Friday, May 30, 2008

Shoes

The bright yellow & bright orange ones are new and for my sons.
The baby blue ones are mine, over 4 years old and still lookin' good.

I love seeing posts about shoes. Like this and this. Most of my shoes are either black or black or black and maybe a brown thrown in. Occasionally I'll purchase another color. It's not that I don't like colored shoes. (I 'secretly' like red ones.) Let's just say that if $ was growing on trees, I would buy a rainbow of footwear. This week, I purchased 10 pairs of shoes! Not for me - for my 4 children. What I want to know is...Why oh why can't their feet just stay the same size?

Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Take 1: "Crispy Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies"

A year ago I visited a local farmer's market and bought a cookie.

A crunchy oatmeal-type cookie.


A very yummy type of cookie.

I bought a few more, took them home and tried to decipher their contents one by one.

I made several attempts; this is my first successful one:

Crispy Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies - Version 1

1 ½ cups butter (3 sticks)

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

½ tsp salt

1 ½ cups flour

1 ½ cups quick oats

½ cup wheat germ

½ cup toasted oat bran (Trader Joes carries this)

2 c. Grape Nuts cereal (organic kind)

2 tsp baking soda

1 cup dried sweetened cranberries

½ cup golden raisins

Preheat oven to 375 F.
Cream butter and sugars together until fluffy. Beat in eggs, vanilla 'til blended. Set aside. In large bowl, mix together salt, flour, oats, wheat germ, oat bran, Grape Nuts & baking soda. Combine with wet stuff. Fold in cranberries and raisins. Roll into 1+” balls, flatten on ungreased cookie sheet (or parchment lined sheet). (These spread so I only put 12 on a sheet instead of 16 as usual.) Bake 375 F for 8-13 min. Transfer to cooling rack. Makes 4 dozen 3" size cookies.

Note: chill dough in fridge for ½ hour before rolling into balls – the spreading will lessen


****It still needs some tweaking, but it is awfully good. Any experienced bakers out there? I'd love to hear your recommendations for improvement. Maybe decrease amount of butter or egg? Add nuts?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Robin's Merry Men - Part 2



Robin's Merry Men - Part 2, originally uploaded by pichurrayic.


Well the party was over in 90 minutes! Nice and quick! We had gorgeous weather and the kids had lots of fun. We had visits from Little John, Prince John and King Richard. Robin and his men tried to cross a river by fighting Little John with long sticks (pool tubes), decipher clues and complete archery events to gain more clues in hopes of finding Robin's loot. Then they enjoyed green lemonade and bullseye cupcakes made by my daughter. All in all a good day.

Friday, May 23, 2008

'New' Skirt

Just popping in to show you the before and after photos of my thrifted $2.00 skirt. I like long skirts but I thought a shorter one was in order. Note to myself: taking photographs at different times and on different days with different weather is not a good idea because of the different colors of the same skirt!

before
So I simply cut off the border print (which was my least favorite part of the skirt), ironed the seams and sewed the hem.

after
Have a good holiday weekend!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Robin's Merry Men

will be descending upon Sherwood's Forest (aka our backyard) this coming Saturday. I've been hemming and hawing about getting my 10-year-old's birthday party planning accomplished so today I worked a bit on some ideas. Between all of our kids, I've done approximately 20 themed parties. Albeit fun and memorable, I am just plain tuckered out. Also (bad timing on my part) for some reason I kept thinking Memorial Day weekend was NEXT weekend. Boo Hoo! I would have preferred a 3-Day Calgon bath...

This is my 7 year old modeling a hat for me.

My 10-year-old (his real birthday was last week) decided he wanted a Robin Hood theme. Several months ago I agreed that it sounded like an interesting topic as I imagined full-garb costumes hand sewn by me for each invitee, lots of bows that we'd whittle from tender tree saplings and string with ? ... but alas, none of those things happened.

So Plan B is:

Robin Hood Hats made from green foam sheets and red feathers. Here's a good video to watch on how to make your own.


Pouches made from brown felt and a crocheted chain of yarn for the handle to hold all the treasure.

Pretty good for 10 bucks!

Treasure Chest. I was going to have Little John (aka my husband) make one from corrugated, but he's so swamped at work, and Michael's was having a 60% off sale, so we're using this one instead. Pretty good deal, I say.

Don't you wish the loot was authentic?

