sweet little things. via hallmark baby.

Littlest man is now almost just a week shy of eighteen months. Ahhh, how can that be. At about six months pregnant, I stumbled upon Hallmark baby. It has since been one of my most adored places (on the web) for purchasing sweet little things for sweet little ones. See below for just a few of the clothing, nursery and gift items you can find on Hallmark baby. A random post, but definitely a noteworthy website if you’ve got little ones in your life.

(all items can be found on Hallmark baby)

waffle omelets. plus orange honey butter and two favorite netflix documentaries.

We eat our fair share of eggs in this house and most of the time we prefer them scrambled (because of ease), unless we are making sandwiches. I needed something quick for dinner the other night and was leaning towards doing something “breakfasty” but was looking for something more than just starches and scrambled eggs sounded a little “blah”. I then remembered the booklet that came with my daughter’s waffle maker suggested an omelet waffle. Definitely easy enough. And such a great way to put to use some of the leftover veggies and cheese in the fridge.

The only items you really need are a waffle maker and eggs. I used this four inch waffle maker. One egg is needed per waffle. For our dinner waffles, I mixed in a variety of chopped peppers, cooked turkey sausage, and cheese. And for lunch the other day, with the egg, I mixed in chopped peppers, leftover baked chopped cauliflower, mushrooms, and cheese. On top, I garnished with sour cream (or Greek yogurt) and a little green onion (would’ve preferred chives but I didn’t have any).

If you are making more than just one waffle, mix/ whisk your eggs with all of your ingredients. One four inch waffle is equal to approximately one full ice cream scoop. If you are using a larger waffle maker, I would say approximately 3 eggs or 3 scoops of your mixture would be sufficient enough.

When I made these for lunch, I also had some leftover bread from dinner the night before topped with a dab of orange honey butter. It was the best sweet and citrus “ending”. It’s also very simple to make. You need just 1 to 2 tablespoons of fresh orange juice and honey and a little orange zest along with a stick of butter to make more than several servings worth.

And the prettiest little book to compliment the lunch and keep the littlest busy while I eat. 😉

And totally random – but just watched and adore this Netflix documentary. It reminded me of this one. So in love with how both have captured and document people and the “everyday”.

a visit to the Alabama coast and Easter.

This past week/ weekend we celebrated Easter and the two biggest littles spring break. For the first time since moving back to Missouri, we road tripped down to the shores of Alabama to visit family and enjoy the beautiful weather there this time of year. The gulf waters are still a little chilly but other than that the spring and fall times in southern Alabama are picture perfect (without all of the crowds and chaos of summertime).

Our favorite things this trip . . .

The beach. Of course! There are a few we frequent on our visits to Gulf Shores/ Orange Beach/ Fort Morgan areas, but there are plenty of public and private beaches to choose from. The beach is always a favorite for me, but this visit was especially fun for Tate. The never ending sandbox was like a little piece of his heaven.

The Pier and fishing. Always so full of life, creatures, and learning. Our oldest became fishing obsessed when we lived in the south and if you have the right equipment The Pier is such a wonderful place to do so. From high above the gulf, we often spot small sharks swimming in the waters below.

Bike riding on the trails of Gulf State Park. You could easily ride all day and not pass over the same spot twice. This is such an enjoyable and active way to take in all of the additional beauty (other than the beach) that this part of the southern coast has to offer. We stopped for lunch here. I highly recommend the brussels sprouts and mac n’ cheese 🙂 but everything was really delicious and fresh.

Shopping.

Eating. This visit, we ate at Lulu’s. The kids love it because of the large sandbox/ play area. It can get a little crazy during the summer season but this time of year the wait was nil. And if you like cold (abundantly) sweet treats, The Yard is worth at least one visit.

The road trip. Perhaps my favorite part! Having all of my people together for a long period of time yes, almost too crazy to be bearable at times. But the BEST! Even during that late at night six hour stretch of no civilization in Mississippi.

Easter Sunday. Although not our traditional Easter, we love visiting the church in Foley. And the weather was really breathtakingly beautiful! So much so, that we spent Easter afternoon at the beach.

Early A.M. swims. Throwing on a bathing suit and hitting the pool first thing in the morning.

A few of our other favorite things to do while in the Gulf Shores area are . . .

  • The National Naval Aviation Museum. It’s free admission and parking. If you are able, watch one of the practices of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels!
  • The Fort Morgan historic site. A really beautiful place to explore.
  • USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park. This is in Mobile, but is worth the drive if you have the time.
  • Bon Secour, Alabama. If you are up for a short drive and just want to see some local scenery, this small community is so quaint and cozy. There are also a few places nearby to purchase some fresh seafood!
  • Alligator Alley.
  • Burris Market. We used to stop here on our way to the coast. They have the best pies and pecan cobbler.
  • Scoops Ice Cream.

We returned to Missouri mid week with the dogwoods in full bloom, Easter baskets, and for me, more than the usual amounts of coffee.

(after they had been rummaged through)

It’s so nice to be home. The littlest guy and I went to two estate sales yesterday and one of our purchases was a new chair for the back deck. I am hoping to do some relaxing and refreshing there this weekend. May you find your “spot” and spend as much time there this weekend as possible. Enjoy!

eggs. dipped and dyed.

2019 edition. Natural dyes.

This year, for the first time, I gave naturally dying eggs a try. I read through several tutorials and posts about the “how-tos” and compiled bits from each before beginning. Below are some of “my bits”.

What I used:

  • blueberries, red cabbage, turmeric, avocado pits, onion skins & beets. i also used spinach without much luck. *need to try chlorophyll and black beans soon (on fabric)
  • white vinegar
  • baking soda (in the red cabbage dye)
  • boiling water

The blueberries, red cabbage and turmeric worked best for me. My thoughts are some of the dyes may have worked differently or better if I would have let the foods simmer longer and/ or if I would have added more foods into the water. I’d tell you a more specific recipe, but I really didn’t use one. 🙂

Thoughts:

  • At first I was sure my experimenting had failed, a few eggs didn’t take any of the color at all while others took on shades different than what I expected. However, when I saw the end result and all of the eggs together “perfectly imperfect” came to mind. Each egg was unique – no two were the same color. The muted tones and unusual hues were unexpected but beautiful.

  • Patience. Have some. Don’t expect to dip, dye, and have all of your eggs beautifully displayed together in one afternoon. I got impatient (or I just needed the pots I was using) at about 24 hours and just went with the colors I had at that point. However, some were done after just a few hours.
  • I really enjoyed and appreciated the whole process. It took some effort, but I am already looking forward to using natural dyes again.

  • Experiment with both white and brown eggs.
  • Eggs will appear brighter in color when wet. The tones become more muted as they dry.

  • Use multiple dyes to get one color. For example, a few I let bathe in the blueberry for awhile and then transferred them to the cabbage.
  • I added baking soda to the cabbage to give it a more bluish hue vs. purple.
  • My oldest two, even though they didn’t act interested at first, were intrigued by the fact the foods can be used as dyes. My littlest, can now say the word “egg” with ease.
  • I also dyed a piece of fabric in the cabbage. After washing and drying, it turned out a really light blue. I am really looking forward to dying more fabric.

Happy Easter week! This is perhaps my most favorite week of the year – the weather, the beautiful colors (inside and out), cute baskets everywhere!, Palm Sunday, Holy Week, Easter Sunday, the attire, the sound of birdsong, the smell of fresh cut grass, flower planting, the celebration . . .

(eggs, dipped & dyed – 2016 edition)

first blooms. the midwest.

the beginning of this past week brought rain and then sunshine and now all of the small buds that were peeping have begun to turn into beautiful blooms. after living in the south for several springs, i was looking forward to seeing what those first blooms back in our area of the midwest would be and look like. even though i grew up here, living elsewhere for awhile has made me so much more attentive to things I never paid much attention to before. our first spring back feels magical. just like our first spring did after moving south. cheers to the old that’s new again!

(first blooms of spring ’19)

“May your soul beautify the desire of your eyes that you might glimpse the infinity that hides in the simple sights that seem worn to your usual eyes.” ~ John O’Donohue

~xoxo~

paper carrots. a simple easter craft.

