I heart fabric origami

I must make or buy this sweater.
Aren’t those origami flowers adorable??
I think I need my Mom’s help on this one – she’s the fabric origami queen.
Blast you Old Navy. I knew I shouldn’t have looked at your site tonight…

Felt Rose Hair Clips

I stumbled upon this amazing site called the purl bee the other day and their adorable felt hair clip tutorial.  Such a quick and easy tutorial! It seriously took me about 20 minutes to make.

I’m not sure I love their pattern, but I need to go get some more felt before I can really start tweaking the pattern to suit my needs.  As you can see, all I had was the bright pink felt left over from last year’s Halloween costume. I’ll post my take on it soon…hopefully. My car has to get fixed before I can take any trips to the fabric store…..

Nica Gallo Pinto

(if you read my personal blog,  this is a repeat)

Now, not all gallo pintos are made the same. I tried and tried to recreate what my husband ate on his mission in Nicaragua, but failed miserably each time for almost 4 years.

About a year ago, we got the recipe from a wife (who has a cousin or something who married a Nicaraguan) of my husband’s mission comps and when I made it, Dave said, “that’s the stuff!!”

I was never so proud of myself.

‘Cause it was that good.

Even with the few changes I made.

So with out further ado, here’s my adaptation of:

Nica Gallo Pinto

2 c small red beans*
2c dry white rice
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
real butter (no margarin)
canola oil (no olive oil. don’t eat this for your health)
paltains**, diced (optional)

Rinse and wash the beans, then cover with water and soak them overnight. In the morning, drain them and rinse (a trick we learned from Dave’s nutrition prof to get the proteins out that are hard for your body to digest and give you the gassies).  Put beans in a large stock pot, cover with water and let them boil on medium temperature for 3 hours or until tender. You will notice that the beans changed the color of the water to a dark reddish brown. 

Once the beans are cooked, reserve the water. Measure 3 1/2 c out the water for the rice. A lot of the flavor is in the water, so make sure you have plenty left over from cooking the beans.

After the beans are tender, add them to a buttered pan and saute for 2 minutes. Then add the chopped onion. Make sure to keep the pan well buttered. Saute until the onions are slightly tender. Add the diced plantain (if using) and cook for an additional 3-4 mintes.

Add the rice to mix and pour some canola oil over it and add salt to taste, using enough oil to rehydrate the rice.

Serve with crema (or sour cream) and heated corn tortillas.  Fry with eggs the next morning for a hearty and tasty breakfast.

*First of all…you HAVE to get the right beans. The beans that the Nicas use are red beans, but you can’t get these beans just anywhere. If they don’t have the Spanish brand at your local grocery store, just look for your local Mexican store and buy their bagged red beans. The flavor is like night and day. They normally use white rice, but I sometimes mix in brown rice for health’s sake or you can use all brown. 

**Platains are those nasty looking giant black bananas that you can occasionally find at the grocery store. They are denser than a banana and are less sweet, which means they don’t turn to nasty goo when you cook them.  They also have a really thick skin, so to peel them, take your knife and run it down one side of the plantain and then peel the skin away. These may take some getting used to. I’ll eat them fried and Dave thinks I’m crazy, like all the Latins he ran into down in Nicaragua. He never did get used to eating them plain.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I hope you all have had a wonderful day!
Our celebrations started yesterday, with a trip to the Temple, then a lunch at In-N-Out, dinner with my parents at Chevy’s, then I made gluten free doughnut muffins with festive sugar topping (they tasted more like muffins, but good muffins) and we had a movie night (we watched 17 Again – really cute).
Today we went to church and took very long naps afterwards. Then I made red velvet whoopie pies (not as good gluten free and with out the vanilla….that’s what I get for making dinner and desert at the same time) and a really tasty latin flavored chili (recipe to follow).
Now the hubby is cleaning the kitchen {yay!} and the baby will be done soon and we can have yet another movie night. Or just watch the Olympics. Which ever. 🙂
recipe & image from Cooking Light


