March 30, 2011

Iron Craft: Best in Show

For Iron Craft's 13th challenge we were given the theme 'Best in Show'.

I think my entry kind is kind of pathetic but the kitty likes it and really that's the most important thing. Here is my oh so lovely (note the sarcasm) catnip fish.

Hop over to the Iron Craft blog to see the rest of the entries this week.

March 29, 2011

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Mike would happily eat taco salad five nights a week if I made it that often. Last week I had everything ready to rock for tacos but when I reached for the tried and true Old El Paso packaged seasoning I found zip zilch nada in the cupboard. Annoying.

A few choice words were muttered and then in walked Google to the rescue. I don't think I'll buy the packaged goods now that I've found this recipe. I intend to make up a bunch of it and stash it on the spice shelf for easy access.

Taco Salad Tuesdays
What You Need:

Taco Seasoning

1 tbs chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp course salt

Taco Salad
crushed tortilla chips (multigrain are yummy)
grated cheese
assorted fruits and veggies (whatever you like on tacos: onions, tomatoes, avocado)
ground beef
sour cream

What You Do:
1. Mix all the spices together.
2. Brown your ground beef on med-high as usual.
3. Turn heat down to med-low.
4. Add some water (I add half a cup for half a pound of beef).
5. Add a bunch of the spice mix (how helpful is that? "A bunch". I used a couple heaping tablespoons but tasted as I added.)
6. Let simmer for 10 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
7. Layer your goods however you like. Crushed tortillas, cheese, meat, cheese, salsa, lettuce, sour cream etc.
8. EAT!

March 25, 2011

Great. Thank you, Tanya. Another addiction.

Japanese Washi masking tape is lovely. There are a million beautiful designs and it can be used for a billion different projects. I love the fact that it can be easily removed and reused. It doesn't lose it's stick, how great is that??

I was lucky enough to receive two rolls of tape for my birthday from Tanya. Rather than oohing and aahing over it for a year and saving it for that 'perfect project' that never seems to show itself I went ahead and used some to prettify a jar to hold safety pins.

I started with this:

and finished with this:
Excuse the not-so-fabulous photo, it was taken with my cell phone.

Create your own little jar by simply wrapping a jar with pretty tape. I added a felt circle with a safety pin attached to the lid. The circle hides the writing on the lid and tells me at a glance what's in the jar. The felt bit was attached to the top of the jar with another new-to-me supply that I can't get enough of: spray adhesive. I have had a thing for office supplies for a long time (as weird as that sounds I know I'm not alone, there ARE other office supply loving freaks out there) and now craft supplies have crept into my heart. I'm blaming this new love on my mom.

If you do a search on Etsy under 'supplies' for Japanese masking tape you'll find loads of shops that carry it. You'll see a post with some of my favourite designs with links to shops sometime soon.

March 24, 2011

Lucky Me!

Lucky me!! I've been on a bit of a winning streak these last few weeks. Maybe I shouldn't say that out loud, I may have just jinxed myself. Then again I didn't technically say it, I wrote it which means I should be all good. I'm rambling.

Two weeks ago I had three lucky moments in a 24 hour period so I figured that was it, but then I won another great giveaway this week so it seems the streak is not over yet. Not that I'm greedy but who doesn't enjoy it when fantastic bits come their way??

The first three events started with a tiny woo hoo: I won a coffee. I was pretty excited about the free wake-up (see it doesn't take much) and then I received some amazing news! I am enrolling in a three week AQ (Additional Qualifications) course this summer to become "officially" qualified to teach children who are deafblind - this isn't the good news but I'm getting there. My college diploma and ten years experience as an intervenor certainly mean something but this course will be a great refresher, will be an opportunity to see what's new and exciting in the field, will ease me back into 'teaching' mode prior to my return to work in September (a somewhat tender topic for me right now), and of course it will look great on paper. POINT BEING: I've been planning to take this course and was waiting for registration to open when I received a phone call and a text message within minutes of each other from two of my friends/colleagues - oddly enough neither knew that the other was contacting me. Yep I'm finally getting to the point: here's the news, wait for it.... A fabulous advocacy group - I'm unsure whether or not I should name them at this point in time so I'll keep that info to myself - has offered to pay the tuition for those taking this particular AQ course this summer!! That's beyond generous and I couldn't be happier! See?! LUCKY. I'm still floating around thanks to this unbelievable news.

The third bit of luck came when I won a giveaway! I haven't entered any for quite some time and then Kristy from Manager to Mom started posting giveaway roundups and I found myself once again hunting for fabulous free goodies. The best part of giveaway hunting is finding new blogs, shops and goods worth knowing about. Everything Mom and Baby put a Tot Seat from Lil Mango up for grabs on their Facebook page and I won!! Yay for me!!

Of course the Rockstar landed in the seat just moments after we tore into the package today. The fabric seat cover was super easy to figure out and it held the wee man snugly: I had no worries of him falling out of the chair and he was super wiggly while modeling. He seemed quite comfy and didn't complain one bit about sitting in the big person chair.

