Saturday, March 28, 2009

Grad Cup and a Museum Trip

I thought I had more usable Grad Cup pictures, but most of them came out blurry. Bummer. I have to figure our how to take not blurry pictures at night...Anyhow, these first two are from the football game for Grad Cup a couple of night ago. There was another little boy there around Ava's age and they were just too cute together! When we were walking back over to watch the game, he reached out and was holding her hand while they walked! So sweet! I realized that Ava doesn't really get to play with kids her own age except for at MOPS (and even there most of the babies are quite a bit younger than her). We really only play with Lily's friends...it was fun seeing her with another little one!

Deer in headlights?

This is Ava and Owen, the little boy we met, trading flowers. They were so cute!

Speaking of Lily's friends, we went to the Natural History Museum with Madison a few days ago. It was fun. They have a new Everglades exhibit that was really neat. I think the kids had the most fun playing out front by the fountain after they had run us through the museum!


Ava had so much fun spinning the world. This is always a big hit with the kids. They touch the little blue button and make the big holographic world spin.

Checking out the cocoons.

Lily and Madison being silly while Ava tried to lay down on the steps...she would not sit for me!

Nigh, nigh! She kept trying to lay down while we were at the museum...on the steps, the floor, the benches, wherever!

I love this one! I wish I had pushed her hair out of her face, though!

Ava loved the fountain!

She also thought it was really funny to run as far away as I would let her get and start dancing and yelling :)

Love those eyes...

Pretty flowers!

Ava thought it was really funny to try climb into the stroller. She wouldn't look up at the camera though, which she also seemed to think was hilarious!

Not sure what the silly girls were doing here...probably dancing!

Ava has discovered a new joy in playing in the dirt. I think she was burying herself here...

Friday, March 27, 2009

Child's Ruffle Apron Tutorial (at last!)

Well, this is my 201st post. Wow. And, here is that apron tutorial I have been promising! Hope you guys enjoy it!



Materials:
  • One 9 x 9 in piece of fabric for front of top flap
  • One 9x9 in piece of fabric for back of top flap
  • One 5 x 6 in piece of fabric for the pocket on top flap
  • One 12.5 x 10 in piece of fabric for the bottom back (I used the same fabric as I used for the back of the top
  • Three 20 x 4.5 pieces of fabric for ruffles on front of apron
  • Two 13 x 3 in pieces of fabric for the belt of the apron (I used the same fabric for this, the pocket up top, and all the straps)
  • Two 15 x 4 in pieces of fabric for the waist straps
  • Two 13 x 3 in pieces of fabric for the neck straps
  • Coordinating thread
  • Embellishment for pocket
  • Snaps or velcro (optional)

Cut materials.

Making Apron Bottom:
Now, first, we're going to make the bottom part of the apron. You need to fold over the two short edges and one of the long edges of each of the ruffles about 1/4 in. Then, iron. Then, fold them over again and iron again so that the raw edges are enclosed. Now, sew along the folded over edges. **Note that the top stitch in this picture is a basted stitch, it is a later step)

Next, do the same for the back piece of the apron.

Now, take your back piece and draw three lines from long edge to long edge. Place these lines three inches apart starting from the bottom. These are where you will be attaching your ruffles.

Now, baste along the top of each of your three ruffle strips and gather them so that they are the length of your bottom back piece.


Starting at one end of the bottom back piece, pin the bottom ruffle to the bottom back piece, making sure your ruffle is right side down and facing upward like you flipped it up (does that make sense?). Make sure you line up the edges.


Go ahead and do the same thing for the middle ruffle. Don't do the top ruffle, because we are going to attach that a little differently. Now, stitch just below your basted line. Try to keep straight and don't cross the basted stitch.



Now, go ahead and line up your top ruffle, wrong side down and sew it on just below your basted line. There is no need to flip this on over as the top edge will be enclosed in the belt of the apron. You should now have a completed bottom of the apron.


Making and Attaching the Pocket:
Take your pocket piece and fold and iron all the edges, then fold and iron them again so that all the raw edges are enclosed. **In my pictures, only the top of the pocket is folded over twice, but that is because I cut it too small. the measurements up top have taken into account the extra fold, so that there is less of a risk of fraying**


Next, attach any embellishment that you want to put on the pocket. Mine was and iron-on thing, so it will just depend on what you use on how you need to attach it.

Sew across the top of your pocket.

Center and pin pocket to your front top piece.

Stitch in place.

Making the Straps:
You will make both the neck and waist straps the same way, so you can go ahead and do all four now, although you will use the neck straps first. Take your piece of fabric and fold in half and iron.

Now, open that up and fold the edges in to where your first crease was and iron. Next, take one end and fold it so that you end up with a point. It should look like this:

Now, fold that in half an iron again.

Now stitch around both long edges and across the point. Then repeat for the other 3 straps. Yours will, hopefully, come out a little bit neater than mine :)

Making the Top of the Apron:
Take your neck straps and pin them to the back top piece, about an 1 1/2 from the edges and pin them.

Fold the straps over and pin them to the right side of your top back piece. This will make sure that you straps end up on the outside of you apron and that they will not get sewn into the side of the apron.

Place your front top and front bottom pieces against each other, wrong sides facing and sew them together being careful not to catch you straps! Now, turn right-side out, push out your corners, un-pin your straps and go ahead and iron everything to make it all pretty :)

Attaching Top to the Bottom and Attaching the Waist Straps:
Take your two pieces for the apron belt and pin them on either side of your apron bottom. Sew that all together. Iron belt pieces up so you have nice crisp seam. Next, fold over the tops of both sides the belt so that you don't have a raw edge when you sew on the top. Like this:


Fold and iron the short edges of the belt like this:

Now, pin the top of the apron and both waist straps in place (top on top and straps in the sides) and sew around the entire belt section, bottom included.

