Spring break 2014

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(wow, how time flies!)

What a nice week we had together. A break. A real break from getting up too early in the am, scheduling too meant things, homework, early bedtimes and rush rush rush…. And after an unusually long winter actual spring! After bear trees nowj finally blooming! Unlike other breaks and vacations I purposely did not plan any day trips. I realized that although we like to be out and about we spend disproportionately too much time in the car. That’s not very relaxing. Although the baby has a set nap time that is very important right now. Last time the kids were on break Stella was still taking two naps during the day. I’d let her nap en route one and plan to be home for the late afternoon one. But this one midday nap only schedule actually works much better for me. She goes down for the night by 8 pm with the other two.

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No more late night baby entertainment needed. I love that.

So this week we played by ear, stayed local, enjoyed lots of sunshine and really truly took a break.

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(Played at the park.)

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(We took this sweet bitty baby to Dallas for a make-over. We ended up having to hospitalize her!! She’s going to get a brand new set of curls just like she had when she first joined our family in 2010. )

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And talking about curls, Miss Seda got a make-over of her very own during the break.

Here she is on Tuesday:

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and below on Wednesday after an hour brushing and straightening and ‘de-volumenizing’!!

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Today my big kids are back to school and back to an already jammed packed week ahead. Soccer practice for one tonight and a game for the other late into the evening. And so it goes all the way until Sunday afternoon. Lots of soccer, birthday parties, a dinner party, and so on and so forth. For me that also means some sewing is in order. I am planning on sewing a skirt combo for our gracious dinner host’s daughter.  And a little something for my daughter’s little friend who celebrates her special day this Sunday.

During the break I was actually able to squeeze an hour or so of sewing here and there. The result, a finished baby quilt! It is so bright and happy and floral and SCREAMS spring! Ladies & gentlemen I proudly present my first FINISHED quilt ever!

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Spring Break Quilt, 2014

My inspiration was this gorgeous piece of  100%  Italian linen by Etro that my dear friend Elke sent me for my birthday.

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I couldn’t imagine cutting it up and ‘wasting’ even an inch of it. Instead I made a ueber-floral quilt top from fat quarters in my stash and cut and sewed and sandwiched and bound this beauty. I could not be happier with the way it looks and has been used already. It will always remind me of my dear Elke and her impeccable taste and appreciation of quality. I cant wait to show it to her this summer when we go back to Germany. Nothing else has gotten done in the sewing room other than planning of a couple of things I’d like to check of my list before the summer. Which reminds me that I still have to finish the post about ‘our big announcement’ that’s sitting in my draft folder. I am still contemplating on how to ‘break’ the news… 🙂 it’s all good though and possibly this week I’ll have a chance to finish typing that post and publishing it here and on facebook. What better way to tell your friends what’s going on in your life, right?

Anyway, I better get in the sewing room before my napper  little butterfly wakes up.

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Back to reality this week and I am loving it!

Happy spring everyone.

Love,

Yasemin

 

Dear Stella Elle

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You are 18 months old today! Not a baby anymore :-/ You are quickly becoming a big kid 🙁 I really really have been enjoying having you in my life with your long eyelashes, your chubby legs and soft baby skin. You are the most lovable, huggable baby – ever. At 18 months you are:

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  • Feeding yourself like a pro! Even soup!!
  • You hold a crayon like a Kindergartener and scribble all day – unfortunately not only on paper. 🙂 A couple of walls have been graced with your signature scribbles, too. Oh well! They were pretty boring anyway.
  • You don’t mind long car rides anymore. Especially with the radio on. You recognize all of the latest hit songs. Your favorite: Pharrell’s ‘Hapi’!
  • You squeal and dance in your seat and say hapi hapi hapi… And mom, mom, mom, to make sure I know that your favorite music is playing.
  • The other thing that gets you squealing with delight everyday like clockwork is when your brother and sister get off the school bus. You are so happy to see them and EVERYBODY knows!
  • You call your brother ICE which he thinks is really cool!

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  • You can’t say Seda yet but sometimes call her mommy! 🙂

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  • You love love LOVE your bunny. His name is HASE (German for rabbit) which you say so well.

