Friday, December 31, 2010

in the year to come

2010 was a whirlwind year. Starting with the birth of our last child, Miss Jo, and ending with a quiet holiday, We've had all sorts of ups and downs. I can't complain. Life is quite wonderful. It's full of frustration, angst and crazies, but the good of it is awesome. I'm so blessed to have 3 beautiful children and a wonderfully loving husband. We have a large roof over our heads we were lucky to get, we have fridges and freezers full of food, and warm clothes to keep us warm (some of which I made myself! I really should share with you guys...) The only thing that might make it better is having a field of sheep.... But that may come in time.

2011 should shape up to be a good year. Ducky will be in his last half of Kindergarten (he's been asking me 'how many days left of holiday?' since Boxing day!) Xan turns 3 and Miss Jo turns 1 first thing this year. We have nothing planned, but that always leaves room for more crazy adventures.
One of these crazy adventures is going to be capturing the view out my front door every day for the entire year. We have the best view. It may not be a waterfall, or mountains, or off the edge of cliff. But I love it as if it were. And I want to have that view, saved for a whole year, just so if we ever leave here, I still have it.
Another adventure I hope to go on is visiting a bunch of over sized statues of things that spatter every town along drives we normally take. Let's cross our fingers that hubby will cooperate with that one!
I also hope to be more frugal, and convince my family that it is possible! Less waste, more time caring for the things we have, enjoying each other more.
And I hope to keep up with the blog more often. Perhaps a week of pancakes? Or pancake Wednesdays/Thursdays/Fridays? I can't just make normal pancakes after all....

I'm sure there are more things that will intrigue me through out the year. And I hope to share them with you and the world.

Best of luck in the New Year.

I leave you with this, my favorite version of Auld Lang Syne.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Red Lentil Bread

Hello again. It's been a while, but I thought maybe I'd come along and post this. Maybe you are all still there?

After having my 3 wonderful children, I've developed allergies! yay! :/ One of the definite allergies I now have is to Sulphites. Sulphites are in nearly everything!!! Especially in bread. So now instead of making bread because I enjoy the process, I have to make bread. I'm not complaining. Homemade is much better overall anyway. But one thing is I've gotten bored with plain bread! I used to buy the good stuff full of grains and whole wheat. So I've been adding things to my bread! this recipe is for bread with red lentils in it! Talk about yum! And bonus, lentils are full of protein and fiber!
Enough chat, here's the recipe!

1/2 cup red lentils
1 cup water
~In a large pot, cook the red lentils for about 30 minutes.

4cups of lukewarm water
4 tblsp sugar
1/4 cup oil
2 tblsp active dry yeast
approximately 12 cups flour (this can be a mixture of whole wheat and unbleached all purpose if you so wish)

Combine water oil sugar and yeast and allow to proof for 10 minutes. Cup by cup, add the flour. Start off with a whisk, Before it becomes to thick to whisk, add the cooked lentils. Once it becomes to thick to whisk dive in with both hands until well combined. Don't use all the flour at once. Once you get a semi wet dough turn it out on to the counter (lightly dusted with flour) and begin to knead. Knead like you've never kned before. for at least 10 minutes, but I recommend longer. Once yo've done this, put the dough back in your bowl and allow to rise for 2 hours. Don't rush the rise!!! this will give you nice fluffy bread!
Before the rise:
While you let it rise, do some laundry!
This is what it should look like after you've folded 3 loads of laundry, and played with your cute children :) (or pets or sat and read a book, or whatever it is you need/want to do in that time)
Now it's time to shape into loaves. What I find works best is to cut the dough into approximately even pieces and flatten into rectangles. Then I roll the rectangles into loaves. Place into your bread pans and let rise again for at least 30 minutes. I generally forget about it and end up letting it rise for 45 minutes to an hour. Preheat your oven to 400`F.
So long as the bread is at least doubled in size you are safe to put it into your oven. Bake it for 25 minutes.
Pull it out of the oven, enjoy the smell of fresh bread but wait at least 20 minutes before you cut into it. Slather it with butter and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

