Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Farm Visit

This weekend we took the kids to visit our friends Tom and Gayle's sheep farm.  The lambs were born just days ago and the boys were able to pet them.  I loved seeing the little lambs, but the boys were more interested in riding the tractor.  The weather was perfect (short sleeves in February!) and we all had a great time.









Friday, February 24, 2012

Upcycled Kids Game Day Shirts


We were recently invited to a Kansas State basketball game in Manhattan, KS.  Since we live in Jayhawk country, the kids don't own any K-State shirts.  I went through my piles of t-shirts that I use for Jill Be Nimble dresses and found one that would work. 


I cut out the wildcat and K-State.  I used t-shirt scraps I had on hand to cut a slightly bigger rectangle to go behind the K-State cutout.  I later cut a square out of gray knit material to go behind the wildcat.  I just don't have a picture of it.


Then I used Heat'n Bond to fuse the original t-shirt to the purple rectangle.  You can find it at any craft or fabric store.  It's sold by the yard or in packages.  I typically use Heat'n Bond Lite for these types of projects.  It's easy to use, just follow the directions on the package.  


Heat'n Bond is a double sided fusible material.  You iron it first onto your cut out, then peel away the paper backing.  Then you are ready to iron it onto your cut out shape, in this case, my purple rectangle.  I then repeated those steps on the back of the purple rectangle and ironed it directly on the shirt.



I ended up sewing around the edges of the appliques, but you don't necessarily need to do that.  As an alternative, you could stitch around the rectangle with yarn or use a regular needle and thread and hand stitch around the applique.


Hudson in his shirt at the game.









Mardi Gras in Kansas

It was Landon's turn to bring a snack to his preschool class on Wednesday.  Since it's the week of Mardi Gras, I convinced him to go with a Mardi Gras themed snack.  He had a look of confusion on his face until I showed a picture of a King Cake online.  Then he was immediately on board with the idea.  I found a recipe for mini King Cakes on Pinterest using refrigerated french bread dough.  You can find the recipe here.  It called for colored sugar for the top and our grocery store does not carry yellow or purple sprinkles, so we made our own.  You can find that recipe here.

Here's how ours turned out:


Aren't they cute?  They're so easy and tasty too.






Monday, February 20, 2012

Introducing a New Vegetable

I introduced my family to a new vegetable this week.  To the kids I called it spaghetti and I certainly didn't mention that it was a vegetable.  I have been coming across recipes for spaghetti squash on Pinterest and in magazines lately and have never cooked with one.  So I picked one up at the grocery store and gave it a go.

I put the squash in a large and covered it with water.  This was difficult because they float--but put enough water in the pot so that if you pushed it to the bottom of the pot, it would be covered.  Then  bring the water to a boil, cover it, and turn down the heat.  I boiled my squash for about 45 minutes.  My squash was a medium size, so you might need to boil a large squash for an hour.  Then you take the squash out, let it cool and slice it in half.


Scoop out the seeds in the middle.  Then take a fork and scrape out the inside into a bowl.  


You can eat spaghetti squash plain, but I recommend adding a few things to it.  I turned mine into grilled artichoke spaghetti squash.  I heated two tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet with two cloves of garlic and several of these grilled artichoke hearts.  I found mine at World Market.

It's hard to tell, but this is the contents of my skillet:


You can mix it up and use sun-dried tomatoes, onions, capers, tomatoes, olives, or whatever you have on hand.  Then pour the contents of your skillet into your bowl of squash and toss.  I also added some parsley (any fresh herbs would be great) and some parmesan. 



I thought it was so tasty and Steve liked it too.  I'm not going to lie, the boys didn't love it.  But they did eat it.  It was super easy and fairly fast. 

I have to apologize for the pictures.  Like I said before, most food I photograph comes out looking inedible.  But this really was tasty!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Valentine's Leftovers and Snow

This week the boys brought home bags of valentines and candy from school, one of our neighbors brought the boys two boxes of Kit Kats, and our other neighbor brought the boys these cookies:


They tasted as good as they look.  

We also had our first real snow of the season.  It was such a treat.  The boys and I hit the hill behind our house for some sledding and built a snowman.


Our driveway looks immaculate because Steve was out there at 7:00 am shoveling so he could get to work.  I think he's grateful that we have only had one snowfall this year. 



I can't be sure, but I think Landon is eating snow in this picture.  

