Thursday, November 20, 2014

DIY Plaid Infinity Scarf

I am loving plaid lately! It seems like it is everywhere this year. I really wanted a plaid infinity scarf this fall, but I couldn't find what I was looking for in stores, so I decided to make my own. Seriously, this was the easiest DIY project ever, cost about $5 to make, and turned out so cute!! I actually ended up buying a bunch of different plaid fabrics and whipping up a bunch of these infinity scarves to give as Christmas gifts for the ladies in my family. I have a big family and the adults all draw names for Secret Santa, but I still like to give a little stocking stuffer type gift and these will be perfect.


All you need for these is 2 1/4 yards of plaid flannel fabric and basic sewing supplies. I like a longer, more generously sized scarf, so 2 1/4 yards was perfect (you'll cut that in half and get two scarves out of it). I used flannel shirting that I got at Joann.

First, press your fabric and cut in half lengthwise. Fold your fabric in half lengthwise again, pin, and sew along the long edge with a 1/2" seam.

Turn your fabric right side out. You should be left with a tube of fabric with both ends open. Match the ends and begin to sew the ends together to close; just match up as you sew. Keep going as far as you can on the machine; you should be left with about a 2" opening.

Now, you can either sew the rest with an outside seam on the sewing machine (I did this for my own scarf, since I figured I could put that seam on the inside where you wouldn't see it) or sew by hand (I did this for the gifts since it looks a bit more nicely finished). 

Voila, you're done!

I am so excited about how these turned out! Now I just have to figure out who gets what plaid...
I kept this one for myself!



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Natural and Neutral Thanksgiving Table

This year, we are hosting Thanksgiving here at our house for the first time. Actually, this is my first time ever hosting Thanksgiving; wish me luck! Circumstances worked out this year that my parents are coming to visit, and my in-laws will also be joining us. Just a small group of the six of us, plus the girls, far less intimidating than the usual dinner for 25+ that my mom hosts!

I did still want to set a beautiful table, something nice and cozy and warm, but still festive. I sewed the gold plaid napkins on the table several years ago from some clearance fabric, and they inspired the rest of the table. I just used my favorite neutrals, with a bit of fall color mixed in. I used lots of different textures with a burlap runner, white placemats, white candleholders, white pumpkins, dried wheat, some dried hydrangea, green apples, and some beautiful sugar maple leaves. The leaves are my favorite part of the whole table; I love the color of the sugar maples in fall and I stopped by the side of the road to get these leaves since we don't have any maple trees in our yard.


I made a quick little menu on some kraft paper wrapped around some branches. I'm so excited for Thanksgiving food! And pie!




 Thank you so much for stopping by!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Chicken and Dumplings

We got our first dusting of snow here last night, and today is a cold, gray day: the perfect day to share my recipe for my favorite comfort food ever, chicken and dumplings. This is exactly what I want to eat in cold weather, out of a mug with a big spoon, in a cozy sweater and leggings, curled up by the fire. {except I don't have a fireplace, but everything else}. I make my chicken and dumplings with lots of veggies mixed with the chicken, so it's truly a one-pot meal. It's also great with Thanksgiving coming up; this recipe calls for cooked chicken, so it would be a fabulous way to use leftover turkey too.
Don't let from scratch intimidate you either; I do tend to make this as a Sunday dinner, since it needs some time to simmer, but it doesn't need babysitting, just some time. The dumplings are easy too, just mix, then drop them on to the stew (no rolling required here).


