Lily’s First Concert

On the first day of summer, we published a list of things to do this summer. My husband, Walt, thought our list was a little aggressive. I’m starting to think he was right but I’m up for the challenge. Slowly but surely we are crossing things off our Summer List.

A couple of weekends ago, we hiked up Crowder’s Mountain. Walt and I are pretty active (he is a marathon runner and I recently completed 60 days of Insanity – a Shaun T dvd series similar to P90x), but hiking up a Crowder’s with a 22 lb baby and all her baby gear was more challenging than expected. It probably didn’t help that is was 1000 degrees with the humidity (slight exaggeration)! We made an excuse to stop mid-way to take pictures. 🙂

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Next up was Lily’s first concert! Over the 4th of July weekend, we went to see Langhorne Slim who is described as a folk singer-songwriter with a punk-rock sensibility. His live shows are energetic which was right up Lily’s alley. We had a great time but I think she enjoyed it the most. She was rolling around on the blanket, trying to do flips, dancing and being silly! Our camera is out of commission so I was using my phone to capture pictures and she wouldn’t stay still!!

I hate that Jacob missed out but he is enjoying his time visiting family in Florida. We are talking about taking him to see American Idol when they come to town, anyone interested? Better yet, do you have a better live music recommendation for a soon to be 10 year old?

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What I Wore Wednesday

I was recently introduced to a blog that featured “What I Wore Wednesday”. I liked the idea because it encourages you to invest time in your appearance and keep things fashionable – which is hard to do when you are juggling so many things. I thought I’d give it a try. This is my first post and I will continue to work on my outfits (and photography) but my goal it to reach outside my traditional everyday black and white and try something new or different each time. I can’t guarantee I’ll do it every week but here we go…

I may have to wear this again to get another picture because it was so blurry. Everything on is from Banana Republic but the cardigan (which I love) is new from the Banana Republic Factory store. Lily’s outfit which you can’t really see if from Kohl’s (she didn’t want to miss out). 🙂

Linking up with:
pleated poppy

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Let the Party Planning Begin!

With Lily’s 1st birthday party less than a month away, this week was focused on getting her invitations out. My biggest challenge is committing to a theme – always!! I never know that early on what I want to center the decorations, food, games and gifts around so the theme becomes a roadblock for me. Should it be ABCs, 123s, blocks, rainbows, butterflies, princess, water themed (since we are doing water slides and kiddie pools)? I finally decided to keep it vague and do a pastel theme if that even counts as a theme.

According to Martha Stewart’s Kid’s Birthday party checklist, I’m right on schedule (that’s a first). I made her invitations and mailed them this week and purchased the entertainment and decorations today. I still plan to make a few decorations but the plates, cups, and napkins are taken care of! Below are pictures of the invitations.

Lily’s First Birthday DIY Invitations!

I have also been playing around with creating collage pictures in Picasa (a free photo editing tool I learned about this week – thanks to The Weekend Homemaker) so I included a few clips of decorating ideas for Lily’s party. It’s not perfect or complete but it gives you an idea.

Lastly, I practiced making the cupcakes last weekend as seen below. They weren’t horrible (as I managed to gain a couple of pounds from eating them all) but I think I’m going to go ahead and purchase them.

More to come! By the way, anyone have good gift ideas for a soon to be one year old?

Linking Up With:
Somewhat Simple Photobucket Weekend Bloggy Reading

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Butterfly Pillow

I have been looking for a pillow for the rocking chair in Lily’s room but I wasn’t sure what I wanted so I finally decided to try and make my own. I’m still new at sewing. My previous pillow project was simple because I essentially sewed two napkins together. This time it was trial and error since I didn’t have a pattern. I made a lumbar pillow and embellished it with ribbon and butterflies using the two primary colors of her bedding. As you can see, it’s not perfect but you have to start somewhere.

Lily's sitting area

Butterfly Pillow Close Up

Material I Used

  • Pillow insert or Pillow – Since this is an envelope pillow cover and I can easily remove the pillow, I used a pillow I already had.
  • Fabric – I purchased a hot pink fabric at Micheal’s.
  • Felt- I would suggest a strong wool felt. I used a basic felt that was is flimpsy and can pull apart easily.
  • Butterfly image – I did an online search to find a butterfly template to match the size of butterfly I wanted.
  • Ribbon (optional)
  • Matching thread
  • Sewing Machine
  • Sewing Needle
  • Scissors
  • Stitch Witchery (optional)
  • Iron (optional)


Measure the pillow. You will need to cut two pieces of fabric which will become the front and back of the pillow. You want to add an inch to the width and length of your first piece. For the second piece, I added an inch to the width and four inches to the length of the second piece. For an envelope pillow, you need to account for the overlap of the backside. You can always cut off the excess later.

Cut two pieces of fabric according to your measurements.

Cut the longer piece (the back of the pillow) in half. These are the pieces that will overlap and create the opening for the pillow. They will be visible so you will want them to have the finished appearance. I folded the fabric about 1/2 an inch a couple of times to hit the frayed edges. This is where I used the stitch witchery to keep the fabric flat and make it easier to sew.

Then I sewed a seam (picture not included). I didn’t want the pillow to be too plain so I added some ribbon. I cut the ribbon an inch longer than the width of the fabric. That way I could fold about half an inch of fabric over each side at sew it down on the underside of the fabric. I used the stitch witchery to keep the ribbon in place. This step is optional, but it made it a lot easier to sew. I sewed a straight stitch from the front of the pillow cover sewing very close to the edges of the ribbon. Next, turn the right sides facing each other (i.e. the pillow case is  inside out). I overlapped the two back pieces two inches and pinned it to keep the two pieces of fabric aligned. I then sewed all four sides about 1/2 an inch from the edge. Next cut out the butterfly template. I did a Google search for “printable butterfly templates images”. This is the image I used.

