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Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

As you can probably figure out from the photo above, our weekend didn't go as planned. Instead of a haircut, family photos, and dinner with friends, we had a trip to the emergency room, freezing rain, and a slightly different dinner with friends. So not all was lost. Ezra pulled a mug of tea (that had just been poured) onto himself on Friday night so he ended up with some first and second degree burns on the right side of his chest, and we both had our first ride in an ambulance. Thankfully, he's acting completely like himself - still walking, laughing, and causing mischief. We go back to the burn clinic on Thursday to have him checked out again, but from Ezra's behavior I would think he's going to be just fine. Much thanks to everyone who's been praying for him! 
Cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7

Friday, October 28, 2011

happy weekend

(image via the ballerina project)
While I'm a little disappointed our local weathermen are forecasting frigid temperatures and possibly snow, I'm still looking forward to this weekend. I'm getting a haircut first thing tomorrow morning - always a good start to the day - as long as it doesn't rain (and I think it's rained every day that I've gotten my hair cut for the past three years). Then Matt, Ezra, and I are actually having our pictures taken for a change. Our friend Karissa (who captured these images and Ezra's birth) offered to take family photos for us and we accepted. Then we have a delicious dinner to look forward to, and I'm bringing Paula Deen's red velvet cupcakes for dessert. In between church on Sunday we're going to indulge in Matt's mom's homemade pizza and chicken soup. This weekend is full of food that's perfect for chilly days. What's your favorite cold weather meal? Here are a few (probably the closest to 'few' that I've ever come) links to hold you over until Monday... 
- a grilled cheese is perfect for a lazy weekend lunch
- how many sizes should I make this notebook paper tee in for Ezra?
- I'm dreaming of this suspended trampoline turned teepee for our backyard someday
- spotted this party dress at anthropologie this week and I'm still thinking about it
- happy to report that I'm making progress on my list!
- not from this week, but here are some beginning quilting tips... I get a lot of requests and diary of a quilter tutorials are wonderful!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

three sisters

Still playing catch up from my months of no blogging... here are some photos from Three Sisters, an ice cream shop on Hope Street in Providence.
Matt, Ezra, and I stopped by over the summer before we walked through the farmers market at Lippitt Park one afternoon.
Along with lots of yummy baked goods, Three Sisters offers homemade ice cream made with milk from local cows. Moo!
One scoop wasn't enough for me, so I tried one of P.B. Heaven and one of Belgium Milk Chocolate Caramel. Both were delicious but as usual the peanut butter ice cream was the winner in my book.
Three Sisters fall hours are listed here. Get thee to the creamery!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

a quilt for Levi

I have a confession to make: this quilt is my most favorite quilt that I've ever made and I had trouble parting with it. I wanted to keep it for Ezra! My friend Ashley picked out some amazing Michael Miller fabric and then my mom let me go through her stash to pick out some coordinating solids and I decided to go with an easy strip quilt design. 
It really lets the guitars shine, I think... I couldn't bear to cut into them so the large strips work well.
For the back I used a large piece of Kona Ash and scraps of the fabric that I put together in an improv style.  Simple straight line quilting to border the guitar strips and down the center of some of the solids finished off the quilt sandwich. Here you can see that the quilt spent a bit too much time in the dryer after its run through the washer. Yes, I dry my quilts in a dryer and just pray that they make it out alive.
I had some scraps left over from trimming the strips and they turned out to be perfect for my first scrappy binding. There was hardly any waste with this quilt as I turned every little piece into something else for Levi...
a stack of burp cloths with the remaining tidbits of fabric and added some grosgrain ribbon for contrasting texture. Not that infants (especially male infants) are too concerned with contrasting texture on their burp cloths, but I thought it was a nice addition.
Rather than add a separate label to the quilt, I simply wrote a little note along the edge of one of the pieces of fabric that make up the patchwork backing. Levi finally made his debut on Sunday night (he had been threatening for three or four weeks!) so hopefully he's happily snuggling with his quilt now.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

eleven months!

Eleven month photo shoot status: occurred approximately nine days late but successful! I'll take it. If we crop that first one I think it would be perfect for Ezra's RI license photo.
Ok, so the shoot was successful except that Ezra took his sticker off after the first snap of the shutter. I decided to be the bigger man and allow him to stick it on the gorilla (who was much more complacent), which he was very intent on doing.
Ez clearly didn't want anyone to feel left out so the aardvark had a turn with the sticker next.
Sticker-less and loving it!
Ezra taking a few tentative steps onto the pelt of a long dead baby polar bear. Just kidding - it's faux sheepskin from Ikea.
Ezra's to do list: demolish artfully arranged display of picture books in four seconds - check.
Ezra's first self portrait. I'm going to go set up his myspace account. 

[the aftermath, month eleven]

Monday, October 24, 2011

twelve by 2012

Let's get this week off to a good start. In the spirit of getting things done, I've decided to join Danni of Hello, Friend and make a twelve by 2012 list. That means I'm going to actually complete everything on my little list by the year 2012, which is a mere sixty-eight days away - eek! And now, the list:
1. Reorganize and de-clutter my kitchen cabinets and drawers.
2. Hang pieces of artwork (that are so patiently waiting) around our house.
3. Complete Ezra's baby book through his first birthday party.
4. Make macarons.
5. Get a wall shelf so I have somewhere to put my jewelry box instead of on the floor next to my bureau.
6. Finish every non-quilt sewing project that I've started.
7. Get a hair cut.
8. Find an affordable source of local, humanely raised chicken.
9. Go through my vase inventory and make two piles: keep and donate
10. Add paper bunting to etsy shop
11. Read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
12. Create a special Christmas present for Matt (can't say what it is because he'll read this).
Now I'm off to work on numbers 11, 9, and 3. Aren't we ambitious today?

