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May 2009

Homemade Feminine Pads

Pads

I do not like the ideas of my girls using plastic feminine pads, so I thought we would try making some and it was sooooo easy. Now there are a zillion tutorials on the subject (many much better then mine) but I wanted to make these as easy as I can. I took out any extra unneeded step. So if you do not really like to sew, these are about as easy as you can make.

You will need

flannel fabric (I used the skirt of the girls old dresses)

an old towel

snaps, *read more at the bottom of the post

Pads 1

1: To make a pattern, I just traced on paper a pad we wear (it is the kind with wings) and just made the wing part a bit longer for the snaps. Cut out two.

2: Take a old towel and cut a narrow piece for the center of the pad. You can cut several towels if you want a thicker pad.

Pads 2

3: First take one flannel piece and set towel piece in the center of it. Just sew a straight stitch down the center of the towel, this is to keep towel (s) from moving around. This is the side of the pad that will be against you. Now pin the other flannel piece on top, so the two flannel pieces match. Just sew all the way around the edge, so the towel is sandwich between the two flannel pieces. You will have a raw edge, but we did not find this to bother us.

4: Then you just add your snaps, you set your pad so the side with the sewn towel is against you and the wings wrap around your underpants and snap.

These can be washed and dried in machine. We keep a bucket of cold water in the bathroom and when one is dirty, we set it in the cold water, till we can wash it.

I made 8 pads in 20 minutes. Chloe cut the flannel pieces, Auberne the towels, I sewed them and we all added snaps. Do not stress about sewing them. They do NOT have to be perfect, after all you are the only seeing them. Just follow the edge line of the fabric.

For the snaps I really recommend Snapsource, Snapstter . It is soo easy to do, you can get fun colored snaps and you will find you can add snaps on so many thing. More, then I realized before I had Snapsetter.

Lastly if you still do not think you want to try making pads but are interested in buy some I highly recommend Crea*tiveMama. I originally bought two for the girls to see if they like them before we tried making them ourselves. Crea8tiveMama's are really well made and a very good price. Tell her Storybook Woods sent you xoxox 


Amazon and My Baking

Harvest breakfast 

I hope you do not mind me tooting my own horn. I just found out Amazon has decided to sell my baking issue. I do not know how they found it, I did not tell them. It is the soft covered book, not the pdf file. I still have my Lulu store which has both. Anyways I am posting because I was hoping if any of you readers who already own it, would mind going to Amazon and writing a review. I really appreciate it, thank you xoxoxox


But I Do Not Want To Throw The Cup Away

Cup 

I love this antique wedgewood cup but it has a fine crack that leaks liquid. I did not want to throw it away. I realized it works perfect as a scoop in my big flour bucket.

Speaking of flour I have to say I have been doing the 5-minute bread for over a year now. I bake a loaf of bread just about every day and it has changed my world. If you have not looking into 5-minute bread I encourage you to do so. Thanks to Paula, I found out there is video showing you just how easy it is.

Also thanks to Jody, I found another video showing how to shape different styles of bread. Thank you ladies xoxox

Really it is all so easy but seeing someone do it can really help. I wish I could just have all of you over and we could bake bread together. This will have to do instead.

Have a wonderful weekend. I know it is a holiday for most of you. My hubby works, so it is not really a holiday for us but we are having a weekend of sun, so that alone makes the weekend feel special. Thank you also thank you for your kind comments about my jewelry and Bessie bag. Eat something yummy and think of me  xox


Bessie, Lily, Victoria and Megan

Bessie 

I have new listing in my shop. Bessie a hand smocked purse, Lily a beaded Lily of the valley pin. Also two cuffs, Victoria and Megan.

I hope everyone is having a rosey day. It has been cold and raining but the sun is suppose to come out. My peas and potatoes are doing well. But I am really wanted to plant green beans and zucchini. Does everyone have a veggie garden?? I actually do not like gardening. But I love to eat and feel I really need to make the most of our property xoxox

Lily


Victoria 

Megan 4


Raw Cucumber Soup

Raw cucumber soup

My hubby and daughters cook their own lunches (well hubby takes leftovers  :), so I am on my own. I have been looking into to raw cooking. I actually like most of my veggies raw anyways, so this works for me. I need to eat hormone-free protein's, beans and nuts are a good choice I can afford. This raw soup has been a favorite of mine lately. It is super easy, you could add any veggies, herbs, seasons you want. By soaking the cashews overnight, you makes them softer, but you do not have to soak them. You can also use raw almonds, walnuts, macadamias or pine nuts.

