Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Easy School Day Breakfast: Ch-ch-ch-Chia Pudding

If you're like me, you are excited about the kids going back to school but not so thrilled with the prospect of hustling and bustling around in the mornings.  One of the things that makes mornings easier: waking up to breakfast waiting for you!

Here is a super easy recipe for a healthy, filling breakfast (or really...an anytime meal!):

You just need 2 ingredients: Almond milk (or soy, rice, coconut...whatever) and chia seeds.  You can find chia seeds in the health food section of your local grocery store or here.  They are a great source of antioxidants, Omega-3s and fiber.  I like to use vanilla flavored milk alternative, but you could certainly make this with plain. 
For 1 serving of Chia Pudding:
3 T chia seeds
1/2 cup milk alternative
1 t honey or brown rice syrup (optional...I do this when I use plain almond or coconut milk)
Berries or fruit for topping
In a small bowl or mason jar, combine chia seeds, almond milk, and sweetener if using.  Stir to combine (or just put the lid on and shake, if using a mason jar!).  Place in fridge and let congeal overnight.  Chia seeds absorb liquid, so your pudding will have a nice, tapioca-like consistency.  Stir or shake before serving and top with fruit.  YUM!


You could send some as a snack for side for your kiddo's lunch, too!  Enjoy!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Instafriday #15

Whew - it's been a busy week!  My littlest little turned 6, I took my Girl Scout Troop all over downtown Seattle, and we ate lots of ice cream.  I'm linking up with Life Rearranged for Instafriday.

My oldest and I had fun with some Crayola Air Dry Clay and made these cute little critters. 

We got the directions for the latest American Girl Magazine - so many fun ideas in there!
We LOVE sushi in our family and now that the kids are older, our orders get pretty huge.  I couldn't even fit the whole boat in my shot!  Yep, it all got inhaled quickly :)

This girl turned SIX!!  Where did the time go?!  Also, I *heart* Rhonna Designs' new app!  So fun!

My geeky husband's gift to the birthday girl.  This book is HILARIOUS, especially if you've been forced to watch Star Wars over and over and over again ;-)

Our Girl Scout troop went on a scavenger hunt through Seattle, and ended at the Great Wheel.  Picture me in a tiny compartment with 5 squealing little girls for an hour.  I still have a headache, but all in all, it was a great time :)

My own girls had so much fun!

The birthday girl could not believe how high up we were.

After all of the weekend excitement...I felt lazy and decided to let the girls have ice cream for dinner.  Of course I needed some too.

Another AG Magazine find - a recipe for no-bake cookies that my big girl made all by herself :)  And they were delicious, too!

We had our family pictures done one evening, and I caught the girls on the walk back to the car.  Yes I made their dresses...big stuff coming, so stay tuned!

This meal was one of the best I've made in a while.  There's a huge error in the recipe (1 teaspoon of salt, not 4!), but the rest of it is perfect!  I highly suggest you make it while the weather is still perfect for grilling!

Yes, I've already done some of our back to school shopping.  Our school basically requires us to buy everything but the desk, so I like to do it in spurts based on the ads.  Of course, I always have to buy a treat for me - sharpies in neon colors?!  Yes, please!

I was craving pie, but didn't want to work that hard or wait that long, so I made this cherry apricot crostata a few nights ago.  No recipe...just my favorite pie crust, the fruit, and a sprinkle of sugar.  YUM!

This was breakfast this morning: chia pudding made with almond milk, a splash of honey, and topped with fresh blueberries.  YUM!

Head on over the Life Rearranged to check out what the rest of the folks have linked up!  You can follow me on Instagram here.

life rearranged

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday - The 20 Minute Skirt

Happy Tuesday, all!  Let's take a break from the Royal Baby madness for a skirt tutorial!

My girls love to wear skirts, especially when I make them.  This is a super easy skirt, and literally only takes 20 minutes to make!  All you need are two fabrics, some 1/2 inch wide elastic, and your sewing machine and general sewing stuff (scissors, thread, pins, etc.).  I used Moda's Oh Deer fabric for this - isn't it adorable? 

First, take your daughter's measurements.  I made this skirt for my 8 year old.  Her waist was 22 inches and the length from her waist to her knee (where I wanted the skirt to hit) was 18 inches.

Subtract 3 inches from your waist to knee measurement.  For my daughter, that was 15 inches.  Now add an inch for your elastic casing.  I got 16 inches.  This is the length of the skirt before adding the contrasting band a the bottom. 

Now it's time to make your fabric cuts:

Main Fabric: Length (16 inches, in my case) x 44 inches (selvage to selvage of your fabric)
Contrast Fabric: 7 inches x 44 inches
Elastic: waist measurements plus 1 inch

Here's my fabric after it was cut:

First, fold your contrast fabric in half lengthwise with wrong sides together.  Press well.  Pin the band to the bottom of your main fabric, right sides together, so that the raw edges are lined up.  Using a 1/2 inch seam allowance, sew the two together.

Serge, zig-zag, or pink the edges to finish, press downward towards the band.

Topstich along the top of the band.

Now, if you have a serger you can serge to top edge of the skirt.  If you don't, just fold it over 1/4 inch and then again another 3/4 inch to make the casing for the elastic.

Sew it up, leaving about an inch open so that you can thread your elastic through the casing that you just created. 

