Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Giveaway! *updated*

** And the winner is: Kristen of The Grizzimes!**
Check out her blog- super cute! Thank you all for playing. Let us know what you'd like to see next time!

Don't we all love a giveaway?

Free stuff?!

Free stuff is good.

Free good stuff?!

Good stuff that's free is even better!

Which is why we're giving away a super cute nursing cover,
3 coordinating burp cloths, and a coordinating tote bag!

These genuine mama-made burp cloths are made out of 100% cotton fabric and a 70/30 poly-cotton microfiber that is naturally antibacterial, super-absorbant, and very soft!

This super-stylish mama-made nursing cover slips over a nursing mama's head easily with an adjustable strap. Boning in the neckline makes eye contact with baby a breeze.

No longer nursing? No problem! This would make a very sweet baby gift (and you don't even have to wrap it- just put everything in the tote).

You have 4 chances to win:

1. Follow Sew Many Mamas.
2. "Like" us on Facebook.
3. Repost our give-away on your blog and leave us a link in your comment.
4. Submit yourself or another deserving mama to be featured on Meet-A-Mama Monday (for details go to our "Know A Mama?" tab).

Leave a comment for each entry, making sure to leave your name and email address so we can contact you! Comments will stay open for one week (to give you a chance to get your Meet-A-Mama Monday submissions together). That means comments will close on Friday, October 8th at 5 pm. We'll pick a winner using and announce the lucky person by Saturday!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Meatloaf Sandwiches

I know, I know.


Kind of uninspired, right?

But, oh! Meatloaf sandwiches!

They are the ultimate remind you of your mama-forget your worries (or that extra pound)- life is good kind of food. 

And Pioneer Woman's Meatloaf makes really, really good meatloaf sandwiches. 

Of course, having a gluten-free girl in the house, as well as a really bad grocery shopper... (I always forget to double check to make sure that everything on my list ends up in my cart. I figure, if I write it down on the list, it should end up in my cart. But it doesn't seem to work that way.)


I had to modify it a bit. 

The result? MmmMmm good meatloaf! 

But even better sandwiches!

Here's what I substituted: 

1 cup skim milk for whole milk, 
3-4 slices gluten free bread (we used Udi's) for 6 slices regular bread
1 pound ground beef and 1 pound ground turkey for 2 lbs. of ground beef,
1/2 cup chopped onions
 and 1/2 cup chopped celery

The rest of the ingredients for the meatloaf were the same. 

For the sauce, I used 1 1/4 cup ketchup and 1/3 cup brown sugar. I didn't have any tabasco on hand, so I used some crushed red pepper. How much? A few shakes. A taste. And then a few more shakes.
(Can you tell? I am a very precise chef.)

The end result was a meatloaf that I know I will make again.
And again, and again!!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Invitation to Join Meet-A-Mama Monday

Being a mama can sometimes be a difficult job!

Whether you are a stay-at-home mama, a mama who works outside the home, a single mama, a mama-to-be, a mama with grown children, a fur-child mama (a dog or cat... duh!), or a "mama" to the neighbor kids... we can all use a little encouragement sometimes. A reminder that what we are doing makes a difference... that we each have unique gifts... that we are more than just a milk-making-machine... that other women admire and love us and can be inspired by us.

We would like to make Meet-A-Mama Monday a place where we can introduce a mama to an encouraging community and celebrate the incredible talents of women of all kinds.

Plus, we think it is a neat-o way to get to "know" some other mamas and celebrate their talents.

Want to participate? Go to our tab: "Know a Mama?" to get the details.

Can't wait to meet you!

Meet a Mama Monday

Meet Diane

Mama to three grown daughters, Grandma to seven grandchildren,
 wife to my big brother for the past 45 years!!!,
She's thoughtful, reliable, kind and a QUILTER!

Whenever Diane and I get together we love to talk fabric.  It's fun to share and shop and plan.
We've talked about opening our own quilt shop.

