Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Announcement #2:

Thanks SO much for all of your encouraging and sweet comments yesterday! 
I really appreciate them. 
So, you may or may not have noticed that my posts have not been as frequent lately...but I'm not going to apologize too much because I have a sweet little peanut of a reason...we're pregnant again!!!!
pic from here
So, between morning all day sickness and exhaustion and making huge life-changing-decisions-about-moving-to-foreign-countries..... I have had no energy to make anything (including dinner-ha) 

I'm about 10 1/2 weeks now, and it seems the sickness is easing off - the past couple of days have been pretty good so I should be up and making more things soon :)  Still, I may not get a post  up everyday, but I know ya'll are understanding people so I'm not going to worry too much about it.  I probably will be posting more about baby stuff and maternity things than I have been...but I'll try to throw in some other stuff too :) 

So I think that's it for big news in my life -
pregnant and moving to Japan...sounds like a good name for a blog, haha.
Hope everyone is doing well and have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Anchors Aweigh...

So here's the first announcement of the week:
My husband has been accepted as an Officer into the United States Navy Medical Services Corps!
It's been a very long process (taking almost 7 months, and a lot of patience...), but I am so proud of him and this great service we are going to do together.  Plus he'll look great in that uniform ;)
So here's a hint about where we will be stationed:

pic from here

can you guess??
pic from here

We're moving to Japan!!
We will be stationed for 3 years at the naval base in Yokosuka, Japan - just south of Tokyo.

This has not been a decision we've made lightly.
Which is one of the reasons I've been distracted
- a lot of emotions have been running through my little head and heart. 
Lots of people say they would love the adventure of living overseas - but it's a whole different thing to actually pack up your things and fly 18 hrs to live in another country for 3 years. 
We are very close to our family and will be very sad that we won't be able to see them as much as we have been.  But we know that in the span of a lifetime, 3 years is just a blink of an eye. 
So Ryan starts medical officer training in the middle of October.  That will last 5 weeks and Charlotte and I will be staying with family during that time.  Then we will head on over to Japan! 

We decided to join the Navy for several reasons, but here are a few:
*they offer excellent loan repayment for medical professions (9 years of college hasn't been cheap)
*the work is diverse - Ryan will work with families on the base as well as train sailors and marines in hearing conservation.
*lots of benefits - free medical services, shopping at the exchange...etc.

So we feel that this is definitely the best financial move for our family,
as well as a great cultural experience, and a chance to serve our country!
I will definitely be continuing this blog - so you can follow right along with all of our adventures. 
I guess I'm going to have to learn amigurumi :) 
and I've already scouted out the fabric stores in Tokyo - there are lots! 
So I'll have access to fun Japanese fabrics, paper, and washi tape ;)
If you have any info for me about JapanI'd love to hear it
(although please only share encouraging stories - I know there will be difficult times, but I'd like to focus on the positive).
hope you're having a great day!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

{DIY} Early Fall Cardi

Hey!  It's a tutorial!  Can you believe it?! Due to several events that I will tell you about later this week, I have been very very distracted.  BUT I did manage to whip up this little cardigan. If you're one of my Florida readers you're probably laughing at the thought of needing a little something extra in the evenings - but here in TN it's been dropping into the 50's at night, so I needed something light that I could toss on over a t-shirt or tank top.
Here are the supplies you'll need:
1 yard of 60" wide fabric - preferably something flowy like voile or a rayon
Thread/scissors/sewing machine
a shirt that fits you kinda loosely

Step 1:  Lay your shirt on top of the fabric.

Step 2:  Measure down 7" or 8" from the top fold on one edge and cut straight across toward the underarm of the existing shirt.  Stop about 1/2" from the shirt then follow along the side seam cutting down to the selvage.

Remove the shirt and fold the material right to left and cut out the other side of the fabric - using the first half as a pattern.  When you unfold it, it should look like this:

Step 2:  Cut along the fold at the top to make a front and back piece.
Then cut down the center of the top layer only.
So now you should have 3 pieces:  1 back panel and 2 front panels

Step 3:  Along the top split edge, place a pin that lines up with the underarm.  
Then gather the material from the center split to the pin, using a basting stitch. 
After you've sewed it, pull the threads so that it measures about 5".
Repeat this process with the other front panel.

Step 4:  Now lay both front panels on the back panel, right sides together and pin along the top edge.  Make sure the ends of the sleeves line up.  Sew along the top edge of one panel, stopping when you reach the center split.  Sew the other panel on.  It should now look like this:

Step 5:  Finish all of the raw edges (along the back neckline, down both center front panels, and the edges of the sleeves) by pressing each edge under 1/4" then under 1/4" again.  Top stitch in place.

Step 6:  Final step!  Pin the underarm and side edges right sides together.  Sew a seam on each side, using a zig zag stitch.  Turn your cardi inside out and you're ready to go!

Hope I made that clear.  If not, please email me at jessica(at)sewhomegrown(dot)com and I will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

We Ate Cake

Yesterday was our sweet Charlotte's 3rd birthday!
Her big celebration was dinner with Cinderella,
but we did a small dinner and cake with friends yesterday. 

 I love to decorate cakes but haven't had too much success in the past.  This time I used this wonderful tutorial over on Prudent Baby.  I followed their directions exactly - for the icing as well as the cake - and I was really surprised with the turnout. 
Charlotte helped with the baking.

