Friday, April 30, 2010

braving the bear

After four days of rain, the sunshine and warmish weather was hard to resist this afternoon -- bear threat or not! The boys' cousin Connor was visiting Opa and Oma what boys don't LOVE soccer? Three balls were required for these possessive boys. Actually, it was just Logan.


We haven't come right out and told Carter yet that we couldn't get him into soccer this year. The three-and-four-year-old teams filled up in less than two weeks. There must have been a bumper crop of babies in 2007 because we had no trouble getting Carter registered last year. Logan would have loved it this year too, being one of those 2007 babies... Until next year then!

The boys are becoming too quick for me to run after and get the camera in their face. Or it could be my pregnant state.

keeping them under wraps

Heather: read no further or you'll spoil tomorrow's surprise... : )

I've been sewing again/still: two delightful car seat canopies which were so quick and easy but also so useful. Refer to this story on Cluck, Cluck, Sew. Yuck, eh?!

One for us and our baby girl:

One for Uncle Richard and Auntie Heather and baby Riley:

both in Michael Miller fabric from Fabricland. I really didn't think I'd find anything made my Michael Miller in Fabricland but surprises are everywhere!

roar!

There's been a bear sighting! Logan's favourite game of late is to pretend he's a bear. He gets up in your face, puts on a snarly expression and roars: "RAAAR! BEAR!" and his hands go up to show his claws followed by fits of giggling. It's really cute and we always act scared of Logan the bear.

Much cuter than the ACTUAL BLACK BEAR I SAW IN OUR BACKYARD LAST NIGHT. What? I'm not needing to act as much now.

We're really not that far from civilization. In fact we live in a large subdivision of more than eighty-five homes. There are people everywhere. Trucks, cars, atv's and lots of noise. and there is a black bear.

I'm sure you can imagine: the neighborhood was a-buzzin' last night. phones were ringing. even a conservation officer received a call...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

monster cookies

A friend requested my 'flour-less oatmeal cookie' recipe this morning which you might also know as 'Monster Cookies'. Yum! This is good memories of growing up AND loaded with good things like oatmeal and peanut butter, how can you go wrong? I'm thinking I'm going to bake some today too. The PB is still out from breakfast toast...

Here's the reduced fat version from One Smart Cookie which is the recipe I usually make. The original recipe calls for 1/4 cup of mini M&M's but I like to replace with peanut butter chips or more chocolate chips. I also just throw in two whole eggs rather than fussing with separating.

Monster Cookies

1/4 c stick margarine or butter, softened
1/2 c light peanut butter
1 c brown sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 t vanilla
3 c oats
1 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/2 c chocolate chips
1/4 c mini M&M's

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine margarine and peanut butter in a large bowl. Add brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla and beat until smooth.
3. Add the oats, baking soda, salt, chocolate chips and M&M's and mix well.
4. Drop spoonfuls of dough about 2" apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 15-17 minutes until golden. Let cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack.

Makes two dozen.

Enjoy!

Friday, April 23, 2010

a quilt for baby














Finally. I've finished one. It may be only slightly bigger than a fat quarter, but I finally finished a quilt! Here it is: a lap quilt for the new baby's car seat. Just a little indulgence!

(Pardon the pics: It's a rainy day and the light is terrible for pictures but I was so excited to show it off!)

I used this quilt to try out some quilting methods that intimidate me: machine quilting, my walking foot (LOVE this little foot -- so worth the $20), applique, "shabby applique", curvy, crazy stitching... and I pretty much love how all of it turned out. I'm pumped up to finish the bigger quilt that's been taunting me from the corner of my office since the end of January. It needs to be re-basted (especially cuz I needed to steal pins out of it to baste this little beauty) and that may be a bit of a challenge being so pregnant and still sporting bruised knees from our car accident two weeks ago (the quilt is too big to baste on a table) but! I'm going to finish it before this little one arrives. That means get to it now.

I found these Moda charm squares called "Flutterby" at Quilt Essential in St. Albert and loved them immediately! Loud and colourful but look closely if you can: each pattern is actually bugs, bees, snails and butterflies.

That is not a poorly placed charm square on the picture above. I appliqued our little girl's first initial on the quilt and the name is still a secret. Just covering up the big letter "?". I have the feeling some (Mom/Gramma) would guess instantly and correctly if she saw it. Now she probably knows anyways after all this secrecy.

A view of the left side of the quilt and the shabby flowers I appliqued next to the big letter "?". I used a smaller piece of Heat 'n Bond than the flower to keep it in place but still let the leaves and flowers fray a bit in the wash. And a stripe of bright pink ric rac. I love ric rac.

A closer look at the shabby flowers and stitching. I wanted a 'stitchy' look to the flowers and initial but appliqued to my quilt top rather than the quilt sandwich to keep the back neater. I think this may be a faux pas because I couldn't find a tutorial for quilt appliques online that did it like this but hey, it's my quilt.

Now I just need a baby girl to tuck under this cozy quilt!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

not so quiet

Quiet on my blog but not so quiet around here...

