Summer Adventures

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It’s been pretty quiet around the blog this summer. We’ve been busy and I’ve been tired. All of the plans I had made have shifted drastically to accommodate for my energy levels. I wanted to re-landscape my backyard, finish decorating my front room, organize all kids clothes, clean out the garage, sew a swimsuit, sew a bunch of maternity clothes and sew clothes for Penelope. A teeny tiny fraction of that actually happened. Sad, but true.

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I had a lot of fun working with Bing at Alt Summit to provide attendees a fun little DIY distraction during their sessions. We made hand-lettered cards and tees. It was a blast!

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Photo by Brooke Dennis

I even got a shout out from Martha Stewart on her blog (see image #34). Ummmm….. WHAAAA? Super cool. 

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Photo by Izzy Hudgins

While at Alt, I also taught a group discussion on landing pages and their importance for conversions. I may blog about it, but I might not. Give me a shout out if you’re interested in the hand out and I’ll send it your way.

Since this Alt Summit was less than 6 months after the January session, I kept things simple. No new handmade wardrobe, no new business cards (just a repeat of January’s). I tried to keep it simple. As simple as I can make things, which is inevitably complicated.

Seeing old friends and making new ones was the highlight of the event. And being able to sit behind a desk for most of the conference, practicing my letters was pretty awesome, too. I love an excuse to sit and practice my letters.

Outfit details:

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    1. Amy W says:

      I would love your handout from Alt. I wasn’t able to make it to your roundtable. And it was a pleasure meeting you from behind the Bing table.

    Recipe: Homemade Kettle Corn

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    Every once in a while our house gets inundated with 6-8 year olds. It’s great. Penelope has a little gang of friends that she parties with, they bounce around from house to house on their bikes scavenging for tasty snacks and things to do. I tend to keep a closed pantry policy most days, but every once in a while I bust out the popcorn maker and make a giant batch of popcorn and send them outside. It gives them something to do, something to eat and it’s incredibly easy/cheap to make. It’s also very allergy friendly as well (unless using peanut oil).

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    For some reason I thought that kettle corn was a tricky recipe with a tricky process, until last week. It’s not. Now that I’ve figured it out, I’m off to experiment with other flavors.

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    I found this recipe on How Does She?, a recipe for stove top kettle corn. Below is my adaptation for cooking corn with a regular popcorn maker. This would not work for a hot air popper. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!

    Kettle Corn Recipe

    Makes about 6 cups of popcorn | For popcorn maker adapted from How Does She?
    • 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil
    • 3-5 tablespoons of sugar
    • 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
    • dash of salt

    The coconut oil in this recipe makes a huge difference with the flavor. It’s incredibly delicious. A MUST add in my opinion.

    Turn on the popcorn maker so the spinner is rotating, but the lid is off. Put coconut oil in the popcorn maker and wait for it to melt to an oil-like consistency (takes a minute or so). Add the popcorn kernels THEN the sugar. Replace the cover and allow the corn to pop until you hear a 1-2 second pause between pops. Pour into a bowl and sprinkle salt overtop. Serve. 

    You may want to add more oil and more sugar for a more caramelized, intense flavor.

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    Measuring bowls c/o Red Envelope. 

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    1. Maude cossette says:

      What did you use to write on your doilie? Can,t find the rignt pen or nib…

      • Melissa says:

        It’s a paper doilie that I made with a hole punch. Pre-made doilies aren’t nearly substantial enough to hold ink well. I used a dip pen and ink for this.

    2. Alysa says:

      Loved every bite of this popcorn! Your recipe was perfect. Thanks for sharing. Off to the store to buy more corn…

    3. Helen says:

      I used to make kettle corn on the stovetop. When it came out well, it was delicious, but when I was less lucky it would really burn badly. Now I use a pan with a glass top so I can tell if it starts smoking.

