Monday, March 10, 2014

Kefir. Kefir is weird.

I first heard about Kefir through a friend who had grains to give away because she was moving.  And she was cute and fit and fun and funny.  And I thought, Kefir must be the same as her, why would it be any different?!  I researched it and thought - DUH!  That's awesome!  I need to get me some of that! It's good for you in so many ways, primarily to me it was the helping to regulate blood sugar AND the probiotic part.
  Well, I was lazy and didn't get the grains from her before she left.  BUT then I saw the local Farmer's Market sold a couple different versions.  I thought on it for a good few months, ok, like 9.  Then, one fine Saturday morn, I jumped in.  I made the investment in the Milk Kefir Grains, not fully understanding what I as getting myself in to, but committed because of all the wonderful health benefits - primarily because my Hubby would benefit from it also!  

I jumped right in and gave it a go.  Here's instructions.  The photo on the left is about 2-3 days in to the Reactivation process from dehydrated grains.  It took a good 5 days for it to start really making Kefir.  The photo on the right was about 5-6 days in.  

When I tried Kefir the first time, it wasn't too bad.  But it was barely even a spoonful of a taste.  The hubs took a wiff of it and about passed out.  (It really doesn't smell that bad!  Just not what you're expecting a Milk product to taste/smell like - yeast!)  When I've tried to drink it plain, I. just.  cant.   I'm trying though.  I really am.

Here's the things that have worked successfully:
Instant pudding - substituting SOME of the milk, no more than half.
Mac N' Cheese - the milk portion
Bread recipes
Mug cakes
SMOOTHIES, endless smoothies.

And when you let your kefir sit out too long, it turns in to cheese.  And I've put that cheese in pastas and burritos so far, both successful.

Here are some more recent pictures of my Kefir.  It's a lot more than a spoonful!  It's been getting bigger since week 6.  I'm excited to share more grains with family and friends!

I don't know how to say this part, but it turned my baby's poo bright green. I'm nursing my 15 month old still. and I read it was beneficial to the baby also!  The night after the first time I had it, she went #2.  and I honestly don't know how to describe it without sharing the picture.  SO, if you don't want to see a picture of bright green baby poo, DO NOT SCROLL DOWN.  You've been forewarned.  But, all I can think was that kefir did it's job!  She's had a healthy colon for a while!  My hubby too!

 and there you have it.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

I made an Octopus costume.

I saw this cute pin of a baby in an Octopus costume and so I made an Octopus costume for my baby girl.  I  had trouble finding the cotton tights, but I had 4 pairs of nylon tights that were similar colors, thick elastic, and googly eyes all in the house. We're in business!

 I stuffed 3 of the pairs of tights with poly-fil. The tights we had were a size bigger than what she could fit, but, really, who gives?!  I drew pink circles around the "bottom" of the tentacles, including the pair she was going to be wearing, and outlined the circles with purple.   I folded the waist portion of the tights around an elastic band and secured them with sewing across. I made sure not to sew on the actual elastic so the tights could move around the waistband.  I took another elastic band and turned it in to a headband. To turn her in to an octopus, I just hot glued some googly eyes on!  Day of, I threw on a long shirt with a little ruffle around the bottom, the tights, the headband and then added the tentacle waistband.  OCTOPUS!  

For me, I was a Brick House.  Yep.  I rocked it.
I got a red shirt, painted on bricks with regular old white acrylic paint.  I used the cardboard from in between a sheet set and painted it brown.  Next, I took leftover box cardboard cut in to 4 rectangles, painted it red, added white lines and then just duct taped together in to a box shape, open on both ends.  It definitely didn't look perfect, I knew no on e would really care.  I also added a little duct tape to the top and squared it off a bit.  I cut off some of the bottom so it would sit on the roof at an angle.  Just scissored it up!  Ok.... now I know you're all wondering, how'd you get it to stay on your head?!  Very simple.  In fact, so simple that when I tried it, I thought there'd be no way it would work.  I got one of those sport elastic headbands that I had from college rowing and duct taped it in two spots, on either side of the roof.  I threw it on my head and viola!  Done!  It was a hit.