Friday, October 21, 2011

happy weekend

(image via Jordan's pin via The Telegraph)
Tonight is Fondue Friday at the Celeste house so I'm busy grating blocks of Emmentaler and chopping vegetables. I can't wait to have some crusty bread and teeny potatoes with all that melty cheesy goodness. Then tomorrow morning I'm getting a pedicure. It sounds like on heaven on earth to me. What are you up to this weekend? While I get back to the cutting board, here are some fun finds from around the web...
- random acts of kindness are nice, but random acts of cookies are even better!
- my obsession with bunk beds continues
- definitely adding this margherita tart to my menu for next week
- if I had a little girl I would make her a plush sewing machine
- I eat oatmeal almost every day... time to try some of these variations
- yet another fun way to decorate with balloons
- don't you agree that I need this t towel?
tassel garlands are so pretty but they look like a lot of work and I'm feeling lazy... has anyone made one?
- this rustic Italian luncheon looks, well, perfectly rustic and so Italian and I love it

Thursday, October 20, 2011

celebrate!

One of my favorite things to bake is chocolate cake so when my father-in-law asked for a hand with my mother-in-law's birthday earlier this month, I immediately offered to make her a birthday cake. 
I spent a few days flipping through my cookbooks and finally decided on a recipe called Grandmother's Chocolate Cake (appropriate, since it was her first birthday as a grandma!) from Kathryn Kleinmen's Birthday Cakes. The recipe was simple enough to follow but I have to say I was disappointed with the flavor of the cake... to me it seemed like there wasn't any. If it weren't for the redemption of chocolate frosting I would have been very disappointed.
Fortunately, I was the only one who felt that way. All the guests raved over the cake. I always tell Matt that it doesn't matter what a layer cake looks like - everyone always thinks it's amazing simply because it has layers. In this case, I think the gold sprinkles helped, and the scalloped cake stand didn't hurt either. Next time I make chocolate cake, I'm sticking with this recipe. 
{the aftermath}

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Happy Birthday, Amelia!

Another blast from the not-so-distant past, this time to Ezra's friend Amelia's first birthday party last month. My friend Keri planned a very sweet celebration for her daughter, complete with lots of pretty decorations!

They rented the carousel at Slater Park in Pawtucket so all the kids (and adults!) could ride the horses.

As you can see, Ezra wasn't a big fan. Very disappointing, as I would have liked to go for a spin a couple of times.

Prior to the birthday party, Keri took pictures of a cake smash, where Amelia demolished a beautiful cake made by Keri's mom, Beth.

Beth also made cupcakes for the party, complete with colorful carousel horses.

Here's the birthday girl with her daddy, Josh, as all the guests sang 'Happy Birthday' to her. Please note: her outfit matches the party decor!

Keri had a photo booth set up inside the carousel building so guests could take photos throughout the party. She included lots of funny props, including chalk board speech bubbles and mustaches on sticks.

We had a great time celebrating with Amelia, her family, and lots of other baby friends. Unfortunately, there was one big downer (well, actually, there were two, and this one's worse - Keri very sadly lost most of her photos from the night!)... my favorite bag was stolen some time during the party! Summer solstice tote - rest in peace. It was a complete and utter tragedy as it was my absolute favorite bag. Even though I've contacted anthropologie and deux lux it doesn't seem like I'll be able to buy a replacement. Anyone have any leads?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

ten months!

So here we are back in time again, this time by about a month and a half. Ezra was uncooperative once again, which I guess is to be expected from a ten month old who doesn't exactly understand the concept of posing yet.
As much as I wanted to have 'professional' photos each month, I kind of like these funny face-blurry-too dark-or-too bright memories of Ezra, since that's what he and I were able to produce together...
... as I'm not anywhere near close to a professional photographer, although I would say Ezra is a professional baby, what with all the crawling, teething, and babbling he does.
My friend Kate gave me some tips for taking Ezra's one year photos to try to ensure a good result, so we'll see how that works in a couple of weeks. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

lunch at Seven Stars / the picnic that wasn't

What a beautiful weekend we had here in Rhode Island... the most perfect fall temperatures and a nice mix of wind and showers made for a very cozy experience. We ate brownies straight out of the oven, I finished a quilt for my friend Ashley's baby boy (who has yet to make his debut), and we had what I pretended was a picnic with lunch from Seven Stars. I say pretended because Matt decided -at the last minute- that Hope Street was an unsatisfactory location for the engagement shoot he was doing later on, so we spent our picnic time driving around Providence looking for somewhere better. Our picnic took place in the car, and we ended up on Benefit Street.  
Regardless, my vegetarian sandwich was delicious, as usual, with the perfect ratio of tapenade to mozzarella.
We shared a chocolate croissant...
and a chocolate chip cookie. I can never say no to chocolate. Never.
Matt was unsatisfied with the options and rather than having lunch meat or peanut butter & jam he opted for a sourdough loaf, which Ezra enjoyed as well. I want to go back already. Anyone care to join me?
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