Visiting with Santa at Southcenter Mall

I am a strong believer of not celebrating Christmas before Thanksgiving…. BUT… The only exception I make is seeing Santa!


Last year we went to see Santa before Thanksgiving and it’s so much easier! And I think Santa is probably less stressed. I mean, I think I have a long To Do list before Christmas…. This guy has an even longer one…. Plus there’s shorter lines (if any) and you can get $5 off if you use the coupon below!



We printed our letter that we use every year. Yes, it’s on the blog and has been updated for 2015! The kiddo did a little proof reading while we waited in line!




I’m savoring this sweetness! He loves going to see Santa and take his letter!


This guy is the coolest! The other thing about seeing Santa before Thanksgiving is that the lines aren’t long and you get more chatting time. I even got to chat with him a bit!


We got a super sweet picture this year!




This year Santa pulled out a special treat for the kiddo! He gave him a naughty or nice coin. ANd luckily with the heads and tails, the coin landed on Nice for the kiddo. Santa told him to keep it in his pocket to always remind himself to be nice! So special!


Now, I don’t think every kid gets a coin, but every kid does get a little crayola gift! And don’t forget the candy canes!


At Southcenter Mall, you can register ahead and get in the Fast Pass line!


And don’t forget to print your coupon and take it with you! Go early! Do it!

Santa’s schedule is:

November 6 – December 6

10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Sunday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.


December 12 – 23

9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Christmas



I was also very impressed with the decor this year. There are so many photo spots! You could even put off that professional photography and take all your holiday pictures right there around Santa! I love the big letters for Santa and Love. The trees were pretty cool too and make great backdrops! I took so many pictures!


Aren’t they cute???

I have been compensated with either payment or product for this post. All opinions are my own, honest opinions!





A New Lego Store and a Real Master Builder

As you’ve probably noticed, via IG and our Lego Valentines, we love Lego’s at our house! So when I had the opportunity to attend our new Lego Store Grand Opening at SouthCenter Mall and meet a real live Master Builder, I said YEP!


But when I said yes, I had no idea that there are only 7 Master Builders in the whole world! Did you know that? My knowledge of Master Builders comes from the Lego Movie! So I got totally schooled! There are only 7! We got to meet one of the 7. And his son is another one!


Do you have a favorite brick? Well, one of mine is the piece that makes the hearts. My son loves the jewels that can either be jewels, or flames or Chi (if he’s playing Chima). But our Master Builder friend, Dan, has a different favorite! His is the 2×4 brick! I thought he would have had a super fancy favorite, but no, it’s the workhorse of Legos!


We asked how would one become a Master Builder. In his words he works with a nice group of ‘nutty, creative people’! Dan has a background in art and working in a model shop, but most of the ‘young guys’ coming up have computer backgrounds with 3D renderings. The studios render the new sets in Maya and then import the 3D model into a Lego Brick Builder software that slices and dices the 3D models into brick shapes.

The Master Builders do not actually design the Lego sets. That happens in Denmark. But they do lead a super busy life! Dan was in Seattle one weekend, then home to host the Lego Picnic, then off to Austin and Fort Worth, Texas, to do building projects with kids at the Children’s Hospital and Kids Fest! Then he gets to head to Mexico City for an event. And on and on!


We were also wondering what the day to day life of a Master Builder is like. Dan told us he does all sorts of events like I mentioned. He sees thousands of kids! When he’s not designing events worldwide, he also does real life things like expense reports and new employee orientation. And when designing the events and giant Lego sculptures, they have been known to use, shhhhh, Kragle!!! AHHHHH!!!! Ok, it’s not exactly like the Kragle in the movie, but it does have a similar effect.





The awesome event at Southcenter Mall had a fun set-up to help the Master Builder build an 8′ Hulk. All the kids, and adults, too, used 39 small bricks to make a super sized brick for the Hulk. We made 3 big bricks and handed them over for Dan to find a spot for!


Dan knows exactly how many blocks make up the Hulk, but he couldn’t tell us! They were having a giveaway to whoever guessed the right number. We haven’t heard from them, so I don’t think we guessed correctly!


