Friday, December 9

Hootenanny Pancakes

My sister introduced me (via phone) to Hootenanny Pancakes
 (aka German Pancakes or Puffy Oven Pancakes) yesterday.  
And after she sent me this tantalizing picture...
...I decided we had to try it too.  It was so yummy-- buttery, salty, sweet and crispy. 
Super easy!

Thursday, December 1

Birthday Tablecloth

 I came across this family tablecloth over at She Wears Many Hats.  I love it, and have decided to tweak the idea a little and start a birthday tablecloth!  And it's just in time, because my 3yr old is going to become a 4yr old in just a few days!  I'm going to have her trace her hand and write her name with a pencil, and date it.  Then I will embroider over the top of the pencil marks.  One birthday at a time seems pretty manageable to me.  You could also do this with fabric markers, but I like the permanence of embroidery.

Tuesday, November 22

The Red Stuff

But first... I have to show you my Hawaiian turkeys!  Here's the first one, before I sewed it on:

 The second one, sewn on (and worn, which is why it's a little dirty and wrinkled).  Instead of doing embroidery for the legs, eyes and beak, I was going more for this type of look.
And finally, here's the boy's on a brown onesie.  
Best thing about this project?  I already had everything on hand...
 And here are our handprint trees...  The caption reads "I'm so glad you're my family"(the song is a favorite in our house).

And finally I have a recipe to share for Thanksgiving.  It's a tradition that it comes from Josh's side of the family, and that I have happily adopted, and it's "The Red Stuff" (aka Cranberry Sauce).  It's super easy, and fast and oh-so-much better than any store-bought stuff.

Here's what you need:

1 thin-skinned orange or 2 clementines or tangerines.
2 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup pecans

Here's what you do:

1. Peel and cut up the orange(s).
2.  Chop up 1 cup of cranberries and the orange in a food processor.
3.  Add the sugar and puree.
4.  In a saucepan combine pureed mix, the remaining cup of whole cranberries, and the cup of water.
5.  Bring to a boil, stir and keep on low boil till it has thickened into sauce (about 10 minutes).
6. Cool to room tempurature, then add lemon juice and pecans.
7.  Refrigerate, serve and enjoy!

Sorry I don't have any pictures of it-- but trust me-- it's YUMMY!
Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 15

With Halloween done and over- I'm determined to get a start on my Christmas sewing projects.  But first I have a couple of Thanksgiving-ish projects I can't resist!
The first is this Family Tree by Creative Carmella:
See the handprints? So simple, but such a cute idea- perfect for a fall activity!

My second soon-to-be project are turkey t-shirts for all three kids using this tutorial from The Cottage Home:
I'm thinking some Hawaiian-print fabric turkeys would be pretty cute...
I'll be posting my versions in the next couple of days!

Sunday, November 13

Last night I was introduced to the wonderful world of kale!  I hadn't ever eaten it before, but last night at a pizza-making party, I tried some of the Sweet Potato Kale Pizza our fabulous hostess had made-
 and I loved it! She was sweet enough to email me the link for the recipe, so I thought I would share it with you.  It's from Two Peas and Their Pod.  They have a lot of great looking recipes- I can't wait to try some of them out, including this Quinoa Salad and this Roasted Butternut Squash Pizza.  

Tuesday, August 2

For the past few days ago Dana over at MADE has been talking about blogs and design.  She posted a great list of free patterns websites... including lostandtaken. I love their watercolor textures! One of my favorite free pattern websites is everydayicons.  I think one of the best parts of having a blog is designing it and learning how it all works!  I still have a long way to go... but I do love changing things up!

Monday, July 25

Picky Eaters Anonymous

As a kid (okay and teenager, and mostly an adult) I was am was a super super picky eater.  I didn't like anything green, didn't like my foods mixed together, or even touching for that matter, HATED onions, didn't like certain textures... My parents tried EVERYTHING to get me to eat what everyone else was eating... bribery, punishment, even that good old trick of trying to serve me the same plate the next morning for breakfast. Nothing worked!
Now as a mom, my worst fear is my kids having the same bad eating habits as I have had.  So we are undergoing a food make-over in our house, trying out new foods, more specifically new vegetables.  I've also completely changed the way I plan meals- but more on that another day.

