Thursday, December 23, 2010

Flower Head Bands

My girls have never been very big on letting me do their hair. They have always preferred to have it straight down. Well, since my oldest started kindergarten this year, she has discovered that the other little girls do their hair and now likes me to do it. And because her big sister is getting her hair done, my younger one wants it too. Yay!!!! I finally get to do hair!!!!

Not only do they like their hair done now, they are also into putting things in it- bows, flowers, headbands. I'm very excited! So for Christmas I made them these cute head bands with interchangeable flowers. Aren't they fun!!!

I used white ribbing for the head band and made it a little smaller than their heads so it would stretch around their heads and not just slip off. I sewed the ribbing into a tube and then turned the tube right side and sewed the ends together. Then I hand sewed on the button. For the flowers I used this tutorial (click here) from Make It and Love It and just clipped a hole in the middle for the button to go through.

Note- I used felt for the flowers and found that using a whole circle for the petals was too thick. So if you use felt, just use a half circle and fold it in thirds. It will make since after you read the tutorial!

I am very excited to see what they think on Saturday!!!! I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and I'll see you after the holiday!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Apple Sauce Pancakes and A Little More

Before I delve into this weeks recipe, I just wanted to throw something out there. I read on facebook about a lawsuit against McDonalds. They are being sued on the basis that by offering toys in their happy meals they are luring children into eating unhealthy food and adding to the childhood obesity problem.

Okay, can I just say that our culture is way to "sue-happy". Holy Cow!!!! Seriously, it's not like a child can just jump in the car and go buy the happy meal themselves. Parents have to take them there and PAY for it. So how can you blame McDonalds for your kids being overweight from the food when you're the one buying it for them!!

Second, I get that the kids want the toys, but you can buy the toys without buying the happy meal. Just buy the toy and give it to them at home with a healthier homemade meal. Stop blaming McDonalds for your poor eating habits. As a parent you set your kids eating habits by what you feed them AND (probably more importantly) by example of what you eat.

I just think it's ridiculous!

So now that I have that off my chest onto this weeks recipe:

Apple Sauce Pancakes

1 1/4 c flour
6 T sugar
2 T baking powder
1 1/2 t salt

3 eggs
approx. 3 c milk
3 T apple sauce

Mix all the "Dry's" together in one bowl and all the "Wet's" together in a separate bowl. Then pour the wets into the drys and mix together. You may need to add a little more milk depending on how thick you like your batter. Now cook and serve.

Now if you noticed in the picture, my kids love face pancakes. It's simple. Drop a couple dots of batter for the eyes and nose and make a line for the mouth. Let them cook for a few minutes and then pour batter over the top of the face like you normally do for a pancake. When you flip it over the face will be a little bit darker than the rest of the pancake. So fun!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Simple Snowman Card

It's getting close to Christmas and I'm sure you've already sent out Christmas cards, but if you're needing a simple card to put together to go along with those treats for the neighbors, try this one:

This is a very simple card to make. These are the supplies you need:

A half a sheet (letter size) of teal cardstock, folded in half to make a card
Snowflake stamp
Watermark stamp pad (mine is VersaMark)
Glue stick
Three circles out of white cardstock- 2", 1 1/2 ", 1"
1 inch square of black cardstock

Step 1: Stamp your snowflake all over the front of the card. Make it random and have some go off the edge of the paper.

Step 2: Cut two small rectangles out of the sides of your black square. Don't go all the way to the bottom though or you won't have a brim. I just did this with scissors. No it's not perfectly even but that just adds character.

Step 3: Glue your circles and your hat onto the card. And vwalla!

Now if you're feeling extra ambitious, you can cut out some twig arms and draw on a face and buttons. That's what we did for our grandparent's cards. The kids felt like the snowman needed it. But I love it plain too. Happy Holidays!


Monday, December 13, 2010

A Recipe for Him (and you!)

Do you need a meal that will make your husband so happy that he'll want to do the dishes, put the kids to bed and then rub your feet while watching a chic flick with you? Hehe!

