Friday, August 26, 2016

Final Day ~ Two Parks {May Family Vacation}

Tuesday morning! We spent the morning just exploring the city.

I've always wanted to see Dinosaur Park, but during all the times I've been to the Hills, I have never gotten up there. Until this trip! I was so excited! The park was a WPA project during the Great Depression. The kids loved the statue (and so did I, haha!).

Afterwards, James fell asleep in the car, so we found a great park in downtown Rapid City, and I stayed in the car with the doors open while Dan played with Ev. We eventually switched, because James just kept on sleeping. We let him play some once we finally woke up, too. It really was an amazing park... more like 4 parks in one and lots of opportunity for imagination play, too. 


An end to the trip: Dan's training started on Tuesday afternoon, but our original plan was to explore some in the morning (the parks above) and then I would take the kids for their afternoon nap in the hotel, and finally we'd eat supper together and I would take the kids home on Wednesday morning while Dan caught a ride home with a coworker after the training on Thursday. Well, after seeing how the first day affected the kids, plus I was not looking forward to trying to get the kids to nap in the same room together at the same time... I decided just to head home :) 

Overall, it was a great first vacation for us as a family of four, and the perfect practice for more vacations to come!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Next Up ~ Mt. Rushmore and Horse Thief {May Family Vacation}

After getting to our hotel, we organized our room and headed to Mt. Rushmore. 

Last winter, I won a Instagram give-away from the SD Department of Tourism, which included a Mt. Rushmore parking pass, a state park sticker and several South Dakota-Made goodies like truffles and coffee. This giveaway was a major motivation to get out to the Hills this summer - more like a good excuse to see how well the kids would do in the car (we had a 10 hour car trip planned for July... posts about that one eventually!).

Dan hadn't been to Mt. Rushmore since they improved the trails and the visitor center, and Ev was excited to see Mt. Rushmore - we have one book that has it and there is a big painting of it at Wall Drug. James, on the other hand was pretty tired and pretty cranky. Neither child has ever slept super well in the car, so he had only one short nap before our stop at Wall Drug. But, we got through it and enjoyed the hike.

Instead of heading back to the hotel right away, we decided to head to nearby Horse Thief Lake for another short hike. Ev and Dan had some fun exploring again, while James was in the carrier on my back... still not sleeping - crazy one-year-old!

Here, we let James out a bit... he loves exploring just as much as Ev does, but his footing isn't quite as sure ;)

After this hike, we headed back to Rapid. Both kids were asleep within 3 minutes in the car! We picked up some pizza and then enjoyed the water park at the hotel. Day 1 was a full, fun and exhausting day!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Starting Out ~ Wall Drug {May Family Vacation}

Dan had a work training in Rapid City last May, so we decided to go out a day early for our first family-of-four vacation :)

We left on a Monday morning, and planned to stop once between home and our hotel in Rapid. Somehow, we made it to Wall Drug without stopping, which worked out well... we were able to eat a picnic lunch that we had brought and then enjoy all the fun photo-ops in the "Backyard."

I need to go look up my pictures of the main 2 trips I remember stopping here - once when we were on a family road trip en route to a family wedding in Washington and another time as a Senior in high school en route to the state track meet. 

I'm so glad we have these pictures of the kids! Fun for me to take the pictures and fun for the kids to play around and stretch their legs before heading into the car for the last hour to our hotel. 

PS: As I look at these pictures I remember being disappointed about going so early in the season since it was a little chilly out, plus some attractions weren't open yet in the Hills because it wasn't officially "tourist season." However, how fun was it for the kids to run around Wall Drug and not have to worry too much about waiting in lines to sit on these props or having a mommy too worried about losing track of kids in a crowd. No worries there, haha!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Another set of Matching Tops!

I recently posted that I made a shirt for a MOPs meeting. Well, before I used my "good" fabric, I wanted to make sure the pattern fit me correctly. 

Pattern: Seafarer Top by Sew Much Ado 
Fabric: Cotton Lycra Print and Solid both from Raspberry Creek Fabrics on Etsy
Pictures Taken during our Black Hills "vacation" that I'll post about later...

I added the color-blocking myself, and after creating this top, I wished I had added the color blocking to the back as well. So, although the size fit me fine on this practice one, I did learn from it and thus made my next one better.

Of course, E kept asking me if she was going to get one, too. Lucky for her, I had just enough fabric left over to make her a matching Skipper Top (also by Sew Much Ado). You can see on hers that I added the color blocking to the back and how much better that looks! 

So, while I'm not one who loves-loves-loves being matchy-matchy with my daughter, the fact that it's a great way to use up scraps of fabric and it puts a huge smile on her face made me give in :)

PS: James decided to photobomb our pictures. Fun times ;)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Another Jolie {A Belated Post!}

I made two FAM Jolies during testing week last winter... you saw the first one here, but now here is the second.

It is a much more casual skirt, and one that E chooses to wear more often (well, until she outgrew it!) :) She loves My Little Ponies!

The pink cotton waistband and pocket fabrics are from JoAnns (leftover from her Minnie Tunic) and the MLP cotton fabric is from Walmart. It faded after several washes, but E doesn't seem to mind :)

I still love the waistband stitching... probably my favorite detail from this quick and easy pattern. The pocket instructions are not included in the pattern, but I found several free tutorials online. I ended up using this one from EYMM patterns.

Jolie was first offered in the digital magazine, One Thimble (Issue 10), but now you can buy the pattern directly from FAM! Enjoy!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Three More Creations

Another Olympic binge-watching blog post :)

A few more creations from this summer: 

**The striped top was needed for my MOPS Mom-Prom with a sailing theme last Map. I color-blocked Sew Much Ado's Seafarer Top using fabric from Raspberry Creek Fabrics. I've worn it several times since and look forward to wearing it more once the heat of summer passes. The cotton-lycra gets a little warm during this July and August afternoons!

**I found the diamond remnant at Hobby Lobby last spring and kept it out knowing that it would make a fun Bonny Leggings/Shorties Skirt (Made for Mermaids). Thinking about sewing that circle skirt hem held me back, though! Finally, I remembered the fun bias binding trim in my trim box and I fought it into submission to make a fun hem ;) The waistband is white knit and the shorts underneath are pink. Ev loves the twirl factor!

**Finally, the bucket hat was a necessary creation because Ev kept asking for one (Brother James has 2 rummage sale bucket hats and Ev was feeling left out)! Well, with as much fabric as I have, I knew I didn't want to buy one... so I purchased the pattern with some rewards points I had from Peekaboo Patterns and I finished it just in time for our Black Hills trip in May. It's not perfect, but Ev wears it and that all that matters (well that, and it saved me a few bucks)! I'm sure it helps that I let her pick the fabric :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Summer PJs

As I sit here watching the Olympics, I figured I can also be productive by trying to crank out some blog posts that are long overdue :)

This Spring, I cut out 6 pairs of Alex and Anna Pajamas from Peekaboo Pattern Shop. After cutting, they sat there in the corner of our downstairs sitting area for much too long. Then, I would sew a little bit here and there, until FINALLY, all 6 pairs were finished! 

They have been great this summer! Both kids also have a few rummage sale find pajamas, so we definitely have plenty to choose from at bedtime ;)

Fabrics: Art Gallery Bucks and Springs Creative Licensed prints... from Peekaboo Pattern Shop, Raspberry Creek Fabrics on Etsy, and another random Etsy shop that still had the My Little Pony fabric... because we all know that Ev needed it! :)