Archive | December, 2010

Quick and Easy Homemade Pumpkin Butter in the Crockpot

31 Dec

Pumpkin Butter on homemade bread what a treat!

If you remember back a couple of months ago I cooked and puree a pumpkin.  My freezer currently contains 28 cups of pumpkin (in 2 cup bags) so I have been trying to think of some creative ways to use it.  Hence homemade pumpkin butter.  It was so easy and it is delicious!  I think it would make a great addition to a brunch or as a gift for a friend!  This recipe makes slightly over 1 pint. 

Crockpot Pumpkin Butter

  • 2 cups cooked pumpkin or 1 15 oz. can.
  • 1 cup each white sugar and brown sugar.
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. nutmeg
  • 1/2 t. ginger
  • 1/8 t. ground cloves
  • Combine in a 1.5 quart crock pot and cook about 4 hours stirring often (every 10-15 minutes) so it does not burn.  Enjoy!

Sew a Stroller Snuggly Bunting

30 Dec

Eli is already for a walk and won't get cold now.

When the cold weather hits we don’t stop taking walks we just wear more clothing.  🙂  Even though Eli owns a nice warm bunting some days that just doesn’t quite feel like enough so yesterday afternoon I sewed this up during Eli’s second nap.  No doubt Eli will be warmer and cozier from here on out.  No more kicking off the stroller blanket.  As an added bonus I am pretty sure that when Eli drops something it will end up in the bottom of the snuggly.  I’ve been wanting to make one for a while and just finally got around to it.  Here is how I made Eli’s in case you want to make one too.  I did make it pretty big on purpose as I wanted it to fit next year when he is 2.

Sew a Stroller Snuggly

First I looked around online to see what kind of inspiration I could find.  Unfortunately I couldn’t find any type of directions for sewing one so instead I checked out a couple of stroller snuggly that you could buy.  My favorite was from One Step Ahead.  They were nice and listed the finished measurements as: 36″H X 22″W X 9″D.  I added 1/2″ seam allowances.  Then I decided to add a couple of inches around so that this would fit a 2-year-old (we’ll see next year).  (On the One Step Ahead website many parents noted that this would no longer fit even a 15 month old).  My final cutting measurements were: 42X28X 10. 

I also lined my stroller snuggly for added warmth.  Cut: a rectangle 42″ X 28″ you will need 4 total pieces if you are lining it.  Cut a foot panel 10″ X 28″.  If you would like to simplify the project simply skip the foot panel.  

After you have made your pattern place it inside your stroller. Then mark where the stroller harness needs to come through. (You will be making buttonholes.)

1) Sew the side seams of each lining piece to the other lining piece along each long side. 2) Sew the side seams of the outside fabric along each long side. 3) Sew the foot panel onto the bottom of the fabric.

On the FRONT SIDE ONLY of the lining piece make a mark 10 inches down. Then cut a semi circle. (I used a roasting pan to help me get a better shape). BE CAREFUL NOT TO CUT THROUGH THE BACK. You should cut through only ONE layer of fabric.

Use the portion you cut off from the previous step as a pattern. Cut around it on the outside fabric being careful to ONLY CUT THROUGH ONE LAYER.

Place the pieces wrong sides together.  Fold down the edges and sew together.  (This was the easiest way to sew it together for me.  I had a hard time trying to figure out how to sew them together and then inside it out.)

Using your pattern as a guide. Mark where the buttonholes should go. Then sew buttonholes making sure they are large enough to insert the straps.

Insert baby and enjoy your walk! 🙂

I think he likes it.

 

If you are looking for a car seat snuggly to make I highly recommend Butterick 4416.  I had such fun making this for Eli before he was born.  It was a great way to keep Eli nice and warm as a newborn. 

6 day old Elijah

Christmas Day Memories 2010 Photos

30 Dec

Christmas Eve-Eli was rocking some pretty cool pants.

Christmas Morning coming downstairs.

 

Intrigued by ribbon.

Christmas is even more fun having a baby around! 🙂

Eli was up really early so he crashed by 9:00.

