Thursday, September 22, 2016

Happy Fall, Y'all!

Can we just take a moment and cheer for fall?! This is my absolutely, positively favorite time of the year.


Growing up in Texas fall was this two-day event in November, so it's thrilling to live in Colorado where fall truly means colorful leaves, cooler temperatures, and pumpkin patches. I always find myself a little more home-bound this time of year, enjoying blankets, baking, and good books, and making my home a place I want to be.

With that in mind, here are a few of my current favorite "fallish" things(yep, new word for you- it's going to be in the dictionary, I promise!).

+ I love candles year round, and I think fall candles are the most wonderful. I love seeing the flame and smelling all that loveliness. I discovered a new company on Instagram recently called Candelles, and I'm itching to try one. I'm between Pumpkin Walnut Biscotti and Vanilla Maple.

+ I keep meaning to hit up Hobby Lobby's fall decor, but I haven't made it over there yet. I'm a sucker for a good fake pinecone or pumpkin. When I do finally go, I'll be sure to show my finds on Instagram!
+ HAVE YOU TRIED THE PUMPKIN SPICES KISSES?!!! Calming down- sorry guys, they're just so. so. so. good. I have a bowl of them on my kitchen counter and I just can't stop eating. They taste like a pumpkin spice muffin all in one magical bite. Try them! You won't be sorry.

Leggings. It's leggings season! With boots, and sweaters, and scarves, oh my! I've always been an on-the-cheap leggings girl, but something new has found it's way into my heart this year. Have you heard of Lula Roe? They are literally (hear Chris Traeger from Parks & Rec here) literally the best, softest leggings you will ever try. I make everyone touch my legs now. Hmmm... probably shouldn't do that anymore.... But really, these are amazing! If you're in the market for a pair join me on Facebook this weekend to shop your favorites!

What are your favorite ways to celebrate fall? I'm always on the hunt for fun new ideas!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

5 Ways to Turn A Bad Day Around

Monday was one of those terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad days. Do you have those too? The kids were awful and I was in a really bad mood. Tessa refused to put a shirt on (plus was up from midnight to 3 am), and I yelled at Eli by 9 am. Then I accidentally put the mac & cheese noodles in dirty dishwater, and my house was a disaster.


Sometimes as a stay-at-home mom, I feel like these days are my new normal. Everything goes wrong, I'm overwhelmed, and I'm home alone with these crazy children of mine. It can be tough to get out of the rut of discouragement when every day feels the same.

I find I often need a push from outside myself to get going again. A reminder from a friend, a text from my husband, a nice store salesperson, to help me remember that everything is going to be ok. So here is my push to you. If you're having a rough day, here are five ways to help reset your mood and redeem your day.



1. Get some alone time. 
I know, I know, you have little ones and this is impossible. Let's be honest, I don't even go to the bathroom alone. You'd be surprised, though, what a cup of goldfish and an episode of Daniel Tiger will accomplish. Don't feel guilty for taking a few minutes away from your kids (while they're safely occupied) to collect yourself. Even a quick chocolate bar snuck in the pantry can do the trick!

2. Listen to music.
Music can change your mood with a quick push of a button. Grab your phone and crank up a fun song to help re-set yourself. As a bonus, your kids will think it's super fun.

3. Exercise.
I'm going to be honest with you- I. Hate. Exercise. Like really really hate it. BUT, I've recently discovered that it makes me feel happier, healthier, and more engergetic. Find something that fits your life, schedule, and preferences. I currently do yoga at our local YMCA while my kids are in their child watch. I know other moms who do Pinterest workouts or YouTube videos. Find your fit and go for it!

4. Clean something.
This one might seem counter-intuitive, but often creating a clean environment around you can give your soul peace. Give your kids a cloth and let them "dust" while you get the real work done, and you'll be so glad that at least one room in your house is clean!

5. Do something you love.
I find that as a mom of young kids, my time is spent on the kids and I don't get much for myself. My hobbies often fall by the wayside. It's so important to find time to do what you love, and to make time for it, even if you're exhausted. So find a friend to help watch your kids, or sneak away during naptime to do something. I promise if you look hard enough you'll find a little time to do something you love.



