Category Archives: ShilohCate

Our Halloween, 2013.

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This year we celebrated Halloween at our house with Matthew’s sister, brother-in-law, niece, and mom. We ordered pizza and I made Halloween funfetti cupcakes with whipped icing that I had to employ all my willpower not to finish off when all the cupcakes were iced. (I succeeded and the remaining icing is safely chilling in our refrigerator.) After we ate, we got the babies dressed into their costumes and let Elisha watch What Does the Fox Say a few times to hype him up before heading out to trick-or-treat. We stopped at two of the local churches who were hosting trunk-or-treats and stopped by a few friends’ houses to show off the babies in their costumes.

Overall, the night was a success! Elisha and Shiloh scored a good bit of candy (that I may or may not have picked through already) and seemed to have lots of fun. I asked Elisha what he wanted to dress up as next year for Halloween, and without pausing for a second to even think about it, he said, “a hot dog!” Totally pulled that one out of the air…

Hope you all had a great Halloween! I’m still loving all the costumes floating around the blogosphere and Facebook.

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{DIY} Shiloh & Lyla’s No-Sew Tutu

When I first saw this pin while I was still pregnant with Shiloh I knew it would be a future Halloween costume for her (along with this one AND this one, but Batman of course). I chose the first because after a full week of taking care of two sick babies, I needed something super simple. Also, Holly (my sister-in-law) and I had decided about a month or so back that we wanted to dress both Shiloh and Lyla (my niece) as little ghosts.

Here are my sweet babies at Halloween last year:

Happy, Happy Halloween 2012!

Crazy to think my baby girl was only a few weeks old then…

I had also made the girls similar tutus back in February for Valentine’s Day, so I knew it couldn’t fail. No brainer, right? Halloween and zombies. I hope in my slight delirium that you guys found that funny. I’m really in need of a solid night of sleep.

Okay, so back to the tutus…

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I cut the headband to create one long strip and cut two strips of ribbon the length I wanted them to fall behind the tutu. I hot glued one end of each ribbon to each end of the cut ends of the headband to create the bow on the back when tied together. Then I cut mostly even strips of tulle (they don’t have to be perfectly even to make the tutu a bit “shabby”).

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I tried tying the tulle strands as shown in the first image, but no matter how tightly I pulled the tulle it kept coming undone. Then I tried hot gluing the backs of the loops on the backside of the headband, but that didn’t work too well either and was way too time-consuming. I finally gave up, cut off the glued tulle, and started over again by simply tying the tulle in double-knots which ended up working perfectly, the same as the first tutus I made. The white tulle allows the yellow to show a little, so next time I’ll wrap the headband completely with the same white ribbon used for the bow ties to completely cover the color of the headband.

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I continued to tie each tulle strand down the headband until I reached the end. Oh, and that glitter was maddening. I’m still sweeping up piles of it off the floor. DO NOT use cheap glitter tulle.

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That’s it! Super easy as long as you’re patient and diligent. Find a good show to watch multiple episodes of to pass the time. May I suggest Grey’s Anatomy or Bones. The Killing is also quite awesome.

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I’m loving all the homemade/DIY Halloween costumes floating around the blogosphere. To finish up the girls’ costumes, Holly is appliqueing little ghost faces similar to the inspiration pin on white long-sleeve onesies instead of putting the faces on the actual tutus. It’s a bit too cold to let our babies out in this already-freezing weather in the tutus alone. I’m excited to show you all Elisha’s costume next.

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Pumpkin Pickin’ at the Pumpkin Patch

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Elisha’s preschool took a field trip out to the local pumpkin patch today! We rode on the hayride from the school to the patch, which I think was Elisha’s favorite part. Once we got out into the pumpkin patch I told him to pick out a pumpkin to bring home with us. At first he was all for it and checking out all the pumpkins, but once he realized he was getting dirty he didn’t want to “hold” anymore pumpkins. I kept asking him which one he wanted to take home or I would pick one out and ask him if he wanted that one, but all I got from him was “nooo…” Totally uninterested. But we finally succeeded with a pumpkin he could hold by the stem. No dirt, no fuss. Now his lovely little Elisha-sized pumpkin is sitting on the kitchen window sill with my repurposed baby jar vases (DIY posted here).

