New Tie

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Hellboy #2 is going to be Julian Bond in the school’s Black History Month program. I thought this costume would be easy-peasy for once. Not so much. Finding little boy ties is like finding hen’s teeth. Astonishing this close to Easter. I found some at Macy’s but they were $15 a piece! Given a better than 80% likelihood that said tie would NOT make it home, I decided to make it myself. Not bad, I’d say, especially for a first attempt. It took all of 20 minutes and probably would’ve taken less if I’d had the right kind of elastic.

Score!

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Look at the pretty I found last night for $35!! Once it stops raining I’m going to paint it Annie Sloan Napoleonic blue. I had thought about painting the hardware, but I like that it’s a bit distressed. I especially wanted it because the bottom two drawers are super deep and we can keep all our game boards  and serving bowls in there, and the upper drawers are small; perfect for napkins, and silverware. I’ll probably keep table cloths and serving platters in the middle drawers. Yay me!

 

Home Decor Quandary

 

 

IMG_4989.JPGThis picture is from my bedroom, and I’m finally ready to paint it and that’s where my quandary lies. The white quilt is my magnum opus. It took me a year to quilt that quilt and I will probably never make another one so awesome. Obviously it was done long before I had children, and I quilted the whole thing with a size 10 quilting needle. I don’t think I’ll ever have the eyesight to quilt with a 10 again. This is a closeup of the quilt, yeah, I did all that BY HAND with a needle that’s about a half an inch long. No wonder I’m blind these days.

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It goes without saying that I want my masterpiece on my bed where I can see it every day. It was my intention to paint my bedroom a pretty kiwi green and hang green pinch pleat draperies behind my bed to set off my chocolate brown padded headboard.

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Then the other day I was going through my quilts and saw the pansy quilt. It belonged to my mama and seeing it again made me so happy. I used to have it on my bed after she passed, but it’s too small for our bed now and since I have boys I can’t really put it on their beds either, so I draped it over my headboard. As you can see they don’t really play well together, but they both make me happy, so yeah, I think they’re both going to stay.

My quandary is, what color should I paint my room? A kiwi green would look really awful with the pansy quilt. Can y’all think of a color that would help these two go together better?  I was thinking a purply blue, but I’m not sure. What do y’all think?

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Our master bath, which is really tiny, is this color. I think they look pretty together. Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 2.14.40 PM.png

Tiny Grocery Bags

IMG_4982.JPGKell got an awesome toy kitchen for Christmas and a shopping cart (Got the deal of a lifetime y’all at an online yard sale site. Toy kitchens are expensive, but you can usually score one at a yard sale. (I belong to several sites on Facebook for buying and selling stuff locally. I sold all of Kell’s baby stuff on one.) If all the groceries are gone, you can get those on Amazon and they’re not crazy expensive. Fortunately, the one I got still had the pots, pans, and fruits and veggies. I went to the dollar store and got him some more bowls and measuring spoons).

He loves his kitchen like damn and whoa, but as he pointed out, there were no shopping bags! He’s my official grocery bag toter when we go to the store, so he was quite put out about this. With some quick googling I discovered they don’t really exist! (I’m stunned grocery stores have missed out on this marketing opportunity, you know, get them while they’re young and all, but whatever.)

I checked Pinterest and found some really easy directions and we were off to the races. I made the red one first, then Kell pointed out that we needed a green one too since we shop at both Target and Publix.

I just used some scrap felt I had, if you’re buying, an 1/8 of a yard or a fat quarter is plenty, but check your scraps first. I think these would be really cute made with mismatched fabrics for a scrappy look, and I’m thinking of something I can put in them for party favors, since they’re so easy and cheap to make. Kids love little bags to tote their stuff around in, so even if they don’t have a kitchen they could use it for matchbox cars or little dolls. They’re about 5” wide by 7” tall, so just the right size for little hands.

I prefer wool felt, which can be pricey, but it looks nicer and holds up better. Obviously, any felt or heavy fabric would work. I think felt is cool too because you don’t have to hem it, but if I’d used canvas or denim I would’ve used my pinking shears to keep the edges from fraying. Fray check would work too, but I’m not sure about the chemicals in it, and I know from experience that pretty much anything will wind up in a kid’s mouth.

