The Ultimate Summer Series: Call in Reinforcements

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Hey friends. I’m multitasking today’s post to share with you my 5 favorite summer podcasts and also to show you my new top I sewed up last week!

First, let’s talk podcasts. Do you listen to them?? If not, let me throw some game changers your way! I wasn’t into podcasts until about 4-5 months ago and now I am literally starting most conversations with “I just listened to this amazing podcast and they were talking about…” I like to listen to them while running, cleaning, sewing, or during kid-free drives. Most podcast episodes are from 20-60 mins so I feel a good sense of accomplishment when I can fit in a task and listen to something encouraging! I mostly listen to mom-themed podcasts so today I’m sharing my 5 fave episodes that have helped me to lay out the Ultimate Summer with my kiddos. After all, mommin’ aint easy so when you can pull in some reinforcements via a quick podcast full of helpful summer tips and tricks, you’ll feel SO much better!!!

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My 5 Fave Summer Podcasts

5 Steps to Plan an Awesome SummerThis is an excellent starter podcast from Your Life Rocks. Jenny gives quick, easy tips to help structure your summer and to get the most out of our days together at home! If you only have time for one podcast this entire summer, make this the one!

Which Type of Rest Do You Need?: This podcast is from the God Centered Mom podcast. Heather brings on her special guest, Saundra Dalton-Smith: a doctor, wife and mother who shares her story of a breaking point and realization about the true need for rest in our lives. This was a great one to listen to as a reminder to set aside the time and energy to reach the various types of rest in our day to day to keep us well rounded and healthy from an emotional, physical and mental standpoint.

Making Magical Summer Moments Around Your Work Schedule: This podcast is another from Your Life Rocks. I found great encouragement as a work-from-home mom in how to gain balance and keep family time a priority while my children are home this summer. She gives great practical tips and suggestions in how to hold onto the magic of a great childhood!

How to be Inspired, Live Intentionally and Breakup with Your T.V.This podcast is from Mandy Arioto, CEO of Mops International. She brings on a guest, Francie, who gives encouragement and inspiration to ditch the screen and reconnect with your kids. This is a great one to listen to as you strive to gain balance between the screen-suck and fun of summer!

How to Simplify HospitalityThis episode is from the Simply Joyful podcast. The host, Kristi Clover, brings on guest Jen Schmidt who debunks the myth behind elaborate hospitality. It was so encouraging to hear how simple, hospitable moments can create amazing summer memories. I am not a chef, I don’t have a fancy house, and I had a slew of excuses why I didn’t invite people into my home often. After this podcast, I feel encouraged and equipped to be a hostess with the mostest! 

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While you’re queuing up your new podcast playlist, let’s talk about my new top!!! My sweet design-sister Maya just released this fantastic summer pattern, Riley, for tweens and girls. I fit into the bust of a size 16 tween so I thought I would give it a try and now I am obsessed!!!!

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The bodice has bust darts that give it a great fit for maturing tweens or for old ladies like me! I love the length and how it flares just lightly at the hip.

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And how about the split back detail with that gorgeous scoop neckline??? Super figure flattering and great for showing off contrasting fabrics.

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Speaking of fabrics, I wanted to give a big shout-out and thank you to Fibers to Fabric, a sweet Etsy shop who reached out and asked if I’d like to use some of their fabrics for a blog feature! How could I say no to fabric?!?! I picked this gorgeous red Ikat with a beautiful Indian cotton in blue floral. I love how this combo is a subtle fourth of July look that I can pull off all summer long! Their prices are great, often have free shipping codes and the selection is truly one-of-a-kind!

 

 

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{One Thimble} Issue 18 Blog Tour

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Issue 18??!?!? How is that so?? I remember joining the Pattern Revolution team back with One Thimble Issue 2 and have sewn something from nearly every single issue since! I’ll recap some of my favorites at the end of this post. But for now, let’s take a look at the Ladies Ballerina Tie Top from The Wolf and The Tree.0J9A9238

I sewed this top up in about an hour using this really beautiful sage green knit from Hobby Lobby. I made my top with the double sided tie option, medium sleeve length, and the neckband finish. 0J9A9217

I love that the ties can wrap around the front, or across the back, can be sewn to the same side and tie across the body, etc. The styling options are endless!0J9A9227

The pattern also includes a cowl neck option, perfect for those in cooler temps! A huge size range, Ladies 0-22 US, makes this pattern very versatile for tweens through women! Also, the Ladies Ballerina Tie Top has 5 different sleeve options, making it a great year-round sew!0J9A9219

The pattern includes the layer printing option which allows you to print only the size(s) you want! Great for saving ink and paper!0J9A9231

If you’re looking to branch out into some self-care sewing, this would be the perfect beginner pattern! Sewing a top with stretch allows you some wiggle room in the fit and the simple construction will have you feeling confident and successful.

