A Man's Best Friend?

I think Savage, our poodle, is a Mom's best friend instead.

He eats crumbs off the floor.
He's potty-trained.
He lets the children chase him.
He barks and warns me if something is wrong.
He patiently waits to be the last one fed.
He comes when I call...usually.
He loves me unconditionally.

I love you too Savage.
Happy 8th birthday buddy.



When did this...

turn into this?

Oh E, how do I love thee?  I couldn't possibly count all the ways... 

You know what my very favorite thing in the whole wide world is?
Cuddling you.
You are so soft, so sweet, so scrumptiously squishy.
Your cuddles bring warmth to my soul.
I hope you cuddle with me forever.

Thank you for bringing sunshine, love and light into my life.

I love you dearly my little E.

Happy Birthday.

Handmade Holidays 2011

The photos in this post are of me and the girls making homemade apple cider vinegar. This has been on my to-do list for a while and a friend of mine mentioned it the other day, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. I'll post on it again after it's ready, in a few months. Here's the tutorial I read and  Any of you make this before?

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving!  I am sad to say I didn't get many pictures of the Thanksgiving festivities...except for this ridiculously cute photo of my nephew.

My parents came to town for a quick visit and we all gathered at my mother in law's house.  This was the first time we combined the feasts.  We usually do two seperate ones, but I just felt like we should all be together this year.  It worked out beautifully, plus it meant that I didn't have to do all the cooking/cleaning myself!  I ended up bringing a large salad with an amazing raw cranberry dressing, this cornbread, these rolls, vegan cupcakes, cranberry sauce, and that's it!  Oh, and lots of wine.  I have no idea how I got off the cooking hook this year, but that's cool...I'll take it.

Can you believe Christmas is just around the corner?  I've written and re-written my handmade holidays list a few times.  I think I'm on the final draft.  It's ambitious, but totally doable if I focus.  I am gonna keep my eye on the prize and go for it.  Want to see some of what I'm making?  I can't show it all, because I love surprises and I'm pretty sure some of my family members read my blog.

The apples became applesauce.

I'm making these adorable overalls from The Purl Bee for Baby C.  I got the Euroflax linen in violet and it is gorgeous.  I've yet to start them because I need to go get the right size needles.

For most of the men in my life I'm knitting some funky beer cozies.  There's a lot of patterns out there, but I am using the one from Knitting With Balls.  I am also hoping to whip up a couple simple beanies.

E and F have both requested legwarmers.  This is the pattern I've chosen, but I am not sure if I love the ruffle, what do you think?

Then of course there's a ton of herbal goodies...I'll do a post on those later.  I'm tired.  And full...

The apple peels will become apple cider vinegar.

If I can't get it all done I have a few Etsy fallbacks:
Hand dyed Jumprope
Wooden Camera
Doll Stroller (our last one is broken.)

What are you making this year?

This will be ready in 4-6 months...can't wait.

DIY Liquid Laundry Soap

Girls made a tower while waiting for me to get the camera...

So, I used to make my own laundry soap powder.  Loved it. didn't love me back.
It would cake up in the washer and not dissolve properly.  Probably my fault since I can't be bothered to sort the whites from the darks (bad housewife...I know) and therefore only wash on the cold cycle. We also have fairly hard water here which contributed to the problems.
So I resigned myself to using Charlie's Soap (which I still have on hand for when we run out of our own).
I do like Charlie's Soap, but I like the price tag and ability to make my own laundry soap much better.

Enter Rhonda over at Down To Earth.  I stumbled upon her Aussie blog and I saw her recipe for liquid laundry soap....huh?!?!...what?!?!?  Yes!  That's what I wanted!  Blogworld to the rescue again.  Been using it for a while now and it works like a charm.  It's very cost effective (like...ridiculously) and easy to make.

F grating and stirring with me

Here's the recipe.  I use Dr. Bronner's pure soap (no scent) because we're uber-sensitive over here.

1 recipe makes almost 10 quarts of laundry gold!

