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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

wee woodland | a quilt for Baby C

Matt's sister's friend is pregnant, due with a baby girl in December. I actually started working on this quilt for her when I found out she and her husband were trying to get pregnant a while back and picked it back up again recently so I could finish it in time for her shower this past Sunday.

All the fabric is Wee Woodland by Keiko for Moda... it has the most adorable little mushrooms, snails, and squirrels all over.

I used a charm pack for most of the quilt top and bought an extra yard of the teal stripey print to fill in the holes.

The backing is a yard of one of the white prints covered in multicolored ferns and mushrooms, plus more of the teal stripe, and I bound it in the stripe, too. What can I say? I love stripes of any stripe.

I quilted alongside the seams of each charm square on the front which gave the quilt a nice crinkly texture. I don't usually quilt so many lines but I knew it would look nicer that way. Most of the time I get lazy and try to quilt as little as possible. Does that make me a bad quilter? Probably.

A little handwritten label completed the project. I'm hoping to order some real labels soon! Just working out a few details and then I'll be the proud owner of some personalized ribbons :)

And I couldn't resist one last little gift to go along with the quilt - two onesies that I embellished with little pockets! They make me want to add pockets to everything. 

P.S. Speaking of babies, it's crazy for me to think that at this time two years ago I was a little over twelve hours away from meeting Ezra for the first time! Can't believe my little guy will be two years old tomorrow!

Monday, October 29, 2012

live from Rhode Island! | Hurricane Sandy

We've battened down the hatches here in Cranston, but so far the weather has just been rainy and windy, or as Ezra would say, "wet out." These images are of East Matunuck where my grandparents' beach house was (the house is still there, they just don't own it anymore). My family spent lots of warm and sunny days down in Jerusalem (I always loved that it's called that), and now much of the area is under water and it's far from warm and sunny!

the East Matunuck breakwall

water right up to Jim's Dock, my favorite place to collect rocks and shells as a kid

My prayers go out to the people who live and work along the Atlantic coast right now. Stay safe! 

Friday, October 26, 2012

hello weekend

I can't believe it's the last weekend in October! Where is this season going?? To make sure we keep things autumnal around here for a little while longer, we joining some friends for a fall dinner tomorrow night (I'm making this) and I'm planning on finishing up Ezra's Halloween costume in time for the Trunk or Treat event at our church next Wednesday. Oh, and I can't forget that I need to prepare for Ezra's birthday party which is the day after that! Looks like we have a busy weekend ahead of us.

A little weekend reading for you...
- read about a day in the printshop
- PSA: free printable watercolor wedding invitations, and they're so pretty!
- these pom pom bookmarks look so cute all stacked up!
- adding a personalized memory game to Ezra's Christmas list
- love this simple idea for a mime costume
- can't wait to make myself a fancy sequin tee
- ...mine, too
- you can have a custom stuffed animal made to look like your dog!
- might need to make a scrap fabric garland for Ezra's party
- this sneak peek of Madewell's Spring 2013 line is amazing!

Happy happy weekend!

image via Making It Lovely

Thursday, October 25, 2012

tea with Rose | Pastiche

Pastiche is a place known for its fabulous desserts, but they also serve tea in cute little pots so Hillary and I decided to stop there for our tea tour last this month (check out here post over here). There's so much to love about Pastiche - the cozy fireplace, the mirrors alongside the few booths, the chocolate mousse... I could go on, but we were there for tea so I avoided temptation and didn't look in the direction of the dessert case too much. Instead, I ordered a simple almond biscotti and a pot of mint melange. I'm a big fan of mint tea and while this one wasn't anything mind blowing, it was good and hit the spot.

As you can see, Ezra is totally on board with the tea tour and drinks a cuppa of his own now. The waiter was kind enough to get a little espresso cup that was more his size. I also got a lemon poppy scone to share, but Ezra ate the entire thing. I didn't even get a crumb.

I don't know about you but I've been enjoying our tea tour very much. Those of you who are local - have you tried any of the places we've been to? We love places that brew their own blends but haven't come across many. Have any recommendations for us? We'd love to hear!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

it's a plane! | a quilt for Will

Another quilt finish! I've been whipping them up lately. This one was for my friend Keri's son Will who is almost two months old now. His nursery, although a blank slate as of now, will be decorated with a vintage airplane theme in mind, so I picked up a US Navy commemorative fabric that I found on Etsy.

The pattern is a modified large log cabin block, and when I say modified I mean I calculated my measurements wrong and had to make it work. Oops! Math was never my best subject.

