Wednesday, February 27, 2013

And we ALMOST have a sweater...

I'm joining the Yarn Along again over at Small Things. I am still working on The Sweater That Wouldn't Die but I am so close... I can feel it!!! Thanks, in no small part, to my friend Tracy who started us on a new monthly knitting club.  We met last Friday night for the first time.  It was so nice, so relaxing, so JUST what I needed!  We've been feeling a bit of stress around here lately, having a few discipline issues with the kids and trying to regroup after a very busy winter.

In fact, I've been reading several different parenting books this week, trying to pack in as much information as I can.  However, I thought instead I'd share a book we've been reading with the kids this week that makes us all very happy and reminds us that spring is just around the corner.  I found this book at a little estate sale last year and fell in love with it.  The text is so very sweet and the illustrations are beautiful.  It was definitely the best quarter I have spent in quite a while.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Downton Addie

This week's Iron Craft challenge (#4) was "The Envelope Please".  In honor of awards season, we were asked to make something inspired by movies or television.  I chose my beloved Downton Abbey and crafted a really fun hair accesory for my daughter...  So, without further adieu, I'd like to present my very own...

 "Downton Addie"

Adelaide's custom-made, one-of-a-kind headpiece features a satin headband,  a vintage button and LOTS and LOTS of pheasant feathers. Always doing her part to maintain the class and customs of the English gentry, Addie believes one can never be too dressed up.  (She ALSO believes that bread can never have too much butter and a person can never watch the same episode of Doc McStuffins too many times.)

Remember, whether you're planning an afternoon fox hunt in the English countryside or climbing the popsicle slide outside of Sears, every preschooler, who's any preschooler needs some type of class demarcating statement piece.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

DIY Stickers

Most of the schools around here are on Winter Break this week, so I figured we should take it easy, too. I planned a light week of school and some fun activities for the kids. Friday, we decided to try making our own stickers. They were so simple and fun to do.  I can't believe we haven't tried them before.

I just combined two envelopes of unflavored gelatin with one cup of water. I heated until the gelatin dissolved and then I added a half teaspoon of peppermint extract and left the mixture to cool.

While I was making the paste, the kids colored some small outline pictures and also drew and colored a few shapes of their own.

Next they cut their sticker shapes out and placed them face down in a tray.

When our paste mixture had cooled, we painted a thin coating on the back of our stickers and left them to dry.

Now all that's left to do is lick... and stick!

Monday, February 18, 2013

A Walk in the Woods

Last Friday, everyone was just bursting with energy.  There was a little bit of sunshine outside so we headed to the park for some running around.  I usually put Annalise in the stroller; but, I decided to make her hoof it this time.  She fell down about eight hundred times in the first four minutes (and insisted on walking on only the icy parts of the path); but, she eventually got the hang of things.

We did lots of rock collecting, bird watching (bird shouting), deer spotting and plant identifying.  Annalise did lots and lots of dirty ice chunk eating, much to my dismay.  I tried to intervene for the first half hour; but, eventually gave in.  I know when I am defeated.

Just as we were heading to the car, the kids spotted this wigwam and teepee setup.  Everyone had a grand time investigating.  It seemed marginally warmer in that wigwam so I didn't mind!

Friday, February 15, 2013

When You Are Sans PBS

For Lent, Matt and I decided to give up, in no particular order:   yelling at our lovely children and evening television.  At first, I was still going to be allowed to get my Sunday night Downton on.  Then, Matt suggested we should still be allowed to watch PBS in general, which led to a discussion concerning the use of Netflix.  At this point, I decided we weren't really upholding the spirit of a Lenten sacrifice.  So, we GAVE IT ALL UP.  

This will leave us with free time in the evenings for things like talking, reading, playing games, and lighting the spray from orange peels on fire.  Tonight, we opted for the latter.  Lest you think no good can come of this sort of activity, let me remind you that A) we literally JUST finished coordinating a fire safety plan with the kids per our Cub Scout Badge requirements so we are totally prepared should the unthinkable occur; and, B) Matt had to eat a lot of oranges to get enough peels for all of these camera shots and the seven hundred camera shots that didn't turn out. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, helps the body produce collagen, improves the absorption of iron and greatly strengthens the immune system.  So, come to think of it, I can't really imagine a BETTER way to spend an evening.  But, then again, I don't know what's on Netflix right now...