Beside the pumpkin patch was a yellow squash patch. Between the two there were hundreds of huge yellow flowers that I just couldn’t get enough of. Then Matthew informed me you could fry up the squash blossoms with cheese… I love squash and I love flowers and I definitely love cheese, but I am totally against cooking flowers. Seriously, food too pretty to eat. That’s my argument and I’m sticking to it.

I hope you all get a chance to go to your local pumpkin patch soon!

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Shiloh Cate’s 1st Birthday Party

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I don’t think Shiloh’s first birthday couldn’t have been sweeter or more intimate for us. Our closest family members and family friends came to celebrate the first year of her life, which made our little family of four feel incredibly loved.

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She got her very first purse (which included a tiny mirror, credit card, keys, phone, and bracelet) and LeapFrog laptop, lots of pretty clothes, a princess stable with 3 princesses and a prince included, a baby doll with a smocked outfit, a monogrammed duffel bag, money, cards, and also her first pair of sunglasses.

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These were by far my favorite. Having an aunt who works as an ophthalmic technician has its perks!

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After gifts, of course, came the grand finale: the cake smash. The cupcakes were simple to make: 1 box of cake mix and 1-1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce. Cook per cake box directions. I piped the icing in a swirl with a zip-loc bag with one bottom corner cut off.

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She only cared for the icing… I think maybe because she had eaten her weight in cheese and baby pickles. I also caught Daddy sneaking her bites of his cupcake before.

Initially, I felt bad about not getting very many pictures (I stole all but the last two from my Mom). I was just too involved in the party and having too much fun, which I guess every parent should be at their child’s birthday party.

I made the ‘Happy Birthday Shiloh’ banner from scrapbook paper and letter stencils. The table centerpieces were fluted pink bowls with white polka dots with clear stage 3 baby jars filled with dried moss (from Hobby Lobby) and white flowers on each side. The tables also had simple white table cloths with pink ribbon trimmed around the edges. The gift table had a gold-framed 8×10 photo of Shiloh at the center with different shades of pink flowers in a clear vase (the same as the one on the food bar). I used pink with white polka dot plates and napkins, pink plastic utensils, and pink and gold striped paper straws. I also used the Cinderella pumpkin used in her one-year-old photos as decoration on the food bar.

For us, I don’t think her party could have been any more perfect. Sweet and intimate, which exactly suits her personality.

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To hold you guys over until Monday when I post the photos from Shiloh’s actual birthday party, here’s a short video of her smashing into a cupcake from the little party her Granna wanted to throw her on her actual birthday. And just let me say, this girl is already spoiled. Not only did Granna make her cupcakes, but her favorite meal: chicken casserole and green beans. The only thing missing was Nana’s boiled potatoes.

Hope you all have a great weekend! I must now get back to finishing up the party decorations…

That smirk on her face is priceless. :)
That smirk on her face is priceless.

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{DIY} Ruffle-Bottom Baby Pants

I’m not sure about the rest of the US, but ruffle-bottom pants for baby and toddler girls are super popular here in the South. My genius sister-in-law Holly drafted her very own pattern of a pair for my niece Lyla and graciously told me how to as well. To continue her graciousness, I’m going to pass this super easy pattern and sewing tutorial on to you all.

Grab a pair of pants that fit your girl well and trace an outline of them on your pattern paper/material (I used one of Matthew’s old undershirts that was too big for him), adding roughly an inch around to allot for the hem.

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Make sure the fabric is facing right-sides together and cut out the legs. Pin and sew both of the crotch seams together (you will still have two separate pieces). Pin and sew the inseams together, which will connect the two separate legs. Start pinning at the bottom of the crotch hem and go down each of the legs to make sure your seams match up. Last, pin and sew the outer seams together. The pants should be inside-out.

Once the pants are connected, press the waist casing and hem for the bottom of the legs. Sew the casing down, making sure to leave an 1-2 inch gap to insert the elastic. Insert and sew the ends of the elastic together and sew up the casing gap.

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Here is how the pants look thus far:

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Now to add the ruffles. Cut out a folded 12″x8-1/2″ rectangle. Unfold and cut in half lengthwise.

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Hem the raw top and bottom edges down, then sew the side edges together to create a circle. To create the ruffle, lower the tension of the upper thread to 2 and sew a straight stitch about 1/2″ below the top hem of the ruffle. Pull the strings and gather material.

