Tuesday, April 15, 2014

diy keepsake baby hats

I love decorating my girls' rooms. They each have their own little "theme" in at least colors. I also love to have a little "baby" in their rooms to remind me how small they were. Each one has their baby hat mounted inside a shadow box and also a 6-month handprint in a frame. It's something that I hope they can take with them when they are big and have children of their own.

It's easy to do! The shadow boxes are from Michael's (use a coupon!!) and then I covered the back in fabric (no glueing needed). The boxes come with little pins to put the hat in place. I printed the name cards on cardstock at home to personalize the hats.

Elsa has two hats. The pink one I made because I had finally learned to knit. The hospital gave her the Christmas one becuase she was born right before Christmas. It was a little too small so she needed one a bit bigger but I had to keep both!

Hopefully this inspires you to create something memorable for your little one!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

7 year anniversary

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love, and be loved in return." - Moulin Rouge 

Happy 7 year anniversary to the man that is still willing to be my huband each morning. We have a beautiful family and I couldn't ask for more. Well, there's always room for more tulips and more salted carmel chocolate.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

diy: princess elsa cape tutorial

We have been watching the movie Frozen every day at home since I could buy it in the store. I can't believe my girls aren't bored with it yet. Gretchen especially loves the movie. They both watned a Princess Elsa cape and I knew it was something I could make.

Charlotte has a birthday party on Sunday that I forgot about so this little birthday girl is getting an Elsa cape and a great Elsa necklace from my friend Sarah over at Chick Times Two. Sarah can put anything you want on a necklace!

1.5 yards heavy glitter satin
1.5 yards sheer fabric
1 bottle silver glitter puffy paint
2 flower emblishments
velcro and thread (sewing machine)

Cape Directions
To make the cape took very little time. Cutting out the pattern was the hard part. 
  1. Measure child to determine how long you want the cape to be. We wanted ours to drag on the ground. 
  2. I layed out the heavy satin on the wood floor and carefully cut out a "cape" shape. The 1.5 yd should give you two capes, one on each side of the fold. 
  3. I left about 6" at the top; this part you will use for the collar of the cape.
  4. Cut out a matching shape on the sheer fabric.
  5. You now have two layers for the cape.
  6. Lay out the sheer fabric on the floor. Put some wax paper or parchment paper under the fabric. The puffy paint leaks through and will stick to plain paper. You want to easily peel off the wax paper from the back after it dries. 
  7. Look up some snowflake designs and draw to your heart's desire. Good luck! Let it dry overnight. (I did this part when the kids were in bed.)
  8. After the layer is dry, take a flame to both layers of the cape. You are going to use a lighter and quickly burn the edge of the silks all the way around the cape. This prevents it from fraying and also you don't need to sew the edges. If you hold the flame too long, it will melt!
  9. Layer the two pieces with the sheer on top and pin at the top.
  10. You are going to cut the 6" of left over fabric and fold edges in and iron.
  11. Slip the cape top into the fold and stitch all the way around.
  12. Add velcro and a flower to the front of the cape.

Good luck! If you have any questions, just let me know. I think it's a very easy and cheap project. The most expensive part is the fabric, so don't forget your 40% off coupon to Joanns.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

gretchen's first day of 3k

It's not September, but today was Gretchen's first day of preschool (3K). After an evaluation a few months/weeks ago, Gretchen was accepted to the Early Learning Program at the Elementary school, mainly on helping her to focus on speech. We are no longer taking private speech lessons because she'll be getting speech at school. Gretchen will go two mornings a week for 2.5 hours.

Gretchen was so excited this morning. She wore a dress, tights, and her fancy shoes. I couldn't believe she had on her backpack and was ready to get there. The teachers said she had a great day. Gretchen told me she didn't play with anybody but painted a picture and had speech. Kevin and I both agree this is going to be great for her on so many levels! The program took her a semester early because normally, she wouldn't be starting 3K until Fall.

Gretchen came out rubbing her eyes. Of course, tired. I knew there would be napping on the days she has school. It's a lot for this rambunctious kid!

Monday, March 24, 2014

thora's buttermilk bundt cake

I don't remember a whole lot of my Grandma Horstmeyer; she died at 88 when I was about 13. What I do remember are a handful of really good things. She was a very old, Norwegian woman when I knew her. She said Ufda a lot and always had a bundt cake for us to take home-- lemon poppyseed was always my favorite. They were sweet, coverd in glaze, lemony and always perfect. I remember she had them wrapped in cloth.