Saving Money on Contacts

28 Dec

Acuvue Oasys for Astigmatism Contact Lens

Do you need to order more contacts?  If so check out Walgreens.com.  Use the code SEEWELL.  Today was the first day I have ever ordered contacts online.  It was incredibly easy and saved lots of money in just a few minutes!  Normally I pay $112 for 2 boxes of contacts but by purchasing my contacts online from Walgreens they were only $64.  Can you believe that?  I saved 48 dollars by ordering them online.  This even includes free shipping so I don’t even have to venture out in the yucky weather.  What easy savings in 3 minutes!  I don’t think I will ever be buying contacts from my doctor again.  Use the coupon code SEEWELL for an additional 20% off your order contact lens order at Walgreens!

Why We Use Cloth Diapers

28 Dec

 

I love cloth diapers

Better for Baby:

  • Baby is less likely to suffer from irritation or rashes when using cloth diapers.  We used disposable diapers for the first couple weeks but as soon as we switched to cloth Eli’s diaper rash disappeared.  He has been almost completely rash free for a year.  It is great not to have to slather yucky Desitin all over his behind each diaper change!
  • Disposable diapers contain Tributyl-tin which is a hormone disrupting chemical and pollutant.  The part of the diaper that gels and gets squishy when wet is sodium polyacrylate.  A similar substance was banned from tampons because it was linked to toxic shock syndrome.  Bleach diapers (most disposable diapers are bleached) contain dioxin a by-product of the bleaching process.  The Enviromental Protection Agency recognizes it as the most toxic carcinogen.  Why would I want my sweet baby exposed to such toxic chemicals so closely to his skin?
  • The Archives of Disease in Childhood published research in 2000 that revealed that the scrotal temperature in boys is increased when they are wearing disposable diapers.  Continued use of disposable diapers could abolish the physiological testicular cooling mechanism which is important for normal spermatogenesis.  Basically this could affect your sons fertility one day.
  • Disposable diapers have also been linked to asthma.
  • I also wonder about other potential dangers which have not yet been studied.  To my knowledge there have not yet been any studies which questioned the safety of disposable diapers in regards to close proximity to the skin and genitals.

Better for the Family:

  • The economic advantages to cloth diapering are substantial enough without every other reason.  On average it cost $80-100 a month for disposable diapers.  The estimated cost to cloth diaper one child from birth to potty training is $2300.   We estimate that by the time Eli is potty trained we will have spent $300.  Not only will we have saved a ton of money but we also will have a complete stash of diapers for the next baby.  If you weren’t planning on having a second baby you can easily resell your diapers.  They maintain much of their worth and should be seen as an investment.  
  • Cloth Diapers are surprisingly convenient.  I never have to make my sweet husband run to KMart late at night because I realized I am almost out of diapers.  Instead I just throw the diapers into the washer, dry them and we are ready to go.  Cloth only means a couple extra loads of laundry a week which isn’t inconvenient at all.  It would be much more inconvenient to have to load up Eli, go to the store, get Eli out, shop for diapers, put Eli back into his car seat, and drive home.   

Better for the World:

  • Did you know that 4% of the garbage in landfills is disposable diapers?  For a household that includes a baby disposable diapers account for 50% of their trash. 
  • The poop in diapers is supposed to be flushed down the toilet so that it can be properly treated by the sewer system, but most people don’t do that.  Instead landfills are full of untreated waste which can leak into the ground water. 

Sew a Birthday Banner

27 Dec
 
The Birthday Banner-A New Tradition

In preparation for Eli’s birthday I really thought about what kinds of birthday traditions we would like to incorporate for our children.  Growing up we had a special birthday tablecloth that adorned our table for each and every birthday.  I wanted birthdays to be fun and special yet simplistic.  Hence the birthday banner was born.  I think it is pretty fun and I am sure it will be a part of each and every birthday celebration for years to come.

Notice the birthday banner in the background. What a great alternative to crepe paper!

To Sew Your Own Birthday Banner:

Supplies: 2 packages of Wright's Double Fold Bias Tape, scrap fabric (I am guessing about 2-3 yards?), Triangle Pattern

I also made a triangle pattern out of a piece of cardstock.  I liked the look of uniform size pieces.  One of the fabrics was also part of a sheet that I had used on 2 other projects so this made it a lot easier to cut out. 🙂  Note: I doubled my triangles (sewed 2 together) so that I could also hang the triangles across a room and not just along a wall.  I think I ended up cutting out 52 triangles in all.  (I cut them out 4 at a time so it didn’t take very long.)

