{charmed earth}

The Lifestyle blog of Katie Storms.: something simple, something sweet, something styled.

31 March 2012

{something beatles} let it be quote print

I love this wild arrows font. This quote just has to be a motto for us until the end of time. They truly are words of wisdom, Let It Be.


30 March 2012

{something gabbie} overdue one-year photos

I love that Nicole always asks me to take photos of Gabbie. She's just so cute. It's good practice, too. These are her one-year shots from December. I just love the hat and tutu. I just know that Gabbie and Baby Jupiter will be sweet friends.


29 March 2012

{something guns and roses} sweet child of mine quote print

The moment we discovered we were having a baby, I've been wanting to post this Quote. It's just one of my favorites. I have always loved this song. It's a classic.


28 March 2012

{something favorite} registry wish list granted

Some of the items on my baby registry were hopeful wishes. They were somewhat expensive items, but they were quality items that I really wanted to receive. And the beautiful people in our lives agreed. They wanted to get us these gifts, and I am so happy that they did.

Here are some of my favorites from the registry that we maybe didn't need, but I am so happy to have.

The perfect aiden+anais muslin blankets. I know these will be all purpose for so many things: nursing covers, stroller covers on hot and cold days, swaddle blankets when she's still small,  a changing pad in a pinch, fort building when she's older, all sorts of adventures. I love them. Thank you, Mama.

The super soft and pretty aiden+anais muslin washcloths. I know we will use these often for weekly baths. I just smile thinking about them. I also love how big and thick they are. I am sure they will hold up for many baths. Thank you, Mary and Dave:)

The Burt's Bees Baby Dusting Powder was such a cute bottle. I just adore it. And it looks so perfect in photos. I am so glad to have it. Thank you, Cora and Uncle Boomer. We also adore the Royals baseball onesie from you guys. I don't have a picture...yet.

The Dwell Studio onesie and Pixie ballerina socks. These were a total wish on the list. I was so surprised when they came from my Aunt Aless. Thank you, Aunt Aless. She will look so adorable. And she can't wait to meet you.

The Dwell Studio muslin blankets with the dots and foxes. I know I don't need six muslin blankets. But I just loved the fox design on these ones. And I am so happy to have them. Thank you, Julie and Nate.

The Dwell Studio Alphabet Blocks. These are so darn adorable. And she'll be able to build dreams and cities with them. I especially like that each side of the block has a different design element. They are just perfect. Thank you, Aunt Lissa.

I'll be posting my other favorites that we surprises--i.e. not on a registry--later this month. I might also have another post similar to this one with my favorite registry items from the Corner Cottage because I still need to photograph those!


27 March 2012

{something sewn} fancy DIY burp cloths

When Nikki made me the sweet handmade burp cloths for Baby Jupiter, she called them fancy. She also said they were for keeping in my diaper bag and using when we are out in public. I agree with her. But I also thought it would be so sad to not have the pretty ones brighten our days at home.

And then I remembered my stash of pretty quarter yard cuts of fabric I'd been collecting. I was collecting them for a simple sewing project. Before Nikki even gave me the gift, the plan was to use some of the fabrics for my own fancy burp cloths. Because here's the thing: My mama had saved a stack of original Gerber cloth diapers from my baby days. Well, mine and my brothers and sisters. She used them as diapers, and the diaper delivery man picked them up every week. And for some reason Mama saved a stack. They are still super soft, and I just adore the vintage blue Gerber stamp.

So the other afternoon I sat down with my stash and began to sew my own collection of pretty burp cloths. I did go out and buy a few more new ones because I have more fabric patterns I want to use. But I figure that the ones that don't get too far gone in the baby game can easily be used later on as dust cloths. Or simply stashed in the attic for Baby Jupiter to find 29 years from now. The fox one below is one of my favorites. I just love that fabric. I actually have a half yard of it. I'm trying to decide on another project for it. Maybe a cute dress for autumn.

To make these pretty burp cloths, just measure your fabric to go across the base of the cloth diaper with about a quarter inch of excess on each side. Then fold the fabric over and sew around. Simple, simple. And if it's not, I'm sure there's a tutorial online that I didn't use. Or check out all of these ones. Or this one. An iron would make it much easier.


26 March 2012

{something 5 ways} mexican supper week

I am really excited to start this new feature: Cooking 5 Ways because I enjoy cooking. Really, I do. I like the prep work, I like the freshness of a home-cooked meal, and I like being able to sit down with JV and just enjoy light conversation over supper after a long day at work.

But what I don't like is when cooking becomes a lot of work. And I don't like when cooking becomes expensive either. One way I've found around both of my frustrations with cooking a homemade supper is to make most of my ingredients on a Sunday afternoon or evening. And to have a thread all week long.

Some cooks or families may not be up for Mexican or Italian all week long, but we usually don't mind it. With that said, a few of the recipes I put together are very freezer friendly. So you could easily freeze some of the items to vary the week more.

This week: Mexican 5 Ways.

Shopping List:
2# lean ground beef, ground turkey, or soy crumbles
1 large cucumber
1 head of lettuce, shredded
1 container of Greek Yogurt
1 medium can of sliced black olives
2 cans of Rotel
2 bags of dried black beans OR 4 cans of black beans+1 can black refried beans
3+ avocados {1 per night you wish to eat}
1 bag of tortilla chips
1 bunch of cilantro {optional}
16 oz. shredded cheese
1 package of 20+ flour tortillas, small

Pantry List:
chicken or vegetable stock
taco seasoning
olive oil

Saturday:Grocery shop. Eat dinner out with your love, friends, or family. Soak your black beans overnight.

Sunday:Taco Night. This night is also the biggest prep night.
For the Black Bean Soup: In a large pot, bring your soaked black beans to a boil in a mixture of water and the stock. Once beans are tender, {follow the instructions} drain them. Rinse out your pot and heat 2T olive oil and 1 small or medium diced onion. Saute the onions until they are tender. Add 4-6 cups of the cooked black beans, one can of Rotel, and enough stock to just cover the beans. Heat well. Add cumin and salt to taste. After the beans are heated through, remove 1 cup of beans. Reserve them in a bowl. Then, using an immersion blender, blend the beans until the soup is the consistency you like. At this point, you can add more hot water to thin the soup. Add the reserved beans. Serve with Greek yogurt and cilantro.

For the Refried Beans: In a blender or food processor, add the remaining black beans. Process the beans {adding small amounts of hot water or stock} with cumin and salt until they reach a thick consistency. Put beans in a glass container in the fridge.

For the Tacos: Brown your 2 pounds of ground meat in a skillet {you will use this for your burritos and quesadillas later in the week. You can also freeze the meat after it's cooked and seasoned}. Drain the meat. Add 1 can of the Rotel and taco seasoning to taste, following any package directions. Let it simmer for 15 minutes.

While the taco meat simmers, slice and mash the avocado. Add salt and lemon juice to taste. Chop your cucumbers. Arrange your other ingredients {olives, lettuce, salsa, Greek yogurt, avocados, and cucumbers}.

Monday: Quesadilla Night.
For the Quesadillas: Reheat some of the ground meat leftover from the tacos in a small skillet or the microwave. In a skillet, heat 1-2 tsp of olive oil. Add a tortilla to the pan and hear it sizzle. Top the tortilla with about 1/4 cup of shredded cheese and 1 tablespoon of meat. Cook until cheese melts. Remove the tortilla from the skillet and fold it over. Cut each quesadilla into three triangles. Serve with your toppings--avocado, olives, Greek yogurt, lettuce, salsa, cucumbers

Tuesday: Black Bean Soup Night
Reheat your Black Bean Soup on the stove top. Enjoy with toppings. Serve it with the fine China.

Wednesday: Nacho Dip Night
For the Nacho Dip: In a heat safe dish, spoon 1/2-2/3 cup of the refried black beans. Smooth the beans into a nice layer. Top the beans with some of the remaining taco meat. Top the meat with 1/4 cup of shredded cheese. Heat nacho dip in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes. Serve the dip with your toppings: avocados, Greek yogurt, lettuce, cucumbers, olives--and tortilla chips.

