Farmhouse Delivery

Michael and I have been kicking around the idea of joining a CSA for years now.  Sadly we’ve never gotten around to it.  Until now.  🙂  What sparked our sudden desire for crazy fresh produce?  A friend of mine from college started a cooking blog.  As I was looking at the tasty pictures, I noticed that she belonged to Farmhouse Delivery.  Huh.  Note to self: check that out.

So I took a look at their website and I liked what I saw.  One of the things that had been holding us back in the past was the thought that we didn’t think we could eat all of the food in a given week.  Farmhouse has an option for biweekly delivery, plus, we don’t eat out nearly as often as we used to.  I also really liked that they pull from several local farms so that you get more variety.  The fact that they deliver sure didn’t hurt.  We took the plunge and signed up.

On Tuesday, we had our first delivery.  I was all set to tip our driver, but I think that they must employ ninjas to deliver the food.  Our Ninja, who barks like mad whenever someone is within 30 feet of the house, never made a peep.  Whoops.  I guess we’ll add the tip to our bill next time.  🙂

I was super impresses with the contents of our box.  We got peaches, blueberries, corn, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, radishes (or beets, not sure) and two types of eggplant.  It was a ton of food!  Way more than we were expecting.  I love it when something exceeds my expectations.  I was actually inspired to try and cook something.  Those of you who know me will know how rare this compulsion is.  🙂

I decided to tackle the eggplant because Michael doesn’t like eggplant anyway.  Nothing like low expectations to increase the odds of success.  I looked up a few recipes online, but they all called for random ingredients that we didn’t have so I decided to wing it and make egggplant lasagna.  Never mind that I’ve never made lasagna before in my life.  How hard could it be?  It’s just noodles, cheese and sauce, right?  Plus, we had lasagna noodles in the pantry.

Now Michael is generally the cook in our family, but I wanted to cook for him as a treat.  Sadly, this involved him having to make a run to HEB with Kate after work.  I was prepared to make lasagna with only mozzarella cheese, but our lack of tomato sauce was killing me.  Michael was a really good sport though and even picked up all of the different cheeses that go in lasagna.

I followed the recipe on the box with the addition of sautéed eggplant on one half of the pan.  I was not prepared for how much lasagna this would be.  I think we might be eating lasagna for the next 2 weeks.  It turned out really tasty though!  Even the half with the eggplant.  Apparently baking foods is really no different from baking bread.  Who knew.

I paired it with a salad and some marinated cucumbers.  And before you ask, why yes that is an octopus plate.  Kate loves to help set the table so we all eat off of kids plates now.  Don’t judge me.

As for the cucumber, I really need to start reading what the contents of the box are.  I totally thought it was a zucchini until I cut into it and I was planning on adding it to the lasagna.  It’s cool though; I love cucumber.  We didn’t have any regular vinegar, so I marinated it in some sushi vinegar.  Delicious.

All in all, I think it was a success.  Next time, I’m only making half a lasagna though.



Father’s Day Inspiration

Michael and I did a bit of work today on the Pit of Dispair, or what I like to call our bedroom. What prompted this burst of spring cleaning? Well, Michael has reached the end of his patience with being literally unable to walk through our bedroom. And rightly so.

So, I’m afraid that I have nothing new and exciting to post today.  I am working on something, but it’s for Father’s Day and I’m pretty sure that Michael reads my blog. ::waves hi to Michael::  I can share with you what I did last year though.

I wish I could give credit to some deserving soul for this brilliant idea, but honestly, it was all over the internet last year.  I bought these letters at Hobby Lobby and painted the front and the back orange.  I left the sides plain because I was lazy, but actually I like how it gave the letters some definition.

I took Kate in all her adorableness over to my mom’s house (because she has an awesome yard) and we took these pictures.  It just doesn’t get much cuter than this.  Looking back at these, I am reminded of when I thought it was *such* a challenge to photograph a baby that could crawl.  ::snort::  I had no idea.

The I went over to Ikea and bought a triptych frame.  Totally better than a tie.  🙂

Lavender Festival

We headed out to the Lavender Festival yesterday with my brother-in-law and his fiance.  We had hoped to actually get to check out the lavender fields, but apparently the drought has been too much for the wee lavender plants this year.  We had to settle for the adorable street market.  🙂

As expected, they had lots of yummy lavender smelling goodies on hand to tempt us.  Kate kept smelling everything.  I did manage to restrain myself from buying a vat of lavender bubble bath, but it was a near thing let me tell you.

