Saturday, December 11, 2010

Wintertime Crafting Fever

When it's cold outside it puts me in the mood for making things, so I dusted off my crochet hooks, and crafting cupboard and got to work.
The day after Thanksgiving the girls and I made charm bracelets-

Miss B has become somewhat of a Harry Potter Fanatic
so hers featured her two favorite people in the world
(the world of pretend anyway)
Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley.

Miss K likes all things Big Sister likes, so along the same theme
hers was of her favorite HP character Hermione.

Very distinctly having a mind of her own on all things, Miss M wanted hers
made with Olivia the Pig, which has become one of her favorite shows.
She LOVES Olivia, and I have to admit the theme song is pretty catchy.

Some cute little crocheted baby boots for my newest niece.

A fun Turkey hair clip for Miss M to wear on Thanksgiving.

A little Ballerina Bear Ami for my Niece.

I wanted to display the kids art work so I came up with this fun project,
it has their picture, name, and a list of their favorite things.

Flowers for Miss M's hair/headbands, this are very quick,
easy and addictive to make, kind of like chocolate.

She wanted to see how many she could get on her
headband, silly girl :)

A place was then needed to put all the newly crafted hair lovelys.

Since it is winter I thought a few new hats were appropriate-

Miss M's Sock Monkey Hat
I love sock monkeys <3

Miss B's hat, she is to "old" for silly hats :P

Miss K's Sleepy Owl hat-

And seeing how the Boy is in his first year of middle school,
I thought it best to not to torture him with a cute new winter hat ;)

Miss B's birthday gift for one of her HP Fanatical friends,
it's nice that there is someone other than me that she can discuss all
things Harry Potter with. My ears get tired.

So that's what I have been up too, that and trying to figure out a good menu system. If any of you have one that you use and love I need tips.

On a more serious note, my Husband is doing well, great actually, he is now officially considered in remission for this episode. And is feeling pretty good most of the time. Thank you all so much for your kind words, thoughts and prayers, they are much appreciated. We are getting things figured out now, and it's starting to feel like we know a bit more what to expect, which helps alot.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Life really does go on-

I have written and erased this post many times in the last few weeks, it's not an easy one to write. The last few months feel a bit blurry and I am just now moving forward and feeling like Life does really go on. It may be enormously different, but it keeps going on.
About a month ago my Husband was officially diagnosed with MS, he has been having symptoms for over 3 years but several months ago things started to get really bad and he finally agreed to see a Dr. And after a few months of Dr's visits and testing they told us that is was for sure MS, everything else had been ruled out. This news was devastating to us, we were on the home stretch of a long journey and all of a sudden this huge ugly road block was dropped in our path.
My Husband is a grad student and we were hoping that after 3 more quick years we would finally be able to settle down somewhere, he'd get an amazing job, we'd buy a house and give our kids the kind of life we really want them to have. And now we are not sure how that will all work out.
The feeling that I spent most of the last month fighting off was anger, the kind of gut wrenching anger that makes you want to pound and smash things, while crying so hard you can't breathe. I am getting over that, slowly, but if I let myself think about it all too much it's hard to keep from crying. Our lives are going to be much different than we planned.
Being the wife of a grad student with 4 children is hard enough, when you throw an illness like MS into the mix you know things are definitely not going to get easier anytime soon.
It hasn't been all gloom and doom though, we have been very blessed. His testing and diagnosis took a very short time compared to a lot of the stories we have heard, he has 2 wonderful Dr's and some great nurses. They have been very helpful, and supportive. We have had some great and wonderful support from our friends at church, and the Professors at the University, we have been given so much help and support from all that we have had contact with this past month.
I have never been even tempted to feel angry at God, he has laid such a HUGE supporting ground work for this new direction in our life. So many changes in the last few years that were made because they seemed right are now making sense. The jobs my husband held in the past, he would never have been able to continue as his MS progresses. At least with his Bio-Chemistry degree he will still have some good options. We have met people in the last year and a half, after our move, that have experience with MS and are able to give us some great suggestions, and helpful information. As hard as this is we have been given SO much help in dealing with and understanding it.
I know things will be ok, and I feel a bit like I am coming out of a long dark tunnel and am beginning to see that there is light on the other side. So I think I am coming to terms with it. Life really is one crazy ride isn't it.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Gluten-Free Goodies

