Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Grateful For

February 2, 2010
*  Sore ribs…love this little one growing in my belly
*  New recipes…homemade ice cream and homemade caramel sauce…need I say more
*  Fun movie date with my sisters, mom and neice…Extraordinary Measures is definitely a tear-jerker that you will need tissues for
*  Car seat inspection last week.  It was freezing cold…seriously 16 degrees, but we found out that my daughter’s car seat was broken at the base and we have a new one on the way.  We have been homebound and this has definitely allowed for less stressful mornings.
*  Casadian Farms cereal on sale at Copps.  We bought 5 boxes and got a coupon for organic milk, so the total for each box comes out to $2.60….can’t beat that for organic cereal and it is yummy.  We are buying 10 more boxes, as this sale is too good to pass up and my husband eats cereal every morning before work.  Quick and easy.
*  Warm home.  We have been keeping our heat set at 65 day and night.  We have been covering up and wearing warmer clothes, but it has greatly saved on our heating bill.
*  Internet…this keeps me connected to the outside world, especially during these cold months where we don’t get to the park or out and about that much.
*  Fettuccine Alfredo leftovers.  Yum!  This was a great lunch yesterday.
*  Nap time…ahh…nap time!
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Birthday Shirt

January 31, 2010

Well, I have been doing some serious nesting lately.  I’m not sure if it is because of the weeks flying by and my urgency to get things in order, or if it is the fact that we have been homebound without a car seat for a few days.  Anyway, here are a few things I’ve accomplished.

*  Birthday Shirt for our daughter’s birthday in May.

*  Cloth breast pads purchased, washed and ironed (this part may just stink, but I have about 50 disposable pads to fall back on if needed.  Love the organic cotton.  I hear these are the best and super absorbent. 

*  Baby closet went through again and organized more.  Each time it looks like it is done I find some easier way to organize it.

*  Baby toys out and ready to be played with.  Our daughter is already enjoying this.

*  Pillow that has been ripped for years got a little sewing / mending TLC.

*  Sheets washed.  This doesn’t get done as often as it ‘should,’ so it was nice to get done.

*  Hospital bags mostly packed.  A lot less stuff is going with us this time.  I don’t know what I was thinking taking a blow dryer and make-up when our daughter was born.  You don’t have time for that stuff and really could care less.  Plus, I’ve been hippie like in my personal maintenance anyway, so no need for all that.

*  Notes wrote to whomever takes care of our daughter.

*  Lots of meals frozen:  garlic beef enchiladas, italian beef sandwiches, coq au vin, goulash, black been soup, 36 pancakes (hey, we need to eat breakfast), lots of cheese grated and placed in 1 cup jars, mac and cheese flour / spice blend all prepared, and lots of other stuff.

*  New car seat ordered for our daughter.  We had to choke down the good will half price gesture of $125 for a new seat for her.  Ugh, but should be here mid-week.

*  Laundry washed, dried and ironed.  For now anyway.

*  Baby books (boy and girl) bought and ready to take to hospital.

*  Books read and information stored about how to do things more greener this time around.  What a lucky baby that his or her mommy takes so much time to educate herself on this.  Pat, pat on the back to me.  🙂

*  Breast pump washed and ready to go.  Hopefully I won’t be such good pals with the pump this time around.  Since I was working with our daughter, I really hated that pump, but this time around I hope to only pump one time a day so that daddy can feed him or her.  Also, we need time away, so some expressed milk will be gold some day.  You never know what life will bring.

*  Feminine pads in order…yuck!  The disposable ones are stinking up my bathroom…the fragrance they put in those things are horrible.  One thing I love about pregnancy is not having to do the whole monthly cycle.  I’m going to be very brave and put this out there…I purchased some reusable cloth pads for a very reasonable price.  I just bought three, but since we are cloth diapering, I figure why not try it out.  I got 3 pads for $8 on Nicki’s Diapers sale of the week.  If I like them, I will get more for sure.  I also have a pattern to make them, but just did not get around to it.  If you are interested in how it goes, just ask me and I’ll give you some honest answers after I’ve had a few weeks of them.  I have a few friends that love them and the cost savings is super!!!

