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Monday, July 27, 2015

Doll Diapers and Dresses

Today I have a very special guest post. This summer the girls and I have been doing a lot of craft projects. I am trying to keep them busy so that they don't find their own ways to entertain themselves. As I mentioned before, one of my tactics for making my daughters dread Joann's Fabric Store less is to allow them to choose a fat quarter when they are on sale. My daughter, Halley, and I used some of them to make doll diapers and dresses. I let her use my camera to photograph them and now she is going to tell you a little more about them while I bake cupcakes with her sister and make lunch...


Hi, I'm Halley! My mom and I made dresses and diapers for my Baby Alive doll, Mandy Grace. The outside of the diapers are made out of fat quarters from Joann's Fabric Store. The inside is made of flannel scraps.We used velcro to attach the flaps to the front of the diaper, and a little strip of elastic in the back so they don't fall off of the doll. 
Here are all of the diapers we made.
Here is the  reversible dress, along with the matching diaper we made out the leftover fabric. We used a tiny bit of other fabric to cut out a little heart and sew on. We also used a little bias tape leftover from my Sunrise Dress.

Here  is the other side of the reversible dress  made out of the same fabric as the heart on the other side of this dress.

We also made a Reversible criss-cross dress that matches two of the diapers we made. The pattern was no longer available. They did have picture of the pattern, though! Unfortunately it was taken at a weird angle. So my mom drew a picture of the pattern. It worked, but unfortunately it was a little too big for Mandy.

Here is the other side. We didn't use velcro, instead we used snaps. Let's just say my mom isn't too experienced with snaps. She had to rip them out a couple of times.

Well, that about sums it up.Thanks for stopping by and checking out my first ever post!


Thank you, Halley! Yes, she is brutally honest. ;) I did make some adjustments to my pattern and I have it all worked out now, so I will probably make more of the criss-cross dresses. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Baked Zucchini Gratin

I can't believe I haven't shared one of my FAVORITE zucchini recipes on the blog before! Baked zucchini gratin is one of the first zucchini dishes I ever tried. Yum...

Slice zucchini about 1/4" thick or less and layer in a baking pan. You can also throw some sliced onion in there, but I usually don't cause some people (i.e. myself) are picky. This time I was using yellow zucchini (peeled- see last sentence) and I sliced it with my food processor.

Melt a half stick of butter and drizzle that goodness all over the zucchini.

Spread shredded mozzarella over the zucchini.

Melt the other half stick of butter and stir in bread crumbs and grated Parmesan.

Sprinkle it on top of the zucchini and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until you can stab the zucchini with a fork and it is tender.

This stuff is so good!

Baked Zucchini Gratin

4 c. sliced zucchini
1 medium onion, sliced thin (optional)
1 stick butter, divided
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/2 cups plain, dry bread crumbs
1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese

In a 9 x 13 baking pan, layer onion and zucchini slices. Melt 1/2 stick of butter and drizzle over zucchini. Top with mozzarella. Melt remaining butter and mix in bread crumbs and Parmesan. Sprinkle evenly over the top of mozzarella layer. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Our zucchini plants are going crazy, so I am always trying new zucchini recipes. Here are some other ones I have posted in the past:

Zucchini Alfredo
Zucchini Crab Cakes
Zucchini Pie
Zucchini Bread
Zucchini Chocolate Cake

Friday, July 17, 2015

Pinterest Recipes ~ Tested and Approved


When I am menu planning, I like to look for new recipes on Pinterest. I never know if they are going to be good or not, so I like to hear from other people that they have tried it and liked it. So, I thought I would share some of the recent recipes I have tried and liked!

Last night I made grilled honey mustard chicken (I didn't have dijon and had to use regular mustard) and it was great! (Well, to be honest, the grill ran out of gas and it took a lot longer to make than it should have, but that was not the fault of the recipe. #keepingitreal)

I also made creamy potatoes and peas. We have a few peas in our garden so I thought this would be a nice recipe to try. I added bacon as one commenter suggested, but you couldn't really taste it, so I felt like it was wasted bacon.

Other things I have tried and loved...

Pioneer Woman's Cheesy Cauliflower Soup. This was awesome! I usually make soup on Thursday nights during the fall and winter. I think this is a nice, lighter alternative to potato soup.

Skinny Turkey and Wild Rice Soup. We raised our own turkeys last year- one of them was 30 pounds! The others were 17-27 pounds and I had to get creative with the leftovers. This soup was the ticket! I have even frozen it- we ate some yesterday for lunch. I don't usually add the half-and-half. Sometimes I add a little milk, but it doesn't need it because it is already creamy and delicious!

Monte Cristo Sandwiches. If we have ham lunchmeat, this is one of my go-to-last-minute suppers. I had never even heard of these sandwiches before, but we love them!

