Little Boy Bowtie Tutorial

So way back at Easter I promised that I’d show you how I made Ascher’s super easy bowtie, but then I tossed it, candy and strawberry smeared, into the washer and it kind of fell apart.  Downside of too easy, whoops.  I was mulling over how to fix it or create something better for my tutorial, and I kept mulling and the idea just fell out of my head and I totally forgot about it.  Then about 6 weeks ago kind reader Mary told me that she was eagerly waiting for the tutorial(sorry Mary!) so I got back to thinking about it and figured out something more durable.  After all, a bow tie for a two year old definitely needs to be washable.

So, finally, I present to you the bowtie tutorial.


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Projects! Projects everywhere!

Clearly I haven’t been blogging recently, so what have I been up to?  Looooving summer, that’s what!

First of all, we’ve found it next to impossible to keep up with the kitchen cleaning for the last year.  It’s truly disgusting.  Part of the problem is that I have so many dishes(I love dishes far too much) that there is really no urgency to wash them every day.  Things stack and the sink is good sized and hey, why wash a spoon and bowl when there is another couple dozen clean in the cabinet.  But this was the state of the kitchen way too often.

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Should mention that we haven’t used a dishwasher for over a year. Ours broke and we’re too picky to replace it. Would it help? I don’t know. The way the old one was working things had to be 90%clean before they went in, and they came out 70% clean. Stupid. So we hand wash it all.

Oh. My. Word.  Everything on the counter is dirty.  I have to say, I wash at least a sinkful of dishes every day, but if that sinkful is pots and pans, or the silverware, it really doesn’t make much dent in the worst of the cluttery stuff.  I should have opened the cupboards to show that I still have probably that much again still clean.  I just have tons of great dishes, but if I have to do an hour of cleanup just to expose the counters enough to cook?  Insane.  Especially when I find myself using(and then washing) a bunch of dishes I’m apathetic about because some part of me “saves” dishes for special occasions.  So I got rid of a box of stuff that wasn’t used/was too much/didn’t love.  Then, after three two hour washing sessions over three days I got everything clean and away and declared that things were changing.   Continue reading

Delightfully Summer

I keep ending up with stashes of photos that can only be classified as “Things I Love About Summer” so I thought I should dump some here.  You don’t mind, right?

Our beans are getting big  on their trellis!

Our beans are getting big on their trellis!

We’ve been having breakfast most mornings outside, on what I’ve been calling the terrace.  Doesn’t breakfast on the terrace have a lovely ring to it?  I mean, there’s no terracing involved, but work with me here.  Whatever you call it, we get to play outside before it’s blazing hot and we don’t have to wash hands or high chair trays or anything after we’re doing eating, just go play some more.  The ants are getting exceedingly well fed, and I’m getting shockingly lax about how long I’ll be ok with the children eating something after it’s fallen on the ground(really only dry stuff…hmm.  oh.  ew) but small price to pay, right?

I was going to say it’s really only dry stuff(cereal, toast) but then I remembered that Ascher spilled the last of his oatmeal on the way back inside a couple days ago and was playing with it in the gravel, and then went to slide and then when I had him clean it up 20 minutes later he started eating it again.  Hmm.  Yum.  o.O  (I did stop him…)

Let’s face it, there really is no graceful way to say I let my kids eat off the ground so often that they don’t know when they shouldn’t.  Or to say that occasionally I forget to, until it’s already in my mouth and I’m like, eh, germs are already in now!




They love sunglasses, but only inside.  Because that makes sense.

DSCF2563 (400x300)Ascher has been enjoying his sidewalk chalk.  He scribbles for a bit, then carries it around in its little bucket, then starts throwing it everywhere which is code for, “We’re done with chalk now!”  Wilona’s favorite part is biting it.  EEEEWWWW.

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I have year olds!

Instead of month olds, that is.

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New(used) Lego table for Ascher's birthday.

New(used) Lego table for Ascher’s birthday.

