Monday, November 28, 2011

 One of the things I love about using natural cleaning products...Joseph can help! We were spot cleaning the carpet.

I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving! We went to my parents' and as usual had a blast.
 Joseph feeding the chickens.

 It doesn't get any more "farm fresh" than that egg!
 He was actually a good boy and didn't break it!

 A set of twin calves

 Joseph got to play with his friend Gabi. Sadly this is the only picture I got.

And his favorite thing....hanging with Paw Paw!

We got the pleasure of coming home to a house that stunk of cats. So, I spent the day today doing "Operation De-Stink The House." I have to say that the carpet powder I made with baking soda and lavender oil worked wonders. I spent most of my day cleaning and mopping and doing laundry....but it no longer stinks in here. YAY! I had planned on doing my Christmas decorating and while I did bring in a box or two, I couldn't think about Christmas until the smell was gone. I'm pooped or I would put the tree up tonight. It will have to wait until tomorrow. 

I'm really behind on my recipe posts. I'm really hoping to get caught up soon...before the Christmas baking begins and I get REALLY behind! 

Oh, we had an interesting development this past week. Joseph started climbing out of his crib. The first time he did it, I stuck him back in his crib, but he fell the second time. So he's now in a toddler bed. I'm not taking it very well. I don't know that it is so much that he's growing up...I think it's more that naptime and bedtime had gotten so easy and now he can just run around his room and play and put off going to sleep. So far it's gone ok...not great, but ok. He woke us up knocking on his door this morning at 4 AM. I hope that was a fluke. Where does the time go?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What Have I Not Been Working On?

 I laid out almost all of the things I've been working on since my last "what I've been working on" post. I looked at it and was tired and proud, but very tired. And amazed at how much felt I've cut! Yes, some of you are looking straight at your Christmas gifts. But you don't know which you are getting so I don't care! I did leave on project out of the photos because I want it to be a true surprise.

 I've made 20 all colors.
The superheros. The Marvel set is finished. Superman and I have been fighting over his symbol and Batman and I have had issues with his eyes. Once we make peace, they will be done. I also made pouches for them out of felt. This was my first attempt at blanket stitching.

 The Marvel guys: Spiderman, Wolverine, Iron Man, and Captain America. I will definitely be making a set of these for Joseph later....
The fabric basket I showed half done last week

 This one didn't have enough twine for a bowl so it's going to be a hot pad.

 Headbands and bracelets made out of tshirt scraps.

A scarf and pin set. The pin is a felt flower and the scarf is made from t-shirts.

 Felt flower pins

 A basket made out of old Chirstmas cards.

Christy, remember that shoebox card?

 I made boxes out of some other cards.

Tonight, I will be sewing these guys. They are monster dolls for Joseph, my friend Ellen's little girl, and my friend Christy's little boy. I'm pretty excited about them since they will be my first stuffed doll sewing experience!

In other news, I made my own hand soap this week. It was actually super easy. Just grate a bar of soap (8 oz). Add a gallon of water and 1 Tbsp glycerin and heat on the stove until the soap is dissolved. Then let it cool for 10-12 hours. The original tutorial is here. I used the same soap she did and it smells heavenly.

I also made my own "green" cleaner. I've been wanting to go green with my cleaners for a while, but I didn't want to waste what I already had so I waited until I used it up. The recipe for the one I made is as follows (and I love it):
Gorgeously Green All-Purpose Cleaner
2 c water
1/2 c white vinegar
3/4 c hydrogen peroxide
1 tsp liquid soap
20 drops lavender oil
20 drops tea tree oil
 The original recipe is here and there are also lots of other great cleaners on this list.

Today I made some tangerine marmalade during J's nap. It turned out pretty well. It was my first attempt at making my own fruit jam-type stuff without mom's supervision.

