Leonidas’ Valentines Day Potluck Party!

Standard

Monday February 13th 2012 Leonidas was invited to a Valentines Day Potluck Party at a local park. We made homemade Valentines Day cards, and I took on the task of Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches and Oatmeal cookies.

Leonidas and I had lots of fun with the Valentines day cards. I cut out all the shapes on my Cricut, and I helped Leonidas glue them all together. They turned out so cute.

20120228-005606.jpg

20120228-010140.jpg

20120228-010328.jpg

We made the sandwiches on honey wheat Natures Own bread, JIF all natural peanut butter and Welches natural grape jelly (all HFCS free :)) and used a mini heart shaped cookie cutter and I helped Leo cut them out. There was no waist we gave the scraps to the dogs, they love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches :)

20120228-010730.jpg

20120228-010822.jpg

20120228-010833.jpg

I made my regular recipe of Oatmeal cookies and turned some of the raw dough on to parchment paper and cut the cookies out with the mini heart shaped cookie cutter. It was super simple and didn’t take that much longer than scoping balls out for regular shaped cookies :)

20120228-011123.jpg

20120228-011134.jpg

20120228-011148.jpg

20120228-011157.jpg

20120228-011230.jpg

Advertisements

Family sleeping :)

Standard

20120112-224811.jpg

Co-sleeping or what I like to call it ‘Family Sleeping’ does not have to be taboo, I doesn’t have to be crowded, and it most certainly doesn’t have to be ugly :) Our son is three years old and sleeps in our king size family bed, when we found out we were expecting baby number two I was trying to think of how to make our family bed work for all of us. None of us were ready for Leo to sleep in his own bed and definitely not his own room. We asked Leo if he wanted to sleep on the other side of daddy (we have a platform bed and it is 13 inches off the ground) so baby could sleep in the middle and he wasn’t happy with that idea either. After lots of thinking and researching I came across Peaceful Parenting’s blog post about co-sleeping and decided that a side car co-sleeper with Leonidas’ old crib would be perfect for baby number two. I would be able to breastfeed him during the night and slide him safely into his own space.

My husband had to move the room around a little to make the bed and crib fit along one wall since we have a small room, but he made it work. He moved the bed and assembled the crib next to it, he then lowered the crib mattress to the lowest setting (since our bed is so low to the ground) and our mattress was lower than the crib mattress so he got to work of removing our mattress and the slats and raising the mattress.

20120112-225017.jpg

While re assembling the bed and slats the mattress (that was propped against the wall) fell on him.. hahaha. I know I’m so mean for laughing and posting the picture, but he wasn’t hurt and it was funny.

20120112-233548.jpg

After he got the evil mattress back on the bed it lined up perfect with the crib mattress. Our bed is on a rug and extremely heavy and low to the ground so it doesn’t move, we pushed the crib and bed against the wall and it didn’t budge. Some people use tie straps to attach the beds or bungee cords to secure it. He then pushed the crib mattress up against our bed mattress and rest it on the lip of our platform bed. The is a rather large gap on the far side of the crib but that is normal when side car-ing a crib. There are many ways to fill this gap safely. You want to make sure you use something firm enough that the baby will not suffocate or get stuck in the gap and something soft enough that the baby will not be injured. High density foam is what I wanted to use but it was kind of expensive, I waited for it to go on sale at a local craft store but it didn’t. I wanted to finish the bed before baby arrived and decided to use a twin size egg crate foam mattress pad from joann’s with a 40% off coupon. The gap in the crib was 6″ wide 6″ deep and 51″ long. I measured long ways 51″ and cut the access off, I then rolled the foam and tucked it in the gap nice and tight. It fit perfect and nothing moved :)

20120112-225034.jpg

The crafter inside of me couldn’t stand putting a sheet on the mattress and then cover the foam with pillow cases or blankets, so I came up with a solution. I decided to take one of our sheets (they all match) and make a custom crib sheet that would fit over the mattress and the padding. So I started googling for a tutorial on how to make a crib sheet. I found one and got to work. :) The first thing I did was take all of the elastic out of the king size sheet (I recommend not being impatient and finding or purchasing a seam ripper if you ever need to remove stitches) so that I could re purpose as much as possible. The tutorial I found was measurements for a regular size crib sheet so I had to do some math, and added the 6″ gap to the width of the sheet pattern and tried to follow the directions the best I could. (I am so bad about following directions) The sheet came out great and fit on the mattress and padding perfect. Making a matching custom sized crib sheet was a success. But that wasn’t enough for me.. It looked to plain and didn’t add anything to the room so I came up with another idea. Matching decorative crib bumpers. I had Leonidas’ bumper set still so I decided to remove all of the fabric and recover them using my king size pillow shams. I also had to take all the stitches out of the pillow shams so that I didn’t waist any fabric. The bumpers that I had were for a full crib so they were to long for the partial crib I had. I measured the three side and cut the bumpers to the appropriate length. I then measured all the pieces of the pillow shams and pinned it all. I used the excess pieces and made ties to secure it to the crib sides and started sewing it all together to fit the bumper padding. When it was done I sewed three vertical lines in the bumpers so that it would fold in each of the corners and one in the center. This helped it fit tighter to the crib sides.

