dress up

Rapunzel Dress Pattern Launch

10:49:00 PM

dress up, fancy dress, tangled, disney, halloween, sewing project, sewing pattern, tutorial, sew along, perfect dress, kid's clothes, disneyland, disneyworld

Another pattern is up in the shop! "Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair!" We love Tangled around here, and this is the perfect dress for your little one to be Princess Rapunzel.

 tutorial, instructions, sewing definitions, late beginner, intermediate sewer

This lovely pattern comes in PRINTED form. The instructions are full of definitions, illustrations and photos to help you along the way. It's not like other sewing patterns that can be hard to understand. Plus, you can ALWAYS contact me with questions if you are having trouble. The pattern is for late beginner/intermediate level sewists. There is also a KIT with hand picked fabric and materials to make a super durable, yet very fancy dress!

Sewing Pattern, instructions, tutorial, taffeta, tangled, disney, Sewing kit

Check them out in my blog shop and/or Etsy shop.


5 Must-have Items for Decorating a Rental Space (What I’ve learned from moving 7 times in 9 years)

9:17:00 AM


After we got married, my husband and I moved into a tiny apartment (half an attic to be precise) to keep costs down as we plugged away at finishing our degrees.

It was an interesting apartment to say the least. Our shower followed the slope of the roof and we often hit our head on the ceiling while we washed our hair. Ha, many things about that place make me laugh.

Since then, we have moved 6 more times in 9 years! Schooling, internships and a career with a rotational program have taken us into interesting, challenging and unique living spaces.

We obviously didn’t have high standards with our first place. With each new place we’ve lived in, be it smaller, larger, older, newer, clean, dirty, needing a lot of fix-up, to being wonderfully live-able, I’ve learned a lot.

I’ve learned what makes a place feel like home. I’ve learned what things are non-negotiable (ie: dishwasher!) and I’ve cleaned up after A LOT of people’s messes.

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There’s a lot that goes into making a rental space feel like home. Cleaning, painting, setting up storage solutions (more on that later) but I’m going to share with you 5 must-have items that will help you feel like you are in YOUR space. These items are all things you can take with you, so if you move as much as we do, set-up will be a whole lot easier.

1) At least one AWESOME large scale rug.

Your rug must be 8x10 at a minimum. Living areas need rugs to anchor the space. A large rug will do just that.

Rugs will also cut down on noise if you happen to have downstairs neighbors. Rugs are magical at covering up hideous and uncomfortable flooring and brightening up beautiful flooring.

Now, when I say your rug needs to be awesome, I mean awesome. Don’t just go to any old store and pick up a cheap decent-looking rug. If you do this, your rug may not move with you! You want a long-lasting rug that will give you familiarity in every place you live.

Choose a rug that speaks to you. Why? Most rental spaces are drab and boring. The floors are often very lackluster. Spend your money on a rug that says, “Welcome home! I love you!” Okay, not literally, but you get the drift? It’s an investment!

2) Small scale furniture

Trust me. I’ve learned from too many mistakes—“Oh, but this chair is so comfortable!” Yeah, because it’s a ginormous recliner that will get in the way, completely fill your room and make your space feel small.

Be careful when you buy furniture. Scale is very important. I thrift most of my furniture, but I keep some rules when I purchase. One general idea is that you want things low to the ground--Short, but still comfortable. It's also a good idea to buy furniture with the legs showing. It makes your space feel more open.

It may take a while to find just what works, but it’s worth it. 

3) Lamps

A lot. Really. I have NEVER lived in a rental with sufficient lighting. I still don’t.

Lighting has become more and more important to me as I’ve realized what a difference it makes in the general feeling of the room. Overhead lighting is never enough.

Have you ever had the experience of taking down your Christmas tree only to realize how dark that corner has always been? Yeah. It needs more light. Three or four lamps in the living room? Yes! Two in the bedroom? Yes!

Other lighting options to consider: motion sensing LED lights for closets, under cabinet lighting in kitchens, hallway night lights.

 4) Curtains

I know curtains tend to be kind of a taste thing. Let’s face it, some people don’t like them. But I have to have them on my list for two reasons- 1) rental blinds are ugly 2) most rentals don’t have beautifully trimmed and cased windows. They are plain, uninviting, boring… Does this sound like your rental?

Your goal with curtains is to have them drape from ceiling to floor. I hang the rod about 3 inches from the ceiling.

Another tip is to extend the curtain rod out about 12” on each side of the window. This way, when the curtains are open, precious light will not be blocked.

If you have ugly blinds or a bad view, hang sheers between the drapes. This masks the blinds/view a bit and adds more privacy when the blinds are open.

5) Large Scale Art

Any interior designer can attest to the importance of having a focal point in each room. Focal points give the eye a place to go.