Thursday: Taco Night Repeat or Black Bean Soup Repeat or Cereal Night or Dine Out Night

Friday: Toquito or Burrito Night
For the Toquitos or Burritos: Heat your tortillas in the microwave for 30-seconds. This makes them hug around the filling more easily. Layer each tortilla with refried beans, about a tablespoon of the meat {optional}, and a tablespoon or two of the cheese. Roll the tortilla as tightly as you can without splitting it. Repeat until you have as many tortilla rolls as you want. Heat a teaspoon or two or three of olive oil in your skillet. Add the tortillas, seam side down. Allow them to brown and crisp lightly. Then flip them on all four sides. Once each side has a golden brown color, transfer them to a baking sheet. Bake them for another 10 minutes or so, just so that the cheese is melty and delicious. Serve with your toppings.

Wow. That was a lot. I sure hope that my next week of dinners is just as filling for you.


25 March 2012

{something breakfast} cinnamon french toast

There's something about wanting a good breakfast and relying on the panty on the weekends. It should be a feature: breakfast on the weekend with the pantry.

Yesterday I decided I wanted a real breakfast. But, as usual, we didn't have every ingredient under the sun.

This is what I did find: cinnamon raisin bread in the freezer, vanilla extract and sugar and cinnamon in the pantry, eggs and milk in the fridge. Simple enough to make one of my favorites: Cinnamon French Toast. Yum.

Here's the easy recipe, almost just like Mama makes. She just usually used regular toast.

Step One: Whisk 3-4 eggs in a bowl. Add a drop of milk and vanilla extract. Whisk until combined.
Step Two: Heat a teaspoon of butter in your skillet.
Step Three: Defrost your bread if it's frozen. Then dip it to coat both sides in the egg mixture.
Step Four: Add your bread to the skillet. You will flip it in about 30-seconds.
Step Five: While the egg-dipped toast is cooking, mix the cinnamon and sugar in a shallow bowl. I usually use about 1/4 c. of sugar to about a teaspoon of cinnamon.
Step Six: Once your bread is "toasted" and the egg is cooked through on both sides, put the toast in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Coast the toast well. Be sure to do this step while the toast is still hot to be sure the sugar sticks.

Yum. Enjoy!

I usually keep the cinnamon-sugar mixture in a glass jar in the pantry. It's perfect for sprinkling on melted butter with regular toast or on ice cream. Just don't reuse the leftovers from the Cinnamon French Toast. They will get too clumpy.


{something onesie} lace bottoms

I adore ruffles and lace. I seriously own more shirts with ruffles than most people in the 29+1 crowd. I love my ruffles. I've missed wearing them during this maternity time. There's no way I was going to risk stretching my favorite ruffle tanks and dresses.

It's a given that dear Baby Jupiter will be wearing ruffles and pink until she has the voice to tell me no. And that won't be for a least a few months.

My favorite fabric store here in St. Louis, as many of you know, is Jackman's. When I was there a few weeks ago, I spotted the prettiest pink and turquoise eyelet ruffle lace trims. They were perfect for my ruffle projects.

Supplies: No-Sew Fabric Glue {this brand, Unique Stitch, is amazing!}, 1 yard of ruffle lace in the color of your choice {one yard of each color gave me enough lace for one pink onesie, one pink bottom, and one turquoise bottom}, white onesie and/or white cotton diaper cover {I found all of mine thrifting for 69-cents}, cardboard boxes, scissors, and Q-tips.

Step One: Measure your lace across the bottom of the onesie or diaper cover. Cut it to size.
Step Two: Glue a thin layer of the fabric glue directly to the lace.
Step Three: Spread the glue into a smooth layer with the Q-tip.
Step Four: Attach your lace to the clothing. Make sure you press down firmly at every edge to secure the lace to the onesie or diaper cover. Repeat steps 1-4 until you have enough ruffles.
Step Five: Place your cardboard between the layers of the clothing. This will prevent the two layers of fabric from sticking to each other.
Step Six: Allow the glue to dry for 24+ hours before washing or wearing.

