Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Our Girl Gracie...

It has been quite sometime since I updated this little blog on the happenings of the Leeper family. My last post featured our two little monkeys in their Halloween Ninja Costumes and ended with the question of whether we would have a third little pink ninja before the big night. As it went, our little girl didn't arrive before Halloween but waited patiently until her scheduled date of November 3rd.

Cecelia "Grace" Leeper
Nov. 3rd 2014 - 7lbs 6oz

Gracie was instantly loved by her brothers (a little too aggressively by Henry) and has taken to the role of little sister very well. She tolerates being held by both of them and recovers well from their less than gentle affections.  


Andrew is already one of her favourite people. She has an endless supply of grins and giggles for him and he is absolutely smitten with her.


The last two months have been a bit of a whirlwind and when people asked me how we were adjusting to having a third child I would respond with comments like, "it's going really well" and "so far, so good"! It all seemed a bit too easy... until we left the comfort of our home and made the trek to Canada for the Holidays. Having three kids, and traveling with three kids are two very different situations!! But we all made it back alive and have settled nicely into the New Year with our new girl, and our new normal!

(typical Henry!)

Gracie is perfect. She eats well, she sleeps well and her personality seems to fall somewhere on the spectrum between her all too serious oldest brother and her all too silly older brother. I feel so blessed to be the one to watch what kind of little girl she becomes!

Photo credit: http://www.monicaridgely.com
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Friday, October 24, 2014

DIY Ninja Costumes...

Halloween is here and the boys couldn't be more excited! It was decided months ago that they would be ninjas this year and after much deliberation on colour options and symbols, we have finished our costumes!
Andrew is a big fan of the Lego show "Ninjago" and is adamant that he is dressed as the character Jay. I was happy he wasn't too particular about the specifics, because my plan for for the costume was pretty simple.
The photo shoot of the finished costumes didn't go exactly as I had imagined. I think I would have had more luck photographing two jumping fleas... but I guess that's what happens when you put two little boys in ninja costumes!
I picked up the black tights and and shirts for the ninja costumes at Target. I found them both in the girls department... don't tell Andrew! The masks are ski masks that I ordered from Amazon which should come in handy once we return to Canada.

To make the ninja smocks I folded a piece of fabric in half and lined up one of the boys t-shirts along the top fold. Using the t-shirt as a guide I cut the shape below making the top about one inch wider than the shoulders of the shirt. I used the neck of the t-shirt as a guide for the triangular neckline. At this point, I ironed, pinned and sewed a simple seam along the outside of the entire smock as well as around the neckline. 

To make the belt, I cut a band of fabric that was approximately 3' by 8" in dimensions. I folded it in half and ironed along the fold. Then opened the strip and folded each long edge into the middle fold. After ironing the length of the band I folded the entire thing in half (along the original crease) tucked in the ends and sewed along the perimeter to make a belt. This belt was then sewn to the back of the smock. 


Using my Silhouette and the Silhouette Fabric Interfacing, I cut out a dragon and added one to the front of the smock, sewing around the outside.


To make the boy's Nun Chucks I cut pieces of pipe insulation, glued a short length of plastic chain to the inside and wrapped the handles in duct tape. 

I'm happy to have checked this job off of my To Do list... who knows, we may have another little ninja to add to the pack before October 31st!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Cake Batter Pumpkin Spice Squares

Here is a quick and easy dessert recipe to celebrate fall. It has the quintessential pumpkin spice flavour of the season and is topped with melted white chocolate. 




Ingredients
1 box of vanilla cake mix
1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 C pureed pumpkin
1/4 C table cream
1/4 C milk
1 egg
1/2 C of white chocolate chips
1 tsp vegetable oil

Empty cake mix into a large bowl and sift together with pumpkin pie spice. Add pumpkin puree, cream, milk and egg and stir until the mixture is smooth. Pour batter into a greased 8x8 cake dish/pan and bake at 350°F for approximately 40 min. The squares are finished when the edges are golden and crispy and the middle is still quite soft (they will harden as they set). Once the squares have cooled (in pan) for about 20 minute you can prepare the chocolate drizzle. In a small  glass bowl slowly melt white chocolate chips in microwave or over a double boiler, stirring regularly. Once melted it may be necessary to add a small amount of vegetable oil to thin the chocolate. The chocolate is the right consistency when you are able to drizzle it from a spoon in a thin stream. Add as much white chocolate drizzle as you would like and continue to cool in the pan until the chocolate has hardened.