A Skirt…oh, and a pillow too!

Yeah, so I wasn’t creative with that title. 


But, guess what?  I made a skirt! 

I’ve never really been confident enough to stray very far from the whole “straight stitch only” thing.  And I certainly haven’t even considered making something that I thought someone else might wear in public.  I mean, I’ve made pillows, crafty things, and well…yeah, pillows and crafty things. 

But, the Lovely Daughter is in Color Guard at her High School.  They were told Tuesday evening at rehearsal that they would each have to come up with their own costume/outfit before competition today, Saturday.  That gave us less than 4 whole days to figure something out!

They are doing a show with an old fashioned 1940’s USO theme, so they needed to have outfits that reflected that time period. 

I had pinned this skirt (by Amy at ‘This Big Oak Tree’) on Pinterest and asked the Lovely Daughter what she thought.  I told her that I have never made a skirt before but Amy’s tutorial made it seem simple enough.  I was so nervous about making this.  I mean, she is a teenager.  I didn’t want her to be embarrassed by it.  But, we decided to take the plunge. 

So, we bought material at Joann…


and…I made a skirt.


I followed Amy’s tutorial EXACTLY but with the Lovely Daughter’s measurements.  Amy had photos of each step of the process.  I was so thankful for that.  If I had been using a traditional pattern and been told to purchase a zipper and add it, I would have been totally lost and confused.  But, because I could see photos of that, I felt like I could handle it.  

There were many firsts for me with this sewing project. 

My first skirt.

My first time adding a zipper.

My first time gathering material.

My first time adding a waistband.

My first time making a sash/belty thing.

My first time using a different foot on my sewing machine.

My first time using my sewing machine in our new house!  😉

I love it.  It turned out almost perfect.  Well, at least, exactly like I intended it.  But seriously, I would not have even attempted it if I hadn’t read Amy’s awesome tutorial. 


Since the sewing machine was sitting out and just waiting…I made a pillow tonight. 


Stay tuned for the pillow tutorial…it will be up soon!


Sweet 16

Can it really be that my sweet baby girl is 16?  It doesn’t hardly seem possible.  So much has gone on in these past sixteen years that time seems to have either slowed incredibly or sped up past the speed of light.

4 years old.

4 years old.

All those years ago, this day seemed to terribly far away.  But here we are.

...and THIS is a photo for another post!  lol

…and THIS is a photo for another post! lol




She is grown up.  She is kind.  She is beautiful.  She is smart.  She is fun.  She is loved.  She is all I could ever ask for in a daughter.  She is sixteen.

beautiful grace

Her sixteenth birthday came just like any other birthday.  It happens the very same day each single year.  Isn’t that a coincidence?

But this year, it arrived in the midst of one of the scariest, the craziest, the busiest, can’t hardly seem to catch our breath moments.  Literally just days after moving from the home we’ve lived in since she was five, we celebrated her sixteenth in a new home.  It was a crazy six days moving and unpacking and then trying to make the new house at least presentable to all the friends and family that would be partying with us the next weekend.

Friday night the girls arrived and we began what would turn out to be a four day weekend of celebrating the Lovely Daughter.  She had invited ten girls for a slumber party.  When they arrived, we served them supper.  The Lovely Daughter had requested the “Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup” that she had had at Le Cellier in Walt Disney World this past summer.  I purchased the recipe book and it was just as amazing from my kitchen as it was at EPCOT!

cheese soup recipe book

“Chef Mickey”
I bought this recipe book specifically for the cheese soup recipe.

Along with the cheese soup, she also wanted a chopped salad bar.  I had seen The Pioneer Woman do one and we loved that idea.  So we did it ourselves!

For ours we had spinach leaves, romaine lettuce, butter lettuce, celery, mozzarella pearls, feta cheese, sunflower seeds, cherry tomatoes, diced chicken, cucumbers, black olives, green olives, garbanzo beans, bacon, boiled eggs, broccoli, green onion, red onion, radishes, mushrooms, yellow, orange, red and green peppers.  Everything was cut into manageable sizes and then the girls, one at a time, chose their lettuce and toppings and dressing.  I put it all in a large bowl and mixed it up then turned in out onto a cutting board and chopped away until everything was well mixed.  Then I put it on a plate and they grabbed a bowl of soup and ate to their hearts content!  It was so yummy.  Such a fun thing to do for a girls party.

salad bar

chopped salad bar fixin’s

Then they hung out downstairs for a while and we got the snacks out.  Oh my.  The snacks.  The Lovely Daughter had requested her Grandma Maggie’s homemade caramel corn, mini cheesecakes topped with cherries, 7-layer Mexican dip (that I layered in individual cups), carrots with ranch, and beer bread with spinach dip.


beer bread, spinach dip, 7-layer Mexican dip with chips

snacks 2

carrots with ranch, Grandma Maggie’s homemade caramel corn, mini cheesecakes

7-layer dip

7-layer Mexican dip which was really 8 layers! layered from bottom to top…refried beans, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, shredded cheese, tomatoes, black olives, green onions

The birthday cupcakes came from J. Edwards here in town and they were AMAZING!  They were “Chocolate Mousse Heaven” and yes, they were heaven!  So light for a chocolate cake.

mmmmmmm...J. Edwards

mmmmmmm…  J. Edwards

For the decorations, I bought some hanging lanterns and tulle for above the kitchen counter.  I showed my sister a picture from Pinterest that was the inspiration for what I wanted and she just climbed up there on that counter and made it work!  I had bought some black and white damask wrapping paper and used it as a “tablecloth” type thing then bought some purple scatters.

I also bought purple gumballs and put them in a vase and since Lovely Daughter LOVES dark chocolate and since Hershey’s dark chocolate kisses come in PURPLE wrappers, I just couldn’t NOT buy some and put those in a jar for decoration also!   Happy Happy!  Yay for double duty decor.  It matches and it’s edible!

After the girls sang “happy birthday” we all grabbed some of those yummy snacks and headed downstairs for the gifts.

presents 2

*Please excuse the boxes and unadorned shelves in the background 😉

THEN, they did a couple of crafts.  Thanks to my Pinterest addiction, they each did a couple of glitter ornaments and then they made friendship bracelets and watched movies until the wee hours of the morning.

glitter ornaments 2

In the morning, I made another Pioneer Woman recipe, Cinnamon Baked French Toast.  I also served fresh fruit with yogurt, honey and granola.

After a yummy breakfast, we all got ready to head to the Crystal Tea Room for afternoon tea.  That was a fun experience for all the girls.  Learning some table manners, etiquette, and trying lots of different hot teas.

All in all, I would say that the party was a huge success.  It was so much fun.

All the girls!  Love them!

All the girls! Love them!

My sister helped with everything and even spent the night that night to help prepare everything and clean up and basically just  help me not totally freak out with stress!  I am sooooo thankful that not only is she my sister, but she’s also my best friend.

Sisters, sisters...

Sisters, sisters…

And yes, those are the girls in the living room leg wrestling.  🙂

Happy Sweet 16 Lovely Daughter!