Thursday, May 19, 2011

How to Pretty up your Bathroom Towel**TUTORIAL**

Looking for a way to pretty up your bathroom?  I made this cute towel to go into my staycation package for my swap partner.  She really likes damask so I thought I would make a towel to match a picture I saw on her blog.  I hope she likes it.  I now want to make some for our bathroom.  I just have to come up with a theme for our bathroom first.  These would make cute wedding shower gifts.

What you need:
A Bathroom Towel (any size this will also work with washclothes)
Sewing Machine
Sewing pins

Step one:  The ribbon I chose had wire in it so I had to take it out.  If yours has wire remove it. 
Just a picture of the towel I chose
Step 2:
Pin your ribbon to the band at each end of your towel.  I only did this on one side of the towel.  If you flip it over it won't a ribbon on it.  I didn't want my thread to show and I didn't know how to match it up perfectly so it would look good.  
Step 3:
Sewing along the edge of the ribbon, sew your ribbon to your towel. I used black thread so it wouldn't show on the under side.  I made sure to sew on the outer edge where the ribbon had black stitching so you wouldn't see my thread.
Step 4:
 Remove the pins and VIOLA! Isn't it cute?  I love it. 
Here is a glimpse of her Spa Package.   
I made a matching Do Not Disturb Sign to match the towel. I am jealous that I didn't make two of each for myself.   

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Shopping with Children

I know that I am not the only mother that dreads going to the store with her children.  This shout out is for all of you.

Today I picked Lil' E up from school and decided to run to the store for a couple ingredients for some lasagna rolls.  I wanted to make them for dinner.  They sound really yummy and we haven't had pasta in quite some time. So we stopped at safeway.  This was going to be a quick, but perfect trip...I mean I got front row parking.  That never happens when I have all the kids in the car.  I love it because then I don't have to chase them through the parking lot. 

Razy grabbed her baby and jumped into the cart seat very happily.  Doble and Lil' E walked quietly alongside of me.  PERFECT!  This was proving to be a fast and easy shopping trip.  We first went to the pasta isle.  YES!  Buy 2 Classico Speghetti Sauces (one of my favs) get 2 FREE Safeway pastas.  All the ingredients I needed and they were on SALE!! How perfect was this?  Nope this is where things went bad...
As I am searching for my 2 FREE pastas I turn to look at Razy.  She has moved from the cart seat into the the basket part of the cart. Atleast she didn't fall out and hurt herself.  Where are her brothers?  Chasing eachother down the isle.  I tell both of them to come over and help me pick out some pasta.  They do and start to fight over what kind of pasta shape to get.  Don't worry boys we get 2.  They each pick one and then we start down the isle to our next distination.  Doble is freaking out because he CAN'T walk anymore.  He wants to be in the cart.  His sister WILL NOT move into the seat so I tell him that he is 5 now and can walk.  He starts to get upset.  Then he yells that his brother is flicking him.  Maybe at this point I am over reacting and a little embarrased that people are looking at me, but I quickly grab each of their hands and pick Razy up out of the cart.  "We are going home," I say.  "Looks like we will be eating cereal for dinner now."  "No No No.  I don't want cereal," they all cry.  Razy is completely upset that we are leaving all our food in the cart and not bringing it home.  Doble is crying louder that he doesn't want to eat cereal.  And Lil' E is mad because HE DID NOT FLICK HIS BROTHER!!  I am not giving in on this one.  We leave the food, we get out to the car, we drive home and the kids are now in their rooms while I write this.  I did say they weren't going to get lunch, but I can't really follow through on that one.  So when I am done with this their nuggets will be done cooking and they will get to come downstairs and eat. 

Yes I got plently looks as I left the store.  Some faces seemed to say, "Why aren't those kids well behaved?" Others gave me sympathetic smiles.  To those of you who know what I am talking about my heart goes out to you.  The store is really not the place for you agree?  But we as mothers give our children the benefit of the doubt that THIS will be the time that they are perfect little angels. We think to ourselves, I am only going in for a few things and if they can just get through the first 5 minutes we can make it to the bakery for thier free cookie and then to the check out and viola perfect shopping trip.  This won't be the last time I take my kids to the store...although I wish I could say it will be.  I just hope they remember this shopping trip and try to do a little better next time.  As for today, I will be heading back to safeway alone tonight while the kids are tucked into bed and PERFECTLY asleep. 

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Happy 5th Birthday Doble!

