Monday, August 31, 2009

This week I'm looking forward to....

Seeing Grace have fun in dance class with Miss Erica - yes, we found her and made the switch :: buying our groceries from Whole Foods - with no intentions of a side trip to Publix :: watching our sunflowers grow and perhaps sowing some seeds for fall veggies :: opening my Etsy shop on a day that has special meaning for Dean and I :: celebrating the full moon with a book inspired project :: preparing yummy meals and desserts with Grace at my side :: finishing the quilt top of a long envisioned project :: simply enjoying all the little things that fill our days.

What are you looking forward to this week?

Saturday, August 29, 2009


In an effort to beat the heat and spend some family time together we went bowling. Grace just loves to bowl. The alley we go to puts the bumpers up - so there's no chance for a gutter ball for her or for us! She got a spare today and was so excited to see the final pin tumble that she skipped all the way back to her seat (photo below).

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sweet Summer Corn

While grocery shopping this week the ears of corn looked delicious - just too good to pass up. So Grace picked out the three "bestest corns" and this evening we enjoyed their sweet tastiness (we melted a bit of butter then added the corn, thinly sliced shallots, salt, pepper and some fresh thyme from the garden). The photo doesn't really do the corn any justice. Just trust me on this one, it was good.

Next week I plan on using fresh corn in a scaled back version of this recipe (here). My mouth is watering just thinking about them - fresh corn tamales here we come!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lowercase Letters and Reading

One of our summertime goals was to help Grace learn to write the lowercase alphabet (she learned the uppers last summer). Just like teaching her to write the numbers and uppercase letters, we utilized Kumon's "My First Book of..." as our guide - they're such a pleasure to use and Grace loves the drawings in them. I'm happy to report with just one day to spare before school starts our goal was accomplished - yea for Grace!

In other news... being the fourth Tuesday of the month, it was "Reading to the Dogs" day at the library. Grace lucked out - due to low attendance this time around she was able to read a book to each of the three dogs that participated. One of the books that she brought from home was, "Blue Hat, Green Hat" by Sandra Boynton. Each time she reads it she laughs hysterically at the turkey and his "oops" - pure silliness for sure!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Four and a Half

Grace is officially four and a half years old! She celebrated with Meme, Pop, Uncle Aaron, Aunt Rachel, Aunt Cathi, Uncle Dave, and Christopher over the weekend and with Dean and I this evening.

Since it was a "half" birthday we made half of our favorite chocolate cake (here). Grace insisted on decorating it with fresh cherries despite the fact that she dislikes them. She licked the chocolate frosting off the cherry then said, "Here you go Daddy" - I guess we can't fault her for sharing!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sunflower Seeds

A single sunflower sprung up among the hedge around our pool. We surmise that a birdie dropped a seed there after a visit to the feeder. Over time we watched it grow and then bloom. Once it was past it's prime we allowed the sunflower head to dry in the garage. Here's what came next...

....We discussed the intricate pattern of the tiny seeds - Grace loves patterns these days.

....We separated all of the seeds from the head and then counted them - we lost track at well over one hundred.

....And lastly, Grace tossed handfuls of seeds around the garden - in hopes that some will take root so we can start the entire process all over again!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Puppets and a Show

While eating lunch I asked Grace what she would like to do with the remainder of our afternoon. After thinking for a few moments she said, "Lets make puppets and have a show". So that's just what we did. She had a great time designing, cutting, coloring and gluing her two puppets - Morris (the moose) and Boris (the bear) from the story, "Morris has a Cold" by Bernard Wiseman.

We held a before bedtime puppet show - Grace and I were the puppeteers while Dean and Sophie were the audience. Grace laughed hysterically during the "show" and was hardly able to recite the words of the silly story - truly priceless.

Oh how books inspire us to do such wonderful activities together!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Dance is Back

The day Grace had been waiting all summer for finally arrived - her dance class is back in session. She's in a "combo" class again this year so she gets to do ballet, tap and various other forms of movement (yoga, acro, etc.). Unfortunately her wonderful teacher from last year, Miss Erica, didn't return. Despite Miss Erica's absence Grace had a great time dancing her heart out!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

One Hundred

Hip, hip, hooray - this is our 100th blog post!

