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do, make | 1 comment

I wanted to share with you what Gabriel and I made for Aidan for Father’s day. I would’ve posted it earlier to share it as an idea as a gift for father’s day, but I didn’t want to ruin the surprise for Aidan.

I actually got this idea from Michelle because she made one for Matt. It’s really sweet and simple and in this digital age, you never quite know what to do with all those digital pictures and videos. I made it on iMovie which is totally user-friendly.

Click here to see our little present!

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do, make | 7 comments

My friend, former roommate, and crafting goddess, Alexis of A Payne to Make came over one evening to help me with a little DIY project for my friend’s British-themed baby shower.

We decided to make freezer paper stenciled onesies.

Supplies:

Onesies (or whatever you want to stencil onto)
Freezer Paper
Fabric paint
printouts of whatever you want to stencil
cardboard scraps
x acto knife
pencil
sponge brushes
iron

The last step, let the paint dry for 48 hours, then iron it again to set the paint.

This was a super fun project which yielded really fantastic results. Thank you Alexis for helping me out on a school night!

I can’t wait to see the little man wearing these shirts one day!

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a green smoothie

Apr
2012
30

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eat, make | 1 comment

We’ve gotten into the fantastic habit of making green smoothies in the morning. They’re a really fantastic way to get lots of nutrients in one delicious cup. Unlike juices, smoothies are whole foods that are blended smooth so you still get all the complete nutrients that are often lost when you juice things. Juicing, as you might imagine, really retains only the juice and all the sugar minus the fiber.

We basically use whatever is available when we make these smoothies. For this particular one, I threw in two bunches of lettuce, one avocado, two large leaves of basil, two cups of raw kale, a cup and a half of frozen blueberries, a cup of strawberries, half a frozen banana, two table spoons of superfood blend, and for the liquid, I used unsweetened cranberry juice.

In making smoothies, we always incorporate these basic elements:

Fat. The good kind. This might be coconut meat (get a whole coconut and use the coconut water as your liquid), generous heaps of almond butter, or avocado (my favorite additive as it adds a lot to the texture).

Greens. This is typically kale, but sometimes its lettuce, spinach or if you’re hardcore, I’ve also had a lambs quarter smoothie which was umm, not as yummy.

Fruit. This is typically to make it sweeter and more palatable, so we use frozen berries as they are low in sugar, full of flavor and antioxidant rich. Frozen (as opposed to fresh) berries are also much cheaper to buy organic, and as texture doesn’t matter much for this, frozen is perfect. Bananas are very high in sugar, but they will add to the texture and add a lot of sweetness with very little banana. When our bananas are overripe, I peel them and stick them in a freezer safe container and save them for smoothies!

Liquid. You need something to help your blender mix it all up. You can use water, almond milk, rice milk, coconut water, aloe juice or like in this one, unsweetened cranberry juice–good for your bladder and adds a yummy tang!

Supplements. If you want it to be over the top in nutrition. We use superfood blend or spirulina. But there are other great ones to add too, like flax! It’s really up to you!

Blend it all up and watch your whole family get into it. I guess our smoothies aren’t green as much as they are brown from the dark antioxidant rich ingredients and powders!

He loves it. Also, please don’t call child services on us for that crazy purple bruise on his forehead; learning to walk is dangerous business.

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a growth chart

Apr
2012
16

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do, make | 2 comments

I’ve been wanting to document Gabriel’s growth on a growth chart, but I knew I didn’t want to make markings on a doorway because we live in a rental and I want to be able to take it with us if we move. I also wanted it to be like a little artistic so that he would want to still have it in his room when he’s older (theoretically). So I thought of this little project!

Materials:

7′ wooden dowel (cylindrical rod, like the kind you might use for a closet rod)
Primer or any white paint
1 large paintbrush (at least 2″ wide)
1 acrylic paintbrush (1″ wide should work)
Acrylic paints (in colors of your choice)
Measuring tape
Pencil
Sandpaper
A growing kid


So basically, here are the steps:

1. Sand down any rough spots on your wooden dowel.

2. Paint the entire thing in white. This is an important step because wooden dowels tend to warp over time, and sealing it in paint will keep it from doing so. Let it dry overnight, you should do this part outdoors if you can since it’s pretty stinky.

