Topic #16 from the Baby Making Machine playlist

1. First...My lovely children...sometimes they may stress me out, sometimes they can make me mad, but everyday I love them...more and more and more...

2. Second...Graduating college in 4 years...some people take a whole life time to graduate...I am just happy my mind was set and I was able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

3.  Third...Graduating college Magna Cum Laude with Honors (may I add...)...I really don't want to brag, but yes I did...I know I may come off at times like a ding dong or empty headed...but I am not. I work hard, always have...and let me just say I am damn (excuse me) proud. I know I may seem ditzy, but I am SMARTER than what most may think.... I am. 

4. Fourth...I have not fully submerged myself in my career...sacrifices, sacrifices, sacrifices....but I am content with where it has led me. I have one COOL career...well both of them are pretty awesome....

5. Fifth...Having the ability to love...Love is broad...when you open your open your mind. 

Great, great gift idea.

Braided Rag Rug Tutorial. Made from old t-shirts.

Make your own

how to make curtains using burlap no sew

These are some pretty rockin' DIY's.  I hope that y'all feel inspired!  L-O-V-E the french bee stencil pattern and the burlap curtains.  What are some of your favs?

Hello again Urbanites.  Here is a Saturday "sneak peek" at what I have been working on recently (now that my Janome MC1100 is FINALLY out of the shop- YAY!  LOVE my machine.).

 This dress is for my soon to be four year old and is meant to be a dress with "room to grow".  Unfortunately, I don't have any before and after pics, but the bottom half is easy to visualize as it was EXACTLY as you see it now.  It was an old skirt of mine, I think from high school or college, and as I never throw a useful scrap of cloth away...this has been just sitting in my craft closet, waiting for it's debut..

 It has a very full skirt, which meets the requirements of the four year old :)  and I am not too keen on the route 66 pattern on the skirt, it is a cute and appropriately colorful one for my daughter.

So what is the top made of?  The top is an egg shell off-white cotton sleeveless top that once belonged to an older woman who decided to clean out her closet.  So not only do I NOT throw fabric away, I also collect it in whatever form it comes.

  So I pinned the two pieces together and sized them to my daughter.  Whenever I do this, I am really a "just get in there and do it person" rather than a "lets measure and make a pattern" person.  My daughter was brave enough to allow me to do all this while she was wearing the dress, and that was the discerning factor in whether or not I could get away with no measuring this time. 

But after fitting and then sewing together, there was a new problem.  I wanted this to be a dress that had "room to grow", but it was already a little on the tight side- not when it was on, but when it was being pulled on.  So because the arm hole on one side was already aligned with the skirts side zipper, I could just open up the sleeve and re-sew it on each side of the zipper.  So now the zipper will close up the under arm after dressing and then a bow will be tied at the top.

 So, I said that I fitted it to my daughter.  How did I do that?  Well, I think that one of the perks of sewing adult clothes into children's clothing is that I can cheat and use existing seams and basic shapes.  It is kinda like starting out with a short-cut.  For this dress I put in a pleat that goes down the back of the top and is continued down through the skirt.  Once again, I eyeballed this.  First I just pleated it so that it looked appropriate with the shape of the neck line in the back, then when I put it on my daughter I fitted it more to her and to the waist of the skirt.  It actually did not require much adjustment.

Here is a close-up of the pleat in the back.

 This is how the neck line looks in the front at the moment.  That embroidery is part of the original top.  I have a piece pinned across to raise up the neck line and afterwards I think that I plan to put in some ruffles down the front from the neck line to the waist band...not decided yet.  The embroidery is not so bad, but a small part of it was sewn over resulting in a crooked look that I am not sure that I can live with and taking out the stitching is not an option.

Here is a look at how full the skirt is.

SO, I will have to see how the front on the dress turns out.  As soon as that is done, the dress will be complete.  :)

Happy Thursday Urbanites!
Today I have a short post about a yummy, fun drink: Family friendly (Virgin) Mojitos.

Here are the receipes:

#1) Quick and Simple:
(This is a glass by glass receipe, nice for when you're in the mood at home and don't need to make a big batch, or so that everyone can "customize" their own drink.)