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Whole Lot of Love and a Whole Lot of Other Stuff

Valentine's Day at our house was a day full of fun and full of activity.  Ads kicked things off early for us when  she came downstairs about 6:30 this morning to discover the Valentine goodies spread out on the kitchen table.  She promptly came upstairs and jumped on us repeatedly until we headed down to open presents and start grilling our family's traditional pink heart-shaped pancakes.  We also opened Dad's treat because nothing says Valentine's Day like a box of chocolates for breakfast.

After breakfast, we got dressed in our Valentine finery, (and I use the term, "we" loosely...  I was still in my pajamas at 12:30, at which point, I jumped into the shower and changed into my beloved bleach-speckled purple sweatpants because our friends were heading over to play and I wanted to look my best.  Never mind that my children were all in new hand-crafted coordinated outfits with matching accessories even though they NEVER even left the house and I was wearing old, giant sweatpants; but, I digress...) and got started on our schoolwork.

After a fun afternoon with our besties, we had dinner and made these awesome cake pops.  The kids did most of the work themselves and I couldn't believe how cute they turned out.  They were pretty tasty too.  After cake pop making, we made popcorn and drizzled it with all of our leftover colored chocolate and candy sprinkles, because, you know, we will need something for breakfast tomorrow, too.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Another Yarn Along...

I'm joining the Yarn Along again this week...

This week, I started How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Faber and Mazlish.  Matt read this book a while ago and has been after me to read it.  I only made it a few pages in before I fell asleep last night; but, it seems like it will be a pretty helpful book around here.  No one listens to either of us at the moment, so we haven't got much to lose!

I actually posted a picture of Aidan's knitting.  We checked out Kid's Knit! from the library a few weeks ago and he has been studying up.  He woke me a little after six last weekend to see if we could start his washcloth.  So, that day, AFTER the sun came up and Joann's opened for business, we got a skein of white cotton yarn and started on a washcloth.  He is a little young and I am a little impatient; but, I think we will get the hang of knitting together eventually... preferably post-dawn.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Hearts and Flowers? Don't Mind If I Do!

This week's Iron Craft challenge was "Hearts and Flowers".  I was really excited because it fit in perfectly with a project I wanted to do for the girls for Valentine's Day.  I made them each a dress in this fun Valentine fabric I found at my new favorite quilt shop.  I embellished each of the dresses with a big fabric flower corsage.  I knew it wouldn't be Valentine's Day without some hearts so I trimmed the dresses with little pink embroidered hearts.  I made the girls some matching hair clips and ponytail holders, too.  I'm so happy with the results and the girls love them!  In fact, I'm even thinking of adding fun spring dresses like these with matching accessories to My Etsy Shop.

As usual, The Adelaide was happy to strike her best dramatic supermodel pose. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Big Winner!

Thanks so much to everyone who entered the Snack Bag Giveaway this week!  It's time to announce the Big Winner!!!

Congratulations to...

 Kathy S  !!!

Kathy S. said, "Loving the batman ones... pretty sure the boys would like them too. I would like a cute purple one for MY snacks. :)"

Kathy wins a snack bag in the size and pattern of her choice.  

If anyone else is interested in ordering, you can email me directly, message me below or check out my Etsy shop.  I've also got some fun new items in the works.... think Spring Dresses and some great new hair accesories so keep an eye on my blog!  Thanks!

Friday, February 8, 2013


I had planned to write a post about my adorable Rice Krispie Treat Kisses.  They were going to be the perfect shade of pink and perfectly formed in my little funnels.  They were going to be perfectly wrapped in foil that had just the right amount of crinkle.  Their little flags were going to have kitschy sayings in just the right size.  I was going to carefully pile them into the perfect giant candy jar.  They were going to be so PERFECT.  Then Aidan and Adelaide decided to help me.

 And they are so much better than perfect.