February 29, 2008

Boppy Cover

I'm pregnant with my second baby and this time around all I wanted was a Boppy pillow for nursing. But at $40 a pop I wasn't too willing to go out and buy one. Luckily I was at the fabric store the other day and found a pillow form (under the name Nurture Nest) for $12 that came with a pattern to make your own slipcover. I found some cheap fabric and was able to get the whole thing for under $20! The pattern was super simple but it was the first time I sewed in a zipper, so there was some good time spent unpicking things. I think the hardest part of the whole thing was trying to get a good picture of it. Pillows just don't photograph well- now I understand why they always show them with a baby lounging in it.

February 25, 2008

Apple Tart

We got stuck with a huge bag of apples after a school event so last night we decided to put them into some sort of dessert. I looked on the internet and ran across this recipe for an apple tart and I think I have a new go-to dessert. It has everything you could want in a recipe: easy, delicious, looks fabulous, simple ingredients. Perfect.

I used a premade crust from the grocery store which made it that much simpler. I'm sure a homemade crust would be better, but until I work up the ambition for that, a store crust worked great. Mine turned out delicious but a little mushy because I didn't use cooking apples. Apparently those signs at the grocery store indicating whether it is an "eating" apple or a "cooking" apple actually mean something. I guess I'll just have to make it again. Oh, and I baked it at 350 for about 40 minutes. The recipe doesn't specify a temperature but this worked. The crust was nice and flaky and the apples were cooked through.

February 21, 2008

Art Smock

I made this art smock for my 3-year old nephew for Christmas and absolutely loved it. I got the pattern here. The pattern is an 18-month size but with some adjustments I made it a 3T. If I had been more ambitious I would have put a pocket on it, but it works as is. It's super simple to sew together and makes a great gift. And apparently can be worn sans clothes.

February 18, 2008

shuttersisters.com challenge

Today's challenge at shuttersisters.com was to get a picture of your husband where he is not a prop for your children- a picture of just him that captures why you love him. A surprisingly difficult challenge. But I do have one picture that I absolutely love of my husband. I took this on a vacation just the two of us took this summer. I have always loved his hands- they are strong and big and always make me feel so safe. I love this picture because it shows off his hands. I love the way he's sitting. I love that his wedding ring is showing. I love that he's wearing his watch and dress casual clothes. I love that he's outside in the baking sun. For me this captures my husband.

Create Music-Mozart's Sonata in A Major, K.331

I didn't get nearly enough sleep last night and woke up crabby. Never a good omen for the day. The only way surefire way to get me out of my cranky funks is to play the piano. I took piano lessons for years, although to hear me now you would never guess it. Fortunately I have enough residual skills to get me through a few movements of one of the most beautiful songs ever written. There is nothing like Mozart to soothe frayed nerves and create a welcoming atmosphere in a cramped, old apartment. Note: that is not me playing the piano in the video. Although one can always dream...

Don't Forget the Rocks

Today the temperature reached into the sixties so I took my little man outside to explore. We didn't have time to go to the playground and I felt bad that we could only go to the nasty patch of grass behind our apartment complex. But he reminded me that nasty patches of grass are actually full of little treasures. He found these two rocks that were about the same size and couldn't stop looking at them and showing them to me. Oh, that such simple things made me so happy. I downloaded these photos onto my computer and opened them in photoshop to play with them- maybe boost the color, fix them up somehow- but that would have ruined the pictures. I'm a believer of pictures telling a story and these photos are him showing me that even on a dull, overcast day in a nasty patch of grass simple treasures abound. Thanks, little man, for another life lesson.

So Simple Vegetable Soup


When I was 19 I lived in France with a french family and the mom was an amazing cook. I still use many of her recipes but mostly just her approach to cooking as I cook for my own family. Like most french people, they started out every meal with a salad and in the winter with this vegetable soup. I remembered this soup the other day and looked through my recipes until I found it. When I looked at the ingredients I actually had to do a double take- it really is just vegetables and a few Tablespoons of milk. I've been making a lot of soups lately that require mounds of ingredients, spices, and especially cheeses and creams so this was a real find for me. No wonder french women don't get fat! (PS, I love that book and the recipes in it)

Ingredients (for this batch):
3 potatoes
5 carrots
1 onion
5 stalks celery
about 1/4 milk

Boil the vegetables then blend in a blender with milk. I seasoned mine with a pinch of thyme, garlic powder, and salt and pepper. The great thing about this soup is that you can use whatever you have in your fridge and whatever spices you feel like. It isn't rich or exploding with flavor so it works best as a side or a starter. We ate it last night with turkey sandwiches and it was a perfectly satisfying meal. Also, my 18 month old son LOVED it and ate about a cup and a half. I couldn't have been happier.
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February 12, 2008

My Non-Diaper Bag

I am always carrying a big bag around full of snacks, wipes, diapers, toys, trash, etc. so whenever I get the chance to leave the house with just my wallet and keys it is cause for celebration. Unfortunately for the last few months I haven't had a small purse to put my stuff in so I just walk around with my jacket pockets bulging- not very attractive or practical. I had this leftover fabric from a failed Christmas project and decided to make it into a purse. My husband informed me that it looks like a sofa, and to be honest I don't really love it, but I do love the design. Maybe when I find the perfect fabric I'll make me another one. Until then, this sure beats stuffed pockets.

I got the "pattern" here. I tweaked it quite a bit but this was good for the basic idea. This is the first purse I have made and I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. The dimensions for the rectangular piece that I used were 12" x 16". I also added lining and a handle, but that isn't really necessary.

February 5, 2008

Thank You, Thank You

I'm not much of a scrapbooker but I love all the patterned papers and stamps so I have settled on making cards. I can always use cards and I can make one in a single sitting- a perfect fit.

The letter stamps on this card are from one of my favorite companies called technique tuesday. I love their acrylic stamps since they are clear so I can see exactly where I'm stamping. Plus they have a great variety of alphabets and other dang cute stuff.

February 4, 2008

Teriyaki Kabobs

This has to be one of my favorite meals. I love freshly grilled vegetables and the sweet and tangy taste of teriyaki sauce. I made separate meat skewers and vegetable skewers because I prefer my vegetables "naked"- no sauce. While grilling baste the chicken periodically with the teriyaki sauce until cooked through. I prefer these kabobs served on a bed of brown rice with more of the teriyaki sauce drizzled on top. Delish!!

While I was growing up my mom would make huge batches of this sauce so we always had a quart jar in the fridge that we would use on chicken, fish, stir fry, etc. It's a super easy and versatile recipe that keeps well in the fridge.

Teriyaki Sauce

1/2 C soy sauce (I use low sodium)
1/2 C sugar
1 t chili powder
2 T honey
1 T vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 t ginger

Combine all ingredients and bring to a low boil.

February 3, 2008

Storage Bag

With a one-year old it seems that small toys just appear- I don't think I buy them, we somehow just acquire them. They keep floating around my house creating clutter everywhere so I made this simple storage bag to keep some of them together. The bottom fabric is actually a from a sheet that I picked up on super clearance. Having a big piece of a solid neutral color like that comes in handy all the time. The other fabric is just left-overs from various projects.
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