And that was my hand made Halloween. (Hubby wouldn't dress up and my son wanted to use the same costume from last year, Captain Rex.  

Monday, June 24, 2013

Taffy fail turned in to tie score.

It's Make-it-Monday.  So we made some....thing.  Not the original thing I was going for, but went with it.  Sort of.

We're trying to do fun stuff together.  Play, create, learn, and laugh.  We saw this recipe on this pin and wanted to put it together.

Everything started out as planned.  Teamwork while we added the ingredients, mixed it up and watched the thermometer.  We even got a quick science lesson in about thermometers and why they work!

We let the temperature rise to 260.  Then I added root beer extract since we didn't have any flavored oils.  Poured it on to wax paper like another recipe said to do and let it cool for about 5 minutes.

When I came back to check, it seemed to be stuck to the wax paper!  What?!  I managed to peel some off and then started to pull the taffy like the directions said.  Within a few minutes, the "taffy" was so hard, I couldn't pull it anymore.  Now that's saying quite a bit because I spent 10 years pulling an oar down rivers across the eastern United States.  I can pull me some stuff!  Not this "taffy!"  My son and his friend tried to do it also and couldn't get past a couple pulls before it was too hard for them.  I don't know if it was letting it cook to 260 degrees or the extract instead of a flavored oil... but either way, don't do what I did.

By that time, baby girl was so annoyed and hungry, I went to feed her.  By the time I got back, my Root Beer "taffy" had become Root Beer hard candy... that was stuck to wax paper.  I got some of it off that just so happened to be in the middle of a huge chunk, but there's only about a half cup of it.  So unless anyone wants to lick the stuff off the wax paper, this creation is going in the t.r.a.s.h.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Summa Summa Summa Time.

(My life is a constant 80's and 90's soundtrack.  I apologize.)

This whole "Summer" thing is new to me.  I was a 8to5'er +on-call for the past for-EV-ER (Sandlot style).  Due to a certain sweet little baby girl, I get to have my summer back!
We're gonna live it up.... in good ol' OHIO.... not spending any money 'cause Dad got furloughed.  Sweet.

Here are some things we're gonna try:

First: Plan, plan, schedule, and plan.
 This lady is a GENIUS!  She's scheduling out time for the most important things that summer has to have to be SUMMER.  We're going to do it.  Here's the pin.  
After they take care of their normal things (chores, reading, etc...) they focus on something per day.  It all has alliteration that makes it really easy to remember!  Jonah's really excited for the summer especially because of this list.

Second: He's not so excited about this...
The JOB JAR!  Thanks to my good friends example of what they call "Creative Discipline" I'll be changing up our discipline approach.  Not quite sure how it'll work, but I'll put up a post about it whenever we're in the swing of things.  It's a task oriented approach, like, "If I tell you again to ____ you'll have to do a job!" instead of the "if you do ___, you're grounded!"  I love it!   And your house is cleaner!  Wahoo.  These friends are funny about it, too!  For example, they had one child cut (some of) the grass -- WITH SCISSORS.  Hilarious.  I'm definitely down for that.  They came over for dinner and because one child didn't listen to the parents request, she swept my floor!  Amazing.

Third: SCIENCE.... Weird Science.
Jonah loves science.  We'll be trying some of these experiments and we might invite a few friends over to try out our successful ones.

Here's hoping I get to reclaim my summers.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

mom fail to mom win.

Like any good mother, I followed my Pinterest guides (with this pin) to try to start my son's summer off right!  I failed.  He cried.  And cried.  And cried.

So to make it better, we put a wig on little sister.    

and then the dog.

It was a blast.

Enjoy your summer!

