family meals: week 70

black bean chili
black bean chili
Black Bean Chili and Chip Salad. Easy, yummy, and great for Dinner Club Thursdays. Thursday almost guarantees some sort of bean dish variety because it’s the most cost friendly and easy to whip up for a large group.

Week of 4/21 – 4/25
Monday: Ben’s on dinner duty
Tuesday: Soba Noodle Sesame Salad
Wednesday: Spaghetti and Meatballs
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Disneyland!

Last week I cooked all week long, but Ben worked a few late nights, so evenings were really hectic for me and we didn’t have any family dinners together. Our time together at the dinner table is something I look forward to and we all chat about our day. The girls like to give us every single detail about their days that sometimes one girl takes 1 hour (with interruptions from the rest of the family) to tell her whole story. It’s hilarious!



true's room
I shared True’s side of the room and someone pointed out that this is True’s first gallery wall, really cute to think of it that way!

There was also a good discussion regarding blogs and sponsorships over on this post of Jenny’s. I’m not adverse to sponsorship, I’ve got a few coming up to share with you, one has to deal with Kroger (Ralph’s) another another Bing, and both have to do with little ways to save (or earn) money, which I’m all for, so I can get behind it and I’ll share more about it soon. So obviously, I work with sponsors from large companies to small indie ones, and I have no problem with it, and I really think long and hard about it before I take something on (and Ben and I always discuss it too). I enjoyed Jenny’s discussion on it, chimed in my own thoughts, liked reading other people’s thoughts, and I think it was something good to think through. I think she just said, in a very nice way, what many others are thinking but not saying, because if you aren’t rejoicing in the roses and magic in the blog world, some will label you a hater, which I don’t think is necessarily the case. It’s just always good to do heart-checks as a blogger and as a reader.

The blog world has definitely shifted patterns as blogs become real businesses and it can feel more competitive these days. I love blogging, and while sponsorships (or gifted items) from time to time are nice, my favorite thing about this whole online thing is some of the cool people I’ve met and been inspired from, the community I’ve been a part of, and the creative avenues I’ve been able to do because of my online presence. Hello, I wrote a book, and that probably wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t blog. Or write and photograph an article like this for a magazine, or even contribute projects for other magazines and sites, and all of this came because of blogging. It’s all insane in the best way and things I would have only dreamed of, so I’m really thankful for this avenue as it’s led to other things that I love doing.

Anyway, that’s my huzzah for the day. I’m thankful for this space and the fun I’ve had with it (and hope to continue to have with it), thankful for random opportunities that happen along the way, thankful for you guys who keep following along and get when I’m feeling crazy and also rejoice when I have good news to share. You guys are the bestest!



color, then eat!

eleni's cookies
eleni's cookies
eleni's cookies
eleni's cookies
eleni's cookies
Eleni’s sent us a pretty box of cookies to color and eat. It came in handy since our time this week never really allowed for all the projects I had wanted to do with the girls, so I’m glad thankful for the fun their cookies provided. Now it’s giving me all sorts of ideas because how fun would a coloring cookie party be for kids (or even adults!)?!

The girls went to town coloring and eating them! They each let me have a bite of their cookie too and I can attest to the yumminess of the cookie. It’s really delicious! But again, I’m a sweets person, so if it has sugar, I’m probably going to like it. They spent a good amount of time coloring the cookies, and then right after they were done, the cookies were gone in a flash. Soul was the fastest of them all!

I let the baby color on her cookie too, but not sure if that was a good idea because she might start taking regular markers and think it’s okay to color on her food. Note to self: Hide the markers from the baby. By the time she was done coloring and eating her cookie, her hands were blue from the markers, and her lips and teeth were blue from the cookies. She’s so cutey!

Eleni’s has a bunch of other gift tins and Color Me! cookies that would make great gift ideas (or for small cookie parties). We have plenty of ink in our markers left over, so we probably will make our own cookies to finish it up. I want to look for a house shape cookie cutter and then it would be fun to create all sorts of house cookies! Wouldn’t that be cute?! I know my girls would be all over that. Give them something to color or draw on, and they get in the zone. Just beware of the slight sugar high after…



love my family
love my family
love my family
love my family
love my family
love my family
Soul didn’t want to be in the picture, so she wasn’t. And you see Glow next to me? She always has to be with me and wouldn’t even let go for a second so that Ben and I could snap a picture together. She’s says she’s my baby and makes sure her sisters know it.

