Thursday, December 24, 2009

the cardboard house

Last Christmas, the kids asked to make a Gingerbread House. Now, this would be an easy task if I could just buy the kit or use graham crackers. Having a gluten-free kid takes the ease out of it, though, and I baked up a cute little Gingerbread House for them to decorate. This year, the holiday spirit just wasn't kicking me to be that ambitious. Cardboard makes a wonderful substitute for gingerbread! It's not as if the kids actually eat the gingerbread anyway. They just want the candy. Best of both worlds.

Sid's Side:

Tay's Side:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

it's beginning to look a lot like....halloween?

Three days before Christmas and something is amiss! It started with Sidney putting on a black dress and black tights and declaring herself a cat for the day. She insisted on whiskers and I couldn't think of a good reason to say no (and I tried). There is this word is our house that is slowly starting to become known as 'the F word' in my mind. Fair. It all must be fair and equal. I keep asking them who told them life was going to be fair and equal, but they look at me as if I have two heads. So, in all fairness, Taylor had to be painted as well. First he said he was a superhero. Now he's an Indian (excuse me. Native American.)
Even the almost two-year-old is learning the 'Fair' word and had to join in the action.
It's almost the new year, but for now, we are living in the past---Merry Halloween!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

life lessons by taylor

Taylor (7) is such a great big brother. He's always teaching his little sister (5) profound and useful life lessons, particularly on the drive to school each morning. Things such as "Cattle is plural already, it's not Cattles! It's Cattle or Cows."

Today's life lesson: "Don't ever, ever try to lick a frozen pole!"

Monday, December 07, 2009

decor and more

Anything crafty has been on the back burner for awhile now. Crafting with a toddler around puts a damper on things (no dear, you may NOT stick your fingers under the needle in the sewing machine and please leave the pedal alone when mommy is using the serger with the sharp cutting knives, I need my fingers!). Not to mention the stress of moving. But Christmas was coming and so was my mom (who loves decorating for Christmas). My Christmas decor is meager compared to hers, but it's growing each year and I chose this year to make it grow by leaps and bounds. It never hurts when mom goes to Hobby Lobby with me and can't resist things either and offers up her plastic to pay. My tree is now adorned with a beautiful tree skirt and wooden Merry Christmas sign and my mantle a little brighter with a "Believe" plague. (Click on pictures to make bigger)Inspired by my friends Lei and Kierste I created the ragamuffin garland for my mantle,
I got a little taste of the crafting/decorating bug and created one for the baby/guest room that is done in a vintage Americana theme. It needed a ragamuffin garland:
I will refrain from putting one of these in every room in the house, but a cute pink one just might appear in the big girl's room.

My mom saw a Christmas decoration that she loved---a simple Christmas tree on a square canvas. She didn't buy it and described it to me. So, we created one of our own:
She took this one home with her and it looked so good in my kitchen that I made one of my own:
Sidney has been trying to make all sorts of paper ornaments for our tree, much to my dismay. My Christmas tree is sacred ground. Once it's decorated, it's not to be touched, rearranged, or otherwise renovated. My kids just don't seem to take that seriously and I end up with all sorts of the above. In an attempt to quench her need for ornament making, we made some ornaments for her classroom tree. Taylor joined in the fun and we made a few super cute ornaments:
And then there's my new love.

The Antique (and junque!) store. My dad recently got into Antique stores, so when I passed one every day I knew I must take my dad there. We have this piano that is truly an antique---1901 Chickering. The only thing missing was something to sit on. We've been dragging a kitchen chair to the piano for the last 5 years and have been hoping to find an antique piano stoool to go with it. Guess what we found at the antique store? My dad and Steve have been working on refinishing it and it's looking better every day (pictures when it's finished).

Two other things I got at the Antique store are a couple of pitchers for my built in shelves. One is most definitely not an antique, but the other is and I love them equally.

All of this has awakened the crafter/decorator inside of me and I have, oh, about a dozen projects in mind as of this morning. I believe it was just a few days ago when I was cursing my crafty friends' very names. Now, I'm thinking of joining their ranks again. At the very bottom of the totem pole of course.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

adventures in gluten-free cooking

Thanksgiving is actually fairly easy to modify to gluten free (GF). Use GF flour on the turkey, cornstarch for the gravy and skip the stuffing. This year, however, after repeated Max & Ruby commercials where Max gets stuffed eating stuffing, Sidney really wanted stuffing with her Thanksgiving dinner. We were lucky enough to be invited to the home of new friends for dinner where DeAnné did most of the cooking, so I told Sidney I'd give GF stuffing a try.

I'm not sure how anyone cooked, cleaned, parented, crafted, or even survived B.I. (Before Internet). I know going GF would have been a much bigger ordeal without the Internet (aka my favorite GF resource). I searched among countless GF stuffing recipes to find a fairly simple version and got started.

It started with a loaf of GF Brown Rice bread cut into cubes and toasted in the oven.
I don't know what it is about this brand of bread we use, but I cannot stand the smell of it. I've made homemade gluten free breads (once or twice!) and they never smell. The taste is fine (as far as GF breads go), but the smell is icky, so I was glad to get some celery, onion, garlic, and other spices cooking on the stove. YUMMY!
Mixed all together with some chicken broth and it started to smell and look like stuffing. Topped with butter and baked it looked like the real deal.
And it tasted good! We're on to something!