Archive | March, 2013

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

30 Mar

Here is a post from my wonderful sister-in-law, she has a thought provoking blog over here, check her out!  Thank you for such a lovely post Maria.   Hope this helpful tutorial gives my readers some inspiration like it did for me.  They turned out darker and more rich that anything that can come out of a package.  P.S. Isn’t my nephew stinkin’ cute?

Here’s Maria’s guest post:

I have to admit, I was skeptical and imagined this project would be much more labour intensive than it was. However, after attending a demonstration at our local Co- op, I was much more optimistic. This is definitely a project we’ll be repeating each spring, and my two-year old loved it!


Food based dyes are safe, inexpensive, and best of all, free of the crazy shenanigans they put in conventional food dyes. Everything I needed for the dyes I had on- hand except for beets, so this was an extremely pocket-book-friendly project as well.

I used brown eggs, but I shamelessly stood in front of the egg cooler picking through the different cartons until I found some light coloured farm eggs. I baked these in the oven for 30 minutes at 325F, so I didn’t have to worry about them while I prepared the dyes. When they were ready, I placed the eggs in a bowl of cold water to chill.

For each dye, I used a 1:1:1 ratio of water and vinegar and respective food.


BLUE: 2 cups chopped red cabbage 2 cups water 2 TBSP distilled white vinegar

YELLOW: 2 TBSP Tumeric 2 cups water 2 TBSP distilled white vinegar

MAGENTA: 2 cups beet peels 2 cups water 2 TBSP distilled white vinegar

RUST RED: 2 cups yellow onion peels & butts 2 cups water 2 TBSP distilled white vinegar

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I brought the four pots to a boil and then covered and simmered for an hour. Once the water had turned a desirable colour, I turned off all burners, removed the food scraps for the compost, and poured the dyes into wide-mouthed mason jars to cool.


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Once all the eggs were in, we placed the jars in the fridge to soak. The yellow eggs were ready after two hours, and everything else came out of the dyes after four hours. I rubbed the eggs with olive oil to give them a nice shine. Happy Easter!


Super Capes

27 Mar

There was one morning when we didn’t have ECFE to occupy us so to make morning a bit more eventful we made super hero capes.


I was looking through my fabric and found this silver/shiny stuff.  Pretty out-there huh?  I love having a solid stash of fabric that meets most of my random needs.

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Aleah and Sophi chose the fabric for the letters and crowns on their capes.  Aleah loved the cupcake fabric and needed to have the star below her A too.


Whenever they put their capes on they run all over the house.  What fun is a cape if it’s not flowing in the breeze.

I bet I didn’t even use a yard of fabric to make these and it took about an hour, mostly because of my helpers =)


Green Pistachio Cake

25 Mar

Here is a quote from the blog

“Warning: This is an extremely complicated recipe. Enter only if your skill level in the kitchen is very advanced. You have to forage for native-grown pistachios, then brine them and extract the nutmeat from the shells at just the right time. After that, you have to go through a lengthy process of drawing out the natural oils from the pistachios, which you’ll add to the cake, then rub on your wrist for good luck.

Okay, so I’m just kidding.”

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Pretty funny eh?

The truth is, this is a super easy recipe that takes so little work you will have plenty of time to paint your nails, sort your socks and watch some funny youtube videos.

I made this cake on St Patty’s Day, since it is green from the pistachio flavor and not just food coloring.

I’m sure there is a much more tasty and impressive recipe than this one, but oh well.  There is always next year. right?

You can always make this cake but be sure to whip this out next year for your favorite Irish holiday.

Making Friends

22 Mar

The girls are getting excited about the upcoming arrival of their brother or sister.

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A few days ago we made some stuffed friends for the new baby’s room.  There is an owl, hedgehog, mushroom, leaf and and a green bird.  I sewed the outsides together while the girls sat on my cutting table and stuffed the fabric with, well, stuffing.

They love projects and were especially happy to be making one for their sibling.

Green, Food and Good Friends

18 Mar

Happy (late) St Patty’s Day everyone.  One of my favorite days of the year.  One meal of the year I don’t have to decide what to make.

Last year the Prince family came to visit us for St Patty’s and we had so much fun we decided to make it an annual event.  This family helped us survive seminary life.  They lived right across the hallway from us and we kept each other sane through many creative adventures.  We are so happy that they will be graduating this spring and get to move on with their lives.  They have three rowdy boys in a tiny three bedroom apartment and can’t wait to get into a real house.  The boys were such a blessing and played wonderfully with Aleah and Sophi. I don’t think I have seen so many games of tag or hide and seek occur in one weekend.  Thanks boys!

I improved this years meal from last years meal.  Rookie mistakes from last year was not making enough food.  This year I made twice as much corned beef and another loaf of irish soda bread.  Almost everything flew off the table so I think it was a successful meal.