Stitch the ends of your elastic together, then sew up the rest of the casing.

Voila!  a cute little skirt that only took you 20 minutes!

I love the band at the bottom - such a fun touch!

Put your skirt on your favorite little girl and watch her twirl!

A Jennuine Life Thrifty to Nifty Thursdays Feature

Linking up with:

Friday, July 19, 2013

Instafriday #14

I'm linking up again with Jeanette from Life Rearranged for Instafriday! Here's what I've been up to lately:

This girl LOVES to accessorize!  She also loves playing cards...I sense a future poker star!

Did you get your free Slurpee on July 11?  I did.  And uh...I also redid my nails.  Ew.

When my kids complain, they have to clean.  And I get to enjoy clean floors.  (Side note: the Shark Steam Mop is AWESOME!  Make sure you get the one with all of the attachments!)

We had some family in town, which always means that the hubs and I can go out for date night.  We hit up our favorite movie theater to see Red 2 (hilarious, BTW!) and share a pitcher of mimosas.  Yum!

All of the sewing I've been doing means I NEEDED one of these.  Next to my seam ripper, this thing is my new favorite tool in the sewing room! 

Yep, I had a good birthday :)  I also got a bias tape maker...no more burnt fingers for me!!  This thing is also awesome.  Stay tuned for a tutorial on making bias tape with it or the old fashioned way :)

This no-bake s'mores pie was AWESOME.  Especially on a hot day when we didn't have to heat up the oven or stove.  Added bonus: My husband got to use the propane torch.  Cooking with flames is always fun!

Yummiest dinner ever: Cilantro Lime Shrimp, grilled corn, and my famous bean salad.  SO good.  Especially when watermelon was for dessert!

During my last shop update photo shoot, I got this cute picture of my oldest practicing her yoga.  Love her! 

Summer means homemade popsicles at our house.  I love making them from leftover fruit (this was strawberries, blueberries, and kiwis) and some apple juice.  Just chop up your fruit, stuff it in the mold, and top off with juice.  White grape juice works well, too.  Easy and healthy!

You can always follow along with me on Instagram - I'm thegracefulroseshop over there!  Be sure to check out Life Rearranged to see what the other bloggers are up to!

life rearranged

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Tried and Tested: The Liesel Dress by Peek A Boo Pattern Shop

I'm so excited to share a new dress with you today!  I've sewed up a few of Peek A Boo Pattern Shop's adorable patterns (the Perfect Peasant Dress is used for this dress in my shop) and have found the patterns to be very straightforward and quick to sew.  Recently, I had the opportunity to test one of Amy's patterns for her new fall line and since I've had such good luck with her designs in the past, of course I said yes!

I tested the Liesel, a peasant-style dress or top with shirring at the waist (and sleeves, if you do the short sleeve version).  I know that shirring is sort of scary for a lot of people, but it's really not too hard, and Amy walks you through it step-by-step.

I made the short sleeved version of the dress in a size 8, which has a shirred waist and sleeves.

 The neckline has a cute tie made from bias tape, which is a fun touch if you make your own.  My daughter loved how comfy this dress was!

I think the fit was right on - it looks a little big on my daughter, who is pretty skinny.  But the length and sleeve length were perfect for her.

Here's a close up of the tie.  Stay tuned for a tutorial on how to make your own bias tape - again, it seems tricky, but really, it's super simple!  I love the polka dots with this big floral print.

Here's a shot of the back, and you can see how the neckline gathers.  It's such a comfy little dress!  I can't wait to make a few more of these for back to school!  I think it would be adorable in corduroy and I also can't wait to make the top version!

Thanks, Amy for letting me test this adorable pattern!

The Facts:
Pattern: Liesel by Peek A Boo Patterns, dress with short sleeves
Size: 8
Fabric: the floral is an Alexander Henry print that I bought at Joann several years ago.  Sadly, I cut the selvage off so I don't have the name of it :(  The purple polka dot fabric is also from Joann - just their basic quilting cotton.
Thoughts: This was a super easy sew!  Only 4 pattern pieces, so it comes together super quick.  If you've never shirred before, this is a great project to get you feeling comfortable.  I chose to make my own bias tape, but using store bought would be just fine and even faster.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Cookies & Cream Pudding Pops

It's HOT out, folks.  Especially for us wimps in the Pacific Northwest.  So what's a girl to do?  Make pudding pops, of course!  Remember those awesome commercials with Bill Cosby from the 80s?  And the even more awesome pudding pops?  Yum.  I've heard that they are available again but that they taste weird.  So...my girls and I decided to just make our own :)

This is so easy that my nearly 6 year old could do it herself!

What you need:

Instant pudding mix (we used vanilla, but it would be super yummy with cheesecake flavor!)
Cream filled sandwich cookies - (mini Oreos in a tiny container mean no leftovers for me to eat later!)

Take a handful of cookies, put them in a zipper bag, hand your kid a rolling pin, and let her go to town.

When she's you're done, they should look like this.  Mmmmmm...cookie crumbs...

Meanwhile, make the pudding according to the directions on the package (usually, pour in the milk and whisk for 2 minutes).  Don't worry about letting it thicken - it will do that while it's freezing.

Stir in the cookie crumbs.

Now, spoon the pudding into popsicle molds and be sure to tap them a few times to get any air bubbles out.

Freeze until firm and enjoy!