21 Apr 2013, 11:00pm
Chronicles Of A Stay At Home Mom cylas romalise:
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  • Chronicles: It’s been a while…

    Got a gentle nudge from an old friend the other day…”Where are you?”  I’m here, I’m here!  I’ve been busy and mentally foggy.  My blog has suffered…it’s plain to see.

    Although I’ve been silent on my blog, my life has been propelling forward.  There is a lot to write about, not sure I even have the energy to dedicate blog posts to all of the neat things that have happened.  First of all, to my runner friends who read my blog, I ran the D.C Rock N Roll Half.  It was a lot of fun.  The experience wasn’t like the first time, but it was nice to run, literally, down memory lane.  My time was less than impressive, no thanks to my catty hamstring.  She was talking…and my legs were arguing back.  :(

    My life as mommy is getting more fun.  Really, it is.  Now that my son has a mouth full of teeth and his own set of opinions he is the fire in my belly.  While my Roma, she is the wind that encourages Cy’s little fire and creates whirlwinds of questions as she follows me around.  Getting to know my four year old Roma has been amazingly delightful.  And getting to connect on a deeper level with my almost seven year old Cy has been life changing.  There is nothing like looking into your baby boy’s eyes and knowing that he trusts you, that he loves you…that he really, really loves you.   We have shared some of the sweetest bonding moments together.  He has proven to be an honest kid with a kind heart, an infinitely curious mind and a love for his mother’s cooking.  School hasn’t lost its luster, yet, for him, so that’s nice.  Spelling and reading trip him up all the time but math — it’s his Superbowl.  I’ve found he enjoys knowing that numbers are a constant, they won’t ever change.  2 + 2 will ALWAYS equal 4…meanwhile, ‘c’ says ‘sss’ before e-i or y, sometimes, not always and when you’re having a bad day ‘x’ says ‘sss’ too.  Yeah, English, the horrible, unpredictable, finicky mistress of language itself.  He builds, constructs, digs tunnels and collects seeds.  He wants to own an IKEA and he loves soccer.  Lady killer.

    If the sun could encapsulate itself and bring a small sliver of its radiance to earth — it would probably turn itself into my daughter.  My golden-haired tomboy diva princess — is that even possible?? — who is full of “brilliant” ideas (now, I put ‘brilliant’ in quotations because she uses that word a lot to describe things like, her dresses, or her mood or anything…).  She gets ‘eskited’ about her favorite foods, friends and or new toys.  She loves her tutu (still) and enjoys talking to herself in the mirror.  She changes clothes three times a day (along with her underwear, socks and slippers) and she’s never short on tasks for me.  I’ve been Daisy. I’ve been her daughter.  I’ve been her sweetie.  I’ve been her mother.  I’ve been a bug.  I’ve even been a puppy and I’ve eaten plastic chips with a side of imaginary soup.  Heart breaker.

    I didn’t imagine that I would get to this point in motherhood where my love for these two little pieces of my husband and I would energize me in such a special way.  It’s a new stage of being a mama that I’m loving completely.

    Completely.

    And then I smile, thinking about the cup I picked up yesterday evening, without paying any mind, took a large swig….TWO large, refreshing swigs before glancing down at the small chunks of whatever floating happily in the bottom.  *stomach lurch*  I am my children’s mom.

    21 Mar 2013, 8:21am
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  • Of Food And Love: Chicken in Basil Cream Sauce

    I stumbled on this recipe about a month and a half ago.  I’ve made it at least four times since then.  It’s, really, really good.  I would have made it more than four times, but it’s a little on the *fatty* side, considering you’re pouring in a cup of heavy whipping cream.
    *gulp*

    You can put this under the: crowd pleaser, kid approved, quick, easy, delicious meal category.  Really.  Listening to my children make satisfied smacking sounds and little noises of pure enjoyment brings a smile to my face.

    “Mmm, my favorite!”  Words of my six year old.

    I made this last night and it only took about 35 minutes, prep work included.

    You can serve this with bread and a veggie of your choice.  We usually pick asparagus.

     

     

    Chicken in Basil Cream Sauce  ::Courtesy of::  Allrecipes

    1/4 cup milk

    1/4 cup dried bread crumbs (you can substitute for plain panko crumbs, which is what I did because I was out of bread crumbs.)

