Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Poofy Shorts, and sun hats and bloomers Oh my!

I was busy at my sewing machine yesterday and I have photos to prove it.  :)  

Up first are the poofy shorts made for my little Princess.  I made them with an adjustable waist band (thank you button elastic) and a flat front.  I will make the front more narrow so there is less "pucker" in the back next time but they are still so cute.

Back of Princess' poofy shorts

flat front of  the poofy shorts.

Adding the poofy shorts under a nice dress makes for a more modest little girl and no diapers peeking out.

This little dress still needs a strap but it is adorable with her new short peeking out. :)

Up next are some little boy sunhats.  They BEGGED me to make them and picked out the fabric.  I was truly hoping to have some of these at strawberry fest but I don't see that happening.  They take me too long to pay for my time selling them in that way.  However, I may be willing to take custom orders if someone is really interested.  They can be made to be reversible and these technically are but in my mind there is a definitely outer fabric and liner.  

And last but certainly not least Baby Bloomers!  But I don't have a model for them.  These should fit a 6-12 month baby with lots of flexibility in the sizing.  The legs are elasticized and although they also have a flat front the waist is adjustable with button elastic.  (I have no idea why these won't turn the other way-Sorry!)
cutesy baby bloomers for my niece!

close up of the button elastic that makes the waistband more adjustable .

Monday, January 28, 2013

Sewing sewing sewing!

My machine and I have spent a lot of time together this weekend.  And I've loved it.  I even got a chance to sew with a friend and that is always fun too (even if she spent more time on machine trouble than actually sewing-I've been there and it is infuriating_.  I made several dresses for little girls.  A couple for the princess (that all need straps added so I'll post pics of them later).  And I finished 4 to take to the Strawberry Fest for the booth I'm sharing with my sister and my friend.

Before I go on-let me give a shout out to the awesome women I get to share a booth with....

For those of you who treat your furry friends like children (specifically dogs) my sister will be making homemade dog treats, as well as chew toys, and little doggie coats for the cold days of winter.  I think she may also work on some other doggie clothes too.  :)

I'm not sure what specifically my friend is making but she is an awesome knitter and seamstress.  I know she makes really great coffee mug coozies (I wonder if they would fit on a can to keep a drink cold and from sweating).  When I find out what she's planning to make I'll let you know.  Or you could just swing by our booth and say hello!  

Also, for those of you who will be hanging out with the kids, my sister and I will be doing hair beading. It lasts longer than face painting but in no way damages your hair. (it can also be taken out immediately if you decide its gotta go). We'll have a wide assortment of bead colors, and charge per braid.  So you can get one or a couple!

Here's my princess with her full head of beads....I LOVE THEM!  And she'll probably have them a lot since I've tried it and seen how much I LOVE THEM!!!!  Did I mention I LOVE THEM!
Here's a sneak peek of this weekend's finished dresses (although if I'm honest you'll probably see a lot of them for "pre-shopping" so you can already pick out what you want before you come see us.  But if there is something that you just love then stop by early most -all- of these are one of a kind!  :) Drop me a comment if you'd like to see something in a certain size and I"ll see what I can do but I make no promises.

These are all "pillowcase dresses" and don't hang exceptionally well on hangers (They are so much cuter in person).  I will also be making at least one other style of dress (with smocking), and hopefully some sunhats.  And who knows what else!  I have a serious case of crafters ADD!  Oooh, I also have crayon rolls and some bags and purses.  :)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Just Go to BED!!!

It is Saturday Night. The King and the Boys are out on a "guys night" watching the Hobbit. It is just me and our Princess chillin' at home. The plan was to relax, have a good time, and a girlie night. It was a total girls' night.

First we had a little oatmeal for supper (easy, fast, healthy, and she eats it). Then we had our real supper - ice cream. This was a 2 part deal. First, ICE CREAM FOR SUPPER!!! Woooohoooo! Second, I decided to try beading her hair and I thought ice cream might make her sit still. I was right. She loved the ice cream and her beads look great. She even liked the ice cream that she dropped on the carpet and picked back up and ate. ICK!

