March 29, 2012

Brooke Dress GIVEAWAY! & Pictures....


I was actually able to get some good pictures of the Brooke Dress!! I didn't have but a few minutes before heading off to church... but I liked the way these came out. 
Picture #1
Picture #2
Picture #3
Picture #4
Picture #5
Picture #6
  I don't think I know which picture I like the best... so which one do you think you think came out better?

I couldn't control myself, and made yet another Brooke Dress, this one I created the body in black and white damask, the sleeves and border were completed in all white. I think it came out pretty cute! This little number will be going to Avery Grace, my goddaughter! I hope she loves it... and I can't wait to see some pictures of her in it. 

Black and White Damask Brooke Dress YOU CAN WIN ONE!!
Because I enjoy making these dresses so much (for the time being) I will make a black and white damask Brooke Dress, just like the one above, in whatever size needed for one lucky blog follower! All you have to do is...

1. Make sure you follow my blog

2. Let me know which pose of my little one you like the best as a comment

I will have a winner randomly selected on April 14

Okay, now I have to decide if I'm going to make a dress or shirt for my 7 year old, and what pattern I will use to make a shirt for my 12 year old! 

Hmmm. I am a little bit excited. I found out last night at church, that we will be having a girls retreat at the end of next month! 

I am praying for God to provide the finances for this retreat, but am super excited that myself and all of my own daughters will be able to attend it together... well... mostly. I will have to be over on the teens side with my Friends group... and my younger two daughters will be over on the younger girls side. But we will still all be together!

I was never able to attend a girls retreat when I was younger, so this will be an experience for us all!

Next Wednesday we will be having an Easter egg hunt for the kids, and my group will be hiding the eggs for all of the younger kids to find. I know they will have such a good time. They really enjoyed it last year. 


March 28, 2012

Cute Little Easter Dress!

I am so excited! We will be taking family pictures very soon… and I have decided to try and make our clothes… me and the girls will be in different patterns, but similar colors, and the boys will be in a blue as well… I was thinking Turquoise colors… but maybe some grays and yellows? I’m not too sure. There are so many possibilities that I am having a hard time trying to come up with which colors to use.

If anyone has any suggestions, I’m open! Have you had your pictures taken with like colors? If so, what colors did you use?

I’m also having a hard time deciding on which pattern to use for my youngest daughter. I made these two dresses last night.  The Turquoise color one I had a pattern for, the pink one I did not… and it isn’t finished either. I almost didn’t want to put it up here, but I wanted you to see the colors.

This dress was made using instructions for The Brooke Dress if you want to try it.
It also comes with instructions for a matching baby doll dress... the sleeves have many different options
including Peasant long sleeves. So pretty... and also worked together super fast... this was my first time making it, and I think it may have taken 45 minutes to 1 hour! I'm currently almost finished making one with the body of the dress in black and white damask, the bottom border and sleeves in white for my goddaughter. It's coming out very pretty!

After making these two dresses and looking at the fabrics, I think I might like the combination of the pink from dress two, and the Turquoise in the border and sleeves of dress one together.

Tonight, if I can find another hour to spare, I might put these two together and see how it comes out. I was thinking of making an Easter dress like this…
Beautiful Dress Tutorial

I am thinking it might look good with the A line portion of the dress in the pink, and the ruffles in the Turquoise, lined in pink.

I’m sorry about the poor quality pictures, the sun was already down when I finished the dress last night, and I am planning on taking some outside pictures today after work.  She was so excited about the blue dress when she seen it… that is until she noticed the pink fabric of dress two… then she decided she no longer liked the “blue” dress… it is now “ugly”. 

Of course, she does like the feel of dress one better, so I think I might have to make her a dress from pattern one, with the fabric from dress two. I'm thinking she can use the blue one for Easter... maybe if I make her a matching purse like this one she would like it a little better? We shall see. 

This complicated, picky little child of mine.

Also… last night, she did ask me if I could make her a dress that goes over only one shoulder.  Searching through pinterest today I found this pretty little number… so that might be in the works as well!
Angelique asked me to make her a dress that goes on one shoulder last night... this will be perfect.

Okay, so which dress is your favorite? Which colors?


March 24, 2012

Cajun Wedding!

The wedding this weekend was AMAZING! Everything went exactly as the bride had visioned it! I was so honored to be a part of it.

