September 19th, 2013 |
Cooking, Recipes, Uncategorized | 1 Comment
Exciting news in my world: I got a job! I have been a stay-at-home mom since we moved to California two months ago, and I’m not a huge fan of it. I love my daughter to pieces, but I think we’re all a lot happier when I am working. I crave being busy and being around adults, Dave wants back in as the equal parent, and we know that Alice misses friends, activities, and the schedule of school (even for a two-year-old!). Huge kudos to all of you stay-at-home moms who somehow stay sane and motivated!
I start my job in three weeks, so now I have this sweet vacation time to enjoy with Alice before everything gets busybusybusy again. Now that I have a job lined up, I have a million projects I want to finish. Why didn’t I just work on them the last two months? Ha!
Today we combined four of Alice’s favorite things: helping in the kitchen, using cookie cutters in play dough, cheese, and crackers. We made homemade animal- and heart-shaped cheese crackers!
I couldn’t believe how easy these were to make! And they really do taste like Cheez-Its! Seriously, give this recipe a try. It’s quick, fun, and super delicious.
(recipe from Shopgirl by way of BHG)
- 8oz shredded cheddar cheese (or whatever cheese you like!)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 tbs unsalted butter, softened
- 3 – 4 tbs ice water
- Mix together the shredded cheese, 1/2 tsp of salt and the softened butter.
- Add in the flour and mix until combined.
- With the mixer running, begin adding the ice water and mix until a soft dough forms. Use as much ice water as you need for a dough to form.
- Divide the dough in two, form each into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 375* F and line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Roll the dough out on a floured surface into about an 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into 1″ squares with a pizza cutter or fluted pastry cutter, or cut into fun shapes using tiny cookie cutters.
- Transfer your crackers onto the baking pans and sprinkle them with salt.
- Bake for about 7 – 10 minutes, or until they have puffed up and the edges begin to brown. Let cool before eating.
Warning: these will go fast! I swear all I heard Alice say today was “More cracker?”.
August 29th, 2013 |
Sewing | 0 Comments
A lot has happened in the six months since I last checked in with you all! My husband graduated from graduate school and got a job, I left my job, we moved from Oregon to California, Alice turned two, and I finished my quilt!
I followed Bee in my Bonnet‘s row along, and it only took me 8 months (!!).
You can see everyone’s quilts on flickr here. It’s so fun to see how different they all look, even with the same pattern.
I quilted it on my regular sewing machine, just using a wavy stitch and my walking foot. It was the first time I ever used a walking foot, and it was quite an adventure. There are a lot of mistakes (lines not even distance apart, missed stitches, etc.), but even I barely notice them when looking at the finished quilt.
I guess I was on an insect kick with the bee label, butterfly back, and dragonfly border. I am in love with the scrappy binding!
Sweet dreams little Alice! I’m sure she’ll be sleeping on a twin bed and snuggling beneath this quilt before I know it. For now, she’s sleeps in her crib and uses her quilt for fort building during the day.
Because I had never quilted before, I made an extra bee label into a little practice doll quilt.
It looks like Alice is picking her nose here, but really she’s just “shhh”-ing the sleeping teddy bear.
Yay for quilts! I think I will make a much simpler one for my next quilt project.
February 23rd, 2013 |
Crafts, Quilting, Sewing | 2 Comments
I’ve been keeping up with the Bee in my Bonnet Row Along and love watching my quilt grow and grow. Only five more rows to go! I feel much more confident with piecing now, but am very nervous about the next steps of actually quilting and binding. Eeks!
I was all caught up on the quilt, and actually had a few minutes to sew something for me! My iPad usually lives on the front of the kitchen cabinet, but I needed a case for when I travel. I found this tutorial which was just perfect! I love having the zippered pocket in the front for the charger, headphones, etc.
It was so satisfying to start and finish a project within a couple of hours! So I decided to take a break from the quilt for another week and make Alice these adorable little beanbags.
Aren’t they fun?
Dave and Alice think so!
February 12th, 2013 |
Crafts, Gocco, Holidays | 1 Comment
With Christmas presents and my quilt-in-progress, I have not had much time for more crafting. But how could I resist making Valentines for Alice’s cutie little daycare friends?
I found this idea on Pinterest (of course!) from Tutto Bella Blog. I broke out my gocco and printed up some little cards on blank index cards.
I’m obsessed with Pick Your Plum, but so far I have just bought up a bunch of cute crafty supplies and not used many of them yet. This was the perfect use for these cute polka dot bags and bakers twine. Each bag holds two clementines.
Aren’t they sweet? I hope Alice’s little friends love clementines as much as she does!
Happy Valentine’s Day from my cutie to yours!
October 27th, 2012 |
Baby, Crochet, Sewing | 4 Comments
I have always loved Halloween, but I’m not much of a scary Halloween person. I’m also not much of a dress my baby as a princess person. I’m sure that one Halloween before I know it, Alice is going to want me to make her a princess or a witch, but until then, I’ll dress her up in cute little forest animal costumes.
I used this super easy tutorial from Prudent Baby. I made the costume a little big on her so that she can use it for dress-up as she grows older. Who doesn’t need a bird costume in their dress up box?
Alice is walking just in time to trick-or-treat! We’ll just visit a few houses of some good friends, but maybe we’ll let her have a taste of candy this year.
Last year I crocheted this hat for my bitty bear the night before Halloween following this YouTube tutorial. She was such a grumpy baby back then! It’s so nice to have a cheery 14-month old for Halloween this year!