I know it sounds like a lot...and it is. But for those of you who wonder how I have the time and energy....this is what I have to say: crafting is fun. I love it and enjoy making these things. I know a day will come when I think..UGH, I don't want to make stuff. That is why I am working like the dickens to get stuff done now. Also, Joseph takes consistent 2-3 hour naps for the most part and that gives me the uninterrupted time to get all this done. But really, I just enjoy it..and when you enjoy something, it just doesn't seem like work. :)

I know I didn't do a menu for this week. It was really a pretty boring menu...spaghetti and such. This coming week, I will only be cooking 2 days at home since we will be leaving Wednesday for my parents' house for Thanksgiving. YAY!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It's been a busy week here. After posting every day in October, it feels really weird to go back to only posting a couple of times a week....if that. I'm glad I decided to do the blogging every day in October instead of November.

The little man eating chili.

I have been crafting away. I will have lots to show in my "What I'm Working On" post. I'm not making any promises that it will come tomorrow. Joseph starting getting sick yesterday. It's nothing big...just congestion and snotty nose. He started running a low fever this evening. He's very clingy when he's sick and only I will do, so I don't get a whole lot done. We've been watching lots of movies. Yesterday he had a lot of trouble taking his nap and I ended up having to hold him while he's been a long time since I've had to do that.

In other news, I am almost done with my Christmas shopping. I am no where near done with the crafting but I'm almost done buying the non-crafted stuff. Woo Hoo! I am done with Joseph's gifts, but he is the easiest to shop for.

I have been trying some of the recipes that I've pinned on Pinterest. I have found some healthy versions of things like cookie dough and ice cream that I just had to try...I didn't believe they would be all that, but I just had to see. The first I tried was Reese's Cookie Batter Oatmeal. It was just ok. I mean, it's better than plain oatmeal but it needed some butter or something. :) I will be eating it again, though. Joseph turned up his nose, but what else is new?

The next one I tried was for Banana "Ice Cream"...I put ice cream in quotations because there is no milk or cream or anything in it. It's just frozen bananas whipped to a frenzy in a food processor and then you can add peanut butter and cocoa if you want...I did. No added sugar....and it was pretty stinkin delicious. Joseph liked it too. This one's a keeper.

The one I tried today was Healthy Cookie Dough Dip. Now, this has chick peas in it. I didn't think there was any way in heck that this would be edible. I was intrigued enough to make it though. You see, I will sometimes go in the kitchen and make cookie dough...just to eat it. I love it and I crave it. If I could find something to satisfy those cravings at reduced calories, I would be in heaven. You's actually pretty good. It's no regular cookie dough. Butter is awesome, what can I say? But it is a good substitute. While it's not calorie free and you really shouldn't eat the whole batch, if you were going to eat cookie dough anyway, why not eat something that has some actual nutritional value?

I don't know about ya'll, but starting next week and going through New Years, I kind of eat like a..well...pig. It's nice to have some healthier things to throw in there that seem more decadent than they actually are. :)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

What I'm Working a crazy person

 Little wooden superheros. I'm doing 2 sets...a DC one and a Marvel one. They are going to my cousins' little boys. I think they are turning out super cute so far. I've actually started a few more since this pic was taken.

 I've been crazy busy. Every spare minute I have has been spent crafting or perusing Pinterest for ideas for more crafts. My goal is for 75% of our Christmas gifts to be handmade. Don't worry if you are on my won't get a crap handmade'll get a freakin awesome handmade gift.

This is something new I've been trying:
 It's a bowl made of paper twine and fabric scraps. I brought home this big basket of paper twine from my parents' house recently. I had it left over from a project from back in high school...and I had a lot of it. I also had a lot of random fabric scraps. I saw an idea on Pinterest and thought...hey I can use paper twine for this. It's a bit cantankerous, though. I'm actually surprised that I spelled "cantankerous" right the first time without spell check....either that or spell check gave up on me. Anyway...I've actually finished the above bowl and have started another one. They are pretty cute.

 Made these necklaces for my cousin's little girls. I really hope the darker blue one is big enough...if not, I guess we could make it into a bracelet.
 Got the idea here....of course..Pinterest strikes again.
Headband and headbands in the works...made from tshirts. Very cool stuff.