  • 3-4 fresh mint leaves
  • crushed ice
  • ginger ale
  • 1-2 Tbs of course, dry (when possible) brown sugar

Fill glass about half full with crushed ice.  Add mint leaves, ginger ale, and sugar.  Stir and enjoy!

-Pretty easy, right?

#2) Strawberry Mojito:

  • 12 large limes, quartered
  • 20 large mint leaves
  • 7-8 medium strawberries
  • 3/4 cup to 1 cup sugar
  • Ice
  • 1 liter club soda
Add limes, mint leaves, strawberries and sugar to a sturdy pitcher. Use a long-handled muddler, French rolling pin or wooden spoon to muddle the ingredients until mint leaves and strawberries are pulverized and limes have released all their juices.
Add ice and club soda and serve immediately.
You can do everything ahead of time except the addition of ice and soda--do this just before serving. 

#3) Sherbet Mojito


Original recipe makes 14 cups:
  •  2 cups of Water
  • 1 1/2 cups of white sugar
  • 2 cups of mint leaves, chopped
  • 2 cups of lime sherbet, softened
  • 1 cup of lime juice
  • 1 cup of water
  • 8 cups of club soda
  • lime slices for garnish


  1. Combine 2 cups water and the sugar in a microwave-safe bowl; heat in microwave on High for 5 minutes. Stir the mint into the water; let stand for 5 minutes. Strain and discard the mint leaves from the syrup; set aside.
  2. Stir the lime sherbet, lime juice, and 1 cup water together in a large pitcher until well combined. Pour the mint-infused syrup into the mixture. Add club soda and stir. Serve over ice. Garnish with lime slices.
Enjoy your refreshing mojitos this summer!

Hello all you Urbanites checking out our blog.  Today is DIY Tuesday.  But today we aren't talking about restoring an old dresser, making chalkboard paint, or making dresses out of t-shirts.  TODAY, is about family and child photography, a subject close to my heart.

So, we pretty much all have digital cameras now.  Digital has, by now, just about taken completely over.  That is a good thing, right?  It can be...and it can also lead to other issues.  Digital gives us instant feed back and photoshopping capabilities and the ability to shoot large to vast quantites of photos with never a worry or thought.  All great, right?  Well...the problem has become in our time that we often HAVE pictures, but the only place they can be displayed is on our hard drives.  So the second thing we have to do is get a select few PRINTED (developed) for ACTUAL home viewing. (For more help on what to do with those hordes of family photos, see my web site:

WAIT, the "second thing"?

What comes first is actually taking the pictures.  And we are focusing today on how to take great basic, candid shots of the kids and the fam.


digital camera (any kind)
memory card
the right lighting
victims kids and/or other family members

So what is the first thing that anyone needs to know about candid shots?  To me, it is that
1) you need to have your camera ON your person and ready to go quite often to really be ready to "capture the moment"
2) be prepared with a minimum SD card storage size of 4G.  I can max out 4G in one evening EASY.  Even if you think that that is too large for you, just remember that there are alot of times when you will still have pictures from a previous shoot on your card and when you go to use it again- the LAST things you want to see is the "Memory Full" notice coming up just as Johnny is blowing bubbles and turning sommersaults.

After following just those two bits of advice, your chances will have greatly increased already.
But I have a few other basic tips that will increase the odds as well.

Lighting.  Your greast friend or greatest foe in picture taking.  I would say that if you are interested in indoors picture taking, then choose a room with nice window access and pay attention over the course of a day to when the light in that space is best.  Typically, that will be in the morning (maybe around 10am, depending on where you are) or the evening just before sunset (like 20 minutes before) because you are going to want a softer light.  And anytime you can manage it, the ideal light is going to be a softer, more diffused light- so what is soft, diffused light?

Soft, diffused light is less direct and harsh.  It leaves less shadow and the shadows it does moake are not so strongly defined.  Diffused means that instead of the light source shinning directly on the subject, in this case the sun, that there is something between the light source and the subject diffusing, or spreading out, the light cast over the subject.  in nature this would usually be the clouds.

So if you are doing an outdoor shoot, a cloudy day could be a great opportunity to take advantage of some great light.

But first, back to the indoor shooting.  Once you have observed when is the best time of day next to your window/light source then you can either
1) wait for the next opportunity to present its self with camera in hand at that particular time of day, OR
2) you can give the kids a bit of insentive to play in the chosen location at the chosen time by setting up somethng interesting for them to "discover" at just the right time.

