Archive | January, 2011

Sew A Shopping Cart Cover

29 Jan
The first cart cover I made using McCall 5721 for my cousin Anna.

Have you been to the grocery store recently and seen a baby riding around in style in a shopping cart cover?  If not keep your eyes out and I am sure that you will.  When I first heard of the idea of a shopping cart cover I thought it was the most ridiculous thing ever but later had a change of heart.  🙂  I love the fact that my baby is not slobbering all over the shopping cart sharing germs with who knows who.  Another great thing is that they also work on high chairs!  Restaurant high chairs have to be one of the dirtiest things ever in my opinion.  I love the cover especially since Elijah thinks there is nothing better than eating the sides of grocery carts and high chairs. 

I made this cover for Elijah the summer before he was born using the McCall pattern I used before. At about six months (when Elijah could sit up well) we started using it. If you can't see in the picture there are also 3 strips of webbing sewn onto it. These contain velcro loops to attach toys! This is especially great since Eli loves throwing things right now! 🙂

After having one cart cover for the past year I decided that I would really like to have another one.  (The reason being that I was always leaving the cover in Brandon’s car and then not having it with me in my car when I went to the store or if we were at a restaurant.)  Although this might sound frivolous I did make the second one out of an old flat twin sheet.  The total cost to make the second one including the new pattern was only 3.50.  🙂  Now I have one to keep in each car.  

The most recent cart cover made from a flat twin sheet.

For the blue dot cover I used a new pattern: Simplicity 3561.  The reason I chose a different pattern was that the Simplicity pattern only called for 3 yards of fabric vs. the 4 1/4 yds it took to make the McCalls.  I was able to make it entirely from a twin flat sheet.  I don’t think I would have had enough fabric in the sheet to make the McCalls pattern.  Between the two patterns I really like the design of the McCalls pattern a little better but I also love the fact that I can buy one less yard of fabric (thereby saving money) if I make the Simplicity pattern.  I think Kwik Sew also makes a pattern for a cart cover.  They are my favorite patterns to use but are very expensive.  Unlike McCalls and Simplicity patterns they never go on sale and retail around $10.00!  Way too much for me! 

I’m sure I’ll be making another one of these sometime soon as I have 2 close friends having babies this summer.  I”m also going to be an aunt sometime this fall!  Yeah!!! 🙂    The hardest part for me when sewing something for a friend is deciding exactly what to make.  I love making baby gifts. 🙂


Sneaky Potato Soup

27 Jan

The Sneakiest, Yummiest Potato Soup Ever 🙂

Are you looking for a way to sneak some more veggies into your diet?  Cauliflower in particular?  I just finished making this potato soup for lunch today and it is amazing!  You can’t taste the cauliflower at all.  It is so easy I can make it from memory.  (There are few recipes that I can do that for so this must be easy.)   🙂 

Combine in a large stockpot:

  • 4 large or 8 small potatoes peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 head of cauliflower broken into florets
  • 1 large onion diced.
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. pepper
  • 1 T. Spike seasoning (if you don’t have this I would just add a dash of your favorite seasonings)

Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes.  Mash with a potato masher or puree with an immersion blender.  (I like to use a potato masher for this recipe.  I enjoy the texture more.)  Then add 4 oz. cream cheese and 2 T. butter.  Cook on low for 10 minutes and enjoy! 🙂  This recipe is also great using broccoli in place of the cauliflower if you don’t have cauliflower on hand.  My family loves this just don’t tell them there is cauliflower in it! 😉

Menu Plan Jan 24-30

25 Jan

A while back I wrote a post about why you should make a weekly menu plan.  I thought I would give you all a glimpse into meals at our home this week. 


Breakfast: Cream of Wheat, Apples,

Lunch:  Split Pea Soup, Sandwiches

Dinner: We are having friends over and will be serving Porkchops Perfect, Baked Potatoes, Broccoli, Garlic Sesame Bread, and Apple Cake.

To Do: Make Sesame Bread, Make Kefir.  


Breakfast: Cranberry Bread (Oatmeal for Elijah), Fruit.

Lunch: Sandwiches, Split Pea Soup, Carrot Sticks,

Dinner: Leftover Porkchops Perfect, Sweet Potatoes, Baked Parmesan Asparagus, poppy-seed Rolls.

