What I’m Into July 2014

Cooking – Chocolate zucchini cake, apricot jam, zucchini and tomato fry

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basically fry sliced zucchini in butter until softened with salt/pepper/herb du provence, add chopped tomatoes and simmer together for a few minutes. I like plenty of tomatoes for a saucy scramble, yum.  Good with garlic toast or with eggs for breakfast.

Best Reads – Families Where Grace is in Place, How We Love,  A Homemade Life, Pie It Forward, The Rain Stomper, Who’s Hiding?, A Roar of a Snore

Organization – Reduced available dishes in the kitchen for more efficient clean-up, shifted my sewing space to the living room for easier sewing during baby play, rearranged the master bedroom(long needed, pics soon)

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Happy Little Things

Just an assortment of things that are new or didn’t quite fit into another post…

Farthest back, we celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary and my 26th birthday and Valentines day.   My favorite part of that celebration week was going to Coldstone Creamery for ice cream and giving Ascher a spoon of his own to just dig into our creations at will.  His face just lit up so brightly and his delighted chuckle was so fun.  We could have gotten him his own little dish, but I think that sharing our bigger dishes was probably more fun for him.  I got the salted caramel ice cream with Twix broken into it and ohmygoodness, it was so good.  We left with a serving of ice cream left each, and Ascher got a second, tiny serving the next day, which he also greatly enjoyed.  I also got some beautiful celebration flowers from Ben.  :)

Ascher got a haircut. Continue reading

No-Sew Fabric Flowers Tutorial

Usually I hate the tutorials that claim to be easy or no-sew and then require some obscure bonding agent to actually accomplish, but I think this is different.  All you need is a hot glue gun(mine was just a couple bucks at Walmart) and it seriously does make the project simpler.  I’ve made the same flowers by sewing and it works, but it’s a lot faster with the glue gun.

FabFlowers01These flowers are really easy and give you a lot of impact for whatever you want them for.  I attached the pink flower above to a baby size headband for one of those fun, giant flower/little baby headbands.  I’ll sew the blue flower to a hair clip for a less over-the-top look.  Ben suggested that you could paint a tree or flower stems on a wall and then attach the big flowers for some 3D wall art.  Whatever you decide to do with them, they’re definitely fun to play with.  Here’s how I made them.

Hopefully this all makes sense to you.  Let me know if you need any more clarification and I’ll see if I can help.  I’d love a pin if you found the tutorial useful.  Thanks for reading!  :)

Where did last week go?

Yes, I know, it’s been a week since I posted.  Oi.  I had a cold Sunday through Tuesday, but the only real explanation I have for my absence Wednesday through Friday is that it took me that long to get the house back in working order after neglecting it for three days.  It’s a weak and lousy excuse, but that’s what I’ve got, so work with me here, ‘kay?  I could also blame him….

I find the giant drool hanger here somewhat funny. My apologies if you don’t.  ;)

but he’s too cute, soooo, yeah.

I still did manage to get some fun and useful stuff done!

I’m on a sourdough kick at the moment.  I’m addicted to the bubbles and the good yeasty smell and the fact that my sourdough is starting to be respectably flavorful.  For a while as a teenager I was making sourdough pancakes for my family every couple days.  Our big family required big batches of pancakes, which gave me lots of opportunity to tweak and perfect my recipe, and frequent use makes better starter, so I thought my pancakes turned out really yummy.  Maybe my siblings were sick of them by the time I got out of that habit, but I don’t remember, and I was certainly having fun with it.  Since then I’ve used my own starter intermittently, but not often enough to make it really good.  This week though, I think it really came together.  I started with sourdough chocolate chip banana pancakes and moved on to sourdough soft pretzels.

Then I was inspired by Mom’s post about making donuts and had to improv a batch of sourdough apple cinnamon fritters.  No recipe at the moment, but they were good enough that I’ll probably have to make them again, and I’ll write it down then.  :)

Yummy!

Beyond sourdough I did some sewing and decorating.

Ben bought me a dozen little decorative gourds, so I washed those and spread them around the house to further my fall decor.

 

 

I sewed a bib for Ascher, loosely based on this pattern.

 

I sewed the diaper changing mat I’ve been meaning to make for the last five months.  Hopefully this will make cleaning up those random explosive diapers a bit easier.  o.O

The animal/alphabet fabric is a plastic backed cloth diaper fabric.

I also grabbed about $8 worth of super cheap fall flower picks from Walmart.  I broke them down and Ben helped me tuck them into a nice empty wreath I’d found at the thrift store.  My front door is now properly dressed until December!

Such a happy thing to greet you coming home!

These little things were enough to make me feel like I did manage to do something for our Focus and Refresh project.  We’ll see what the next week holds!

Spring!

It’s here, hooray, hooray!  I love this weather where you don’t need the air conditioner or the furnace and the house temperature hardly changes from morning to evening.  I’m also loving my little spring wreath for the front door.  Found the plain wreath and some fake flowers at the dollar store and had to combine them into this pretty.  I think it cost me $3, all told?  Of course I had to put it up long before spring really got here and it’s snowed two or three times since then, but it has been a lovely little cheerful thing to have up.

A perky welcome at the front door!

The living flowers that came with the house have also been fun to discover.  Two flowering ornamental fruit trees, four rosebushes(three of which seem to have died over the winter, sadly), a good size honeysuckle vine,  and two tulips(one yellow, one mystery) and a few little grape hyacinths in the front flower bed.  Eventually hoping for lots more flowers but these have been a nice tide-over until we get more figured out.

Ben and I have been busy with garden stuff and outdoor projects the last couple days.  On Saturday we planted three trays of seeds indoors to start growing for our garden this summer!  We started tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, cauliflower and herbs inside and the rest will be direct planted outside as soon as the garden beds are completed.

It's our little baby garden!

I’m absurdly excited about having a garden full of yummy fresh veggies right outside the door.  Fresh, healthy, pesticide-free, conveniently located and (figuring the first expenses of building the beds to be reusable) very affordable.  I’m hoping that there will be enough yield and that baby will be obliging enough to allow a good bit of canning and freezing, but we’ll see.  Obviously he comes first, but this garden was planned with preserving in mind, so if it does well we should be knee deep in produce!

After planting seeds on Saturday we peeked outside and discovered that the dandelions were thisclose to all going to seed for the first time, so we grabbed our shovels and trash bags and pretty quickly annihilated two kitchen trash bags full.  On Sunday there was a repeat performance with a yield of four kitchen trash bags full.  I’m so grateful that my husband doesn’t mind spending some of his free time doing yard work at home after doing it for other people all week!  I certainly couldn’t do it myself!

Last August, right after we moved in, the yard was very sad and neglected.  The weeds had been allowed to grow, unsupervised(bank repo house), all summer so it was a mess of several kinds of weeds ALL about to seed.  Three weeks of pulling about 15 black trash bags a week cleaned up the lawn immensely, but we’re obviously still fighting the seeds we couldn’t get to in time.  I think if we keep on it we can keep them manageable, but wow, we were really close to behind already this year!  Hopefully that’s the worst batch and we can work on it in smaller bits from here on out.  At the moment the lawn is almost all green, but in a couple days we should have another crop of yellow blooms pointing the way to the next victims.

Spring means a lot of work as far as the yard goes, but it also means a lot of excitement about the potential of what things could look like.  We’ll see, at the end of this summer, how well any of our plans play out, but right now it’s very exciting to dream and get the first things started.

One last reason Spring is extremely exciting to me this year: I’ve been saying for months now that our baby will be born in the spring!!  Hooray!!