And we got to meet this guy! I hope he works at the new store, because he was super fun! How can you not love someone in a Lego tie???


So then we headed to the new store! It seemed like a pretty typical store, but did you know all the activities that the stores have? So if you didn’t get to go to the Grand Opening, you’ve got plenty more opportunities to have fun at the store! Although the events fill up fast, so you’ll have to keep an eye out for when registrations open! They have a mini model event, Lego clubs also with a mini build activity, free sets with purchases, Lego passport events! Be sure to check out their calendar (or your own local store’s calendar)!


Back to our interview with Dan…


We asked what his all time favorite project was… It was a giant apple in NYC! I google it and you can see Dan, his son one of the other Lego Master Builders, and a couple of other Master Builders! Watch it here!

My big question that I wanted to know was whether or not a Master Builder plays with Legos at home once they are done with a long day of work. Dan said that he does have Legos at home, but if he’s going to build something, he usually stays at work where he has access to way more bricks! I think my kiddo would never come home if he worked as a Master Builder!


Thanks Dan for a fun event and to Lego for giving us the opportunity to meet a Master Builder!

I can’t wait to take advantage of more of the fun events at our new Lego Store! Be sure to check out your local store too!



Hello? Where am I?

I don’t know if you’ve missed me or not, but I’ve been away unexpectedly….

There’s been a lot going on, including getting ready for our summer vacation. Getting the kiddo ready to end school. Getting the house ready for the house sitters….


But more importantly, one thing sent me in a tailspin. Our adorable little beagle passed away extremely unexpectedly. She was fine, I left for a couple of hours, came home and she was obviously not feeling well. My husband and I debated going to the emergency vet or waiting until the morning. She’s a beagle and like beagles will eat anything, so we thought it would be ok to wait. When we woke up she was curled up just like she was snuggled up sleeping comfortably. Even the vet said, but it looks like she’s just sleeping… Well, yes, but….

I’ve had many pets, but none of them have died this unexpectedly. And our pets are so much a part of our family that it has been a really hard week. Some of her beagle traits could be frustrating, but she was just the sweetest little thing and will be throughly missed. I’ve shed many a tear for her and still ask why she left us. We’ll never know the answer to that last question.


As ways to cope my son and I drew pictures of our fondest memories of her. She loved being hear the kiddo. I loved that when he’d go outside to hang out in the hammock, she’d be right next to the hammock. She loved ‘her’ place on the couch, even though my husband thinks it is his spot! And that’s me in the green chair on the computer!  And she loved chasing squirrels! She was also the only dog I’ve ever had that actually caught one before! Mostly they just taunted her in our big cedar tree.


And then we also went to our local Paint your Own Pottery place and made a dog to remember her by!

So, I should be back to normal here real soon! While I was grieving, I did sew a lot. So hopefully I’ll be able to show you some of those projects really soon!


My Love Hate Relationship with Blogging and What I’m Going to Do About It.

Obviously, based on my last few posts of 2014 here, here and here, I’ve been thinking about last year. I’ve been thinking about my blog….


Here’s the Hate Part: Comparing…. Numbers….

Last year, I started off strong. But I got caught up in the numbers game of this blog. My daily numbers of views started to drop in 2013 when I went on vacation and they didn’t pick back up. The numbers started to get to me. And I think, I mean, I know it affected the time I put into showing you what I made. BUT… At the same time, almost every day I was getting notifications, ‘So and So is now following your blog through WordPress’ or through bloglovin’. And even more email followers! Which is great! It’s so exciting to get those emails. But confusing at the same time….. Lower views, higher subscribers, huh?

It means you’re not coming over to actually hang out with me. If I didn’t want to hang out with you, I wouldn’t be blogging! I love comments! I love getting to know the people reading my blog!

And you know what? In all this thinkin’, I realized I do it too! I read all the blogs I follow via email. So I get a TON of emails. And I read their awesome posts from the privacy of my email. I don’t go join them in their space of the blogosphere. Sometimes I’ll click over to pin something every now and then. But do I leave a comment? Um, not often.