Taste of Home's 40-minute Hamburger Buns. I made these a few weeks ago when we wanted burgers but didn't have buns. I usually do pretzel buns, but I was in the mood to try something new. I did let mine rise a little longer- maybe a half hour or so. They turned out great! Not too dense, which I was worried about with less rising time.

Have you tried any new recipes lately? I would love to hear about it! I can also add you to my Pinterest Check-Offs board if you send me your e-mail address. :)

Monday, July 13, 2015

Unicorn Doll Quilt

Well, I kinda' had a quilt finish this year.

You see, I will let my girls pick out fat quarters at Joann's when they are on sale. Let me remind everyone that fabric shopping with 5 girls in tow is NOT fun- for me, them, and the store employees. Recently, Grace picked out this one with unicorns and hearts in pink and purple. I mean, what is not to love for a (then) 3yo girl? She soon insisted that her pink cheetah (which had been confiscated) was cold and needed a quilt. Well, I was in the mood to play along and sew something quick and easy.

I had some quilt blocks, border fabric, and binding left over from quilt I made between 2006-2011. (You might be able to spot some of them on my quilt page HERE.) So, I give myself bonus points for using up old scraps. :)

I just pieced the simple 4-patch blocks together, added a border, quilted diagonals, and bound it.

Grace didn't like the quilting on it because it was visible on the unicorn side. Too bad.

Then, my 7yo took some pictures for me after the leopard and cheetah were reunited with their new quilt. 

Happy kids + Very old scraps used up = Success.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

DIY Fabric Bow ~ Pattern and Tutorial

So, I made THESE cute patriotic peasant dresses for my five girls before Independence Day. The dress is made of red and white chevron quilting cotton. The bows are detachable, making it a multi-holiday dress, if they so desire.  It took me awhile to figure out how I wanted to make the bows so I thought I would share a tutorial today showing how I made them.

They can be made in any cotton fabric and added to any project, so it is a super versatile thing. I made 3 different sizes, too. The small one would even work with a small loop instead of a long tie to make a hair bow or adapt it to make a bow tie!

For a large bow, cut one piece of fabric 10" x 18 1/2" and another piece 6 1/2" x 42".

For a medium bow, cut one piece 8" x 14 1/2" and another 6" x 35".

For a small bow, cut one piece 6" x 10 1/2" and another 4 1/2" x 24".

I am showing you how to make it using pieces for a large bow.

Fold both pieces in half lengthwise, right sides in, and press with an iron.

Interface one side of each piece from the fold to about 1/4" from the edge.

Sew the long sides together.

Now, lets just work on the tie section. Sew a diagonal line on each end as shown.

Trim 1/4" or so from the diagonal line and narrow it in a bit at the corners.

Seam rip a section in the center of the tie - about 1 1/2" to 2" should work.

Flip the tie right side out using the opening you just made. Make sure to push the points out really well. Press and starch the tie.

Sew the opening closed. It is OK if you see the stitches. That will be hidden later.

Now, for the bow part...

Flip the bow tube right side out. Press and starch.

Fold it in half and sew about 3/8" to 1/2" from the raw edges.

Flip the seam to the inside center of the tube and press open.

Fold the bow like and accordion and pinch it together. It may take some fiddling to get it just right.

Loosely wrap some thread around the center and tie the ends to hold it in place.

Now, to put it all together...

Take your tie and fold it in half at the center. The side with the stitching will go against front of the bow. (The bow is laying with the back facing up in this picture.)

Tie it around the bow.

Then, carefully arrange the bow and pin it to the dress. I pinned them at the shoulder. If it is for a baby, you might want to stitch it down and avoid the choking hazard

Pretty!  I like that the bow is neater and holds it shape better than one made of one continuous piece of fabric. All the extra interfacing, ironing, and starching made them very crisp.

Link Parties where I sometimes hang out...

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Independence Day Dresses

I felt like making dresses for the girls again this year. Don't be too impressed, though. These were super easy!

I just whipped up some peasant dresses, but shortened the length and sleeves a bit. For the youngest daughter, I also decreased the width. (See my fast peasant dress sewing tutorial HERE.)

Then, in my quest to use up my patriotic fabric stash (see HERE), I added these big blue and white starry bows. I actually ran out (HOORAY!) and had to make a quick run to the fabric store for more-I had to settle for some with red stars, too. I have a tutorial coming up next week for the bows.

Grammy came over and brought Jamberry nail wraps, the girls found some hair clips from Independence Day three years ago- the last time I made dresses for July 4th, and they played with the kittens while I snapped pictures.

The looked pretty and festive... at least for a few minutes. :)

Happy Independence Day!!