1 Nov 2011, 1:54pm
life
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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

  • 19 Oct 2011, 9:00am
    life make it yourself:
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    2 comments

  • 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

  • MIY: Homemade Bleach Alternative

    :: Don’t forget to ENTER the Handmade Goodness Giveaway featuring Pieces Of Three! ::

    I think I’m developing an attachment to three ingredient recipes.  Bleach included. 

    As of late, I have been using vinegar (yes vinegar) to help clean out my running clothes.  They can get a little rank after so much usage.  Sorry, but it’s true.  I know I’m not the only one with stinky laundry :)

    So, what Oxy Clean, and I am a die hard Oxy Clean fan, couldn’t get out, vinegar did!  This recipe calls for three ingredients.

    • 1.5 cups 3% Hydrogen Peroxide (just the normal stuff you buy in the store, unless the bottle states otherwise)
    • 1/2 cup white vinegar or lemon juice
    • 10 drops lemon or lemon essential oils.  If using the lemon, then do not use the lemon oils.
    • Pure water (this must be distilled water not tap water, or, in our case we used spring water)

    Combine ingredients.  Add water to fill.

    Please excuse the Sunny D bottle...a salvage, not ours

     

    Use 1 cup for your laundry.  Oh, did I mention it’s color safe, too??  And don’t worry about diluting it.

    If the fact that you just made your own color safe bleach doesn’t amaze, then head on over to your sink and use it to scrub clean…or your toilet and tub, for that matter.  This stuff is that good.  Enjoy!!

    And a huge high-five to Angie, a fellow money saving, coupon clipping, craft making, deal-sniffing mom and faithful reader for this recipe!

    P.S I used this mixture to wash my running clothes in…winning.  Success.

    14 Oct 2011, 9:00am
    life weekend
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    1 comment

  • 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

  • This Weekend: Celebrate Love

    Oh, those sweet moments when no one is looking.

    The times when love is captured in just the tilt of a head.

    Or when it’s in the face of your sleeping baby…they grow so fast.

    Hello love.  You are so sweet, just like the whisper of the wind on my neck and the sun on my face…Hello, love…

    Little Baby R waving to her great-grandfather through the bedroom window

    11 Oct 2011, 12:04pm
    life make it yourself:
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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

  • MIY: Homemade Oxy Clean

    Handmade Goodness Winner:: Sue!  Please contact me with your address so I can ship it to you.  Thank you.  mommyhobbies[at] gmail [dot] com

     

    I never imagined myself scouring the internet or rustling through books to find recipes on ways to save money by making things myself.  Honestly.  But now that I’ve started, I’m addicted.  Most of these household cleaning supplies are just a simple mixture of two or three other household ingredients.  My first serious attempt was laundry soap.  Never again will we be buying detergent from the store.

    Simple and you can’t beat 640 loads for a mere $5.

    This will be one of many recipes I’ll be sharing.  Total cost approx: $4 or less.  I had a huge box of baking soda in my cupboard already.  The peroxide was only .78.

    One cup of water, in my not so fancy little jar, a 1/2 cup of the peroxide and then a 1/2 cup of the baking soda!  That’s it.  Start to finish 3 minutes.

    I did notice that after sitting for a while, the baking soda separated and settled on the bottom.

    Make sure to shake it before each use.  It’s not gelatinous so when you go to pour it, be careful.  I use a little scoop to measure out how much to put on the clothing or an old dropper from my kids’ medicine. The mixture is grainy; I wonder if I should use warm water next time so the baking soda dissolves.

    They recommend soaking the items individually instead of putting it into the load.

    Fabulous, isn’t it?

    The recipe was found on Pinterest

     

    29 Sep 2011, 8:30am
    Chronicles Of A Stay At Home Mom life:
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    5 comments

  • 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: Stop complaining

    *Very opinionated piece.  You’ve been warned*

    My mom had that on repeat in our house…only it wasn’t a recording.  It was her.  She would remind us ALL the time to “stop complaining”!  As I got older, I tried to figure out what “complaining” really was.  For me, complaining was whining about something you didn’t want to do.  Simple.

