Wednesday, March 20, 2013

dslr, r u kidding? How do I get this thing to focus?

Playing around with my new camera today. Because I need another hobby? Lol, I just want great pics of the kids and I find it fun. Man, the learning curve is crazy. So after watching maybe 15 videos on youtube today I now know what ISO is, aperature, white balance, shutter speed, composition... now it's getting it all together... on a thrashing wee one... or a frenzied toddler... oh man.

So I still think I am getting better pics on my point and shoot Canon but I can see the potential in my new little dslr canon. If I can get that focus thing down on a moving child than things will be great. I'm not sure if it possible when in a low light situation.

I can't wait until Spring. Oh wait. That's today!

Here is a picture of Logan outside with me just messing around BEFORE the tutorials. I had no idea how to select a place to focus on.

I so wish I had known how to focus on the eyes before I attempted all this but all in all they turned out ok.

The one I got of my dog, Gunnar was pretty nice.
I like that I didn't have to edit any of the coloring at all. Just a light crop.

Then I tried some of Lucy inside with some moderate success! Still working on that focus. Gosh I love this girl's skin. Enjoy!

Oh and one last thing. I made that pretty sweet headband. We have to make them big to distract from that HAIR! Her cowlick is just not getting any smaller. Ah my love. So your love/hate relationship with your hair begins. Imma gonna get a quick tutorial of that one up sometime soon. It is SO easy and all you need are the materials and hot glue.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I am digging this baby girl dress making. Once I get over the fear of messing up, it's a lot of fun!

So, I made another dress for St. Patrick's day. A favorite of the lesser holidays. I had to make it because I found this fabric that I really love when hunting in Jo Annes for other things. It was my one purchase I allowed myself not on my list.

Head over to Amber's blog to check out the directions for this dress. It's the exact same pattern I used for the Christening gown.

Some things I changed up:
1. The sleeves - I copied  my t shirt sleeves again but cut them in half with an arc. I should have made them a little longer so that they bunch more. I ended up not having any gathers in the sleeves and I couldn't even get them all the way around the arm holes. No big deal but not ideal.

2. I again did not use interfacing, just cotton under the outside layer. I did not line the skirt part this time with cotton.

3. When I cut out the head piece from my pattern, I cut it on a fold so I can eliminate that step of sewing the two together. This helps it fit over the head later too.

This shows how you can take that bottom part off your sewing machine so that you can sew on the sleeves a little more easily. Sleeves are so hard!

After sewing the final piece on - the part that ends up on the inside of the dress, I realized my fabric wasn't laying down how I wanted it to. So, I pinned down everything on that folded down seem and "blind stitched" it down. I don't know if this is really what a blind stitch is but I sewed the inside fabric to the fabric underneath but NOT the fabric you see on the outside. That might not make any sense....
 Then I folded under the excess material and blind stitched that down. This has to be done by hand but nobody sees it so it doesn't have to look really good or anything.

 This is the dress inside out while pinning everything down.

Voila! The final product on my little model.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Lucy's Baptism

Yesterday was Lucy's baptism. A very important day in the life of our little girl. We were very happy to have Aunt M in from MN and our friends A and A and their family to witness the event. For Logan's baptism our church did full immersion. This church did not. It was more traditional. We also could not do it during mass because it's the middle of Lent. We had a private ceremony instead.  I know our family wanted to be there but it's one of many downsides in living so far away. Here are some pictures instead.

How many people can say they were baptized into the Catholic Church with no pope? Not many I think.

 I decided to make Lucy's dress. We don't have any heirloom Christening gowns and I had trouble finding anything I wanted online that didn't cost an arm and a leg. I decided to look around to see if I could find a pattern that I might actually be able to follow

I am very pleased with how it turned out. I followed the guidelines from this blog post and it turned out perfectly. I made a couple changes to the original set of directions. First, for the sleeves I used a copy of a regular adult t-shirt sleeve. When I did a practice copy from a t-shirt I found the length of a short sleeve T was perfect.

I also did not use interfacing. I used lace I found in the wedding section of Jo-Annes with an already scalloped, finished edge and made an inner skirt out of cotton. I also made both sides of the top with lace over cotton then just lined the middle with one layer of cotton. The gathers on this dress were CRAZY but we were still able to sew it all down. I told Lucy her head was not allowed to grow until after the baptism because it fit perfectly although snug over the head. I played around with a lot of embellishments and decided on a simple bow and cross charm.

It was a beautiful day for a baptism in March!

To our family, we will also email you the photobucket of pictures we have from the event. Thank you for being such positive supports in our lives.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Valentines day Pictures

I am so thrilled with the pictures we got for Valentines day. I had this cute little outfit for Lucy that has been hanging in her closet for months and realized I needed to use it or loose it when it became too small. For a headband I just took a flower off a different headband and put it on one of my white bands. So this is a mommy made headband. This is how is started:

I couldn't pull out of the photo enough to get many good shots as I held her up. I had no choice on angles and just hoped for a non-blurry shot. I like my camera but it has not been easy to use with no flash. If I was going to get a decent shot, I needed her to sit up on her own. So, I manipulated a comforter on the the ground over a boppy. I had all these visions of what I wanted. This one below came the closest.
This is mostly what I got though:

Then Logan was in the bathtub playing vociferously so I got a few more of her laying down. Much easier! She kept wanting to eat her necklace.
This is when I went ahead and got Logan out and dressed. I didn't really have anything for him to wear that matched Lucy so I figured dark jeans would work.