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  • Your favorite toy is whatever toy your big sister is playing with at the moment. You are very lucky that she doesn’t mind sharing at all. 
  • When you are home alone with me in the mornings you are really good at occupying yourself with your favorite baby animals touch &feel book or the doodle pro.

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  • You also love taking one of the dolls on a stroll.
  • Just when I take my eyes off of you, you start climbing on something: a chair, the window seat in brothers room or recently even brother’s bunk bed!!!! I know you feel so proud up there but mommy doesn’t like it one bit!

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  • The only other thing that mommy doesn’t appreciate is when you get a hold of her phone and FaceTime every single contact in her address book!!!! (some day I need to send a mass message letting everyone know it was YOU calling them and hanging up!!)
  • Daddy’s phone on the other hand, you call: ‘no no’ since that’s what he tells you when you reach for it.
  • With eighteen months you are one smart, fearless child! No seat belt can keep you restraint. not in the stroller or in a restaurant high chair or better yet in shopping carts. You figured those out long time ago!
  • You are a good eater. You’ll never say no to Kefir. you prefer salty snacks like pretzels over sweet ones like graham crackers. Some days you’ll eat the most exotic foods and every so often you are on a ‘grilled cheese sandwiches and pasta only’ diet.
  • You would never pass up fresh fruit. Berries are your favs.
  • You drink lots of water and really like fresh orange juice, too.
  • You HAVE TO have a sip of my decaf iced lattes and my hot tea every time. You don’t think coffee is yucky like your siblings did.
  • You also like chocolate. At Whole Foods you’ve sampled a tiny piece every time we are there.
  • What you still don’t like is when strangers come too close to you. you immediately point at me and say: ‘Mommy’ as if to make sure everyone knows you are with me!
  • At the park you love the  swing. You can swing for hours.

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  • Only if you spot a dog you’ll want to get out and follow him. DOGG DOGG DOGG you say chasing him.

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  • Mommy is still your favorite but daddy is really interesting. the moment you hear the door you make a happy dance! Every time! dad dad dad dad you chant although you used to call him Butch first. I think brother & sister are rubbing off on you.
  •  You love when daddy carries you around the house and let’s you close all the blinds.
  • Or when daddy plays ‘name-whatever-I-point-to-game’: head, eyes, nose, ears, mouth…
  • You are one snuggle bunny! We love when you cuddle with us and say: mom, anno. Or: ‘Dad, anno.’ (Translate: I love you!)
  • You understand both German & English.
  • At eighteen months you’ve outgrown three pairs of shoes.
  • To date you’ve never had a bottle of milk but you have yogurt with granola every day.
  • At eighteen months LIFE IS GOOD and you are LOVED more than you can imagine!

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Love,

Mom, Dad, Ice & Seda

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february recap via instagram

Have you noticed too that a lot of people have migrated from Facebook to Instagram? Instagram is more personal and brief. Just the way I like it. No lengthy status updates, no news or other suggested pages I might like… instead pretty pictures with short captions that help me stay in touch with friends and a handful of or so other blogs that I enjoy following. Although the other day I ‘unfollowed’  two bloggers that were writing short story-like posts and posting several times a day! No, thank you! I wasn’t looking for another Facebook! Let’s keep it simple friends. Oh, by the way, you can find me as mosbyfamily on Instagram! 🙂 Here’s what I’ve posted there in February – an insta-recap if you will:

 The bargain of the month! I paid 50 cents for this gorgeous remnant at Wal-Mart! Score!!

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I turned it into this springy, rainbow skirt for my big girl!

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and still had left-over for a tiered skirt for my baby girl!

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We played lots of Basketball.

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And brought home the GOLD!

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This one has gotten all decked out for spring soccer.

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We celebrated a dear friend’s daughters birthday with a signature Yasemin Tea skirt-set!

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I’ve started this quilt top for Stella (coral & cream pinwheels!).

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Of course there was Valentine’s Day. And love was all around.

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At home with sweet Stella. And…

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…lots of love in the classroom.

I had a chance to spread my love for sewing by teaching Katy how to use a sewing machine!

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I think I am going to do this insta-recap-thing every month! Hope you enjoy,

Yasemin

Love is in the air

Today’s a pretty good day to sit back and reflect on love. I love:

  • Having Valentine’s Day fall on a Friday.

