Thursday, March 25, 2010

Taco Chili

I found a recipe the other day for Taco soup that sounded really good. Of course, I'm not a big soup fan, so we had some taco chili, instead. It was so good that I feel it's necessary I share my recipe with you!

What you need:
ground beef (or turkey or chicken)
1 can of corn (or some frozen corn)
1 can of kidney beans
1 can of pinto beans
2 packets of taco seasoning
1 can of diced tomatoes
shredded cheese

Brown your meat and drain it.
Toss everything except your cheese in your crockpot (drain all can of liquid except 1 of the beans).
Cook on low for 8 hours. Dish out and top with cheese.

We ate ours with some tortilla chips. :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Our first sewing patterns & our new name

This week, I created and listed 2 new patterns in our shop - sewing patterns at that! I started sewing a little over a year ago and fell in love with it (yes, I taught myself). And this month, I created my first 2 patterns. Both are peasant style dresses, but they are equally adorable! Both patterns include sizes from 12mos up to 6T and are being marketed under our new name - My Little Apricot. Check out the patterns here.

I have some more sewing pattern ideas, so keep a look out for them! I hope to start at least 1 this week. :)

The Amelia dress, above, is made from 6 pieces of fabric and the Olivia dress, below, is made from 10. Both are equally simply and adorable! The one below we're actually using for the Monster's Easter dress. <3

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Free at last!

Over the last year, my ring finger has grown in size. Before I was pregnant with the little monster, my ring was always a size 4. My weight would fluctuate, but my ring size would remain the same. Now, of course, my ring size is a 6.75. The problem? It grew with my size 4 ring still on it. This last week has been excruciatingly painful and we finally headed over to Kay Jewelers to see if they could remove it.

After about 15 minutes of cutting through the ring with a tool that looks like a can opener (and works like one, too), the woman spent about 5 minutes trying to pry open my ring to no avail. She then had to cut out a chunk of my pretty ring. She again tried to pry it open with no luck. She called over her co-worker and he spent around 15 minutes prying it open. And finally, off the ring came.

My finger is pretty bruised right now and a little swollen... and definitely sore, but my finger is free and all of the pressure on that finger is gone. We've sent the ring out for an estimate on soldering, reshaping and resizing, but I think we're going to end up just trading in my ring instead (for something better, of course) since we need to pick up wedding rings anyhow (I highly welcome all gift cards for Kay Jewelers :)

Here is a picture of my finger about 30 minutes after the ring had been cut off:
Looks painful, right?? You don't know the half of it!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tasty Tuesday!!

So for those of you who don't know, my day job (aside from Mommy) is as an IT tech. Specifically, I work with school districts to help them use a program that my boss created. Since the beginning of September, I have been working Monday, Wednesday, Friday in the office (Little Monster goes to school) and Tuesday and Thursday from home (which is going to be changing in April when she goes to school Monday through Friday).

I'm just going to tell you guys that my boss is awesome. End of story. Yes, there are times that I want to pull my hair out, but generally speaking, my boss is awesome for many reasons. One of them? We never have to pay for or bring lunch, he pays for it... every day. This includes drinks for the full day (think soda, coffee, water, iced tea... beer... yes, beer) and whatever we want for lunch. Want leftovers for dinner? Go ahead, order it. We don't abuse the generosity, but it is a fantastic thing...

Now the problem arises, what do I eat for lunch when I work from home?? Usually a end up with a bowl of cereal or some leftovers from dinner the night before. Today I decided to treat myself!

If you can't tell, it's a tuna sandwich and it was delicious! I hate getting a tuna melt and having the tuna & tomato all hot. It makes the sandwich a mess. This was the perfect solution!

You'll need....
1 can of tuna
tomato slices
sliced cheese of your choice (I used American)
bread of your choice (I used Archer Farms whole grain white bread)
salt & pepper to season
Take your bread, layer on your cheese, tomato & tuna (season to taste) and top with your other slice of bread. Place sandwich on a cookie sheet and place in your broiler. When bread is brown on top, flip the sandwich and brown the other side. This toasts your bread, melts your cheese and heats your tuna a little bit, but it leaves your tomato slices nice and cool. The perfect tuna melt!!! Yummmmmm!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Pretty smelling goodies!

I don't know about you, but I absolutely LOVE coming home to a pretty smelling home. It just makes it feel welcoming and relaxing. And as we all know, relaxing is the key to getting through those long days.

I recently got some goodies that I don't think I could live without now. One of my favorite additions to my home is a candle from AuntieDis.

I bought ours in Love Spell and can I tell you how freaking good it smells? Jesse came home the other day (the first time I lit them) and said "Oh my god, it smells so good in here". This candle has such a sweet, rich smell and it lasts FOREVER. I got the 8oz candle and have had it lit non-stop all weekend and it's still about 7/8ths full!

Di included a free gift from her other shop, TheTemptingTart, and I am so glad she did! She sent me 3 Endless Love tarts and they smell soooo good. We've had the same one burning on our tart warmer for the last 4 days!

Is it sad that I can't wait until I can order more?? The problem is deciding what to try next!!

