Sunday, February 27, 2011

Little Wood Sprite

For Miss Cordelia's fabulous fifth birthday, I made a no-sew tutu out of 8 yards of tulle, some silk flower garland, and an elastic headband. (Elora Kay, after modeling the finished product here for us has decided that she needs one for her upcoming birthday as well.)
To make your own, you need 2 yards each of four different colors of nylon tulle in complimentary colors. Keeping the tulle folded in half lengthwise, cut it widthwise in to 3 inch strips. Working with one color at a time (the darkest first) knot the strips around the headband, which  will now be the waistband of your skirt. Knot by pulling the cut ends through the folded ends and pulling tight around the elastic.  When all four layers of tulle have been added, trim your garland into desired lengths and knot on to the front of the skirt using either tulle or a coordinating ribbon. If desired, take any leftover garland and make a matching headband (or necklace, or waistband!) by simply tying either ribbon or a few strips of tulle to the ends. Let your little fairy try it on and dance around like the princess that she is. Voila!

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Little Spot of Sun

This week has been far, far colder than we Pacific NorthWesterners are generally used to this time of year. Everywhere you look there is is snow, ice, or snow!  Today we shopped a bit while the girls had their acting class. Miss Amarra found herself a little spot of sun to bask in just outside of World Market. It might have only been 20 degrees, but the sun shone bright and beautifully as the ice crunched underfoot. Her quiet little courtyard was free of wind and snow and, if only for a moment, she had the world to herself.

Funny Baby!

Dashiell Monroe is such a joyous, delightful baby. We're constantly entertaining ourselves by making him laugh! We keep checking, with no luck, to see if he is ticklish yet. Today, however, I tickled his armpit and got a giggle. Later Joel was changing his diaper and couldn't help himself! Nothing in this world holds pure, unadulterated glee quite like the laugh of a baby!

Gluten Free Snickerdoodles

I love to experiment with recipes. So many gluten free recipes are far more complicated than necessary, in my humble opinion, so I tend to make up my own. I keep promising to share recipes with the lovely Fiona Everest, so here is a simple and, if I do say so myself (Okay, all the kids on our block gobbled them up when they were hanging out here during this week's snow days, so I'm not just saying it myself.) delicious GF cookie recipe.

In a large bowl, blend together well:
    1/2 lb. (2 sticks) of softened butter, preferably unsalted
    2 lg eggs
    1 1/2 c. organic evaporated cane juice crystals

Add, mixing until well combined:
    1 1/4 cup all purpose gluten-free flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
    1/2 c. tapioca flour
    1/2 c. potato starch
    2 t cream of tartar
    1 t baking soda
    1 t xanthan gum
    1/4 t. salt

In a shallow dish combine ;
    1/4 c organic evaporated cane juice crystals
    4 t ground cinnamon

Roll into 1 1/4 inch balls and coat each ball well in cinnamon sugar mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees, spaced 2 1/2 - 3 inches apart on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, for 11 minutes. Cool on sheet one minute before transferring to rack to cool completely.

Store in airtight container. (If any last long enough to actually store, that is.)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

More Snow Fun!

We are LOVING this weather! Last February it was 70 degrees and this year, we get a last burst of winter before heading into spring! Every day is a holiday this week! Seleia has been saying, "This is the best day ever!" all week long. Who can argue with that?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

More Simple Pleasures

Nothing gives me a little slice of happy quite like being able to sit here in the Northwest and sip a steaming cup of goodness from my ceramic NYC coffee cup. I feel like I'm walking into the deli to grab an egg & cheese on a roll with my coffee as I head off to work on a cool, crisp morning...without actually having to leave my house or go to work! Thanks, Mimi!

Fat Quarter Napkins

One of the easiest ways I know of to cut down on both waste and expenses is definitely cloth napkins! With a family of six, napkins are in high demand at our house! The napkins themselves, however, tend to be expensive (ten dollars for one napkin? I don't think so!) and are often of poor quality...they shrink and mutate in the wash or slide off of your lap in the middle of dinner. A quick and easy solution? Fat Quarters! I'm not a quilter but I love to look at all of the lovely fat quarters every time I go to the fabric store. When they go on sale for 99 cents each I grab a few (I stick to a black and white theme to jazz up my plain white plates. They are all different fabrics but coordinate beautifully.) and head home to sew! Each napkin can be made in about 10 minutes!! They are already cut out for you, so simply fold the edges over about 1/4 inch and press. As you sew, simply fold the edges over a second time for a clean and sturdy hem around the edge. Fat quarters are 100% cotton, so they launder beautifully. And an added bonus? The girls love to pick out their favorite napkins as they set the table. When was the last time your napkins were fun?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Baby Wearing Giveaway!

