Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sweet Things!

My school got a grant to serve fresh fruit for snack this year. Last week, I sent one of my students to the cafeteria. My student brought what we needed and also brought back this bag of oranges. He handed it to me and said "Here's Mrs. Tacy, these are for you for all the nice things you do for us." I tell you, my heart melted right there! See I'm easy to please . . . a few kind words, some fruit and I'm happy! I thought it was very sweet!!!

Speaking of sweet things, here's my sweet little Nature Girl. She was bored the other day and asked to pull out the playdoh. She played for a couple of hours setting up a playdoh town. She got to wear the playdough apron her Mimi got her for Christmas.

These are her playdoh people sitting under a tree she devised. I love to watch her play and create!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Lists of Good Things to Do!

The new year is underway. What is it about the new year that makes us reflect on the past and plan for a better future? I'm not really one for making resolutions. I try to live my life a little better each year. So I don't have any resolutions but instead I have a focus for this year. My plan is to focus on taking better care of myself. This includes maintaining my weight loss(25 lbs,) organizing my life and materials (to decrease the chaos and stress,) taking better care of my family by focusing more on them(after all they are an extension of me,) and I want to set aside more time to be creative as this recharges my batteries. I've been thinking that some daily doodles, musings or crafting would help accomplish this. I sat down with Nature Girl to doodle for a bit today and this is what I created! I had a very enjoyable time and was happy with my results. I just love my crayola twist-able colored pencils. I bought myself a sketchpad about 6 months ago so I would have a place to doodle but I haven't been able to make myself draw in it. my reasoning behind not drawing in it is this, what if the doodles are horrible or messy? I haven't wanted to ruin the sketchpad. No worries I devised a new plan to get around this . . . I can doodle on paper then paste it into my sketchbook. I've decided to add my new year's mouse and my owl as my first doodles in my sketchpad. Best of all I spent quality time with Nature Girl and produced a doodle at the same time. See I'm starting the new year on the right foot.
Here's hoping 2011 is filled with good things for you and lots of time to create and enjoy life!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pumpkin Bread

We had another snow day, so Nature Girl and I baked pumpkin bread together. We made three batches of batter so we ended up with five mini loaves and two big loaves. I haven't made pumpkin bread in a very long time. As a matter of fact, I probably haven't made it since I was pregnant with Nature Girl. Needless to say I had forgotten how delicious it is!!! I'm including the recipe if you want to try it. It's yummy with some butter spread on it.

Pumpkin Bread


1 ½ cup sugar

½ cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

1 cup pumpkin pie filling

1 ¼ cup flour

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. cloves

¼ tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. nutmeg

½ tsp. allspice

1/3 cup water

½ tsp. vanilla


  1. Mix together sugar, oil and eggs. Then add pumpkin.

  2. Sift together flour, baking powder and soda, salt, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Add to mixture.

  3. Add water and vanilla. Mix well.

  4. Bake at 350 in greased loaf pan for approximately 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Yield: This recipe makes one large loaf.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Belated Happy New Year!

True to form our Christmas cards went out late this year and now our New Years greeting is being posted late as well. Of course I guess it's better late than never. So Happy New Year to all of you! I hope 2011 is your year!
Nature Girl drew this picture of Jingle the huskie to ring in the new year. She received Jingle the huskie pup and his interactive story from Ann. Thanks Ann! Nature Girl loves him as huskies have a new place in her heart, a place right next to orange kitties. In her book orange kitties are right at the top.
This is my new year's doodle. So Happy New Year to all of you from Nature Girl and I!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Warm Woolen Mittens

From itchy ugly wool sweaters to warm woolen mittens is a snap. I've been collecting wool sweaters from thrift stores and family members this past year. I've washed and felted them and finally started turning them into warm woolen mittens over vacation. My photos are a little dark but I think you can still see what I've been up to.

I've made a couple of pairs so far. I used this tutorial and pattern here and my husband sent me a link for another video and pattern here. This video is kind of long but she shows you how to ensure that you end up with a right and a left mitten. Seems obvious but it's easy to end up with two left handed mittens so the videos are helpful. Before I watched the second video I ended up with two left handed mittens. Not to worry I used the same sweater to make the right handed mittens for my two lefties but I'm sad to say I now have four left handed mittens instead of two. Ha, ha! Thankfully it was an ugly sweater that my brother in law gave me. He's living in Hawaii and doesn't need the sweater or the mittens so nothing lost.

I made this pair of mittens for myself. I'd like to try making a matching hat for my mittens. Or maybe I could create some slippers or something else with my left over felted sweaters. I've spent some time looking around Etsy for some inspiration. Looking for some cute felt slippers? Check out these rabbit slippers on Etsy, aren't they amazing?!!

Lastly I wrapped a pair of my homemade warm woolen mittens for my mom. I thought the packaging was ingenious but when I asked my husband if he got it he said "What, is it packaging for poor people?" I explained that it was warm woolen mittens in brown paper packages tied up with string . . . these are a few of my favorite things. I told him my mom would get it as we watched the Sound of Music together lots of times when I was a child. He laughed when she opened it and I asked if she got the packaging. It turns out it wasn't as ingenious as I thought, I had to explain it to her too. She did love the mittens though!