Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Winner: More Felt Friends from Japan

Congratulations to Nora who wrote, "My kids would have a wonderful time with this book."

you will be receiving a copy of More Felt Friends from Japan.

I will email you shortly for your shipping information!

Monday, April 14, 2014

gourmet matzo

** Please note I've updated this recipe. Scroll down for the update**

Well, I can't say that I've ever tried to make matzo before, but I have to say, it was beyond the easiest thing in the world to do. So easy, in fact, that it felt like I was getting away with something, so I decided to challenge myself by making the matzo a bit more gourmet. 

gourmet matzo cools after baking

So I offer you matzo, four ways:

To make the dough: (yields 8 flats)

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

It's a two to one ratio of flour to water. In my case, I used two cups of flour and one cup of water. 

A note on flour: I used plain ole white flour, but you could try a variety of types here. Mix whole wheat with white, how about rye or even spelt?? The possibilities are endless. 

Mix flour with water and then knead dough by hand for about five minutes. 

Break the dough in half again and again until you have eight sections that you will roll into balls. 

**this is where you'd insert your gourmet ingredients, should you go that route - see below. 

Each ball will get rolled with a rolling pin on a flour-covered surface until it is as flat as possible. I noticed the edges were the most likely to remain a little bulky, so I had to really work that pin to flatten them out. 

Using a fork, piece many, many holes up and down the flour (to ensure that it won't rise or bubble).

Place on baking sheet (I could fit two flats per sheet.)

Bake for about 4-5 minutes (until the matzo is crisp)

Let cool.

***now for the gourmet options****

Up first is olive oil and oregano. Once your dough is rolled flat, simply drizzle olive oil and then rub it all over the dough, then shake dried oregano. 

Next is olive matzo. For this one, pulse olives in food processor until they are chopped. Mix the olives in with the dough BEFORE flattening. Your dough will become a bit wet, so have some extra flour on hand and keep adding flour until all wetness is gone. 

Third we have sun dried tomato and basil (from our garden!). As with the olives, pulse tomatoes and basil in food processor, then mix with dough before rolling out. 

Finally, curry matzo. Simply shake curry powder over rolled out matzo. I envision eating this one with some peach chutney I have in the pantry. 

Store matzo in airtight plastic bags. I think plain, salted matzo would make the perfect after school snack for the boys!!

After transferring the matzo to my mom's house last night, it turns out the olive and sun dried tomato and basil matzo was a bit soft and uncracker-like. My mom brilliantly recommended popping them in the microwave and zapping them in 30 second increments and it solved everything! They crisped right back up - and actually became crisper than ever!!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

more shorts!

As part of Kid Clothes Week I decided it was time to make the boys some more shorts. They were both busting out of their previous, undersized pairs. 

Doodle was at school, so I chose this wave-like pattern for him and added "roarange" pockets. (that's Mr. P.'s name for the color that is a mix between red and orange.)

Mr. P. was home on break so we narrowed down his fabric choices to these five:

chemistry beakers:


Vintage Polaroid cameras (I was secretly hoping for this one)

Old newspaper headlines:

and sushi!

My vegetarian child, of course, picked sushi. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Made's shorts pattern in the easiest pattern! And there are so many ways to shake the pattern up…pockets, no pockets, trim, retro style. I love them all! Once the material is cut it now takes me about ten minutes to complete a pair of shorts! 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Doodle turned 5!

It happened over a month ago already, but it's taken me that long to catch up! He's a whole hand now!

Usually, we have an intimate party for the kids here. Doodle especially, is not one to like large crowds and lots of noise and chaos. However, after having attended a few parties at My Gym, he couldn't get it out of his mind and insisted upon having his party there. I tried to remind him that he's not fond of chaos and crowds, but he was adamant, so I listened. 

Brother loved the party:

But Doodle spent most of the party finding various places to hide among the gym equipment. 

He managed to come out for a few games. 

And for the cake. 

And when everyone had left the building, it was time for him to brave the zip line. 

He couldn't have been any happier. Or tired. 

I decided on simple succulent party favors:


I placed the succulents and pots in a bag with some soil. 

There were even follow up parties at friends' houses who couldn't make it. 

This is my child who is already lamenting his lost childhood. He wants to stay a kid forever (isn't that supposed to be my sentiment?) Well, who can blame him? Life is pretty darn awesome when you're five. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Kids' Clothes Week - April 7 - 14, 2014

Well, I promised myself I'd do it and here I go….it's Kid's clothes week!! 