You can see from this photo that my son is not only a Rockstar but also a genius. Notice the instruction manual in his hand? He was reading the instructions to Beary and me while I worked.

Thanks to Everything Mom and Baby and Lil Mango for this awesome prize and thanks also to Kristy for mentioning it on her Facebook page!! The Tot Seat has been tucked into our diaper bag and will put to good use.

March 23, 2011

It's Cool to be a Follower

We teach kids to be a leader not a follower but today's lesson is just the opposite: FOLLOW ME, PEOPLE!

Jennifer from All Things Belle made a fantastic point in a post last week: blogs with Facebook pages tend to get more traffic. I'm not overly concerned about the number of visitors I get - okay I'm honestly not even a tiny bit concerned - but I thought that a FB page would help save all of you fabulous (8 billion plus) followers time popping over here to find out that YET AGAIN I have not posted anything new. LIKE me on FB and if your settings are so that posts on the pages you LIKE show up in your feed you'll see my updates on your News Feed when you log in.

Once I open the shop up again (I think I will in June but we'll see how things are rolling at that time) I think the FB page will really come in handy.

Thanks, Jennifer for motivating me to make a page and for adding another online TO DO to my list.

Super late Happy Eight Months!

Note: This post was written a month ago but somehow I managed to hit save instead of post! Whoops!

Three quarters of a year old and some how you manage to make your mommy and daddy fall more deeply in love with you every day. I'm not sure how you do it because we both love you to infinity and beyond but every time you smile, nuzzle your little head into our neck or cry your giant crocodile tears our hearts swell even more. You are truly an amazing little boy.

You sit up like such a big boy now and rarely do you topple over. When you do fall you smile more often than you cry. You roll like a champion and are pushing up and straightening your arms while on your belly now, we're sure you'll be moving around commando style very soon.

You definitely take after your daddy and are a musician in the making! You started clapping your hands this month at music class and can't get enough of it. You love to shake and bang things, everything is a drum: you are a pro at banging things together, smacking things with your hands and whacking things with your toys.

You make a funny clicking noise with your tongue and get a kick out of it when we make the sound back to you. We have many conversations made up entirely of tongue clicks these days. You've also figured out how to blow raspberries so rarely are you seen without a bib thanks to the streams of raspberry bubbles flowing from your lips.

The biggest news this month involves not one but two little teeth who pushed their way through!

Teething is not our favourite activity. You're a trooper and are pretty much your normal happy little self during the day but nights are awful. I think we may take out stocks in Gripe Water since it's the one thing that helps you calm down enough to eat during the night; I swear you would drink the entire bottle if I let you. Thankfully it was just a week of sleepless nights and it was worth it because now you can bite your crackers! I think you like the crunching sound your single tooth makes when you chomp down on your Mum Mums: silly goose.

Three quarters of a year!! That's unbelievable to me. It feels like just yesterday when you were placed in my arms... on the other hand I can't remember life without you.

Watching you learn and grow is the best part of my day. I love seeing your smile first thing in the morning and have a hard time leaving your sweet sleepy face at night. You truly are the best little being on earth. Thank you for choosing Daddy and I, Baby Boy!! We love you!

March 17, 2011

Iron Craft Challenge 11: Green (the colour not the Movement

We are living with a Sleep Warrior which means nobody is getting a whole lot of the S word around here. I'm a sleepy mommy but I really want to participate in Iron Craft still so I may look like I'm slacking but until a certain someone starts sleeping a little better or I have a serious increase in energy (the sunshine and warmer weather are sure to help with that) I'll be taking the quick craft route. Holy run on sentence.

I heart buttons and have loads of them. I ended up with button sandwich magnets (which I love) but that was after I made hairclips that were cute but would never be worn:

See? Cute but they just don't work with my current do aka messy mop that is in the inbetween stage of growing out and desperately in need of a trim. Soooo I ripped off the buttons and revamped them into magnets.

I may end up making a million of these magnets. Super duper easy to do. I simply stitched two magnets together using a needle and thread (I guess that goes without saying. Duh. What else would you stitch them together with??), plopped a glob of glue gun glue on a small round magnet (found at the dollar) store and pushed the back of the button sandwich onto the glue. TA DA!

The buttons are now in charge of holding up this flyer we picked up while vacationing in Mexico a few years ago. It's stuck on our fridge and makes me laugh every time I read it.

My favourites from this week's challenge will be posted soon.

March 12, 2011

Fab Pick of Last Week... or was in the week before

Only boy bits allowed for Fab Picks this month in honour of Celebrate the Boy. Little Lark was featured on Made and Made by Rae and wow do they have fabulous goods for sale in their shop. I had a hard time choosing just one item but I'm a bit robot obsessed these days so the Build a Bot onesie seemed most appropriate. Check out Little Lark for sweet gifts for both kids and adults (many of the images are available on grown up items too).

March 11, 2011

Iron Craft Challenge Love

Time to pass out some love to the Iron Craft participants. Here are my favourite projects from challenge number 9 and 10.

