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Friday, December 21, 2012

The Only One You Need

***Did you know... You can follow One Sassy Housewife on facebook and twitter now?!?! So if you find yourself wondering what I'm doing (probably taking pictures of my son) or thinking (probably something about marshmallows) at any given moment, you can stalk me in one or both of those places and find out. Hooray!

You know what I love about cookies? They are a bakery item I can't seem to mess up! Cakes, breads, brownies... all seem to go wrong for me... but cookies are simple and versatile. Especially when you find the right recipe. The right basic recipe can be tweaked for a different cookie and success every time... which is awesome!
This basic chocolate chip cookie recipe came from the America Cooks cookbook (yeah you read that price right-- no longer in print but highly sought after cookbook, it has the basic recipe for everything your grandma used to make...) which is another family heirloom kind of thing... that my parents stalked Ebay to find for me when I started cooking. (Similar story to the magnalite!)
 This particular recipe makes a small-ish size batch (about 16-20 cookies, depending on how big you like 'em.) of perfect crispy, chewy cookies. We like crispy chewy. But if you are a cake-y kind of cookie person, it's easy to tweak. Then when you are ready, through in your yummy bits of choice: Chocolate chips, M&Ms, nuts, crushed peppermints, dried fruit (craisins!)... so many yummy options.
The cookies pictured have white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts.
Another thing I love about this recipe, is it makes a smaller batch, so you don't have 4 dozen cookies when you just wanted 2 cookies for a snack... but it also doubles easily if you need cookies for a crowd. OR it freezes well if you want to make a double batch and freeze half for a rainy day. I recommend using your cookie scoop to make the individual balls, then throwing them in the freezer for about 15 minutes to flash freeze them, before throwing them in a ziploc bag (or other airtight container) for storage. You can keep them in your freezer for up to a month that way. When you are ready to bake (maybe just 1 or 2... or 8 or 12 at a time) just pull them out of the freezer and line them up on your tray while the oven is preheating, then bake and enjoy as normal.
(another thing... I like to bake my cookies on parchment paper... because, well you can see what my cookie sheet looks like. Is everyone's cookie sheet grubby looking? I kinda feel like that's a universal thing. Anyway... parchment paper! Cookies don't stick, don't burn as easily, and clean up is as simple as throwing away a piece of paper. Awesome.)
So are you ready for it? My secret cookie recipe... the only cookie recipe you need:

Chocolate Chippers

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup presifted flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate pieces

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease baking sheets (or line with parchment).
Cream shortening, sugars, egg, and vanilla in a mixing bowl.
Sift together flour, salt, and baking soda. Stir into creamed mixture, blending well. Add chocolate/nuts/candy.
Drop dough by tablespoons (I use a cookie scoop), two inches apart on baking sheet.
Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat at once.

*For cake-y chewy cookies, replace half the shortening with butter. For soft cake-y cookies replace all the shortening with butter.
*Use white, milk, dark, or mini-chocolate chips (or a combination!) in place of semi sweet chips! Also try M&M's, Reeces Pieces, or other crushed candies/candybars.
*If adding nuts, use only 6 oz chocolate, and 1/2 cup of nuts
*baking time does vary slightly based on what you added, just keep an eye on your oven for that first batch...

Now make yourself some hot cocoa and a batch of yummy cookies and share with your family this holiday! Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

