Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy Birthday…

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Our little Nicolette turned 2 years yesterday I cannot believed where the time has gone. We decided to have a family B’day party just us. However we did invited her best playmate to join her to celebrate her B’day. She had great time even though she was fighting a cold. I did make everything except for flowers. We had cake, tart, sandwiches, chocolate covered pretzel rods with tea. Its fun having homemade B’day cake… It didn’t go the way I planned with fondant icing may be we will celebrate this spring with fondant cake. It was challenging to find utensils when everything is boxed in storage.

She didn’t care about the chocolate icing over fondant, she had a blast with her friend. Her brother and dad helped me a lot to get everything organized for her B’day. Some of her presents we ordered for her are still  on the way. Thanks everybody who wished our little Nicolette a happy B’day and send presents. I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Quote of the day “show a child how much fun life can be”


Monday, December 27, 2010

Candy House, Excitement, and Laughter fill the home…

 In my knitting group I meet new friends… and we learn and help each other in various ways. I want to write a little bit about this amazing person I met through Knitting Group. She is a mother, friend, and sister I never had. She herself is a great mother to her kids and her kid’s friends. She has this tradition in her house during holidays she would gather all her kids’ friends and her kids and make and decorate these beautiful candy houses. I saw the albums she had created for her kids with pictures. I simply cried in my heart for being a wonderful mom for her kids. Creating something like that that has occurred in her house year after year until her kids went to college.

Additionally she told me that she had all the expenses involved in this project under her tab. I know it adds up at the end. As we as blog communities create for our kids we know how much planning we put forth and energy.

Most important aspect I gather from this was all these kids had so much fun at her house and for sure everybody was working in a project not doing anything silly as we all know that we have been teenagers and passed that age. I thought it was an amazing to have a parent like that in my kids life.

After taking care of her kids, having a home based chocolate business; she is back in her chocolate making business in full swing.

I had the opportunity to help her making these beautiful candy houses and in return I learned how to make them. During this holiday I decided to make the candy houses with my kids and my friend was generous to lend me the molds.

I was skeptical working on this with my kids because my older one can tell the history of the candy while my little can only think about getting the candy into her mouth. Well with these two ambitions kids I decide to make the candy house. It was a GREAT experience. They had a blast. My son amazed me with his creativity adding touches to the candy house I was thrilled to help my little one to assembled the path with directions from my older one but she had a difficult time laying them on the stand because they ended up in her mouth. They were so excited and had so much candy for dinner I was afraid when my little one started to cough…

We decided to display it for couple of days on our buffet. I am anxious to see who is going to take the honors to take the first bite… will this be a tradition in our house I don’t know yet, but one thing is sure my son is looking forward to make the house again… will see…

Quote of the day “take a little time to think about what are you doing and why are you doing it”


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Head Bands and Ear Warmers with a twist available on my ETSY Store…

  I saw these for adults so I was itching myself to make one for my little one who has not got a new hat yet this year but she has loads from last year. This year I made her mittens and scarves… and still making them…

The story of these adorable head bands started by browsing through the etsy shop and fell in love with it. I don’t think I wanted one for myself but I would imagine one on my little ones head. I enjoyed making it.

I knit them on circular needles so there are no seams and adorn it with whatever I can I did these with knitted flowers but I would love to incorporate other media into it like buttons and fabric. Can’t wait to make some more to add to my shop as well as gifts for newborns.
I also think these are great for photo props and functional for toddlers. I use them with my daughter she loves it because it helps to keep her hair away from her face when we do activities and meal times I don’t see her using her fork to brush her any more…

May be I should consider my heading to functional knitting…
Hope you are enjoying the Holiday season with your loves ones.

Quote of the day “build something from what stands in your way”

Monday, December 20, 2010

Town's Library Display, Features My Hats…

 I am sure some of my friends and family can remember I used to rattle off about the knitting group that was formed at the local library. It was formed last year somewhere in May I think. It’s been a while now since then it has grown a lot. We all enjoy knitting and chatting and we enjoy newcomers and learn from each other. Most of all we love talking about local news.

