Thursday, February 25, 2010

Self Portraits

This week's theme for Team-Up Thursday was Self Portraits. It's been awhile since I have taken any photos of myself so I was actually looking forward to the challenge. Since the weather was so nice on Saturday, I ventured outside with my remote and tripod and shot away. I tried various locations and poses. I felt like I was taking Senior pictures all over again. Then I jumped off this log 1 million times. Ok, maybe it was less than that, but I did work up a good sweat. I finally got one shot of me in the air without my fat roll hanging out of my sweater. I swear I tried jumping and not making that crazy open mouth face and I just couldn't do it. Maybe one day if I am feeling brave I will post some of my outtakes. They are pretty hilarious. Now look at Cara's gorgeous photo. I love the softness of the photo and how the light highlights her face. Quite a contrast from mine. Don't you think?

Cara & Jen

Since I took a gazillion photos, I will share the runner-ups. They aren't as fun. My son actually asked me why I looked so mad. Hopefully that means I don't always have this look on my face.


See there's a little smile.



Now that I look at this photo again I do look like I am giving the camera the stink eye.

Since I am sharing photos I have to show you some of the kids. They were very intrigued with my photo session and decided I needed to take photos of them as well. I was going to wait and make a whole separate post for these photos, but thought they would go better all together.

There was a photo that I took of myself where I was leaning my head back, but I couldn't bring myself to post that photo. You can look at this one instead.


Action shots...



Glamour shots.....


Lovely, huh?


Hey Mom. Is my head in the shot? Very clever way of making sure his sister isn't getting all the attention, right?


Thanks Megan and Melody for making us take Self Portraits this week. It was fun!!

Jump on over to Team-Up Thursday at Megan's blog.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bowie Nature Park

Here's some more photos from our outing at Bowie Nature Center.

Bowie Nature Park Mosiac

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Art Purse

I did absolutely no sewing last week. The weather was gorgeous this weekend so there was no craftiness going on at our house this weekend either. Yesterday afternoon some sort of crafty bug hit me and I decided to make an art kit for a birthday party we are going to this weekend. I finished it up last night so I actually have something to show for Crafty Tuesday.



Birthday presents for the kid's classmates are always a challenge for me. I don't know the kids very well. I don't want to just buy them junk, but I also don't want to invest too much time into making something. I have been thinking about this little art purse for awhile, but have not been able to sort it all out until yesterday afternoon. I sat down and drew out a plan then did some measuring and it all fell into place. It is the perfect size for a toddler. The pocket is just big enough for a 5 x 7 notebook.

I took pictures and jotted down measurements so that I can make a tutorial. Plus we just received another invitation today for another birthday party. So I think I will make at least a couple more to work out any kinks and make sure I have good photos.

Happy Crafty Tuesday everyone!!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Best Shot Monday- Gathering

We had incredibly awesome weather this weekend. The sun was shining and the temperatures creeped into the mid 60's. We took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather and headed to Bowie Nature Park. The Cottons joined us, which made it even more fun. It felt good to be able to shoot some photos outside and it's always nice to have different subjects to photograph. This little stinker literally runs away from me when she sees me coming with the camera. She has the most gorgeous eyes, but usually refuses to look at me. I managed to convince her to let me photograph her collection of pine cones though.

Bree Pine Cones

I took tons of shots over the weekend, but for some reason these two together are my favorites. I loved how she collected all sorts of little things as we hiked. Her pockets were full and so were her hands. It was the perfect way to spend Saturday morning.

Tracey hosts Best Shot Monday every week.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Team Up Thursday- Shadows

Man, oh man. This week's theme was a hard one for me. It has been so dreary and cold lately. The sun only comes out in little spurts. Nothing inside was inspiring me. So a photo of what life has been like around here seemed appropriate (my photo is on the bottom). I love Cara's shot and she has a good story to go along with it, which makes it even more fun. She is in a conference room at work in front of a projector.

Shadows Together

Visit Megan for more Team Up Thursday photos.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Butter & Herb Gnocchi with White Beans

Gnocchi & White Beans

This is one of my favorite comfort foods. It is not one of the healthiest meals I cook, but oh so good. It has also become a go to recipe for when I am in a hurry or don't have any fresh ingredients on hand. I adapted it from a Real Simple recipe. The original recipe calls for 2 lbs of gnocchi, which is 2 packages of the shelf stable gnocchi you find in the pasta section. That just seemed like a lot to me. Plus I wanted to add some protein so that it would be a complete meal for me. So I added the white beans and reduced the amount of gnocchi. I know they sell gnocchi in the frozen section at Whole Foods, which I am going to try next time I make it. I usually use the shelf stable kind. If you are feeling really ambitious, you can also make them from scratch.