Thursday, April 25, 2013


I'm still not so sure how I feel about it, but in general, it sucked.  And I'm not talking like, illness, death in the family, tree crashed in to our house kind of suck.  I'm talking about one of those days where you keep accidentally injuring yourself, literally. And where your 5 month old is mad at you and won't sleep or nurse. And your 7 year old is mad at you and won't do his homework or keep his crap off the floor.  And somehow all those Oreos that were just in front of you have disappeared and you have no recollection of actually eating them.  And you make sucky spaghetti for dinner because you don't want to cook anymore and you eat a ton of the crappy spaghetti and then you feel like crap.
That was my day. in a nutshell.

I am not normally a complainer, but today I feel as if I have utterly failed as a mom and wife.  Horrible.

But my little baby and my big baby and my furry babies are all sound asleep. And my husband is happily watching the NFL draft.  And I crocheted a purple bow for my bff's baby due in July.  and I get to see my out-of-town sister on Saturday. And see another bestie's newborn baby boy on Sunday.
Life is decent.
Life is good.

Good thing tomorrow is only a few hours away.  I need a new start.

Promise to not eat any more Oreos.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Easter rehash

I'm delayed. 3 weeks late. My apologies.

Here's what we did for Easter!

I made these! I have two little ones, but two of our nephews were coming over for Easter dinner, so I wanted to make something special for them!  These are inspired by this pin  and I tweaked it a little bit to add the bow for the boy's bunnies and then the little flower I made for Cleo's bunny.  I cut out the pattern, embroidered the faces, sewed together (for the girl bunny, I put the seams inside. A happy accident of sorts).  After I made the bows and flower, I attached with a quick stitch and then filled with goodies!  Easy peasy Easter ... squeezy?

I also tried the THIS PIN, but did it in more of a tie-dyed effect.  I accidentally peeled too much egg off when I was taking the shell off.  It would have looked really cool otherwise!

This is my son's basket.  I got a few things at the dollar store, a few items off the clearance rack a few months ago and there you have it!  Underneath the items at the top of the basket is a huge box of sidewalk chalk. Funny story.  We've had the sidewalk chalk for about 2-3 years.  I think I've given it to him at least 3 times as a present and he thinks it's new every time.  It just never gets used.  Instead of filling my house up with more stuff that will go unused, pretend the old stuff is new!  Yay!!!

We did an Easter egg hunt.  A tradition my husband grew up doing was that his dad would put random change in the plastic eggs and then you would add it all up to see who got the most.  Math!  We also did a Golden Egg!  I was thinking of putting $20 is the Golden Egg, but then I realized that the kids would get JUST as much excitement out of $1 than they would $20.  One dollar it is.


Monday, April 22, 2013

Easy Baby Gifts Part 2

Little Miss Cleo

This is my beautiful girl!  

She's wearing a hat I made!  and this is the tutorial I used!  This hat took about an hour to make.  I'd say that's a success!  The nursery's colors are a greyish brown, white and coral.  I used Sugar 'N Cream from Lily in a Coral color.  Cute! Cute! Cute!

For Christmas, I made my newest nephew, Kip, a big fun quilt!  It's actually my first quilt ever so I am really quite pleased with the outcome!  I used 2 of the smaller "jelly rolls" of fabric that were on clearance at Wal-mart. I love the jelly rolls because you don't need to coordinate yourself and they're pre-cut!  I did the "Jelly Roll Race" brought on by this post from the Missouri Quilt Company.   

I backed it with denim so my sister could lay it where ever she wanted without fear of stains!  I quilted it in a diamond pattern. I also did the self-binding from the tutorial on this pin.  Pretty basic sewing and muuuuuch faster than binding it (and I'm only speaking out of trying to bind once, when I made a t-shirt lap quilt so long ago).  I'll definitely be repeating.

I made this doll for my niece for Christmas 2 years ago.  She named her Maria.  An odd name for a red head, but it'll do.  I used a doll pattern from Martha Stewart back when you had to get an invite to join Pinterest.  I don't have the link, but it it's very simple.  Make legs, arms and a head then sew with right sides together using the dress.  Leave a small opening to flip right side out.  Stuff with poly-fil. Finish off with hair, face and whatever else! You can see the pieces in an earlier post.  

