Sunday, January 31, 2010

Help I've Lost The Instruction Manual

I knew the crib climbing was going to be challenging but this is ridiculous!
This little fellow just won't stay put. He's already scratched up his face from trying to climb over the baby gate to keep him in his room. I did pick up a toddler bed over the weekend (found it at a yard sale & figured it was meant to be). The first night he got up and cried in the doorway. I had a feeling this might happen so I left a comforter on the floor in front of the door. Sure enough he fell asleep right there. Second night he was so exhausted (not napping now that he can wander about his room) that he did start off in the toddler bed but fell off when he woke up and tried to get out. Third night once again sleeping on the floor. I can't bear to leave him there all night so I bring him up with me when I go to sleep.

So yes I have misplaced the instruction manual and haven't a clue on what to do next ~ any suggestions?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Every Little Bit of Help ~ Helps!

There always seems to be so much to do around the house and just not enough time (or motivation) to get things done. I'm really trying to enlist the help of my 4 year old without breaking any child labor laws.

Seriously I want her to learn to be responsible and I need her help! Lately I've been insisting she put her clothes in the hamper right side out. I really don't like doing laundry and having to turn so many clothes right side out really slows things down. It's usually the nightgowns she forgets and I've been having her turn them herself, a bit tricky for a 4 year old I know.

She has surprised me though and has taught herself a new trick ~ how to wiggle out of her clothes when getting undressed and keep them from turning inside out! What a great surprise. I love how she taught herself this as she realized turning your clothes right side out isn't much fun.

Now if I could just get her to realize she should clean up her toys when she's done playing with the them instead of moving on to something else.

I'd love to hear from you ~ how do you have your little ones help you out?


I like routine I really do. We've have a great one over here. Pick up daughter from PreK, come home, have lunch, little guy naps. It's nice and I like it. Liked it. Want it back. No. Please?

This started yesterday.


I frantically asked around at school this morning if anyone had one of those crib tent/top/cover/cages that I could borrow for a few months. (because then he will be able to handle a toddler bed and not get into everything in his room)

I think I scored one but probably won't see it until Monday. Until then I just can't keep this guy put.

I've a feeling it's going to be a looooooooooooong weekend.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Special Delivery!

We're teaming up with Etsy for a Special Delivery!
My daughter and I are sending in some homemade cards to be delivered to NYC seniors on Valentine's Day. Over 18,000 people are served by Citymeals-on-Wheels ~ That's a lot of lonely seniors. Etsy is helping to send them some love on Valentine's Day by collecting cards to be delivered with their Valentine's Day meals.

While the little guy is napping we love to get crafty ~ anything involving paper, glue, & scissors is pretty much guaranteed to result in a good time. After reading "Special Delivery: Share Your Love 2010" on Etsy's Storque I knew I wanted us to get involved with this project.
I also loved being able to use this opportunity to teach my 4 year old about caring and helping others. Let's face it the budget is tight but we do have plenty of paper and glue around. If this is a way we can make a difference, albeit a small one, well that's a step. I explained to her we were making these cards for older people like her Great Nana who don't have a lot of people who come to spend time with them and give them love.

We made these two days ago. This morning when I asked her why we made the special Valentines cards she told me they were for the people we don't know because we want them to have love. Lesson learned.
Interested in participating? You can join in too! Cards need to be received by Tuesday, February 9, 2010. See the Etsy Storque article for more details.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Lovely Project and A Princess or (ahem) Two!

So I've pulled together some lovely vintage goodies... A beautiful Laura Ashley floral called "Stropshire Posys" according to the selvage from MCMLXXXIII, some ric rac, and a length of red satin ribbon (was still in the package originally 29¢)
I'm quite pleased with the results which I will post pictures of tomorrow!
Sweet & lovely ~ truly!

Almost as sweet as my...

I'd love to blame it on my daughter but truth be told my mom and I were responsible. I mean my daughter did want to play dress up & I certainly didn't want the little guy to feel left out!

