Saturday, February 27, 2010

hair cut -- long time coming.

It was time for a hair cut. My last one was over a year and a half ago. AND in addition to the excitement of having a great hair cut, I have the excitement of getting to donate it to Locks of Love.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Nativity Scene: ornament

This is a Christmas tree ornament.

Baby Jesus looks [not] surprisingly grown-up.

Wordless Wednesday: days gone by

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It was the best day of his life ...

The weather was GREAT Sunday and you couldn't keep this family inside!

We started out at a park a town over that we'd never been to before. This was Son's first trip to the park when he wasn't stuck in Moby Wrap or Baby Bjorn.

So what do you think, did he have a good time?
Son had a FANTASTIC time! He giggled and smiled and growled (yes, he's in a growling phase) and kicked those chubby little legs and giggled some more. Ah, I seriously never knew I could feel so much joy just watching someone I love with my whole heart having the time of their life!

Then in the afternoon we came home and played in the yard. Son love crawling around, tasting the grass, finding the kid garden tools (aka our beach shovels), tasting the garden dirt, playing ball with Husband and Daughter. He did it all!

This was the part of the day when Daughter made Rocket Soup. Have you seen Little Einsteins? If you have it makes the story funnier. Basically, Daughter threw dirt, grass, water and rocks in the bucket, stirred it and called it Rocket Soup. When I was a kid, I called that yard stew. But she pretended her ingredients were cheese, peas and jumping beans. That's what you need to make the Rocket Soup.
check out those dirty shoes, legs and that dirty diaper cover.
He's standing up so he can better get to the Rocket Soup.

p.s. Daughter had a pretty amazing day too.

nativity scene: dated

I really like this nativity scene. It's got that old school 1970's shag carpet look to it. And I know exactly when and where I got it. yep, exactly.

because I WROTE IT ON THE BOTTOM! sheesh. yea, I did. I'm not really sure why. Probably so I wouldn't forget when and where I bought it. haha.
I like when Baby Jesus looks like a grown man. Religious symbolism at its best.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Food Day Friday: Dump Cake

I'm not a sweets person. I hardly ever eat chocolate. and I don't like [gasp] cake. it's true. But I love comfort food. And I define comfort food as things that make me feel good when I eat them. Maybe it's because I love the way they taste or maybe it's because it's something I used to eat when I was a kid and love the memories of it [and it tastes good].

Enter Dump Cake. My mom definitely didn't make this often, but when she did, we 3 kids loved it. and it's so easy. 5 ingredients. {4 if you're allergic to nuts}

I use my "big" casserole dish[I wish I had 3 more of them], courtesy of Brooke. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

dump one can of cherry pie filling (I use 21oz can) and one can of crushed pineapples (I use 21oz can) into dish. stir until mixed.

dump on box of yellow cake mix (18.25oz) evenly on top of the fruit mix.

dump 1 cup of chopped nuts evenly on the cake mix. I use pecans because I always seen to have those in my freezer, but I seriously have no idea if I used a cup. If you need more or less than a cup to coat the top evenly, take that liberty.

slice one stick of butter [no, this isn't a Paula Deen recipe, but I bet she'd love it] and distribute the slices so it'll melt evenly in the oven.

cook for 30-45 minutes, depending on how brown you want the top.

and make sure you try some while it's still warm -- but not too warm or those crazy cherries will become exploding bombs of fire in your mouth. :-)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

nativity scene: shiny contrast

This gem is a ceramic piece I found 1/2 at Kohl's. It reminds me of the crafts classes my church used to have. They even had a working kiln. yea, I thought it was really cool then and even more so now. Joseph's hair isn't 'finished' and it definitely adds a neat contrast, I think.

The little bundle of joy, Jesus.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

first garden set back of the season

It's a sad day for my garden.

Yes, those are my seedlings. Or what used to be my seedlings.

Daughter, my fabulous, helpful, inquisitive child, destroyed my seedlings.

She uprooted them all. She tore some of the containers. Dirt everywhere.

When I found her and my formerly thriving seedlings, she announce, "look, Ma. help too."

Yes. that helped. Helped push me right over the edge of sanity for the day. I had to excuse myself and go cry in my closet. Then I patiently waited for Husband to get home from work, so I could leave the scene of the slaughter for a few hours.

On a positive note, while I was out I managed to find a suit to wear to my brother's wedding next month. So the day wasn't a total mental wash.

I still haven't done anything but clean up the mess. I'm still too upset to deal with it. since everything was uprooted and dishevelled, I have no idea what seedling went in which pot ... they were all labeled with their identity. and knowing what is planted where is essential to square foot gardening.

sigh. I need to buck up and get back to work.

wordless wednesday: my snow angel

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Adventures of Daughter: Valentine's Day Card

A funny valentine's story about Daughter:

Yesterday I was sitting at the dining room table coloring with her. She was drawing frogs and fish and I was making Husband a Valentine's card. When I finished my card, I folded it in half and handed it to him. He read it, thanked me and gave me a kiss and a hug and put it on the mantle.

Hours later, Daughter was back at the table coloring. She folded her scribbled construction paper in half, handed it to Husband and said, "Valiiiiiitie, Da. kiss, big hug." Then pointed to the mantle, asking Husband to put her Valentine's card beside mine. That kid, she's amazing. She melts our hearts everyday.

Spirits Sunday: Ghost Pines Cabernet Savignon 2007

We're celebrating. Why you ask? Valentine's Day? nah, we're not big on V-Day. A new season of The Amazing Race starts tonight. yea, that's right. And we celebrated with a great meal and wine.

[Husband has filled out applications for us at least twice a year for the last 3 years. but we [I] never get around to making the video tape and sending it in. Maybe when the kids are older. I'd love to be on that show]

We picked up this bottle at Publix yesterday for close to $20. To Husband's excitement it was a "real" cork cork.

It's a California wine. 59% of the grapes came from Napa County and 41% came from Sonoma County. A winemaker's blend.

Cabernet Savignons have quickly become my favorite wine [behind Rieslings] and this one didn't disappoint. It's got a nice warm cherry/blackberry taste to it. It's 13.9% alcohol.

We had it with THE Bread, Asparagus Pesto, {I got the recipe from March Southern Living. When it's posted on their website, I'll link it} a great big salad {with red leaf lettuce and lots of vegetables} and grilled steak. pretty stinking good by itself but better with the wine. It was a late lunch and I'll get more just in time for The Amazing Race.

If there's leftover pesto, I'll have it with penne tomorrow for lunch.

Monday, February 8, 2010

how I made my own laundry detergent [no pictures, boo]

I could tell you a whole long story about all the internet searching I did and how I looked from store to store and where I actually ended up buying all my ingredients and my learning as I went making of it all ... but instead I'll just tell you what to use, how to use and store it and where it's the cheapest.


What to use:
1 55 ounce box washing soda -- I used Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
1 76 ounce box of Borax -- I used 20 Mule Team, which seems to be the only brand around
10 bars of bar soap -- I used Fels Naptha a bar soap made specifically for laundry but Ivory or pretty much any bar soap you want to use on your laundry is fine too

How to use it:
grate the bar soap. I used a box grater and Daughter thought it was cheese. That was a nice tantrum when I wouldn't let her eat soap cheese, I'll tell you.

Mix all three ingredients together. (you'll need something roughly the size of a 5 gallon bucket)
in small batches (about a cup to a cup and a half at a time) put the mix in a blender and blend it until fine. VERY fine. If the bar soap isn't fine, it runs the risk of not dissolving in the wash thus not rinsing off your clothes properly.

I made the mistake of trying to blend JUST the soap so I could mix it when it was fine, but that didn't work. having the borax and washing soda WITH the bar soap worked fabulous. I also found if I put for than a cup and a half in the blender at a time, it got bogged down. so blend more at your own risk ... or risk to your blender.

For storage, I'm using a five gallon bucket with a tight lid. I'm sure you could also use zip lock bags or a myriad of other things you can think of that seals tightly.

You only need to use between one to two tablespoons per load, depending on the size and dirt of the load. Luckily, I have a scoop that is two tablespoons and marks the one tablespoon mark. [from my Allen's Naturally detergent that I use on the cloth diapers]

Where's it the cheapest:
Publix on the laundry detergent aisle. You can buy all three ingredients for under $20 at Publix.

other places to find the ingredients:
I've heard Wal-mart, but my local one only had the borax
Ace Hardware. (you can also order from their website and have it delivered free to a store)
Amazon or where ever else you buy your online things-its and whats-its.

I wash in hot and cold water and the detergent works great in both.

Have an HE washer?
you can still use it. The only thing 'special' or different about HE detergent is that it produces very low suds in the wash [yes, it's true.] This detergent produces low suds too. It's safe.

p.s. I really love Fels Naptha. I have an extra bar that I'm using as a pre treater. and it smells pretty fabulous. my laundry room has never smelled better

while I found various websites, with various recipes this is the only one that's exactly like the one I used. I'm going to try their homemade dish washing detergent soon.

nativity scene: small gift

My mom gave me this one a few years ago. It's small and lightweight. It's about as tall as my cell phone.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

nativity scene: traditional one piece

This one reminds me of a smaller version of one my parents had when we were kids. I'm pretty sure it was another 1/2 price special at wal-mart.

I love this baby Jesus. Maybe it's because his lips are in the shape of a heart.

Monday, February 1, 2010

2010 Garden Planning is WELL underway.

it's cold. really cold. but I think any temperature below 50 degrees isn't really venturing out in, unless there's enough snow for sledding and making snow people.

But it's still past time to start thinking about the vegetable garden. And I'm so excited. This time last year I was very pregnant with Son and the last thing on my mind was the garden, so Husband took it on almost single handedly. This year I have a toddler who loves to dig in the garden to "help too" and a baby who loves crawling around in the grass. I'm ready to garden.

We're expanding the garden this year by 50%.

Last year was a real learning experience and we've adapted accordingly to try to make this garden more fruitful.

And Daughter has her own pair of gardening gloves I found on clearance at the end of summer last year.

We are RED-EE.

Last week I sat down at the dining room table with my notepad titled "2010 Garden" and began planning. What were we going to plant? How much of it did we have room for? What needed to be started in the house and later transplanted? Where was I going to put the seeds I started in the house to protect them from the cat? When did things need to be taken outside? Did I have enough cages? Where is my hand shovel?

I love thinking and planning. seriously. When I was finished I handed the notepad to Husband all proud and said, "Here, look at our garden plan."

"Looks good. What do we have left to get?"

not much surprisingly. I'd picked up some seeds here and there at the end of the summer plus we had some leftover from last year's garden.

Plus, after reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle I was pretty geeked up about incorporating more heirloom seeds into the garden. Enter the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company I'm giddy. Check this website out. There are some really great looking seeds!

{it's true. cloth diapers, homemade baby food, homemade laundry detergent, crochet and gardening get me giddy now. geez. but it's true. I love it. That and running.}

anyway. So what are we planting?

Banana Pepper
Bell Pepper
Red Onions
Yellow Onions
White Onions
Red Potatoes
Yellow Potatoes
Swiss Char

and our blue berry and black berry bushes have already been planted and are patiently waiting for spring.

I'm also going to try to grow pumpkins. At first I was worried about them being sterile since the seeds are from our store bought pumpkins from last Halloween, then I remembered that Husband accidentally threw some of the leftover seeds in the compost and they grew well. I'm hoping for similar success outside the composter!

I thought about okra [which we eat a good bit of during the summer]
corn [which I love but Husband really doesn't care for either way] and
green beans [more for nostalgia reasons than our want/need for green beans]
but in the end, I picked the things we eat the most. i.e. what we buy most in the grocery store.