This post is for my friend Serena, her youngest is allergic to almost every food on the planet, poor kid :(
So I turned my cornbread recipe into a gluten-free one for her, then I went one step further and made them into corndog muffins.
I got the recipe for corndog muffins from Monica's Blog- Lick The Bowl Good. She has a ton of really wonderful recipes, and gorgeous pictures. Here is a link to her recipe- LINKY.
And here is my cornbread recipe-

Gluten-Free Cornbread

1/2c. butter
1/4c. sugar
1/4c. honey
2 eggs
1/2t. salt
2c. corn flour
1c. corn meal
1/2t. b. powder
1c. milk
1c. corn
1t. dried parsley- optional
1/4t. chili powder- optional

Oven 400
Beat together the butter, sugar, honey, eggs and salt. Mix in the flour, cornmeal and b. powder. Once that's combined mix in milk and corn. Bake in 2 greased muffin tins, for 15-20 minutes. Or you can go over to Monica's Blog and turn them into corn dog muffins :)

This got 7 thumbs up, 4 from the Kiddos, and 3 thumbs up from my Hubby- how he got 3 thumbs is beyond me. But it seemed to be a hit :)

(Serena when you make this you can substitute egg replacer for the eggs,
I hope you guys like it :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

B is for Banana

On my counter this morning sat a pile of ripe banana's, once they start to age a bit nobody in my house will touch them. So I found myself browsing some online recipes for bananas, usually I just make banana bread but that takes an hour to bake and I didn't want to be heating up the house for that long. I found a recipe on AR for Banana chocolate chip cookies that had pretty good reviews, people had made some various changes to it though. The link for the original recipe is there, I changed the ingredients up a bit and this is what I ended up with-

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies
3c. whole wheat flour
1t. b powder
1/2t. salt
1/4t. b. soda
1/4c. sugar
1/4c. brown sugar
1/2c. butter
2 eggs
1t. vanilla
2 mashed bananas
1c. chocolate chips

Oven 375
Beat together the butter and sugars, add in the eggs, mix well.
Then beat in the bananas and vanilla. With the mixer running, add in the b.powder, b. soda, and salt, mix well. Add in the flour, mix until well combine and then add in the chocolate chips.
Scoop out by spoonful onto a greased cookie sheet, bake for 5-10 minutes.
This got 4 thumbs up from the Kiddos and is going to be made again at my house :)

I used 2 of the remaining bananas to let the Kiddos make an afternoon snack-
I melted some chocolate chips for them to dip them in, then they rolled them in graham cracker crumbs and froze them for about 2 hours. It's a semi-healthy snack, I suppose there are worse things :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

No cooking for me

Make that no eating for me, because I am still cooking for the rest of my family, just not cooking anything new that I would'nt be able to try.
About 3 weeks ago I had my wisdom teeth pulled, (pulled I say, not removed because I was wide awake in the dentists office).You expect pain for the first, oh I don't know, week maybe? But at the end of week 2 I was still having quite a bit of pain. And since the holes were just wide open and not stitched shut I was being very careful to leave them alone. But after 2 weeks there was still pain and with that I had begun feeling something stabbing me in the cheek everytime I moved my mouth. So I stuck my tongue back there and sure enough! There was something poking out behind where they pulled my tooth!I guess bone fragments are not an uncommon thing when you have your W. teeth removed, but I had never heard of them. Since that first one about a week ago I have had 2 more come up, not far enough for the dentist to be able to pull them but far enough to cause pain, aching, and to stab me in the cheek in 3 different spots.So long story long, I am still on a mostly liquid-slash-mush diet (not a big fan of mush) because it hurts to chew. And can't eat much, so I have no recipes or pictures to share with you all.
The good news in all this, being on a liquid diet for 3 weeks, I lost 20 lbs :) Almost makes it worth it, almost :)

I have been doing quite a lot of sewing this summer so I have a few pictures of that to share, if anyone wants instructions on any of them holler and I will try to explain.

A tutu I made and stitched onto my nieces onesie. 2$

Pocket purses, I made each of my girls one, and also 1 for each of my nieces.
These were pockets from pants that the kiddos wore out, or grew out of.

This was an adults size sweatshirt I found for 2$, I took off the sleeves,
trimmed up the sides,and re-sewed them, so it would fit her better,
then stitched on the hood from a different sweatshirt.

This is a little sundress I made from a men's t-shirt- 1$

Sundress and matching leggings- I used 3 t-shirts to make this little outfit
(leggings too) total cost- 2$.