I'll have to continue later!  I've got a baby to cuddle with post nap.  best. time. ever.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Easy DIY Baby Gifts

I'm cheap.  I'm talking really cheap.  I don't spend money unless I have to spend.... like literally.  It's sort of always how I've been.  Or maybe I've just always been poor.  Isn't that a saying, something like, "Necessity breeds ingenuity."  Well, I'm no genius, but these projects have saved me tons of trips to the baby aisle, AND they're fun to make!  I should also say majority of these have been inspired by the one and only Pinterest, but some were translated... or malformed in some cases.

Here are the pics and info if I've got it.

 "burp" Burp cloths. Gave it to the momma with matching BOW burp cloths.  I used just the regular burp cloth tutorial, but before I made them, I cut out the letters, sewed them on, then made the bows with this tutorial and attached them really fast with a quick stitch.  Gave them as a cute set!

Here's a set! It's a "Bath Apron" with bath mit and then 2 onesies, one with a tie and one with a bow.  It was a boy's baby shower (in fact! he was just born yesterday!!  Congrats Migi!)  and there is not a ton of stuff out there to make for boys, so I made a regular thing INTO a boy thing with the fabric I chose!  It's got skateboards and... bikes and.... other... boy things!  Haha, not sure quite how to describe the testosterone in this fabric.
I took this pin: 
and decided it was pretty simple to replicate a pattern.  I made some quick "bias" tape (I say "bias" tape because I didn't cut the fabric on the bias like you're s'posed to.  BECAUSE I'm cheap! and I don't want to waste any fabric cutting part of it off just so it can be lopsided!).  I folded the towel in half, cut the corner off and set it aside for the mit.  I added a panel of the very boyish fabric to the front like is pictured.  I sewed the "bias" tape on as it shows in the picture along the edges of the towel.  I didn't make it cross in the back, though.  I just did a simple loop for the head and then followed the bias tape down to the hip area and finished the edge of the bias tape. Easy!
For the mit, I just rounded the corners of the leftover towel fabric, sewed on a small panel for the front.  With right sides together, I sewed it together in a U shape, flipped it right side out and VIOLA!  Coordinating Bath Mit!

For the shirts, I just combined a few pins like THIS ONE and THIS ONE and whipped them together!
(can't you see the skater dude.  so BOY!)

Here are the pins I sourced these ideas from: Tag Letter link (except I filled mine with poly-fil.  Rice Noodle link (I call it a Snoodle.  Get it? Snuggle Noodle! bah!) Self-binding baby blanket link  and then I made a wash cloth the same way I make the burp cloths... just smaller!  (p.s. it was totally by accident because I cut the fabric too short for a full length burp cloth.  Wash cloth it is!  (I'm embarassingly cheap)).

a little tie blanket with the baby's letter!  This one was a personal creation!  I made blankets for my little sisters (they were in high school at the time) and decided to convert to baby size!  I drew out a letter, cut the fabric, machine sewed on, then did a hand stitch to make it pretty, then tied it!
This I made for my little lady.  I used the fabric crayons and just made it look like paper!  Here's the pin.

OK.. so it's 11:30p and I am just now realizing that I've made too much stuff to fit in tonights post.  this will have to resume later on! nighty night.

Under Construction

I watched a Real Housewives episode recently and Vicki (sp?) said she was Under Construction.  Profound, Vick.  Aren't we always?  And as it is so, so is my blog.  My poor, mistreated, unvisited blog.  This is my commitment to get this blog right.  Just like with Vick, please pardon the mess.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

My most recent project

This.  This is my most recent project.  It's Cleo. And she's my girl.

Sorry if I get side-tracked, but this is my excuse.

What's that?  You don't like excuses?
Too bad.

She is exactly 5 months at the time of this post.  My sweet, sweet (sometimes very cranky) girl.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Motherhood is...

time consuming.  Obviously. But what great reason to spend that time.