 In an inspired moment, instead of a quilt shop, I suggested that if big brother Frank were truly a good husband he would buy his sweet wife a long arm quilter
(Diane had suggested it a time or two or three too).


Guess what...

And look who else likes to use it...

Yep, it's Quilter Frank!
Good job, brother!

Diane lives in Arizona and I always see color and pattern inspiration in her quilts from the
AZ desert and the Native American art that abounds there.
Lakota Star
Hopi Sun
Beautiful quilting

One of her favorite quilting books is a
Quilt in a Day publication called
She used several ideas from it to make this wall hanging... 
the black bears wandering around their Colorado cabin
also must have added some inspiration!


Diane's quilts can also be soft and old fashioned.

Gotta admire a quilter that can actually finish an appliqued quilt!
(my attempts always turn into a pillow - one pillow!) 

She also loves to make special quilts for her grandkids, nieces and nephews!

My brother and his quilting wife (and her sewing machine) travel around 
our beautiful country sightseeing and visiting family and friends.
She has led such a busy exciting life... farmer's daughter, hot air balloon pilot, 
Road Rally Racer, tour guide for middle schoolers.
Diane is also a newly retired middle school science teacher.
Talk about patience! Middle school kids and my brother!!!
Thank you Diane : )
Can't wait to see your next project.
We may get our quilt shop yet!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Snuggie for Dogs

You've heard of the Snuggie. But, have you heard of the Snuggie for Dogs?

Who would buy such a thing?

And force their dog to wear it?

I bet you were wondering this very thing when you saw the tv advertisement:


Surely people don't actually buy this. Especially not people who are tightening up their budget, foregoing Starbucks, and trying to live more frugal.

I know you all are dying to know who in the world would actually buy this?!? And then, who would actually put this on their very own dog?!?

Well, wonder no longer, my friends.

I have answered the age-old question: Who actually buys the Snuggie for Dogs?

Ummm... guilty.

I bought it. And he was not so happy about it. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

this moment

{this moment}

inspired by soule mama

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sometimes You Just Gotta Let Go...

So the last few days I've been feeling like a slave. A slave to my house, a slave to my children, a slave to our animals, just a plain old slave. Todd's been working like a dog this week so we haven't been able to see much of him, which doesn't help. I fold a load of laundry and before I get it all put away another load needs to be put in. I spend an hour making a healthy, delicious meal and my kiddos decide tonight they don't like chicken, zucchini, and roasted potatoes. What happenes?? My babies are whining for something else and I try not to cry as I sit at my table and eat by myself as the cat picks at the dinner Kamrynn so sweetly threw on the floor. I think to myself, "I guess that means I get to mop the floor for the eleventh time today." Sigh....

Taylor was just into everything yesterday! Paint, floss, markers, nail polish, water...everything! I was super frustrated yesterday but woke up today with a new outlook! Today I decided if I can't beat em, join em!! So, we redecorated the house with Taylor's newest creations. Her beautiful drawings are hanging all over the doors, the walls, the furniture, the fridge.  I realize sometimes you just gotta let go, take a break from being just a caretaker, and have some fun with your kiddos!! 


Tuesday, September 21, 2010


There will be a break in our regularly scheduled program
due to this...

Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games) - Library Edition

Third book in the Hunger Games Trilogy, can't put it down!

OK, one little picture of a new project:

Monday, September 20, 2010

Meet a Mama Monday

Meet Trendy Mama
aka - Erin

Erin is the life of the party! She's happy, energetic and loves babies and animals. 
She always has a smile on her face and a baby in
arms. (hers and/or her nieces) 

She's naughty.
(Auntie Erin gave little E her first taste of ice cream)

And fun.

And she loves being a mom. 

They love to camp, fish, and hike. 

(just had to include this grubby little camping cutie!)

She's a wonderful photographer

This is one busy mama!

