Wednesday, August 31, 2011


In this post, I gave a sneak peak of what I have been working on for Hannah Grace. I'm pleased to say that I am almost finished with all of her pants (there is one more pair that needs to have the length altered). But here they are, homemade pants!

 I love all of the pants, but this is probably my favorite pair, mostly because I love the fabric so much. The chunky hem on the bottom (inspired by this tutorial) gives the pants more of a 'trouser' look, but I can let it out once Hannah Grace gets taller, allowing her to wear these pants longer.

You may need to click on the photo to get a better look of the print on these pants. I bought this flannel fabric several months ago, knowing I wanted to make pants out of it for Hannah Grace to wear during the fall and winter. It is hard to tell, but I added a ruffle at the bottom. Several days ago I was in Target, and they had a pink shirt with a little dog on the front that looked exactly like the dogs on these pants, so I bought it, knowing they would definitely be worn together!

Simple, green linen-look pants. More than anything I liked the feel of this material and knew they would make a cute, basic pant. They are way too long and will need to be hemmed, but otherwise, I really like them!

Lounge pants, made from a super cute knit fabric. Originally these pants did not have elastic in the legs, but I thought they looked too messy as full length pants, so I added the elastic and now they look great!

I used several different tutorials, one pattern,  my mom’s advice, and my own imagination to make these pants. The biggest issue I had was not making the crotch large enough (I figured out the problem on the last pair of pants I made, but they are not pictured), so they are a tad snug when Hannah Grace sits, but that hasn’t been a problem yet.

I also made the pants (except for the lounge pants, of course) a little longer than Hannah Grace’s current size, because I want her to be able to wear them through the winter. Hopefully she’ll be able to, and if she can’t, then I’ll just make some more pants!

So I can give credit, the tutorials I either used or drew inspiration from were from Sewing in No Mans Land and Prudent Baby. The pattern I used was Burda Easy 9650 (although I did not pay $10 for this pattern!). 

Friday, August 26, 2011

HP's TouchPad

I rarely talk about electronics, but the recent news of HP completely revamping their company and selling off their PC line (as well as discontinuing their just-released tablet and smart phone line) has had me pouring into HP-related news over the last week. 

Being a fan of HP (this post is actually being typed on my still-fairly-brand-new HP laptop), I was saddened by this news. Then we learned that HP and other retailers all over the country were drastically dropping the price of their seven week old tablet, the HP TouchPad, to a mere $99 for the 16GB. The TouchPad I harassed John about for two weeks straight after HP announced they were releasing a tablet back in May. The TouchPad that had been $400 (and we were seriously considering buying it at that price).

And there it was on Office Depot's website for a hundred bucks. However, once we tried to add it to our cart, the words 'Sold Out Online' popped up, and we knew this little commodity would be going quickly. 

To make a long story short, I scoured the internet until I learned that HP would not allow Best Buy to return the TouchPads, meaning Best Buy would have to sell them at the $99 price and take a loss. There were over 200,000 TouchPads in Best Buy's inventory, but they were still listed at $399 on their website Saturday night. And then, at the refresh of the page, the words 'No longer available' popped up. Too tired to do look further in to it, I decided to just go to sleep and see if I had any luck the next morning. 

Hannah Grace woke up at 7:20 Sunday morning. Before I got her out of the pack n play, I Googled the TouchPad for the latest news on the product. The first article that popped up confirmed that Best Buy would be selling TouchPad in stores at the $99 price beginning that morning. Not wanting to deal with crowds in an Atlanta Best Buy, I decided to take one more shot at Best Buy's online store. There it was, in stock for $99. I shook an in-deep-sleep John and told him, to which is groggily responded, ‘Get it’. I didn’t want to take the time to set up my laptop, so with one bar of 3G service in our hotel room, I successfully ordered the TouchPad via my iPhone.

I was a little nervous for a couple of days, because I knew Barns and Noble had to cancel several online orders because they ran out of stock while people were placing orders online before the inventory had been updated. But I received a shipment confirmation on Tuesday and my TouchPad arrived yesterday!

Despite what so many naysayers have said, the TouchPad IS a great tablet with an awesome operating system. I spent some time browsing apps last night, and while it won’t ever have the selection of apps the iPad has, the apps that are available are great.

From what I’ve read, the TouchPad is officially sold out everywhere, except for what HP still has in their warehouses. Those TouchPads have not been listed on HP’s website, but you can give them your e-mail and they will alert you when they are available. Just have a credit card handy, because these things are going fast!

In fact, not only are the TouchPads going fast, the accessories (i.e. charging docks, cases, etc) are almost completely sold out too! John and I spent WAY too much time last night searching the internet for a decently priced case and charging station, but gave up because it was starting to get frustrating. When you pay $99 for a tablet, you really don’t have any desire to shell out $50 on a case. I’m sure we’ll find them at a discounted price in the next couple of weeks.