    4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts ( I use about 7 tenderloins)

    3 tablespoons butter

    1/2 cup chicken broth

    1cup heavy whipping cream

    1 (4 ounce) jar sliced pimento peppers, drained ( do NOT like pimentos, so, I don’t use them)

    1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (use the kind you find near the deli and the special cheeses.  It comes in a carton, OR, just buy a small block to grate yourself. Don’t use frozen.)

    1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (you can use dried, but only use about a half Tb)

    1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

    1. Place milk and bread crumbs in separate, shallow bowls. In skillet, heat butter or margarine to medium heat. Dip chicken in milk, then coat with crumbs. Cook in butter or margarine, on both sides, until juices run clear (about 10 minutes). Remove and keep warm.
    2. Add broth to skillet. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and stir to loosen browned bits from pan. Stir in cream and pimentos; boil and stir for 1 minute. Reduce heat.
    3. Add Parmesan cheese, basil and pepper. Stir sauce and cook until heated through. Pour mixture over chicken and serve!

    Enjoy.  And don’t hate me, because this is one of those unfortunately good recipes….

     

    25 Feb 2013, 9:07am
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  • Of Food And Love: Classical Weekend

    A couple weeks back my friend Skyped me about a classical concert that was gong to be held at her college.  She thought it would be a wonderful experience for the kids.  She was so right.

    Last Friday, I took Cylas out of school early, picked up Roma from pre-k, and we headed to New York.

    The performance was to take place at 7:30 that evening in the Italian Academy, a section of Columbia University.  The academy’s current display is Paolo Ventura.  The kids gaped at the photos.

    The room it was held in had a small theatrical stage, but that wasn’t where all the action happened.  They cleared a space on the floor, right next to all of us.   I could have touched the viola player with my finger tips.  That would have freaked him out, so, I didn’t…but I could have.

    They played Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 55 (“Eroica”).  When the conductor raised his magic wand and the music started, I thought my heart would burst.  First, because it was so loud and second, because it was so beautiful.  I almost cried.  There is nothing like having music like that roll through your chest.  It was breathtaking.  My children loved it.  Cylas sat still the whole time just taking it all in and Roma wanted to dance…she cried when I told her she couldn’t.

    If you ever have to occasion to support the Praxis Youth Leadership orchestra in any way, do it!  They are providing young people with the chance to perform with seasoned musicians so they can learn and experience life as a professional.  Oh my goodness.  That was a once in a life time experience that I’ll never, ever forget, and I know my children will benefit greatly from it.

    21 Feb 2013, 12:47pm
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  • Of Food And Love: Italian Stuffed Cabbage

    There are a few things I fear in the kitchen. A couple of them being: bread…while the other is cabbage.
    Well, not really the cabbage itself, but using the cabbage to wrap a tasty filling in.  I don’t know why, but I have this idea in my head that it’s just going to be soooo much work and I just don’t have the time for that mess.

    This recipe put an end to that.  Was it super quick?  No.  Was it a 30 minute meal I could slap together in between church services?  Absolutely not.  But, if I had an hour…I could totally make these.  As a matter of fact, I did.

    All I’m going to say is this — who ever thought of using cabbage to wrap up meat, rice, veggies and whatever other delicious combo was a genius.  I love me some cabbage rolls, y’all.  Gud stuff right thar.

    However, I’m used to the Russian version which usually contains beef, rice, carrots, onion…that sort of stuff.  This was very, very good in its own right and my children really enjoyed them.  The recipe also called for plum tomatoes in sauce, I opted to use crushed tomatoes instead.  I heated the sauce then added salt and a little sugar…

    When it was all said and done, I decided that these could make another appearance at our table, but I’d like to add a little rice to the filling, just because that’s what we like, not for the taste factor, because the taste was spot on.  I have to say that my favorite part was the Parmesan that she added.

    It’s recipes like these make you stop and bow to culinary royalty like Smitten Kitchen.  That woman is amazing.  (this is off her wonderful blog…)

    I made these and served it with mashed potatoes…I’m sure it could have been rice, but I was at a loss for a good complimentary carb.

    Wrap, heat, enjoy, repeat

    Italian Stuffed Cabbage  :: courtesy of::  Smitten Kitchen

    Makes approximately 12 cabbage rolls; a serving can range from 2 (petitely) to 3 per person.

