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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Baby Girl is 1! {Happy Birthday}

On July 19th, my baby girl turned 1! On July 20th we celebrated her birthday with friends and family. :) Over at GYCT Designs I'm sharing the sheets I made to help me with planning and organizing the birthday party as part of her Sizzlin' Summer Organization Series.

Enjoy some of the pictures here of the party, her cake Hubby decorated and her 'eating' it, and the dress I made her. :)

The Berry Bunch: Baby Girl is 1! {Happy Birthday!}

We used a Koala theme for the birthday cake and invitations. It also happens to be the mural that is on her wall in her bedroom! :) We used the Koala from the Create a Critter for the  (affiliate)for the Cricut Expression Cutting Machine (affiliate) , cut it out from cardstock and used it to make an impression in the frosting.  Hubby then filled it in with frosting once removing the cardstock.

The Berry Bunch: Baby Girl is 1! {Happy Birthday!}

She was shy listening to happy birthday

The Berry Bunch: Baby Girl is 1! {Happy Birthday!}

The Berry Bunch: Baby Girl is 1! {Happy Birthday!}

Baby girl, just like her brother, was not a fan of the frosting!

The Berry Bunch: Baby Girl is 1! {Happy Birthday!}

The Berry Bunch: Baby Girl is 1! {Happy Birthday!}

The Berry Bunch: Baby Girl is 1! {Happy Birthday!}

And some more cake eating pictures, mostly because I missed the first bite...

The Berry Bunch: Baby Girl is 1! {Happy Birthday!}

The Berry Bunch: Baby Girl is 1! {Happy Birthday!}

The Berry Bunch: Baby Girl is 1! {Happy Birthday!}

We had family and friends over, and I am so thankful for them celebrating with us. I was too busy to take too many pictures, but here are a few good ones.

The Berry Bunch: Baby Girl is 1! {Happy Birthday!}

The Berry Bunch: Baby Girl is 1! {Happy Birthday!}

The Berry Bunch: Baby Girl is 1! {Happy Birthday!}

The Berry Bunch: Baby Girl is 1! {Happy Birthday!}

The Berry Bunch: Baby Girl is 1! {Happy Birthday!}

Cousin's helped open presents. They are such good helpers.

The Berry Bunch: Baby Girl is 1! {Happy Birthday!}

The Berry Bunch: Baby Girl is 1! {Happy Birthday!}

The Berry Bunch: Baby Girl is 1! {Happy Birthday!}

I made her a dress for the day too, in a very thin material to help stay cool. It's the Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop's Sweetheart Halter (affiliate). I just extended the shirt to make it a dress. 

The Berry Bunch: Baby Girl is 1! {Happy Birthday!}

The Berry Bunch: Baby Girl is 1! {Happy Birthday!}

Don't forget to head over to GYCT Designs and check out the sheets I made that help me plan birthday parties (and other parties). 

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl! May you have many more!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Sorrow Fills Our Hearts As We Hope Peace Finally Fills Yours

I started off with every intention to finish the post about baby girl's first birthday. Fighting back tears as I go through pictures of my beautiful friends and family. Only to feel like I am holding onto something that I shouldn't right now. Our experiences are coveted. I want to hold these moments tight to my heart. But right now, all I can do is shed these tears of anger, tears of regret, tears of sorrow. Words cannot express how my heart aches for family. And yet, I need to get this out as my husband has boarded on his flight, heading out to remember. I am thankful he has his sister by his side to be there on this journey with him.


There is do much to say and not enough space to say it in. I cannot begin to express the multitude of feelings that comes with loosing a loved one. Especially when that person decides to take their own life.

It hurts. Suicide hurts everyone. 

Pain is hard. Life is hard. It is not meant to be easy. I take comfort in knowing that, it makes life more real. More meaningful. It gives me the courage to push through, most of the time. I know, depression just makes everything harder.

...I sit in bed by myself writing this. It's comfortable, it's soft. But really, it's the opposite end of the house from the children's rooms. They don't need to hear me cry more than they already have. The tears still come in a constant steady stream...

I can only imagine how someone must feel to make the decision that taking their life is the only way. My first thought was "how selfish" But what a horrible thing to think? Was it selfishness? I don't know. 

How much suffering you must have had, how much pain and sorrow in your own heart. I hurt for you. I hurt for the people closest to you. 

Your children will not be able to see the pride in your face as they learn to ride a bike without training wheels, catch the pop-fly out into left field, walk across the graduation stage. Or, as you walk her down the aisle holding your hand as you lead her up to a man willing to love her as much as you have.. As you watch your son standing there with a smile on his face as he sees his bride in her gown for the first time.

Or hold your wife's hand as you experience these things together. The possibility of holding your grandchildren for the first time. Happy to see and experience a baby all over again, knowing that your children have a beautiful miracle of their own.

Is it selfish to expect that you should still be here with us? Perhaps.

It will still be hard. It's not meant to be easy...

We will love you always and remember you as you were when you were happy.  

And now, all I can do is ask.

I know you loved your family. I pray they remember your love. That they are given strength to carry on.

I pray that your heart now feels love and peace and that your mind is finally at ease. 

Ray - 7/7/88 - 7/22/14
Rest in Peace, Our Cousin
7/7/1988 - 7/22/2014

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Turtle Thermal PJs: Stitch Swap & KCW

Some of the women in the wonderful social media world of sewing swapped a yard of fabric. Today is day and 3, and so much cuteness and awesome has been shared! 

