Thursday, January 30, 2014

DIY Crinkle Fabric & Rice Baby Book

One of Luke's favorite toys is a crunchy-crinkly fabric book. Since he only has one I thought I would make another one. I know they sell the 'real' crinkle material at the craft store but I'm on a kick to use what I've got, so I used waxed paper instead! 

Wax paper or the real deal crinkle material
4-5 fat quarters or scrap fabrics in different patterns
Approx. 3 inches of ribbon
Rice (optional)
Scissors, pins, thread and sewing machine

First, I tore off a piece of wax paper and cut it down to be slightly larger than I wanted the pages to be when complete. It felt like less of a commitment to decide this with the wax paper than accidentally cutting my fabric too small! My finished book is approximately a 5 inch square, so if you're the measuring type go for a 5.5" square of wax paper and a 5 3/4" square of fabric. Cut an even number of squares and wax paper, for my three page book, I had six squares of pairs. Sew your wax paper to the fabric. I probably should have used more pins because the wax paper slipped around a little during the power sewing. Although this makes the pages funny, it does make the book crinkle more which is precisely the point of this toy.

After sewing down each square, assemble the pages by pinning the right sides of your pages together. You should have the wax paper sides visible to you. Sew three sides together and turn your pockets inside out, making them actually right side out. Sheesh, it's pretty obvious I'm not up on the seamstress lingo, huh? Bear with me.

At this point, I decided to put a couple handfuls of rice in the middle page (actually Cody deserves the credit on this one!). It adds a fun extra touch to the sensory element of this book. I also decided to add a make-shift binding to the outside edge to give a cleaner and more secure finished product. The ribbon was another last minute detail so we could loop his teething rings through it as well. Now it can go on the stroller, car seat or playpen toy bar. Since the binding would hide the raw edges of fabric, I just stitched each one closed without folding the cut edge inside. Then, I pinned the three pages together (ok so technically its one page and a front/back cover) and stitched on the binding. It's certainly not a professional looking product. Wonky-Wonkville is where we're at here. But its the sort of perfectly-imperfect look that I'm really good at. 

And now we are undergoing product testing, hopefully it stands up against the Luke Test.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

DIY Crib Mobile

I think this should wrap up all the details on Luke's room! I picked up these mushroom ornaments from Target during their after-Christmas clearance blowout last year. Well, two years ago now (2011)! I knew we would be trying for kiddos soon and I thought they might come in handy! At the time I was totally obsessed with the woodland themed nursery style, and the colors were perfect for a boy or girl. Fast forward nine months and I didn't go with the woodland theme but the colors still fit into Luke's room. 

5+ cutesy things to hang
Embroidery hoop
Fishing line
Hot glue gun

Not a super scientific list, but I had stashed a few odds & ends that I thought might be useful for this project. First I wrapped the embroidery hoop with ribbon (the hemp ribbon was actually the tie that kept the area rug in Luke's room rolled up!) and secured the ends with hot glue. Next I used the white and red string (which was from the packaging of Luke's baby quilt!) to make a grid shape inside the hoop for hanging the mushroom ornaments. And finally, I cut several lengths of fishing line and played around with the arrangement til I found one I liked best! To attach the fishing line to the ornaments, I fed it through a needle and stitched right through the top of the stuffed mushroom cap.

I also used fishing line to hang the mobile from the ceiling. Cody screwed an eye hook into the sheetrock for the line to hang off of. The trickiest part was getting the hoop to hang evenly, we wrapped four strings of fishing line at 'four corners' of the circle (yes I know circles don't have corners!) and tied a knot further up towards the ceiling. I think it may be a tad low, so we will make some adjustments when Luke gets strong enough to stand up. Which, scarily, seems like its not so far off!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Maternity Style: Dressing the Bump

I completely fell off the wagon on documenting outfits during my pregnancy. Such a missed opportunity, I know! I was pretty tired throughout my pregnancy so its just the way it goes. I've sorted through photos though and came out with some examples on how I kept my wardrobe affordable with an ever changing and growing tummy. I wore a lot of maxi dresses and sandals, so if I am ever pregnant again through the winter this list will change quite a bit!


