samantha liz

January 2012 archive

You guessed it!

With all that talk yesterday about updating my cover art on the Little Starter Cloth Diaper pattern, I couldn’t help but sew up a…
…spin around dress with

Ha! Got you, didn’t I. I’m so sneaky like that. I really wanted to sew up a diaper, but today was a crazy day and when I finally sat down to start I realized that I didn’t have the fabric I really wanted, and since this will be my new cover I didn’t want to settle.

Molly was so excited that I decided to sew her another dress instead that she waited patiently in my bed as I sewed. Poor girl didn’t even get to see it finished, as she finally passed out for the night about 5 mins before I was done.

It will make a nice surprise in the morning, right?

Cover Updating

So, I’ve been toying around with the idea of doing a bit of an update to my patterns and I finally got around to coming up with some ideas today. I thought I would share and maybe get some feedback on which you all prefer. You have to use your imagination a bit and pretend they are folded in half because what you are looking at is the front and back cover. {click on them to make them bigger}

Here’s option #1.
I’m liking it, but I’m thinking it’s… um, too simple?

…and option #2.
Now here you are going to have to go with me a bit. First, pretend that the colors match the photo on the front cover, and then secondly pretend that the photo is a well thought out, well taken, well lit, and well, a photo of a modeled little starter cloth diaper {and not the little one size diaper you see here}.

Sooo… what do you think? Am I on to something? Would you keep the product only photos that show off all the options on the cover page or would you go for a colorful modeling shot? Or would scrap it and go a completely different direction?

Meatballs {un-vegan}

Today I’m mixing it up a bit and instead of trying out a new recipe, I’m showing you all my tried and true one. Meatballs… so totally NOT vegan, but soo good. {You gotta throw in some meat sometimes, right?} I am loosely calling this a recipe as there is much more an art to making meatballs than science.

Meatball Ingredients
I start out with some good ground beef, in the 80-85% lean variety. I add an egg and a small handful of romano/parmesan cheese {dairy free? I have been known to use nutritional yeast instead with great success}, toast a piece of bread and then crumble it up and pour a bit of milk {you can use actual milk, we don’t have it in my house}, and finally some garlic pepper, oregano and just a tiny pinch of salt.

Cookin' Time
I roll them into balls and broil them on high for about 10 mins on one side, then flip and cook for about 5 minutes more.

Oh and here’s where the magic happens…

Saucing it up!
Thom’s fancy {vegan} vodka sauce.

Making the Sauce
His secret ingredient? Well, maybe I’ll share next time…

Do the kids like it, you ask?

Eating it up!

You tell me.

Thomas Approved

hello monday {birthday edition}

Today marks the third three day weekend in a row for us around here. First comes christmas, then new years, and finally my mom’s birthday! We partied it up all weekend long and even snuck in a bit of school this morning. So… I know it was my mom’s birthday but…

New wide angle lens.
hello 17-40mm f4 L series canon lens… Where have you been all my life? In the few short days that you’ve been around, you’ve changed my entire view on life {through my camera at least}.

Ice Cream Cake
hello incredibly delicious homemade ice cream cake. Yes, I know you are going to live right on my hips, but hey, you are totally worth it.

hello birthday present opening time with Mom.

Cake Time!
hello birthday cake time. Again, cake=hips=totally worth it.

Molly spelled "lap" then sat in Thomas' lap.
hello to sneaking in some school this morning before more partying it up. We are working on the AP family and Molly was so excited to spell lap and demonstrate it for my iPhone camera.

Drawings at Dinner
hello drawings the kids made at dinner. We sang happy birthday to grandma {my mom} and they came out with a huge sombrero for her to wear. Yes I got pictures and no out of respect I will leave them off my blog and in your imagination.

And with that…

Bring on the rest of the week!
Iā€™m linking up with Lisa Leonard today and her lovely hello monday link up.

If you’re happy and you know it…

One of my favorite parts of our day is circle time. It’s usually done in our pj’s because it’s one of the first things the kids ask to do after breakfast. Today, we were nice and dressed, so I figured I’d show you how we do it. First we start out by lighting a{n LED} candle.

Then, we stretch and each kid gets to pick a song they’d like to sing. Since Grandma’s {read my Mom’s} birthday is coming up on Monday, we have tons of balloons around {you know, in preparation of course} so after the singing came the balloon toss.
Opening Circle Time

Followed shortly by Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush where the kids act out different things like “This is the way we brush our teeth”. Once we are through the normal verses the kids add their own. Today, Molly chose “This is the way we hug our brothers” and “This is the way we play outside” which was followed by more balloon playing and general silliness.
Circle Time Fun

Thomas insisted that I show you all his wicked “little teapot” moves:
I'm a Little Teapot!

Next we did some fun verses of If you’re happy and you know it
If you're ___ and you know it!

which include scared, sad, angry, and of course… silly.
If you're ___ and you know it!

By the looks of it, I think it’s pretty hard to see why we homeschool…
This is why I homeschool.

Yup, pretty much a mystery…

So happy we are home free! Enjoy your weekend!

Spin Around Dress Revisited

As I was updating fixing my website links yesterday, I got to thinking about how the Spin Around Dress is one of my favorite patterns, and from the looks of it, it’s one of yours too. Which lead to more thinking and I arrived at the sad fact: Molly could no longer fit in to the 2T pattern that I designed for her back in 2009. So, what else could I do?

I started out this morning with this:
Here's what today's "sew what?" looks like right now.

But now I’m…


Introducing, the updated Molly size Spin Around Dress:

Instructions are the same as the old spin around dress, but this one comes in XS(4/6). I decided to mix Molly’s dress up a bit and instead of hemming the bottom I finished it with bias tape as well as using the remaining bias tape to make a waist tie.

Happy Sewing and Enjoy! {and don’t forget to spin!}

wednesday works {manual labor edition}

So, you know how wednesday is my “official” work day? Well, yeah… I kinda got some work done.

The lovely Rebecca of Purple Lily Boutique Facebook messaged me today that my freebie links were broken since the website overhaul! Turns out I had been forwarding the whole domain over to when I actually just wanted to forward the subdomain of over. Well, that wasn’t making my pdf’s that I host over at happy. Soo, I fixed it and now they all work again. So if you were looking to download the XXS Little Starter or maybe the Spin Around Dress, you can now go to town.

On a related note, I’m no longer offering the Crescent Moon Yoga Pants as a digital pattern. I’ve thought long and hard about this decision and it’s not one that I took lightly. I have decided that, instead of focusing my time and energies on creating digital download patterns, I am going to update and expand my print line. Look out soon for exciting things to come!

On an entirely unrelated note, there was some hard labor happening today in the Kingston household. Not the labor that ends in a beautiful baby, but the putting together and dismantling of several beds. Marcus is not only getting bigger {and needs some space during sleeping time} but he also loves to climb.

Cue the toddler bed assembly…
One up, two to go!

and the unbunking of the kids beds…
Bunkbeds coming down!

and rearranging solely by me…
Almost Done!

Well… I did have some help from my amazing new power tools that I received for christmas.

Here’s the room just a moment ago:
Right Now

…and Thomas right now…
Thomas; right now

…and Molly right now…
Molly; right now.

Good thing Marcus was an awesome napper today.
Sleepy Boy

Flour Tortillas!

I had planned to blog about dinner this evening, but Molly woke up and asked for quesadillas. I figured, why not? So off to google I went for a flour tortilla recipe and came across this lovely number over on I made two changes; I used earth balance instead of the called for lard, and I cut it into 12 pieces instead of 24. I can’t imagine how tiny these would be I made 24!

Cut into 12 pieces

So the process went a little something like this:

Roll out into circle.
Roll out a tortilla. {Squint hard and pretend it’s round.}

Cook 1 min 30 seconds, then flip
Put in a medium heat cast iron pan. Set timer to 1 minute 30 seconds.

Roll out into circle.
While that one is cooking, roll out another tortilla. {Squint harder and pretend it’s a different tortilla.}

Cook 30 seconds more.
Flip tortilla and cook for another 30 seconds on the second side. {Squint really hard and pretend that I didn’t hit my timer before taking a picture and it actually reads :30.}

Rinse & repeat until you make all twelve.

Okay, so don’t rinse… adding water to the tortillas at this point would be quite yucky and pasty…


Where were we?

Oh yes!

Grab one and Enjoy!! {Or you could add cheese and make a quesadilla too, you know, whatever makes you happy.}

hello monday {and 2012}

hello NOT yesterday’s 365. I know you really wanted to be and made me post you, but understand that just because I took you yesterday and posted you up online yesterday, it does NOT make you a 365.

It’s hard for us both.

We’ll get over it.


We had a wonderful weekend which felt like it went so fast, but actually spanned several years. Way back in 2011, we took peaceful walks and snuck snacks for breakfast. Fast forward to today? A whole year later and a whole new me. šŸ˜‰

Windy walk to the mailboxes.
hello mail! We wish that you were closer to our house or that the weather was warmer, but we’ll have to bundle up for a windy walk. It’s okay, you are totally worth it.

Tortilla Chips for Breakfast!
hello tortilla chips for breakfast. Marcus decided at 6am that you sounded yummy so over the stool went to the counter side and up he climbed to get you.

Taking down Christmas
hello fun times of Christmas undecorationing! It was lovely having you around, but so nice to have the extra space back in our home.

Go Go Kiddo
hello Go Go Kiddo. I thought we knew just about every fun iPhone app out there, but on my sister’s recommendation we bought you. I can’t believe we missed out on your funny jokes and games this long. Molly took this photo while driving down to IKEA today… Speaking of which…

Princess and the Pea
hello Princess and the Pea. The kids are so excited to get three new beds! They will be delivered next tuesday and hopefully in the meantime we’ll get the room painted and ready.

and finally…
New Do
hello new me! I’ve been contemplating getting my haircut for a while now and figured it couldn’t be a better time than now to do it.

Exciting things are coming!! We are all looking forward to this new year, how about you?

Iā€™m linking up with Lisa Leonard today and her lovely hello monday link up.