January 23, 2011

Happy Birthday, Grandpa Merrill!

Grandpa Merrill is turing 78 years young tomorrow. He has made it pretty clear that he doesn't want any presents because, as he likes to tell us, by this point in life, he has everything he needs or wants. However, he did tell me that I could make him a little birthday treat. So, what did I do? I made him a birthday present cake. (Ha)

A few lessons I learned with this cake:
*Buttercream frosting made with real butter tastes good
*Shortening made with beef tallow will not produce frosting that holds together
*Don't attempt homemade frosting with less than 2 pounds of powdered sugar in the house

A(nother) New Project!

Last night Craig and I took Sophie out for some exercise at the mall. She rode around happily looking at all of the brightly colored things and listening to all of the interesting sounds one can hear at a mall while Craig and I got some much-needed walking. Every time we go to the mall, we see some really cute things in our favorite stores. You can always find a fabulous new accessory at "White House, Black Market" or a gorgeous wrap, headband or scarf at "Nordstrom" or some to-die-for baby item at any number of places. (It is Orem, after all. There are probably as many baby stores as ice cream shops.)

The two disappointing recurring themes that we've discovered while looking at these various items is that first, the items are not usually the greatest quality (I am very disappointed in Nordstrom's apparent lowering standards) and second, the items are nearly always ridiculously over-priced for what they are. An example: a really cute headband with ribbon was $18. It was a thin band with ribbon hot-glued on it and there were some sloppy glue drips on the back. Sad. So, naturally, the only thing to do other than whine is to change the problem, right? Craig's suggestion: start my own online store selling things that I want to my own quality standard.

Before anyone says it, I know there are a million and ten online stores, such as Etsy, that sell handmade items. The problem is, even those places sell things for too much. I'm sorry, but a pacifier clip is just not worth $12 and a plain, no-frills car seat cover just isn't worth $50 to me. So, the plan now is for me to just keep on making the things that I've been making for Sophie & friends and add the other little projects I do as I go. I will have an example picture of everything and then most items will be made-to-order. This will allow people to pick their fabrics, ribbons, clips etc. from a predetermined library of supplies.

I'm not really jumping into this expecting to make much money but more as an on-going place to offer some of the things that I enjoy and use to other people who prefer to buy quality items at a reasonable price. I've made a "short" list of some things that I've been wanting to make to my list of items I already have in my mini portfolio. Any suggestions of other items that you would like or you know people would like would be great! Craig will be building the website for me soon and I'll start posting available items shortly thereafter.

In no particular order...

  • Nursing covers
  • Car seat covers
  • Burp cloths
  • Pacifier clips
  • Booties
  • Baby blankets
  • Baby blankets-velcro swaddlers
  • Hair accessories
  • Baby slings
  • Felt activity books
  • Baby ribbon/texture squares
  • Fluffy tutus complete with wands (inspired by the neices!)
  • Little aprons
  • Vintage pattern baby clothes (probably just the dresses I want to make for Sophie)
  • Baby shower "cupcake" essentials (like a diaper cake but totally different) 
  • Baby room accessories (name squares, sparkly monograms, jars, funky floral wreaths) 
  • Simple custom cards/announcements/cupcake toppers 

January 22, 2011

Katharine's Bridal Shower Cake

Yesterday was one of my very best friends bridal shower. Okay, more like a bachelorette party and a fabulous party calls for a fabulous cake. Sadly, this is what Katharine got. If I were to attempt this again, I would double the layer sizes and swap out the lace-y bow for some big, flopsie feathers and maybe a few more sparkles. Can't ever have too many!

I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again. Having the right tools and (almost) enough time makes cake decorating more fun!

Just Another Grandpa Funny

Tonight, on my very first try, I successfully made some delicious crab cakes from scratch. (Thanks for the recipe, mom!) Grandpa Merrill really enjoyed them- he ate an entire cake. Considering his appetite hasn't been too big lately, this is a good thing. As we were sitting at the table, Grandpa asked if the crabmeat I used was real. Yes, it was real. Then he asked if the crabmeat was fresh or frozen. Psh, like I'd make crabcakes with previously frozen seafood. I assured him that it was fresh. When he inquired further about how I knew, I was getting ready to tell him what I'd read about texture and the ability of fresh crab to flake when he stopped me. "Ooh, I know how you can tell. It was spelled with a "C" instead of a "K." Nope, no Krabby Patties in my meal! Maybe you just had to be at the table.

