Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Dress from my stash!

Despite it being almost 10pm and it's so dark in the house now I had to snap a couple pictures to show what I just finished! I made a Christmas dress for L completely from my stash down to the buttons and little velvet flower that's sewn on one of the pockets! The only thing I bought was the shirt and leggings to go with it from Old Navy. I'll get some better shots of L in it on Christmas. She absolutely loves it and told me it's the dress she's always wanted!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Treats: Fudgy Macaroons

Finally, we're doing some more baking! Fudgy Macaroons were a staple Christmas cookie growing up. They are super easy, super fast and no heating up the oven to make these cookies.
In a 2 quart saucepan, mix 1/2 cup evaporated milk, 3/4 cup sugar and 2 Tbsp margarine. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture boils and is bubbly all over top. Boil and stir over medium heat 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 tsp vanilla extract and 6oz package chocolate bits. Mix in 2 cups corn flakes (plain or sugar), 1 cup coconut and 1/2 cup chopped nuts(black walnuts). Drop from tablespoon onto waxed paper. Let stand until set. Makes 2 dozen.

And you can't forget the best part... licking the spoon!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Rolie Polie

I just bought my first Rolie Polie! Although I'm still confused about the quilting fabric pack terms I thought this was actually a Jelly Roll but a Rolie Polie seems to just be a smaller pack of fabric, same size pieces as a Jelly Roll. Isn't it cute? 
 I almost didn't want to open it up... almost.

This is the ADORABLE Fox Trails line from Doohikey Designs.
My plan is to leave out the blue colorway and just use the brown and green colorways and make a gender neutral baby quilt.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Treats: Chocolate Covered Pretzels

The Christmas gifts are bought, mostly wrapped, all out-of-town packages have been shipped and L is off school. We are going to enjoy the rest of the week baking and cleaning up the house to get ready for Christmas Eve. Our first treat we made is a favorite of mine and L's - Chocolate covered pretzels. I know people usually dip the big pretzel rods like this but I decided to dip the little sticks this year instead of the traditional pretzel shape. It's so much faster and kid friendly! I just melted the chocolate in mugs so even L can help dip the pretzels. 

She's so serious with her sprinkle job!

The Hunt for Round Pretzels

Did anyone else pin the round pretzel, hershey kiss and M&M treat onto their Pinterest boards recently? I was thinking this would be the perfect little quick treat for L to help me make for her preschool teachers. Boy was I wrong. First of all, we couldn't find the round pretzels anywhere! No luck at Aldi's, Walmart, Meijer or our local grocery store. After sending my husband on the hunt for the round pretzels and him calling me from every store and telling me no one had them, I got back online only to find out how hard they are to find and you could use the waffle pretzels instead. And a friend on Facebook told me she had in fact used the waffle pretzels with success too.
Great, we're back on track. Wrong. One website had said not to melt the kisses too long or you would get a crust on the outside and the M&M wouldn't push into them right. But I'm thinking I didn't even melt them long enough because when we went to bag them up for her two preschool teacher, half of the kisses popped right off of the pretzels and weren't even melted into the pretzel.
Don't they look so cute though? We packages up the ones that didn't pop apart and I went and got Starbuck's gift cards... epic fail on my first teacher gift. Being crafty I was hoping for something more crafty, creative and useful, not a gift card. But there is always a mom bring them both coffee to at least I know they will use them.

Monday, December 19, 2011

A happy Polish husband

How do you make a Polish husband happy? Learn to make pierogis!
 I had never even heard of a pierogi until I met my husband. Now it's becoming a Christmas tradition the past few years to make a bunch with my mother-in-law. My mother-in-law makes the dough and the filling, Nick rolls out the dough and him and I fill and seal them up then pass them back to his mom who boils them. Of course in the process of making them she fries some of them up in butter to snack on. She always makes sauerkraut and we bring a mashed potato filling. This year was with onion and roasted garlic. L will not eat mashed potatoes and never has but give her a pierogi filled with mashed potatoes and it disappears!