We're busy around the house with just a few weeks to go before our little girl is scheduled to arrive. So many little things to take care of for someone so small. I just realized today that I no longer have a baby bathtub -- add it to the list!

Dealing with the aftermath of our car accident last weekend has taken up much of our free time: Doctors' appointments, phone calls and we've still not yet heard if our van will be written off or fixed. It was 'old' (1998) but was perfect and had low kms (only 60,000). There should be an answer for us on Monday. (We're all still fine, all things considered: the accident could have been much, much worse and we are so very thankful that it wasn't!)

Spring is officially here and there is much clean up to do in the yard. Today was a perfect day: warm and sunny with a little breeze. Carter and Logan spent two and a half hours in the sandbox this afternoon while I did paperwork in the sunshine and Mike mulched last fall's leaves and the spring's pine cones. (The pine cones did smell wonderful as they spewed from the lawn tractor!)

There's still much painting, sewing and cleaning to do and it will all get done.... eventually.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

our new favourite chocolate chip cookie

It's our new favourite and you must try -- especially if you're a peanut butter lover!

The original recipe for Peanut Butter-Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies is from Kraft Canada and here's my version (because I can never leave a recipe alone).

Peanut Butter-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1-1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup butter/margarine, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 cups quick oats
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Beat peanut butter and butter with sugars until light and fluffy. Blend in eggs and vanilla.
3. In a separate bowl, mix flour, oats and baking soda. Add to peanut butter mixture, stir until just combined and stir in chocolate chips.
4. Drop by teaspoonfuls, 1 inch apart on parchment lined baking sheets (or use your little tiny icecream scoop with the scraper thingy inside).
5. Bake 10 to 12 minutes (my oven does them perfectly in 8 min) until centres are just set. Cool on baking sheets 5 minutes and cool completely on wire racks.


All three boys have been eating these so fast, I swear they're inhaling them. My changes to the recipe just 'health it up' a bit with more oats and whole wheat flour instead of all purpose. It does make for a heartier cookie but I found the original recipe tasted too buttery almost. TOO BUTTERY, think that's possible?

Friday, April 9, 2010

finished projects

The past couple of weeks have been spent getting a few projects off the 'to do' list with the help of our friendly neighborhood Ikea...

I saved most of Carter and Logan's soothers -- is that weird? I had wanted to make shadow boxes with them for so long and finally got to it. As you can see, Carter was a bit more dependent than Logan was. I actually had to dig for the larger shadow boxes that were meant for another project to fit all of them in. Oh, and did you notice the pink empty one in the background? Might as well take care of one for the new little girl at the same time...

I used scrapbooking rub-ons to put the boys' names on the glass. (Yes, the pink one has a name on it already too but no close ups!) The red ribbon on the orange and green soother in Carter's box was his last one. Logan's is blue and still has the tether attached.

Special shelves for special things. The boys now each have a shelf above their bed for treasured items. Notice the fabulous McQueen artwork? Nothing more than an Ikea frame, checkered wrapping paper (also from Ikea) and repositionable wall decals from Home Depot. Carter and Logan were so pleased with the four frames hanging in their room!


Finally a valance to go with that blind. I used the same pattern in the nursery before Carter was born but this time added a rod pocket instead of stapling to a board and attaching to the wall with L-brackets. It means that light peeps through the top but was much, much easier! And while we're on the topic of window treatments: does anyone know how to get a spring-loaded blind to work again? This one is stuck closed and I've unrolled and rerolled so many times but nothing seems to work? I just can't seem to roll it loosely. Advice/recommendations would be much appreciated!

Mike also put the wire shelving I requested in the boys' closet (hooray!). Carter and Logan decided it should be their job to move all their clothing from Logan's former room (the nursery) into our temporary shelving. Didn't they do a fabulous job?

This weekend closet doors will be hung and this room will officially be decorated and done. And it will be the only one in the house that is decorated and done.

margaret bag

Look what I managed to find the time to make yesterday. 20 minutes here, 20 minutes there and voila! My own 'Margaret Bag' from Oh Fransson! It was super easy (this is the shoulder bag version rather than the cross body version) and a fun little project for ME! It's just the right size for purse necessities.

Now I'm off shopping with the boys to try it out...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

danger mom

My 'bravery' was noted by another mom of boys of similar ages to Carter and Logan on the painting trucks post. Here's some more bravery for you: decorating cupcakes -- aka: whole wheat banana chocolate chip muffins but with icing, anything can be a cupcake, right? -- and painting Easter eggs.... I didn't think that these pictures needed all that much explanation. Enjoy!





And on to the Easter eggs...





The first dozen eggs were beautiful shades of spring colours but then they needed more eggs!
How could I have thought that one dozen eggs would be enough?



Okay, you see the fun we're having here!
All the eggs in the second batch came out in shades of green, khaki and teal.


Except for Carter's hands which stayed a vibrant blue and orange, respectively. Jus because the little wire egg dippers were a butcumbersome for a four-year-old and a two-year-old.
SO MUCH FUN!

So, is it bravery, foolishness or a bit of fun with a big-time mess?
(they were just so, so proud of their coloured eggs!)

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