Monday, August 30, 2010

Not so very good at this

This has been a crazy couple of weeks. However, that seems to be less and less of an oddity around here! I'm getting busy with paper cuttings. . .in fact, I shipped my very first two orders out to clients on Saturday!! It's really exciting, but unfortunately, I'm not doing a very good job of juggling everything! So very sorry for my absence from blogland. . .I'm hoping to get it together and find the balance in working all day at my job, being a Mom & wife, and then going back to work after the girls go to bed in my office with the paper cuttings.

Cross your fingers on that one! I could really use any positive thoughts you can spare. Some days it really seems like this is all going to happen, and it's going to happen a lot sooner than I ever dreamed. And then other days, it feels like it may take a few years after all, if it ever happens at all.

But mostly, I'm just thrilled to be able to create something for people that they truly love!.

xoxo Lori Danelle

Friday, August 20, 2010

After an hour in the make up chair

The last couple of days have been interesting! Once again, I have found myself involved in projects at work that just don't fit into a normal day at the office.

Myself & 3 of my co-workers were recruited as actors for a 2 day video and photography shoot for an upcoming product that my company is developing. So each morning I spend an hour (it probably wasn't quite that long, but I'm really not sure. Could have been!) in the make up chair as the very talented Susannah transformed me into this:

It was actually a lot of fun to have my hair done and get to look like real girl! ( I RARELY, if ever wear make up!!) When I came home, I had a hard time taking off the make up and jumping in the shower because I wasn't quite ready for it to end!

Today at work, though it was really nice to have smooth hair, I really just wished I had on some make up and felt pretty!! So this evening, I made a stop and picked up some supplies.
I now own hair spray.
I know.
I'm a girl. I'm supposed to have that.

And now I do.  Plus a few other things. :)
We'll see how I do.

However, chances are, you'll never see that girl up there again. :)
Oh well! It was nice while it lasted.

xoxo Lori Danelle

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

When did she get so big?

I know, there seems to be a common theme coming from me the last few days.

My girls are getting older and I'm just not sure I'm ready!!

Big started wearing a uniform to school on Monday.
At the girls' school, the kids 2 & under wear whatever their parents feel like putting them in that day, but the "Big Kid" 3 year-old and up wear a uniform. She was so excited when we were making our purchases, but when it came down to it, she was not so pleased.

Lots of crying.
One very frustrated Mom.

(I'm really not sure of my true opinion on uniforms. I don't think they're bad or anything, but I am a creative soul and have tried most of my life NOT to look like everyone else, after all!! Individuality and all that, you know?)

However, finally, we were dressed and in the car.

The first person we saw when we pulled into the daycare parking lot was another little girl from Big's class fully decked out in her new uniform as well.

Big started BEAMING. She popped right out of the car, ran up to her friend and they sort of showed each other their new Big Kid clothes.
When we got to her classroom, she very independently and marched over to the carpet where the rest of the kids were gathered, found her letter to sit on and plopped herself down with the most pleased look on her face.
SHE was a Big Kid.

I almost started crying. In fact, I'm tearing up right now!!
She was SO PROUD of herself. And I was proud of her too.

I love watching the little people that my girls are becoming, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to miss the little girls that they are right now.

xoxo Lori Danelle

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Becoming a Big Kid

Little Sister is turning 2 at the end of the month.
Yesterday she officially moved up to the 2 year-old class at school.
Little just isn't so very little anymore.

Along with that, she is getting very independent. Granted, she's still a Momma's girl, but now, she has her own thoughts. And when she decides something, watch out! She is going to get her way.

Sometimes this gets her in trouble, but most of the time it manifests itself in much more harmless ways. Odd, but harmless.

For example last week, while looking for a shirt we ran across a zip-up hoodie sweatshirt. She had to put it on IMMEDIATELY and refused to take it off, despite the 105 degree weather.

The next day, she started digging through our shoe basket and came up with 2 brown shoes.
However, one of them was Big's old brown shoe she had grown out of, and one was Little's shoe.
She had to put them on IMMEDIATELY and refused to swap either of them out for a matching pair.

I took both the other shoes to school, just in case. :)  Besides, at school she NEVER leaves her shoes on. Ever. So really, what was it going to hurt. Who says we have to wear matching shoes anyway?

Later that week as we were getting ready for bed, she found her pink Crocs. She had to put them on IMMEDIATELY and refused to take them off when it was time to get into bed. At first I tried to talk her out of it, but then I quickly realized it wasn't going to hurt anything and that they'd fall off in a matter of seconds anyway, as all Crocs do.

So I was very surprised when I came upstairs the next morning.


Sitting in bed.
Reading a book,
Shoes firmly in place.

Oh how I love this kid!! She makes me laugh.
I just want to squeeze her and hug her forever.