Well, I would love to stay and chat, but I have little superheros calling my name to be finished...well, they would be if I had painted their mouths yet! :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday Menu

So last week's menu went really well. We found some new staples (The Swiss Penne Casserole thing was awesome!) and none of the new recipes were duds. I had meant to post this week's menu earlier today, but I spent too much of Joseph's nap doing ironing and trying to figure out how to do this 5 strand braid to make a headband out of a t-shirt.....yep...something I saw on Pinterest. :)

So, here's what we are eating the rest of the week:

Tuesday: 15 Minute Bean Soup, cornbread (We were actually supposed to have this tonight but some things came up and J & I ended up having McDonalds while on my way to deliver a meal to a woman in my MOPS group who had just come home with her new baby).
Wednesday: Vinegar Glossed Chicken, Roasted Potatoes, Broccoli
Thursday: Cowboy Casserole
Friday: The Other White Meat Pizza
Saturday: Chili (From the Shaw Family Favorites...will be blogged later!)
Sunday: Leftovers

As I said above, I took a meal to a lady from my MOPS group tonight. We always try to bless the families of new babies with hot meals. I signed up for tonight. She lives in Simpsonville which is about 30 minutes away, but Spice's barn is on the way, so I was planning on going to ride after I dropped the meal off. Well, Michael wasn't going to get home until after 6, so I ended up loading the Munchkin up and we took off on our food delivery mission. I had decided that even though I wouldn't get to ride, I would still go by the barn on the way home. Then lo and behold, Michael came out and watched Joseph so that I could ride. The J man even rode with me some. He is so funny. He grabs a brush as soon as we get there and brushes her belly. Then he grabs the treats. He's learning how to give her a treat, but mostly he just eats them. It was, as usual, a great way to spend an evening. Hope ya'll had a good one as well!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

What I've Been Working On

 I've been pretty crafty this week. I finished the cross stitch that I was doing for a gift...sorry, can't show it until she receives it...but I should be mailing it out soon. It's not really a Christmas gift. So, I've covered some Styrofoam cones I had with yarn and then decided that the little wreath ornaments would be cute covered in yarn also. Don't know how I'm going to decorate them yet.

 I made these little felt mice. I got the idea here. They will hold a candy cane which will look like their tail. So easy!

I made more pipe cleaner wreaths....I have run out of pipe cleaners. I think they are turning out really cute.

I actually got out my scrapbooking stuff last night..and...*gasp* completed a few pages!!! Usually I get it out, realize how far behind I am, feel massively overwhelmed, and consequently put it all back up without so much as gluing a picture. I felt pretty good. Hopefully I can keep that up a couple of nights a week and get caught back next year. :)

I had a very busy day today. When Joseph went down for his nap, I headed to the gym to workout. Then I went to the barn and enjoyed a beautiful trail ride. It was a gorgeous day today!! Spice was a dream to ride and even crossed a big creek full of standing water without even balking at all! It usually takes 2 or 3 tries. After my ride, I changed back in to my work out clothes and went for a run. I have done a 5K on those roads around the barn and I knew it would be challenging. The roads around Bagdad have the weird ability to always be uphill....never downhill. Even when you turn around and go back the way you came....still uphill. It's a very strange phenomenon indeed!

By the time I got home...exhausted....I decided that we would have leftovers for supper instead of the carmelized cajun porkchops. We'll have those tomorrow. I think they are going to be way yummy.

And for the people following for the Shaw recipes...don't worry...I haven't given up. I'm going to be going hot and heavy on them come holiday season. This is the calm before the storm. I do have a couple to post though.

I hope you are all having a great weekend. I am not looking forward to this time change. I hate when it gets dark so early.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


First of all, I have officially made it to 5000 page views today!!!! I started this blog on November 6, 2009 and it has really taken off in the past year. I appreciate each of those 5000 views.....even though probably 1000 were me. :) No, probably not that many. :)

We had a good Halloween. Joseph was the cutest little chicken ever. We only trick or treated at a few houses, but he carried his pail and knocked on the doors and everything. I just thought that I would share a few pictures!! Hope you all have a great day!!