DIY ChalkVinyl Calendar

Over the past year that I have been a full-time SAHM/home manager I have been slowly trying to implement simple organization methods to keep our family clean, sane, and on time. It's a slow trial and error process... organization is not a part of my God-given skill set. (That skill set does include... making adorable babies, enormous mess making capabilities, and talent for making marshmallows disappear.) Not everything I try works for us. But we are slowly moving in the direction of organization.
Which is why I felt like we should get a large calendar. I strongly considered a dry-erase calendar, but those things are ugly and I was trying to find place I could hide it from view-- which was kind of defeating the purpose of my calendar anyway...
Then I was at my friend's home and saw this awesome chalkboard calendar painted on her wall. "That's great!" I told her, "...but I would be nervous about painting that on my wall."
"Oh, it's vinyl," she replied.
Where does one get chalkboard vinyl? Turns out you don't need chalkboard vinyl. You can write on normal vinyl with chalk quite easily, and it wipes off with a rag or tissue. For real. I was amazed. And said I must have one. So I got to work.
I used some black vinyl I had on hand... I got it at the craft store a long time ago (I believe it was cricut brand though). And I cut it into 3" blocks. You will need 35 blocks total. I also put a title block at the top which was 3"x12"
As you can see I went high tech with a ruler and a rotary cutter... My fancy silhouette machine was buried, but if you have one of those... by all means, make it easy on yourself. But cutting squares is pretty easy to do by hand as well, so no stress if you don't have the fancy tools.
Then I got out my laser level (see the pink-ish line above the black blocks?) and my sewing ruler for spacing. Each of my blocks has a quarter inch between them. I would put them down, and sometimes the vinyl my stretch of land a little wonky, but it was easy to peel up and reposition until I felt good about it's position.
After making my first horizontal row of seven blocks, I continued on to the next, using my level and ruler (and some masking tape!) as a guide and spacer....
Until I had them all up... then I just wrote in days and numbers and a month title at the top with chalk. Easy peasy.
Oh! And I learned a chalk trick from pinterest...
You can use a pencil sharpener to make a nice point on your chalk for nicer writing. (WARNING: if you have any aversion to squeaky chalk... don't do it. It squeaks and screeches in ways that will make your teeth itch... but it does make for a much nicer writing and drawing experience.) Also I have heard (especially with colored chalk) you can dip it in water for smoother, quieter writing and bright color! I have not tested this method though...
So here is my calendar in my kitchen, in a nice prominent spot so we can't miss it, or the important events listed on it. (Sorry for all the shiny glare in the pictures. Don't paint tomato red walls in a semi-gloss finsh, okay? It's a bad and shiny idea)
This was about a 30 minute simple project that I am pretty happy with. It's been up since the beginning of the month, and has already been pretty effective... so as long as I can keep up with the month change, I think it's a keeper. If it's not, though... it's vinyl that peels right off the wall-- no harm in trying, amIright?
Even though this isn't hard to re-create, if you doubt your skills or time-commitment to the project, I found this chalkboard decal on Etsy.com that is super cute-- so you could let someone else do the work. Even better.
Do you have any awesome calendar methods or organizational tricks for your family schedules? How do you keep track of your family's events? Done any vinyl projects recently? Anything else you want to tell me about? Leave me a comment...

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Simple Pretty Christmas Projects (Thanks pinterest!)

Just wrapped the first gifts of the season. Don't have wrapping paper yet. But I do have white boxes and pretty ribbon. Simple and pretty. So I think that worked.
Used this method to get pretty bows:

So pinterest was useful today.
Also, along the theme of simple, pinterest inspired, holiday stuff... This is what is happening with all the Christmas cards we receive this year.
(Those are my cousins chillin' there on the front, Hey guys!) In past years I have piled them up, or clothespinned them to ribbons on the doors... but that seemed like a lot of work this year. So when I saw this...

... I was like, DONE.
Trying to keep Christmas simple and manageable this year. (You can read more about that here, if you care...) So far... no meltdowns, so we are good.
So what about you? What kind of simple, pretty things are you filling your Christmas with this year?

Friday, November 30, 2012

How To Shrink Your Tree

Four years ago, when I was living in my first little apartment after college, christmas time came along, and I had no tree. So I ran to the nearest walmart and grabbed an averagely cheap, pre-lit, full size (6.5 ft) artificial Christmas tree. I don't love artificial trees, but it was the only kind our apartment complex allowed... so I got it. It was not a thing of beauty... but it was a thing. It served it's purpose and looked lovely once it was plugged in and sprinkled with other shiny things.
Fast forward a couple years... and I am living in a smaller townhome with a baby on the way and our spare bedroom is now a nursery, and our basement is now a spare bedroom, and we have no storage or wiggle room in our furniture layout... or room to assemble and display a full size tree for the month.

So last year we put off Christmas Decorations while we searched for a tree solution. We decided we could set a mini tree on top of the buffet in the living room... but after about a week of searching for an acceptable mini size tree that didn't break the bank or look stupid, I had given up. I told Z it was hopeless.
Then I started thinking about my 6.5 ft tree. And how it comes apart in three separately lit sections. And how the top third was still a decent size, and just had a little peg of sorts that fits down into a pole running through the center of the other trees... and then I knew all I needed was to assemble a base and we'd be in business.

