Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Carrot Soup

The picture book Carrot Soup by John Segal is a fun book about a rabbit who plants a garden of carrots so that he can enjoy his favorite soup (carrot, of course!). However, when he goes to harvest his crop he discovers that all the carrots are gone! He asks all of his friends but none have seen his carrots. The reader is given hints as to where the carrots have gone through the illustrations. Rabbit goes home dejected but is pleasantly surprised by a party thrown for him by his friends who have made...carrot soup!

I love it when we have an activity to follow up a book. At the end of the book is a recipe for Rabbit's Carrot Soup. The children and I make the soup for our egg decorating party and it's very tasty!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Easter Menus

We have a lot of Easter meals and snacks coming up at the end of the week. I'm still tweaking the menus a bit but here's what I have so far...

Egg decorating and dinner
Carrot Soup
*Bunny Salad
Carrot and turkey burgers
Bunny Cake (made with a carrot cake, of course)

Good Friday
**Hot Cross Buns

Carrot muffins to leave for the bunny

Easter Sunday Brunch
Bread Pudding Quiche with berries and bacon
Parmesan Roasted Asparagus
Herb Salad with lemon dressing
Lemon tart with a sage-cornmeal crust

*I was planning on doing a green salad to have with our burgers but I came upon this bunny salad. I can't decide if it's cute or sort of weird. They might be fun for the children? What do you think? What else could I use for ears besides almond slices?

** I've never made Hot Cross Buns before. I've been doing some research on recipes but haven't found "the one." Anyone have a good recipe?

***I'm going to replace the pecans in the recipe with chocolate chips.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The little office that could...

Since I posted about our new library wall I thought I would document the room it is in. Our home has four bedrooms but the fourth bedroom is very tiny. It is only 11 x 8 and has two large windows and a small closet! We knew that it would make a darling nursery or an office. Since the children were happily settled in their bedrooms we went with an office. I can honestly say that we have used every square inch of the office, and I don't see how we could possibly squeeze in one more thing. The office is used as a library, a craft room, storage room for craft supplies, file room, a wrapping station and of course an office!

We had a bit of a difficult time finding a desk for the office. Corner desks were just too large for the area. We cobbled together a desk using Container Store file cabinets and desk tops. We also hung open shelves on the wall above the desk.

The closet that was in the room is small and not very deep, you couldn't even hang a coat hanger on a rod! However, Bryce cut shelves to fit the closet and it is the perfect space to store craft and office supplies. My underused sewing machine even fits.

In my opinion, any space that has books to read also should have a space to sit and enjoy those books! Fortunately, we had a little space in between the closet and the library wall. Next to the closet is a window that butts right up against the library wall. The closet provided a perfect wall to hang a sconce for lighting. I had it in mind that I would try to find an old, weathered leather chair to put in the space, but as luck would have it I happened upon a new, weathered leather chair! It is possibly the smallest leather chair I have ever seen but it fits the children, myself and even Bryce quite well- not to mention the space! And it's comfy to boot! My craft table fits under the window, behind the chair. We just pull it out when we need to use it.

My Mom made the gumdrop pouf for me. It's perfect for the space and the children can even sit on it to read.
Remember the wrapping station that I posted about forever ago? That's also in this room and is used often!

All in all we love our little office. It's a comfortable place to be... for all of us!

P.S. In case you were wondering... it really is orange. Although, I think it's official name is something along the lines of pumpkin or butternut squash!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Easter Readiness

I've finally begun to start thinking about Easter (I really like it when it is later in April)! We pulled out our little Easter box and was surprised to find these cute and happy chicken egg cozies. I only have a vague memory of buying them and it's a bit funny because never in my life have I made boiled eggs to serve at breakfast. Maybe this will be the year.

I picked up this cute wreath at Target. I got two- a big one and a small one- so that I have one for the front door and the back door.

And of course we decorated our Easter tree. Oh, how I love this tree.

