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Charleston, SC

I really feel like this summer is flying by!  I guess it is due to the crazy fun we’ve been having with our vacations, parties and get togethers.  That’s what summer is all about though right?  Because of all of this fun, I have been neglecting my sewing machine a bit to get outside and enjoy myself.

We just returned from a weeklong trip to visit friends in Charleston, SC.  What an amazingly beautiful city.  Some of the highlights of the trip included a day at Isle of Palms beach, a carriage ride through historic Charleston, a visit to the tea plantation and a morning at the Magnolia Plantation.  Absolutely breathtaking.  This post will be mainly pictures as they really speak for themselves.

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We also ate at some really cool places- including Taco Boy restaurant, and Barsa- a spanish tapas bar/restaurant with the most delicious paella.  The girls got into it by eating octopus and calamari.  I couldn’t help but take a few pics.

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It was the most perfect vacation; a blend of relaxing with friends and seeing the sights of the city.  I can’t wait to go back again!

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I’m in a New York state of mind

We just got back from an amazing, exhausting and all too short (and expensive!) trip to NYC.  Although I have been several times, and my husband spent much of his life living there, we always find new ways to explore the city.  This is the second time we have taken the girls, and it was a whole different ball game. The girls are old enough to know what they want to see and do, but still too young to really have enough energy to do it all!  We spent way too many hours walking to toy stores and looking at American Girl dolls, but still managed to get in some culture and (amazing) food.  The best part?  Taking the girls to Washington Heights to see where their Daddy grew up when he moved to the U.S. and watching him share a bit of his Dominican culture with them…along with the most delicious food from Malecon.  Too bad our hotel did not have a fridge and leftovers were not an option.  Ugh.  So good.

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Most of our first day was spent on the train, does Amtrak ever run on time?  After spending way too many hours aboard we decided to check into our hotel and stay close by.  Luckily we were staying near Times Square so walking around was easy…a bit too easy.  A visit to the Plaza (looking for Eloise), ridiculous pizza for dinner, American Girl doll store (we broke down and bought Eleanor Kit), Toys r us and the Disney store.  Crazy.

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After crashing for the night we spent the following day going to Central Park, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park again to check out Belvedere Castle and headed uptown to Washington Heights for a walk around the “hood” and eat dinner.  Dessert was shaved ice on the street and we returned to walk around Rockefeller center.

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Our last day we headed towards the water.  First we stopped in Hell’s Kitchen to check out the flea market…which was a big disappointment compared to the bargain deals we have around here.  Then we headed to the South Street Seaport, had lunch and took the Staten Island Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty.  It was an absolutely beautiful day.  After exploring the sights, we headed back and went to Rockefeller center again, this time in daylight so that the girls could check out the Lego store.  So cool.

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It was a much needed trip out of town, but as with every vacation I am now recovering by doing laundry, grocery shopping, unpacking etc.  I always feel like I need a vacation from my vacation.  Right?  It might take a few days before I post about sewing, but I have a bunch of back to school sewing along with a few projects for myself…as well as my goodies from Purl to show you (couldn’t just do toy shopping!).   You might notice the cute little drawstring backpacks the girls wore on much of their trip.  The best thing ever.  Super easy way to get them to carry their own gear.  Perfect for the little lego cameras they used nonstop.  Tutorial of how to whip em up coming soon.  Until then I am going to relax, drink my coffee and start the laundry!

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*yikes.  I just previewed my post and saw that all of the girls outfits were handmade.  I guess I favor my own creations when it comes to packing…this way the girls have no choice of what to wear- ha ha.

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The day is almost over, but I’ve got to meet my challenge!

So, this is a pretty lame post, but I must keep my challenge…to post every day and contribute one item to the Kids Clothing Week Challenge website at: kidsclothesweek.com.  Today we spent the entire day at Jellystone Park, swimming, playing mini golf, going down water slides, baking in the sun and playing on the beach.  Overall a wonderful, sweaty, sticky, and wet summer day of fun.