So I inlisted the help of my father (this was last year, I was 9 months pregnant and not allowed to use power tools...) and in about 5 minutes he screwed two pieces of wood together and drilled a hole and we had a tree stand.

I came home, dug out the top of our tree and popped it in the little base.
Admittedly, I didn't hear the angels singing yet. I mean, it's a little sparse and sad still.

Once it was lit, wrapped in glittering ribbons, and bedazzled with all manner ornaments...

I think it looks pretty darn good. This year I got it all out again to set it up, and realized that this is really a much better situation for a 1 year old anyhow. Some day, we'll get the rest of the little tree out again, but for now, we've got the shrunken guy, and he's still merry and bright!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Perfect Roast

It's been quiet around here, I know. I have been sewing away on some bowties and suspenders for Holiday Sales. Interested? Check me out on Facebook! That's right, One Sassy housewife is now on Facebook! Moving up in the world.

We're getting down to it, aren't we? A few days to Thanksgiving, and that's the official start, isn't it? You might love it, you might dread it, you might not celebrate it, but in this country it's pretty hard to ignore it. Christmas is coming, my friends!
But I better back up before my husband, Mr. Spirit-of-Thankgiving gets all on my case. Lets talk about Thankgiving. Are you having a big meal with friends and family? Are you roasting a bird? Are visions of stuffing, yams, and greenbean casserole already dancing in your head???
Would you like to know what will be on my table come Thursday?
Roast Beef.
Yup, roast beef. We are not huge turkey people, and our family is small, and my husband requested roast beef. Who am I to deny him. Especially because I make a mean roast. And I like to see my husband scarf down anything that I make-- but especially slow roasted meaty goodness.
Roast Beef is one of those things that can be so good, or so... not. There doesn't seem to be an in between but you know you've had good roast beef, and you know you've had bad, right? Making a good one is not so complicated; It takes a little attention, a few hours, and a good family recipe. I thought I would share mine with you this week... just in case you are an 'outside the box' thanksgiving-er and needed a recipe for this week. Wink.

This recipe--like most things I make-- came from my dad, and is really in truth not a recipe at all, but years of observing him make a sunday roast. Most of my dad's cooking know how came from his mom, but if pressed, he will sheepishly admit that he does not love his mom's roast, and does not make it the same way she does. Sorry to rat you out, Dad. But you do make a darn good roast, and grandma was a sweet, forgiving woman. :)

One of the important parts of making a good roast beef is the pan. You really need a dutch oven. Mine is a Magnalite dutch oven, which has just recently come back into production! Back when I was moving out on my own, my parents scoured antique shops and ebay trying to to find a magnalite dutch oven for me. They are these awesome cast aluminum dutch ovens... it's the only thing grandma would cook in, and the only thing Dad will make a roast in too. I have a couple of really expensive and larger dutch ovens, and they would work too, but nothing NOTHING is better than the magnalite for a roast. And thats all there is to that. Enough about hardware, onto the foodwares...

Get your dutch oven on the stove top and nice and hot. Throw in enough olive oil to cover the bottom, and get it really hot. Quarter an onion and place it (cut side down) in the pan for about a minute.
See all that pretty color? Thats good stuff! Now dig those onions out to a safe place, and clean and chop some carrots into large (but hopefully kind of uniform) chunks, and throw them in there to do the same. Also peel a few garlic cloves (feel free to smash them or leave them whole depending on how vicious you happen to be feeling that day...)

