Wednesday, February 22, 2012

DIY: Tin Bucket Totes for Yarn/String Storage

Love these little tin buckets, and with a little punch here and tap there you can make a cute "tin tote" too!

All you need is this:

  • Tin totes in whatever size you desire. I picked up these at Michaels Arts and Crafts for very inexpensive, and they have a variety of different colors. I like the little for kitchen twine and the bigger I use for a rolled skein of yarn.
  • Small grommets with grommet tool.
  • Sharpie
  • Measuring tape
  • Hammer

Place a dot in the center of the bucket top, punch hole (I used the grommet tool), fit grommet and easy peasey you're done!

Cute! Right? Package this with a new pair of knitting needles and a nice sock or hat pattern and yippee the cutest little gift ever!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Easy like Sunday morning......

I love Sunday morning. Sleeping in with the love, sipping coffee over the news while perusing pinterest and some favorite blogs, and breakfast with the Littles. They always want chocolate chip pancakes..... and bacon, lots of bacon.

 Take your favorite pancake mix, pour into waffle iron, add chocolate chips (we really like the dark chocolate ones), and cook until done. Easy peasey! 

The best part is these can be frozen and popped in the toaster for a quick, yummy, homemade breakfast all week long. I always double the batch and freeze the leftovers. 

 I find it easier to package these for future use if you first flash freeze them on a cookie sheet.

Friday, February 17, 2012

This Mama's Top 10 iPad Apps...

I love gadgets! In particular my iPad. I keep mine and the Littles schedules, books, movies, music, recipes, EVERYTHING on it.... ahhhh deep breath. Anyway, I feel its such a wonderful tool, yes tool that's what it is. 

On the go I can look up directions, get a phone number, check reservations all through amazing applications created to make life easier and more fun. I have downloaded literally hundreds of applications and utilized almost that many. Out of them all I do have a few favorites.


 My Top 10 iPad Apps in no particular order:

  1. Blogsy - of course. This is the perfect app for blogging on the go and directly from the iPad!
  2. Food Network - I am a Food Network junkie! Very user friendly, you can search recipes by course or ingredient or by your favorite FN chef. This app let's you save your favorite recipes for easy retrieval as well as create shopping lists.
  3. Houzz - fabulous app with hundreds of thousands of home design photographs. Searchable by room or keyword with the ability to save any picture in your own "idea book" this app will start your design wheels turning!
  4. MA Parks - clearly this is geared toward the Massachusetts resident/visitor but in addition to all MA State Parks you can download National Park Maps. Because the maps are downloaded to your device you do not need an Internet connection to reference them while on a trail. Easy peasey AND free.
  5. FitnessClass - offering classes for all types of exercise. I especially enjoy the kettle bell and kickboxing classes. Each class does cost a one-time download fee.
  6. PicFrame - super simple collage app! Love it.
  7. Skitch - easily add shapes, arrows, sketches, and text annotations to any picture you have saved to your library.
  8. Notes - back to the basics this is my favorite app that comes standard on all iPads. Just a regular old, yellow pad of virtual paper.
  9. Pulse - let's you easily access current news in an aesthetically pleasing mosaic type format. 
  10. LionBrand - a great app for any fiber crafter. Access to thousands of free knit and crochet patterns. You can easily search the database for whatever type of pattern you desire. The app also allows you to easily save all your favorite patterns!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Before and After and Made With Love...

 From this:
 to this....
and this....

Oh how I love the promise of a skein of yarn and all the possibilities!
My favorite gift to give for a new baby or a first birthday present is a knit teddy bear or doll. No plastic and all handmade, these can last parent, to child, to grandchild.

The bears belong to my boys and both have affectionately named them "Jon Bear" and the "Dollie" is one of a few I've made for my daughter. Dollies tend to get a lot of wear so this is the one that stays on the shelf. Her original, well loved, Dollie has had many tutu upgrades as well as a few hair replacement surgeries. My little nephew adores his bear and I've done several repairs to fix boo boos sustained from little boy rough housing. I always keep a bit of the leftover yarn in a little baggie in case of little accidents. Easy peasey!

**** The info: the teddy bears are Blue Sky Alpacas Bobbi Bear pattern. I used Blue Sky Alpaca organic cotton. There is also a Baby Bobbi Bear pattern essentially the same only knits up a bit smaller.

The doll pattern is from Knitted Toys written by Zoƫ Mellor and I knit this up in a cotton yarn as well.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Eat the Colors of the Rainbow......

that's what I've always heard. Perhaps I heard it once years ago and it stuck with me, either way it makes sense to me! Much needed nutrients come from whole, naturally derived foods and I love to cook for taste, comfort, and color....

One of my most favorite "mom" dishes came from my own mother. The best part of this dish is not the fabulous smell it leaves lingering in the house, and it is fabulous, but that my littlest eats a whole bowl, asks for more and wants it everyday until the pot is gone! Full of of vitamins and antioxidants and he loves it, yay!

A handful of good quality, all natural ingredients, a big pot, and an afternoon at home is all you need to complete this simple recipe! 

My Chicken Noodle Soup:

  • 6-7lb. chicken roaster
  • 3 32oz. cans chicken or vegetable broth
  • 6-8 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 stalk of celery chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic diced
  • fresh cilantro chopped, I use a handful because we love cilantro
  • dried parsley, about a tablespoon
  • dried oregano, about a tablespoon
  • package of frozen peas
  • box of noodles, I like Elbows Chifferi but any small pasta would be fine
  • salt and pepper to taste
Cook the roaster in the oven. While the roaster is cooking put the broth, herbs, carrots, onion, celery, and garlic into large soup pot set on medium/high heat. Once the roaster is done cooking strip meat, cut into chunks and add to pot. Add peas and pasta once all the vegetables are tender and cook for 9-10 minutes more. Careful not to over cook the noodles as they will get too soft. Serve with salt and pepper to taste. If you prefer a thicker more hearty stew type dish add a rue to the broth.



Friday, February 10, 2012

A reflective drive....

This morning, while on my way to walk and feed a friend's dog, it struck me again how lovely New England is, and just what a lucky girl I am to be here.

Born and raised in Portland Maine I have always, and will always be a New England gal. There are however times, mostly in the quiet of the car, or on a hike around the orchards, that I breathe in and feel my senses recognize all that is fabulous in this part of the world......
for me it's crisp cool mornings when the first breath outside burns the lungs, but as I acclimate the scent of the fallen leaves, and old trees warms with the sun.

Though I'm a bit farther from the ocean than I'd like to be, about a 45 minute drive, I am blessed to have beautiful trails rounding amazing resevoirs within minutes of my home. One of my most favorite past-times is with Emma and the littles and the love, hiking and exploring those areas.