I knitted a dress for my daughter with the help of our leader. She has out grown it but I treasured it. However since my schooling things have change. I drop in for some meetings but still keep up with the group.

Anyway this month the librarian asks us to display our knitting goodies and we did. I had so much fun creating the display. I was able display some of my hats and little things that I have knitted during this past year. It included almost everything that I have done so far.
Cynthia the leader of the group was able to showcase some of her items too. I love all her stuff and she is also a great on crocheting. I did not have anything to display on that aspect but had fun helping to finish the display.

We love our local library very much my kids use it a lot and so do I… do you get involved in your local organizations… and I am very happy to see my son following this path he has been a great volunteer at the library and enjoys it very much.

Quote of the day “carry something to read with you”


Friday, December 17, 2010

My two new additions…

I don’t know about you but I love creating for my kids as well as for friends. This was a new nook that I discovered deep inside me after deciding to stay at home with my youngest. I always have craved to create things for myself, around the house, garden, or cooking. So this was an oasis for me the time I had in my hand. However I always get this feeling this is going to run out one day and I need to catch up the time that I have lost or going to lose. I know for some of you this might sound very crazy but this how I exactly feel.

I decided to use up my 40% off Borders coupons on two craft books Last –Minute patchwork + quilted gifts and more Last -minute knitted gifts by Joelle Hoverson.

Unique features in Joelle Hoverson’s books are her focus on the color wheel. She does a great job on this matter of fact I have use this concept in making the scrap yarn hats. It’s amazing how you look at colors and group them after observing this concept. I wish I took some pictures of my groping of scrap yarn. I am planning to work on most of her projects through the coming year.

Other reason I love her books are all the projects in the books are truly last minute gifts does not require much time. That’s exactly what I am looking in future to work on because the little time I have on my time I need to exercise to the maximum capacity. I have actually cut some steps to speed up my projects.

But I do enjoy the process than the final product. I can’t believe this very Montessori. However the fun part is with adults involving in the project you can enjoy the process as well as the final product. My theory is if you take time to enjoy the process ultimately your end product is going to be surprise you.
Last reason I love her books are she is very good in incorporating some vintage pieces to her project collections like the puzzle ball I always wanted to learn how to make because it is very Montessori and has incorporated many materials to stimulate the young child’s senses.

I am happy with these this year no more crafting books for me other than the text books very funny.
What did you add to your collection it could be anything I would love to know…

Quote of the Day “look up instead of down”

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Introducing the Bell and the Ribbon to my ETSY Shop…

 Yes, I finally did it. I always wanted to make these wonderful materials to stimulate infants. I am introducing the bell on the ribbon to my shop. This is one of the first toys that the child can experience that her/his action can make a difference in their environment as young as 3 months. I think that is amazing. For some of you who are not familiar with Montessori materials might wonder how this work or how you should introduce it to a baby.

For babies this wonderful toy gives plenty of opportunities to be independent from the adult and explore the environment around them at a very young age. When you create a movement area for your baby in the baby’s room you need to attach a stable hook either to the wall or ceiling.
I have made a loop out of elastic to give some stability and it allows the baby to pull the toy towards the mouth for mouthing. The bell is 1.1 inch in diameter and fits perfectly on a little child’s hand for grasping later on. Due to this there is no sharp edger’s and it has a beautiful sound.

You will notice your baby will continue to bat the bell with joy. Keep in mind to hang this so the child can reach first they will discover it with the unintentional movements then they will continue to hit it with precise movement, and then develop to reaching, grasping and mouthing.
This definitely aids the child towards visual stimulation, acoustics, tactile and even as a baby, they feel empowered as they discovers that their actions make a difference and can cause an impact on their surroundings as young as 3 months.
I have made a cloth bag to store it after use.

As you can see I was very excited to introduce this item to my etsy shop.

Quote of the day “buy your children educational toys”


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Take time to feed your mind this holiday season…

 My goal was to read three books before school starts. I don’t know how I came up with this. I do remember going to the church fair and buying three books from the last years Oprah’s book club. It cost be $1.50 in other words 0.50 cents each. I couldn’t let go this bargain. I thought I can still donate the books back to the library and they may even able to sell and get some money.