Favorite Food: Pizza
Favorite Color: Blue
Best Friend: Mason and Lucas
Favorite Toy: Thomas
Favorite Movie: Thomas and The Misty Island Rescue
Favorite Song: Mother I Love You
Favorite Thing to Do: Play with Thomas Trains
Favorite Place to Go: Disneyland
Favorite kind of Icecream: Chocolate and Vanilla
Favorite Candy: Skittles

Happy Birthday Doble
5 years old.  Wow!  I remember this cute bald headed baby.  He has was an easy baby who loved to eat and sleep.  He never was a baby long, his little sister came into the world when he was only 16 months old.  Doble is our sweet, easy going little boy.  He is always kind to everyone and makes friends very easily. I love you Doble!  Happy 5th Birthday!

Once again we are having a Thomas Birthday for our train loving little boy.  This year I tried to put it little twist on Thomas.  He is incorporated into the Cake, but the theme is a little more than Thomas.  Can't wait to share photos with you. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mariner's Little League Weekend

This weekend was a Little League Weekend at Safeco field.  We couldn't pass up the chance to take the kids to the game for really cheap.  They also like to walk around the field.  It was alot of fun.  We walked across the ferry and enjoyed the game...EVENTHOUGH THEY LOST.  The kids loved the kettle corn and licorice ropes.  Lil' E was mesmerized by the game.
Walking around the field.  There are so many people who walk around and it was hard to actually find an opening to take a picture.  JBody and the boys snuck a feel of the field...they also got in trouble for it by an undercover safeco lady.  Quite funny though.

The kids...Check out Razy's hat.  I love the hot pink!

One excited little boy.  Check out our seats...TWO rows from the tip top, but we couldn't complain they were CHEAP and actually good seats.

Brother and Sister

Not the best shot of JBody, but a cute one of Doble

Aunt Tay Tay and JJ.

So can I just tell you that I don't get video games being brought to sporting events, parks, camping, ect.  There were so many kids there to "watch" the game, but instead of watching the game they were playing baseball video games.  What the heck?! The only time I saw some of these kids look up was to watch the big screen play a game of speed boats racing eachother (basically a giant video).  I am just grateful that my kids aren't glued to games all the time or the tv.  Yes Doble would sit in front of the tv for hours if I let him, but the key word is let and I don't let them do that.  Yeah I can't judge, but I just don't get it.

Staycation Swap Package

My Staycation Swap Package came in the mail this weekend.  I was excited to open it, because I had a lot of fun putting one together for my partner.  I am going to have to wait to post who I got until she gets it in the mail, but when she does I have a cute tutorial to share with you. 

Without any further ado here are the contents of my package...
Fruit Slices
Honey Graham Bears
Ritz Cheese Sandwhichs
Old Maid
Crazy 8's
and a Cute Card

The kids have already had a lot of fun with the games.  Yesterday morning while JBody made Mother's Day breakfast, the kids and I played Old Maid, Fish, and Crazy 8's.  I think that Crazy  8's will become a favorite.  Razy Loves dominoes so she was excited to see that in the mix as well.  Of course the kids are going to LOVE the candy goodies in the box.  My kids take after their daddy.  They definately have sweet teeth. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Chocolate Filled Eggs Tutorial

I have been meaning to post this for a while now.  On of JBody's Massage Therapists make these for Easter and I wanted to give it a try.  I guess she does like 4 dozen.  Let me tell you that I was done after 18.  My cheeks hurt and my head was light headed after blowing all them. 

What you will need:
eggs (the smaller the better) banty eggs would work perfect
push pin or some type of needle
egg coloring kit
chocolate of your choice
piping bag or ziploc bag

Step 1:  Choose your eggs.  I used our chicken eggs.  However, next year I would go with banty eggs.  They are a very small chicken egg.  You use less chocolate and don't have to blow as much.
Poke a very small whole on the pointed end of your egg.  This will be the end that you will blow into.

Step 2: On the bottom end poke a larger whole.  This is the end that the egg yoke and white will come out from.  The bigger the better.  It will be hidden under the egg so having it be larger is okay.  Just don't get carried away with a really large whole. 

Step 3: Working alone, or with helpers, blow into the top end and blow the insides of the eggs out.  I let the kids try.  It is pretty hard so they didn't last long.  To tell you the truth I didn't really want them blowing them out because I was saving the insides to make German Pancakes.  I figured they didn't care if I blew the insides out, but I did care if they were blowing.  After blowing eggs out you will understand why I wanted to do the blowing.

Step 4:  I didn't take a picture, but you will need to clean the insides out.  I used the sprayer thinging on our sink.  I don't remember what the thing is called, but I sprayed hot water into the bigger end and then shook the water around.  I did this for awhile to make sure they were nice and clean.

