Monthly Archives: February 2013

02.28.13{Foreign Service} London Calling

Alright, so I have the pattern made (and graded for the first time EVER ekkk!) BUT Chris and I decided to take the kids to London for an extra long weekend.


The second version of the dress I made just SCREAMS for a photo shoot in London so stayed tuned friends for the downloadable pattern and what I am hoping turns out to be a STINKING cute photo shoot! As a side note I would LOVE to do a real session while in London so if you are in the area and are interested you can find out all the details HERE. If you have ever been to London with kids and have some “must see” places please fill us in. The last time I was there Sawyer was 14 months:

(seriously look at that cheesers!)

I was super pregnant with Finn so should be a lot more fun this time ha! Hope you have amazing plans for the weekend! If you want to follow along on our adventure (driving to Calais, taking the ferry across, the cliffs of dover etc) you can always follow me on instagram @sewinginomansland.



02.25.13{sew} The Mod Dress

This weekend was on odd one. Have you ever had those days where everything you touch seems to turn to dust? I also felt like I couldn’t maintain focus on anything, which probably explains the turning to dust thing ha! We weren’t able to do the photo shoot with the kids like we had planned as it rain-snowed this entire weekend. Which I honestly wouldn’t mind if it would stick and we could play with it, but it just blew sideways and then melted before hitting the ground. Since I had psyched myself all up for a photo shoot though and Chris was kind enough to pick me up a new battery for my external flash (could you imagine me trying to explain in my horrible french to a tech guy the type of lithium battery I needed? Disaster, for sure) I set up the studio and FINALLY took some pictures of Evie in the mod dress I made for her. I have the pattern ready to go but made it with out photographing a tutorial, so now I need to go back and make another so I can show ya’ll how to do it. It is SUPER easy though I think it will be handed down to Chloe pretty fast as Evie is going through a growth spurt and I am not into bootie dresses for toddlers. But here’s a little sneak peak.

It really is such a simple little dress that I almost feel silly sharing a pattern for it. But as is the case here if you get the right fabric it can be pretty darn adorable. Gotta love Amy Butler right? Hope your weekend was more successful and infinitely more warm then mine!



02.21.13{photography} Finding Love on the Map

It’s almost the weekend!! Yay! I thought I would share some of my fav photos from a shoot I did a while ago. A few months ago my little sister and her hubby were kind enough to model for me for a mini shoot shop. It was FREEZING cold that day and I spent most of the time helping the ladies with their cameras making sure they got the shots they wanted, so I didn’t have too many pictures to offer her. I decided the only fair thing to do was to drag them out the next morning and make them do it all over again… only this time with no coats and with water involved ha! Paul was a geography major in undergrad (now law student) and they both want to travel the world so I came up with the idea of using lots of globes and maps and them being stranded trying to find their way. It is funny how after a photoshoot I look at the images and always come up with other shots that I wish I had captured. But there is always the next shoot right?

I hope you have an amazing weekend! Chris and I decided we would try and do a photo shoot with all four kids this weekend. We want to put up our wall gallery but thought a picture where chloe is actually standing would be good ha! Heaven help us it should be an adventure!


02.20.13{personal} Blitz trip to Italy

For Christmas Chris gave Samantha and I a weekend trip to Italy. Well, he purchased the flights and paid for the rental car, we were lucky enough to have a friend to stay with in Milan (Thanks Zoe!!). We flew out late Friday night, drove to Milan, woke up at 6:30am and drove to Florence for the day. I have spent a few weeks in Rome but had forgotten the amazing “feel” that comes with Italy. I have become so accustomed to the tense energy I feel comes along with Paris. Quiet people, dressed in pressed black clothing rushing from metro train to metro train. Now don’t get me wrong I love Paris and will be excited to see it during the warmer months but just physically being in Italy I felt, warmer. People didn’t avoid eye contact and my smiles were returned. Plus, um there is a gelateria on every corner. I am a hug fan of bread so Paris has got me there, but I am fairly certain I would gain a good 50 pounds during a two year tour in Italy. Ice cream is my “thing”.

Florence was magical and I am dying to see it in the spring when flowers pour off balconies and I am not shivering as I eat my gelato. I completely caught my breathe (and Samantha’s arm) when we rounded the little side street corner and BAM right in front of us was the Duomo.

We had an amazing lunch at a place suggested by good ‘ole Rick Steves that was at least 3 times the cost he had it listed as (I guess thats what happens when you make it into Rick Steve’s travel guide right?) I had to refrain from lifting my plate to my face and licking it ha! We visited the Basilica di Santa Croce where Michelangelo, Galileo, Dante, Machiavelli are buried. We actually walked right past it first thanks to my silly GPS, I actually stopped and took a picture of the “random” although not so random, church.

We then weaved our way back to the car passing countless fun touristy stores.

We then drove all the way back up to Milan where I was lucky enough to meet a blog reader and a fellow Foreign Service officer who is moving to East Timor this summer. We stayed up way to late chatting and laughing and eating as much of Zoe’s home made minestrone as I could shove in. The next day we set off to explore Milan itself. I could not believe how good Zoe’s little guy was the entire time. He walked the whole day and didn’t complain ONCE!! After one block my kids would have been whining and crying about how “tired” they are etc. Though you could tell he had seen some of the exhibits before.