Wanting to make Mom-and-Me outfits? The Ballerina Tie top also can be made in girls sizes! 

June’s Cottage: Briar Hill Designs Fabric Blog Tour

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Spring is coming soon and the new June’s Cottage fabric collection is going to be a must have!!! Beautiful painted roses, delicate blossoms and berries, dainty florals in hues such as amethyst, candlelight, pear tree, and raindrop create a romantic collection with a vintage touch.

We are so excited to be a part of the June’s Cottage fabric blog tour hosted by Briar Hill Designs for RJR Fabrics. Let’s check out what I sewed up!

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I couldn’t resist the gorgeous Prized Roses in Mayfair! I adore the hand painted look and anything purple is my little girl’s favorite! I paired the rose print with Baby’s Breath in Ribbon and added a sweet lilac velvet ribbon for a sash.

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For the second dress, I chose Forget Me Not in Tea Cup and Laurel in Coast. I had a beautiful white lace trim that completed the look! Both dresses were made from the Penelope dress pattern by Violette Field Threads.

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The lovely ladies of Briar Hill Designs are hosting a fun giveaway along with this great fabric blog tour! The giveaway will run on Instagram starting Saturday, February 10th. One lucky winner will receive a fat quarter bundle of the June’s Cottage fabric, six Briar Hill Designs quilt patterns and an original piece of watercolor art.

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Don’t forget to check out all the great stops on the tour!!!

Feb 5th: Blossom Heart Quilts

Feb 6th: Lily Shine Creates

Feb 7th: Tangled Blossoms

Feb 8th: Aggie and Francois

Feb 9th: Katy Livings

Feb 10th: Briar Hill Designs

Big thanks to the ladies of Briar Hill Designs and the team at RJR Fabrics for including us in this fun maker’s tour! BlogTour3-01

Blush Fabrics {Blog Tour}

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Hello friends!!! I’m back on the blog today to share my latest make with the most gorgeous Rayon print from Blush Fabrics by Dana Willard for Art Gallery Fabrics. Dana reached out to a great batch of sewing bloggers to join in on the fun with the Blush Fabrics blog tour! It has been so awesome to see what others have sewn up (and so many in this same print!) over the last several days. If you want to check them out, search the hashtag #blushfabrics and see what great things have been popping up on Instagram lately!

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For the tour, I decided to play with the rayon substrate. I *love* AGF Rayon because it’s got the most perfect flow and drape for maxi dresses. And in my house, maxi dresses = ultimate princess dress = mom of the year!

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I used Alexis’ newest pattern, Zoey, for Violette Field Threads with slight modifications (aka late night sewing and I tried to find a shortcut). Instead of finishing the bodice with bias along the neckline, ties and the front placket I decided to sew a lined bodice and add pom trim for the neck ties. A super simple modification that saved me lots of time and turned out super cute!

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This maxi dress made for the perfect dancing, twirling, and moody grinning attire!

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I hope you enjoyed seeing the new Zoey maxi I sewed up with the Floret Rayon in Sunkissed print from Blush Fabrics. Big hugs and a sweet “Thank You” to Dana and our AGF friends!!!! My girls adore this retro, pink and blue collection! Keep scrolling to see some more Blush Fabric makes on my girlies!!!

Flit and Bloom Fabrics {Blog Tour}

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Hey, Friends! I am so excited to be a part of of the Flit and Bloom Fabrics Blog Tour hosted by Patty Young  and Riley Blake fabrics. Be sure to hop over to the Kickoff Post and enter the fabric bundle giveaway!

Let’s take a look at what I sewed up from the new Flit and Bloom collection!

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I sewed my daughter a Luna dress in two prints from the collection.

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For the skirt portion of the dress, I used the Bloom Main Pink print featuring bright pink birds, blue and green flowers and hints of grey.

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For the bodice and big front pockets, I used the Bloom Blossom Pink print. It really makes the dress stand out with the bright pink background!

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Flit and Bloom features prints that combine birds and flowers in fun, cool colors with pops of pink.

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I love how bright and cheerful the colors are in this collection! Riley Blake quilting cottons are such a good weight for apparel fabrics, iron easily and stay vibrant wash after wash.