Hope you enjoy your silly, strong willed children today!
(assuming they're not being naughty while they're being strong willed!!!)  :)

xoxo Lori Danelle

Monday, August 16, 2010

Saved from the Goodwill Pile!

In an attempt to purge my incredibly small closet of clothes I never, nor will ever, wear again, I started a Goodwill pile last week. The girls thought the pile of clothes was quite interesting and decided they needed to play with them all.

Then it suddenly hit me.
Some of those clothes would make really cute little girl dresses!

So I pulled out an old maternity, wrapped it around Big, and made her an incredibly easy dress that she really loves!

(I forgot to take a picture before & could have sworn I had one of me in it when I was pregnant. But alas, can't find it. Sorry!!)


I started by putting the shirt on Big Sister inside-out, and pinned/marked how much I wanted to take it in. I then stretched it out, and drew a line down the entire length of the shirt with my fabric pen. With my sewing machine, I then just sewed a straight stitch, right down the line.


I then cut the excess fabric off, roughly a quarter inch from the seam & then sewed a second seam. I'm always a little worried that smocking could come undone, so I like to re-enforce it. :) Then I finished off the seam with an overlocking stitch (zig-zag works as well).

I let Big pick out fabric to make new straps to involve her a little bit, though I could have just shortened the existing ones.

By morning, she had a new dress to wear to school!!


I loved the pockets on it & Big thought they would be perfect to carry her dog in. :)

I think it's one of the cuter dresses I've ever made her & I love that is was free!! That came in handy later that day when I picked her up from school and found her covered in tomato soup!! Oh well!

xoxo Lori Danelle

(A nice long soak in OxyClean did get it all out, just so you're not worried.)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

{DIY} Bunting

This blog is no longer active. All content from this blog has been moved to my new website: To view this post on the new site, click here.
The last couple of weeks have been quite insane for me!
Good insane, but insane.
A huge jump on realizing dreams of working for myself,
But still busy, crazy, stressful, exciting, and very little sleep.

I'm just sorry it happened in the middle of such a fun time here on my blog!
I believe I owe you a few tutorials, yes?

Let's get started!!


Today I'm going to go over how I made the bunting I used over the girls' beds.

If you've hung around here long, you know I don't like things too perfect, so I made mine with a raw edge. Plus, it makes is super easy to sew up! However, I'll give notes on what to do if you'd prefer a finished edge.


Cut your chosen fabric into 4.5 inch strips, then fold into 5.5 inch sections.

CRW_0026 copy

I made a pattern out of cardboard so that I could easily cut out my fabric. To make the pattern, I cut out a rectangle that was also 4.5" x 5.5". I marked 2.75" in on the bottom of one of the 5.5" sides and then drew lines from the top left & top right corners to the bottom center.

I then laid the cardboard pattern on my folded fabric, and marked where the middle point would be with my disappearing ink pen. 


Using my rotary cutter (LOVE that thing!) and a straight edge, I lined the straight edge up to the top corners and the lines I marked for the bottom point and made my two cuts.


This will give you a stack of triangles in the middle, and if you unfold the left & right side, you'll have two more sets. There will be some smaller pieces folded up in there from the edges of your fabric. Follow these steps with as many different fabrics as you'd like until you have enough pairs of triangles to extend your desired distance.


If you want to go with unfinished edges like I did, place two triangles WRONG sides together, pin & sew 1/8th inch from the raw edge on the left & right sides. If you would like, I you can sew the top as well, but there really is no need.

(If you want  finished edges, place two triangles RIGHT sides together, pin & sew 1/8th inch from the edge on the left & right sides—leave the top open. Use a pointy object, such as a pencil or scissors, to turn the triangles right-side-out and push the point out. )

To go the really easy route, use purchased biased tape in the width of your choice. The tape I used was 1/4" wide. If you prefer you can make your own. Sandi Henderson has a good tutorial on her blog on the right side for making it yourself if you want to give it a shot.


With your fingers, open up the biased tape and lay your triangles in the middle, lining the top edge of your triangle up with the center crease of the bias tape. Fold the tape back down and pin at the two edges and in the center of the triangle. Do this along the length of your bias tape until you get it as long as you'd like.

Moving to your sewing machine, sew as close as you can to the open edge of the bias tape, thus securing the triangles and sewing the tape closed.


Hang it up and you're done!!!

Too cute and much too easy! :)
Nice little way to add some color & a personalized touch to a room. . .or even a party!!!

Now go make stuff!!

xoxo Lori Danelle

Friday, August 6, 2010

Fill in the Blank Friday

It's that time again! If you wish to do your own Fill in the Blank Friday, you can find the phrases and link up at the little things we do.