L usually sits and plays with scraps of dough and then runs off and plays. This year we got her to make a few of them. This is me helping her the right amount of mashed potatoes on.
Grandma said she needed to look messier for the pictures!
 Normally they do all the sealing up by hand which leaves a lot of excess dough that I don't care for but it's their Grandma's way of folding them by hand. Last year I bought the Pampered Chef Cut-n-seal tool hoping it would help get less dough and a nice seal on the edge and it works perfect! L is cutting out her master piece here.
 And now we have a freezer with a stack of potato pierogies (and a few sauerkraut for my husband because L and I don't really like them!)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Sewing and Snow

I've been busy sewing on the flannel again. With L's help, who does a great job taking pins out of pattern pieces, I made her a flannel robe yesterday. Originally I was going to modify this robe pattern to be sewed up in front and have a couple snaps at the top for a nightgown but when I tried it on her in the process of sewing, she loved that it was a robe.
I let her pick out the buttons (with help) and she picked these 25+ year old flower buttons that were in my mom's button jar for as long as I can remember until she passed some of her buttons to me.
On another note, it snowed last night! FINALLY!! It's hard to believe this is our first snow of the season and it's still currently snowing! I have a VERY happy 4 year old who has been dancing around the house singing about snow and a very happy dog. I always say Crystal (our beagle-mutt) is really a Husky is disguise. She goes nuts when it snows! She can't wait to get outside and run and play in it. She can hunt down her favorite outside toy no matter how deep the snow is. After 7 years of having her it's still hilarious to watch her in the snow.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Warm and Cozy

Do you remember all of that flannel L and I bought on Black Friday? Well, I'm starting the big job of cutting into all of it! I started flannel pj pants for L again but wondered why in the world I wasn't making my dress loving girly-girl a nightgown so the first thing off the sewing machine that was immediately put on for bed was a long flannel nightgown. This is one of the fabrics L picked out for herself. The hearts are made of little paw prints.

Pattern is Miss Madeline by The Handmade Dress. Instructions to modify the pattern to long sleeve is found in her free downloads. I opted for the puffier sleeve on this one but I think I'd made it a little less puffy next time. And I left off the elastic waist to make it more comfy for bed.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Out of the 20s into the 30s

I realized yesterday that my profile still said "twenty-something"... it's bittersweet to have to change it to thirty something but on October 31st I turned 30 years old. Although my husband had to work on my birthday, our good friends came over with their 2 greyhounds and we took L and Lindy (our greyhound) trick-or-treating around the neighborhood. L was She-ra, Lindy was Swiftwind and the other greyhounds were a skeleton and a pumpkin. We had some yummy DQ ice cream cake too! It had been forever since I'd had an ice cream cake.

I received a big birthday present earlier in the month from my husband too. I think he was just tired of me stealing his Nikon D7000. We had tried to order a Pentax DSLR but it came damaged and we just weren't happy with it. After I got an "I told you so" from my Nikon loyal husband, he took me to his favorite camera store and we picked out the Nikon D5100. I had previously been using his old D70 until it gave out and then borrowing the D7000, so it took a little getting use to not having 2 dials to adjust the aperture and shutter speed and not having the second screen for settings on the top of the camera but over all I LOVE it!! And since I got a Nikon, I'm learning to use his speed lights!
(photo from

Friday, December 2, 2011

Rustic Garland

While my daughter REALLY wants to start decorating our Christmas tree with ornaments, I am trying to wait until Daddy can be here. In my eyes, putting the ornaments on the tree is a special family tradition. I have photos from the past 2 years of my husband lifting L up to put the star on top of the tree and I love to see how she's grown and changed.

I've been trying to come up with little projects to keep her mind off of putting ornaments on the tree so I came up with a garland we could make since we don't have any for our tree! We have a lot of country and cowboy ornaments so it needed to be something natural and rustic so we went to Hobby Lobby and picked up a couple bags of wooden beads and a spool of sisal.
All we did was string a bunch of beads onto about 30 feet of sisal and tied a knot on either side of the bead in completely random spaces. Some beads are a few inches apart, some are only half an inch apart. The 30 feet shrunk down to about 15 feet with all the knots and clipping off the end of the sisal would it would unravel too much from putting the beads on. One thing that helps with that is taping the end of the sisal like the end of a shoelace, you get a small hard end that will slide through the bead.

To compliment the bead garland I also cut 2 inch strips of burlap and pulled the same thread on each end of the strip and gathered it until I liked it. Then I tied a knot on each end of the thread that had been pulled so the ruffle would stay.

I alternated the burlap and the beads down the tree and I'm loving the result. The beads are delicate, yet natural and the burlap is rustic, yet has a soft look with the gathering.
Thank you for stopping by on this cold Indiana Friday!