We filled it with coins and gems (the gems were on clearance at Michael's too... good thing!) Now I just need to stow it away and make clues so the boys can find it. I'll share some After-Party scenes next week, but for now, I've got to go make some bulls-eye cupcakes.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tag Sale Finds 2


This past Saturday, the weather was gorgeous, so I dragged my 2 younger sons with me to 2 different community tag sales. Not much real 'treasure' but I did manage to bring home some interesting and useful items:


1. a set of over-sized playing cards


Good for littler hands and 40 year old eyes!

2. stamps (my daughter is taking up one of my old hobbies)

Not sure if they're authentic, and they probably aren't worth much,

but many of them are like little works of art.

The graphics are strong.

Love this pelican.

3. a set of 6 egg cups

Had these in my possession less than 60 seconds(!!!! )when my youngest decided to 'toss' it back into the bag with the others...

Yes, we now have 5 good ones and 1 slightly chipped one. Oh well. They're still sweet.

4. an embroidered and crocheted bag

for my daughter - it can barely hold a few pens and lip balm it's so tiny

5. and an embroidered napkin (I think it's more of a bun warmer.)

It was stained in parts, but that doesn't matter.
I'm going to cut it apart and use only the embroidered parts.


6. 1 wool sweater to felt,

and last but not least...

7. a red skirt to re-do. I'll show you that later.

Monday, May 19, 2008

In the Mood

...for lasagna.

Ever wake up with a craving of some sort? I opened the cabinets this morning and spied a box of lasagna noodles and for the next 6 hours I thought about making lasagna. At first I waffled: it takes so long to do and no ricotta in the house was mixed with it tastes so yummy and it is drizzling outside. I couldn't get it out of my head so I rifled through the recipe box and pulled out my eggplant lasagna with bechamel sauce recipe that I've had in my possession for 15+ years. Good. No ricotta needed. Then...oh, I have no eggplant... hmmm...

So I threw in some leeks, zucchini, shredded carrots, and yellow pepper with the remainder of ingredients and well? It passed.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Tag Sale Finds

Yesterday I was running some errands (sans kids) and I just 'happened' to see a garage sale sign and then a yard sale sign so I decided to stop. Around this part of the country, they call them yard, garage, and rummage sales. Where we used to live they were referred to as 'tag sales'. The name doesn't really matter; it's the content that does. (okay, so I think 'tag' is the nicest sounding and makes the most sense since most items have little 'tags' on them... and who wants to buy a garage?)

Some large blue bell jars and some pretty embroidery.

I'm trying to restrain myself from bringing more 'stuff' into the house. At some tag sales it's easy to pass up what people are trying to sell. Either it's truly 'junky' or it's priced too high and I'm not a haggler. At others, well...

The birds and nest were embroidered by someone's 'grandmother'. It was in a frame with little boxed sections, so the exposed fabric was darker than the fabric beneath the wood. When I took the frame off and peeled back the paper backing, I was glad to see that the fabric had not been glued down, but instead had just been taped around the edges.

This nest is so sweet and I think the technique for making it is interesting. Little tufts of wool.

This of course, is my favorite bird of the bunch. I like the colors. Whoever made it obviously had a good time while sewing down every little stitch.

Okay, so today (Saturday) is a new day... I'm off to more 'tag' sales. What do you call them in your neck of the woods?

Friday, May 16, 2008

Flopsy, Mopsy...

The 4 banes or 4 boons?
free image from Clipart Etc

Cotton-tail and even baby Peter have been spotted around our yard during this springtime. Methinks that they've been living beneath our back porch.


I've seen them hopping towards the house and disappearing beneath the wooden planks. I'm guessing they're subletting the space from the groundhog? It should make for an interesting summer; I think I'll dub myself Mrs. McGregor and get my rolling pin and pie plates out...

Garden of Weeds!

Seriously though... I hope they stay out of the garden. You can't tell yet, but this area of weeds, about 20' x 14', will be our future vegetable garden. On Saturday, we removed all those weeds, flung many o' these over the fence and covered the spot with black cloth. After reassessing the amount of soil needed to fill the area and realizing that neither of us wanted to carry ???????? bags of peat, manure and soil uphill, (having a truck dump a load is out of the question) we came up with the raised bed box solution with ample walkways between boxes.

A box has been made. Four others need to be assembled, lots of digging and filling in with said soil needs to be finished and then plants and seeds can be planted. The next difficulty is watering. We're thinking weeping hoses or a sprinkler from a pole. Any suggestions?