(You see how all my oil is puddling on one side because my burners on our junk stove top don't sit level? That's no good. Don't be like me. Try to find a level burner. But don't make your landlord mad. But level burners are pretty important.)
Do the same thing you did with the onions, about a minute... toss them around a little. You are not cooking them right now, you are just trying to get some color and carmelization going. Pull those out and put them in the safe place with the onions.
Grab a plate and put down a few tablespoons of flour and a good amount of salt and pepper.
Mix that all together, because you are going to dredge your meat in that mixture. Dredge it a weirdo word that just means coat your raw meat in a thin layer of flour.
I am using a tip roast here... because they are typically smaller and I was making roast beef for two. Also the tip roast is typically a little leaner, but that also means it can be a bit tougher and less flavorful. I would usually use a rump roast and one with lots of marbling. All that fat marbling throughout the meat means lots and lots of flavor and it will be more tender and juicy. That is my preferred piece of meat.  But hey, get whatever is cheapest, or available, or best for your family... that's what I've got going on here.
So anyway, dredge your meat, then put it down in the same screaming hot pan, right on top of where the veggies gave up their goodness.
You are going to sear that on all sides. I even stand it up on its sides-- holding it in place with the tongs-- to get a nice seared crust on all sides of the meat... like so:
See all the seasoned, crispy, browned goodness? It's gonna be magical. Again, we are not trying to cook this through at this point, so a hot pan, a quick sear until there is nice color on all sides, and then pull that baby out.
There will be little bits stuck to the bottom of your pan... that's gooooooooood. Now we are going to deglaze the pan. Another fancy culinary term for... we are using a liquid to scrape up all those happy bits stuck to the bottom. Pour in some beef broth... it should get all sizzly and steamy, because remember your pan is still super hot...
Now use a whisk to scrape all the happy bits off the bottom of the pan, and distribute their goodness throughout the liquid.
Once you've done that, put your roast back in the pan, and add enough liquid (beef broth) to cover the meat halfway. I also usually add a nice splash of red wine in there too. If you are adverse to alcohol or if you drank all the wine (oops) it's not ESSENTIAL to the overall turnout, but it does add a nice depth of flavor-- and it's really really good. So think about it.
Or don't. It's your roast.
Pile the onion and carrots and garlic around it the meat.
 And add a little kick with some rosemary and thyme sprinkled over the top. I prefer to use fresh herbs, they are kind of amazing, but we had a stupid hot summer that dried up my herb garden so all I had was dried, and dried herbs are still 100x better than no herbs, but if you have fresh herbs... go that way. But if all you have is dried... sprinkle and go.
Throw in a little more liquid... (the picture above needs more!) and then put your lid on nice and tight and put it in the oven at 275 for several hours. Your house is going to smell great, and you will be curious whats going on, but try not to touch it. The longer it sits undisturbed, the happier it will be.
Try not to be jealous of my pristine oven. I cleaned it myself.
My roast was little-- under 3 lbs, so 3 hours was about right. If you are more like 4 or 5 lbs, you will want 4 hours at least. Low and slow is the name of the game for a nice tender, tasty, roast.
One other thing... that I didn't picture... if you plan to add potatoes to your roast, wait until about a half hour before it's done, then throw in your clean, quartered (or mini) potatoes on the top, and put the lid back on and put it back in. If you put those things in at the beginning they will become mushy and bitter and over cooked and not at all what you want them to be. So a half hour out, deal?
Soooo... you waited your three (or four) hours and it smells amazing in your kitchen and everyone is hungry so it's time to pull it all out of the oven...
Use tongs and a spatuala, and maybe a friend, to help you lift the roast meat out of the pan in one piece. It should be very tender, so this should mostly not be really easy. Let him rest while you use a slotted spoon to fish out all the veggies (and in our house surgically separate them into unique piles so that Z doesn't have to come into contact with an onion, which would really ruin his day.) and put them onto your serving platter.
Then you can make your pan juices into a nice gravy (YES! DO IT!) or not if you are not gravy people (Who are you and why do you not like gravy? Who doesn't like gravy???).
Use a sharp knife to cut the roast into nice chunky slices (Opposite the grain) and transfer those to a platter.
If it's a fancy occasion (or thanksgiving dinner!) I would put it on my fancy platter with some bright green parsley and it would look lovely and everyone would be impressed. If it's a tuesday night, I just throw it on a big plate, and it still tastes awesome and everyone is impressed. So... your choice there.
Easy, delicious, hearty, comfort food. Holiday food. Family food.
Here's an unofficial recipe, typed in recipe form for those of you that need that...