I had my mother and sister over for tea on Mother's day. I made chicken, hazelnut, grape salad and the raw cucumber soup. It was a big hit. Enjoy xoxox

Raw Cucumber Soup

servers 2 or if you love it, one big bowl

1 cucumber, peeled

1/4 avocado, peeled

5 sprigs of chives or half a green onion

10 raw cashews, soaked in cold water over night (you do not have to soak the cashews but the soup will not be as creamy)

1/2 a garlic clove

salt and pepper to taste

 water as needed

1/4 avocado, sliced for garnish

In a food processor or blender add everything, except avocado to garnish and water. Run till pureed and if too thick add a spoonful of water till you get the constancy you like.

Garnish with avocado and any herbs you love. This needs to be eaten immediately, it does not do well sitting around.

 


Espressodoodle

Espressoo doodles[1]

I have to say a steak is much more my hubbies liking then cookies, but he LOVED these. So I guess they are a keeper. This is just snickerdoodles but instead of using cinnamon sugar you use espresso sugar. Let them cool, you will taste the espresso much more. Snickerdoodles are sugar cookie dough rolled in sugar. So if you have a sugar dough recipe you love, use that. Enjoy and if you make it, let me know what you think!!

 


Espressodoodles
Makes about 2 dozen

 

2 1/2 cup flour, white or whole wheat pastry

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking powder

1 cup soften butter, 2 sticks

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1/3 cup espresso sugar

 

Pre-heat oven 350◦F

In a mixing bowl cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Scrap down bowl, add flour, salt and baking powder. Mix till dough comes together.

Roll dough in balls the size of a walnut and roll in espresso sugar. Set on greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart, the cookies do spread. Bake 9-12 minutes till edges start to brown and center is risen. Let cool on cookies sheet 5 minutes, then transfer to rack to cool.


  


Espresso Sugar

Espresso sugar

When I was a child my favorite treat was cinnamon toast. Taking squishy bread, adding nice thick layer of softened butter and a sprinkling cinnamon sugar over the top . Then put the whole thing under the broiler and watch the sugar get all carmel'ly. I made sure to pull it out just before the bread burns, heaven!

I wanted a "grown up" version of this treat, so I came up with espresso sugar. It is just like cinnamon sugar but with espresso.

 

Esp sug2

Espresso sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 TBL instant espresso powder

mix together and store in ajar with a tight lid.

Take a slice of lovely boule, of course still slather it with softened butter and sprinkle a thick layer of espresso sugar. I will say you can adjust the amount of espresso powder to you liking. 1 TBL. give a light coffee flavor, 2 TBL has intense, almost bitter flavor (this is my fav.) I posted 1 1/2 TBL for a middle of the road but like I said play with the amount until you find what you love. You can also use ground coffee, just make sure it is a very fine ground.

Because the coffee can burn easier, do not let it caramelize too long under a broiler. This is soo good. I made a tag you can print it up if you want to make this as a gift  xox 

ps. make sure you check out my espressodoodle, made with the espresso sugar !!


 


Walking My Days With My Daughters

Litlle girls

Happy Mothers Day to all you amazing mothers. I thought I would post an article I wrote 3 years ago, just before I started my blog. I hope it encourages you, especially any young mothers who might be reading this xoxox

   "I am having a lovely chat with a dear friend who has been my mentor for years, when Chloe (she was 9 at the time) comes in with tears in her eyes. I ask her what is wrong and all I get is a shaking head and more tears. Needless to say, I say goodbye to my friend and Chloe has a good cry. After all we all need a good cry now and then!