So much other stuff, but I have to get a nap, so more another time.  What did you do to nest?  Anything I’m forgetting?  Take care!

Recipes To Try…Yum

January 30, 2010

Individual Pumpkin Cheesecakes  We haven’t tried this yet, but this is definitely on my to-do list.  I just need to buy 2 more ramekins before making this.  I’ll let you know how it is.

Sweet Pea Risotto  We had this recently.  I really liked it, but I would probably add a little more cheese and another tablespoon on butter for a little more flavor.

Garlic Beef Enchiladas:  Yum!  I just made this last night.  Super good!  I originally found this recipe in Taste of Home magazine a few years back.  This one takes a little bit to make, but while you are making it, just double or triple the recipe and freeze a few for those chaotic times that are bound to pop up.  We froze two batches for post baby.

1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
2 Tbsps. all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. sage
15 oz. tomatoes, chopped (I used Roma and put in the juices)
1/2 cup Very Veggie Juice (You could use tomato juice…preferably in a glass jar)
SAUCE:
4-6 garlic cloves, pressed or minced finely
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
15 oz beef broth
15 oz. Very Veggie Juice
1-2 Tbsps. chili powder
1-2 tsps. ground cumin
1-2 tsps. sage
1/2 tsp. salt
8-10 flour tortillas (mine 13×9 pan typically fits 8)
2 cups shredded montery jack cheese (or cheese of your liking)
 
In a saucepan over medium heat, cook beef and onion until meat is no longer pink and then drain.
Add flour and seasonings; mix well.
Stir in tomatoes and Very Veggie Juice; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
In another saucepan, saute garlic in butter until tender. 
Stir in flour until blended.
Gradually stir in broth and bring to a boil.  Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until bubbly.
Stir in Very Veggie Juice and seasonings.  Heat through.
In an ungreased 13×9 pan, pour about 1 1/2 cups of sauce and spread. 
Spread approximately 1/4 cup beef mixture down the center of each tortilla.  If you over fill, it will be a mess.  Top with about 1-2 Tbsps. cheese and tightly roll up.  Place the seam side down in the pan.  Prepare all tortillas this way.
Top with remaining sauce.
Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake uncovered for approximately 10 minutes or until the cheese melts. 
This makes a large portion for our family of 3.  We always have plenty leftover for another meal!  Enjoy!!

Fish Tanks And Roller Skates

January 29, 2010

Here are some photos of our play today.  We used tomato trays and Dixie cups to make a fish tank.  This provided lots of fun for my daughter and I.  Super simple and we didn’t have to buy anything to make this fun game.

Roller skates…made out of the same cardboard tomato containers.  Our daughter invented this one herself.  I love the creativity of 2 year olds!  She plays roller skates a lot!

A Little Oompa Love

November 16, 2009

I love, love, love Oompa!!  I love their products!  I love that there are two local stores!  I love that they play with our daughter when we go shop there!  I love that they don’t mind the mess we make either (we do clean up what we can).  I love their customer service and smiling faces when we walk through the doors!

We recently purchased this made by HABA.

[Haba Cash Register]

It is a Christmas gift for our daughter.  I have been unpacking everything before wrapping.  I want to check out the quality of the toys (less surprises later) and also make sure no pieces are missing or broken.  Plus, less after Christmas recycling. 

