Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tag and Texture Blanket

     Jim loves tags. More than the toys attached to them. So I made him this:

There's scrap ribbon all along the outside, and patches of fur, fleece, velvet, satin, denim, and taffeta to touch and feel.

It's a hit.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Turkey, Potatoes, and Carrots

In about 3 weeks I plan to start giving Jim food along the guidelines for Baby Led Weaning, which in short means no "baby food," and he gets to eat the same things we are.

But, of course, the things we eat need to be healthy and follow some guidelines:

- Gluten free (relatively)
- No added salt
- As "whole" and natural as possible

Thank goodness we already mostly eat this way! But I've been working to build up a stash of easy recipes for when my little man joins us at the dinner table. Tonight, I came up with a new one! No pictures this time since I'm writing from my phone in the tub (gasp) but I wanted to get this down before I forgot.

Turkey, Potatoes, and Carrots

1/2 lb ground turkey
1 onion, chopped
3-4 large carrots, peeled and chopped
5-6 Yukon gold potatoes (about 3 cups chopped)
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
A lot of olive oil
1 T rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste (after the baby has his portion removed)

Sauté the onion and the turkey in oil in a large pan until turkey is browned.
Meanwhile, boil potatoes and carrots until tender but not mushy.
 Add potatoes and carrots to meat mixture and add rosemary. Turn heat to med/high in order to evaporate any liquid and begin browning (as in a stir fry). Add ample oil to prevent sticking. Finally, add peas and parsley.
Let cool a LONG time before trying to eat... The potatoes hold heat well and it would be sad to burn tiny fingers!

I think sweet potatoes, butternut squash, maybe celery, all might be great additions or substitutions! If you try it, let me know.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Done List

You make a list of all the things you would like to do today. You work and work and accomplish a ton, but at the end of the day you've only done three of the nine things on your list. You feel like you've failed, and now tomorrows To-Do list has 15 things on it. 

Sound familiar?

Then you, my friend, need a Done List. In response to my frequent feelings of failure (because I was awesome instead of super-awesome,) I decided I needed to instead focus on what I HAVE done, rather than what I did not do. And so was born the Done List.

I used Avery Printable Magnets and Martha Stewart Chalkboard Paint to create this little morale booster. 
Tip: once you are done with a coat of paint, let the magnet dry on the fridge so that the corners don't curl up.
After it dried, I trimmed the edges, added a little white acrylic paint for the frame, title, and permanent item: I was a good mommy. 

If I accomplish nothing else in a day, I can always say I was a good mommy today!

I have a lot to do today before my friend Nicole gets here, and I look forward to seeing how much I can cram on this board!

Friday, March 1, 2013

My Pinterest Adventures

The last few weeks of my pregnancy I was confined to my rocking chair, due to some pretty severe spreading of my bones in preparation of childbirth. Let's just say, its a good thing because my baby has a huge noggin. In my misery, I entertained myself with my iPhone Pinterest app, pinning hundreds of DIY projects. And what do you know? I actually followed through and made some of them! Some while still pregnant, some while my newborn slept, and some while my big baby jumped in his exersaucer beside me. Here they are:

Candy Corn Baby Sack

I saw something similar in a Pin, but there was no tutorial. So I winged it. Ta-da!

Fall and Christmas Wreaths

Had some left over burlap from making Ashley's wedding place-mats, so I used them to make a few wreaths. I had this insane idea that I'd have enough time and motivation to make them in bulk and sell them online. LOL.

This is my favorite. I sold one to a friend, but I kept this one for myself.

Rice Bag Pocket Warmers

These little goodies I made with scrap fabric, old jeans that were destined for goodwill, and rice that was already in my cupboard. They made nice little Christmas gifts for a new mama with no spare cash.

Jingle Bell Fabric Ball

I made two of these, one for my nephew and one for my baby boy. I got the pattern here from a pin I found. Also from scrap fabric, stuffing, and jingle bells I already had. 

Crib Mobile

I couldn't bring myself to buy a cheap looking plastic mobile to put in the that nursery I had worked so hard to decorate myself. So I raided my craft closet and found ALL these pieces waiting for me (some were waiting just shy of 10 years to be used!) to craft into a unique mobile for my little boy. Photo credit to Charlie Boucher Photography.