Then she had a nice long bath to just sit and soak and play (of course). She had a ball until she apparently pulled the plug in the tub. But whatever water she didn't drain out, she had splashed all over the bathroom. So I got her out, got her lotioned, and got a diaper on her and went to clean up the bathroom. EXCEPT I forgot that her hair cream (grease) was sitting out in the living room (where we had done braids).... So I got all the water cleaned up and went in the living room to discover her with her hands in the hair cream (grease) up to her wrists. There was also some on her belly. I scraped what I could off her hands and ran it through her ends. That's when I got a wiff of the huge poop she had just unloaded in her diaper (thank God I had already put one on her and not let her "get a little air" since there are no boys in the house tonight)

That's when I decided to just stick her back in the tub. This, however, was not to be a leisurely soaker bath. I sprayed her down with the shower head and none too warm water. However, hair cream (grease) doesn't really wash off with water. The water just beads up and runs off. It was like her whole body had been treated with rainex. Whatever! I hosed her down, dried her off, and got her in jammies. In the process, we may or may not have ruined a towel.

Something possessed me to think we could spend a little time in the kitchen (which, incidentally, is a disaster cause I've been sewing and not keeping it up-more on the sewing in my next post...But I wasn't gonna clean it up). Oh Heaven's NO! I got Kale last week and I've been wanting to try Kale chips. There are recipes all over pinterest. So I found one to try and followed the directions (SHOCKING! I NEVER follow recipes). The Princess was a great help shaking the Kale around in the bag of seasoning. It was fun. 30 minutes in the oven for crisp kale chips. They made the house smell REALLY good! And that is the only good thing I can say about them. They were terrible. Burnt on the edges and chewy in the middle. Gross!! So much for following a recipe. I still have another bunch of kale....back to pinterest I guess.

 While the kale was in the oven, I remembered our chickens needed penned up. No biggie. I turned on the porch light and ran outside to do that. The weather is beautiful and the moon is full- I was kinda enjoying the crisp, quiet night.

 Did you know tonight is called the Wolf Moon-I don't really know why or if that is even true but there ya go 

Anyway, I ran down the east steps of our back deck. Closed the coop door. Then came up the west steps of the deck. EXCEPT, someone had left a HUGE piece of wood laying at the foot of the steps (WHY!?!?!?!?!) It was in shadow and I couldn't see it and didn't know it was there to begin with. I was also carrying in the chicken waterer so it wouldn't freeze overnight. So to cut to the chase I tripped over that stupid piece of wood. I skinned both knees, both palms, and both elbows. I landed funny on my right arm and my wrist, elbow, and shoulder are achy (although feeling better at this point). However, I landed funny on my arm because I had the presence of mind to turn my head HARD right as I fell, which caused me to narrowly miss smashing my face into the bottom (concrete) step. But causing me to land on the right shoulder/side of my body but kinda on the left side of my face...on frozen ground. Still the better option but COME ON!

Several hours have passed...The Princess is now in bed (I hope her sleep cap is still on) and I was planning to sew some more. But as the evening has progressed, I have decided that may not be smart (or safe) for me tonight. So I am going to look for kale recipes on pinterest so that I can do something with it before I through it away and then GO TO BED where I am unable to cause damage to myself or others.

Hope you all had a great night!  And I fully recognize (and embrace) the irony that this story is immediately following a post entitled "Professional Motherhood."  But I think life would be very dull if we weren't able to enjoy the irony, embrace the craziness, and laugh at ourselves.  And I don't mind telling on myself every now and again to share a laugh with anyone who may be reading.  :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Professional Motherhood!

Is there such a thing?  A great friend who is expecting her first child told me that her husband thinks she is going to be a professional mother just like me.  (she is going to be a great mom and hopefully not too much like me....there is much I should improve on) But this got me thinking....can one be a professional mother?  It also made me think of a clip from my favorite tv show (which I share at the end of this post).

So I found the good ole' Webster's Dictionary and looked up the definitions of both words.  It turns out you can be a professional mother.  Here are the definitions....