1.  Today for breakfast I ate    honey nut cheerios. not my first choice, but it gets the job done & my husband does the grocery shopping, so definitely not going to complain!_

2.  My go to/never fail recipe  _Ummm. . .I don't think I have one. Nate does most of our cooking too! But my fun food that I make the girls when we want to something a little special is Flapjacks. Basically they're crepes, without the butter. :) You cut them into quarters, roll them up and dip them in sugar. I grew up with this recipe and I believe, so did my grandma. :) You can find the recipe here

3.  Something I eat that other people think is weird is  __OK, I'm embarrassed to admit this. When eating a frozen pizza, I put ketchup on it. Yes, I just said that out loud. But PLEEZ! Let me explain. When my brother & I were younger, we often went to our Grandparents' house when my Mom needed a sitter. One of the favorite meals we had there was frozen Totino's :) pizza. Grandma would cut the pizzas up and arrange them on a single plate. Then Grandpa would pull out the ketchup. And that's where it all started. But if you stop and think about it, it's not THAT crazy. Pizza sauce, especially on frozen pizza, it very similar to ketchup. Also, this is completely isolated to frozen pizza. Anything that comes from a restaurant is off limits to the addition of condiments. Promise!!  (Hope you don't think too poorly of me now. . .)

4.  My worst cooking disaster ever was  __when I was in junior high, my best friend & I attempted to make fudge. It was bad. Really bad. So bad that the dog wouldn't even touch it. Turns out that was a good thing as I later learned that chocolate is really bad for dogs, but still! What dog doesn't WANT chocolate???? 

5.  If I could only eat one flavor of ice cream the rest of my life it would be     chocolate almond from Braum's. We don't have Braum's around here. They only have stores within something like a 500 mile radius of their farm/factory, but every time I go home it tops the list of things to do_ 

6.  One food I hate and avoid at all costs is  _black olives. Hate them. Green are OK, as are kalamata, but regular black olives are so gross! They have to be salty if you're going to get me to eat them. I do like the salt! :) 

7.  What is your favorite meal?  Breakfast, lunch, or dinner?  Dinner. I don't really eat a typical full lunch, but I love making a big dinner & having people over —though we currently rarely do— and making a celebration of it. I like the preparation too. It's just fun to bring people together over a meal.  

Hope you enjoy the glimpse into my crazy food habits. 

And please don't knock the pizza/ketchup thing until you've tried it. It's not that insane. Just a little insane. :)

xoxo Lori Danelle

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Ripe tomatoes in the garden = Yummy Salsa

After last year's garden and the all out war with the slugs, we decided that we really didn't want to take on that time consuming of an endeavor. But we still love some fresh tomatoes and a few other choice herbs & vegetables, so we planted, but we planted a lot smaller. However, after the Nashville flood in early May, our small garden became smaller when plants washed away and we were left with just tomatoes.

Fine by me.
Because you know what you make out of tomatoes?


We had planted cilantro as well, but it washed away with everything else. Oh well! Still yummy with the store bought variety. :)

Last year I shared my recipe with you. I actually had my laptop sitting in my kitchen with that page up this year so I could remember how to make it. It's so good!!! I even brought some in to work and my salsa lovin' co-workers devoured it — quickly I might add. :)

I think the best thing to do in this case is share that recipe again. Just in case you have some (or 10)  tomatoes laying around.  :)

Salsa Recipe
Be warned. This made about 6 cups of salsa and filled my blender to capacity, so you may need to make it in 2 batches which is what I did this year.

10 small to medium tomatoes, seeded and drained
1 yellow onion cut into large pieces
2 jalapenos, seeds removed
1 bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3 Tbsp Lime juice
2 tsp salt (start with 1 tsp & add as needed)
1 tsp cumin (optional, I love cumin)

Throw all of this in the blender and then use the Pulse feature on your blender and the Chop button.


(Little girls love to help with this part — but I highly suggest completely unplugging the blender every time you take the lid off!! Not talking from experience, but it just seems like wise advise.)

From this point, taste (with a chip of course!) and if you're happy, stop. If not, just start adding herbs & spices. The things I am most likely to add are salt, lime juice, cumin & maybe some chili powder if I'm wanting more heat. Always add less than you think you'll need as it's not so easy to take it out once it's in!!

I do a LOT of tasting when I cook. :)

There's a good chance it will look pink for awhile. But that's normal and is caused by the air being pulled into the mixture while in the blender.

To give the flavors a chance to blend properly and to allow your salsa to turn from pink to red and to "deflate", I prefer to put it in the fridge over night in an air-tight container.


Grab a beer or margarita and dig in!!!!

It is good straight out of the blender too.
You're not required to wait.
I never can!!!!

Oh! And one last very important question:
Are you a salsa dipper or scooper? 

I am definitely a scooper!
The chip is merely the means in which to get the salsa into my mouth.

xoxo Lori Danelle

Monday, August 2, 2010

Things Big Sister says:

Overheard as Big was picking out her clothes this morning:

"Does this match?" as she laid a pair of leggings next to her chosen shirt. "No? Aw, that's so sad."


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