Well, I unpacked this toy one morning last week and was removing all the packaging, or what I thought was packaging (Note:  HABA is a Germany based company.  Most of the box is written in German and it came with no instructions.).  If you lift the lid where the buttons sit, there is a piece of foam underneath the buttons…packaging, or so I thought.  Once I removed it, I realized that it was not part of the packaging, but a very important part of the toy.  Once removed, it is virtually impossible to get back in place and the buttons are not functional once removed.  I was instantly sick to my stomach.  You see, this is a $40 toy.  Something I debated about getting our daughter because of the cost.  (Another side note:  I actually had a 10% off coupon I used and if you spent $50, you received a $10 gift card, so really I paid $26ish for it).  I called Oompa and the customer service rep told me I’d have to speak to a manager on Sunday.  I hauled my unhappy hinny into the store yesterday, only to be told that she could email the company and hopefully get a replacement part for me, but that she couldn’t refund my money.  I left her my information and left feeling a little defeated, but hopeful.  Well, I got a phone call from the Oompa manager before 11:00 a.m. today.  She had wonderful news:  HABA is going to send me a brand new register and a mailing labeling to mail back the non-working register!  Yay!!!  Thank goodness for great service!

Okay, so it was probably my fault, but again, the foam did look like packaging.  I will know this time and not remove it!  I think I may try to figure out something too so that our daughter doesn’t remove it while exploring and playing with the toy as the foam is exposed to little fingers.

I’m so grateful for the great service!  It is one of the stores I have fallen in love with and would be disappointed if I was left with a toy that didn’t work.  I will definitely continue to recommend the store to others and tell them about my experience and how it was resolved. 

Any stores you love? 

 

Traditions

October 28, 2009

I am really getting more and more into traditions.  I had some growing up, but it was more of where we would go when and not so much what we would do.  For example, it was always a given on Christmas Day that we would go to my Grandma and Grandpa’s house.  I like the idea of knowing where we are going on what day, but I also really like the idea of having fun things to do at home that are a given.  I want my children to grow up remembering these traditions and to want to come home to mom and dad (even when they are older and we are no longer super).  I want to be able to reminisce with them and form lots of special memories.  I really think this helps us all bond too.  As our children get older, we are open to their ideas too!

Here are a few traditions we have already started here:

Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas countdowns.  These are really simple!  For Halloween and Christmas it is a long paper chain (black and orange / red and green) to a pumpkin or Christmas tree.  Each day we take off a chain link and count the number of days until the upcoming holiday.  This has also been a good way to get some more practice counting.  For Thanksgiving, I just made a turkey body out of a paper grocery bag and crafted some paper turkey feathers.  Each day we take off a turkey feather and count again.

Birthday (for our daughter only, not for us, although a tradition for us is in the works…)  She gets to wear her birthday crown, have whatever she wants to eat (including if she wants birthday cake and ice cream for breakfast), open presents, wears a sewn by mama birthday shirt and do whatever fun activity she would like to do for the day (the last two years we have just picked the zoo for her, but this coming birthday she will pick).  We also hang a mama sewn fabric birthday banner.  We also make sugar cookies cut out into the year (for example, last year was 2 and this year is going to be 3).  (Thanks to my sister for this cute little tradition!)  My husband even got ’30’ cookies last year!

*Christmas:  We always go to my mom’s on Christmas Eve to eat and open presents.  First thing in the morning we open our stockings, eat breakfast and open presents.  Then, late morning my husband’s side of the family comes over.  We watch the Christmas Story (typically while our daughter has napped as it is on over and over again for 24 hours on TBS I think).  We play cards, open presents, eat lunch and supper, and just enjoy each others company.

Christmas tree:  Last year was the first year we ditched our artificial tree for a ‘real’ tree.  I’m so glad we did.  We just went and picked one off the lot.  We will definitely get another ‘real’ tree, but I’m not sure if we will just get one off the lot or cut one down…to be decided.

* Easter:  I cut out paper bunnies and our daughter searches the house for them.  She loves this!  Each year it will get more challenging and fun (for her and us).  She finds her Easter basket and also some mama sewn fabric eggs.  We then head over to my sister-in-law and brother-in-laws house for an Easter lunch and egg hunt.  We had been going to my side of the family for Easter for as long as I can remember, but I have to say we really enjoyed ourselves so much last year that we will now start going to my husband’s side.  (My side has so many gatherings that it is nice for a change of pace.  Plus, it makes my husband happy.  I think he has always felt like his family gets left out of the holidays and I don’t want him to feel like that.)  Leading up to Easter, we also dye Easter eggs.  Last year I made the egg dye and it turned out really good (cheaper too).

