Great Internet Finds: Purl Bee’s Liberty Backpacks turned Ballet Bag

 

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We are back from a very long summer break! With three little ones and a summer full of traveling, playing, working, etc., we took a break from blogging (and quite a few other things). But with fall in the air, preschool starting up again, and even my little three year old starting her first dance class, it’s time to get the blog going again.

So, first up is this super quick and easy Purl Bee tutorial gem – a backpack tutorial I used to make my daughter a ballet backpack. I found this adorable Anna Griffin Arabesque ballet shoe fabric at my favorite online fabric store. The fabric, plus Purl Bee’s easy to follow, easy to make tutorial was a perfect combination. My daughter had been asking for a backpack, and with her ballet class starting up in a week, I figured this was a perfect solution.IMG_8736edit

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The Purl Bee blog does impeccable tutorials, and I was looking to do a very quick and easy project, as I was on a time crunch, so I didn’t change a single thing (except the fabric).  However, if I had to do it again, I would have shortened the straps a bit (which I may still do).  I wanted the bag to be a surprise for my daughter, so I didn’t fit her while making it.  So one suggestion, try on the backpack before sewing the straps in, to make sure you like the length.  There are three sizes- toddler, child, and adult.  I chose the child size, even though my daughter is still kind of growing out of the toddler phase- this way, she can grow into it a bit and her ballet gear will fit easily.  Now we are ready to go, and she couldn’t be more excited!  My son is now making sure that I know he wants one with truck fabric for his birthday in a couple months.  Fortunately, this backpack can be whipped up in an hour or two and for less than $10, so it should be no problem!

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Mother’s Day Worthy Belgian Waffle Recipe

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Last Mother’s Day, my life was changed forever. My amazing husband (who was probably tired of hearing me pining for a certain breakfast food) bought me a fantabulous Double Belgian Waffle Maker. Our breakfasts have gone from eh to ahhhh! I am a huge waffle fan, the fatter the better.  So, I have an incredible Belgian Waffle recipe that we make when taking the extra time to make extra delicious waffles (normally I use Bob’s Red Mill 10 grain Pancake and Waffle Mix for quick mornings – also pretty great!).  You can be sure we will be basking in these waffles on Mother’s Day, to celebrate the one year with our beloved Waffle Maker! These can be made with any waffle maker, by the way. Oh, and quick confession- as much as I love Belgian waffles, I had to go back and correct every single reference from my original “Belgium” waffles.  I have learned a lot here! Hope you do, too!

Mother’s Day Worthy Belgian Waffles:

(slightly adapted from the Washington State Bed & Breakfast Cookbook’s Angelica’s recipe)

Makes 12 (4 inch) waffles:

  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup half & half (or whole milk works fine, too)
  • 3/4 cup light sour cream (plain greek yogurt works, also)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks till smooth. Mix in half & half, sour cream, butter, and vanilla.  In another bowl,  add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Mix well.  Gradually add flour mixture to half & half mixture. Combine gently.

In a third bowl (or mixer), beat egg whites until stiff, then gently fold egg whites into the rest of the batter.  Cook waffles in a prepared waffle iron until golden brown. Serve immediately with strawberries, blueberries, fresh whipped cream, or whatever toppings you love, and of course, warm, real maple syrup (mom deserves it!). Happy Mother’s Day!

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PHOTOGRAPHY SALE! 25 % OFF ALL PHOTOS AND WALL ART

When April comes around, we are prone to see our home anew.  Cleaning, rejuvenating, and rethinking our spaces.  In celebration of Spring time and the changes we are making in our home and in our shop, we are having a 25% off SALE on all of our Photography and Wall Art!  Check it out if your rethinking your space!Image

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Giveaway Time! Arizona Doors Set- Three 8 x 10 prints

Our Anniversary is coming up! Peachtree Park will be One Year Old on April 4th and to celebrate, we are doing a Giveaway of one of our most popular prints, taken by Bradley, here at Peachtree. PicMonkey Collage

All you have to do is visit our Facebook page here, like and comment on the Giveaway status, and you will be entered into the drawing for this photography set.  There are two sets being given away! This is the link to this listing in our shop if you want more details on the photographs. Thanks for checking us out!

