Saturday, November 14, 2009

Quick Fall Craft

I was trying to decide what I wanted to do for a centerpiece for my table this fall (I know it's a little late in the year). You know me, I like things simple and clean looking.This is what I came up with. I apologize for the not-so-great lighting in the pictures. It was late at night so I couldn't use natural lighting. I grabbed an inexpensive cylinder glass vase at Michaels, a 99 cent piece of paper and my trusty ole Mod Podge. I glued the paper to the vase and then threw in some flower-type leaves I got from Pier 1 last year. Done! I got the green bowl from Anthropologie a couple of months back and haven't found a use for it yet, until now. I don't have it pictured yet but I will be putting some pine cones in there. Easy peasy!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Everything pumpkin day!

Today I was very much in a "pumpkin" mood. I get like that this time of year. I crave pumpkin. So, for M's school today I wanted to incorporate things that related to pumpkins. First, we made pumpkin smoothies. They were delicious and quite simple. I used 1-2 cups of homemade almond milk (you can use whatever milk base you prefer), 3/4 tsp. of cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. of cloves, dash of nutmeg, 1/8 tsp. of ginger, 1 tsp. of vanilla, frozen banana and a big dollop of pumpkin (from the can). Tomorrow we will try using fresh cut up pumpkin. I threw it all in the blender and blended it up. It was so good. I then made pumpkin muffins to go along with the smoothie. As we enjoyed our delicious smoothie and muffin we read a book that was all about pumpkins. Simply delightful! And to think this was all part of our homeschooling day. I love it!

Friday, October 9, 2009

My first attemp with Mod Podge

For those of you that don't know, Mod Podge is a type of glue that is used for many things in the craft world. It is extremely versatile in that it bonds well and dries clear. I have spent hours and hours browsing different internet sites that show crafty projects using this wonderful bonding agent. I thought it was time I tried my hand at it. I also had a little help from "M".

First, we took an artist's canvas that we purchased from the craft store. I think I paid about $4. We then painted the canvas a light pink color. You have to make sure you let it dry completely before moving on to the next step.

We then cut a bird shape out of wrapping paper and put Mod Podge on the back of it and placed it onto the canvas. It's really important that you smooth out the paper with a ruler, or something of that nature, to get out any air bubbles. I was really disappointed because I ended up having air pockets and wrinkling that I couldn't get out. I won't be too hard on myself, though, given this was my first attempt. After the bird dries, you take the Mod Podge and brush it over the whole piece to give a polished, solid look. It's actually pretty simple.

We hung it up in "M's" room above her bookcase. I really like how it looks in her room and you can't really see the wrinkling now that it's up on the wall.

I have TONS of other ideas swirling in my head now that I have found a new love for this wonderful glue called Mod Podge. I will be sure to post my future projects!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Salad People

Want a fun and easy way to get the kiddos to eat fruits and vegetables? Make salad people. We found a great book called Salad People by Mollie Katzen. It has lots of simple and tasty recipes that your kids can make and it's vegetarian. Here is one of our salad people:

We used an apple for the body, yogurt for the head, carrots for the ears and arms and hair, parsley for the hands, grapes for the legs, halved bing cherry for the mouth and cranberries for the eyes and nose. We got a little creative and made a border out of pumpkin seeds. Maleah ate every bit of it and it was a lot of fun making it. You can use any variation of fruit and vegetables you want. Just have fun with it!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Patty Pan Squash

Thanks to my CSA, I learned about a new squash, Patty Pans. Let me tell you, they are delicious. I wasn't sure how to cook them so I jumped on youtube and found a recipe. I have made this recipe three times in the last week. It is so good. Here is the recipe:

You slice off each end of the patty pan (top and bottom, just slightly) and then cut the squash in half so that it forms two uniform disc shapes. Spray the bottom of a pan with olive oil spray (or use regular olive oil to coat) and then place the squash in pan face up. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Then you carve out a shallow well in the middle of the squash. I use a melon baller. Fill the well with crumbled goat cheese. On top of the cheese put either bruschetta, which is what I used, or you can use salsa or some type of sweet pepper relish. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top of that and then lightly drizzle everything with olive oil. Place in oven (I used my toaster oven) on 400 degrees and bake until tender but not mushy, around 15 minutes or so. That's it. Easy peasy.