Erin also plans the best parties-- wedding showers, baby showers, birthday parties. She's a theme kind of girl: sweet invitations, delicious food, and adorable cupcakes - all coordinated!

Wedding Shower
"BeeBee" shower
T's 3rd birthday

In her spare time, she likes to sew. 

Nifty aprons
Baby Taggy blanket

But, what is most important to Erin is her faith, family, and friends. She has a heart of gold and will drop everything to help someone out. She loves with her whole heart and makes people feel better just by being around her.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Tokyo Subway Quilt - Row 1

I'm done with Row 1 and am having so much fun putting it together!
I love the batiks - such beautiful colors.

And here is the real Tokyo Subway map! I feel lost just looking at it.
Can't imagine trying to navigate through that maze!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Family Quilts

We decorate sugar cookies at Grandma's house at Christmas time.

We have a bubble-gum blowing contest at the Mulnix family reunion.

And, when we have our first baby, Nana makes us a family quilt.

To begin, Nana picks a book that has meaning for our family. She picks books that have a message we want to pass down to our children. For Trendy Mama's family, she picked Bear of My Heart by Joanne Ryder. Trendy Mama and her family love to camp and fish, so this story about a sweet little baby bear and her mom (or dad) who explore outside is perfect for them. And the message the parent bear tells its cub -- "You are the bear of my heart, dear, and I am the one who loves you..." what a sweet refrain for Trendy Mama's family. Trendy Mama's cubs truly are the bears of her heart and she and her hubby are the ones who love those cubs with all of the fibers of their beings. And, those cubs know it!

So Nana picked the perfect book.

After she has selected the book, she designs a quilt that represents the book. My words cannot do this  quilt (or our family quilt which I'll write about later) justice. It is perfect - each fabric is selected with care, each stitch has meaning, and for the rest of our lives...and our children's lives...and their children's lives... this quilt will remind them that they are loved by many.

This family quilt is not just for that precious first baby. Instead, it represents the beginning of the family. 

The best part about this quilt is how it evolves. When the babies are little, they can lay on it and play. Taylor could find the fish swimming in the stream. Now, Taylor and her sister, Kami, can point to the mama bear and the baby bear and trace the quilted heart in between them. Mama can read the story as her girls are on sitting on the blanket. 

The quilt hangs in the girls' playroom as a constant reminder of their family story: That they are the bears of their parents' heart... they are the bears of their Nana and Pappy's hearts... that they are the bears of their family's hearts... and we are all the ones that love them!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

To Work or Not to Work...

I remember discussing career options with my mom when I was in high school. She encouraged me to think of careers that might be more likely to offer flexible scheduling so I could spend time with my future family.

That's how she saw it at least.

At the time, I saw it as her limiting my options, trying to force me into a career that was generally deemed “woman’s work.”
Like being a teacher or a nurse instead of a lawyer or a doctor.

Don’t get me wrong. She always supported me and encouraged me to do whatever I wanted to do. She just always reminded me to consider what would happen when I had a family.

Did I listen to Mom?

Does anyone listen to their parents when they are offering genuine, helpful advice that doesn’t directly support her own particular notion of how the world works at that time?


I had it all figured out. I talked to many working moms over the years and asked them how they managed to balance career and a family. (No matter that I was asking people who were working, so obviously they were at least somewhat happy with their job situation. I ignored that part.) They offered me helpful advice, like hire good daycare, divide household chores, and buy prepared cupcakes for school birthday parties instead of making them.

I asked myself if I could take their advice.

Could I give up the idea that I had to be room-mom? Yes.

Could I relinquish some control and allow my husband to pick up our kids from daycare. Sure.

Would I be willing to buy store treats sometimes instead of homemade. Yup, no problem. (For those who know me, go ahead and start laughing...when have I ever brought store-bought anything to any sort of gathering?)

Turns out, I was failing to ask myself the most important, fundamental question of all:

Would I be willing to leave my child in the care of someone else for 40+ hours each week?

The answer to that is (and always has been) no.