Doesn't he have the best sense of humor? I've honestly been saying this about this kid for like forever. Seriously he is so stinking funny. Even when he's bad he's just got a twinkle in his eye. (it's a good twinkle not a deviant, psychopath one ~ honest!)
Anyway this boy is something else. He is a rough and tumble, pushes the limits, tests the water, 100% all boy. ~ and I had no idea what "all boy" meant until he came along. But this boy at 21 months hasn't found it all that important to speak. I mean why should he, we do just about everything for him. He's happy, not frustrated in the least. His latest trick, mostly done when he is being "redirected" is to look at you and mouth words (with no sound). Ordinarily he makes lots of sounds (just not words) so this behavior is well, really funny but a bit odd. I've tried to video tape it but as soon as I take my camera out he just smiles & babbles.

So with no real mama or dada or even yelling "no" to the dog for trying to swipe his Cheerios, we've finally decided to go ahead and start speech therapy. He starts on Monday and I'm really excited. Hopefully it will help. (I figure it can't hurt) I really want to hear what this kid has to say! I'd love to hear from you especially if you've had experience with a late talker!

Friday, January 22, 2010


I've been busy (though sometimes I'm not so sure with what) and haven't sewn for ages. This is mostly because I don't actually have a sewing room. I've always carried down my needed supplies from my "sewing nook" and have used the dining room table. This wasn't a problem until my little guy came of the age where he is absolutely into everything. Let's face it, I don't have the space in my gated off kitchen to keep my sewing supplies and by the time I put the kids to be the last thing I feel like doing is carrying my machine down and then back up again.

Though I haven't created anything new, I've still maintained my handmade shop. I renew every now and again and have had the nice surprise of selling items. This week I sold a beloved piece ~ my Kaleidoscope Quilt. The buyer asked to have a hanging sleeve put on so that she could display it. (I feel so honored!) I have to say that the making of a simple hanging sleeve inspired me to make an effort to start creating again. What a fantastic feeling!

Tonight I carried down a bunch of goodies and got to work. I've started simple and small and hope that I can continue. It feels so good to get the creative juices flowing and make something lovely!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

neskita ~ Shop Discovery

I happened to be browsing around on Etsy and found the cutest shop. I just had to contact the seller and ask her if I could share her wonderful items on my blog. neskita is from Chile ~ but don't let this worry you, her items are sent as PDFs and therefore no shipping charges!

Sure we are up to our eyeballs in toys here, but it would be so nice to be able to print these off and have a little something special to do while brother is napping on a cold winter's afternoon. I think my daughter would absolutely love playing with these.

It would be so fun to put some old shoe boxes to use as backgrounds and then to hold the pieces when we are done playing.

She loves to play pretend and playing school is always a favorite. I'd definitely enjoy playing along with these colorful printables.

At $6.50 I think they are a wonderful deal. Head on over to neskita's shop, be sure to click on all the views of these lovelies when you're there. So cute!

If you decide to purchase (and how could you resist!) be sure to state whether you'd like your file in english or spanish as the file comes with instructions as well as ideas.


Friday, January 15, 2010

Treasures to Keep

An old stationary box filled with a rainbow of vintage ribbons

Since I started selling vintage most of the treasures I've come across I have put up for sale. I do have some of my items displayed in my home to enjoy until someone decides to buy them. There are a few though that I have kept and thought it would be fun to share them.

This tablecloth is a vibrant yellow with strawberries, apples, and pears (along with a few bees) that dance along the border. It does have a few holes but plenty of usable material. ~ I'm seeing some lovely aprons here!

Many of these keepers are items that I don't think I could get that much for so I might as well hold onto. These that I am sharing today are just waiting to be made into something wonderful.

about a dozen 7" vintage doilies ~ like "new"!

about 80 (seriously!) 5" doilies, sticker reads "Guaranteed China Make All Hand Made" in perfect condition!

About a dozen of these 3" square curiosities. Doily with a linen backing and slit in the middle. Any ideas what they may have been used for?

Someday I will be able to start sewing again. In the meantime I love having these bits around, waiting for me to bring them to life.

Until then they sit looking lovely.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Chocolotta Cake ~ Happy Birthday Mom!