And if none of these work, put yourself to bed early and remember: You are loved. Nothing beats that.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Colorful Cross Baby Quilt (An Easy Way to Match Fabrics)

I make a lot of quilts with precuts, but sometimes I love to make a run to my local Joann Fabrics and whip up a baby quilt. I often spend hours wandering the aisles, looking for something (anything!) to match the fabrics I've already chosen for a quilt. Because as many of you may know, despite the amazing selection at Joann, it is hard to match enough fabrics to coordinate a full quilt. 


And so, my new solution. Choose one (just one!) key fabric. That's right, no twelve coordinating prints this time. Just. Choose. One. I went with a darling baby-themed animal print, which I used as my back plus one of my front fabrics. 


Now take your one print and match it color by color. Grab lots of solid colors or small-print fabrics that match just one color in your main fabric. I chose two oranges, a dark gray, a light gray, yellow, and two mint greens. Suddenly all your "random" color choices come together in one beautiful quilt! You can do this with any pattern, any color grouping. So have fun!


Fabric:
1 1/2 yards of main patterned fabric
1/4 yard (or fat quarters) of 6-10 coordinating fabrics
1/3 yard of fabric for binding
1 1/4 yard of quilt batting or flannel

Basic Instructions:
Cut fabric into 3 1/2" squares and 3 1/2" x 9 1/2" strips (2 squares for every one strip). Before piecing, lay out full quilt on the floor to be sure your strips and squares align properly. Sew in rows of square, square, strip. Once rows are sewn together, piece rows together into full quilt. Layer back, batting (or flannel), and pieced quilt. Pin, then quilt. I quilted each cross individually. Finish with binding.




Sunday, September 4, 2016

MOPS and A Little of My Story

I've been mulling over my blog a lot lately. Wondering what to say, what to focus my writing on, what you all as my followers might like to read. In all honesty, I haven't come to a solution. I have so much I want to share, but sometimes nothing comes out. So today, I want to share something very personal with you: a part of my story.

The video below is something I filmed for my local MOPS group here in Colorado. It aired at my church this morning. More than a promo video, though, it is a small testimony of how MOPS has impacted my life.

For those of you not familiar with it, MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) is a worldwide movement that believes moms are world influencers. We believe that better moms make a better world. And no matter your background, your faith journey, your struggles, if you are a mom you are welcome. You can find out more information, or look for a group in your area by going to www.mops.org.

And so here is why MOPS matters to me. I'm so excited to share it with you all.


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Bunny Hill Baby Quilt

Baby quilts are one of my favorite sewing projects. They are fairly quick and give me a chance to get creative. This sweet little boy bunny quilt was actually leftover from a quilt I made 3 years ago. My friend had a baby girl in 2013, and she just had a baby boy. Hooray for matching quilts! Typically with a quilt like this, I buy one Moda Charm Pack, but here I used the leftovers of two packs that I combined. You can also just cut out squares of your own fabric scraps for the same look.


Fabric:
1 Moda Charm Pack (I used Windsor Lane by Bunny Hill Designs for Moda)
   --OR-- 48 5"x5" squares
1 yard all-natural quilt batting or light-colored flannel
1 yard of coordinating fabric for backing
1/3 yard of coordinating fabric for binding

Quick Instructions:

First, I sewed all the pre-cut squares together in rows of 8. Then I went back and sliced the rows in half longways to make the narrower 2.5" rectangles. Finally, I sewed the rectangles together in strips, 4 across by 8 down. I made three of these long strips total. Finally, I added a 4 inch white (or any solid color) strip between the patchwork strips. I quilted with a simple "follow the seams" style on all long-ways seams. Then I did a matching binding and we're done!

Be sure to use a large, flat surface to pin your quilt. I like to pin with curved quilter's safety pins.

Quilted, bound, and ready for baby!

You can see here I used a simple color-block pattern. When I sewed this I chose colors at random to make the quilt more visually interesting. The easiest way to do that is to put all the squares in a paper bag and draw at random. Then when I lay out bigger pieces, I just try to be sure like colors aren't touching.