Mandy set the lovely table when we were playing outside in the snow

Here are some pictures of our creations:


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Just look at all that food!


Look at my little Irish girls, had to show off Aleah’s hair the green dyed beverage and the third year of this sweater’s skirt’s use-

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The day ended with some board games and cuddles.  I love my red heads!


Bubble Bath

15 Mar


Aleah and Sophi LOVE princess stuff.  They have princess dresses, books, crowns, shoes and some movies.  I saw this soap at target and grabbed it knowing it would be a big hit with the girls.  The front had a pretty and inviting picture of pretty princesses.

After I got home I read the back and was a bit startled.  This is what I found:


Warnings galore.

After taking a bath with this soap you are suppose to thoroughly rinse off your kids so they don’t get a rash or a urinary tract infection.  Are you serious?  That is terrible.  Soap should be SAFE, especially when you are dunking your children into a bath full of the stuff.  I also saw that it was made in China.

Sooooooooo, I got this stuff and can feel good about my kids being bathed in it.


Yes it’s is true there are no fun princesses on the cover to lure in the kids (or me) BUT it won’t hurt them.  You would not believe how good this stuff smells and it is safe.  Phew.


I feel stupid for buying the princess bottle but redeemed that we are now good to go.

Bathroom Makeover

13 Mar

Growing up, me and my sisters had a bathroom of our own.  We would clean it up every once in a while but mostly we would keep it a bit of a pig sty.  Clothes everywhere, shampoo and conditioner out the wazoo, and the counter so covered in makeup and hair supplies you couldn’t actually see the counter surrounding the sinks.

Our girls have a bathroom outside of their rooms that they specifically use and Jared and I have our own bathroom in our bedroom.  This is a mostly great set-up.  Except that when we have day guests their bathroom is what these guests use.  It is always nerve wracking trying to remember if that bathroom has been checked recently for gross kid stuff.

Here is the bathroom after it has been thoroughly cleaned and picked up.


After we painted almost every room in this house we got a bit overwhelmed with paint choices.  We decided that after taking down the wallpaper to simply paint the walls white and decorate it when we felt inspired.


After a few months of living in our house, this is what we came up with.  I like that if we get sick of it- a change would be very easy to achieve.


This window came from a garage sale a few summers ago.  I loved the color and shape so much that I kept hanging onto it even through all our moves.  And the dresser came from the dump, don’t judge us- there was nothing dead or dying in it AND it was the prefect color- how lucky are we?


The pictures are canvas boards covered in a shower curtain. (can you tell I kinda like shower curtains =)


Sophi’s Gray and Yellow Room

9 Mar

This will be the room the two girls share when the babe graces us with his/her presence.

As you can see the gray and yellow room is a bit bigger than the pink room.  Aleah and Sophi claim they are getting bunk beds when they move in together.  Not sure who planted this idea into their head but I suppose it is something that could happen someday.


The framed pictures are copies from an old nursery rhyme book my mom and I found at a flea market.  Since it is so old we don’t have to worry about copyrights.

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We got this bed and other furniture pieces from a friend of my grandma who was moving out of her big house into something smaller.  Aren’t they beautiful?


The rug came from IKEA for about $20.  The curtain is actually a shower curtain from Target.  Soooo much cheaper that buying fabric from a craft store.  I covered the safety bar on her bed with a vintage sheet to coordinate with the walls.  We’ll see how this all works out and looks when they move in together and start sharing.

Aleah’s Pink Room

6 Mar

When baby comes this spring Aleah and Sophi will move in together and share a room.  They have never before shared a room because of different sleep schedules.  So this will be a new endeaver for them and for us.  Wish us luck.


Aleah will be moving out of her pink room and into Sophi’s gray and yellow room(the yellow room is a good size bigger that the pink room).  If baby three is a girl, we will keep the room pink but if we have a boy then the pink will have to go and we will paint the accent wall something a bit more manly.

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I thought I should show you Aleah’s beautiful room since it has a 50/50 chance of being repainted.

Isn’t it a happy place?

Aleah painted on some canvas board with the leftover paint from her room.  I painted the canvas in the middle white and then cut out some pink flower fabric and glued it on.  The painting on the far right is of a little ballet dancer that I got at a cute antique shop nearby.  She also painted the knobs of her dressers.

Marker Bag

3 Mar

DSC_5486Kids like bags.  They like packing them with whatever really important toys or books they are currently into and then totting them around like they own the place.

I made this bag with a big pocket on the outside.  Then I saw this picture on and made columns for tall markers.


One of Aleah’s little girlfriends just had a birthday and we gave her this bag along with a handmade neck-warmer.  I love going to a birthday party and not ending up at a dollar store for most of the gift =)


Hope she gets some good use out of this bag, it would be a perfect thing to bring to church or on a car trip.