Autumn Leaf Platter

This is a fun way to display your treats this season. Check out the DIY after the jump…

Use this template from Martha to cut out a selection of oak and maple leaves. I used a manila folder and some orange and gold origami paper.

Tip: Place your template on a window with your leaf paper on top (bottom side facing you) and trace. Then cut out leaf shapes.

Scatter your leaves on a unfinished wood plaque available at Michael’s or Walmart and arrange your treats!

So easy and festive!


Shortbread Cookie Recipe

It’s been chilly and rainy here. Perfect weather a cup of tea and shortbread cookies! These cookies are so delicious and easy to make and nothing beats the “wow” factor from the kiddies when they see yummy little treats in fun cookie-cutter shapes.

This is the recipe I’ve been using for years, passed on from my friend June…

June’s Shortbread

Pre-heat oven to 325.

2 cups sifted flour
1 cup butter
1/2 cup confectioners sugar (powdered)

Cream butter. Very gradually work in sugar… just a little at a time. Add flour and mix thoroughly.

Chill dough 30 minutes wrapped in plastic wrap.

Option 1: Roll dough out to 1/2 inch. Score with knife.
Option 2: Roll dough out to 3/4 inch (or pat down with hands) and cut with small cookie cutter.

Place cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle granulated sugar on the cookies (or dip front of cookies in colored sugar, get creative!)

Bake for 5 minutes at 325. Turn down to 300 and bake for 15-30 minutes. They are done when you see even the tiniest hint of browning at the bottom. The next time you make them, take them out a minute before the tiniest hint of browning. The cookies should be ivory in color.

Store cookies in a tin. Separate layers with wax paper. In my experience, these ship very well.

Here is another recipe. It includes vanilla (I’m going to try that next time) and is a bit more detailed.

I’ll stop back later with a little DIY on the presentationbut for now I’m off to cuddle with sweet babies and a plate of cookies. heaven.


DIY Simple Snuggly Baby Blanket

Simple Snuggly Baby Blanket
Last week our 100 degree temperatures suddenly disappeared, and now it finally feels like fall.  Time to make Miss S a cozy blanket for snuggling…
DIY Baby Blanket
To get a custom feel without spending a bunch, use this DIY to make your bean his or her own stylish baby blanket. Use an adorable cotton fabric on one side, and compliment it with a cozy dose of snuggly softness on the other like fleece or minkee.  Here’s one I sent off to Miss Quinn (back before we knew she was a Miss!):

Now you try!  Get the Simple Snuggly Baby Blanket DIY after the jump…

How to Sew a Simple Baby Blanket

1. Prewash, iron and cut your fabrics to your desired size, cotton for one side and minkee or something cozy on the other.  I had a yard of Echino Spring in Grey Lion so I started with that.  Lay your fabrics right-sides facing, smooth them nice and flat, then pin all the way around:

Then cut the excess fabric, leaving enough for a 3/4″ seam allowance:

2. Next you want to sew around the perimeter with a 3/4″ seam allowance, leaving a section open so you can turn your blanket inside out (depending on how thick your backing is you can decide how big your opening needs to be). I left my opening at the corner, but it’s easier if you leave it in the middle of one side:

Try not to sew your hair into the blanket, because nothing disgusts Jacinda more on earth then a stray hair:

3. Snip a square out of each corner.  This will allow you to get a nice flat corner when you turn your blanket inside out:

4. Turn your blanket and iron it flat, paying special attention to the edges to ensure your fabrics aren’t rolling onto the wrong side.  At the opening, fold the fabrics in, iron and pin in place:

5. Choose treads that coordinates or contrast, whatever your pleasure, and remember you can choose different colors for each side. Put your color for the cotton side in your spool and for the soft side in your bobbin.  With your cotton side on top, with a 5/8″ seam allowance sew a nice straight line all the way around your square.  Remember at the corners to leave the needle in the fabric, lift the presser foot, turn your fabric and put the presser foot back down to get a nice corner:

and just sew that opening closed:

I stopped there, but you could do it one or two more times around.  For added cuteness you can switch thread colors or use the same.  This time go another 1/4″ in (so 1/2″ seam allowance).

