Browsing the blog archives for September, 2012.

Work in Progress Wednesday #16


Today, I’m linking up with Freshly Pieced, Yours Truly, 3 Four and Under, Free Pretty Things for You, The Trendy Treehouse, Ginger Snap Crafts, Rae Gun Ramblings, My Girlish Whims, Southern Lovely, Clean and Scentsible, Milk and Cuddles, JAQS Studio, Family, Home & Life, The Life of Jennifer Dawn, Uncommon Designs, and Polka Dots on Parade

I finally casted on my second pair of socks for Sockdown September! I just started them last night and I’m making decent progress. I think with this weekend’s little road trip (more on that when we get back) I will finish these babies off. I’m making them as a surprise for a old friend who reads my blog so I’m not telling, other than to say I hope to get these on her feet by the first week of October.

The way Sockdown works is pretty simple really. First of all, if you’re asking WTF, Sockdown is a knit-a-long (KAL) within the Sock Knitters Anonymous group on Ravelry. Essentially, every month a bunch of us try to knit as many pairs of socks that fit under the same guidelines as possible. We post cast on and bind off information and of course all the stuff in between. Every month the guidelines are 1) a set ‘technique’ (though it’s not always technically a technique) like for example socks designed for men or a specific color or cables or something like that. 2) there are a couple of featured designers each month, whose patterns you can knit and NOT follow the technique rule (obviously it’s more fun if you try to find a pattern by the featured designer that uses that month’s technique) aaaaand 3) every other month there is a mystery sock pattern, the mystery being that only one part of the pattern is released at a time as a ‘clue’ and no one really knows what it looks like!

One other rule that I really like is that you actually have two months to finish each months’ socks – as long as they were cast on in the proper month. So for example, as long as I cast on all of my September socks before September 30, I have until October 31 to finish them! At first I thought this might get me trapped in always being a month behind and then never getting a chance to catch up but Sockdowns go from September to September and August is considered a vacation month, you can finish July’s project in time.

Why? Well, other than the fun of a KAL and the public pressure to actually finish my socks in a timely manner, there are prizes! They are drawn for the day after the deadline (so September’s prize will be drawn for on November 1). So fun! Of course the more pairs of socks you finish by each deadline, the more times you are entered in the draw!

The Sockdown challenge for September is just to knit in red. This yarn is Nova Sock Print in 411, I bought it from a cute hobby shop in the woods in Ontario before we left.

maidenhair fern socks

Now! Onto my finished socks! These babies, my Zephyr socks, were my first ever Sockdown socks. Knit in a beautiful yarn by Alisha Goes Around, called Panoply of Peacocks Fingering in ‘Parted’. I ordered it from The Loopy Ewe and I seriously recommend them to anyone. They are a wonderful shop! Physically, they are in Fort Collins in Colorado. The next time we are in Colorado I’d love to take a drive up there!

These socks were knitted for my littlest little! I have enough yarn left for plenty of puffs for my blanket too!

zephyr socks

zephyr socks

zephyr socks


Make Your Own Bath Fizzies

Crafty, Pretty

Today is a fun link up day! All these link ups are full of beautiful and inspirational projects – check some of them out! A Bowl Full of Lemons, Sugar Bee Crafts, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Funky Polkadot Giraffe, Today’s Creative Blog, The Blackberry Vine, Adventures of a DIY Mom, Our Delightful Home, Carolyn’s Homework, Vintage Wanna Bee, The Little Giggler, Crafty Confessions and The Kurtz Corner.

Making your own bath bombs seems a little crazy and to me anyway, it sounds like a lot of work. It’s surprisingly easy though! I made a batch a little while ago to give as gifts and I kept a few for myself, they turned out so well. Now that I have done this once, I know I can make them look a lot prettier!

I made two kinds. One is more dense than the other. The dense batch dissolved pretty unnoticeably in the tub and made my skin crazy, amazingly soft. The puffier kind gave more of a show when they dissolved and also made my skin crazy, amazingly soft. I think the puffy version is better though because part of the fun of bath bombs is the fact that they explode, right?