20120112-225053.jpgThis is what the finished project looked like. (Don’t mind Leo sleeping in the picture) I was very happy with the outcome :)

If you would like some information on the benefits of co-sleeping, here is a link to Peaceful Parenting’s ‘Baby Sleep Resource Page’ that I found helpful. She has a large list of articles, books, and subscriptions about the subject.

Happy Family Sleeping :)

Homemade Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Standard

My husband and three year old son love granola bars, and I have been searching for a granola bar that they could both eat. I couldn’t find one in the store that didn’t have high fructose corn syrup, were low in sugar and were still delicious and filling enough for my husband. I decided to try my hand at making homemade ones. I came up with this recipe and it is a big hit.

Ingredients:

4 Tablespoons of butter Coconut Oil

1/4 Cup of Raw Honey

3 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter

1/8 Cup of packed light brown Sugar

2 Cups of Chocolate Delight Granola (Bake to Nature)

1 Cup of Rice Cereal (Rice Crispies)

Handful of mini chocolate chips

Directions:

20120111-230257.jpg

In small sauce pan melt butter than add honey and peanut butter.

20120111-230306.jpg

Remove butter, honey and peanut butter from heat and add sugar; mix well.

20120111-230314.jpg

Measure out granola and rice cereal in bowl and fold butter and sugar mixture in. Mix until all the granola and cereal are covered.

20120111-230323.jpg

Spread granola mixture evenly into parchment paper lined 9×9 pan and add chocolate chips on top.

20120111-230330.jpg

Let sit for 20-30 minutes and then turn granola out onto cutting board. Cut in half on way and then cut into granola bars. I got 14 out of my 9×9 pan.

20120111-230340.jpg

I then wrapped each granola in parchment paper and refrigerated over night.

This recipe filled me up for breakfast and would make an awesome afternoon smack. :) If you try the recipe out let me know what you think.

Thanks for reading!

2012 I embrace you!

Standard

2011 brought some good and bad to our family. I will never forget what treasures were given to us, and most definitely will never forget the ones we lost.

My resolution for this year and all the years to come is to:

Surround myself and family with positive thoughts and vibes. I will embrace every moment of life and treasure all things I have. I will strive on a daily basis to never loose sight of what is important, My FAMILY! I will make sure Leonidas is happy everyday. I will make sure that he knows everyday that I love him more than anything. I will make sure that Mike knows how lucky I am to have him, how much I love him and that we will be by his side forever! Laughter is a cure all and I will laugh everyday. I will think of my baby boy Jaimison everyday and be happy while doing so. I will remember all of the times I felt him move and kick inside of my and will remember his peaceful little face. I will make sure Leonidas knows about his brother and that no one else ever forgets him. I will overcome the trauma from his birth. I will work on getting my confidence back so we can expand our family like we so want to do. I will not have another child just to fill the void of Jaimison. I will work on being able to live with the memory of Jaimison in a happy and positive way. I will be a positive person again. I will release all of the negativity for good!

I will embrace tomorrow everyday..

Homemade Christmas gifts 2011

Standard

For Christmas this year We were tight on funds and I decided I would put some of my talent to work for gifts. I made gifts for my Grandmothers, my Mother, my Father and my Mother-in-Law. My Creativeness was curved by the new pin board web site, Pinterest. That website is amazing, but well leave that for another day.

For my Mother-in-Law I searched Craigslist for weeks to find a decent wicker set. I finally found one at an incredibly reasonable price that didn’t need too much work. This set of chairs and the table needed some repair on the legs and a fresh coat of paint. I had no idea that I couldn’t purchase reed (wicker) locally, so I had to find a company that would be able to ship it to me quickly and at a good price. Once the Reed arrived in the mail I watched a DIY video tutorial on how to repair wicker furniture and got to work. In just a couple of hours I fixed and painted (well the Hubs helped paint) the chairs and table. Here is the finished project :)

20120110-205138.jpg

For my father I made a padded hammock cover. I purchased Hobbs Heirloom cotton batting from Hobby Lobby with a 40% off coupon and got the fabric on sale at Ikea. I never follow a pattern and have never quilted before so this was also a first time project for me. I measured the hammock and cut the batting. I then cut the top and bottom pieces of the fabric to be one inch larger on every side. I folded the batting in to the bottom layer and then folded the top and pinned it all together. I took the extra fabric and made ties for the cover. I pinned them in and sewed the whole thing together. I then quilted three lines horizontally in the cover. This hammock cover was a lot of work. This one took me a couple of days to do and finish, but so worth it. Here it is.