I actually snapped the above picture in the duomo in Milan where you have to pay 5 euro for a wristband to wear that allows you take pictures. There are girls in red cloaks that jump out at you and make sure you do have a wristband and get mad at you if you don’t. When one jumped at me I said to Zoe “No one expects the spanish inquisition!!” (name that source). I did NOT buy a wrist band but figured since I was taking a picture of Owen and not the architecture I was okay. You could take as many outside as you want.

It reminds me of the drippy sand castles I would make as a child. Oh and the building on the right is the oldest “shopping mall” in the WORLD! How cool is that? And so fitting that it is in Milan no? This was also when Samantha’s shooting in manual lesson ended ha! Though the building looks awesome….

Interesting tid bit, there is a statue on the Duomo that people say Frédéric Bartholdi  copied for the Statue of Liberty design.

We stopped by the church where the Last Supper Fresco is but unfortunalty we didn’t get to actually see it as tickets were already gone when we found out we were coming. The church itself was a work of art.

After a quick stop for Gelato it was off to the airport and home to Paris! It was an incredibly fun weekend and a fabulous Christmas present! I can’t wait to go back and explore more of Italy when it is warm and I have a real excuse to buy gelato every ten seconds. Plus how kid friendly is that? Bored? Here’s another gelato ha! I am thinking next it will be Venice though. Anyone been there? Would the kids be okay on the gondolas?



02.19.13{personal} Celebrating American Style

Holidays are always really fun in the Foreign Service. Mainly because Chris receives both local AND American holidays off, whoot whoot (up to a certain limited number but still we will take it ha!) We never know if the kiddos school holidays are going to line up and often we find ourselves with the kids in school and Daddy off. This was the case on Monday for Presidents day. We actually had concocted a grand plan where we would get up super early and be at Disneyland Paris at 8am when it opened to season pass holders. We thought we would walk right on a bunch of rides then once the crowds came we would already be done and on our way! The kids were pretty excited as well and were all for going to bed a bit early so we could but up and gone before the sun was up. Unfortunately last week was international week at the boys school so their teachers postponed their Valentines celebration until yesterday. I hadn’t mentioned it to the boys. I had asked a friend to take their valentines in and their teachers to set aside the ones they received and we would pick them up later. When I was preparing the valentines to take down to the friend Finn came out rubbing his eyes asking one question or another and stopped dead in his tracks when he saw his valentines. “What are you doing with my valentines mom?” ” Getting them ready for Sarah to take to school for you since we are doing Disney tomorrow” “I don’t want to go to Disneyland. I want to go to school” SERIOUSLY?!?!?! “Finn, I already talked to your teacher and she is getting all your valentines for you” Whimper whimper “But I want to go to school for the party” What do you say to that? Chris and I looked at each other and shrugged. So our plans were amended a bit. The boys headed off to school and we got a later start, but with just the “princesses” in toe. It actually turned out pretty awesome (Except I totally forgot a coat for myself1 How many times have you done that as a mom? Everyone else has their bagillion of items they need and you forget about what you need ha!). We were able to focus only on the cute gentle rides that the girls love and the boys whine about.

 Usually Chloe is nuts about the tea cups but between juggling the camera and snuggling Evie we couldn’t get it going very fast. Chris and I blamed the wheel not turning very well on the cold… not our weak arms ha!

Chloe’s absolute favorite is Its A Small World. For some reason no one got in the far line so we practically walked on. I literally looked around several times thinking we were breaking some rule or cutting people, but nope people just didn’t notice it was there.

Then it was over to the carousel. I had forgotten that Evie is actually TERRIFIED of riding on carousel horses… just horses. She will ride the motorcycle and airplanes etc. at our neighborhood carousel but literally screamed and flailed as I tried to put her on a horse. But can you blame her? They are kinda creepy when you really look at them.

So she and Chris went to chill on an “exciting” bench. Of course then Chloe got all upset so we ended up joining them. Along with a little girl with a broken arm, who I am thinking the benches are actually made for :)

We got in line for Dumbo twice but just couldn’t make ourselves wait the 50 minutes, when every other ride you could almost walk on. I kept thinking about Jim Gaffigan joking that after standing in line for an hour for Dumbo he realized HE was the Dumbo ha! The second time we were ready to leave and had to trade Evie two oreos to get out of line. A price I was more then willing to pay. What will I do when I can’t barter with oreos? We were in and out in less then two hours. The girls positively ZONKED that afternoon and after a rushed noisy morning I sat quietly soaking up some sun on our deck. We ended the evening with a BBQ with some friends, thanks to the Marines who let us borrow their grill. Apparently it is illegal to have an open Flame in Paris but they reminded me that we live on the Embassy owned compound so we don’t live in Paris we live in America. Which brought me right back to “no mans land”. What a crazy existence!

Hope your Presidents day was fantastic!