  • 2  links Spanish chorizo sausage (about 6 1/2 ounces), thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2  pounds  beef stew meat
  • 1 1/2  cups  chopped onion
  • 4  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  (7-ounce) can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 3  tablespoons  tomato paste
  • 2  teaspoons  sugar
  • 1  teaspoon  salt
  • 2  teaspoons  unsweetened cocoa
  • 1  teaspoon  ground coriander
  • 1  teaspoon  dried oregano
  • 1  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1  cup  dry red wine
  • 1/4  cup  fresh lime juice
  • 2  (14-ounce) cans less-sodium beef broth
  • 1  (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped
  • 2  tablespoons  masa harina
  • 2  (15-ounce) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1  (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained


Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chorizo to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until browned. Remove chorizo from pan. Add half of beef to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until browned. Remove beef from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining beef. Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté 3 minutes.
Remove 4 chipotle chiles from can, and chop. Reserve remaining chiles and sauce for another use. Add chorizo, beef, chopped chiles, tomato paste, and next 6 ingredients (through ground cumin) to pan, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in red wine, lime juice, beef broth, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Gradually stir in masa harina. Add pinto beans and black beans; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.
****I halved the recipe and it still made a TON, you may want to quarter it, unless you are feeding more than two people with smaller appetites 🙂

I am in love with the striped fabric called Carmona in Tivoli from Pindler & Pinlder as seen in House Beautiful this month.

Too bad I will never have the cash to afford even a yard of the stuff. 
But it would look stunning in my living room.
I like wanting

Elastic Band Skirt {Toddler Size}

Because the Bestie asked me to, my first post is a sewing tutorial on how to make a

~toddler sized elastic band skirt~
So here’s my take.

Now before you get started {with any clothing project} there are two things that seperate a well made article of clothing from a poorly made one: 

  1. Reinforcing your raw edges by running them through a serger or using a zig zag stitch on a regular machine
  2. Pressing all your seams open

For this project you will need:

  • a piece of fabric 46″ wide and 14″ long
  • 2″-3″ wide elastic (I used what I had on hand, which was 1″ and it was far too small)
  • sewing machine 🙂
  • thread
  • iron/ironing board
  • seam gauge

Step 1

Iron any wrinkles out of your fabric, then cut the length to 14″. I used the width of the fabric, leaving the selvages on to save me the step of having to reinforce the raw edges of my back seam.

Step 2
Overcast your raw edges – make one seam 1/4″ away from the raw edge and a zigzag on the edge, lining the raw edge of the fabric up with the inner part of your machine foot.

Step 3
Taking the selvage edge (or short edge if you didn’t leave the selvage on), machine stitch right sides together, creating a 5/8″ seam. Iron open the seam

Step 4
Turn lower edge up 1/4″, using your seam gauge as a guide, and press. Turn up another 1/4″ and press, encasing raw edges. 

Sew hem, staying as close to the upper edge. (I use the inner part of the machine foot to guide me)

Step 5
Make two running stitches on the skirt top. Using the largest length stitch your machine has (mine only goes to a 4, but it’s ancient) and not back stitching, make one seam 5/8″ away from the raw edge and another one that is 1/4″ away. Make sure you leave nice long tails of thread. Using two running stitches, you create a nice flat surface to sew on later, when you attach the elastic.

Step 6
While holding the top ends of both seams, push the fabric back and away from the seams, creating gathers. 

Step 7
Sew the elastic together.
Step 8
Pin the skirt top to the elastic, stretching the elastic out and adjusting gathers to fit. Start by pinning the middle front and back of the skirt and elastic together, adjusting the gathers, then marking the middle between the front and back pins, pinning that mark and doing the same. {This was really hard to take a picture of, seeing as how my toddler can’t work my camera, so I’ll post pictures later when my hubby is home}

Step 9
Unpin and baste gathers. Then repin elastic to top of skirt.
Step 10
Sew elastic band to skirt with a zigzag stitch. (a straight stitch will pucker and look funny) Hold the elastic taught while you sew, using your left hand to stretch and guide the fabric and your right to hold the back taught. Make sure to keep the needle in the fabric and elastic when you adjust your hold on the elastic, otherwise it will create funny gaps in your stitches. Backstitch.
If you use a wide elastic, it will look 100% better than mine does – looks like underwear, doesn’t it?
Step 11
Unpick your basting stitches (because they will show)

Yes, I initially used a straight stitch to attach the elastic, which promptly puckered and ripped as soon as I stretched out the elastic.

And you are done!

I wish I had a picture of the finished skirt, but my camera batteries died and my daughter would not wear the skirt long enough to snap a shot of… Maybe another day.