She had an awesome CAJUN WEDDING. Complete with the bride coming in by boat! The entire wedding took place along a walking trail in the midst of Cypress trees hung with moss. The little river ran right beside the trail, perfect for her boat aisle idea.

The groom hand built a wooden deck for the two of them to stand on during the ceremony, and it came out so beautiful.

My lil one walked, and she did such a wonderful job. She looked so big and was not shy or bashful at all! (I had kind of bribed her with a puppy dog purse she wanted from Stage.)

Here are some sample pictures from the wedding! I will post more when they are finished!

Sorry they are so tiny, that's how large the previews are for now. I'm the one with the red shawl.

Here we were supposed to look shocked at the size of her ring.

One with my beautiful baby girl!

My oldest snapped this one of me at the reception.

The entire wedding party. :)


March 23, 2012

Tips and Tricks I LOVE!

All of these tips and pictures were taken from Pinterest! I love them all. More to come at a later date!


DUST - A dryer sheet can be used to dust, not only does it get the job done, but it coats the surface area repelling dust from sticking there in the first place. Use it on your baseboards to repel pet hair, and keep things from sticking to the baseboards, they just roll to the floor where you can sweep them away! 

(Picture credit to Chaotically via pinterest!)
WINDOWS - Clean your windows like a pro! Using Dawn Dishwashing liquid, a dish scrubbie, and a window squeegie. Simply use water, soapy from the dishwashing liquid. Dip the scrubbie into the solution and scrub your windows with it. Afterwards, you squeegie the water off the windows and see them sparkle!

ammonia will clean gunked up stove burners ( my grandma does this once a month)!

STOVE BURNERS - Get the gunk off your burners with out scrubbing! Caked on mess can be dissolved right off by simply letting them soak in a plastic bag over night with ammonia (soak them OUTSIDE as the fumes are strong) when you wake in the morning, rinse them off and watch the mess wash off with ease. My grandmother does this once a month, and swears by it!

Clothes keep slipping off plastic hangers? Use a hot glue gun to apply a zig zag pattern on the arms of your plastic hangers to prevent all your wide-necked shirts from falling off. Works like a charm!

CLOSETS - Clothes keep slipping off those hangers? Use a hot glue gun to apply a zig zag pattern on the arms of your hangers to prevent all your shirts and dresses from falling off!

Press'n Seal Fridge Shelves

 FRIDGE - Hate cleaning up spills in the fridge, use press'n seal to line your shelves, when spills or grime start to appear, simply remove and re-line... no more soaking and scrubbing!

how to: keep a stove top clean and pristine

STOVE - Help your stove repel spills, splatters and grime by coating it with a slight layer of car wax, watch those spill wipe right up after using this trick, it also works on the tub and sinks to prevent water stains and help to block soap scum from forming. 

Baby powder removes sand from your skin

BEACH SAND - Next time you head to the beach, don't forget the baby powder. It helps remove sand from your skin!

Cool way to freeze your meat... being able to "snap off" as much as you need at a time.

FREEZER - Cool way to freeze your meat... try this and you'll be able to "snap off" as much as you need at a time!

Keep an apple from turning brown by cutting it, then holding it together in its original shape with a rubber band.

SNACKS - Go ahead and cut those apples ahead of time for your little ones, simply keep the apple held together with a rubber band to prevent it from turning brown.

How to hull your strawberries with a straw!!

STRAWBERRIES - Hull your strawberries with a straw!

March 21, 2012

Looking for guest bloggers!

Hi everyone,

I'm on the lookout for Christian bloggers to write a guest post about family life... weather it be about being a Christian Wife, a Christian Mother, or both.

I would like for each qualifying blogger to write one or two post resulting in one guest blogger post each week.  

If you are interested, or know someone who would be perfect please let me know.

Feel free to write anything the Lord lays on your heart! 


March 20, 2012

The Lorax in 3D

I took the kids, and a niece, to see The Lorax in 3D! 

They absolutely LOVED IT! So did I! It had such wonderful messages in it. About the environment, greed, about making a difference, and doing the right thing. 

My lil one kept looking at me with those 3D glasses on saying "It looks like he was right next to us huh mommie? It looks like he was going to touch us!"

She was so excited, and for the first time really got the whole 3D effect.