To Do: Make Yogurt, Make Crockpot Granola, Start Sourdough Herb Bread.


Breakfast: Homemade Yogurt with Granola and fruit.

Lunch: Zuppa Toscana Soup 

Dinner: Spaghetti and Meatballs, Salad, Sourdough Herb Bread.


Breakfast: Waffles and Bacon for Brandon. 🙂 

Lunch: Chicken Tetrazzini, Peas, Salad. 

Dinner: Zuppa Toscana Soup, Fried Cabbage.


Breakfast: Toast and Eggs, Fruit.

Lunch: Chicken Stir Fry with Veggies.

Dinner: Leftovers.


Breakfast: Yogurt Muffins and Kefir Smoothies.

Lunch: Homemade Hamburger Helper and Veggies.

Dinner: Leftovers.

To Do: Start Sourdough Waffles.


Breakfast: Sourdough Waffles, Eggs, Fruit.

Lunch: Crockpot Turkey Chilli and Ham Sandwiches. 

Dinner: Roast for 2 with Veggies.

Sew a Cozy Fleece Car Seat Cover

21 Jan

A cozy car seat cover for baby Rosie.

This past weekend I attended a baby shower for a good friend of mine.  I thought long and hard about what to get her.  I finally settled on a Fleece Car Seat Cover.  You can buy them at the store but they are kind of plain.  They also have a zipper which would make me kind of nervous with a baby.  So of course I decided to make one.  It was so fun! 

6 day old Eli warm and snuggled up under his Cozy Cover. 🙂

I actually used a pattern to make this although it is probably not necessary.  If you can find one on sale I would recommend purchasing Butterick 4416.  This is the pattern that I used and found it pretty easy.  The hardest part is probably picking out the fabric! 🙂  I thought this fabric looked like something my friend would pick out.  Hope she thinks so too! 🙂  The pattern does not contain a flap for the face but you could easily make one.  (Cut a piece of scrap fabric 3 inches longer.  Finish edges and sew one side onto the cover.  Attach velcro tabs to underside of flap and top of cover.) I chose not to include a flap since I thought the baby could breathe better. Overall this was a great project!   

The cover is quick and easy to take on and off. I usually just flipped up the bottom and removed Eli. You can also flip down the top if you want to uncover the baby just a little bit.

Elijah at almost 3 months still enjoying the cozy.

Sourdough Cinnamon-Raisin Bread

19 Jan


Absolutely delicious sourdough raisin bread.

Have you entered the exciting world of sourdough yet?  If not this bread is reason enough to begin cooking with sourdough.  To make you do need something called a Starter which you can either make yourself or get from a friend.  I recommend getting some from a friend.  (I would be more than happy to share just let me know.)  🙂 

Combine 2 cups cold liquid culture, 1 cup of flour and 1/4 cup of water in a large bowl. Let this sit (proof) for 12 hours at room temperature.

After 12 hours add 1 cup of flour and 1/4 cup of water.  Mix and knead until smooth.  Proof 8 hours at room temperature. 

Mix together 3/4 c. milk, 1 1/2 t. salt, 2 T. sugar, 1/4 c. cinnamon, and 1 cup raisins. (You could also add 1 cup of chopped nuts.) Mix well.

Add 2 3/4 c. flour one cup at a time. When it is difficult to stir the flour in transfer to a clean floured counter. Work the rest of the dough in by hand.

Divide the dough in half. (You are making 2 loaves-one for your family and one to share.)

Roll out each half into a rectangle with the width being however long your loaf pan is. Mix together 1/2 c. sugar or other type of sweetener and 2 T. cinnamon. Sprinkle half onto each rectangle. You can also add a tablespoon or two of melted butter to each rectangle before adding the sugar/cinnamon mixture. (I didn't use butter and it was wonderful without it).

Roll up each rectangle to form a loaf of bread. Place in a bread pan and allow to rise about 3 hours. My house was kind of cold so it took a while.

Bake at 375 for 50-55 minutes. Yummy! Even Brandon (who hates raisins) loved this bread.

This bread is absolutely wonderful!  I hope that you enjoy it.  It was so easy.  I’ll never be able to buy a loaf in the store again.  Much better than any store-bought cinnamon-raisin bread and I didn’t pay 3.29 a loaf for it!  🙂

Eli hates snow!