With chaos comes distraction

Oy. Has life ever been crazy. And not even all that crazy as like 'the world came to an end a few times' crazy. Just normal crazy, And I can barely keep up. I have 1million pictures of wonderful creations, from crochet to sewn to food, and one day I will try to get a post in every week. Not that hard of a thing to do, right? especially if I have 100 different types of Pancakes for you to try! (okay so at this point it's more like 6, but I'm always improvising and making new types of pancakes)

Anywho. Stay tuned, I'll try and be more active with my posts.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mama's Marco Polo

If you have Ninja children, or Monkey children, or Monkey-Ninja children, like I do, you are constantly concerned about where they are and what they are getting into.

Sorry, what's that? You don't know what those terms refer to? Let me enlighten you then.

The Ninja child.

You have everything your child should not be getting into put away. LOCKED away. But somehow your sneaky little Ninja child still manages to find it, or get into it. Prime example of this, The jar of diaper rash cream. You are standing there making supper for guests and you begin to think "Oh. It's quite quiet right now. I wonder what he's doing...." You go to find the child and find he is covered from head to toe in diaper rash cream. And not only is he covered in the sticky greasy substance, but the walls of his room and the hallway are to. And you think to yourself "I swear that was in the bathroom, that has the child proofing knob cover on it...."
(This was The Duck)

The Monkey Child.

This Child is constantly on top of something, still getting into something but is not quiet about it. Well, more accurately he is quiet to start but hasn't quite figured out how to be perfectly silent. Quite often you will find this child on the table coloring it with markers. (This is Squishy, my 2.5 year old) Or quite possibly atop the fridge, and unafraid of jumping at you as you walk past. (this was me.)

The Monkey Ninja Child.

This child will climb and be quiet about it. A prime example of the behavior is this: Imagine yourself sitting on the deck, the children playing nicely in the yard. You look up and fail to see one of your children. You get up and start searching the corners, and under and in the trees to no avail. You panic. You then notice him just on the other side of the 5 foot fence trying to get the cat back in the yard. He does this repeatedly. At lest a few times a week. You know it is illegal to tie him down, or otherwise string him up to a tree. Never mind that that is dangerous too. (This is Squishy as well.)

You need a solution to these problems. One that doesn't require searching places fruitlessly while your child could really be doing himself harm or, heaven forbid, get lost in your town and be taken somewhere by a stranger......

People, I have your solution!! This will work for children as young as 2. I call it Mama's Marco Polo. What you do is when it gets to quiet, or just every 5 minutes or so, you call out "*Insert child's name here* say MOMMY!" and wait for the response from your child. Your child should call out "Mommy!" Then you must thank your child and offer praise for responding. You can start with doing this on your lap and work up from there if your child is unresponsive to start with. This is going to save your sanity folks. You'll know just where to look and respond accordingly to the situation they are in.

I hope this helps at least one other parent out there.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I invented cookies!

Okay. So saying I invented cookies is a bit of a stretch, as I've only been on this earth for 28 years (this life anyway.... who knows, If past lives are real maybe I did invent cookies.... O.o :D) I did however make this recipe up this morning after stairing at the oh so near spoiling berries in my fridge.

So behold. Oatmeal Berry Breakfast Cookies!

1 cup room temp butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 TbspVanilla
2 cups Oats (not the quick cook type)
2 Tbsp baking powder
2 cups flour
3/4 cups Blueberries
1/2 cup raspberries

Preheat the oven to 350`F. Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs, slightly betten and mix until incorperated. Add the vanilla and mix again. In a seperate bowl, mix the flour and baking powder and oats, then add to the butter mixture. Stir only until it just comes together. Add the berries and mix until incorperated.
Place heaping tablespoons of the dough onto parchment lined baking sheets (the parchment helps prevent excessive washing of the pans as well as sticking.. who like washing dishes anyway?) I was only able to fit 3-4 cookies per pan as they spread quite a bit. Bake for 15 minutes or until dark but not burnt. This recipe works best if over cooked just a tiny bit, like 2 minutes beyond what you think is done.

