Thursday, May 30, 2013

Rain and Sushi...

Today got a little crazy! When you live in a city that sits below sea level, a little rain goes a long way. And a long way is typically UP...up to your curb, your door, you car's bumper...yeah. So, yesterday we experienced a couple of hours of fairly moderate rain fall by my house. I had to drive (maybe more like float) to church to teach my nursery class, so I caught some images to share with you. 

Just a typical rainy afternoon in NOLA. I don't often get out and about in such weather, and I couldn't believe these big trucks and SUVs had water so close to their doors. My little CRV made it through, and I thought it made it ok, but this morning I have noticed a mildewy smell developing in the car. I think Prince Charming will have to investigate when I get home tonight. 

Since the weather was so bad, I was running behind on my afternoon errands and commute; so I didn't get to eat dinner before church. I didn't have to be bummed for long. I was craving sushi (Don't worry pregnancy police; I only eat cooked items at the sushi place now that I have a baby on board.) and knew if I waited, I would get to dine with PC. ;) Being a minister makes for long Wednesdays for him. 

After five years of marriage, he still makes my heart flutter, and I cannot get enough of time spent with him. So after church, we headed over to Taste of Tokyo in River Ridge. We ordered a birthday roll, a super snow crab roll, and a coco roll. As always, I got the three sauce side of special sauce, eel sauce, and sirachi sauce. This place makes beautiful and delicious sushi! Check it out.

After a dreary, rainy day, something as simple as this awesome dinner with my handsome husband made it all better! Icing on the cake: the face of my Jack Russel, Desmond, that was waiting for me when I came home. 

All I had left to say after such a long, rainy NOLA day as I was so tired and ready for bed was...oh, what a night! ;)

Y'all Come Back Now, Ya Hear?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Sew far, I have made...

Hey, blogger friends! I have been so excited about starting my blog and building up the things I want to focus on, but I know that beyond this week, maybe even this day, I won't be posting quite as much. Until then, excuse and (hopefully) enjoy the barrage of information! ;)

I wanted to go ahead and introduce my novice but ever growing sewing skills. I have made several things with my awesome Brother sewing machine I received for Christmas from my wonderful in-laws.

It is a Project Runway edition, and I find it easy enough to use with my limited knowledge. I am hoping to take a class this summer; until then, online tutorials are what I am using to learn.

The items I have made thus far have been very simple, but I was really excited with how they turned out nonetheless. For my friend Frances's baby shower, I made a baby blanket with matching burp cloths.

I used a soft minky material for the blanket, and a cotton jersey material for the printed fabric that tied it together with the cloths. I went with a chocolate brown terry on the burp cloths as they are bound to get stained in the process of babydom. I also added a hand cut minky appliqué on the printed side of the blanket that isn't pictured here, but it is just like the one below I made for a donation gift for a local new mom.

I have also made a couple of gifts for my hubby. He took a springtime mission trip to Haiti this past March, so I made him a travel toiletry towel and a couple of luggage tags. I learned along the way about each fabric from my work, like how terry cloth and upholstry fabrics tend to fray. It was difficult to get these to work with me as I don't have a surger, but I eventually won the tug-of-war.

If you want to try your hand at any of these projects, you can find the tutorials I used at the sites below. The towel toiletry case was only inspired by the image seen at the Etsy link below; I made the towel from scratch and then the case from the towel. I was really proud of that one!

Towel Toiletry Case-
Luggage Tag-  Make It-Love It ID Tags
Baby Blanket- Sew4Home Baby Blanket Tutorial
Burp Cloths- Prudent Baby Burp Cloth Tutorial
Partridge Applique Pattern- Modest Maven Partridge Ornament Tutorial

I found the baby blanket and burp cloth tutorials through a Pinterest pin to Blue Print Crafts for Baby Britton where she shared links to these and more baby gift tutorials. Thanks to these simple tutorials, I am now confident to make blankets and burp cloths without tutorials; and that will probably prove to be very beneficial with a little one on the way. :)

I can't wait to share my next sewing project with you. You can find me on Pinterest and follow my Sew Wonderful board to see what tutorials I have pinned, and feel free to leave suggestions of good sites and blogs to find helpful sewing information and patterns.

Y'all Come Back Now, Ya Hear?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Cowboy Caviar Kind of Night

Tonight is our weekly dinner and Bible study with our small group from church. We are working our way through David Platt's video and workbook series entitled Follow Me. (There will be a separate post on that later.) This post is going to focus on the former part of my night: dinner. Prince Charming and I always host the study at our house, and the first couple of weeks, we took care of providing all of the food for our meals. It has evolved, however, into a potluck of sorts. Tonight, another couple will be bringing a main course of enchiladas. In response, I will be making one of my favorite recipes that I stumbled upon through one of my favorite sites, Pinterest. The recipe came from the Just A Pinch blog, and the link to the original site is below. It is always a crowd pleaser, and it has great Tex-Mex flavors to compliment our main course tonight. I hope you will try it soon, but is completely ADDICTIVE!! Happy eating! :)

Just a Pinch Cowboy Caviar Recipe

2 cans Mexicorn

1 can hot Rotel (this isn't overpowering with the sour cream and mayo)

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

6 green onions, chopped

1 cup of mayonnaise

1 cup of sour cream

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and chill for at least 30 minutes. Serve with Fritos. Couldn't be easier!

