Monday, May 6, 2019

Back to School Messenger Bag

On this Labor Day, I completed a labor of love for Mr. P., my 5 and 3/4 year-old (as he insists on calling it) who starts kindergarten tomorrow!

I thought it would make the perfect Kindergarten bag since there's no homework at this age at his school, so the only thing he has to carry home besides his lunch box is information or work from school.

I took Mr. P. to F and S with me to pick out whatever fabric he wanted. He choose this army green faux suede and a pirate print for the inside pocket.

With each project I complete I learn something new, but with this project, the learning curve was way bigger than it's been in a while!

I got to make a strap, bind the whole thing, work with C clips and these round metal loop things that have a very official name that is slipping my mind.

What I came away with from this project is that the details really can take a great idea and make it superb. I love all the of repeat stitching lines in a color that pops! It was a simple theme repeated throughout the bag.

I hope he enjoys it as much as I do!!

I had him pose with the bag, telling him to make the kind of face he thinks kindergartners make:


Hm.......we'll see which face he wears on Wednesday!!

Friday, July 10, 2015

so long, for now

Well, it's been a fun ride. But life has gotten in the way and I have to say goodbye for now. I have so enjoyed all the time I spent on this blog and interacting with all of you! I will leave it up for a while if you need access to recipes or crafts. 

But fear not! There are MANY other places to find me online!

you can also become a fan of my author page on Facebook
So please stay in touch!! And if you haven't already, please buy my latest young adult novel, STRAYS! (click here to purchase or peruse)

Thank you and see you around!!!

Friday, April 17, 2015

apple cake

It's official. We moved. 

It was more exhausting than I ever thought it could be. 

I did manage to squeeze in some baking our first week home (once I located the bunt cake pan) I made the kids an apple cake. It looked so very pretty. The kids only gave it a 7 out of 10 (yes, they rate my cooking now, to add even more pressure.) 

The recipe comes from the blog Pretty Simple Sweet and you can find it here!

And did I mention I have a book coming out in less than a month?!?!? (Perfect time to move….NOT!)

Monday, March 30, 2015

winner of Hobbit Giveaway

The winner of the Hobbit Giveaway is Kayla who writes, "I got the bow and arrow!"

I will email you today for your mailing address! Everyone else, thanks for playing!

It's moving day for us tomorrow, so I may go radio silent for a while, but I hope you're all enjoying your Spring Break (if you are the spring breaking type!)

Friday, March 20, 2015

giveaway: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies closes 3/28

New Giveaway!!

So this is Mr. P's favorite movie series in the world! In his own nine-year-old words, "I love the action and the conflict!"

About the movie: "From Academy Award-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies," the third in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpieceThe Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" brings to an epic conclusion the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield and the Company of Dwarves. Having reclaimed their homeland from the Dragon Smaug, the Company has unwittingly unleashed a deadly force into the world."

And today, I'm giving a copy of the digital HD release of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. This is the final installment in the series.

This giveaway will close on March 28th and a winner will be announced on March 30th.

Header v2
While you're waiting to see if you win, check out The Hobbit The Battle of the Five Armies Blog App!

• Are you Battle Ready? Take the quiz to uncover your Middle-Earth Weapon of choice!
• Mouse over the Interactive Map to learn fun facts about Middle-Earth.
• Watch the official trailer & click the box art to bring the film home today!

To be eligible for this giveaway, take the blog app quiz and uncover your Middle-Earth Weapon of choice!!

Please leave a comment sharing which weapon you reveived as well as your email address so that I may contact you if you win.

This giveaway is restricted to US mailing addresses only.

If a winner is selected and contacted and I don't hear back from you by April 1st with your mailing address, a different winner will be selected.

Each household is only eligible to win One (1) Digital Download Coupon for The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.
FTC Guidelines

Saturday, March 7, 2015

sewing softies competition

This looks fun! Sew Mama Sew has put together a softies contest where you can sew and then enter your home grown softies for some great prizes!

Softies must fall into one of four categories: 

  • This Is My First Stuffed Animal, Soft Toy or Cloth Doll
  • I Designed it Myself
  • Check Out These Details
  • Overall Cute/Scary/Beautiful/Squeezability Factor
I thought if I were competing I'd be participating in category number one. But then I remembered these bunnies:

Or this tooth pillow?

And last but not least, this kind of creepy big brother love!!

So I guess instead I'd go for the overall "scary" category, right?