I always read the reviews when I pick a book. I just couldn’t help myself to pick this book first from all three. The reviews are from diverse sources such as The Washington Post, New York Times, USA Today, and The Baltimore Sun,

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd she did nail the southern voice in this book. At one point I was sobbing reading this book. It was a great story. It helped me to understand the people’s sufferings, dignity, pride, recognition, survival, faith, a daughter who is seeking mothers LOVE, motherhood, and understanding the importance of bee keeping. I can add more to this list this book does addresses many issues such as wounds of loss, betrayal, and scarcity of love.

What I found MOST interesting thing in this book is the innate drive of women to mother each other and themselves. We all know the Civil Right act has made its scares in history but it has sharpened the womanhoods, feminists, in a totally different prospect.

When I add honey to my tea, I thank the hard work that has gone to making honey .Honey is a natural remedy for many illnesses which scientist are discovering and researching globally.

I want to share this from this book…

“if the queen were smarter, she would probably be hopelessly neurotic. As is, she is shy and skittish. Possibly because she never leaves the hive, but spends her days confined in darkness, a kind of eternal night, perpetually in labor… her true role is less that of a queen than the mother of the hive, a title often accorded to her. And yet, this is something of a mockery because of her lack of maternal instincts or the ability to care for her young”

-The Queen Must Die: And other Affairs of Bees and Men

I hope you are finding ways to feed your Brain and Soul during this holiday season.

Quote of the day “shake up your routine”


Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas is in the Air…


We had Christmas music… and I worked on a wreath… Yes I made my own wreath instead of buying it. It was so cold couple of nights ago. I volunteered to work at my son’s BSA Christmas tree lot. I wore extra clothes but was cold to m bone but it was mice to be out there helping folks choosing their trees. IT’s fun to watch how people choose their trees. Some like to walk around the whole lot to find the tree that looks perfect others falls in LOVE with the first tree they see.

However way they choose it, at last it helps pays the summer camp fees for 1 week for boys that is a great deal. So I didn’t mind selling the trees in the wicked cold because it was a good cause. It was busy that night but people were buying trees. Some come to this lot for many years. Last weekend was the biggest weekend for the tree lot sale.

When we sell the trees we cut offer a fresh cut from the bottom because it stimulate the tree to drink more water. Also some customers like to trim the branches from the bottom. So we had a lot of branches and we offered it to people for more decorations.  I came home with some and I had some florist wire and the kitchen shears we were busy making our welcome wreath in no time we were done with our project with Christmas music in the air and silly jokes. (Perfect project to catch up with your tweens about school and general issues, my son couldn’t help him to pour his entire week’s action into words)

He did a great job trimming the evergreen into small branches… this was my first project it came out so cool but I did use the hot glue gun to attach the fruits. We kept our theme as the “GOLDEN BOUNTY”

Quote of the day “plant evergreens”


Friday, December 10, 2010

Baking, Cookies, and Holidays…

 I have been busy this week baking and trying to get organized my- to do list I hope I was able to take care of some of m task. This has been a challenging year for me and the rest of the family. Good thing is I am not alone everybody on the planet is fighting something ALL the time. Even we don’t see it. I am not ALONE.
Good thing is I am done with school and I have two more weeks I started my SPRING SEMESTER. We will see how it goes. Let’s see what I have at home to tackle other than my to-do list. I have been baking for husband’s staff meeting, for a B’day boy and kids at home.
I have made the chocolate crinkle cookies and coconut almond drops.
Here is what you need to make the coconut almond drops

Makes 18 cookies

Vegetable oils cooking spray for greasing
3 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup sliced almonds
½ cup sweetened condensed milk
½ teaspoon almond extract
2 large egg whites
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 pinch of salt
4 oz semisweet chopped better sweet chocolate

 Preheat the oven to 350 grease two large cookie sheets with cooking spray
 Toast 1½ cups of coconuts and almonds on a pan. This way you can see how much you wanted it to be toasted than in the oven. Place them in a bowl and leave it aside.
 In t the cool coconut almond mixture add the condense milk, and almond extract and mix well.
 In another bowl beat the egg whites and the 1 tablespoon of sugar until it forms peaks in your egg whites. Now gently fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.
 Using a large table spoon drop them on the baking sheet and bake them for about 10 minutes. Transfer them to a wire rack.
 Melt the chocolate and dip the bottom of the cookie place them on a parchment sheet and place them in a refrigerator.
 Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days at cool room temperature.