What about you guys? Are there any tablets out there that have caught your eye? I’ve also played with a friend’s iPad, and while it’s pretty cool, I still love my TouchPad!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

on the road again

I apologize for my absence. John, Hannah Grace, and I spent last weekend and the first part of this week with family. Once we got home I prioritized getting the house back together before moving on to anything else, so blogging sat on the back burner for a few days.

But we are back, the house is clean, and meals are (sort of) planned.

John and I (and HG) took my mom to Atlanta last weekend to have a fun little getaway-shopping trip. This was mostly for my mom and I, as John doesn't find shopping all that enjoyable, but I was (and still am) thankful he was willing to drive us there so we could have some fun. Our hotel was in Buckhead, which is a rather fancy-schmancy area just north of downtown Atlanta. This is actually where John has come to do some trainings for AT&T (including the time when Hannah Grace and I got to tag along back in May), so we were fairly familiar with the area.

We arrived Friday afternoon, unloaded the car, and explored the hotel room before grabbing dinner at Chipotle. I'm using the word hotel "room" loosely because it was literally the size of the townhome we lived in when we first got married. When we first walked in were were surprised to see that the "room" was actually two stories. Each floor had it's own bed and bathroom, and there was a sleeper sofa. There was also a full size kitchen with nicer appliances than mine! The reason we had such an elaborate "room" is because John is a Marriott Rewards Gold member, so he is eligible for a free upgrade to the nicest room (even if he originally reseved the most basic room available) if he calls the morning we are to check in to see if it's available. This is definitely a perk of him traveling with AT&T.

We spent most of Saturday shopping at IKEA, buying little odds and ends, including this throw Mom found and bought me:

We rested for awhile at the hotel once we got back from IKEA, and then I took Mom to Lenox Square, a gargantuan mall in Buckhead. We looked around Anthropologie (didn't find anything this time), Gymboree, Pottery Barn Kids (where I saw a lampshade I can totally make for HG's room), and American Eagle. There was a little hat shop set up in the middle of the mall, and Mom and I each found hats we liked, so we bought them. By this time we were getting tired, so we decided to leave, drive thru at Chick Fil A, and take dinner back to the hotel where John was watching the Titans play.

We left Atlanta Sunday morning, let Hannah Grace play at my mom's house for a little while, and then got back in the car and headed to John's parents for a couple of days. We actually spent much of Sunday afternoon with Andy, Cherie, and baby Zach. Our friends Michael and Amber then met up with all of us for dinner at Qdoba (my first time eating there), and that was fun.    

Hannah Grace was up early Monday morning, and we had no plans for the day. We hung out at John's parent's for a little while before grabbing lunch at Chick Fil A and then meeting up with his mom at Sam's so she could add me to their account, allowing me to have my own Sam's card! After Sam's we headed back to Andy and Cherie's, where we went swimming! This was our third try at getting Hannah Grace in the water (other than bath time), and while she wasn't a huge fan of it, she did much better than the previous tries. She loves baths, and I know it's just the size of the pool that scares her. I do not doubt she will grow out of this fear, so next summer should be filled with lots of water time!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

a different kind of therapy

Today marks one month since Dad went Home. 

Over the last month I've talked to Mom at least every other day on the phone. And the days we don't talk, we text. A lot. 

(A lot as in I realized yesterday that I've sent her over 400 picture messages in the last month. Thank goodness for unlimited messaging packages!)

I've sewn two pairs of pants and a dress for Hannah Grace. 

I started a new blog and read a book. 

We've hosted three sets of visitors and made a short trip to visit my mom. 

I had lunch with a friend, went to the Jo-Ann Grand Opening with another, and met up with them along with the other ladies from Sunday School (and their kids) at Chick Fil A to fellowship with one another. 

I remember when my cousin, Daniel, died ten years ago, I was devastated. When my Uncle Bobby Died, I was heart broken. There were several acquaintances throughout high school who died and left me feeling scared and depressed. 

With the passing of my dad, simply continuing on with life has been the best therapy. And I know that is exactly how he would want it. My dad was an avid reader of my blog and always enjoyed reading my Facebook statuses to see what I was doing with my day. He took such an interest in my life, and I know that he was truly happy with where I am now, and for that I'm thankful. I loved him so much. 

I still love him. 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

sneak peek


I've been spending a lot of my time sewing little things for Hannah Grace, and these pants were the first of my projects. I saw this adorable cat fabric on my first trip to Jo-Ann (I won't tell you just how many times I've been in that store in the two weeks they've been open, but it's ridiculous), and loved it. My mom made a pair of flannel pants for Hannah Grace last winter using a cat printed material, and they were so cute on her, see?

