Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Late NIght Yarn Along

I didn't think I would make it this week in joing Ginny yarn along but I just finished my last book and then ran up to my library to pick up another one.  I decided on A Good Indian Wife.  It's got mixed reviews but I'm willing to take a chance on this one. Nothing new knitting jut still slowly knitting my spring scarf.  Hoping today that the book will be good and the scarf done for next week.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

In my basket & drawer

Lately the weather around here has been quite confusing. We have a few random days of spring but most days it's too cool and rainy which is perfect for a little in house organizing. 

Love this jewelry organizer on the right because it hangs nicely in the closet and takes less room than a jewelry box. 

 The girls' hair accessories has been my biggest dilemna lately. Here is the solution I found a basket that will fit under the vanity and  wooden trays to sort. For those small hair things and bobby pins I found these really small containers at the dollar store and small thrifted baskets. A friend recommended empty baby food containers for the small things but I lucked out with these because they fit in the tray. I was happy that there was room for the hair brush and combs. Headbands went into another basket and that basket can stay on top of the other one.

 All this fits under the vanity. Now will it stay clean?  I'm keeping my fingers crossed

Next into my bathroom into this very messy drawer.

 Thank you again to the wooden trays from The Container Store. Love the different sizes to sort and separate.
 I spruced up this drawer too this with those small glass bowls for dipping for the crystal rock deodarant and my face soap that I cut in half. The bowls are also the perfect size for floss. Makes the drawer pretty to look into.

In the little basket is where I keep my  vials  for salt and oils. The big one on the left is 1 teaspoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon Vitamin E oil mixed together which is great for softening cuticles or someintes a dab of it at night for hands and feet before moisturinzing.  You'll be greasy but soft in the morning. 
I changed the container of the face cream and put it in a tin but this is turning into a bad idea because the cream changed colors I'm thinking glass jar next time. 

And now she's 3

Over the weekend along with Easter fun we had a birthday.  The littlest one around here turned 3.  I'm enjoying this latest traditon around here decorate your own cake after mom bakes it.  Along with cake I tried making orange flavored lolipops . I'm thinking next time I need to improve the flavor or try chocolate lolipops.   I added the metal lolipop and hard candy molds to my wish list.  I think the flowers are my favorite so sweet for any occasion. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Moment-Pizza Night

Homemade Lip Balm & bad deodorant

Lately I have been inspired to organize and simplify and try some homemade recipes for deodarant and lip balm.  I got up yesterday  ready to make deodarant with the kids.  I had the recipe, containers and ingredients.  At least I thought I did.  Instead of coconut oil I used cocoa butter and  I made this batch twice!Both came out awful.  Even worse since I running low on the arrowroot went out to buy more last night and had to go to 2 supermarkets and then found the small spice bottle for $7.49.  I'm trying for more arrowroot tomorrow.  I swear I have seen it in bags at a time when I didn't need to buy it. 
On the brighter side I decided to make  Angry Chicken's lip balm first on my own and then showed the kids so they could make it just to make sure it would come out right.  I was a little uneasy after the deodorant fiasco but luckily it turned out  great.  Here's my variation:

 1.  In a microwave safe bowl put 1 teaspoon of cocoa butter, 1 teaspoon shea butter, 5  drops of Vitamin E oil and 12 drops of peppermint essential oil.
 Put in microwave for about 22 seconds to melt oils. 
 Then stir oily mixture till smooth and poor into tins or pill containers. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to turn solid. 
 I couldn't find small tins for lip balm at the Container Store but found pill containers in the travel section I thought these would do for us and for gifts this weekend. 
I did find these at the Container Store viles for oils, tins for face cream deodorant and homemade vapor rub here.   This is just a sneak peek what I'm organizing in the bathroom drawer.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Egg coloring

This is a very late late night post.  I have slight insomnia tonight.  We finally colored our eggs.  I was inspired by soulemama yesterday when her family colored their eggs with natural dyes.  So I followed her links and thought I could do that onions=yellow, beets=red, blueberry=blue, red onion=pink.  For each color I put the food in a saucepan with 4 cups water and 2 tablespoons of white vinger and boiled for 15 minutes.  I did this way ahead so there was plenty of cool down time.  After the eggs cool down we dropped in the colored water and hardly anything happened.  Had to warm up the colored water, added more vinegar and a few drops of food coloring.
This was the most inconsistent recipe but we had fun anyway.  It was great with these items rubber bands, crayons to decorate before or after coloring and water color pencils for after they were dyed to make our own designs.  There were some fun colors  and lots of  cracks. My favorite is  the egg on the bottom left that has a rainbow line.  I think when we took the egg out the first time the rubber band rubbed off some of the dye so we put it back in and I think with all the blending a rainbow appeared.
Best part was some of my kids have an egg allergy and there was no problem handling the eggs.  Hmmm does make me wonder. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

