Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I have a fabulous sister who takes beautiful photos (well, I have two other fabulous sisters as well, one's a super mom with a baby in the NICU and one is an amazing marathon runner!) and she took these of us back in November. I've been waiting for Christmas to share them with everyone.......Have a wonderful holiday week! (There's many more to share another day!)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

around the house.....

Here's a few funky iphone shots of Christmas around my house. We're having lots of fun being festive these days! This morning we had gingerbread waffles with freshly squeezed orange juice. (Bountiful baskets were very bountiful with their oranges this morning, and I already had a box in the pantry from the grocery store......yum!)

Making snowflakes was one of our advent days.....
This is my sweet little Rauchermann from my Grandma and Grandpa's. They lived in Germany years ago and I always loved their german Christmas decorations, especially their Weihnachtspyramide.......so pretty!
My nativity......I bought this at a Christmas market in Innsbruck years ago.
And of course you've seen my tree.....
And this is one of the things the elves in my sewing workshop have been making late at night! It's too bad I don't have a little troop of elves to work for me actually, it would save my poor fingers! (I've had a lot of needle mishaps lately.) Lately I've been feeling like I work in a little doll clothes sweatshop, I have assembly line piles of little clothes to make! But actually, I've been loving it. I'm especially in love with a certain little doll who has been coming to life in my hands this week......last night he got his final stitches of hair. I can't wait to share, but I think that will have to wait until after he's been revealed on Christmas morning!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

our tree....

We live in a sweet little old brick house that was built about 60 years ago, and this picture makes me feel like it could have come right out of this house's first Christmas! I'm having lots of fun with my phone camera, but since I don't feel like it takes the greatest, clearest pictures, I mostly use the fun apps. So get ready for lots of funky pictures!

Holiday preparations are in full swing around here. The advent calendar has been wonderful, the kids look forward to it every morning! So far we've had movie night with popcorn, a new book, cutting snowflakes, family game night, homemade hot chocolate for breakfast, sending letters to Santa, and making gingerbread men. Today is homemade playdough day! Today is also stay-home-from-school-sick-day......E has a bit of a cough and sore throat so we're having a quiet herbal tea and soup sipping day.

I can't believe Christmas is next week! I hope you all are finding quiet moments to enjoy the season. I've been loving my evenings of sewing......a little pile of gifts is growing bigger each night! I'm glad my shopping was mostly done by the end of November, this month has been very homey. Lots of homemade gifts and goodies to enjoy! (I'll have some funky camera pictures to share of those too!)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Advent.......

:: Welcome to the world little babe O! Our 32 week nephew is doing AWESOME! He's breathing just fine and drinking mama milk like a champion.....Congrats Jes! ::

With December 1st being an exciting BIRTH day for the family, (happy birthday to you too, Mom!), we've jumped into the whirlwind month of December. I was pretty proud of myself, this advent calendar was up and functional, and only one day late! (We started it yesterday.) I started sewing these little stockings 2 years ago! Last Christmas I finished them but didn't actually get them stitched to anything and didn't have any way to hang them up for display. This year I'm on it! I still need to get a dowel to thread through the top, but the kids love it. Yesterday's stocking was decorate the tree, today is write and mail letters to Santa! So fun! I've planned out the whole month, hopefully I just remember to stick them in each night!

Happy Advent to you all!

(On a sad note.......I've lost my camera! We took it on our little Thanksgiving trip and it never made it home......we're thinking it was stolen out of the backseat of the car since those doors don't always get locked, or left at the hotel and never recovered. So there may be fewer holiday pictures than usual this year, but at least it gives me a good excuse to play with the fun camera apps on my phone! Hopefully if I'm a good girl I'll find one under the tree in a few weeks!)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A doll for a birthday girl........

Since Kate is sharing her amazingly fabulous nightstand-turned-kitchen on her blog this week, I thought I'd share our gift for the little birthday girl! This sweet little doll was for my two year old neice, and she was well-recieved and has been well-loved since. She's called the "baggy doll" from Maricristin Sealey's book Making Waldorf Dolls. She made with a soft cotton velour I had floating around in my stash and stuffed with bamboo stuffing (sooooooo divinely soft!). E thought she needed a little blanket to wrap up in so we stitched that together at the last minute from soft tshirt knits. This is the only picture I took (on my phone) before we gifted her, but I had to share. I just love how little waldorf dolls come alive as you put them together. Yesterday Kate and I started our Christmas doll projects, so fun! I can't wait to share!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Bountiful Baskets......

Maybe you're all tired of these posts, but I just think it's so fun to see all the fruits and veggies in one place! Maybe I'll start doing this with my grocery shopping each week, what fun! This week was a good selection.....green peppers, bananas, a red onion, celery, lettuce, radishes, honeydew, tomatoes, pears, parsnips, oranges, potatoes, asian pears, and apples. Perfect for a pre-Thanksgiving weekend! Tonight we had the celery, parsnips, and peppers in a stir-fry along with other veggies I had in the fridge.

