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Lovelies: Spring

We celebrated Ivory’s 1st birthday on Sunday. She is such a sweet, fun girl and loves to make the entire family laugh.

Here are some things I want to share this week:

Out of eggs and living from your pantry? Try making this eggless chocolate cake.

These springtime butterflies made from felt and bobby pins for a girl’s hair, sewn together with only one stitch, look pretty simple and fun!

Make your own multigrain sandwich bread made from 7-grain cereal. I’ll have to check out the 7-grain cereal at Winco and try this one.

Check out some of the most famous bonsai trees in the world. I have wanted a bonsai tree since I was a child and first saw them in the Japanese garden at The Huntington Library. (Number 2 and number 9 are my favorites). This week’s grocery ad  from Vons (a Safeway affiliate) has Bonsai trees starting at $7.99, if you’ve ever wanted to have your own. I think I will have to see what they have!

I want to make these ladybug appetizers for my children when the tomatoes are ripe in the garden. I’ll make them on my homemade wheat crackers.

This pleated wrap skirt looks pretty simple to make. I love that it is adjustable. Now I just have to pick a fabric so that I can make this for Winter.

We’re having high winds this week, so I’m working on some sewing projects instead of working out in the garden. So far I’ve made a pair of pajama pants for Ivory from the sheet set I bought on Saturday, redone the elastic on one of the skirts I bought for Winter at the thrift store to make it fit her, and sewn the ribbon from a broken barrette onto another barrette.

What are you making this week?

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25 Comments

  1. I’ve been good making dinner each night from the pantry, but I’ve fallen behind on making fruit bread, yogurt and granola. I will hopefully be done with work early on Friday and can catch up with that. Also homemade pizza on Friday night if I can. My son is having his girlfriend over so I’m sure they would like that. Our neighborhood watch spring picnic is coming up. I need to figure out what dish to bring. It’s also the annual plant and seed swap so I need to look around the yard and see what needs to be divided and if I have any seeds to bring and make up some nice labels.I also need to make up some notes and organized folders. We are trying to buy an old house in the neighborhood that is in foreclosure (right now we are renting from my father) and I’ve been making notes and researching online what will need to be done or what I think needs to be done. I need to get organized so I can bring the info to the inspection and get some info from him. We have been waiting for months for the sellers bank to approval the sale, but when it happens the inspection will be scheduled a day or 2 later so I want to be organized. It will also be my only chance to see the inside of the house again before closing so I want to have my notes ready and print out pages from online. We were inside the house once but my memory is fading it’s been so long and the realtor and bank have no pictures of the inside of the house.I also miss not having time now to do any scrapbooking or more creative projects. Hopefully in the future I will!My favorite bonsai is #6 the azalea, I think that little tree has more flowers than our full sized azalea!Thank you for sharing your Lovelies, what an uplifting post!

  2. Debbie, if there is a lockbox on the property (which there usually is) your Real estate agent should be able to take you back again to look at it once more. I know my husband has done that for his clients.

  3. Thank you for the links to all sorts of wonderful ideas! I am not going to look at any of them right now…I’m saving them for tomorrow. Right now I’m scoring standardized test essays and when I do that, I need a break now and then, so I’ll pop back in and click a link each time I need a break. 🙂 Happy Birthday, Ivory!

  4. There was a lock box on the door, but the bank told the realtor not to enter the house or show the house or allow inspections since there is an active offer..even though the offer is ours! It makes no sense, but this whole process of buying a house in foreclosure has not made much sense (because of the bank’s nonsense – our agent has been terrific) so we are just kind of going with the flow right now. I wish I had taken pictures when we were shown the house but I didn’t think of it.

  5. Brandy really. Talented lady like you and you haven’t grown your own bonsai? Really easy to do from seed ie lemon,orange ,acorn whatever. It is mainly planting in shallow pans once they are sprouted, keeping the roots trimmed [which you will have to if you buy an established one] and shaping the trunk with training wire. From your blog I can see what a talented lady you are and you take every opportunity so whilst you are doing one do a dozen and in a decade you will have some beautiful gifts to give as well. You will find plenty of advice on the internet. Good luck, I tried this and managed to bump my efforts off through neglect and I am still thoroughly ashamed of myself. Happy birthday to your little pumpkin. My baby had her 34th yesterday and she is as beautiful now as she was when the mid-wife put her into my arms.

  6. Love the ideas, especially the ladybug appetizers. I have a cousin that loves all things ladybugs so perhaps I will make these for her while she is recovering from surgery.I attempted your french bread recipe on Tuesday, but it did not turn out quite right. . . I think it might be my oven acting up. How long does it take for it to bake? (a rough estimate). I did not see a time frame for baking it on the directions, but it is possible I overlooked it. The butterfly hair pins will be perfect for my niece’s upcoming birthday in May. Thank you for taking the simple things and making them lovely.

  7. I was hoping for a little more instant gratification by starting with a tree :)There is a lot on that link about growing one’s own bonsai from seed as well. I don’t remember reading about shaping the trunk; I’ll have to go look now. I don’t know where I would grow a dozen; I don’t even know where I would keep one, but they are fascinating. My children were very intrigued with the ones that I showed them online. I think they all want one too 🙂

  8. This week I finished a new purse! I used this free pattern: http://www.made-by-rae.com/2009/02/free-buttercup-bag-sewing-pattern/. I don’t have a lot of experience sewing (besides watching my mom sew when I was young)so there are a few mistakes, but I love how it turned out. The creator of the pattern says that you can make this with a fat quarter, but I used some beautiful fabric that my mom gave me last summer. I made it without the snap since I didn’t have one, but it really does need some kind of snap so I’m hoping to somehow sew a small one onto just the lining.