And here are my two little aprons. They are going to be packed up and saved for Christmas presents. I would say that I feel very on top of things to already have Christmas presents made, but I wanted to make these for last Christmas and got started...what like 4 months too late? Anyhow, I hope this made sense. If not, feel free to e-mail me! They really aren't hard to make if you can just figure out my instructions :)


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Cirque du Soleil: Saltimbanco from MomSelect


Well, I don't know how many of you have heard of MomSelect, but I wanted to let you know briefly what it is and why I am so excited to share information about it with you! Here is the overview from the MomSelect website:

"Moms are the most powerful consumer group in the world. Companies each day try to connect with you with marketing messages, product information and brand promises. Some do it well while others fall short.

For over a decade, BSM Media has been working to help companies speak to moms about products and brands in a relevant and valuable manner. It has been the passion of Maria Bailey, BSM Media's CEO and author of "Marketing to Moms," to educate companies on the buying power of mothers, the intelligence that they apply to purchasing products and solutions they seek for their family via value, price, safety, health and enrichment. Today she and her team work with the biggest brands around the globe to deliver marketing programs that respect, honor and leverage relationships with real-life moms.

The best marketing relationships are a two way street -- a two way dialogue. Mom Select is a platform that allows mothers to choose to participate in marketing programs and creates a place for you to let us know about marketing opportunities in your community. Our mission is to create a bridge between moms and brands.

BSM Media offers a variety of ways to engage with companies. They are fun, educational and empowering and allow you to share free samples with friends, host in home parties or review the newest products for moms. Best of all, YOU get to choose the programs!"

Well, I signed up with MomSelect as a Mom Blogger a few months ago. I got a lot of e-mails with discount codes and some offering free tickets to shows, none of which were in our area...until, I recieved an e-mail last week offering tickets to Cirque du Soleil: Saltimbanco which is coming to the O'Connell Center in May! I was obviously thrilled to recieve the tickets and, MomSelect sent me a link to put up for all my readers who are interested in going to recieve dicounted tickets! Yay! I will let you all know how the show was in May! Thanks so much to MomSelect for giving me this opportunity!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ah, Lily

Well, it is nap time and I have been sitting here checking up on some of my favorite blogs. About 10 minutes ago I started hearing all this knocking and tapping...kind of like a little girl who is supposed to be resting in my bedroom was up and knocking on the walls. So, I go in there all ready to get on her case and she is sitting sweetly in my bed looking at a book. It was about this time I realized the knocking is coming from the other side of the wall in my bathroom (our walls here are like paper). So, I asked Lily if she heard it. She said yes. So, I asked her what she thought they were doing. To which she replied, very seriously, "I think they are trying to get in here and take our water balloons." Hehe, yes, here in Gainesville, we have to be on the look out for those darn water balloon theives who will break intoyour house via your bathroom wall!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My Little Talker

I could not believe how different the kids were after only being away from them for 4 days! Ava has all these words she can say now! The way she says dog is so unbelievably cute, I had to get a video of it up...and, Lily taught her to say bum...

video

Whirlwind Couple of Weeks: Atlanta Edition

Well, here is part two of the craziness that has been going on around here. My mother-in-law goes to Atlanta around this time every year. There is a large dental meeting that she goes to get some Continuing Education credits...and, she goes to shop. There is also an apparel mart in Atlanta that opens it's doors to the dentists and their staff/ families during the meeting for a small fee. So, at this mart, they sell what they call "samples," which are usually items that were worn on the runway or used to show to buyers from stores before mass producing them. They also sell lots of jewelry, bags, and accessories at wholesale prices. Anyhow, I have been a couple of times in the pass to partake in the shopping and going around the exhibit floor of the meeting (where all kinds of dental companies pass out all kinds of goodies). Well, we thought that my MIL was not going to be going this year...that is until about 2 weeks ago. She invited Nate to go up with her (he can attend classes for free because he is still a student), but we decided that it was not a wise decision for him to leave me and the girls because he has a few other obligations and trips planned this year that will require him leaving...well, after we explained this to my MIL, she e-mailed us last Sunday that I could come, too...so, last Monday, with a mere 3 days before the trip, we ran around trying to find someone to watch the kids (thank you so much Carey, Walt, and Mom!) and trying to reschedule Nate's patients! We worked everything out and headed up to Atlanta on Wednesday. It was a lot of fun. We had about 4 days kid free. I got to shop, Nate got to learn new stuff (I know, he's such a dork...he too off school to go to classes...silly boy), we ate at lots of yummy restaurants, stayed in a lovely hotel, and I got to the Coke Museum with my sister-in-law! So fun! I've got a few pics to share, but first I need to send out hug thank yous to everyone that helped with the kids and my MIL and FIL who payed for all our meals and the hotel while we were up there! Thanks so much everyone!

The first round of pics are from the Coke Museum. My SIL, Katie, and I went while the dental people were all in classes.

Here's Katie with some really nifty Coke bottles!

The next few pictures are of some vintage coke stuff. It was very cool (although, this room didn't have any AC and was horribly stuffy...)





This is "Fizzy Bot." He is a robot working on the Coke producing line.



Coke pop art.






Katie and I before heading in the 4-D movie (isn't the fourth demention time?), which was so unbelievably corny...





This is the tasting room. There are 64 different flavors of Coke from all around the world that you can try out!

Our favorite was from Asia!

Yummy Smart soda from China tasted like a liquid Watermelon Jolly Rancher...mmmm...


Cheers!


They even gave us a free coke to take home!

Katie with the founder of Coca-Cola.

The Atlanta skyline...as seen from the roof of our hotel.

Katie in the fountain in Centeniall Park!




Katie next to the freaky eye tree we found in the park.