Also, a few weeks ago I was walking past a Janie and Jack store and I spotted this tie in the window. I couldn't possibly not get it. How sweet Harris will look sporting our family mascot on Easter morning!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Cyclist

Guess who learned to ride a two wheeler bicycle? Yep, Harris has officially ditched the training wheels! He is so happy and so proud! I'm fairly sure that I asked him to stop growing up but he doesn't seem to be listening!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Memory Quilt

When the children were younger, I loved buying them clothes for special occasions (I still do that for birthdays!). I also just really enjoyed buying them clothes - especially Grace. An added bonus was that we lived in Atlanta where children's boutiques are plentiful. It was both a place and time when the children's clothes were sweet and precious. I miss those days.

For a long time I had the idea that I would like a memory quilt made of the more special of the children's clothes. I knew that Marilyn, my mother-in-law, would be willing and very able to make one for me, but I just couldn't bring myself to send the clothes off to be cut up. When I finally set out the clothes to be sent I decided that I would rather enjoy them now and for many years to come rather than hope that my children might put their children in them for a few hours just to satisfy me. So I boxed up the clothes and sent them to Colorado.

I had no idea that what Marilyn would create from these precious little clothes would be so extraordinary! It's beautiful. It's a gift. It's my children's baby years.

Each sweet, special detail is carefully preserved in the quilt. I can't even begin to understand what went into making it - I mean, look at the details - but I do understand that it is wonderfully special and that I will love and cherish it forever. For that and more, I sincerely thank you Marilyn!

When I look at the quilt I see...

A Christening in the mountains.

A first birthday.

A special trip to the aquarium before a new brother is born.

A second birthday.

A trip to the beach with dear friends.

A first trip to Grandma's cabin.

An Easter outfit.

A Christmas morning around the tree.

A first trip to Iowa for a wedding.

A favorite romper that matched big sister's favorite dress.

A girl who twirled and spun through ballet lessons.

A trip with family to Hawaii.

A Christmas Eve spent at church and with family.

It's been in the 70's the past few days and the quilt is quite warm. However, I've been under it on the sofa every night and will be until summer (or maybe even then...summer nights can be chilly!).

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Happy Spring

Happy Spring Everyone! I love the changing of the seasons and this year is no exception. I'm looking forward to spring and all the hope and optimism that always seems to come along for the ride as spring rolls in. Here's what I'm looking forward to most...

Wearing these shoes, I think they are the happiest shoes I've ever owned
Flowers (my hydrangeas already have buds and my peonies are pushing through the dirt!)
Going for bike rides with my family
Sitting with friends outside while the children play
Drinking coffee on Saturday mornings on the porch
Wearing dresses and skirts every day
Eating outside
Celebrating Easter

What are you looking forward to?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Rainbow Cake

We have had a glorious two days here. Sunny, with perfect temperatures. The children's shoes have come off (we've even had our first splinter), short sleeves have appeared and nothing much has gotten done. My house is a wreck, there is a pile of laundry to be washed and sorted and lots of clutter on my countertops. And yet I have not addressed any of that. Instead I have chosen to sit outside watching the children play and to visit with friends. I think a connection with a friend with whom you haven't touched based with in months is just as important as a clean house. Right?

Yesterday, partly to celebrate St. Patrick's day and partly just because I wanted to, I made a rainbow cake. I love how cheery it is. It was the perfect cake to celebrate the arrival of spring (and of Leprechauns).

The cake itself was not difficult to make, it just created a lot of dishes! I used Wilton food gel so that I could get the bright, intense colors, and I did have to make two cakes in order to get all 6 layers. If you are wondering why some layers are thicker than others it's because I forgot to put in the baking powder in the first cake so it turned out a bit dense. Oh well... it still tasted good!

My favorite part is the blue sky and the clouds. They are so happy. Just like us.

