Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Birthday banner!

Birthday bunting/banner!

Photo taken by Lelan over at Good Gravy!

This is so easy and looked so great hanging in the tent! 

Once again, my cute (oh SO helpful) crafting assistants!

Birthday banner idea and directions  from Penny Carnival.  The same great blog where I got the idea for the book slings!  AND so cool -Megan Cooley from Penny Carnival has her NO SEW book sling in Family Fun Magazine this week.  Check it out here.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Abby's 5th birthday

We celebrated Abby's 5th birthday on Saturday.  We had great weather and the slip and side was a big hit!  Here are a few shots from Saturday.  Thanks Nana for a wonderful cake. 

Tissue paper- still a 2 year old's favorite thing!
Kiddie pool still rocks!  Anything with water is a hit.  Water balloons came out later.


I have a ton more pictures-but there were so many kids and I don't want to post other
children (faces) online. 

Friday, August 27, 2010


It has been busy around here lately.  Abby's birthday party is this weekend- more on that later, but we also traveled to visit family at the beach in Rhode Island.  One of the things we did while we were there was celebrate other birthdays in our family and exchange handmade gifts.  All the props have to go to Daddy on this one for a number of reasons-mostly being I could never get the edges on this clipboard to look so good!  I found the idea over at Controling My Chaos.  A hilariously funny blog with a lot of great crafting ideas.    Daddy and the girls made three of  these clipboards for their cousins.  They were a big hit.  The little circles on the bottom are the names of each of the girls.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Fake Haircuts!

Last week we went to our favorite stylist, Sharon, for hair cuts.   Olivia (now 2.5 years old) has not had a hair cut yet and honestly, does not need one as I am growing her hair out long (bangs included) and after I totally botched Abby's hair when she was younger-I swore with this child I would not touch her with scissors.    The problem is Olivia WANTS a hair cut!  So thankfully Sharon gave her a spin in the chair.  Livy was thrilled!!!

Example of my fine work on Abby's hair when she was little.  Could those bangs be any more uneven!! Let's not even talk about how I made half of her head into bangs.............

Monday, August 23, 2010

Eggplant Parm- NOT FRIED!

This was the first time I made this recipe and I liked it b/c you did not have to fry the eggplant and it was LOVED by everyone.  (Even the dog when Livy dropped a big piece on the floor!)

Easy Eggplant Parmesan from Allrecipes


2 medium eggplants, peeled and thinly sliced into 1/2 inch rounds (<-- next time I might slice thinnner)
1 tablespoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups plain bread crumbs
2 cups tomato sauce, divided
1 (16 ounce) package shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 teaspoon dried basil

Heat oven to 350 degrees F

Place sliced eggplant in a colander and sprinkle salt over eggplant and let stand 1 hour; rinse salt and pat dry. Dip eggplant in egg then in bread crumbs. Place a single layer on a sheet pan. Bake until tender, about 5-7 minutes on each side.

Add 1 cup tomato sauce to 9x13 baking dish, half of the eggplant, mozzarella and parmesan cheese; repeat layering process finishing with the cheeses. Sprinkle basil on top.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Thursday, August 19, 2010


The basil is finally ready to pick!  This is one of my basil pickers-pretty cute huh? 

I made a few batches of this Pesto and froze several portions.  Even though I had 5 BIG basil plants-it only yielded enough pesto for about 4 or 5 pasta meals.  (thinking one box or 1 pound of pasta at a time).  Thinking it will be pretty tasty this winter!

Pesto (Adapted from Simply in Season)

This recipe yields about 1 cup of pesto.

1 cup packed fresh basil leaves

3 cloves garlic

1/4 cup nuts (whatever you have on hand: pine nuts, pecans, walnuts, almonds, etc. or a combination)

3-6 tbsp. parmesan cheese

1 tsp. salt

1/4-1/3 cup olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a food processor, processing small batches if needed. Adjust amount of olive oil as needed to obtain the consistency you prefer.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Horn worms = fun all day!

During a recent visit to my mother's garden- the horrible, destructive horn worm was discovered on her tomato plants.  They are HUGE and they can destroy a whole plant over night!  You can of course spray with toxic pesticides to get rid of them or take care of them the old fashion way- plucking them off the plant and cutting them in half with a pair of sissors.    My kids and their cousins decided another option was to keep them as pets.

I get grossed out just LOOKING at them!  I told you they were HUGE.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Blueberry Crumb Bars!

These are wonderful!  I highly recommend making these-they are so easy.  I have used both fresh and frozen blueberries and they came out great.

