Twirly Whirly

If only I could bank up “mom-you-are-awesome-points”… I would have totally racked up quite a few today.
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The look on her face and this completely unprompted pose says it all- THIS IS SO AWESOME MOMMY! THANK YOU FOR MY NEW SKIRT!!!

These mom-points, if they could exist, could be traded in for those times when your child is in melt-down mode over the latest catastrophe. We have a lot of those. Ahh… how I wish I could just flip a switch and the tantrum would be over… or whip out a “I made you a really cool skirt yesterday” card and she’d snap out of it….

But I digress.

I was working on the binding this afternoon when a little visitor snuck out of her room during naptime and into the office.

“So, Mom, how is that skirt going along?” she asked sweetly. I told her it wasn’t finished yet, but that it would be very soon. She happily skipped into the living room and kept herself occupied for about 4 minutes before checking in on me again.

“So, Mom, how is everything going? Is it done yet? Do you need anything? What about this?” (holding up a seam ripper) “Do you need this?” She just cracks me up sometimes. Checking in on my progress every few minutes.

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Once the skirt was finished, there was simply no postponing the wearing of said skirt. Sweet Pea promptly put it on over her pajamas (yes, she wears pjs for naptime, but that’s another story for another day!) and pranced around the house, twirling, swirling, and singing.

I made her a matching headband too, but I think I’ll modify the pattern to make it thinner next time. The thickness of the headband is a little much for her fine/thin hair. I guess she didn’t inherit my mane, but then again she didn’t inherit my look-at-a-cheeze-it-and-gain-five-pounds metabolism, so I guess it’s better that way!

I used Simplicty 2356, a pattern that I purchased on sale at Joann’s a month or so ago for $1. The fabric was a bit pricier, but I can’t remember exactly how much it cost. Maybe $4-6 a yard? The cute fabrics always cost more. I really need to start keeping track of that sort of thing, especially if I’d like to sell some of my creations! I used about a yard of both the main and contrast fabrics, plus some elastic that I already had on hand. I’d estimate this skirt cost about $8-10 dollars to make in materials. It took me about 2 hours to complete, but I think I could do it in less time if I was making several and made them assembly line style.

Next up is my first recycled clothing project!


Fat- Burning cookies- or so they say :)

My friend Debra has been asking me for this recipe for a loooooong time. Sorry Debra! Here is it- taken from the September 2010 issue of Oxygen Magazine:

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

2 cups whey protein powder

1 tsp baking powder

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 1/2 cups low fat small curd cottage cheese

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup canola oil

1 egg

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (I skipped these b/c I’m allergic)

1- Preheat oven to 350.

2- Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl and mix well

3- in a separate bowl, combine next 5 ingredients and whisk together with a fork, or use and electric mixer or food processor

4- Add wet ingredients to dry and mix with a fork (or mixer). Mix in oats, chocolate chips (and walnuts if you’re nutty!)

5- Drop by teaspoonful onto an ***oiled or parchment paper lined*** baking sheet. Bake 12 minutes until the cookies are slightlybrown on top. ***THIS IS IMPORTANT! these “cookies” will totally stick to your baking sheet. I use a SILPAT. Same idea as parchement paper. Love it. Worth it’s weight in gold***

Nutrients per serving (w/ the walnuts) 2 cookies: Calories 99; Total fats 3 g; Saturate Fat 1 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 6 mg; Sodium 72 mg; Total Carbohydrates 11 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Sugars 5 g, Protein 7 g

I love these cookies! You won’t feel deprived with the chocolate chips in there. I made them for my table at MOPS today. I don’t know if these actually burn fat, but that’s what they’re called! I definitely feel full and stay full after eating these.

Here’s a little blurb from the magazine about them:

Staying slim requires eating satifying snacks that keep your hunger pains at bay. Key ingredients in these cookies include: cinnamon to keep your blood sugar in check, slow digesting prottein from cottage cheese paired with faster digesting whey protein powder to steadily suppress appetite, whole wheat flour for energy revving b vitamins, oats for their anti-inflammatory polyphenols and beta-glucan, which promote a feeling for fullness that subdues craving.” Only problem is you might crave more of these cookies! But don’t be mastered by your cravings!!!

Oxygen recommends these as a morning or preworkout snack. Yum.

Happy Healthy Eating!

Bisquick? Who needs bisquick?

Yesterday was National Pancake Day, or something like that. So we played our part and went to IHOP for dinner with the kids because EVERYBODY GOT A FREE SHORT STACK!  *

Of course my kids flipped for pancakes, with the big one eating her entire stack plus a quarter of the little one’s. My 14 month old ate almost half of his, which is pretty amazing since we’re coming off his second stomach bug this winter that seems to drastically reduce the foods he is willing to eat again. So now we’re up to cheerios, bananas, blueberries, cheesey eggs, pancakes, and his favorite- asparagus.

This morning I thought that pancakes might be a good option for the kids since they liked them so much last night and I found myself thinking “Wish I had some bisquick or some healthy bisquick alternative to just mix in a lil milk and have pancakes galore in no time at all!”

I racked my brain, my cookbooks, and my pantry and came up with this breakfast baking mix:

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup unbleached white flour

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Mix all these together and store in an airtight container.

I took a cup of this mix, added a tablespoon of flax seed, a half tablespoon of both oil and maple syrup (the real kind, not the 2% maple syrup 98% corn syrup!) and somewhere around 3/4 c milk. I mixed it all together for a healthier pancake for the kids! It made about a dozen kid-sized pancakes.

Breakfast success!!! Took a little time today, but next time I’ll already have my own healthy mix ready!