    It’s hard to distinguish between, “making a comment” about something and “complaining”.  Then, it became VERY clear what the difference was.

    Complaining is saying the truth, but negatively.  Being negative.  Bottom line.  That’s what complaining is.  It’s also speaking your opinion about something when it would be wiser not to mention anything at all.  AAHhggg.  So hard.  I promise.  If there is anyone in this world with an opinion on just about Ev.Er.Y.thing, it’s me.   Thankfully, time and age has been kind, and slowly I’ve learned that stating my opinion isn’t necessary all the time.  How many arguments I’ve side stepped because I kept that “piece of my mind” thought to myself.
    There is a certain beauty in keeping your mind in YOUR head, and not in someone’s face.   Truth.  Recently had someone try to get a response from me on an “issue” and I chose not to respond.  Why?  Waste. of. time.  Seriously.  Definitely not a battle I wanted to engage in at all.  And you know what?  I felt SOooo much better about myself and the situation in general.  I kept my wits about me and was able to think from a logical perspective instead of a reactionary one.

    Bringing it back around to complaining.  Same concept applies.  Yes, it might not be comfortable to have a schedule change, or a new manager, or to pick up after your kids againandagainandagainnnn, but move on!  Seriously.  Don’t sit around making snarky comments or mumbling and making vague references to issues or people or situations.  Goodness.   How unpleasant.  Save that for you, your mirror and a place far, far away from others.  Once you’ve expressed your negativity, recoup and move on.  Smile.  Goodness knows that your face and mind need a break from the gushy garbage fest it just endured.

    Before you start saying, “oh, what does she know..” and whatnot, let me put your mind at ease.  I have my bad days, too.  Some days it’s all I can do to keep myself together, because if I step or trip on one more toy there will be more than just a door and a window gracing the front of our house.  There will be a huge VENT hole.  Running through walls has been a reactionary dream of mine for quite some time.  Just barging through and ripping out all the drywall like I’m The Thing or something.  How satisfying would that be??  Awesome.

    Complaints are like little bitter seeds that fall off the tongue, peppering the ground and atmosphere with a slightly stenchy smell.  Oh, that my words, sounds and thoughts would be pleasing and acceptable to Him.

    Amen.

     

     

    28 Sep 2011, 8:30am
    cylas life Of Food and Love:
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    8 comments

  • 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

  • Of Food and Love: The Dentist

    I may as well have said, “Cylas, you’re going to the tooth-ripper”, because he was scared.  Yesterday was Cy’s first visit to the dentist.  I picked him up after school and headed straight for the dentist’s office.  Cy was really, really quiet.  Like, disconcertingly so…  my child is only quiet when he’s asleep.  I lie not.

    “Whatchya thinkin about, hunny?”

    “The dentist.  I’m scared.”

    “What?  Why, baby, there is nothing to be afraid of…”

    “Well, why do I have to open my mouth soo wide?  Like ALL the way open?”

    I made reassuring sounds and he stopped worrying, for a little bit.  Then, I got lost.  Don’t ask me how.  This town has one main street that runs through then a bunch of side streets and alleys.   Cylas knew I was lost and asked me what my problem was.  Dude.  I don’t know, why do there have to be so many alleys and side streets?  I looped around two times, then, I found it.

    I snapped a couple of pictures and we started up the sidewalk.

    Cylas got distracted in the bushes behind me, then I heard him yell, “He doesn’t have a jacket on, mom, why?”  So, there I am, peering through the bushes, looking at some guy in a tank top, standing in the rain only to realize, he was peeing in the bushes!!
    I grabbed Cy and started hustling down the walkway REALLY fast.  Only to find out that we were at the WRONG dentists office.  Yes, after getting lost, looping in circles, spying on a urinating man, we managed to park in ANOTHER dentist’s lot and barge in.  Worst first dentist visit in the history of a five year old’s life.  No joke.

