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Monday, September 30, 2013

new short fiction featured in Storm Cellar

I know I haven't been posting tons lately and for that I apologize! It's been a busy transition getting the kids back in school and fitting everything I want / need to do into the course of one day! Plus, I've been super busy working on my fiction writing. In fact, yesterday, my short story, Unruly, was published in the literary magazine, Storm Cellar. 


It's the fourth story I've published in the last year, so I'm pretty excited about it!

Check it out!



Monday, September 23, 2013

washi top


I love everything about this washi pattern top I completed over the weekend!

I love the fabric! I love the fit! I love the cutout in the front!



And the elastic threadding in the back!



yeah, I sewed the back collar with the wrong side facing up....but I figure my long hair can cover up that mistake. 

The only reason I chose the top option and not the dress was becasue I didn't have enough fabric. Next time, I'll get some fabric with a little more drape and make myself a dress!

The pattern comes from Made By Rae
and can be purchased for $16 dollars. The pattern includes 6 different sizes and you need 1 1/4 yard of fabric to make the dress version, less for the top. 

The pattern book is about 36 pages long and while that seems like a lot, the directions really are step-by-step and easy to follow. I only had  some problems finishing the underarm seams...but that's because I'm sewing challenged. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

DIY teepee

We used to have a backyard full of bamboo that made our home feel like an oasis.

Unfortunately, the roots were appearing in droves in the neighbor's yard and in trying to be good neighbors, we had all the bamboo removed.

It's not as magical out back anymore...there's not as much shade.

But it's not all gloom and doom as we have upcycled some of the bamboo to make our very own teepee! (Did you know there's like 6 ways to spell teepee??!!)

Here's the how-to:

Backyard Teepee

materials needed:
6, 7 ft tall bamboo polls (procured from yard or store)
rope
hack saw
sharpie
string
drop cloth or other cloth material
sandpaper
wet rag
zip ties

1. If you don't have someone cutting your bamboo for you, cut the bamboo into 6 equal pieces using a hacksaw (our polls were 7 feet tall.







2. sand down bamboo. Bamboo (at least the kind we had) has these crazy microscopic filaments that stick to you like splinters. They are quite painful. Once you sand your bamboo, go over it with a wet wash cloth to wipe filaments away.

3. Tie the structure together using rope. Begin by tying two poles together at the top securely. Then keep adding til all 6 are tied together.










4. Fold drop cloth in half lengthwise. Tie a 6 foot piece of string to a sharpie. Have one of you stand by the top middle of the drop cloth and hold the tip of the string while the other person pulls the sharpie to the center. Person number one holds the string taut and person number two draws a perfect semi circle (the string makes it perfect!)




5. Draw a smaller circle at the top of the drop cloth. This is where the poles will poke through at the top of the teepee. Be conservative with the size of the hole; you can always make it bigger.

6. Drape the drop cloth over the teepee.




7. Decide where you want your door to be and pull the drop cloth taut.

8. We poked holes in the drop cloth and then placed a zip tie around each pole (and section of drop cloth covering the pole) in order to keep the fabric nice and tight.

9. Once you do this, there will be a lot of drop cloth slack where you want your door to be. Using scissors, slice a triangular shape in the drop cloth, cutting away all the extra fabric you don't need. You should be left with a nice slit for your opening.




10. Feel free to have kids paint teepee! (we haven't gotten this far yet, but we plan on it!)

The dog likes is:




Doodle likes it:




Mr. P. and his merry band of friends like it!




We also installed a battery operated lantern in there so the kids can read in the teepee at night. 


Next up, perhaps a handwoven teepee rug made out of wild grass....haha

Monday, September 16, 2013

power-up oatmeal

I love oatmeal. It's hearty and filling, but I've been in a bit of an oatmeal rut because, let's face it, oatmeal is kind of boring. 

So I decided to "power up" my oatmeal and wanted to pass along this more vibrant version of a go-to, fast breakfast. 

This version has secret, hidden bananas and good for you boosts. 