*In keeping with my clean eating deal, I ordered an egg white veggie omlete w/ no cheese. No fun, I know, but those white fluffy pancakes would’ve sent me spiraling into sugar self destruction. Keith was happy to eat mine and to point out that my meal cost $10 while the rest of the family’s was free! Not complaining, just observing he said. LOL.

Spirit of the Disciplines… some thoughts

I’ve been reading “The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives” by Dallas Willard lately. It’s a good read.

Willard talks about how acting like Jesus did “on the spot” is impossible if not burdensome if we haven’t spent the time preparing ahead of time… not just in knowledge, but in word and deed… that if we just try as we might to “do the right thing” we have failed, we need to reach the point where “doing the right thing” is the only option for us, when loving an enemy is the natural thing to do.  Ahhh if the right thing to do was the natural option. All the time. I’d have much less things to apologize for/ backtrack/ try to remedy. MUCH LESS.

Willard discusses the overall lifestyle of Jesus and ways in which we grow through spiritual disciplines like prayer, solitude, fasting, study, fellowship, etc and how it really is the “behind the scenes stuff” that we’re really made of.

You hear stuff like this all the time, especially if you go to church. Read your bible. Pray. Serve. Listen to God.

But what does that look like fleshed out? In your season of life?

Here’s an excerpt from my prayer journal last week:

“Up all night with the kids. I am so tired today. Attempting to drop (Luke’s) morning feeding.

For some reason I don’t picture great theologians reading their bible while sitting on top of the toilet supervising morning bath time… being pelted occasionally by a bubble covered bath toy.”

It seems my only time that I’m truly alone is when I’m on a run.

I am grateful for the ability to run, to exercise. I am grateful for the things that God teaches me as I work on disciplining my body to run longer, faster, lift heavier weights. I love the parallels between faith and fitness.

You can’t show up for a marathon having only done wind sprints. You can’t expect to persevere through 26.2 miles being a sunny day runner (particularly in Buffalo!) You’ve got to put in the time, the mileage, the pain. Day in and day out.

So I’ll continue to sit in the bathroom supervising the bubble fights after a sleepless night, gleaning what I can from that which God graciously shows me in his word. It might not be pretty, but training isn’t always pretty.



On hearts and such

This was the year that Valentine’s Day crafts and projects happened. My daughter is finally old enough to craft and bake with me. Ahhhh!!!! (girly shrieking)
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We made hearts. We used stickers. It was awesome.

And yes, that is my serrated bread knife on my table that I used to cut a large piece of foam into a heart shape.

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We baked heart shaped cookies.

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And “x” and “o” shaped cookies.

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We learned about self control while frosting cookies. Can you see how much she wants to just eat one cookie? Or the entire container of sprinkles? This cookie-frosting-session went much better than Christmas cookies.

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And I finished a new apron! I’m always cooking something in the kitchen, might as well have a fun apron to wear!

Simplicity 3752 Sew Pattern MISSES’ APRONS 6 Styles Vintage Style SIZE S, M, L

This is a great apron pattern. Lots of versatility. I’ve made a few of these, mostly for gifts. This was a first keeper for me!

Keith and I didn’t get to go out on Valentine’s Day, but we did get to spend our “date day” on Saturday on the slopes at a local ski resort. He got me new running gear instead of chocolate. Smart man!!!

Sewing Class

I met a friend through a local MOPS group a few years ago who SEWS! Imagine that? This friend, Michelle, ended up buying a house a few blocks from me this past year! A sewing friend that lives close by! How fun! Someday when we are not imprisoned in our homes due to our offspring’s napping schedule, we might be able to craft and sew together. Someday.

But for now, we took a class at Joann’s together.

Viola! Simplicity 2599:

Simplicity 2599

The techniques we learned were handling delicate fabrics, making neck facings, darts, and RUFFLES! I didn’t think I was into the whole ruffle bit, but now I have seen the light. It’s fairly easy and it’s something that I can use to add a feminine touch to garments for both myself and my daughter. Come to think of it, you can probably put a ruffle on most anything. Purses, wallets, headbands. I think I could even make a really wide and long “ruffle” to create garland for Christmas or a birthday decoration.

I highly recommend taking a sewing class. It’s always a good idea to get some help from a friend or teacher- in all areas of life!

Sadly, this doesn’t fit me. It’s huge. I need to either rip it apart and take it in, or start over and scrap this one.

Decisions, decisions.

February Lady

Well, it’s February. A year later than I originally hoped to wear my February Lady Sweater, but hey, it happens!!!

As it seems to be happening lately, my plans do not always equal reality. Wearing this to church & having Keith take the pictures didn’t pan out- kids were too sick and boogery to go so we stayed home. Neither did having my friend Michelle take a pic at sewing class. Her daughter was throwing up for days on end and she didn’t make it to class Tuesday night. Then I thought I could wear it to MOPS (which I did) and have a friend take a picture, but my son was super sick and his pediatrician’s office said they wanted to see him….. so I had to leave early in order to take him to the doctors and be back in time to pick up #1 from preschool.

Flexibility is something you need as a mom I guess!

My creation

I had to make do with my self timer and stacked a couple books to put the camera on. Excuse the “vogue” pose. I took a ton, but it was one of the only ones I didn’t look frumpy in!

I love the sweater! It’s the best fitting sweater I have ever knit. Pretty flattering too- as handknits can tend to make you look a little plumper than usual. At least the ones I have made. The design was awesome and you can’t beat a free Raverly download! I enjoyed the lace repeats, once you get in a rhythm it’s no work at all.

Now, how many variations can I wear this in the month of February?