I got one of them sitting together... lovely.
And then I thought, well this is suppose to be a valentines day photo shoot so I need a heart prop. Hmmm... daddy's candy box might work:

And then Logan realized the box had chocolate in it...

 The first picture of this series is what the lighting was like before I tweaked all of the lighting. Second picture has been cropped and tweaked.

 Btw, do you notice the date stamp? Guess who put it on and now I have no idea how to remove? I just have a point and shoot Canon with a 10x zoom. I love it but I don't know how to get rid of the time stamp...

Well, I told him if he would humor me I would get him chocolate. I guess it worked out. He got what he wanted and I got what I wanted! This was my winning photo.  I then took this photo over to and did some editing. If you haven't used this site, it's pretty awesome, free and easy to use. You don't even need to enter any personal information or download anything. Final product, priceless!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sauted Sweet Potato and Cabbage

This one is a winner I promise you! During dinner tonight the lovely husband reminded me I needed to keep track of this one. Unfortunately the proportions I used only made enough for a side dish for the two of us so I am going to double my ingredients in the list below and hopefully it turns out all right. This dish is largely based off this recipe which made me a little nervous because this recipe had no reviews...  Wow, it's good.

1 package panceta (half a cup? doesn't really matter) or maybe 4 slices of bacon chopped
1 large onion
2 sweet potatos
2 cups sliced cabbage
1 1/2 tbs thyme (fresh or not)
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tbs red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar

I gave you some options. I made this with what I had in the house which was dried thyme and the red wine vinegar but the original recipe called for fresh and apple cider vinegar. If you use panceta you will also need EVOO (extra virgin olive oil). If you have bacon I don't think you would need any, but eyeball it. Don't have either of the vinegar? Maybe try orange juice?

Cook the panceta in 2 tbs EVOO for 3-4 minutes until crispy.

Add the diced onion and saute for a few minutes until soft.
Add diced sweet potato and thyme and let saute for about 8 minutes stirring periodically.
Add the chicken stock to bring up the good stuff stuck to the pot and to help cook the potatos. Here is the tricky part. I'm not sure how long you should let that go. I guess 5 or 6 minutes?
When potatoes are almost done add the cabbage and vinegar and continue to saute for another 5 minutes until potatoes are totally done and cabbage really melts to them.
I think it tastes a little better if you let it sit for a few minutes and marinade together before serving.
 Keep in mind this picture only shows 1/2 of the amount of each ingredient.

Enjoy! This was just so tasty and packed with vitamins. With the panceta I think it's probably pretty healthy too. I also used my brand new glazed cast iron pot for this recipe. A great way to break it in I think.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Today's agenda: 
1. Pump
2. Church (all saints day)
3. Nurse, for 2 straight hours because we lost the pacifier...
4. trip to ENT where we ran into an unexpected friend but also found out that we don't have a tongue tie:( I was hoping this would be an easy fix)
5. Pump
6. Nurse while looking for a recipe to use up veggies in the fridge
7. Continue to nurse while typing up this modified Moroccan recipe... forgive my lack of capitalization. i am one handing it. Now with the left hand.
8. dictate recipe to husband step by step while nursing

Moroccan Tagine Recipe from allrecipes with the additional modifications recommended.

1 tbs olive oil
1 sm onion
6 cloves garlic
1 peeled and chopped butternut squash (substituted potato and pumpkin)
1 can garbanzo beans
2 carrots peeled and chopped
1 can diced tomatoes with juice
1 14 oz can chicken broth ( i didn't have veggie broth)
1 cup apricots, chopped
2 tbs honey
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tsp salt
3 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp cinnamon
 1 tsp cumin
 1/2 tsp ginger
dash of cayenne 

Saute onion in the olive oil with the spices about 15 minutes (you can add chicken or pork here too). Add the garlic 1 minute before finished.

Add everything else and cook for 30 minutes.

Lactation Chocolate chip cookies

I came across a good recipe a few weeks ago to help boost supply. I couldn't find any brewers yeast so I made the recipe without it. Now, I don't think it really helped but they were fantastic cookies. The comments recommended all sorts of alterations to the original recipe and I followed some of them so I needed another place to write this down so I don't loose it this time.

1 cup butter (or half butter, half apple sauce)
1/2 cup honey
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
8 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons flax seed meal
1 egg (probably optional, haven't tried it without)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups wheat flour (or 1 wheat, 1 regular)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups oats
1 cup chocolate chips(I use the whole bag, just because)
1 cup walnuts
2 -4 tablespoons brewer's yeast (the more the better for supply, don't use if you don't need this for supply)


1 Preheat oven to 350°.
2 Mix the flaxseed meal and water and let sit for 3-5 minutes.
3 Beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar well.
4 Add egg and mix well.
5 Add flaxseed mix and vanilla, beat well.
6 Sift together flour, brewers yeast, baking soda, and salt.
7 Add dry ingredients to butter mix.
8 Stir in oats and chips.
9 Scoop onto baking sheet.
10 Bake for 12 minutes.
11 Let set for a couple minutes then remove from tray.

These make the most delicious oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Very substantial cookies! It also makes a ton of cookies. I'll count how many I get next time.