Friday, February 26, 2010

Sewing and Baking and Napping... oh my!

Those of you who are on facebook probably know what I have been up to, but since this blog has been around longer than facebook, I will just do my usual thing and sorry if you feel you're getting spammed, you know that you don't HAVE to read. LOL. For those of you who are my facebook friends, you may not be aware that when you see this as a "note" on facebook, it's simply being imported from my blog, Adventures in Everyday Life, and posted on facebook as a "note" because that's how facebook imports blogs. My blog address is and you can certainly feel free to visit there and see everything. I have been blogging since December 3rd, 2004- so over 5 years and about 1500 posts. I did very well writing on a daily basis, up until about the point I had kids. Then all hell broke loose.

So, what have we been up to lately? I could write all night. Let's see if I can hit a few high points and make some progress. Forgive me if I repeat myself.

I recently decided to grow my own sprouts. A recent article in Mary Jane's Farm magazine reminded me of the days when we used to grow sprouts at home, in mason jars with rubber bands and cheese cloth as strainers. I have always loved sprouts, especially on sandwiches and salads, and then there was the whole "sprout scare" that wasn't nearly as much of a "scare" as it was made out to be. I still bought sprouts, but they are so expensive, and really you can most trust freshness and quality when you grow them at home. I had kinda forgotten about it, and then this article talked about how Mary Jane recycles plastic vegetable cartons (think berries and strawberries from the store) to make portable and giftable sprouting trays. I just happened to have a stack of them around, and so I was intrigued. She recommended for organic and wonderful quality seeds and supplies, and I thought I would start some online research. When I stopped by, I was absolutely blown away by their selection, and their up front honesty and information about various mixes and supplies. I ordered a kid's sprouting kit, which was inexpensive and came with a really cute magnifying glass and a nice starter assortments of seeds, as well as a cool sprouter with two clear stackable trays, so you could really SEE the sprouts' progress. I decided that after my first batch, I would try to involve Ardyn and eventually Marek in the process. Ardyn is really starting to be a salad fan, and I know from experience that she is more likely to eat something that she has helped grow and/or prepare. After helping me chop veggies, she really did start eating them more frequently.

I also bought a Mother's Mix of seeds that includes delicious favorites that are high in folic acid and other nutrients, and also has fenugreek to support a healthy milk supply. (yay! how cool is THAT?!) And for good measure (and since they were inexpensive and I was already paying for shipping) I bought the assortment of stainless steel mesh lids for mason jars, so I could sprout the old fashioned way if I wanted to. They say that mason jars require more work to rinse, and I don't think the air circulation is as great in the jars, but at the same time, they are easier to shake and dance with for draining and straining than my trays. I don't like how once the sprouts start to "sprout" they start to clump and it's hard to get them separated in the trays. The directions for the sample bean mix told me to put the entire bag of beans into one of the clear trays. that seemed a little excessive to me, and I thought I would probably do better making half of them at a time (they would last me a long time) and I wasn't sure HOW they were possibly going to sprout being so cramped. So I divided the bag in half and put half in each tray. That worked better, but as they sprouted they still took up the whole tray. I think if it were up to me, for better air circulation and drainage, I would put even fewer in the tray at a time. But I was very pleased with the information that was sent with the kit, the directions, educational information on seeds and sprouting, and some really cool recipes and ways to prepare and enjoy each type of mix that I bought. I am so excited to try them. Here are some pics of the kit and my order, and then a pic of the first crop of sprouts from the Beanies Awesome Mix, which I tried first, mostly because they intrigued me (I have a new thing about beans, just ask me sometime!) and the recipe for eating it fried on top of rice or noodles, or making Beanies Awesome Sprouted Bean Burgers has me all excited!

Last week I went on a baking spree. The house was clean on Monday, and I mean SPOTLESS and by the end of the week it was trashed. LOL. I made bread (honey wheat bread is our staple around here, I make our bread from scratch. It's delicious) and then I made cinnamon rolls from scratch for the first time ever. Unfortunately, they didn't go over well. This was mostly because I think the recipe that I got from wasn't all that. There HAS to be a better recipe. They weren't bad, but they weren't awesome, and I strive for AWESOME. So, if any of you have a great homemade cinnamon roll recipe to share, I am ALL ears and would be eternally grateful! They did LOOK good though!

I long for the day when I can cook, bake, and do canning and prep work in a real kitchen. It doesn't have to be huge, but seriously, I am really really struggling here. The counter space I have is pretty much ZERO and there is no table or place to cool pies, cakes, cookies, or breads, not to mention to actually roll out cookies or anything like that. I have to go out to the dining room to do that, which means that the table has to be clear, remain clear, and that I have to keep the kids off it, as well as then having the issue of where to FEED them when I am working on the table. We don't have enough cupboard space, let alone SPACE period, and my oven was $25 at an auction 10 years ago... and I bought it from a little old lady going to a nursing home... who KNOWS how long she had it. I have recently noticed that burners aren't as hot as they used to be, and the oven itself isn't wonderful. I can only imagine what I could do with a new oven and some counterspace. Here is an example of what my kitchen looks like after I bake bread and cinnamon rolls. It was spotless, and then, in less than 2 hours, it looks like this....

