Friday, June 25, 2010

Quick and Easy

My friend, Cari, started a food inspired blog awhile back. This week, she shared some of her favorite recipes that are quick, easy, and made from pantry staples. Things like Funfetti cookies, Italian marinated chicken, and oven Smores. Easy but delicious. She asked readers to submit their own such foods. Here's a few of my "I can make it with my eyes closed and one hand behind my back" type recipes... now do you have any you want to share?

Special K cookies

1 cup white sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1 cup peanut butter

Special K, Wheaties, cornflakes, or Cheerio cereal.

Mix sugar and corn syrup in a saucepan; bring to boil over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute, stirring as needed. Add peanut butter and stir until melted. Stir in cereal. Just add until cereal is coated but there aren't big gobs of syrup that don't have any cereal. Drop by tablepoon onto greased surface/waxed paper. Great base and it's all equal parts so if you only have 2/3 cup peanut butter, just use 2/3 cup of the other ingredients. You can also add in raisins, dried fruit or nuts or drizzle with melted chocolate.

Easy Stovetop Cavatini

1 jar spaghetti sauce
chopped green peppers
chopped onion
chopped pepperoni
black olives
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1-2 t. sugar
fresh or dried basil
Cooked pasta

Saute green peppers and onion in olive oil. Add sauce, pepperonie, black olives, and tomatoes to green pepper/onion mixture. Heat through. Add sugar and basil to taste. (I personally think cavatini needs a sweetness with the sugar and basil add. ) Serve on top of cooked pasta.

Poor Man's Prime Rib
uncooked, thawed roast, any cut
1 can beef broth
1 envelope dry Italian salad dressing mix

Place all ingredients in slow cooker and cook 8-10 hours.

Angel Food Delight

1 angel food cake, cubed or torn into inch by inch sized pieces
2 21 ounce cans pie filling (strawberry, cherry, blueberry, or raspberry) or use fresh fruit
1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 c. powdered sugar
1 8 ounce carton Cool Whip

Beat the cream cheese and sugar; fold in Cool Whip and cake cubes. Spread into a 13 x 9 pan and top with pie filling. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. (Can also do in a clear glass bowl or trifle bowl and do in layers.)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

From ladies long sleeve shirt to...

this: a cute sundress with ribbon and ric rac.
Faux cap sleeves are made from the cuffs, ruffled for added detail. The back is actually the front of the shirt with the buttons running down the length of the back.

Simple and easy, really only a couple of hours worth of work.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mock Selvage Skirt Project

A big bag of small scraps (cottons, corduroy, satin), a garage sale that had a huge box of free jeans that had holes in their knees, and a book loaned to me (That Dorky Homemade Look, a comedic look at quilting) all resulted in me deciding to get crafty. I've also really been wanting to try something with some 1 inch size strips of fabric. So this project was perfect...Conleigh thought it was pretty. (She also thought it was pretty when it was just the top part of the old pair of jeans cut off. She quickly put it on and said "Pretty. Show Papa.") Anyway, maybe if I get ambitious I'll have some more in my Etsy store sometime soon...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Elusive Sleep

I thought my daughter's sleep issues had turned the corner onto Normal Street. Alas, I think I was wrong. Apparently we turned the corner onto Normal Street then hit some road construction or a detour and have now ended up back at the corner of Cranky Child and Impatient Mother. Or maybe onto the cul de sac of Dark Circles Under my Eyes.

Around the beginning of May, after months of waking up multiple times at night and often times being awake for hours at a time in the middle of the night, things suddenly changed. She started sleeping longer during her naptime, more deeply, without waking up after 45 minutes of napping and me having to tell her to go back to sleep. She started waking up only once at night, coming into our room, and then falling right back asleep. We were thrilled.

Yet now it's the beginning of June and for some reason we have seen her go back to her old habits. Waking up, staying awake, waking up in the middle of her nap, big dark bags under her eyes. I would like to blame it on our trips to Norfolk a week or so ago. Four car trips total of over two hours so weird nap times and bedtimes. Eating lunch and supper at weird times too. And since then, we've had a couple other excursions/events that have sent our schedule for sleeping into kind of a disarray. But I don't know if that's it or not.

