Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
1 Corinthians 3:17

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Better For You Fudge Recipe and New Items at Rose and Ruffle

I have a sweet tooth. In fact, it's probably more appropriate- and accurate!- to say that in the plural form: I have sweet teeth, ha ha. With the exception of a few wayward moments, I was able to stay on track avoiding sugar, gluten, legumes, and basically lots more things through Valentine's Day.

But I decided that since I could find a healthier option for me for the special day of love, I should! Life is meant to be celebrated, and Valentine's Day without chocolate just doesn't cut it in my book. Here is what I did make. I found the recipe on Pinterest and altered it slightly, so it isn't completely paleo. I replaced the nut butter with peanut butter, mainly because that's all I had on hand. We don't eat tons of peanut butter here, so I don't worry about having it occasionally. I also reduced the amount of maple syrup, and combined equal parts dark chocolate and regular cocoa powder- I know cocao powder is slightly different, and better for you, but again, I didn't have that and it had been daaaaays since I'd eaten chocolate or any sweets, so I wanted this NOW. ;)

As it turns out, it needs to chill for two hours in the fridge. Figures. ha ha (But I did lick the spatula and it was heavenly!!)

Here's What You'll Need

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup virgin coconut oil (which looks kind of like shortening in a jar)
1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
1/4 cocoa powder
2-3 Tbsp maple syrup 
dash sea salt
parchment paper or waxed paper
bread loaf pan or small baking dish

Here's What You Do

Line the bread pan or baking dish with parchment paper, leaving enough on the sides so you can lift the fudge out of the pan after it chills

Add the ingredients to a small saucepan, and over low heat, stir until melted and smooth. The recipe I pinned stressed the importance of using a whisk, but I just used a spatula. Perhaps that's why my fudge looks flatter? Dunno. Anyway, this didn't take more than a few minutes total.

Once smooth, pour into the lined pan and place in the fridge. I bet you could freeze this to hurry up the process, but I honestly didn't even think of that. Must've been delirious with withdrawal symptoms! You need to store this in the fridge as well, and be prepared to get fudge smeared all over your fingers because it gets soft very quickly as you hold it.


I purchased these new fabrics in the dead of winter when it was still like thirteen degrees below zero. They made me so happy! I've got several new designs this year, so it's really fun to see these come to life, so to speak. :)

I am so smitten with this pajama set! I just had to share the entire picture, but for the rest, I'm just sharing a little peak. ;)

You can visit Rose & Ruffle HERE. There are also a few flannel things that are just so pretty that I've marked on sale to make room for these new spring and summer items, so check it out!

I'm also on IG @roseandruffle.... I would love to share a photo of your little cutie so be sure to tag Rose & Ruffle...thanks!
Happy Wednesday!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Our Favorite Books to Read Aloud to Baby

I loved being read to as a child, and I love it even more as a Mom. With all the beautiful board books out there, and most classics also available as such, there is no shortage of quality books to read with your baby. When Levi was an infant, we gave him several cloth books, and as he got more independent and capable, he mastered the technique of flipping the pages and looked quite proud doing so, I might add. :)

This is not going to be an original list by any means- there's a reason these books are so popular and get chosen again and again. They're just wonderful! Simple rhymes, the repetition of certain words, phrases or sounds, and colorful illustrations have always delighted our babies, and we have loved reading these to them. If there's one listed here that you're not familiar with, you should check it out!

Our Favorite Books to Read to Baby

1. The Best Mouse Cookie, Laura Numeroff
2. The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
3. The Backyard Dance by Sandra Boynton
4. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
5. The Counting Book by Lilian Moore (illustrated by Garth Williams of Little House on the Prairie books)
6. Moo La La by Sandra Boynton
7. Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
8. The Mitten by Jan Brett

I should add here that pretty much any board book by Sandra Boynton is a win in our home. They are just clever and cute, and the illustrations are darling; but the two listed above are the ones he always reached for and squealed about the most when he was smaller. Today at 22 months old, they are still his favorites by far, though we've been adding lots of truck and tractor books to the mix, which he clearly loves.

If you have a favorite book to read to your little one, please share in the comments! And enjoy reading to those cute, squishy faces. I sure miss this one right here! :)

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

A Little Life Lately

I haven't uploaded any pictures from today, (oops! it's now super early morning the next day as I finish this...) but when I do, no hats or winter coats were anywhere to be seen, which is not the case from last week and in the photo below. It was GLORIOUS!!! We played outside for a long while, jumping in puddles, scooping snow and just soaking up all the warm, fresh air.

Since I basically live at the grocery store, he seems to have made peace about it. Silly boy!

You know the French Bread that comes in the paper? Turned my back for two seconds and this one already had a mouthful. #carbjunkie

It certainly hasn't been all sunshine and roses here lately. Honestly, it has been SO stressful. College is probably the main source of angst these days, and it seems completely overwhelming. This rising sun really spoke to my heart that morning and reminded me that these things pass, and what's important remains.