But then I do that and I sit here and wonder why people don’t comment on my blog? Hello! Because we’re doing the same thing!  I’m hoping you really do enjoy what I do and enjoy reading about it. I enjoy it and that’s why I’m doing it of course. But I do hope you do too!

And then I compare…. I know you aren’t suppose to. But I do it. I’m human. I wonder why other people have more comments. More Instagram followers. More FB fans. And for that I don’t have an answer….


Can I get your help?

Can you tell me what you like and don’t like by filling out this survey, by clicking here! It’s only a few  questions! I’d love your feedback to start the year off right!

Please! Pretty Please!


The LOVE….

I love what I make. Most of the time! I love creating and making things. LOVE IT! And yes, I love sharing them. And I love the connections I have made over the years! That’s why I started doing the blog part of this in the first place, to connect with others that love the same things I do! (I’m glad Valentine’s day is coming with all this love to go around!)

You could say I’m kinda addicted to making and sharing!


What I’m Going to Do About It….

I  almost quit last year. I almost quit blogging. Not making things, but the blogging. But ya know, I love doing them both. So I didn’t quit.

I’m going to make a point to comment on other people’s blog. I’m breaking out of my private email world and joining in on other people’s blogging communities! yep.

And as you might have noticed I’m truncating my blog posts. So if you subscribe via email you should just be getting a little blurb instead of the whole post in your email. I’m not doing it to make you actually come hang out with me. That would be a bit controlling don’t you think? Last year I had a couple of instances of people ‘borrowing’ my blog posts and putting them on their blogs…. I’m flattered they like what I wrote enough to steal it, but, um, no thanks! And everything I’ve read says that truncating helps minimize this ‘sharing’.

I have a goal, did I have this goal last year??? My goal for this year is to finish all those projects sitting in front of my fabric shelves….


This is an old picture of my space and it’s a mess, but it doesn’t look like that now! I cleaned it to start the year off!

And I’m participating in the Sew Your Stash challenge! So far so good!

I hope you join me in another year of making! And did I mention I’m super into Instagram? You should totally follow me there!

What are you making this year? Are you changing the way you do anything?

Merry Christmas!

From my family to Yours!

IMG_1030 copy

We were making wishes tonight and my son wished for everyday to be Christmas. I don’t want everyday to be Christmas, but I would like to see the kindness of Christmas last all year.

I’m taking the rest of the year off from the blog, but will be back after the first of the year! I’m going to enjoy the family and some sewing. I hope you can do the same!

Thanks for reading!


Our Little Library

I realized I hinted about our Little Library contest we did as a family, but I never showed you the finished, WINNING project! If you follow me on IG, you’ve already seen a lot of this!


We have a little library in our neighborhood and Max has wanted his own for a while now. Then I saw the Libraries on The Loose Design Competition! And it wasn’t just open to architects! Kids could enter too. We had a design plan. Then Max and Dad found a great sized box, so the plan changed. Then we found more materials so the design was a bit more organic than we had originally planned!



During the building process, Max was interviewed and on the news. He did a great job explaining his design and showing off the box that we had started. I think he stole the show in the interview! You can see it here!


For the most part, Max was pretty involved in the building of his library. Once he would have rather played with his pal next door than come home and stain the box. But once he got home he jumped right in! Dad did say that next time we sign Max up for a competition, it needs to be a competition that he can do on his own! Oh, Dad… We all did have fun putting it together!


Then Max filled it up! And all the books disappeared! we filled it up again and most of them disappeared. Again. We hope the books went to a home of kids that needed them. It just took some time and our neighbors are refilling, too!


We decided to go to the Seattle Design Festival Street Party to check out the others and see what there was to see and look what we found! Max’s library won his division! Yeah!


Max was kinda excited about his win… But way more excited about all the fun stuff at the Street Party! Like the Tape it box! Max and Dad wrapped tape all around and back again!


The light box was pretty cool! It lit up with motion sensors.



The big plastic tunnel was a hit! Max made friends with this guy and they had beach ball fight! It was pretty cool! Then later we saw the crazy guys behind this wandering around in green blow up suites.


