Thursday, January 31, 2013

Galette des Rois


So now that January is over... it's time for a post on baking a Galette des Rois... FALSE. Let's just pretend I posted this in the middle of January when it would have been more appropriate. Everyone knows you only eat this dessert in January right?

Well since that doesn't seem to be common knowledge and since I don't live in France anymore, let's live a little and do a blog post now! Feel free to make one anytime of the year, I promise not to tell anyone.

My mom requested I make her a galette des rois (That's King's Cake for all you non-frenchies) for her birthday since it falls in January. I had never made one before, so my mom pulled a recipe off the internet for me to follow. Click here for the original recipe.

I took some pictures of the process and some of the actual birthday party to also note some of the traditions that go along with the King's Cake festivities. Please note that this will not be a history lesson and maybe different people celebrated it differently than our family did. This is more of a celebration of the memories of my childhood. This was always a favorite time of the year, since I have three sisters my parents bought this cake quite frequently the whole month at the local patisserie to ensure we would each have a turn finding the fève. 

Fève? I'll explain that too.

Do you like dessert? Do you wish there were toys hiding in your food? Do you wish you could be a king for a day? Then Galette des Rois is for you! Bonus points if you don't like your cakes too sweet!

Since there are so many pictures, I'm breaking this post up. Click below to see the full post

Vintage Sweetheart (Project Run and Play week 4)

Photo Credit: JG Design Photography. More on that later in the blog post!
I'm back with another sewing project! I'm sewing along with Project Run and Play again this week after sitting out last week. It was boy's week and although I'm sure, ok I know, I could have found a cute little boy to sew for, the weeks went by too quickly. Jason is starting his counseling internship and commuting to Kansas City for classes, and I could go on and on about our crazy schedule right now and how busy I've been with work, but more on that later! Let's talk about cute little girl clothes, shall we?

Ahhh.... Valentine's Day...hearts and hearts all over the place! So brainstorming for this week's Valentine's Day challenge, I started wondering how I could use hearts in my design. Heart pockets? Buttons? Appliques? Fabric paint? Then going through my fabric stash I came across some lovely vintage fabric my mother-in-law gave me for Christmas (She gave me an awesome Christmas gift by the way: a box full of fabric she had picked up at garage sales throughout the year! I was just telling Jason all I wanted for Christmas was a box filled with fabric and bam! I was given my exact wish.)

Some of the vintage fabric had cute little heart prints and I was initially going to go with that. But the fabric I ended up using just begged me (literally!) for me to cut into it and sew it into a cute little shirt. Sorry, I know I misused the word "literally". I just crack up when people do that. Seriously, I know it's incorrect. I know fabric can't talk, and I don't know if it enjoys being cut up or not.

The best part about this fabric choice are the little flowers. Are they roses? Carnations? I'm really not good at flower identification but either one would be an excellent choice for a Valentine's Day shirt. A single pink flower is a great symbol for Valentine's Day! I've been sewing kind of over the top, flashy clothes the last couple weeks for Project Run and Play, so it was refreshing to sew something a little more subdued.

I purchased the Molly School Girl Pattern from Peek-a-Boo patterns. I wanted something sweet, and the peter pan collar, button down shirt was just perfect! For an extra dash of sweetness, I decided to change the sleeves to petal sleeves with the same piping to match the collar. I found a great tutorial here at "My Sparkle" to help me draft the sleeves. I also sewed my very first button holes, I was so nervous! I'm so happy with how it turned out! Check it out for yourself:

For the pants I used Melly Sews Clean Slate Pants Pattern as a guide but altered it with more specific  measurements. I used bias tape to edge the hem and added another bias tape stripe for a little more flair. I love the extra "pop" the bright pink gives the pants. Hey it's Valentine's Day, the pink is totally necessary!

As for the pictures, I cannot take credit for them. Nor can I take credit for the cute girl wearing them! My friend Jodie is in the photography business and she has taken our family pictures in the past. In fact, she took my picture which is on the left sidebar of my blog as well (the one of just me.) I asked her if she wouldn't mind taking some pictures of Kylie when I sew her next outfit and in exchange I make her some clothes for her daughter and she agreed! She takes lovely photos, and the best part is, she also gives her clients a CD with edited pictures and full copyright release so you can print as you please!