    1 large savoy cabbage
    7-ounce (200-gram) hunk of bread (see above), crusts cut away, torn into small scraps (you’ll have about 3 loose cups of scraps)
    2/3 cup (approximately 150 ml) whole milk
    14 ounces (400 grams) or approximately 4 plain pork sausages (I used sweet — i.e. non-spicy — Italian), casings removed
    1 small sprig of sage, finely chopped
    1 small sprig of rosemary, finely chopped
    2 tablespoons grated parmesan
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    1 28-ounce can peeled plum tomatoes (I used a 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes instead)
    2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
    1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
    Tsp of sugar (optional. to add to the crushed tomatoes)

    Prepare cabbage: Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Discard any messy or broken outer cabbage leaves and carefully peel 12 nice, large leaves. (I think the cabbage can tell if you’re in a rush, and will tear more easily. Work carefully. That said, a torn leaf will hardly ruin the dish.) Blanch leaves for about 30 seconds to 1 minute (you can do a few at at time), until wilted, and spread out on towels so that they dry and cool.

    Make filling: Place bread scraps in bottom of large bowl and pour milk over. Let sit for a few minutes, then mash it gently with a spoon until something close to a paste forms. Mix with sausage meat, herbs, parmesan and a pinch or two of salt and black pepper; I find this easiest with a fork or bare hands.

    Make the cabbage rolls: Lay your first cabbage leaf on the counter. If it doesn’t want to lay flat, pare away some of the thickest stalk (with a paring knife or vegetable peeler) to make it easier. Form some of the filling mixture into a golf ball-sized round. Wrap cabbage leaf around it (see Note about shape up top) and pin at the top with a toothpick. Repeat with remaining leaves and mixture.

    Make the sauce: To prepare your tomatoes, either break them up with your hands (for bigger chunks), run them through a food mill or roughly chop them right in their can with scissors (what I did here). In a heavy saute pan with a lid or a medium (5 to 6-quart) Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for about 30 seconds (just until golden, not a moment longer) then add the tomatoes, bringing the sauce to a gently boil. Season with salt if needed. Add cabbage packages, arranging them carefully in the pan so they all fit, cover the pot and gently simmer them for 25 minutes. Remove the toothpicks and carefully turn the rolls over, cooking them for another 25. Remove the lid and simmer for another 10 minutes to cook off some of the wetness. They’re all cooked now, but if you can rest them for another 15 minutes before eating them, the flavors settle and they become even better.

    24 Jan 2013, 8:32am
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  • Of Food And Love: Lentil Soup with Sweet Italian Sausage, Swiss Chard and Garlic

    I’m convinced, more and more that the key to fooling everyone into thinking you’re a good cook is to find incredible recipes.  *shhhh*

    So, my secret is out.  I’m not actually a good cook, I’m merely riding on the aprons of some fabulous chef.

    Either way, I stumbled upon this recipe from one of my all time favorite recipe inventor bloggers — Smitten Kitchen.  She is INCREDIBLE!  I’m slightly  embarrassed to post this because her blog does it so much better.  Either way, I’m going to post it and give you my family’s feedback on this tasty winter soup.

    Swiss Chard, Sweet Italian Sausage and one cup of Brown Lentils

    Finding good recipes can be a bit of trail and error.  But then, you start becoming familiar with different ingredients and how well they compliment a certain dish and you just *know* that the recipe will be a winner.  Two of my fail safe combos are: sour cream, butter and sugar and whenever I see heavy whipping cream with pasta sauce I know dinner is going to be a taste bud raiser.
    Now, when I first looked at the ingredients, I groaned with the thought of cooking lentils.  For some reason, I have this misconception that they are SOOO hard to cook.  They’re not.  This soup was done in just over 40 minutes.  So, if you’re nervous about the lentils, don’t be.  The hardest part about this recipe is trying not to eat all the sausage before everything is finished!