Bath Salts in Mason Jars

Epsom Salts + table sugar + baby shampoo + essential oils + food coloring = sweet smelling bath salts!
I took some chunks off an old broken bejeweled hair clip and sewed them onto pieces of scrap satin and sandwiched them between the pieces of the lids on the jars. Another cheap Christmas gift.

Santa Bags

I had a ton of this stretch red knit fabric in my sewing box... been there for 10 years at least! I don't even know where it came from. So I made Santa bags to carry our gifts to our Christmas celebrations. I used this pattern and found it very easy!

Fancy Gift Wrap

I bought a roll of brown paper in the paint department at Ace Hardware. A few rolls of cute ribbon with a 50% off coupon a Micheal's and some blank tags turned these cheap handmade gifts into something fun to look at before they were even opened!

I tied some dollar store ornaments onto some of the packages instead of bows.

Advent Calendar

We got this fun advent calendar a few years ago, but this year I wanted to make it something special. I printed out a puzzle template with 24 pieces where each was unique. 

On each piece I wrote an activity such as "drink hot chocolate by the fire," or "go look at Christmas lights." But a few activities required supplies, such at the gingerbread house, the ornament making project, making Christmas cards, etc. So for those days, I included a puzzle piece with a question mark, and wrapped up the supplies in a package with a tag traced with the outline of the piece. That way, you'd have to match the piece up to the gift. It made it a mystery each day, and you never knew when you'd get to open a certain package!

Photo Coasters

I made three sets of photo coasters using 16 cent tiles from Home Depot, 4x4 prints of favorite photos, felt for the bottoms, and a bottle of liquid resin.

The theme was "Memories of 2012." These ones I put dates and captions on.

Baby Footprint Ornament

One of my lesser successful projects. Baby hands and feet are very squirmy. Glitter is messy. Ended up looking more 2nd grade and less Pinterest-y.

Christmas Card Display

This was great, and I'm definitely doing it next year. So much better than either setting them on the mantle or throwing them out! Wire ribbon + mini clothespins.

Baby Christmas Photos

Of course I HAD to try my hand at a Christmas light baby photo shoot! Turned out pretty well, and I made Christmas Cards out of them.

These are some of the same bears that I posed with on my hearth as a baby.

Chalkboard Mugs

I got involved in a "Creative Pay it Forward" chain on Facebook. So I bought some porcelain chalkboard paint, some mugs, and an oil paint Sharpie and went to town! They are not all on here because one person has not received his yet.
Valentines Gift for CJ
Dalek can say whatever evil thing you choose. 

"Get Fuzzy" characters can converse!

Angry Birds mug for Grandma Kristi

I mustache you a question, but I'm shaving it for later.

And there you have it! I think that's everything for now.

Sweet Potato and Ham Soup

A lot sure has happened since my last post! We've had the full range of joys and tragedies. I haven't really had much time to post, but I did do a few projects that deserve their own posts, so I'll go dig up pictures and post them soon. But today, I want to bust out this recipe before the baby decides I have to come rescue him from his crib.

Sweet Potato and Ham Soup

I came up with this because these were the only ingredients left in my fridge after not shopping all week. The proportions are not important. If you have more sweet potato and less potato, more/less ham, no celery, etc, it doesn't matter. Also, I say 4-6 cups of broth because depending on how this fits together, you may need more or less juice. Use your own judgement. It will be delicious!

4 T. butter
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
4-6 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 cups diced ham
3 cups diced potatoes (Yukon Gold are best)
1 cup diced sweet potato (and by sweet potato I mean that orange colored kind)
1 cup chopped celery
1 T. parsley flakes
Heavy cream to taste
a pinch of thyme (optional)

1. Saute the onion and garlic in the butter until onions are soft and slightly browning.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the cream, and cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, but not falling apart. (about 20 minutes)
3. Spoon into bowls. Add 1-2 tablespoons of cream to each bowl and stir before serving.
4. Enjoy!