The folks at Hip Mountain Mama are giving away not one, not two, but three baby carriers! Check it out HERE for a chance to win! And all of their Moby Wraps are on sale for the duration of the giveaway, so everyone wins!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Snow Baby

Yesterday Dashiell got to play in the snow for the first time! He had so much fun! (And I finally got to use that baby boy snowsuit I splurged on before he was born! Ha!) We let him play around in the snow for a little bit and feel how cold it was (and then taste it a little bit. He wasn't too sure what to make of it at first but then he really seemed to like it. Snow: good for teething!) then we buckled him in to the baby sled and dragged him around the yard for a while as he giggled. Babies are so much fun!

Coolest. Toy. Ever.

So if anyone is looking for a gift for Dashiell, or wants to save up for his first birthday, or want to all pitch in together.............or wants to get ME one............

Product Details Here :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Look What I Made

The girls have been begging for curtains for ages, and I'd completed ONE panel when I was whisked into the hospital last summer, so that really put a damper on finishing the pair. Recently, to the girls' delight, I dragged the ol' sewing machine out and completed panel number two. The heart fabric in the center of each panel matches their duvet covers, which is the same fabric in red. The rest goes with the overwhelmingly bubblegum pink on the walls. (For those who do not know, I DID NOT paint that color on there, it was here when we moved in, Had I tried to change it, however, I would have had a mutiny on my hands! I've noticed, though, that with so many pictures hanging on the walls I no longer see spots after looking straight at the pink.) The pink fabric on the window panels sparkles, though you can't tell from the photos. As for the orange polka dots....well, if you're going all out with color and pattern, you might as well do it with gusto!  The green ribbon tabs match the color of paint I have for the soon-to-be-purchased bunk beds. (We've gotta break up the blush and bashful at least a little bit, no?) The panels are lined with super-thick, super-soft insulating fabric which has been lovely on these below freezing nights and should be even more lovely on 100 plus degrees in the summer!
Anyway, they're a huge hit with the girls, and that's what counts! Every room should spark imagination!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sick Days

"If she can avoid catastrophe two days in a row, I might have a chance to make up my mind." 
-Marilla Cuthbert

Thank God for Anne with an "e", not to mention Matthew, Marilla and Gilbert. The past few days at our house have involved nothing less than terrible coughs, runny noses, 104 degree fevers and excessive, umm, discharging if bodily fluids. At the moment my living room is a jumble of pillows, blankets, tissues, cups of tea and listless girls. Hence, the Anne Shirley marathon has commenced. Now that they're actually eating frozen Stonyfield Squeezers and attempting some fluids I'm sure we're out of the woods, but some time with our favorite kindred spirits can't help but cheer everyone else up, eh?  (Did I mention that the baby is also teething?) Now, if you'll excuse me, Anne has lost her temper again and I need to go watch Gilbert profess how sorry he is.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Few Simple Pleasures

 Against the grayest of gray and dreary skies, a few bright and early blossoms bring the promise of  Spring approaching!!
 An odd little pleasure, but every time I pull a cooking utensil out of the antique 3 gallon crock Joel bought me last year I get a little smile on my face.  I love the thing.
 Since temporarily giving up caffeine (*gasp*) I find myself drinking 90 to 100 cups of decaffeinated English Breakfast Tea every day.  I get to use my little tea pot, a past Valentine's Day gift from Joel, all day long. I love the steaming little tea pot, the warm and delicious tea, and the constant reminder of my husband's affection. It doesn't get better than that!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Storybook Theater

The girls are loving their acting classes so much!  In the beautiful surroundings, I must say, it would be impossible to not be inspired to learn.  The main areas for their classes are the Storybook Theater and the Looking Glass Hall, a giant space full of over sized columns and mirrors.  We were the first ones to arrive on Friday, so Seleia and Elora got the Storybook Stage all to themselves before class, and put on quite a show!  Amarra enjoyed exploring backstage and looking at all of the various props that were laying around. The Theater really has become a magical place to them, and they can't wait until the day they get to perform on the Main Stage upstairs!  (For that matter, neither can I!)

Baby Laughs

Dashiell looooves his Daddy. (I'm pretty sure that the feeling is mutual.) I love to walk in on those two just chatting away and laughing with each other. They are already great buddies, and I look forward to years of little man traipsing around imitating Daddy, learning how to be a big man someday. I'm filled with joy and gratitude every time I hear my two favorite men deep in conversation. For now, though, I'm quite content that my little man stay, well, little.


One of my favorite things about childhood is that anyone, human, person, stuffed animal, bath toy or doll, can be one of your best friends. Amarra got a new best friend, named Marina, for Christmas.  Amarra and Marina spend hours together.  They play, they dance, they read, they do hair and have tea parties.  I happened to walk by Amarra's room as they were dancing and I couldn't help but go grab my camera. (After I took a few pictures they let me dance, too.)