Thursday, October 31, 2013

Some Russian Matryoshka Costumes

I got the idea off of Pinterest to make the girls Matryoshka, aka Russian nesing doll, costumes for Halloween this year. I followed the tutorial at The Train To Crazy. But I also found inspiration at Crooked Sister and Petit Joy. Of course I couldn't let our little Shortcake out of the action, so I added a small Matryoshka to the belly of a shirt for myself.
I used some fleece that I had in my stash for the girls' main part of the costume.
Then I added felt embellishments along with some big eyelet lace. The face holes I cut ended up being a bit too big, so  I added some elastic around them to cinch them up.
Happy Halloween!!
(I am hoping that we can get some better shots of the costumes today, tomorrow, or Saturday. These two are hard to capture!)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Memory Rag Quilt

When we found out our good friends were moving far away, I immediately got to thinking about what we could give them that would be meaningful, thoughtful, and fun. I got the idea to make the framed state art to my friend, but now I wanted to come up with something for their daughter, Miss S, Peachy's friend since they were babies.
Since I know that they love handmade things, I went that route for both gifts. I settled on a quilt for Miss S, but a quilt with a personal touch. I had each child in our playgroup color a square for the quilt. I interspersed the drawing blocks with some fun bright flannel and made it into a rag quilt.
I hope that this quilt serves to not only warm the body, but the heart as Miss S looks back on her first four years with a wonderful group of playgroup friends.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Coming Home

This past weekend my college hosted homecoming. The girls and I headed back, which is super easy since my parents live there. (Mr. Cherry decided to stay home so he could get some work done.)
The festivities started with a fun run on Saturday morning. Peachy rode the entire mile, but Cream started out running. (For the first 25 meters!)
Following the walk, we got to tour the brand new early childhood center. It was amazing!! I so wish I could teach there and send my kids there. Beautiful!
The only sporting event we were able to take in was one set of a volleyball game. (At that point Cream had enough of sitting.)
At least grandpa is looking at the camera!
Grandma and Cream cheer on the Knights.
During the game Peachy enjoyed some cotton candy. Cream not so much.
Peachy and Cream got in plenty of grandma and grandpa play time as well as some play time with my cousin.
Peachy used some of grandma's sewing supplies to fashion this lovely ensemble.
Peachy loves spending time with my cousin and even calls her aunt.

We finished off our visit with a beautiful worship service in the chapel on Sunday morning. The music was amazing! Upon hearing the timpani, Cream wondered what all that banging was.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Foodie Friday: Cooking with Fall Produce

When I first graduated from college I taught school in Billings, MT. Before I received the position, I had never been to Montana! But I quickly grew to love many things about Montana. One of my favorite things to do on a Saturday morning was to visit the farmers market that was held in downtown Billings. Oh, I miss that farmers market. I only wish that I had taken advantage of it more while I had it. Anyway, a couple of weekends ago, the when the girls and I went to a fall harvest event, we took advantage of a produce stand and a pick-your-own squash and pumpkin patch in the area. I let the girls each pick out a squash of their own and several items at the produce stand. We ended up bringing home an acorn squash, some peppers, a spaghetti squash, a set of green onions, a buttercup squash, a couple of mini  pumpkins, and a couple of small eggplants.
I started with the spaghetti squash and the egg plants. I used the spaghetti squash as its name would suggest, in the place of spaghetti noodles with marinara sauce. We all really enjoyed it. I found a suggestion on an online forum for sauteed eggplants with onions, tomatoes, some of the peppers, basil, garlic, and Parmesan cheese. We just ate it as is without stuffing the eggplants and it was really good, too. (You can find the post here at Chowhound.)
I used the acorn in with an apple crisp. Unfortunately, the squash flavor ended up overwhelming in the crisp. We decided that the buttercup squash may have been a bit of a better candidate for this one.
I used the buttercup in this Italian Sausage-Stuffed squash recipe and it was delicious.
It was really fun for me to use the produce we bought and try some new things with it. The girls really enjoyed seeing the produce they choose on the table as well. So go out and track down some local fall produce of your own and try out something new this weekend!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Fall Family Picture Style: 2013

As I mentioned yesterday, I went with a mustard, grey, and navy theme for our 2013 fall family photo shoot.
I found a great pair of mustard skinnies for Peachy at Target. It appears that they are no longer selling them online, but you might be able to find them at stores yet. I paired them with a navy cardigan from Carters.
Under which I put a grey raglan sleeve shirt with sequins at the neck, also from Carters.
I also got out a pair of Keen sneakers that I had been saving for her. I don't remember where I ordered them from, but I got a really good deal when I did and I ordered a size up.