3. Sand down any drips of paint once it has dried well.

4. Measure your kid’s birth length, mark it, and tape it off. Paint with acrylic paint. Acrylic paint is water soluble, so if you need more, just mix with a little water. The more water you add, the quicker it dries, but the more transparent the color will be.

5. Once this first color block has dried, measure your kid’s length at 6 months of age, mark it and tape it off with painters tape. Paint the next increment with any color of your choice. And keep repeating until you’ve reached their current height, making sure to let each color dry thoroughly before taping it off.

The possibilities are really endless with this. Color combinations, saturations, patterns, rainbow even, or maybe every block is in different patterns of wallpaper? I chose to do every 6 months so that I would always remember when to do it and so Gabriel will be able to figure out when each height was taken without me writing on it! Hopefully he likes it and hopefully you do too!

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I hope you all had a wonderful Easter yesterday. We did absolutely nothing, except had a fantastic walk with Gabriel’s Auntie Thea and his cousin Frankie Ling and then I laid on the couch watching Julie Andrews movies–amazing. Perhaps next year we’ll do something exciting like a hunt.

We shared the following post as a guest post on ohdeardrea, but I wanted to share this with you all just in case you didn’t get a chance to see it on there. I figured this is a post that would work anytime, but it was especially relevant for Easter. If you don’t hard boil your eggs, but instead blow them out (here’s a video on how to do it) what are you to do with your left over eggs? You can’t possibly waste them, so make a frittata!

I roughly followed this recipe from Alton Brown, but I didn’t use ham and I added tomatoes and onions. It’s a pretty basic recipe and you can use whatever you’ve got on hand to make this following his basic steps.

Chop up all your ingredients. A helpful hint for chopping up onions is to cut them by an open flame, like a stove. I didn’t know this one until very recently and it works every single time. 

Pop the entire thing in the oven and you’ll get a super yummy, super simple frittata!

Have a good Monday! And if you need a quick giggle, check out this tumblr blog which had me totally giggling and also cowering in fear. Gabriel had his first real tantrum, like threw himself on the floor tantrum–over a snack cup.

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These thumbprint easter eggs were pretty easy to do. All you need are hard boiled eggs (you can dye them first if you wish; I didn’t), an ink pad, an extra fine point Sharpie, and of course, some thumbs! Sounds pretty simple already, right?

Use the ink pad to make thumbprints on the egg. (I used Nico and Lucas’s thumbs.) Carefully check that the ink from the ink pad has dried completely before drawing in details with the extra-fine point marker. Your thumbprints can be used as a template for any design your heart desires: Easter bunny, chicks, shameless blog plug… anything!

Happy Easter!

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a glittery easter

Apr
2012
06

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I can’t remember the last time I crafted with glitter, so you can imagine how extremely excited I was to do this project. Glitter glitter glitter! I love glitter!

To get started, this is what you’ll need:

Step 1. Hard boil your eggs. Andrea offers some good hard boiling techniques here.

Step 2. Prepare your egg dye. In a cup or bowl deep enough to submerge an egg in completely, mix together 1 cup of hot water, 1 tsp of vinegar, and 20 drops of food coloring (add more to achieve darker colors). Andrea used kool-aid instead of food coloring to make dip-dyed eggs, which totally works, and her fingers and work space probably smelled a lot better than mine did afterwards!

Step 3. Submerge your eggs for about 10 minutes to achieve a dark, highly pigmented color, which works best for glittered eggs.

Step 4. Let eggs dry on a drying rack. You can make one like Martha Stewart’s foam board and pins version, but making it can be quite time-consuming. Instead I opted for the underside of my egg carton, which worked perfectly fine for me.

Step 5. Once dry, take a brush and lightly coat a thin layer of craft glue onto half of the egg, then cover with glitter (I matched my glitter to the egg dye).  Let dry on the drying rack, glitter-side up, then once dry repeat for the other half.

… and voilà! A pretty sparkly glamourous smile-producing egg.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend, friends! Don’t forget to take lots of pictures of your little ones in their cute little Easter outfits!