But, I was so hell-bent on proving that I was a liberated, liberal, independent woman who could do anything she wanted that I forgot to listen to my own heart.

So I went to college and got a four year degree... went to graduate school and got a masters... went to law school and got a J.D. And then I landed a job at a prestigious law firm. I pushed my Birkenstocks to the back of the closet and bought a pair of black pumps. I bought multiple suits. And I loved it. Since work was slow, hubby and I decided it was a good time to try to get pregnant. And, lucky for us, I got pregnant.

I worked my tail off before and after I was pregnant. I argued cases in court- and won. I drafted briefs. I talked to clients. I also put off making childcare decisions. (Clue #1.)

Maybe we’ll get a nanny, I told myself. But I didn’t interview any nannies. I didn’t even advertise for one. (Clue #2.)

The week before my little one was born, I finally looked at, and put a deposit down on a wonderful Montissori daycare down the street from us. I told my mom and sisters how perfect it was. They served organic food. They allowed the children to learn at their own pace. They loved each child and allowed them to experience nature. And when my well-meaning mom and sisters asked if I was going to be okay putting Karis in daycare, I said sure. I had to be. We needed the income (to afford our giant student loan debt incurred while getting my law degree and hubby going through medical school).

And then I had my little baby.

My sweet, precious, darling little girl.

It’s tempting to say I changed. Or my perspective changed. But it didn’t. Nothing changed at all. I was just forced to ask myself the question I had been avoiding since I was old enough to avoid it: Can I leave my child in someone else’s care?

The answer remained, no.

So I blamed it on my job. I couldn’t work 80 hours a week, but I could work 40. I found an awesome job - a dream job. One that people spend a lifetime looking for. I have an awesome boss. I work for an awesome institution. They created a position just for me. They pay me well. They let me go part-time.

But, I still couldn’t leave my little girl with someone else.

So, my mom came to stay with us. Just for a month. Until I was ready to put her in an in-home daycare with a wonderful woman near my new job.

And then the month was up, and I couldn’t do it.

My mom moved in.

And now, almost four months into working part-time: I still cry every morning on my way to work. I still cry every night as I drive home. The person that used to be a diligent worker who could only think about work, took on extra projects, and sometimes forgot to eat because she was so engrossed in a project (once again, for those who know me, forgetting to eat is BIG)... she was gone. I now barely can focus on work. All I can think about is what is Karis doing. Is she sleeping? Is she hungry? Does she wonder where her mommy is? Does she think Nana is her mom? Can I work from home? Should we sell the house?

And those are just the day-to-day questions, there are many more:

What do I tell my daughter when she wants to be a doctor? How to I tell her what Mom tried so hard to tell me? Can I ever describe what it is like to have your heart living outside your body in this beautiful little human being?

And there are, of course, big picture questions:

How does this change my definition of feminism? Is there truly a movement towards a more self-sufficient lifestyle, centered around the home? And what is my role in that movement?

I have so many questions and so few answers.

What I do know is this: Mom, as she usually is, was right.

Like she has always said, there are some wonderful mommies and daddies out there who work outside the home. I aspire to be like some of those mommies. But, it is not in my DNA. I may love practicing law, but turns out I love being at home...
with my baby...
all day...
every day...
with all the laundry, bodily fluids, chores, stresses, and other not-so-fun aspects of staying at home that comes with it...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sewing Buddy

This little Sweet Pea likes to play in the sewing room! 
There are lots of fun toys with interesting texture, shape and color.
I remember playing at my mother's feet while she was sewing.
I loved going through each scrap of fabric, stacking her spools of thread, 
playing with her button box.
Incredible memories!

My children did the same.  Playing with their sewing toys, the hum of the machine,
a smiling mommy : )

And now my grandchildren are enjoying their time in the sewing room!

1 small box of fabric + 1 tape measurer + 1 pencil box + 1 - 4" piece of elastic =
1 happily exploring baby!