In the kitchen: salmon burgers & fennel salad

Well friends it's been a while since I posted any recipes there has been some cooking in the kitchen and some frozen to the oven quick meals.  Too bogged down by tax filing, papers organizing and  reciepts.  Now that's all done I feel a load has been lifted.  A few weeks ago I tried a Better Homes & Garden recipe for salmon burgers but they looked burnt so here is a better picture and an allergy friendly recipe.  I'm not sure how much longer we'll be eating salmon but this is definitely a family favorite.
Salmon Burgers
1 lb salmon fillet washed, skinned and diced into small pieces
1 cup panko (Japanese style bread crumbs)
2 green onions thinly sliced
1 tsp ground ginger (or 2 tsp fresh grated)
1/2 tsp garlic powder (or 1 garlic minced)
1/4 cup soy milk
1 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp lemon juice
4 Tbsp vegetable oil

1. Put diced salmon in a bowl after it's rinsed and skinned.  I didn't do this but if you think it's too chunky it can go into the food processor to make smaller but don't grind too much. 
2. In a separate bowl combine panko, onion, ginger, garlic, soy milk, soy sauce and lemon juice.  Then add to salmon and mix well.  You can either shape and cook immiedately or cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 8 hours.  It will be easier to work with if chilled but if time does not allow it can be cooked right away.
3.  Heat oil medium-high heat in skillet.  Shape patties and cook 4-5 minutes each side till golden brown temperature should be 160 degrees.
Enjoy in a bun like a burger or on the side with rice and vegeatables.

One of our sides is a fennel salad.  Take a whole fennel wash, dice and chop into smaller pieces then drizzle with olive oil, squeeze half a lemon and salt to taste.  

Random ::
:: Well I have been very inspired lately especially cleaning up that my pantry is done.  We still buy packaged snacks and pasta but it looks much prettier in glass jars, mason jars and containers from Ikea.  Inside my pantry I also keep a shelf for some of homeschooling needs flash cards, scrabble letters, dice, pens, pencils, scissors, etc. Just feels good to check one thing off the list.
:: In the kitchen I was inspired by soulemama and their family egg coloring with natural dyes.  I decided why not give it a try.  I had the beets, blueberries, red onion, yellow onion and cherries.  I had 4 burners going and now I have to buy eggs.  Hope to have pictures for you tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Yarn Along

Joining Ginny over the at Small Things for Wednesday's yarn along.  Sorry the picture isn't so great.  Finished the Interpreter of Maladies which I would recommend.  After that I decided to read Viola in the Spotlight by Adriana Trigiani.  It was an enjoyable teen novel  that I'm keeping for my girls.  Next on my list is Once Upon a Time There Was You by Elizbeth Berg.    She's one of my favorite authors hoping to see her next week at book signing. 
Lately with spring weather creeping up on us  I have wanted some fresh scarves so I pulled out some new yarn with fun colors and cast on last night.  This will be my on the go project for today even though it dreary and rainy.
Can't wait to see what your reading and making.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Rolling up my sleeves

Still here friends no new recipes or cooking but I have been doing a ton of organizing even had to change the blog for something fresh. I still haven't figured out what to do about the header.   I definitely have that spring cleaning bug. 

Right now on my list is the pantry.  It's about half organized.  The third shelf from the bottom is dedicated to homeschooling tools.  Once it's all clean I'll give you a close up.
 I have been up to my eyeballs in paperwork and there is that looming April 18 deadline for taxes but I have made a lot of progress in my favorite place the library. 
 Best part of my office/library is a clean desk!  I haven't seen the top since I moved in back in June.
After a little more cleaning and touching up I'll give you a tour into my library/office/studio. 
For now I'm taking a page from soulemama and waldorf mama of what I have been grateful for lately.
:: the fresh air
:: birds outside the kitchen window
:: long or short family walks
:: a clean desk
:: putting paperwork away and not leaving it in a pile
:: having a really big project list and crossing off 2 items
:: dreaming of  a small garden
:: learning and remembering from kids point of view
:: reading a good book
:: dreaming of cake decorating
:: mom's cooking and helping hands
:: sitting quietly during a guitar or ballet  lesson with my own thoughts

What are you grateful lately?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Yarn Along

Joining Ginny over at Small Things for Wednesday's yarn along.
Nothing new for knitting and crochetting more reading instead.  Today I'm almost finished with Interpreter of Maladies. I don't know how to describe her books but I really like Jhumpa Lahiri and would also recommend Unaccustomed Earth
Once I'm done with her book I'm trying to decide between these two books that just came out Once Upon a Time, There Was You and Viola in the Spotlight.  Either way I'm excited about both books. 
Can't wait to see what everyone else is making or reading.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

This & That Lately

Well nothing too exciting going on lately but here's a peek of what has been going on since last Thursday.
 We used the last of the apple sauce and peaches for applesauce bread and  instead of cranberry cake made a cherry and peach version.
 There was request for chocolate chip oatmeal cookies .
 Huddled together while mom cooks the cherry and peach cake which boils over in the oven and burns and nearly sets off the smoke detector.  Ooops I guess I did need that pan under the pie plates.

 Ok the pasta making was not in my kitchen but it was worth sharing.  A girls night in at a friends house for most of us it was pasta making for the first time.  I think I like making homemade pasta.
My latest find for the home. I think these 3 words are exactly how feel most days because some days I'm just daydreaming. 
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