Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Butterick 3762 Review: Anna's New Dress

I am so pleased with how it turned out.
I finally finished sewing the above dress for my five year old cousin Anna a few weeks ago.  I think it might be the only thing I have sewn all summer!  According to her chest measurements she needed a size 3/4 but I made a size 5 (her current size) so that she would be able to wear it for 2 summers.  It does look large in the picture but the style of the dress is long and modest.
The three pleats on the bodice would show up much better in a solid fabric.
I used a light weight seersucker fabric called Tutti Frutti that I purchased from Hancock Fabrics.  It was easy to work with.  I thought this dress was fairly easy to sew but I do have a lot of sewing under my belt.  The cover of the pattern says easy but this pattern is not for the beginner.  It includes a zipper and pleats for view B which I made.  The pleats really were not that difficult to sew but this was my first experience with them. I ended up just measuring the pleats instead of trying to keep up with all of the markings.

Back view.  I probably should add a hook and eye to the top.

Since I am hoping the dress will fit for a few summers I did include a nice 3" hem along the bottom.  I think it would also be cute to add rickrack or lace for this dress.  I didn't really change the pattern at all but I did use my serger to finish all seams.  Overall this was a nice pattern that would work well as a fancy dress or an everyday dress.  I am sure with two young nieces and a daughter that I will be sewing this one again!

Do you have any favorite dress patterns for a toddler?  I am hoping to sew Evangeline a few dresses this fall.  She is a size 18 months in ready to wear.  Thanks! 

Monday, August 25, 2014

This Mama Studies: Going Back To School!

The happy hubby insisted on taking my picture on my first day of school. 
If you have noticed a small lull in my writing on the blog it is because a new adventure has begun in our family.  This mama is going back to school!!!  The end goal is to become an ibclc lactation consultant.      Brandon and I have thought about this as a possibility for our family for years.  I have always been interested in the health care field and I am really passionate about breastfeeding so this seems like the perfect fit.
This semester I am taking two classes:

Anatomy & Physiology I Lecture & Lab
Nutrition & Wellness

The nutrition class is all online and I attend the A & P class twice a week in the evenings while the happy hubby hangs out with the kiddos.  So far I have spent  10 hours on Anatomy & Physiology homework/studying and 2 hours on nutrition since classes began on Tuesday.  On my first day of A & P the tutor for the class said that it usually takes about 25 hours a week of studying to do well in the class.  I simply don't have that much time to give but I am trying to carve out about 10 hours for study and homework.

Next semester I will take a statistics class and a CPR class before I begin the Lactation Education classes and hands on hours necessary to sit for the ibclc exam in July of 2016.  

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Evangeline Grace: 10 Months Update

Evangeline enjoying one of her many hikes this past month!
Evangeline's 10th month has been filled with fun!  We went on vacation, attended the Ohio State Fair, and spent lots of time building memories and enjoying our summer!  I can't believe she is going to have a birthday soon.  She weighs 20.5 pounds which means she has actually lost almost a pound from last month.  (Eli did the same thing once he became mobile.)  This is due to the fact that she is on the MOVE!  Eva Grace is always going, going, going.  She crawls everywhere and she cruises!  We keep watching and waiting for her to walk. 

They are the best of friends! 
 Elijah and Evangeline continue to spend more and more time playing together every day.  Such a joy and delight to this mama's heart.  Eva has started trying to talk to Eli and I wouldn't be surprised if she comes up with a really fun nick name for him.  (I used to call my brother Bubbers.)
Eva took her nap in this position one afternoon while we were on vacation.  
It is so neat to see Eva's personality continue to develop.  She still cannot be persuaded to eat a single thing except for the occasional drink of water.  It's just mama's milk for this little girl!  I have started pumping again since I do leave her for a few hours twice per week.  She still hates the bottle but Daddy has been able to persuade her to drink breastmilk from a sippy cup so that is WONDERFUL!

Eva and her pearly whites. 
This month Evangeline has cut 2 more teeth on top for a grand total of 4 teeth!  The top teeth definitely bothered her a lot more than when she cut the bottom teeth.  We are all thankful that they have fully poked through.  She has also started to jabber more and has added "uh oh" to her vocabulary just today!  (I did encourage this as I just find it adorable.)

We have begun to settle into more of a routine at our home since we have completed all of our summer travels and planned outings.  Eva has really grown in her garden appreciation the past month which has been fun.  (We harvest the majority of our garden in August and September.)