That little "L" of counter space is all I have, and half of that is the sink and the dish drainer.Add two kids clinging to your legs, laying on the floor, and or "helping" and it gets pretty hairy at times. I am very glad that when we got married I used money I received from my bridal showers to buy my hutch and pantry for the kitchen. Without them, I would be a crazy woman.

After I got the baking out of my system, I moved on to laundry and sewing. Actually I was doing laundry the week before too. It never ends. But this week I can't even begin to tell you how many loads of laundry I have done. TODAY alone I have folded 2 loads of diapers and a load of whites from earlier in the week, AND washed six loads, two of which have already been folded. the dryer isn't having an easy time keeping up with the washer (you know how THAT goes) so I have a two loads waiting for the dryer and one drying right now. Oh wait, I actually did seven loads, because I washed more FABRIC (yeah!) I started the sewing bug by cleaning the porch. It badly needed it. I reorganized the kids' play area and once that was done, I set in to find my sewing table again. Here are a few pics of the kids' area of the porch, all cleaned up. We had gotten a new play mat that has roads and such all over it, and so I put that down and they loved driving the people all over it in their cars, and putting the animals in the zoo, etc. I put the tree play tent away for a while.

After I got the porch cleaned, and my sewing table found, Marek found a new love for Ardyn's trampoline. It is like his new "throne." Tuesday afternoon he took his nap on the trampoline, and he also spent every waking moment he could either sitting on it, laying on it, or investigating it.

Wednesday he took TWO naps on it (yes seriously, both naps on the trampoline) and he LOVED sitting on it. He took his sippy cup, his blankie, and his pacifier up on it, and just hung out there. He only moved to eat and get his diaper changed. Really. Today he again hung out on the trampoline, and took his telephone up there with him. He has recently started saying "hi" and also putting phones up to his ears. He says Mamma much more frequently and *usually* on demand, and yesterday he took his first unassisted steps, hands free, towards Daddy. Exciting!

In fact, yesterday BOTH kids slept on the porch for their later naps, while I sewed. It was sweet and peaceful.

Tuesday I made lots of baby legs, which are great because BOTH kids still fit the homemade ones. In fact today Ardyn had a mismatched pair on her arms. LOL. She's just a little fashionista.

Then I moved on to Pajama Dresses. Ardyn is ADDICTED to pajama dresses. She had one last summer and she asked to wear it EVERY Night. It was a horrible dramatic situation whenever it was dirty. I found a winter one with fleece and long sleeves at a resale shop, and bought that for the winter. She had only one all winter, and would sometimes get so upset when it was dirty that she would remind me during the day to wash it so she could wear it that night. Sometimes she refused to take it off all day, hoping to keep it in sight so she could sleep in it again. I bought a pattern that was pretty inexpensive through an online mamma co-op and had plans to make some myself. I finally got around to it! I had already traced the pattern onto tracing paper and cut the pattern out, and the fabric was prepped... I made her a Scooby Doo pair and then a Dora pair, and she is so thrilled with them she wore both of them all day the past two days and at night too. I made them shorter and sleeveless, like tank top dresses, so that they would last all summer. She was so happy that I went out and got more fleece at 50% off at Joann's last night so I can now make her 4 more pair. I shouldn't have to buy her any summer jammies, and making my own is SO much less expensive. It costs me less to make my own than it does to buy them at the resale shop! If I get the fabric at 50% off, it's like $3 a yard, and it doesn't even take a full yard to make a pair. Of course most people would say that the fabric isn't flame resistant and therefore isn't approved for children's sleepwear, but I HATE that flame resistant fabric. I hate how fast it wears and gets pilly and then it sticks to itself in the dryer, and honestly, I am not keen on the idea of putting chemical laden flame retardant fabrics on my little ones. Lots of people don't even have their kids WEAR pajamas to bed... and used pajamas have likely been washed enough to loose their retardant status. At least homemade and used ones make me feel more comfortable. Here's a little reading if you want to be a little freaked out.

The pattern calls for lace at the neck and arms, so I robbed a bit of green lace from an old chemise-style pajama that I had in my "recycle" bin. It was nice and soft from years of use and washing and I thought it might be tolerable around the neckline. It also makes me happy to reuse pretty things :)

Just to help me keep my sanity, I altered the pattern to use a polyacetal snap instead of a buttoned up back, and added a size tag so that in the future (more daughters?) I am not racking my brain to determine what size this or that actually is :)

And then since the kids were sleeping peacefully on the porch while I sewed, I went ahead and made myself a skirt from a Lila Tueller pattern I had bought (I even had the fabric and charm packs all ready to dive into) and it turned out ADORABLE although it was alot of piecing and a LOT of gathering. Thank god for my Serger!

Okay, I will end this post here! Stay tuned to the next post, which if I remember, whill include info on the great toy organization of 2010, and also some pics of what I am up to sewing next! OOOH and the dresser project! I have pics of that too! Just wait till you see what we're up to!

XOXO, Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

Kim said...

I've started blogging again a bit too. I've kinda missed it! Glad to see you're getting back into the swing of things!

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