Thursday, June 30, 2011

Camping . . . with a Two Year Old . . . While 7 Months Pregnant

Our site. If you look closely through the trees you can see the lake behind us.
Does the title scare you? It shouldn't. I so have to admit that there were certain things that I was nervous about when thinking about heading out to camp this time around. One being Peachy and the other being my comfort. However, a camping we went and I am really glad that we did it. 
On our way out of town I realized I had forgotten to pack Peachy's toys for playing outside.
We loaded up the van Saturday morning and headed to a state park pretty much all the way across the state. (And when  I say loaded, I am not kidding! I think we took half the house with us. I would never be able to be a back pack camper.) We arrived at the park to be greeted by lots of huge fly/bee creatures pining against our car. I made Mr. Wonderful go in and register. Turns out that they weren't anything to worry about, but they sure did provide a scary welcome.
We stopped at Target and I raided the Dollar Spot. I got the bucket and a three pack of shovels and rakes that kept her entertained for hours.
We made it to our site and started setting up the camp. This time that included a screen tent in addition to our regular tent. We had been told that the bugs were really bad this year and that was no lie. Thankfully they were much worse on the trails than at the site, but the screen tent made a nice addition anyway. Speaking of bugs, poor Peachy came away with over 15 mosquito bites. She got pretty good at swatting them away by the end. The ticks were also out in full force. One decided to try to suck the blood on my stomach and another somehow made it home with us and through the washer and dryer. Yikes!
I also picked up this plastic golf set at Target.
Peachy never does really well sleeping when we go camping and this year proved much the same. Naps were very hard to come by although much needed with late bedtimes and early risings. I am so thankful that she goes down so well at home and doesn't normally wake up at 5 am. I, however, slept much better than I had anticipated. We used a foam mattress cover over the air mattress and I think that really helped to make both Mr. cherry and I a lot more comfortable.
Who knew that it could also be guitars, an ax, and violins???
While the forecast looked great when we headed out, we ended up with lots of rain and gloomy days. We used the rain as an excuse to hunker down in our tent and just relax as a family. One rainy afternoon we actually all were able to take naps. Of course Tuesday, the day we were packing up and driving home, ended up being a beautiful day. At least it made for easy take down and airing out when we got home.
So despite a two year old with a touchy sleep schedule, being 7 months pregnant, lots of bugs, and rainy weather, I give camping a big thumbs up!
Having fun hanging out in the tent.
Oh, and we inadvertently ended up feeding a raccoon one night. He somehow got into the screen tent and into one of our food bags twice. We heard the bag the first time and just assumed it had fallen over. When we heard it again, we knew something was out there. I went out to retrieve the bags and secure them in our van. (Where they should have been the entire time.) After taking stock in the morning, we found a partial bag of hot dog buns missing in addition to some chocolate cookies. Mr. Cherry found the remains of the hot dog bun bag in the woods a short distance from our site. You would think that as experienced campers we would know better!
Rest time in the tent.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

32 Weeks with Number Two

I must be starting to look more and more pregnant. People are always asking me when I am due. Now I can tell them that I have two months left. (Although, I am the first to admit that I still look small for how far along I am.) This pregnancy has been treating me well. I am still quite comfortable with no major complaints. It is getting a little harder to get up and down, but I am 7 months pregnant. We even went camping this weekend and it went really well. this morning I am off to my 32 week appointment. It is always good to hear that woosh, woosh coming through the doppler.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Foodie Friday: Frozen Reese's Peanut Butter Pie

I found this yummy recipe at Bakers Royal and decided to make it for Mr. Cherry's birthday. And even though I made it in way too big of a springform, it was still delicious.