Sunday, March 1, 2015

social media maven

Where have I gone? For those of you still willing to come to my site, thank you! I know I've been less than present. I hadn't realized how much time my forthcoming novel publication would take me away from my beloved blog! That coupled with the fact that we are moving some time in the next 30 days. 

Please bear with me! I haven't had any time to craft and barely time to cook, let alone post about the cooking I am doing. 

But if you miss me (and I miss you!) here are a few ways you can stay in touch while things are busy!

I have given in and succumbed to every social media outlet - all at once!!
In one fell swoop, I joined:
Instagram: Jennifercaloyeras
Twitter: @Jencaloyeras

Goodreads: Jennifer Caloyeras (I have an author page there as well)

She Writes: Jennifer Caloyeras
and as always, you can find me on Facebook at Jennifer Caloyeras

But wait....there's more!
Become a fan of my Facebook author page: Jennifer Caloyeras

Only 76 days until Strays comes out! (not that I'm counting)

See you online!

Monday, February 2, 2015

appliqué book giveaway winner

The winner of the Applique book giveaway is… flower! Please be sure and contact me at meremadeblog (at) gmail (dot) com with your mailing information within the next week or an alternate winner will be chosen. And everyone else, I have a lot more craft book giveaways in the coming weeks so stay tuned!!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

giveaway: Applique Your Way

There are going to be a lot of crafty giveaways in your future! 

Today's giveaway is a great book by Kayte Terry called Applique Your Way! There are 35 cute sewing project (patterns and templates included) such this rose petal tee:

 and these adorable felt coasters! 

Read more about the book here. 

To enter, simply leave a comment on this post. One comment per person please. If you'd like an additional way to enter, all you have to do it "like" my author page on Facebook! 

This giveaway will close on Saturday, January 31st at 11:59 pm et. 

I'll pick a winner at random on Sunday, February 1st and a winner will be announced Monday, February 2nd. 

Winner MUST have a U.S. mailing address. I will email the winner and ask for their address. If I don't hear from you within 5 days, a second winner will be selected. 

Good luck!!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

what I ate #20

I've been eating well in the new year! (I know you were concerned!) 2015, thus far has been all about parlaying one meal into an entirely different  meal…….let me prove my point:

Once morning's buttermilk biscuits…. (by the way, I've made my share of buttermilk biscuits and these are by far the easiest most low maintenance biscuit I've ever come across)

Become tomorrow's egg sandwich. 

becomes tomorrow bahn mi! (With a leftover broth dipping sauce)

I've also been loving baked sweet potatoes for breakfast. Just cube, drizzle with bacon fat, salt and pepper and whole, fresh sage leaves and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes!

But the home run discovery this month has been this crispy salmon with with strawberry basil salsa!!!

All this and we're not even two weeks out yet!!!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

happy new years!!!

So, it would be prudent of me to resolve to post more, but truth be told, with an impending move and a book coming out in May I don't know that that is possible!!

Happy 2015!! Hope yours is off to a new start. I am home with a sick pickle, but he enjoyed his first two days back at school. Since I can't get any real work done with a child at home, I have spent the day…wait for it…..creating a powerpoint presentation about our guinea pigs for Doodle's upcoming kindergarten share. I kid you not. 

I have things to share with you! Mr. P's hockey 9th birthday party, things I cooked over the break! Our new obsession with hiking!

But for now, I'll leave you with my new author website. It's a work in progress, but feel free to bookmark it and visit when you'd like to be up on my latest writing news. If you're a blogger who'd like to host me for an author interview, a book giveaway or anything else, let me know!

Thursday, December 11, 2014


When I recently read about Roy Choi's new restaurant in Koreatown I was so excited to try it! Choi is the chef credited with founding the food truck movement that is so popular in L.A. through his flagship gourmet Korean taco truck, Kogi.

His latest restaurant, Commissary, is housed at the Line Hotel in Koreatown. The restaurant is on the second floor and is made to look like a green house. It is so beautiful in there, my photo doesn't even do it justice. And I'd imagine a rainy day might be the perfect time to come here! 

Here is the menu:

Just images - no descriptors. Though the wait staff will gladly go into detail about what is in a particular dish. (My lunch mate is a vegan, so we stuck to the vegetable side. The other side of the menu is mostly animal protein.) Choi wanted to make customers feel as though they are visiting someone in their garden. 