The girls love wash day. 
I do not let them use the laundry liquid (since it has Borax, which is mildly caustic).  I just have them grate extra soap flakes and they dissolve that into their own little bucket.

F usually scrubs, E usually wrings them out and hangs them up.  C usually runs around and tries to eat anything she can out of the garden...

No clothespins left?  Just use an old tomato cage!  Kids are so resourceful.

What do you wash with?

Knitted Tin Can

A semi wordless tutorial.

Items needed:
  • An old fingerless glove that you knit for your daughter, but she refuses to wear because it's acrylic and itchy, even though you warned her of that when she was begging for it at the yarn store (you have one of those, right?)
  • an old tin can
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun
  • something cute to put in it (I used my colored pencil collection)

Now I am not mad that my knitting went to waste, plus I've given life to an old can of coconut milk!

Homemade Bread #4 - Cafe Gratitude's Onion Bread

Baby C stirring it up...

OK, we made it to day number 5 and I am so happy it's a raw bread!  I've been wanting to make the onion bread from Cafe Gratitude's I Am Gratefulcookbookfor a while, but I was a bit afraid.  I make raw crackers all the time, but the other recipes I've tried for raw bread so good.
Going into the D...

If you can get past the slightly irritating names for the recipes, the cookbook is really awesome.  The onion bread is actually called I Am Original.  Well Cafe Gratitude....I am grateful for this recipe because it was original and because it rocked! 

I planned to make it last night, let it sit in the D overnight and then have it for lunch, but plans never really work for me.  So I made it early this morning and hoped it would be ready by dinner.  The pictures, of course, are dark and I was rushing to get the kids fed, bathed and asleep so I could go to a rare mommy party tonight.  Obviously I got home early, which is why I am writing a blog post.  Ha!

Review of Cafe Gratitude's Onion Bread

F - "Oh, I like it a lot!  It's sweet."
E - "Can I have more tomatoes?"  She didn't eat the bread.  Odd because she eats everything.  I think she just really wanted more tomatoes....they were really good.
C - "Ahhhh...."  Opened her mouth for another bite...nuff said.
Daddy - "This isn't bread...why are we calling this bread." sarcastic husband...he is funny though.
Mama - I really liked it. I wish I had doubled the recipe as it only made a small amount.  I'll make it again.  Probably soon.

C had hers with mushed avocado on top

Wow, ok!  So that was Homemade Bread Week.  Kinda fun, kinda silly, thanks for reading.

Homemade Bread #4 - 101 Cookbooks' Six-seed Soda Bread

Happy Homemade Bread Day!

Fresh from the oven...

Just to recap:

I have made a dozen recipes off of 101 cookbooks and they have all been good, like really good.
So for the 4th bread I picked her Six-seed Soda Bread.  I remembered seeing is somewhere and thanks to google and the words "seed bread",  I found it!  Had I known about Pinterest back then, I would have just had it there...on my Yummy-Savory board.  Ha!

The girls loved the tactile experience of blending the seeds by hand. 

Right before we popped it in the oven...

I loved how simple it was.  It came together in only about 45 min and was ready just in time for snack. 

I did have a few variations:
  • I used a blend of rice milk and ACV instead of buttermilk
  • I used chia seeds instead of poppy seeds

Check out F's green mustache...

Review of Six-seed Soda Bread

F- "It's too floury on the bottom.  But I like that I can make bread balls with the insides."

E- "It tastes crunchy, but good."  She preferred it dipped into her green smoothie...nice.

C - Closed her eyes and grinned, then picked all the seeds off and ate them one at a time.

Daddy - "Best so far!  Can this be our regular soda bread recipe?"  Sure honey...but that's kinda un-Irish of you...just sayin.

Mama -  It was very tasty.  Even though I'm a bit breaded out at this point, I had two servings.  I really enjoyed the fennel in it.  I was worried it may be overpowering, but it complements the other seeds nicely.
I'll file it away for St. Patty's Day.

Daddy's bread care package...


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