Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer Dresses

I'm loving dresses this season.

More in particular, maxi dresses.

But they are so darn expensive, and while I don't mind dropping ridiculous amounts of money on Justice/Children's Place/Gymboree attire for my children, I have a really hard time spending money on my own clothing.

Solution....make my own!

And some for Breanna while I'm at it.

I found a really cute (and super easy) pattern for smock dresses online earlier today, so off to the fabric store Breanna and I went.

She picked out this really pretty pink floral fabric for herself.  I tried to convince her that the same pattern in teal was much prettier, but she wasn't buying it and insisted she liked the 'pink'.

So pink floral it was!

In the above picture, if you look closely you will see six blue lines.  These are the stitch lines for the elastic thread. 

After sewing thread lines, moisten them.  It removes the marker, and preps the thread to shrink more when you iron it.

Threading after ironing it.

Fold the bottom seam, pin, and stitch.

Attach straps.

Pin and sew back seam.

Let one excited little girl try on and model her new dress.

The dress actually gets a little wider at the bottom, but Breanna is holding it back with her hands.

I'm fairly certain I'm going to have to wait until she falls asleep to pry this dress off of her.

Stay tuned....I'll be making myself a similar, longer version of this dress, and a very cute tea length skirt in the next few days.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Summer Day Complete with History Lesson

We had to make a quick run to Big A's orthodontist this morning, and I had a nail appointment in preparation for the wedding tomorrow, so in between I decided to take the kids to our county museum.  There are all kinds of cool pieces of our county's history there, not to mention some play areas, so the entire family can enjoy it.

Checking out a butter churn. 

Silly kids.

Pretending to write in the old schoolhouse set-up.

Time to play dress-up.

'Dancing' in the wooden shoes.  I was literally in tears laughing when Big A did an impersonation of clogging for me.

Then he started laughing...and may or may not have snorted, which caused a chain effect of more laughing.

I taught him how to build a Lincoln Log house.  He told me, 'You're a really awesome house builder.' lol
If he only knew how often I played with lincoln logs when I was HIS age.

The lightening wasn't the best for pictures taken with a cell phone in some of the areas, but I love this one that Aidan snapped of me and Breanna rocking.

After we got done there we drove across the street to my nail appointment.

While I was under the nail dryer....

Tasha gave Breanna her first 'real' manicure. 

Purple nails with pink hearts.

She was so proud that when we got in the car she said, 'Aidan, do you want to get your nails painted purple like mine?'  He said, 'I'm a boy so I don't get my nails painted.'  She said, 'But they are REALLY pretty! Let's go get a chicken sandwich from Barbadee's'

Translation:  Roast beef from Arby's.

A busted out laughing and said, 'I love having Breanna for a sister.  She says the funniest stuff. Can we really go to Arby's though?'

So, we ran to Arby's to grab some lunch and headed to the Armory park.

All the slides that were sun exposed where very hot, and they kids were getting pretty sweaty so we decided to head home and play in the splash pool for a little bit.

Aidan informed me that he likes this picture of us and it is ALMOST as good as the pictures of me and him from our trip to Patoka Lake.  Thanks buddy!  You sure know how to melt my heart!!!

Time for a little cool-down, and Just Dance before we have to head off to the wedding rehearsal.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mediterranean Dishes

I've decided to try out some Mediterranean dishes this week since they mostly consist of fresh produce, olive oil, nuts, beans, fish, and turkey, and I've visited some farmer markets and we're loaded up with fresh produce.

I made two salads for supper tonight because my parents are joining us, but either one could be a meal by itself.
Ingredients for both dishes include:  cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, parsley, romaine lettuce, lemon zest and juice, lime juice, feta cheese, mango, chili powder, olive oil, chick peas, green beans, and honey.

First up, Green Beans, Tomato, and Chickpea Salad

Snap ends off of green beans.

Boil for about 4 minutes until tender but still crisp.

Blanch them.  (throw them in an ice bath to stop the cooking process)

Whisk together 3 Tbsp lemon juice and  2 Tbsp olive oil.