Roast Beef  

1 whole (tip, rump, chuck) Roast
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil 
1 whole Onion (Or more)
4 whole Carrots (or more)
2-3 whole peeled garlic cloves
1 tablespoon flour
Salt and pepper
2-3 cups beef broth
1/2 cup red wine
1-2 sprigs fresh thyme (or about 1/2 teaspoon dry)
1-2 sprigs fresh rosemary (or about 1/2 teaspoon dry)

Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add olive oil (enough to cover the bottom)
Quarter onions and cut 4 or more carrots into 2-inch slices. When the oil in the pot is very hot (but not smoking), add in the onions, browning them on both sides. Remove the onions to a plate.
Throw the carrots and garlic into the same hot pan and toss them around a bit until slightly browned, about a minute or so.
Mix flour, salt, and pepper. Dredge your meat in the flour mixture. Make sure it is well seasoned with the salt and pepper. Place the meat in the hot pan and sear it for about a minute on all sides until it is brown with a nice crust. Remove the roast to a plate.
With the burner still on high, use beef broth (about 1 cup) to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom with a whisk to get all of the bits up and incorporated. Return roast to pan and add enough beef stock to covver the meat half way. Add the red wine (or an equivalent amount of stock). Place the vegetable all around the meat, as well as the herbs.
Cover with the lid, then roast in a 275F oven for 3 hours (for a 3-pound roast). For a 4 to 5-pound roast, plan on 4 hours.

Okay, I'm getting excited for Thanksgiving now! What are you eating? Anything beefy? Or does everyone else in the world just stick with Turkey?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

10 months old!

Sam @ 10 months


at birth: 9lbs 2.7 oz
  at nine months: 22 lbs 1 oz

You are an adventurous eater and there's not much you won't eat, but... you have a sweet tooth! Fruit and sweet treats are by far your favorite! We have to serve you the rest of your food first, and reserve your fruit for last otherwise you gobble it up and don't want anything else!
Also, you are a grazer. You eat slowly... at your pace, no one elses. We will be frustrated sometimes when you don't seem to be eating your dinner, and about 20 minutes in all of a sudden you start eating, and you get it all down. You take your time, but you eat it all.


You wake up every day around 8:00 a.m.
You nap for 2-3 hours around 11:00 a.m.
You nap for about an hour around 5:00 p.m.
Bedtime is 9:30 p.m.
If we stray from this schedule... you are a grizzly bear.
You sleep on your tummy, with your knees pulled up under you and your bootie in the air. You like having your back rubbed to put you to sleep, and you won't go to sleep without a blanket and your sheep to snuggle.


Getting into all the things you are not supposed to... power cords, the dog gate, the dog bowls, laundry baskets, etc. If it is off limits... you want it. You also learned you could get inside the dog kennels one day... and oh boy was that exciting!

Your trike! Grandma and Grandpa P got you an early birthday gift... a pretty red trike, and ooh do you love it. You have always enjoyed riding in your strollers, but riding your trike (with mama and dad helping push right now) is doubly exciting. You hold on the the handles and steer and giggle with delight.
The shopping carts at Target. Specifically target, because they are bigger than most. And you turn around backwards in the seat and mama puts her arms around you and pushes you through the store facing forward and you squeal with excitement (and people give us dirty looks and judge your mama because it's probably pretty unsafe, and you don't care.)
All other shopping carts where you can't see where you are going.
When Daddy takes his shower. You get so excited when Daddy gets home at night, and he gives you a kiss and plays with you for a few minutes before going up to take his shower, and you scream is angry protest the whole time he is showering. It's not fair that Daddy is finally home and not with you, huh?

First haircut. The Grandmas were distraught, but you looked so clean cut and handsome that they forgave me.
Slides. We went to the park with Grandma and Grandpa P and you loved the slides so much. We tried to start you out easy on the small slides but you fearlessly crawled to the big ones and launched yourself down headfirst. You beamed and giggled and were breathless with excitment to get back to the top each time and do it again.
Special Skills
Pulling up to a stand on the furniture. We had to lower your crib so you didn't crawl/fall out. You pull up to a stand in your crib, on the couch, on the dog gate, on the couch, on the cabinets, on... any piece of furniture you possibly can.
Waving. You are the friendliest kid ever. You wave at everyone. All the time. Always waving. When someone enters a room, when someone leaves. When someone talks to you, or when you see something you like. You have started responding with a wave when someone says 'Bye-bye' or 'Hello' so you get the concept. You love waving.