    No fears, we only had to walk three whole blocks down to the right office.

    The cool thing about living in a small town is the history.  A lot of places have original hardware, furniture, or equipment.  And this was just such a place. 

    The sweet dentist had to have been in his late 70′s and wouldn’t you know…Cylas noticed, too.  No sooner had his little bottom sat in the big chair he says, “You’re getting old.  You’re going to die.”  These are the moments when I would GLADLY welcome a fireball from heaven striking down and hitting somewhere in the room, making just enough noise to drown out such embarrassing moments.  Or, a sinkhole would have been nice…

    Mr. Amos, all smiles, turns around and says, “What?”  Me.  Trying to act like nothing happened tells him nothing is the matter…but he heard.  He repeated Cy’s words and I’m over there with my mouth open, kind of sucking at the air, not coming up with anything witty or even a transitional phrase like, “Oh, my, would you look at the size of his canines.”  Shoot. Me.

    Moving on, Cylas was obsessed with the little bowl that had a constant flow of water.  He wanted to spit soo bad.  Eventually, he got to.  Happy boy.

    The dentist was impressed with his teeth, said that his canines were a “healthy size” and then offered him a plastic ring for his troubles.  We left with a bunch of toys made in…well, whatever, we left with a bunches of throwaway toys, a happy little camper and an embarrassed mother who is seriously considering carrying large cotton balls in her purse for such occasions that her child opens his mouth to say anything unseemly.

    27 Sep 2011, 8:31am
    life:
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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

  • Of Food and Love: Baby R

    My youngest, who, to my surprise will be three this November and didn’t even ask if she could grow up this quickly, is showing me the ropes on all things girly.  Growing up, I was a tomboy.  Major.  There wasn’t a tree I couldn’t climb, a boy I couldn’t out run or a fort I couldn’t make.  I loved roughing around.  My poor mother didn’t get the satisfaction of seeing me in frilly dresses and fussing with my hair to make it “just so”.  Well, she fussed with my hair, but that was because I was born with the fuzziest hair known to man.  It had NOTHING to do with primping and everything to do with making sure her child didn’t look like an ape.

    But Roma, my, my, my she is the complete opposite, so far.  She loves to dress up in her “cute” and prance around, flip her hair and pose in the mirror.  She doesn’t like to be spied on while gazing at her herself in the mirror.  If you catch her, she will stop abruptly and smile as if nothing happened.

    I give her full creative license to dress herself.  I don’t mind at all. 

    I love her girly antics.  They are painfully cute.  Nothing is more adorable than a two year old in her saggy little unders walking around with her shoes on backward and fussing with her hair.  Sometimes, she snags my spray bottle and will squeeze water into her hair — in one spot, and then brush and brush and, yes, makes a huge knot.

    Lately, she’s been punctuating her sentences by putting her hands on her hips.  She yells at her brother, with her hands on her hips.  She tells me “no”, with her hands on her hips.  She talks to her baby dolls, with her hands on her hips.  She talks in the mirror, with her hands on her hips.  It’s hard to put the cutest kid in-the-world on timeout.  Try it.  PshhAh.

    But frilly skirts and cute hair aside she can roll with the best of them.  The other night after church, Cylas grabbed her in a bear hug and rolled across the floor — his back, her belly, his back, her belly.  She was screaming and laughing…and being steamrolled all at the same time.  She’ll run after Cylas, take his toys and bolt, she’ll scream in his ear, push him out of her way, wreck his blocks and giggle.  She may be small, but she’s letting big brother know there are certain things he can not do without getting the “what for”.  They speak the same language.  Sometimes, I just sit back and watch them work their problem out.  It’s funny.

    Summary of other details:

    She is speaking quite well.  Has a lot of Russian words.  Two and three word sentences.

    Her English is good, too. Two and three word sentences.

    She is very independent and can be IS demanding.

    She has her own timing and won’t be pushed to go faster, slower or coerced to do something she doesn’t want to do.