Chicken and Dumplings From Scratch

Makes 6 generous servings
1 1/2 pounds cooked, shredded chicken breast *see note
3 tablespoons of butter
1 onion, finely chopped
3 celery ribs, sliced
4 carrots, sliced
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup apple cider
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
Salt and pepper
1/2 lb frozen peas
3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
For Dumplings:
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons butter
*Note: I just use boneless, skinless chicken breasts and cook them in my slow cooker with some water, bay leaves, salt, and pepper, on high for about 3-4 hours, then shred. You could also use a rotisserie chicken or leftover cooked chicken or turkey.
1. Heat the 3 tablespoons of butter in a large Dutch oven or covered pot over medium low. Add the onions, celery, and carrots; cook for 8-10 minutes until onions are translucent.
2. Sprinkle the 1/3 cup flour over the veggies and stir; cook 1 minute. Stir in the apple cider, scraping up the bottom of the pot; bring to simmer and cook 1-2 minutes. Stir in the cooked chicken and chicken stock and season with salt and pepper. Bring everything to a boil; lower heat to medium low, and simmer partially covered for 20-25 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, make the dumplings: whisk together the 2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Microwave the milk and butter together (I just use a glass measuring cup) for about 1-2 minutes to melt the butter. Add milk mixture to flour mixture and stir until just incorporated.
4. Stir in the peas and parsley into the chicken.
5. Use a spoon to drop golf-ball size dumplings on top of the stew. Cover and cook over medium-low until dumplings are cooked through, about 25 minutes (dumplings will not brown).


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Little Pumpkin First Birthday

So, obviously I took a longer break from this blog than I anticipated over the past year, but life got busy and something had to go, so this blog was it. I really did miss having this outlet though, so I'm excited to get back to it.
Today I'm posting Claire's first birthday party last month! One of her nicknames is Pumpkin, so with an October birthday, a little pumpkin theme seemed perfect. I decided to stick with more muted colors, with pale orange, peach, and pink mixed in to make it girly. We hosted the party at my sister and brother-in-law's house back in Texas, so since I didn't have tons of time to set up and had to cart everything down on the plane, I kept things pretty simple. I'm still really happy with how it turned out.
I added some simple d├ęcor to the mantel. The banner has all of Claire's monthly photos from her first year; it is amazing how much she has grown.

We had the party at 10:30 AM, so I served brunch food. The menu was: grilled vegetable quiche, tomato goat cheese quiche, bacon, fall salad with pecans, apples, bleu cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette, fresh fruit, pumpkin muffins, cheddar biscuits, and pecan kringle.

The dessert table was my favorite part of the party. The fabric banner was very simple to make and I think it makes the table.

Of course, the girls' outfits had to coordinate with the party decor. Everyone does that, right?

Claire's birthday was a bit of a bittersweet milestone for me- it feels like the year just flew by. I think that's a second baby thing, because it did some seem that fast the first time! And I can't believe Allie will be THREE in January (I have some ideas going for that party already...)
Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Claire's Nursery Reveal

Hi! I am finally getting around to posting pictures of baby Claire's nursery! I am so excited to share these- I had a very clear vision for this room and it all came together just how I pictured it. I wanted it to be peaceful and serene but with some whimsical touches too. . Claire is a really relaxed, happy baby so her nursery fits her perfectly!
This room is really tiny (only 10'x10') so  I used lots of white along with the gray and lavender to keep things bright and airy. We started by repainting the green walls in Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter. I was able to keep the existing curtains by just sewing a blackout lining in myself (this room faces the street and gets a ton of sunlight during the day so this was a necessity!). The chaise was originally in the living room, but I really prefer it in here and it's a super cozy place for nursing Claire and reading books with both girls. Everything else in the room just came together over time- probably my favorite piece in the whole room in her bird mobile that I found on Etsy. I am thrilled with the finished product and I just love spending time in this room!












Little Claire Evie, dressed to match! Love this precious girl!
Nursery Source List
Wall Color: Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter
Crib: Da Vinci Jenny Lind Crib via Amazon
Dresser: Juliette Dresser from Pottery Barn Kids
Rug: Harper Rug from Pottery Barn Kids
Chaise, Lamp, Side Table, Butterfly Art: IKEA
Curtains: Simply Shabby Chic from Target (old)
Wall Shelves: Hayden Shelves from Pottery Barn Kids
Bird Mobile: Love Bug Lullabies via Etsy
Balloon Print: BW Prints via Etsy
Initial Letter C: Ballard Designs
Fabric Banner and Pillow: Made by me, fabric from
Crib Skirt: Restoration Hardware Baby and Child