Monday, March 31, 2008

Water war!

This past week was Spring Break for the kids. I had all sorts of things planned because the weather had been so warm.
Unfortunately, we had a cold front come through Sunday night and the weather was too chilly to go to the pool.
We managed to stay busy and did some 'kids errands' that needed to be done....can you say Webkinz?

Since we were going out of town for the weekend, the kids were pretty bummed about the weather. Lucky for us, it started warming back up by Thursday....just in time for a water war!

I don't know who won....everyone was soaked!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Beignets and memories.......

When I was a child, we lived in Germany for 3 years and we were exposed to some really wonderful culinary treats! My dad was always making his own recipes up after eating something he found 'worthy' of his time and effort.
He created a beignet recipe and french hot chocolate recipe which he would use for special gatherings and holidays.
I remember having them every Christmas Eve until I went to college.

Now he has passed the torch on to me. I have his cookbook (which he sadly never attempted to get published....) and I use it all the time! Thanks Papa!

This morning our son asked for beignets for breakfast....and he said that he wanted to cook them! I think he is tired of his sister having all the fun in the kitchen.

The only thing I did was fry them in the hot oil.

He is looking pretty proud of them.....they were just as good as always.......thanks to Papa's great recipe.

Cafe du Monde, eat your heart out!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Cupcake anyone?

Although the kids both help in the kitchen from time to time, this was the first time I took a step back and did next to nothing. It was really HARD for me to just stand there!

Someone is sooooooo serious about scraping down the bowl....standing on tiptoes to make sure everything is perfect.

We had "orders" for 12 with sprinkles and 12 without. They are ALL beautiful. Well done!

As an added bonus, its nice to see the kitty apron being put to good use just a few days after it was made.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Curly girl's kitty apron...

My partner for the Flirty apron swap is a cat lover. I made her an apron with a really cute 'cats in the kitchen' fabric. My daughter went ga-ga over it and begged me to make her one 'just like it...'
I couldn't say no! Of course, I had to doll it up a bit with heart shaped pockets and lots of ric-rac.
She just loves her new apron and is ready to get cookin' with me!
Here she is posing with her wooden spoon and fresh from the shower wet hair!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Elephant Bird Stuffie!

I was in a feltie 'bird' swap recently.
When I went to my partner's profile to get ideas, she had nothing about birds listed. I really didn't want to just send her ANY bird though so I went to her blog and found that she loves elephants.
Being the proud owner of a weird and warped mind, I somehow made the mental leap from 'bird' to "Horton and the egg.........." (yeah...I know...)

I thought up a quick poem to tie it all in together. I also threw in some other stuff for kicks.
I sent everything out last week so hopefully she already has it.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

"Repurposed" revisited....apron 2 & 3

I already made a post regarding this skirt that I turned into an apron.

I had enough fabric left to make 2 more aprons. I wanted all 3 to be different....the last one..with the ric-rac was hardest to do because I had just a small strip of fabric left. I had bought a yard of green fabric to use as well.

I am pleased with all 3. I wear the first one all the time. I think the short little gardening apron is my favorite though.........

Thank you Lucy for inspiring me! She has a repurposing tutorial on her blog which I read before starting this project.

Monday, March 17, 2008

My kids are GREEN.......for St. Patrick's Day......

Last week both our kids were sick but went to school anyway because it was LEAP week and you simply can't miss during state testing. I think they just 'held it at bay' until they could relax.

This week it will be a fun and short school on Good Friday. Yet both kids are sick.....both are green....which is good for St. Patrick's day but not good for field trip day.
At least they won't get pinched.

Our daughter seems to get sick or hurt whenever a field trip rolls around....not EVERY field trip but enough that it really upsets her.
She sounds like a horse this morning and was crying before bed last night and this morning (a sure sign....) I haven't taken her temp yet....going to let her sleep some more....

Our son has a stomach ache.
I learned the hard way NOT to send him to school when his stomach hurts.
Last time I did it, he was in 3rd grade and it was the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL. I thought he had 'last day of school jitters' and sent him anyway. Within an hour, he stood up and ralphed all over his desk and everything else in its path.
The teacher was was grossed out, the kids were grossed out.... and the janitor was really not happy.....where IS the rug cleaner?
I got 'the call' from 'the nurse' and went to get him.
When he saw me, he only said 4 words. "I told you so."

So....I don't send him to school with a stomach ache anymore.

I think today I am going to snuggle up with my kids........

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Cats in the kitchen...

I participated in my second apron swap this past week.

