Baked Spaghetti. I made a couple pans of this and it was perfect for making for a large group. The group seemed to like it, but my girls on the other hand, they didn’t like it. They weren’t big fans of the ricotta cheese. I used whole wheat spaghetti in it, but maybe the thinner noodles might have been better. Either way, I liked it, but it’s not on my top 10 list to make again.
Caramelized Onions & Prosciutto Pizza. We had a package of prosciutto sitting in our fridge for a couple months now and once I made a batch of pizza dough, I knew the prosciutto would make a great pizza topper. This is our first time trying prosciutto and it’s like a milder form of bacon. That combination of salty with the sweet from the caramelized onions made a really good pizza. This is going on my list of favorite pizzas.
Chicken Tikka Masala. This was my first meal made in my crock-pot. Woot! Woot! It did take some time to chop everything, but it was nice to just throw it in. Erin sent me this recipe (thanks Erin!) and it was definitely a good first recipe to try! I doubled it for our dinner club, but my batch needed more salt. I tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to salt and this one definitely needed more than I put. Other than that, it was so tasty! Plus, it was spicy, which usually guarantees we will love it. Love this recipe!
I’m really excited about my new crock-pot and can’t wait to try the recipes that some of you sent me already. If any of you have any other good ones to try, do share! I’d love to add more to my list!
This one was really simple. I loved the Ace & Jig boardwalk dress when it first came out, but the price tag wasn’t so friendly. The cut seemed easy enough to recreate, so I was just going to make one. Well, I stumbled upon this long dress at the thrift store and the cut reminded me of the Ace & Jig dress and it even had a little gingham pattern going on. For $2 I made the dress mine, chopped off the length, sewed it up, and there you have it. I debate dying the color to something fun like red or navy, but I also like it just the way it is. It’s seriously my go-to dress. I didn’t even adjust width or anything. It’s just a nice loose dress for our hot, summer days (and oh it’s been so hot around here lately!). You can see me wearing the dress in a couple pictures this post.
I snagged this long jumper-ish dress at the thrift store too! I loved the linen fabric (my fave!) and knew it could turn into something wonderful. I had originally intended to recreate this dress, but went with something like this dress instead (they’re quite similar). The Ace & Jig dress was just a little too frumpy and bag-like (at least that’s what it looked like on the model) so I made the dress fit my body a little bit more.
You can see how I got my pieces for the dress. I got the top portion of the dress by cutting out the stripes horizontal from the bottom portion of the original dress. Then I got the vertical stripes for the bottom of the new dress from the top portion of the original dress. I pretty much used every square inch of that dress to make the new one. This dress can be seen worn in this post (our visit to the fair).
Both dresses probably took me no longer than an hour to make because the styles were so easy. Finding an old dress for cheap at the thrift store and reworking it is so much better than spending money lots of money on a dress. I have an Ace & Jig dress I bought on sale for $30 at Anthro and while the fabric is amazing, I don’t think I could spend a lot of money on a dress style that I could sew myself. That’s just me though. Shoes on the other hand, I can’t make those. Shoes are my weakness…
p.s. my necklaces are from shop miguez.
We really just hung out all the pool all day. We stayed two nights at the the hotel and to help minimize some costs, we brought peanut butter, sunflower butter, jelly, and a loaf of bread so we could make sandwiches for lunch. We brought a cooler full of chopped watermelons, cantaloupes, and a giant bag full of tomatoes. We also put our sandwich goods and yogurt inside the cooler too. For breakfasts we gave the girls O’s and yogurt (and Ben and I had our Cliff bars). We ended up only eating out twice (for lunch before we checked into the hotel on Saturday and pizza for Brave’s pajama party Sunday night). We did venture out one afternoon to go and try Sprinkles Ice Cream, which was really good, but I wouldn’t crave it as much as their cupcakes.
Having food ready made it easier to just relax. We’d go swimming and then go back to the room when we were hungry, and then go back out to go swimming again. We had no agenda and it was the most relaxing (quick) vacation ever because our plans were simple… swim, eat, sleep, and celebrate Brave. Repeat.