Men love barbecue ribs. It's just a fact of life. But even the thought of cooking ribs makes us women need a nap. They are a lot of work. Not anymore!! I have the easiest recipe for you and I guarantee it will make your hubby happy. It's my husbands favorite (right next to lasagna)!

Okay here it is: Sorry I don't have a picture for you. I realized half way through dinner that I forgot to take a picture. Oops. But it sure tasted good!

Barbecue Ribs

3-4 pounds of country style boneless pork ribs
(They come in the long cartons like the chicken breasts at the meat department. Just use one carton.)
18 oz bottle of your favorite bbque sauce
(Our favorite is western family honey)

Put the package of ribs into your crock pot and pour the bbque sauce over it. Then cook on low for 6 hours. You can cook it on high for 4 hours if your short on time but they turn out a little more tender on low. Then serve with your favorite potatoes and veggies and Mm Mm Good!!!!

And enjoy your chic flick! Hehe!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A (not so) Little Soap Box

A friend of mine posted this quote on facebook:
"If you know someone who has lost a child, and you're afraid to mention them because you think you might make them sad by reminding them that they died- you're not reminding them. They didn't forget they died. What you're reminding them of is that you remembered that they lived, and that is a great gift." -Elizabeth Edwards

This is so well put. People who have lost a child don't forget. We think about it every single day. Having people avoid the subject hurts worse than talking about it. We want to tell everyone about our amazing children, not push the subject into a closet and lock the door never to be spoken of or remembered again. We actually fear having our child forgotten.

I find, too often, when I meet someone new and we're trying to get to know each other better something like this happens:
They ask how many kids I have.
Well the answer is four. Yes one is dead but he is still my child. I'm not going to leave him out. I have FOUR kids. So I always answer four.
Then they inevitably ask how old they are. This is where I always run into trouble.
When I get to him in the line of kids, I say something like: "He'd almost be three but he passed away when he was a baby."
Then they respond with something like, "Oh I'm sorry." or "Oh that's hard." Followed by something like, "Well it was nice talking to you." And walk away.

Really, just because I have a dead child you can't get to know me. I don't understand why people feel the need to end the conversation because I mention my dead baby. Is it because they're uncomfortable? Cause I'm not. If I were uncomfortable talking about it I wouldn't have brought it up. I would have told them I have three kids. But I didn't. I told them I have four.

Maybe people feel like if they are going to continue talking to me they have to console me and fix the emotion problems that come along with losing a child. Well you don't. I'm not telling you about it so you can tell me something profound to take away the sadness. I'm telling you because that's just part of who I am. Aren't we trying to get to know each other?

I am an angel mom. That's just part of me. Don't feel uncomfortable about that.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Flash Backs

I have no new recipe this week and am a little behind on other posts because my kids are all sick and not much has been getting done around here. My oldest started off with a terrible cough. When I took here to the doctor I was told that 10% of kids have to be hospitalized for it. So a few days later when the baby started into it I instantly began having images of being back in the PICU.

He started coughing in the middle of the night and I was so scared that if I waited to get him into the doctor he would have to be put in the hospital. I almost took him to the ER, I was so freaked out. It's like post traumatic stress syndrome. Isn't seven months in the PICU enough for a mother? I think I've done my time!

Luckily he's not that sick. But on top of the croup we also have sinus infections and strep throat. So bare with my lack of postings while I get my kids nursed back to health.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Buttons in 1, 2, 3

Yesterday I showed you how to make a blog signature in three easy steps. Today I'm going to show you how to make a blog button in three steps.

Step 1:
Open a page in PowerPoint. Click "File" ("Design" for 2010 version), then click on "Page Setup". Now change your page size to 2 inches by 2 inches, hit OK. PowerPoint will automatically zoom in on your 2 inch square so it will look really big but I promise it won't be so don't be afraid to fill the whole square. Now design how you want your button to look using backgrounds, text, graphics, etc. Remember make your background go all the way to the edge- fill the square!
When you're done click on "File", then "Save as Picture". This will automatically put the file in a picture format. If your version of PowerPoint doesn't have a Save as Picture option then do a "Save As" and then change the format to "JPEG". Name your file and hit "Save".