It was super hot so when Michael spotted the italian ice place, I caved.  Obviously, Kate approves of italian ice.  All in all, a delightful day.  🙂

Leaf Rubings

Today, Kate went out to “help” me as I hung the diapers out to dry.  When we came back in, I noticed that she had grabbed a piece of grass.  It was pretty cute.  She persisted in calling it a tree even after I explained that it was grass.  🙂

Michael helped me brainstorm some ideas of fun crafty things to do with Kate this summer, and one of them was doing some leaf rubbing.  Now seemed as good of a time as any so I strapped Kate in the high chair and ran out to find a few leaves.

I ended up taping down the grass and leaves because they were shifting around while Kate was rubbing the chalk over the paper.

I had hoped that taping down the “specimens” would result in a clearer image, but no dice.  I’m not sure if the chalk was too soft, the leaves were too thin or what.

I was pleasantly surprised at how well Kate listened to directions and respected the materials.   She totally got that she needed to turn the chalk on its side, etc.  I think she’s ready for some more involved art projects.

In the end, Kate just enjoyed drawing with a new medium.  I will say this, the chalk got everywhere!  I think this might be an outside activity from now on.  She had a great time though.

Travel Backpack

You know how people say they have a bucket list?  Mine is pretty simple.  I want to see 6 of the 7 continents before I die.  (Antarctica is pretty hard so I’m saving it for extra credit.)  I’ve crossed 3 off of my list, North America (duh), Europe (twice) and South America (amazing).

I lived in London for a semester in college which was amazing and could rate several blog posts all on its own, but I digress.  While I was there I did some traveling and I saw a fellow backpacker with *patches* on his backpack.  It was just about the coolest thing I had ever seen.  Way better than spoons or thimbles.  I have some friends who collect playing cards from their travels, but then what do you do with the cards?  Seems like a storage hassel to me.

Patches are so much easier.  I just stitched them on in no particular order as I acquired them.  I will admit to being a bit of an addict.  It’s just fun for me to see a patch for Peru next to one for Aquarena Springs in San Marcos.  I should probably also admit that I love tourist traps and it is one of my goals in life to see the world’s largest ball of twine.  I sure hope they have patches in the gift shop.  🙂

Well, my backpack is on it’s last legs, not to mention out of room for any more patches.  Then there’s the fact that traveling with a toddler is not conducive to a one backpack mentality.  We I hope to do some more traveling when Kate is older, but that will likely require us winning the lottery in which case I’ll buy a new backpack.  🙂

That being said, I just can’t bring myself to let my patches go, so I busted out my trusty seam ripper (thanks again, Mimi!) and removed them all.  I’m thinking of putting them in a shadow box (boxes?) in the hallway with our travel pictures.  I sense a trip to Ikea in my near future.  🙂

Any thoughts on how to display them?  I’m not sure if I want to sort them by geographical area, date of trip or just arrange them how they look pretty.  Oh, and if anyone has a trip to Denmark planned in the near future, I’m missing a patch from there.  I might have to resort to ordering one off of the interwebs, but it irritates me to pay $5 in shipping for a $2 item.

Balloon Pictures

Kate and I went out this morning to take some pictures for her birthday party invitations.  Up until this point, I have been in complete denial that I am about to have a 2 year old.  2 years old!!!  How it that possible?

She had a great time!  Michael thinks that they are a bit overexposed, but I’m calling it an artistic choice.  Who’s with me.  🙂

Oh, and when Kate’s done, she’s done.  Love the pouting.  These might actually be my favorites.  🙂

Painting Fun

Kate and I did a bit of painting today and she got to try out her new apron.  I’m pleased to say that she didn’t get any paint on it!

She also got to test out a paint brush for the first time and she was a big fan.  She was very pleased to avoid getting paint on her hands.

Fun New Page

Ok, so I actually did this page a few weeks ago, but nothing I made tonight was *fabulous* enough to go on the blog so you get this one instead.  Don’t judge me.  🙂

This page was so much fun! I used this awesome line by Echo Park.  Dude.  Where have they been all of my life.  I am loving all of their lines.


I matted the focal point photo and then added this extra strip of paper.  I added a bit of bling to it.  🙂


When I had my photos printed, I had them add a white border which I love.  It does pose a challenge when I want to crop a photo though.  I stitched on some rick rack to hide the lack of a white border.  Then I added some horizontal rick rack to help balance the page.  That and I have an ongoing love affair with rick rack.


While I loved the butterfly paper, the butterflies overlap in such a way that you cannot cut strips of them.  It was really making me angry until I decided to just cut them out individually.  I added a tiny bit of glue in the middle only so that their wings pop up a bit and they look more three dimensional.

Here’s the finished page!  I’m actually really pleased with the way it turned out.