Oh so tasty and good for you too. And remember, buy organic and local when you can!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sunday morning breakfast

I normally don't eat a big breakfast but we have been getting in the habit of going out for breakfast after church on Sunday mornings. Today we decided to sleep in and not go to church. When I woke up I was craving a big breakfast. So I made one. I have been loving getting my CSA every week. I have been getting some pretty exotic (well, exotic to me) vegetables that I haven't seen before. One of them was purple potatoes. I didn't know they even existed. So, I was eager to use them. The good thing about joining a CSA is that it makes you eat healthier because you are getting lots of vegetables that you don't want to go to waste. I decided to make a skillet. You know, the like the ones you get in a restaurant. I fried up my purple potatoes, and then put scrambles eggs on top of them. I then sprinkled fresh basil (from my garen) on top along with cut up homegrown tomatoes (from my CSA) and some feta. It was delish!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Some of you may remember last year I did a square foot garden, which is basically planting in a raised bed. It ended up not doing so well. I put my box on my front patio which is a cement ground and is enclosed by a brick wall. I think that fried my plants. So, this year I am trying container gardening. I am finding it to be super easy. I have decided to put my plants on my screened-in sun porch. It doesn't get full sun all day so I am very curious as to how my plants will do. We will see. So far so good. I am already getting flowers on my tomato plants. Woo hoo!

I also put one of my tomato plants and a box of basil out behind my house to see how they do there. I'm just kind of experimenting this year.

I didn't plant a whole lot this year because I signed up with a CSA. What is a CSA you ask? Here are the basics: a farmer offers a certain number of "shares" to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share ("membership" or a "subscription") and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season. My friend who has been doing organic gardening for many, many years decided to do a CSA so I joined hers. I have been getting loads of yummy produce each week, so I didn't need to plant a lot myself. I just planted tomatoes and herbs (parsley, rosemary, dill, mint, basil and oregano). I love using fresh herbs in my cooking. There is nothing like it. Oh, and there are two plants that I have no idea what they are. I started them by seed and didn't label it, thinking I would remember what they were. But I don't. We'll just have to wait and see!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Finally made a decision...

I have been going back and forth on whether to homeschool Maleah for kindergarten or not. There are so many positives to homeschooling, but it definitely comes with some challenges. We looked at a private school that we were very impressed with and thought very seriously about sending her there. I was going crazy trying to make a decision. One day I felt like I wanted to homeschool, and the next day I wanted her to have the education and experience of going to the private school. I FINALLY made a decision that I think is the right one. We are going to homeschool. I'm actually pretty excited about it. I was remembering when she was a baby and I couldn't wait to homeschool her and how much fun I thought it would be. I also started thinking about how much bonding time Maleah and I will get. I get to choose the curriculum that I want to use to teach her, according to her learning style. I get to choose who she is influenced by and who she spends her day with. We won't have to get up super early to get ready for school. We can actually sleep in if need be. I plan on doing lots of "field trips", not only for fun but for great learning opportunities. Another great benefit will be of homeschooling is that Maleah won't be limited to daily interaction and socializing with just kids her own age, but with many different people including adults and even younger children.

So, this is what we are doing for kindergarten. Who knows what next year will bring. Five is such a tender age. I want to nurture and protect her for as long as I can. I want to make sure a solid foundation is established before sending her out into the world. Our children stay little for such a short period of time and I want to hold on to these younger years for as long as I can.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Today was a great day. We went to Jiggle Jam at Crown Center with another couple and their two kids. It was well worth the money we spent on the tickets. Thumbs up to Crown Center for putting this event on. Maleah had a blast playing in the water fountains. We also enjoyed watching Funky Mama and Mr. Stinky Feet perform. They were very entertaining and fun to watch. It's events like these that make me glad I live in Kansas City. They really do have a lot of fun, kid things to do here. I'm looking forward to doing lots of cool things this summer.

Crazy Kristin and Donald. We love em'

Maleah doing her own face painting

Maleah painting

Maleah and Lainee painting. They are too cute!

Maleah and Lainee in the water fountains

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Memorial Day Ceremony...

Maleah and I attended a Memorial Day Ceremony downtown at Police Headquarters today. It was in honor of not only the war veterans but for the fallen officers in Kansas City. Mike was in the ceremony. I felt so "patriotic" watching this ceremony take place. I also felt very proud of my husband all suited up and wearing such an honorable badge. Too many times we take for granted our police officers out there protecting us and putting their lives on the line for us daily. Today I was reminded of how important police officers are to our society. I'm so thankful for them!