But even with all these cool things, Max’s all time favorite was this Parkour Visions installation. It’s a gym in town where they seem to mix climbing on these boxes with gymnastics and gym! Max was in love! If he could have stayed on this all day he would have!



Yea to our Winner!


Seattle Modern Quilt Guild Retreat

Superbowl weekend I headed to Vashon Island for the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild’s first ever retreat!!


When we first planned the retreat we didn’t realize it was super bowl weekend. Then we figured it out and some knew they would leave early, but it wasn’t a big deal to most. And then it ended up becoming quite the big deal for a lot of us! And the rest of Seattle! Even the ferries were ‘In’!


image via A Quilter’s Table

After the ferry ride, I made to the retreat and found my ‘roomies’, my friend Debbie of A Quilter’s Table and her fun daughter, Rachel of Snippets of Sweetness! We had a great time getting to know each other even better than before!


Our buddy Kristen joked us all up with fantastic swag bags! We got candy! Discounts from Quality Sewing and vacuum, Pacific Fabrics, Island Quilter, Town Square Fabric and Yarn and Quilt Sandwich Fabrics. There were also cute notebooks, a key chain, a little scissor and measuring tape combo and fabric from Quilt Sandwich Fabrics and Gossypium Quilt Shop!


We had two lovely ladies in charge of planning some retreat activites that you could choose to participate in or not. And those lovely ladies were myself (hehehe) and my new friend Vicki of Sew Inspired Blog! One of the activites was a hand sewn project Dirty Santa! Do you play Dirty Santa at Christmas?? This was a lot of fun!! Usually have of the presents are silly, but with this one all the presents were things people had made, os I don’t thin kthere would any way anyone would go home dissapointted. I made the lovely lily pad bowl and plate designed by my friend and sponsor, Michelle of Michelle Made Me.


I admit, I did a little stealing to get this pouch from another friend Chandra of Mildly Gifted! I was needing a bigger pouch for my little carry around project that I, obviously, carry around with me. It’s outgrowing my current pouch. So I needed a new one and I loved this one! Perfect! I was holding my breath that no one would steal it from me! And it turns out that that the adorable little polaroid bits glow in the dark! Who knew!


We stayed a wonderful location, Camp Burton on Vashon Island. The ‘dorm’ was right next to our sewing space. And the dining room was just a 3 minute walk away! And all of this overlooked the water. Although, I didn’t pay much attention to the beautiful surroundings since I was sewing SO MUCH!


image via A Quilter’s Table

We did walk down to the water for a few minutes on Sunday with Debbie, Vicki and Kristen!


But otherwise, if I wasn’t eating or sleeping, I was sewing, just down the table from Debbie! You can see what I was working on here.

Another project we had for people to participate in was a Round Robin session. Some of our guild had done this at Quiltcon, I think, and then did it again amongst themselves. The one we did at the retreat was in groups of 4 and timed. Before we started we sat and talked about our fabric. We brought our own fabric and let people know if they could and to it or not! We had about 15 minutes to make our own start. Then we passed our started piece and our pile of fabric to the next person. Then we had about 30 minutes before we traded again. We worked on each others for about 30 minutes.


I took before and after pictures of each of my rounds. The before pictures are the what the piece looked like when it got to me. the alters are after I was done…


The are the four final pieces from our group.


And this is all eight of the finished round robin improve session! I want to do a session at home. Anyone want to join me???


image via A Quilter’s Table

Aren’t we a cute group? We are a fantastically talented group, that’s for sure! (You can see a bit of what we all do here) It was such an amazing weekend. I really felt like I got to know more people, but really got to know them better. I feel like I made so many new friends. I knew most everyone before I left for the retreat, but when I headed home, I was leaving new friends, not just guild acquaintances! And talk about inspiring! I was inspired by so many of these women and on such different levels! I cant’ wait to do it again! Thank you ladies!

A Super Hero Party

I can’t believe another birthday has come and gone! It’s been 5 years since the little guy joined us! And this years theme… Superheroes! In case you haven’t noticed from all the costumes I’ve been making!


