Thursday, January 29, 2009

Lots and lots of fabric!

I just got the fabric I ordered from The Fabric Bar. I'm so excited to start sewing! I'm completely ready for all the wonderful craft books I'm going to get for my birthday. Just so you know, The Fabric Bar is having a wonderful sale right now on lots of Amy Butler fabrics - 50% off. I've got a link to their site on the side bar under "Sites I enjoy".

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Books I want

I've been feeling crafty lately and these are some of the books I would like to get crafty with. Fortunately, my birthday is in a few weeks and these will be on my wish list. Unfortunately, the Lotta Jansdotter book doesn't come out until April.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Yummy granola!

Daniel and I gave some of our friends and family a bag of super tasty Maple Nut Granola as part of their Christmas gift this year. We like it so much that we now make a batch of it every week.

The Ingredients

5 c. old fashioned rolled oats
1 c. coconut chips or flakes
1/2 c. sliced almonds
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1/2 c. light brown sugar
1/3 c. unsalted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/3 c. sunflower seeds
1/2 c. maple syrup
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. canola oil
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1/2 c. raisins

First, preheat oven to 275. Then combine oats, coconut, nuts, brown sugar, and seeds in a large bowl.

In a medium bowl, mix together the maple syrup, water, and oil. Then pour the mixture over the oat mixture and stir until well combined.

Next, spread the mixture into a large (12 by 15 inch) roasting pan or large rimmed baking sheet. Bake 45 minutes and remove from oven and stir. Then bake for another 45 minutes. Stir in cranberries and raisins and enjoy! It is so easy to make and so good to eat. I got the recipe from Eating Well magazine. If you've never checked it out before, I highly recommend buying the magazine or checking out the website for recipes. I've liked every recipe I've tried.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I am not a very organized person. I'm getting better as the years go by, but I've still got a ways to go. One of the only ways I stay organized is to write on a wall calendar hanging in my kitchen. Last year Daniel's parents gave us a photo calendar, which I loved. However, at the end of December, of course, the calendar stopped. I began making plans, but had no where to write them down. I started to worry. I thought I would start standing up friends for lunch, miss visiting teaching appointments and presidency meetings, and get kicked out of Finn's doctor's office for missing too many appointments. I needed a calendar fast. I was going to just go out and buy a calendar, but I don't want to spend $15 on a calendar - Daniel and I can go to the movies for that. So, I decided to make a calendar myself. I'm not particularly crafty, but I like the way it turned out - simple and easy. It's kind of minimalist, but I like that. I just used some card stock, binder rings, photos, and fabric scraps. I really like the texture that the fabric gives to the calendar.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A few of Finn's favorite things...

the piano, or really any musical instrument

his blocks

cellphones, especially blackberries

anything he can climb on

and, of course, his stuffed animals, especially the bunny

Beware the CPSIA

Maybe I'm the last one to hear about the mess that the new law Congress passed a few months ago known as the Consumer Product Safety Information Act (CPSIA) has the potential to create. At first glance it appears to be a good law - it requires testing of all toys and any products used by children for lead and pthalates by Febuaray 10th, 2009. Any not tested will be considered hazardous waste and cannot be sold unless you want to incur a big fine. This rule applies not only to toys made after Feb. 10 but also all that are on the self. Not only do toy makers have to do testing, but apparently the sellers of toys must test what is on their shelves. This is fine for the big toy makers and stores - they can afford it, but what about the small handmade toy companies and stay at home moms who make and sell children's items? They will probably have to go out of business. Testing is very expensive if your a small company - each test can cost $500, and if you have to test a batch of each item you make, that adds up very quickly. What's ironic is that a lot of these small businesses and moms started making toys and other goods for children because they wanted safer options for their kids. Now they'll be out of business and the only option will be to buy from the big toy makers who are the ones who caused all the problems to begin with. So if you like to buy toys from small businesses or on Etsy or if you make items for children and sell them yourself, you should get involved. If you want a little more info, here are some links to news articles here, here, and here. There is also a lot of information on the Mothering Magazine website. They also have some ideas for sample letters to write your senators and congressmen/women. It is also a good idea to call them. I buy most of Finn's toys from small businesses that sell or make toys. I do this because I like to support the little guy and because the toys are of better quality and made by companies whose main objective is to make great toys for kids with natural materials and dyes. I don't want Finn to grow up toyless, but I'm not going to start buying plastic toys because that's my only option after Feb. 10 (Sorry, I don't mean to offend any of you who do buy plastic toys, but I prefer wooden toys. I think they are nicer and last longer, and they're made from a natural material). I guess I'll have to take up woodworking myself.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Favorite thing: Virgil's Root Beer

I've never been a big root beer fan, but I cannot get enough of Virgil's! It has been a great find since I'm trying to eliminate high fructose corn syrup from my life (no more Dr. Pepper :( !). It is filled with wonderful natural herbs and spices like nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, vanilla, wintergreen, and anise and no caffeine. I highly recommend it. (By the way, it is really hard to do a blog entry while holding a 15 month old.)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I'm back!

Well, it's been awhile since I've blogged, as you may have noticed. I can't believe it's been a whole month almost! However, I'm now well rested and ready to return to the world of blogging. For my first post, I'll be playing catch up. We brought in the new year with our dear friends Manasseh and Lachelle. We miss them so much and wish they didn't live so far away in a land called Utah. Also to bring in the the new year , we decided it was time for Finn to get his first haircut. Daniel was his stylist.

So, Finn is now clean cut and no longer has the beginnings of a mullet. He was starting to look a little scraggly, but I kind of miss shaggy Finn.

Here we are at the Red Robin in Chattanooga on our way home from spending Christmas in Lucedale, MS with Daniel's family. He loved that balloon.

This is a picture that Daniel's sister Carmen took of Finn and his two cousins Ladner and Taite. She takes great pictures. This one is one of my favorites just because it makes me laugh.

Here's Finn cracking up at his cousins' shenanigans (is that how you spell that?).

My two sleepy boys on Christmas morning.

Here's Finn at the Ader's house playing around while I try to get pictures to send out in Christmas cards. Valerie and Ben did a great job trying to help me get Finn to smile. I don't know why he didn't want to smile. He's always smiling. This is the second year in a row that the Ader Christmas tree has been my background because we haven't put up a tree of our own. We have a fake tree and plenty of ornaments, but I haven't seen the need to put it up when we just go out of town for Christmas every year. Also, I didn't want to keep Finn out of it every day. Maybe next year we'll put it up since Finn will know a little more about what's going on.

I just thought this picture was cute.

Pre-Christmas: Since there was no tree to get into, Finn has to resort to playing with his favorite blocks (Thanks Ashlee!).

So, now we're all caught up. I hope all of you had a wonderful time during the holidays. Next on my to do list is to read everyone else's blogs to see what you guys have been up to, so I'm sure I'll read all about your holiday experiences then!