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Cooking with Kids Series: Cheesy Cornbread

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I’m obviously a frets and spurts kind of a gal when it comes to blogging- I have oh so many excuses (good ones!), but instead of getting into those, I will just get on with this fun recipe I did with the kids! With Spring finally looking like it’s closing in, I am ready to start heading to the farmers market and making tons of fresh fruit and veggie dishes.  But we aren’t quite there yet, and another just cool enough, just damp enough day called for a little comfort food.  So I decided to combine a few favorite cornbread recipes to get a kid friendly (less messy when eaten) cornbread.  This one is great because there was plenty of pouring and stirring for my kids to do, and they really couldn’t get enough of the outcome!

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CHEESY CORNBREAD

INGREDIENTS:

  • Butter or Crisco for greasing the pie plate
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached or all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or read my note on the milk/vinegar alternative that works great)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup shredded extra-sharp or sharp cheddar cheese

- I have bought buttermilk in the past when making different recipes that called for it, and the extra always sits for ages after, while I try to think of another recipe with buttermilk.  And it always gets tossed. So, instead of buying it this time, I decided to try the milk/vinegar trick.  Just mix a scant cup of milk with a Tbsp. of white vinegar, stir well, and then let it sit for about 5-10 minutes.  This replaces buttermilk well enough, in my opinion (but I can’t claim to be a huge buttermilk fan! – see this link from the Kitchn for more details).

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease the pie dish, bottom and sides.
  2. Combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Stir until blended well.
  3. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, honey, and egg.  Mix well.
  4. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry ingredient mixture.  Stir together gently until almost blended.  Add the shredded cheese and stir until just blended.
  5. Using a spoon or spatula, pour the mixture into a pie dish and smooth down.
  6. Place in the middle of your oven for aprox. 25 minutes, until top is golden-brown.   Check doneness by inserting a toothpick on the middle of the dish.  It is done if the toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for about 10-15 minutes before serving.

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Leftovers can pack up nicely in lunches, or for snack the next day.  This is fantastic with soup.  Although, honestly, I will be happy to see the cozy soup days go for awhile!

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Great Internet Finds: Market Tote Tutorial from Bijou Lovely

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I have had this Market Tote from Bijou Lovely tutorial bookmarked for probably a year.  And I’ve had an adorable Cloud 9 cotton canvas waiting for months and months to be turned into a bag.  It was only a week ago I put one and one together and realized they are MADE for each other!  I’ve been wanting to make a catch all bag (library trips, farmers market, kids stuff at church, swimming lessons, etc.) for awhile, but never really committed until I figured out this combo.  Now I am so happy to replace the ugly green Winco bag I often used  for such outings!

This feels much better!

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This tutorial is great – seriously! I have tried many a tutorial as I’ve learned to sew, and some are complete and easy to understand, and great pictures that fill in any questions, but in my opinion, it’s rare that I don’t have to fill in a single blank on my own.  This tutorial is that rare gem- oh, and with a fabulous outcome to boot!  Thank you, Bijou Lovely! You will be my tutorial inspiration when I finally attempt one!

So, the fabric I used was the Cloud 9 Bark & Branch canvas in blue and a Robert Kaufman cotton/linen blend in a natural.  I was trying to make this a very quick project, so I skipped the interfacing step.  I was using a canvas and a hardy linen/cotton, so I felt like it would have enough weight.  And it did.  If I’d wanted to spend a bit more time on the project, it probably would have made a good addition- a bit more stability.  I don’t think it’s missed too much, though, with a decently thick home decor weight fabric.  With anything lighter though, I wouldn’t recommend skipping the interfacing.

One other variation on the tutorial I did was to make the lining pieces just a bit bigger in height (about a half inch or less) bigger than the outside fabric.  I wanted a little trim of the linen on the top of the bag, so when I got to the second to the last step, top stitching the top edge- I just made sure the linen poked up out a bit.  If you do this, just make sure the lining is fitting in nicely (I pinned at the bottom before pinning the top for top stitching), and I top stitched on the outer fabric and the lining.

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Oh, and if I hadn’t been trying to keep it to a couple hour project, I would have added a pocket into the lining.  I am sure I will make this same bag again, with different fabric, so I’ll do it next time.  I’ll update any tips on here when I do.  Anyway, try out this Bijou Lovely’s fantastic tutorial if you are looking for a great market bag- with spring right around the corner, I think we could all use one of these!

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