Frozen Reese’s Peanut Butter Pie

Makes one 9 inch pie or three 4 inch mini pies. Preparation: Lightly butter springform pan if it is not non-stick. If you do not have a springform pan line a cake pan with a piece of lightly buttered foil leaving a one inch over hang around the edges for easy pie removal or alternately use a traditional pie pan.
  • 24 oreo cookies, crushed
  • 4 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 ½ cups Cool Whip
  • ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup confectioner sugar
  • ½ cup crushed Reeses Peanut Butter Cups
Oreo Crust Instructions:
  1. Place Oreos in a food processor or blender and pulse until cookies are finely crumbed. Alternatively, place Oreos in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin.  Mix in the melted butter and then firmly press crumbs into pan to create a crust. Bake crust at 350 degrees F for 7-10 minutes.
Reese Peanut Butter Pie Filling Instructions:
  1. Place peanut butter and confectioner sugar in a pan over low heat and stir until combined and peanut butter is melted. Set aside for five minutes to cool. Gently fold in peanut butter mixture into Cool Whip until combined. Gently fold in crushed Reese’s pieces into peanut butter Cool Whip mixture.
  2. Pour mixture into Oreo crust and freeze for 3 hours. Garnish with caramel and chocolate drizzle (for added decadence rim with chopped Reese’s pieces).

Happy Birthday, Mr. Cherry!!

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday: Lined Pillowcase Dress

Last summer I made my first pillowcase dress and became addicted. They are super simple to create and can be made in so many different fun fabrics. You can see some of the other pillowcase dresses I have made here and here. After posting some of my pillowcase dresses, I received requests to post a tutorial. And after almost a year, it is here, The Lined Pillowcase Dress Tutorial.

Lined Pillowcase Dress Tutorial
MATERIALS: Fabric: For toddler sized dresses, you will need about one yard of lining fabric, one yard of main dress fabric, and a quarter yard of contrast fabric for the bottom band. (If you are wanting to make a larger size you may need to purchase more fabric.) Notions: You will need approximately two yards of ribbon for the shoulder straps and matching thread. You will also need some sort of large paper for your pattern pieces. I like to use tissue paper or a light weight wrapping paper. Optional: I like to add some sort of flower pin to my pillowcase dresses. Sometimes I create the pin with a fake flower while other times I use fabric scraps from the dress and sometimes I use ribbon that matches the shoulder straps. A matching button added to the flower always adds some extra interest.
a) tracing dress
1. Trace a dress in the size you will be making. All that you need here is the body shape of the dress. I have found that a sleeveless A-line dress works the best. I like to fold the dress in half and place the folded edge on the edge of my paper. Once the body is traced, you will want to add a seam allowance all the way around. For this dress I used a half inch seam allowance. Label this pattern piece as your "lining". Trace your dress again, but this time stop tracing about three inches from the bottom hem of the dress. Add your half inch seam allowance. Label this pattern piece as your "main body". Trace along the bottom of the dress, draw up three inches and following the contour of the bottom, draw a line back toward the fold. Add in your half inch seam allowance. Label this piece your "bottom band". You are now ready to cut out your fabric.
b) pin pattern pieces to dress
2. With the straight edge of your pattern pieces along the fold of your fabric, pin your pieces to the fabric. You will need to cut two of each pattern piece on the fold.
3. Once your pieces are all cut, you are ready to sew. Edge finish each piece. I use a serger, but a zig-zag stitch on your machine will work as well.

c) pin bottom band to main body
d) press seam open
4. With all pieces edged, it is time to sew your dress together. Pin the bottom bands to the main body with right sides together, following the curve. Sew along edge allowing for your seam allowance. Once sewn, remove pins and press seam open. Repeat with remaining bottom band and main body.
e) pin side seams together
5. Pin main body pieces together along side seams with right sides together and sew along seam allowing for seam allowance. Remove pins and press seams open. Repeat with both sides of the lining pieces.

