Aaliyah’s first Halloween

IMG_2449Today we celebrated Aaliyah’s very first Halloween! We were all so excited. I was probably the most excited out of everyone. The thing that i looked forward to the most was making her first Halloween costume. My mom always made our Halloween costumes when we were little. So it seemed like the natural thing to do. Especially since I am a sewer. So, I made her a Minnie Mouse costume for her first Halloween. It was very simple and understated, because she is only 2 1/2 months old.

IMG_2442This afternoon we went over to Grandma and Grandpa Angel’s house to carve pumpkins with Uncle Cory, Auntie Krystal, and cousin Shelby. Aaliyah chose the kitty cat to be carved into her pumpkin. Cory tortured everyone with the pumpkin guts. Shelby was he most traumatized of the bunch. Aaliyah slept through most of the event. Saving up her strength I suppose. In the end, we had three marvelously carved pumpkins and one very cute colored pumpkin courtesy of little Shelby. I saved the pumpkin seeds to bake for later. My parents used to do the same, when we were kids. So I figured why not!

IMG_2423I baked some pumpkin bread for us as well, because i was feeling festive. Then we relaxed a bit while Shelby transformed into Sleeping Beauty. Once George and Grandma Angel arrived, we prepared to go trick or treating. We chose to spend Halloween in my parents neighborhood, because nobody really participates in Trick or Treating in our neighborhood. Seven years, and we have only had one Trick or Treater! Total!!! Makes it difficult to get festive. Krystal and I wore witch hats and my mom wore Cory’s Pimp outfit. It was a little comical. We dressed Aaliyah up in her Minnie Mouse costume, and then we set out to tour the neighborhood. At first there weren’t very many kids out, but then we were surrounded. Shelby had a ball going from house to house. And Aaliyah fell asleep pretty quickly in my arms. She’s not into candy all that much just yet.

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We called it a night fairly early and relieved George of his candy man duties. We ordered a pizza and started rummaging through Shelby’s loot. She really made out! My teeth hurt just thinking about it. All and all, Aaliyah’s first Halloween was a success. We look forward to many more! Happy Halloween!!!



Garcia Family Cookbook


Family Traditions help shape the people children become. They make a huge impression on us as children. Sometimes a greater impact than parents think. Some of my best and worst memories from childhood are related to the foods my family ate growing up. From the vegetables I refused to eat each night at dinner because I hated them so much; to the traditional Turnbull Family recipes we had at Christmas each year that I loved. All have become a part of who I am as an adult. For instance, to this day, I refuse to shop in the freezer aisle for vegetables for our dinner. And don’t even say Lima beans, because I might actually gag. But on a more positive note, I still look forward to Christmas and Thanksgiving dinner with my family every year. Because they are the only time I get to eat my grandmother’s stuffing and homemade blackberry pie.

These experiences have imprinted themselves on me. And for this reason, I have decided to create a Garcia Family Cookbook. A method for documenting mine and George’s family recipes as well as recipes of our own. All for the purpose of passing them down to our children and grandchildren. A tangible method of keeping our traditions alive. At least the edible ones anyway.

So as a part of my Mommy Identity, I have chosen to be a mom who makes home cooked meals as often as possible. I choose to make dinner time in the Garcia house a special one each night. I look forward to developing a long list of meals that my family loves to eat. In order to do so, I will be testing out several new recipes in an effort to find the best ones for us. And you all will benefit from them. As I expand our family cookbook, I will share my recipes with you in an attempt to help you expand yours as well.

Happy Baking!

Being Prepared – packing the diaper bag

The Mommy Diaper Bag is one of the most difficult things to prepare in the beginning.  It’s hard to figure out just how much to pack.  And if you’re like me, you’ll probably over pack your bag.  Which is unfortunate, because then you’ll end up with a bag like Mary Poppins that is stuffed full of odds and ends; that leaves you with a sore shoulder from lugging it around.  Don’t get me wrong, I definitely recommend being over prepared when it comes to your baby. My theory is its better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.  Within reason, that is.  Here are some recommendations for what are the true essentials for your diaper bag.