It’s spring break and we’ve had a crazy past couple days. I thought I would have all this time to do this and that, and this and that with the girls. We’ve done none of it! Zip. Zero. None.  We’ve had two visits to the doctor, one of which was to urgent care because they were playing on the couch (we tell them all the time that couches are for sitting and not climbing and jumping on), and Brave fell off and hit the coffee table. There was blood everywhere, me in a panic (blood freaks me out!), I look at the cut (oooh… it’s open and gushing alright!), get the baby from nap, load everyone into the car, and we’re off to urgent care. Then after waiting over 2 and half hours later, we finally go home and Brave has 5 stitches. Good thing she really lives up to her name and the stitches look like Spider-Man’s webs, because she didn’t cry when she got 3 injections of numbing medicine or when they had to stitch it up, and my Spidey loving girl thinks her stitches look kind of cool.

Now it’s Thursday, and well, I just feel kind of crazy and totally out of sorts this week because it hasn’t gone like I planned, but I just gotta roll with it, right?! There’s still time to do some Easter projects with the girls, the big girls go to WonderCon on Saturday, I mostly have Easter baskets figured out, and I think I will just have to scrap making them Easter dresses.

on me: shirt, handmade by me (see here). pants, thrifted. shoes, c/o lotta from stockholm. on the girls: dresses, vintage. cat bag, made here. shorts, misha lulu.



this is it… meet my book!

This is it… Let’s Sew Together!!! This is my book! Book, meet all my dear readers, and dear readers, meet my book!

It’s all so strange, so nerve-wracking, but also super exciting! Let’s Sew Together officially goes on sale on May 20th, but if you pre-order it now (from the retailer of your choice, see my sidebar for suggestions!) before the official release, you will receive a special digital project booklet. Once you order it, just forward your receipt (attach the receipt or a screenshot) to There are a ton of projects in the book, and I made so many, that we had to overflow some into this special pack. I was bummed when because of page count and the sheer amount of good stuff we put in the book, we had to take some things out, but I’m glad you can still get it this way. It’s a sweet little pack (with 6 projects) and you’ll love them for sure!

You can see a quick flip through of the book, but it doesn’t even show all the projects. The focus is on sewing and teaching you the basics, and how to incorporate kids into it. Making and creating with your kids is really something special. It’s not always about the project, but more so about being together. There are also non-sewing projects and activities, as well as a list of books to read along with almost every project. Sort of like the “Read & Make” series I do here on the blog. And, don’t worry, there are definitely boy friendly projects in here too. I borrowed my friends’ son and he was my faux-son for the book.

I know many of you in the past have wanted me to make a pattern for my giant dollhouse pillow, or my world map quilt, and some of my softies. Well, these things are in the book (you can learn how make your own giant dollhouse pillow and you own world map quilt!), plus a whole lot of other projects I’ve never shared on the blog.  Some of you might have been reading from back in the day when I used to make and sell my wool felt crowns, and you can get a pattern and how-to for those too, but it’s in the special pack if you pre-order the book.

One of the most special things about the book, is that besides True and Brave working on the projects (we did this together after all), their illustrations are littered throughout the book. My biggest gals are published illustrators! I think they are already starting off with an impressive resume. Their names are even listed in the ISBN mumbo jumbo stuff at the beginning, and they were so excited to see that. This moment I shared on instagram was super special because this was them looking at their hard work in the book for the very first time.

There’s so much and I can’t wait to keep sharing more about this whole book thing. It’s so surreal and to have the people over at Random House (Potter Craft) behind me is truly a dream! There will be more posts about the process and how balancing (and unbalancing) in our home took place during the whole thing. I’m so excited about it and I hope you guys are too! So if you want to get more up close and personal with my book, you can pre-order it from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s, or Indiebound. You should get it on or around May 20th, just in time for filling up those summer days. Come on guys, let’s sew together!!!

To receive an exclusive .pdf with a previously unavailable Rubyellen Bratcher sewing pattern please forward preorder confirmation to

Offer good through 11:59pm EST on Monday, May 19, 2014.

Open only to residents of the United States who are 18 years of age or older at the time of entry. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. No groups, clubs or organizations may participate.

Limited to one gift per completed submission form and transaction information.

A link will be supplied upon submission of this form. Download the .pdf documents upon receipt.

Random House, Inc., Rubyellen Bratcher and Cakies are not responsible for lost or misrouted submissions, interrupted or unavailable network or server connections, or other computer or technical issues.



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