However, I've neglected you, dear blog.  I'll try my best at taking better care of you. For you, are my link to the past... as long as I put the present on here, I'll be able to look back... in the future. Profound.  Especially for so early in the morning.

If I write down that I plan on going back through some past projects, then maybe I'll actually do it.  If I write down that I'll actually write down what's going on in my life, maybe I'll do that too. 

So, here goes.

Boys are camping.  It's 34 degrees this mornin'.  Ouch.  Girlie and I slept comfortably snuggled up to each other.  She had her usual schedule: to sleep around 8p, and wake up to eat at 11p, 3:30a and 5:30a and was up for the day.  She just went down for nap #1.  It's 7:20a.  I am going back to bed, too, hopefully before she wakes up. But first:

This is Easter weekend.  Last night I worked on the little bunny treat bags I'm making for my kids and the nephews. 

Today I have to go get Easter eggs for hunting, because my husband doesn't like keeping them stored. Silly husband.  I'm hoping to maybe make a pie of some sort... here's to goals.  We have my in-laws coming with the nephews for the big dinner.  We've got the ham in the fridge, onions on the counter, Tatoes in the corner, and eggs in the carton waiting for hard-boiling.    Will do.  

Must.... nap....

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life...

"A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.
"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.

One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego.

The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

This same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather,
"Which wolf will win?"

The old chief simply replied,
"The one you feed."

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Chair.

Forward: I am often far too optimistic.  I think I can do things I can not.  I put unrealistic time frames on everything... but it's just because I am ignorant and never learn my lesson.

After moving in to our house and needing more furniture than we had, I thought it would be a perfect time to take on a reupholstery project, because now I had a garage that was all mine (and my husbands, but who said it had to be his?!) that I could take over if need be. So I did.

I began this project about a month and a week ago... on a trip home for a quick lunch break, I happened to take a back way and stumbled upon a garage sale. It was furniture galore. Apparently a Mother-in-law sale.  At any rate I saw 2 wingbacks and an ottoman... for $10. Altogether.  Yes. They were horrendous, and already had a slipcover attempt go awry, but I don't shudder at the nasty 90's decor.  I think, stupidly, that reupholstery has got to be easy.  As long as I've got my staple gun and fabric, I am good!  I was wrong.

The most I had ever done with upholstered furniture was sit on it, sleep on it, or move it.  I didn't know what hid underneath that fabric!  But my bravery withstood my stupidity, and the journey began. I took it apart just how all the blogs told me to, like an onion, working my way from the outside in.  Ok.  I also read that it was smart to take pictures, of everything.  I mean Everything.  I took probably about 100 pictures, but I wish I had taken more, of the little things, like the sizes of the staples in certain areas or WHERE they stapled each piece... Ah well. Just had to figure that out on my own.

So I stared at it.  A lot.  I would remove one staple and look.  My husband would come in and ask, "how's it going?" and my response, "Great!"  I had no idea what I was doing, but my blind confidence got me through somehow!

This picture is of me trying to figure out just how they put this thing together, AND that this chair requires much more sewing than I was expecting. Sewing is not a great attribute of mine... but so be it.  I dug myself this deep so far, might as well give it a go.


  Here is the fabric we chose.  You wouldn't think it, but this was a huge time consuming, heart grueling process. It's really the first time I had ever made any type of fabric decision that actually had an effect on me. Everything else I've ever chosen has always been fun fabrics for a blanket or something goofy... never FURNITURE! Ack.

 So I recruited Dave's help to be my EYE, because my brain was in distress and it couldn't make one more decision.  If you know me, you know I don't like decisions.

    So here you have it.  The fabric. The wall. The curtain.  I still don't know. I put it on the chair to find out.  Looks decent enough. I cut it up to pieces that somewhat match the original fabric and keep going. And going.

and going.

and going.

And finally, I get here:  The CHAIR IS DONE!


except for the cushion.


I think, "It can't be THAT bad, I just did that whole chair.