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  • Having a three-day weekend! Thanks American presidents!!
  • The warmest day of the year fall on Valentine’s day – a breezy 70 degrees and more to come! And then it’s a full moon too!

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  • Two classrooms full of excited faces at my kids school Friday morning.
  • My son’s classmates letting me know how much they liked their little stuffed felt hearts.

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  • My kindergartners’ teacher sending me this picture:

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So precious to see those little faces all dressed in Yasemin Tea skirts.

  • Chocolate!
  • Roses!
  • A husband to share a cup of tea with!

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  • Watching my kids play Just Dance on the Xbox.

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  • Playing at the park.
  • Watching my son play basketball!

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  • Teaching children how to sew!

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11-year old Katy learning the ropes of her brand new Singer. Today we only had time for the basics. Next time I’d like her to go home with a signature Yasemin Tea skirt :-). 

  • Making things! Latest project:

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A quilt for my Stella. I am so excited to see this one come together one triangle at a time! 

Hope you are having a wonderful extended Valentine’s-day-weekend!

Love,

Yasemin

Valentine’s ‘treats’ that won’t cause cavities :-)

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You know Valentine’s Day is quickly becoming my second least favorite holiday ever since my kids started school. I thought only on Halloween it was ok to overindulge your kids in sugar. But apparently Valentine’s Day is trying hard to get the number one spot. Of course, I enjoy the dressing up for Halloween and the love that surrounds February 14th but at school these holidays mean that kids get to exchange CANDY!!! Lots and lots of candy. Teachers and any other adult that comes in contact with children get to do the same on those days. It’s not just the candy but the kind that my kids receive that I don’t like. All my efforts (and cash!) to feed my kids organic whenever possible and very little processed food in general are thrown out the window on those holidays !!! Grrrrrrr

Momma no likey. Not one bit.

I know what you are thinking: they are only young once and a little bit of everything is good for them and let them be kids…. but BECAUSE they are young and BECAUSE it’s important to instill the right habits in them NOW I am even more determined to break this tradition cycle.

Sooooooo, here is my solution: On Valentine’s Day show some REAL LOVE and make something! Give your friends handmade items! 🙂 Look here, aren’t those cute?

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And so much fun to make – for mom & kids! You can place a little note in them or an organic treat. They will hold a gift card just so perfectly!! 🙂 Or fill them with lavender to turn those stuffy drawers into fields of french freshness! Don’t get me wrong, I love gift giving just as much as the next one. I LOVE chocolate, and cookies & cake!! I let my kids have treats ALL the time. Really. I promise they don’t miss out on anything. Just recently the kids have been hooked to making rice crispy treats.

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But do we need a holiday to pass out the WORST thing a lap has produced? Artificial flavors, colors, high fructose corn syrup… oh and COLORS!! And did I mention artificial flavors? Who in the world enjoys those?

Well, not this mother! This year all of my daughter’s girlfriends are getting a Yasemin Tea-Skirt!

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Luckily, I already had this fabric in my stash from a few years ago.  Don’t you love when holiday fabrics go on sale for 70% off at JoAnns the day after a holiday? I had about three yards of this fun pink & red heart fabric waiting to be turned into something!

The boys in my daughter’s class will all receive the aforementioned felt heart hanger with some bubble gum! So will my son’s whole class (boys & girls). The felt hangers were so easy to make. And felt is super affordable. $4.99 / yard at JoAnn’s (plus you can always find a 40% off coupon!!). I made a template heart on paper and traced it onto my felt. I needed two two pieces (front&back, mine are about 5.5″ across) and another half piece for the pocket.

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I added a little leaf machine stitching to the pocket for some extra cuteness. And a cute little ribbon loop in case kids would like to hang them on their backpacks. I filled each heart with Polyfil. You can use cotton balls too.  Note: You don’t need a sewing machine for this project. Felt doesn’t fray and is really fun to sew by hand and super cute when you use a contrasting color thread. Embroidery floss works great. See here. But since I had to make 40 of these I opted for the quick machine version. I am sure you understand. 🙂 After all, the baby only naps an hour or two each morning.