I chose graphic red and blue fabrics to complement the airplanes - some chevron, polka dot, and a weird red pattern that reads as a stripe that I think is Flea Market Fancy. When I came up short with the design I had sketched I decided to add some red, blue, and tan seersucker, too. I couldn't believe how soft the seersucker made the quilt - so much more cozy than regular quilting fabrics and absolutely perfect for a baby. I definitely plan on using more seersucker in my quilts.

The back is a simple patchwork using scraps from the front. I think almost all of my quilt backs end up being scrappy. It's always fun to deviate from the pattern on the top and come up with something completely unique while using up some of the scraps!

I quilted along either side of the seams of the log cabin squares to echo the pattern on the top of the quilt, so it looks pretty random on the back. 

Stripey bindings are one of my favorites, and this red seersucker didn't disappoint. Hopefully Will is as happy with his quilt as I am!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

bread and veggie goodness | my recreation of a Seven Stars classic

Yesterday I talked about Seven Stars in my post about their annual coat drive, and I forgot that I planned on writing about my favorite sandwich from the same bakery today. So welcome to unofficial Seven Stars week at the tiny hummingbird! A couple of weeks ago I bought everything I would need to recreate my favorite sandwich, the vegetarian from Seven Stars. It's composed mainly of mozzarella, arugula, and roasted red peppers which are all layered between two halves of a freshly baked baguette spread with black olive tapenade. I could eat one every day and not get tired of it. Since I love them so much I decided it would be a good idea to try to make it at home so I can have one whenever I please. I wasn't brave enough to make my own baguette (maybe someday!) so I bought that at Seven Stars. The fresh mozzarella was from Narragansett Creamery, and I picked up the roasted red peppers and tapenade at Trader Joe's. The greens I used were a spring mix from Olivia's Organics. I figured I'd have the arugula with some other greens mixed in for added nutrition. 

Something about the sandwich from Seven Stars was better than mine, but I'm still glad I tried it.

I'll definitely be making it again... now I just need to start making my own bread. 

images for collage: mozzarella / tapenade / arugula / baguette / roasted red peppers

Monday, October 22, 2012

coats for coffee | a local coat drive

It's such a beautiful fall day out but us New Englanders know that, sadly, this weather is going to turn cold and icy much sooner than we would like it to. I wanted to take a minute to let all you Rhode Islanders know that Seven Stars is hosting their fifth annual coat drive for the next two weeks. It's also sponsored by Providence MonthlyCourtesy Cleaners  and the Boys and Girls Club of ProvidenceJust drop a new or gently used coat off at any Seven Stars or Courtesy Cleaners location between today and November 4th, and you'll receive a free coffee! Since I don't drink coffee I'm hoping they'll give me a cup of hot chocolate :)  

image via you have broken the internet
P.S. Can you believe that coat rack is DIY?! Matt is definitely making one for us. I just haven't told him yet.  

Friday, October 19, 2012

hello weekend

Every year in October I'm reminded of how much I love living in New England. Oak leaves have been swirling at our side door for days and I'm actually looking forward to raking them up so Ezra can jump in them soon. Besides some yard work, this weekend I hope to visit the carnival that's in town (we didn't end up getting there last weekend), make a batch of peach basil jam, and go to a joint birthday party for two of my little cousins. How are you spending yours?

- PSA: you can now purchase prints from blueflash! (My favorite is the farm house.)
- I firmly believe that one can never have two many cheese cracker recipes
- this house is always in search of the perfect chocolate chip cookie
- love the use of big dot fabric as a quilt back
- is meeting Martha on your life list?
- what mama says made me smile
- wish this patisserie was located in Rhode Island!

Wow, that seems like a shorter list than usual. I guess it was slim pickings around the internet this week! Did you find anything cool out there in the blogosphere?

image via design seeds

Thursday, October 18, 2012

elephants and polka dots | a quilt for Avery

Yesterday I said goodbye to this pretty quilt and sent it off in the arms of a mama awaiting the arrival of her second daughter. I think this quilt is my favorite one yet (I always seem to think that), but I know it's going to be well loved.


Thanks to my brother for helping me get a few shots of the quilt while we were out shopping last week :)



It was inspired by little Avery's nursery - soft yellow and pale gray with an elephant motif. I loved picking out the fabrics for this beauty. They're all from Pink Chalk Fabrics and fabricworm.

 Simple gray binding ties it all together.

