Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Poof Tutorial

These really are simple to make.  I promise.  I made mine out of felt because, hello, I have a lot of it on hand.  It's also nice because felt doesn't fray at the ends like most fabrics do.  You can buy it pretty inexpensively if you don't want the high-quality wool or wool-blend variety.  

If you want to make a lot of poofs, I recommend buying the felt by the yard instead of in the little 9 x 12 sheets as it comes out a lot cheaper.  If you just want to make the little tiny ones for hair accessorizes, stick with the little sheets because you can get them for a quarter on sale and you don't need much.

 For reference, the above photo is a large half poof.

 These are large full poofs.

And these are mini half poofs.

Are we all straight on that?  Fabulous!


Felt in your choice of color/s
Sewing scissors
needle and thread
Something circular to trace (I've used cups, plates, circular post-it notes, and toys)
ballpoint pen

Step 1: Trace circles on your felt.  You will need 5 for small half poofs, 6 for large half poofs, and 8 for full poofs.

Step 2: Cut them all out.

Step 3 & 4: (for small half poofs) One of your circles will be your base.  Fold another one of your circles in half, and then in half again.

Sew it onto your base circle by putting a few small stitches at the point of your folded circle into the center of your base circle.  Repeat with your remaining 3 circles.

Step 3 & 4: (For large half poofs).  Follow step 3 and 4 for small poofs.  With your remaining circle, fold it in half then half again.  Sew it onto the center of your base to add more between the other 4.  

Step 3 & 4: (For full poofs)  All 8 of your circles will need folded in half and half again, there is no base circle.  Pile them all in a big stack facing the same direction.

Sew through the pointed end of all 8 of them a couple times so that they are good and secure.  Knot your thread off as tightly as possible.  

Step 5: Fluff them up!

Now go find something that needs poofs.

Linking Up...


Friday, August 26, 2011

Encouragement and Cheesecake

Last night I attended a meeting with some other moms at our church who are home schooling their children.  It was so encouraging.  Two of them had been at it for over 10 years.  Such insight from moms who had been in my shoes and lived to tell about it.

One of the moms in particular was a God send for me.  She has a 16-year-old son who is an Evelyn.  Not in name thankfully for him, but in personality.  He pulled many of the same stunts that Evelyn does and just about drove her out of her mind in the toddler years.  But he's 16 now.  And they are both still here and she didn't kill him.  This is good news.

It reminded me of how important it is as a mom to have women in your life who aren't in your same life stage.  It is so helpful to hang out with moms of toddlers and babies, but I NEED to hang out with moms of teenagers.  I have to see past the diapers, tantrums, and messes to where I want to be in 10 years.  As I write this I had to tell Evelyn to not throw her toys.  For the 3rd time today.  And for the 765th time this week.  I have to keep a long range view of her and not be swallowed up in trying to make sense of her overwhelming personality and behavior.

She's so excited today though.  Tomorrow is Scott's birthday, so that means today is baking day.  She loves to help me in the kitchen.  This is usually what happens though.  Bella wants on the stool too so she climbs up and freaks out when she's not allowed to chow down on whatever is being prepared.  My little foodie.

We are making white chocolate strawberry cheesecake.  Evelyn's mind is completely blown by the idea that there is cake that has cookies in it.  Delish.

Here's my recipe.

White Chocolate Cheesecake

1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (I use s'morables gluten-free ones)
1/4 cup melted butter
3 T white sugar

Combine and press into a 9" spring form pan.  Refrigerate to harden.

10 oz. frozen fruit (strawberries, raspberries, whatever you like best)
2 T sugar
1 T arrowroot
1/4 cup water

In a saucepan, combine the fruit and sugar.  Bring to a boil then reduce to a low simmer.  Combine water and arrowroot to dissolve.  Stir into fruit and heat over low until thickened.

1 bag white chocolate chips
1/2 cup half and half

In a double boiler, melt white chocolate into the half and half.

3 pkgs. cream cheese
1/2 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

In a large bowl, whip cream cheese and sugar until well combined, light, and fluffy.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Blend in vanilla and white chocolate.

Pour onto your crust.  Spoon a few tablespoons of your fruit mixture onto the batter and swirl with a knife.  Save the rest to be sauce to top the cheesecake.

Bake for 55-65 minutes at 325 until the filling is set.  Cool, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 8 hours before serving. 

You can leave the fruit out if you prefer plain white chocolate cheesecake. 

And in case you hadn't seen, there are some new products in the felt food store!  More will hopefully be added in the next week as well.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Actually, By Law I Can and Some Outdoor Fun

There is absolutely no connection I can make between these two topics, but they are both going in this post.  So if you're trying to make sense of it, don't bother.

Part of this whole buying and renovating a 100 year old house thing involves lots of home improvement stores and shopping.  This is a fun adventure for me, particularly when I don't have to try to do so with a 1 and 2-year-old in tow.

Last night was not such an occasion.  Scott and I were looking at appliances at Nebraska Furniture Mart with both our girlies, neither of which wanted to be there.  Inevitably, Annabelle got hungry and wanted to nurse.  No big deal.  I've nursed at NFM before upstairs on the comfy couches.  We were downstairs though and I really didn't want to trek all the way up there, I just wanted to get back to evaluating refrigerators.  So I wandered toward the stairs looking for somewhere suitable.  There I found a large circular desk for sales associates with a table and 4 padded chairs behind it that was clearly for customers to use while ordering something.  It wasn't currently being used and there was only one employee at the desk, a young woman.