20120110-205159.jpg

For my mother, I made her a cushion for the bench in front of her house. I think this was the hardest project for me. Like I said I do not follow patterns well while sewing. (I really need to work on that..lol) So after doing all of the work I was hoping it would fit on her bench. I was really worried about this one. I already had the fabric that I used on this cushion, I wanted to use it on my dad’s hammock cover but there wasn’t enough. But I was so happy I got to use it on this one. I purchased a big piece of Smart Foam cushion fabric from Hobby Lobby and again used the 40% off coupon. They sell this foam by the yard. This cushion came out looking really good and I was very happy with it. Now I just have to help her repaint it, I wish I could have done that without her knowing but I think she would have noticed it missing.. lol Her is a picture of the cushion!

20120110-205205.jpg

I am so happy with how all of my projects / gifts turned out. I would like to make my gifts from now on. Maybe that can be one of my New Year Resolutions ;)

Happy Crafting!!

My adventure with a Hand Soap recipe : )

Standard

So while searching on Pinterest I found this cool tutorial for making hand soap. In the tutorial it also says you can use it as body wash and shampoo. I was intrigued. So I made an ingredient list and went out to get the supplies I didn’t already have on hand, which only ended up being the glycerine. I had some Dr. Bronner’s lavender bar soap on hand so I used it instead of the Mrs.Meyers Soap. I added two other ingredients to my batch of hand soap. I was planning on using it as a body wash and shampoo as well so I added things I felt it needed for that. I added some coconut oil for moisturizing and tea tree oil for my hair. I really like this recipe as a hand soap, especially since my three year old son has become fascinated with washing his hands. We were going through a lot of soap.
I did not like this recipe for body wash or shampoo in spite of the fact that it cleaned my body and hair. I think it was the lack of long lather on the loofah and no lather in my hair. It lathers very well in our hands and leaves them soft and smelling very nice. I will definitely be using this recipe again. Try it out and let me know what you thought :)

Ingredients:

One Gallon of Water

One – Eight ounce bar of Soap grated (I used Dr. Bronner’s, the original recipe called for Mrs. Meyers)

Two Tablespoons of Liquid Vegetable Glycerine

Two Tablespoons of Coconut Oil

Ten to Twenty drops of Tea Tree oil (or any essential oil, Use your judgement on how much you want)

20120111-153426.jpg

Ingredients.

20120111-153515.jpg

Step One: Add one gallon of water in large pot and out on medium to high heat.

Step Two: Cut the bar of soap and pulse it in a food processor (or grate with cheese grater if you do not have a food processor)

20120111-154135.jpgStep Three: Add grated soap to the one gallon of water on the stove top and stir until dissolved.

20120111-154147.jpgStep Four: When Soap is dissolved turn heat down and add the glycerine, coconut oil and tea tree oil. Mix well and remove from heat.

Step Five: Set soap off to the side and let sit for 12-15 hours. It will become cloudy and clumpy.

Step Six: Mix with wisk or hand mixer and you have liquid hand soap. :)

20120111-154156.jpgThis soap is a little snotty in consistency, I think it has to do with the Dr. Bronner’s Soap instead of Mrs. Meyers. I am going to try this recipe again with Mrs. Meyers or hopefully some Homemade Lye Soap and see what the outcome is. The soap works so well and is very cost effective. :)

20120111-155035.jpgStep Seven: Pour soap into old store bought soap disperser or a reusable soap dispenser. And go wash your hands :)

Ugly Christmas Sweater pictures :)

Standard

We have been talking for a couple of years now about taking our Holiday pictures for our cards in ‘Ugly Christmas Sweaters’. This year we finally took the plunge. In the beginning of the month we took a trip to our local Salvation Army store and found the mother load of sweaters all on one rack. My husband, my son and I were going to get the sweaters and take an awkward photo and put it in our holiday card. But when I saw the rack full of sweaters I bought one for not only us but my mother in law, and my mother & father. A photographer friend of ours offered to do our pictures and we ended with an Epic Family shot :) I ordered our Holiday cards from Shutterfly and mailed them to all of our family and friends! Here is our Holiday Card!

20120103-002139.jpg