6. Snuggle!


DIY Lazy Days Skirt

The Oliver + S Lazy Days Skirt is the subject of this latest installment in our series where we give other folks’ DIYs a try. The verdict: Do it!  I enjoyed making one for Scarlet so much, I had to sew one for Clare too!  The free pattern from Oliver + S was so simple to follow; you can download it here. I can’t wait to try the more complicated Play Date Dress next time.

Materials included the last of the Joel Dewberry Tossed Flowers (Ginseng Collection) fabric in Raspberry and Camel leftover from the fabric alphabet project, some 3/4″ elastic, and some generic grosgrain ribbon.  The whole skirt cost less then $3 to make!

Don’t forget to send us a picture if you give it a try, and let us know what you think of the pattern in the comments!


Crochet Pennant Garland

Pennant Garlands are everywhere and we still can’t get enough. This weekend, I tried one with yarn! It was really fun to make and pretty quick. Oh, and you can make this in bed, a total plus for crochet in general. I think these would be A-dorable on the mantle for Christmas strung from stocking to stocking.

Directions after the jump:


DC: Double Crochet

Ch: Chain Stitch

SC: Single Crochet 

I used an I/9 hook but anything from G-K would work.


Unless otherwise noted, pick up both loops of each stitch

Keep gauge loose for ease of crochet and so that the piece will lay flat



Row 1: Ch 4, 3 DC in first Ch stitch (This should look like 4 DC in one loop – a tiny triangle)

Row 2: Ch 3, turn, 1 DC each in next 4 stitches (including the first stitch right at the bottom of your chain & the last stitch, which will be tighter. You can pick up just the top loop on the last DC)

Row 3: Ch 3, turn, 1 DC each in next 5 stitches

Row 4: Ch 3, turn, 1 DC each in next 6 stitches

Row 5: Ch 3, turn, 1 DC each in next 7 stitches

Row 6: Ch 3, turn, 1 DC each in next 8 stitches

Row 7: Ch 3, turn, 1 DC each in next 9 stitches (You can continue with more rows if you would prefer larger triangles)

Pull yarn through one last time to tie off and cut leaving a 1-2 inch tail

Crochet desired number of pennants (there are 7 here)

Connecting Garland:

1. With garland color, Ch 25 (or more stitches for added length at end)

2. Pick up top row of a pennant (with the pennant tail facing right)

3. 1 SC in each (10) stitch across top of pennant (make sure your first stitch is directly under the tail knot)

4. Ch 5 (or more, if you want more space between pennants)

5. Repeat step 2-4 for each pennant

6. After attaching last pennant, Ch 25 (or more for added length.)

Clean up:

Weave hook through top row of pennant (as shown below) and pick up tail on hook. Pull tail through piece.

Weave hook down side towards bottom point, pick up bottom tail and pull throw piece.


DIY Cardboard Playhouse

Prudent Grammie (my resourceful & crafty mama) made this awesome cardboard playhouse when she came to visit this Summer. With a roll of packing tape, a sharpie, an x-acto knife and two cardboard boxes she made the most entertaining thing in our home. Oh, and it takes about a half hour.

Instructions after the jump…

What to do:
1. Open your larger box so that the flaps stand up straight and tape around the outside to hold them up

2. Cut your smaller box down the side about 2 inches past the corners (as shown below)

3. When your smaller box is unfolded it will look like the diagram below

4. 2 of your side flaps (C&D;) will fold as shown below to make a solid eve for the house.

5. If your smaller box was as tall as the width of your larger box, flap G&H; can be folded just like C&D; (or) Flap G&H; may remain flat to become a continuation of the roof (as shown below.) They may need to be trimmed to fit.

6. Now fold your roof so that C&D; are inside the top of the larger box. Leave flap A&B; outside to keep the roof in place (as shown in diagram 4)
7. Now tape around the top of the larger box again to hold roof in place.

8. Draw windows and doors with a pencil (or sharpie if you like to live dangerously like my mom) and cut through with a box cutter or x-acto.

Clare (and little people who visit) play in this house every day. It has become the home of random photos, birth announcements, and many, many stickers. To jazz it up a little for it’s photoshoot, I added Clare’s name in Peel-n-Stick felt from Michael’s and drew on some shingles. It would be really fun to make some of these to decorate as a party activity.

If you’re feeling “Tom Sawyer-ish” this is a great project for Dad or older brother… or Grammie.

thanks Grammie!

If you have any questions or problems, post a comment here and I’ll try to help. While Jaime is writing her book poolside, I’ll be chasing 2 babies and doing some new crafty projects for Prudent Baby so I’m around. I’m not bitter, really, I’m not.


Pretty Parsley Pesto Recipe

I’ve been wanting to come up with a way to use up all this parsley that’s growing like weeds around my yard. Pesto is the perfect solution, and packaged up in a recycled baby food jar, it’s cute to bring to a dinner party. Get the recipe after the jump…

Pretty Parsley Pesto Recipe

Parsley pesto is the perfect fall food, all toasty nutty goodness. In a clean baby food jar with a hand-written label and a bit of pretty ribbon it’s an adorable treat; it even says “organic” right there on the lid!

-Toast 3 cloves of garlic by tossing them, peels still on, in a dry pan over medium heat for 5-10 minutes until they are spotty brown-Toast one cup of nuts – I like to use half pecans and half pine nuts, but all walnuts or pecans or really any combo of tree nuts tastes good. Toast them by keeping them moving in a hot dry pan until they are browned – don’t let ’em burn
-Let all that cool, then peel the toasted garlic and throw the cloves and the nuts in a food processor with 7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves. I also throw in one raw clove of garlic for more bite:

-Mix in 1/2 cup grated parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon salt (or more or less to taste) and grind some black pepper in there
-Serve with celentanni or penne and don’t forget to save some of the pasta cooking water to give the pesto a nice consistency (about 4-6 tablespoons for a pound of pasta). This is key when serving pesto!

Don’t forget to write the date on the lid. Since there is air in the jar it will oxidize after about 3-4 days, so it’s really for use pretty soon after jarring. Delivered with a tupperware of cooked pasta, it would be a good meal to bring a brand-new mom.


DIY Fabric Lunch Bag!

A custom fabric lunch bag takes 20 minutes, is adorable, and you can make one to match any outfit.  These are fantastic thoughtful gifts (or gift wrapping) too.  And they cost virtually nothing – you’ll even save money (and trees) on paper bags.

Get the DIY after the jump!

1.  Cut your decor-weight or canvas fabric, a spare quarter yard works well. I used a bright Denyse Schmidt County Fair leftover that appears to be sold out, but some other fabrics from that collection are available at while more amazing home decor weight prints can be found at Hart’s Fabric.  You can cut two 13X9 pieces and with wrong sides facing sew three sides (leaving a short side open)  with a straight stitch, or like me you can take one 26″X9″ piece, fold it in half with wrong sides facing and sew the two long sides together:

2. Finish the top edge by folding it over about 1/4″ and ironing:

Then hemming in place with a straight stitch:

3.  Now you are going to create your gusset.  Turn the bag inside out and bring the seams front and center and flatten the resulting fabric into a point:

Then fold one side down so it’s in a diamond shape and iron it flat:

4. On each side of your diamond shape measure 2 inches down from the point and draw a straight line with a washable marker.  Make sure they are even otherwise your gusset will be wonky:

5. Sew a straight stitch along each line, then cut off the triangle of excess fabric:

so you are left with this:

6. Now turn your bag right side out, poke the corners out so they’re flat, and fold into a lunch bag shape and steam iron so it has crisp seams:

7. Stand that baby up and admire it, then fold the top over a few times and iron some creases into it so you can figure where to put your closing attachment

8. Now you can leave it like this or put some sort of closing mechanism.  I’ve added buttons or velcro, but this time I decided to use an old bracelet clasp.  Mark the spot in the center of the fold and corresponding spot on the actual bag with a washable marker (it’s important to get them centered or your bag will fold funny). Quickly hand-sew each side of your clasp in place:

You’re done!  So easy and so cute.  Scarlet’s daycare teachers and even my husband always enjoy these quickie lunch bags.  I can’t wait until she’s old enough to request specific colors and patterns!

Here are some other cute DIY lunch bag projects I’ve seen:

-Embroidered lunchbag from PurlBee

-Kate’s notebook lunchbag on DesignSponge

-Oilcloth lunchbag at SkiptoMyLou

-Zippered top lunch bag at Craftzine