Top picks from challenge #9 'and the Oscar goes to'


Not only are these paper flowers stunning there is something extra special about them. They were made from war veteran's uniforms that were turned into paper (called combat paper) as part of PTSD therapy. Read more at the flower creator's blog Ferntree Studio. Oh and the additional extra special thing: these combat paper flowers were created to be used in corsages that were worn to the Oscar's this year by a few key players from the movie Poster Girl!

Kill Bill: Sword Push Pins

More love for Paper, Plate and Plane. I love her creations!! Kill Bill inspired push pins: brilliant. A tutorial is available for these awesome little swords over at the Paper, Plate and Plane blog.

IC9- The Oscars

I had no trouble guessing that Black Swan inspired this beautiful project. I was impressed with the simplicity of this stunning craft (feathers in a glass display seems easy enough) and then I read the description: the feathers are made from card stock! Gorgeous!

My top three picks from this week's Fat Quarter challenge.


Dr. Russ does it again. Another beautiful project! A paper backed fabric piece looks stunning inserted into the top of this wooden box.

Woodland Matching Game

Adorable fabric matching game by All Things Belle. I've seen various tutorials for these sweet homemade matching games but this one means doesn't involve a sewing machine. Love it!

Iron Craft 310

Thing 1 and Thing 2 created these fantastic fabric covered composition books. Great gift idea!

March 10, 2011

Fat Quarter Turned Tiny Bucket

Between teething and a nasty virus there hasn't been much sleep around these parts lately. I've been on a blogging hiatus (and a cleaning hiatus, and a sleep hiatus, and a... you get the pont) and I missed the last two Iron Craft challenges. Honestly haven't even taken time to look through the flickr pool to see what the others came up with. By the time the Rockstar goes down at night I have found myself staring at the TV in daze or passed out in bed waiting for the sound of a sad little man in need of his mama.

I did start on a little something for last week's Oscar challenge but it was last on my list of TO DOs and never made it to the top; I may or may not end up finishing the project but if I do I'll be sure to share it with you. I do intend to post a roundup of my fav bits from challenge 8 and 9 still, hopefully within the next 24 hours.

On to this week's challenge!! The challenge was to use a fat quarter (18 x 22" piece of fabric) to create a little something. I've been itching to make some fabric buckets and I found a tutorial for a tiny one over at Ric Rac that required the exact amount of fabric needed (I adjusted the measurements so it was right on, otherwise I would have been over by a couple inches). I was pretty pleased with myself until just now... I may have broken the rules: is interfacing considered fabric? I'm going to say NO.

I heart this little bucket!! It's the perfect size to hold my fabric painting supplies. I can totally see myself making these little puppies to hold a bib, burp cloth and change pad for future baby shower gifts. I'm also thinking of making a bunch of them to hold the Rockstar's tiny toys (balls, cars etc) - wouldn't this be cute with some freezer paper stenciling or an applique?? Oh the possibilities!

Pop over to Iron Craft to see what everyone else has been up to this week!

March 8, 2011

Tantalizing Tuesday

I'm always looking for new cookie recipes and last week I googled Best Chocolate Chip Cookies and found a fantastic new to me recipe on All Recipes. The recipe suggests it yields just 18 cookies but that's if you make MASSIVE cookies using a quarter cup to measure your dough drops. I made a few big ones and a pile of smaller cookies; I wish I could tell you the total number I ended up with but they were eaten too quickly for counting to take place.

What You Need

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

What You Do
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F
2. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
3. Mix together flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.
4. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended.
5. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy.
6. Mix in the dry ingredients until just blended.
7. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon.
8. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time (if you want massive cookies) onto the parchment paper.
9. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted.
10. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
11. Pour a glass of cold milk and take a bite. Yum.

March 6, 2011

BORING ALERT: Meal Planning Sunday

Boring for you but hopefully this is going to save me many no longer quick (due to a tiny but mighty Rockstar) trips to the grocery store. I'm going to get back to my weekly menu planning. This is where I would sign off if I were you and if you choose not to than don't say you weren't warned if you fall asleep on your keyboard and cause permanent damage to it with your sleepy drool.

Sunday: fajitas (epicure fajita seasoning was finally tasted and I may have created a monster. Mike would eat these every night of the week if I agreed. I agree they are delish but do not agree to fajitas seven days a week). I mixed 2 tbsp of the seasoning with 1 tbsp olive oil and the juice of one lime. Yum!
Monday: spaghetti with meat sauce and - wow does this sound gross to me- hot italian sausage spaghetti sauce. I grabbed the wrong bottle of sauce off the shelf a few weeks ago and didn't realize it until I dumped it over the cooked ground beef; the initial aroma was not pleasant and I thought something was terribly wrong. I grabbed the jar and groaned, then shrugged my shoulders and thought "tough". The sauce mixed with ground beef and a couple spoonfuls of the epicure bolognese spice mix was AWESOME. Sometimes big oopsies turn out to be fabulous.
Tuesday: Pork with fruit salsa and rice
Wednesday: chicken and wee roasties - thinking the slow cooker will come into play here but have yet to find a super yummy recipe for chicken breasts in the slow cooker
Thursday: taco salad
Friday: order pizza
Saturday: beef stir fry