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Love,

Yasemin

P.S. After I was done with my heart hangers I had some scraps of felt left-over. I used it to make a banner of 100 little hearts.  My daughter got to take the banner to school last week for their 100th day of Kindergarten celebration. What better way to celebrate a milestone than to show some love? 🙂

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January Recap

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Is it really time to recap January already? I usually don’t do this but I was somewhat surprised to see that today was the last day of the first month of the year. My birthday month, the month to break resolutions, the month with a wide variety of weather: warm, icy, mild, windy, wet, foggy, etc. etc. But for me the attribute that stands out the most this month is: PRODUCTIVE! Yes, January has been a very productive time in my sewing studio. I’ve come across this post and started buying up all the long & short sleeved tees for both my girls to pimp refashion into easy, breezy, beautiful dresses. What’s so awesome about this project was that not only could I knock out several of these in a week but also the fact that I could use up larger fabric scraps from my stash. Especially for my 16-months-old all I needed was a seven inches!!! That makes room in my stash and gives me an incentive to start shopping the newest spring fabrics that are out there. Also, I am way ahead of spring & summer clothes shopping for both girls. All my six-year-old ever wants to wear are dresses & skirts anyway so this project is a match made in heaven.

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So far this is what I’ve finished.

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Matching Liberty London dresses, one with a collar! My first time ever sewing a collar on a dress, the little one with a placket & three bottons (also something I don’t typically do!) I especially love the pleats on the baby’s dress. I think they are so preppy.

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Here is another view of the navy t-shirt dress with Liberty fabric. My husband preferred it without a collar and although I like it simple and clean as well I wanted to push myself and draft & sew a collar – just once.

I’ve decided to not let the girls wear their dresses before the end of winter. They have too many cute clothes that need some wear this season. One exception will be the Valentines Day dress I’ve already finished for Seda.

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I’ve used this turquoise and red Hamburger Liebe fabric from Germany.

This pair of matching dresses has already been worn and washed multiple times since I made them two weeks ago for our MLK day photo appointment at JC PENNEY.  They wear easy, wash easy, no ironing, no nothing! Easy, breezy, … you get the  point.

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And how about these two peasant dresses for Stella I’ve whipped up this month?

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This polka-dotted cuteness she’s worn several times already. It’s the softest denim I’ve ever sewn with.

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And this above version is so light & sheer. My favorite from Anna Maria Horner’s 2013 Field Study line. I’ve made a dress for Seda from it last year. She’s worn it all over Europe. Hoping she’ll still fit it this summer. She loves ‘being twins’ with her little sis’. 🙂

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I love dressing up my girls and taking hundreds of pictures. Unfortunately, the little one couldn’t care less about having her picture taken. Needless to say this picture below is not making it on the family wall. Who wants to look back in 20 years and say: WOW! That’s a HUGE cell phone!! She didn’t smile ONCE in this hour-long shoot.

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Good thing I purchased the photo session on Groupon. The $25 bucks I’ve spent still yielded ONE decent shot of all three kids:

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We got the above printed on canvas (On the final version they managed to cover up the phone in the corner.) :- Also we got a bunch of super cute individual shots of the older two:

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The baby wanted to be ‘behind’ the camera if you know what I mean. I think she believes the camera, iPad, iPhone, AND the remote are all hers! 🙂 That little thing got us ALL wrapped around her finger. But who can say no to this?

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I’ve tried to get a cute picture of the girls with daddy this past weekend but managed only ONE so-so shot.

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The baby preferred running around and terrorizing playing with the ducks. Oh well…

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This one is a tom boy I am certain of it. She competes with her big brother in activity level and dribbles the ball down the field like no other! Seda at this age was perfectly content watching the happenings from her beloved stroller with snack in hand. No need to get out climb, run, etc. etc. She had barely a scratch until she turned three. This baby is already completely scratched up, bruised up, banged up … It’s crazy. I thought it was going to get easier with the third one….

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Anyway, in other news I’ve now decided on the final fabric combo for Stella’s first quilt. I am staying with the coral hues but added this mustardy yellow to it. It’s Anna Maria Horner’s XO’s – how could I resist.

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I am hoping to start that once the Valentines heart hangers (see inspiration here) for the kid’s classmates are done. I’ve also got another birthday present to sew. It’s a shame I can’t sew anything for one of my son’s friend’s birthdays but for my daughter I have endless ideas. I am definetely sticking to matching doll & girl outfit. Seda told me I didn’t have to make a doll quilt. She said correctly that it would take too long. She is so sweet. And thoughtful. I wonder who she got that from? Oh yes, her daddy of course!! 🙂

Love,

Yasemin

Reading, Sewing and a year older!