    There are a three things I learned after making this dish.  One: I should have just put it all into the stock pot to begin with.  Two: Three links of sausage would have been better because the sweet Italian sausage has such a soft taste.  Three: Chop that chard!  The recipe calls for the chard to be cut into strips, but I found that to be awkward and drippy, so next time I’m going to mince it…just about.
    ::Side note:: I bought one bundle of the chard and used the whole thing.  It was the perfect amount.  cost me .89 cents

    My children LOVED this soup.  They are used to greens in their food, so I wasn’t too surprised.  But when both Cylas and Roma were making little contented munching sounds, I couldn’t help but smile.  They both polished off their bowls without a complaint.  I was very, VERY pleased with this dish and it will definitely have an encore appearance in the future.

    And, please, for the love of Pete, don’t forget to drizzle the hot garlic oil over the top as well as the helping hand of Romano cheese.
    I’m going to be freezing the leftovers, too.  There were a lot.  This serves 6.

    Serve hot. Serve on cold days. Eat up!

    Mustn’t forget the Romano cheese and the drizzle of freshly chopped garlic in olive oil over the top…

     

    Lentil Soup with Sausage, Chard and Garlic ::  courtesy of Smitten Kitchen

    1/2 cup olive oil, divided
    4 large links of sweet Italian sausage, casings removed (I used half of this, preferring the sausage to not dominate the soup’s flavor)
    1 medium onion, diced
    2 celery stalks, sliced or diced
    2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into half-moons or diced
    4 cloves garlic, sliced (reserve half for later in recipe)
    Kosher salt
    A pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
    1 cup brown lentils, sorted and rinsed
    2 bay leaves
    1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
    6 cups water
    Freshly ground black pepper
    3 to 4 cups shredded or thinly ribboned Swiss chard leaves or kale
    Grated Pecorino Romano cheese to finish

    Heat 1/4 cup olive oil (enough to coat bottom of pot) in a large pot on medium heat. When hot, add the sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon until it starts to brown, about five minutes. Add the onion, celery, carrots, first two garlic cloves, a pinch fo salt, and if you like your soup spicy, a pinch of red pepper flakes. Cook with the sausage until the vegetables soften a bit, another 5 minutes. Add the lentils, bay leaves, tomatoes, water, more salt and black pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook until the lentils are tender, about 40 minutes. (It might be necessary to add more water if the soup gets too thick, though we preferred ours on the thick side.)

    When the lentils are cooked, add the chard and cook until the leaves are tender, just a few minutes more. Discard the bay leaves.

    To finish, divide soup among bowls, then add the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and 2 garlic cloves to a small skillet and heat over medium until the garlic softens and hisses. Drizzle this over soup bowls, and top with fresh Romano, passing more at the table. Leftovers will keep for several days in the fridge.

    7 Jan 2013, 8:36am
    Chronicles Of A Stay At Home Mom
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  • Chronicles: Sharing truly is caring

    Sorry, but the cliche fit.
    I just sent both of my babies off to school and I noticed yet another positive change in myself toward them.

    It’s no secret that I have patience issues.  Haha.  But, somewhere along the line the little seeds I planted were watered and grew into a legit characteristic of maternal patience.  Lately, I’ve been making myself be patient.  Roma spilled her chocolate milk the other day, ok, not that big of a deal, I was calm, mopping up the milk from the floor, chair and island, but then, she spilled it again, I started out patient but didn’t stay that way.  She cried and I felt marginally bad for not keeping a smile on my face.  But, seriously?  I had JUST cleaned up!  So, I am a work in progress, but I enjoy where I’m at now.  It’s much easier to be a mom when I’m exercising the art of holding my tongue and smiling through highly irritating situations.

    School mornings can get me going.  Cylas is the king of staring off into space after I’ve told him to either put his socks on or brush his teeth or whatever.  I get to the point that I irritate myself with all of the gentle reminders.  The sound of my voice grates on me.  And Roma is a moody diva.  But somewhere along this maternal journey I decided to change how I looked at his propensity to become distracted and Roma’s horrible morning moods.  Now, I’m like a ninja who knows how to do Jedi mind tricks.
    I move quietly in and out of the rooms without attaching myself to the frustration of their whines or distracted stares and before any of us know it, they are ready for school and I still have my sanity.   To be honest, I think it’s because I’m sharing my patience with them.  I tend to be selfish so forcing myself to dig deep and share this wonderful virtue has been a blessing.  I’m truly learning to cherish my family which is having a direct effect on what I give to them from within myself.