Sophie is 6 Weeks Young!

Can you believe it? It has been 6 weeks since miss Sophie Brooke joined our family! As of her 6 week check up, she is has grown from 7 pounds 12 ounces to 9 pounds 6 ounces and 22 inches long. (Basically she is tall and skinny. We'll see if this trend continues...) Sophie currently has strawberry blonde hair and when you take her out in the sunlight, it is a very pretty shade of red.
When I told Craig it was his turn to post about Sophie, he said, "Sophie is cute and snuggly and fluffy and has a bum and toots and burps and poops and sleeps and eats and cries. Don't write any of that, please." I'm sure I'll be in trouble for including that. He is a very good daddy who obviously loves his little girl very much. She loves it when he reads her stories and sings her songs before bed at night. Craig doesn't understand baby shoes but he does appreciate a good pair of tights with a "ruffle bum." Headbands are starting to make a little bit of sense to him. A little.

Sophie loves her daddy, putting on pretty dresses & accessories, visiting Aunt Erin, Uncles Grant & Bryan and the cousins, snuggles and movies in bed with mommy & daddy and playing with Grandpa Merrill.  Sophie misses her grandma and grandpa and Uncles Andrew & Jeb-eye (Jeffrey) in Connecticut.

Yesterday Sophie went to Walmart with Grandpa Merrill & I. She and grandpa stayed in the car to eat & play. When I came back out of the store, she was sleeping with a happy little smile on her face holding grandpa's finger.

My sister, Erin, took these pictures of Sophie on Thursday afternoon. I asked her if she's planning on doing this professionally (or even semi-professionally) but she says not yet. If/when she decides to, I'll be sure to share her information with you. She took our engagement pictures and does fantastic work with babies & children- as you can see here! Erin- you need a website!

Here are a couple more of my favorites. There were SO many good ones it's hard to pick just a few to post!

P.S to answer a question already asked, yes, I made the headbands. When we were in Connecticut, I tried putting the flower one on Sophie to wear to church and dad kept telling me she didn't like it and it looked silly. I think they're cute for pictures. :)

Midday break

I'm actually right in the middle of a rather involved cake project so naturally, I'm stopping to blog. No, I'm not going to go into detail about how I have now ruined not one but two complete batches of buttercream frosting (okay, mom calls it buttercrap- I make it with shortening so I can decorate with it but she's right-it's not very tasty.) Really, all I want to do on this little break is post a few pictures my sister took of Sophie yesterday. Trust me, many more to come!

January 19, 2011

Because it's Wednesday!

I just feel the need to share with the world that Sophie is 6 weeks old. Not only is she 6 weeks old, but last night she only woke up ONCE between 11:00 pm and 6:30 am. Amazing? I think yes!

In other news, while Sophie was resting on the bed next to me this morning, she had the biggest baby belly laugh followed by huge grins when she woke up. Yes, I think it's going to be a happy day :)

p.s one of these days I'll update the world on all of the goings-on of the last month. Lots of stories and even  more pictures & projects to share!

January 1, 2011

Just Pictures...

Per request of relatives who haven't seen Sophie, here are several pictures of her since her birth 3 weeks ago.

Sophie all dressed up in her teddy bear outfit ready to go home from the hospital.

I think Sophie would rather stay snuggled up in bed.

Sophie and daddy getting ready to leave the hospital.

Sophie meeting Great-grandma Peterson. Sophie's first social visit.

Sophie sitting with grandma and showing off her little sock mitts.

Sophie with Great-grandpa Peterson.

Sophie holding daddy's finger. Look how small her little hands are! 

Sophie in her Christmas dress from grandma Kyne (Nasson)

Sophie's blessing day. 26 December 2010. She was blessed by Craig with her grandpa, Pres. Starr, Bishop Siebers and Bro. Reid.