And if any of you are wondering, I used this pattern from Fresh Lemons. Now on to the next baby quilt! This season has me busy busy busy...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

on Block Island


We just got back from Block Island last night and I'm still getting organized. Even after just a two day trip it seems like I have so much to do. The fridge was empty and needed filling, Ezra was running low on clean underwear, and it looks like a small toy store exploded in our living room. I've tackled a few tasks today, but I wanted to share a few photos from our trip before I forgot.
We visited this guy at Abrams Animal Farm as well as alpacas, goats, a half zebra/half pony, and lots of other exotic animals. Ezra loved feeding them from his hand, and seemed oblivious to the ducks trying to eat his fingers along with the feed.


Of course we had to visit Mohegan Bluffs and the Southeast Lighthouse. We biked there from the house we were staying with my parents, and once we arrived we trekked down over a hundred steps to walk along the ocean.


Although we had a nice couple of days there, it's definitely better to visit during the summer if you want a good selection of restaurants and to be able to shop. We ate at Mabel's and the Mohegan. I look forward to visiting again. Have you ever been to Block Island?

Friday, October 12, 2012

hello weekend

Brrr! Ezra and I just got back from the children's museum and we're huddled under a blanket together (he's napping, I'm blogging... obviously). As much as I would love a crisp fall weekend, I don't mind the rain today - it makes snuggling so much more fun. Tonight we're headed to dinner at our friends' house, and I think we might be squeezing in a mini photo shoot, which is always fun. Then tomorrow Matt's doing a shoot (I'm tagging along) and in the afternoon we're going to a corn maze with the teens from our youth group. On Sunday our friends Matt and Kayla are getting married - hooray for weddings! - and I'm hoping we can squeeze in a visit to a carnival that just popped up around the corner from our neighborhood some time before the weekend is over. And if you're wondering about that very unseasonal image up there, we're headed to Block Island for a couple days next week before everything completely closes for the season. I have a short list of places to go, but I'm wondering if you've been to Block Island and know of any special spots to visit... any recommendations? 

Of course I can't leave you without any weekend reading ;)
- aren't these mini terrariums adorable?
- the best apples might be apples covered in salted caramel
- adding this Rhode Island pixel shirt to my Christmas list, via Amanda Jane Jones
- some fun travel inspired fashion
- can't wait to make this black bean and butternut squash enchilada soup next week!
- and cheese-stuffed burgers, too
- I'd love for Ezra to create artist trading cards when he's older
- if I was pregnant I'd wear this costume for Halloween
- some day I think I'd like a cabin with bunk beds
- made this apple crisp last night and it was amazing!

Enjoy the weekend!

image via Crow's Nest Postcards

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A & L Co. | world's best sugar scrub

Ever since middle school I have been obsessed with shower scrub. The first time I used one I was at my cousin's house and I just used whatever products were in the shower and I remember thinking something along the lines of, "why they heck are there miniature rocks in this shower gel?" I soon realized their purpose when I emerged from the shower with super soft skin. Since then I've tried various scrubs, never really committing to a brand or scent, but with my new discovery of A&L Co. products it's safe to say I've found a keeper.

A&L Co. sugar scrub is part of a line of organic and chemical free skin care products, so I was excited to see how it measured up to the drugstore products and specialty store brands I was used to. Let me just say that when my (adorable quilted) 4 ounce jar was empty I immediately wanted more. The lemon ginger scent was refreshing rather than overpowering, and the amount of oil in the scrub seemed to be perfect. I don't know about you, but I've used some scrubs that leave your skin so slick it's hard to remain standing. After rinsing, my skin was smooth and soft, a nice improvement from the dry skin I'd been dealing with since the weather turned cool. 


If you're looking for skin care products that will make you look and feel great, I highly recommend checking out A&L Co. I also have a lip balm that smells just like fall (it's scented like chai tea!), and I can't wait to try the new ginger stick. Have you had a positive experience with organic or chemical free skincare?

Disclosure: A&L Co. provided me with this product for the purpose of providing a review. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

what to do with quinoa

Last week I wrote about Brussels sprouts and a few different ways to cook them because I've learned that they're a very versatile vegetable and I actually really like them. I thought I would share a few more recipes featuring an underappreciated food that we love - quinoa. Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is kind of like a grain and kind of like pasta, but it's neither. It cooks quickly and easily and is super healthy - it's a source of complete protein, contains calcium, and is high in dietary fiber. When cooked, quinoa has a light and fluffy texture and a mild flavor that makes it a good alternative to rice or cous cous. If you'd like to try it, I highly recommend these recipes...

black bean quinoa burgers - If your pantry is well-stocked then this is a great last minute dinner. Everything gets mixed together in a bowl and then you form patties with your hands and panfry them. We like ours topped with melted cheese and carmelized onions. Oh, and I cook the onions in the recipe, too.

one pot kale and quinoa pilaf - One pot meals usually scare me off, but this one is a keeper. The quinoa combines with steamed kale, toasted pine nuts, and a lemony sauce to create a flavorful dish that's light but quite filling. I always use goat cheese instead of feta.

sweet potato and quinoa salad - I don't really like cutting up potatoes, but it's worth it to make this salad. After you cook the quinoa and roast the potatoes the rest is simple assembly. The cranberries add the perfect amount of sweetness.