Take a few shots and then review them to check if there is too much shadow on the faces of your subjects.  If there is too much shadow
1) try to turn your subject so that they are facing the light source more, OR
2) use a fill flash, or red eye flash with a dialed down flash stength.  If you have a compact digital with only one flash function and no way of decreasing the flash strength, try one finger covering over part of the flash and see what amount of finger-flash-covering works best to get the desired result.

Just be careful, no one wants over exposed, washed out looking pictures.  So be sure you don't just trade shadows for another problem.

That beign said, let's move on to outdoor shooting.
Same rules apply concerning lighting and flash, BUT how can we take good outdoor photos in bright sunlight?  Here are a few tips to help a bit in this area:
1) find some shade.  Under the branches of a tree you can sometimes find some great diffused light, just be careful not to only be adding a dapple shadow over the face of the subject.  The problem of a shadow CAN be helped to a degree if you use a flash, though.
2) Use an umbrella, or whatever else you may have and make your own shade.  A tent in the backyard to kids?
3) try, try, TRY again

It really takes practice to and observation to find just the right lighting, location, and amount of flash or no flash to take that perfect pic.

Hope these tips will help some of you out there to take better exposed indoor and outdoor candid photos.  So go have fun, practice, and keep trying!
OUTSIDE: with fill flash.  This gives a warm glow and takes some shadow away.
OUTSIDE: no fill flash
Bright sun, NO fill flash
Bright sun, with fill flash.  can = over exposure
Pieces of the Berlin Wall: picture taken on the shaded side for softer light
Subject in full sun, facing light.  Strong light is harsh and hard on the subject.
Next Tuesday DIY I'll talk about better focus and tack sharp photos!

Topic #15 from theBaby Making Machine playlist

I knew my husband was "THE ONE" when I first met him...well, I did not know for sure for sure...but I think I was pretty sure. He had morals, he was ambitious and still is, and he was not a ding-dong.  Most of all he is more than I could have ever imagined. I did not tell him first off what I thought because I did not want to scare him but I did talk to my mom about it...thinking about it. I loved my husband early on because I fell in love with compassionate side and I feel so blessed that he saw me for who I am. I said this before and I will say it again...He is my everything and I love him soooo much and I could have not have found a better father for my children....He is the BEST father EVER...a good man... and a good husband. 

Topic # 13 from theBaby Making Machine playlist

Hmmm....The hardest part about growing up for me was growing up. People change, ideas change, friends change, boyfriends change, college major change, etc...This is the adaptation of life and we just have to deal with it. We live, learn, and eventually we work with what we have and hopefully we try not to lose ourself in the process.

As a mother I would hope my children have a happy childhood, honest friends, and close family relations. I would hate for my children to lose their "identity" because they want to fit in. I hope and I pray that they know that they are loved and though they may not be special to there peers or other people they may come across, they will ALWAYS be special, beautiful, intelligent, and so much more to me and their dad.

My children and I have extremely sensitive skin and since moving to a new a state I think I am allergic to the grass and outside during spring time. With that said...I needed to find/make something that was not as thin as a sheet but inexpensive for when my family goes on picnics or temple trips. 

I don't know how this idea came about but I was thinking this is sooo is wipeable, thick, colorful, and can stay in my car....Did I mention...Cheap? It literally took 30 minutes to sew and was less than $10 to make. 

2 wipeable table cloths or oil cloths
Ribbon, Trim, etc...**(optional)

Basically, it is like sewing a pillow except larger without the stuffing. 

Before I had my son, I always painted my girls nails and put make up on them...they would see mommy do it and it made them feel special. This is a tradition that I hope to keep. 

This time around. I decided to test out color in their hair by using pastels (art supply) that I already had. I cleansed their faces with witch hazel (like mommy does) and then I applied makeup (note: they chose their own color lipsticks and eyeshadows) and painted nails. They felt so special and loved every moment of it.  I don't put make up on them all the time only once in a blue moon. 

Note: My youngest daughters hair was dry when I applied the pastels to her hair so I don't think the color showed up as well as it did on my older daughter. 

While my girls are having a son was playing with his toys and using his sensory skills. 

I love my children to pieces! 

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