When I figure out there is nothing seriously wrong with Chloe, I try to cheer her up with games and fun ideas, but to no avail. Finally the suggestion of baking cookies makes her smile. We make hazelnut espresso cookies, our fav. (One day I will share my secret recipe)

Chloe cheerfully puts on an pinny, some Mozart music and seems happy as a lark. While we are baking, she tells me she love to bake and want to learn more. Which thrills me to no end and I am happy to see the smile on her face. After the cookies are cooling she suggests we both clean the sinks (she can not be my daughter ;-). She informs me she will clean the bathroom sink and I can clean the kitchen sink. With baking soda in hand and our fragrance of choice. Lavender oil for Chloe and lemon oil for me, we set off scrubbing. Chloe takes her time. I can hear her humming, I am humming, all is happy."

    It does sound like a bit of a fairytale and I am such a romantic. But it is all true, I promise!

    I was thinking of why Chloe asked for us to clean the sinks (I know why she asked to bake cookies). I remember when she and her sister were very little, they would follow me everywhere. They were my shadows and still can be. They wanted to do everything I was doing. I did not push them. I let them choose what and when they wanted to do something. I tried to be leisurely and light about it all. I did not worry if something was done wrong. I could come along and rewipe down a counter. I could live with wrinkled laundry. I could be patient enough to do something in a half an hour, when on my own it would only take 15 minutes. The reason why was I was making a garden.  A garden in my girls that I would one day harvest for me and them.

    I can not encourage you enough to gladly bring your little ones along side you. This is where the heart of a home begins. Really it is a win/win situation. They are busily, happily, "playing" house next to you. They know you love them and are willing to set aside your time to be with them. They will associate all these happy memories down the road with the work of life. They will be use to working with you and slowly, be able to do more and more.

    But more then that, they will be use to being with you. Trusting you, look to you in their time of need. This is why I think Chloe wanted to clean sinks that day. She felt a security working along side with me. A place of safety.

    Now I want this to be a truthful fairytale and when my girls were young I was an awful homemaker (and I still struggle, you all know how I HATE cleaning). I did not know what I was doing, I was so in over my head. If the house was still standing at the end of the day, I considered it a miracle. The idea of having my girls along side me, adding to my workload, did NOT appeal to me at all. But after looking to women who were where I wanted to be (something my mother taught me, thank you mom xox) I could see I was focusing on the wrong thing. I was focusing only on the moment, so I started in small steps. Little, by little!

    I learned right alongside my daughters. I did not let fears of "how can I teach my daughters, when I do not know myself" hold me back. I just started small and slow and in time I realized one day that the kitchen, bathroom and living room were pretty clean. From that point on I knew I had grown a bit and did not worry anymore.

    I want to say if your children are older, do not feel it is too late. It is never too late if something is done in love. I believe if I have faith in the Lord, love my children with His unconditional love and allow God to work in my heart, my children's hearts will be soften and changed. When my girls are misbehaving, I tend to look at me and what am I doing because I have found usually it starts with me. Am I the one in a bad mood, am having unrealistic expectation and no patients? I find it is amazing what love, time and dieing to ones expectations can do.

    Being a mother for me, has been about stretching me, dieing to my self-centerness (although I will always have a little diva in me ;-) and becoming a better person. I never want to go back to who I was before. I think all this has made my girls better to. So I encourage you to play, bring your children along side you, look at the big picture and not get mired in the day to day stuff. Yes, today you may not get your bed made and dinner might be scary but I promise down the road you will have a garden that will bless you soo much more (and you will have a yummy meal and your bed made) xox


Rick-Rack and Polka Dots

Spring black 

I saw these shoes at Walmart ($10.00) and had to get them. I will confess I do not shop much at Walmart, but I got some really fun (and cheap) fashions there. So I think I may have to check out Walmart more often.

Spring black 2

As much as I loved these Mary Jane's, I still had to fanny them up a bit. I added rick-rack and a flower. I took regular rick-rack and narrow rick-rack, and stitched them together to make a rosette. I just glued them on with Fabri-Tac. They are staying on just fine. I think the rick-rack makes them perfect. Okay I am off to bed waiting for breakfast, with a stack of mags, for my third day of Mother's day. Sadly I have to go back to normal life tomorrow. :-P xoxoxox