18 Jan

Bundled up and ready to go!

He's so happy right here.

First Steps in the Snow=1 Sad, Screaming Elijah. (He also hated sand last month.)

I thought Eli might enjoy the snow more if his daddy was holding him. Nope he didn't. He still cried. So much for buying Eli snow boots and a 2nd snowsuit this winter. 🙂

Eli was much happier after we took him out to dinner. I love any excuse to play dress up with Eli. 🙂

Butternut Squash Soup Take 2

12 Jan

A couple of months ago I made butternut squash soup for the first time.  It was pretty good.  I decided to make it again but add some veggies that looked like they needed to be eaten soon.  🙂  The result-yummy, yummy.  With some additional pepper this one has a slight kick that is good.  Better yet this soup has just 80 calories per serving (1 cup).  So indulge yourself!  Perfect for a cold fall day.  This recipes makes about 8 cups.  I think we will be making it again tomorrow.

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2 small apples cored and cut in four parts.
  • 1 t. oil-any kind is fine I like coconut best.
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 carrot chopped (peeled if not organic)
  • 1 t. ground cumin
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. ground pepper
  • 1/4 t. ground cayenne pepper (omit if you don’t want the kick)
  • 1/8 t. ground cloves
  • 6 c. broth-chicken, vegetable, or use 6 cups water and 6 bouillon cubes.
  • 1/2 c. plain yogurt-add on top before serving
  • 2 T. chives to add before serving

Preheat oven to 350.  Cut squash in half and place side down in a 9X13 pan.  The inside of the squash should be against the bottom of the pan.  Add apples to pan and 3/4 c. water.  Bake for 1 hour.  When cool remove flesh from squash and apple.

Heat oil in a large saucepan and add onion, carrot, and celery.  Cook on medium heat until soft about 9-10 minutes.  Add squash, apple, spices, and broth.  Simmer until vegetables are tender about 22 minutes.  Puree soup with immersion blender or wait until it is cool and blend small batches in blender.  When serving add a small drop of yogurt and chives.  Yummy and so good for you!

Eli studying SAT vocabulary words with Katelyn. I thought we would skip Teach Your Baby to Read and move right on to SAT vocab. 🙂 We are looking forward to having Katelyn join us again this weekend for more studying.

Black Beans and Pork over Rice

12 Jan



Are you tired of your regular pork chop recipe?  Then try this simple (and I mean simple) Crockpot recipe for dinner instead.  I used a tiny 1.5 quart crock pot for this recipe.

Mix together: 3/4 pound pork loin chops chopped into small cubes (remove from the bone), 1/2 t. chili powder, 1/2 t. coriander (ground) and a dash of salt and pepper. 

Place in a small CrockPot and add 1 can black beans rinsed, and 1 can (10 oz) diced tomatoes with green chilies.  Cook on high 4 hours or low 6 hours.  Stir in 1/4 c. (or less to taste) of chopped cilantro.  Mash slightly to thicken the mixture and serve over rice.  Yummy quick and easy!

Elijah’s New Hat and Mittens

10 Jan

Doesn't he just look darling?

What better way to usher in the New Year than with a new hat and matching mittens?  I recently sewed Elijah a new hat after fighting his old hat for a month.  (The old hat was way too big.) 

Side shot

Bundled up and ready for a walk. Don't you love how the hat matches the Stroller Snuggli?

I used McCall’s 5539 pattern for it and absolutely detested it!  I like the hat a lot but the pattern for the hat was horrible.  I ripped it out 3 times!  So now I am on the look out for a new hat pattern for next year.  Any suggestions?  I did make the mittens from the same pattern which were pretty easy.  Glad it turned out okay overall.  Now what to sew next?

Elijah’s 1st Haircut

8 Jan

Eli's First Haircut!

Before Picture: His hair is so long! He was starting to get that mullet look.

Eli getting ready for his first haircut.

Eli and his Mommy.

I think his face says it all.

The haircut 1/2 finished.  I cut the front and the sides of the ear.  My mom finished cutting Eli's hair and did the back the next day while I held him.  He didn't really like it.

Finished haircut.

What do you think of my haircut?