I love how reading blogs takes you all over the world. You get to peek into other mom’s lifes. See how they live with their children, how they create … I love looking through their lenses. They take breath-taking pictures. It’s so interesting to see how winter is so different in different parts of the county. From snow storms to beach days, from fog to rain to dry, sunny Texas-like weather. It’s all happening this month in the blogesphere. It’s gorgeous. I also enjoy seeing the cozy, candy-lit homes of European bloggers. I keep adding to my blogroll everyday. (See full list here.) What’s great is how supportive bloggers are of eachother. Today I’ve discovered Rosy Little Things on Probably Actuallys blog. I love the foggy winter pictures of Oregon with all the beautiful hand-knit baby sweaters & the floral print Alicia’s little girl is wearing. So beautiful. I’ve also been reading Whitney Deal’s blog: Darling Dexter ever since I saw it mentioned on Oliver+S. Again beautiful pictures & really exceptional eye for kid’s clothes. Again on the Oliver + S blog I’ve come across My Cakies last month. I love bloggers from California. You and Mie is another new favorite of mine from Cali! Their pictures remind me of my home of 7 years… Oh California dreamin’… I miss the beach SO MUCH!!! In other news, yesterday was my birthday.  I gave myself a little break from everything. I slowed down. It was perfect! Outside it was cold cold cold and grey! I can handle the cold with blue skies but that deary grey makes me just want to cuddle up on the couch … Naturally we couldn’t go to the park in the morning. But half way through the morning it dawned on me that this is exactly what I needed. Once the baby was napping I realized how great the gift of quite is. I could actually THINK! I could BREATHE deeply. So nice for a change. Even after the older kids came home from school we took it easy. I can’t remember the last time we build these block towers together …

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All of us. Priceless! We are on-the-go and active way too often. It’s the simple quite that I am enjoying these days. I hope that’s not a sign of me getting old – or is it? 🙂 I don’t feel old. Actually, I feel very energetic & healthy! Thank goodness for that. This is me last year on my birthday:

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Seda took this picture of me when we were feeding the ducks after school. It was a cool but sunny and bright day last year. This year’s pic is taken inside. In our cozy living room in front of the fireplace.

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I just love how Seda takes pictures. It’s and art really. Not everyone can do it. I love her patience with it too. Taking better pictures is on my list of improvements this year. First I’d like to trade in my old Canon for a newer model. And then I am going to READ the manual!! I hear that there are a few simple steps like shutter speed etc. that can improve the quality of the picture dramatically. More research to be done here still! Anyway, I better head over to my sewing table and hop onto the turn-a-t-shirt-into-a-dress train that I am on this week. 🙂 After all baby has just under another hour of sleep left … Have fun, stay healthy! Love, Yasemin photo 3 (23) photo 1 (27) P.S. These piles of new solid tees are awaiting me today. One is for Seda in size 7-8 y and the other is for Stella in 24 m. I purchased them all at the Children’s Place Outlet for less than $4 each! Score!! They are super soft & long-sleeved. I usually cut the sleeves to 3/4 length which I prefer. My original idea inspired by this post was to turn the girl’s old tees into dresses but let’s be honest: Who wants to spend time & use beautiful new fabric to turn and old t-shirt into a dress? I prefer these crisp – not too expensive – ones. At least the precious time I spent in my sewing room will be well worth it afterwards. Plus the baby’s worn t-shirts and onesies are so gross from food stains … Yuck! … January 27th: Update Here’s one of the many t-shirt dresses coming out of the oven these days :-): LibertyDressWithCollar I considered keeping it simple – at first – but went with a collar and fabric covered button addition in the end. TshirtDressLiberty   Well, my muse liked the details and can’t wait to wear it. As you can probably see I haven’t even hemmed it yet. Just wanted to get the picture out of the way while the weather was pleasant. This has truly been a roller-coaster-winter. SedaNewLibertyDress

MLK Day weekend

First off, Thank you Dr. King for your contributions to humanity!

