18 Months

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Nora you are such a sweet girl. Such a snuggler, perfectly {most of the time} content to sit in mom or dad’s lap. You have the ability to make complete strangers smile. You are a personal welcoming committee, waving to everyone when we are out on walks or sitting in a restaurant. You are an outdoor girl and that makes us so happy. You would rather be outside either biking or walking then stay indoors any day! You are curious about the world and I hope you will always be curious. It has been so fun to see you go from my baby to my little toddler!

Love,

Mama

Life Lately

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Happy Friday! What a wonderful week. On Saturday after Nora napped we headed to Saugatuck Dunes and did some hiking. Nora was in her element. She had a blast walking the trails with us and she picked up a whole hat full of pine cones. This week Nora has been napping like a champion so that means I have been doing sewing and even managed to finish (minus hand stitching the binding) my mini quilt for the swap I’m participating. Have a wonderful weekend!

WIWW: Simple Gathered Knit Skirt

 

Gathered Knit Skirt

On my summer bucket list, I said I wanted to try more garment sewing. Well this is my second attempt at sewing with knit fabric and I learned a few more valuable lessons this time around. Thank goodness knit fabric is so forgiving.

I love a simple gathered skirt, such a basic pattern but when paired with some awesome fabric it sure does make a great skirt. To help me get a nicer looking skirt I used a pattern I picked up a JoAnn a few weeks ago for like $2! I always hate the waistbands with a separate casing for the elastic so just folded down around the top of the skirt to make my casing, sewed around it leaving an opening for the elastic and threaded it through. I really wanted to have a yoga waistband, but this knit fabric is just too stretchy to really do well, no matter how small I cut the waistband after trying it on it was too stretched out and the skirt was falling off my hips. So lesson learned always check the stretch and recovery of your knit fabric!

With this skirt I wanted to hem my skirt to make it look a little more professional. So after reading many blog tutorials and tips for sewing with knits I thought I would give hem tape a whirl. Once I got the paper backing off, this made the difference in hemming knits. I will never hem a skirt without hem tape again!

Now to try sewing a dress!

*Outfit details

  • Skirt made by me, fabric purchased from local fabric store.
  • Target t-shirt
  • Chaco sandals
  • Necklace, purchased at a street fair

 

Summer Bucket List

After seeing a few different posts on other blogs,I decided I would post my Summer Bucket List to help keep myself accountable this summer.

  1. Read 30 picture book to Nora that are new to us.
  2. Read 15 books for myself.
  3. Take at least 5 more bike trips to the beach with Nora.
  4. Try more garment sewing. I would like to sew a couple more skirts and a dress for myself.
  5. Finish 3 more quilts for Christmas gifts.
  6. Go hiking as a family
  7. Visit the gardens.
  8. Take Nora to the Little Explorers Laboratory at the library.
  9. Attend one of the summer concerts in the park.
  10. Go on a date with my hubby.

Here’s to a great summer!

Life Lately

This week had it moments, but over all it was a good one. I’m starting to take some mama free time. {Something I have been needing to do, but would always make excuses, no more excuses!} This week that include a walk with just Berrie and some time at Field’s Fabrics by myself. It’s nice to come back home and see Nora so excited to see me. {Just like when daddy gets home in the evening.} Here’s to a good week and wonderful weekend with my family!

 

Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World by Tsh Oxenreider

This one has been on my to-read list for a little while and when it was on sale from Amazon for the Kindle I picked it up.

Living intentionally has been on my mind recently. Currently we are in a series at our church about the myths around the 10 Commandments and it has been the best sermon series I have had the pleasure of listening and learning from. Well this past Sundays sermon happened to be about keeping the Sabbath and keeping it holy. And since I was about half way through this book it just struck a chord with me. I was reminded that everyday should be kept holy not just on the Sabbath. And a life outside of the fast lane is a great start.

We live in a society that values quantity over quality and everyone is so busy with this and that and the other thing, it seems like no one can just slow down and enjoy this one life we have to live. It can drive a person crazy. Now granted I am only human and I have been prey to the notion of a busy life. This is just what it expected in our world today. With that said, Derek and I have been making an effort to slow down. We don’t have many things on our calendar and we both like it that way.

The book is broken into sections that they as a family decided they wanted to live more intentionally those included: food, work, entertainment, travel, and education. Told through her experiences she offers advice on how her ideas could translate to your life situation. I mean not everyone can up and move overseas {I would love to but that just isn’t happening right now}. I felt most of the book was an enjoyable book, there were times that I thought she talked a bit too much about being an expat, but since the chapters were short I could live with it. I do wish there would have been a little more in depth examination of a truly simpler life, but leaving it a little more open ended {and with the discussion questions at the end} you as the reader can make those deeper connections that are more important to your life.

There so many times that I would stop and read passages to Derek and then we would discuss how we could incorporate some of the ideas into our own lives. I love when I can put ideas into action right away. One of them, purchasing higher quality ingredients for cooking. Another, starting a small deck garden to help supplement what we purchase at the farmer’s market and for canning. One area that Derek and I have been quite intentional for some time has been entertainment. When we got married we had cable but never watched TV. So when we moved to Holland we purposefully did not get cable, just internet. Between Netflix and Hulu we are covered. As for Nora we try and limit the number of toys she has. Plus we want open ended toys that inspire imagination. And we have a house full of books just for Nora. Lately Nora has been sitting next to me in my reading chair while I read a book and she reads a book.

Now one area that I need to work on myself for a more intentional life is self care. I will put myself last always, making sure Nora and Derek are fine before I take care of myself. Well I’m stating it here, that needs to end! Over the weekend, Derek told me to take at least and hour and a half to myself and you know what it was wonderful! A nice walk was just what I needed after a difficult few days with Nora. Now I just have to be purposeful and just do it.

I knew most of the ideas presented in this book, but the way it was presented really got me to stop and say, yes I need to start doing this not just talk about it. I want to live intentionally and I am the only one who can make that happen. If you are looking for a book to give you a little inspiration to slow day and enjoy life then I would say give this one a try.

WiP Wednesday

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I have been sewing and quilting a lot lately. {Thank you Nora for naptime!} I am currently working on my mini quilt for my Schnitzel & Boo Quilt Swap. I really hope my partner enjoys it! And since I had some scraps from trimming I am starting a few mini quilts for myself!

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I have also been trying my hand at garment sewing and this time with knits. So far so good, now that I better understand sewing with the correct needle. Yesterday I cut out a second skirt for me and a little circle skirt for Nora. My skirt needs to be hemmed and I’m thinking of a hi-low hemline.

That’s all for now. Happy Sewing!

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Linking up with WiP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced