Friday, May 25, 2012

friday menu

[farfalle with fresh tomato-basil sauce]

Since Ben's parents will be visiting for Memorial Day weekend, I'm planning more structured weekend meals this week, starting with Sunday.

S-chicken alfredo and roasted broccoli
M-traditional summer feast: hotdogs and hamburgers, baked beans and corn on the cob, you know the drill.
T-left overs
W-pancakes and fruit
Th-macaroni and cheese and cauliflower
F-to be decided

What are you making this week?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

pineapple-peach smoothie

Don't be fooled by its pale appearance, this smoothie is packed full of flavor.  Really, it's more like soft serve sorbet. Mmmm...delicious!  Also, I tend to just dump and blend when I make smoothies, so this is merely my best guess for the amounts that I put in. If you try it and the proportions are off, go ahead and tweak it to your taste.

Put into the blender:
3/4 cup frozen pineapple chunks
3/4 cup frozen peach slices
1/2-2/3 cup coconut milk
3/4 cup vanilla yogurt
(my very favorite is Tillamook)

Blend until smooth.

Friday, May 18, 2012

geese and goslings

While we were in Washington visiting my grandparents, the boys and I had the opportunity to go to a nearby lake-side park where we had fun playing on the fabulous equipment, watching boats, and observing several families of geese and goslings (from a distance, of course).

What a fun, educational experience!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

KCWC day 4: skirts for Sweet Pea

Day four of KCWC (Kid's Clothing [extended] Week Challenge) brought two little skirts for Sweet Pea.

The first was an absurdly simple upcycling project.  It was a cute little 0-3 month dress that Sweet Pea didn't really get a chance to use.  I simply cut off the bodice, folded over a little extra fabric for a casing, and threaded some elastic through.  It's just the right length for her.

I used the same fabric that I used for Sweet Pea's coordinating leggings and onesie for the second skirt.  It's based on this tutorial for an itty bitty baby circle skirt.  It turned out so cute I can hardly stand it.

Unfortunately I haven't been able to get any good photos of Sweet Pea in either of her new skirts (though she has worn them!).  I decided to go ahead and post about them anyway since I'm getting tired of having this in my drafts folder. : )  You'd just have to believe me when I tell you she looks adorable in them.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

nine months

Sweet Pea's nine month birthday flew past two Mondays ago.
It's hard to believe that she's been living outside of me
about the same amount of time that she lived inside.

Right now Sweet Pea...

loves to sing "Da-da-dadada-da-da
(also Yaya-ya-ya-yaya)
seems to be trying to match pitch when someone else is singing
can say "brother" if she wants to
growls ferociously
has the most infectious giggle
sometimes makes kissing noises when picked up

eats at least three jars of baby food puree a day
and lots of finger foods
(string cheese and graham crackers seem to be her current favorites)
has started drinking out of a sippy cup

is close to figuring out the whole crawling business
still prefers to scoot around on her bottom
enjoys exploring the great outdoors
(grass, dandelions, the many adventures!)
has delightedly discovered her brothers' toy tools and guitar
(I think she's trying to keep up with them.)
can clap adorably
is starting to get the hang of the passing-it-back-and-forth game

is sleeping more soundly at night
and taking fewer, longer naps
(usually two per day)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

may photo challenge

It's time for the May edition of Project MCP!  This challenge has been so good for me, stretching me to do some creative research and to try new things with my camera.  Plus it's been fun which is always, well, a plus.

Challenge #1-Express the following word in a photo: Neighborhood.

I had an absurdly hard time figuring out what to do for this topic.  And even though I'm relatively pleased with the final photo, I still feel a bit dissatisfied. I was grasping at straws.

Challenge #2-Sunny day-Capture a photo with sunflare.

Challenge #3-Illustrate the following word in a photo: friend

I love how their laughter is so contagious that it can be sensed even in a still, silent photo.

Challenge #4-Take a photo with motion blur.

Challenge #5-One click. Show your first shot.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Inspired by Made by Joel's Wall Hanging Box Aquarium, I recently helped the boys make their own min box aquariums.  I printed fish coloring sheets on card stock, and the boys colored them. Little Man cut out his own fish and sea weed, and I helped Brother with his.  Then I used an exacto knife, blue cellophane, glue dots, and a needle and invisible thread to assemble the final products.

They would probably have looked nicer if we had painted the boxes too, but I was pretty much crafted out for the day (yes, it happens).  Plus the boys really didn't care that there were pictures of tomato paste on the outside of their aquariums, so it's all good.

They were quite simple and fun to make.  Even better, they were fun to play with afterward and kept the boys entertained for a good, long while.  I'd call that a winner of a project!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

KCWC day 3: leggings and embellished onesie for Sweet Pea

Don't get me wrong, I like pink just fine (especially when it's combined with green), and I enjoy dressing my little Sweet Pea in fru-fru girly pink outfits.  However, I prefer to not be limited to dressing her exclusively in pink.  After all, pink is only one of the many lovely colors in the word!   That being said, I am extra-happy to present to you the latest in my Kids' Clothing [stretched out] Week Challenge:

I made these little leggings and embellished a plain onesie to match last Monday before the insanity began.  The pretty orange fabric came from a super-soft thrifted shirt that never quite hung right on me.  I based the leggings on a tutorial I saw a few weeks ago, though when I was drafting the pattern I did make the back a bit more roomy than the front to give them added comfort and quality.

I am so pleased with how comfy they are and how great the fit is.Can I just say again that I'm so glad I conquered my fears of sewing with knits and trying out my twin needle?

Monday, May 7, 2012

monday menu

[sliced strawberries and homemade whipped cream]

My trip to Washington was quick but good.  There are so many unknowns with my grandma's health right now.  It's hard to not have answers and to know that so much is in limbo.  I am so glad that I was able to visit her and my encourage, provide a helping hand, and introduce Sweet Pea.

Little Man, Brother, and Sweet Pea were so good and sweet even when it was hard for them.  I couldn't be more proud of them!  On the drive up my mom was with me, but since she's staying with her parents for a while, I was on my own for the eight hour drive home.  I was surprised at how smoothly it went (though with the amount of planning I did ahead of time perhaps I shouldn't be so shocked).  I told Benjamin when we got home on Saturday that I'm pretty sure that travelling alone for that long with three children four and under must have unlocked a new super-mommy achievement. ; )

Anyway, I'm very happy to be home and am hoping to have a somewhat more routine week ahead of me.  As is to be expected, taking an unexpected four day trip made havoc of my tidy little menu.  You'll be seeing more repetition this week as I once again plan to pick up "dropped" meals.

M-lemon-garlic grilled chicken, orzo with parmesan and basil, and roasted brocolli (based on this recipe)
T-black bean tacos with corn salsa (no, I still haven't gotten to these)
W-waffles (or pancakes) and fruit
F-grilled steak, green beans, and mashed potatoes

What are you making this week?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

finger painted flowers

Little Man and I tried making our own.
I thought that all of his flowers were charming,
but I think my favorite has to be the "football flower"
at the bottom of that last photo.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Well, this week has definitely turned topsy-turvey.  After receiving news of my grandmother's failing health on Monday, we decided that it would be a good idea for me to take the little ones and visit her for a few days. Yesterday was a flurry of laundry and packing.  Today my mom, Little Man, Brother, Sweet Pea and I made the 8 hour drive to my grandparents' house.  I'm certain that being here right now is the right thing, but I sure do miss my Benjamin! (And my kitchen though not in the same way.)

Anyway, this post is about the color green.  We saw so many beautiful shades of green on our drive (as well as more white than I liked.)  I would have loved to photograph some of them to share with you, but since I was driving I figured I'd better not. ; )  Happily, though, I completed a mixed media piece last weekend, so even though I have not green photos, I still have something to show and tell.

This is not my usual style, but I'm very excited with how it turned out!  I've been wanting to do more with color, and since green is my favorite, it was an easy place to start.  The above pieces is made with layers of colored pencil, watercolors, ink, more paper, more ink, little mulberry paper leaves, and thread.

The quotation is by Pedro Calderon de la Barca.  Other than the fact that he was a Spanish writer, I don't know anything about him, but I feel certain that we were kindred spirits about one thing at least: the color green.

So excited to be linking up with Jennifer's Color Your World Challenge!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Last week
one of my friends and I
got to dress up in vintage dresses
(she's on the left in a 60's shift, and I'm on the left in a 40's dress)
and model them
for a presentation about fashion through the decades.
Such fun!