Maybe it's just her. In the last few weeks, she's verbalized quite frequently that she thinks tall things like telephone poles, trees, and buildings are going to fall down. I don't know if it's earthquake related but I kind of wonder. And we got a package in the mail from her HCH friend, Julie, a package of cheese that I had ordered from their dairy. She was really excited about the package and excited to eat the cheese. But she asked me later that day if Julie was coming to our house in a box. I suppose like the cheese. Sometimes you wish you knew what those little heads were thinking. And I definitely wish I knew why falling back asleep is so hard for her.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

BP is not the Holocust or Haiti

With much being said about the oil spill in the Gulf, I have heard some things that have left my heart a bit perplexed. A demonstrator in Lincoln who called the oil spill "a holocust." Activity on Facebook asking why the response in Haiti was so grand (on an international scale) but why the response to the oil spill has not been so great. While I certainly do not want to make a light of an environmental disaster with far reaching consequences, it is simply not fair to equate it to a genocide based holocust or a large scale humanitarian disaster in one of the poorest countries on earth.

I read two wonderfully sad and heartbreaking stories, taken from this Miami Herald article, today. They are wonderful because they remind us of the humanness of the earthquake. That it is not a dead bird but a dead girl. That where we are worried about industries like shrimping being harmed, we do not have any industries in our country that specialize in preparing dirt as a food source.

"We saw a woman selling dirt today. Dirt to eat. Walking downtown by the palace. Along Champs de Mars, which used to be a big open space but now is crammed tight with tents and tarps and cardboard and sheet-made homes pushed in to every scrap of bare ground. She was selling candy and crackers and dirt baked with salt and butter into small discs for eating."

"He pulled out a tiny picture, the size you get for school pictures of his beautiful little 8-year-old girl. She was out playing in the yard near a wall when the earthquake happened and the wall fell on her. He dug her out himself and she had already passed. He wanted to take her to the countryside to bury her and was trying to gather the money to arrange getting there. He waited three days, but after three days he could not wait any longer. So he had to wrap her carefully in a sheet and carry her into the street. Front-end loaders were coming through the streets to scoop up the bodies left on the curbs. He could not stand to leave her in the street to be scooped up by a machine. The only thing he could do was wrap her in a sheet and place her gently in the bucket of the front end loader himself -- to be driven away and buried in a mass grave."

And I just read the follow stats off of Troy Livesay's Twitter page: Haiti has 1,322 camps,with more than 10,000 tents and 564,000 tarpaulins covering more than a million people, accordng to migration officials .

May we not forget that while things like the BP oil spill are devestating, it is not the same as the issues associated with global poverty, true genocides or a disaster that kills 200, 000 and displaces over a million.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Gross Factor

I'm now trying to decide which part of my day was grosser:

Playing with Moon Sand (a combo of playdough and sand) and helping my daughter clean up the stuff off the floor, only to discover a stray turd on the floor in the middle of all of it. Must have just slipped out...darn things!


Walking in on my daughter in the bathroom after she had just pooped in the toilet, to find her using toilet paper like a wash cloth and the toilet like a she washed her face. (Just in case you care, the poop was still floating in the toilet as she washed up.)


God and Me-More Hodgepodge

Still got lots of unconnected thoughts running in my head this week.

-I just started reading a blog called Passionate Homemaking. This week there was a great post on patience and anger. I specifically enjoyed what was said about man's anger not producing the righteousness of God. As a parent, it is so tempting to want to be angry as you discipline, trying to manipulate and control. You know that feeling, the "I will make you obey" feeling. This was a great reminder of the error in that type of thinking.

-I've also enjoyed reading my friend, Jake's, blog. He's a friend from high school church camp and college and currently a pastor in Omaha. I've just found everything he's written to be very thoughtful and relevent. He's the minister of adult studies (or something like that) so he has done a lot of Christian worldview/contemporary culture type posts.