Check out her out on facebook here: and if you are anywhere close to the Manhattan, KS area (go K-State!) I would highly recommend her as a photographer. She also posts giveaways from time to time on her facebook page!

I introduced her to the crazy world of sewing blogs and she was very impressed with the sew-a-long entries for Valentine's Day!

And check out her cute girl wearing the clothes I made! I was really nervous about sewing for someone else (another first for me!) because I'm so used to sewing for my girls, but it worked out! Phew! I still have some to learn about sewing for other kids, I'm used to sewing for their build, so this was a good experience to sew for someone else.

Isn't she adorable?
I love little toddler painted toes!

She says this next photo is her "saying cheese" face! I know she pulls it off much better than Kylie bear did at that age (check out this old blog post, that I lovingly named "Smiling Issues" haha!)

Such a cute little lady!

I was hoping that getting involved in sewing along with Project Run and Play this season would help me blog more frequently. I haven't been the best, but there is a very special post I need to get up today, because it involves a very special (and yummy!) French January tradition and today is the last day in January, so hopefully when the kids are in bed tonight, I will get it posted. Right now Kylie is at preschool and I need to go pick her up in a few and Eve is sitting next to me coloring and eating her weight in peanuts. She loves peanuts, she is telling me all about going to the grocery store to buy them with daddy.

"Isn't Hy-vee a great store? We got to buy all these Peanuts there!" She says such cute things.

And she keeps sneaking sips of my coffee (Can't be good for her, she's already a shortie!) So maybe I should stop blogging for now :) Hopefully I will get that very special French tradition posted before January is over, the clock is ticking!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Striped Confetti Dot Sweatshirt

This week's theme for Project Run and Play is... Polka-Dots and Stripes. Fun! I had purchased an athletic shirt for my sister for Christmas that was grey with hot pink mesh stripes, similar to this one here, but the mesh part was a little meshier. Ok, so meshier is not a word but the holes in the mesh were a little wider, it reminded me of... Polka-Dots! I loved it so much I considered going back and buying one I could refashion for Kylie, but I wasn't so sure about her having a shirt with all those holes in it. Maybe not so appropriate for my little girl. But I was digging the athletic/girly vibe and I was still thinking hard about it when I was browsing Jo-Ann's website and out popped some bright fun Confetti Dot Fabric! So that filled the polka-dot theme for this week and sewing them in stripes filled the other half of the theme, perfect! I found an old sweatshirt in my stack of clothes to refashion and I was good to go!

So I present to you Kylie's new Striped Confetti Dot Sweatshirt:

 And a bonus pair of flashy confetti dot leggings:

Do you think the leggings are a little much? I hope not because I seriously LOVE them! I'm not really a blingy (also not a word) type of gal, but when it comes to a five year old's wardrobe, I find it completely adorable. I can imagine those leggings paired with a simple black tunic or tank top, anything simple would work. The leggings are lined with a pink jersey because the confetti dot fabric is see-through. 

I had never sewn with Confetti Dot Fabric before, so I did a little research before tackling it. The number one piece of advice was USE WAX PAPER. Otherwise the glue that holds the confetti dots gum up the needle and you start skipping stitches. So I took the advice, everything went smoothly until halfway through I thought "I wonder if this stupid wax paper is even necessary?" and guess what? It was. The needle would get all gummy after only sewing a few stitches. Eve loved pulling off the wax paper. Every few minutes she would run over to see if I would need help peeling it off. She was actually very helpful and meticulous with it.

This was actually more time consuming than I originally thought, but I love the end results. Many times I kept telling myself  "Just one more stripe, just one more, you can do it and then you can go to bed!" I'm not a fast sewer and I highly value my sleep, so my projects are usually on the simple side. But I kept with it, and Kylie is very happy that I did. She told me that one of the kids in her preschool told her she looked "fantastic!" Haha, I love the preschool age!