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Before heading out there this morning I did manage to finish up this cute pair of sailboat shorts, too bad Isabel says they are too boyish.  Any little boys out there want them?  Seriously, send me a message at smallseams.gmail.com if you live local and have a little boy who wears a size 6.

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An easy pull on elastic waist, with a preppy sailboat cotton fabric.  I love them.  I remember having a top with a similar pattern on it when I was a kid and I loved it, but that was before little girls wore so much pink and bling.  Oh, the late 70’s and early 80’s when girls played with classic legos (did they really have to come up with pink legos?), star wars toys and wore whatever their Mom gave them to wear…or was that just me?

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Toronto: Spent, and I am not just talking money

I am spent.  Exhausted.  The heat does that to you, so does driving.  How do people do long road trips with kids.  A few hours is my limit!  Just got back from an awesome overnight adventure in Toronto, I also spent way too much money.   Doesn’t that always happen when you are out of town, even if just for one night?  Thankfully, my dear friend Jen was up for following me on some craft shopping with  her little baby Leona (the real reason we went to Toronto- I swear!)  in tow and I made some great finds.  Of course I had to whip up a new dress for the occasion- pattern is from the Stylish Dress book- AGAIN, pattern A.  The fabric was a red tag apparel fabric from Joann’s- a black and white check with stretch.  Total cost=$9.  Awesome.  Thanks to Jen’s sneaky picture taking I have evidence of it. Was I that entranced that I didn’t notice she was snapping MULTIPLE pictures?

checking out the selection with Leona
checking out the selection with Leona

Our first shopping stop yesterday was at The Workroom.  I am in love with this place.  It has been my fantasy lately to open something similar in Buffalo, a cute little shop where folks can come in and use a sewing machine, collaborate together, pick up some amazing fabric and attend classes etc.  I would say next to Purl Soho in NYC, this has to be one of my favorite shops.   I also totally nerded out and introduced myself to the owner Karyn, who couldn’t be sweeter.  It was like meeting a celebrity in person, isn’t it strange meeting someone you have followed online?  I picked up and splurged on an amazing Liberty of London print  in the most beautiful deep pink hand sketched floral print to make a dress for myself, as well as coordinating prints for a bag and a sweet nautical fabric for a girls dress.

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We didn’t let the 90 degree heat get us down, as we walked from The Workroom to Romni wools so I could build up my stash of fabric and yarn.  Just what I need right?  Stopping on the way for an iced coffee sure hit the spot as well.  It is probably a good thing that you don’t live in Buffalo Jen, or I would be in trouble!  Thankfully the husbands took the other kids (three other girls between us!) to a splash pad and lunch while we meandered the city streets in search of crafty deals.  I had an amazing time!  The basement of Romni wools is like a labyrinth of bargain yarn, I could get lost in there for hours.  You never know what you are going to find, I always find something and visit every time I make it up to Toronto.  After our shopping was done we headed back to her house to eat some delicious Portugese chicken and hang out before heading to our hotel.  I think the hotel was the most exciting part of it for the girls, it doesn’ t matter where it is or how fancy or not- something about packing their bags (and dolls) and sleeping in a hotel is super-cool to them.  I love seeing their excitement and joy as they jump onto the beds and run around.  Hilarious.

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Before heading back home today we met up at The Junction Flea market and checked out some vintage and handmade goods and ate the most amazing Pollo Rojo tacos.

Yummy tacos, say Hi Bert!

Also, who knew iced coffee served out of the side of an airstream trailor would taste sooooo good?

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Of course the best part of our mini-vacation was seeing our girls play, laugh and bond together.

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Having been great friends for about 18 years (wow), Jen and I surely have a special bond- but seeing our little girls together has got to be the sweetest thing ever!  I was finally able to give baby leona my presents I posted about here.  Thankfully she still fit in the snugglers!

Even the crazy construction traffic on the QEW won’t deter us from planning our next visit- we can’t wait!

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