We hope you're having a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Summer Skirts

For better or for worse our summer skirts are complete (Sorry for the silly photo, we were playing with the self timer. And yes, that's a flower from our garden in Grace's hair). Both patterns were found as freebies online. Grace's was the lazy days skirt from Oliver and S (found here) and mine was the 5 minute skirt from the Angry Chicken (found here).

Grace's skirt came out as planned. The directions were so easy to follow - the only thing I did different was place a bias strip hem instead of the ribbon. I've made several of these comfy skirts for her in the past - paired with a cotton t-shirt they're perfect since she's a skirt and dress kinda girl.

My skirt on the other hand was a bit of a problem. It ended up being too full on the bottom for the desired length - Grace even made a comment, "That looks weird". So I pulled out the scissors and did some nipping and tucking and well.... you can probably guess what happened next. Yep, I made it too small. In an effort to salvage the fabric I added a panel in the back. Now it's at least wearable, well maybe not out in public.

So there you have it - our matching summer skirts!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Homemade Pitas

I came across a recipe for falafel pitas that I wanted to try for dinner this week. The only problem was that the recipe called for store bought whole wheat pitas. I'm not sure about you but any time that we've tired pitas, especially wheat, they end up crumbling into pieces while we attempt to stuff them. So in an effort to solve our pita issues I made homemade. Wow, what a difference - they didn't break apart and they tasted delicious (recipe here). They also provided Grace with some pre-dinner entertainment - she loved watching them "balloon" in the oven just minutes after being placed on the pizza stone. Go ahead and try them, you'll be amazed with the results too!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


We spent our day nesting - only stepping out the front door for a morning walk and out the back door for a swim and to pick fresh herbs from the garden. Some days, like today, it's so nice to not have a plan and enjoy the day at home!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Pool Party

Over the weekend Grace attended a birthday party at the YMCA water park - it was for her friend Shae (in the photo below) from dance class. The weather held up just long enough for the kiddos to enjoy some pool fun. Then it was time for pizza and cupcakes, yum. Grace had a great time helping Shae celebrate her fourth birthday!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Sculpey Fun

I was on the search for a little birdie button to place on one of the quilts for my Etsy shop. After not being able to find the perfect one, I made some by hand with Sculpey clay. Grace got in on the clay fun too. She made a mouse which was inspired by the book, "Frederick and His Friends" by one of our favorite authors, Leo Lionni. I helped her poke a hole through the clay so the mouse can be strung onto a piece of string and made into a necklace - how cute will that be?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Chocolate Covered Bananas

While in the produce department at Publix Grace spotted the banana display. For what ever reason seeing them reminded her of a recipe in a "Highlights High Five" magazine. "We just have to make those chocolate bananas" she said - so that's what we did. Both she and Dean thought they were delicious, although Grace said, "The chocolate was the bestest part".

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Fabric Goodness

I've hit the fabric jackpot this week. One of the local quilt shops was having an anniversary sale. There were so many bargains...

...Like fat quarters - 10 for fifteen dollars. I added some vintage inspired fabrics along with a few of Amy Bulter's lines to my stash.

...This cute Chinese zodiac fabric was on the bargain wall. I just had to buy a yard - Grace happens to love the dragons on it.

...This was another bargain fabric. I purchased enough yardage to make Grace and I matching summer skirts.

...And this beautiful line was found at another quilt shop, Rainbow's End. I spent nearly three hours (I'm so thankful for Meme and Grace's patience that day) hunting for the perfect fabric for a project in process. Needless to say I finally found it -unfortunately it was full price.

Now I just need to find a bit of spare time!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Grace's Weekend

Grace spent a wonderful weekend with Meme and Pop. They kept her so busy - they went to M.O.S.I., a Ray's game (Grace was so excited to receive a big hug from the mascot, Raymond), had many meals out, played, read stories and went swimming for countless hours.

The pictures above, taken in a photo booth on one of their many adventures, sum-up her perfect weekend - what happy times!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Dandelion Wishes

It just makes Grace's day to find a "dandelion" and make a wish upon it. Thankfully, for her sake, there's plenty just waiting to be picked in the backyard. We just hope the spores fly off to a faraway land and don't take root in our yard.

On a side note Dean and I are headed out to car shop (it's time to say goodbye to our ten year old CRV) while Grace has a wonderful weekend with two people that adore her more than anything in the world - Meme and Pop!

We wish you a wonderful August!