My Pregnancy Ponderings...

In college, I majored in English, and I had a professor who had one very hated word in the English language: pregnant. It's not that she hated being pregnant or pregnant people; she just thought the word wasn't good enough to be suited for such an amazing journey. That has never left me, and I find myself thinking of it each time I have the joy of telling someone, "I'm pregnant!"

I am currently experiencing my first pregnancy, and I am overwhelmed with all sorts of feelings. I find myself feeling elated excitement, fear of the changes happening because of the pregnancy, both in my body and life, and swirling confusion about all of the things I need to get done. There are the responsibilities of decking out a nursery, narrowing down the list of names, deciding the whens, wheres, and whats of our delivery plan...who knew something so tiny could require so much thought and planning before it was even here?

I am, for better or for worse, taking the route of not reading tons of books and articles about pregnancy. I know that different books, articles, and even people have different opinions, ideas, and things to say; and I am really hoping to have a fairly untainted pregnancy experience. I am, however, utilizing the resources that I find most valuable: all of the moms I know, whether recently made or with years of experience, when I have questions or needs. I also crawl through the blogosphere every now and then to read what blogging-moms have to say about pregnancy necessities, dos and don'ts, and how to deal with x, y, and z. I am finding this, plus questions for my doctor whenever I visit, to be sufficient at this stage (I am currently 16 weeks along) to assuage my wonderings.

On this blog, I plan to share my thoughts, fears, and a-ha moments (or maybe AHHH moments), the design and development of my nursery, and the resources I use to build and create my baby's little world. I hope that anyone else who is going through a first pregnancy, a next pregnancy, or who is curious about pregnancy in general, will find a place here to see that they aren't alone in the things they wonder, feel, fear, and/or need. It is an amazing adventure, and I cannot wait to put down all of the things that occupy my mind here!

Y'all Come Back Now, Ya Hear?

And So, I Sew

Sewing is something that my great-grandmother, Big Mama, was masterful at doing. She could whip up just about anything you could bring to mind. She was also a wicked-good crochet master; in fact, before she passed away in December of 2011 at the amazing age of 92, she made three neutral baby blankets for my sister and me to have for our future children. She also created beautiful needle-point wedding and birth announcements for everyone in our family. While my Big Mama was exceedingly talented in all of these areas, none of her children or grandchildren ever picked up on the craft. Now, several of her great-granddaughters, including myself, are learning at least one of the skills that she was so incredibly masterful at on our own. Not only is what we are learning proving to be very useful, but I think it makes us feel like she is still close to us.

I received my first sewing machine, a Brother Project-Runway edition, as a Christmas gift in 2012. Since then, I have already put it to good use making lovely, albeit simple, baby gifts for showers. I have loved perusing other sewers blogs to find very helpful tutorials on everything from basics to patterns, and I am so grateful to the many people who share their knowledge and resources for free. Being a teacher and the wife of a preacher, bargains are not only desirable but often quite necessary. I will share with you some of the things I have already made and the fabulous links that gave me the know-how to do them, and I will also share with you my endeavors into new and uncharted sewing territories as they arise. I am not always perfect at this (One time, I pinned together an entire blanket meticulously with what felt like a million pins before realizing that one of the blankets was right side out...needless to say, that one was unpinned and stitched free hand.), but I am loving the process of learning. Feel free to leave comments with your tips, tricks, and favorite sewing resources!

Y'all Come Back Now, Ya Hear?

Greetings from the Big Easy!

Hello, my friends in the Blogosphere!!

So, here I am almost 4 years down the road from the last time I attempted to create a blog, and I truly feel like I am better prepared for it now than I was then. After what was maybe a meager attempt at two or three posts on my original blog, I decided to stop attempting to make something out of nothing when I was still trying to find who I was and what I loved as an individual. I began to follow and read blogs by some of my (now) favorite bloggers, and I was encouraged to believe that at this point in my life, I may just be ready to do this.

A lot has changed in four years. I am still a Mississippi Magnolia that has been transplanted into the easy-livin city of New Orleans by my Prince Charming. When I first came to New Orleans, I was very young, just starting out on my own as a married woman, and trying to settle into being a grown-up after graduating from college. These days, I am settled into all of those roles and preparing to take on a new one: MOMMY.

Over the years, my sense of who I am and what I love has developed into a beautiful mish-mash of all of my favorite things. I love to cook and am a member of a cook club that meets once a month to share a terrific meal; I received my first sewing machine for Christmas and am learning, mostly on my own, to create beautiful things with my own two hands; and I have become quite crafty and thrifty while trying to decorate my home.

My initial plans for this blog are to share my adventures, triumphs, and failures in all of these things with you. My hope in having this blog is not only to share all of these things that I love so much with anyone who also loves them, but to connect to people all over who want to share their loves and passions with me. I hope that people will find this blog to be a place of inspiration, encouragement, honesty, and sincerity. I am so looking forward to starting my blog experience and sharing in all of these happy, exciting, and wonderfully new experiences with all of you!

Y'all come back now, ya hear? ;)