About a week after his Pirate Party last year, pirates were kinda out (even though he swears they aren’t and he still plays them sometimes) and superheroes were in! SO we’ve been learning a lot about super heroes. It all started with Spiderman. Which he still loves ALOT! but now his favorite one is the Flash, since he says they have the same super power.


As usual, Momma made fun invitations and Dad made most of the decorations! The invites were based on old school BatMan comic books, were coloring book comics on the inside and mailed the clear plastic envelopes that you buy vintage comic books in. Not sure the kids really got the clear envelope thing, but I did and it made me happy! I do know that the kids like the invite, though! And as usual Dad made almost life size superheroes decorations and a bunch of little buildings! And of course, Max LOVED helping make everything and really being a part of all the planning!


I asked the Post Office people if I could mail the invitations in the clear envelope and was told ‘No, plastic envelopes will melt in the machines we run them through.’ Well, that didn’t make any sense to me! So what did I do? I mailed them anyway. And of course I mailed one to myself just to make sure. And did it come back to me? Why yes it did! Did they make it to the other party kids? Why yes they did!


Since his birthday is the end of September, we never know about the weather. And this year we got rained out of the park. Luckily, we called Camp Long where Max had his Dragon Land Party, and there big room was still available 2 days before the party. And it was perfect! And it stormed all day! I can’t take as good of pictures inside, but the kids don’t care about that! The party favors were the capes and the masks and the kids loved running around with them, or laying on the floor pretending to be flying! They seemed to have just as much fun inside as they would have outside!


It has become a little tradition at our parties to have some sort of pay on the Pin the Tail on the Donkey game, so of course we did it again. Momma came up with Pin the Cape on the Superhero. But as Dad and Max were designing the superhero decorations, Max came up with some other options. The first one was Pin the Shorts on the Hulk, which we didn’t pick (for kinda obviously weird reasons) or Pin the Hair on the Hulk. Pin the Hair on the Hulk it was!


The other activity we have made a tradition is the art project! So to go with the masks and capes, we gave everyone wristbands to decorate! There was a lot of glue and glitter involved!


I’m not a huge fan of piñatas, but around here all the kids seem to have them, so this year we added in the piñata! And of course, it needed to be a superhero themed piñata, so Max, Nannie and I made a Flash piñata! I wanted to make it strong enough so that all the kids got a turn at it, but I think I ended up making it a little too tough. Some of the dad’s had to help to get it to spill out! But that was ok for the kids, once the candy and toys were spilling across the floor! Luckily, the place we had let us use one of the shelters for the piñata!


And then it was time for the Spider Man cake! And presents! I love how the characters Dad made look like they are hanging out with the kids opening presents!


I had promised Max a Flash costume. We had gotten the fabric and everything we needed for it, but it kept getting pushed to the bottom of the pile. Then came party decorating and party supplies came in. Then the day before the party, Max reminded me… I HAVE to have my Flash costume for my party! And that he did!


Max turned 5 in his Flash costume!

Stay tuned for more party fun this week! As I mentioned above, my pictures of the ‘pieces’ didn’t’ all come together during the party, but we had a lot of fun pieces and more to come that were planned, but not finished in time. I don’t know why, I knew it was a super hero party plenty of time ahead, but for some reason I didn’t get all the pieces of plan pulled together in time. At the last minute it came down to me having my ‘pieces’ or the kiddo having his costume. The costume won!

An Unplanned Blogging Break, kinda

I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but I haven’t been blogging on my usual schedule lately. Have you noticed? I’m kinda curious!


I’ve seen a few other bloggers take an August break from blogging and I thought to myself, that’s a good idea, but then didn’t plan on it. But my family and I have gotten bitten by the end of summer travel bug and I haven’t been able to keep up with my blogging like I usually do because we’ve been off having a fantastic August!

I don’t usually share too much about my life outside of crafting and sewing on this blog, but since I’ve been a bit sporadic this month, I thought I’d show you what I’ve been up too!