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I used the extension foot to measure how much I wanted the ruffles gathered around. Pin the ruffle onto the bottom of the legs. Raise the tension of your upper thread back to normal and sew a straight stitch over the gathered stitch to secure the ruffle onto the pants.

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And that’s it!

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I have a purpose for not posting Shiloh modeling her new pants. I made them to match her birthday shirt she’ll be wearing to her birthday party Saturday, which I plan to share photos of next week. Trust me, she is beyond adorable in them, especially with her shuffle-waddle walk.

Feel free to leave any comments or questions for me! They’re quite easy to make once you get the hang of it. I was new to the gathering technique, but I feel pretty confident in my gathering skills now after making a total of three pairs thus far. I may be addicted because I have plenty more planned for both Shiloh and Lyla.

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Happy 1st Birthday, sweet Shiloh Cate!

Today you are officially one-year-old! Where has the time gone? You’re now solely on whole milk, you love to dance, and you have been walking for little over a month now. You love to watch Dora and we’ve completely given up the fight to feed you baby food anymore. Since your hair is still short and very light a lot of people think you’re a little boy, which behooves me because to me you look very feminine even without hair. You have the sweetest smile and squishiest cheeks, which you definitely inherited from Mommy. You also have eight teeth!?! And you love to follow Elisha around the house and play with only the toys he’s playing with at the time, which obviously makes him pretty mad at you. We’ve had to teach him to not tell you to “Go away!”

We love you, sweet girl, more than words can express and could never thank God enough for giving us the blessing of adding you to our little family.

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Happy birthday, our little ladybug.

 

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We met up at Cracker Barrel in Fort Payne for a hearty breakfast to get us to Gatlinburg.

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Outside Gatlinburg, we stopped at Sugarlands Visitor Center to stretch our legs and get in some quality “rock climbing.” Inside the Center was a pretty neat exhibit featuring all the natural plantlife and wildlife. We were able to identify several plants and wildflowers later thanks to all the info we gathered.

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We unloaded the cars at the motel, then headed out to walk Downtown to see what there was to see. Matthew, Vette, and I all had a sample of Ole Smoky Mountain moonshine while Mom, Shiloh, and the boys listened to some local bluegrass artists.

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Of course we had to swing by Old Smoky Candy Kitchen while walking Downtown. Elisha also discovered his favorite tourist trap.

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We ate dinner at Bubba Gump’s and took complete advantage of the photo-op afterward.

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Once back at the motel, we cooled off at the pool where Elisha made some new friends and I taught Jackson how to cannonball. The other girls lounged poolside once Shiloh decided she was finished swimming.

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Saturday, we trekked up through the mountains to Cherokee, North Carolina.

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We stopped off at the lookout marking the Tennessee-North Carolina state line to take in the view.

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Once in Cherokee, we decided against Santa’s Land after finding out they’ve jacked up their prices ridiculously and instead checked out a few of the local shops. Vette scored a pair of Minnetonka moccasins that I’m plotting to steal from her once the opportunity arises.

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On our way out of Cherokee, we stopped by the Oconaluftee Island Park for a picnic and to play in the creek. This was definitely my most favorite part of our trip.

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After getting back to the motel and taking another quick swim, we cleaned up and drove out to Pigeon Forge for dinner at The Old Mill Restaurant (the best place for dinner hands-down!).

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Sunday, we drove back into the National Park to picnic and play out at Chimney Tops. This was a close second for my favorite time during the trip.

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Sadly, rain showers were coming on and off, so we decided to pack up and drive back to the motel. But not before stopping back off by another lookout for another view.

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The rain cleared out just in time for us to walk down to Calhoun’s Restaurant for dinner. Featured on Food Network: Checked off our eatery bucket list. Awesome, awesome burgers and barbecue.

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We kept walking through Downtown and while scoping out the mall we found several more local artists.

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Monday, before coming back to sweet home Alabama, we finished off our trip with breakfast at The Apple Barn and Cider Mill (the best place for breakfast hands-down!).

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I cannot wait for us to come back, hopefully next summer! Now onto the countdown to our other big family trip to Panama City Beach with Matthew’s family in 28 days! Thankfully, we have three birthdays including Matthew’s to celebrate in between to keep us occupied until then.