Butter & Herb Gnocchi with White Beans

1 lb gnocchi
1 15 oz can of cannellini beans drained and rinsed well
3-4 tablespoons unsalted butter (you could also use a butter alternative like Earth Balance)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
kosher salt and black pepper
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped (you can use fresh parsley instead for a milder flavor or any fresh herb really)
1/4 cup sliced chives

Cook the gnocchi according to the package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, drain the gnocchi, and return them to the pot along with the beans.
Add the butter, mustard, the reserved cooking water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and toss until the butter has melted. Fold in the basil and chives.

Serve it with a side salad or sauteed spinach and you're done.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Grammie

I am a day late because Grammie's birthday was actually yesterday, but we had a snow day yesterday and I was all out of sorts. This snow is driving me CRAZY!!! Anway, we celebrated my mother-in-law's birthday on Saturday. My husband and his sister planned a surprise dinner for her with some of her friends at a local pizza place.


Happy Birthday Grammie!!!

I made her a purse and wallet for her birthday. The purse is made to wear across her shoulder and sit on her hip. I used this tutorial for the wallet. The fabric that I used on the wallet is the same fabric I used for the back of the purse. My husband was nice enough to snap some photos for me before he wrapped it.



Happy Crafty Tuesday everyone.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Girls Night Out- Goddess and the Moon

Here are a few shots from this month's GNO. We had our cards read at the Goddess and the Moon. It was definitely a fun and memorable night out. Thanks girls!!



Oxygen Bar_filtered

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Team Up Thursday- Time

Cara and I chose time this week as our theme. I had so many different ideas, but ultimately went with the traditional. The photo I took (on the left) is the face of a grandfather clock that was given to me by my grandmother. I've always loved this clock so it is a bit sentimental to me. I love Cara's take on the theme. I think the photos fit together, but are so different.

Time Duo

If you have some extra time today, head over to Megan's to see some more creative themes.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

T-Shirt Dress and Travel Purse

I finally set aside a little time to do some personal sewing. Goodwill had their monthly 50% off sale so I set out early Saturday morning to do some thrifting. I came home with 3 bags full of clothes for a grand total of $63. Can't beat that. I found a jacket and a Gap t-shirt for me. I scored a dress, skirt, and top for Harper. For Miller I found a Cars t-shirt, 2 pair of pants, and 2 cute short sleeved button down shirts. Mitch got a brand new Brooks Brother shirt. Then I racked up on t-shirts so that I can make Harper some comfy play dresses or skirts for the summer. Plus three wool sweaters for cozies.

Mitch took the kids to the park so that I could sew. So I made a dress for Harper. I used three different t-shirts. The main shirt was from Children's Place and was a little too big, but I was able to still use the existing neckline so that eliminated a little work.


I am not sure what's going on here. I think Miller was a little jealous that I was not photgraphing him.


The turquoise shirt that I used matched the main shirt perfectly and it had manager on the sleeve. So I used it for the sleeves.


Then on Sunday afternoon I made myself a little travel purse. Not that I have plans to go anywhere, but you never know. It will be perfect for a quick trip to the store or when I just want to carry a couple of things with me.


This was my first attempt at a magnetic closure. It is a little wonky, but good practice. There's a pocket on the outside. I used this tutorial as a guideline.


I added a little pocket inside.


It was really nice to finish a couple of things for us.

Happy Crafty Tuesday everyone.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Team Up Thursday- Green

Cara and I are teaming up for Team Up Thursday over at Mental Inventory. I am so excited to join in the fun. Cara is so talented and having a partner will keep me motivated each week. This week we chose Green as our theme.

Green Duo

If you want to see some seriously talented ladies, head on over to Mental Inventory.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


The combination of snow and ice that we received over the weekend was perfect for sledding.


Don't you love the pink gloves? I guess that is what happens when you have an older sister. He doesn't seem to mind though.


They would zoom down the driveway, across the street and into the neighbors front yard.



Each time Miller would say, "Let's do it again."


So they would do it again.


Look at those smiles.




The view from the top of the driveway.


I had to stand guard at the bottom of the driveway to make sure no cars were coming. This is what our road looked like.




We still have some snow lingering around, but the roads are clear and the kids are back in school. I can honestly say I am not too sad to see it go. A couple of days is all I need.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Finally a Shop Update

You would think since I was snowed in all weekend that I would have found some time to do a little sewing. Well, that was not the case. I finished up my last wholesale order at the end of last week and did not think about sewing until last night. I did manage to make a couple of things for my etsy shop last night. I should be done updating it by the end of the day. Here's a sneak peak.







It seems that being snowed in makes me want to cook rather than sew. While we were home this weekend we made homemade pretzels, larabars, and baked artichoke dip. Yum. The kids went bonkers over the larabars and they tasted just like the store bought ones. I will definitely be making those again.

Happy Crafty Tuesday everyone.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Ice, Ice Baby

As forecasted we were slammed with snow and ice on Friday. Which meant we spent the weekend at home playing in the snow. It also meant more macrotherapy for me. Ice is almost as fun to photograph as raindrops.

my rosemary bush

some ice flare

my car



The snow was so hard that I could stand on it without my feet sinking in.





So what did you do this weekend?


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