The next time I make these I might add 1/2 cup more flour, some nuts and chunks of cream cheese. Then they'll be a well rounded breakfast cookie.


Playing along with Skip to my Lou! Click around to find some great inspiration!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Icelandic Pancakes

These pancakes aren't your average pancakes! They are slightly more crepe like, and have a wonderful flavour. (Not that basic pancakes don't taste great ;) )
This is a family recipe passed down for who knows how long. I got it from my Mom who got it from my Grandma (her Mother in law) who likely got it from her mother in law in turn. I grew up with these pancakes as a special treat every so often, and I plan on making it so with my kids!

Icelandic Pancakes

1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup cream
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp sugar
1 cup flour
2 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon

Warm your milk and cream just a bit (I added this step- I find warm milk makes the pancakes a little heavier-weird I know, but eh what can you do, don't fight what works :D ) Add room temperature eggs and whisk together. Sift the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then slowly add them to the liquid while whisking vigorously. This ensures less lumps.
Heat your pan. Once you pan is hot melt a little bit of butter and pour about 1/4 cup of the batter on it. Spread thinly and turn once bubbled. Repeat until you are out of batter.
Serve with whipped cream and maple syrup and a side of bacon. Or jam. Or butter and brown sugar. Or... Or.. Or.. The possibilities are endless really.


Don't forget to check out:
click around for some great ideas!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Penny Pinching Pantry Raid

That's it. I give up. Hubby's not into the budget thing at all.... He keeps spending money on food stuffs like it didn't matter that we already have 10 bags of noodles in the cupboard. But we don't have the one kind he wants... le sigh... Oh well, I'm still trying to not send him for groceries if I can help it. Next month I'm going to save every reciept and see whast we spend money on, and quite possibly take over all the grocery shopping in September and see if I can cut our spending! Maybe we will get closer to that trip we want to take faster then if we keep spending what we do! lol

Monday, July 12, 2010

Chenille Baby Blanket how to!

I figured I may as well make this blog semi-useful... Not just a bunch of words about what I do all day to keep the kids and I busy. So here we go with my first Bloggy Tutorial!

I realised one Saturday that we were about to meet our Newest Niece on Sunday, and I had nothing to give her! So being overly ambitious I chose to make her a Chenille blanket! Now Chenilling was introduced to me by a good friend of mine. Her blanket has been taking her months. I figure one night, I can do it! And it's possible! With a lot of coffee and inspiration (like a cute baby), but possible!

What you will need:
3-5 one and a half meter pieces of flannelette(depending how thick you want it)
1 piece of backing fabric ( can be another piece of flannelette or other heavier fabric)
Some fabric or bias tape to finish the edges with.
Lots and lots of matching thread (match to the backing fabric)
Sewing machine
Scissors or the fancy chenilling tool (I used scissors... Wish I had bought the tool....)

Step one:
Lay your fabric out, Smoothing each piece as you go.

Step two:
Take out your foot shaped pin cushion ( the one you made to commemorate the day your husband stepped on one fully loaded with over 100 pins it) And pin those layers of fabric like you've never pinned before. This is pretty important. I learned the hard way with the first blanket I made. If you don't pin, your backing fabric can fold and you will get dart like puckers that you aren't going to rip out because you just spent an hour on that section... Also, make sure your cat does not mess up your smoothing......
Step Three:
Sew! Sew every 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch on the bias (at a 45` angle) Watch for pins!! You will hit your arm with them and it will hurt if you aren't overly cautious. You will also go through at least 3 bobbins of thread. There's a lot of stitching! It should look something like this:

Step Four:
Cut! Being very careful to not cut the bottom/backing layer, cut in between each row of stitching. ( I couldn't get a clear pic of this step....)