Speaking of college, things will be so different in the fall. I'm committing all these moments to memory the best I can.

Poor baby- a cold turned into ear infections and pneumonia, so yet another Sunday we had to miss church. Isabelle seems to be the only one to keep the germs at bay this year. Rough season, ugh.

Finally feeling better - aren't my guys so handsome!?!

I didn't even know this was all blurry until I uploaded it here...oops! Just having a little fun while taking pictures for passports. Big plans in the works, and I cannot wait! I'll share soon!

This just makes me laugh. He has the BIGGEST obsession with chap sticks, ha ha ha

Our weekends and several week nights were filled up with practices and games. Play offs were last weekend- one nail biting win, and then a hard, sad loss for Isabelle's team. Caleb had fun but his team didn't make it very far. (This was the game they lost- Levi and Daddy left at halftime, but first he ran around the court and looked so tiny out there. The cutest thing I ever did see.)

So nice to have Saturday mornings back! Daddy makes waffles and these two play play play. I love it!
Oh! And see that pretty new rug? It's a Better Homes and Gardens one from WalMart, and it has the most gorgeous colors in it. That addition prompted me to make some changes in our office/sewing/music room, and that space is allllmost finished. I'll share soon!

Today is Wednesday, which means it's donuts and coffee (pink milk for the little ones). I can't even remember when this tradition started, but it's been a fun one to look forward to each week. Have a great day! :)

Friday, February 16, 2018

Friday Favorites!

What a week! In case nobody has let you in on this secret, parenting is hard. Bubble burst? Sorry. Well, now you know. Moving on, ha ha ha.

Random question for all of you who know so much more tech stuff than I do: is there a way to add my blog photos to the Google archive in albums like I used to? It was the best system of organizing and keeping track...and now it's all different and the blog photos just pop up anywhere because I can't add them to a particular folder anymore. I mean, really. It takes me forever and a day just to get familiar with any type of tech whatever, and then they go and change it and I just can't handle it.

I knew before having kids that I wanted to be the Mom that made a big fuss over Valentine's Day. Not with material things, but with love notes and one-on-one dates and anything that shows them how valued and valuable they are, not just to their father and me but to the One who has loved them since the beginning of time. And special treats. Obviously everything is just plain better with dessert, ha. ;) I wrote this post highlighting our favorites with links to recipes.

last year's pics, but they haven't had their special date yet :)

School basketball season is coming to a close. Caleb's play offs start on Saturday, but Isabelle's was last night. She has shown to be quite the aggressive b-ball player, typically scoring between 6 and 12 points per game! I was kept up to date with texts last night because I was home doing the whole bedtime routine with Levi, and it was a nail biter for sure. Tied at half time, then within one or two points until the very end. They won! I hated to miss watching it, but I was feeling so drained and exhausted after a long couple of weeks, I may have been in bed before they even got home. #oldlady

also last year's pics, but they are the CUTEST, so yeah

I think we have finally kicked our germs to the curb. Hoorayyyyyy! Of course I just had to get up to blow my nose and wash my hands three times in the last two sentences...ugh... But my kids are feeling better, and that makes me so happy.
I cannot even handle how quickly these years are flying by. How can it be two years ago next week that we took our big family trip to Florida...when I was 34 weeks pregnant with little -unnamed at the time- Levi?!?! I haven't shared about our big trip coming up this year, but I will soon and I cannot wait!

 I guess when you're afraid that if you sit back in the seat you'll never get back up again, you sit awkwardly forward on the edge and look like a giant instead. Oops.


details from this trip are here and here

Like so many of you, I'm dreaming of all things Spring! I've been working on a lot of sewing projects for ME, something I haven't done in a while, and it's been so fun. I think I'll even share some tutorials soon, so check back if that type of thing interests you. I've always been busy busy keeping up with orders, and let me tell you, working with these adorable summery fabrics and eyelet lace just makes me smile so big. Today is the last day for FREE SHIPPING for all baby bonnets and bibs in my shop if you want to take a look! You can visit Rose and Ruffle HERE.

This verse keeps coming to mind this week:

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
John 16:33

Show kindness and be the light in a dark world.  Happy weekend!

...joining in with Friday Favorites today

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Transforming Basic T-shirts into Something Special

I hope everyone had a lovely Valentine's Day yesterday. We sure did! You can see some of our favorite ooey gooey chocolate recipes in this post.   I made our Valentine's Heart-shaped Meatball Subs and Brownie Volcano for my crew last night. Delicious!

I'm sharing another older post about making basic store-bought t-shirts into something much cuter. Now that Isabelle is older, I don't typically embellish her clothing like this, but when she was little, it was absolutely adorable. You should try it!

The easiest method is to attach a single or double ruffle along the hem. If using a knit, don't even worry about hemming the ruffle; otherwise, make a narrow hem along the ruffle edges before sewing onto the shirt.