Click here for another butterfly image template courtesy Thirty Fun. Use a fabric marker (or pencil) to trace the pattern onto the felt. Cut out the number of butterflies you wish to use.

After the pillow case is sewn together, turn it right side out and play with the placement of the butterflies.My butterflies did not end up where I originally planned. You may want to pin the butterflies in place. Next, hand-sew the butterflies to the pillow front with several straight stitches at the center of each body. Leave the wings free.

Insert your pillow or pillow insert and viola!

Finished Butterfly Pillow

Thank you for taking the time to visit me! If you have any questions or feedback, just leave a comment and I’ll respond!

Linking to:

Weekend Bloggy Reading

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Is a Rug Blogworthy?

I mentioned I was going to blog about my rug and the first words out of my husband’s mouth were “is a rug blog-worthy?” The answer – probably not but I’ve been talking about this rug for months! So, so be it!

I’ve been having rug drama. I know that sounds lame but our house is all hardwood floors and tiles so we use rugs to help soften sounds and as comfort for the kids. The problem is that our dog, Layla, digs at our rugs while we are away and slowly destroys them. So I’ve been looking for options that are inexpensive, easy to clean and durable! I came across a rug I loved on one of my favorite blogs House Tweaking.

She received so many compliments and inquiries on her rug that she did a whole entry on her kitchen rug. I was sold! The rug is an indoor/outdoor rug so it was very durable. All she has to do is hose it off – simple enough!

So I decided to purchase the rug, however, I wasn’t sure what size because I wasn’t sure which room (we currently need 4 rugs and 3 runners). I decided to try the runner because we need one for our bedroom. During our renovations we had our bedroom floors refinished and they weren’t sealed properly because now my high heels leave divots in the floor. I can’t wear my shoes in our bedroom so I’m looking for a runner to get me the closet out the door. So the order is placed and as with House Tweaking, I was told it was on back order 3-4 weeks. I decided to purchase it anyway. Well, the day comes it should arrive and I received an email from Ballard Designs. I excitedly opened the email thinking it was a shipment notice but instead I learned it was backordered even longer – this time for 2 more months. I had to sleep on it this time. Finally two weeks later, I decided to suck it up and I notified the company I wanted to continue with the order. Within 2 days the rug was on my doorstep – YAY! So drum roll, the long awaited rug/runner.

Ballard Design Rug

Farrah Indoor/Outdoor Runner

Now, I’m on the fence. It doesn’t go with our bedding. What do you think – should we keep it and just change out the bedding? Let me know your thoughts!!

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It’s Officially Summer

This past weekend Walt and I were sitting on the front porch enjoying the weather watching fireflies at dusk. It brought back childhood memories of tire swings, our tree house and swimming pool, neighborhood volleyball games in our backyard, lemonade stands, drinking water from the water hose and catching fireflies from dusk to dark.

Well it’s officially summer! Yay! The season for weekday grilling, evenings on the back deck, homegrown vegetables and days at the pool! Every summer we have Jacob make a list of the things he wants to do. It’s usually comprised of the skate park, Carowinds (a Carolina theme park), go kart riding, movies, swimming pool, etc. This year we thought it would be fun for the whole family! Our list is long but here are a few of the highlights!

Enjoy an Outdoor ConcertWatch FireworksInstall a swing set for the kidsFamily trip to the Beach

Have a Boys Fishing TripEat Popsicles


Backyard Camping

Photo Courtesy Pinterest

Host a wine tastingMake homemade ice cream

Go to the Farmer’s MarketSlip and SlideTake a Photography Class

Photo Courtesy Pinterest

Catch fire flies

Courtesy Pinterest

Celebrate BirthdaysSleep in – oh wait, that is on our W-I-S-H list. What is on your summer list?

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Summer Breeze

It’s just another Saturday. We rise early – before the sun rises early – to get ready for Walt’s Summer Breeze 5k. He has stepped up his training program as seen on his blog so this race is his chance to see how much he’s improved. The race starts and Jacob, Lily and I are waiting to see him on the course. Here are few pictures of Lily and Jacob waiting. I videotaped Walt running but was unsuccessful in getting any pictures of him in action. I haven’t been able to master watching him and taking pictures at the same time. I blame it on him being so fast ;).

Walt breezes by and wraps up the race with a 18:05 pace. It’s a personal record for him! He places 2nd in his age group and wins these sweet sunglasses and cup.

Lily was fascinated by the orange sunglasses

Then we are off to the airport. Jacob is leaving to visit family in Florida for 5 weeks. This time he leaves with mixed emotions because he doesn’t want to leave Lily. They have become pretty attached to each other.

Jacob saying bye to Lily as we head to the airport

After completing a few chores – mowing the lawn, childproofing our shades and getting our kitchen sink unclogged, we decide to treat ourselves to a Total Wine wine tasting (our almost weekly ritual). We tried some delicious wines that we couldn’t resist purchasing. We will probably do an entry on these wines to share more.

Wines we purchased at tasting

We had an impromptu dinner at a local restaurant. We have learned you have to time it right. It’s easier to eat out when it’s her dinner time because she is distracted with eating her food and not wanting to bang things together or crawl/walk on the floor. That said we ate at 6 pm which is unusually early for us. I guess that is the compromise you make for a calmer, more enjoyable experience. However, when she is ready to go she is still ready to go. We are prepared with a quick escape plan.

Lily enjoying lunch earlier in the day - she has a new fondness for honeydew!

Then we enjoyed a quiet evening on the front porch enjoying the summer breeze.

View from our porch


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