Monday, September 26, 2011

Hair diddies from felt rosettes

There are a gazillion tutorials on how to make felt rosettes but here is how I do it.  I made a few yesterday so that I could make some hair diddies for Gwenyth in black and white that she could wear to the football games.  I also made a few for my niece who started preschool this year. 

To get started, I cut a square out of the felt.

Then simply make a swirl design with a marker, pen or pencil and cut along the line.
You do not have to actually draw it out, I usually don't but for tutorial purposes, I did.

You will end up with this.

 Take the outside part of the swirl and begin rolling it until you reach the center of the swirl.

Use a hot glue gun to glue the end of the swirl to the back of the rosette.  It's amazing how it works out...but you will be left with the perfect end to glue into place. 
 I often like to cut out a cirle to glue on the backside for extra security and so it doesn't snag ones hair. 

 Here is the finished product.

I chose the two smallest ones and glued them onto a piece of felt and put a dab of glue to fuse them together as well. 

Then, I attached a clip for using it in your hair and it was complete.

So simple and cheap, it's sickening.  It takes maybe a total of five minutes to make a rosette and if you have a hot glue gun, you can make four small rosettes for about fifty cents.

These rosettes are not only cute in hair, but also on pillows and wreaths as well!

Butternut Squash Puree

It's baby food making time!  It is hard to believe that in one short month, our little girl will already be eating solids.  I decided to get a jump start on the baby food making and made her butternut squash puree this week.  I highly recommend making baby food.  Not only is it a cinch and obviously healthier, but it is delicious as well.  Everytime I make it, I can never resist spooning myself a small bowl full as well.

I especially am fortunate that she was born just in time to enjoy all the wonderful foods that fall has to offer.  Not only will we be making a variety of squashes, but there will be pumpkin and sweet potatoes in the freezer as well!  As I did with Jude, I believe that her first food will be avacado.  Jude loved it and I hope she does as well.  Those babies are chock full of healthy yummyness.  Like bananas, avacoados are served to babies simply mashed until creamy.  No cooking necessary.  It is not uncommon to find either a banana or avacado in my diaper bag once the kiddos start to eat. They are so convenient for taking to restaurants.  Simply ask the server for a plate or bowl, peel and mash away!   

Like I said, baby food making is a cinch.  For this butternut squash puree, you simply preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Cut the squash in half exposing the flesh, scoop out the seeds and place face down onto a baking sheet.  You fill the pan with about an inch and a half of water and bake for approximately 40-50 minutes.  The shell of the squash will pucker and brown.  Once it is done baking, remove the "meat" and scoop into a blender.  Puree until it is smooth and creamy.  Transfer to ice cube trays or cubes made especially for baby food and freeze.  Ta da....BABY FOOD!

Three squash will make about (24) two ounce containers of baby food depending on the size of your squash.  I made twenty because I devoured the other four ounces myself.

Cut the squash in half.  This can be rather difficult as the shell is hard.

Place face down after scooping out the seeds.

Bake and they look like this when done.


 And freeze!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Quick vase update

I have had these thress vases for some time.  They were used as part of one of the centerpieces from our wedding.  I love the color an the metallic finish, but they no longer went with the color scheme in our  home.  When  we first moved into our house, the living/dining room area contained red accents, now it is more blues and greens, so these needed to be removed from the space.  Rather than give them back to my mother in law for the greenhouse, I took them out to the garage and gave them a quick update.  I didn't want to get rid of them because I love the shape and they hold my fake grasses perfectly. 

Here is the before:

 And here is the after with a coat of spray paint!

And here they are in their spot.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Snail Mail shouldn't be a thing of the past.

I love snail mail.  There is nothing like getting something in the mail that isn't a bill or some sort of credit card offer.  Wouldn't you agree?  Whether it be a simple letter or a card for a birthday, anniversary, holiday or a package with a gift enclosed, there is nothing quite like it.  When someone sends snail mail, you know much more went into it.  It begins with them thinking about you, they drove to the store, picked the perfect card, wrote in it, stuffed the card into the envelope, licked the icky tasting envelope, spent money on a stamp and took it to the mailbox.  I worry that my kid's generation will miss out on this feeling. 

To try to avoid this, I do my best to make sure that Jude understands its importance.  Not only do we usually send out Thank you, Easter, Halloween and other holiday cards especially from him to his little buddies and cousins, but I also have him help me send out other mail as well.

I love how excited he gets about it!  He gets into his tractor with all the mail by his side and drives down the driveway with me following.  Then he positions his tractor perfectly so her can reach and place them in there himself. 

And some of them get a little extra love (spit).  <3

Jjajang myun is Yum!

Those of you who know me personally know that I am half Korean.  My mother is Korean.  Her and my dad met while he was stationed there for the Air Force.  When my brother and I were born we moved from base to base living in Washington, Guam, Korea several times....eventually, we made our way to Oscoda, MI.  When there was news that the base in Oscoda was closing, my mom pushed my dad to get out of the military so that my brother and I could go to middle school and high school without having to move several times. 

I am so fortunate to have a Korean mother for several reasons, but one of them is that it has exposed me to some delicious foods!  I will never forget how throughout school all my friends who came over knew that they could expect a rice cooker full of sticky rice and they loved it.  I have to say though, my most favorite meal is Jjajang Myun!  If you haven't tried it, you should!  Find your nearest Korean restaurant and order it or hit up your local Asian market and buy the ingredients and make it yourself!  It is amazing!  I know that the looks of it is a bit off putting, but you will not regret it once you taste it.  The sauce is black so that is what throws people off a bit, but it is made of soy beans which is where it gets its color.  The sauce is full of vegetables which is present in most Korean dishes.