I walked up to her and asked if I could sit in the chairs as I just needed to nurse my daughter real quick-like.  She got very flustered.  Her response was to tell me that I couldn't nurse there, but that they had special restrooms set aside for that.  First off, I won't hide in a bathroom to nurse.  Where in the world are you supposed to sit?  On a toilet?  The floor?  Ewwwww.  I'll pass.

So I responded in a super nice and sweet voice because I was not trying to ruffle feathers, simply to inform, that actually by law, I could nurse anywhere that I was personally allowed to be.  So I was just wondering if I was allowed to sit on those chairs. 

If she looked flustered by my original question, it was nothing compared to how worried she got now.  She said she didn't know anything about that, but that I could go ahead and do whatever.  She later offered me a bottle water.

I've never had this kind of occurrence happen before and I have been nursing for almost 3 straight years.  I've nursed in just about every locale imaginable without issue.  Thankfully she didn't make a big deal of it, although I think I scared her to death when I pulled the law card. 

N3WAYZ... (I had to throw that in.  For some reason I was thinking about one of my former 8th grade students who would include that very word in papers she would hand in.  If you can't figure out what in the world it is you can declare yourself officially old.  Just kidding.  Kind of.)  We've loved having it cool down just enough to be able to get outside.

Evelyn thinks it has cooled down considerably and insists on wearing winter pajamas outside in 90 degree weather.  That child is so independent and strong-willed that I've decided she will one day either change the world or land herself in prison.  Dear Jesus...

Bring on the wagon rides!

I love seeing the sister-love.

And the mis-matched pajamas.

Look!  I made it into a picture!  I realized you hardly ever see my face on this blog, you just have to listen to my ramblings.  So here is what I look like most days.  No make-up.  Wearing a t-shirt and yoga pants because you just never know when you might decide to work out.  Not that I ever actually decide to do such a crazy thing, but hey, it could happen.

Another scissor incident.  We are dealing with some serious exerting of independence at our house.  Pray for us.  It may do Scott and me in one of these days.  The latest thing is deciding to un-potty train herself.  No joke.  If I have to clean up any more pee I will put that child back in diapers until she's 10.  And she took this picture herself.

I know I promised a poof tutorial.  I will arrive in the next couple of days.  Today during nap time has been declared crafting time!

Linking up...

Friday, August 19, 2011

And Then There Was Change

I've decided that Scott and I love to add big changes to our lives in clusters.  None of this nicely spread out business that makes the change easier.  Oh no.  Throw it all together at once.

The last instance of this was when Scott accepted his current job.  We moved to a new state.  He took the bar exam.  He started his new job.  We had a baby.  All within 3 months.  Crazy I tell ya.

So here we go again.  Our home study will be finished next week.  We will hopefully be going active with the adoption the start of next year.  So what do we decide to do?  Buy a 100 year old house to renovate!  This was not in OUR plan.  God tends to laugh at our plans though.  And I'm excited that God's plan for us involves me getting a renovated kitchen.  Yay God. 

So here's our beauty. 

We close in about a month and then the gutting, painting, building, and mold removal begins.  If you know how to paint, you may not want to let on because I will inevitably rope you into at least one coat in one of the many room that need some love. 

Case and point...

The ORANGE!!!!  I'm blinded!  That's supposed to be our relaxing, tranquil love den master bedroom.

And to add to the awesomeness, meet the neighbors.

Chickens.  My crunchiness is so excited about this.  As is my 2-year-old.  "Let's go see the chi-uns!"  I foresee many days standing outside watching chickens.  I can handle that.  We'll call it home schooling. 

Besides the kitchen that will be big enough to actually do some proper cooking in (woot!), this is the other room I'm thrilled about.  It's the attic.  And it will be a play room.  A huge space devoted to toys.  Maybe my living room will cease to look like a day care exploded all over it by 9:00 each morning.  These are dreams I have.  We'll see what actually happens though. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

It's My Party and I'll Cry If I Want To

Happy Birthday to my sweet, lovely Annabelle.

It should be a rule.  No 1-year-molar activity during birthday festivities. 

These were the only two places she was happy for most the evening.

I even tried to convince her that if she smiled big enough to have a double chin that everything would be fine.

I had a bit too much fun decorating for this little shin-dig.  I'm not sure why that didn't cheer her up, but it sure was fun on my end of things.

 The party was at my parent's house in Des Moines if you're wondering where in the world we are.
Sweet deliciousness and some cupcakes.

Some pennants for her to kick while eating.

Pennant fun continues.

I have a new obsession with these flower poofs.  You will see them recurring several times.

My sweetums dangling from the chandelier.

My mom made a fish out of a lemon.  For reals.

Return of the poofs in garland form.

How could I not be obsessed with this new form of cuteness I've discovered.  And they're made out of felt.  Double win.

We managed a few moments of happiness from the birthday girl outside.

She makes my heart explode.

Yes, I made the outfit because I needed an excuse for more poofs.

Those eyes are going to keep her daddy busy in about 13 years.

Her first experience with sweet goodies.  And fire.

It felt funny.

But tasted amazing.

Seriously.  Who needs fingers?

Why are you all laughing at me?
It's because I'm adorable isn't it.

Yup.  That's it.  Let me pose for you.


Poof, onesie, and hair barrette tutorial coming soon.