Playing the drums. Daddy had a little pair of drumsticks cut down to your size, and he set up a drum set for you out of some of his stuff-- a tom, a splash cymbal, and some woodblocks. He set it in front of your chair and you went to town with no instruction or encouragement. And Daddy was SO PROUD.

Things I don't want to forget
Mama trained to run a half marathon this summer, and you were my little running buddy. We put in a lot of miles; you in your stroller and me pushing you along. Sometimes you would fall asleep, but often you would sit awake and wide eyed observing everything. I love that about you, so curious and clever.
You have earned a new nickname-- Mama calls you a pickle all the time. And you smile at her like-- "I know, Mom, I know."

Making videos is very frustrating to you because it means you have to hold still and that makes you very angry or very sad. Either way it begins and ends in a cry fest and your mama gave up. So no 10 month footage.

You are clever, curious, and always on the move. You are ornery, funny, and fearless. You are all boy, independant, and energy all the time. You are our sweet little boy, and we love you and love watching you grow. Just... could you not grow quite so fast? Time is flying.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sam I am

Well... I am only a couple weeks behind here, and October has long past us, and I am sure your Halloween spoils long since devoured. (Don't pretend like you don't gank your kid's candy) I couldn't let us pass over it entirely without sharing pictures of Sam's first Halloween... I know i'm late, but back up your brain just a smidge and soak in the cuteness that is about to hit you like BAM.

After much debate we landed on the perfect, clever, comfy, warm, and simple to sew costume for the boy. A little Dr. Seuss action... Sam I Am!
I used a pair for Sam's pj's as a pattern and whipped up some pants and a tunic out of fleece. Usually I am anti-fleece, but it's super cheap, stretchy and easy to sew with, which makes it perfect for costumes and fun. Plus it was super warm, which was important as it was super cold out during our festivities!
Sam was a huge fan of his sign, and the felt green eggs and ham. He also rubbed his legs and laughed hysterically the first time I put the fleece pants on him. The thing he didn't love... was his hat.
But with a little sweet talking, fast camera work, and a carrot bribe, we were able to get a few pics of him with it on... before he burst into angry tears or ripped it off and threw it.
Poor kid.
He did like being the center of attention though (he usually does) (Because he usually is). Mama even threw together a quick coodinating outfit, that was a hit with the kiddos! So many kiddos came by our house and shouted excitedly, You're the Cat in the Hat! or It's Dr. Seuss! Which made me laugh. My parents joined in on the fun and donned Thing 1 and Thing 2 visors with awesome blue hair. Good sports.
It was the perfect first Halloween costume for our little Sam I Am. I was happy that everything turned out well. I even got it done early-- and in time to submit pictures and be featured in an online costume parade on one of my favorite blogs! Fun!
Our little Sam was cute as can be. Can you even believe that little boy sitting on my lap is the same one in this picture at just 2 weeks old???
Tiny sweetie Sam I Am baby. How did you get so big???

That was Halloween around here! Better late than never.
I'm already onto all kinds of projects for other holidays and festivities... including a holiday market I am to be a part of next week. Whoo am I sewing my fingers off these days! What have you been up to while I've been away? :)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pinterest Challenge: Bathroom Organizer

I cleaned off my dresser the other day. Yay!
That doesn't sound that impressive until I am humbled and honest and admit that I had to clean it because stuff was piled so high i could no longer see my own face in the mirror behind it. I had to stand on my tiptoes. I'm a slob, folks.
But the dresser is now clear and I had to figure out what to do with the stuff that was up there. Most of it was easy to distribute to other areas... but I had a large collection of hair accessories, and the logical place for those would be the bathroom, but I didn't have a great place in the bathroom to keep them together. I threw them in a box they didn't belong in under the sink.
Then I was trolling pinterest the other day and found this pin:

suggesting you use one of those shoe organizers on the inside of the bathroom cabinets. And I went ding! Great Idea.
And then that same day, I saw The Pinterest Challenge (Fall edition) on YHL and I was all, Challenge Accepted, let's make this happen!
But... I didn't have a shoe organizer to cut up. And I had a very small cabinet door. And I needed some different sizes for various accessories. And... I quickly knew I was going to have to custom make this thing... and I wanted it to be pretty!
Sooooo... I did some measuring, and pulled some pretty fabric from my stash, and it came together pretty quickly. All straight lines, and a couple of pleats... topped it off with a package of gray bias tape... done.