Capri's made from a womens dress shirt- 1 $

Sorry about the sideways pictures, I may have this new computer working but I don't have the new photo program anywhere near figured out!
I hope you are all having a great summer!!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Back for some more

Sorry I have been MIA for awhile, my computer crashed and I have spent the last several months pouting and refusing to get used to a new one. Until about a week ago I gave in and decided to give it a try.
I don't have much to share with you all, just a quick HELLO, and I hope everyone's summer is going well. I have lots of catching up to do so I am cutting this short. I am going to leave you with some pictures I took of the kids Birthday treats, 3 of my kiddo's celebrated their birthdays since I have been on here and we also had a baptism to celebrate.
Hopefully I will have some things to post soon!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

My new lifestyle has some great food choices

Here area couple things I have been eating lately.

I make up a batch of very lowfat, low carb, soup once a week, then save it in the fridge to reheat for dinners or lunches. The trick for me is having it in the fridge ready to heat whenever I am hungry, that keeps me from eating other stuff that's on hand here :)

Another thing I have been enjoying is Sesame Cabbage Salad. I thinly chop a head of cabbage, could use a head of lettuce instead, and keep it in the fridge in a gallon zip baggie. It will keep well for at least a week or longer. Then I have containers of minced red onion and carrots in my fridge. I mix up a batch of my own sesame dressing, I always double it at least so I have enough for the week at least. With those all in my fridge this salad take just a minutes toss together. I love topping mine with some, dry roasted, chopped almonds and some sunflower seeds.

A few weeks ago I watched Alton Brown on FN talk about how he lost 50 lbs, it was really neat. I liked his system, he divided foods into eat every day, eat once a week, eat once a month and eat never. 1 thing that totally stuck with me is that Fast Food is on the list of foods that you should NEVER eat. I don't think I had been out for fast food for at least 2 months before I started losing weight and haven't been since. The link is here to his show on this if you are interested.

Lissaloo's Low-Carb Asian Salad Dressing
1/4c. olive oil
1/4c. sesame oil
1/2c. rice wine vinegar
1t. onion powder
1/2t. pepper
1t. ground ginger

Put all ingred in a bottle and shake together, store in the fridge. This recipe doubles well and stores in the fridge for a couple weeks just fine, you will need to shake before using.

Lissaloo's Low-Carb Soup
1/2c. cubed steak meat
1/2c. chopped carrots
1/2c. chopped onions
2T. olive oil
1c. chopped celery
1c. chopped mushrooms
2c. chopped spinach
4c. water
4c. V8 juice
salt and pepper

Heat a large pot, saute the meat, carrots, onions, celery and mushrooms with the olive oil.
When the meat is cooked through stir in the water and V8, bring to a boil and simmer for about 25 minutes, stir in the spinach and cook another 5 minutes, or until all the veggies are cooked through. Season with salt and pepper. Keeps well in the fridge for 1 week.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

So I give in to a little Obsession once in a while....

That's perfectly normal right???

My Mother-In-Law asked my a couple weeks ago if I knew how to crochet the top to those hanging dishtowels, I don't know what their politically correct name is, and I had no idea but I knew they didn't look to hard. So with the help of Google I came up with these tutorials

and with their help I became obsessed with making these fun, and totally functional, little beauties.

Now after I had made a few of these I began to wonder if I could do this in the bathroom, some how my bathroom hand towels are always on the floor.

And it did!!! Now as to whether they keep the hand towels off the floor we will have to just wait and see. Hand towels aren't my only obsession, did you notice the monkeys in my bathroom?? Yep, they are all over the house :)
While in my search I also came across these-

which I also had to make :)
Here is an awesome tutorial for these, it made the whole process Easy Peasy Lemon Squeazzeee as Miss M likes to say-

Talk about your perfect 10 minute gift :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A top of the mornin to ya!

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you All!!

This is the day where I can play with food coloring and celebrate my Irish Heritage to its fullest :)
I am making Green Oat Pancakes with green syrup and green applesauce for breakfast,

and Irish Stew, and Irish Soda Bread for dinner.

For Dessert we are having Irish Cream Cheesecake, yum.

The kids made some fun stuff yesterday to take to school, green sparkle wands and Irish potato candy.

And of course got all dressed up for the Day-

Irish Stew


3T. butter
2c. stew meat, I am allergic to lamb so I used beef
1/2c. minced onion
1/2c. chopped carrots
2c. peeled, cubed potatoes
1/2c. peeled cubed parsnips
1/2c. peeled, cubed turnips
2T. vegetable soup bouillon
1 small handful crushed, dried parsley
Salt and pepper
enough Water to cover the vegies.

