Thursday, May 27, 2010

Easy Toddler Dinners

When Hendrix was still very little, I read somewhere that babies can eat pretty much any food adults can. They just need the mushy versions to start off, but once they chew, really anything is game. I like this idea because it would be a great joy to me if he does not turn out to be a picky eater. I know this is not completely in the control of parents, but I can try. (Of course, you have to be careful about allergies. Some people are careful until kids are two, but I just tried to wait until one. HG eats eggs and peanut butter and even fish now.)

So keeping this idea in mind, I often give him the same things we are eating for dinner, or the leftovers the next day, or even the thai foods Nick brings home from the restaurant. But when none of those things are handy, I have a few quick and easy go-to dinners.

Cooking a pack of pre-made stuffed pasta is one of my favorites to make because the two of us can usually split it with a little left-over for his lunch the next day.

I buy the spinach tortellini or ravioli from the refrigerated section and after I boil it up, I toss it in a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar, oregano and parmesan cheese. Sometimes I add garlic too. He goes nuts for it. 

Some other easy favorites that make a good dinner with a fruit or veg added:
- an egg scrambled, with salsa added (he likes medium.)
- a microwaved cheese quesadilla (also good with salsa.)
- a baked potato or sweet potato
- simple grilled chicken breast, or chicken prepared this way.
- alphabet pasta with canned tomato sauce added.

I'm always looking for more fast ideas- what are your favorite quick kid dinners?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

On Virtual Tour

Ok, being on one site is not really a tour... but Lily's party is featured on The City Cradle today. She says lots of way nice things, and the cool thing is she seems like a person who would mean them. Can you tell that about a person over the internet? Yes, I can, because I'm telepathic. Crafty and telepathic.

So go make blog-friends with the very nice Vicky from City Cradle. Also look around at all her parties- she comes up with the best themes! I mean, a sly fox baby shower? Kills me.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Fabric Envelopes

I spent much of this afternoon making several of these little lined burlap sleeves. Nathan is going to use them to give his client couples their wedding picture CDs. (He takes such good care of people!)

I got the instructions here. I wanted to show you because this is definitely a tutorial worth bookmarking. You could adjust the measurements and make a little sleeve/ cozy for just about anything... ipod, camera, gift cards or business cards, a big one for a laptop sleeve... you could think of more.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Lily's First Birthday Polka Dot Party

Sunday night we celebrated little Lily's first birthday at the Red Tree Gallery here in the Oakley neighborhood. The gallery has beautiful art all over, plenty of space, coffee service available to the party, and it even had a pretty cozy, home-y feel. It was the perfect place to throw a party, especially for a girl as hip as Lily!

Again, we have beautiful party pictures by her father Nathan, of Fyrefly Photography. Nathan and Edie are our best friends in the world and we were so glad to help them throw this polka-dotted bash! (I think Nathan called it a "Polkapalooza")

Roll the party credits:

  • The first couple pictures show ideas I got from the lovely City Cradle Design. That pink cupcake tower was inspired by their donut hole tree. I couldn't find white powdered donut holes at the store, so I just got some Hostess mini strawberry cakes, which worked out perfectly to match the pink in the party. I ran out at the top of the tower, so Nick had the brilliant idea to use strawberries we just happened to have in the fridge! It really looked pretty classy :)
  • The painted wine bottle idea was inspired by this. But I just painted Lily's name on with regular acrylic paint. If I wanted to reuse these bottles, I could paint over the letters with chalkboard paint. 
  • I made the cupcake toppers by altering these on Photoshop.
  • The little fabric flowers are made from MADE's no-sew tutorial. I just put them in recycled jars with fabric mod-podged on. It was the same polka dot fabrics I used to sew the table runners.
  • The cupcakes and other treats were on a pretty long table right against the front store window, so I knew I had to do something high-impact there. I cut out about a zillion pink, red, and turquoise circles from felt and made them into hanging garland by just sewing thru them one right after the next. I think there ended up being 9 or 10 long strands hanging down behind that table in the window, which looked really cool. 
  • My tip for making birthday banners: Print the letters out with good-looking font in the color of your choice and then back them on colored cardstock. Cut little slits on either side of the cardstock, towards the top. Then just thread each one on some ribbon. This way, you haven't sewed or glued the ribbon and you can reuse it for something else.
  • Also, I can't take credit for the book-signing idea, my friend Lindsay did that for her daughter's birthday. Thanks Lindsay :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

LOL-ing out loud laughing loud really loudly. LOL.

I love improv everywhere. So funny... and not like whose line is it type of improv, I kind of hate that stuff. I know, I know- snob. But you have to be distinguishing about your improv.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Pillowcase dress, minus the pillowcase.

This week my little friend Lily turned one. She was born just five weeks after HG, so poor girl has been betrothed since the beginning. Sorry Lily, you have no choice. Maybe we can just fool her into believing that we live in a betrothal kind of society and that's the way everyone does it. It's no worse than telling her to believe in Santa and the Easter Bunny.... oh, you're saying it is worse?

Well, whatever, they're getting married. I made a little dress for my future daughter-in-law. Her parents haven't seen it yet, but she came over so I could watch her this morning, and I got to try it on. I was so glad it fit, because I was just guessing at the measurements last night.

 "What? You're taking my picture? Oh, I was just lying here nonchalantly."

I love the showcase of those chubby little baby shoulders. I might need to make her 5 more this summer. She's just the cutest. 