My favorite part? The stripes actually match up! I was terrified that they wouldn't and I was wasting all this time just to have sloppy results, but I kept measuring as I sewed and finally breathed a sigh of relief when I sewed up the finished project and they matched up: 

The pattern was self drafted, but extremely basic:

The selvage of the confetti dot fabric did not have any dots and was stretchy, perfect for the neck and for a simple band at the bottom of the sweatshirt: 

Because the fabric had dots in a uniform pattern, it was pretty easy to cut the fabric in straight strips of equal size: just count the dots! It was also easy to sew on straight because I just folded the fabric over two dots thick as I pinned:

Kylie really wanted to set up the exact same set-up that I had for Eve's pictures of her pouffy dress. I told her the lighting was awful but she told me the lighting was not awful. Guess who was right? Yep, that lighting is pretty bad (and so is my set-up, I wasn't going to put any effort into it knowing it wouldn't work!) We didn't have much options for picture taking though, it was starting to get dark but I was working every other day of the week and by the time I would come home, it would be dark. And no pictures outside either, way too cold!

And Eve was not about to let her big sister steal the spotlight! Little photobomber! Notice her big pouffy dress? It's her favorite, one I had hidden back in the back of the closet thinking maybe she would wear it to her sister's dance recital. But Eve found it. And wants to wear it all the time.

And a shot of Kylie dancing, this girl loves to dance! Dramatically!

This next one reminds me of the pictures I took as a child: I was convinced pouty model was the way to go! My parents hated it, but laugh about it now! (Right, Dad?) I'm so proud of Kylie, what a natural she is!

 This next one is so Kylie.... that's my girl!

And one more shot of the pants, just for fun!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Project Run and Play Week 1: The "Princess Party Dress"


Eve has been jealous lately of the new clothes I have been sewing for her big sister. Eve has a lot of clothes and Kylie doesn't, so naturally I have been sewing more for Kylie Bear. It really hit Eve hard when she saw some bright pink dot confetti fabric and she said: "Ohhhhh.... who is THAT for?" I felt so bad that I had to tell her I was already using it to make her big sister an outfit. Eve said she really hoped the next thing I would make for her would be "sparkly pink, pretty please?" 

And she gave me those big puppy dog eyes.

That's it, next outfit was going to Eve and we were going to the fabric store together to pick out the fabric.

It just so happened that Project Run and Play was starting back up and I needed to make something for the first week if I wanted to sew along. The week's theme was to remix this very awesome free pattern/tutorial: The Party Dress by The Cottage Home. I had envisioned making a crisp color blocked linen dress, very modern, clean lines, no nonsense. But then I decided this dress would be tailored to my Everz:

-The princess of the family. 
-Our 3 year old who insists that she is "Princess Cinderella Marsh." 
-Who only wants to wear big pouffy dresses to church.
-Who tells us that she can't do any cleaning because she is Princess Cinderalla (Ummm... I don't think she gets where Cinderella came from.)

Sigh. We don't have the same style. But I wanted this dress to be special for her. I at least talked her out of pink at Jo-Anns. Thank goodness Cinderella has a blue dress, because I really didn't want to do a bright pink, sparkly and pouffy dress.

I also added a little bit of edge by adding a leather belt instead of a sash. And then took the whole edge away by adding a giant flower to the belt. The belt was very helpful as well because it helped keep the bodice more fitted. Everz is almost four (no she's not... seriously? What happened to my baby?) and she is so tiny, she still wears mostly 2T stuff. So I don't know why I cut out the bodice from the pattern in a 3T. It's pretty big on her but the belt helps. After sewing up the bodice and lining, I tried it on my oldest and it fit her perfectly. Oops. But Eve was NOT about to let this dress be for Kylie, she made that clear. If I use this pattern again (which I probably will, it's very easy to follow!) I will just use a smaller size. 

When remixing the pattern, I decided the best part of the dress was the bodice.  It's fully lined and has easy button closures in the back. As it was the best part of the dress, I did not modify it at all. Instead I attached a completely different skirt to the bodice: a simple white broadcloth skirt for the lining with 4 layers of light blue tulle topped with 4 layers of a light smokey grey tulle and finished off in a modified bubble hem. And of course as you can see, it's also maxi length, but not long enough to touch the ground of course! This dress is going to get lots of wear if Eve has anything to say about it, so it needs to stay off the ground. The belt is a very simple pleather belt that is removable to make the dress easier to wash. The button in the middle of the flower matches the fabric covered buttons in the back of the dress.