In the past we put a copy of the food pyramid out where we could see it.  The kids liked pointing out all the food they were eating on the chart.  Now as I'm trying to make more of the food on our plates veggies, I love this new chart:
   It's straightforward and easy for the kids to understand, especially since they use divided plates.  Check out these nutrition plates and these portion plates or these balance plates.   

Thanks to my friend Natasha I discovered that I really like Brussels Sprouts (roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper), and thanks to the great farmer's market we've been visiting regularly I've discovered all sorts of new (to me) salad ingredients.
So... if any of you have tried and true favorite veggie recipes out there- please help and send them my way! :)

Tuesday, July 19

Summer Reading

Our soon-to-be 1st grader's Kindergarden teacher's parting words to us (whew- that's a mouthful) were: "Keep up her reading over the summer!!".  Aye Aye Captain!
We've been trying to do that in a few different ways.

First, giving her books she can read mostly by herself.  These are some of her favorites:
1. Berenstain Bears by Stan and Jan Berenstain.  These are the I Can Read version: same great stories with fewer words.
2. Mouse Tales and Mouse Soup by Arnold Lobel
3. George and Martha by James Marshall

Second, introducing chapter books that we are reading together.   We read these, a couple of chapters at a time, at night.  Here's what's we've been reading:
1.  Flat Stanley's Worldwide Adventures by Jeff Brown and Macky Pamintuan.  Fun books, and not too long (we read them in a few nights).
2.  Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne

Third, we try to get her to read books to her younger siblings.  These are usually board books that she is SUPER familiar with, and she likes being the "teacher".

And finally, we got her a library card and signed her up for the Summer Reading program.  She LOVES checking out books by herself!

Here are some good articles about kids and reading:
1. ...Why My Books Really Are 12-Up
2. Addictive Summer Reading Lists
3. 10 Ways to Motivate Your Child to Love Reading

Happy Reading!

Saturday, July 16

With school starting on Aug. 1st, our summer break is almost over.  We've made a good dent in our list of "summer fun" activities.  There are more and more great activities popping-up all over the internet... here are a few that I'm adding to our list:

1. Twirling Paper Ladybugs from Make and Takes
Photo Source
4. Potion Lab from Frugal Family Fun
5. Nature Explorer Bag from Chez Beeper Bebe
6. And finally... Super Slip and Slide from The Inspired Housewife.  We don't have a backyard so this one will have to be put on a future "summer fun" list.
Hope everyone is enjoying their summer!!

Friday, July 1

Saw this today over at Bakerella
(source Bakerella)
It was made by "Pop Star Jennifer".
I love it!  I'm going to have to make this someday.
Check out the other cute cake pops being made over there.

Sunday, June 26


I love our local library.  It's small, and nothing fancy... but a couple of times a year they have great book sales, where I buy lots of kids books for SUPER cheap. They also have great programs, like the summer reading program where we go in each week to claim our prize for reading books!  And they also do the occasional workshop.  Today they had a great workshop on Gyotaku.  

What is Gyotaku?  Gyo (fish) Taku (rubbing)
"Gyotaku is a time honored, traditional Japanese art, that is captured on a piece of shoji paper for the keepsake of the family, and friends, and fishers to come. Once the print is complete, the non-toxic paint is washed off, and the fish is cleaned to be cooked. It is quite simple and pure, as it has been for over 200 years. We fish to eat, and print what we fish to remember and share the experience.  That is what Gyotaku is all about."- Naoki Hayashi
(The non-toxic ink is called Sumi Ink)
Check out these BEAUTIFUL Gyotaku prints by Naoki
I had never seen (or heard of) Gyotaku before living in Hawaii, but I fell in love the first time I saw them.  I love how they capture the movement and life of the fish.  A few years ago, Josh gave me this Uhu (or Parrotfish) print by Shane Hamamoto. Isn't it beautiful? 

Today's workshop was taught by Dane Kai Kondo.  He explained the whole process, and then we got to try it out! It was so much fun!!  Here are my attempts at Gyotaku:

I tried (rather poorly) to recreate what the fish really looked like.