Supplies & Materials:

  • Brown packing paper or kraft cardstock (I used both) – or any slightly heavy paper you have on hand (think upcycle)
  • Thread and/ or embroidery floss
  • Scrap fabric (green or any color you have on hand)
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Carrot templates (you really could just easily free hand the carrot as well)
  • Sewing Machine or if you don’t have a sewing machine sew by hand with the embroidery floss
  • Fillers – fun items or candy to fill your carrots with

Instructions:

  1. Make carrots. Print and cut out your carrot templates and trace them onto your packing paper or cardstock.
  2. Sewing carrots. Take two of the same size carrots and layer them on top of each other so that all sides are even with each other. Sew your two long sides together either by hand with the floss or with your machine.
  3. Make carrot leaves. Tear your scrap fabric into narrow strips. The length is your preference. I used about six per carrot. Set aside until after you’ve filled your carrots.
  4. Fill your carrots. Fill your carrots with any sort of small candy, chocolate, handmade items, stickers, accessories, gift cards, etc. I used jelly beans, chocolates, chocolate eggs, tattoos, friendship bracelets, hair ties (just things I had on hand).
  5. Add leaves and sew the top. With one hand hold your leaves in the center of the top of your carrot. Place them far enough into the carrot that you will sew through them. Sew the top of your carrot.
  6. Accessorize. Add names or initials to the carrots or some additional floss. You could even paint the carrot if it’s not quite colorful enough for you.

Now – make a few, leave them separate or tie them together, and place them in your littles’ basket for them to tear open Easter morn.

This little project is so simple and inexpensive. If you don’t have orange thread and green fabric on hand, just use what you have. Using colors not necessarily unique to the typical carrot would be lovely. Same goes for the paper- just make sure it’s a little heavier than your regular printer paper. Even your fillers could be simple handmade items like stickers, friendship bracelets, homemade crayons, etc.

Templates:

largecarrot.pdf

smallcarrot.pdf

P.S. – My most recent favorite store bought sweet treat – Anise flavored pizzelles from Aldi.

the library. our latest lends.

If it were feasible, I would own all the books! But until then, I’ll settle for bi-weekly library visits. Below are our latest lends.

Books for the littlest little. . .

They are all short and sweet, the same as his attention span these days. (smile)

1 – Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni

  • Eye catching. And a cute yet simple way to help littles learn about color.

2 – Skyscraper by Jeremy Hurley

  • With few but big words, not to mention all of those vehicles and machines that littles are intrigued by, step by step this book brings a building to life in a way that all will understand. This one in particular caught Tate’s attention.

3 – Boats on the Bay by Jeanne Walker Harvey

  • Gorgeous colors! And this book portrays the sweetest variety of boats – “A sparkly boat joins a parade”.

4 – My Heart by Corinna Luyken

  • Beautifully illustrated. And such a delightful way to interpret those deep feelings of the heart in a way that children can understand.

Reading is and will always be one of my most favorite pastimes, but with regret I haven’t read much in the past few years. I enjoy it so much (too much) that my focus on anything else becomes nil until books started are finished (basically without notice the kids could Uber to New York and the house could whirl away in a tornado). OR maybe my attention span is just as short and sweet as Tate’s is these days. (wink, wink) Either way, I opted for all homemaking, crafting and cookbooks this time around. I’m hoping that the slower schedules of summer will allow for more late nights of reading.

My lends . . .

1 – A Well-Crafted Home by Janet Crowther

    Beautiful and timeless projects – ones you won’t tire of! They feel substantial (more permanent than a lot of diys) but none feel too overwhelming to attempt. I may have to purchase this one.

2 – Craft the Rainbow by Brittany Watson Jepsen

  • So many lovely projects. I’m especially fond of all of those that involve paper. The effort and thought that went into designing this book is so appreciated. Just flipping through the colorful pages makes me happy.

3 – Cozy Minimalist Home by Myquillyn Smith

  • Wonderful thoughts on everything from the spacing and arrangement of a room to accessories actually needed vs. those that are simply excess. Basically “Getting the most out of the least amount of things – M.S.”. It focuses on not just obtaining stylish things but more importantly to purchase pieces for their functionality (especially in regards to your family/ lifestyle). Be mindful!

4 – Happy Handmade Home by Elsie Larson & Emma Chapman

  • So many FUN and easy projects for your home, gift giving, party decor, and so much more! Also, such beautiful photography and a fantastic source of inspiration.

5 – Magnolia Table Cookbook by Joanna Gaines

  • Such a cozy feel when you read through the pages and recipes. We’ve already tried the orange scones, cinnamon squares, and king ranch chicken with jicama salad – we’ve enjoyed them all. The kids favorite thus far has been the cinnamon squares, mine the scones (and the jicama salad). Looking forward to trying a few more of them before returning.

Now to refrain from purchasing all of them once they’re returned. ~ xoxo ~