My folks have finally moved up here and now live close to us. It's wonderful to have them nearby and the kids get to spend lots more time with them. My Mom's birthday was January 12th and I haven't spend it with her in a long time. This year I was able to cook her a special dinner and of course a birthday cake. She is a chocolate lover so I decided to make her a chocolate cake from scratch. It sounds pretty lame but I had never attempted to make one before! I picked this recipe from my favorite cookbook ~ Perennials

Here's a delicious recipe for Chocolotta Cake ~
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
4 eggs
1 cup chocolate syrup (I used dark chocolate syrup as Mom loves dark chocolate best!)
2 1/4 cups flour (unsifted measure)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
7 (1.45 ounce) Hershey chocolate bars or 1 (8 ounce) Hershey chocolate bar

Cream butter and sugar at medium speed of electric mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in syrup. Sift together flour and salt. Combine buttermilk and soda. Reduce speed to low. Add dry ingredients to chocolate mixture alternately with buttermilk. Melt chocolate bars in double boiler over hot water. Blend into batter. Pour batter into greased and floured 10-inch tube pan or Bundt pan. Bake at 350 F for 1 hour 15 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Turn onto rack or plate.
Breaking apart the chocolate bars was a perfect job for little hands.

I thought frosting would be way too much for this cake.
A sprinkling of powdered sugar and a side of ice cream worked very well.

Happy Birthday Mom!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Additions

My sweet little girl has caught the dreaded stomach bug. After a rough night she is recovering. Let's hope the little guy hangs tough and this bug skips over him. (and me too!)
(and wohoo both kids are napping at the moment) So I'll take this time to show off some...

New Additions!
click on item title to see it directly in my Etsy shop.

Otagiri Strawberry Teapot
A funky aqua & gold glass jar. Kind of an odd sized piece.
Any ideas on what its original storage purpose was?
I still need to add this one ~
Just in case you need to remind those around you ~
Fab oversized pint shaped glass, standing 7" tall and 4" wide at the mouth.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tuesday Night Crock Pot Special

I took out some cubed beef/stew meat to defrost last night. I knew that I would make something in the crock pot today but really wasn't in the mood for beef stew. Having no idea what to make, I googled "cubed beef slow cooker recipes", the first result was a winner!

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff (click on title for original recipe at
1 pound cubed beef stew meat
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed golden mushroom soup (I used what I had ~ a can of regular condensed mushroom soup)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup water (yup that's it)
4 ounces cream cheese

1. Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker.
2. Cook on low setting for 8 hours, or on high setting for about 5 hours. Stir in cream cheese just before serving.

I've actually never made Beef Stroganoff before but I definitely will be making this again. It came out very tasty even though I didn't have the golden mushroom soup. It was a bit on the salty side but I rarely add salt so that could be me. If you're salt sensitive I'd go for the low sodium mushroom soup.
Here's the kid's dinners, wouldn't want to mix the meat with the noodles! At first my daughter was not impressed (as in I'm not eating that). When "you've never tried it so how do you know" wasn't working I decided to tell her it was saucy chicken. Then she loved it. I don't make anything called saucy chicken. Go figure.

Here's the little guy. He usually decides it's time to eat when we are finishing, hence no other dishes on the table. Notice the kitchen is gated off. I think he will be invited in when he turns 12. Maybe.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Still Grinning...

Please forgive me ~ Today was my daughter's first ice skating lesson ~
and I'm still grinning from ear to ear!
There were definitely more downs than ups...
But after sitting a bit and taking it all in (smiling all the way)
she'd get right back up and try again.

Once she got a little help, she was content to move around doing her own thing.
After an hour she was not ready to leave.

It was enormously rewarding to watch her out there.
She truly makes my heart sing.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Lemongrass & Chocolate

I just wanted to show off my latest addition to my Fiestaware collection. (thanks mom!) Lemongrass is the latest color and Chocolate was introduced last year. Don't they look gorgeous together?
These beauties join forest green, tangerine, peacock, plum, scarlet, sunflower, shamrock, and cobalt. I love my rainbow collection of Fiestaware!