Yummy, yummy cupcakes

Amy over at made tons of delicious cupcakes this week for her daughter's softball team fundraiser and let me tell you, they're making my stomach growl! The strawberry ones, especially.

Yummmmmmm. Don't they just make your mouth water? In honor of her cupcake making, she's having an awesome giveaway over at her blog. Amy is giving away a copy of Martha Stewart's Cupcake book AND a set of cupcake bath bombs from MyOtherPrincess! What a fantastic giveaway, don't forget to check it out for your chance to win!

Good luck!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Spring has finally sprung!

For those of you on the East coast, you know that we've been having a rough winter this year. And for those of you in NJ specifically, you know that we got around 5 feet of snow in less than a week last month. Now, I've never really been a fan of winter. The cold weather makes my already dry skin extra dry and I hate when the bottoms of my pants get wet from snow. What's worse is that they not only get wet, but if you're really lucky, you get some nice rock salt on the bottoms, too, which, as we all know, eats away at the fabric and leaves these awesome stains on the bottom of your pants. And, unfortunately, I have a really hard time finding jeans that fit me comfortably now without my having to give an arm and a leg for them (and even then, I'm hoping to not stay this size for long - the baby weight MUST go).

Well, this weekend the weather finally turned nice and was in the mid to high 50's. While Jesse was at work, I took the Little Monster to the park for the first time this year. Now that she's big enough to play, she had a blast.

First we drove...

Then we made some new friends...
She loved the slide.

She gave Mommy some presents (what Mommy doesn't want dead leaves and twigs)

She climbed up the big kid part all by herself

And she loved the swings...

Then the little one was beat and it was time to go home. She played for nearly 2 hours, making sure did everything at least once! I loved watching her. What did you guys do this weekend?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

More School Stuff

As I promised, here is the nap mat that I made for M!

It features a double sided mint green minky blanket that is attached to the mat. There is also an attached pillow made from the minky and a coordinating cotton. The mat itself is made from a fabric that I fell in love with and is stuffed with a ton of batting to make it extra soft and cushiony. They do have mats at her school, but they wanted us to bring in a 'sleeping bag'. Now if your kid is like mine, she hates being zipped up tight like that. M didn't even like being swaddled after she was born! So, the nap mat was born. I created the pattern myself, just sort of winging it as I went along, but I am VERY pleased with the way it came out. In fact, I would love one now.

The mat came out to be approximately 20" wide and I'd guess around 60" long (including the pillow). The blanket is about 40" wide (ample room for snuggling), so there is plenty of room for growth and hopefully it will last her through Kindergarten. What does M think? Well, she loves it and refuses to let it go. She kept dragging it around the apartment, trying to snuggle with it. haha. I ended up making her another pillow that was separate for the house.


It rolls up nicely and has a shoulder strap so that it hangs at my hip, too. I made the strap long so that I can hold the diaper bag and nap mat on the same shoulder and the baby on the other.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

School Stuff... Check

The Little Monster is starting to transition into the pre-toddler class at her school this week - Monday was her first day (she only goes MWF right now). Very exciting! Her teachers and the school supervisor all say she had a great day. The Monster spent 3 hours in the pre-toddler class and the rest of the day in the infant room. She does have a few friends (can 13 month old's have friends?) in the older room... namely a little girl named Kaitlyn. The mini me LOVES Kaitlyn. They yell at each other, pinch each other, play with cars together.... they thoroughly enjoy each other's company.

Anyway, as I mentioned last week, I needed to make her a nap mat and lunch box for school. It was a weekend of long, hard work, but they're finished! Now I just need to make her some sandwich and snack bags, since her school keeps throwing away our ziploc bags.

The lunch box is from a pattern by Ginia18. The pattern was very easy to follow. I did mess up the hand strap and ended up just sewing it inside the bag, but that was my fault for not double-checking the instructions. You can't really tell though, so I'm happy with it.

I also added a tag inside with my daughter's name so that they wouldn't write on it in sharpie, like they tend to do with her clothing. I added it to the lining before I added the lining to the main portion of the bag.

I also messed up the pocket a little bit, but it's really more of a visual thing than functional for my daughter, so I'm ok with that.

All in all, I'm really pleased with the way the lunch box came out. The pattern was simple to follow, the only thing I found with the pattern was that I needed a bit more interfacing than was called for, but I got exactly what it said rather than a little extra. Again, my fault. I also used fusible batting instead of regular quilter's batting. I think when I make this again, I will only use the interfacing for the pocket and handle and I'll use the fusible batting again. I found that with the batting, I didn't really need the interfacing.

I will definitely be making more of these in the near future. The bag is big enough to hold 1 gerber pasta, 1 large juice box, an applesauce, a fruit cup, a waffle in a baggie, a baggie of cheerios, a gerber cereal bar, and a gerber yogurt with a little room to spare. The only thing it didn't hold was her 2 cups of milk and 1 cup of water. I want to make her a second one so that I can differentiate for her teachers - 1 bag for her morning snack and breakfast and 1 bag for her afternoon snack and lunch. So I need to make her 1 more and then I'd like to make Jesse and I each one, so that if we ever go to the zoo, etc, we'll each have our own!

I'll share pictures of the nap mat next time.