I'm not much of a cat person, but kitty cat material is just too sweet to pass up! In fact, I have another kitty printed fabric waiting to be made into matching pants for Hannah Grace and Emilee!

I'm thisclose to finishing my first 'real' dress (i.e. not a pillowcase dress) for Hannah Grace and am super pleased with how it's turning out. I'll definitely be sharing that (and the other pair of pants I've sewn) in a couple of days1

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Even MORE visitors. . . and a visit

After our friends Brandy, Doug, and Will left last Friday, I had until the following evening to (re)prepare our house for our third set of visitors  in a week! Our friends D.C. and Suzanne who live near Knoxville were visiting for the first time since we moved to Jackson! This was also the first time we had seen them since we left Knoxville in January, so they got to see a completely different Hannah Grace!

They arrived Saturday evening and we promptly grabbed dinner at Abbay's. The food was yummy (as usual), and Hannah Grace was able to burn some energy by walking around the restaurant and 'talking' to the employees. Once we came back home I dressed HG in her pajamas, put her to bed, and the rest of us enjoyed a quiet, lazy evening playing Words With Friends with each other and chatting. 

Sunday morning we woke up, went to church, came home for lunch (Hannah Grace caught a short nap during this time), and headed back out to the flea market! John, HG, and I went to this flea market last month but didn't take any cash so we weren't able to buy anything. We wanted to come back for the August market, and we definitely brought enough cash for some goodies this time! 

I knew I wanted to buy Hannah Grace a few hair bows from the flea market, because they cost so much less than they do in  a department store. I picked out four bows from one vendor at $1 a piece and then picked out two more (larger) bows from another vendors at $3 a piece. My next non-sewing project is to make a simple hair bow holder to put in her room; I think I can get everything I need for about eight dollars. 

We also bought some homemade blackberry jam, homemade white chipotle BBQ sauce (should be yummy with chicken), and a bar of goats milk soap with a white tea and ginger scent. 

After leaving the flea market, we went to Essex for a quick trip, and came back home to hang out for awhile before dinner. I think we tried to get Hannah Grace to take another nap, but she was too wound up. A couple of hours later we went to Red Robin for dinner, where I had a delicious bacon-avocado-yum-o-burger. I don't know where avocados have been all my life, but I'm glad they decided to show up now.

 Monday morning, we all woke up and started packing-- D.C. and Suz were heading home, and John, HG, and I were going to visit my mom for a couple of days. John and I like to time our car trips around Hannah Grace's nap time so that she sleeps most of the way, so we left around 11:15. We got to Nashville a couple of hours later and went to an Essex in Mt. Juliet. After 45 or so minutes there, we left and drove to my Mom's house. 

We got to Mom's around 3:30 and spent the rest of the afternoon just hanging out and playing with Hannah Grace. Hannah Grace took a nap some time in there, and Mom cooked dinner for us. It was a really enjoyable afternoon, and I was able to show mom my serger and several of the sewing projects I had been working on. 

On Tuesday, we were awake early. Mom cooked breakfast, I got started on a pair of pants for Hannah Grace, and John left for a work training. We spent the morning around the house and trying to get HG to take a nap, but she never would. We decided to just get dressed and visit Jennifer (my brother's wife) and my new, three week old niece Emilee! After about an hour we all realized we were really hungry (it was about 2:30 by now), so we went to Chick Fil A so Hannah Grace could play in the play area. These super hot temperatures haven't allowed us very many park visits, so I try to let her go to indoor play areas when possible.  Once we finished eating, we all headed to Kohl's to look for some shoes for Hannah Grace and to check out the baby clearance section so Jennifer could get some stuff for next summer for Emilee. I wound up finding a pair of Keen-esque shoes for Hannah Grace for $6 (on clearance), so we got them for her. Jennifer also found some cute summer dresses for baby E. By this time John was finished with his training and was en route to the Boro. I still needed to get a couple of things from Sam's, so he stopped at Essex (can you tell we are addicted to this store?!) while he waited on us. Once everyone was finished shopping, we went to Cracker Barrel. YUM.

Soon after waking up yesterday morning, we ran an errand dealing some of Dad's stuff, had breakfast at Hardees, and headed to an AT&T store to sign Mom up for a different TV plan. We then made a Wal-Mart run, grabbed a couple of pizzas at Papa Murphy's, and headed back to Mom's to eat and let Hannah Grace nap. After eating, Mom and I did some sewing (more on that in another post). Once HG woke up, John and I packed up, said goodbye to Mom and headed home! It was a short trip (right about 48 hours), but it was good, and we really enjoyed ourselves.  

Wiggle Worm!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

More visitors

A couple of days ago, our friend Brandy (who lives in Texas with her husband and their 19 month old son) called John and asked if they could stay overnight as they traveled from Kentucky (where she's from) back to Texas. We were happy to host them especially because we had not seen them since Brandy was 35 weeks pregnant with Will, and I was about 10 weeks pregnant with Hannah Grace.