This is her recipe and I'd love to share it with you. She would love that others can make her recipe too.

Here she is with her two sons. My dad is in the buggie.
1C margarine (2 sticks) blended well together
2C sugar
4 eggs
3C flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 C buttermilk

Beat the sugar and margarine together well. Add the dry ingredients and alternatively add the 1C butter milk. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well.

For lemon poppyseed, I added about 2 Tbl of poppyseed, some vanilla, the juice of one lemon and the zest.

Blend and beat all very well. It turns out bet when beat well. Bake at 350 for 60 minutes. Don't peak! Let cool 10 minutes and turn out on wire rack to cool the rest of the way.

Glaze: Optional. Mix powder sugar and water to a consistency you like.

Note: I sprayed my pan with PAM and it stuck. So see, my creations don't always turn out picture perfect!! It was yummy though. Next time, I plan to butter and flour the bundt pan like the old days. I wish Grandma was here to ask what she did-- her's were perfect! PAM just doesn't work for me, ever! Even when I make square loafs I use parchment paper, but you can't in this case. Good luck.

Disaster-- but at least it was just for me.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

quick 'n easy peanut butter cookies

Do you ever get a craving for something sweet and there is nothing in the house? Since I try not to keep sweets in the house, it happens to me all the time. I've been known to eat the whole bag of malted robin eggs in two days if there is a bag around.

Tonight, I had such a craving and since I keep a stock pile of peanut butter in the house, my go-to easy recipe was on the menu. I can't take credit for this recipe but I also don't remember where it came from. It has a gluten-free option (by not having flour). Since we don't have any gluten allergies in this house I tend to add some flour. It makes about two dozen cookies, but don't hold me to it!

1 lg. egg
1 tsp baking soda
1C peanut butter
1/2 C white sugar (or just white if that's all your have)
1/2 C brown sugar
1 Tbl vanilla
1/4-1/2C four (optional)
1/2C-1C chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat sugar and peanut butter with an electric mixer until mixed. Add in the rest of the ingredients. Make into 1" balls (I didn't ball them in the photo above, just used spoons) and place onto greased cookie sheet. Make cross hatches with a fork and gently press down. Bake 10 minutes, then let sit on the cookie sheet after baking for a few minutes. Transfer to cooking racks, but I use paper bags for cooling.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Elsa is 15 months

My little Elsa is 15 months old and now running through the house (at toddler speed). She finally decided to walk a few weeks ago and pretty much took off running since then-- especially with her new pink kicks.

I won't lie, it's been really busy around here. Today I was able to catch up with some old friends and their little dude and really just relax in the house. Only had one minor sewing project for today. I needed to give myself and my machine a rest.

Yesterday I was in Sheboygan Falls with a friend for our second craft show of the year, and although it wasn't a loss for me, it was pretty darn close. So many people came by and said how they loved the blankets but nobody was purchasing anything! We decided it was just the wrong market and customers were definitely the wrong age. Our display looked really nice in the gym. Starting to move in the right direction.

If you haven't visited my NEW website, check it out and send a friend there! midwestfamilylifellc.com

An update on Gretchen and her speech and school. The school district did decided that her Apraxia was enough that she would qualify for the Early Childhood program. She will go to school starting March 27th (eeek!!) for 2.5 hours, 2 days/week. I can't believe she'll officially be starting preschool (3K) in a week. They said she can ride a bus, with 3-4yo only, but I just can't do that yet. I really don't think she's ready. Gretchen is very excited for school and I know this will be a great opportunity for her to improve her language and articulation and communication. 

Charlotte is Charlotte. Continually testing the limits each day. I love her and she is too smart for her own good. She finally got her special week at school and it was wonderful to hear her read a book to her class, Follow Me Mittens. We are very proud of her and she is coming a long way with the reading and sounding out words. She also makes an excellent model and can still pose for the camera.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

growth tree

I'm going to be very sad when we move from this house someday. Right after we moved in 2.5 years ago I painted a growth tree on a wall at the bottom of the basement stairs. I charted the girls' height when we moved in and on each birthday.

I used some acrylic paint, a paint sample from Home Depot, and some sponges. I think it turned out great!

Charlotte turns five on Saturday and she grew three inches in the last year. You might also want to know that Gretchen measured 1/2" taller than Charlotte did at the age of 3. Only time will tell how tall Elsa will be! They have all measured 95% or more for height.

The sad part is I can't take the tree with me. It will stay here and probably be painted over by the next family. I'll only have the memory (and a photo) of our tree and the little girls that grew beneath it.


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