My partner only had 10 words on her profile when I went to buy fabric:
"I knit, I sew and I'm a crazy cat lady! "
Off to the fabric store I went..........and couldn't find ANYTHING. Unless she wanted some super juvenile cat fabric (think vet scrubs....)
So I went home and drew up what I was going to do. Then I went BACK to the fabric store the next day and FOUND THIS FABRIC!!!!
Needless to say, I ditched my more artsy plan and took the easy route. Afterall, this fabric had cats in the easy is that?!

I added some goodies to complete the package...including a toy mouse I crocheted and some treats for her kitties. The bookmarks I made using pictures of her cats off her blog.
I threw in the 'required' stuff for the swap too and some beads for kicks!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Hootie and the Blowfish....uhhh, peep....pattern!

A couple weeks ago, I made a crocheted owl bookthong for a swap I was in. It was pretty cute but a bit lopsided.
So, I decided to try and improve on the design.
I don't do 'filet' type crochet but wanted to do the thong without fastening off until the end.
After a few false starts, this is what I came up with.

He is a hit with both they are putting in their 'color' requests!

The second one started out being a blowfish (yeah, I know...) Anyhoo, it looked like a peep so I didn't put any 'spikes' on it. I'll try another blowfish, smaller fins and lots of spikes should do it.......

My daughter snatched it up as soon as she saw it........

I have had a few people email me wanting the Hootie pattern so here it is:

I used a G sized hook and a scrap of Redheart yarn

Start by making 6 sc into a magic loop, (sc 6)
Row 1: 2 sc in each sc around =12 sc

Row 2: 1 sc in next sc, then 2 sc in next sc around=18 sc

***Row 3 and 4 will make the 'ear points' and also widen the bottom to create a less rounded look***

Row 3: At the 18th sc, chain 1 and turn, sc back in the same sc (one point made)
and then sc down 14 more sc = total of 15 sc made

Row 4: at the 15th sc, chain 1 and turn, sc back in the same sc (other point made)
and then sc down 8 more sc.

To complete: At the 8th sc, begin doing a chain stitch away from the body to create the thong. Chain 40, leave a long tail and fasten off.

Attach a tassel (see tutorial).

Add eyes and a beak. Pull on the 'ear points' to make them stick up a bit. Done!


I made the 'peep' like my marble book thong (see my tutorial). then I simply added a couple fins, 2 google eyes and a top fin.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sneaky little mouse

I caught this little guy late last night trying to sneak some cheese off a plate..........hhhmmmmm........
notice the Herbs in the background? I wonder if he cooks too.........Ratatouille, eat your heart out!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Lulu the sock monkey diva

Here is Lulu....the sock monkey diva!

I made her for Cheryl who is giving Lulu to her grand-daughter for her 8th birthday.

I'm sending along an 'adoption' card for her and a sock monkey bookmark I made.

Monday, March 10, 2008

"Let them eat cake..."

My sister and her hubby came over this weekend and brought my dear dad for a visit.

We had a really good time! I cooked and cooked to my little heart's content.

I really LOVE to cook and try 1-2 new recipes a week if possible.
My kids are great sports....they try everything and if it isn't to their liking, they know I'll throw something in for them. Lucky kids....yes, but since they usually like what I cook, it works out. My husband likes to cook too so he enjoys me trying out new recipes.

I always do a dessert when we have company and this time, I tried a new cake out on my sister (Miss Picky , like me....)
She wouldn't let me tell her the 'secret' ingredient because she was afraid she wouldn't taste it if she knew!!!! Well, one bite and she was hooked.....just like everyone else who has tried it!

I thought it would be nice to share the recipe. I don't know 'who' the original owner of the recipe is or I'd give credit here.

A friend from Fort Worth brought me this cake one day as a thank you and I ended up begging her for the recipe. (Thanks Cindy!)

It is a Marble Pistachio Cake and it is AWESOME.
Fear not, I like pistachio nuts but NOT in sweets so I didn't think I would like it....but it is wonderful...moist and chocolaty!

Here it is:

1 box yellow cake mix (regular size)
1 package instant pistachio pudding
4 eggs
1 cup water
1/2 cup oil
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/4 cup chocolate syrup (I use a bit more)

One greased and floured bundt pan. I spray it with cooking spray and sugar it instead....

Combine all ingredients EXCEPT chocolate syrup into your mixer.
Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.

Pour about a third of the batter into the bundt pan. Pour another third of the batter into another bowl and mix in the chocolate syrup. Then pour the chocolate batter on top of the first layer of batter in the bundt pan.

Scrap down the main bowl and pour it over the chocolate layer.

At this point, run a skinny spatula through the batter around the pan once.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes or until done.

Let cool. Serve with a sprinkling of powdered sugar on top.


Thursday, March 6, 2008

Repurposed skirt fabric............Apron #1

A couple weeks ago, we were in Target buying some shorts for our kids.