Aren't these just the cutest! The diaper covers are size 6mos, but I am hoping I can fit them on her by pinning the front so she can wear them in some newborn portraits. I'm also planning on adding a big pink satin ribbon to the pink ruffle bottoms. I just have to take the time to make the bow. And I might just be waiting for my mama to visit because she's the best bow-maker I know.

The most difficult part about this project was finding the basic cotton bottoms, or diaper covers. They are impossible to find in stores. I think it's because they usually come as part of a dress outfit. I felt incredibly lucky to find two pairs while I was thrifting last week. And now I know to look there every time I pop in at my favorite local spot.

24 March 2012

{something onesie} DIY baby designs

We love The Beatles. Everyone loves The Beatles. I'll never forget the first time I saw my mama's pair of original 45s with the green apples. She let me keep them.

Baby Jupiter already has The Beatles Lullaby CD. And now she has the cutest pink onesie with one of our favorite Beatles lyrics: Let It Be.

And one day I want to have a family photo taken just like the cover of Abbey Road. Don't we all?

Here's what you need for this Quote Onesie DIY

Supplies: two-inch vinyl sticker letters {I used these for my canvas project this summer of places Jv and I have lived}, tie dye spray by s.e.i. {I found mine at Hobby Lobby}, and a white onesie {I picked mine up thrifting for 69-cents!}.

Step One: Arrange your vinyl stickers on your onesie. Be sure to stick them well.
Step Two: Shake your tie-dye ink and spray.
Step Three: Allow onesie to dry. If you want a darker saturation of color, you could add another layer of spray after it dries.
Step Four: Peel off your stickers.
Step Five: Place your dry onesie in the dryer for 20-minutes for the ink to set. 

She's going to look so cute in this one. And she'll look just as fabulous in her Lady Gaga inspired one I made just for Daddy.


P.S. I think this would be a great DIY for all sorts of textiles. I'm already brainstorming a list: kitchen towels for newlyweds, t-shirts for big sisters, tote bags for teachers, cloth notebooks for writers, pillowcases for dreamers...the list is endless.

Do you have any other ideas for what we could create?

23 March 2012

{something handmade} some favorite gifts

I have some of the most creative and wonderful friends. I think I received something handmade at almost every shower. Whether it was a beautiful cake or a delightful gift, I was always amazed at the small details and time people took to celebrate us and this wonderful event.

Here are some of my favorite handmade gifts.

My friend Nikki of Slap Me Happy created some of the most precious burp cloths {pictured at the top of this post}. Her fabric choices are perfect. She also sewed a very intricate and detailed stroller/car seat blanket. It's perfect. We can't wait to use it for our daily morning and nightly walks with baby Jupiter.

My friend Erin of Lansdowne Life created this remarkable quilt. It's so pretty, so soft, so perfectly sewn. She also made the cutest onesie with a heart {to match my heart mama-to-be tee}, and the sweetest card. She is just amazing.

Then my Nonni surprised me with a quilt, which I will have to post later, and a stack of beautiful, colorful, wonderful flannel receiving blankets. They fit nicely in her changing table, and I am pretty sure they fit better rolled. At least they look prettier. I already put my favorite one--with birdcages all over it--in her diaper bag. They are just delightful.

I am so lucky to have a life filled with so many creative friends--and bloggers.


22 March 2012

{something handmade} favorites for baby jupiter

The Must Have Baby Dishes via abbyburkson
I've been creating all week--painting the tree mural, designing onesies, tying tutus, lacing ruffles on diaper covers, and trying to create my own travel changing pad with the most amazing laminated fabric I found the other day. I'm already listing ideas for the extra yardage--place mats, bibs, coasters.

And then the ideas keep coming in, and I realize I want to get some special fabric for a very special photo shoot the week she's born. It's going to be magical.

Here are some of our favorites on etsy that we plan to add to the mix of our own handmade...now we just need to agree on a name.