    Love is funny like that.  Because I’m so in love with my family, I don’t mind pushing my own limits and watching the beautiful results of patience, kindness, compassion, understanding and awareness springing up.
    It’s most definitely not easy for me and I make a mess of myself all the time, but I am determined to grow in all of these areas so I welcome the path I must take.

    31 Dec 2012, 6:59am
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  • Chronicles: I’d Like To Say Goodbye

    It has been one memorable year.  And I’d like to say goodbye to a few things.

    I’d like to say goodbye to the hurt, pain, and fear I suffered.
    I’d like to say goodbye to misjudgments of me, cruelty, and the gossip.
    I’d like to say goodbye to taking things personally, or too personally, and self-doubt.
    I’d like to say goodbye to the mistakes I made (and for which I take full responsibility)
    I’d like to say goodbye to focusing outside of myself, on the wrong things.  Focusing on what others think of me or how they choose to see me.
    I’d like to, finally, say goodbye to the friendships I lost due to misunderstandings and disappointments.

    I’d like to say goodbye because there is no place for that in my life anymore.

    I’d like to say hello to the lessons I learned in compassion, faith, and love.
    I’d like to say hello to a focused mind,  renewed vision, and contentment.
    I’d like to say hello to new friends, old friendships that were strengthened, and a new self-awareness.
    I’d like to say hello to a new found confidence in myself and my abilities.
    I’d like to say hello to the deeper dedication I have for my family now.
    I’d like to say hello.

    Hello, to all these wonderful bits of knowledge and strength.
    Hello.

    I’d like to thank this year for giving me the lessons of a life time.  Combined with last year I don’t think I’ll ever forget this time in my life, ever.  Thinking about where I am now gives me great joy and I thank each situation for coming into my life because I took from each a well needed lesson.

    God knew there were parts of me that could never be touched or reached without these experiences.  Thank you, God.  Your ways are not my ways and your thoughts are far above my thoughts.

    I leave this year behind grateful, stronger, more passionate, more focused.

    Hello 2013.
    These are not New Year’s resolutions, but acknowledgments.  My life has changed courses and I’d like to recognize that, publicly.
    Hello 2013.

    And one last note, I’d like to thank my husband.  Words can not express the gratitude, they just are not adequate enough, really.  I know you’re not sappy so I’ll just stop.  I love you.

    26 Dec 2012, 5:21pm
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  • Of Food And Love: Christmas Lasagna

    Our Popsicle stick snowflakes hung in the window…

     This Christmas ranks in the top of my *Best Christmas Ever* list.  At the moment, I can’t think of another one that can come close.  Why?  One simple word: family.
    I believe in God.  And it’s instances like these when my faith in him grows even more.  About three days before we left to celebrate Christmas in New York with my dad, I was thinking to myself how sad it is that my family is so small.  My children haven’t any cousins nearby and my son is asking me why he doesn’t have a big family like everyone else.  I was feeling lonely and a little sad, quite frankly.  The bright light on my holiday horizon was the fact I would be seeing my little sister  for the first time in nearly a year.  I was really looking forward to that.

    The day before we arrived in New York, my dad put me on the phone with a cousin, a third cousin, of mine.  We got to chatting and decided that we wanted to meet.  Two days later, we met.  My children fell in love with their cousin Shanique and her children.

    The next day we went to see the tree at Rockafella center and the windows at Lord & Taylor.  Ahhh, small little winters wonderland.

    My two little munchkins and David

    We left there and as soon as we rounded the corner to see the tree it was like the temperature dropped and suddenly there was snow.  Beautiful.

    Then, Christmas day we opened presents, enjoyed one another’s company and relaxed.  Mid afternoon the cooking started.  See, the good thing about having my little sister around for the holidays is that she is a great cook.  She tackled an amazing vegetarian baked ziti and I did the lasagna, which, I think will become our new Christmas dinner staple.  Normally, we do ham, potatoes, green bean casserole, pigs in a blanket, potato salad and whatever else we can cook up.  This time?  No stress.  No fuss, no muss.  And, this lasagna is really, truly, TDF.  I sort of made it into my own because I can’t STAND ricotta, but you can use it if you’d like.  And to think, I used to be afraid of making lasagna.  Not any more!