There are heaps of recipes and tutorials online, but so far I think this one from Martha herself is the best one.

bath fizzies

Bath Fizzies via Martha Stewart

1/2 cup citric acid
1 cup baking soda
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup organic cane sugar
food coloring
essential oil(s)
travel-size spray bottle
silicone ice-cube tray
storage jars

bath fizzies
bath fizzies
First, mix the citric acid, baking soda and cornstarch in an oven proof bowl. Sift it to get the clumps out of the cornstarch. Now stir in the sugar.
bath fizzies
bath fizzies
This part is so cool! Fill a spray bottle with water and food coloring. Of course the more food coloring you use, the more vibrant the color will be. I had two batches going here, one was a light blue and one was a light pink.
bath fizzies
bath fizzies
bath fizzies
bath fizzies
Spritz the water into the powder mixture until you can form it with your hands, then press it onto whatever molds you choose! So fun!
bath fizzies
bath fizzies
These trays took overnight to dry on the counter, the denser ones were sprayed less than the puffy ones, and the puffy ones grew overnight! Store them in pretty jars or wrap them up in pretty chello bags to give away!
bath fizzies
bath fizzies

Menu Monday with Pineapple Sausages


Today I’m linking up with Organizing Junkie and Life as a Lofthouse for Menu Monday!

I made this recipe for the first time with a friend who had just learned it from her aunt and it was so simple and so delicious, my kids and my husband were all about me making it at home. It’s hardly even a recipe (with only two ingredients), but I find some of the best meals come from ‘hardly recipes’.

The nice thing about this recipe (besides the fact that it requires little to no effort at all and still tastes amazing), is that you can either cheap out or go high end and either way, it’s pretty good. Of course high end is going to taste better and since there isn’t much to this, you can splurge a little and not really break the bank! We used some fancy organic canned pineapple but there is no reason not to chop up a fresh pineapple! The sausage we used was an apple smoked sausage and man it was perfect for this.

Pineapple Sausages

2 cans pineapple chunks (with juice)
2 packages sausages

Pineapple Sausages
Pineapple Sausages
Chop up the sausages and add them and both cans of pineapple to a large sautee pan (this is when you should start whatever rice you’re going to have with it. We made a basmati pilaf. Cook over medium-high heat until the sugars in the pineapple juice caramelize.
Pineapple Sausages
My husband had his side by side, but the rest of us piled ours over a bed of rice and mixed it all together. A side salad is also a smart idea. 😉

This Week’s Menu (Sept 24-30)

Monday – Homemade Beef Hamburgers & Fries for the fam, Homemade Spinach Veggie Burgers for me, Vanilla Cakeballs for dessert

Tuesday – Pineapple Sausages for the fam, Vegan Quesadilla for me, Ice Cream with Berries for dessert

Wednesday – Homemade Chicken Nuggets with Rice & Corn for the fam, Tofu Nuggets with Homemade BBQ Sauce for me, Ginger Cookies for dessert

Thursday – BBQ Chicken Legs with Noodles & Peas for the fam, Chick Pea Falafels with Rice for me, Cocoa Brownies for dessert

Friday – We’re off on an adventure, so I have no idea what dinner will be!

Saturday – We’re off on an adventure, so I have no idea what dinner will be!

Sunday – Stew for the fam, Homemade Spinach Veggie Burgers for me, Rice Krispie Squares for dessert

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Vegan ‘Goldfish’ Crackers (Thank you Mama Pea)


Ok so, as you are all painfully aware by now, I’m the biggest fan girl there ever was for Peas and Thank You and for Mama Pea’s cookbook. I will have to tally it up but I think I have made almost all of the recipes now. However, since Mama Pea (aka Sarah Matheny), is someone I really admire and look up to, there is no way I’m posting the details to her recipes – you’ll just have to buy her book. So all year long, I have been posting pretty pictures of my attempts at her recipes and my thoughts on them and how many of our littles liked them and that sort of thing.