Ascher at 2 -


  • weighs 31ish lbs
  • is putting together lots of short sentences
  • loves small(4-6 pieces) frameless puzzles.  These from Citrus Lane** are perfect for him right now.
  • I asked him to put his puzzle away and he ran to his room where I assumed he put it on the dresser, since his shelf is too high to reach.  A minute later he’s pulling a kitchen chair down the hall, groaning and whimpering(it was not cooperating)…  He’s very literal sometimes.
  • tries to help Wilona obey(No trash, Lola! as he tries to help her walk away)
  • enjoys picking berries, watering flowers, and putting dishes and silverware way.
  • His favorite pre-bed activity is running back and forth as fast as he can through the house with Ben.
  • still loves to look at books, calls some books by name and can remember and repeat opening phrases for several.
  • is working on counting(one, two, three, five, six, seven!), animals and sounds, colors and the fact that written words mean something.
  • loves helping with cooking and washing dishes
  • recognizes from our backyard the different sounds of cars, trucks, motorcycles, planes, helicopters and trains
  • would still prefer to eat solely fruit and veggies(and probably ice cream cones, haha)







Wilona at 1- Continue reading

A Party for 2 and 1

We had a lovely time this evening celebrating the birthdays of our little people!

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so easy(and free!) to make my invitation at!

We spent a lot of time working on the yard and garden these last couple weeks and it was a lot of fun to finally use the space and enjoy the changes.

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We went with a Very Hungry Caterpillar theme.  Ascher and Wilona both enjoy the book and since I have spent a lot of time relating to the “But he was still hungry” line in the book when feeding the babies it made sense to play off of that a little bit.

As always, you can click on any of the photos in the following galleries and then scroll through them for a larger view.  :)

It was so cute to see Wilona be looking around all surprised when she heard her name in the birthday song.  Ascher got sung to several times a few weeks ago, but he got a kick out of having it done again.

Wilona got to play in her first cupcake and while she thought it was interesting she greatly preferred the strawberry I handed her a little bit later.  Ascher very proudly walked his cupcake on his plate to his spot on the grass and then battled gravity trying to keep the cupcake on his plate on his lap.  It was pretty cute seeing Ascher and Wilona sitting together there all chocolate smeared.  :)
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quick catch up

Ok, so I haven’t blogged for a month and a week, what did you miss.

We had a mama duck and 16(!!!) baby ducks in our backyard!  We think she must have sneakily hatched them there, since there isn’t a good way for her to have led them in.  Ascher Who’m I kidding, I was really, really excited to see them.  We all followed them around the yard a bit while we discussed what to do about them, but we finally let them out into the park and hoped they’d make it to a canal soon.
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Oh, you didn’t come here for duck pictures?

Ascher had a birthday! He’s two now!  Update post about him coming soon and joint birthday party for him and Wilona in the works for the end of the month.  As such we’re trying to get the house and yard pulled together and semi-presentable(read: all the projects that we’ve started and not finished over the last six months, finished).  Ascher enjoyed his birthday(and my liberal hand with the cupcakes) and apparently(according to my photos from the day) spent the whole day shirtless.  Huh.

DSCF2150 DSCF2171What else…  We went to the beach!  A lovely, lovely week in a gorgeous house just a moment from an incredible view of the surf pounding on the rocks all day long.  Being able to see and hear the ocean all day and night?  Awesome.  Spending a week with parents, grandparents, siblings and etc?  Awesome.  Wilona having a puking bug intermittently throughout the trip, not so much.  But spending large parts of the night awake with a pukey baby was actually surprisingly better for being able to park in a big chair in the corner of the house that feels most surrounded by the water.

Obligatory family selfie, aren’t we cute.

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I transformed an ugly flower pot with a can of spray paint.  Now to plant it up!




I apparently really enjoyed seeing my babies sleeping.

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Gorgeous blankie from Aunt Alice.

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In the car on the way to the coast.

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Love baby sprawl…

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Other stuff.  Enjoying the sunshine and the rain and the extendedly mild weather.  Working on getting a semblance of a garden put together, thanks to our masterfully gardening parents(my dad, Ben’s mom) and their surplus tomato plants.  Trying, as always, to dig out my sewing room.  Yawning, yawning, yawning.  More to come later.

A couple from playing outside today.

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Ascher got a haircut!

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This post made possible by Beth!  She decided that since she wrote a blog post she deserved niece and nephew pictures in trade.  ;)  Beth is the delightful voice behind Gourmet In The Field and has recently written about being plagued by volunteer mentors, and the development of a single serving peanut butter pancake recipe.  Thanks for the kickstart, Beth!


Happy Father’s Day!

Here’s some great pictures I took at story time a few months ago.  The light was bad and the pics didn’t focus as well as I’d like, but I love how the three of them love each other so visibly.  SO SO SO SWEET.  Happy Father’s Day, Ben.  You are a great daddy and Ascher and Wilona think so to.  Love you.