April 1, 2015
by jenny
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Ribbon Headband

Here’s a quick, easy and useful (if you are into this sort of thing) project: ribbon headbands. I feel like maybe Sarah makes these too, but didn’t see them in our archives. A velvet ribbon backer is the key to keep these from slipping around on your head, and suitable for work outs (or slippery heads).

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You only need ribbon and elastic. The width and dimensions should be based on preference of fit and what is available in cute ribbon. I use headbands around the house that fit to get length dimensions for our small heads.

 

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I use grosgrain ribbon for the top layer and velvet ribbon on the bottom with a braided elastic. I used two layers on the top here to get in team colors, but a single top layer is probably slightly more comfortable.

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Just stitch together the layers of ribbon, fold the ends under (you may want to use pinking shears or melt slightly to avoid fraying), shove the elastic in the ends and stitch securely. Done.

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March 25, 2015
by sarah
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Garden Update March 25

You are supposed to plant peas on St. Patrick’s Day around here. This is what me garden looked like on St. Patrick’s Day.

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I have cleared off one bed and covered it with compost hopefully the rain tonight will thaw the soil a bit. Maybe I will be able to plant the peas this weekend. garden325 1

 

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March 25, 2015
by sarah
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Our Latest Books

books

Here are the books we are enjoying right now.

3-5 years old: Girl Power – “The Most Magnificent Thing” by Ashley Spires, “Not All Princesses Dress in Pink” by Jane Yolen, “Stand Tall Molly Lou Mellon” by Patty Lovell

3-7 years old: We love Robert Munsch. “Love you Forever” is sorta weird, but his other ones are wonderful. If you find any audio books where he reads them they are even better.

8 year old reading by him self: “Stink” by Megan McDonald, “Arnie the Doughnut” by Laurie Keller , “Ninja Meerkats”by Gareth Jones and Luke Finlayson (not shown)

What I’m reading out loud: “The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles” by Julie Andrews Edwards, and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Roald Dahl

What’s being read in your house?

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March 23, 2015
by sarah
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Button Flower Pins

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My five year old has expressed some interest in sewing. She is still a little too spazzy for using the sewing machine by her self. I also would like her to learn the basics of hand sewing first. We made a pillow for her doll a couple weeks ago. Then I saw this!  Fun, easy project that has great gift appeal!

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My additional tips:

  • The cutting and petals were very doable. She needed help with the finishing and the button.
  • Tracing the outside of the tape makes medium size ones. Tracing the inside of the tape makes small ones.
  • We made pins. I took a safety pin, placed the flower on one side of the shirt, and flipped the shirt edge over and adhered the pin to the wrong side through the flower.
  • I want to make some and glue gun magnates to them.button flower4
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March 20, 2015
by jenny
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Coffee + Butter!

I tried it! I threw a pat of Kerrygold into my coffee mug yesterday. I walked past it three times gagging as is melted. Finally, I drank some. AND I LIKED IT.

I liked it a bunch better than the coconut oil. It was much less oily tasting.

I liked it so much, I had it again today (and only gagged once looking at it.)

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March 20, 2015
by jenny
2 Comments

Clouds

There is a block of cloud photos displayed at a children’s science discovery museum a couple towns over, that I really enjoy. The pictures are very simple – blue sky with different textures of white clouds. I really enjoy the display and could get lost daydreaming staring into the pictures. Two summers ago, I was very inspired to try to create my own awesome pictures of clouds. As with a lot of my pictures, they never seemed to capture the beauty and awe I wanted. I wasn’t satisfied with my translation from sky to pixels, and never did anything with them.

Staring at and studying the clouds fairly obsessively for a couple months makes for an appreciation of their craziness. Like when staring at a snowflake too long my mind starts to go crazy with how can it be water. I understand physics, and the water cycle, but still, how can clouds float, be so massive and take on so many shapes? Why does it start and end and create texture and body? Clouds begin to take on personalities the more I stare at them and they lumber (or speed) into and float out of my world sometimes changing shape and sometimes holding steady.

Fascinating.

My 5th grader has been learning about clouds lately. We’ve been able to get outside and turn our faces towards the sky a little more lately. And I have been going through some pictures for projects lately and bumped into my cloud pictures. They are not professional quality but not comparing them to what I was really “going for,” these pictures can inspire me into a bit of daydreaming too.  I’ve included a handful here for your daydreaming and wonder pleasure.

