Author Archives: Michelle

Minion Rocks

Well, it is that season again. The season of celebrations and all the mayhem that goes with them.

Falafel’s Birthday is up first after Thanksgiving. Since both girls have Birthdays 4 days apart (and 6 years) in December, we have family rules (you can read about here).

The theme for her Birthday party this year is “Despicable Me: Minions“.


Over the Summer, I gathered a whole can full of smooth roundish stones from the beach to save for a rainy day. They were perfect for this project!


I just took some acrylic paint and free-handed minions.


Then I painted over it (once dried) with some clear gloss.


They are far from perfect, but my girl loves them.


We are planning on making some carnival-type games and these are one of the “prizes”.


I love the simplicity of these. Just paint and rocks.

I hope the party guests will like them as much as the Birthday girl.

Days 4 and 5 of the B&W photo challenge

See Day 1 here and 2-3 here.


This one of my husband was day 4.


And lastly, Day 5.

That was a fun challenge. It was like a warm up, really for what comes next….

Holiday photo cards! Yikes.

Wish me luck.

On-Our-Shelves Sunday

This week we have a picture book on our shelves because I just couldn’t help myself:


Now & Ben: The Modern inventions of Benjamin Franklin

by Gene Barretta

I love how this book breaks down what Benjamin Franklin originally invented and what we use it for today. It is a simple and brilliant way to present it to kids (and some adults). I love the colorful illustrations too.

What are YOU reading this week?

Day 2 and 3 of the B&W photo challenge

Since I shared that awesome pattern with you yesterday, I missed posting about the B&W photo challenge.

Here is what I put up for day #2:


And Day #3:


What have you seen in B&W today?

Unitard Pattern Review

My Falafel does gymnastics and loves it. The only outfit she is comfortable wearing, though, is a unitard. They are made of spandex like a leotard, but unlike a leotard, they don’t ride up while you are tumbling around because there are shorts attached!

So naturally I decided I should make these, because they are not cheap, and that way they could be customizable for my little flipper. But when I searched, I couldn’t find a good pattern! Seriously.

Then I stumbled upon the tumblentwirl Etsy shop for Mountain Ash Designs. Emma has such a wide variety of patterns there, it was like I struck gold. She not only had one unitard pattern, but several to choose from… and they all looked great!

I chose the Casey Unitard Biketard pattern to try out. And it did not disappoint!


First let me tell you, this pattern goes from size 2 up to 14! AND it comes with two different options. This one that I sewed up, and one with a thinner spaghetti-type strap.


This pattern was super quick and easy and gives you a really professional look. In fact, when The Bee got home from school, Falafel was wearing her unitard and when I told her that I made it, she said “Wow I thought that was store-bought!”. Falafel even said that it was EVEN BETTER than her store bought one! It doesn’t get better than that.


 I sewed up a size 6 based on her measurements, and it really fits perfectly.

PicMonkey Collage

The spandex I bought at Joanns. I found that the requirements she gave in the pattern allows for more than enough fabric to make this, and because of how I folded it, I think I can even make another. And it was only about a yard total!


I had enough to make a matching hair scrunchy (which she likes to wear on her wrist) out of the scraps.


I am so very happy with this pattern and I will be getting plenty of use out of it! I highly recommend it.


Do your kids do gymnastics? Do you sew their outfits?


*I contacted Emma about this pattern and she graciously gave me a copy in exchange for this review. All opinions are 100% my own, as always. I just wanted to share my fantastic findings with you. And when I find a good business, it is totally worth sharing.*

If you haven’t check out Mountain Ash designs Etsy shop, be sure to!

5 B&W photos, 5 Days challenge

I don’t usually do challenges on Facebook. They sometimes can feel like chain letters, and I cannot stand those.

BUT, a friend of mine tagged me to take 5 Black & White photos in 5 days and I just couldn’t resist. So I figured I would share them here too.


This is the one I posted yesterday.


I also took these, but not for the challenge. Just to share here.



I absolutely love B&W photos. There is something so raw and gritty about them that you just don’t see in color.

How about you? Do you ever photograph in B&W?

Baby it’s cold outside





It hasn’t snowed yet. It actually is not a common occurrence around here. But there is plenty of frost. And I can see my breath. And we lost power several times over the last few weeks. And sometimes I can see my breath INSIDE THE HOUSE.

Yesterday we lost power again, and it was so cold, that my husband actually lit the first fire in our wood stove. It only warms the kitchen and dining room area, so we don’t do it very often. But it was so cold.

As soon as he lit it, the power came back on.

And that is how it goes.

How does it go in your part of the world?

Gelatin Fruit snacks

I made up some more Gelatin snacks, but used a mold this time. I was inspired by this post  over at Live Simply.

Instead of using their recipe, though, I used 2 cups of all natural Grape Juice (with no added sugar) and 1/4 cup of gelatin. Just heat up the juice (not boiling) and then remove from heat. Whisk in the gelatin. Pour into silicone mold.

Sounds easy, right?


 Well, these two are the only ones that came out right. The rest look like this:


The girls still love them, and they taste the same, just not as pretty.


I have no idea what I did or even how to fix it next time. Maybe spray with canola spray?


Oh well. These will all get eaten. And I love that it has no added sugar. I didn’t even add the honey that was in the recipe.


I was thinking that next time I would make these with vegetable juice! I wonder how they would go over with our girls. Hmmm.

What have you made today?

Ecclectic update Post

Let’s see… The Bee had a sinus infection this weekend that really knocked her down. That child rarely ever gets sick. She has been going and going since the start of school, so I figured it was just a matter of time.

The temps have been below freezing this week, which is not a common occurrence round these parts, so we were not very prepared for it. Slowly we have been  sealing up drafts and trying to keep the heat in, both for our house and ourselves. All my fingerless gloves have been a staple these days, and my neck has rarely been without a scarf. Fleece is our friend.

I have several sewing projects that I am working on…in our dining room since the living room (where I normally sew) is freezing cold!

Amongst them is a pattern I drafted (for something I cannot share yet) and sewed up a test one so that I could see if the pattern worked. It did, and then I LOST THE PATTERN.

I have no idea. *sigh* All I can think of is got swept up with the scraps. I will be starting over tomorrow. *double sigh*

Hmm what else? Oh and Falafel’s teeth STILL haven’t come in.


I think she likes it that way.

Jim and I binge-watched the recent Doctor Who season. Now I am left with wanting more. Gah.  We have watched a whole slew of movies lately as well, to tide us over until the new season begins. The time to get cozy is here.

That just about sums it up for now.

What is happening in your world? What are you up to?

On-Our-Shelves Sunday

On our shelf this week is a new book (to us) by one of our favorite Authors:


Smells Like Dog

by Suzanne Selfors

I have to say, Falafel is my picky reader. A book really has to pique her interests or she tends not to read them. Suzanne Selfors has the gift of hooking her (and me for that matter) into her stories. We love her descriptive and colorful writing. So far, we are enjoying this book about a treasure hunting boy and the dog he inherited that lost his ability to smell.

What is on YOUR shelves this week?