To keep with our traditional birthday breakfast in bed, we still gave Brave breakfast in bed, but it was just her O’s and yogurt on a plate. HA! We also sang the birthday song of course. She was still just as excited about it! And when they weren’t in bathing suits, Brave was wearing her mama-made birthday dress. I’m so happy she loved it so much! She also loved the big crochet balls for her hair by Persimmon Jewelry, which was totally part of her birthday outfit. My little Spider-Man loving girl is just darling!
Sunuva sent over these cute bathing suits for the girls and they wore it all weekend long. It was a nice little surprise for the girls to have new suits for the celebrating. Brave got the red and blue strawberry one because it has Spider-Man colors, but it has this little pocket in the back that is just so cute! This one is True’s (and Glow’s) and this one is Soul’s.
On the way home, we stopped by a nursery to pick up some trees for our garden (that Ben always has gardening on his mind!) and I realized we never took a family picture, so I plopped my camera on one side of the road (with our gorillapod) and tada… we have a picture of all of us together for Brave’s birthday weekend. It was a very good weekend indeed! I love birthday celebrating!!! In just a couple weeks we have another birthday in our house… Glow turns 2! Can you believe she’s going to be 2?!! I can’t!
These pictures are from our days at the hotel pool for Brave’s birthday. It was another part of fulfilling her birthday request. I think by the end of our 3 day birthday get away, we were all 3 shades darker. We were so happy that they were able to practice the skills they have been learning in swim class. Though most of the pictures here show them with floaties, they were doing plenty of swimming without them too. Soul and Glow were a bit apprehensive about the water (this surprised us about Soul because she takes swim lessons too!), but they did get in the pool eventually. Naturally, by the time we had to leave, they didn’t want to because that’s just about the time they really started loving the water. It always happens that way, doesn’t it?!
Brave turned six and her birthday request was to stay at a hotel, have a pajama party, and swim all day. That was a reasonable enough request, so we made it happen. We were originally planning on going to San Diego, but after discussing it, Ben and I thought staying closer to home was best since we the only thing on the agenda was to swim at the hotel pool. We hotwire-ed it (got a great deal! priceline was being temperamental at name your price) and we had a hotel about 45 minutes from home. We booked two nights, so her actual birth day was sandwiched in between, and we would have plenty of opportunities for relaxing and swimming.
Her birthday evening, Ben took Brave and Glow to go pick up some pizza. It gave True and me time to set up her pajama party. I brought bunting from home to tape up to the wall, put out little party snacks, her gifts, and her birthday cake. I wanted to bake one, but I was running out of time leading up to her little birthday getaway, so I opted to buy one from Nothing Bundt Cakes since there was one close to where we were staying. That was a good decision and so much less stress!
True and I even made a little “Spin the Spider on the Web” game for our little Spider-Man fan (I just found a spider web clip art image to download, went to a local copy shop to get a large print out, cut out little black spiders, and added some tape to the back… tada!) . We taped that to the wall and it was the perfect pajama party game! I made all the girls their own special pajama pants for the party and we were all set.
Brave came back with Ben and she was so excited to see everything decorated just for her! We all piled onto the bed to eat pizza and the birthday treats. Of course, we sang the birthday song and let her blow out her candles too! My six year old girl was so happy!!! We all played the pin the spider game and Brave opened her presents. We just got her little Spider-Man gifts because she loves Spider-Man so much! The sweetest part of the evening were seeing the gifts True made for Brave. She made her little hand drawn cut outs of Spider-Man and cut out scenes to play with him in. She is so thoughtful in her gift making and giving.
It was so relaxed and chill, but our pajama party extended quite late into the evening that Glow was getting to be all out of sorts. We called the party quits at around 10pm, which was way past the baby’s usual bedtime of 7pm, so you could imagine how cranky she got. It was a special way to celebrate my Bravey’s birthday (she requested a hotel birthday which was probably inspired from True’s 6th birthday last year). I’m kind of partial to these hotel birthdays because it gives all of a us a little chance to get away and it reduces the stress of party planning. I kind of wish they would ask for hotel birthdays every year!