    She’s terribly, terribly afraid of thunder.

    She loves salad.  A lot.  Like she will steal it from your plate — a lot.

    She’s learned to whisper in someone’s ear.  It’s very sweet.

    She loves going on runs with me.

    She likes to pick up after herself and listens when asked to do so. (sometimes, she even puts her dish in the sink)

    She has no qualms about calling you out if you “let one” on the sly.

    Oh, and she mysteriously develops a *”cough”* when she is in trouble.  There is no remedy other than, “Oh, poor baby… *kisses*

    This is Roma at two and three quarters.  *sigh*  Time, thou has betrayed me.

     

    26 Sep 2011, 8:30am
    life:
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    2 comments

  • 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

  • Sewing: Vintage Pattern Trove

    Over the weekend my family and I were at Something Annual yard sale for a neighboring town.  I say “Something Annual” because I don’t know how long it’s been going on but these people are hard core and the WHOLE town participates.  The town literally shuts down for the day and people mill up and down the streets picking through other people’s stuff to add to their stuff collection.   D and I managed to leave only spending a mere $5…if that.  I like yard sales, but I tend to get a bit overwhelmed and my thinker stops thinking.  System overload.
    We were there to help the church with a bale sale, so yard sales weren’t really a priority.  (If you follow me over on my Mommy Hobbies page on FB you’ll know all about the baking I did for this).

    D and I picked through a few sales, found a baking dish $1, some sewing notions .25, a vintage measuring cup .50.  Like I said, not really a priority.  It was on our way out for the day, that I hit the mother load.  I ran into an old friend.  Ethel.  She will always be a bright spot in my memory of living here.

    I gasped when I saw her.  A little dramatic, I know, but I hadn’t seen her in over a year.  I ran and hugged her.  We chatted for a bit and then she asked me if I’d like some fabrics…well, sure, what was I going to say, “no”?  Then she asked if I wanted some patterns because she was “cleaning out” her basement.  Three boxes.  Three boxes of vintage patterns.  Like I said — mother load.

    So Saturday evening I picked through these and found some real doosies. This one is tame compared to some others…but it’s 80′s enough to get a chuckle.

    And then, I found some real gems.

    Kwik Sew.  Hands down, has been one of my favorite of vintage and modern patterns.  They really are quite easy.  I first learned on a Kwik Sew.  This might explain my loyalty.

    The beauty of these patterns is that a lot of them are classic style and would only take a couple of “tweeks” to modernize them.  Nothing major, but these will stand the test of couture time because these are the base for most, if not all, of our clothing today.  It just keeps getting recycled and “upgraded” is all.

    Case in point.  These are photos from this year’s Fendi runway show.

    Notice the sleeves?  Similar cut to the top in the first pattern I shared.  Fashion is just one big circle.

    *Runway photo via Sartorialist*

    I’m so excited about these.  Fashion is your friend if you know how to treat it.

    23 Sep 2011, 8:24am
    life
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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

  • This Weekend: Relax

    For some reason Americans have trouble with this concept.  “Relax”.  They either take it to the extreme::  Lazy.  Or they rush through their time of relaxation.  Their vacation isn’t a vacation but a whirlwind of mini-excursions, shopping trips and sight seeing …

    I told my husband that I wanted to go on a vacation and he quickly corrected me.  The “difference between a vacation and a trip is what you do.  And you don’t want a vacation.”

    On a trip, you are there to see and explore, on a vacation you’re there to relax and recuperate. He got me, I didn’t want a vacation I wanted a trip.  I wanted adventure, but what I really needed was to relax and set a few things down mentally.  Too much, too often on a regular basis.  No bueno.

    When was the last time you really relaxed?

    Go on now, pull out your tutu.

    Look at life through your binoculars — backward.  Because everything is further away and you can see the bigger picture.

    Wear your monkey socks.  Because, most likely, they won’t match anything you have, and it will make you feel adventurous.

    Put your pirate patch on and growl a little while you sip on a hot cup of tea and munch on a muffin.