Just to clear the air, I gained nearly double the recommended 25 pounds during my pregnancy. I tell you this because I think a lot of us are/were in that boat (way more than the doctor will admit to!) and I was still able to wear many of my pre-pregnancy clothes. A few things to keep in mind...

-DO NOT pay attention to size labels! During my eighth month of pregnancy I wore two dresses, both non-maternity, one was a size small the other a size 14. Go figure. Don't worry about what the tag says, just wear what fits!! 

-Empire waist is king (--or should I say Queen?)

-Hand-me-downs are a huge resource, I purchased several pairs of gently used work slacks on Ebay.

-Leggings are crucial, a few of my shorter summer dresses became cute tops with the bump.

-Other than jeans, work slacks, and a couple of t-shirts nearly all of my clothing during pregnancy was not maternity wear.

-I gave up trying to keep up with my bra size, your rib cage changes shape too so I used low-key (read low spandex content!) sports bras. Nordstrom Rack has a great selection in every color!

-A statement necklace/jewelry is key. Throw some bling on top of that plain stretchy t-shirt and you'll feel like a million bucks! You don't even have to be pregnant to benefit from this one either :)

And now that I'm a momma, my wardrobe decisions are based on whats easiest to wash spit-up off of. More on that some other time!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Fresh Start

Welcome to the new blog! After much thought and trial & error, I've decided to give my blog a whole new look! The biggest change:  my blog title/name is now Tawnweya. It's been one of my many nicknames since childhood and it just feels more personal, more me

I'm sure I will be continuing to tweak things here & there during the coming weeks. Thanks for bearing with me while I get settled again!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

First Christmas Ornament DIY

I posted this on Facebook a couple weeks ago, but in case you missed it here it is again! We originally wanted to get a hand print of Luke's for his first Christmas ornament, but the little guy likes his fists. So we went with the foot instead. I picked up this plastic squashed circle sort of shape of an ornament at Michael's for $1.49 and all-purpose craft paint by Martha Stewart in gold shimmer. It took a handful of practice foot stamping and we settled on this one! 

Once it dried I slipped in our hospital bracelets and shook it all around til they fell in a pretty tangle. Debating adding a little something else to it, I feel like it needs a monogram. But I pretty much think everything needs a monogram so I'm going to sit on that thought and see before I go crazy adding "L" to everything in sight!

Glass ornaments are prettier by far but I had mommy nightmares over future three year old Luke running around the house with his ornament and crashing and cracking his precious footprint ornament. And injuring himself too. But how devastating to potentially lose that footprint! I am prepared for Luke to have lots of boo-boos. I mean he's a boy for one, and he comes from a long line of bruisers on both sides. I am the only one out of my husband & brothers who hasn't had the pleasure of an ambulance ride. It's just in the genes. I'm surrounded by adrenaline junkies!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Luke's Firsts

Introduced Luke to the beach over the weekend! We headed to Santa Cruz for lunch & a bonfire to celebrate my moms birthday. Luke had so far slept through a lot of his first trips: two trips to the pumpkin patch and getting our Christmas tree.

He was awake for the first part of the beach visit, so that was really exciting and I got a little camera happy!

We were also able to get a family photo with all three of us smiling! Thank you Katy!

And then this happened. He'd had his fill of pictures & the beach. It was bed time people--I mean the sun is setting! HELLO!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Chili Verde

Snatched this recipe from Ashley when we stayed at her home in Arizona a few years back. Its crazy to me to refer to our road trip as happening a few years ago! This is a really great recipe for Chili Verde though, and its a little piece of Ashley for me to have in my kitchen!

4 lbs lean pork roast, cubed
1 8oz can green chilis
2-3 diced & seeded jalapenos 
1 large white onion, diced
1 8oz can diced tomatoes
2 lbs tomatillos 
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp cumin
4 cloves of garlic

How To:
Boil tomatillos until softened and puree with jalapenos and garlic. Reserve two cups of the water. While the tomatillos are boiling, flour and brown cubed pork roast. Add tomatillo puree and pork to tomatillo water. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and simmer for at least thirty minutes.

Feel free to vary the spices--we add more garlic (of course!). This time around I used shredded chicken instead of pork, and it was just as fabulous! This recipe freezes really well too. I usually serve it over rice and topped with sour cream.