Friday, October 31, 2014

happy halloween!

Even though there's rain predicted in L.A. tonight, it's not going to stop us from having fun! The only thing scarier than a rainy Halloween is our crazy drought!

Here was this morning's costumes in action. No, I did not sew these costumes. 

But I did sew tonight's costume change!!! Photo to follow. 

The teachers all joined in in a Thriller flashmob choreographed dance that was amazing! Making braised short ribs and kabocha squash soup for dinner before we get out there. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Underwood Farms

I think this was our 8th year at Underwood Family Farms. 

Same kids, same gags.

But this time, we brought the puppy.

We now have pumpkins for days!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

very pinteresting: hanging bat

We made these hanging bats from a project on Pinterest. I didn't have any black fuzzy material, so instead, I recycled some fabric from Doodle's elephant costume from last year's Halloween. 

They're cute, these bats! And very easy to make. Click here for the tutorial. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

very pinteresting: body parts in a jar

I needed something for the Halloween table. Something spooky. Something vaguely disgusting. And I found it in the form of these body parts in faux formaldehyde. 

So spooky. So gross. So easy!!!

Click here for the original instructions I found on Pinterest. 

My ratio for the lime green liquid was about four drops of yellow to one drop of green food coloring. 

The body parts were just assembled from a pile of bones and body parts I've collected over the years. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

fish tank and glow in the dark pants

Doodle requested a tank top (he loves to sleep in them) with a fish on it, so I sewed him this:

They go nicely with his new, glow in the dark astronaut pajama bottoms I made!

And they make him act a little silly. Maybe it's not the new pajamas. Maybe it's just him. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Dried Pears

We're still as enamored with our organic produce delivery box after a year. Everything gets eaten. The fruit goes into smoothies and gets snacked on. The veggies get roasted, sauteed and hidden in smoothies and green juices. Anything leftover gets placed with homemade chicken stock in the slow cooker for Sunday night soup. 

I was looking for something to snack on in the movie theater (we went to see Book of Life this weekend) since Paleo dictates popcorn is out, so I decided to try some dried / dehydrated pears. 

I don't own a dehydrator (and please don't take this as a hint to get me one…) but the oven, set to a low temperature, works just fine. 

I sliced the pear thinly using a mandolin (a gadget I will keep!) I soaked the sliced in a mixture of water and fresh lemon juice to prevent the pears from oxidizing and turning brown for about ten minutes. Setting the oven to 160, I placed the sliced on a baking sheet sprayed with coconut oil and baked them for about six hours. 

I took the pears off the pan before they cooled and then placed them into a plastic bag for the theater. They were crunchy and delicious!!! I think they could even have used an additional hour if you like them super crunchy. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

halloween costumes, continued….

So, after watching Project Runway, I was inspired to try and sketch out the boys' Halloween costumes. Tim Gunn would tell me my proportions are all off, but here you go…one knight and one jester. 

I had fun planning these costumes with the kids. They chose the color schemes and Doodle accompanied me to the fabric store to pick out materials. I went with mostly felt for the costumes as it's pretty sturdy, easy to work with and forgiving. 

We'll see how it all shakes out!

candy wine pairings

I love this chart found on the Kitchn. It helps you pair wine with Halloween Candy:

Halloween just got even more fun. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

duck in cherry reduction

Recently, I discovered an incredible, old fashioned butcher in Santa Monica. If you're local, it's called A Cut Above.

They have absolutely everything here, all so beautifully laid out. And the best part is, their meat and poultry is all hormone free, free range and locally sourced. They are so passionate about their product and have been very patient with me when I ask them all of my questions.

And their products are cheaper than Whole Foods.

They also sell chicken carcasses! What in the world would I want that for?? I've been making my own bone broth lately! (recipe to follow soon).

They make their own bacon!

And the last time I was there, they were selling something called lamb bacon. I haven't tried it yet, but I am definitely intrigued!

They also have a sandwich bar if you're looking for prepared food.

Anyhow, I decided to try making duck for the first time, so I came here to get it. I ended up making duck breast in a cherry reduction sauce with sautéed cabbage.  It was delicious! My 5 year old loved it so much he asked for it the next day both in his snack and in his lunch.

With all the new evidence coming out about how we're creating superbugs and resistance to antibiotics by pumping our meat and poultry full of antibiotics, I think it's an important discovery to find a quality and affordable hormone / antibiotic free, local butcher!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Halloween Tutorials

As I am planning this year's costumes for the boys, I thought I'd take the time to share photos and tutorials from Halloweens past in case any of you are looking for inspiration!

Here is a super simple tutorial for a bat T-shirt (although you could use the embellishment on anything…pillow cases? Tablecloth??)

If you're thinking of a Harry Potter Theme, check out my Wizarding Robe tutorial!

A wizarding wand to go along with your robe:

How about some easy spiders? Great for the under five crowd:

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

see kate sew lookbook

As I was sewing the collar of my very first handmade coat this morning, I said to myself, "Never again. I will never make a coat again!"

And then I saw this newly released photo of See Kate Sew's ICON coat

Looks like I'll be in for one more coat (if I ever finish my current Collete Pattern one!) The 80 degree Los Angeles weather has certainly not been motivational. See Kate Sew's coat is done in herringbone (Which is what I'm using for my current coat) so I'll have to find another fun print. 

I also really like the DREAMER TOP made out of knit. She swears it's really easy! I like easy! 

And this two-toned ZIPPY top is so fun!!!

Can't wait to pre-order these paper patterns and get to work on a fall wardrobe! (If only fall would ever get here!!)