I sauteed my butter and meat together until it was almost cooked through, stir in about 1/2t. pepper, 1t. salt. Then add in the onions and carrots until the onions became translucent. Then I tossed in the potatoes, parsnips and turnips. I added enough hot water to cover the vegie's with about 1/2 inch extra.
I stirred in the vegie bouillon, then added in my parsley and brought to a boil. I let this simmer covered until the vegies are tender.
I don't how traditional it is but it was sure tasty :)

May luck be our companion
May friends stand by our side
May history remind us all
Of Ireland's faith and pride.
May God bless us with happiness
May love and faith abide.
~Irish Blessing

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Crockpots+ Chicken= Awesome Easy Dinners

A very sweet Friend sent me some chicken crock pot recipes, they are simple, easy, and quick three of my favorite things :)
I have a picture of the Chicken Stroganoff, we had it over some Spaetzle noodles and I added some Mushrooms to the recipe. I can't seem to make stroganoff without mushrooms, it just doesn't seem right :)

Then we tried the Honey Chicken recipe, and it was yummy.
I added in 1/2c. shredded carrots to it when I added the sauce in.

Quick and Easy Crock Pot
Chicken Recipes

From Jenn B.

Basic Recipe: Start with 2 lbs frozen skinless, boneless chicken breasts (4 breasts). Cook in the crock pot on high for at least 4 hours (no pink in the middle). I like to cook 1 diced onion and 1/8 c of minced garlic along with the chicken breasts. Adjust the amount of chicken and other ingredients according to the size and taste of your family. Four chicken breasts serves 6-8, depending! After cooking and preparing the chicken, stir in any of the following combinations of ingredients and change the crock pot setting to low for a few hours until serving.

Taco Chicken: Shred chicken breast. Stir in ½c taco seasoning and 1c water. If you prefer, you can add the taco seasoning with the frozen breasts. You can also add into prepared beans 1-2 cans (15 oz) (pinto, refried, kidney, black) and/or salsa, chopped green chile peppers. Serve as you would taco meat.

Honey Chicken: Shred chicken breast. Stir in 1c honey, ½c butter, ½c French’s mustard, 2tsp curry powder. Serve over rice.

Teriyaki Chicken: Chop chicken. Mix in a bowl: ¾c soy sauce, ¾c sugar, 2Tbs. red wine vinegar, 3tsp vegetable oil, ½-1tsp ground ginger; stir in with chicken in crock pot. Serve over rice.

Spaghetti Chicken: Leave chicken breast whole or chop to desired size. Add premade spaghetti sauce (approx 9c) or your family’s favorite spaghetti sauce ingredients. Serve over noodles. You can also put the sauce in with the frozen breasts.

Chicken Taco Soup: Reserve 2 breasts. Chop or shred chicken. Stir in ¼c taco seasoning, ¼c salsa, 2-3 cans of beans (15oz) (black, pinto, kidney), 1 can (15oz) chopped tomatoes, 1 can chopped green chile peppers, cilantro and 4-6c liquid as desired (water, tomato sauce, or chicken broth). Serve with tortilla chips, shredded cheese, sour cream, and fresh diced avocados if you like!

White Chicken Chili: Reserve 2 breasts. Chop or shred chicken. Stir in 1 can diced green chile peppers, 2tsp ground cumin, 1tsp dried oregano, ½-1tsp cayenne pepper, 3 (14oz) cans chicken broth, 3 cans white beans. Serve with tortilla chips, shredded cheese and sour cream, if desired.

BBQ Chicken Sandwiches: Shred chicken. Stir in one bottle of BBQ sauce (approx. 3c) of your choice or use your favorite recipe. Serve on buns.

Chicken Stroganoff: Add ¼c butter and 2 (.7 oz) packages dry Italian style salad dressing mix, with the frozen chicken breasts. After chicken is cooked, cube chicken, add 16oz cubed cream cheese and 2 (10.75 oz) cans condensed cream of chicken soup, stir. Cook on LOW for 2 hours or HIGH for 1 hour. Serve over noodles.

Monday, March 15, 2010

More Amigurmi Fun

Here are another batch of Ami's-

I had to make a monkey, I <3 href="">CrochetMe

Better Homes and Gardens

Free Ami Patterns

Ami List

Needle Arts

Woman's Day


Gourmet Amigurumi

These are a few of the sites where you can find free patterns for Ami's :)

Thank you!!!

Black & White Movie