  9. ok can understand the instant gratification. Try looking around for self seeded treelets and start from there. Good luck with your efforts. I look forward to seeing the photographs of them in the fullness of time. I heard a man talking about his sail round the world and how the Mormon church membership are amazing at freeze drying vegetables and they allowed him to procure enough for his voyage. Is this service available to the general public or was it a concession for this traveller? Anona

  10. Hi Brandy,I stop in to read your posts, but usually don’t post myself. I want to complement you on your organization and attention to detail, I have the feeling you would have made a top notch CEO. Fortunately you have chosen to put your talent to use with creating a great home life for you and your family.I don’t sew so I can’t contribute to the discussion there, but I am an avid cook. Yesterday I made sweet potato tarts and pecan tarts. I freeze the tart shells in advance and make up a big batch of filling at a time. I freeze the pecan tart and various fruit tart filling separately in 12-tart portions. I usually keep the sweet potato/pumpkin pie filling in the fridge and then I make tarts fresh daily (usually six at a time in the toaster oven). Any leftover pumpkin pie filling gets turned into pumpkin muffins or pumpkin pancakes near the end of the week. This week instead of milk I used canned coconut milk as I wanted to test a lactose-free version, and they turned out great. I often make mini lemon meringue tarts as well. The fluffy tops are surprisingly easy to do. Banana bread is also a favourite here.Sadly, my garden won’t be planted this year as we have recently moved and there is too much renovating to do to get the garden sorted in time. I am working on various designs, which is really fun. Our climate in Victoria BC is great for gardening – although no tropical fruits grow here without significant help.As for bonsai, have you thought about choosing a variety you can grow indoors? Ficus works. This lets you use it as a home decor item and it could be a project for the whole family. Most bonsai have to be grown outdoors.

  11. Anona, that is a strange thing about the freeze-dried vegetables. I don’t know that the Church itself would sponsor a person sailing around the world, as the Church teaches its members to be self-reliant. In the United States and Canada, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does have canneries where people can purchase and can items for long-term home storage; there are oats, flour, sugar, wheat, beans, and dried carrots and onions, but for any other vegetables one would need to purchase them from another place, because they are not available. Both those who are members of the church and those who are not may can at the canneries.

  12. It is possible that his local congregation helped support him, but that would be individual members and not hte church as a whole.I personally have never freeze-dried anything, nor do I know anyone who has.

  13. Oh, what a lovely photo of Baby Ivy! Loved all the other lovelies too. Brandy, I have the same camera as you, but my photos are not anywhere near your caliber. If you could ever give us a little photo tutorial sometime in your busy life, I would be so thrilled!

  14. I think he actually bought them. It was just that your churches product was noted to be the best available. That is the trouble with trying to listen to the radio, get the chores done and get out the door with a speed that is indecent. You really miss out on some fantastically interesting programmes. Whilst I don’t share your church I certainly support the teaching of self-reliance. Seem to remember an old adage of ‘when looking for a helping hand try looking at the end of your own arm’. Would add to that also don’t be too stand offish and self reliant because it makes other people feel good to think that their help is appreciated and necessary to therecipient. We all need to feel wanted.

  15. Have you ever tried the snaps that you don’t sew on, but that you hammer into the fabric? I was scared to use them (I still am a bit, because there is zero margin for error) but they are much more heavy duty; that is what I used when I made my daughter’s purse. The butterup bag is a lovely pattern.

  16. I don’t know what I would like for the bonsai for certain. I am allergic to juniper, so it won’t be that, plus I’m not a fan of it. I love the maples with the tiny leaves but I don’t see them changing color here because of the weather; maples just turn brown here in December. I though I would see if Vons has anything interesting.

  17. Anona, are you in the UK? If you are looking for a place to purchase some bulk foods perhaps my UK readers could help you to find a place locally.Our church also has several charity programs in place, including food for those who are needy. They work with other faiths and groups when disasters strike as well, to get items where they are most needed. Because we are a worldwide organization, we can quickly get supplies around the world to those in need, using the help of those in the same or nearby countries to get supplies to those in need.

  18. thank you so much for all the precious time you have spent on me. Yes I am in the UK and small packs of dried vegetables are prohibitively expense. My own reason for enquiring is that I have paid heed to the ‘having enough behind me financially to last a year and equally a pantry to do the same time span. This next month sees me fulfil the first and well on the way to the second. it just struck me that dried veg would be an extremely useful addition to the stock cupboard. We do have food banks run by a variety of organisations in the uk and I take my hat off to them and the LDS church for the very practical help you all give. luckily I have never had to avail myself of this service as although I have just had 41/2years of living no income since my husband died – our government reneged on the promise of widows pensions that our hard working spouses paid in for over so many years. I had to live on my own meagre savings and my wits which served me well. I could have taken ‘food bank’ supplies but I felt there were others in much greater need than I. I now have been granted old age pension and I really cannot believe how generous it is and when I hear other OAP’s whingeing about it I could quite cheerfully clip them round the ear. Our youngsters are working their socks off to keep us oldies sitting on our bottoms. Surely it behoves us to make the very best use of the monies given and also the added bits ie bus pass so we don’t have to pay fares,free prescriptions, eye tests and so on. I now consider myself truly blessed but heaven help any politician who comes within cooee. They will get full benefit of my displeasure! thanks again for your help Anona

  19. I have been knitting cotton dishcloths and sponges that I will sell at a spring festival (to raise money for my son’s school). I crocheted a small treasure bag necklace for my daughter using some leftover wool sock yarn in pinks. This morning I made gluten free strawberry chocolate chip muffins and the kids loved them.I cut out the pieces to make a denim skort for my daughter.

  20. We’ve made the ladybugs on crackers for a party–they tasted great, but just make sure you use sturdy crackers and don’t make them too far ahead of time. We used saltines, and they got soggy.

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