I recently have had the urge to make more Korean dishes and stumbled upon a GREAT blog called Maangchi.  Maangchi posts all of the traditional dishes that I had throughout my childhood and I am in love with the blog.  She also has a list of Korean markets by state under her cooking tab.  The list is very incomplete though which is understandable considering she can't know where all of them are when she is from New York.  For those living in Genesse County, the best one is on Corunna Road in Flint called the Seoul Market.  There are several throughout Lansing and East Lansing as well. 

Anyway, back to the Jjajang Myun.  It is my fave! (like I said).  But, I had never made it myself so I went to Maangchi and set out on making it!  I followed this recipe but had to make a few changes....such as using yellow squash instead of zuchini because I thought I had some but I didn't.  I didn't have any asian radish either.  Also, I used regular potatoes in liue of sweet.  This is one of those meals where you can swap ingredients easily.  For example, many places use shrimp in lieu of pork, and I am sure I will make it with chicken in the future.  Proteins can always be swapped in this recipe. 

I thought that it turned out wonderfully and Clint ate his and gave a great review as well.  If any one decides to give it a whirl, let me know what you thought whether you ordered it or made it.

For those of you going to make it yourself, here is a picture of the Korean ingredients and what they look like if you are looking for them in the markets.  I am sure brands vary from store to store, but these are popular.

 The first item is sesame oil and the second is the Jjajang sauce.

 These are the noodles called the myun.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pillow Revamp

The pillows on our couch were looking way too shabby.  First of all, they did not offer much contrast as they are the pillows that came with and coordinate with our couch.  Second, they had seen better days as they have had to endure the wrath of two dogs, being used as support during late night feedings, and being thrown at the members of our household by Clint as he sometimes finds it really funny to throw the pillows at people when they least suspect it. 

Anyhow, I knew that our couch needed new and improved pillows.  I didn't want to get rid of them completely, but wanted to add some and revamp some of the coordinating ones.  For the revamped ones, I did this by ripping the seams of some of them and adding stuffing to them and stitching them back up.  For the new ones, I went to JoAnn's and bought two fabrics and made four pillow shells.  I stuffed them using the stuffing from two of the couch pillows I was omitting from our decor.  This made the project very thrifty!  With the use of my 40% off coupons I was able to make four pillows for under $10!  I do have a little bit of material left over that I plan to use to make some rosettes with. 

This project was fun and I think it turned our nicely, don't you?  Take a look for yourself!
Here is the before:

 And here are a few after shots:

Gwenyth's Baptism and Brunch

Our little angel, Gwenyth had her Baptism on August 7th and it was such a beautiful ceremony.  It was held at St. Michaels in New Lothrop which is the church we are members of.  It is where we attended throughout college, where I had my first Communion and beacme Catholic, where we were married, and where Jude was Baptised.  We were blessed to share the day with close family and friends.  We chose her Godparents just as carefully as we did for Jude and chose our closest friend Steve for the Godfather and my husbands sister, Amanda as her Godmother.  We were ecstatic to see how honored they were when we approached them about taking on the role.  We truly are blessed by the great people who are in our lives.  After the ceremony, we held a brunch at our home and it turned out beautiful.  This is one party I would say I am most proud of. 

I wanted it to be more elegant than a cookout which is what we had for Jude's big day.  I think I wanted it to be more girly and feminine.  Therefore, we had cloth tablecloths, runners and floral centerpieces.  And as usual, I stayed up the entire night before preparing food and working on last minute details such as the cooridnating food cards.

The menu was so delicioous and yummy and I tried to keep it simple, which is often quite hard for me.  I loved how everything turned out and it all looked just so.....pretty!  I borrowed beautiful ornate chafing dishes for the food to keep warm in and bought matching containers for the drinks to be poured from.  Also, we had a big tent in case it rained that also added to the elegance of everything.  As for the menu, we had homemade biscuits and gravy, waffles with a homemade blueberry sauce (this sauce was ridiculous with all it's yummyness), Baked Stuffed French Toast, Roasted Potatoes, Summer Fruit Salad, Individual Omelet cups, Ham, assorted scones, coffee cake and muffins, individual fruit and yogurt parfaits topped with granola and Aunt Rita's yummy delicious cake!

It was such a wonderful day. We cannot be happier with the decision we have made to raise our children in a faithful, loving family with Christian beliefs. We hope that by with the guidance we provide them, as well as their Godparents, they will continue on the same path and continue to be as blessed as they were on the day of their Baptisms.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Overnight to Chicago

I decided to take both kids to Chicago for  weekend getaway ALL BY MYSELF!  Might not seem like a big deal but traveling on a train with an infant and a toddler is very hard work when you consider luggage, stroller, snacks, and two kids!  Whew!  It was tough at times but so well worth it!  We all had such a great time and Jude cannot stop talking about the Aquarium (Shedd) and how much fun the splashy water place was!  There were a few moments on the train during the trip back that I thought I was going to completely lose my mind but we got through it and made so many wonderful memories.  We stayed with one of my friends from college, Andrea who is the best hostess.  She took us around everywhere and was so helpful with the kids! 

I thought I would share some photos from our trip.

Jude in front of the sign at our departing station in Durand, MI. 
He was so thrilled to know that he was going to be riding on a train!

Group pic.
One of the surprises I brought to entertain him on the train.
Napper #1.

Napper #2.  Even better!

We went right to Shedd and Jude had to put his hands into the water in the fountain outside.

What an angel.
He loved the Aquarium!

He has the absolute best smile I have ever seen.

Our hostess, Andrea! 

This was all of our favorite part of Shedd!  The 4D experience!
Jude adores Andrea's dog, Butterball!  He spoils him with endless amounts of treats!
Subway ride!

I adore this boy!

Gwenyth taking it all in!

Napper #1.  (Praise God)!
Napper #2.  (Even better)!