Daddy's Favorite via TheCoinLaundry
Mama's Favorite via LittleBirdLucy
Cute Little Booties via funkyshapes
If She Needed Another Blanket via organicquiltcompany
To Commemorate Her First Christmas or Birthday via littlesaplingtoys
For Her Best Dresses via lilafrances
For Autumn Photo Shoots via OhhSoSweetBowtique

{something just us} a weekend at the b&b

Our plan was to drive around the Midwest over Spring Break. Jv mapped it out, I researched a few vintage shops and local restaurants, and the hotels were booked. Then I talked to my OB. Apparently a trip around the Midwest at 35-weeks is not ideal.

So we cancelled the reservations and planned one-night out in Missouri wine country at a bed and breakfast we spent the weekend at when we celebrated our year anniversary. It's called Heaven on Earth, and it's in Marthasville, Mo., just outside Washington, Mo.

Upon our arrival, we were greeted with homemade chocolate chip cookies and rain. I mean it rained. But it was a lovely feeling with the windows and screen door of the cabin open while the rain poured down during our very peaceful nap.

The rain let up just in time for supper. We drove over the Washington to eat at The American Bounty, but they didn't have reservations available until 8 o'clock. But that was fine with us.

We spent an hour walking the streets of downtown Washington along the railroad tracks and the Missouri River and around the square that didn't seem to have changed since the 1950s.

We ended the evening back at the cabin with a warm fire and completing the missing details from our anniversary book {years 5 and part of 6 are finally written}.

It was a wonderful Saturday. And it was our last "road trip" just us. I know we will take another one some day, but that some day is a bit in the distant future.

I love you, Jv. Thank you for a delightful weekend.

21 March 2012

{something sneak peek} the nursery room tour

I am loving every moment of Spring Break. I finished the woodland tree mural in the bedroom yesterday, so here's a quick sneak peek. I really love how it turned out. I used the aspen trees I fell in love with in Wyoming as inspiration. Jv loves it, too.

The full tour should be up by Saturday.


{something once upon a time} the dexter baby shower

My dear friends in Jv's hometown are some of the closest friends to my heart. Nicole and Maddie offered to host the storybook shower way back in December. Then Holly joined in. Then Sue Ann and Tracey. And then Sherry and Debbie and Sharon. It's funny. I've known Sharon the longest. Her son Shawn introduced me to my Love of My Life, Jv, over eleven years ago. And then Nicole married Shawn. And Maddie married Shawn's brother. And we all kind of live happily ever after.

This is the adorable cake--strawberry pink on the inside--that Holly ordered. It's pretty much the most wonderful cake I've ever seen. I felt so special that it was just for us.

The invitations were equally as cute. I just love every bit of them. The storybook shower matches my love of fairy tales. I can never get enough of the fairy tale world. I adore the new show Once Upon a Time. And I can't wait to see both of the Snow White remakes. I miss teaching American Literature because every year I taught Song of Solomon, I also taught Hansel and Gretel, Rumplestiltskin, and The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World.

Baby Jupiter's dream land will have plenty of fairy tale elements within the woods of her bedroom. I found a LIttle Red Riding Hood coat hook thrifting months ago. I bought it just knowing she was a girl--before the doctor confirmed it. And I just know she will love and cherish the fairy tale prints I found years ago off a little side street in Florence.

My dear hostesses asked everyone at this shower to bring books. We now have a stack of some of our personal favorites--Where the Wild Things Are, The Wizard of Oz--and many more that will become her personal favorites. My Nonnie even sent a vintage collection of stories that belonged to my dad. It's a really sweet vintage piece to have on her bookshelf. I also love the simplicity of each table centerpiece--a book and a stuffed animal. All of it was so sweet, and we ended the day with a million meaningful and practical gifts.

Outfit Details on Me, the Mama-to-Be: Cardigan, A Pea in the Pod; Maxi Dress, Target's Liz Lange Line
Thank you to everyone for all of your joy around this wonderful part of our life. This is me with all my dear hostesses, minus Holly :( Aren't they just lovely?!