…as usual. Bella’s attitude is this: “if it can be done with Nikolai, it should be done with Nikolai.”

Continue reading Helpful


But I don’t want to go Gluten Free! (Blueberry Cake made with Oat Flour)

This past week has been entirely too fun-filled for my taste. First, we realized that Bella seemed to have the run-to-the-bathroom-every-five-minutes kind of upset stomach. My first thought was the way she eats: mostly fruits and vegetables and whole-grain breads. It’s a high fiber diet for her!

Then, I remembered that we had just re-introduced whole wheat bread into our diet. I had run out of wheat the week before our stomach flu episode, and bought more at the beginning of last week. Her upset stomach started about the same time as I started making bread again. Long story short, we decided to go gluten-free for a week, then dairy-free for a week, then something else free for a week, etc… until we figured out what exactly was upsetting her. I didn’t see how it could be gluten; she’s been eating whole grains since she turned one. Lactose intolerance didn’t make sense, either, since she’s had raw milk for over a year now. But, better safe than sorry, and my little girl was miserable.

Starting Wednesday of last week, we went gluten-free. It went okay. It was hard for me, especially. I didn’t realize how important bread had become to us! This morning, Bella asked to make cupcakes with me. My first thought: “Oooooh, great. How do I explain this one?” But, why couldn’t I make cupcakes? I have rice and oats… maybe, just maybe this could work! And work it did. This is another “keeper recipe” for me! (Note: I realize that there is a lot of debate about oats and a gluten-free diet. However, from our side of things: we haven’t eaten a lot of oats, d a lot of wheat. Eating oats would at least eliminate wheat in our trials.)

Continue reading But I don’t want to go Gluten Free! (Blueberry Cake made with Oat Flour)

Spiders and Yellow Envelopes

For the past week and a half, my family has been ill. Not all at once, but one at a time. First Bella, then Danny, then Declan, then Bella again… and just when I thought I was going to bypass the flu, it hit me. Thankfully, I have a super duper husband who stayed home and helped me all but one day. He washed dishes, cooked, changed diapers, cleaned, did laundry… He did everything that I would do in a day and then some!

Even when feeling unwell, Bella is funny.

“Do you like to eat yellow envelopes?” she asked at supper one evening. Continue reading Spiders and Yellow Envelopes

DIY Duct Tape Mannequin

I have a fun one for you! Grab a friend (or a willing, sweet, and patient husband like mine), go buy a few rolls of duct tape, and make your own dress form! Customized to be just like you, your own dress form will be perfect for sewing your own clothing. I have been wanting a dress form for a while (mainly to decorate with, of course!), but really could use one now that I’m making more clothing for myself. The first two dresses I made caused a lot of running back and forth to the bathroom mirror, and hems are hard to fix on yourself! I came across this idea somewhere along the long “50’s dress pattern” Google-search road. Try it yourself! Just make sure you have 30 minutes to an hour to spare. And leave the ceiling fan on. It’s a hot process, being wrapped in a plastic bag and all.

***Note: To save this post from being WAY too picture-heavy, I’m posting the pictures below in gallery form. If you want to see a picture better, simply click on it to enlarge.

Items Needed: Duct Tape (two-three rolls), Clear Packing Tape (less than one roll), stuffing (old clothes, shopping bags, whatever!), Patience Continue reading DIY Duct Tape Mannequin

Big Dogs

Big dogs are good at three things.  The first is fairly obvious.  They’re loyal, protective, intuitive and can come across as pretty menacing.  I don’t know of a better way to keep shady characters far away than having a big dog around.  Second, they eat a lot.  You’d think the food consumption would be proportional to size.  Not so.  A sixty pound dog eats at least four times as much as a thirty pound dog.  And watch your step in the yard because all that food has to go somewhere.  (This also helps deter the shady characters…  And the not so shady ones, too.)

The third, and lesser known, trait of big dogs is that they make great back rests when they’re napping in the sunshine.

First Summer Dress: Red, White, & Blue

I finished my first dress this morning; it took about four hours total to make. I love this pattern! So easy, so simple, and yet so classy. The belt is detachable, and there are only buttons in the back; no zipper. I’m going to make a similar dress for Bella with the leftover sheet pieces.

I am going to try to put a tutorial up on how to make this dress. The skirt is easy- it’s two  full-sheet width, 31″ long rectangles sewn together, then gathered. The bodice… well, I’m not sure how to tell you how to make your own. I’ll figure out something. 🙂


Making Spring/Summer Dresses

Danny and I went thrift store shopping Saturday, and I picked up lots of goodies. I have been scouring the internet for a simple chemise-style shirt pattern and a 50’s style dress pattern, but have had no luck. Guess what I found at a thrift store for $.35 each? A true vintage never-been used 50’s dress pattern and a chemise pattern. YAY! I almost did a little happy dance right there among the older ladies in the craft section! I’m going to change the shirt up a bit (no drawstring), but I’ll follow my dress pattern exactly… at least the first time. I also bought the coolest sheets to re-purpose into dresses and shirts for Bella and myself. My first project for me will be a dress using this sheet:Bella’s first dress is almost finished, and is made with the yellow flower fabric. I’m also going to make her a petticoat slip with lots of ruffles and puffiness. Every little girl needs a fluffy underskirt! For that matter, Mommy might need one, too. 🙂

In knitting news, I have six projects going on. A knit elephant for an Easter present, a knit-in-the-round (my first!) duck-to-bunny for an Easter present, a neck pillow, a bunny blanket, shoes for Declan (converse!), and a sweater is being deconstructed for yarn. It’s hard decide what to do next…