My 6yr old, on the other hand, had a great time making all sorts of different fish!

I think she did a great job!
Want to see how it's done? 
Check out this video!  

Thursday, June 23

Tie-Dye Gone Wrong

This is what happens when you don't read the instructions on the bottle:

It starts out like this- my first solo attempt at tie-dye:
Despite what it might look like, no animals were harmed in the dyeing of these sheets...
Scarlet might not have been the best choice color. It looks like a prop for CSI.

But it still might have looked cute, in a patriotic-4th-of-July-kind-of-a-way if I hadn't just run them through the dryer "to set the color", and then washed them.

Guess what Denim blue and Scarlet Red make in my washing machine...washed-out Purple!

The bottles of Rit Dye that I bought don't have instructions for using the dye for tie-dying, so I will have to check out this tutorial and this one before I try again.
Any wise words of wisdom before I embark on take 2?

Tuesday, June 14

I meant to post about this last week, but I got caught up in getting ready to go camping with a group of girls from church. It was short, sweet, and fun. One of the highlights was watching two turtles make their way out of the water for a little sunbathing on the beach.
Have I mentioned how much I love living in Hawaii???

So I've added something else to my list of things to look forward to this summer...
Check out this new line of fabric from Sarah Jane. I love it! My favorite print is her Family Tree. Isn't it gorgeous? It's a panel that you can embroider the names of your family onto.
I can't wait for it to show up at my local fabric store! Check out her shop for a printed version of that same family tree. She also sells embroidery patterns- including one for (my other favorite) the "Make it Do" pillow in the picture. Happy Browsing!

Thursday, June 2

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?

I see cute bean bags looking at me.
Bean bags Bean Bags, what do you see?

I see a bright blanket looking at me.
Blanket, blanket what do you see?

I see this great Eric Carle fabric looking at me!

Monday, May 30

Back in March one of my favorite bloggers Lier from ikat bag, wrote this great post about cardboard. If you read her blog, you know the AMAZING things she has made with cardboard for her kids. I read the post and knew that it was a bit beyond my abilities right now... however it did make me take a second glance at the cereal boxes I was regularly throwing away.

So when my 3 year old asked me to turn the baby's bathtub into a car, I thought "Ahhah! Cardboard!". So I started cutting and by the time we were done it had gone from Car to Boat to Rocket Ship!
This year we got 2 Flat Stanleys in the mail from cousins. If you're not familiar with Flat Stanley- it's a book about a boy how gets flattened by a bulletin board, and then goes on trips around the world via the mail.

If you should happen to host a Flat Stanley, please show him around your town, take lots of pictures and send him back to where he came from. The girls had a great time "hosting" Flat Stanley- and wanted to make their own. So with a little help from Costco, we brought home some huge sheets of (free!) cardboard and made our very own life-size Flat People! Presenting:
We traced the girls' body shapes onto the paper, and then let them decorate (or in this case I decorated according to the 3yr old's instructions). The best thing about cardboard? When the playing is done it goes in the trash!

Wednesday, May 25

Summer Break

Our summer break starts in just a couple of days. It's hard to believe our 6 year old is finishing up Kindergarten! In preparation for the 66 days of vacation coming up, I've been trying to plan some activities for us to do. Here are some of the fun things I'm looking forward to trying out with the kids this summer:

Fun games to play outside:
3. Taking our sidewalk chalk playing to another level with Story Stones again from FrugalFamilyFun Blog.
4. Some pretend camping with this A-Frame Tent from My Cakies.
5. And finally just some flitting about with these cute Dress Up Wings by Eri via Prudent Baby.

I also came across good ideas in 15 Fun & Frugal things to do with your family by Keeper of the Home via Simple Mom.

And some fun things to do indoors:

Add in some swimming lessons, trips to the beach, and our local library's summer reading program... and I think we'll be keeping busy!

Monday, May 23


Not sure if anyone is still out there, but I've finally decided to stop neglecting this blog. Things have been a little busier around here since he came along in March....
...but it sure is fun having a sweet new baby in the house again!