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March 16, 2015
by jenny
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Monday Morning: Coconut Oil + Coffee

I’ve read about the butter + coffee thing since last summer. I’ve wanted to try it. Sometimes I’m not hungry for food in the morning, but would like a cup of coffee and believe in the power of breakfast. The (unsalted grass fed) butter + coffee has been touted as a good breakfast option, filled with nutrients and fats to fill you up some. That sounds convenient. I’ve been buying Kerrygold for months specifically for this purpose. But the thought always grosses me out, and I haven’t been able to pull the trigger. It should be easy, butter is just cream, but the thought of oil pooling on the top of my coffee always brings me to Italian salad dressing, which isn’t what I’m looking for in a cup of coffee.

So more recently, I’ve seen coconut oil + coffee. It’s the same deal and same idea. A nice way to fill you up. I just searched and can’t find my original source, but in searching found many sources, so I guess it wasn’t entirely original. This source stated you can throw the hot coffee and coconut oil in the blender and mix it up to frothy satisfaction. They said it was like drinking a coconut flavored latte. Now this, sounds a lot more appealing to me for breakfast than drinking Italian salad dressing.

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So I tried it. It wasn’t at all coconut-y or latte-y, and wasn’t that fun to scrub out of the Vitamix. It might have been caused by something else, but I got heartburn while drinking it. And, as anticipated after taking a sip, the pool of oil (even when mildly foamy) on your lips felt like I had just caked on ChapStick instead of sipped coffee.

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BUT I did feel full until lunch time. It seemed to have definitely worked for that, but maybe it was the heartburn. So (being a scientist and having no other experiments going on lately) the next day I tried coconut oil + coffee for breakfast again, this time just stirring a spoonful of oil into my coffee and skipping the blender. And now I’ve been doing it for over a week, sometimes with breakfast, but mostly without, testing the theory that it will keep me full.

It’s definitely keeping me full through the morning. And I kind of like it. Or maybe I just don’t mind it. Actually, I think I do like it.

It’s still kind of gross having the oil puddle, but as an on and off oil puller, it’s not crazy gross. It’s kind of like a coffee broth. When it seems gross I say, “Hey, this breakfast and not a cup of coffee” and it’s better.  It does still give me me slight heartburn some days.

I’m almost ready to try butter.

 

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March 12, 2015
by sarah
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VOTE

vote

Jenny and I have never talked to one another about politics. I have a feeling we may not agree on candidates and policies.  Right now we have opposing signs on our front lawns. Opposites attract!!

I know we agree on one thing – the importance of VOTING. In our small town we have a local government election on Saturday. The more and more I put roots down here the more and more I find my self drawn to the local politics and its importance. Should there be more liqueur licenses? Does the town need to dredge the lake across the street? Do we need more modular classrooms at the elementary school? How do you keep the local swimming hole up to code?

If you live in town or out of town please vote in your local elections.

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March 11, 2015
by sarah
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More uses for Corn Starch

As you know we are big play dough fans.  I thought that I would try a new clay/dough recipe. This one is meant to be a replacement for model magic. It is similar when you first start playing with it, but dries out quickly. It would be ideal for a bigger kid who has something in mind and can make it rather quickly. As a play dough substitute it got too crumbly with repeated rolling and cutting.  Here is other fun with cornstarch if you are interested. I’ll try the box recipe below and let you know what I think. It sounds like a combination of this play dough recipe and the DIY model magic.

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March 5, 2015
by jenny
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Keurig Latte

Here is something I’ve been working on over the past month when the snow has left me home bound: making lattes at home with my Keurig.

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It’s taken some practice, but I’ve got it down pretty good now. My husband, who doesn’t drink coffee at home because he is not at all a fan of k-cup produced coffee, has been really enjoying our homemade lattes over the past few weeks.

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The special supplies I use are Solofill Cup (affiliate link) and a Bodum Milk Frother (affiliate link).

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You could use any brand of either. The Bodum frother is fragile, we’ve broken a few in the past, but I can heat it straight on the stove.

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I pack the Solofill cup with ground espresso (Wegmans brand has been good for us), and let it ride… We dust with a little Sugar in the Raw. Yummm… Who needs to go out?

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