After our adventure in the snow, we made some peeps s'mores.  Did you see these in the store?  They're probably marked down to fifty cents at Target right now.  The Vanilla Creme flavor is delicious. 




We took one vanilla creme heart, two graham crackers, and chocolate chips....


Microwaved for 15 seconds and smashed them together.


It was the most delicious post sledding treat.  Hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day!





Friday, February 10, 2012

Seriously Good Banana Bread

My hair girl shared this recipe for banana bread with me and now I shall share it with you.  I'm not sure what makes it so good--the brown sugar, the chocolate chips, or the pecans.  I made it last week and the boys gobbled it up in two days.  I just bought some more bananas at the store today and I'm ready for them to ripen so I can make it again.

Banana Bread (adapted by my hair girl from Banana Banana Bread):

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas
  • 1/2 - 1 cup chocolate chips (use ghirardelli semi-sweet--you can thank me later)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan or muffin tins.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter, vanilla, and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Add chocolate chips and pecans.  Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes or 20 minutes for muffins, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

I would have included a picture of my bread, but every picture I take of food comes out looking inedible. But there is nothing inedible about this recipe.  It's amazing!       





Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Be My Valentine

Here are a few things that make me think of Valentine's Day:


Earrings: Anthropologie $48; Dress: Gap $59.95; Bracelet: Anthropologie $48; Shoes: Old Navy $22.94; Jacket: Piperlime $98; Skirt: Target $24.99; Nail Polish: OPI; Scarf: Gap $29.95; iPhone Case: Nordstrom $40.

I am loving the ikat prints and the pink maxi skirt from Target.  They had them in several colors and I wish I could have one of each.  Speaking of Target, I went yesterday and they had tons of winter stuff marked 70% off.  I picked up some gloves for 60 cents.  It's hard to pass up a deal like that.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Valentine Printables

The boys and I are trying to figure out what they will be passing out at school for Valentine's Day this year.  I've been trolling the internet looking for some inspiration.  I found some cute (and free) and original ideas:

Valentine airplane out of Smarties, gum, and a Lifesaver from Giverslog:


Coffee Cup Wrappers from Eat Drink Chic


Star Wars Valentine Printables from Meck Mom


Candy Filled Hearts by Made


Butterfly Valentines from Skip to My Lou


Peeps Printable Cover from Love from the Oven


Printable Tags from hello, Good Gravy!


Last year we made our own printables.  You can find them here.


Happy early Valentine's Day!





Friday, February 3, 2012

No Sew Boot Socks

I was going to create a tutorial on no sew/no knit boot socks today.  When I was looking for pictures of boot socks online, I ran across the same idea on another blog.  And I thought my idea was so original.  It turns out that it's not original at all, but I'm posting it anyway.

You have seen these boot socks pop on Pinterest or at the store, no?


I think they're really cute, but can't imagine stuffing my jeans into a pair of socks.  I came up with a boot sock alternative that still has the look of a boot sock.  I took an old sweater, cut the sleeves off, and pulled them up over my jeans.  Then I put on my boots and voila--boot socks!


The sweater I used was really thin, which is helpful if your boots are tight.  I think it would also be cute to use the sleeves from a waffle knit tee or a long sleeve striped tee.  If you don't have a sweater or shirt sitting around your house, Goodwill has plenty of candidates.  I even thought about using one of the boys stained sweaters.  As long as the sleeve is stretch, it should work.  

P.S. - Jason Wu's collection for Target hits stores this Sunday.  I'm not sure about the little socks on the girls on the right or left--but love the outfit in the center.  

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Web Wednesday

Shopping online is one of my favorite pastimes--even if I don't buy anything.  I just love to look.  I ordered my first item online in 1998 and have been in love with online shopping ever since.  Here are some things I've seen recently on the world wide web that probably sit in my abandoned online shopping cart:



Top Left:  J Crew Bootie $198; Middle Top: Target Bootie $39.99; Middle Bottom: Nine West Bootie on sale for $59.50; Old Navy  Boyfriend jeans $34.94; Bottom Left: Tom's flats; Middle Top: Just Lena Turquoise wrap bracelet $6; Middle Bottom: Stella & Dot Wrap bracelets; Bottom Right: Tory Burch Wrap bracelets at Nordstrom $95.

And the wait really is over!  Nordstrom and Tom's announced they will be selling Tom's ballet flats as of TODAY!  What a great Valentine's Day gift to buy yourself  for someone you love!  PS - If you buy them from Tom's website, use the code sharetoms for $5 off.