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Barn Kitties

I took these pictures when we picked up the kids after their week of fun at their aunt and uncle’s farm.  They got to do lots of fun stuff (petting zoo place, trail ride on horses, waterpark), and didn’t have to get up and go to their regular summer camp.  A good time was had by all, and it was great for everyone to spend time together.

The kids were especially enamored with all of the kitties.  There were several more on top of these pictures, with some small babies.  Surprisingly, Anya did not come home with one in her bag. :)

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The kids start back at school next week, and I take my annual week of vacation so I can sew.  Hopefully, I will actually have some sewing posts next week! :)

A meal in hand…

This is a long overdue post, that I started at the beginning of summer.  I was concerned that my children would just starve, since we were going to be running to  baseball fields 4-5 days a week.   We needed some fast and on the go meals that didn’t require some sort of drive-through.  I only really chose things that I could foresee being actually eaten in the car, as that is about only what we had time to do.  Get the kids home, change, warm something up and get in the car! I sent out my plea on Facebook, and I got some ideas and recipes from some of my friends:


I asked my lovely friend from Chile what her recipe was for empanadas, and she gave me ideas of what she uses for filling.  She bakes them and uses ready made roll dough.  Works for me!  I also added a few other things that I think would work well. Roll out the dough after it thaws, fill it up, use a fork to press the crease shut, bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes or until it looks like it is getting browned. Note: You could also use ready made biscuits for this, too.  Or make your own dough, if you are an over-achiever.  Or if you forgot to buy dough.  Like me.

Empanada dough

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon cold water
1 teaspoon white vinegar

Put the dry ingredients into a food processor.  Pulse.  Add the butter chunks and pulse until it is all incorporated.    Turn on the processor and stream the wet ingredients.  Mix until it forms a ball.  Take it out and knead for a few minutes with the extra flour.  Turn into a ball and refrigerate an hour until chilled.  Roll out the dough and cut into circles, put filling in the middle and seal.  I brushed them with some olive oil and sprinkled some kosher salt on top before cooking.


  • Cheese and Ham
  • Ricotta and Spinach
  • Chicken & Broccoli (get a rotisserie chicken and this would be pretty quick)
  • Potatoes, Lentils & Peas (samosa filling)
  • Philly cheesesteak filling
  • Jerk Chicken (Put two chicken breasts in crock pot with jerk seasoning and juice of 1 lime, cook 6 hours on low, shred), cheese, corn
  • The one below: roast with potatoes and carrots, that I had thrown in the crock pot.

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This is one where I made breakfast burritos, but regular burritos would work great, too.  Basically, just roll them up with the pre-made fillings and freeze, either in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.  When ready to eat, take out of wrapping, wrap in moist paper towel, and microwave for 90 seconds to 3 minutes, depending on your fillings.  This may be some trial and error to get the reheat time.  After reheating, you can open them up and add lettuce, sour cream, etc. to them before wrapping up again.

Make a batch of Mexican Rice, and different chicken/beef/black bean fillings and you can do a whole bunch at once.

Kai is a big fan of the first one, and that is pretty easy to throw together.  He even helped me by wrapping them up.


  • Scrambled eggs, bacon, cheese
  • Scrambled eggs, sausage links, cheese
  • Scrambled eggs, spinach, goat cheese (this will be for me…my kids won’t touch that!)
  • Hamburger cooked, with taco seasoning, salsa, cheese
  • Lime honey chicken, red pepper, cilantro-lime rice, cheese
  • Cafe Rio crockpot chicken, cilantro-lime rice, cheese
  • BBQ chicken (do this in a crockpot, too…I love Sweet Baby Rays sauce), black beans, corn, cheese

Other ideas…

If you have time to cook (10-15 minutes), here are some other ideas:

  • Grilled Cheese sandwiches
  • Quesedillas (whatever leftover meat you may have, cheese)
  • Sloppy Joes in a crockpot, just hard to eat in the car.  Get home, make a sandwich quick and eat before getting into the car.  You could also put the sandwich in a bowl and give them a plastic fork.
  • Taco meat in the crockpot and throw together walking tacos

If you have any other ideas, feel free to throw them out.  Kai started back to football this week with three days of practice and in September Anya will be in volleyball, with Dad as her coach most likely.  At least they are active!

The missing shirt

So LAST YEAR at the Sewing Mama’s retreat I made this shirt.  It was the first thing I made, and I loved how it turned out.  I got home and the Little Miss tried it on.

Too tight in the sleeves.


I thought that I had put it downstairs on my sewing table.  When I went to fix it, I could not find it.  I even looked through her closet.  Several times!  Well, apparently I didn’t look well enough.