I received my fabric from Stephanie of  Swoodson Says. These little turtles are the cutest! I made the Alex & Anna Winter PJs by Peek-A-Boo Pattern Shop (affiliate), I thought the pattern would be perfect as pjs, thermals to layer, or just to wear. I added a little bit of fabric marker to the front to outline the hearts.

The Berry Bunch: Turtle Thermal PJs: Stitch Swap & KCW

The Berry Bunch: Turtle Thermal PJs: Stitch Swap & KCW

They are a little big on her now, but she will grow into them. Hopefully, though, not before winter is over! 

The Berry Bunch: Turtle Thermal PJs: Stitch Swap & KCW

The Berry Bunch: Turtle Thermal PJs: Stitch Swap & KCW

She was not a happy camper, I had to keep taking away a really (I mean SUPER) dirty outside toy to be able to get some pictures. So she was mad at me, and not happy about pictures. 

The Berry Bunch: Turtle Thermal PJs: Stitch Swap & KCW

The Berry Bunch: Turtle Thermal PJs: Stitch Swap & KCW

Those turtles are just the cutest! I'll be honest. It took me forever to decide what to do with this fabric too. It's so cute, so hard to decide! Plus because of Baby girl's 1st birthday this weekend I did not do much for the last couple weeks except plan and prep for that. But, sometimes those last minute decisions are the best. I love how they turned out! 

Thanks to Stephanie for organizing the swap! And, don't forget to check out the rest of the ladies who have participated in the swap and see what projects they have created using their surprise fabric! 

 
 Monday July 21st 
Stephanie -- Swoodson Says 
Ashley -- Sewing Sober 

 Tuesday July 22nd 
Janelle -- Emmaline Bags 

 Wednesday July 23rd 
Danica -- The Sewing Sparrow 
Bethany -- Two Novembers 
Jessica -- The Berry Bunch 

 Thursday July 24th 
Chrissy -- Muse of the Morning 
Fenna -- Fabulous Home Sewn 
Melissa -- Rebel and Malice 
Irene -- Sugaridoo 

 Friday July 25th 
Jess -- Gracious Threads 
Roxanne -- Pensebrox 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What's For Dinner: Beef and Broccoli One Pot Wonder {Recipes}

I am not a chef. I barely consider myself a cook. I can do casseroles. I love bakes. And, I am looking for one pot wonders where-ever I can find them.

The Berry Bunch: What's For Dinner: Beef and Broccoli One Pot Wonder {Recipes}


One thing I have difficulty doing? Following recipes as they are written and remembering what I did for next time. I have a habit of pulling recipes from websites and altering them as I cook, doing what works for what I have at the time that I do it. So I am trying to write down what I do as I do it, just in case it does, or does not, work.

I had limited items in my pantry one day and I needed something different and I found this recipe from Campbell's Kitchen... I decided to give it a go and ended up not even following the recipe really and it came out like this instead.

Beef and Broccoli Pasta: One Pot Wonder

Ingredients:

1 Tbs  oil
1-2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 yellow onion chopped
salt/pepper
1 tsp each: ginger, curry powder, dried basil, ground fennel
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 lb ground beef
2-4 cups broccoli florets

The Berry Bunch: What's For Dinner: Beef and Broccoli One Pot Wonder {Recipes}

2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1.5 cups milk
1.5 cups water
1 package of pasta. I like Garofalo Pasta (affiliate)  I use the 1.1 lb packages from Costco. I like the Gemelli. You can use the 1lb packages too, I like the Fusilli Pasta (affiliate)

The Berry Bunch: What's For Dinner: Beef and Broccoli One Pot Wonder {Recipes}

     

Directions:

heat oil in a large skillet or pot (big enough to put it all in). At Med-high heat, Add seasonings. You can add more or less depending on your tastes. and brown quickly. Not more than a few seconds to a minute. I often throw these in while I am waiting for the oil to heat up.

Add garlic and onion and saute until translucent. Depending on my mood, or the kids craving attention, I will caramelize the onion.

Add ground beef and cook through.

The Berry Bunch: What's For Dinner: Beef and Broccoli One Pot Wonder {Recipes}

Turn down heat to medium, add broccoli and soy sauce. stir fry for a minute or two. Longer if you prefer your vegetables softer.

Add cream of mushroom soup, heat through

The Berry Bunch: What's For Dinner: Beef and Broccoli One Pot Wonder {Recipes}

Add milk and water. cover and return to simmer. It looks like a lot of liquid but it's ok. the pasta will absorb a lot of it and it will thicken later.

The Berry Bunch: What's For Dinner: Beef and Broccoli One Pot Wonder {Recipes}

Add pasta, return to simmer. turn heat to med-low. Cover and cook according to pasta directions or until pasta is done. stir frequently.

Once pasta is done remove from heat and sit for about 5 minutes. The sauce will thicken as it stands.

The Berry Bunch: What's For Dinner: Beef and Broccoli One Pot Wonder {Recipes}

I love this dish. I think it has to be one of my favorites and I don't like mushrooms!  I will even eat this leftovers cold! Even the kids like it!


The Berry Bunch: What's For Dinner: Beef and Broccoli One Pot Wonder {Recipes}


The Berry Bunch: What's For Dinner: Beef and Broccoli One Pot Wonder {Recipes}


The Berry Bunch: What's For Dinner: Beef and Broccoli One Pot Wonder {Recipes}


How do you follow recipes? Do you cook as they say to or end up with something almost completely different?