Do you think our sweet girl will walk this month?  Any guesses on the date?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Evangeline Grace: 9 Months Update

Evangeline with Daddy at Kentucky Lake.
Our sweet Evangeline is such a delight to our family and seems to bring joy to everyone around her.  This month we have enjoyed being outdoors with her more.  She loves to be worn by both mommy and daddy.  We love the flexibility and freedom that baby wearing brings.  We were able to enjoy a nice long 2.5 mile hike this past month.
All smiles watching Eli & I roll out pretzel dough.
 Evangeline continues to enjoy sitting with us at the table for meals but does not enjoy eating anything!  We recently tried a little juice just for fun since I know it serves no nutritional value.  She liked it okay but we will not be allowing her to indulge in it except on the rare occasion.  Evangeline continues to dislike any form of food, cheerios, etc.  She continues to nurse every few hours and has yet to drop any of her feedings.  (I know by this point Elijah had dropped down to fewer feedings but I really don't mind.)  Selfishly I do wish that she would enjoy taking a bottle or breast milk from a sippy cup just so that the happy hubby and I could enjoy longer date nights.  :)
Evangeline enjoying the state 4H Horse Show in Louisville. 
 I was unable to weigh her at the last La Leche League meeting but I know that she is probably pushing 22 pounds which means we will need to purchase a new car seat soon.  It is a little bittersweet to think of packing away more baby items.  Can she really be this big already?
Eva loved dress like a cow day at Chick Fil A. 
Evangeline has become increasingly more mobile this past month and can now pull up to standing.  Eva continues to delight the family by making all sorts of noises and saying Mama and Dada.  I can't wait to see Eli's face when she finally learns to say Eli or brother.  Elijah continues to be the sweetest brother to her.  They play constantly and he is happy to include her in almost every activity.  He has a special gift for making her giggle and I often find them playing peek-a-boo.

Eva has also enjoyed attending Story time with Elijah at our local library and our many trips to the zoo and splash park.  She's still a little uncertain about the garden but I am confident she will develop a love for it before long.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Frugal Things I Did The Last Two Weeks

Royal Burgundy green beans we picked this week from our garden. 
We have been able to harvest a substantial amount of produce from our garden the past few weeks.  Check out the PURPLE green beans that we grew!  They turn green when you cook them.  Elijah thinks they are just the coolest thing ever while the happy hubby just thinks I am silly.  Thankfully I can already notice a decrease in our grocery budget and an increase in the number of veggies we have been eating.  I planted an entire row of summer squash so it will soon be coming out of our ears!  We harvested squash and green beans from our garden.  We ate green beans with three meals this past week.  My mother also canned 3 quarts for us.  

I ordered a subscription to Old House Journal for 4.50.  Honestly I haven't read this magazine before but I figured that it was worth a shot.  (I used fun money to purchase it.)

I renewed library videos via the telephone in order to avoid paying a late fee.  One thing that has really helped me in the area of not returning items late to the library is to always visit the library on the same day of the week.  Where we live you can keep movies for one week and books for three.  We also don't always check out movies if we know we will not be able to return them on time.

Elijah and I canned 18 half pint jars of the world famous Ann Foutch (my mother) Kerr Cucumber Relish.  We also canned 14 pints of dill pickles and around a dozen pints of bread and butter pickles.  The cucumbers were given to us which was such a blessing!  My cucumber have done horrible this year.  I would love to find some more since our family can easily go through a jar of relish a week and a jar of pickles in about 2 weeks.  Pickles also make wonderful Christmas presents!

My cousin Anna's dress.  
I finished sewing my cousin's dress.  I used Butterick 3762 and hope to post a short review soon.  I was pleased with how it turned out.

Elijah came down with pink eye.  Since we have dealt with this in the past we did not think it was necessary to visit the pediatrician.  We used medicine we had on hand and when that ran out our Dr. was kind enough to call something in.  In the past we have also used a homeopathic remedy that has also worked well.

I purchased three Christmas presents.  There are only 141 days until Christmas!  It is time to get to work.  :)

The kids and I had lots of fun playing outside.  Why spend money on outside entertainment when they both have a blast playing and exploring our huge backyard?

What frugal things did you do last week?  

I would love to hear some of the frugal things that you did last week.  Please share below!  

Monday, August 4, 2014

July Garden Update

Early Prolific Straight neck Squash  
We are really enjoying the harvest season of the garden.  Our garden was planted about 2 weeks after the first frost date so it has just started to really produce.  I thought it would be fun to share a few pictures.  No judging please because I took the pictures before I weeded.  :)
Eli is the official squash picker of the family!  
It is so much fun to just walk out to our garden and pick food to cook for dinner.  It does not get any fresher than that!

So proud of our hard work!  
 We have enjoyed eating squash at least 4 times per week.  We have enjoyed it in bread, sauteed, as a casserole, and as zucchini fries.
Black Beauty Zucchini
 A sweet friend bought a squash cookbook for me and I can't wait to try out some of the new recipes!  Last year I also made Zucchini Pickles which I might make again.
We are growing tons of fresh basil in our garden! 
I started adding fresh basil to my paninis sandwiches and to a lot of our main dinner dishes.  I'm hoping to dehydrate a bunch of it for the winter months and to make homemade pesto for the happy hubby.