Step 5: Color the eggs.  Because the eggs are hollow you will need to hold the eggs down into the coloring.  I wish I would have taken a picture of Razy's fingers/hand.  They were stained purple from the dye.  I recommend using gloves.  You might think coloring before blowing would work better, however, the dye will actually rub off around the area that you blow so you want to dye after they are blown.

Aren't they beautiful.  I love the look of dyed brown eggs.  They are so rustic and Martha Stewarty.

Step 6: Let dry overnight. You don't want any water inside the egg.

Step 7:  Fill your piping back with your choice of melted chocolate.  I used both milk chocolate chips and white chocolate candy melts.  I actually liked the chocolate chips the best. Notice how I put the piping bag in a cup with the tip bent.  This prevents chocolate from leaking out. 


Step 8: Fill each egg with chocolate into the larger hole.  Fill to the top and then gently shake the egg to remove any air bubbles that may be inside the eggs.

Step 9:  Let the chocolate set. 
Step 10: Surprise your family and friends when they open their egg to find yummy chocolate hidden inside.

Strawberry Banana Muffins

About a month ago a friend on my facebook posted a link to this recipe.  I knew I wanted to try it.  However, strawberries and bananas don't last too long in our house.  The kids devour them quicker than I can muster up the motivation to bake.  A couple days ago we went to costco and bought fruit and lots of it; apples, oranges, grapefruit, grapes, bananas, and strawberries.  With so much fruit in the house I was actually able to try out this new recipe! 

1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, chopped
2 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 medium, ripe bananas
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350.
Mix the bananas, eggs, brown sugar and butter until blended. Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Mix well. Stir in vanilla and strawberries by hand so as not to mush the berries. Spoon into well greased muffin cups. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes.
Makes 12-18 muffins.

The Verdict:  The house smelt delish!  I love the smell of baked goods and banana bread is one of my absolute favorites.  The muffins were also very tasty.  The banana and strawberry flavors as always compliment eachother.  I will admit strawberries are not my favorite mushy foods.  I like them fresh.  I hate them in strawberry yogurt.  I don't like chunks of mushy strawberries so it did take me a bit or two to get past the warm mush of strawberries.  I may have to try one later when they aren't warm to see if it helps.  If you can get past the mushy strawberries you are sure to love these.  I have a feeling they won't last long in the house. 

For more yummy recipes visit Nanzinas-Recipe-Swap.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Creamy Califlower Soup

Today for lunch I came across a recipe for califlower soup. To be honest we don't eat califlower.  I never buy it.  However, I happend to have a califlower head in my refridgerator from one of our bountiful baskets.  I figured the cali would have ended up as scratch for the chickens.  When I came across this recipe I was excited to try it. 

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

•1 Tbsp. butter, plus 2 Tbsp. for optional garnish
•1 onion, roughly chopped
•1/2 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
•2 cloves garlic, chopped
•1 head cauliflower, chopped
•2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
•1/2 tsp. freshly ground white pepper
•1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
•2 cups low-fat milk
•2 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley, optional

1.In a large pot over medium heat, melt 1 Tbsp. butter. Add onions and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally and adjusting heat so onions are cooking but not browning, until onions look starchy and a bit creamy, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
2.Add cauliflower, stir to combine, cover and cook 3 minutes. Add broth, bring to a boil, reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer and cook until cauliflower is tender to the bite, about 10 minutes.
3.Purée soup with a hand-held blender. Or, whirl in batches in a blender or food processor until smooth (place a kitchen towel over blender to prevent potential burns).
4.Stir in pepper and nutmeg. (Note: At this point the soup may be cooled, covered, and frozen for up to 4 months.)
5.Add milk and cook over medium-low heat until hot.
6.Meanwhile, if you want to add the parsley butter swirl, melt remaining 2 Tbsp. butter and stir in parsley.

Serve soup hot, with a swirl of parsley butter, if you like.
Makes about 8 cups soup (4 main course servings; 8 soup course servings) Cauliflower Soup.

Verdict:  We actually thought it was tasty.  It complimented our sandwhiches quite nicely.  I thought that something might be missing.  However I still liked it.  I think next time I am going to try using curry to give it a different taste.  The nutmeg in it gave it a very warm comforting flavor.  I was out of milk, but did have heavy cream.  I know who has cream instead of milk in their refridgerator.  I used that instead of the milk and it made it very rich and creamy.  This is definately a recipe we will be trying again.  However, next time I am going to play around with flavors and add different spices to it.