Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Kale Chips

I know there are a gazillion kale chip recipes out there, but in case you have never experienced them I thought I would share how I make them. These things are seriously addictive. Try them. I promise you will love them. This is the only way I can get the kids to eat kale.

I like to use organic or local kale when I can, but every now and then I get lazy. Sometimes I buy these big bags of kale to put in smoothies or to make kale chips. The kale is already washed and torn into bite size pieces. If you buy kale that is not already ready to go, wash and tear away from the steam into bite size pieces. I usually just tear it with my hands.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If you are cooking something else that is a different temperature, it will still work you just need to watch it very carefully so it does not burn. Oil a cookie sheet or two (I always make 2 because I can eat a whole sheet myself). Spread out the kale evenly. Spray with more oil and sprinkle with kosher salt.


Put the kale in the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes.

You will know it is ready when you shake the cookie sheet and the kale moves around and makes a noise. You want the kale to be very crispy.


So, so easy and the perfect way to get in some greens.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

No Sew Camera Purse

I have been eyeing all those beautiful camera purses lately, but right now I just can't justify the price. I have been brainstorming about making my own. Then all of the sudden I had an idea. Why not use the padded inserts that came with my camera bag to fashion my own camera purse?

Here's what I did. I looked through all the inserts I have from two different bags. I decided that I could put these pieces together for my camera and an extra lens.


I played around with the pieces until I came up with this.


It even fits in this purse that I have had in my refashion pile.


Plus there is still room for a zipper pouch, wallet, phone, keys, and more.


I took these from my iphone so that you can see how it fits. I wrapped the padded strap around the lens on the camera for added protection.


Now I feel much better about lugging my camera around in my purse.


I know that this is stretching it for Crafty Tuesday, but it's all I've got this week.

Monday, June 27, 2011

52 Weeks of Me- Daily Object

This week's theme is daily object. I couldn't decide between my camera and my phone. Both are lugged around with me wherever I go. So I thought I would just combine the two together. I know everyone was looking forward to seeing more of me, but all you get is my hand this week.

I can't believe we are halfway through this project. I know I haven't participated every week, but I am trying to hang in there. Knowing that we are halfway through helps. : )

Daily Object

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Quick Chickpea Curry

This recipe is definitely inspired by Christina's recipe. I was craving a chickpea curry, but didn't have all the ingredients to make her version, so I improvised. I was happy with how it turned out so I thought I would share.



1/2 sweet onion diced

3 roma tomatoes diced

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 can of chickpeas

2 tbsp mild curry paste

1/2 cup of water


Heat olive oil in a pan. Add onion and cooked until it softens and becomes translucent. Add the coconut oil, then add the tomatoes. Cook for about 5-7 minutes. Add the mild curry paste and the chickpeas. Then add the water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low. Cook for another 10-15 minutes.

Serve over brown rice. You could also add spinach to the mix, but I had broccoli so I steamed it instead.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dress to Skirt Refashion

I found this dress a couple of years ago at a thrift store. At the time I thought I could make something for Harper with it. Then I tried it on and it kind of fit, so I thought I might actually wear it. Then I tried it on again and realized I haven't worn it because it is WAY too short. So I chopped off the top and made it into a skirt.


I just added a ribbed knit yoga style waistband. Now I have a brand new skirt that I will definitely wear.


dress to skirt refashion

I have a couple of other refashions in the works. I really need to work my way through my stash or get rid of some stuff.

Happy Crafty Tuesday everyone!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

52 Weeks of Me-Looking Through

This week's theme is Looking Through. I really wanted to use my underwater camera and get a shot underwater, but we didn't make it to the pool this week. This idea seemed a lot better in my head. Can you tell Bailey was wondering what the heck I was doing? I set the timer and ran out the door. This was the very first shot I took. I tried several times, but this one ended up being the best one.

Looking Through

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there, especially my dad, my husband, and my father-in-law.

Friday, June 17, 2011

How I Cook Tofu

I have been a vegetarian for 14 years now. It took me 12 years to discover this method of cooking tofu. I tried cooking it every way possible and just never could get it nice and crispy. The following method is the easiest and tastiest way I have found to cook tofu.

Start with a block of tofu. I always use organic non-gmo extra firm tofu. Drain off the liquid. Then slice into 1/2 inch slabs.


Place the tofu in a single on a plate covered by a towel.


Place the other side of the towel over the tofu and cover with another plate. Then place something heavy on top. This will help drain the excess liquid from the tofu. If you are in a hurry or feeling lazy, you can definitely skip this step. Just squeeze the tofu block with your hands over the sink. You might have to cook the tofu a little longer too.


While the tofu is draining, preheat the oven to 350. Then pour some soy sauce in a ramekin or bowl.


Let the tofu drain for at least 15 minutes. Then spray a cookie sheet with oil and place the tofu slabs on it. Coat both sides with soy sauce. Then place in the oven. Flip the tofu after about 20 minutes. Then cook for another 20 minutes or so. The longer you cook it the crispier it will get.


Mmmm. See how crisy and yummy it looks. I save the leftovers to use during the week when I need some protein for a meal. It tastes great cubed on a salad.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Recycled Scrapbook Kit- Party Favors

I decided to spend a little more time on the party favors for Harper's Birthday Party, since I had to do very little preparation for the party. I did not plan it this way, but I was able to use supplies I had on hand and did not have to buy anything for this party favors. It felt so good to use up some of my scraps as well as recycle some cardboard from the recycle bin.


