Fun for Father’s Day


This year, we went out of town the weekend of Father’s day so we celebrated it officially when we got back and into the groove of things a little, on Monday evening. We had fondue (I asked for Anya’s input and she immediately asked for “hotdue”…not sure anyone wants that though ūüėČ and a fun little family party. If you ask me- these are some of my favorite times- we plan a special dinner, we decorate- sort of- and we spend a lot of time gathering and making surprises for different members of the family. These are almost more valuable and memorable than the big parties with lots of faces and barely time to sit and take it in. I love our growing family and the fun things we do together.


Anya was so happy about giving her daddy a squid/jellyfish/whatever the heck that thing is ornament for Father’s Day. She also picked him out a fishy and herself a dolphin.


Helping Daddy open presents- swiss army knife he’d been meaning to get. Why is it that I got a Tiffany Necklace for mother’s day and he got um…a knife and xmas ornaments?? =)


I can’t decide which of the presents was my favorite but the book was pretty awesome because it was so full of Anya and she LOVED it and wanted to read it with Daddy over and over.

Click here to view this photo book larger

Shutterfly baby photo books are the perfect way to preserve your baby’s precious moments.

This was Daddy’s other present: a photo session of the girls in daddy shirts (Anya’s is an octopus because he has shared his love of all things ocean with her) in a frame with a mat painted by Anya and their hands entwined at the thumbs. ‚̧ my girls and they love their daddy.

Fondue time! I think this is officially the Fuller’s favorite meal and it was delicious!

Even Bianca enjoyed the “hotdue.” It was an awesome night and will be a memory we will cherish for years to come- well at least I will and I hope my family feels the same!

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Somewhere Over the Rainbow

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I know I’m tutu obsessed right now but here’s the one I made for Jocelyn- Anya’s modeling it for me! It’s not perfect- the layers should’ve been slightly longer or at least more even on the bottom but it still turned out cute and when Anya took it off she said she wished it was her tutu =)

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This was actually pretty simple except the darn casing for the elastic but that’s a whole story in and of itself. Here’s a brief summary of what I did. Folded over tulle in each color and cut. Put all tulle together and hemmed the top to allow room to run the elastic through one fold (this was a flaw though- I should have put all the tulle together and then cut it and folded it over together instead of cutting separately- then there would have been only one pocket- as it was I ended up with four). Next I sewed ribbon onto every other layer (so one layer of each color was ribbon edged- made the skirt fuller without all the extra work. Lastly, I strung the elastic through and (very poorly) sewed the waist on- I got some of the elastic when I was sewing- I need to make the casing of the waist a little longer I think. Oh and then I sewed on a ribbon bow to the front to cover up some mistakes in the sewing =). Overall, I’m not embarassed to be giving it as a “gift.” Hope my best bud and her “baby” love it!

A Tutu for Tatum

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I was talking to my friend Hope about the tutu I made for Bianca and she mentioned she’d like one. Since the one I made for B was a first (very poor I admit) attempt at a tutu, I knew I didn’t want to copy that “pattern” so instead I decided to try a no sew ribbon edged tutu. Of course, I cut the pieces first instead of just lining the edges with ribbon and then cutting them into strips so it kind of took a while but I’m pretty sure it turned out kinda sorta awesome- what do you think?

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Next up, finishing my rainbow tutu and fourth of July tutus for the girls (do I really have time to knock them out before the fourth??? We shall see I guess!!).

Easy Tulle Tutu Skirt

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If you can sew a straight(ish) line you can make a tutu- who knew? So, I have officially been sewing on my sewing machine for a week. Gosh, has it only been that long? So far, I’ve made a dress out of pre-designed fabric, a bunch of burp cloths and working on my third tutu if I can ever bring myself to sew the last row of ribbon on I’d be done. First, sewing on a machine is easier than I though. Sewing straight…not so much. However, once I learned to thread my machine I didn’t need much help with the rest. I still don’t know how to read a pattern (I picked one out and put it back when I discovered that I couldn’t even figure out how much fabric I needed), but I did make some really easy tutu skirts that I “designed” myself. There are a few things I’m still working on but they turned out pretty well.

Here’s what you need:

Tulle

5/8″ ribbon

7/8″ elastic- colored to match the skirt or white

7/8″ ribbon if you decide to leave the back open- unnecessary if you plan to sew the elastic closed

First, measure the child around the waist and quadrouple that number (for a fuller tutu you may even want to multiply by 5 or 6)- this will be the length of your tulle and ribbons. Then, measure from waist to knee- this will be the width of your tulle. You can make it as many layers as you want but for my sparkle tutu I simply folded it once to give two layers. This made a very very sheer tutu. I also made mine a little long. For the ribbon edged tutus I think a little shorter and fuller is better but it’s all about trial and error. For my three year old, I cut my tulle the full 3 yards of tulle and about 11-12 inches long. I cut the elastic about 18 inches long.

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Next, aline your tulle and iron the fold so that the ends of the tulle are even. If you’re doing more than two layers I actually recommend folding your pice of tulle several times and sewing them together before you cut all the edges instead of trying to piece it together after cutting because it’s hard to line the tulle up exactly right once it’s in pieces. Press the fold with your iron so that it has a firm crease (this will eliminate the need for pinning). Line up the fold about an inch from your needle and sew a pocket for the elastic. Make sure you sew straight because this is the only part of the product that needs accuracy. You cannot rip seams out of tulle.