Valentines Day:  I really want to keep this about love and friends.  Not so much about romantic love, but about loving and being thankful for all the love and support in your life.  We have a special Valentines Day dinner and our daughter gets a few special things (I think last year she got a book or two and some small treats).  My husband and I might exchange a small gift like chocolate or his favorite beer, but no big bouquets of flowers or romantic dinners here.  I also make Valentines Day cookies in the shape of a heart.  Our daughter will be more involved in this process this year.  I also cut out paper hearts for our daughter to find, just like we do at Easter.

Oktoberfest:  We just started celebrating the last day of Oktoberfest this year.  My husband is half German and I really want to bring some cultural awareness into our lives.  We just celebrated this year with Oktoberfest beer (for my husband) and a German dinner.  There are some activities that we may try in the future, but this year was just the start.

Footprint and Handprint Christmas Ornament:  The daycare our daughter attended her first year made us this cute little fabric ornament using our daughter’s hand and footprints.  I am continuing that.  I have the 2007 one (from daycare) and I made a 2008 one.  I will make the 2009 one sometime in mid-December.  I’m not sure if we will hang these on the tree or if we will do some kind of display.  We will see.

What we want to start implementing:

St. Nick’s Day:  I really loved this thought and think it is something easy and fun to implement.  We will leave a pair of shoes out on the night of December 5th and see what St. Nick brings us in the morning.  This is yet another way to celebrate our German (not mine) heritage.

Cookies for Santa:  We will be leaving Santa cookies this year too and a glass of milk of course.  Not sure if we will pick a cookie that Santa will have every year or if it will vary…we will see.

Advent Calendar:  I found a tutorial last year on a cute little felt advent calendar and sewed it back in September or so.  I have all the presents wrapped and ready to go for this.  Super excited to start this tradition.

Thanksgiving ‘What I Am Thankful For Tree’:  We are going to get a medium-sized branch and I’ll cut out construction paper leaves and we will all write down things we are thankful for during the month of November.  Hopefully, we will have a full tree by Thanksgiving.

Birthdays:  We will expand the birthday celebrations to my husband and I.  We will get to pick what we want to eat that day (since my birthday is in a week, I plan to pick orange juice, french toast, coq au vin, chocolate cake and ice cream…two flavors) and some place we would like to go.  This year I’m picking the zoo, because they have a free family day and honestly, it is the only way I’m getting my husband to go for a 2 plus hour drive to a zoo that will be crowded.  We will also start watching home movies this year. 

Kids Day:  My husband had this tradition growing up.  Somehow he and his two siblings conned their parents into having a Kids Day, because of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.  Kid’s Day was always right before they went back to school in the Fall.  They each got a gift and did something special.  This sounds like fun to me.  I love giving gifts and having something fun to look forward too.  I’m sure we will keep it semi simple.  It would be really great if I could make a special breakfast, lunch and dinner for each of them (or maybe just a special dinner).  I would definitely be a short order cook that day, but with a little planning, I’m sure it would all work out.

Giving to needy families.  We would like to start some kind of tradition to give to others.  I’m not sure what this will look like yet.  It could be a toy for Toys for Tots or a blanket for Project Linus or even volunteering somewhere.  We will see, but something I definitely want to instill in my children.

What are some of your traditions?????

Recycled No Sew Tree Skirt And Other Wedding Decoration Reuse

October 21, 2009

I have been wanting to make a new tree skirt for a while now.  The one we’ve been using for the last few years is a vinyl-like material.  I’m not a big vinyl fan myself and the color I really didn’t care for either.  I’m not one to run out and buy a lot of seasonal stuff, so I’ve just been using the vinyl-like gold one for the last 8-9 years.  It is time for it to move onto another home for sure!