f) pin lining to main body at under arm seams
g) clip curves

6. You should now have the main body of the dress and the lining of the dress complete. Now we sew the body to the lining at the under arm seams. Have the main body of the dress with right sides out and the lining inside out. Place the lining over the main body matching up side seams. Pin lining to the main body along the under arm seams. (Remember to have right sides together.) Sew the lining to the main body along under arm seams. Remover pins and clip the curves. Turn the lining to the inside. Press the under arm seams flat.
h) press down one quarter inch
i) press again at three quarter inch

j) stitch the ribbon into the dress on each side
7. Almost done! Now we are ready to make the casing along the top unfinished seam of the dress. Press the edge of the seam down one quarter of an inch and then press it down again another three quarters of an inch. Stitch along the bottom edges of the front and back to create the casing for the ribbon. Cut your ribbon into two, one yard pieces. Thread each piece of the casing in the front and the back. (You will want to secure your ribbon to the dress. You can do this in one of two ways. On this dress I gathered the fabric with the ribbon and then sewed it into place. I have also gathered the fabric and knotted the ribbon where it meets the dress. I like the looks of sewing the ribbon, but if you think you would like to remove the ribbon at some point you may want to go with the knotted ribbon.)
8. The final step to the dress is to hem the lining and the main body. Press a half inch hem on each layer and stitch.
You are done! Enjoy your dress!!
A great feature of this dress is that it can be reversible.
Close up of the flower pin I made to match this dress.

I am linking to:
Tip Junkie handmade projects

Todays Creative Blog

Dragonfly Designs


Somewhat Simple


Tutorial Tuesday Sneak Peek

Many of you have asked for a tutorial of my pillowcase dress. After putting those requests off for almost an entire year, I finally have a tutorial in the works. My plan is to post it TOMORROW!! For now, here is a sneak peek of my little model in the dress I used in the tutorial.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Foodie Friday: Strawberry Lemonade Scones

I recently found this recipe through Pinterest. (More on that later, but for now let me say I love that site!!) This recipe was published on the website Munchkin Munchies. I have a deep love for scones. And these are a nice refreshing summer-time scone. Enjoy!

Strawberry Lemonade Scones

2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter (chilled, not softened), cut into cubes
1 cup diced fresh strawberries
1/2 cup freeze-dried strawberries (The grocery store I went to didn't have any, so I did without.)
1 generous tablespoon lemon zest
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup heavy cream
Sanding sugar
Prepared lemon curd (Again, I didn't purchase any of this, so I didn't top it with anything other than the sanding sugar.)

1.       Preheat oven to 400 degrees  F.  In large bowl mix together flour,  sugar, baking powder, and salt.  With pastry blender, cut in butter cubes until mixture has coarse crumbs.  Gently add both kinds of strawberries and the lemon zest. Make a well in the center of the mixture and set aside.
2.       In a medium bowl, mix together eggs and cream.  Add egg mixture to flour mixture. Gently stir until moistened.
3.       Place dough onto a well floured surface.  Gently knead the dough by folding and pressing it about 7 times, turning the dough a quarter turn after each fold. Move dough to a lightly floured parchment-lined baking sheet (or stoneware baking sheet without parchment). Pat dough into a ¾ inch-thick circle. Cut circle into wedges and separate each slightly.
4.       Brush wedges with cream and sprinkle with sugar. Bake 16-20 minutes until golden brown.   Drizzle scones with lemon curd and top with sanding sugar.  Makes 8-12 scones.

I am linking to:
Sweet Tooth Friday at Ali-n-Son

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday: DIY Ruched Maternity Shirt

I recently bought two of these ruched maternity tees from Motherhood. I love them. They are some of my current favorites. While looking them over, I decided that they would be easy to copy. I purchased three tee shirts in one to three sizes too big. (The bigger size will allow for the extra width and length your maternity shirt will need.) Then, I sewed elastic up the sides. (Be sure to hold the back of the elastic while stitching and keep the front of the elastic pulled as well.)
The Motherhood shirts started the ruching right above the bottom hem and ended it about 5 inches from the sleeve seam. I used a pin to mark 5 inches down from the sleeve seam. When I reached the pin, I back stitched and cut the elastic.
Note to self, the bathroom lighting is  not good for pictures.
And easy as that, you have a ruched maternity shirt, or three.
Not the most flattering of angles for a pregnant woman. :o)
Here is a close-up of the ruching.

I am linking to:
Tip Junkie handmade projects

Todays Creative Blog

Dragonfly Designs


Somewhat Simple

Sumo's Sweet Stuff
The Girl Creative
Making Monday Marvelous Linky Party
Mondays @ All Things Fee!