One ruffle was about 3 inches, the other was 5 inches, but you can make yours however long or short you like. Mine was cut from a fat quarter. It doesn't need to be super long because you don't want a really full ruffle. Here I simply cut two separate long ribbon strips, hemmed the edges, and then sewed each ruffle edge, forming a circle. Next I basted the ruffle pieces together, one on top of the other and pinned right sides to the right side of the t-shirt, adjusting for fullness. (You can certainly gather the ruffles with basting stitches, but I opted to gather using my fingers as I sewed, since there wasn't much fullness.)

Add two bows if you want, tack them in place by hand, and you've got a very sweet t-shirt for a little girl. Be sure to put some Fray Check on the edges of the ribbon so they don't fray.

The next shirt was slightly more complicated because it involved having to keep a straight line while sewing. I marked off where the ruffle was going with some chalk, so it was no big deal. The biggest difference with this method is that you can sew the ruffle directly onto the shirt without first having right sides together. Simply sew the ruffle onto the shirt as it appears above- you're going to cover that raw edge with the ribbon!

After you've sewed the ruffle onto the top of the shirt, place the ribbon along that raw edge, making sure to cover it completely; top-stitch the entire way around, both top and bottom of the ribbon.

We also went through a big rosette phase, ha. This can be omitted, but it does look really cute. You cut a rectangular strip of cloth, fold it down, and then cut tapering curves each end, like a stretched out "C." Run a basting stitch through the raw edge to gather up the rosette. I do this by hand. Then, getting the center as tight as you can, tack it by hand to the shirt. I usually place a small piece of leftover fabric or some interfacing to the inside of the shirt where I stitch something heavier to give it some support. Leave as is or finish with a button in the center. So, so cute!

I cannot find a picture of Isabelle wearing them, and learn from my mistake: don't bother trying to embellish a too-small shirt. I do remember that they were already a bit small, and so she really didn't get much wear out of them afterwards. Oops.

Lastly, this was a fun, easy little addition. Using the same method as making the ruffles above, cut shorter ones to sew onto the wrists of the shirt. It's most helpful to use your narrow arm of the sewing machine, as the sleeve will fit right around it. Otherwise, just be careful not to sew the edges of the sleeves closed when sewing on the ruffle. Sew them right sides together, or use the method with the ribbon for a different look.

Happy embellishing! Let me know if you have any questions. :)

Oh! I extended the FREE SHIPPING SALE over at Rose and Ruffle, so be sure to check it out! Herer's a link to my shop:

I'm sure you're feeling heartbroken and overwhelmed with the news of yet another senseless tragedy, so let's remember to be the LIGHT in our dark world. Be thoughtful and kind, no matter whether others deserve it or not.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Family Fun Night: Making Sushi Together

Ethan was also quite proud of his ginormous spring roll, ha!

We've been talking about making our own sushi for such a long time, and this weekend, we finally made it happen. It was actually quite simple, relatively inexpensive, and it was fun to do together. We tried some Spring rolls as well, but those were somewhat of a miss. I'm going to look up some different fillings for them and try again soon.

I found the Nori seaweed sheets and rice paper in the Asian aisle at Wal-Mart. I was surprised my local grocery store didn't have them, or if they did, I couldn't find them. I found the packaged smoked salmon in near the specialty fish items- it was expensive, but it went a long way.

We made some sticky rice on the stove top (added a bit more water than called for to cook), chopped up avocados, and cut long, thin strips of carrots and cucumbers, like matchsticks, and cut the salmon in thin strips as well. Simply lay the Nori sheets on a paper towel, spritz with clean water, and then place your toppings on 1/3 of the sheet and roll it up. Ethan discovered that it was easiest to form a seal if you put more water on the edge of the Nori sheet before rolling up. Slice and enjoy!

We piled red cabbage, sprouts, Romaine lettuce, shrimp (canned shrimp = GROSS!), avocado and carrots on the dampened rice paper discs, which are really weird but cool, by the way. The directions said to eat them as is or to deep fry them. I sauteed them in coconut oil, and the results were less than stellar. I felt like we had eaten loads of fresh veggies, though, which was awesome. We served lean steak for the main course, and the kids had buttered rolls. It was low-key but lots of fun trying something new together.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

FREE SHIPPING SALE at Rose and Ruffle

Hi friends, just popping in to tell you about the Valentine's Day sale I've got going on in the shop. There are tons of flannel nightgowns, outfit sets, and special occasion dresses there if you're looking for some fun things to get through this last bit of winter, and ALL baby bonnets and bibs ship free thru 2/14! This includes Ready to Ship as well as Custom Order bonnets and bibs!

We ended up bringing Levi into Urgent Care at dinnertime last night, and it's a good thing: poor baby has double ear infections and the onset of pneumonia. Must.Get.Rid.Of.The.Germs. This has been a brutal fall and winter season for sure. Here's hoping today fares a little better than yesterday. #fingerscrossed

You can visit my shop with this link: Rose and Ruffle

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