Maternity Dress

Hello there! In case you missed the big news, we’re expecting a baby girl in August and are thrilled of course! It’s funny how immediately your mind starts planning for their arrival. I mean we have all the necessities from Wallaby, but mostly I want to sew a million things for her, dresses being at the top of the list, but I’d also like to try making my own baby carrying wrap, they look so easy but I’m torn on the fabric choices, so if you have any suggestions I’m listening!


In the meanwhile I have been working on my wardrobe to fit my ever expanding belly, mostly alterations, but I did tackle a dress. Here in Arizona there is nothing better than wearing skirts and dresses to beat the heat, plus the lack of a waistband digging into your pregnant belly is the best option ever.

I started with the Simplicity 1755 pattern and altered it from there. I had to raise the waistline, to ya know, chest line since a pregnant waist is an oxymoron and I played around with the pleats a lot to keep them lying flat over my belly. The center pleats are 2.5 inches deep and leaving the space between them allows it to lay so nicely. I also made the front hemline slightly longer than in the back to keep the hem from looking totally a-line when I’m nine months.  And instead of the darts to fit the chest I put in slight gathers to keep the top looser fitting and more comfortable.

Maternity Dress   I    Wildfire Kisses

Overall I’m pleased with how the dress ended up and I even made matching bow ties for my husband and Wallaby from some of the leftover fabric. If you know of any other great Maternity patterns I am all ears!

Wallaby Says

Hello there after a 3 month hiatus. Let’s ease back into things with a Wallaby update! Well he’s still adorable.


We went through an awful month+ of everyone catching everything!  Wallaby topped it all with a double ear infection. The lymph node behind his left ear got so swollen that the poor little guy looked like this


Notice how flat his right is and that poor lefty. Thankfully a few natural remedies and few days of his ear draining and he’s been better for a while now, and his ear is normal again thank goodness!
Wallaby has been talking up a storm lately, full blown sentences, so I thought I’d do a first ever, Wallaby Says.

Casey taught Wallaby how to “take someone’s nose” and once after stealing my nose
Valerie said: Hey put that back!
Wallaby: I not doctor mom.

He’s been extra thankful lately, for example, lunch yesterday
Wallaby: Nank you mom, applesauce. Nank you mom, ppj sandswich. Nank you mom, my milk.

I asked him whether he liked mom or dad more.
Wallaby without hesitation: Dad.  Dad, dad, dada, dad, dad, daddy.

In church when the sacrament was passed.
Wallaby: Mmm, this good bread.
He then stood up on The Grizzly Kid’s lap to say, “Nank you! That nice boy.”

After the young lady at Sonic brought our food out.
Wallaby called from the back seat: Have nice day lady!

Once after stealing The Grizzly Kid’s nose.
TGK: Where’s my nose?
Wallaby: I put up in cosmos.
We have no clue where he learned that word.

He heard the song “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith in the store and started singing along. Well the next day:
Wallaby: Mom, play with me. Mom, play with me. Mom, (breaks into song) plaaay with meee!

And that is all for this edition of Wallaby Says. I hope your weekend is going splendidly!

Christmas Cards

Merry Christmas to you!

We went out a couple weeks ago to take some family photos for our Christmas cards and here are the results, complete with Arizona style Christmas tree. We took our tripod out and did it ourselves, so nothing too fancy, and we had fun, until Wallaby was done (notice the pictures with sucker in hand) and then we packed it up and played at the playground about a foot out of frame.

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We even had a few (hundred) outtakes.

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I hope your holidays and Christmas week are all wonderful!

Birthday Boy

Somehow starting Sunday, The Grizzly Kid and I have a two year old.


Toddler-hood has begun and from what we have experienced so far it is a hoot and a bag of mixed emotions for us all. Wallaby can go from laughing to crying in seconds flat, he says the best and most random things, he is constantly learning, he is slowly becoming more adventurous/willing to leave our side, and he has the most tender disposition.

We love each day with him, so here is a preview of what you’re missing:

  • He is in love with all things planes, trains, and automobiles.


  • Not to mention Legos.
  • wpid-img_20141104_091156.jpg Last week Wallaby helped me take the garbage can out to the street and then he got upset that we were leaving the “big turtle” out on the street.
  • He is kind of OCD. Certain toys go together, he insists his parents make their bed in the mornings, etc.
  • Wallaby is a total social butterfly. He takes a while to warm up to people but he hates being alone. When it’s just us he begs to have one of us playing with him at all times, but when his cousins are here we won’t see him for hours.
  • For the longest time he has been repeating the first syllable on each word he says, “may-may” for Mater, “pitz-pitz” for pizza, etc. but he is starting to shift to saying the whole word.
  • He weighs just over 27lbs
  • After living here for months with a dozen cousins to play with he is finally starting to stand up for himself and fight back for toys taken from him.
  • I thought letting his hair grow out would help his crazy cowlick to lay flat. False. Alfalfa for-eeever.