-I'm also quite excited about Gregg's current sermon series, which is a look at Biblical characters and their prayer lives. And my friend, Nicky, recommended a book called The Power of a Positive Mom which I order off of and am anxious to read.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Locs, month 9

We're actually almost at 9 1/2 months in locs. They are so low maintence right now. I tighten/retwist about every 6 weeks which takes maybe 2 hours, maybe a bit more. (To retighten, I twist the new growth at the scalp.)  Otherwise it's just wash and go. Occasionally, I add some coconut oil on top of wet hair or spritz with Taliah Wajiid Protective Bodifying Mist. I did switch to a clear cleanser/conditioner just because I had heard things about build up when you use a creamy, deep conditioner. So instead of Aubrey Organics, we're now using a homemade shampoo of 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup Castille soap, and 1/2 T. olive oil. I just put it in a squirt bottle so it's easy to use. I think we've seen some really good growth too. Some of the locs are now almost 5 inches long when stretched out. You don't notice it because they shrink up but they are really pretty long. Just for comparison's sake, here's a photo from when we first did them, next to one from this month.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sprinklers and Strawberries

Two sure signs of summer, right? It's so nice to pick strawberries while your kids are playing in the sprinkler. Just one of those "life is good" moments. Conleigh can eat strawberries like nobody's business. The pics of her with strawberry juice on her tummy just crack me up.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Hair Stuff

Our first set of yarn braids made it almost 4 weeks. That's amazing because normally any protective style like braids or twists lasts 4 days at most. I took them out right before our friend, Jorge's, wedding just because of the wedding and put in cornrowed pigtails. I cannot tell you how much I love the yarn braids. I am not a girl who likes to spend a lot of time fussing over appearance and with out the yarn braids, I have to spend an hour every 3-4 days doing hair plus making fixes in between. I really dislike waking up in the morning and not knowing what her hair is going to look like because it doesn't stay in a style very well. It makes me anxious to have to think about having a hair style completely trashed but not having the time in the morning to fix it before we have to leave. The yarn braids really help with those things. I also saw a lot less shedding/breakage. Without yarn braids, the constant manipulation of her hair made it feel like she was losing lots of hair. With the yarn braids, very minimal hair loss. So we're now on set two of yarn braids. This time I did a flat twist across the front, like a headband. She's also been really into imitating my hair so if I have a ponytail, she wants one, etc.. Today I had my hair in a French braid so I decided to try it with her braids and then finish it with a messy bun with an assortment of yellow ponytail holders. D thought it looked messy but I kind of liked it.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Family stuff

D's brother is back from Boise for a week so we did a couple quick trips to Norfolk to see him and visit D's dad and grandma. With soccer season, we have not been back for a couple of months and D's grandma has never met Conleigh. Lots of games, meals, and fun! (And two tired kiddos who have been a bit off schedule and have just been played out!) Also, someone in our family received an engagement ring this week; congrats! We're excited for you both!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I want to...

raid your underwear drawer!

Not really... (although if you're hiding some chocolate in there, I might be game!)

But I am collecting preowned (or new) bras and underwear. Not in a creepy, I might have to call the police sort of way. More in a it's an easy way to help someone else sort of way. Here's the scoop:

My blogworld friend, Dawn, has developed a way to send underwear, shoes, and bras to places like Haiti, where those things can be hard to come by. Her project, The Undy 500, specifically is looking for gently used undergarments.

Summer is a great time for such an event simply because of one factor: garage sales. You may have just had one, or maybe you're getting ready to have one, or maybe you just like bargain hunting. Regardless, you've probably encountered some almost new Little Mermaids in a size 4T or a slightly used bra that just didn't fit quite right so it was abandoned to the bottom of the drawer. Maybe it was your garage sale or someone else's. Maybe you feel a little weird about reselling them or handing them down to your usual source for hand me downs. Maybe you saw them on the garage sale table and thought, "What a waste! Those look like they were never worn." But maybe, instead of throwing it away or walking by it, you give them to me. And I give them to the Undy 500 campaign. And some little old lady in Haiti who is missing all but her front teeth gets your bra and smiles a beautiful toothless smile. Or some cute as a bug 4 year old girlie, with braids and dancing eyes, lights up as she carries a handful of new-to-her Little Mermaid briefs in the front door of her two room house.

Want to be a part of the last maybes? Send me your stuff. Drop it off at my house, catch me at church, or simply ask me for the address of the woman who is collecting items and send it directly to her. It's just like your Mama told you: never underestimate what a good bra (or pair of underwear) can do.