The backing is a heavy canvas so it has a little bit of weight to it... but it didn't need to be incredibly heavy duty, because generally hair accesories are pretty light. I was going to put a grommet on each corner to hang it, but I only had one... so button holes worked instead. I used some small 3M hooks to hold it up.
 So I popped it up there, and filled it up right away. Clips, hair pins, and ribbons accross the top. Running headbands and embarrassing hair forms in the middle. (is anyone else embarrased by hair forms? Does anyone else use them? I have one for buns and... a bumpit. I'm pretty embarrassed now.) Bottom row is hair flowers and fancy pins, and decorative headbands.
Having a place for the hair stuff means I was able to organize the rest of the cabinet...
So there you go, now you have seen under my bathroom sink. Awesome, no?
So there you have it. Had a problem. Found a pin. Accepted a pinterest challenge. Put my own pretty Pin Spin on it. And now my life is better for it. Yay.
Have you completed any pinterest projects lately? Accepted any pinterest challenges? Made anything to help organize your bathroom?

(Oh, hey... side note. It just occurred to me last time I did a Pinterest Challenge I also made an organizational piece for my bathroom! that's a weird theme...)

(Also, you should go over to Young House Love and check out their Pinterest Challenge Project-- spoiler alert: It's a really cool big standing chalkboard. Oooh...)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Not here, or there, or anywhere...

Just a sneak peak of Sam's Halloween costume I have been working so hard on!
I am really happy with the way it turned out... but in normal fashion, I am freaking out over tiny details-- like yesterday I spent a couple hours handpainting a sign (and a perfect stick to hold the sign...) it was complete and it was perfect and it was handed over to the child and within seconds it was broken.
Sigh. But fixable!
More good things coming...
Are you ready for halloween???

Monday, October 15, 2012

Baby J Quilt

So a couple weeks ago I threw up this pic just to tease you and let you know I hadn't dropped off the face of the planet:
Lovely pretty fabrics to be made into a warm, soft quilt to welcome my best friend's snuggly little girl into the world! Oh, is she sweet! :) Baby J was born just a week ago, and we got to go visit the fresh little one and her parents last week! 
April is my oldest friend... we've been friends literally since birth, sooooo... what are we at, 27.5 ish years of friendship? That's intense. It's weird that we have kids now. It's so much fun to see our kids playing together, as we sit off the the side and talk and giggle. I don't know when we grew up-- it seems like we should still be the little kids playing on the floor. 
Anyway, this is April's second baby girl, and carrying on a Sass family tradition, every new baby in the family (and April is pretty much family to me) gets a quilt. (You may recall I made this quilt when her first baby girl was born).
 For this quilt I pieced 10x10 blocks or ivory and chocolate dot minky. The backing was  a sweet bicycle flannel print in ivory, chocolate, turquoise, orange, and pink. I loved the print because it was sweet and girly, without being over the top or sickeningly 'baby'. (April and I agree-- we are not a huge fan of 'babyish baby stuff'.)

I 'embroidered' a j in the corner of the backing to personalize it with some chunky pink yarn. I used the same yarn to tie the blanket-- even though I went ahead and 'quilted' it stitch-in-the-ditch style around those big minky blocks.
I used a double layer of extra-loft organic cotton batting so it is extra pillow-y and soft.
The quilt is bound with a turquoise satin binding-- with those mitered corners that always give me fits!
I really liked the way it turned out! I think it is cute and fun, and extra soft. Perfect for a cute, fun, soft new baby J! I think (hope?) April liked it too... she saw it and said-- oh I saw the fabric on your blog the other day and I was hoping it was for us! I'm glad we have a similar asthetic.
Here is my friend (looking fab just a few days after giving birth!) and me holding sweet baby girl. (Don't you think I look good holding a baby draped in pink? We should try for a pink one next time...) Love you and your sweet family, April! Congrats on another beautiful baby girl! Welcome to the world, baby J!