Visit the here for chocolate crinkle cookies,

How is your holiday baking taking its shape? Do you enjoy baking during cold weather as much as I do… do you get your kids involve to bake.

Quote of the day “buy from charity bake sales”


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Little Berets for a little girl on a budget…

Cost for all these berets I want to say under $6.00. However the fun I had creating these were priceless. I have seen and brought little berets for my little one for even $5.00 it was insane but I have done that. Finally I decided to make some for her girl friend and for her she had a ton of fun wearing these little berets.

Well, here is what you need for this project sprig of silk flowers your choice and color. a piece of felt, plain berets, and hot glue gun. Now starts the fun part of assembling your little beret. ..

I used almost everything on the silk flower sprig including leaves. Cut out two small circles out of felt fabric. Fold one circle in half and snip in the middle and fold it other way and snip again now you will have a small “x” place a little drop of hot glue and insert the silk flower. Now take the other circle and place a drop of hot glue and place it between the open berets. Press the two felt circles together. Leave the beret open for a while until it stick together and close the beret to see it closes.You may want to keep it open for a minute or two. you are officially done with your project.

Adorn it on your little ones head sit back with the camera and snap some pictures…

Quote of the day “read things that requires effort, thought, and concentration”


Saturday, November 27, 2010


We had a simple Thanksgiving… yes we did had all the traditional food. But I add some new recipes and learned a little bit of history that goes along with the dish. I am amazed to see how some recipes have evolved with time.

Kids had a great time. I cooked and baked everything for us. Kids helped me to set the table… I used some the materials I bought from the fabric store to make the centerpiece… and add some decorations I had and this year I bought colorful corn which I have come to love very much for the beautiful color. Girl at the farm stand said they can last for a while I am eager to see that.

My little one was very happy have a second Thanksgiving… I did not cook the whole turkey due to two reasons one we didn’t had the utensils. They were in the storage. So I did butterfly turkey and ½ a turkey. I know sounds crazy. But it was enough for us for three days I mean the leftovers. This was an interesting recipe and had a beautiful history an Irish recipe. Saves time, taste great and if you are intimidate by baking the whole turkey this is the way to go.

Here is our Menu I didn’t had any starters since it was only four of us…

Spat chocked Turkey roasted with Lemon, Sage, and Garlic
Lingucia Sausage stuffing with Mushroom and Caramelized Onions
Sweet Potato Puree with Streusel
Green Beans with Lemon Bread Crumbs and Toasted Almonds
Hazelnut and Fresh Herb Popovers
Cape Cod cranberry Compote

Pumpkin Cheese Cake with Ginger Snap Crust

Served with Lots and LOVE and gratitude!

So how was your Thanksgiving did you cook or made something unique… or may be a recipe that has been passed down by generations… this is one of my favorite holidays I like to celebrate with my family do you have anything special I love know and hear…

Quote of the Day “pursue old-fashioned hobbies, games, and activities”


Homemade B’day Gifts…

My daughters best friends B’day is around the corner… I can’t believe how fast they grow up. Finally I was able to get her present together… it was a blanket, book, and homemade crayons. I know she is going to be very happy. We do miss her as she had to move but we are planning to keep the play dates at least once a month.

I enjoy coordinating gifts and activities. So I did some planning first I bought this book which is called Rose’s Garden by Peter H. Reynolds. I do like the quote about this book from late Senator Ted Kennedy
“May this powerful story… plant seeds of hope and service for generations to come.”

I personally love the story very much because it a strong mixture of imagination and determination, what more can you give to a small girl…

Anyway I had to find the coordinating fabric to go with it and this is the blanket I made. I do enjoy making simple gifts at home…

Quote of the day “sing with children”


Friday, November 26, 2010

Stretchy head bands one more item to add to homemade gifts…

I was inspired by to create some head bands. I did have so much fun creating this. I did discover the fun of stretchy laces and sequences. Yes, I did go crazy. I guess when you have a girl your creative side oozes out… ha… ha…

She is only 2 years, I love playing dress up with her… she is such a FUN ball.