We made plans to meet up at Chick Fil A so we could eat dinner and let the babies have fun in the play area. Watching Hannah Grace and Will interact was really cute. Judging by the picture below, I think he may be a tad smitten by her:

Once we finished eating, we let Will and Hannah Grace play some more outside so they would burn some more energy. We left about half an hour later, came back to our house, and HG and W each got a bath. Once they were asleep, John and I stayed up a little longer talking with Brandy and Doug.

We woke up around 7:00 yesterday morning and the babies had breakfast and just played around while we were in the living room. John made for a fun bouncing machine:

A little before 11:00, John left for work, and Brandy and Doug packed up their things. We decided to grab lunch at Abbay's, where Hannah Grace and Will did more exploring of the restaurant than eating their food! Thankfully the restaurant workers love children. 

We finished eating, said our goodbye's, and went our separate ways. Hopefully it won't be another (almost) two years before we see them again!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Weekend Wrap

Well, this weekend turned out much differently than I had anticipated. A few days prior to Friday, John requested chicken Alfredo lasagna for dinner Friday evening. This caught me off guard, because John never makes food requests, especially two days in advance. It is a yummy lasagna, though, and I was happy to make it again.

Friday morning rolled around, and we were talking about plans for the weekend. Our lawn mower was finally finished being repaired, so we decided to do some yard work on Saturday and have leftovers that night (please, don't be overwhelmed by our exciting lives).

Friday was also the day the Jo-Ann in our town FINALLY opened. When we moved here in January I was beyond excited to see one was being built, but I was not expecting to have to wait six months for it to be completed, especially after the store had been worked on for a couple of months already. Needless so say, I was excited and got there (along with fifteen or so other eager women) a few minutes before they opened the doors. Once the doors were open, I set off in search of some fabric to make the hanging book displays I mentioned in my last post. After I picked a material out, we moseyed around the store until Hannah Grace got fussy, and then we left.

The rest of the day was fairly normal: Hannah Grace took a nap, I did some laundry, wrote a blog post, made lunch, played with HG, started dinner, and got HG down for a second (late) nap.

. . . I love how easy my day looked. Trust me, they're not all like that ;)

Anyway, after Hannah Grace went down for her second nap, John called and asked what I was doing. "Um, at home. . . " I told him. He then asked if I wanted to do anything later that night, at which point I knew something was up because John never wants to do anything after he gets off a closing shift. I asked him what was going on, and he told me our friends Andy and Cherie (and baby Zach!) were on their way to our house and would be there in fifteen minutes! They live about two hours away, so this was definitely a surprise John set up.

I was excited and continued working on the lasagna. They arrived soon after and we just hung out until John got home. We had a late dinner, and then I proceeded to put Hannah Grace to bed around 8:45. Except she didn't want to go to bed yet, and I assumed it was because we had company, so I let her stay up, knowing I would put her back down at about 9:30. Once 9:30 rolled around, I tried putting her to bed again, and she cried and kept reaching for me. This is not like her at all (she is normally in bed no later than 9:00 without any fuss). Remembering she had some of my sweet tea earlier (also not a norm for her), I figured she was hyped on on caffeine, and she didn't go to bed until 10:30. What really stunk though, is that she woke up at her normal time (about 7:30) in the morning.

On Saturday Cherie and I ventured out to Target (grabbing some much needed Starbucks while we were there) and Jo-Ann. I bought a knit fabric and a linen-esque fabric to make some pants for Hannah Grace. We needed to meet the guys for lunch, so we left shortly after and ate one of our favorite restaurants here. By this time it was a good two hours past Hannah Grace's nap time, so Cherie and I headed back to the house so HG could get some sleep. Cherie wants to learn how to sew, so I asked John if he would keep Hannah Grace while Cherie and I went to Jo-Ann so I could help her pick out some fabric to make a tote bag. We found a great print (I even bought some) and headed back to our house. We hung out until the late afternoon before heading to Essex to see if they had anything. After Essex we ate dinner at a Mexican restaurant where both Hannah Grace and Zach took turns crying- ha! We kept asking our server to bring us some shredded cheese (because we knew she loved it), and it took FOREVER for him to get it out to us. After we finished eating, we came back to our house, I gave Hannah Grace a bath and put her to bed.

Sunday morning we went to church. It was the first time we had been there in three weeks, so John and I were really looking forward to seeing our friends and introducing them to Andy, Cherie, and Zach. We ate lunch at a yummy buffet, and then we headed back so Hannah Grace could take a nap. During her nap, I helped Cherie sew her tote (and I sewed my little bag!). The finished product was very simple, but super cute. By this time it was mid-afternoon and they needed to leave, so they packed up and headed out! It was definitely a great weekend!