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Now, cut your ribbon to the same length as you’ve made your tutu. Pin it to the edges of the tulle. If you have cut your tulle straight it is easiest to pin the ribbon even with the bottom of the skirt even though you will sew it onto the skirt at the top of the ribbon. Line the edge of the ribbon up with the presser foot. On my machine, I leave the sewing setting at 00 which puts the needle slightly to the left. This allows me to sew a line alone the very top of the ribbon. You could also sew it in the middle of the ribbon if you want. You can just edge the top layer or you can do every layer or every other layer depending on the look you’re going for.

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Lastly, put the elastic on a safety pin and thread it through the pocket to gather the tulle together. Sew up the end of the elastic to create a circle or attach to your 7/8″ ribbon and tie. If you close the elastic, hand sew the ribbon on the back edges together so it will stay together. You could also sew a seam all the way up but it doesn’t seem necessary.

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The next time I make one, I’m going to buy some satin fabric and sew a casing around the band to keep the itchy tulle from coming in contact with skin (if you do this you’d obviously need to do it before inserting the elastic and do it the entire length of your tutu). I also may thread a ribbon through on top of the elastic and put a bow on the front or back through an opening in the casing.

Hope that made sense and if not leave me a comment and I’ll try to explain. It really was a super easy project once I figured out the best way to do it.

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Crockin’ It

A couple weeks ago I tried a new recipe: Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings. I took the basic recipe and changed it a bit. It was creamy, rich, and delicious. Here’s what I did:

4 chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of potato soup
water or chicken broth to cover chicken and potatoes
potatoes- chunks
onion- chopped
celery- chopped
carrots- chunks
pepper to taste
one can of refrigerated biscuits cut in half

Place chicken and potatoes in bottom of crockpot and cover in soup. Add pepper and spices to taste. I used a small amount of organic no salt seasoning (basically italian herbs I believe) to taste as well. Turn on low for about 6 hours. When there’s about 2 hours left, add celery and carrots. With about an hour- hour and a half left arrange biscuits on top of chicken. Cover and cook on high for last hour to slightly brown the biscuits.

I believe cooking the biscuits slightly less time then others have recommended makes them more like biscuits and less mushy like dumplings. I really liked it that way though. I didn’t include amounts for most of the stuff because you can use as much or little as you like. ¬†It was so good and everyone loved it. You can really use any vegetables you want but I really liked it with fresh veggies.

Here was the result:

Even the baby cleaned her “plate.” =) I love our crockpot and it’s amazing the quick, easy, recipes that make such great tasting meals!

What I’ve been reading…

There’s a place for everything and everyone, you know. That is the mistake they make[…]They think that only certain people have a place. Only certain kinds of people belong. The rest is waste.

~ Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

I’ve been reading a lot lately (which is one of the reasons I haven’t been posting much- all my free time has gone to reading instead of crafting!). I started with some Orson Scott Card that J bought me for Valentine’s day but still need to order the book that was missing from the Alvin Maker series at the book store (OSC needs to get with it and stop being so stuck up about e-books =). So, I moved on to the Hunger Games and from there it’s been more sci-fi teen-ish fiction. The funny thing, though, is that these books actually tackle some pretty relevant issues. I mean yeah the actual writing is a little teen-ish (though not awful by any stretch…I’ve read some pretty awful books in my day), but the actual concepts are pretty interesting.

The first series I jumped into after the Hunger Games, was Matched by Ally Condie. The premise is that there is this world where you don’t have to make any decisions at all. You never actually choose anything from the clothes you wear (everyone wears the same thing), to the food you eat (delivered three times a day to your doorstep), to your job, or even who you marry.

The one I’m reading now,¬†Delirium¬†by Lauren Oliver, depicts a world where love is a disease and scientists have found a cure. The government has made any form of affection a crime and forced all the citizens to receive the cure whether they do so willingly or not.

The ideas in the book are very similar. The government is doing it for the citizens’ own good. Disease and deformities are wiped out, peace and order are maintained with little force, and everyone is happier because of the government’s intervention. Or so it seems. In both stories, the focal point is the heroines awakening to the falseness of her life. Everything she has been brought up to believe is false and ultimately, she must join the “resistence” in order to fight the flawed system.

Both books have been somewhat entertaining and thought provoking, but it wasn’t until tonight when I was reading the second book in the Delirium series that something really hit home. The heroine, Lena, encounters some “invalids” (the term refers to uncureds and those not accepted by society). Throughout the story we have met invalids but to this point these were people who were either born outside of the boundaries of cured society or people who chose to run away to avoid the cure. These people, however, were obviously rejected by society because of their appearance. The people are all deformed: missing limbs, disproportionate features, humpbacked. They have escaped underground to escape death from the governing force. This is obviously supposed to be a shocking and disgusting idea. That all people without physical worth lack any worth at all. However, is that really any different than what is going on in our society today? Ninety percent of all¬†down syndrome¬†babies are aborted. The first question when faced with a possible ¬†in utero trisomy diagnosis is whether or not you would be interested in an abortion. Heck, in the news right now, there is a lot of controversy over whether or not gender selection abortions should be made illegal. According to Planned Parenthood, not only should they be allowed but if you want one, it should be encouraged. A recent undercover operation captured a PP employee giving advice to a “patient” seeking information on acquiring a sex selection abortion. The employee also gave helpful tips on cheating the medicaid system and getting pregnant immediately following an abortion. See the full video on live action’s website.

I wonder how many people are shocked and disgusted when reading these types of things and, yet, these things are actually happening every single day in our own country and so many people not only see nothing wrong with it but see it as “freedom.” Of course the same people who support such “freedom” often also support forced healthcare which kind of seems the opposite of freedom to me but that’s a whole different complaint about our society that I’ll save for another day.