When I tried the hair bands on her she loved it but still doesn’t get the concept quiet right to keep them on her head. I know she will eventually but it was adorable to watch her putting them on and taking them off her head.

Yes it takes two seconds to make them. I thought it was a great gift for a new baby or one more thing to add on to homemade gifts… and sometimes you can really tie in the theme…

Quote of the day “have loving relationships with your children”


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

See and Sew…

I wanted to sew a bag for shopping… this was in my - to do list but never had a chance to actually do it. Finally with the help my dear friend I was able to follow the pattern and sew a bag. I do take that back because I can’t say I exactly followed the patter because I did my version of the bag with two pockets instead of 1 pocket. That was the major and the only change I made to the pattern. I need help with attaching bias binding may be I need to consult my friend to be a pro in my next bag.

I have to say I do love the Waverley Fabric… it is so cute… not the right word, I would say pretty… and very country looking. I saw a cushion made out of this fabric in an antique store and I went nuts because it was really beautiful… got the information and when I was browsing the upholstery fabric section at the craft store this caught my eye and waited till it went on sale for 50% I guess rest is history…

Now that I have my cloth bag, I really don’t where I should take the bag… grocery, library, or farmers market?
What are you creating?

I am taking one at time off from the list… and the list keeping getting long I have no clue how that is happening.

Quote of the day “finish everyday and be done with it”


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Basket weave in knitting…

This is a really easy pattern to work with and the finished product looks great. My son wanted a scarf and I gave it a try with one skein I had it was enough and it was 100% wool. Good thing is it’s from the clearance rack and that makes a big difference.

I loved how it finishes up and the pattern is relatively simple to memorize and work. I read in a recent home journal that picking up the knitting needles is a stress buster during holidays. Just the fact of repeated stitches breaks the trains of everyday worries; Knitting reduces the stress hormones and releases endorphins and makes you happy.
Fun part is you can make gifts to everyone during holiday season and could be inexpensive…

Do you do activities to reduce your stress does it helps you be a calmer and better person to handle some tough situations…
Quote of the day “do something to improve your health everyday”


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Chocolate Chip cookies with m & m…

I was able to act silly when my little one ask to buy candy from the checkout register and pretend and use to tell her we do not eat them. She was buying that for a while… then I use to be supper polite and taught her thank you… she loves the word for a while I would practice that… when she would ask me to buy candy with her half verbal and vocal sounds. I would ask super nice to put it back on the shelf (from where it come from). She would do that and I would emphasize my thank you lesson… and she would walk away some days I wanted to buy her the candy… because she was a GREAT and EXCELENT listener.

They learn and adapt new behavior through observation this is a known fact. My older son started to buy candy and share them with her from his pocket money.
So I was practically doomed… she wants the candy… so I did brought home the m&a's and I made some cookies for both of them they were so good but I did not want to eat them…

I guess that was the best snack she woke to after a long battle of weaning her afternoon nap episode. She was happy to munch them down…

Quote of the day “fight hunger”


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Inspirations could be anything…

I got inspired to make cards… due couple of reasons one was I was running out of note cards, I had a list of people I needed to pass thank you notes, and another reason was when I was at the fabric store I picked up some swatches I wanted to use them in a productive way rather adding to trash.
When I was browsing through the EYSY shop I looked at some fabric card ideas and was amazed to find some cool ideas. I am still in the process of designing and creating the cards… but here are some I was able to put together in a jiffy. I am always looking to improve this area. My son was able to help me in this project too.
My list of people I wanted to thank at school was long… I was able to make scarves… but I guess I need some more I don’t think I have the time to make that much.
I love creating cards with fabric, it was amazing to see even very tiny pieces could be put into use in fabric card making… I cannot wait to take my ART classes at campus… I saw some students were participating in an exhibition at campus and had some cool ideas.
Quote of the day “say nice things to people”