Friday, July 29, 2011

getting excited for the queen bee

i will be a vendor next saturday at the queen bee market! if you are in southern california, you should come. it will be great! there are SO many wonderful vendors...too many to share, but here are a few items that i will be on the lookout for at the event.

 blue corduroy sunhat for p

 bakers twine from inspire lovely

pillow factory alphabet pillow for my girlies

misfit menagerie mounted doe head

nena von pillow

this weekend will be largely spent completing my product for the show. hopefully i will have some pictures to show next week. i hope you all have a lovely weekend and next weekend i hope to see some of your lovely faces at the queen bee!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

my artist


penelope loves to sing, dance and draw.
she is truly expressive
and i totally admire her.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

on a happier note...


 i just realized that the picture up on my blog ALL weekend was one of my baby crying...sad face. i apologize. here are some pictures from the weekend with my happy family.

notes from the weekend:

1-this is the best fajita recipe i've used yet. yum!
2- my frozen yogurt turned out great! i blended up the homemade yogurt with some sugar, strawberries and blueberries and then stuck it in the ice cream maker and out came a very refreshing treat for a hot day.
3- i will NEVER make mac and cheese in the crock pot again. i've done it 3 times (with 3 different recipes) and it is just better baked. my cheese and milk always curdle and it looks like yuck! the flavor is fine, but i really don't dig the chunky mac and cheese.  i am sure there are people out there who have mastered it, in my kitchen it's three strikes and you're out!
4-isla is getting better at putting herself to sleep. which makes me happy. she used to need to be walked around, rocked or bounced to get to sleep. but for a few naps she's done it solo, with i tiny bit of fussing.
5- this is my favorite spot for fish in SD.
6- i am feeling more ready for the queen bee market on aug 6th. i will have enough product and a few new designs. i may not have as much as i would like, but i'm less productive with 2 babes and it is ok.
7- alma 26:11-12 have been on my mind. what a wonderful testament: " His strenghth I can do all things."

Thursday, July 21, 2011

torture time

those who are parents, and probably many who aren't, know about this thing they (the DR.s) call "tummy time." i think "tummy time" sounds way too nice a term. the DR. says they (the baby) need it to strengthen their neck and eventually turn over. So, as a parent i am obligated to endure watching my baby freak out on her tummy for 10 min. i guess some babies might like it, but neither of mine have.

i usually only make isla do it once a day, because i can't handle watching her little head get redder and redder,  her limbs flailing around in a desperate panic, and let's not forget the screaming more than one time a day. it's like a little mommy/daughter torture time.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

homemade yogurt

i made homemade yogurt on monday. i was excited about trying this for the potential of saving money on yogurt that we eat at breakfast and lunch, but ALSO to make frozen yogurt.

i have yet to make frozen yogurt, i am planning on doing it on monday, but my yogurt turned out great and we've had two delicious yogurt, granola and berry breakfasts.

i made my yogurt in my crock pot. i may try it another way next time, but i think it worked very well in the crock pot.

i read a few tutorials in my research before i made my yogurt. here are my favorite:

a year of slow cooking
alicia's homemaking

basically the yogurt making process is heating up milk and cooling it down very slowly and adding live cultures in the process.

here's what i did
you will need:

1/2 c. plain yogurt (with LIVE/ACTIVE cultures)
1/2 gallon whole milk (do not use ultra-pasteurized)
a crock pot
1-2 heavy towels
candy thermometer (recommended, but not necessary)

put your milk in the crock pot on low for 2 1/2 hrs (your milk needs to reach 180 degrees Fahrenheit)

turn off your crock pot, but keep the lid on and let sit 2 1/2 -3 hrs (until milk is 115-110 degrees Fahrenheit)

remove a cup of warm milk, mix your 1/2 c. yogurt in and then add it to the crock pot and mix.

wrap your crock pot with the towel and let sit 6-12 hrs (the goal is to keep your yogurt at 110 degrees for as long as possible.) i let mine sit 6 hrs, but the longer your yogurt can sit warn, the better. if you have a well insulated oven, you can stick your wrapped crock pot in your oven.

set aside 1/2 c. yogurt and freeze it for the next time you make it. 

divide into containers. it can keep for 7-10 days in your fridge.

you can blend it with fruit and some sugar or just sweeten it with brown sugar, honey or granulated sugar. i like mine with brown sugar and a little vanilla topped with berries.

i think that i will try straining off the whey my next time. yogurt with whey IS healthier, but it's also thinner. another option to thicken up the yogurt a bit would be to use pectin or powdered milk.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

the green smoothie 'stache

penelope sporting her green smoothie 'stache and a killer outfit put together by miss p herself.

isla after her shower.

penny pickle's

we went to penny pickle's workshop, the temecula children's museum with my justin, anna and their boys.  we wanted to get together and thought if we met each other halfway, then we would have less of a gas/time commitment. it was really fun. the kids played at a park for a bit, we went to lunch and then headed to penny pickles for some experimenting.

 nathan enjoying some chocolate bread at the park.

 at penny pickle's experimenting.