The goal of Kid's Clothes Week?? Sew clothing for children for one hour a day for one week. Okay, some people, perhaps do this anyways, but not I said the fly. I take forever to finish a sewing project. 

So, what will my project be, you ask? I have decided to try my hand at making Doodle a pair of button down pajamas using Oliver + S's sleepover pajama pattern in a size six so he has a long while to wear them. 

I chose this fabric called Fox and The Houndstooth by Andie Hanna

I purchased the fabric in December when the boys were obsessed with that What Does the Fox Say song. 

So head on over to kid's clothes week, sign up and start sewing!!!I'll check in at the end of the week and share the results!!

Friday, April 4, 2014

free giveaway: more felt friends from Japan

Years ago, I gave away a copy of Felt Friends from Japan on my blog. Recently, I was contacted by author, Naomi Tabatha's publicist to see if I'd be interested in giving away a copy of her sequel, More Felt Friends from Japan. The book is just too cute to resist!

With over 80 projects, felt enthusiasts can make plushes, charms and mascots. 

How fun would this dress up activity be?

And here's my favorite, the felt clutch!

Want to win it? All you have to do is leave a comment! Please include your email address (you can write it in the following format: name (at) email (dot) com.) Open to U.S. mailing addresses only. 

This giveaway will close on April 15th at 11:59 pm et.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

we have a winner! Veronica Mars Movie DVD

And the winner of the Veronica Mars DVD is Joseph!! Congratulations and you should receive your prize shortly! Thanks for playing, everyone!!

Friday, March 28, 2014

mom doodles are brilliant

File this under, "why didn't I think of that?"

Amber Wheeler, mom to Ethan, has compiled a lovely collection of doodles surrounding her baby's photos. 

Too funny! I suppose I could still do this with my boys and let them draw their own backgrounds on the computer. I think they'd love it!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

boomf photo marshmallows

What the what? You can print personal photos onto marshmallows?? I mean, this opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Why wasn't this around during the holidays??? 

Monday, March 24, 2014

rooted - vegetable inspired couture

Alyssa MacNamara has come up with quite a concept here inspired by the natural world. Aside from Halloween or perhaps a harvest festival, I'm not sure when I'd actually wear these exquisite frocks, but they are sure fun to look at! 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

washi top review, take two

I love my new washi top!

I've made one once before and I wear it all the time!

I like the two-toned look of this top! (I took a gamble with this approach, but I think it worked!)

The only thing I don't love is the raw edges around the sleeves and underarms. I was thinking of making my own bias tape and working it around this area, otherwise I think it will fray each time I wash it. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

my new novel will arrive in May, 2015!

I'm thrilled to announce that the contract is signed and my new young adult novel will be published by Ashland Creek Press in May, 2015!! (My previous young adult novel, Urban Falcon, was published in 2009.)I am so excited about this project that I have been working on for the last few years. Here's a nice writeup of Ashland Creek press in the Huffington Post. This project was made, in part, thanks to a grant I received from the Center for Cultural Innovation in San Francisco. Stay tuned for more about my new book!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

managing an editorial calendar for your blog (or your life!)

I came across this post from Sew Mama Sew while she was guest posting on While She Naps and thought it might be helpful to pass along. I find, my two blogs run more smoothly when I have the month planned out it advance (which is almost never) and when I sit down and bang out three or four posts at a time. It seems to work for efficiency. But I often lose track of what kinds of posts I'm writing. Ideally, I'd like there to be variety and jump from things like, cooking tutorials, sewing tutorials, interesting finds, family life, etc. 

Hope you find it helpful!

Monday, March 17, 2014

the piggies took a bath!

The piggies took their first bath a few weeks ago. Who knew that all natural dog shampoo is a big no-no for piggy bath time? Instead, I was advised to use a no tears kitten shampoo. 

I filled a tub I purchased at the 99 cent store with warm water and placed a washcloth at the bottom so there wouldn't be any sliding. Gunther leaped straight out of the sink and onto the kitchen counter, but then she calmed down and enjoyed her rub down. 

Cleo LOVED the bath. He was so happy. 

I had read that pigs get hypothermia pretty easily, so it's important to dry them off well. I had read online to use a hairdryer on a low setting. Cleo was fine with it, but Gunther (surprise surprise) did some more leaping, so I stuck to towel drying her. 

Now I have two fresh piggies that smell like kittens.