Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My Current Knitting Project (with pictures from last year)

Last year I knitted the main part of J's costume for the Harvest Carnival at our church. This year I'm doing the same but for 2 this time :)

Last year I chose a Minion hat because it was too cute to pass up. I found the pattern here on Ravelry. I didn't have the right yarn and I think I went off the pattern a bit too so it ended up a tad bit small for J's head (but it still stayed on). I added a yellow shirt and overalls and ta-da!!

This year I'm going to knit him and his brother dinosaur hats. How much free time I have will decide how elaborate the rest of the costume will be. Since I'll have L in a carrier I want to create an egg that is cracked open to put over the carrier. I'd love to make something like this tail for J too! If I still had time after that I'd make a hat for myself and my husband (if he'd agree to wear it).

Anyone else make their own Halloween/Harvest Carnival outfits?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Portrait Photo Challenge

I'm entering this photo of L into a photo challenge over at Shine Your Glory Down. She currently has a challenge in the voting process. You should check out her page!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Baby Wrap and Matching Hat

After completing it (before L was born)

When I got pregnant with L (almost a year ago now) I knew that I wanted to knit up this wrap designed by Kimberly Wood (click the link to visit the pattern page on Ravelry). I had it on my Ravelry favorites I think way back when I was pregnant with J! It took me a while to pick out the yarn that I wanted (I chose Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick) but once it arrived I got to work knitting. It was an easy knit for me and I'd consider myself an advanced beginner. It was my first time knitting with such a large needle!
I knew that I wanted a hat to go along with it so I searched Ravelry again and found this pattern by Bethany Patchin. It too was a quick knit (in fact I had already knit 2 in blue for Cure International). 
They both ended up looking so cute! Yes, now you can see the finished products in use on my little man :)

I'm just now getting back to knitting after L was born. I'm working on a dinosaur hat for J and if I can find the time I'll make one for L as well. I'm hoping to finish them in time for our church's Harvest Carnival!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Introducing the Letter A

My oldest just turned 2 this month. He is starting to really enjoy exploring with different art supplies. I decided to sneak some learning in and start introducing the alphabet. Last week I introduced the letter A and I'm finally getting around to blogging about it.

J still doesn't talk much so I decided it was best to start with letters that I've heard him say the sounds for. I got out paper and wrote both uppercase and lowercase a in bubble letters. I tore little pieces of tissue paper and crumpled them into small balls.


I helped J dab the glue inside the letters and showed him what to do with the tissue paper. He enjoyed squeezing the glue dabber. He followed directions well and placed the paper in the letters. As he was working I talked about the letter name and sounds.

 He finished this activity pretty quick. I think his favorite part was smearing the glue on the paper. I've put it up on our dishwasher with magnets and every so often I'll ask J what letter it is. Is getting good at identifying it.

This activity can be done with many materials besides tissue paper. Glitter, hole punches, google eyes, etc. Let me know if you tried it and what you used!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Gluten Free Sandwich Bread

Looks good, doesn't it?

One of my friends blessed me with some xanthan gum on Sunday and I figured I should finally try and attempt to make some gluten free bread on my own (I've only made it with mixes prior to this). I searched through Pinterest to find a GF bread that looked tasty (and pinned a few more for future reference as well). I ended up going with this one from Simply Sugar and Gluten Free.

I had to modify it a bit as I didn't have exactly the same ingredients on hand (which is possibly why mine looks a bit...rough).

All prepped

Ingredients (modified from site above)
2 1/2 cups Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Baking Flour
1/2 Cup Quinoa Flour
1 tablespoon palm sugar
 2 1/4 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
1 teaspoon sugar (for proofing yeast)
1/4 cup warm water (for proofing yeast)
2 eggs (room temperature)
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup vegetable oil (we only had salad oil)
1 teaspoon sushi vinegar (again, all we had)
1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

To prep: oil a bread loaf pan and line with parchment paper if you like (I found that it made it easier to remove the bread). You will need to preheat your oven to 350 F but keep in mind that your bread will be rising for 1 hour. I have a gas oven so I didn't turn it on till after I had the dough in my pan.

In a large bowl I added the flour and palm sugar (after I grated the palm sugar). I used a fork to make sure both flours and the sugar were well incorporated. In a small bowl I put 2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast and added 1/4 cup of warm water then 1 teaspoon of sugar and let it sit.

In a separate bowl I mixed together 2 eggs, 1 cup of water, 1/4 cup oil, and 1 teaspoon of vinegar. Again, I used a fork to mix these ingredients together.

Next, I added the proofed yeast to the large bowl with the flour/sugar and mixed. I then added the wet ingredients and mixed well.

This is what it looked like after mixing

I've made GF bread before from mixes so I wasn't concerned about the consistency. It's more sticky and wet then normal gluten filled bread. I dumped it all into my Pampered Chef stoneware bread loaf pan, smoothed it out a bit, and covered with plastic wrap. Put dough in a warm place and let rise for 1 hour.

After dough has risen put it in the pre-heated oven to bake for 45-55 minutes. I should have checked on mine during baking because when I pulled it out it was a bit too brown...not burnt tasting though:

Let the bread sit for about 5 minutes then tip the pan on its side and pull the bread out just a bit to let some steam out from below (soggy bottom bread is not tasty). Let that sit for about 15 minutes longer then transfer to a cooling rack (or in my case dump it over and let the bottom cool off). Once the bread is cool to the touch you should be able to slice it.

It didn't crumble! 

So my bread ended up being a little short on top but it has the same consistency as pre-made bread mixes. It had a slightly yeasty taste (yum!) and I really couldn't taste any of the quinoa in it. My toddler gobbled it down and my gluten eating husband was even impressed!

This recipe was a success. I still want to experiment though to try and make it better. I think my next endeavor will be to try and make rolls!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

There's a nap for that!

"There's a nap for that!"

This is what's running through my head as my toddler is constantly getting into trouble and my baby starts screaming whenever I put him down. I really didn't think everyday chores would become 10 times harder with the addition of one child! I'm very thankful for both of them...they are just helping me to get my priorities straight.

While I've been stuck by the computer nursing L I discovered Happy Toy Machine. ou pick different features, colors, and designs to create a toy. This will be so much fun when the boys are older! Right now Totsy is running a promotion. For $30 you can buy a $50 certificate for the Happy Toy Machine store. The sale ends in less than 3 days! To sign up for Totsy visit here.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Modes4U.com Giveaway!

So, I haven't done very well with keeping up with this blog but I've been thinking lately that I want to start blogging more and make this my main blog. I will be posting not only things that I make but also things I cook, activities I do with the boys, and other random things :)

I ran across this giveaway today and it encouraged me to start blogging again. The giveaway is for 12 Kawaii Christmas themed fabric by Modes4U.com. The fabric is definitely cute and would really encourage me pull out my sewing machine! They have many more fabric options on their site as well as other "kawaii" things such as bento boxes, clay sets, and stationary. They even offer free shipping (with a minimum purchase of course) internationally!

This giveaway is open worldwide which made me even more happy! Thank you Craft Gossip for inspiring me to get back to my blog!!