Step Five:
Wash! This is what your blanket should look like before washing:

This is what your blanket will look like after washing!
And there you have it! You have a super soft, super cuddly little blanket to snuggle your baby in (or your niece, or your nephew, or your friends baby, or, or, or... :) )

Please note that to create this tutorial I made 3 different blankets (Okay, so I'm in the process of making the 3rd one. It's for one of my own so it will take me a lot longer then one night. LOL)

I hope you all try this out! It is fun to do, if a bit tedious. But you get a wonderful blanket out of it, one that will hopefully be cherished for years!

I'm participating in:

Please click around to find some great inspiration!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

11 days in...

So With this Penny Pinching Pantry Raid, we've not been doing all to well.... Well Sort of. We've been using mostly stuff in the fridge and freezers and pantry... But Hubby isn't quite on board. One day I sent him for Coffee, milk and eggs. He spends 57$!!!!! This might be partly because this was on the 3rd, and maybe he forgot.... But he bought our usual coffee, two packages to be exact... It runs 15$ for 500g. Yes... We have expensive tastes in coffee. So that spoke for 30$ of it... then there were chips and chocolate bars and pop... Next day I send him for ham. He spent 80$ on sandwich meat.... yeah.... big sticks of meat, but at least now I have a freezer full of sandwich meat? Anyway.. We've bought a few other things too, so out of our 250$ budget we've spent $171.76 + 15$ for things I may not have gotten the reciept for... so 186.75.
Here's a list of some of the more delicious items we made:
Pizza! - homemade crust with ground itallian sausage meat, mozza and tomatoes.
Burgers!- Homea made burgers to boot! none of this store bought nonsense.
Our wonderful neighbours have a gorgeous garden, and they gave us Lettuce! uummmm salad!
Pork loin roast and rice!
Icelandic pancakes!

Here's the interesting concotion:
Hotdogs, with big round noodles (like canteloni only little) and 1/2 can of diced tomatoes. Yep. It's delicious though! (and a staple growing up, so it's comfort food)

OOh! I also made pita bread! Yup, that's right Pita bread! And it turned out really good! So I'll post a tutorial on that hopefully next week! With all that sandwich meat and lettuce from the neighbours I'll be in pita sandwich heaven!

Anywho. I'll be back tommorow. I have a crafty non-food project to share!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Oh baby! What a cutie!

I made everything in this picture. Okay, so I didn't make the couch. Or the wall behind it. I did, however, make the baby (That's Miz Jo. She is the last of our lot. Ain't she adorable?) I did have help with her mind you, but you knew that.

I made the dress, the boots, the belt bow, and the headband. All by myself. And all this was inspired by one of the monthly challenges on

This month Challenge was to create an article of clothing, or outfit, with a bed sheet. Just a sheet (or 2 or 3) But not a bed spread, or duvet or any other bedding.
While the idea of the more the merrier, almost sounds better, in
this instance, less was better. In the idea that I chose to use a crib
sheet! And boy oh boy, did I ever use up that crib sheet to my best ability.

Just as my children are a big part of my inspiration, is as well. The day I found craftster was an awakening. I'm not even kidding. The day before I stummbled on the wonderful site, all I knew was something was missing. I didn't know what it was, but part of me went away after having my boys. It was my creative side. is FULL, chock full, of inspiration. I didn't even know it was possible to spin yarn before Craftster. And now I'm almost lost without my spindle or wheel. Before Craftster I barely used my sewing machine. The same sewing machine that got me through Fashion design.
Craftster reinstated my craft. It's great. So, knowing that most of my followers are following me from there, I'm guessing you all feel the same way. But for those of you that didn't find me through Craftster, click one of the many links I just put in here (notice I figured that one out? Acutally, it was help from a friend. Yay friends!)

Also on one last note, if you want to vote for this adorable little outfit (or see a few more pics) click here .

Happy crafting!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Penny Pinching Pantry Raid

So as a follower of the lovely Susan of She's becoming Doughmesstic (here's the part where I wish I knew how to make that a link....) I thought I'd join her in her Penny Pinching Pantry Raid this month. (see, would have come in handy there too..)
Here is her URL instead :)

Here's the deal. Set a budget. Ours is going to be 250$ for the month. That's on everything. Take out, perishable groceries, extra food items we may not need (like chocolate bars, sweet crunchy chocolate bars... Good thing my baking supply is stocked) Anyway. The goal is to use up that overstocked pantry and freezer. AND as an added bonus save a few coins while we're at it :D

Join us in this fun! The party starts July 1!! Be there or go broke! ;)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Passing on the skillzzzzz

I spin yarn. Most people find that weird. If it is, then so be it. I know I'm not alone.

The other day The Duck wanted to spin. He got a hang of treadling the wheel and let the pencil roving take the twist and feed onto the bobbin. Here is his handy work.

Not bad for a 5 year old, if I do say so myself!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Fun Fathers Day Festivities

Nothing like alliteration to start the day eh?
Happy belated fathers day to all those Fathers out there!

For fathers day I (we, I suppose... the kids and I) bought (read picked out) my husband a Bradley Electric Smoker. We got it a few days early, mind you, so that we we could have smoked prime rib on Sunday.
Well, I kind of killed the roast.... I way over smoked it, but the roaast was big enough that we could just cout off the out side and enjoy the meat on the inside. I suppose next go i'll read the directions alittle closer, instead of skiming them. We also had wilted cabage and carrots, BBQ's Mushroom caps and roasted potatoes. It was a great meal (less the edges of the roast....)

I also had the brilliant idea to make Tart Key Lime Squares. Oh my. Were they ever tart!! They look alright, but man oh man! You can't eat much more then an inch square at a go, unless you are me, when I was pregnant with The Duck.

It was an alright day, The Hub went golfing al day and came home to a good meal. Can't get much better then that, can it?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

To keep us sane


On lovely days when I really don't want to go enjoy the back yard, we bake. To keep us sane. Although, it kind of drives me nuts none the less, what with the 2 boys taking turns spilling, erm pouring the ingredients, shaping the dough, and eating more dough then cookies. Yesterday was one of those days.

We made gingersnaps. Well, they turned out more like soft ginger cookies full of delicious spicy undertones that don't hit you until you've swallowed, which if you want my opinion (you are going to get it anyway wether you want it or not ;) ) is way better then basic ginger snaps. I didn't change anything from the recipe so I'll give you the book I got it from. Cookies, brownies and bars By Elinor Klivans.

Nothing overly exciting happened until the dough was well mixed and ready to be shaped. My 5 year old (The Duck) says as he's rolling the happy little balls of dough in sugar "Mom, they look like poop nuggets!" Oh my... Well, it's true, they did.

But they turned into yummy cookies. For which I got the response of "Well, you're not fired Mom. I'm impressed these are really good." Oh? I laughed at him, secretly of course, as to not offend him. But that made my day. I'm not fired. So I did good by my oldest boy. And that's likely all I can ask for right now.

So there they are, and that's by no means is all of them... This was taken well after most were distributed to neighbours and the post mistress and a friend who lives far away that I haven't seen in over 2 1/2 years (man do I miss that girl...) and devoured by me, my boys and the Hubby.

oh and yay! 3 followers huzzah! you guys rock!

* The first picture was taken by The Duck. Isn't he a great photographer?!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

And so it begins......

Perhaps this will fuel me. Perhaps it will not. Let's see where this goes.

My goal with this blog is to share the chaos of my life and how it influences my creativity. On the outside, it is chaos. On the inside, it is brimming ideas full of promise. Join me on this adventure that life is.

I leave you with a quote from JRR Tolkien that more or less describes it all:

"Not all who wander are lost"