We met up with some friends at the movies and after it was over we headed for some icecream, and to let the kids run around and play for a while.

I got my camera kind of working... at about 70%.. :/  it has some distortion on the screen when I'm looking at it from my camera... but when I upload the pictures, the distortion isn't there. That's a good thing at least! I was given a purse holder for Christmas, that I had at the bottom of my purse, and they have a tiny magnet on it. I'm thinking that little magnet might have distorted the color in the camera. That's the only thing I can think of.  At first the only thing that was wrong, was it got sand stuck in it from our trip to Grand Isle.  

I was able to take this picture of the kids before entering the movies. Please excuse the clothing they have on. lol. This movie idea was last minute, and there was no getting ready ahead of time. 

My son wanted me to take some pictures of him "holding up" this sign. We did not see this movie, I guess he just thought it was manly enough for him to take a picture with.
This was a picture of two of my lil ones trying to finish up homework before konking out for the night! They did have some fun though! :)

I'm wondering... what are some spring/summer fun ideas you have for your children this year?


Praise Report

When I went in to the doctors office last week, they did the ultrasound, and they said that my uterus and my ovaries both look fine now, so the birth control are working great. It took her a while to find my left ovary, she even asked me at one point if I still had it! Not sure what that was all about. I just replied "I thought I did!"

Also.. and I was super excited about this... my doctor is so popular around here that those who go to see him have a very long wait. They just started offering their patients a 15 minute chair message while they wait on the doctor!  WHAT?! Did you really just ask me if I would like a message while I wait?! Ummmm, YES!  It was awesome! 

When I went in to wait for the doctor, his nurse practitioner came in and told me that he was out for a delivery. She told me that the ultrasound showed everything fine. She also told me that they did not have the results back yet. But that as soon as they came in they would call me to come in and review them.

I told her that I took the whole day off work THAT DAY because I was told the results would be in already. She said she was sorry and went to the back to get me 6 months of free birth control samples (YAY, because it costs me 75.00 every three weeks for them).  

When she came back in she told me that she had the girls in the front check over the mail once more and they found the results. Everything came back NORMAL! She said the cell changes that Dr. Morice seen may have been the cells still healing from the previous Cryo. 

Thank you Jesus! I was so upset at the thought of having to go through all of that all over again. Now I just have to go back in 6 months for another check up. I'll have to go every 6 months until my results come back normal for 2 years, and then I can go in once a year like normal after that. 

Whew... Daniel thanked God like 4 times when I called and told him. I was so happy. Not only that, but I was also able to spend the entire day with just me and Angelique. We went to McDonalds, Walmart, the Game stop in the morning. We came and told everyone hello here at work, went to a store called the Cotton Candy Shop (unique girl clothes) we went to the drs. office, and afterwards we went to grab something to cook at home. She had fun. I had fun!


March 14, 2012

Wedding Gumbo! Unity Bouquet and other updates

Well hello everyone... I've so crazy busy lately... here are the latest updates. 

I went to the doctor last Thursday for my 6 month check up after the Chryo. He said he is pretty sure just from looking at me that the pre-cancer cells have spread. He told me to try and be optomistic though, there is a chance he is wrong. He really could see I was getting upset and was trying to calm me down.

I go back tomorrow to review the results with him and discuss procedure options. 

I'm still waiting to receive the pictures of the Bridal/Lingerie shower... I'll post them as soon as I do receive them. The wedding is this weekend!!!  I am so excited to finally be a part of it.

She has some really interesting ideas/unique for sure. You see, we live in Louisiana, where Gumbo is a staple in every household, and you can only find a really good one in the deep south. Since this is her wedding, and she is getting married outside in the midst of the Cypress trees, complete with moss hanging down... she wanted to add another touch of the South with it.

She is doing a Wedding Gumbo ceremony... lol.. She is having all the spices that we usually put in our gumbo placed in little jars. Her and I together sat down and went through each spice, did research on the health benefits of each, etc. and put together a little saying for each. During the ceremony I will call out a spice, her and the groom will then hold up the spice together while I say what the spice is representing in their marriage. They then place the spice into the gumbo pot and pick up the next spice. 

After the wedding is over, they will place all of the spices in a little see through container with the Wedding Gumbo saying printed next to it on display.

Here is what we came up with for each spice. 