Hooray for squash! 
 Elijah has really enjoyed his growing responsibilities in the garden.  Every other day he is in charge of picking all of the squash that is ready.  I must say that I have been really impressed by the great job that he has done.  He also helps me pick green beans and keep his sister entertained.
The tomatoes are coming! 
We have not harvested any tomatoes but they have started to set.  In the next few weeks we also expect to harvest peppers, cabbage, and kale.  We have harvested a number of (Jade) green beans, okra, and purple green beans in addition to the squash.   The deer had a great time enjoying my beautiful Romaine lettuce right before I picked it.  Thankfully except for the lettuce snacking the deer have stayed away.  We actually do not grow corn which I believe is a major deer attractant.

How does your garden grow? Do you have any delicious squash recipes to share?  

Friday, August 1, 2014

July Reads

July Reads
Women of the Word Jen Wilkin: I'm sure that every true believer of Christ would say it is important to study God's Word but most of us could also say that it can be hard to know where to start.  Today it is so easy for women to get discouraged reading the Bible as they deal with various frustrations and time constraints.  Personally my biggest challenge during this busy season of life is the time constraint.  I simply don't have as much time as I desire to study my Bible but that doesn't mean that I can't enjoy a rich Bible Study experience with the time that I do have available.    Wilkin offers a clear plan to help women study their Bible deeper in order that they might treasure Christ even more.  I have read a few different books on reading the Bible and this book was so refreshing.  The author presents the 5 P's of Bible Study: Purpose, Perspective, Patience, Process, and Prayer.  Overall this book was great and I am sure I will be passing it along to friends in the future!  Please note that I did receive a review copy of this book from Crossway Books.

Answering Your Kids' Toughest Questions by Elyse Fitzpatrick & Jesssica Thompson: This book was a hard yet great book to read.  I know that a big challenge in my parenting in the future will be helping my children to understand difficult things in life such as loss, sin, death, wars, eternity, sexuality, and tragedies in their life.  Fitzpatrick & Thompson did an excellent job in this book helping parents to talk to their children.  I really enjoyed how the authors gave practical suggestions about possible things that you could actually say to your child.  They aren't suggesting parents read to their children from the book but I found it really helpful to see an example.  I also appreciated how the authors talked about how to talk to your children when they are preschoolers, 5-10, and 11 and beyond.  I thought this was very helpful.  Overall this is a great book that I am sure I will look to again and again in the future.  Please note that I did receive a copy of this book to review from Bethany House Publishing.  All opinions are my own.

The Duck Commander Family: How Faith, Family, and Ducks Built a Dynasty by Willie & Korie Robertson: I must say that I didn't really get into Duck Dynasty until right after Evangeline was born.  During her newborn days I found myself up often in the night nursing and one night I clicked on Duck Dynasty.  A few weeks later and I watched at least a few seasons.  :)  I'm about halfway through the book and it is great.  I have really enjoyed learning more about their family.  They really were ordinary people before Duck Dynasty was born.  :)

Kombucha Revolution by Stephen Lee with Ken Koopman: This book is all about making kombucha.  I have been brewing kombucha for probably at least 3 years.  If you have never tasted kombucha it is kind of like carbonated fruit juice with a zip.  To say that the author takes brewing kombucha seriously is an understatement.  This book was WAY too intense for me!  I really enjoy brewing kombucha once a week but I really just don't want to branch out into making kombucha into anything else.  If you have lots of time on your hands and a serious kombucha addiction you might enjoy this book.  Otherwise skip the book and just enjoy brewing your favorite flavor.  If you are new to kombucha there are many tips inside the book that you might find helpful.  Please note that I did receive a copy of this book from Blogging For Books.

7 Myths of Working Mothers: Why Children and (Most) Careers Just Don't Mix by Suzanne Venker:  This is probably the most controversial book that I read this month.  While I wouldn't say that I agree with 100% of the book I did enjoy reading it.  Venker makes a solid argument for the fact that in many career paths a woman simply cannot give 110% to both her job and her family.  She isn't against mothers working outside of the home and she would not say that she thinks that every woman should stay at home and never contribute to the income of the household.  The author simply encourages women to think of motherhood as their full-time job and then look for creative ways to fit other work around their first priority.  I know dozens of women who are doing just this.  I wish that this book was required reading for all high school senior girls before they enter college.  When I entered college motherhood and marriage was not even on my radar.  I would have definitely chosen a more family friendly major if I could do it all over again.

What good books did you read last month?