I was so busy enjoying the food that I forgot to take photos!! But we ordered the carrots (roasted with added balsamic over a green chimichurri sauce), quinoa (served with dried fruit), pumpkin (served as a stew atop rice and other veggies) and brussels sprouts (chopped finely and served in vinegar with fried okra.) It was all so good!!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

kids t-shirt

Well, I finally put some of that jersey to good use and made t-shirts for Doodle!

And one in this blue and white striped pattern. 

Mr. P. gave his brother a hug yesterday while he was wearing the green shirt and said, "Your shirt is so soft! MOM, can you make me one?" Music to my ears. Yes, yes I can!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

thanksgiving 2014

So, for the first time in about twelve years, my husband and I relinquished Thanksgiving dinner hosting duties and just showed up as guests this year and I have to say, it was magical! I awoke Thanksgiving morning, danced off to hip hop class and spent the rest of the day playing with the boys and not stressing about food!

Our oldest family friends have a place in Malibu right on the beach. You couldn't have made up a more beautiful backdrop for dinner. 

The kids loved playing on the beach and the sunset was incredible:

We brought wine and this gluten free, dairy free, no sugar added chocolate pie with coconut cream. Here is the recipe I used,  from Oh She Glows, but I added a whole banana. I had never made this before but it turned out really good!!

That's my sister on the left! She and I did some blurry cuddling post dinner. 

I could very well get used to being a guest for Thanksgiving!! However, we did manage to cook a Thanksgiving dinner Friday night for a "second Thanksgiving" with my parents and sister. 

In addition to our little turkey, we made brussel sprouts and bacon, sweet potato rounds (from Smitten Kitchen), fingerling potatoes, my mom brought a salad with cranberries and I made this roasted carrot dish from Circa Happy. Everyone was very nice and forgave the fact that somehow, the carrots never made it to the oven. They added a nice and surprising crunch, I suppose. I'd like to try this dish again and actually bake them the next time around.  

Friday, November 21, 2014

what i ate #19

Just busy. Busy. Busy. Busy. 

Birthday party to plan, holidays to sort out, parents having surgery (Everyone is fine!), dogs to train, a house to build, libraries to volunteer in, an author website to build, a book to publish……like I said, busy busy busy. 

But there's always time to eat!

I've been trying hard to stick to my no sugar, no wheat, no dairy policy. Halloween threw me for a loop, but I'm back on track. And thank goodness Starbucks now offers coconut milk! Coconut milk lattes are delicious!!

Here's a few things I've had over the last few weeks:

There's been no shortage of pomegranates over here and I've been trying to incorporate them into everything I eat! (we are even adding a pomegranate tree at our new house)

kabocha squash soup with pomegranate and pepitas

kabocha squash is my absolute favorite. The pepitas add a nice crunch and the pomegranates give it a pop of flavor. 

This has become my go to salad. In the photo below you'll see I've substituted roasted broccoli for the cauliflower. Whatever is in the fridge. What I love about this salad are all the interesting flavors and textures together: apple, cabbage, herbs, radishes and scallions….

These lamb meatballs sprinkled with mint and pomegranate are so good! Substitute turkey for lamb. Add some heat and dip in a yogurt sauce to cool your mouth. 

Cod with raw beet and carrot salad. Stick an edible flower on a plate and I'm sold. 

Friday, November 14, 2014


Here are a few photos from Halloween. Slim pickings as my camera phone ran out of space. My dad took some on his camera, but I haven't had a chance to get those from him yet, so you're left with Mr. P.'s homemade jester costume and the dogs as a taco and a camel!

I have to say, that jester costume was by far the easiest costume I've ever made. I constructed it as a vest so he just had to wear a long sleeve black t-shirt underneath. Stay tuned for Doodle's knight costume!!

Friday, October 31, 2014

happy halloween!

Even though there's rain predicted in L.A. tonight, it's not going to stop us from having fun! The only thing scarier than a rainy Halloween is our crazy drought!

Here was this morning's costumes in action. No, I did not sew these costumes. 

But I did sew tonight's costume change!!! Photo to follow. 

The teachers all joined in in a Thriller flashmob choreographed dance that was amazing! Making braised short ribs and kabocha squash soup for dinner before we get out there. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Underwood Farms

I think this was our 8th year at Underwood Family Farms. 

Same kids, same gags.

But this time, we brought the puppy.

We now have pumpkins for days!!!