alphabet and rainbow pillow

4:07:00 PM

A while back, I saw the cutest little pillow on Etsy (sorry, I don't have the link) with a stitched-on felt alphabet. "How cute!" I thought. I had been gathering ideas for Jack and Rose's shared room, and this was just perfect. My current plan for their room includes most of the colors of the rainbow, so I decided that the back of the pillow must have the rainbow-- educational and fun. It took many hours to do the applique of the letters, but luckily, I was in the car with nothing else to do.

dress up

Strawberry costume

5:21:00 PM

Here are a few better pictures of Rose's costume. She was the cutest strawberry I ever did see... Even if I do say so myself.

Strawberry Blossom How-To:

The blossom was made with five large white circles and five small yellow circles of felt. I basted the white circles together at the top of each circle and pulled them together tight to create flower. I made the yellow balls by basting all around the circle. I pulled a little on the thread, filled it with stuffing, and pulled it tight. I added a little sparkle tulle, swirly vines and leaves, and it was done.

dress up

Halloween 2011

5:10:00 PM

We had a great Halloween this year... filled with more candy than ever it feels. We didn't go with a family theme this year Jack and Rob already had their costumes in mind. Jack wanted to be Diego and Rob wanted to be a mad-scientist. Rose went as a strawberry and I did not know until Halloween morning that I'd be whipped cream (strawberries and whipped cream or strawberry shortcake). While we had a great day, we didn't get much in the photo department so here's what we do have:

Jack's costume was easy, the only real things he needed was a badge and a watch. I drew the little badge on illustrator and printed it on iron on transfer paper. Transferred the image to some scrap cotton and backed it with felt. I did the same for the watch.

Rose had a cute red polka dot jumper so we just added a fleece collar and blossom bow. I wore cream clothes with a dollop hat. For the hat, I rolled a piece of cream fleece up, twisted it into a swirl and tacked it in place.

We didn't get a picture of Rob as he was the photographer. Just know that his costume was awesome. :)

be prepared

spaghetti sauce

4:05:00 PM

For anyone who knows me, I commonly don't succeed in the kitchen. So when I tell you that I made an incredibly delicious condensed spaghetti sauce this year for freezing, you may not believe me. But I promise, I did. Part of the deliciousness was the fact that I had fresh produce (it makes a big difference doesn't?).

I came up with this after pouring through recipes of canning spaghetti sauce, but after a meager yet exhausting attempt to can salsa, I decided I'd go with making freezer sauce. Here it is:

Condensed Freezer Spaghetti Sauce

12ish large tomatoes
1 large onion
8 oz fresh mushrooms
1 1/2 cup mixed peppers (bell, banana, Hungarian, Anaheim)
1/2 tsp herbs de province (basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary)
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp chili powder
1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp butter (melted)

1. Roast the tomatoes using the broiler in your oven until the skins start to fall off the tomatoes (about 15 min).
2. Chop peppers, mushrooms and onions. Put into food processor along with the spices. Pulse a few times to begin mixing.
3. When tomatoes are done, take out of oven and let cool. Peel the skins off the tomatoes (an core if wanted).
4. Start food processor and drop tomatoes in, one by one. Mix until it reaches your desired texture.
5. Pour into 2 quart size freezer bags. Lay flat in freezer for a few hours. When semi-stiff, divide into 4 portions with a dowel or stick. Each portion will serve 6-8.

6. When your ready to use your freezer sauce, break off a piece and add a can of diced tomatoes and a can of tomato sauce. For a larger group, you could add two cans of tomatoes. You can add your meat of choice as well. Our favorite mix is a portion of spaghetti sauce, a can of petite diced tomatoes with sweet onions, tomato sauce and hamburger and onions. We add a teensy bit of milk at the end.

Note: this recipe is a little smaller just because I have a 2 quart food processor. You could certainly double or triple to get the more food from your work.

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