Well, I’ve been trying to go through a lot of my wedding decorations from 3+ years ago and I came up with a solution.  I decided to use the satin piece of fabric that was used on our wedding cake table at our wedding reception.  It is about 5 yards long (if I’m remembering right).  I was going to sew it, but I actually like the look of it more tussled and flowing under the tree.  I’m just going to wrap it around the bottom of the tree and tuck under the ends.  Simple.  Done.

I also have set aside some of the little flowers used as wedding decorations for art projects for our daughter.  I have the tulle set aside in my sewing stash, although I’m not sure what I will eventually use it for.  I’m giving some of the ribbon bows to my mom for holiday decorations.  I’m going to use a few of the satin bows on our tree too.  I’m still left with what to do with some larger rose like fake flowers and also some candle votives that look like wine glasses (sort of).  I would like to keep some of the stuff, but I’m not sure why quite yet.  It is just taking up precious space.  Any crafty ideas of what I can do with the extra stuff?

No Sewing Sunday…

October 6, 2009

Well, I did not get to sew yesterday, but that is okay.  I had family pictures with my siblings for a surprise 60th birthday present for my mom.  Then, my daughter and I went out to eat and grocery.  Needless to say, it was late by time we got home and no nap occurred.  We ended up eating supper and watching some home video footage of our daughter. 

On that note, I am very grateful to have a sister-in-law so willing to help us.  We do not have a modern computer that had the capabilities of burning the taped mini DV movies unto DVD, but she does, so sister-in-law to the rescue.  She is so sweet and even did some online research for me while I ran to get a last minute firewire (the pamphlet says it is optional and by that they mean…expensive and necessary).  Once we had all the necessary equipment, it took us a good hour to get the right settings on the computer and thus, it was 11 a.m. before we even made any progress.  So much for getting up at the crack of dawn to accomplish stuff.  Anyway, long story short, it takes at least 2 hours to burn each DVD and we have 12 of them to burn.  So far, I’ve gotten 6 done.  If I had the equipment at home, I could very easily be done by now, but no such luck with that.  Good thing sister-in-law is only a 1/2 hour away.  So, I have been busy running back and forth to her house to burn all these DVD’s.  So, I am really looking forward to sewing this coming Sunday. 

I just need to carve out some time to prepare sewing projects between now and Sunday and I will be good to go.  Maybe a week break wasn’t so bad afterall.

My Phone Is A Danger

September 11, 2009

Check out this link.  You may have to do some clicking to find out where your phone ranks as I did, but it is worth the knowledge.  I always error on the side of caution when it comes to things like this. 

I found out my phone is rank as one of the ten worst for emitting radiation.  Great!  Oh no, I talk on the phone all the time!  I am a talker and this will definitely put a little damper on that.  Not that that is a bad thing…sometimes, I talk too much when I should be doing other things.  We do not have a land line, so that is my only form of verbal communication.  We have only had the phones for about 5 months, so I am semi-stuck with it for at least another 19 months or so.  Ugh!

What am I going to do?  I am going to start using my earpiece more, try not to talk when the signal is low and just not use it as much.  

Check yours out.  I went on the US Cellular website and found a picture of mine and that is how I identified the model number. 

It will be a little quieter around here now, but sometimes silence is just what the doctor ordered.

Fabric and Notions

September 10, 2009

I finally made a trip to the fabric store to pick up a few things.  I had fun and if I was made of money, I would have had a considerably better time and probably spent the whole day in there. 

Here is what I got today:

DSC00256

I picked up two 1/2 yards of wool felt, one in white and the other in charcoal.  I found a few colors of organic fabric, but only bought a 1/2 yard of the pink.  Also bought a 1/2 yard of the brown corduroy with apples on it.  I needed to buy some ric rac for a felt mail project I’m working on.  Also needed some orange thread for our daughter’s Dora shorts for Halloween.  I couldn’t resist the remanent of the flowery fabric or a yard of the heart and bird fabric.  I thought I needed some snaps and ribbon (not pictured) too.  One can never have too many notions! 

Hope you’re able to go fabric shopping soon too!  It is so much fun!!!