Wedding Gumbo

Like a good cook that slowly and tenderly creates a delicious Roux with love and patience for the base of a gumbo, God has birthed a beautiful emotion between Christopher and Bethanie-Lee for an eternal love that is true. The rest of the ingredients, no one any more significant than another, are all needed equally to work together to create the gumbo…

Tabasco  helps to battle depression & promotes a sense of well being, representing Faith, Hope, and Happiness. May you be able to maintain all three in your marriage throughout the years to come.

Black Pepper  also known as black gold was often used as currency, representing wealth and support. Pray that you always have enough, but that you always remain content with what you have.

Salt  preserves, it is said that like water, the relationship between salt and your health is so intricately involved it makes them impossible to be disentangled. Without salt you could not exist for a moment… here it represents our Heavenly Father. God should be entangled in your marriage, very few last without Him in the center, ensuring preservation of your love for each other.

Tony Chacheres  a mixture of different types of spices and herbs, here representing family and friends… a blend so unique, the gumbo would not be the same without it. Remember to give thanks to your family for your upbringing and foundations, and to seek Gods guidance to bring yourselves into agreement when bringing up a family of your own.

Garlic  is a powerful antioxidant representing understanding, common sense and knowledge. May you have knowledge and understanding of each other’s needs and common sense to know when to leave well enough alone.

Onion  is a preventer and protector representing compassion and Respect… for these are the top two needs of a man and woman in their relationships. They will be sure to prevent and protect against any love decay.

File’  has been used over the years to treat the skin, representing Gods creation, us. Never forget how delicate our lives are, and how precious the time you have together here really is.

Oregano  is rich in Vitamin K which keeps bones strong, representing strength, strength to endure the future, the unknown circumstances you are sure to encounter.

Basil   protects cell structures as well as chromosomes from outside damage representing your health.

Red pepper  is known to have pain – reducing effects representing forgiveness and is in its natural state spicy, representing the flame of passion. May you be quick to forgive each other and that flame will not burn low.

 Rice  has always been known to represent fertility, which is why it is customarily thrown at the newlywed couple after the wedding ceremony. May your lives and works be fertile and produce good fruits. 

So.. that's what he have for the Gumbo pot.

She's having another part, where instead of a unity candle, she is having a unity bouquet. Both the mother of the bride, and the mother of the groom will carry a bouquet when walked to their sets at the beginning of the wedding. They will place their bouquets on the table where the bride and groom will stand during the ceremony. When it is time, the bride and groom will each take a bouquet, and place them together, as one single bouquet. This will symbolize the uniting of the two families as one. We couldn't find any poems on this either, so we made something up to be read while they are joining them... here it is.

Unity Bouquet

Two families brought here together
full of joy and pride
DiMatteos and Walters
families of the groom and the bride.

Two families... separate
today will be joined as one.
DiMatteos will gain a daughter,
Walters will gain a son.

Carried in by the mothers these flowers represent the families, 
beautiful and unique in their own way
When placing them both together
they make an exquisite bouquet. 

I hope you have enjoyed reading this.. prayers for my health are welcome! lol
Also, I think the next time I cook a good gumbo, I will record the process so I can share it with you. If you know anyone who has ever eaten a gumbo, you know that it is one of the best meals in (dare I say) the world! Recipes passed from generation, to generation. Gumbos have been served in Louisiana since the earliest of records that were kept here!

Nothing beats it... nothing!


March 2, 2012

Lingerie Shower!!!

Well... tomorrow I will be spending my day preparing for, setting up for, and hosting a lingerie shower!
I am so excited and have so many ideas.  I have to admit, after throwing and hosting a bridal shower last Saturday, and having this lingerie shower this Saturday... I will be glad not to have anything to host next weekend!!  

The theme for her shower is lingerie, of course, and the colors black and pink. 

I will be serving sprite with pink food coloring in wine glasses for the beverage...
Pink cupcakes in black and white damask cupcake wrappers
Peanut Butter Cookies dyed pink with food coloring and indented with black and white hug kisses
Pizza! From Domino's!

We are planning to eat our pizza first...
Have a Mary Kay consultant come over and give us all makeovers!
Then snack on the goodies and play some fun games!

After we are finished playing games and opening the gifts at the bride-to-be's home we will head to the bowling alley for a few games of bowling!