Things have been busy around here this week, but I've been getting to a lot of those projects I mentioned in my last post. Hopefully I can get everything done in time! :) But if not, they'll be next year projects, right?

I thought I'd share a little picture of my favorite new shoes! I had to wait a bit of a long time in line to pick up my basket, so I had a little fun with my phone.........

Monday, November 15, 2010

projects.....

As usual, with the upcoming holidays, there are about 50 projects floating around in my head! Kate and I were just talking about this last night, we can't help ourselves, this time of year creates some sort of creating compulsion! Realistically, I know that as Christmas gets closer and closer, some of these ideas will get put on the "maybe-next-year" list. But hey, a crafty girl can dream of getting it all done.....right?

The box of goodies you see arrived in the mail just the other day from Weir, can you guess what one of my big Christmas projects is going to be? Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Coconut Banana Puffs (aka Primal Doughnuts!)

Okay, so who doesn’t love a crispy yet soft, gooey, sweet, fried-in-horrible-hydrogenated-oil doughnut? Actually, the thought of them makes me feel a little sick these days, but these little puffs…….way better! They’re just sweet enough, with a hint of cinnamon and vanilla and they have that crispy outer shell that’s to die for. Seriously, primal eating seems to call for doughnuts since we’re all about the healthy fats! Make these, you’ll thank me!

Coconut Banana Puffs (aka Primal Doughnuts!)
½ of a ripe banana
1 egg
1 Tablespoon honey
4 Tablespoons coconut flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon real vanilla
Dash of salt
Coconut Oil for frying

The star of this show is the coconut flour, which gives the doughnuts a soft muffin-like inside. Mmmm.
Mash the banana and beat with it the egg and coconut flour. Add the baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla, and salt. Form the dough into little balls about 1 ½ inch in diameter and slightly squish them, giving them two somewhat flat sides.
Heat about one inch of coconut oil on medium low until a drop of water splashed in sizzles. Drop the balls of dough in one at a time and watch for the bottoms to turn golden brown, gently flip them over.
They should puff up in the center, giving them a crispy outer shell with a soft, moist center. Wait for them to cool just long enough that you can pick them up with your fingers without burning yourself, and bite into a little piece of primal heaven! Enjoy!

Monday, November 8, 2010

a girl and her doll......

We've had a good weekend of birthday bliss, stretched out over 3 days! On Saturday we took E to the store with some of her very special, much pondered over, birthday money. (Thanks Grandma W!) She is definitely a natural "saver!" She loves the idea of having a little bank full of possibilities, but at the same time she wanted something special to play with. She's been contemplating a more expensive purchase, but her thrifty nature couldn't bear to part with all her money at once. When she saw this girl at the store, it was love at first sight! She made up her mind instantly and quickly calculated that this doll would cost her much less and she would still have her little bank nearly full, and have more left over for accessories! (What girl doesn't love accessories!) She named her Susan, and later that night Auntie Kate gifted her with a beautiful handmade little dress to match the one we made this summer! It was designed for another doll, but fits Susan just fine (it's maybe a little short, but we think she'd like to wear some cute bloomers under it!). Now we have a happy birthday girl and her doll, and she even told me I could play with her while she's at school today......I might just go dress her up a few times!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

bountiful baskets.......

Here's our exciting Bountiful Baskets selection for the week.......Persimmons, apples, asian pears, anjou pears, green beans, black grapes, chard, bananas, potatoes, brussel sprouts, grape tomatoes, and cauliflower! Yum! I had a helper this morning, my newly 8 year old was out of bed early and eager to go and collect our basket. I don't know if it was as exciting as she had hoped, but the food looks great. Now we're off to research persimmons.....I don't even know how to tell when they're ripe! I've never bought them before!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Happy Birthday!!!

Happy Birthday to our sweet little "E," who is definitely not so little anymore! I can't believe she's already 8 years old! I love this age! She's old enough to have intelligent conversations and do fun activities with me, but still young enough to play with playdough and make up imaginary scenarios with her little brother. I wish I could just pause time for a little bit right now......but since that's not an option, we're celebrating as much as we can! Today we have an afterschool party for 7 girls and then special dinner with just us and then tomorrow Pirate Island with all the fam! Could it get any better? :)

I think so, especially when she melts my heart by requesting all her favorite mama-made foods, and they're so delicious! Brown rice pudding for breakfast this morning. (Sorry no pics, we ate it all up and practically licked our bowls, it was so yummy! I had mine with bananas and cranberries.) Sushi for lunch today.....
I've had homemade chicken broth simmering all night for her favorite chicken veggie soup......
Cupcakes to decorate with her friends........
And pizza dough mixing away in anticipation of 8 little pairs of hands making their own pizzas. The party is a "Chef" theme......thanks to the inspiration of some great friends!
And of course, what would a chef party be without some new mama-made aprons? I've been sewing like crazy for the past 2 days making 8 little aprons......7 for girls and 1 super cool dinosaur apron for my boy! Wish me luck with all this merry-making!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Halloween Highlights.....

