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Archive for February, 2009

“yawn”

the last few nights, CeeCee has been quietly sneaking down to our room.  I don’t even know she is there until I roll over and there she is.  Spooks me every. single. time.  It is usually around 4AM and she does not want to go back to bed.

The solution?  Wish I had one.  One night she ended up sleeping in Brie’s bed, though Brie later expressed that “sissy sleep in her bed, I sleep in my bed.”   Another night she just kept coming back down, and then last night she just cried.  Poor kid, tired mom.

Hoping this is just a phase.  I think the number of full nights of sleep we have gotten since the twins came home has finally gone over 30.  I wish I was exaggerating there, but it’s the awful truth.  The last stint was almost five days with no interruptions at night.  Is it too much to ask to sleep at night?  I think not.

Working on an alfredo-type recipe to share, hopefully after I get a good night’s sleep tonight.

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First off, I frustrate myself.  The batteries died in my camera, simple enough.  We are out of batteries, not uncommon.  I go to the store this weekend and leave without the batteries that were ON MY LIST!  I frustrate myself.  I wanted to take pictures of and share a couple dresses.    So please pardon me this one (okay, second) time that I am posting photos off of my cell phone! 

First is one of the twins in a dress my mom made.  Bright, fun, flexible for winter, fall, or even into spring.  It’s a lightweight corduroy, so I doubt we will wear it in the summer.  It’s big enough that I am betting it will still be around in the fall as well…petite little boogers.  

Isn’t it a cute one!  Not quite the clean lines and simple (read easy) style I usually make.  Thanks mom for being a better sewer than I am and for making great clothes for my kids! 

I have to share one of my favorites she ever made for the older two, just so I could include a real photo.  These were flower girl dresses (summer 2007) and I still have them for the twins to wear at Easter or Christmas or something  down the road, they are so pretty!

See, my mom is a great seamstress!  I have so much to learn. 

That brings me to this next piece.  A bit of background here.  I have been reading a good bit lately about recycled fashion.  People are making great outfits out of cast-aside garments that have lots of wear left in them.  I wanted to give it a try.  I started with a black turtleneck sweater that I’ve been holding onto since before the twins were with us.  It had a big logo on the neck for a company I represented.  I no longer represent them and I had purchased the sweater too big.  It has hung in my closet for a long time because “it had hardly been worn” and “surely, I can do something with it.”  Well, I finally got the scissors out and did it!   Here is the end result:

Again, pardon the phone photo and really, black is hard to photograph anyways, isn’t it? 

It was so easy and took literally 30 minutes (minus the cute logo-covering felt applique.)  I simply turned the shirt inside out and put it on my girl.  Liz is the fashionista and was more than happy to oblige.  I marked where her armpits were and pinned it up above the shoulders so the neckline would fit her okay.  Took it off, cut the sleeves off completely, started at the bottom side seems, sewed a straight line up to her pit and then turned and went to the old arm holes.  I finished it off by slicing open the turtleneck and lettuce edging all the, well, edges.   It looks so cute in person.  I can see her pairing it with leggings in the spring as well as with the jeans she choose this day.   The belt she found matches  the applique perfect.  Here’s the applique so you can see my mad hand-sewing skills (ha! I have a lot to learn, this part took me an hour!!!)

Jane picked this out after a flickr browsing session.  Click here for her inspiration, it’s so  much prettier than what we came up with.  I have so much to learn when it comes to hand-sewing and embroidery.  These wool felt pieces were part of scrap bags I ordered from Weir Doll and Craft, nice bags if anyone is in the market for them.

The next upcycled project I am going to make will be from a couple wool sweaters I am felting right now.   A summer-sky blue skirt for Jane and jumpers for the twins.  In my free time, that is.

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PEANUT BUTTER CHEWS

aka ADVENTURES IN DADDYHOOD!

CHAPTER (Shoot, I’m not even sure what I’m up to…5?):  DADDY VS. SICKNESS

CURRENT SCORE:      DADDY-7        COLD-6

As you can see, I am finally starting to beat the cold that has been black plaguing my family for weeks.  To my adoring fans, take heart:  All is well and I will post again, post-haste, in the near future.  Until then, please enjoy this not-so-Trying Traditional recipe.

WARNING!!!!            WARNING!!!!        WARNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The following is not, repeat, not Trying Traditional.  There is nothing healthy about this.  There is nothing “trying” or “traditional” to be found below.  These are guaranteed to add pounds.  But, praise be to the Most High, they taste sooooooo good!