    We ate, heartily, and then got the news that a storm was rolling in, which pushed our plans to leave my dad’s place the following morning up to that evening.  But not before meeting up with one last cousin.  Sharon and her husband Randy.  They rolled in around 9:30 that evening and we chatted the night away, literally.  We left my dad’s place at 11pm and rolled up into our driveway somewhere after 2am.  But the time spent with my sweet second cousin and her husband was well worth it.  She told me about her family and all the little ones running around that were my babies’ age.  Once again, my heart began to swell and I felt rich.  I discovered a treasure trove of cousins this past weekend.  There is no price to put on it either.

    Cousin Sharon, my dad and me!

     My grandfather played the night away with his great grand-babies.  He came to Christmas dinner dressed quite dapper.  A three piece suit, sailor’s cap and wing tipped shoes.
    Oh, and don’t forget the afro.

    I left Staten Island with a full heart, feeling so, so blessed and my faith in the Lord strengthened once again, because even though I didn’t speak my loneliness aloud, he heard my heart and made a way for me to come in contact with family I’d never met and opened the door for me to meet even more family.

    On the streets of New York. Photo credit: My sister, Maria

    Peace on earth.  And good will toward men.  That’s how I feel.

    Family means a lot.  Family means everything.  Finding every way I can to strengthen the bonds between mine.

    Sausage Lasagna (our Christmas lasagna) adapted from Allrecipes
    Feeds 6
    12 lasagna noodles
    2 Tb olive oil
    16oz ground sausage (I used Jimmy Dean)
    1 onion diced
    2 cloves garlic, chopped
    1 (24 oz) jar of Pasta Sauce (four cheese, vodka, garlic & herb you choose!)
    4 cups cottage cheese (or ricotta)
    1 large egg
    1/2 cup grated Parmesan
    2 cups fresh spinach, lightly packed and chopped
    2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
    1 teaspoon oregano

    Cook pasta. (I always salt my water)
    Cook the sausage, crumbling with wooden spoon.   Add the onion and garlic, continue sauteing until sausage is cooked through.

    Add marinara sauce to the sausage mixture and set aside.  In a bowl, blend cottage/ricotta cheese, egg, 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese and chopped spinach, set aside.

    Coat a 9×13 baking dish with olive oil and spread 1 cup of the sauce mixture on the bottom.

    Top with 3 lasagna noodles.  Spread 1/4 of the cottage/ricotta cheese mixture on the noodles and layer on 1 cup of the sauce mixture.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese over.  Repeat until all the noodles, meat and cheese mixture is gone and finish with the remaining 1/4 parmesan cheese.  Sprinkle with oregano.

    Bake in an oven at 350 for 45 minutes until hot and bubbly.  Make sure to let it stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

    20 Dec 2012, 4:17pm
    crafts make it yourself Mommy Hobbies:
    by

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  • What’s new

    Top of the list is: Handmade Goodness Giveaways Project! Please be sure to ENTER. Just click the link (when there is one) at the top of the most recent post! This project is in an effort to promote local and independent artists. Crafters, photographers, designers (of all types) -- man, woman or child all are welcome. Each giveaway will feature a different artist with a different talent, please join, if you will! Contact me: mommyhobbies [at] gmail [dot] com
  • In my napsack stash

  • Mommy Hobbies: Christmas Mittens Tutorial

    I feel complete now.  Finally.  FINALLY.  I crafted, I sewed and all in the month of December :)

    Well, it’s the week before Christmas and I realized that I did not do anything for my children’s teachers!  Uhg.  A while ago I saw a picture that showed a hand, a sweater and said, “Make Your Own Mittens”.  And by a while ago, I mean months.  Thankfully, my poor memory recalled this photo and I knew that my problem had been solved.  Mittens for all!

    Yesterday I went thrifting and picked up three sweaters for a total of $7.50.  Sometimes it’s hard to me to envision a finished product when I’m using a preconstructed piece of material.  But, I did my best and tried not to second guess myself.

    To start, I dug out a nice warm and fuzzy piece of material for the lining of the mittens from my stash.  I would say this is a soft slub sweater type of material.  It’s not thick and would drape well.
    I folded it so I would create two mittens in one cut.  I used a Sharpie to put dots on either side of the widest part of my hand.   This was for the opening.  I needed the opening of the mitten to be able to fit every part of my hand through.  It couldn’t be only as wide as my wrist.  Does that make sense?

