Thursday, April 10, 2014

A "warm & fuzzy" t-shirt transformation

Hi everyone! Hope all is well. I just wanted to share this simple "warm & fuzzy" t-shirt transformation from the other day. It's a fun way to pass down old t-shirts from a big brother to a little sister.

My son Jacob likes to wear basic white tees to bed at night, etc., and recently moved up to the next size. Rather than tossing them, I pass the tees down to my daughter Hayden by putting our own unique spin on them, as seen in the photo above. She's wearing a "warm & fuzzy" t-shirt dress, polka-dotted with "warm & fuzzies" (brightly colored poms poms from the "warm & fuzzy" jar; you've gotta earn those pom poms by being a good girl ... or boy).

To turn a basic white tee (I've used boy's size medium or large) into a girl's dress (Hayden is a 4T or 5T), I trace the outline of another dress onto the t-shirt (make sure to turn the shirt inside out first; I forgot to do that in the mock demo pics, as I had already completed the dress at the time).

Then, I pin it in place, sew along the lines for the sides (you don't want to sew the arm holes shut), cut off the excess and sew around the arm holes to finish).

This is how the seams of the dress look from the inside (I couldn't get Hayden to take the dress off after I put it on her ... actually, she is still wearing it).

To decorate the dress and make it special, I tied ribbons on the shoulders and sewed them in place. I also sewed on a bunch of "warm and fuzzies" (pom poms) in a polka-dot pattern.

Hayden was so happy with the final design that she wanted to do a photo shoot (I still don't know how I feel about posting clear views on her face on the Internet anymore, which is why I tend to crop out her eyes or post pics of her looking down/to the side), while blowing bubbles in the dress.

I can't believe I caught some bubbles in this shot.

Enjoy your weekend!

Monday, March 10, 2014

The unconventional challenge

As you know, I'm a big fan of "Project Runway" and any spinoff of the show, such as "Project Runway All Stars," "Project Accessory" (I once posted a Q&A with one of the finalists), and now "Project Runway: Under the Gunn."

My favorite challenge is the unconventional challenge (I tend to be a bit unconventional myself sometimes), so I was excited to see the contestants making designs completely out of items found at the beach in last week's episode. Hayden and I were quite found of Sam's winning design, which we replicated with recycled paper (old wrapping paper scraps and a brown paper shipping bag) and blue painter's tape.

We also cut out a bunch of construction paper circles to create a paper dress similar to Oscar's runner-up design, but unfortunately, it didn't come out quite as tailored and sophisticated. At least we had fun making it, while watching "Team Umizoomi" and singing about our "super shapes."

Speaking of "super shapes," Hayden made this "Katy Perry Roar Dress" (as she calls it, since it looks like something she would have worn in that video) all by herself. She even put it on without any help from me.

We also made a fluffy pink Katy Perry-inspired dress together. Hayden was quite proud of the color-scheme she suggested (the original dress is either a cream or pale pink color), as well as her paper cutting skills.

Later, we made a paper flower ring to match.

Anyway, we just wanted to share with anyone who is still reading. I know we haven't been blogging much in the past couple months, but it's nice to check in with all of you every once and a while when we are inspired.

Is anyone else watching "Project Runway: Under the Gunn?" Does it inspire you?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Obsessed with the paper dress

As you know, Hayden and I have become a bit obsessed with the whole paper dress thing (don't worry; we won't post too many of them), as seen in our last post and the one prior. Here is another one we made today. It is our interpretation of the Giambattista Valli dress Emma Watson wore to the 2014 Elle Style Awards. Hayden thought her hairstyle was perfect with the dress. I think so, too :-)

Thanks again to Mayhem for the inspiration. #FashionbyMayhem #InspiredbyMayhem

Monday, March 3, 2014

Let It Go, Let It Snow

We are so "Happy" (although that is a good song, too) that "Let It Go" from "Frozen" won Best Original Song at the Oscars last night, as well as being named Best Animated Feature Film. Hayden loves to sing it, as you can see in the photo above. I haven't been showing her face online lately, but since I knew she'd be seen in the following group shot, I made an exception (not to mention the fact that the one I tweeted with her face hidden looked a bit too much like something from "The Blair Witch Project").