And lots of birthday love going to my little Lucas, who turns 2 tomorrow! xoxo

 

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do, make | 2 comments

I dyed our Easter eggs with Kool-Aid and ended up with red fingers as a result. I’m a little disturbed at how you can use kool aid to dye things. I know people use it to dye hair, dye clothes, and also, Easter eggs!

Here’s what I did.

1. Hard boil the eggs. If you’re wondering how to hard boil the perfect egg so that the yolk is creamy, we follow the method from the Bouchon cookbook by Thomas Keller. The basic steps are, place all the eggs in a pot in a single layer. Add water into the pot, with the water level at about 2 inches above the eggs. As soon as the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer for 1 minute. Then turn the fire off and let the eggs stand in the water for 10 minutes. Immediately after, pop the eggs in an egg bath and they’ll be perfect! Another helpful hint, which we’re not sure actually works or not.. is add a drop of oil to the water, supposedly it helps with pealing the egg. The sure fire way to make sure the peal comes off easily is to use old eggs. Yeah. I know, but it’s true.

2. Prepare the kool aid solution. Pour the entire packet of kool aid into cups and fill the cup with hot water. I recommend adding a little orange to the yellow, since the lemonade color is really light.

3. Dip the egg into the cup. Use the yellow/lemonade color first, so that you use the lightest color as your base. I learned this the hard way. Use a spoon to lower the egg into the water. The longer you keep it under, the more saturated the color.

4. Let the egg dry.

5. Dip the egg into the darker colors.

And there you have it, dip dyed eggs in kool aid.

But seriously, don’t drink the kool aid.

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a reading nook

Feb
2012
23

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We’ve probably seen the traditional reading nooks. You’ve seen them, sometimes they are created inside unused closets, or sometimes when a home has a bay window, that gets converted. But what about the rest of us who don’t have spare storage space or a bay window? Reading tents, reading teepees, reading forts to the rescue!

I’m a little obsessed with these of late. I think they’re so cute and really allow a child to be in their own little world with a book. They can sit quietly and imagine meatballs falling from the sky, making stone soup, go to where the wild things are, really understand how hungry that caterpillar was or think about that little engine that just could. I don’t need to wax poetic about the importance of the imagination, you already know about all that. Also, what about playing there without a book? And just having a place that transforms with your imagination? Ahhhhmaaziiing!

When my sister and I were kids, we used our bunk bed as a ship. I would always be the captain, she would always be the unfortunate person who fell off board. I’d rescue her with a rolled up sheet and she’d act like she was struggling as she climbed up the ladder to my top bunk. It was insanely fun and never got old.

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a party hat DIY

Feb
2012
22

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Who doesn’t love a traditional party hat? It actually turns out, LOTS of people, present party EXCLUDED! I love party hats! I think they’re so festive, traditional and nostalgic! I wanted to make Gabriel’s party hats for his birthday to fit the theme.

Supplies

Patterned paper. I ordered wrapping paper on amazon to fit the theme. For this, I used blue and white polka dots, and red and white stripes! But what about this? or you could even use patterned scrapbook paper or printable paper? or what about lego embossed paper for a lego-themed party. Ok, getting carried away.
Cardstock
Elastic (string will work too, but won’t quite have the snug fit that elastic gives you.
Scissors
Gluestick or spray adhesive
Tape
Stapler
miscellaneous adornments. Think sequins, yarn/tissue pom-poms, feathers, die-cuts, flowers, whatever your heart desires.
and this template.

Directions.

I suck. I actually didn’t take any pictures of the hat making process. But I can write them out!

1. Print the template on your cardstock.

2. Glue or spray fixative the patterned paper onto the cardstock making sure to get the edges really well. Make sure that you stick it to the side without the template outline since you’ll be using those lines to cut it out in step 3!

3. Cut the template and the little slits that will allow you to slip the tab into the slit.

4. Use a piece of tape to stick the tab to the inside of the hat–for extra strength.

5. Decorate it with your desired adornments! I just topped it off with a feather!

6. Staple the elastic to the each side of the hat. You can also use a hole puncher and tie string on each side.

et voila!

a party hat!

image Noah Rangno, via ocburbs

Check out more pictures of the party herehere and from here!

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