The recipe for these crackers is available on her blog, (in the reci’peas’ section har har). So I can post this recipe and encourage you to visit her blog and it’s win-win! We all loved these – and so did our neighbors!

Before I do that though, take a look at some of the recipes I’ve made from her book recently!

These cupcakes have enough sweetness to them to easily be called a cupcake – but they are healthier than your average muffins! 2/3 of my kids loved these and to be fair the one that didn’t isn’t big on jam. I will try these again as Peanut Butter Cupcakes and see what happens. They come together pretty quickly too!

I know, I know. ‘Mama Pea’s Balls’. Whatever. You’re the one with your head in the gutter.

These cupcakes have enough sweetness to them to easily be called a cupcake – but they are healthier than your average muffins! 2/3 of my kids loved these and to be fair the one that didn’t isn’t big on jam. I will try these again as Peanut Butter Cupcakes and see what happens. They come together pretty quickly too!

Ok, so moving along. No, these do not taste just like a goldfish cracker, because vegan cheese doesn’t taste like cheese. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t amazing! I love these! I love them with soup or alone or dipped in whatever I’m dipping veggies in at any given moment.

Vegan 'Goldfish' Crackers (Thank you Mama Pea)

1 cup all purpose gluten free flour
1 cup garbanzo bean flour
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 cup non dairy cheese
1/2 cup vegan margarine
5 tablespoons cold water

Vegan 'Goldfish' Crackers (Thank you Mama Pea)
Vegan 'Goldfish' Crackers (Thank you Mama Pea)
First process both flours, the xanthan gum, salt and mustard. Then add the vegan cheese and pulse. Add the vegan cheese and pulse till it’s all mixed. Now add the vegan marg in chunks and pulse till that is all mixed as well.
Vegan 'Goldfish' Crackers (Thank you Mama Pea)
Vegan 'Goldfish' Crackers (Thank you Mama Pea)
Dump this mixture into a bigger bowl and slowly add the cold water while stirring. Eventually, it’ll hold itself together.
Vegan 'Goldfish' Crackers (Thank you Mama Pea)
Vegan 'Goldfish' Crackers (Thank you Mama Pea)
Once you can make a loaf out of it, wrap it in plastic wrap and pop it in the first for about an hour (or more). Theeeeen, preheat your oven to 350 and roll out your chilled dough on a floured surface and cut out shapes (or if your cookie cutters happen to be, oh I don’t know, say 4200km away – that’s 2600 miles, people, you can just use a knife and cut little squares out of them). Then bake them for 10-14 minutes. The kids totally demolished them when they came out of the oven.
Vegan 'Goldfish' Crackers (Thank you Mama Pea)
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We Have Been Exploring….

California, Kids

First my husband’s wonderful parents came to visit us for the first time in LA and we had such a fun time showing them around. So much fun that I fell behind in both homeschool prep and with the Coursea classes I’m taking. The good news is I’m up to date so I’m back to the blog to share with you some of our adventures!

These pictures are from Twinkle Twinkle, a really cute and laid back indoor play space that serves perfect Americanos and really pretty pots of Earl Grey tea (and ice cream piled high or fries for the kids), Disneyland we met Sleeping Beauty, Tiana and Jasime and man I was way more hyped than I thought I’d be, Pacific Park at the Santa Monica Pier (and then later the Santa Monica beach of course), Silly Goose Indoor Playground, Chuck E Cheese, Redondo Beach and duh the Hollywood sign. There are a heap of delicious rando shots I got with my phone too but I will have to add those another day.

Actual blog posts coming at you this weekend, I promise. 🙂 I always struggle with eating awful (as in it tastes good but I know it’s not good for me) food when we have visitors and this time was no exception. I’m back on the wagon and am armed with a ton of recipes I can’t wait to share! Plus homeschooling has been going really well and we’ve all been learning a lot (& also having a lot of fun with arts & crafts) so there are fun things to share on those fronts as well. Happy Friday!!!

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