The first weekend of this month, we headed ended up with a random camp spot at this place that we probably would never have picked out for ourselves, but we had a good time! It was down on the Hood Canal, a bit south and west of Seattle. Max’s first tent camping experience! No that he’s new to camping! Oh, no, he’s been going since he was about 6 months. We usually have a little trailer where we camp. And I found a MASSIVE amount of sand dollars! I’ve never found a full sand dollar on the west coast. We also love our happy face rock!


Then we went to Bellingham, a nice getaway, but nothing spectacular. And then came the most fun weekend… Mt Rainier and Mt St Helens! Not long ago the kiddo had compared something to Mt Rainier and I realized that he had never been there! So we went! And the little kiddo climbed almost 1000 feet up Mt Rainier! It was awesome! I’ve wanted to see a marmot for YEARS and now I can say I saw one!


We stayed in a teepee! How cool is that? I’d seen it last year and knew we had to check it out. It just happened to be right between the two mountains. So the next day we headed to Mt St Helens. I thought it would be a little drive in, look around and drive back. Um…. It was that, but so much more than that. I was shocked at how cool it was. We went in through the blast side and the force of nature, 20 years later, is still magnificent! That white stuff in the lake… is trees. Thousands of trees uprooted from the blast! And we found a million frogs! Some still tadpoles. A fantastic science lesson for the kiddo!


We had such a great time that we came home on Monday night, figured out a road trip for the next weekend, and headed out again on Saturday. This time we headed east, to Eastern Washington. Again. Amazing! It’s so amazing how Seattle is this lush green place that you think of when you think of the Pacific Northwest. But the state changes dramatically as you drive over the Cascades Mountains! We headed east, visited friends, went fossil hunting and did some more camping! I was just in awe of the changing landscape the whole time! And back home on Tuesday night!


Soooo…. See why I haven’t been crafting and sewing too much this month? I hope you don’t mind! We did collect all sorts of things for crafting though. I just might have a sand dollar craft coming up…. And we collected a lot of driftwood down by the teepee for Driftwood Monsters and then we’re going to do a little crafting with our fossils too! Fun things coming up!

In short, I didn’t take a full on break, but I’ve been busy having a blast with the family and the blog hasn’t been top priority! Summer is winding down and I’ll be back full force in September with fun things!

Did you do much traveling this summer?

Our Mending Bag

I’m baaaaacccckkkkk! I wasn’t planning on taking a blogging break last week, but I obviously did! I was cramming and cramming to get my LEED professional credentials updated and some other projects, a swap and some etsy orders, before we went out of town for the weekend. And I got it all done! Yeah!!! So now I’m back!


What do you do with all the clothes and toys that need fixing? We have a ‘mending bag’ as we call it. Unfortunately it’s kinda overflowing! But not too long ago, we were able to get come things out of the bag and fixed! These are just a few of the things in the bag!


Do you watch Doc McStuffins? The cartoon about the little girl doctor who fixes all the neighborhood kids toys? She always make up names for her patients problems! I totally feel like her when I’m fixing the toys! This one here had ‘shoulder outplacisha’, brought on my out dog ‘cousins’.


But we got it fixed. Along with Blue Bears ‘crackia skull-itis’, the sponge camera’s ‘lens teariosis’, and the plane’s ‘rear wing fracture.’ It’s tough work, but as Doc Mcstuffins says, ‘The Doc is in!’


Then a lady on our parents email group asked if any one could sew and restuff a beloved lion stuffy. So I had to tell her that I could help. We’re in the same boat with our beloved stuffie, but I haven’t restuffed him yet. So I took on the lion’s ‘tough love anorexia’ and restuffed him back to a healthy weight!


This guy is ready to get back to his pals! The kiddo was pretty adamant that I needed to do something about the Lion’s mane, but I didn’t!

The toys and stuffies are my favorite to mend for two reasons. First, I have this weird thing in that I give inanimate objects a bit more personality than they have (as in I kinda think Toy Story is a true story…..) and I know they are super excited to be fixed and out of the mending bag. And secondly, the kiddo is always so excited to get his toys back! But I do need to get in there and get the clothes done too! Have you done any mending lately?


Shared with these Link Parties!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,137 other followers