Definition of PROFESSIONAL

a : of, relating to, or characteristic of a profession
b : engaged in one of the learned professions
c (1) : characterized by or conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession
(2) : exhibiting a courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike manner in the workplace
a : participating for gain or livelihood in an activity or field of endeavor often engaged in by amateurs <a professional golfer>
b : having a particular profession as a permanent career <a professional soldier>
c : engaged in by persons receiving financial return <professional football>
: following a line of conduct as though it were a profession <a professional patriot> 


noun \ˈmə-thər\
a : a female parent
b (1) : a woman in authority; specifically : the superior of a religious community of women (2) : an old or elderly woman
With four children at home all day, there is little question that I am a I'm gonna just leave that one alone.
Obviously, all the definitions of professional that include monetary gain are not applicable.  I think 2b (having a particular profession as a permanent career) is a possibility.  However, for me definition 3 (following a line of conduct as though it were a profession) is spot on for how I view my life as a mother.

How does this effect my daily life?  I'm not sure there is one thing that I could name.  It just IS my daily life.  When we opted to homeschool there were people who asked "Don't you want to let them go to school and get a 'real' job?"  The question baffles me to this day.  My job IS real and important.  The fact that I do not work outside the home does not diminish the importance of my job in the home (just as the fact that some mom's do work outside the home doesn't diminish their job as mother).  
So viewing motherhood as my profession translates in many little ways.  For me, it means homemade meals more often than not, education at home, very rarely hiring a sitter (if Nanny and Pappy can't keep them they come with us), never using the bathroom alone, hearing about 4 (and cleaning up one) different pooping schedules that are not my own, and playing boardgames or watching tv shows that bore me except for the people I'm with.
What else does it mean?  It means my house is NEVER ready for surprise company (unless they are very understanding), it means going to Walmart with the family is enough to drive me to drinking or into a padded room,  it means I'm always behind on laundry, and my kitchen floors are sticky.  It means that I don't go on shopping trips with friends unless its on a weekend (and rarely then-I hate shopping-HA!)  
It means I lose my patience and raise my voice and react instead of respond!  It means a morning out with a girlfriend for breakfast and coffee is refreshing and a date with my husband is heavenly.  

It means that although there are daily challenges and frustrations, I would not change this life I have for anything.....or that's what it means to me.  


This whole conversation made me think of this clip from Big Bang Theory....

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Again facebook and food is leading me here!

I am currently in 2 or 3 conversations on facebook about food!  And I love food!  I like to cook it, bake it, grill it, make it ahead and freeze it, and last but certainly not least, eat it!  But that statement should be qualified because although I am not a picky eater (I will literally try nearly anything once) I am selective about what goes into my (and my children's) body(ies).  We eat FOOD!  Not chemicals that have been processed in a lab and then dyed and flavored to resemble food.  This has effected nearly everything about our lives.  We are happier, healthier, and much better off (in my humble opinion) for it.  But it is not without difficulty.   One of my facebook conversations on facebook was prompted by an article listing 13 (THIRTEEN) substances found in "food" in American that are banned in food in other countries.  In order to eat healthy, we must be continually vigilant.  And this is annoying and overwhelming and frustrating to so many.  That makes me sad and not just a little angry. 

Without getting political, I think that if we got REAL FOOD to put in our bodies there would be less of a health care issue in our country.  (I will say no more on this subject).  It should be easy to put REAL FOOD in our bodies.  But the fact of the matter is that it isn't...we have to pay attention and buy and prepare food intentionally to eat real food. 

Also, in the interest of full disclosure or "keeping it real" - we occasionally eat at Wendy's or McDonalds....we buy chips as a treat and we eat sweets (although usually homemade) and we buy junky cereal (Cocoa Roos anyone) sometimes.  We like take out pizza.  But we try to follow a whole food, REAL food diet as often as possible.  "Cheating" (for lack of a better word) is not such a big deal when it isn't a steady diet.  