October 14th, 2012 |
Baby, Sewing | 1 Comment
We had family photos taken when Alice turned one, and I couldn’t be happier with them. Alice is quite the serious, skeptical kid in public, so we were nervous that subjecting her to a photo session would be rough. But Alice was in a great mood and the photographer very sweet, so we ended up with some adorable photos.
Who do you think Alice looks like? We can never decide!
I made Alice’s dress from the Butterick See & Sew B5639 pattern which only cost me $2.99 at Joann Fabrics.
On the front of the pattern envelope there is a red box that says “YES! It’s easy.” Luckily, that was true, and I was able to sew the dress and bloomers in less than three hours. Which was useful as I started it the night before and finished it 10 minutes after we were supposed to leave to meet the photographer.
She got to wear her cute summer dress a few more times before the rain set in here in Oregon. It’s officially fall here now!
October 7th, 2012 |
Sewing | 1 Comment
I tried to make a quilt once before. I promised my now husband that I would make him a quilt on our first month anniversary. I bought fabric, cut out squares, and sewed them all together on my dorm room floor. I didn’t know the first thing about quilting and definitely did not have any of the right tools. I just sewed the squares together in long wonky lines, then sewed them into a giant, crazy rectangle. And that’s how far I got. I packed that hideous quilt top into a box, and have kept it that way for nine years. My husband still asks me from time to time when he’s getting that quilt I promised him.
I swore off quilting, thinking that it was putzy and took too long for gratification. But I keep seeing so many beautiful quilt tutorials posted on pinterest, I have a growing stash of fabric scraps, and I have an adorable little girl to sew for. So it was only time before I started on a scrap quilt for Alice. Maybe if this one goes well, my next quilt will be for my husband.
I stumbled on Bee in my Bonnet’s row along when she was on the second row. I think that was fate!
She has step-by-step photo instructions that are so clear and easy to follow. I made my first “according to the rules” quilt rows.
She posts a new row every two weeks, so it’s not too overwhelming. The quilt won’t be finished until next spring. Which is fine my me, because this will be for Alice once she moves to a twin bed.
Do you recognize some of the fabrics? I spy Alice’s bonnet, crib rails, fabric beach balls, snuggler, pinafore, and more!
Anyone up to give it a try? The fourth row will be posted this week. You can still catch up! There is also a Flickr group, so you can go check out everyone’s super cute rows.
September 29th, 2012 |
Baby, Sewing | 1 Comment
I made this adorable crib sheet months ago, and apparently forgot to post it here! The first two photos were taken when I made it, and the last one was taken this week. Alice is growing like a weed!
I used this tutorial from Prudent Baby. Do you all follow Prudent Baby? If not, you should! It’s a great hip, crafty mama blog and they have fantastic fabric giveaways every week.
I was lucky enough to win a $250 gift certificate to Fabric Worm! What will I do with all of that fabric??
Oh, I have plenty of ideas!
September 22nd, 2012 |
Amigurumi, Baby, Crafts, Crochet, Sewing | 1 Comment
Alice had her first birthday in August! I can’t believe it’s been a year already and I don’t have a tiny baby any more. But I have to admit, I much prefer having a one-year old over having a newborn. Sleep is a wonderful thing, and so is watching Alice pick up new skills by the hour. She’s amazing!
My birthday gift to her was this super cute elephant jumper and amigurumi elephant. I grew up with the Ed Emberly drawing books, so I can’t get enough of this elephant fabric. Isn’t it adorable?! I want the rest of the fabric collection! The elephant amigurumi pattern is from the Tiny Yarn Animals book.
The dress is reversible! The pattern is the Jump-N dress from Olive Ann Designs. The dress is a bit too big on her now, but it should fit some time in the next year.
We had a quiet birthday with just the three of us. I promise I’ll throw big, fun parties when Alice gets a bit older. But this time, we just had a picnic in the park and Alice got to eat her first processed sugar. I made homemade funfetti cupcakes and she loved them (of course).
Update with a photo of Alice wearing the elephant dress. It finally fits her now that she is 20 months old.
September 15th, 2012 |
Cooking, Recipes | 0 Comments
My coworker and her husband who have a farm and a beautiful farmhouse kitchen hosted a group of us for a canning day. We bought all of the vegetables fresh off the farm, got our arms elbow deep in tomatoes, and didn’t sit down for eight hours.
Andria and Corinne at the start of the tomato processing assembly line. Scoring, boiling, peeling.
Tara squeezing out the seeds.
Our farmer host, Amber, dicing away. We used 90 pounds of tomatoes!
So. much. salsa.
We also made pickles. Here they are before we poured the hot brine in. Aren’t they pretty?
The bounty: 52 jars of salsa and 20 jars of pickles!
Salsa for Canning
recipe adapted from pickyourown.org
- 15 lbs tomatoes
- 2 cups lemon juice
- 3 cups chopped onion
- 6 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced (or not seeded if you like hot salsa!)
- 4 cloves diced garlic
- 2 six-ounce cans tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp salt (optional)
- 1 Tbsp sugar (optional)
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp cumin (optional)
- 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
- Peel, seed, and dice tomatoes. Place in a large stock pot.
- Add all other ingredients in and bring to a simmer.
- Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, sterilize jars and lids and heat up hot water bath.
- Fill the jars to within 1/4″, wipe off rim, and put lids and rings on. Hand tighten.
- Put the jars in the hot water bath with at least 1″ water over the top. Boil for 15 minutes.
- Lift the jars out of the water and let them cool in a draft-free place overnight. Listen for the wonderful popping noise.
Tomatoes are difficult to can because they are not very acidic, which is why you have to add lemon juice. Do not alter the proportions of the recipe. Check out the National Center for Home Food Preservation for canning information.