Step 2:
Now go to Photobucket. Again if you don't have an account click here to get one free. Upload your graphic. Once it is uploaded hold your cursor over the picture to bring up the menu. Copy the text that is labeled "Direct Link".

Step 3:
Now go to your blog. Go to the "Design" or "Layout" (depending on which version of blogger you have), then "Page Elements". On the side bar where you want your button to go, click "Add a Gadget". Select an "HTML" gadget. The gadget box will pull up. Add a title if you'd like. In the contents box copy and paste the following code:

<div align="center"> <a href="http://yourblogurl" target="_blank"><img alt="Your Blog Title" src="PhotobucketDirectLink" /></a> </div> <div align="center"> <form><textarea rows="6" cols="20"><center><a href="http://yourblogurl" target="_blank"><img alt="Your Blog Title" src="PhotobucketDirectLink" /></a></center></textarea></form> </div>

Now you're going to change a few things in the code. The two spots in red that say "yourblogurl" change for your blogs web address. (For example mine is Next the two purple spots that say "Your Blog Title" substitute for the name of your blog. (Example- Little Country Corner). Last the green spots that say "PhotobucketDirectLink" paste the direct link that you already coped from Photobucket in step two. Note- make sure to only replace the colored text. Do not delete the quotations!
Now hit save and go check it out on your blog!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Blog Signatures

My friend Abbi over at My Garden of Eden (go visit her) asked me for help with some blog design and once I had walked her through how easy it was, she told me I must do a tutorial for others. Actually she's forcing me to (hehe) because she already put a post on her blog sending her readers over here for the tutorial. But really I am happy to share.

So today I am going to teach you how to add a signature to the bottom of your posts.

Step 1:
Using PowerPoint, design how you want your signature to look. First make a text box and type your name. Change the font, font size, color, shadows, etc. to how you want. I made my font a 24 pt sized font but adjust yours to fit what you like. Now this is important- make sure the fill on your text box is transparent. It may do this automatically, but if not double click on the text box, go to fill, and increase transparency to 100%.
Now if you'd like to add a graphic to your signature do that. Any graphics you download from digital scrapbooking websites will already have transparent backgrounds. If you download clipart they may not so just be careful and choose a graphic that does.
To save your signature you are going to click on the text box. Then hold down your ctrl key and click on the graphic. Now both items should be selected. RIGHT click over the text box and a menu will pop up. Go down to "Grouping" and another menu will pop out. Click on "Group". This will combine the two parts into one. Now RIGHT click again on the signature and go down to "Save as Picture". Name your file and hit save.

Step 2:
For this step you will need to open your Photobucket account. If you don't have one click here to get one. It's free. Now upload your signature file to Photobucket. Once you have your file uploaded hold your cursor over the picture. A menu of sorts will open under it. Copy the mumble jumble that is labeled "HTML Code".

Step 3:
Now go to your blog. Click on "Settings". Then under settings click on "Formatting". Now scroll down until you find "Post Template". Then paste the html code from Photobucket in the box. Hit save and you're done!

Note- Your signature will not be added to posts that are already posted. It will only show up on future posts.

Stay tuned for instructions on adding a button to your blog!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Pizza Pizza

Pizza is a kid pleaser at our house. I'm going to guess that's true with most every house. I'm not quite sure why kids find it so much more attractive than other meals but hey, you do what you have to right?

We happen to have a great pizza place in the next town over that delivers for free. And a family deal (large 3 topping pizza, bread sticks and cinnamon sticks) is only $11.99. Can't beat that on crazy nights. But it does add up if we do it regularly.

And besides nothing beats homemade right! So this week I'm going to share with you our families favorite pizza recipe. And maybe tonight the kids at your house will be smiling!

Hawaiian Pizza!

1 T yeast
2 c warm water
1 t salt
1/2 t sugar
4 1/2 c flour
approx. 1 lb cheese (depending on how cheesy you like it)
your favorite toppings

Preheat oven to 375*. In a mixer put yeast, water, salt, sugar. Turn mixer on medium and add flour while mixing. Once all the flour is added leave to mix while you make the sauce.

