Monday, October 31, 2011

Inspirational Sunday-Jenni James

Okay, I realize that it is currently Monday morning, but I had a friend over last night so I didn't get to my blog BUT Mrs. Jenni James is pretty incredible so I still have to talk about her. You'll remember from Saturday's post how I came across her from my friend Kari. Anyway so I start following her on Facebook, because I like to keep up with when books will be released, book signings, ect, ect. and I tell you what, this lady is Superwoman. She has 7 kids and fosters 3 more! And on top of that, she also cans food like crazy, not to mention coming up with healthy, yummy alternative recipes (her latest one was caramel yum!) not to mention that she writes books, as if she didn't already have plenty on her plate. ha ha! I had the opportunity to do a mini interview with her.
1. What got you into writing?
I was never going to be a writer… ever. I sort of thought it’d be boring. So imagine my surprise when the book Pride & Popularity would not leave me alone? Every free second I had this book would hound me until finally I was like—Okay! Okay! You win. I’ll write. I sat down and began writing… as you say, the rest was history.

2. How do you juggle everything (canning, mothering, writing, general supermom-ing)?
Erm… juggle? Lol! I don’t think I’d make a good juggler. I just do it. I have to be doing something or I’ll go mad. So I have a bunch of kids (5 at home/5 at school) always around my legs and feet. To guarantee they don’t make huge messes somewhere, I tend to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. If I’m in there, I might as well be baking or canning. When they’re asleep is my best writing time. It’s when I finally have a moment to myself and can just write. As to the supermom comment… er, I’ll let you know when I get to that status! Lol!

3. What made you want to modernize Jane Austen?

 It was my mom, actually. We were hashing out what to call this book, when I told her it was a lot like Pride and Prejudice. She instantly said, “well, why don’t you call it Pride & Popularity?” I LOVED the idea. We were both huge Jane Austen fans and it would be something super easy for me to tweak and work the storyline into Pride and Prejudice. After I went back to working on the book, I realized I had several other characters already in the first one to inspire the others. It was a no brainer after that to rewrite the whole series.

4. Who inspires you?

 My mom! She’s amazing! No, really. Like, crazy awesome! She can run circles around what I do every day. One day I hope to be just like her.  Thank you for having me!

When I grow up I want to be as cool as Jenni. :D She inspires me, and makes me want to accomplish more in my life. If she can do everything she does with 10 kids, I should be able to do a whole lot with my 2 right? ;) Thanks so much Jenni for letting me feature you and keep being amazing! :)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Something that I love Saturdays-Pride and Popularity

Ahhh, I LOVE this book. Mostly because I adore Jane Austen, good clean books, and a whitty author, all of which is in this book. I discovered Jenni through my friend Kari. They are sisters. So about a year or so back I get an e-mail from my friend Kari saying something to the effect of, "Hey, my sister is rewriting the Jane Austen books and she'd like some people to read what she's got and give feedback," well I'm never one to say no to THAT. lol! So I read her book, which was Northanger Alibi (coming out in November by the way) and it was FUN. I've read a couple other stories written by her and loved them all. So Pride and Popularity comes out, and I buy it, in fact I bought the kindle version too because it would take too long to get here. And it was great. Pride and Prejudice is my favorite Austen book, so I had high hopes. I wasn't disappointed. I will say, if you're looking for heavy cuss filled, naked scenes, ect, ect, LOOK ELSEWHERE. This book is about as squeeky clean as you can get. It IS written for teenagers, it takes place in a high school. However it doesn't make the writing sloppy, it is very well written, and when my girls get a bit older, I'm sure I'll be reading this series to them. If you love Jane Austen, and a quick, fun read, give this one a try. :)
Book Description:
Chloe Elizabeth Hart despises the conceited antics of the popular crowd, or more importantly, one very annoying self-possessed guy, Taylor Anderson, who seems determined to make her the president of his fan club! As if! Every girl in the whole city of Farmington, New Mexico, is in love with him, but he seems to be only interested in Chloe. This modern high school adaptation of Pride and Prejudice is a battle of wits as Chloe desperately tries to remain the only girl who can avoid the inevitable falling for Taylor.

About the Author

Jenni James is a busy mom of seven children who is married to a totally hot Air Force recruiter. When she isn't busy chasing her kids around the house, she's dreaming of new romantic books to write. Pride & Popularity is the first book in Jenni's series, The Jane Austen Diaries. The second book in the series, Northanger Alibi, will be released by Inkberry Press in November 2011.

