Saturday, March 7, 2015

A Wonderful Birthday Party (and my 100th blog post)

The very best way to tell if a birthday party was a success is by the degree to which you are tired afterward. Today was a major success. Both kids were in bed, asleep before 8 tonight and I think there is a very good chance that I will be in bed before tomorrow is here (which does not happen often.)

Today was a truly great day. We turned our house into a "Frozen" wonderland. My girl was able to help make the frosting for her snowflake cake and the cupcakes and even got to decorate the cupcakes. She had a marvelous time greeting each guest (or customer as she kept calling them,) at the door. It was a special treat to get to play with so many dear friends at once, (and every one of them got along and had fun.) She received exciting and beautiful gifts, each one she wanted to play with right away. Then she was able to cap her day with dinner out with her family. (There were cousins, Auntie, Uncle and two grandmothers.) There was even a special Birthday song and ice cream sundae.


I have no doubt that this was a day we shall be talking about for a long while. Every bit of it lived up to my own excited anticipation from yesterday too. As an extra special bonus this blog has also reached a milestone, the 100th post. I must admit I was a bit thrilled when I realized my 100th post was on the same day as my girl's party. (An extra piece of cake for me, in celebration of course.)

Even though I am tired after all the busy wonders of the day I am also a little excited to get started working on my boy's party now. I think the fun of sister's party has got him a little excited for his party too. He and I are going to have a great time planning.

Many blessings to all of you on this fine and celebratory night.--Kate

P.S. Another clue that it was a great party.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Birthday Party Eve

I know that it is a little bit crazy to say that one of my favorite things is the night before the Birthday party of my kids, but I love it. Even though it is filled with house cleaning, present wrapping, gift bag stuffing and cake making. The anticipation of the excitement my child will feel the next day is just so intoxicating.

Right now as I write this I am elbow deep in "Frozen's" Elsa swag, I can smell the birthday cake baking, I have a small pile of dishes to wash up, I am writing a note to my husband to pick up an Elsa gift bag so I can put all of my girl's wrapped gifts into it and I am excited. I can not wait to participate in my daughter's excitement and plans for her big day.

This event has already been a few months in the making, (at least for my daughter,) and I do not think either of us can believe that the day is almost here.

Yea! Cake is done.

Many blessing to you this fine Birthday eve.--Kate

P.S. Expect more wonder-filled details of the big event tomorrow.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Dog Made Me Move the Furniture

Our family has a dog, his name is Toby. He is a sweet, loyal little Shih Tzu. He is great with the kids and they love him. He is a little snuggler and he always wants to go where we go. He is also neurotic. His behavior of choice when he is unhappy is peeing on the carpet. He is sweet, he is gentle, he is patient and loving with the kids, let me tell you there are days when these are the only things saving him.

This weekend is my girl's Birthday party so much of this week has been spent getting the house ready for guests. One big item on my list was getting the carpet cleaned. The cleaner came early on Wednesday, (and did a really nice job with the carpet.) That meant that I had to move everything off the carpet on Tuesday night to get ready for him. As I was moving stuff out I realized that it was the perfect opportunity to rearrange the living room.
Thankfully my spontaneous desires to rearrange the house no longer surprise my husband and he was game to try something new. We have not undertaken this task before because our living room is where we keep most of our truly heavy items. Like the piano, two large bookcases from my grandmother estate, the couch and the dining table. The hardest things to move were the piano and we only shifted that about 4 feet, (what a beast,) and the bookcases. The cases are massively heavy when empty, but of course before moving they were jam-packed with books. So first we had to empty the cases, then move them and finally get all the books back on the shelves.
It was a major task and really quite ridiculous to do right before a big social gathering, but we are both really happy with the results. There is nothing like changing around a room to give it a refreshed feeling. By refreshing the house you feel refreshed yourself, sore and tired but refreshed.
This earlier Birthday party give a good idea of how the room was set up previously.

Many blessings to you this fine night.--Kate

Toy Eating Monster

I have this great pattern for a clothes hamper that I have been planning on making for a while now. The issue is that I do not really need another clothes hamper. Then it dawned on me, I do need another toy collecting hamper. Something to corral the toys downstairs and make it easier to get them back up to the kids' room.

The pattern I have is not much fun for kids though. So I decided to design my own and used fleece fabric to make it. Fleece is super easy to work with and really quite forgiving.

The end result is a cute toy eating monster.
 Many blessings to you this fine night.--Kate

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Old Angora Sweater, New Ear-Warmer.

A few years ago when my grandmother past I helped my mother pack up the estate so the house could sell. My grandmother was an amazing craftswoman and artist. She is the one who taught my mom who is also an amazing craftswoman and artist and my mom taught me.

When all of the grandchildren grew up, my grandmother switched from sewing clothes to creating beautiful porcelain dolls and fuzzy fur teddy bears. (she also made her own greeting cards.) So let us just say that my grandmother's sewing/hobby room was a treasure trove of wonders.

Besides being very talented my grandmother was quite lovely and had a beautiful sense of style. My grandmother was super petite though, I do not think she quite weighed 100 lbs and was maybe 5 feet tops. I have 12 inches on her and 30 lbs so there was no way her clothes were going to fit me. I still selected a few precious items. That really reminded me of her or that I might have a chance of wearing if altered.

One item was a luxurious white cashmere sweater. I have been trying to come up with something I could make from it. Today a had a great idea.

It is beautiful here in the Inland Northwest, blue skies, sunshine but it is still quite cold. The sunshine pulls me and the kiddos outside. The bitter wind chill sends us right back in. My biggest weakness in the chilly temperatures is cold ears. Once my ears get cold, I start to get a major headache and can not stand staying outside one more second. That is where today's brainstorm came in.
I took a section off the bottom of the sweater and turned it into an ear-warmer. I am not completely finished. I still want to embellish it, but it is at least functional. My ears shall be toasty warm and happy and I shall have a lovely reminder of my grandmother.

Many blessings on this fine night.--Kate

P.S. Here is how I used the fabric flowers from last Tuesday's project.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Meat Loaf.

In my quest to find new recipes for using ground beef I came across this meal plan winner.


-1 lb Grass-fed Ground Beef
-1 small Yellow Onion, chopped
-1 clove Garlic, minced
-½ Cup Flat leaf Parsley, finely chopped
-1 large Free-range Egg, lightly beaten
-1 Cup Ezekiel bread, lightly toasted and processed into bread crumbs (Find it in the freezer section)
-2/3 Cup Organic tomato paste or Organic fruit sweetened Ketchup (No high fructose corn syrup!

-1 teaspoon Sea salt
-½ teaspoon pepper

*Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  In medium bowl combine chopped onion, garlic, parsley, egg and 1/3 Cup tomato paste/ketchup.  Add Ezekiel bread crumbs and beef and season with salt and pepper.  Mix until well combined.  Place mixture in a 6 Cup capacity loaf pan (8x4 inch) or simply shape into a loaf on a glass baking dish.  Pat gently to make a rounded top.  Do not pack.  Bake meatloaf for 50 minutes.  Remove from oven and brush with remaining 1/3 Cup tomato paste or ketchup.  Return to oven, bake until an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf reads160 degrees F (approx 10-20 minutes).  Cool meatloaf for 10 minutes in pan before slicing.


Many blessings to you on this fine night.--Kate

Sunday, March 1, 2015


My thoughts turn to Spring.
Many blessings to you this fine Sabbath.--Kate