Focal points come in forms of fireplaces, really cool architectural features, a huge TV and large scale art.

Let’s face it. You’d be lucky to consistently land a rental that has a fireplace. It’s even rarer for rentals to have other architectural features. I’ll be frank and say that it's hard to make a TV look pretty.

Art is the way to go. You can use old maps, a beautiful large scale textiles, a hand pieced quilt, a DIY painting, a poster or a real actual painting. It just needs to be something to give a place for your eye to land.

I’ve learned a lot over the years. I seem to learn more with each move. It takes a lot to get a place to feel like home, but when I set these items up in every new place, I feel at home.

But we all know, there is more. Sometimes it’s a struggle to decide what to fix and not fix. What to install and not install. What to invest in and not. What to paint, if you can paint, and what to leave alone. Organizing a new place is always a challenge. Sometimes there are smells to deal with. Often there are weird quirks or awkward spaces.

How can you make your rental work for YOU? Sign up for my free email course and I will share with you more tips and tricks that I’ve learned in the renting world.

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baby stuff

Easter 2017

12:35:00 PM

tulips, carthage jail, pink cinderella dress, pattern, brother, sister

The kids had a lot of fun this Easter weekend! It was filled with playing outside, birthday celebrations and movie watching.

easter, siblings, tulips, spring

We went to Carthage Jail on Saturday to see the beautiful tulips and take a tour. Rob hasn't taken a tour of the jail since we've been here. It was so it was good to take the tour feel the Holy Spirit testify of the truthfulness of the gospel, Jesus Christ and the special calling of Joseph Smith.

felt headband, pink cinderella dress, pattern, handmade dress, easter

I used a basic version of the Pink Cinderella Dress Pattern for Rosie's dress. That dress sews up super quick when simplified!

easter, saltwater sandals, ruffles, diy, men's shirt, dandilions, vintage, baby fashion

For Eve's dress, I used the same make-shift pattern as her Duckie Dress (both made from men's shirts).

spring, carthage jail, illinois, spring, plaid

Unfortunately, I didn't finish Jack's tie until the night before and we didn't really get any pictures because I didn't feel well.

tulips, carthage jail, easter, bow tie, kid fashion

Abe wearing his Easter bow tie.

Couple picture with me at 37 weeks pregnant.

Phew! That's a lot of pictures, but I guess that goes with a lot of kids. Looking forward to another little one to join us!

cute baby, two year old, spring, easter

dress up

Pink Cinderella Dress Pattern and Kit Launch

11:33:00 AM

Hey guys, I have 2 new patterns and a kit for you. Check out my blog shop or etsy shop!

We'll start with Cinderella's Pink dress (made by her mouse and bird friends). This dress is so cheerful, princess-y and perfect spin-able! I've sold this pattern before, but I've been refining, simplifying and perfecting it for you! I am also selling it in printed form rather than PDF so you can get skip the printing, matching and taping.

I'm also selling a kit for the Pink Cinderella Dress! This kit includes top quality materials to make a high quality, durable dress!

beautiful things

lilacs and patterns

9:50:00 AM


Hey everybody! Gearing up for the launch of some little girl costume patterns! I've sold these before, but I've been refining them. Hopefully making a very smooth sew-along experience for you!

I'm selling them in printed form instead of PDF because, let's be honest. It's not very motivating to print and match pieces of paper together and then have to cut the fabric out.

I will also be selling kits! They will have my recommended materials to make for a durable princess dress that can be worn all the time without looking raggedy. I'm excited for what is in the works!

I picked and arranged some lilacs yesterday. I followed the suggestions in the Cut Flower Garden book and they seem to be working out very well! Lilacs are the very best smelling flower in my opinion. The delicious aroma is filling the house and it makes me happy!


Children's Books Recommendations--Spring and Easter

12:36:00 PM

I have a sister who is kind of the go-to children's book guru in our family. While all 5 of us sisters LOVE children's books, Tess has access to amazing little bookstores along with the interest and taste to find really cool children's books.

Here are her top book recommendations for Spring and Easter:

"The Easter Egg Artists" by Adrienne Adams
"Grandpa Green" by Lane Smith
"Make Way for Ducklings" by Robert McCloskey
"Miss Rumpius" by Barbara Cooney
"The Curious Garden" by Peter Brown
"And Then It's Spring" by Julie Fogliano
"Marshmallow" by Clare Turlay Newbery

Have you heard of thriftbooks.com? They've become my favorite go-to for books (because I DON'T have access to any bookstores). They sell used books, so there is often some wear-and-tear, but they are CHEAP for hardback books! And free shipping comes with only a $10 minimum order. Check it out.

We can both get a discount by using this link.

Note: They've been pretty accurate in their descriptions of condition. I've come to mostly buy "like new" or "very good" or "good" condition books as "acceptable" isn't as consistent.

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