#inspiredbyMayhem (the 4-year-old who makes paper dresses with her mom/posts them on Instagram), Hayden and I made this paper dress from "Frozen." Unfortunately, she opted to stay in her "Frozen" pajamas last night, due to the rain (which has turned into a ton of snow; yes, we are all snowed in today). At least she was still representing her favorite flick in our annual Oscar photo, while the rest of us dressed in character.

I dressed as Amy Adam's character from "American Hustle" and posed next to my Clark Kent hubby, who went with the hero theme of the evening (he is my "Man of Steel"). My son Jacob wasn't as psyched about wearing a costume, so he held a guitar and a cat (don't worry; it's a stuffed animal) like Llewyn Davis, while my dad opted to be Bruce Dern from "Nebraska" and Jack was Joaquin Phoenix from "Her."

My sister April and nephew Colin were also representing "Frozen." Colin found a way to make the snowman even cooler, while April took a more glam approach to her character.

My nephew Cameron had the whole Matthew McConaughey thing down, including his "alright, alright, alright." Here he is with his mom (my sister) Lori, who dressed as "Blue Jasmine."

Here is Lori again with her husband Darren, who took the group photo, rather than getting dressed up. He is a behind-the-scenes man.

My mom drew in some darker skinny eyebrows to be "Philomena."

My hubby and I posed for a pic ...

... but later I gave away his true superhero identity.

Oops! We forgot to use the red carpet, but Hayden and Colin made up for it.

As for the food, I brought freeze-dried strawberries in honor of "Gravity," as well as some "The Wolf of Wall Street"-inspired sushi (actually, I made California rolls, minus the rice, by filling hollowed out cucumbers with avocado, carrot and more cucumber) and raw vegan mini "burgers" (almonds, flax, beets, carrots, EVOO, balsamic vinegar, garlic, sea salt and other seasonings) on mushroom buns. Yum!

We also voted on who we thought would win the awards. Since we left before the end, I don't know who got the most correct (that's who gets to pick next week's Sunday dinner). Somehow I don't think it was me, but it still was a fun evening. How did you celebrate the Oscars?


Since posting this morning, Hayden and I made another paper dress that we liked from the Oscar's red carpet. Lupita Nyong'o always looks amazing this awards season, and last night was no exception. She made our best dressed list.

Here is our paper interpretation of her look. It even moves well.

This is how we secured the paper with some ribbon, so she can wear it again. Have you tried making a paper dress? Who was your best dressed of the night?  

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Do you want to build a snowman?

I'm so excited about tomorrow, because it is the Academy Awards. You know what that means. I get to celebrate with my family/the usual Sunday dinner crowd in style. We'll be dressing up as characters from the nominated flicks, eating Oscar-inspired food, voting on the winners and enjoying the evening together, as we have for years. Remember last year's post?

Hayden can't wait, too, since she is a big fan of "Frozen" and its nominated song, "Let It Go." Just like every other little girl (let's make young and old a like, as well as some of the boys), she's been singing it everywhere we go. Sometimes we even change the words to "Let It Snow," although I think I've had enough of the white stuff around here.

In the movie, the sisters also sing about building a snowman, so we thought little raw vegan coconut "snowballs," served with carrots (every snowman needs a carrot nose) and chocolate chips would be perfect for the festivities tomorrow. Here's how we made our coconut "snowballs."

This recipe isn't an exact science, so feel free to make adjustments as you go. To start, put equal parts date paste and coconut oil in a food processor, along with some sea salt and vanilla. I believe I used about 4 Tbsp. of both the date paste and the coconut oil, as well as a sprinkling of sea salt and a Tbsp. of vanilla.

Next, add in some coconut flakes (please don't use the sweetened ones for this). I started with about a cup, and then added more as needed.

I processed the ingredients into a nice "dough," as seen here. I think I used about 1 1/4 cups of coconut flakes total.

Then, I formed the "dough" into one dozen equal-sized "snowballs" ...

... which I rolled in more coconut flakes.

The finished coconut "snowballs" can be chilled in the fridge until ready to serve. They sure look cute displayed, as shown, so you really can build a "snowman."

Now I need to figure out our attire. I actually have a dress-up outfit Hayden can wear to be a character from "Frozen," I think she wants to make one out of paper instead. Have you seen Mayhem, the 4-year-old who makes paper dresses with her mom (thanks April, for the link)? Hayden couldn't wait to start creating one of her own, as soon as she saw her.