A few weeks ago, one of her friends was combing through her closet looking for something to dress up with, and she came across the shirt!

I thought for sure it ended up in a giveaway bag and was long gone.

So here it is!  Finally!


She liked a shirt I had with pleather insets at the top, so I made this for a similar look.  She loves zebra print, so that is the main fabric, plus stretch lace on the bottom in three layers.


I bound the edges with the zebra print as this black lamé fabric tended to run if stretched too much.  The back actually has some run marks in it.


I ended up re-binding the sleeves in a black lycra knit, as I couldn’t find any of the remaining zebra knit.  After a year or so things tend to disappear.

She was pleased!

…just ignore the fact that part of the peplum circle skirt is tucked into the waistband of her shorts ;)


All done

The kids finished up their softball and baseball seasons, and we had our nights and weekends free for two whole weeks before football starts up on us this week.

Kai’s team this past year was less challenging that the year before, as this year the kids split off into travel and in-house teams.  We didn’t have him try out for travel, as we weren’t sure how much time we would have for running around with Brian as the in-house softball commissioner.  This meant he was one of the best players on the team and some of the other kids were less than motivated.  They did end up going into the championship game, with Kai as the lead off pitcher.  His nerves got to him, and he wasn’t pitching his best, unfortunately.  That happens.

They ended up losing the championship, which was not undeserved.  The other team was much better at fielding the ball, so they deserved to be the champions.  Hopefully, next year he will be on a team that challenges him better and he can grow his skills.  This year that just was not possible.


As for Anya’s year, well, the girls did get better over the course of the season.  With Daddy as her coach, she was starting to get better at fielding and this was the first year of them pitching.  She did alright, but needs a bit of work in pitching and hitting.  Many of the girls were in the same boat, though.  At least she paid attention for the most part!

There are not a lot of girls in softball, so she played games with local towns and there were two grades together in their teams.  There was quite the height difference in some of the teams, where it didn’t seem possible those girls were in that age bracket.  She did have one girl on her team that towered above the rest, too.  Must be a growth spurt for those years!

They did not make it far in the playoffs and lost the first two games.  That was unfortunate, but I think most of them were ready to be done.  They had fun and that is what is important.  She was also on the team with one of her long-time friends, so they had a good time playing together.


Now football gear pick up and tryouts are this week, so we are onto another sport season.  Anya starts up volleyball in September, so at least she has a little break!

More cargos

One of the things that I wanted to get done at the sewing retreat were some cargo shorts for Kai.  They are time consuming to do, with all the pockets and topstitching, so I figured getting some dedicated sewing time would be good!  I got two pairs of shorts completed for him.

This pattern is Ottobre 3/2010 #36.  The way they you put together the welt pockets is a bit, well…stupid.  There are much easier ways to do them, and I was getting a bit frustrated.  I did the tie dye shorts with their method and the plaid shorts with this method.  Much easier and less frustrating!

These shorts were made with a cream twill I sent with Kai to tie-dye at the day camp.  This was the fabric that got rained on, and was muddy and dirty.  There are still some stains on the fabric that I couldn’t get out, but, eh…he’s a boy.  They are going to get stained eventually anyways!  I used another cream-ish twill to do the pockets, as I didn’t want the whole thing out of the tie-dye fabric, though the tie-dye is pretty subtle.


Next are a pair of plaid shorts.  I cut them out at the retreat and had to use some fabric that I had bought the previous day for the welt pockets.  I wanted these a bit dressier, so I did not put in the cargo pockets on the side.


The shirt matches both of these shorts.   He wanted a goblin from Clash of Clans on the shirt.  I told him I would put it on another shirt, as I wanted something a little dressier (a.k.a. not ugly!).  I used a stencil he had picked out before from the Silhouette store of jousting knights.


Here is the inside of the shorts looking all nice and finished.


Then, lastly, here is the other tie-dye creation we did.  I had cut out the front and back for this shirt out of white knit and sent it with him to camp.  I wanted to make a winter shirt, and one that wasn’t entirely tie-dye.  The die job matched a deep blue sweatshirt fleece I had in my stash, so I got this sewed up at the retreat, too.  It will be worn in the Fall, so I didn’t make him put it on today as it is 88 degrees outside. :)


One of the ladies at the retreat said she copied me and tie-dyed fabric with her kids, too.  It definitely allows you a bit more creativity than just a tie-dyed t-shirt (which my kids already have A LOT of those!).

Now I need to get back in the sewing room to attempt to finish up some clothes for me!

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