For Cream, I started with this graphic tee from Carters.
That I topped with this great cardigan with heart elbow patches! Love it!
I got her a pair of skinnies to wear as well. And she looked so cute in them.
She has been wearing her Keens for a while now, but I also love them.
I made both of the girls felt bow barrettes similar to this one on Etsy.
I wore my Old Navy skinny maternity jeans again. These are my go to pair of pants so far this pregnancy.
I wore a non-maternity Ann Taylor Loft stripe tank that is discontinued. But here is a similar one form Old Navy.
And once again the mustard cardigan made an appearance.
The infinity scarf is of my own making. I will try to do a post on it one of these days. And the boots are Old Navy.
And Mr. Cherry's outfit is from his dresser. :o)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fall Family Pictures: 2013

A few weekends ago we had our annual family pictures taken. I love having pictures of the entire family and I have found that fall is a good time to do it.
Both girls have had their birthdays, the scenery is always beautiful around here, and then I have pictures for our Christmas cards (which I already ordered!!!)

We were supposed to go out on a Saturday morning, but following the trend as of late, it was cold, damp and gloomy. No go for pictures. Since my friend was taking the pictures, we were able to reschedule for Sunday evening.
Unfortunately, I was only able to meet her at 6. Not the best time of day for fall pictures, but she worked it. Also, let me say here, taking pictures of kids is no small feat. Getting both of the girls to look at the camera at the same time with decent smiles took lots of work.
It may have even taken our photographer balancing a mini pumpkin on her head, jumping in the air, and telling us about the animal in her camera lens. Yeah, family photographers need to be in good shape and high spirits.

Tomorrow I will do a run down of the outfits I put together. I love planning picture outfits. I have found that the key is to go with a color palate rather than all one color.
This year I went with grey, mustard yellow, and navy. I also threw in a splash of orange with my scarf.

You can see my post about our 2012 pictures here.
And if you are a local reader and are looking for a photographer, please let me know. I would be happy to share Tina's information with you.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Halloween Fabric Bunting

I can't believe that it has taken me this long to jump on the fabric bunting wagon. I have made paper buntings in the past, but finally sat down to conquer the fabric bunting. I am loving how they turned out and how quick and simple they are. I am thinking this is the start of an addiction.
Watch out, folks. There won't be a tutorial with this. The internet is already crawling with them. I just did some searches and found the one that I liked the best. I followed most of Leigh Anne's tutorial on Your Home Based Mom. 
I made my pennants a bit smaller, 7 inches long and 5 inches wide, and instead of using binding, I used twill tape simply because I had it on hand. I really liked the way Leigh Anne cuts her buntings. It made quick work. I ordered all of my fabrics from
I bought a half yard of each print and that made plenty of pennants. I may have much more than I need.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Foodie Friday: Pumpkin Pie Crumb Bars

Ah, yes, my friends. We are still on a pumpkin kick here. I promise I won't do it much longer, I think. I found this recipe at Cooking Classy and you can find it here. I brought these to a playgroup, since I needed an excuse to make them. Most friends won't turn down baked goods, I have discovered. The recipe called for topping them with whipped cream, but we enjoyed them straight from the pan, literally. And they really do have that pumpkin pie taste. So if you are looking for a little Thanksgiving preview, pop these in your oven and subsequently in your mouth and belly.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fall Preschooler Activities

This week we had some little friends over for a Fall Art event with our moms' group. I did some searches on Pinterest to come up with the ideas. Here are the activities that we did:
Paper piece pumpkins from Frogs and Snails and  Puppy Dog Tails. I actually cut out a pumpkin shape and had the kids rip the orange paper to glue on their pumpkins.
Painted Indian corn from Spotted Canary. I cut out paper shapes and had the kids use cotton swabs to dab their paint onto their corn. I had crumpled paper bag strips that we stapled on for the husks.
Fall themed bingo dauber sheets from DLTK kids. Bingo daubers are always a big hit with the 5 and under crowd. And I like that they are a lot less messy than regular painting.
We also did a tissue paper stained glass window. I don't remember where I first saw this idea, but everyone enjoyed it. I taped contact paper to our windows with the sticky side out. The kids placed tissue paper squares onto the paper. I will definitely be doing this one again with my kiddos.
Of course, no good playgroup would be complete without snacks. We had the "traditional" fall mix of roasted peanuts and candy corn. Apples on a stick from Ellies Bites Decorated Cookies. And candy corn dipped pretzel moms from Your Homebased Mom.
What projects have you done for fall with your kids?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Around Here

I was just looking through pictures on the camera and found too many good ones not to share. So pardon the bit of a photo dump, I couldn't help myself.
One day Peachy decided to style Cream's hair, with the spray bottle we use to clean the floor. Thank goodness I clean with vinegar and water!
In an odd combination of events, the girls decided that Mr. Cherry should take them out one night after supper.
Peachy wanted help with her rollerblading.
And Cream wanted to test out our new-to-us carrier. They all enjoyed themselves and I went for a walk. We will just call him Super Dad!
One of the fro yo places in town had a special promo for the day. Since we were out around lunch time, I decided we would just go and have fro yo for lunch. Peachy decided it was okay as long as we had real food for dessert.
Cream was happy with the change of events and wishes it took place more often.
Peachy got the idea that she needed to set up a photo booth in the living room. She was very specific in her timing, that we needed to take the pictures once it was dark. So after supper we set up the tripod for a few selfies.
The girls and I headed to a harvest event at a very old farm property outside of town this past weekend. The bluegrass band asked if the girls wanted to join in on the rhythm section.
We also got to examine some pretty cool pumpkin and squash varieties.