Here is our first attempt at making a paper garment, which we easily taped together in a matter of minutes. The best part is that you can take it apart and reuse the paper to make another one (at least that is what we plan on doing, rather than wasting all of that paper). So fun to be #inspiredbyMayhem.

Anyone else excited about the Oscars? What are your plans?  

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snowed in with Coracao

I don't know how he does it, but my hubby can read my mind. He almost always seems to know exactly what I want, and this Valentine's Day is no exception. While snowed in by winter storm "Snowchi" (my favorite name I've heard to describe this East Coast storm so far; it's a combo of "snow" and "Sochi," in honor of this year's Winter Olympics) today, he surprised me with my Valentine's Day gift early, some scrumptiously decadent raw vegan chocolates by Coracao Confections.

Okay, so maybe I gave him a little hint, but he took it and ran with it. He must have run straight to his laptop and ordered these yummy treats as soon, as I mentioned the contest I had entered.

You see, Coracao Confections isn't always the easiest name to remember or to say, so the company decided to change its name. The fans of their chocolate get to select the new name. The winning entrant will not only rename the product, but will also receive a boatload of it. Fingers crossed that I win.

Anyway, my hubby was smart enough to realize that if I wanted to win all of that chocolate, I probably would love to get some for Valentine's Day. He really is a smart cookie. Check out what he got me.

Inside the first box was these tasty Blondies. One is their basic Blondie Bar, and the other is the more jazzed up Raspberry Blonde (the raspberry is really up my alley).

Next up was two packs of hot cocoa mix. One was Cora Quick, and the other was Love Potion (although I've been under my hubby's spell for years. Ha ha). The Love potion is "infused with 18 roses and the perfect blend of cardamom and maca." Nice :-)

Then there's the assorted chocolates, decoratively boxed and topped with a small bar of raw chocolate.

Here's a glimpse inside. There are so many flavors to savor and all of them worth tasting (unlike those assorted chocolates my grandma used to get; my sister and I used to poke our fingers in the bottoms in search of the "good" ones).

The "Live" Almond Heart is perfect for Valentine's Day ...

... but I really have my eye on this colorful concoction. Delish! Thank you, my love :-)

To balance out my Valentine's Day (or perhaps couple of days), I've also been enjoying some Life Juice that I found at Target recently. Positive Balance's bright beet hue (much like one of my favorite chocolate beverages these days; I really love beets and chocolate) has Valentine's Day written all over it. Love it!

On another note, the kids and I have been making Valentines, like these adorable crazy straw ones for Jacob's class (I guess his classmates will have to wait until next week to receive them, as school has already been canceled again due to the snow). We got the idea somewhere online (sorry that I can't remember where exactly I saw it), but we came up with the specific design ourselves. The original idea was to do a Valentine that said "from one crazy kid to another" with a crazy straw attached to it. We opted to include crazy heart faces, complete with googly eyes (Jacob's favorite part of the finished Valentine), and pipe cleaner hearts. Too cute :-)

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Warm Red Velvet Cocoa

Hello anyone who is still reading. I figured I'd check in real quick to say hi and let you know I'm still alive and well. I hope everyone is staying warm in this freezing cold weather (well, at least it is freezing here). I've been enjoying three consecutive snow days at home with my kiddos, sledding (we have a lot of the powdery stuff, perfect for downhill racing) and warming up with some yummy hot cocoa. I've posted some of my favorite versions in the past (like in this blast-from-the-past video of Hayden and I posted below, as well as this superfood version), but today, I wanted to share my new favorite, which reminds me of warm liquid red velvet.

Basically, it's just warm almond milk mixed with CocoCardio, a combination of organic natural non-alkalized cocoa powder, organic rapid zone dried beet juice and concentrated hibiscus extract. The "beet-iful" color and chocolatey flavor reminds me of scrumptious red velvet, much like the raw vegan Perfectly Fit Red Velvet Cupcake I made a while back. I also like to add some protein powder to the Warm Red Velvet Cocoa, which makes it even more like the cupcake.

Speaking of Perfect Fit Protein, it was formulated by Karena and Katrina of Tone It Up. I'm taking part in their Love Your Body Challenge again (although I've been participating privately, rather than tweeting everything I do). It's so fun, and I love how they promote confidence, like in their blog post yesterday. Gotta sport the red lipstick or perhaps my natural beet stain; keep my shoulders back and lead with my heart.

How do you boost your confidence?