    Style: Chevron Maternity MuuMuu

    10 Comments

    Only 6 weeks left until I meet miss Juniper. I can’t wait to finally hold this little girl in my arms and sleep on my stomach.

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    With this being the last (at least we feel like she’ll be the last), I’m hesitant to make or buy any full blown maternity clothes. I broke down a few weeks ago while in Arizona because I have a shockingly short supply of basic tees that fit my figure at this point.

    Now that I’m in the home stretch any motivation to make anything maternity specific has gone down the drain. I thought I would sew a lot more for myself with this pregnancy, but I don’t want to cut into my favorite fabric for something that I might wear for a month or two!

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    I found 5 yards of this chevron fabric at a thrift shop not long ago. Since I have so much yardage and pink and teal chevrons aren’t really my go-to colors/patterns, it wouldn’t hurt to make something maternity out of it. The fabric is a summery dream. It’s lightweight, opaque  and very breathable.

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    I basically made a gigantic muumuu with a teal tie for some structure. I did a little pleating around the shoulder, but they get lost in the busy print. I figure with how loosely structured it is, I could possibly get some use out of it after baby comes along and I still need a little extra room around the middle.

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    I sewed it late the night before flying out to a calligraphy conference a few weeks ago. I tried it on, but it was very late and dark. When I ended up wearing it for the conference I kinda felt like I looked like a chevron whale, when I was hoping for a more grecian goddess look. It doesn’t matter, because at this point I just want something that doesn’t constrict my ribcage, go under my belly or makes me feel like it’s 1000 degrees everywhere I go. This certainly fits that bill.

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    With less than a month and a half to go, I bet I’m going to get a lot of use out of this dress. The fashion police can’t convince me to do otherwise.

    Outfit details:

    • earrings and shoes: Aldo
    • bracelets: handmade and vintage
    • dress: handmade
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    1. casey f says:

      I think it’s adorable! The draping is quite nice, and the fact that you’re not afraid of patterns is refreshing. Too much pregnancy stuff is STILL ooy gooey sweet or boring.

    2. Amber says:

      You look beautiful! I love the chevrons and the colors work well with your coloring. Pregnancy looks good on you.

    3. Shelby says:

      Way to go mama! The print is fun and you’re comfortable wearing it and that is really all that matters! Your honesty and attitude are spot on. Best of luck in the final stretch!

    4. alana says:

      It’s great! You look great in it!! The only negative thing I can imagine is how many women are jealous of how good you look in it :)

    5. Kristin H says:

      90% of fashion is confidence, so who cares! really? :) You look simply radiant!

    6. Alysa says:

      Juniper is the sweetest name! Excited that you’re in the home stretch. This muumuu looks so comfy!

    7. Alice C. says:

      I think you look gorgeous!! (As always)

    8. Emily says:

      Love the name! You look fabulous! I thought I would sew more during pregnancy too but I was too sick the whole time.

    9. Jen says:

      Definitely not chevron whale, though I wouldn’t classify it as Grecian goddess either…I’m thinking more Chic Chevron Babe! You look amazing, and I’m jealous of your thrift store fabric finds :)

    10. Julia says:

      You make me SO happy! Your little quote is fabulous and I’m sharing it with my sister that is due in a week. Hooray for Juniper!

    Sponsored: Beating Boredom with Learning on the Go

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    intellogo

    This post is sponsored by Intel. Stay connected on the go this summer with Intel Tablets . Join the Intel Advocate Experience here.

     

    We had a grand time on vacation this summer. We started out with a quick trip to Vegas to see Chris’s grandma get remarried, then we headed to Los Angeles to play in the sun and introduce Penelope and Felix to the magic of Disneyland. And it. Was. MAGICAL. Chris and I both agreed that it was more fun to go as parents with young kids than it was to go as a kid. Seeing their faces light up with every little ride was priceless.

    After the great food and fun times in the Los Angeles area, we headed east to see Chris’s family in Phoenix. Chris’s sister Shelley got back from an 18 month stint in the Chicago, Illinois area, so it was a happy reunion. Both Shelley and my youngest sister-in-law Brooke are in transition this summer.