PEANUT BUTTER CHEWS

1 CUP SUGAR                                                      1 CUP CORN SYRUP

1CUP PEANUT BUTTER                                  1 TEASPOON VANILLA

5 CUPS OF CORN FLAKES

Have the corn flakes ready in a large mixing bowl.

In a heavy saucepan, mix together sugar and corn syrup and bring mix to a boil.

Boil mix for ONLY 1 MINUTE!!   Remove from heat.  Stir in peanut butter and vanilla.  Mix well.

Before the mix has a chance to cool off too much, pour mix over the corn flakes.  Stir, gently, until all cornflakes are coated.

Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper.  Allow to cool.  Enjoy.  And for the love of Pete, try not to eat them all in one sitting.  Pace yourself! 

My personal thanks to Julia (name changed to protect the innocent) at my first place of employ who introduced me to these and was kind enough to give me the recipe.

ATTENTION….ATTENTION!!!!  BAD RECIPE IS FINISHED.  YOU MAY PROCEED TO MORE HEALTHY, LIFE LENGTHENING RECIPES FOUND ELSEWHERE IN THIS BLOG.  MOVE ALONG….NOTHING TO SEE HERE!

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just because

you can dress them up, but they will still have fun!

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I get quite a few hits daily on my site from people searching for tips and instructions on making butter at home.   I was thinking about this the other day as I was spreading yummy, cultured butter on our breakfast toast.  I reply to people about any questions they have and am thinking it is time to write about some of the most common concerns about making butter.  

A few tips on butter making, for the original how-to, click HERE.

  • Good quality cream makes all the difference in your end product.  I skim my cream after the jar of raw milk has sat in the fridge for a day or two.  The cream is pretty thick at the top and easily scoops out (consistency puts me in mind of an almost set pudding.)  Also, we get Jersey milk and I hear their cream churns easier, though I have no experience with any other.
  • Allowing your cream to culture some should increase your amount of butter in the end as well as decrease the amount of time it takes to churn.  Not sure how scientific this is, but it works for me.  Some will buy actual cultures, I just let it set out over night (lid covering it, but not screwed on.)
  • Cold cream tends to work faster.  I would guess about 55 degrees give or take.  Not necessarily fridge temp, but colder than room temp.
  • Trial and error is often the way to go.  Don’t give up after one try.  Ask questions, research, and try it again.  Trust me on this one, that fresh spring butter is worth it in the dead of winter! 
  • The picture above is the resulting butter from 1 quart of cream.  I wish now that I had weighed it, and when we have abundant cream like that again (usually in the spring) I will weigh the resulting butter from a quart of cream.  My guess would be that each packet above is about half a conventional stick in size (1/4 cup.)  Assuming that is accurate (again, sorry I did not weigh or measure this), the quart of cultured cream I used yielded 1  1/2 cups of butter.

All this butter talk has me wanting some toast with butter.  Such a simple food, but oh so tasty and nutritious when you have raw, cultured butter on sprouted whole grain bread.

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…yet I find myself posting a few tidbits just because.

  • Three girls and a mommy are well, still have one girl sick and now a sick daddy. 
  • No weekend post from daddy.  It was not a good weekend here.  A bloody nose that lasted all day and well into the night (Brie, and it was a nasty one), feverish kids, snot everywhere, cold weather, and just-not-what-you-want-to-do with-your-weekend type weekend.
  • The purse is almost done.  So far I have ripped out one seam twice as well as other odds and ends for a total of over 100 inches ripped.  I used to think patterns were over-priced, now I am liking the idea of a pattern very much.  It is turning out a little larger than I would have liked, but I let my fabric dictate the size.   So far as the fabric goes, I am so pleased with the combo I chose, more so than any project I have done in a very long time.

My resolutions:

  • I am still doing Yoga at minimum once a week (trying to bump it up to two times but everyone keeps getting sick!  Also paying more attention to non-starchy vegetables.
  • The house is slowly getting re-worked.  I am seriously thinking of going all white.  Crazy with all these kids running around, but half the rooms need painted and paint cost less in 5 gallon buckets.  Closets and cupboards are being drastically reduced and a yard sale will be had as soon as the weather breaks.  The laundry plan, I’m still wanting to give it a go, but it hasn’t worked so far.
  • Currently I am reading Galatians, main topic being false teachers.  It is more enjoyable and definitely more relevant to today than I had expected.

How are you doing on your New Year’s Resolutions?

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Happy Valentine’s Day

zwani.com myspace graphic comments
Fat Tuesday Graphics

Perfect little vintage valentine for a snowy Saturday.  Do they still make things as cute as this?  Seriously, Barbie, the princesses, and Bratz have nothing on vintage cuties like the above!

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