  • He loves music, it’s the first thing he requests when we get in the car. Favorite songs include: “Life is a Highway” and “Real Gone” as seen on the movie Cars, “Everything is Awesome” via the Lego movie, “Woody’s Roundup” from Toy Story 2, and “Do you wanna build a Snowman” from Frozen. I’m sensing a connection… From the non-movie music genre he loves “Edge of Seventeen” by Stevie Nicks–he sings along saying “mmm, baby”. He also enjoys female anthems like R-E-S-P-E-C-T, and Shake it Off.
  • Favorite foods include pizza, popcorn, smoothies, and any type of bread.
  • He sleeps from about 7:30pm to 6:40am and takes a two-ish hour nap each afternoon.
  • Batman is his favorite super hero


  • But he may get that from his dad…


  • My favorite thing he has started to say is “oh, nanks” (oh, thanks) after I get him some food or a toy. And if you explain something to him he say, “oh” like he really gets it.
  • He loves to help cook and lately has been insisting that I need a chair at the counter too no matter how many times I explain that I am tall enough to not need one.
  • Wallaby will beg to be read a hundred books a day, he’ll cry if we go past the library without going in, and sometimes he even wakes up early but reads quietly to himself.


  • Hiking is one of our favorite activities, although that last 4 mile hike was a bit too long for him to be in the hiking backpack, plus it felt more like 8 miles since I was packing an extra 27lbs of Wallaby … we’re slowly building up our endurance.
  • He is usually sweet as can be


  • unless he doesn’t get his way. Like the time Dad wouldn’t go downstairs to pick up his sippy cup that was about a foot away from him.


  • When I ask him what he wants for his birthday he usually answers “cake”. Good choice. I think I might attempt a Lego cake… I’ll be lucky if it looks that good.
  • When I hint that he might possibly be getting a bike for his birthday he says “pink bike?”. So I hope he won’t be too disappointed when it’s red ; )

Mostly we have lots of fun navigating Wallaby’s new found sense of well everything–he wants freedom, control, choices, etc. He’s learning who he is and we’re just here to help him on his way, I pray we’re doing this parenting thing right, but so far no regrets. Happy Birthday Wallaby!


Loaded Cornbread

Remember my cornbread and chili cook-off post? Well I made both for our church Halloween party and while the chili recipe I used was really good (and mostly gone before we left) it didn’t win. My cornbread however, won second place! I combined 3 recipes and then added bacon, haha, how can you beat that? This cornbread is super fluffy but with the jalapenos, green onions, bacon, and cheese it isn’t crumbly at all. It is super delicious. I made it again last night purely for picture/research purposes…
 Loaded Cornbread Recipe  I  Wildfire Kisses

Loaded Cornbread

Makes 1 – 9×13 pan


  • 4 eggs, whites and yolks separated
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup cornmeal (best if freshly ground)
  • 2 cups flour (cake flour if you have it)
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked, drained, and broken into small pieces
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 small can diced jalapenos, drained
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a medium-size bowl, combine egg yolks, milk, vanilla, and melted butter and stir.
  3. Mix in cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt – stirring to incorporate, but do not over mix.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Carefully fold them into the batter.
  5. Mix in bacon, green onions, jalapenos, and cheese just until combined, try not to over stir.
  6. Pour into a greased 9×13 inch pan and bake for 35-45 minutes. It should be lightly browned on top and check with a toothpick to make sure it is cooked through.

Here is what the egg whites should look like before you mix them in


And here is what it looks prior to cooking.


Then look how much it rises, those egg whites really give this cornbread some lift.

Loaded Cornbread Recipe   I   Wildfire Kisses

We may or may not have been eating the leftovers for breakfast this morning, but it’s definitely best when warm and gooey. If you try it out, let me know what you think! This cornbread is going to be a staple around here.

Chili and Cornbread Cookoff

I am dreaming of scenes like this photo from my seat in this season-less desert. We’re still in the 90’s lately, can you imagine! But the nights/mornings are cool and we open the windows to get the slightest of fall chill.

Halloween is fast approaching and with that comes the annual church trunk-or-treat, and Chili and Cornbread competition! My dad usually entered the competition with the spiciest chili recipe he could think up—I get my love of spicy foods from him—but this is the first time I’ll be entering on my own.  As for cornbread, well, on the off chance I make any it is from a box and far too crumbly, so this is the perfect chance to find a fabulous recipe.

Here are my top three cornbread recipes to try:

Bacon Cheddar Corn Bread –uses cake flour instead of corn meal, but has whole kernels of corn in it, so technically it’s still cornbread right?

Sweet Cornbread — a classic cornbread recipe, but you whip the egg whites separately, almost creating a meringue, and fold them into the batter last.

Pumpkin Cornbread — I love anything pumpkin related, but does it go as well with chili? It uses cornmeal and creamed corn, so plenty of corn flavor still, but it also uses molasses which I don’t keep on hand, and I kind of hate buying an ingredient for just one recipe.

Navajo Cornbread –Has diced jalapenos, green onions and cheese in it and I love all things spicy and cheesy

And here are my top contestants for chili recipes to try:

Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili — Um, it has jalapenos, bacon, and cream cheese in it–enough said.

Crockpot Chili — It has just about every spice out there in it, plus cocoa powder (apparently it’s the secret for getting a smoky taste?). It also mixes sausage with the ground beef, and says it’s best when cooked for essentially 2 days!

Quinoa Chili — A very different direction, since it’s meatless, and I love meat, but quinoa is a good protein too, so it’d still be hearty. Plus it also has a good list of spices.


Odds are, that whichever chili recipe I choose I will up the spice factor. And for cornbread I don’t have any fantasies that I’ll win the contest, but I am excited to simply find something more edible than the box mix.

Which recipes would you choose?