I decided to finish the edges of the triangles since I plan on having the banner for a long time. It will eventually get dirty and need to be washed. 🙂 I serged around the edges but you could also zig zag of use pinking shears. You do not have to serge the short side of the triangle as it will be iniside the bias tape.

Decide if you want to do a pattern (like I did) or randomly. Place them in order and you are ready to sew.

Open up the bias tape and place the edge of the triangle inside. Sew on top of the bias tape.

Hang up your banner and enjoy! You can make the banner any length. Mine is 6 yards long (18 ft.).

A Tale of 3 Stockings

24 Dec

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care...

 Tomorrow marks our third Christmas together but the first one where we actually have stockings hanging on our mantle. 🙂  I was stubborn and decided two years ago that sewing Christmas stockings was going to be a part of our family traditions so here they are.  With having a baby and moving last year I didn’t have time to make them.  (Although if I had realized how simple they would be I might have tried.) 🙂 

Brandon's Stocking

Amanda's Stocking

Eli's Stocking. I think it's the cutest.

Truly there is much joy in our home. We are so blessed.

Eli was so excited about his stocking he couldn't hide it!

Notes: I used Simplicity 4842 view A to make each of the stockings.  They are all 14″ which is plenty big enough.  I did not add any of the fancy trim that the pattern calls for as I like the look of simple stockings better.  The pattern was great to use and also includes instructions for 2 different tree skirts and sewing reusable gift bags.  Now I just can’t wait till Christmas!

Last Minute Christmas Gifts: Aprons

21 Dec
 

They were both excited when they opened their present and pulled out matching aprons.

With less than a week left before Christmas do you find yourself running out of ideas?  Sew an apron for some of the lovely ladies or girls on your Christmas list.  You could probably come up with a pattern on your own but if you are looking to purchase one, I highly recommend McCalls 5720.  One of the great things about this pattern is that it contains both the adult sized pattern and kid sized pattern all in one pattern.  When I can find patterns on sale for .99 I tend to buy them rather than use the brain power to dream them up. 🙂
 
 

I think my Aunt Christy and cousin Anna will have lots of fun with these.

I made two sets of matching aprons last week and they were very well received.  I wish I had captured the look on my cousin Katie’s face when she saw them.  When she realized there was one for her mom she was even more excited!  This was the first time I have ever made matching aprons and I bet it won’t be the last!

My cousin Katie wore her apron the rest of the evening. I can just picture her playing kitchen at home and baking cookies with her mom. 🙂

McCalls 5720 is quickly becoming one of my favorite patterns.

 

I couldn't resist adding a picture of Eli to this post. I think Eli thinks he's a big kid in this picture playing the Wii.

Easy Teething Biscuits

17 Dec

Yummy. Eli loves homemade teething biscuits.

Are you looking for a super easy, fast homemade teething biscuit recipe?  Look no further.  It’s so easy you won’t even need a recipe the second time you make it.

Simple Teething Biscuits:

  • 1 cup baby cereal-you can use any kind
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup fruit juice.
  • Combine and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

Between 2 pieces of wax paper roll out dough. Cut into shapes using a knife, biscuit cutter, or I used the top of a cup.

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until hard.

Your baby will love them. You can have the piece of mind knowing exactly what your baby is eating and the fact that you just saved some money.

Birthday Day Bash of The Year

16 Dec

Our little guy is 1!

That’s right our sweet Elijah turned 1 this past weekend.  It is so hard to believe that a year has flown by.  We had a great time celebrating with our family and were blessed to have over 20 of them in our home. Here are just a few photos from the party.

Eli's birthday cake was a lemon cake with lemon icing.

Eli's Great Grandma Lois even got to come.

Too cool to smile

With so much excitement Eli didn't quite know what to think.

-After being strict on Eli and not letting him enjoy lots of refined or sugar foods I thought for sure that he would dive right in to his little cupcake, but nope. He stuck his finger in it and cried. Oh well. I guess he's going to be a fruits and veggies kind of guy. 😉

Brandon bought the cutest hat for Eli but unfortunately Eli hated it. We couldn't get him to hold still long enough to tie it!

Happy Birthday Eli we love you!

Uncle Bryan