Tags: indoor plants
I think I’ve mentioned being a bit obsessed with plants lately. Our home is filled with plants. I don’t have a great history of keeping them alive, so I was very happy yesterday when my husband moved them all along a sun-facing windowsill to soak up the gorgeous morning light. The light was so nice, in fact, I couldn’t help but snap a few pics.
Recent Instagram Pics: Barn doors at the Fort Worth Stockyards, Pencil and ruler heart spotted in the Bishop Arts District, Sunshine in Keller, Nutella Swirl Pound Cake
It’s been a pretty low-key week around here, with the exception of Jason’s very first field trip. His kindergarten class visited the Fort Worth Stock Show, something we’ve never done in the 5 years of living in DFW. I tagged along and have to say, I don’t think I’ll be heading back anytime soon. Guess I’m not much of a farm girl. Based on our conversation later, I don’t think Jason is eager to return either. He cited the egg juggling act and the bus ride as his favorite parts of the trip, with extra emphasis on the bus ride.
A few other favorites from my week:
- Completely agree with this post about food in American culture.
- And speaking of food, here are a couple of recipes on my list to try soon: Beet and Black Bean Veggie Burgers, Mini Lasagna Cups, and Baked Baguette French Toast.
- Totally loving the photography of Uta Barth.
- Such a cute idea for birthday party decor. Perfect for Jenna’s Hello Kitty-Rainbow-Flowers-Pancake birthday party this year.
- Are you hosting a Super Bowl Party? A friend of mine recently shared party ideas on Martha Stewart’s radio program “Living at Home” and posted details on her blog.
Tags: craft, diy, gifts, valentines day
My children don’t actually understand the rules of dominoes, but they love aligning the little pieces in all sorts of configurations and carefully stacking them sideways only to knock them down in a quick procession. This year, I made a set of Valentine’s themed dominoes using small rectangular pieces of wood purchased at the craft store and paper-punched heart shapes.
Tags: valentines day
A couple of years ago, I let Jenna dip-dye a batch of coffee filters cut into heart shapes. It was probably one of her favorite crafts ever, so I thought I would bring it back this year. Since we no longer stock food coloring, we used watercolor paints instead. And, much like last time, we used the painted hearts to make a Valentine’s Day garland.
Tags: recipe, vegetarian
My aunt recently commented on one of my posts that my British roots are apparent in everything I do. I guess it’s no surprise then that I’ve always wanted to make Shepherd’s Pie – vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie. This week, I made my first batch of mini pies, basing them on this recipe. I substituted real butter (of course) for the vegan alternative and omitted the vegan Worcestershire Sauce since we didn’t have any on hand. Oh, and I mixed a bit of bacon in my husband’s pie. Surprise! Just the kind of vegetarian recipe he loves. Bacon or not, these pies were really good and I’ll definitely be making them again.
Tags: candy, valentines day
When we first removed artificial dyes and flavors from our diets two years ago, holidays were a bit of a challenge. Our kids were surrounded by vibrant cookies, candies and cupcakes, all of which contained the forbidden ingredients. These days, all-natural and organic options seem to be more readily available.
Tags: diy, painting, plants
This time of year, I always start to crave greenery. Winter has just taken hold in Texas, and I’m already wishing for Spring. My response is usually to buy indoor plants, something I’ve done in full force this year. I also added a new terra cotta planter to our growing collection of containers, and over the weekend I painted it white and added a large gold heart. Now I’m ready for Spring and Valentine’s Day.
P.S. Just one more scene of green from our house:
Tags: diy, gifts
I’ve been seeing all sorts of hand-drawn dishes popping up on Pinterest lately. Using no more than Sharpie markers and plain dinnerware, it seems you can create gorgeous designs. I love the look of these – and the idea of Jenna designing her own set of dishes – but was a little skeptical about how well the markers would work. We tried it out this weekend, and the results are pretty awesome. I think I might need to run to Ikea soon to buy more inexpensive china.
We each drew our our designs on the plates. For me, it was a little intimidating to get started. I don’t draw very well and there’s little possibility for correction with the markers. I tried to wipe off an area that I wanted to redo, but the color didn’t budge. It seemed to dry immediately. I later discovered that the color doesn’t hold up very well in the dishwasher, so if you end up with a design you don’t like, just wash the dish in the dishwasher instead of baking it in the oven and it will likely come off entirely.
Once we were finished with our drawings, we baked the dishes in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes and let everything cool in the oven before removing.
This was a ton of fun for both Jenna and me and the markers worked really well. I’m not sure if they’re supposed to hold up in the dishwasher. I tried washing them in the dishwasher and the design of one plate was perfectly intact, while another disappeared entirely. For now, I’ll probably hand-wash them.
I think our designs are pretty adorable and would work great as teacher gifts and Valentine’s Day gifts. I also think I might try this as a children’s activity during our next dinner party.
Oh, and Jenna loves eating from her Jenna plate:
Tags: new year's, resolutions
I’m off to a pretty good start with my New Year’s resolution of cooking more. I love cooking sweets – cakes, crepes, cookies, etc. – so this year I’m trying to focus on meals more. I made mini quiches earlier this week and was hoping my egg-loving son would like them. I tried introducing them as scrambled egg cupcakes to reduce the ‘new-factor.’ Jenna loves trying new foods. Jason. Does. Not. But the boy loves eggs and, of course, cupcakes, so what’s not to love about scrambled egg cupcakes? He ate one, but it was was a bit of a struggle (and the promise of cookies may have provided the necessary motivation to overcome said struggle).
In thinking about meals for my family over the year so far, I’ve realized something about my initial resolution to cook more:
I want to cook more for my family.
This is challenging for several reasons:
1. Jason is a picky eater. He likes very plain foods along with the standard preschool fare (pizza, mac-and-cheese, sandwiches) and has very little interest in expanding his repertoire.
2. I am a vegetarian. My family is not. The challenge here is two-fold: limiting the need to cook different meals and learning to cook recipes that I’m not willing to taste. Not at all. I’ve definitely fried my share of bacon and cooked the occasional chicken breast, but I’d like to learn a few more recipes for the carnivores among us.
3. For health reasons, my son needs to maximize his calorie intake. We’re talking an enviable diet of cheese, cream and bacon. Unfortunately, we can’t all eat like this. Sympathy bacon-eating might sound like a great idea, but sympathy weight gain is not. In other words, I don’t need to learn how to make cake pops, I need to learn how to make cake pops but not eat them.
4. What started out to be about cooking is also about time together. Between our schedules and our devices, sitting down face-to-face and talking to each other becomes harder to do. I read this post about how the design of a chair responds to (and perpetuates) parents’ technology dependence, and it definitely struck a chord. I’m secretly hoping that cooking more meals will result in more time together.
So what sounded like an easy resolution at the start of the year is shaping up to be a bit more challenging. But I’ve got 11 months to go, right?
Tags: children's crafts, jewelry
This weekend, Jenna and I painted tiny tube-shaped pasta and made necklaces with the pasta beads: