The Life of Jennifer Dawn: August 2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Cupcake Decorating Tip: Crumbled cake pieces and chocolate wafers are excellent toppings for red velvet cupcakes.  They add a little something extra to these decadent confections.
 Happy Eating!

A Verse for Your Sunday

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Simple Skirt Tutorial

Here is an extremely easy way to sew a cute skirt...
1. Find a knit t-shirt that you don't wear anymore.  Lay the shirt out flat with the front facing you.  Using the chart below, measure the appropriate height up from the bottom hem of the skirt.  (Example: I made a 2T skirt, so I measured and marked 10 inches up from the bottom of the shirt.)
2. With scissors or a rotary cutter, cut straight across the entire length of the shirt when you marked the height that it should be.  You can see where I cut across 10 inches up from the bottom of the shirt.

3.  The beauty of using a knit shirt is that you already have the bottom hem and side seams done for you.  All you have to do is to sew a waistband.  Turn the cut fabric wrong side out.  Fold the top (raw edge) down one inch and pin in place.

4. Sew 1/8 inch up from the bottom of the waistband where your raw edge is.  Leave a 2 inch gap at one place so you can thread your elastic through.  Then sew a line 1/8 from the top of the waistband where the fold is in order to stabilize the waistband.  Sew all the way around the top.  Do NOT leave the gap that you left at the bottom.  Tip: Before you begin sewing, be sure to set your machine to the appropriate settings for sewing with a knit fabric and use a ball-point needle.

5. Using the measurements from the chart above, cut a strip of 1/4 inch elastic to thread through the gap you left at the bottom of the waistband.  Tips: Attach a safety pin to the end of the elastic in order to thread it through easily.  The elastic measurement in the chart is an estimate.  You may need to use a little less if you child has a very small waist.

6. Once the elastic has been thread through the waistband, sew the two ends of the elastic together by making several stitches back and forth with your machine.  To finish the skirt, sew up the gap you left at the bottom of the waistband.
 That's it!  A simple skirt in six easy steps!  Of course, you can always add ruffles, broaches, flowers, buttons, or any other embellishment...or you can just keep it simple.

And here is my model in her new skirt...
She's so busy that I have to just catch snapshots of her in actions.
Happy Sewing!

Sunday Verse

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Classroom: Before and After

Where have I been this week?  Why no posts with cute pictures of Lydia Grace or a crafty project?  Well, I have been tackling one of the most time consuming tasks of being a teacher which is turning this...
 into this...

I'm not quite finished, but it's not a bad start for four days of moving furniture, decorating, planning, cleaning, purging, unpacking, stapling, plugging up, rearranging, hanging, taping...  You get the idea.  The weekend is here (or as I like to shout happily to my daughter while cheering and clapping my hands...Happy Family Days), so the craftiness and picture taking of Lydia Grace will be in full force. Let me take that back.  The weekend will convene after I get up at 4:00 in the morning to be near the front of the line of teachers waiting outside the Teacher Supply Depot for free classroom supplies.  Can you believe how desperate we are for some paper, books, and markers?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Back 2 School Bash (Someday Crafts)

Someday Crafts has been hosting a Back 2 School Bash!  She has featured my Snap Pouches as "perfect for pencils and other gadgets to keep in a locker, tote or cubby".  I love her site and am always so inspired by the creative ideas I find there.  Go pay her a visit, leave lots of comments, and become inspired by the crafty ideas you would love to try SOMEDAY.

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nothing Gold Can Stay
Nature's first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
-Robert Frost-

Robert Frost was right....
Nothing Gold Can Stay.

Tomorrow I go back to work...
It is so hard to leave Lydia Grace each time I get a break from work to spend with her, and then have to go back to work again.  But another spree of staying at home with her is over.  Can I just be completely transparent with you for a bit?  And excuse me if I start to ramble...
As I am typing this, tears are streaming down my face.  Yeah, I am already crying.  Don't misunderstand me...I love my job, and I am so blessed to have it.  It's just really hard to leave my little girl.  I get so much time with her each break that I am off, and then it is like leaving her for the first time all over again.  When I am working, I'm always fearful that there are so many important moments of her life that I am missing.  I have LOVED our summer of Kindermusik, trips to the zoo, reading books, singing songs, blowing bubbles, playing in her princess tent, Baby Bookworms at the library, playing in the park, and all of the other things we have shared together during these golden months.  
BUT Nothing Gold Can Stay...
So tomorrow I go back to work looking forward to a new classroom of students and a new year of learning.  Tomorrow I go back to juggling the roles of both teacher and mom, but I also go back with the wonderful memories of this summer...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

It's Sunday!

Happy Sunday!

Friday, August 6, 2010

It's a Teddy Bear Picnic

Have you ever read the book The Teddy Bears' Picnic?  It's a charming tale about Teddy Bears who go out into the woods for a day of picnicking and fun.
Well, Lydia Grace and I had our very own Teddy Bear Picnic.  All of her Teddy Bears were invited, of course.
We spread out a quilt, ate a yummy picnic lunch, listened to music, danced, played, blew bubbles, and had a magical afternoon...
*Affiliate links have been added to help guide you to some of our favorite books.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Pink Tutu for my Princess

Lydia Grace loved the Belle Tutu so much--the one I donated to the Tutu Drive--that I decided to make her a pink, fluffy tutu
 What is it about a tutu that makes a little girl want to prance around like a fairy?  The moment I put it on her, she began dancing around the house saying, "Tutu!  Tutu!"  Well, my sweet girl...this tutu is for you to keep, play dress-up with , and feel like a princess in.  
Prance, twirl, dance, and smile...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Oatmeal Playdough

Lydia Grace and I whipped up some play dough today. It's a taste safe oatmeal play dough. Although I don't encourage her to eat any, it is completely edible if she were to decide to take a little taste. And let's face it! Toddlers seem to put everything in their mouths. It's all part of healthy, normal development. With this play dough, that's not a concern. Yay! A play dough for tiny hands that won't stress mom out.

This is a great sensory activity for kids of all ages! The texture is different than that of store-bought play dough which makes it unique and fun. With only three ingredients, it's simple enough for older kiddos to mix up themselves. And since it's edible, little ones can have fun with it too! It's a perfect activity for all!

Oatmeal Play Dough


  • 1/2 cup uncooked oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 flour
  1. Stir all of the ingredients together in a large bowl until everything is completely mixed together.
  2. Hand it over to your little one to play with.
  3. Sprinkle in a few cookie cutters to extend the fun.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Belle Tutu

I saw a Tutu Drive publicized on another blog. All of the tutus were being sent to a hospital with terminally ill children. I just knew that I had to participate even though the drive was nearing its end. I quickly went out to the store to buy some tulle. I have a confession though... Up until this point, I've never actually sewn a tutu before. This was the perfect opportunity to give it a try though. 

The strategy:
Figure it out as I went along

The inspiration:
Belle from Beauty and the Beast

What little girl wouldn't want to dress-up as this beautiful, book reading princess?!

The result:
This Belle Inspired Tutu that a very deserving little girl will feel like a princess in.
Happy sewing!

Sunday, August 1, 2010