8 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 t oregano
1 T sugar
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t basil

Mix together in a small bowl. Set aside. Press pizza crust into a greased cookie sheet. Spread sauce over crust. Layer on your favorite toppings. (Do not add cheese yet.) Bake at 375* for 35 min. Sprinkle on cheese and put back in over until cheese melts. And enjoy!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Traditions

Since I was little, one of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions is: (drum roll please)

Yes the wishbone. I am the youngest and only girl in my family so needless to say I always got the wishbone. Every year my little hand was on one side of it. And as I got older I learned how to figure out which side was going to win so I could hold that side. Oh good times!

I also love just hanging out at my Grandmas playing games with everyone and nibbling at the food all day long.

So Happy Thanksgiving to all of you (I think I only have like four followers so far, but oh well) Happy Thanksgiving to all four of you!!!!!

and I'll see you after the crazy weekend.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Jean Skirts

I have been making a lot of things lately. Unfortunately they are all for Christmas presents so most of them I can't share until after Christmas so I don't give them away. This is one however that I can share. It's for my girls and since they're little I don't have to worry about them seeing them on my blog.

My wonderfully sweet and amazing cousin (does that do you justice!) found this tutorial on how to turn your old jeans into jean skirts. My girls have been into wearing skirts a lot lately and I thought this would be a great way to take some of those jeans that still fit around the waist (they're skinny girls) but are too short and make them skirts for Christmas.

This one I did a nice hem on the bottom.
This one I put two rows of stitching around the bottom and am going to let it fray.

To get to the tutorial click here. They do a good job explaining it, better than I could do I'm sure. Just a pointer though- when you come to the step that has you unpick the side seams, don't do it just yet. I ended up not putting the inserts in the sides on these two skirts. It gives them a straighter look. Putting the inserts in will give it a more flared look, which I am planning on doing one for each of them that way too. Just don't undo the sides until you have the front and backs done and know for sure that you want the side inserts. Speaking from experience its a pain to restitch up those side seams once you've undone them.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Time For Hot Cocoa

This is the view out my bedroom window this morning:
It's been snowing at our house for the last couple of days and putting me in the mood for some nice hot chocolate. But to my dismay, we're out. Isn't hot chocolate like a winter staple? How can we be out! So I googled and found an easy hot cocoa recipe at Martha There is only three ingredients and quick to mix up. So find these three things in your cupboard and lets get started.

Hot Cocoa

3 1/2 C sugar
2 1/4 C cocoa
1 T salt

Mix them together and store in an airtight container.

When ready to use heat 1 cup of milk to desired warmth and add 2 T of cocoa mix. Mmm.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I've Fallen In Love

Move over honey- I've officially fallen in love! Remember on my old blog how baking soda became my best friend in the kitchen. Well I fell in love with it in the bathroom! Yes I know that's an odd place to fall in love but it's true.
I finally tried using baking soda on that persistent soap scum and hard water spots on my sinks. Hallelujah! Why didn't I try it sooner, back when I said I was going to? I'm still kicking myself for that. A little baking soda and a Scotch Brite scrubber and my sinks came cleaner easier than my stove did!
So now my bathroom cleaner caddy holds a box of baking soda. Try it- you'll fall in love too!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

When Momma's Sick

Have any of you noticed how everything falls apart when Mom is sick and unmotivated to get off the couch? This is the case at our house. I woke up yesterday feeling miserable and have had a lack of motivation to do any chores. I'm sure it has something to do with the fever and nausea but I just want to lay around and do nothing.
Therefore, my kids have run a muck and the dishes have pile up. I really do want to get feeling better but at the same time not looking forward to the catch up. Anyone know a good maid service?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A New Little Sunday Suit

