Thursday, January 29, 2015

Snickerdoodles for Two

Snickerdoodles (for Two): a very good idea.

Once I saw this recipe and I couldn't get it out of my mind! I whipped them up this afternoon, and it broke up the monotony of a cold and snowy home-bound day. It also brought stars to my daughters eyes as she dreamily proclaimed me a loving mother.

I made four (humongous) cookies. I can't imagine how huge only two cookies would be. I'm glad for the small batch, cookies are hard to stay out of!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

52 Projects (Project 4)

Last year I started an afghan for my daughter. At the end of the year I only had about 1/3 of it finished.

I decided to make this one of my 52 projects. As it grew it made a cozy project! I found an hour here and there to devote to this afghan and slowly but surely it got closer to being done. Finally, on Sunday I deemed it long enough, and finished it off with a single crochet edge.

All the work I did was totally worth it to see the light in my daughter's eyes when she found out it was finished! She is so excited about her afghan, and has been sleeping with it, playing with it, and she even took it to Classical Conversations for her presentation! She says, "Now I have my OWN afghan, just like yours, Mommy!"

I already had the yarn for this project since I purchased it last year. I did need to buy more of the dark purple and lavender, since I ran out of both. I had a $5 mperks reward that I used toward the two skeins. Out of pocket, I paid only $.40.

Cost: $.40
Running Total: $8.39
Moral of the Crafting Story: Finish projects that you've already invested in!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Book Review (Dinner: the Playbook)

I love to read cookbooks. Not the 800-page tomes, but the personable cookbooks that have a story for every recipe, or at least a good bit to read before you start cooking.

I picked up Dinner: the Playbook from my library recently and settled in to read it. It was a good read. I can't comment on the recipes, which look fabulous, because I haven't actually cooked anything yet....

What I liked:
Obviously, the portion that was more story-form than cookbook-form.
That each recipe has a picture.
Most recipes have suggested sides (and recipes for a lot of the sides suggested) so you aren't left wondering what else to make for dinner.
The ideas for making dinner less stressful.
Simple recipes (most everything looks like it will come together quickly, which is nice for a busy family).
The recipes are rather healthy looking, and most of the ingredients aren't too expensive. They do range in price though.

What I didn't like:
The author included three recipes for pizza and called for refrigerated bread dough (purchased) or if you want to make your own dough she linked to her blog for the recipe. I thought she should have put the recipe in the book, it seemed simple enough to include. But it's also simple enough to look up online so I suppose it isn't that terrible of a complaint.
Also, this is a book that will not stay open on its own.

A recipe I'd like to try.

The author and her husband didn't start having family dinners with their two children until they were 3 and 4 years old. So, as one might imagine, there was quite a fuss over eating "real" food (rather than hot dogs and fish sticks, I guess).

Since we've always had our daughter eat dinner with us (and the dinners are not hot dogs or fish sticks, gross...), I couldn't really relate to the concept of introducing your kids to the idea of family dinner. I am very thankful for my daughter's palate! She is quite open to new foods and will eat most anything with gusto (but she's still a kid so sometimes kid-speak leaves her mouth. Like, "this is the most horrible thing I've ever had!!!!!" LOL). She says she is picky about crusts, because apparently she needs something to be picky about so she picked bread crusts. I'm good with that. She'll eat almost any vegetable without complaint and will eat almost anything we have for dinner. As an example, I've never made kale before and I decided to try it last week. I made kale sauteed with garlic and red pepper flakes and she gave it a two thumbs up (literally).

There are some recipes in the book I'd like to try out, but haven't taken the time yet. If I owned the book, I'd probably make about half of them over time.

This post contains an affiliate link.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

52 Projects (Project 3)

Making time for the hobbies I like can be difficult for me. So that's why I decided to set a goal of completing 52 projects in 2015. I think it is totally doable!

I worked on my 3rd project all last weekend. Because it was a gift for a friend (who probably doesn't read my blog, but I didn't want to chance it), I am not posting until after the gift has been opened!
I made three baby gowns as a gift for my friend's shower. She's having a BOY so I asked her husband for two or three t-shirts so I could make some gowns from them. He gave me two {very loved} t-shirts. I've made these gowns as gifts before, see here and here.

The three I made this go-around:

A gray Michigan shirt, with a navy shirt for contrast. The front of the shirt had a lot of stains on it so I had to cut around those, and was left with the logo.

An Old Navy shirt. Funny thing about this is that the logo on the sleeve was the logo from the front of the shirt. I didn't have enough usable fabric from the t-shirt to make the body of the gown, so I bought a contrasting gray shirt. When I was making it up, I felt like the front needed something else. So I cut the logo that had been on the sleeve and sewed it to the front of the gown.

I wanted to give three gowns, so I purchased another Michigan shirt as well as a contrasting yellow shirt. I was looking for a shirt with a smaller logo but this was all that I could find! Because it was so wide, I used it for the bottom portion of the gown.

All three (the yellow below is closer to what it looks like in person):

One thing I debated about was that since this is a gift, should I share the cost? I decided to go ahead and post the cost. One of my reasons for having this 52 projects challenge for myself is that I often just do not have money to go out and have fun with Pinterest-inspired crafts. But I wanted to get creative and see how far my money can go this year! So, possibly for the encouragement to someone else, I'd like to share that lack of money doesn't mean the lack of a nice gift! :-)

I had to purchase four t-shirts for this project. For the four shirts, plus a spool of thread, I spent $5.46. 