I used the Prudent Baby instructions. Pretty soon, that is the only site I will need to find out how to make anything! However, late last night I did not have any bias tape like they call for, so I used that blue ribbon to finish the armholes. I wouldn't recommend it, there is probably a reason you should use bias tape. 

Anyway, happy first birthday to beautiful Lily! Her party is Sunday, so you will be seeing fun pictures of that next week!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Goings ons lately...-s

I probably won't have too many crafty things to share with you this week, because I am working on a few bigger projects right now. I'm planning another birthday party that is quickly approaching, (no, not H's 2nd birthday- how ridiculous would I be if that was what I was talking about?! Haha.) helping my friend get a bridal show display ready, and another fairly exciting project that you should be hearing about soon.

So today I'll leave you with the most fun kid's room I've seen in while. Again, maybe I'm just attracted all things circus right now, but come on, how cool is this room? I'm 27 and I'd live in this room right now.

See more of the room at Poppytalk.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

I decided to make a little something for my mom this year. I didn't sew anything, but I I really had fun trying my hand at a little book-binding.

I used this tutorial I found at Blue-eyed freckle (one of my faves- I love this girl's creativity!)

I went girly-girl pink, and used different papers for all the pockets. (I also used recycled computer paper for the binding, which is why all that Thanksgiving stuff is in there. But it's ok, makes it looks kind of collage-y.)

Six nice little pockets for goodies like notes and pictures of the grandson (that she has been hounding you for for months and you keep forgetting to send. Just me?)

And what mom doesn't need a metallic pink origami fox for her desk at work?

And this random cartoon I made. This classy dame reminds me of mom :) I also put in a Joann's gift card- always a suitable gift for either of us.

Happy Mother's Day Mom! Aren't my parents the cutest?? She won't see this post today because this weekend is also their anniversary and they rented a Harley to ride around on all weekend! Yeah, the cutest. Happy 29th Anniversary too!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mother's Day Reflections

My major accomplishment today was getting my mom's gift in the mail. Ever since experiencing the joy of trying to use the automated postage machine while holding a hungry one year old and trying to feed him a sticky strawberry cereal bar, I have been thinking about being a mom. You know, that weird moment when you realize, hey I've been doing this for over a year now, so I guess this hallmark-created day is for me too. Weird.

On my first Mother's Day, HG was only about a month old so I was still living in that zombie-haze. I do remember that Nick gave me a beautiful orchid, which was nice-wish I had kept it alive. But I don't think I really felt like a mother yet.

Now I definitely feel like a mother...most of the time. Most of the time it feels so natural that I can't remember a time when I wasn't. But there are also a lot of days when I have no idea what I'm doing or why I'm doing it. Like when I hear those motherly things come out of my mouth and it sounds like someone else talking. Or the times when I just really really want a big block of time to myself, and then when I get it, all I can think about is getting back to that baby. The other day Nick and I were talking about possibly going to Bonnaroo again. It sounded really really fun to me, to the old me. But the first objection out of my mouth was that I didn't know if I could be away from HG for 4 days. What? Before, if I had heard the mom of a one year old talking like that I would have been all eye-rolling, "cut-the-cord," yada yada... now that's me. But I think I'm ok with that. I'm guessing it's one of many more moments to come when I will feel stuck somewhere between old me and mom me. But I'm guessing the two will just blur together as the years keep going- is that how it works? I don't really know yet how it works, but the learning is good. Me being a mom is me being me- hopefully the most me I've ever been. Being a mom is good.

And it's not just good because it gives me some sort of self-worth and identity and fulfillment and all that. Those are great, good for me. But the reason it's really good is because it's an actual job. It's a charge I've been given, and the actual responsibility is to love and teach that baby, not just find myself or whatever.

So this led me to thinking about what I want my son to learn from me. Of course, if you start on this path, the list can get pretty long. But here are the first things that came to mind.

1. I want him to know how to love, and I want him to learn from watching his father and I. I'm not just talking about him learning how to love a woman or have a good marriage. That's good, but beyond that, if Nick and I are loving each other well, our kids will know how to treat people with love- any and all people. Not out of fear, not out of self-promotion, just love.

2. I want him to know that even though it seems like money rules the world, it doesn't. Really, truly, it doesn't. Sometimes you have to squint to see past it, but there is so much more behind the big, fake, shiny culture money has built. You can do what you love in life. You don't have to do anything less just for money. (It may take you a while to figure out what that is, your parents still haven't.) You don't have to treat anyone badly because of money. You don't have live in fear of not having enough. Really, it's just money. And if for some reason you ever happen to get a lot of it, give lots away.

3. I want him to see the world and learn to be in awe of it. I want him to meet friends on other continents, and when he can't do that, maybe just have penpals. I want him to be an easy traveler, not afraid of places and people who are different. I want him to learn that people are pretty similar to him all over this world. Hopefully this will make him less judgmental than I am with the people who live on my own street. Really kid, it doesn't hurt your mom at all that the neighbors don't take care of their yard. She's just being foolish and you don't have to be.

The funny thing about this list is that they are obviously all things I am still trying to teach myself. But if he can watch me learning them as he grows up, maybe that will at least give him a head start.

Yeesh, forgive me for being much more reflective and personal than I usually am on this here crafty-blog. But I guess that is what happens sometimes when Nick works at night and I sit here waiting for him to bring me back delicious thai food. mmmm...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

OBSESSED WITH: the "New" Houseplants

1. Arrangements by Succulent Love
2. Wreath tutorial here
3. Make an air plant chandelier here
5. Apothecary jar terrarium

So pretty and so low-maintenance. Maybe I will start a whole hanging-terrariums-garden thing in our bedroom...