Thursday, December 11, 2008

Frugal homemade Holiday gifts: Day 1

In the spirit of handmade, frugality and creativity, I'm going to be posting as many ideas as I can for easy, inexpensive holiday gifts you can make lickety-split, so keep checking in!

I came across this recipe for easy Cinnamon pancakes that would make an awesome gift. Whole Foods even has super cute printable gift tag with cooking instructions PDF! In case you can't get to the page, I've copied the Whole Foods recipe here. This makes enough for four gifts, depending on how much you put in each jar. Mason jars would work nicely, I think, especially if you dress them up a bit with some pretty sticky labels.

Ingredients for the Cinnamon pancake mix:

6 cups unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon

To make the pancakes:

1 cup Cinnamon Pancake Mix
3/4 cup low fat cottage cheese
2/3 cup milk
2 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 tablespoons melted butter
Canola oil

Check back tommorow for more ideas!

Monday, December 8, 2008

What I did during the plague

Our family has gone through the plague. It's horrible. FIrst to catch up. Kora had a wonderful third birthday. Kids everywhere, total chaos, totally her kind of bag.

Shortly afterward, and unrelated, we ALL got the Norwalk virus. It was horrible. Terrible. Awful. Then the grandparents came up for thanksgiving, and THEY got it. Four days and tons of bleach later my mom came up and SHE got it. It's very violent, very short-lived, and very contagious. You should probably wash your hands just from reading this.

I've done nothing but take care of sick children and feel guilty for spreading it to family fir two weeks. But in the few minutes where I realize that I need to get a move on because I made the choice this year to make all my xmas gifts I got moving fast on various projects.

I also had a ton of fun doing the Sew Mama Sew! give-away. Wow, so many amazing craft sites out there. Someday, I will have one too. Someday.

In the meantime, here's what I've been dawdling on.

A wide fabric bracelet with my favorite inspirational quote, "this too shall pass". I'm not religious or anything, but I have totally adopted this as my mantra. It's what I kept thinking to myself while I was in labor with Zoë during each contraction, and it's what I say to myself when my three-year-old is having a tantrum because I won't let her wear her leotard out into the freezing cold outdoors. It's also a nice reminder in the good times, too, to cherish each moment.

These are my stacks of little handbags I'm making for my mommy friends. They will be filled with these:

which are little rice lavender heating pads. I got that idea from this Sew Mama Sew! post. I might slip in a pair of my Mother Folker earrings.

Since my dad and I are total crossword fanatics, I'm trying to design a crossword book holder that will have a pen case attached to the side. I made this one, but I think I'll improve upon my original design by shortening the pen case, moving it to the middle of the cover, and sticking in a hard piece of cardboard that I tore off the back of an paper pad. I think he'll like it. I also ordered him volume 15 of Merl Reagle's puzzlebooks to put in it. Ta-da! A whole present for under $15! Oh, and is it wrong that I ordered a copy for myself, too? : )

Kora thought the scraps of fabric would look cute on Zoë.

These bookmarks have been really fun to make. I'm giving them away in packs of three. Basically, they are various Martha Stewart cardstocks glued back to back with a book quote printed on pretty paper and a ribbon. It was easy to incorporate my toddler's eager hands in sorting the cut bookmarks!

I'm still having some issues with migraines. They are very frequent and disrupt my entire day. Blech. Better than having the plague, though.

Stay healthy!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Merl Reagle is an evil genius

This Sunday's crossword is in celebration of Merl Reagle and Will Shortz appearing on the Simpsons tonight! How cool is that?!? Last Sunday's theme was the separation of church and state, so there were blanks in the puzzle where words that included "church" intersected with state names. It was a fun and challenging puzzle. This week's puzzle has the musical notes from the end of the Simpsons running diagonally across the center of the puzzle. This man is mentally disturbed. Who comes up with stuff like this? Anyway, check out the online version of the puzzle here.

I'm feeling much better. The swelling in my throat has gone down tremendously and I can swallow and talk again. Antibiotics, man. Seriously. Painkillers helped too.

It's another beautiful autumn day up here in Seattle. I've been making christmas present for everyone that may lead to new crafts to sell on etsy. I've gotten a lot of comments on the Obama "Yes we Did!" shirts that I made for Kora and a friend. I think I'll list them on my etsy shop and see if anyone will buy them. Right now you can access my shop at

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Thank you, universe of medical technology, for the miracle of antibiotics! Oh, joy. I started feeling better the very next day, and now, two days later, I can swallow in gulps, eat most solid foods, and I think by tomorrow I won't even need my special liquid painkillers. My dad and Shelley were up here to help out--not specifically to help out, but the timing was such at least that they could watch the girls while I went to the hospital to find out why I couldn't swallow and why my throat and ear hurt about as much as labor pains.

Kora but her chin pretty good the day before yesterday too. She accidentally fell on the playground while she was out with a friend. Luckily, again, my dad was around who used to be a medic in a hospital, so he could look at the wound and let us know what he thought we should do about it. Initially we thought it could use some supergluing, but in the end we all decided that it didn't warrant it. Instead we cleaned it and put on some barbie bandaids and it seems to be healing up just fine.

Now Jenna's up too, so we have that much more help around while we recover from our dramatic day. Last night we were all at Callie's house, and I felt so at peace just surrounded by happiness.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ear boo boo

I have the worst ear/throat pain thing in the world going on right now. I went to the hospital this morning because I couldn't even swallow. I still can't really, and that's with pain killers. Yikes, man. I just gave birth two months ago, but this is up there with pain levels. The doc at the hospital couldn't find anything wrong with me, that's the weird thing. No ear infection. A swollen lymph node, but nothing serious. No fever, no flu, no cold. Nothing. Maybe a cavity that has gotten infected? Oh, it's so frustrating.

Add to that the drama of Kora falling and cutting her chin open. It's not that bad, but it was a bunch of chaos while five adults tried to hold her down, clean the wound, and try to decide if we should superglue it or not. I think we win the drama of the day award.