, and the only thing bigger than a wall-hanging that I have quilted. I machine quilted it, which actually went a lot better than I had anticipated. I used Warm & Natural batting, which is denser and thinner than polyester, and that worked beautifully. After using this, I can never use polyester again! I am so pleased with how it turned out - I can't wait to get started on one for Joanna! Someday I would love to do a big, hand-quilted quilt, but because that would probably take me years, I think I'll stick to the quicker machine for now. =)

This is the how the whole thing looks. It's definitely a bit big for Benjamin's toddler bed; we have it folded in half so it fits. But I guess he's warmer that way!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mock Caramel Corn

Popcorn is our usual afternoon snack around here, as it fits all my qualifications: cheap, easy and relatively healthy. I love using our hot air popper, and I usually drizzle on some butter or coconut oil. Sometimes, though, when we're in a sweet mood, I like to change it up a little and make what Benjamin calls "different popcorn". I melt about 2 Tbsp. butter and 1/4 cup brown sugar together and then mix it up with the popcorn. Super easy and almost as good as the real thing!

No popcorn for him, but I loved the look on his face as he works on mastering his newly-acquired Cheerio-eating skills.

The Anatomy of a House Sweater

1. Cute - Much better than a sloppy sweatshirt!

2. Heavier-Weight - To stay warm on chilly days.

3. Soft - So you want to wear it (and so the baby is happy to cuddle up).

4. Button-Up Front - The choice between leaving it open or buttoning it up to stay warmer.

5. Pockets - To have a tissue always at the ready for those little noses.

6. 3/4 length sleeves - They stay out of the way without having to constantly be pushed up.

Seth gave me this sweater for Christmas - since our house is a bit on the cool side and I wanted an alternative to sweatshirts. I have hardly taken it off since! He had trouble finding one with 3/4 length sleeves, which was my main requirement, but we found this one at Old Navy.

The Start of a New Year

Seth had some time off around Christmas and New Years, and we had a wonderful and relaxing holiday. We had lots of fun with the kids and family at Christmas, and we were able to spend some of his off time doing some little projects around the house. Things like finishing the touch-up painting in the living room, getting some curtains up in our bedroom, finally hanging some pictures, and organizing the office. Those little things feel so good to get done!

Our new year started off well with an awesome deal on a big dining table. Our little table just wasn't really cutting it any more, especially when people had dinner with us. My mom spotted this table at the thrift store, and with their half-off sale, the table with six chairs was just $100! It's in good shape, sturdy, and we are loving it! We have it set up to fit 8, but we also have an extra leaf we can pull out if we need it. I feel like we have a "real" table now, which seems funny to me, because I never felt like we didn't before.

I'm looking forward to a new year! Although I don't expect it to be quite as crazy as last year, it certainly won't be dull! Three kids keep us plenty busy, and adding on to that Seth's school and a house that needs work inside and out, I expect this year will go by pretty quickly as well!

Happy New Year!