Do you have any quinoa recipes that you like? I'd love to try them!

image via One Hungry Mama

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

print and pattern | choosing fabric for a quilt

Last night I finished this quilt, and as I was admiring the fabric I remembered that there had been others in the running. I thought it would be fun to share my other favorite pattern and print combination here before I post about the actual finished quilt. The mama whose baby will own this quilt wanted something a little more subdued than the above fabrics, but I still love them and might just have to purchase some of that elephant fabric for my stash. There are some interesting ways to ensure you have a good mix of fabrics (maybe I'll have to write a post on that some day, would you be interested?) when designing a quilt, but lots of times I just go with the ones I love, like bold graphics, bright colors, and whimsical animal prints. Which one is your favorite?

(Sadly, I can't find the dot print for sale anymore. Anyone have any leads?)

Friday, October 5, 2012

hello weekend

Anyone else wondering where fall went? It's almost 80° here! We're not complaining though... we're soaking up the sun by playing tee ball in the yard. I hope the weather stays nice this weekend because we have a few outdoor activities planned... apple and pumpkin picking (finally) and a trip to the Scituate Art Festival. I'm also helping to lead a girls retreat tonight, so I'm sure I'm in for a late night! Tomorrow I'm hoping to do a deep clean of the house and then we're celebrating Matt's mom's birthday (check out last year's celebration right here). And if I can squeeze it in, I hope to finish this quilt. What are you up to this weekend?

- can you spare a minute or two? go here and vote for my mom's quilt... scroll down and check the box next to "Jodi's Sampler"
- did you know you can make an omelet in a Zip-loc bag?
- cool illustrations of J.Crew's Spring 2013 line
- one of the best things about fall: layering
- and how to relish autumn. on it.
- really cute care packages: one and two
- gah! an elephant on a bicycle! I want it.
- some thoughts on style. I concur.
- and some brilliant thoughts on getting ready for baby

If you have one, enjoy the long weekend, and I'll see you back here on Tuesday!

image via The Yard

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

raspberry pistachio macaroon tart

I recently found some photos of a dessert I made over the summer that I realized I never shared here. It's a raspberry pistachio macaroon tart from Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day (adapted recipe here) and I surprised myself even wanting to make it because it's not chocolate. I highly recommend the recipe - it came together quickly with little mess and is easily adaptable to what you have on hand (I didn't have blackberries so I used raspberries instead - easy substitution). While you're at it, check out the entire cookbook. If the recipes themselves don't entice you the photographs surely will. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

what to do with Brussels sprouts | fall cooking

Hey! Happy Monday! Sorry, but that seems to be the way I always start my posts at the beginning of the week. I don't use the computer a lot of the weekends, if at all, so I feel like I'm reentering the world of the internet and a cheery greeting seems necessary. Please forgive me if I repeat myself!

Anyway, this post is reminiscent of my past menu of the week posts which almost always went live on Mondays. With fall upon us there are tons of new recipes to try - everything hearty and cozy and always delicious. Brussels sprouts are not a vegetable I would usually eat, but they're in season so when my mom gave me two pounds from the garden I decided to experiment. Here are three stellar sprout recipes you should have in your repetoire... 

whole grain spaghetti with Brussels sprouts and mushrooms - Giada never lets me down, and this recipe is no exception. How can you go wrong with crème fraîche? However, I highly recommend skipping the salt and pepper at the end of the recipe and seasoning to taste instead, or else you run the risk of your dinner being severely oversalted. (I originally found the recipe in Weeknights with Giada which had lots of other yummy recipes... definitely worth checking out!)

Brussels sprout lemon pizza - We love pizza around here, but we tend to stick to the same old toppings - usually pineapple or peppers and onions - so when I saw this recipe in Whole Living a few months back I dogeared the page for future use. I couldn't believe how amazing the lemon slices were, so don't skip them!

salmon and Brussels sprouts with ginger scallion sauce - I tried this recipe from Dinner A Love Story a while back and wanted to bring it back into the rotation. We have salmon a lot but I never do much with it, so this is an easy way to spice things up.

Do you have any fall recipes that I should try?

image via Martha Stewart
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