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    Brooke’s transition has been the hardest. She’s playing a waiting game until she finds out where she’ll be in the next few months. Not being able to plan for the future has her in a rut of sorts. And bored.

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    So to beat the boredom, I busted out a calligraphy kit for her and we’ve spent some time working on calligraphy. It was wonderful to teach her and Shelley. They’re naturals and made fabulous company while I filled my practice sheets. Have I mentioned how awesome my in-law’s are? You should be jealous.

    Learning artistic and domestic skills online has become quite popular recently. With the rise of online learning at istilllovecalligraphy.com, Atly, Craftsy, Skillshare and about a million others, there are so many things you can learn online. I’m more than a little biased towards the calligraphy class I offer at istilllovecalligraphy.com. It’s pretty awesome, if I do say so myself.

    I LOVE, LOVE to reach out to people all over and get them excited about the art of Calligraphy and coach them along the way. Best part? Students can take the class wherever they go since it’s tablet compatible ( Intel Tablets work especially well).

    What do you do to beat summer boredom?

    #spon: This post is sponsored by Intel. All thoughts and content are my own.

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    1. Sarah Helene says:

      I recall taking a calligraphy class in college, as part of my minor in ART. However, I never kept up with it…. so many years ago. I’ve been retired from teaching high school English for almost 3 years, so that WAS decades ago, for SURE! “To beat the summer boredom?” I’ve been crocheting scarves, shawls & lapghans PLUS stamping greeting cards to gift in sets of 24 or 30 for relatives & friends. Although many don’t send cards any longer, I focus on THANK YOU, GET WELL and BIRTHDAY cards. I need to spend time on projects as I was recovering from major surgery in June & currently chemo treatments every 3 weeks through Oct. Sarah in Minneapolis

      • Melissa says:

        You’ve been keeping very busy this summer! Mad props for you staying active with projects. I’ve heard chemo to be a very draining thing. Best of luck with beating cancer!

    Sewing: Body Pillow

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    Time is ticking on this baby bomb. I’m getting bigger and more uncomfortable by the minute. It’s not a complaint, just a fact of life when growing a human. Sleeping has been particularly tricky with this baby as I find myself waking up on my back multiple times a night.

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    I needed something to give me more back support while I was sleeping on my side, so I thought about buying a body pillow. Then Chris reminded me that we have a ton of memory foam just lying around that I’ve been hoarding for some undecided future project. BOOM. Done. I made myself a body pillow.

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    I ended up rolling the foam like a crepe (or burrito?), measuring and sewing two pillow cases for it. The interior case is just to protect the raw foam from drool or any other liquid that may come in contact with it (via my disgusting – but adorable – kids or me). The second case is decorative, made from amazing fabric* that I’ve had in my stash for about a year. I fell in love with the print, but couldn’t think of something awesome to use it for.

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    I boxed out the bottom of the case and made a simple drawstring for the top to keep everything in place. It weighs about 15 pounds and it’s a beast. We took it on a weekend family reunion vacation. It was brilliant in the car, both kids could cuddle and sleep with it. It also served as the perfect separator to keep Felix and Penelope from brutalizing each other in the back seat. HOWEVER, it was a little too big to sleep with.

    I haven’t had much time to alter the design much, but I just plan on taking everything out and shaving off about 12 inches of the roll of memory foam. I think that’ll do the trick.

    *Fabric provided by Modern Yardage. Check out the amazing collections available here.

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    1. Hey Girl. I just came over from Delineate your Dwelling and I love the blog. I saw your bed spread just now and LOVE it. is it from urban outfitters…It looks familiar :) Following on Pinterest now!

    2. Stacia says:

      I love your quilt! It is seriously gorgeous!

    3. Great idea! Love that you can make it whatever size you need, too.

      Your room has great bold colors!

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