Have you ever had a child that grows like a weed! My little one is so tall that we go through clothes like we do diapers. He is quickly running out of things to wear. Last sunday he went to church in pants, shirt and jacket all from different outfits and they only sort of matched. So I decided it was time for some new sunday clothes.
I found a tutorial for some slacks over at MADE. I followed pretty close to what she did, just a few adjustments. One thing I added was cuffs on the bottoms. Here's what I did:
First (for each leg) cut two rectangles the width of your pants. The height should be twice the size you want for the cuff plus 1 inch. With right sides together sew the short sides of the rectangles together, making a tube.
Next, fold your tube in half, wrong sides together, matching the raw edges. Pin and iron.
Now turn your pants inside out and turn the bottom edge up 1/2 inch. Pin and iron.
Now slide pant leg inside cuff and match up the raw edges.
Pin and stitch 1/4 inch from raw edges.
Turn your pant leg right side and it should look like this:
Now fold cuff over pant leg. Pin at side seams and hand stitch to tack them in place.
I made my pockets on my pants a little big so I didn't have room to make the fake fly. And since I didn't do the fly, I left off the button on the waistband. I also meant to do belt loops but realized as I was taking the final picture that I forgot. Oh well, maybe I'll add them later.
I also decided to add buttons to the fake pockets on the back. I thought it made it look a little more dressy.
Now my little guy has pants but he still needs a top. I followed another tutorial by MADE to turn this: a sweater of mine that's too short for me
Into this: a brand new sweater for my little man
Put that together with the pants and he's ready for church on sunday!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Zucchini Bread

This weeks recipe is a great way to get your kids to eat some vegetables. Normally I have a hard time getting my kids to eat zucchini but they love this bread because it tastes like cinnamon.

Zucchini Bread

1 1/2 c flour
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/4 t baking powder
1/4 t nutmeg
1 beaten egg
1 c sugar
1 c finely shredded, unpeeled zucchini
1/4 c cooking oil

Preheat oven to 350*. Grease bread pan (makes 1 regular loaf or 1 mini loaf pan). In medium bowl combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, baking powder and nutmeg. Set aside. In a separate bowl combine egg, sugar, zucchini and oil. Add zucchini mixture to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes. *If using a mini loaf pan you may want to reduce baking time.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween, Country Style

Do you remember when you were in elementary school and you got to parade around the school in your Halloween costume for all the other kids in school? Well in our small town that elementary parade is bigger and better! They didn't just have the kids parade around the school, they bussed them all over to Main Street and they did a parade for the whole town!!! And all the business came out and give the kids candy as they went by. How cool is that! Only in
a small town! I love it!
Our Halloween was an entire weekend production and so much fun. They had the parade Friday morning. Then friday night a big Halloween carnival. Saturday morning we went to a party with some friends. And then Saturday night the fire department, police, and ambulance hosted a trunk or treat. It was so much fun for the kids to get to trick or treat at an ambulance and fire truck and police cars! And of course trick or treating afterwards. We will have candy for years.
I love that in a small town there are so many more activities that can be done that don't happen in the city. It makes the holidays that much more fun. Oh how I love the country!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Treats

I had to make cookies today for the school carnival cake walk and I've also been meaning to take some treats to the neighbor who has been helping with rides to school. So I though, hey kill two birds with one stone right. I decided to make some cute Halloween sugar cookies and I used my Great Grandmothers recipe for sour cream sugar cookies. Mmmm! My favorite! And I'm going to share this wonderful recipe with you.

Sour Cream Sugar Cookies
1/2 c butter
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1 c sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
4 1/2 c flour

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs- beat well. In a separate bowl mix sour cream, vanilla and lemon juice. In another bowl mix baking soda, baking powder and flour. Now add small amounts of sour cream mixture alternately with small amounts of flour mixture until well mixed.

Roll out dough on a floured surface until 1/4 inch thick. Cut shapes with your favorite cookie cutters. Place cookies on greased cookie sheet and bake at 375* for 10-12 minutes.

I cut my cookies into pumpkin and ghost shapes. To decorate them I used a round tip to pipe on zig-zag designs. If you don't have cake decorating tips you can use a ziploc bag and cut the tip off.
For the ghosts I added two mini chocolate chips for eyes.
Then remember those little Frankensteins I made. I put some of those on a plate with the cookies and it made a fun treat for the neighbor.