To find out more about The Jane Austen Diaries or Jenni's other projects, please visit her website,, or her Facebook page, The Jane Austen Diaries. Jenni loves to hear from her readers and may be contacted at

Friday, October 28, 2011

Tutu dresses

Okay, so I've made a bunch of tutus in my life as mother of girls, these I made much the same way except I measured the length from right under their armpits. Jill was 21 inches long. I added an extra 2 inches because as it poofs it raises a bit, plus you need to compensate about an inch for your knot. Kari's ended up being about 32 inches or so.. I used a whole 50 yrd spool of 6 inch tulle plus a little bit for each because I doubled my layers to add volume. Also for the final result they wore their regular tutus under the dresses. Remember that really cool trick to make tutu making easier from this post? Well thanks to Pinterest, I discovered another trick that made making these a breeze! 

 Find a piece of cardboard (or a book, foam board, ect) that is the right size that you're looking for in this case, about 23 inches.
 Start your tulle on one end (I folded down the corner of this side so I knew which side I started on.)
 Wrap, and wrap, keep going!

 I used the whole roll.

 Then make ONE cut on the side that you started on.
Viola! You've got strips that are all exactly the same length. Now continue on with my other little trick with a jug or vase.

I should note in here, that for a tutu that goes around the waist I only take about three inches off the elastic, but since I needed it to stay nice and tight on their chests, I took about 5 inches off the measurement. Then I took an extra strip, folded it in half, then looped it through and tied at the back for the shoulder strap. Then do another one. then I took a satin ribbon and just tied it a couple inches down when they were wearing the dresses so that it had a little bit of a shape. And you're done! :)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Some pictures from our church Harvest Festival

Ack guys!! I have been so frantic the last few days getting ready for the Harvest Festival. I had to finish costumes, research costumes (for me) and yesterday I was cooking pretty much the whole day. *big sigh of relief* so the party was great (we got there late though, I was doing Tyler's make up ha ha!!) Now I just need to worry about MY party on Monday and then Halloween will officially be OVER. Thank goodness. I'm ready for some holiday baking and CHRISTMAS. (Yes I know that Thanksgiving is in between Halloween and Christmas) anyway, so be ready for a blogging overload today, I've got some cute, yummy, and crafty things for you that made last night a success (and then I need to crack down on my menu plan for Monday) First up, my adorable girlies!!!

 Hee hee! I just couldn't resist this one.
 Showing me her candy
The back of the dress 
 Her hair (took forever but was so worth it)

 My little Jilly bean

 It was really hard to get a picture with all the PUFF and still be able to see their cute faces.

 Kari's fake smile

 I don't know what she's looking at but I love the tongue! lol!
 Top of Jill's hair

 The backs of their dresses

 Playing with their friend

 More hugs!
 Okay so there's a mini story behind my costume. I came across this gorgeous fabric several years ago at the thrift store, I would say I've had this in my "stash" for 6 or 7 years now. Loved it, but it's something that you can't cut up. It's got a silver boarder on the top and bottom and a section that is more decorated. I always thought it looked like a sarong or a saree. So yesterday I've spent the whole day cooking or getting things for the girl's outfits so I don't have much time, so I pull out this fabric and do a youtube search on how to tie a saree. Seriously beautiful, I love it. And I looked up the mark on the forehead thing, and learned that it's more a cultural thing to signify marriage and not a religious thing (I didn't want to be mocking someone else's religion) but my "mark" is actually a blue stick on gem, but you can't tell in the picture. I wanted Tyler to be an Indian man, but I couldn't figure out the turban wrap, even when watching a how to video, he was happier being a pirate anyway. His favorite thing was all the comments he got from people saying that they couldn't figure out who he was. lol! I guess a wig and some eye makeup go a long way. :D I'll get another picture of him at our party on Monday. 

Someone said I looked like a "Goddess of the Sky" lol! I'll take it people!! :)
P.S. Want to know how I made the girl's dresses? That's coming up next! ;)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Crafty Thursday-fabric flower

 Remember my poor ruined shirt from this post?
 Well I decided I'm going to turn it into something more useful. You know that lovely interlock knit is wonderful for many thing.
 Cut all the seams off 
 Then I cut off the damaged shoulder.
 Cut a strip going up
 Stitched down the middle
 (My little helper. :D)
 Gather, then fold in half so both sides of the ruffle face the same direction. Start to roll.
 This is the bottom of the flower. Secure it with a few stitches through the base of the flower

 Size up the base of your flower on another piece of fabric
 cut a circle
  Use fabric-tac to clue the circle to the base

 Finished flower. Now to make a lined clip for it...
 4.25 inches of matching grosgrain ribbon (and you'll be using hot glue for lining your clip)
 heat seal the ends to prevent fraying
 Glue along the whole backside of the top
 Then along the whole topside
 This is what it looks like with the top glued
 put a dot of glue on both inside parts of the clip.
 Pinch your ribbon in there (don't worry, it won't mess with the hinge)
 then glue the last little bit onto the backside
 Here's your finished clip!
 Glue along the whole top
 Attach your flower
(I love it in her hair too. :D)
I still have a bunch of t-shirt leftover. I think I'll go make some more. :D