Monday, July 18, 2011


on thursday i turned 27. i don't have many thoughts about that... but i am feeling extremely blessed. i have a wonderful family and friends. 

my two girls are the cutest kids EVER.  isla's going through a bit of a fussy time in her life and i've had the chance to hold her quite a lot. this gets cumbersome at times, but i get a lot of little intimate moments with her and i can't take that for granted. she is getting so big, so fast and before i know it she'll be 3 and wanting to be totally independent of my other little. i am grateful that penelope is so good at entertaining herself and playing with the neighborhood kids. it makes my life easier. i am also grateful that she is obedient and a very happy girl.

to celebrate my birthday bryan brought home delicious take out from tender greens-my current favorite place to eat! and b totally spoiled me with some goodies from my favorite store. i didn't feel like eating cake, but i did make myself a few thisng i did feel like eating.

here are the treats i made for my b-day:

moolicious ice cream- recipe here.

this is serious vanilla ice cream. it's my go to vanilla recipe. it is very rich, because of the custard base, and extremely delicious. it doesn't get icy and hard if you need to store leftovers in the freezer. i will never stop making this one, but i am thinking i will try a lighter ice cream next time...maybe guava?!?

pane al cioccolato-italian chocolate bread. recipe here.

i was craving the chocolate bread at con pane. SO, since i'm trying to become a bread master, i thought i would try my hand at making it myself. this recipe turned out great! i let my dough do the first rise in the fridge overnight and the second rise i let it go 4hrs instead of 3. it tasted amazing, and with no fats added (excepting the chocolate chips) and only 1/4 c honey, i didn't feel guilty eating it in large amounts :).

i will make this one again and again and again and again..... you get the idea.

side note: i am laughing at myself, because on the blog it seems like the only things i eat are sweets. this is not the case. i do love sweet treats...more than i should...but i also like making and eating healthy dishes as well.

i hope you all had a great weekend.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

marshmallow brownies

here's the recipe i used to make the brownies in the above picture. it is my mom's  and one of my favorite indulgences.

1 c. butter, melted
1/2 c cocoa powder
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 c flour
2 t. vanilla

beat butter, cocoa and sugar until well mixed. add eggs one at a time, beating after each one. add flour and vanilla and pour into greased cake pan. bake at 350 degrees for 25 min, remove from oven and sprinkle 1 lb of marshmallows on top, bake for 5 more min. cool completely and then frost.

1/3 c. cocoa powder
2 c. powdered sugar
1/3 c. canned milk
1/4 c. softened butter

combine all ingredients and whip until smooth. recipe is quite runny, but hardens after sitting. (i usually add 1/2c-1c more powdered sugar.)

let sit after frosting several hours before cutting


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

penelope's twirly skirt

you will need:
3 different fabrics
3/4" elastic (you can use 1/2" instead)
measuring tape

step 1: measure waist and the length that you would like the skirt to be (i think it looks best at the knee or a little longer.)

penelope's waist was 19" and i wanted to make the skirt 10" long


step 2: select your 3 fabrics and cut them accordingly:

fabric 1: (1 & a 1/2 of waist measurement) X (1/3 of length measurement + 1 3/4")
i cut penelope's 28 1/2" X a smidge over 5"

fabric 2: (2 X waist measurement) X (1/3 of length + 1")
i made penelope's 38" X 4 1/3"

fabric 3: (2 1/2 X waist measurement) X (1/3 of length measurement + 1 1/4")
i made penelope's 47 1/2" X a smidge over 4 1/2"

step 3: take all of your fabric pieces and fold them in half with right sides together and sew raw edges with 1/2" inseam. finish edge with zig-zag stitch or pinking sheers and iron seam open.
step 4: make elastic casing.
take fabric piece #1 and fold down 1/4" and iron, then fold down 1" and iron. top stitch 1/8" from the bottom of the fold leaving open 1" to thread elastic through. 

step 5: basting stitch along the top of fabric piece #2 and #3.

step 6: make hem.
fold the bottom of fabric piece #3 up 1/4" and iron and then fold it up 1/2" and iron. top stitch 1/8" from the fold.
now you have the elastic casing, hem and you are ready to gather.

step 7: gather fabric 2 by pulling one side of your basting stitch. pin it in place at the bottom of piece #1 with right sides together. make sure that your gathers are evenly spaced.


 step 8: sew along gathered edge with a 1/2" inseam. finish raw edges with pinking sheers or a zig-zag stitch.

step 9: repeat steps 7 & 8 working with fabric piece #3 and sewing it to piece #2

step 10: cut elastic 1" shorter than waist measurement and use a safety pin to thread the elastic through the hole we left open on the elastic casing, thread it around the elastic casing and out the same hole. sew the ends of your elastic together and then sew shut the opening (you may want to wait on sewing it shut until after you've tested it on your model. )

clip all your loose threads and you are done. with isla's wee skirt i only made 2 layers.

p.s. i am NOT a seamstress. soooo i am just trying to share something i think turned out cute with you. don't pay too close attention to my terminology and what not.

happy making.