Half some cherry tomatoes.

Dice up some cucumber. 

The recipe didn't call for this, but I love cucumber so I added it.

Throw your veggies in with your sauce.

Drain and rinse one can of chick peas and add to veggies.

Next, throw in some diced red onion.

Now mix it all together.

Add some feta cheese and chopped parsley.
Give it another good stir.

Lay green beans out on a serving dish.

Top with mix.

Season to taste with some coarse salt and ground pepper.

Now for the Cucumber and Mango Salad w/ Chili-Spiced Pork

I can not even begin to describe the deliciousness of this salad.

While your skillet with 1 tsp of EVOO is heating up....

Mix together coarse salt, pepper, and 1 tsp chili powder.

Sprinkle on your pork.

Fry over medium heat until thoroughly cooked.

Remove from heat, and cover for 10 minutes before slicing.

Slice into thin strips.

Whisk together 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp chili powder, s & p, 4 tsp honey, and 2 Tbsp lime juice.

Roughly chop the Romaine lettuce.

Add to the dressing.

Add diced mango and cucumber and mix.

This is honestly one of the most delicious meals I have ever had, and the best part, it's only about 600 calories, and loaded with protein and fiber.  (37g of protein and 19g of fiber)

I will definitely be making this again.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


It's a rainy day today in Southern Indiana.  Minus the horrendous sinus pressure, sneezing, itchy/runny eyes that have plagued our house, we're thoroughly enjoying our day inside.  We all slept in until 9:30 this morning, which was heavenly.  Even though I wouldn't trade our normal mornings of Big A coming in my room at 6:30 in the morning, climbing in daddy's side of the bed and jibber-jabbering about everything that comes to his mind.  I truly cherish that time with him.

Our plans for the day were supposed to include cleaning and organizing Big A's room.  Chris and I went on a pretty major clothes shopping spree, and now A's dresser needs some major organizing.  So far, that hasn't happened.

We've been playing Wii.  I'm convinced he'd dance to 'Eye of the Tiger' over and over and over again ALL DAY if I was up for the challenge.  I've definitely gotten in my 45 minutes of cardio for the day. ha.

This is what Big A and Breanna are currently up to....


As of two seconds ago, they were wrestling, pretend karate-chopping each other, and spinning around in circles.  It's so fun to see (despite the five year age difference) the close bond these two have.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Summer Cooking at It's Finest

Because it's summer, and almost everyone has left-over grilled chicken at some point.

Because I haven't food blogged in A REALLY LONG TIME!

And just because it's one of my favorite cold pasta dishes (meaning it's delicious even as a left-over itself)...

I present to you....

Grilled Chicken and Penne with Creamy Honey Mustard Sauce

Don't worry if you're not a fan of honey mustard (I'm not really either.  Sorry, Kate aka my mustard loving friend. haha) but this sauce is so light, and non-mustardy tasting that you wouldn't know that's what it is if I didn't tell you.

First things first, boil some Penne.

You can substitute whole wheat Penne if you're looking for a healthier option.

And while the water is working it's magic...

dice up some avocado.

I mean what summer dish is truly complete without some creamy avocado?

Next up, cut up your grilled chicken.

This is a cold dish, so if you grilled your chicken directly prior to starting to prepare this dish, pop it in the freezer for 3-5 minutes to cool it down.

This is a cheat step, but I like the flavoring of these particular diced tomatoes, so it's what I used.

Diced tomatoes with green chilies.

I love that it gives the dish a punch of spice, but it's not hot.

For the sauce, mix together 1 cup light mayo, 4 Tbsp Dijon mustard, 2 Tbsp honey, 2 Tbsp Karo syrup, and 2 Tbsp lemon juice.


It's imperative to the acidity of the dish.

Really, I don't know if that's true or not, but it sounded smart.

And it really does give it a little something extra.

Drain and rinse penne with cold water.

Mix everything together, throw in a tsp or two of crushed red pepper flakes, and ta-da.

Serve with a salad and you have a perfect, quick, throw together, summer supper.