Blueberry Crumb Bars
Adapted from AllRecipes.com

Yield: I cut these into 36 smallish rectangles

1 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks or 8 ounces)

1 egg

1/4 teaspoon salt

Zest and juice of one lemon

4 cups fresh blueberries

1/2 cup white sugar

4 teaspoons cornstarch

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch pan.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, and baking powder. Mix in salt and lemon zest. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter and egg. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.

3. In another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Gently mix in the blueberries. Sprinkle the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

I just had to add this picture of Abby helping me dice the butter.  Even though she is getting so big-soon to be FIVE- her hands still look little and pudgy.  I love it!  
(and YES, she is sitting on the counter!)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Tea time and play-doh cupcakes!

With Abby's approaching birthday at the end of the month most of the talk around here is about THE birthday.  Today during "tea time" the girls made birthday cupcakes and ice cream. 

Livy is holding the "ice cream" in case you didn't know!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

School shopping!

I have started my school shopping    I head upstairs to the 4th, unused bedroom- you know the room with all the extra stuff you don't or can't throw away that piles up week after week, month after month and open the closet.

There should be an enter at your own risk sign posted to it  or perhaps-open
and watch for falling objects-you'll see why in a minute.........

And TADAH!  Bins of clothes thanks to my sister and her older daughter.  I love hand me downs!  I spent a few hours sorting through clothes (for both girls) and it looks like the only things on my school shopping list this time around will be :  spring coat, new sneakers and winter boots.    Ahhh, my pocket book can come out of hiding now.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Summer coming down......

I can't believe Summer is coming to an end.   In just a few weeks Abby will be starting kindergarten.  Trying to grab as many beach days as we can.  Yesterday was a gorgeous day.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sand Art!

Nana found a Sand Art kit at a yard sale and it worked out to be a great project for kids ages 2 thru 11!   Setting up this project outside is a must!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Why 4 year olds should not serve brownies!

The girls and I cooked up some brownies the other day.  While they were cooling and I was distracted by email, Abby cut herself a piece with her little kids knife.  I laughed out loud when I saw the SIZE of the piece she had in her hand and HOW she cut it out of the whole slab!! 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Garden Post # 18

New garden space and white pumpkins are growing!

The white pumpkins did not get the memo to stay INSIDE the fenced in area!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Birthday project!

I have been thinking long and hard about what to give Abby for her upcoming 5th birthday.  We don't need any more plastic toys, she does not need any clothes and I have asked grandparents for money in lieu of gifts to help pay for upcoming swim and dance lessons throughout the year.   BUT- the one thing I think she will really like is a desk in her room.  Her cousin has one-pink, purple and polka dotted that she thinks is pretty cool and every time I turn around she is taking items in our house ( a chair, a foot stool, the ottoman) and is making a "desk" where she can draw and craft. 

I found these two (yes, I said two- of course Livy will be needing one in a few years!) at a local yard sale and I got both of them for $15!   The woman selling them said they belonged to her husband and her husband's sister when they were little in the 70's and then they had been passed down to her children who were now teenagers and had out grown them.   They are not very big- only about 3 feet across the top, but they are the perfect size for Abby and I was so thrilled to find them.

Now you might be saying- wow, what a great price, but they are U-G-L-Y.  I know, I know, but I have big ideas in store for them.  You just wait!

If you have any doubt how great they will look when I, errr, I mean my husband is done refinishing them.  Just think I got this bed (actually two of them) at a church sale in Rhode Island.  I paid $35 for both beds and I (yes, me- this was before kids) refinished them (oh and that dresser too that I found a local antique crap store).  Most people who see them now think they came from Pottery Barn!  And let me tell you they were in pretty sad shape when I found them.-they would have matched those desks well at the time!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Read all about it!

I was tagged by my friend Jessica at Barefoot by the Sea to answer 8 questions about myself:

1.  If there was one food you could eat for the rest of your life and not have to worry about the calories, what would it be.   Mint choc chip ice cream from Shains of Maine.

2. If you could be remembered for one thing at the end of your life, what would that be?  Being a good mom-maybe even have my kids think I am cool?  That might be asking for too much.

3. What tv show are you embarrassed to admit you watch (go ahead, it will be our little secret.)  Jersey Shore!  Oh the drama, oh the smut! 

4. Do you have a "go to" outfit and if so, why?  Whatever fits and does not have stains all over it from my kids!

5. Do you have a celbrity crush and if so, who?  Not really-I barely have time to even like my husband these days.

6. Favorite band of all time? George Strait and the Ace in the Hole Band.

7. What would be the first thing you'd buy if you won the lottery?  Freedom from debt!

8. What is your greatest fear?     Sharks in any type of water- ocean, pool, lake -I always look behind me.  Jaws scared the begezus out of me!