It probably took me fifteen minutes tops, and they’re so cute! Wish I had some type of printer to put logos on them, but maybe I’ll figure that out later.

Score!

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I scored big on this one y’all. Here’s the thing, I’ve been looking for nightstands forever. I don’t like to buy new furniture, because unless you go totally high end, most of it is crap. I like high quality, but don’t have those kind of dollars, so I do a lot of thrifting. I was in the thrift store the other day, and even had Kell with me as I was only going to make a quick run-through. I never do serious thrifting with the kids unless I’m punishing my oldest boy. I was actually bummed because I’d just missed out on two awesome pieces that got away before I could buy them, so I wasn’t really paying attention.

Nightstands are really difficult because it’s almost impossible to find two. I was actually looking for something to paint as I like to do small paint projects to sell on Craigslist from time to time. And then there they were. Pure walnut. Dovetailed drawers with wooden gliders. I know. I know. I started jumping up and down and hyperventilating. I couldn’t believe it. After nearly five years of searching I found my nightstands. They’re such high quality I almost feel guilty for painting them, but I know I can easily strip and refinish them if it comes to that. They’re not antiques, so I’m not worried about hurting the finish. And get this, they were only $13 a piece!!!!

I’m going back and forth between two colors. Antibes green and Napoleonic blue, but I can’t decide. I know I will paint my sideboard (the one that got away! Grrr) Napoleonic blue when I find one. What do y’all think?

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Throw Back Thursday #TBT

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I love these pictures of us. I was five and he was about ten. Yes, I started first grade when I was five.  I wanted to go to school and they let me. Hey, it was the Seventies. If a kid wanted to go to school they let them go! Wasn’t Whit’s hair gorgeous? Funny thing is, Luke looks just like him in that picture, and Kell looks just like me.

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DIY Yogurt

My family eats a lot of yogurt. Generally, we each eat a cup for breakfast. In the summer I make refrigerator oatmeal which also has yogurt in it. So yeah, lots of yogurt. Lots of money. Being the frugal cook that I am I’ve often thought of making my own, especially since I actually prefer to give my children whole milk as much as possible and whole milk yogurt is almost impossible to find. But I thought I needed a special machine, or some fancy single use equipment. (For the record, I HATE single use appliances.) Nope. I came across this comment over on my online crackhouse, known to most of you as Apartment Therapy, (It might have been The Kitchn, menopause has destroyed my memory)and was immediately intrigued by how easy it sounded. And when you think of it, given how ubiquitous yogurt is in that part of world, it makes sense that they wouldn’t have some fiddly recipe.

Frankly, I learned to make yogurt with a friend from Afghanistan and it was a super-easy, no-monitoring, no-stress way to do it.

I just put whole milk in a heavy pot (I use a LeCreuset dutch oven) until bubbles slightly break on the edge (~just before boiling), let it cool “until the tip of your pinky, when dipped, feels warm to the touch” (quite technical) – stir in some plain yogurt (few scoops/ about 1/2 c) and then I just wrap the whole thing in a huge bath towel and let it sit in the oven (off) for the day or overnight. It’s always worked for me – maybe if I were using raw milk, I’d use a “real” recipe to be sure I wasn’t throwing it down the drain later on!

I made a gallon of yogurt following this recipe. I put in two containers of yogurt since I was making so much. And I was amazed that I actually got yogurt and it was delicious!!! It’s just a bit more runny than store-bought because they put gelatin in it. If you prefer a thicker consistency, like Greek yogurt then you just strain it in cheesecloth, this is also how you make yogurt cheese. I like the runnier consistency for refrigerator oatmeal. Next time I’ll let it sit longer. I was anxious, so I got up at like five in the morning because I was terrified it would go bad. The longer it sits the tangier it gets.

The kids love it because they got to do their own add-ins. Applesauce, granola, honey, maple syrup, preserves, fresh fruit, whatever suits your fancy, for just pennies.

And there you go, nearly a month’s worth of yogurt for about less than $10!! Yay me.