Saturday, May 30, 2009

Calzones for Dinner

I am SO TIRED of making chicken for dinner!!!! I guess it is my own fault - I'm not one of those people who can look in the cupboard and just whip up a creative dinner. But, the other night while watching "Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives" with my husband, I saw this basic recipe and created it at home really easily- much to the appreciation of the men in the household (who are also tired of having chicken for dinner!).

1 Package Bridgeford frozen bread dough
3 tomatoes
1 small red onion
2 cloves garlic
deli ham, sliced into small pieces
grated cheese
balsamic salad dressing
pesto (I used the pre-made type)

1.) The morning you are planning on making the calzones, get one loaf of dough out of the freezer and set out on the counter covered with a towel to defrost. (1 loaf made about 6 smallish calzones - enough to feed myself, my husband and our 3 year old. Use more dough if you need more calzones!)

2.) Cut up tomatoes, onion, and garlic, stir together and let set in the fridge.

3.) Spread a bit of cornmeal on a flat surface and roll out a bit of the defrosted dough on it (Aim for a circle about 5-6 inches in diameter). The cornmeal will get pushed into the dough and result in a nice crispy crust on your calzone.

4.) On one half of your circle of dough, spread a bit of pesto and place a dollop of the tomato mixture, some ham and cheese, and sprinkle lightly with balsamic dressing. Fold the other half of the dough over the "guts", making a half-circle shape.

5.) Place your calzones on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake in a 375 degree oven for about 8 minutes - until crust is very lightly browned. Check regularly because it will be easy to overcook the thin crust!)

These are super yummy and really kid-friendly. Moses loved making these with me - it would also be a fun lunch. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A very very good day

A few Sunday mornings ago Brett and I were awakened by our three year old announcing "I need a snack!" We simultaneously looked at the clock and realized we had no chance of making it to church on time, thanks to having turned off the alarm clock in despair somewhere in the middle of a night full of nursing, holding, and changing baby. Brett's eyes were practically swollen shut due to allergies, and we were all feeling a little tired of being cooped up with each other. This is when I had an uncharacteristic burst of spontaneity: "Let's go to the beach!" I shouted, and my poor drippy-nosed husband instantly jumped into action. By the time I had myself and the boys dressed and ready to go, he had packed the car full of towels, umbrella, sand toys, changes of clothes, and a picnic lunch. The poor man probably would have walked to the beach carrying us all on his back if it meant an escape from pollen and fussy kids.

Well, it was a wonderful day. Absolutely perfect. We built sand castles, buried each other, dug for shells, and while Brett and Moses chased waves, this happened:

And there I was, on the beach, in the sun, with NOTHING to do. Nothing to clean, nothing to sew, nothing to even read. I believe my mouth literally dropped open once I realized the enormity of it. I experienced a brief flashback to my childhood, hearing my mom reply to my complaint of "I have nothing to do" by saying passionately "I WISH I had nothing to do!" Ah, yes, I am now in that phase of life. I get it now Mom.

So, I did nothing for about 37 minutes and it was grand. We packed ourselves back into the car, each feeling refreshed and ready to go home. (The best indication of the rejuvenating power of this trip was my husband's reaction to the parking ticket we received - something about that being the best $45 picnic lunch he's ever had.) :)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Baby Blankets - New and Improved

I've FINALLY found the perfect backing for my ultra plush baby blankets and have thus been able to make a few tweaks to the overall design of the blankets. The new minkee backing is just as soft and fabulous as the previous backing (I think it's even better), but it holds up better to quilting, which means I can now make the front of the blankets in patchwork! Hooray! The blankets are now lightly quilted, which holds the front and back layers together better.

I've added two new blankets to the shop and have lots of ideas for more. I love that I can now incorporate more than one fabric on the front - the possibilities are endless! Happy weekend!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Boys in the Spring

We just love "the outside world" around here. I forgot how much I love being outside with little boys in the spring. Last spring I spent every moment (in both the outside and inside worlds) trying to quelch my prenatal nausea. So it feels like it's been two years since I've been able to run around and really enjoy the dirt and grass and frogs and trees and ladybugs.
Every afternoon the three of us go outside and make our rounds: check the status of our garden and water it (nope, the raspberries still aren't ripe, sorry Moses); find the dog's ball and give it a few throws; walk to the end of the driveway to get the mail (collect sticks and fallen petals along the way, cram them into the basket on the front of Moses' scooter); make our way back to "Papa's lawn" where we search for ladybugs and baby frogs, both of which are in abundance right now; discuss why said ladybugs and baby frogs "wouldn't be happy" inside our house as pets; dig up dead grass with sticks and fling it all over the place until Titus starts to look like this. Then it's time to go inside for nappy-noo and a snack. Pretty great.