    Just relax…

    Have a great weekend, all!  What are you going to do to relax?

    22 Sep 2011, 10:10am
    life recipes:
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    leave a comment

  • 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

  • Of Food and Love: Ways to freeze food conveniently

    Food goes where you put it.  And if you don’t put it somewhere it will rot, if you don’t eat it fast enough, it will rot.  So fickle food is.  Last year I started making large batches of unhealthy mac-n-cheese.  But it was so, stinkin’ good.  I am sad to admit that it did contain Velveeta.  I have since repented of my sins and use REAL cheese in my mac.  For a while, I went on a hunt trying to revamp some of our favorite recipes with a healthier twist.  Nothing too offensive or inedible.  Trust me.  As much as I love new foods, I have my limits and a gag reflex.

    It took me a while, but I finally found a recipe that is the base for just about everything cheesy.  Dips, sauces, soups…you name it.  It’s a roux.  A roux is basically: butter, flour, milk, salt and pepper.  That’s it.  From there the ability to build just about anything creamy and delicious is possible.  It is from this that I make the cheese mixture for our homemade mac-n-cheese. (I will share the recipe at the end)

    Anyway, aside from my previous horrible cooking habits, I learned that freezing mac-n-cheese is difficult!  My children loved it, but couldn’t eat a huge casserole sized portion in good time.  So, we froze it in big zip-loc bags.  My husband separated it, as best he could, into individualized hunks, but they would still move together and freeze making it really difficult to pull out a portion to eat.  But God bless the internet, I stumbled upon the most FABULOUS photo the other day…some one had taken to freezing soup in their cupcake tin.  Seriously??  How genius is that?

    I knew that I had found the answer to my sticky noodle situation…bam.  Here we go.  I used my loaf tin to make the perfect portion sizes for my kids!

    Problem solved.  Now, I am freezing: soup, sauces that I make, pre-cooked eggs for egg muffins (you cook the eggs in the cupcake tin to get the perfect form, then freeze the egg forms), flavored ice cubes for parties, mashed potato portions…it’s a fresh slate fill it up!  And oh the fun things you can cook in those tins.  The other morning I made these for our Sunday breakfast.  Yummm

    I’m always looking for a way to make my cooking life easier.  I’m not talking “the easy way out” I’m talking about the “creative fix”.

    And if any of you are interested in the roux I spoke about earlier.  Here it is:

    White Sauce
    * 2 tablespoons butter
    * 2 tablespoons flour (whole wheat)
    * 3/8 teaspoon salt
    * 1/8 teaspoon pepper
    * 1 cup milk
    Get out a quart-sized saucepan.  Melt the butter in it over medium heat.  When the margarine is completely melted, remove the pan from the heat.  Stir in the flour.  It will lump up a little bit, so keep stirring it until it is smooth.  I use a whisk to do this, but a fork will work in a pinch. Add the salt and pepper and return the pan to the heat.  Cook and stir until the flour/margarine mixture bubbles up and sort of sizzles for a moment or two.  This step keeps the sauce from having a “raw” flavor, and also permeates the sauce with the seasonings.  Gradually stir in the milk.  Do it slowly, so it doesn’t lump up.  Lumpy sauce is not the most aesthetically pleasing, although it still tastes pretty good.  So after you stir in the milk, cook the sauce over medium heat until it boils.  Stir it quite often, to prevent it from lumping or burning.  When it boils, cook and stir it for a full minute, and then remove it from the heat.  It is now done.

    Cheese Sauce:  Add 1/2 to 1-cup of shredded or cubed cheese to the sauce after it boils for a minute.  I usually take it off the burner, add the cheese, and cover the pan.  Then I let it sit in the middle of the stove for a minute or two, to soften up the cheese.  Stir it up until the cheese melts.  Serve anywhere you like.

    **This is NOT my recipe, but I can’t remember where I got it from…please enjoy knowing there is some genius out there who created this making it possible for you to eat!**

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