I watched a video or two and started putting the cushion together like the confident girl I thought I was.  It was not working very well, but I pushed on, but these thoughts were running through my head...

I've never sewn a ZIPPER before!  I've never had more than 2 pieces of fabric to piece together.  Cording?! What's that?!

At any rate.  I put it together, and all of about 6 inches was sewn.  So I finally put it the pillow in to just see how my great work was looking.

and I was mortified.

It was supposed to look like a big fat blocky letter T...  It was, but Italisized.  No one wants their cushion to look like it was sewn in Italics!

I couldn't even bring myself to take a picture.  THAT bad.  I even tried to recruit the help on Facebook.  No takers.  I started looking up upholstery companies.  For as cheap and as determined as I am, that's big.

I mulled over it for a few days, bummed at my lack of this ability... my future dreams of yet another personally owned business, shot!

But!  I am the same woman, so I finally decide to watch some more instructional videos and try again.  More careful and patient this time...




I don't know if I have ever been more proud of myself for such a silly thing as a CUSHION.

SO here she is in all her glory:

 I still have to find good throw pillows to go with the green walls.  Side note:The fabric is not as shiny in person.  The thread in the stripes is a bit metallic, but certainly not THAT shiny in person.

Moral of the story:
I encourage whomever sees this to try things you're afraid of. Ya never know, it just might turn out to be a brand new skill you can add to your list!

Now I just have one more chair and an ottoman to go!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My what A SUMMER!

Were you aware it was summer?  Oh, yes.  It is.

And Mine has FLOWN by.  June and July were consumed by "THE MOVE."  We purchased a home in this cute neighborhood.  The home was owned by the original owners since 1957.  How CUTE!  And the house is the same.  We came from a townhouse, so this nice house with a full finished basement, a 3 season room and a huge yard is a wonderful change.  Starting in mid June, we started moving a few boxes or a car load every other day or so, depending on how crazy our schedule was.  When he had our big move on July 16th, I thought we were doing really great.  At that point, we had moved very box we thought we could pack, and then we would unpack them in the new house, and then refill them with new things at the town house.  July 16th came and went.... and there was STILL stuff in the town house.  How is this even possible?!

I'll tell you.  We had one of thos Mary Poppins bags... but it was our townhouse.  Magically spilling out things we don't really need, but have...

On the big move day, we had to put everything back together.  Beds, shelves, tables, you name it, it came apart and needed to be put back together.  Endless tasks were spilling over.  I suppose that happens when you're an adult.

Then.  Dave left.   for a week.  Bummer!  I promised him that upon his return, I would have the whole townhouse emptied and spotless.

That didn't happen.

I had to go to Cinci on Monday to have Jonah visit grandpa.  Jonah was allllll sorts of excited for the trip.  They talked about going to the zoo and going fishing and the throwing the ball!  How fun is that!  What kid wouldn't be excited?!  My son was... until we got in the car to leave.  I drove down the highway with him screaming, "I don't want to GOOOOOOO!"  Uhhhhh what just happened?!  5 seconds ago all you wanted to do was peace out!  The he fell asleep.  Phew, drama handled.

Or so I thought.

We got to the predestined restaurant to have dinner with G-pa and have Jonah leave.  I kid you not, I was there at bob evans for close to 3 hours.  45 minutes of which I was trying to get Jonah to sit on his bottom on his own like any other normal 5 yr old.  The other 2 hours, he was crying and hiding  and yelling.  What?!  Jonah had been to his g-pa's plenty of times before.  after all that time, I was DONE.  We got in our cars and started ot drive away.  Jonah reached for his Ninetendo DS.  OH NO YOU DON'T.  You do NOT do that to G-pa and get to play your DS.  and then I heard even worse crying.  So I ask, "If I let you play your DS, will you go to G-Pa's?"
Ok then.  you're going.
"But I will still miss you mom mom. "
"That's fine, Jonah, but you'll be fine."

Crisis averted.  Jonah drove away with G-pa.  and I was alone.  and I cried.

I got home and was alone.  How weird.