Cost: $5.46
Running Cost: $7.99

Monday, January 19, 2015

Handmade, With Love

I was going back through my blog for some information, and came across this post with the following picture, which made me smile. All that handmade goodness in one picture!

A quilted coaster, knitted socks, crocheted afghan, crocheted pumpkins all made by me; and even someone else's handiwork: a crocheted doily I bought at a yard sale!

Thursday, January 08, 2015

52 Projects (Project 2)

Making time for the hobbies I like can be difficult for me. So that's why I decided to set a goal of completing 52 projects in 2015. I think it is totally doable!

Today during my daughter's quiet time I pulled out my beads and findings. Back story: with my 2013 birthday money, I purchased the tools necessary for beading, as well as a few beads. I made some earrings as Christmas gifts. When Kevin took my daughter Christmas shopping for me, they headed to the craft store and she picked out beads for me to make things with. All year long I made not one beaded thing. *Hangs head with Mommy guilt* I actually pulled them out a few times, looked at them, wondered what to make with them, tried making earrings but wasn't happy with the result, etc. I didn't totally ignore them!

So. I am using my gift from my daughter as I learn to do some beading. The beads are really random (they were picked out by a 4-year old, after all!) so I'm going to have to be creative. Or get more beads to go with the ones she picked out for me.

Excuse #1 - I don't know what to do/how to use the beads.
Answer - Find ideas on Pinterest.

Excuse #2 - I don't know how to wire wrap, make things, etc. very well.
Answer - Find tutorials on Pinterest and practice. Just start making.

Excuse #3 - Every time I pull things out to work on beads, I suddenly grow two extra hands.
Answer - Bead during quiet time. ;-)

These are the earrings that I made today:

The dark silver beads are from a necklace I used to have, which broke. I followed the wire wrapping tutorial here, and got much better results this time around! The second set of earrings are from beads my daughter gave me. I followed the tutorial here.

Cost: $0 (I had all the materials/tools from previous purchases or gifts)
Running Cost: $2.53

Saturday, January 03, 2015



And it was this year. First, I decided to sew superhero capes for my three nephews. I used the free pattern here (the neckline on the example in this post looks different than what the pattern makes up, which is a good thing, actually).

The three capes turned out so cute and I didn't know what to make (or buy) for my two state-side nieces, so I decided to make them capes too. 

(I have a new camera, still working out settings...the colors are very off in this picture. The capes on the left are red/yellow/black and on the right are purple/lavender/pink.)

I heard back from my SIL that "H" was running around all day Christmas being a superhero. And I talked to my sister recently and she said that "L" was a superhero all day and put the cape on her sister "C" so she could crawl around and be a superhero too. When her daddy came home from work, she told him about being a superhero. He asked her if she saved the world, and she said no, she saved the day! Too cute!

My daughter didn't get one for Christmas - she didn't need additional presents - but I knew she'd like one. So I made one along the others and finished it up on New Year's Day. Sure enough she was excited to get it and ran off a lot of energy using it! :)

So anyhow, back to the top picture: I was finishing these up on the Thursday before Christmas and I didn't finish in time to get them to the post office before they closed. So they went out on Friday and somehow they all made it for Christmas! Whew!

I think that I should start next year's presents I'm not mad-dashing about trying to get them done and in the mail on time. Maybe that would be better, hmm?

Friday, January 02, 2015

52 Projects (Project 1)

One of the goals I have for this year is to make a project a week. My parents gave me a gift card to Hobby Lobby for Christmas, and I'm going to see how far I can make it go!

My first project, crochet teardrop wire earrings:

I loosely followed the directions found here. I used 26-gauge wire and an "E" crochet hook.

Bonus project:

Another pair of earrings! Clearly I need to work on my wire skills, but I'm happy with how they turned out! They're definitely wearable!

Project Cost: $2.53 for the wire (I used a 40% off coupon). I had the jump rings and ear wires (and the beads for the second pair of earrings).

Thursday, January 01, 2015


Happy New Year!

I love fresh starts. New pages. A beginning. And so as 2015 begins, I am setting some goals. I looked back through my blog and realized I've never published goals per se. Hmmm. The last few years have been interesting in that regard.

More Dates. This one is hard for us because we don't have any close babysitters. But we're going to work on having more than one or two dates per year. Maybe we'll get wild and make it four dates in a year's time! Haha...the goal is "more" not a certain number. So...three would be more than two....yeah, we need to work on this!

Read the Bible through. I want to read it through in either 90 or 180 days. I started reading my Bible through in 90 days a few years back but got stuck in Isaiah. I'd really like to start and finish this goal!

Lose 5 lb. I reached my weight loss goal last May, and guess what? I successfully maintained that loss. Until November and December came around. I've gained 5 pounds and I want it GONE! and fast!

52 Projects in 52 Weeks. I want to create more. I get so busy with "things" and "life" that I don't take time to do the things I enjoy. I want to finish 52 projects (big and small) in a year's time. I'm thinking: crafting, knitting, crocheting, and sewing.

I think I'll stop there! I could write a lo-o-o-o-ong list (I am tempted to do so!). But I think it's better to have a shorter list and actually be able to finish it! :-) I'll be updating every so often here on the blog!