For party favors each girl will take home a mesh lingerie bag to wash their delicates in!

I can't wait to get the pictures of everything to show off to everyone!

How are you all planning on spending your weekends?


March 1, 2012

Our past, and how it effects our children and generations to come!

I learned, going back in my mind to my childhood, how so many things that went on back then have programmed me to be the person I am today.

My dad was such an angry man, we walked on egg shells every single day trying to avoid making him angry…. Doing everything we could as to not draw attention to ourselves and to make him happy.
I hated to do laundry, I hated to do dishes, I hated to clean…. Because after every attempt he would inspect and point out every failure and short coming.

Even today, when conflict starts to arise, my initial response is to retract, and retreat. Keep quiet and get as far away as possible… basically, plop your head under the sand like a shaking ostrich and hope no one notices the rest of you lurking above ground. If they do and start to kick at you, throw rocks at you or hit you with sticks... just close your eyes tighter and pretend it isn’t happening and eventually it will all go away.
It also, I’m sure, has a lot to do with the reason why I hate to clean and pick up things today. What’s the point in doing the very best you can when it will never be good enough? When no matter how much you put into it, you will be put down for it not being enough for those around you.

My father would lock me in the back laundry room with a months’ worth of laundry all weekend with a fan blowing the heat from the dryer…. And expect me to stay in there until all of the laundry was sorted, washed, dried, folded, hung and picked up its place. I was eight when that began.

Even to this day I have mounds and mounds of laundry at a time. I think those feelings of dreading going into the laundry room all weekend to do the clothes… only to have him come in and inspect the way I folded the towels.. always to his disapproval.. and throw them all back on the floor for me to re-do. Or to yell at me to hang his pants upside down folded at the crease. His pants were so much taller than I was… it was so hard to do that. He would always come in and whip me because I didn’t do it the way he wanted it done.

I think that has something to do with the reason why I panic every time I try to iron or fold at the crease… I still cannot get that right to this day.

So many things from my past have created my insecurities and shortcomings of today I can’ t help but think about my children and wonder what, if any, insecurities and/or shortcomings I am developing in them today. Insecurities and shortcomings that will follow them well into adulthood… haunting them.

I was selected to read and review a book titled – How We Love Our Kids

About this book –
One Small Change in How You Love
One Big Change in your Kids
Having problems with your kids?  What if you are the problem and you just can’t see it?  How We Love Our Kids offers a unique approach, to help you as a parent transform your kids by making specific changes in how you love. It’s the only book specifically for parents that reveals the unseen forces that shape every interaction with your kids.   
   • Identify which of the five love styles you have. 
   • Discover the surprising dynamics that shape your parenting. 
   • Get rid of your “buttons” so your kids can’t push them. 
   • Create a close connection with your kids that will last a lifetime. 
   • Learn the seven gifts every child needs. 

Based on years of research in the area of attachment and bonding,  How We Love Our Kids shows parents how to overcome the predictable challenges that arise out of the five love styles and helps parents cultivate a secure, deep connection with a child of any age.  Retool your reactions and refocus on how you love.  Start today. Watch your kids flourish and thrive as they receive what was missing in your love. 

It is said that this book will “ Reveal some blind spots in you as a parent… and also discuss how to respond to your children, free from the dictates of your past. If you’re willing to accept your children’s spotlight and set some goals for yourself to improve your responses, you will change your children by changing the quality of love you are giving them. And you’ll change their lives as well, even for future generations.

I am super excited to be able to read and review this book and I hope that I will learn much from it's pages and that I will be given the wisdom I need to be able to apply what I learn into my lives and the lives of those around me. 

Father, I come to You humbly with an open and raw heart and I ask You to please show me any ways in which I am making my children insecure. I want them to grow up nurtured and loved in my home and I want them to know that they can do all things they put their minds to as long as they put their trust and the glory of their successes in You.  I ask you Lord, to please help me undo any ways that I have hurt them, or caused them to doubt themselves or their abilities. I ask you to please make me aware of the unique gifts You have given to each of them individually so I can, with Your wisdom and guidance, help them to grow those gifts in a way to bring You glory. I want nothing more than to take these beautiful children You have entrusted to me and help form their lives into ones that You will be proud of… not ones that I will regret having to give an account for on the day of my judgment. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen!


I will let you all know about my review as soon as I have one!