Mommy Diaper Bag:

  • Diapers (1 for every hour you’ll be out)
  • Baby Wipes
  • Changing Pad
  • Burp Cloths (3 or more)
  • Nursing Cover (if breastfeeding)
  • Extra set of Breast Pads
  • Bibs (2)
  • Blanket
  • Change of Clothes for Baby (I keep 3 sets, because my daughter has a lot of accidents, and a naked baby is only cute in Gerber commercials)
  • Mommy Kit (Thermometer, Band aids, Nail Clippers, Tweezers, Neosporin, baby sunscreen, Oragel)
  • Extra Shirt for mom

Warning – Always double check the diaper bag after DAD has packed it. They are always missing a few of the essentials!

DIY – Onesie Dress tutorial

I am always looking for new ideas for dressing up ordinary things. We all know that babies live in onesies for the first few months, because let’s face it – they’re just so much easier to put on and take off. Here is a quick and easy idea for sprucing up those boring old plain white onesies. I have been selling them for quite a few years, but they are so easy to make. I thought I would share my secret with you. You’ll be finished in less than thirty minutes. Plus, you finally have a way to get rid of those fabrics on your scrap pile.

A Tip: I pick up my onesies at Joanns or Michaels. You can pick up a 5pack of Gerber brand onesies for $9.99. And with a 40% coupon, they’re only$6.00. Do the math, that’s only $1.20 a piece. That’s a great deal!!! They have multiple sizes: 0-3 months, 6-9 months, 12 months, and 18 months.

Materials Needed:

-1 Onesie (Any Size)

prewash onesie and iron before assembling dress

-1/4 Yard of cotton print or solid fabric

-Matching Thread

Begin by breaking out your iron and ironing board. Take one long edge of your fabric and fold it up ¼” wrong sides together. Press it down with an iron. Fold the edge over one more time and press with iron.

Next machine stitch along the top edge of your hem. You can choose to use either a straight stitch or a zigzag stitch to hold your hem in place. I usually use a straight stitch with a print fabric and a zigzag stitch with a solid fabric. I think the zigzag stitch gives it a little extra flare. But it’s your choice.

Next you’ll want to sew a basting stitch along the other long side that has the raw edges exposed. Use a ½” seam. Do not backstitch at either end. You’ll want to leave both ends open, so you can gather the fabric.

It should look like this:

Here’s the fun part…gathering the fabric. It can get a little tricky. Start slow, so that you don’t snap your thread. Holding onto the top left corner of your fabric, pull the bobbin thread to gather it. You’ll want to gather the fabric until it is twice the width of your onesie when it’s slightly stretched out.

This is what the skirt should look like once you’ve finished:

Next we’re going to finish our skirt. Fold your skirt in half right sides together. Match up the bottom hem.

Machine stitch the side together. Press the seam open. Then finish off the raw edges by sewing a zigzag stitch or an overlock stitch. It should look like this when you’re finished:

So we’re almost finished. Now turn your attention to your onesie. Draw a chalk line at the waistline across the front and back of your onesie.

Now turn your skirt inside out again. It’s time to attach the skirt to your onesie. With your onesie right-side out, open up the bottom. Slip it onto the narrow end of your ironing board with the neckline hanging off. Now slip the skirt with the gathered edge first over the onesie . Make sure the seam is facing down and is centered. Pin the skirt in place. It should look like this so far.

Now flip the skirt over on your ironing board. Line up the edge of your skirt with your marked line. Pin the skirt in place. Machine stitch a 5/8” seam along the raw edge to secure the skirt to the onesie. Make sure you backstitch at each end. It doesn’t have to look pretty. No one will see it.

Remove the pins from your skirt. Flip it over. Go ahead and admire your work. Looks pretty good so far! Take your iron and flatten skirt out a little bit. That’s right, you’re amazing!!! And the best part, you were so quick, you have time to make a few more. I mean, you did buy a 5pack, right? So away you go and now baby has a new wardrobe.

As a bonus, I like to add an applique to the chest of my onesie. I like to cut a small piece of the printed fabric and appliqué it onto the onesie. I think it adds a little flair to your cute little dress. Check out my tutorial on appliqué techniques. It’s a lot easier that you might think.