Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sensory Tag Blanket Tutorial

As promised, here is my version of the sensory tag blanket. I am not a rule-follower when it comes to sewing. I am self taught, so I hope this tutorial makes sense to you.

I like my tag blankets small because then they can fit into the diaper bag, go in the car, or be carried into church. Large blankets would also be nice to throw on the floor as an activities mat. Either way they are so cute.

Items Needed:
Top fabric
Bottom fabric
All different kinds of ribbon cut about 2 inches long
fabric pins
toy rings (optional)
button snaps (optional)
Iron (optional)
buttons (optional)

First, pre-wash the fabric you decide to use. Don't tell anyone but I never pre-wash. I know, I know, those are the rules but I don't like that rule and I have not had a problem yet...
Choose a size that works for your needs, then cut out two pieces of cloth, a top and a bottom.

With the wrong side face up I fold 1/4 inch all the way around the top and bottom of the fabric. You could either pin it in place or I like to iron it in place.

Fold your ribbons in half and pin them on the bottom fabric all the way around. I like to put my ribbon in a pattern so the whole thing matches. Either way works.

Pin the top fabric to the bottom fabric with "wrong sides" together.

Now sew a single stitch around the entire square close to the edge.

You could now be done or here are a few more options that I put on mine.

I like the idea of a pocket. It is great for small books or toys.

For the pocket, cut a piece that looks nice with the size of blanket you made. Next, fold down the top 1/4 inch and sew a straight line. Then pin/iron down 1/4 inch all the way around the pocket on the three other sides. Pin the pocket to the blanket and then sew the three sides down.

Last I like to add buttons to one tag on each side of the blanket. That way I can attach new toys to keep the blanket fun. There are many kinds of buttons at the fabric store. As you can see in the pictures are sewn in place. They work but are not my favorite. My favorite buttons are hammered in place.

Attach toys to the tags to make a super cute tag blanket!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

20 Minute dessert

For every birthday growing up my mom would make us our favorite homemade ice cream. She would pull out the wood barrel ice cream maker, fill it full of ice and rock salt and for hours (it seemed) we would hear that thing running. The ice cream was amazing!! I have since tried to pass that tradition down to my kids but it just seems like so much work.

Not any more!! For my birthday my mom bought me a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker. Let me just tell you I am totally in love. It takes 20 minutes to whip up a batch of ice cream and you can either eat it then and have it be more a soft serve or freeze it for a few hours and it is more like store bought.

It makes the perfect size for our family and there is normally not a ton of left overs that will be calling me name for days.

Any ideas what color store bought vanilla ice cream is??? Yellow. Any ideas what color homemade vanilla ice cream is? White. Also I can read the names of everything I put into my mine. Just something to think about.

Almost guilt free dessert

Here is to a almost guilt free dessert. Quinoa pudding! If you like quinoa you will love this.

If you do not know what quinoa is (pronounced as KEEN-WAH ) let me bore you for a minute. because it is amazing!
Quinoa is 100% whole grain and is close to being a perfect food source in the balance of nutrition it provides. Technically it's not a grain but they call it that. Quinoa is an excellent source of protein - 12% to 18%. According to The National Academy of Sciences, quinoa is "one of the best sources of protein in the vegetable kingdom". Quinoa contains the amino acid lysine which helps the body produce protein. It also helps the body process the protein in the quinoa and in other foods. The World Health Organization has rated the quality of protein in quinoa to be equivalent or superior to that found in milk products. See amazing!

This recipe I found here came from a beautiful blog. Worth checking out and drooling over.

Now go enjoy some dessert.

Quinoa Pudding with Macerated Strawberries

makes about 4 8 oz servings

3 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream (optional but makes it creamer)
1 or 2 tsp vanilla (mexican of course)
1/4 cup organic sugar
pinch of salt
1 cup quinoa

1 cup strawberries, diced
1 Tbs organic sugar

chopped pistachios (I did not add them but a great idea if you like nuts on desserts)

Place the quinoa in a strainer and rinse it with cold water.

Combine the milk, cream, sugar, salt and vanilla in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add the quinoa and stir. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for about 30 minutes stirring every few minutes. If skin starts to form on top of the milk, just stir it back in. The milk will reduce and thicken. Ladle into bowls.

Place cut strawberries in a bowl and sprinkle them with sugar. Toss them and let them sit at room temperature for about an hour until juices start to come out.

Top the puddings with the strawberries and chopped pistachios.
Quinoa info found on

Monday, October 18, 2010

Ready Set Read!

Myla crawled for two days before she walked. I was always worried because I have heard that kids that don't crawl struggle with reading. Silly I know!

Well at four years old Myla is a reader! It is so fun to see how excited she gets each time she learns a new word. She even read friends today (seven letters)!! Good job Myla we are so happy for you and love watching you grow.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Take two

Don't you just want to kiss this face??? (I love the hair)

For just over a month now Sariah has been having "episodes" (3) that look like seizures. Just to be safe we brought her into her doctor and from there they made an appointment for a EEG.

With the help of a great friend and my sister we went in today for her EEG. We had to sleep deprive Sariah so that she would sleep during the appointment. On a side note if you sleep deprive the child that also means you sleep deprive the mom (why am I still awake???) Since Kirk left early early this morning to Florida for business I was worried about how I was going to keep Sariah awake on the drive down. Nikki watched Myla for me and my sister drove all the way from Roseville to drive with me to Sacramento and also to take care of Capri during the appointment.

It went really well. I had to get Sariah to fall asleep so I gave her her drug of choice.... you guessed it raisins! I don't know what it is but raisins do it every time. She puts some in her mouth and starts sucking on them while she takes some in her hand and then rubs them on her lips, face, arms, eyes..... you name it. I know it sounds really weird and lets face it, it is ummm interesting but sooooo cute at the same time.

Once she was out they hooked her up to all kinds of wires then monitored her for about 25 minutes. After that they put on a strobe light for about 5-8 mins and then I had to wake her up and then they monitored her one last time. Then off we went. We should find out on Friday (which means next week sometime) the results. I really thing everything is ok but at least this will give us peace of mind!

Notice the box next to Sariah. See I was not kidding.

This picture was last month before I bit the bullet and potty trained Sariah. She was so ready and was potty trained in one day. For my kids so far 2 1/2 is the perfect age to potty train.


Even without having a real warm summer I was still pretty happy with our garden this year.
Our favorite garden find would definitely be the raspberries. I don't think I will ever be able to enjoy them from the store again!!

These are some others that grew really well this year and also here.

So the blackberries do not look that big in this picture but we got some of the biggest blackberries I have EVER seen.

Now time to start working on our winter garden!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

My therapy part 1

With life so crazy, crafting is my therapy!

I always have a running list of crafts that I would like to make. This tag blanket has been on my list for a few years and I finally sat down to make it this past week. This was super easy and is one of Capri's favorite toys. I will do a tutorial soon on how easy it is to make.

I did this blanket a little different. Of course I did tags all around it with different ribbon for texture and then I also added snaps to four ribbons so I could attach toys. I like the snap idea so I can change out the toys as Capri gets bored with the current ones. I also added a pocket for a small board book or toy. I made this blanket small enough it can go in the car with us or in my diaper bag.

Then I made some baby sandals. The pictures do not do these justice. They are way cute. Since they were my first pair there are some things I would do differently but I still love them.

Its hard to tell but there is a cut out for the toes and a strap on the heel.

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