P.S. It must be something about this time of year because last year I made this cake.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patrick's Day

This morning we awoke to find that Leprechauns had been up to mischief while we slept! Apparently they snuck in a window and came upstairs to play a few tricks on us- they left their muddy bootprints behind! They even tried to take our family game night trophy for the gold, but I guess they couldn't get it out the window (either that or they figured out it was plastic!). The Leprechauns turned a few things upside down in the children's rooms and drew shamrocks on them and Bryce. They even drew a green mustache on me! That was a sight to wake up to I'm sure!

The children ate Lucky Charms for breakfast. This is really the only time of the year that they have a sugary cereal so it was a treat for them.

And of course we all wore something green!
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Bryce and I made a trip today to see Aaron and Leah and their new sweet baby, Adeline. I got to hold her. A lot. But not enough. Her little baby sounds and baby expressions were just adorable and I'm so glad that we got to meet her.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Library Wall

Do you remember this post and this post? Well, the project is finally done! You know how I've said that our kitchen and our attic are favorites in our house? This library wall has shot up to the top as well! I just love it. It makes me happy just looking at it. And apparently it makes the children happy as well because it gets used a lot. I wish we had made the wall years ago. Of course when I mentioned this to Bryce he reminded me that years ago this little room was being used as a small storage closet while the rest of the renovations were being done. Thank you to Al and Bryce who did a beautiful job!

Since Al and Bryce made the library wall they were able to leave a notch in the bookcase so that my craft table was able to slide in and stay under the window when not in use.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Cupcake ice cream cones

Did you know that you can cook cupcakes in ice cream cones? I didn't until yesterday when I made these treats to take to Grace's classroom. I was worried about how I would cook and transport them, but it didn't turn out to be an issue. I used a mini muffin tin to cook them in and they stayed perfectly upright. I transported them on their side on a cookie sheet! I love that the whole thing is edible and doesn't leave a mess!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Doll Party

Grace's party was really fantastic! I had a lot of fun putting it together but didn't spend a fortune or a ton of time doing it. Also, it was a short party at only an hour and half and that really helped the party be manageable! The girls - and their dolls - were delightful and Grace was thrilled beyond words. What more could I ask for?

The Set-Up
I used the colors from the invitations throughout the decorations for the party. They helped make everything look fun and festive.
During the party I really wanted each doll to have a special place to sit. The party was as much about the dolls as it was about the girls and I wanted it to feel that way. My Mom and I made cushions for the dolls and put them on little chairs that I borrowed from our church.
I got regular sized balloons for each girl and miniature ones for each doll. We attached one of each to each chair and lined them all up. This was one of my favorite things at the party - it just looked so festive!
Behind the cake and snack table I strung up a clothesline of doll clothes.

The Food
I had so much fun getting the food together! I bought food for the girls and food for the dolls. It's so easy now to find miniature versions of so many popular snacks that I really had to rein myself in! ( I promise in person the table did not look this busy!)
We had regular and miniature gumballs, pretzels, crackers, Oreos, Vanilla Wafers and M&M's.
Using the scraps from the pillows, I cut placemats for the girls and their dolls. We had tea (apple juice) and snacks on the floor.
We made cookie doll dresses on lollipop sticks to look like the invitations. I just punched holes in a white shoe box to hold them! It worked out wonderfully well!

The Cake
The dollhouse cake turned out so cute! I had clipped the directions for making this cake years ago from Parents magazine. My only change was to add the chimney and popcorn smoke.

The Activities and Favors
As soon as the girls arrived we had them start to paint a wooden picture frame (from Michael's for $1!). Bryce took pictures of each girl and their doll with Grace and Gracie and printed them while the party was still going on. At the end of the party they each took home their frame and picture.
The girls also beaded bracelets - one for them and one for their doll. I couldn't have done this activity without the help of my Mom, thank you!
In addition to taking home the the bracelets, frames and pillows I packaged up a cookie and gumballs for the girls.
The Guests
Of course, the most important part of any party are the guests.
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