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Get a quick view and see inspiration of the entire fabric collection here.

Big congratulations to Patty Young on her 20th fabric collection! We love Flit and Bloom and can’t wait to see what the other apparel bloggers have sewn up! Be sure to check the tour schedule on the Kickoff Post and follow along all week as we celebrate Patty’s newest fabric collection for Riley Blake! We’re so thankful to be included along with some other incredible sewists for this tour! Big thanks to Riley Blake for the beautiful fabrics and to Patty Young for the opportunity to join in the fun! XOXO.

 

{Friday Favorites} Room Makeover!

***This post is a collaboration with Beddy’s. The content of the post and opinions expressed are my own.***

Hey Friends!!! As you know, I’ve got two little princesses that just adore sharing a room together. When we originally moved into our house here in CA, they insisted in bunking up so that they could use the extra bedroom as a toy room. We set out to various stores around town to gather new bedding, wall decor and curtains for their first shared bedroom!

For awhile, we were quite pleased with how the room came together…but with time, I realized that their current bedding was just not right for the set up. No matter how hard they tried, making their beds each morning was a huge struggle. Their comforters were too big and slouchy for the trundle style bed they shared. Their sheets were always kicked down to the foot of the bed or falling off the top bunk. It was an eyesore, even when they tried their very hardest to make their beds look nice! If you caught our instagram stories, you saw first hand the sloppy-neatness they attempted!

Well friends, I am SO thrilled to share with you the resolution to our messy bed issue. I have collaborated with Beddy’s in this incredible room makeover!

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What is Beddy’s? Beddy’s is a one piece bedding set that includes the fitted sheet, the flat sheet, the cuddle blanket, quilt with a sham and a pillowcase. Along both sides of the bedding there are zippers that are super smooth and easy to use.

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If you asked my youngest daughter what her favorite part of her new bedding was, she would quickly say the super soft minky interior!

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The girls have a white, black and gold color scheme for their room so we picked out two bedding sets that were unique yet still fit right in with their current decor.

Kenzie picked out this gorgeous Goldie Dots set. I love the ruffled detail!

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Honor eagerly selected the Simply White set. I think the Pin Tucks add such sweet and dainty texture to the classic white look.

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Each night, the girls just pull down one side of the zippers, climb into their soft and cozy beds and listen to our bedtime story. The girls love the big pull tabs on the zipper, and they both are able to easily zip and unzip the bedding in seconds!

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Each morning, they get dressed, brush their teeth and “zip their bed.” I’m a firm believer in the positive power of making your bed each morning- accomplishing a quick and easy task within the first few minutes of waking just sets the tone for a great day!

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I have to admit that for the first few days after they got their Beddy’s bedding sets, I would peek in their room while walking by just to admire how clean and polished their room looked!

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The bedding set includes a “comfort panel” that is on the interior of the bedding and guards the zipper so that the inside of the bedding is soft and cozy! The deep pocket sides and elastic around the entire bottom of the bedding keeps the bedding from shifting. I’d have to say that is my favorite feature! My kids must run marathons in their dreams because their bedding would end up all over the place but not anymore!

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The girls and I would like to thank Beddy’s for collaborating with us on this room makeover. We couldn’t be more thrilled with the ease, tidiness and comfort these one piece bedding sets have provided!

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Interested in learning more about these incredible bedding sets? Hop over to the Beddy’s website and watch this great video. Curious about wash care of the one piece Beddy’s set? More information about the care of the bedding is here.

{One Thimble Issue 16} Hally Dress

Another smashing success for One Thimble Sewing E-Zine – Issue 16 is now available and it’s jam packed with incredible patterns, sewing articles, tips for small businesses and fun tutorials. I’ve had the pleasure of sewing and reviewing many patterns of the years for OT and I’m super excited to share with you my sew from this latest release.

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There were so many fabulous patterns to choose from but since we get a nice, long summer here in sunny SoCal I decided to go for the Hally Casual Dress pattern by Ainslee Fox. A little peek at the details in the Hally dress:

– Sizes 1 through 12

– Intermediate sewing level

– Written for woven fabrics

– Bodice facing and elastic back

– Bias trim finishing

– Two construction methods

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I sewed this Hally dress using two prints from Art Gallery Fabrics Garden Dreamer fabric collection. I wanted something summery but that could transition to fall with a layering tee.

The Hally dress is great for showcasing a few different prints in the color-blocking pieces that make up the dress. I love the side panels- really cute for contrasting fabrics.

