why i've been MIA.

My sister asked me this past week if I had lost my "crafting mojo" since I hadn't posted anything in awhile.  I have in a way, only because I got a couple of Etsy orders a couple of weeks ago and they burned me out on sewing for a bit.

Though I'll admit, I love the work.  I really do enjoy putting these designs together.  It's so exciting to make these kinds of things for other people's kids, even if I've never laid eyes on them.  I hope they enjoy them as much as I enjoy making them.  :o)

So I still have my "mojo."  I'm actually in the middle of a non-sewing project, I just need Mod Podge to finish it and I keep forgetting to pick up some more!  Maybe it'll happen this weekend.  In the meantime, thanks for checking back!  :o)


in the kitchen: peachy-green smoothie

I've been making smoothies for me and my son a lot lately.  They make the perfect post-nap snack without ruining his appetite for dinner, and they provide an excellent opportunity to hide stuff he wouldn't normally eat.  He would drink strawberry smoothies all day long, but you can't get him to eat an actual strawberry on its own.  Go figure.

Recently I've been adding spinach to pretty much every smoothie we eat.  You can't taste the spinach at all, and the green color doesn't seem to bother my son either.  Then again, he normally eats cooked spinach with gusto.  Either way, smoothies are an easy way to get some veggies in his diet (and mine!).

Here's a favorite of ours.  It's enough for two servings, thereabouts.  Keep in mind that I estimate the measurements of everything....feel free to increase or decrease wherever you want. 

Peachy-Green Smoothie

The Ingredients.

1 cup frozen sliced peaches
1 cup frozen cubed mango
1/2 to 3/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup lowfat vanilla yogurt
2 cups fresh spinach leaves
Optional:  2 tablespoons wheat germ and/or 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed

The Method.

Put the frozen peaches and mango in a bowl and microwave on high for 45 seconds.  You want the fruit to only get partially thawed out, that way you don't have to add ice to the smoothie (that just waters it down).  Put the partially thawed fruit in the blender, and follow with 1/2 cup orange juice, the yogurt, and the wheat germ/flaxseed (if using).  Blend on high for a few seconds to make sure everything starts incorporating.  Add additional orange juice if needed.  Then add the spinach leaves and blend for 30 seconds or so.  If the spinach gets hung up, use a spoon to work it down a bit.  Pour into two glasses (or in our case, one glass and one sippy cup with straw) and enjoy!

All you taste is peach and mango goodness, I promise.  And the spinach can be added to other smoothie combinations too; just keep in mind that adding it with darker colored fruit (like berries) will result in a brownish-colored smoothie, not the pretty vibrant green of this particular smoothie.  :o)

So throw in some spinach next time you mix up a smoothie....work it in for St. Patrick's Day, and then keep that fun tradition going year-round.  :o)


ridiculously easy st. patrick's day decor

Want to know how to make something cute for St. Patrick's Day in under five minutes?  Without it looking really tacky?  I originally saw this idea on Pinterest, but the link only went to a picture of it, so I couldn't find the actual source.  The picture had clear glass vases filled with little green things.  At first I thought, what are those and where can I get them?  A few days later I saw someone making split pea soup on Food Network, and it dawned on me.  Duh, they're split peas!

I grabbed a couple of bags of them at the grocery store.  Then today I found some twine and a glass milk bottle from Goodwill, and here's what I came up with in about three minutes.


Not too shabby.  Or maybe it IS shabby....shabby chic, maybe?  :o)

I think the peas and twine give it a nice rustic look.  Might be cute to stick some silk flowers in there.

I also tried it with mason jars, and I like them even better.

Just enough green to be festive, without looking like something that you made in grade school.  :o)


homemade baby wipes

Okay, this is something I never thought I would do.  The main attraction of disposable baby wipes (as well as disposable diapers) is that you can just throw the mess away.  So I'm quite happy with my Target baby wipes, thank you very much.  :o)

But over the weekend we had to put my car in the shop, and today I'm stranded at home.  And I came to the horrific realization this morning that we're down to maybe three wipes left in the whole house (not counting some in my kid's diaper bag, but they already dried out and are pretty useless at this point). 

Sigh.  Of COURSE this would happen when I can't get to the store.

So I went on Pinterest and found a tutorial I had pinned awhile back for homemade baby wipes.  I figured that I could just mix a solution up and use old washcloths, since we have cheap paper towels and they're not supposed to work all too well.  Plus this way I could just use what I already have and not worry about wasting a roll of paper towels in case this whole idea ends up failing.  Here goes nothing.

First, I found a pretty-much-empty bottle of hand sanitizer we keep at the changing table.

I washed it out really well, since I'm thinking all that alcohol they put into sanitizer isn't good for a little one's tush.  :o)  Then I assembled my ingredients.

I used the most basic recipe available:  2 cups of water, 1 tablespoon baby wash (or another kind of soap), and 1 tablespoon oil (the original recipe says baby oil, but I've never been a fan of the stuff.  I went for good old extra virgin olive oil instead.  I've heard coconut oil is great, but since it's solid at room temperature I'm not sure how it works here!).  I also added a few drops of tea tree oil to make it smell nice, and because it wards off bacteria.

I mixed everything together in a bowl.

Then used a funnel to transfer it to the bottle.

Yeah probably didn't need this big of a bottle, but hey, it was free!

I figured while I was at it, I'd make a few cloth wipes to go with it.  We still have some receiving blankets from when Caleb was a baby that we hardly used; they're nice and soft, but also on the small side, so they were never good for swaddling or even covering him up.  So I took one and cut it into eight equally sized rectangles.  I was lazy and didn't want to sew the edges, so I used pinking shears to prevent too much fraying.

I decided I liked the size of my rectangles...they're big enough to where I can fold them in half if need be, but also not too big where it's a waste.  I folded the finished wipes into thirds and placed them back on my son's changing table, along with the wipe solution.

Then it was a waiting game.  :o)  Luckily the next diaper was just wet, so I tried it out.  I put a few squirts of the solution on a cloth wipe, then went to business.  And they worked really well!  Much more pleasant-smelling than the store-bought wipes (which still have a chemical odor even if you get "unscented" like I do), and what's more, my kid had no objections.  So when life hands me lemons (in the form of no car and no wipes at the same time), I can always go back to this method and know it will work.

I have a dilemma though.  I'm really dreading using these for poopy diapers.  And I'm pretty sure my husband won't.  So I might just save this homemade solution for wet diapers, and still use disposables for the more yucky ones (as well as for when we're out and about or traveling).  We'll still save money since there's always more wet diapers than messy ones every day, and since I feel like I do laundry constantly we'll always have these homemade wipes on hand.

Then once he's toilet trained, it's just a matter of teaching him not to clog up the toilet with an entire roll of toilet paper.  But that's for another day.  :o)


thrifty finds: goodwill trip

I ventured out this rainy morning and found a few cute things at Goodwill.

First, this metal case.  It's actually in really good shape, and very sturdy, so I'm thinking I'll paint it a fun color and maybe keep all my music books in there (in case I ever have the urge to play my flute...believe me, those urges do still come sometimes!).

Then this rustic tray/decoration.  I just have to remember I have it when next Christmas rolls around!

And finally, a cool set of vintage-looking glasses.  I really like the color, and they'll look great in my china cabinet when we're not using them.

Not bad for a Friday morning.  :o)
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