As we walked by the ladies department, I spied this skirt and fell in love with the fabric. I knew the style of the skirt wouldn't work for me though. I may be small but I still have, I grabbed one off the rack in my size and walked around with it. The fabric is a brushed cotton with a heavier a lightweight corduroy.

I decided I wanted it for the fabric and walked back and bought the biggest size they had! I didn't hesitate one bit because it was on SALE!

I bought a little fabric to trim it out and so far I have made 1 apron out of it!
I can get 2 more out of it and have them all planned out.

I had originally intended to make all of them first and then post them all at once but I REALLY wanted to start wearing the first one. it is! I love it!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Crocheted bookmark tutorial

You will need a small amount of yarn, an “F” hook, a regular sized marble, a stitch marker and a cardboard template for the tassel. This bookmark is worked in rounds around a marble.

Start with 6 sc into a magic ring*, pull tight.

* if you do not know how to do a magic ring, you will find a wonderful tutorial 'on' Planet June !

Row 1: 2 sc in each sc around = 12 sc, attach stitch marker

Row 2: *1 sc in the next sc, then 2 sc in the next sc, * repeat around =18 sc move stitch marker

Row 3: begin to decrease to prep for the marble.

Sc 2 sc together around. You will end up with 9 sc left. Move stitch marker

Insert Marble

Row 4: to continue decreasing:

Sc 2 sc together around for 4 sc. You will have 1 sc leftover.

Insert your hook into this last sc and go ACROSS the opening and slip stitch the opening closed.

Please note. Marble sizes vary so you may need to do another row of decreasing sc. If so, just continue in same fashion.

You can put your stitch marker aside at this point!

Once closed, begin the ‘ thong’ part by chain stitching 40-50 stitches

(depends on size of book!)

At the end of the chain, leave a long (8") tail before cutting off. Pull end tight, and set aside.

Make tassel: You can find a great tassel tutorial here

To attach the tassel, use a tapestry needle to thread the yarn through the top of the tassel. Then use the hook to do a slip stitch to attach it to the top. Weave the ends back into the chain going about 2 inches up the chain. Clip off and you are done!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Landscape in progress........

This weekend, we were really busy! Between our son's birthday and this pergola project, we had plenty to keep us busy.
This is the pergola we built. It was very inexpensive but will really improve the look of the side of the house that faces the driveway. The builder left this eensy-weensy strip of grass...aka weeds and the previous owner simply never did any plantings. She wanted to, she just didn't know how.
Our purpose was two-fold though. What you don't see is that opposite these windows is a basketball goal and the windows get hit fairly often. (So far, the posts have been taking the 'hits' we had hoped.) This seemed to be the best option for the area.....and wouldn't cover up the windows and reduce too much light coming into the house.
Dean and I tore up the ground a bit to open it up, then planted japanese ardesia as a ground cover. It is very hardy and can take a pounding from the basketballs. It grows rapidly and gets about a foot high. We will remove the decorative edging once it really takes off....which won't be long. It also won't need to be mulched because once it gets going it will choke out any weeds that try to grow.
In front of the trellis, we planted a climbing fairy of my favorite roses. They have pretty, tiny little blooms that bloom on and off until frost.
On the sides of the posts, I planted seeds for the Morning glory vine. It does exceptionally well in this area and will swallow up a post or fence very quickly. I am going to try and train it up the posts and keep it off of the trellis (fingers crossed.)
The best part is that all three species do quite well in this climate and although Morning Glory Vine is an 'annual', it acts a a perennial in this area! Less work for us!
Later in the Spring and then in the Summer, I am posting 'updates' to see how it looks once things start taking root and growing!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Saturday was our son's 12th birthday!

He is the typical preteen though and I didn't get many pictures of him WITHOUT a weird face being made!
He was 'king' of the day. I began cooking at 5 am to make sure he was one happy boy!
He requested homemade beignets for breakfast and followed up with brisket sandwiches for lunch. I lucked out at dinner, because he requested we go out to eat. Little did he know his father told our waitress it was his birthday, so he got pretty embarrassed by being the center of attention during a 'birthday' song! He told us later that we'll be staying HOME for his birthday in the future.........yeah....wait a few more years and he will be BEGGING to have waitresses sing for him!!!!

He is an avid reader so for one of his gifts, I made him a 'reading pillow' by using a pattern I bought from Meg at Montessori by Hand.

Overall, he had a great day full of fun and surprises!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Leo's bed in a bag?

Okay. I think Leo is trying to tell me something. Everything he finds, he gets in. He will crawl into a box, a bowl, a doll bed and a Walmart bag......oh, and this plastic zip bag. It was pretty funny watching him. He tries to cover himself up and will put his little paws out and pull 'air' around him.
Sooooooooooo stealthy.
This clear bag though.....doesn't really do much in 'hiding' him........
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