Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Weaving Loving Intentions


Ever have an idea for a project that you get so excited about? But then, after you get started on it, it seems like you just may have bit off much more than you could chew? That is how my latest work in progress has been for me. I wanted to make a baby gift for a dear friend of mine. Something handmade that could really be useful. So I decided to weave her a baby wrap. Now, up until this point, my weaving experience has been limited to place mats, cloth for bags and scarves. In reality, I probably should not have even considered such a task. But, I did. I went and bought all the colorful cotton and wool yarn to get started on it and then I got to the warp.. which took me nearly 5 hours! I was ready to give up then, but I had too much into it at this point to do that. So, slowly but surely I got to weaving on it. I had about a week that I had so many frustrations that I refused to work on it, simply because I feel like I am weaving my intentions for this new little life and the family it is coming into, into this wrap. I could not stand the thought of the babe being wrapped in frustrations. So I left it alone. Came back to it and since then, things have moved right along. Day after day of weaving in loving thoughts and wishes of good health and so much more for this baby.   I have about 4 yards of the 5 yards done, and I am getting so excited to take it off the loom and see the finished piece, and I am even more excited to give it to my friend once she welcomes her new babe into the world!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

How Our Fairy Garden Grew

     Once upon a time, there was a beautiful tree. There was a little girl who played in its branches and sat in its shade to to read her stories and dream of adventures. Her mama would watch with love as she played and dreamed. But then the little girl grew up and had kids of her own. And one day, some people came along and told her mama that the branches were too high and bothered the electric wires so the tree must be cut down. This made her mama sad. She loved to look out at the tree and remember her little girl playing there, and she wanted to keep some of it, so in protest she got them to leave it a nice tall stump that she could decorate and still enjoy the memories. She decorated the tall stump every holiday and it brought her joy, and her daughter and her children would come and help and that brought her so much joy. 

      But then one day, the mama grew ill, and later passed away. This made her family very sad. But something magical happened the next day. Her family looked out at the tree and it was growing branches! Such beautiful full branches sprung from this tree, it was so full of life and waiting for kids to play under it once more! The daughter and her husband and kids moved into the house and just like their mama, they played around this lovely tree, until one day those people came back to cut the tree, for its branches and grown too much again. This made their mama and papa sad, but they were determined to keep the magic of the tree alive. They used their magic to turn the tree into a giant mushroom, and the children once again played and rested and had adventures around the tree. But then.....

Then the fairies started moving in. They have turned the tree into their home and all around the tree is their village

With a playground, and fairy market and the village square

fairy girl playing in the sand box
and the village well..
around to the beach
and more houses started popping up

All guarded by the giant frog

and now that the fairies have touched it.... the tree is once again full of life!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

So, I have had a couple extra children staying at my house for a while. Two three year olds to be exact. And there is something I have learned about 3 year olds.... they LOVE mac and cheese. They would have it every day if they could. But, I like variation. So I have challenged myself to discover new ways with some of their favorites, to keep them eating and to keep my husband and I sane. Here is my newest variation on mac and cheese. I am sure I am not the first to come up with this idea. Most likely if I Google it, I will find several versions of the same idea, but we had fun coming up with this so thought I would share how we did it. Today's mac and cheese variation is Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese.

First thing's first. Cook your macaroni and your chicken. I think you know how to do that, right? Yeah, thought so.I won't bore you with the details. Chop up the chicken. Once you get that taken care of, combine them in a 9x13 baking dish, along with 2 cups of your favorite cheese. Like this! (note, I jumped the gun and took the pic before cheese, but you still get the idea, right?)


Now that that is combined, we are going to make the sauce for it. You start this by melting the butter in your sauce pan. Once that is melted, you need to wisk in the flour. Now, if you have never made a sauce like this let me warn you... Have the milk right handy before this stage. Unless you have an awesome partner at your disposal (thank you Super Husband) that will run and get the milk for you so you don't burn the butter/ flour mixture. Once those are combined, wisk in your milk. Keep wisking until it thickens. At this point is where I added the ranch dressing (or blue cheese depending on your taste) and the hot sauce. I am not going to tell you how much hot sauce to add. I would say that is a personal taste preference. But if you ask me, the more the better! If you ask the little ones in my house, I don't believe they would agree with me.  So this is what you now have.

Did I happen to mention yet that you need to chop up celery? Well, you do. And if haven't done so, I guess now is a good time to do that. Pour the sauce over your mac/chicken/cheese mixture. Make sure it seeps down in real well. No need to really stir it in, just jiggle the pan a bit to make sure it coats well. Now top it off with that celery you just chopped up and a handful of cheese ( that is an official measurement, right?)
Pop this baby in the oven preheated to 400 degrees and bake it for about 20 mins. Enjoy!

                                      Buffalo Mac and Cheese

                              3 Chicken breasts
                              1 box of elbow macaroni
                              2 ribs of celery   (see a pattern here? Breasts, elbows and ribs??Lame, I know)
                              about 2 1/2 -3 cups of cheese of your choice (I used Colby jack)
                              4 Tlbs butter
                              1/4 cup flour
                              2 cups milk
                              1/2 cup ranch
                              1/4 cup- how ever much you love of red hot sauce