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The Hally dress has an easy, pullover style to the fit and will last her through next Summer. There is a small cased strip of elastic in the back to keep the shoulder straps in place. The front and back skirts are slimmer than our usual twirly dresses but they really compliment the silhouette.

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The Hally dress has bias binding to finish the bodice and create the straps. Jen includes two construction methods for the binding to give you two subtly different looks. I chose the second method.

Nothing will stop this girl from dancing! She loves her Hally dress and has plans for many more! I sewed this dress up in about 2 hours and about a yard and a quarter of fabric. Such a cute and simple style that will quickly fill your closets.


Want to win a FREE copy of OT? Enter to win by clicking this link:a Rafflecopter giveaway


Check out the entire lineup and click around to see the other incredible OT Tour bloggers!

{Cricut Blog Tour] Sewing for Vacay Tutorial & Giveaway!

This post is sponsored by Cricut. The opinions expressed in this post are my own. Affiliate links are included.

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Hey all!!! I hope you are enjoying your summer- soaking up the sun and warm air, getting to explore the great outdoors and spending lots of quality time with loved ones. If you’re anything like me, you’re planning out a great summer vacation and may be in need of some festive and fun new gear! Today I’ll be sharing a quick and easy tutorial using the new Cricut Explore Air 2 machine, some exciting new iron-on vinyl sheets and the Cricut Design Space. Be sure to read all the way to the bottom to see the entire Sewing with Cricut Blog Tour lineup and enter to win a Cricut Explore Air 2 for you!

My family and I were heading out for a road trip around Southern California so in my clever and creative mind, I planned out this super fun new vacation tote to showcase my Cricut vinyl design.

Before I could start my Cricut project, I quickly sewed up this awesome new tote bag from Art Gallery Fabrics Yuma Lemons Mist in Canvas using this tutorial.

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If you’re new to using a Cricut machine or just want to see what it’s all about, read on to see how quick and easy it is to create a super fun, personalized iron-on decal. If you plan on shopping for some new Cricut gear, use coupon code “ChristmasInJuly” Free shipping for US orders!!!


Creating an Iron-On Decal with Cricut

Supplies (affiliate links):

Before you start designing your decal, first measure the space available for your intended layout. I like to do this first so that I can plan my design from the start using the final dimensions. Sometimes projects look great on screen but when transferred to the size and layout of the space you actually have available, it just doesn’t jive. Once you have your measurements for your decal canvas, it’s time to get the party started!

If you want to customize your decal read on or you can just download my design and get to cutting!

Let’s start by opening up the Cricut Design Space and creating the decal design. The Design Space is super user friendly, really intuitive and basically will walk you through step by step how to go from design to finished cut.

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After I designed the decal, I color coded each vinyl layer in the design so that it would populate all the same layer letters onto one cutting mat. Click “Make It” and the Design Space quickly and easily formats your cutting mat template for you. 

Be sure to click to mirror the design so when it is transferred onto the tote it will read left to right.

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I don’t like to waste any vinyl so I look at the cutting mat layout in Design Space and cut the vinyl to the same dimensions, with just a tiny bit of wiggle room on each side. Transfer the vinyl onto the cutting mat, with the colored side down. Do not peel off the liner at this time.

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You’re ready to load into the Cricut machine! Follow the prompts in Design Space to cut your first vinyl layer. Again, be sure you’ve toggled the “mirror design” switch!!!! Side note- how gorgeous is that mint colored machine?!?!! LOVE!

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Unload the mat and get ready to weed the cut design. I start by peeling off the negative space from the liner (the clear plastic), leaving the design on the cutting mat. I use the handy Cricut Weeding Tool to carefully weed out the rest of the unwanted vinyl. Repeat until you have all the layers of your design cut and weeded.

Next, you’ll lay out the bottom-most layer of your design onto your project. I used these great little Cricut Scissors to cut my design into sections to transfer onto the tote.

Transferring the vinyl from the liner to the tote bag takes care and control to ensure your finished product is straight, well pressed but not melted, and looks incredible. Place the decal on the tote with the vinyl facing up and reading from left to right. I layer my vinyl layers before I start ironing to ensure everything will look the way I want it to once I put all the layers together. If everything is good to go, grab your iron and let’s finish this project up!