Friday started our fun-filled weekend. It was a weekend custom made for my sport-loving family: back-to-back soccer, basketball & futsol games! Friday night through Sunday night! Also, some great football watching on Sunday as well! But as much as I enjoyed the athletic part of the weekend I also enjoyed getting haircuts with Seda, shopping for kid’s outfits for the studio visit on Monday, topped off by a visit to the Dallas Zoo yesterday!

Friday afternoon: First haircut of 2014:

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Then off to a sunset-soccer game:

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Saturday morning basketball:

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Sunday shopping with only the girls:

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And, since when does Restoration Hardware look like this? Wow! I think I need to get out more often :-).

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Monday morning photo studio: Kids are ready to get their pictures taken.

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Well, not everyone is ready or HAPPY!

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And this one is always ready for the camera even if the camera man isn’t …

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Right after the studio a quick visit to Whole Foods Market to get re-energized. See, how happy the baby is now? 🙂

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And then off south to the Dallas Zoo! 

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The colors were gorgeous on this perfect holiday with temps in the upper 60’s and a clear blue sky!

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Stella loved her first visit to the zoo. The bigger the animals the better. Those giraffes were so cool! She kept calling them: doooogs … We’ll have to come back more often so she can get that straightened out. With $5 entrance until the end of February that should be doable!

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The giraffes were very friendly. We didn’t pay an extra $5 to feed them but they were happy to just reach for whatever else we had in our hands and came really really close anyway.

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All in all, we had a great weekend! So today, Tuesday, feels like a Monday to me with the kids off to school, and the baby napping already. The house is extremely quite and my PC decided to work for now …. Thanks Windows. 

Late last night, I’ve done some advance-cleaning in order to have more sewing / creative time at day light this morning. These days I am into turning simple tees into dresses & tunics for my girls. I was so pleased with the way these dresses turned out I started ‘shopping’ my stash for for fabric options for the next project.

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The options are endless. The next dress is going to have a circle skirt instead of the above bubble skirt.

I (heart) sewing! 🙂

Yasemin

 

 

This week in pictures

I’ve been following blogs from overseas for a while now. One thing that I notice that they all do is a post about their typical day / week in pictures. Not too much text. Just simple captions. No lengthy tutorials, descriptions, paragraphs, just pictures. They mostly use Instagram as a means to communicate with their followers on a regular basis and do post online weekly, bi-monthly or some even just one a month. They also do a lot of guest blogging. Hmmm? That has me thinking …

I use Instagram as well (mosbyfamily). I love how you can edit the pics there. You get a glimpse. Love that. Even the most mundane things look cool on Instagram. Like this selfie Stella took of her shoes! She used some filter… don’t ask me… I didn’t do it! 🙂

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I’ve been trying to remember to take pictures of things we do on a daily  basis. Most of us have a certain routine that we do (with small exceptions – of course). For us this week was sort of busy but only once the older kids came home from school. My mornings with the baby were pretty relaxed & nothing out of the ordinary. The weather was pleasant. A little too cool for the park early in the morning, a little too windy later on but still we could keep our routine going this week.

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Stella and I took many walks and realized how brown all the grass around us has gotten, how bare the trees are but how beautiful the winter sky still is and so bright & blue!

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I am glad she discovered the camera app on my phone. Usually she calls people or just deletes my apps which can be very frustrating for me. She is also getting better at giving me my phone back once we are ready to get back in the car or whenever I feel like she’s wipes her little finger across my screen enough. Also, today is her 16 months birthday!! (Pictured here in the new bubble-skirt-dress that I am making for both girls this week. I got the inspiration to turn a simple tee into a dress here.)

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I can only snap a really quick pic before she reaches for my phone! 🙂 It’s too funny!!

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She is getting so fast on her feet now & so talkative too. We even noticed she likes to imitate the songs on the radio. Super out of tune. No wonder. She got that from me :-). Sorry Butch!

Oh, have I shown you my newest fabric treasures? What a steal these were and how cute are the polka dots!!!

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I purchased only very little of each  but I already know I am going back for more of the top one (thin denim with tiny white dots). I can turn another t-shirt into a dress adding the denim. Oh, my girls would love that!

All in all, a very nice week for our family.

Happy weekend everyone!

Yasemin

P.S. I’ve updated my list of daily online reading here. I’ve come across new European bloggers that I LOVE!