As I said before, we had a great weekend of Halloween celebrating! The school had a carnival the weekend before, so we spread the festivities over the entire week. Here the kids are headed down to mainstreet to trick or treat at local businesses. This was Saturday afternoon and it was a huge event! The sidewalks were packed and we only made it down one block and back up again before we headed home. It was fun to see all the costumes, but wall to wall trick-or-treaters was a little much!
This Hermione costume was so much fun to put together. She has the cutest little pleated skirt and v-neck sweater on under her robe (which is a BYU graduation gown I found at the thrift store and hemmed). The Hogwarts crest I printed off the computer, colored in, and then laminated and pinned it to the gown. It held up really well and is going to be a great dress-up robe, the kids love playing Harry Potter!
The pumpkin we carved was huge! It weighed in at 45 lbs! Dad and the kids scraped it out and carved, I was in charge of sorting seeds. (It had a ton of seeds!)
He ended up with a great spooky/goofy face!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Bountiful Baskets......

Once again, I have to share my bountiful basket pick up for this past weekend. It was so yummy! I love the surprise of not knowing what we're going to get, and this was a fun selection of fruits and veggies, for only $15. This time I weighed it when I got home and it was a total of 25 lbs. Pretty good price per pound! (The pumpkin wasn't part of it, he just likes to be in photos!) We got black grapes, lettuce, pineapple, green beans, yellow squash, sweet potatoes, pears, apples, bananas, tomatoes, blackberries, and cucumbers. Yum!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween!

We had a fabulous Halloween weekend, lots of celebrating and treats! I have more pictures still on my camera, but I just had to share this one of my little Hermione Granger and her friend Dinosaur. Aren't they great?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"Big Guy Robot......"

That is what G has named his super huge lego robot! Since we've talked about our latest bead shape obsession, I thought I should share our other equally important favorite activity. Lego robots! I don't know if you can see, but up there at the top of this giant robot is a little head and arms. At the bottom he has little feet too. G makes about 5 of these a day but they're usually about 1-2 feet tall. This one is his crowning glory and he built it ALLLLLL by himself! That's right, he gently split apart the "robot" in the center and lifted it a few inches to slide in a couple of lego blocks at a time, until it reached the ceiling! It took all day and he would come and show me every 6 inches or so how much it had grown. And now it seems to have a semi-permanent position in our living room, I don't know if he'll ever have the heart to break it apart!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

knitting for my boy......

Knitting these woolies for my favorite 4 year old was almost as much fun as photographing him wearing them! He's so happy about them, I love it! The mittens were my car project on the way up to Canada a couple weekends ago and when I finished them, I decided they needed a hat to match. The hat I had originally started in the car was way too small by the time I'd already knit about 5 inches. So G and I spent some time on Ravelry together when we got home and he picked out a fun pattern to use on a new hat. This time I estimated better and it fits him great! Thanks to Jes for all her help, the dinosaur was my first time with intarsia knitting........it was a bit tricky but lots of fun! (Here's the dinosaur chart I used.)

I'm so glad he loves them, now we just need some cooler weather!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Coconut Hot Chocolate (or Hot Coco-Choco)!


Mark's Daily Apple had an Iron Chef recipe contest a few weeks back and the secret ingredient was coconut. Mmmmmmmm! I really wanted to win, the prize was a Vitamix!!! (My dream kitchen appliance at the moment!) I'm sure you can guess I didn't win (since I didn't come on here and rave about my new vitamix) but at least I got 4 new recipes out of it. They were so yummy and I had such a fun time creating and photographing and writing them (and of course taste-testing!). Here's the first.......

I'm Coco-crazy and Choco-crazy so I figured the best way to get my fix was mix them together in a creamy, steamy cup of yumminess! My kids and I have been making homemade hot chocolate for 3 years now and we'll never go back to those foiled lined bags of powdered blah. This year we're taking it up a notch with full-fat coconut milk and 85% dark chocolate. Blending those two together creates an ambrosia unlike any hot chocolate we've ever had.
Hot Coco-Choco (or Coconut Hot Chocolate)

1 cup coconut milk
50 grams (5 squares) 85% dark chocolate
½ teaspoon real vanilla

It’s really that simple……Heat one cup of coconut milk over medium low heat.

In the mean time, finely grate your chocolate.
Stir it into your warm coconut milk……
Keep stirring until it’s blended and creamy……

When it’s all mixed in, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Now pour it into your favourite mug, top with that yummy cream that comes on the top of the coconut milk, and sprinkle with a few dark chocolate shavings. Enjoy!