    Then, I scooted my hand up and traced around it, making room for seam allowances.  So they are quite large with at least a half inch all the way around my hand and thumb. (here is baby girl’s hand as an example)

    Then I set them on the sweater.  This happened to be a sweater for a six year old boy.  And I made two perfectly fuzzy mittens for my daughter’s bus driver out of it!

    Cut around the lining, through the sweater.  All the way through, both sides of the sweater.

    Then, sew the lining to each individual piece of the mitten.  Fuzzy lining facing you and the inside of the sweater facing the BACK of the fuzzy lining.  Like so…

    Repeat with the other half of the mitten, then place the RIGHT sides (what will be visible on the outside once they are on your hands) of the mittens together.  Sew.

    Viola!  If you have 45 minutes, then you’ll want to slip this project right in.  I made these and was so delighted with the outcome.  SUPER easy and just my style.  Handmade goodness.  Nothing like it :)

    19 Dec 2012, 12:23pm
    Chronicles Of A Stay At Home Mom cylas romalise:
    by

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  • What’s new

    Top of the list is: Handmade Goodness Giveaways Project! Please be sure to ENTER. Just click the link (when there is one) at the top of the most recent post! This project is in an effort to promote local and independent artists. Crafters, photographers, designers (of all types) -- man, woman or child all are welcome. Each giveaway will feature a different artist with a different talent, please join, if you will! Contact me: mommyhobbies [at] gmail [dot] com
  • In my napsack stash

  • Chronicles: ‘I love you more today than yesterday…’

    ‘but not as much as tomorrow’

    It’s been a while since I’ve done a journal-of-my-thoughts type of post.  But with the recent events in Connecticut, I needed a way to release my mental build up.

    I haven’t even let myself openly grieve for those precious children.  My eyes have welled up with tears, I’ve stared aimlessly out my windows, or I’ve closed my eyes and wept inwardly. But I’ve not sat and openly cried.  Today I almost did though.  It’s complicated, me and grief.  I have a very bad relationship with it.  It’s not treated me kindly at all, so I will spare you all the details and just ask you to have compassion for the way I process traumatic experiences.

    My son brought a well of tears to my eyes this morning, however, during breakfast.  He turned to me as we were eating our oatmeal with eggs.

    Cy: “I wonder what we would do if a stranger came in our house?”
    Me:  ”What do you mean?”

    Cy:  ”Well, like, if someone just came in.”

    ….my mind finally makes the connection and his story continues…

    Cy:  ”Mama, my teacher picked me to hide because I was the smallest. No one could see me except for a piece of my foot. ”
    Me: “Why were you hiding?”
    Cy: “In case if a stranger comes. They told us to hide in our cubbies and behind our coats.”

    His eyes are wide, the deepest of browns and very earnest as he shares his story.  All of the children are to listen for their principle’s voice over the loudspeaker telling them there is a stranger in the building, once they hear this they must hide as quickly and quietly as possible in their cubbies and behind their jackets.  My son’s life as a first grader.  Going through safety drills that could possibly save his life if, God forbid, a deranged, gun wielding person were to enter their school.

    My oatmeal didn’t want to go down.  My eyes searching his little face looking at the innocence which is him.  He shouldn’t have to worry about these things.

    Me:  ”Oh, Cy, you’re the best hider, you make sure you hide really well, ok?”
    He nods his head and smiles.  His favorite game is hide-n-seek.  Both he and Roma can lift the roof with their laughter when we play.  All I can think of, “God, just protect my babies.”

    Naturally, I am an impatient person.  Lately, I don’t care to recognize that part of my nature.  I fully embrace every moment, irritating, joyfully, worrisome, painstaking, patience-trying, silly, sad or hurtful that my children have.  There are not enough hours in the day to love my children as deep as I do.  There just aren’t.  It seems like I can not look at them long enough, hear their voices enough, hug them tightly enough, or let their little hands ruffle over my curly, puffy hair enough.

    My Romaliase.  My Cylas.  I love you both more today than yesterday, but definitely not as much as tomorrow.  

    The way I’m processing my grief is to pour as much of myself into my children in their every waking moment.  I will exercise patience like never before and embrace the lessons therein.  A small price to pay I think…

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