Monday, August 12, 2013

Silly Me

The good: I have a really nice camera and I love using it. A lot. I take pictures of everything.

The bad: This means I need to charge up my camera battery quite often and today was a busy day, and I kind of forgot.

The ugly: There are times (like right now) that I really want to post some pictures on my blog, but can't because my camera battery needs to be charged. Ugh. I should really have another battery charged and ready to go when I need it.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Rainy Day Fun

Sometimes, on rainy days we make cookies, play games, do some puzzles or even watch a movie. But today, it was raining like crazy. I simply had to take the kids out in it. We still worked on our puzzle and played some games. So by the time we went out it was only raining a little bit. 
Maybe next time we'll just wear swim suits. Even with our umbrellas, we still got pretty wet. 
One of the "good" things about living on our street, is that the sidewalk has lots of dips. Hence all the huge puddles. 
Gabs went through some pretty deep puddles. She came home with about a cup of muddy water in each boot. No, the boots are not leaky. She was splashing so hard, the water came in from the top.
My little butterball loves his see-through umbrella. It kept him dry from the rain. It didn't work so well against all the puddle splashing, though. 
Good thing I had some towels right on the porch when we got home. The little stinkers had to peel off all their clothes they were so wet. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Eye spy with my little eye

I don't know what possessed me to do this, but I just felt like taking some pictures of my eyes. Here's one. No make up. No plucking or shaping (ever).  Little sleep. And my awesome freckles all over. Teehee. No really, I love my freckles. 
 I thought I should take some pictures of Gabby's and Ben's eyes, too. 
 Oh, look, she's got freckles all over, too. I think it's totally awesome that both of my kids got my freckles. 
Freckles on Ben's face, too. And look at those fuzzy little eyebrows. 
Hmmm, I think I feel a project coming on. Maybe I should take eye pictures of the whole family. That might be fun. Maybe something like an "Eye Family Tree". Any ideas?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

My awesome to gain 10 pounds in 1 day.

This is my recipe. I used the recipe for Peanut Butter-Oatmeal Rounds from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, but changed it here and there. 
Here's what you need: 
3/4 cup butter (cold)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup flax seed meal
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup chocolate chips
 Beat butter and peanut butter on med. speed for 30 sec. or till combined
 It should look like this. See the small clumps of butter? That's a good thing. 
 Add sugar, baking powder and soda. Beat till just combined. 
 Now add the eggs and vanilla. Beat for 30 seconds. 
Now add the flour and flax seed. I have a pretty tough mixer so I just dumped both right in. But you can gradually add the flour and flax seed if you're not so sure about yours. 
 Using a spoon, stir in the oats. 
 Add some chocolate chips. 
 Use a medium scoop or table spoon to scoop mounds onto a baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 12-15min. 
You can tell I used a scoop because mine look like round little mounds. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Brisk Risk, anyone?

Sure, we'd love a Brisk game of Risk on a Sunday morning! Some times, we get really goofy and throw all rules out the window. Like a few days ago, when we decided to play Risk first thing in the morning. Pajamas and all. I think Gabs was still finishing up her breakfast while setting up her pieces.
I've never actually played Risk, so it was a first for the kids and I. They loved fighting against us. But in the end, we all decided to share one of the continents. It seemed fair that way to the kids.
 It was great to have a day where all of us were home and we didn't have to be anywhere. 
I love this picture! Gabs is playing with a super old calculator and Ben is playing with Grandma's super old type writer. They spent an hour writing messages to each other. I'm so glad we don't do "screen time". I think they appreciate things that work slower, because of that. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Yarn Dyeing

A while ago, I thought I'd try dyeing yarn . I checked out a few blogs and pins on Pinterest. A Polish Granddaughter  is a good one. She shows how to dye yarn with marigold petals. Also, I like Repeat Crafter Me, where she shows how to dye yarn with Kool Aid. I tried using petals and herbs and that didn't work so well. I had some nice 100%wool yarn in a light cream colour and I wanted to dye it green. I tried all sorts of stuff. Basil, spinach, and a bunch of other green stuff growing in my garden. Nothing worked. Then I tried to dye it blue or purple with blue berries. That didn't work either. My yarn turned a dirty sort of gray. Finally, I gave up on the natural stuff and tried the tough chemicals...Kool Aid, of course!
Eww. So gross. I don't know how people drink that stuff. I might have had a glass or two as a child and  I hated it. But I love it now!!  As a dye. : ) It worked great. Even on my already grayish yarn, it made a nice purple. And it's super cheap at the corner store close to my house. 
 Here is my grayish yarn being dyed purple. I used 3-4 small packets in Grape flavour. It's really neat how after 30 minutes the water looks just like regular water, but all the colour had soaked into the yarn. 
This is the purple, still wet and cooling off.
This is what it looks like dry. It's actually a lot more purple in real life. For some reason my camera made it look a bit navy. I'm not sure what to make with it. I just thought I'd try a swatch to see how it looks. I really like the different shades of purple here and there. 
Here is a brand new bunch of 100% wool yarn in a light cream shade. I think I used 4 packets of Cherry and 1 Orange. 
This is what it looks like out of the water, but still wet. Kind of looks like ground beef. Eww. I got a little impatient and added some cool water to help it cool faster. Bad idea. The quick change of temperature to my hot yarn, made it felt itself a bit. That's ok. I'll still use it, but I've learned my lesson.
And here is what it looks like dry. I think next time I'll put in more packets. I think my camera made it look a little lighter than it really is. I like this colour but I was hoping for something darker.