And these chubby little feet would look cute anywhere, but I think they look cutest all tangled up in the grass. :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

First Rice Cereal:

Not a huge hit. I guess we'll try again next week. :)

Monday, May 11, 2009

For the Little Dudes

I try to keep my shop stocked with cute stuff for boys, since I always have such a hard time finding cute and unique things for my little guys. However, the bottom line is that girly stuff sells better. Maybe all the moms of boys have just given up and stopped shopping. *sigh* Anyways, I'm trying to restock some more manly blankets (yes, polka dots and elephants are manly) - here's the first. Pretty cute!

Oh, and thanks so much for all the lovely comments on my last post. You guys are great. :) My mother's day was wonderful and relaxing and not nearly as traumatic as I imagined it would be. Things really do seem better in the morning!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Mother's Day

I know I've posted this picture of my mom in a previous post, but I had to do it again. This is such a great snapshot of motherhood - beautiful woman trying to wrangle two very fussy toddlers, somehow get them to smile for the camera, maintain composure (on the outside anyways!) ... to no avail. Plus, the matching overalls are worth a second look - I LOVED those overalls!

So over here I find myself hunkering down for Mother's Day. The loss of my mom is still too fresh for me to find much enjoyment in the one holiday that points out all-too-obviously: "Your Mom is Gone." (And before losing her, I would have never thought that 4 years would still feel like a fresh loss, but it does.) Even the fact that I have two wonderful boys doesn't distract me from the strangeness of a holiday that seems to no longer apply to me. I hope that doesn't sound ungrateful - it's just the ugly truth of grief. It is hard, but grieving must be done. So, in addition to celebrating being a mom myself this year, I will also spend some time grieving the loss of my own wonderful mom.

Hopwever, in the hopes of not leaving you too down-in-the-dumps (I'm realizing how many of you dear readers have lost your moms... lots of you.), I'll pass on some of my mom's best advice. I'm afraid I'm not remembering the funniest things she's said, but these are the things that, for whatever reason, REALLY stick with me:

1.) "Everyone else is so worried about how THEY look that they don't have time to notice how you look."


2.) "Just because you can't see the back of your head doesn't mean nobody else can."

3.) "We could make this!" (Uttered literally anywhere about anything we saw that was cool - she definitely instilled in me the belief that I could make anything I wanted to.)

4.) "You will feel better in the morning." (I got mad every time she said this, but she was always right. Things always DID seem like less of a tragedy once I had gotten some sleep.)

and here's the really deep one:

5.) God is more interested in you being righteous than He is in you being happy. (That one has been life-altering for me.)

So happy Mother's Day to you. Whether you spend it celebrating or grieving, or a bit of both, may it be blessed.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Today the custom quilt I've been working on started its journey to Brooklyn, NY, where it will live in the crib of a very special little girl. I had so much fun working on this - all of the fabrics were gorgeous! I ordered extra of everything, so don't be surprised if you see many of the prints showing up in my shop some time soon.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Something for me (or you)

Yesterday I got the urge to make something for myself (which happens quite rarely) and found, miraculously, that I had a bit of time to do it. So I made these dryer sachets, which I have already used to death (coincidentally, yesterday was laundry day). What makes these so great is that they can be used instead of dryer sheets to lightly scent your laundry WITHOUT irritating sensitive skin. I thought I was doomed to a lifetime of clean laundry that smelled like ... nothing. But now my kids can smell lovely without breaking out in a rash. Yes! Plus, they are reusable, making them both budget and earth friendly.
These are super easy to make - basically the same idea as the bean bags but without the beans. Cut out two 5" x 5" squares of fabric (or, if you've misplaced your ruler, just trace around one of the square children's books lying around the house), and pin them together with right sides facing each other. Sew around the perimeter leaving a small opening for turning and stuffing. Turn 'em right-side-out, iron them, then stuff with something lovely. I made four, and stuffed three with lavender (which I bought here). I filled the fourth with whole cloves and two cinnamon sticks as an experiment, and it turned out awesome. Moses requested that I make more of those because it makes his pants "smell like ginger cookies." A feat indeed. I'm so happy I made these - it made laundry day a whole lot more fun. :)