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Using an iron on the cotton/linen setting with the steam setting OFF and a pressing cloth, apply heat to the design for about 15-30 seconds. You’ll want to add a light pressure and be sure to pick up your iron and move to the next section rather than swiping across the pressing cloth (NOTE: Use a pressing cloth that is either white or from the same fabric as your project. I used a dark strip of fabric just so it would show up more in the tutorial photos.) After your bottom layer of vinyl is adhered to your tote, you’ll turn the tote inside out and press again from the inside for 15-20 seconds.

Let the area cool and then peel off the liner and admire that gorgeous decal!!! You’ll repeat the transferring steps until all the layers of your design have been adhered. Don’t rush things- not waiting for the layer to cool before applying another layer may result in melted vinyl or bubbling.

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Pack your new tote with a towel, your sunnies and a good book and head to the pool! Before you head out, be sure to hop down this post and enter to win a Cricut Explore Air 2 of your own!


Enter to Win a Cricut Explore Air 2 HERE

Week One: July 19th

Week Two: July 26th

I was invited to participate in the Cricut Party Blogger Program Kickoff.  

This experience is based strictly on my opinion.  Others may have a different opinion or experience with the product listed above.  I was provided the sample free of charge by the company or PR agency and I have given my honest opinion.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Fiesta Fun Fabrics {Blog Tour}

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Hey all!!!! If you’re anything like me, as soon as those temperatures start creeping up after a long winter and the sun starts shining longer into the evening hours, your creative soul begins eagerly planning for summer sewing! Right?? Good news- Fiesta Fun Fabrics are out in your favorite quilt shops and online fabric stores such as Hawthorne Threads and are screaming all things summer! I am so honored and excited to be a part of a stellar blog tour showcasing some of our favorite prints from the Fiesta Fun Fabrics collection by Dana Willard of Made Everyday for Art Gallery Fabrics. Alexis of My Sweet Sunshine and I got together for a festive afternoon at a local Botanical Garden. Let’s take a look at our fun shoot:

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What a trio of cuteness, right??? For my oldest daughter’s outfit I sewed up an Allie top with the Piñata Confetti print, trimmed with bright blue mini poms. I played with the incredible canvas from the collection in the *updated* Fawn shorts pattern.

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Thanks Target (and Alexis) for these perfectly perfect sunnies and headband- it’s like they knew we needed some props for this blog tour!

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Alexis sewed up the most darling dress in the Citrus Sunrise print- I seriously want to make one for myself!!!

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And for my youngest, a June dress sewn also with the canvas print. I haven’t made a dress with canvas before but the Art Gallery canvas has a great drape and structure, but still gathered up just fine for the full skirt. How fun!!!

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And because I can’t ever keep my posts short and sweet…here are some more photos of our day!

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Thanks for checking out my stop on the tour! Be sure to hop back to the Blog Tour Kickoff Post and check out all the other amazing makes with Fiesta Fun Fabrics!

Big thanks to our friends from Art Gallery Fabrics, and big squishy hugs to Dana for including us in the tour! Happy Sewing!

Blithe Fabrics {Blog Tour}

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Growing up in Michigan, I always thought I would be much happier (and warmer) in Sunny Southern California. In fact, when we first moved here last January I was shocked to feel the “frigid” temperatures of the lower 60s (living in Hawaii for almost 4 years will do that to ya!) and couldn’t believe that the weather fluctuated this much here! Even more mind blowing- just two hours away from San Diego, you could venture into the winter wonderland of Big Bear, CA. When the opportunity to get together with my sew pal, Alexis of My Sweet Sunshine, and take photos of our kiddos in the snow-covered setting we jumped right in- snow boots on and all! I am so thankful for the opportunity to share what we sewed up with new Blithe Fabrics by Katarina Roccella for Art Gallery Fabrics.

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Blithe Fabrics were a match made in heaven for our Big Bear adventure! The cool tones in the Dear Deer Teal knits popped against the winter white setting.

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The sweet print of the Bows in Silence was the perfect scale for my little gal’s dress, as well as her doll’s tiny little outfit!

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I loved the light’s reflection of the snow in the warmth of the Birds Song Sun knit Alexis used in her daughter’s dress.

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I am super proud of our girls for braving the cold and putting on a pretty smile for these photos! They always have so much fun together at our shoots. I love that my girls have a great role model like Alexis’ daughter. They really look up to her!

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Of course our trip to Big Bear wasn’t all photoshoots and business, we managed to squeeze in some fun!

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Here are a few more photos from our shoot. There were too many beautiful ones to limit my post so I put together a little slideshow!

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Big Thanks to Katarina and our friends at AGF for the gorgeous knit fabrics! They are always a favorite of my girls and mind- so soft, smooth and cozy!