I had lots of fun doing this and can't wait to do it again. Hmmm what colour should I try?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Days like these

Waking up to the sound of children singing.
 Nowhere that we have to be.
 Banana, chocolate chip pancakes and some lovely tea.
 Cuddles on the couch.
 Wearing pajamas till 9:00.
 Life is good when you have lots of time. 
(I'm no poet, but I like the feeling of this one)
We had a bit of a slow morning today. I even got to crochet some dishcloths during breakfast. They go along well with cookies, various butters and crafts that we make as Christmas presents. Yes, I know Christmas is 5 months away, but if I get started now, I'll have more time for other holiday activities with the kids. 
A very funny game of chess. I'm just a beginner. Ben knows a bit more about chess, be he gets so distracted! We'll just keep on practicing. It takes him a long time to make a move, so I usually work on some knitting or crochet. (check out the lovely red play silk)
Here's Gabs, amidst our play silk nest, colouring in her fairy colouring book. Just give her paper and crayons, and she's set for hours. 
And here's the view from our blankets, looking up. Makes me want to take a nap. : )

Friday, July 26, 2013 to make your kitchen feel like a sauna.

Some times I get good ideas. Other times...catastrophic.
Well, ok, so the pierogi weren't catastrophic but, damn, it was hot in my kitchen!
This is all it takes to make fruit pierogi. I made some strawberry ones and then some blueberry ones. You can use frozen fruit or fresh fruit. 
2 Cups flour
1 Cup boiling water
1 1/2 Tb spoons of oil
For filling:
1 Cup blueberries
or 1 Cup strawberries 

Make a mound with your flour and using a knife, make a small dip in the middle. Pour a little bit of the water and oil in the well and slowly blend it into the flour. 
Continue, adding water and oil and cutting them into the flour. Your dough should look a bit crumbly. 
Once you've added all the flour and oil, you should be able to form a lump of dough. Slowly kneed it to blend in any left over bits of flour. Sprinkle a bit of flour on your counter and roll out the dough. Mine was about 1/4 inch thick. 
Using a glass or mug make circles in the dough. 
Gently roll out one circle to make some room for the fruit. 
I used frozen strawberries, but fresh ones work great, too. If they were whole I would have put in just one whole strawberry. (or about 6-8 blueberries)
Fold the circle over. Starting at the bottom corner, pinch the dough together with your fingers to seal it.
This is kind of what it's supposed to look like. Keep in mind, I haven't done this in years!
Fill a large pot with water and boil. Keep water bubbling while you gently drop the pierogi in. They'll be ready in about 5 minutes. (about 8 with frozen fruit) 
I like mine with butter and maybe some sprinkled sugar on top. You need to put something on them so they don't stick together. Sour cream is good, too. And that's it!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Homemade and Deeelish

A while ago my husband got a cookbook as a gift from a friend. I'm not sure if he's ever even opened it, but I am absolutely in love with it. "The Homemade Pantry" by Alana Chernila is full of do it yourself recipes. Stuff like homemade pop-tarts, butter, jams and other canning, pasta and graham crackers. It's not just a cookbook. Every few pages, there is a story and pictures of Alana's family. It makes it so much more personal. It's kind of like a cooking diary. Alana also has a wonderful blog
 Yesterday was quite a chilly day. With our little family loving the cold weather so much more than the hot, we were outside pretty much the whole day. I got to read my new favourite cook book and work on Brian's sock. 
I actually got a little cold sitting there, reading, and felt the need for some tea. I love everything about this tea. It's Fair Trade Black Tea, with some local honey from Davis Honey, in a gorgeous little mug from a local potter, the Wizard of Clay.

So I made a basic stock from "The Homemade Pantry". It's very much like my basic chicken broth but with a little twist. She added garlic cloves and a tomato. Just adding those 2 extra ingredients made such a difference. I also used bones and skin from grilled chicken thighs that I made the night before. Actually, the chicken got a little smoked, so I think it might have added a nice smokey flavour to the soup. Everybody gobbled it up! It was wonderful. I made some orzo for the kids to put in their bowls with the soup. They also added oyster crackers. My little salt goblins.

I scooped out all the veggies and bits of meat and am now planning on making my very own version of pierogi. Woohoo! I wonder how that will turn out. I remember making pierogi as a child so I have a pretty good idea of what to do. I'm just not sure about the flour to water ratio for the dough. Time to do some research in my old polish cook book.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


So here's my first post under The good...the bad...and the ugly.

The good...I think I've finally learned how to use my grill properly.

The's too bad I forgot that chicken with the skin still on, can make quite a fire in my little grill.

The ugly...I got freaked out by the giant flames burning my super-pricey-organic-chicken and          accidentally bumped my Cutco carving fork off the table and it cut my leg on it's way down.

It's not that bad, but I did need a couple of band-aids. I actually didn't feel anything. I only noticed I was bleeding when I bent down to pick up the fork. Damn Cutco tools are so sharp you can't feel them cutting into your skin.