Kate’s Apron

We had our second Toddler Art Group today and it was awesome!  Some of you may remember last time when Kate had a massive meltdown when I tried to make her paint in only a diaper.  She was indignant at the thought of appearing in public in only a diaper.  An apron seemed to be the answer to our problems with the added bonus of being adorable.

As usual, I had no pattern to work off of, but I figured how hard could an apron be, really?  Famous last words.  I loosely based it on this pattern, by which I mean I looked at it and thought hmm… I can do that.  Of course I didn’t print off the pattern or read any of the instructions because patterns have a tendency to frustrate and confuse me.

I thought about making the apron single sided, but then I realized that I didn’t quite know how to hem on a curve.  In the end, I decided that it would be easier to just make it double sided.  I stitched the front and the back together and looked at my apron pleased as punch.  Then I realized that I hadn’t added the straps yet.  Grr..  Off to find the seam ripper which of course has been sucked into the black hole that is our office.  I ripped out the neck with some scissors and then had the brilliant idea to add a pocket.  Kate loves pockets.

Of course, I was much too lazy to rip out the whole apron by hand so I decided to try and stich on the pocket through the hole in the neck.  Let’s just say epic fail.  I threw the apron against the wall and had a temper tantrum fit to rival Kate at her worst.  A few days later, I went over to my Mimi’s house and she gifted me with a seam ripper.  Bless her, she even ripped out the pocket for me.  There was much more ripping involved later, but in the end I was successful.

I made it big on purpose so Kate could wear it for a while.

Here it is laid out flat so you can see the shape in case you want to make one for your own little one.  Note: I recommend remembering to stitch the pocket and straps on before sewing the front to the back.  You know, unless you *love* seam ripping as much as I clearly do.

Here’s the pocket.  As predicted Kate is a huge fan.

I used some of my leftover velcro for the neck strap and the waist strap.  The original pattern had the neck strap as one piece (I think?) that the kids could slip over their heads.  Michael really wanted it to have velcro though so that if the strap got caught it wouldn’t choke Kate.  Made sense to me.  The kid’s middle name most certainly isn’t Grace.  Or Cautious.

In the end, I must say that sewing for kids is fun!  Plus, if you screw up, you haven’t wasted 2 yards of fabric.  I made Kate’s apron from scraps I had laying around.

Felt Cake

A friend of mine is going to a baby shower later this month and the mom-to-be is a pastry chef.  How exciting!  She asked me to make her a felt cake where the future kid could decorate it.  A challenge, I love it.  I poked around on Etsy to get some ideas.  It took a bit of trial and error, but I did finally figure out how to make the icing.

I was really happy with the final product!  Here it is in the strawberry version.  Baby-to-be is a boy so I went with red icing instead of pink.

I sewed velcro onto the back of the individual pieces of icing so that they could be changed out.  I remember vividly standing in the velcro section of Hobby Lobby trying to decide between adhesive backed or sew on velcro.  It didn’t seem like much of a big deal at the time so I went with the adhesive backed even though I planned to sew it on.  What’s the harm in a bit of extra adhesive, I thought?  What’s the harm indeed.  It just gunked up my needle and made a few holes in my thumb.  Never again. Of course I was way too cheap and lazy to go back and buy some more.

Here’s the cake switched over to the chocolate icing.  The pointy velcro half will stick to felt all on it’s own, but I ended up sewing the soft velcro half onto the cake anyway so that the cake wouldn’t get torn up over time.

The night before I was to hand over the finished cake I got the brilliant idea to make a piping bag.  These things always sound like a good idea in my head…  I figured out the bag without much trouble, it’s not much different shape wise from a carrot after all, but the icing proved a challenge.  I wanted future-tot to be able to change the colors of the icing, but I was stymied on how to make that happen.  I finally decided to try out some hand felting with wool roving.  Oh dear.  Nothing like trying to learn a new skill in the 11th hour.  I ended up with a few more holes in my finger before throwing in the towel.  Maybe it’s time for a thimble?

Do you see the brown icing?  Yeah, when it’s in the bag it’s not so bad.  In fact, it looks a lot like icing.  The problem is when you go to change the colors…

Um, yeah.  It looks like poop and I mean that quite literally.  It actually looks worse in person.  I know you’re thinking that there’s no way that it can look any worse.  Let me assure you that it does.

In the end, I showed my friend the options and while she liked the concept of changing the icing, she agreed that it looked like poop.  I ended up just stitching up the piping bag.  Much better.

I wanted to take some more pictures, but as those of you who know me can attest, I am a chronic procrastinator.  I gave my friend the cake yesterday at our weekly playgroup so I took some pictures while the kids were climbing on the death trap playscape.  There’s Kate in the blue.  She’s fearless.