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!