Power Up Oatmeal

1/2 banana sliced into small pieces (or other fruit if you prefer)
1 tablespoon maca powder
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon flax seeds
1 tablespoon pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1 teaspoon agave nectar
1/4 cup nuts of your choice broken into smaller pieces (my go-to oatmeal nut is always walnuts)

Make oatmeal per directions on package. Place sliced fruit at bottom of the bowl. Lay oatmeal over the bananas (there something special about having them hidden under there, I'm telling you!) Then add your nuts, powders and seeds. Drizzle with agave. If you prefer a wetter oatmeal, pour some soy, flax, coconut, hemp or regular milk atop. 

Get ready for an energy filled day!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

ten wonderful years

My husband and I just celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. I cannot believe it's been ten years. 

It's seems like just yesterday, we were in high school. 

First came love:


Then came marriage:


Then those babies in the baby carriage (well, they were more Ergo/stroller-type kids)




We actually got away together for two night for the first time since Doodle was born. It was a great and relaxing weekend spent at El Encanto in Santa Barbara. 

This was our view:



We had our own little bungalow:


We swam, we ate, we slept. We took stock of our lives over the past ten years and talked about what we want the next then to look like. I even read an entire book. 

But we came home a little early because we missed the little stinkers too much. They posted this message on the door to greet us. 

 

Monday, September 9, 2013

very pinteresting: tie fighters

I'm starting a new series over here I've titled "Very Pinteresting" (you kind of have to say like a detective who has just unearthed some essential clue)

I will be trying out some Pinterest projects with the kids and letting you all know how it goes!

First up, Tie Fighters from Made.

photo courtesy of Made


I liked this one because the materials list was pretty short. This was an easy project to complete in only a few minutes. I will say, wrapping the pipe cleaners around an inflated balloon stressed me out. Let me back up and explain I have major balloon popping anxiety - I'm pretty sure I get it from my mom. But my kids know that if a balloon is coming for a ride in our car, it's going in the trunk lest it pop while I'm driving and scare the bejesus out of me. That being said, wrapping a very sharp pipe cleaner around an inflated balloon made me want to reach for the Valium. I suppose if you're as crazy as I am, you could tape up the pointy ends with any kind of tape. I decided to live dangerously as you know what? Not one balloon popped. But the kids learned how to make farting noises come out of the balloon. 

If you want to follow me on Pinterest, visit here!

Friday, September 6, 2013

what's in my homeopathic medicine cabinet


Yeah, I keep Tylenol and Advil in my bathroom, but I've pretty much replaced all my other lotions and potions with homeopathic / natural versions. I am by NO means qualified to dole out medical advice, so before switching to any of these products, do your own research and speak with your doctor! But I just wanted to share some alternatives, in case you were interested!

I keep all my natural cures in a drawer in my bathroom cabinet. The key to these products is you can't wait for things to get bad. I.e. treat a sore throat the second you feel a little scratchy. So, let's dive into my alternative drawer!


Let's start with a common cold. I attack from all fronts when I start feeling sick. First up, lots of tea and water. Then Oregano Oil which has proven to kill unwanted bacteria, fungus, yeast, parasites and viruses. I also power up the zinc intake and use Umcka cold care drops. And I use Oscillococcinum under the tongue - which is also child safe!

For sore throats, I have a few different options. The purple Coneflower spray by Uriel, tastes awful, but it works! My kids are really into those lollipop throat pops (have you seen those?) and I let them have one, but only after they let me spray them with purple coneflower. Another alternative is Echinacea Goldenseal Propolis throat spray. Finally, Sambucus elderberry, echinacea, zinc and vitamin C immune lozenges work great. 

Doodle tends to be susceptible to odd skin rashes and eczema. For this I use Calendula Thuja Flora by Uriel. 

Finally, with all my RA joint pain, I'll reach for the arnicare after a bath and rub it into anywhere that hurts. This is also very child safe if a child has a bruise or a bump that is bothering them. 

For headaches, I rub drops of peppermint oil into my children's temples. 

And there you have it!! I have an arsenal of herbs I take as well, but we can dive into that another time! 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

first day of school!

Both  my kids started school today! Mr. P is now a second grader and Doodle has begun his last year of preschool. Eleven weeks of summer break sure flew by quickly. 


Here's Mr. P. on his first day of kindergarten, then 1st grade, and now second grade: 



 


They are growing up so fast! It's crazy! At least they're still totally and completely silly. 





I wouldn't have it any other way.