I also had made a leather bow to go along with the outfit but we couldn't find it when it was time to take pictures! Oh well, the show must go on!

Her are some of my favorite pictures from our mini photoshoot, Hobby Lobby has their Christmas decor at 90% off so I picked up a bunch of fake snow for under a dollar!

We took some pictures outside so that the skirt would show up a little better. It was blending in with the white background in the inside pictures. It was a bit chilly but we took them fast:

Kylie took advantage of me being busy with Eve and was busy in the mud the melted snow left behind. This girl LOVES mud.

Of course we found the leather bow right away when we went back inside. Just pretend Eve was wearing this bow in all the pictures.

When Kylie was four...

Dear Kylie Bear,

On December fifteenth 2012, you went and turned five.


I remember being five and I'm sure you already have some memories that will last you a lifetime. That's a strange thought to me. Up until recently, I assumed everything that happened in your life would be forgotten by you as you grew older. But that's changing. You already have a great memory and remember things that happen to you from past years. That brain of yours always amazes me!

Your favorite story to tell is "Once when I was a baby, I went into the fridge and pulled out an orange and peeled it all by myself and then I ate it. And I was just a little baby!" You tell that story so much that even Eve now says the same story, only she likes to change it to say that she did the same thing. She didn't. Your version of the story is mostly true by the way, only you weren't a baby. You were a toddler, but young enough that Jason and I were impressed with your orange peeling skills. I can't even peel an orange, your dad has to do it for me, so maybe I'm not the best judge of what is impressive when it comes to that!

So now you are five. A big kid. You are making real memories. You go to preschool and are only half a year away from Kindergarten. You weren't supposed to grow up so fast.

And now looking back at the past year, I feel guilty for not documenting more of your year. I didn't blog anything that you did nor did I write down any of the cute things you said (and you said some very cute things!) I'm so sad that the whole year has gone by and there is nothing I can do to relive any of it. You were a great four year old we had some great times together!

Thankfully I took some pictures. So I can at least document some of the highlights of the year you were four.

Wanna see?

This was you on the day you turned four:
You wanted to eat at Pizza Hut Buffet for your birthday lunch. This was the first time we actually had to pay for your buffet. I told them it was your fourth birthday in hopes they would do something fun for you, instead they charged me for a four year old, for the first time! But it was a great birthday lunch because you were so excited to eat there! We then went to some pet shops in hopes to see some bunny rabbits. Instead some pet shop owner offered to let you hold a tarantula, which you did and loved, but sadly my camera was in the car. Chichi is probably glad I didn't get a picture!

When you were four years old, you...

... took dance class in both the spring and the fall semester. You LOVED it! (Although you had a hard time doing exactly what the teachers wanted, you were way too dramatic, haha! You loved putting some drama into your facial expressions and dance moves! I think theatrical dance will be a better fit for you!)

... participated in a soccer camp in the Summer. You loved it! And you were actually pretty good! You were on team Spain and you had me paint your face like the Spanish flag, which turned out pretty cute!

... always claimed to be a "Mommy's Girl."

...but we all know you love your Daddy very much!

... still loved playing in the dirt

... had several different sleepovers with some friends which was your favorite thing in the world. You always ask people who come over to our house if they could please have a sleepover . Here's a picture of one when your friend Sadra stayed the night. Unfortunately I don't have any of when Cassie spent the night with you. As you and your sister get over, I'm sure these sleepovers will be much more frequent and I can't wait to stay up late eavesdropping you and your friends' conversations (hahaha! <-- evil="evil" laugh="laugh">

 ... were a lot braver at the splash park! A complete 180 from previous years!

...constantly amazed me by how "big" you are getting!

... still had exzema outbreaks, but we are learning to control it much better!


... went as a Lalaloopsy doll for Halloween (Eve was Peter Rabbit, not a kangaroo, don't judge my homemade Halloween costume!)

... went off to preschool for four mornings out of the week. I love your first school picture!

 (This was the shirt I made you for your first day of school.)

... picked out a Pinkalicious backpack for preschool. You almost had your heart set on a weird cameo one with G. I. Joes or something very strange, thankfully we found this one so we were both happy!

 Ok, now let's make sure this next year goes by a little slower, ok? You are growing up too fast!