I finally did a successful crumb coat!  Thanks Prudent Baby!

I wanted it to look cinderella-ish without being obviously Cinderella. 
So the big C on top was for Charlotte and Cinderella.
She really loved it!

  Inside it was chocolate.  Yum.

So Happy Birthday Sweet Charlotte!
It seems to only get better.

Monday, August 22, 2011

One down, one to go...

If you've been reading my blog very long, you know I'm not really a knitter(see this post)...or a crocheter...but I really want to be!  I love yarn, and actually have accumulated quite a bit, but for some reason my brain has a block when it comes to yarn crafts.  However, over the 4th of July weekend, my aunt sat with me for a while and helped me learn a very basic crochet pattern: this hand warmer.

I made a practice one, and now I just finished this one and am going to start the 2nd in order to make a pair.  I'm pretty excited.  So if you're thinking of picking up crochet I would definitely suggest this pattern because if I can do it ANYONE can do it ;)
And of course you can check out these great blogs too.
..and there are many more, but I am still new to the yarn world.
Happy crocheting/knitting - it's never to early to start on those Christmas gifts!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bookworm's Birthday Bash

Today I have a fantastic party for you!  My friend Emily threw an adorable book party for her daughter, and I am so happy to be sharing the details with you!  So let's get started.
Here are the sweet invitations - little books with each invitee's name on them instead of the original character.

As the guests arrived, they were greeted by this cute little wreath:
get the tutorial here

The banner was made from book pages with letters printed directly onto them:

Typewriter inspired cupcakes - all laid out in "qwerty" of course.

Activities included bookworm making (get the how to here),

typewriter key necklaces,

Book art and book mark crafts.
To end, they sent the girls on a scavenger hunt to find their party favors, which included a book light, a journal, alphabet stickers, a pen, magnets, and a cardboard monogram for them to decorate at home - all wrapped up in a sweet little dishtowel.

So cute right?  I think my favorite thing was the cupcakes all laid out like a typewriter.  
What was yours?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Oh, oh it's magic...

Here are some pics from our lovely dinner Friday evening.
Disney truly makes it magical. 
It wasn't cheesy at all and the characters came to each table and talked to us for a while and we took our picture with them.

For some reason, when Prince Charming and Cinderella came in, I bawled like a which in turn made Charlotte then my mom then my sister cry. 
It was hysterical.  Our guys were like "what is going on???"

but then we settled down and ate great food and yummy dessert. 

Afterwards we walked around the grounds until we could spot the castle off in the distance.  This is the dress my mom made (by that time the bow had come off..)
Sparkly shoes.  Of course.

All the girls with Cinderella (after we had gotten all the crying under control ;)

It was wonderful - I highly recommend it - and it's a dinner at the Grand Floridian Resort so you don't have to be in the park to do this (i.e. making it more affordable, especially if you are local).
Well, hope your weekend was magical too, and maybe filled with a few happy tears.

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Bow Fit for a Princess

So my family lives in Orlando, and so far we haven't done anything Disney with Charlotte.  However her 3rd birthday is right around the corner so tonight we are going to have dinner with Cinderella, Prince Charming, the stepmother and stepsisters!  Say what you will about princessesy things - I love it!  Needless to say, Charlotte had to have a new outfit.  The dress is actually still under construction as I'm writing this (although that is a swatch of the fabric in the picture),
but I did get the bow finished last night.

I'm not an extraordinary bow maker, but I thought it turned out quite lovely and will hopefully look great with the dress - I'll show you the full outfit Monday :)
Here's a quick little tut for how I did it:
(I found all of those things at Joanns.)

Step 1: I measured my base ribbon out to 28", then put a little mark every 7 inches.
Fold the ribbon so that the first two marks line up:

Step 2:  Loop around the right side so that the next mark lines up in the center as well.  Then make another loop around the left side - continuing lining up the marks. 

Step 3: Once you have 2 loops on each side, tie a ribbon very tightly around the center - cinching it tightly.

Step 4:  Fluff out the loops on each side.  Then I added the sparkly "ribbon" by placing a small dab of hot glue in the center of the bow - gluing one end of the ribbon.  I then let it follow the base ribbon - just securing it in the center on the front and back as I went.

Step 5:  Then I tied the teal ribbon around the center of the bow to conceal the thread and hot glue.  I then glued the button in the center of the teal ribbon.  I decided it need a little more glam, so I glued some little sparkly tails onto the back.  Then I just glued the clip onto the back - ta-da! 

A bow Cinderella would certainly approve of. 
Happy weekend!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Nellie and Joe's Key Lime Pie

If you're a fan of key lime pie - this is the secret to making the best:
Nellie & Joe's Key West Lime Juice. 

They have a lot of fabulous recipes over on their site, including this one:
Nellie & Joe's Key Lime Pie
  • 9" graham cracker pie crust
  • 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 egg yolks (whites not used)
  • ½ cup Nellie & Joe's Key West Lime Juice
Combine milk, egg yolks and lime juice. Blend until smooth. Pour filling into pie crust and bake at 350ยบ for 15 minutes. Allow to stand 10 minutes before refrigerating. Just before serving, top with freshly whipped cream, or meringue, and garnish with lime slices.

How simple is that?  And yes - make your own whipped cream. 
Takes about 1 minute and tastes so fantastic. 

So that's what I'm doing - hanging in FL and eating pie :)
Vacations are pretty great - just sayin'.

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