Off topic slightly: If interested in identifying various caterpillars, I found this site to be helpful.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Flora Helps Out


Yes, yesterday was the day I was supposed to name the winner of the giveaway, but honestly, the day flew by (my children were/are taking Stanford Achievement tests for several days) and although I did pick a name and took pictures, I was just too tired to post about it. So I'm sure you understand. Thank you so much for all the fun comments ~ a giveaway will always help lurkers into de-lurking ~ it was the most comments ever! Thanks!


Recently we borrowed Wee Felt Folk from the library and have just now been able to 'sit down and enjoy it'. Several years ago, I first saw some of Sally Mavor's beautiful little folk at Magic Cabin Dolls and ended up purchasing some of her kits. I put the kits away in a 'safe' place to do later. Having moved and rearranging things, I know they're somewhere in the house still. My daughter's been asking to see them, but in the meantime, she followed the directions in the book and made her own. I'd like to introduce Flora. Isn't she sweet?

Here's Flora being held up by my daughter since she had to get used to her own two feet...


Here she is daydreaming...


and dancing...The bag of potential winners was on the table, so Flora climbed into the bag and...


this is the paper she pulled out...

Congratulations, Florence! Just email me your info, and I'll send off your prize!

And once again, thank you all for the fun and sweet comments from before.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day 'Linner'

Note: Only 1 day left for the giveaway!

Wild phlox picked by sons and tulips ("just the ones I would have picked" said husband)

Happy Belated Mother's Day. This past week and weekend were very full with a piano recital, test practices, schooling, and major weeding (more of that later). Needless to say, the cards and gifts for mother's day were few and last minute. However, I realize that those things don't really matter. It was good to be together and enjoying each other's company. I did scoot out Saturday evening and bought some meal fixin's so that my children could fix 'linner' (lunch and dinner combo) and 10 tulips from the local (but fancier) supermarket. We added in some wild phlox that my boys had picked that day et voici! A beautiful bouquet.

"Look away from the camera - mom's taking a picture for her blog!"

My children set the table, poured orange juice, milk and wine into the appropriate wine glasses and served me Poulet Orange (orange chicken) and mache with tomatoes. We had pound cake with ice cream and strawberries for dessert. They even cleaned up the kitchen!

Gerberas I had planted a few weeks ago in a self-watering pot - doing well.
And yes, they're really this bright!

As I said, Saturday was spent weeding the future veggie garden and beginning to weed around the house. We need to finish some raised bed boxes for the veggies, pull out unwanted paving stones that were used by the former homeowner as flower bed edging but only look like crooked teeth right now, and yank out a 'pond'. This 'pond' consists of two barrel containers that originally were part of a 'fountain' (another former homeowner's decoration) and might have had fish or frogs living it? Right now, it looks like two barrels of mucky, soon-to-be-infested mosquito pools. Lovely.

I also have a dilemma of sorts. (A very minuscule one when you think of everything in life and probably not a dilemma at all.) The photo above is my good pot of Gerberas. And this one below...

Gerberas in another self-watering pot - trouble!

... is my 'what happened?' pot of Gerberas. I think I over-watered this one. Or maybe I killed the roots. Any ideas?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Mesiodens-less

So as to not gross you out, I turned this packet over - that little pink bump to the left is his mesiodens.

My littlest had his extra tooth (mesiodens) pulled today. We drove over an hour each way in the pouring rain to the oral surgeon (who was great fun by the way) and back home. My little guy was a trooper and very sweet, very cooperative. After the 'gas', I had barely left him and gone to wait in the waiting room when the Dr entered with tooth in hand. Procedure done in less than 5 minutes! Whoopee!

But the poor little guy wasn't 100% quite yet. Dizziness, headache, throwing up (sorry). It lasted longer than I expected, but he seems back to normal now. How thankful I am. And he's thankful too: what a diet he has for the next day or so... yogurt, pudding, ice cream, jello, more ice cream...

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Giveaway!

No, it's not my 100th post (missed that one) and no, it's not my 200th post (not yet).

It's just that I've had her for awhile. After I saw Stephanie's from her previous blog, (scroll down) I searched for one of my own with the intent of giving her away. She's been wrapped in tissue paper and stored away in a box on a shelf.

It's a tad different - probably newer. It's larger than I expected. But isn't she cute? Just not my 'style'. So... I thought I'd share her with someone who would appreciate her more.

Is there a catch? Not really, except I would like her to go to someone with a little girl or boy and not to ebay or some such site. So I would like you to take a picture of her in her new surroundings and post it on your blog. Sound good? Just leave a comment. I'll pick randomly from those in 1 week. Enjoy!