Today I am going to share a few blogs that have helped with our real food journey.  I am doing this from the top of my head while my kids do school so this is no means the entire list.  I will share more later.  This website (and we joined the organization) was the start of our real food journey.  We followed their diet strictly for over a year.  We have now become more relaxed but this really helped me learn what to look for and avoid.  This blog is AWESOME!  Simple kid friendly things that are all real food.  I love getting ideas from her!  She also talks about how to pack real food to go which is something that is so hard to do sometimes....  OK- I can't imagine that you all haven't heard of this one but it is a great place to find recipes.  I have found some great ones for homemade "mixes" and seasonings among other things too numerous to list.  Of course, you can also find a lot of junk food on there too.  :) 

So I am going to try to blog on this "regularly."  Of course, we'll just have to see how that goes.  :)

My last tip for today is to buy food as near to the way God made it as possible.  Instead of buying strawberries n cream oatmeal buy quick oats (or rolled or steel cut) and frozen strawberries.....cook it in milk and Voila!! real strawberry n cream oatmeal that is actually strawberries instead of whatever the company is trying to pass of as strawberries. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Freezer baking! Muffin edition!

I was talking about this on facebook yesterday and people seemed interested.  One person even said they would read a blog post if I did one.  It is hard for me to do posts like these because I don't really think about what I'm doing....I just do it!  I tried to take pictures but that didn't go so well...partly because when I'm cooking I forget to take pictures and partly because I just have so much "help"  but I did get a few.

So this is what I did.  We like to eat muffins of all sizes and varieties.  I use them for breakfasts and for snacks.  I do not always feel like making muffins first thing in the morning.  So I make lots of muffins and freeze them.  They thaw and warm up nicely in the micro.  So today in just under 2 hours I made 2 double batches of muffins.  I make some regular sized muffins (2 plus fruit or yogurt=breakfast).  And I make mini muffins (2=snack).  This (with the few that I have left from my last baking frenzy) will be enough to last me about a month unless I get a wild hair to make another flavor...

Ok, where do I get these recipes?  The 2 I used today (recipes included at the end) were from Country Baking by Gooseberry Patch.  One is peanut butter muffins and the other is Oatmeal.  Both are yummy. Of course, I very very rarely follow a recipe exactly.  And today was no exception.  I will publish the original recipe and then share my changes.

But are a few pictures I did take!  

My little helper putting the liners in the muffin tins.  To freeze I ALWAYS use a paper muffin liner.  Makes cleanup easier and freezing nicer. 

Finished oatmeal muffins.  I did not get as many as I'd hoped for from this double batch. 

Peanut butter muffins.  YUM!


1 T lemon juice
1cup milk
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 egg
1/2 cup brown sugar , packed
1/2 cup shortening, melted
1 cup flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking soda

 Add lemon juice to milk and let stand at room temp for 5-10 minutes.  Soak oats in milk mixture for 1 hour; then add egg and beat well.  Blend in brown sugar and add cooled shortening.  Sift flour with baking powder, salt and baking soda.  Combine with oat mixture and stir by hand 20 strokes.  Fill greased (or paper lined) muffin tins 2/3 full.  Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.

And for my changes.  I double this first of all.  Except I only bump the brown sugar to 3/4 cup and they are plenty sweet.  I also use 1/2 whole wheat flour.  And replace the melted shortening with melted butter.  Adding a teaspoon of vanilla is nice too.


3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 t vanilla
1 3/4 cup milk
2 1/4 cup flour
4 t baking powder
1/2 t salt

In a large bowl, blend together sugar, peanut butter, and vanilla.  Gradually pour in milk; mix well.  Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; add to peanut butter mixture.  Spread batter into greased 9X5 loaf pan.  Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes.

My changes-  I double the recipe and use half whole wheat flour.  Other than that the only change is to bake in muffin tins (greased or with paper liners-PICK paper liners).  They took about 25-30 minutes but I just check every couple minutes after 15...toothpick should come out clean.

So for freezing just let them completely cool (COMPLETELY COOL!!! or your bag will fog up and then freeze and it is icky).  Bag them in gallon freezer bags labeled with the variety and the date.  And freeze!  Pretty simple.  I accidentally undercooked a batch the last time I did this and although they are fine they do not freeze as nicely so make sure they are fully fully cooked and the top isn't shiny (does that make sense?)

To eat from frozen; take whichever muffin you want...or one of each because the kids all want something different (another reason I like doing this this way)...pop them in the micro for a few seconds and eat warm.  YUM!!!