First I cut out the cardboard pieces. I used this tutorial as a guide.

I cut 4 sheets of plain paper in half for each journal. Then I sewed along the middle crease.


I am always afraid that I am not going to have enough so I made 22 journals to be on the safe side.


I used scrap paper that I had on hand plus some cards I had saved from various celebrations. I cut out different pieces by hand and also using my sizzix. I labeled all the envelopes. Then I placed everything in the envelope and tied each one with twine.


Hopefully the girls will know what to do with it. Really all they need is a glue stick and an imagination.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Harper's Birthday Party

Harper's birthday party was on her actual birthday, which worked out perfectly. We had her party at the Skate Center and it was so much fun.


She worked up a sweat with all that skating.


This was the best photo I got of her skating. My camera did not like the lighting situation in the Skate Center. I am going to blame it on the camera not the photographer.


Harper's party was a ton of fun. She was a little sore the next day though. I have to admit I am glad that the two birthday parties are behind me now.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Happy Birthday Harper


Dear Harper,

Seven years old, really? I always tease you that you didn't want to be born on my birthday because you wanted to have your very own birthday. I swear you came out of the womb knowing what you wanted and when you wanted it. You are so strong and independent, but also so caring and loving. This year you have made me proud more times than I can count. Just this morning a father stopped me in the parking lot after I dropped you off at camp. He asked if I was your mom and I said, "yes". He said, "Harper has been so sweet to my little girl who has special needs". I love that you can be friends with someone without judging them or feeling strange just because they are different from you. I could go on and on because I am always getting compliments from others on your behavior and your character. I am so fortunate to be your mother. Thanks for being you.

I hope you have the best birthday ever, Babycakes.


Friday, June 10, 2011


Today is my birthday and I am 36. I usually try to sail right on through my birthday straight to Harper's. I am not a big birthday person so I actually like that my birthday often gets overshadowed by Harper's birthday. Is that strange? I am now officially closer to 40 than 30 and honestly it makes me a little sad mostly because I still feel like I am 25. How is it possible that I am 36? I mean I can remember when my parents were 36 and they were old. (Sorry mom and dad) I am trying to take it all in stride. The fact that my kids are now 5 and 7 (well she will be tomorrow) is not helping matters.

Moving on....let's talk about what is going on with me, since we are on the subject. : ) I am slowing trying to get back to running. I have a long way to go before I am back to where I was before I started having hip broblems, but I am taking it day by day. After the half marathon, I did not try running at all for 2 weeks. My body, specifically my hips, were very sore. I stuck to walking, strenth training and yoga. I have also switched my workouts to the morning, so I have been getting up at 5:15 and exercising. As a result, I go to bed not too long after the kids go to bed. So far this is going well. I love having the afternoons free and not having to worry about working out after dinner. Plus it is a lot cooler running in the morning. It is also really quiet in the house so yoga is much more enjoyable and peaceful. If you are looking for a good yoga podcast, I have really been enjoying Sarah B. Yoga.


The garden is looking good. I planted my herb garden like I do every year. I have lots of basil, cilantro, dill, and parsley. We also have tomato plants, squash, watermelon, and a pumpkin plant Harper brought home from school. It has been in the high 90's here so we (mostly Mitch) have been doing lots of watering. We need some rain so we can fill our rain barrel back up.

I am still drinking a green smoothie most days, but recently have been adding protein powder for extra staying power. The chocolate Vega Whole Food Optimizer and the vanilla almond Vega Shake and Go Smoothie are my favorites. I just add 2 scoops to the blender with all the rest of my smoothie ingredients. I have also been adding dandelion greens and kale for variety.

I have not been sewing too much, but have lots of ideas jotted down in my notebook. That has to count for something, right? Finding time to sit down and sew for an extended amount of time has been challenging lately. I am hoping after this weekend things will mellow out a bit and I will find some time to sew.


I did finally find time to put some of my photos in these frames and my awesome husband hung it in our bathroom. I love how it turned out.


The cicadas are almost all gone. I did enjoy the novelty of the cicadas, but I am not sad to see them gone.

I hope 36 will be as great as 35.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Girl's Romper


I have been seeing one piece romper for girls and women everywhere this year. I have been really wanting to make one for Harper. She was supposed to dress up like a farm girl today for camp, so I thought this romper would make a cute outfit. Since I was working on a serious deadline, I cut a few corners like not hemming the shorts. She did wear it today though so I guess it wasn't too bad.

I used the tutorial from Crafterhours as a starting point. Instead of shirring the top I just used elastic around the top and added a ruffle. I only did two lines of shirring at the waist. It could probably use a couple more lines so I might go back and do that when I hem the shorts.



It really came together pretty easily. I made notes on all of the measurements and things I would do differently so I can make another one. I think next time I might try an elastic waistband.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Miller's Birthday Party

We had a full blown out birthday party for Miller this year. He decided he wanted to have a water party in the backyard. He invited all the kids from his class, plus all his cousins and the neighbors.

Here's Miller on his actual birthday.

We ended up with 18 kids at the party and there was no major drama. Yea!!



We had sprinklers, water guns, and ended the party with a water balloon fight.



All of the birthday party pictures were taken by my sister and brother in law. Thanks guys!!!

There were tons of photos, but I don't like to show photos of other people's kids unless I get their permission.

One party to go. Harper's birthday is Saturday and she is having her party at the Skate Center. Woohoo.

Once all the birthday craziness settles down, hopefully I can find some time to sew.


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