Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Not Cool. Not Cool At All.

I think perhaps it should be a rule that you're not allowed to blog about or pin something on Pinterest for 4 months after the fact!

Because there are many projects that just do not hold up. Or simply do not work. Or taste disgusting.

The mason jar soap dispenser is one such project that did not hold up! I went to great lengths ordering these good quality pumps on line. They're great...don't get me wrong. Look how purty these looked a couple months ago:

And now look:

They're a rusty, water stained, yucky looking mess.

Not cool. Not cool at all.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

DIY Cornices

Our little dining nook was in need of some TLC. I knew these windows needed some sort of treatment, but I didn't want to block ANY of the virtually non-existant light that we get. Don't get me started on how disappointed I am in the light situation of these Florida houses. I mean it's supposed to be SUNNY FLORIDA and this is the darkest house I've ever lived in!

I decided to make cornices. That way I could make them as narrow as I wanted and also place them as high as possible so that barely any light would be obstructed, but I'd still have a nice little pop of color in this nook.

We bought some cheap wood and I helped husband cut the dimensions we decided upon.

I bought some batting and fabric and basically wrapped and stapled the cornices as you would a present.

Bruce got some L shaped brackets to fasten them to the wall. And here we have it:

I LOVE them. The fabric is a cheery orange pattern and this nook just makes me happy now!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Meatless Monday: Homemade Granola Bars

Here is a recipe from my cousin found at Savoring Earth's Flavors.. I'd been really wanting to find a homemade granola bar recipe that my kids would like since we don't have access to a Trader Joe's anymore. My kids love the "This fruit walks into a bar" from Trader Joe's.

Oatmeal Raspberry Bars
3/4 cup softened butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt (or less) *I really recommend less*
1 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1 (10 oz) jar raspberry preserves

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Beat softened butter with a mixer until smooth and creamy. Add brown sugar and mix well.

In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking soda, salt and oats. Stir well to combine. Add the butter mixture to flour mixture, stirring until well combined.

Grease a 9 X 13 inch baking pan. Press half the oat mixture into the bottom of the baking pan. Spread the raspberry preserves evenly over the oat mixture. Sprinkle remaining oat mixture over the top of the preserves. Bake 18 - 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Remove from oven, let cool slightly. Run knife around edge to loosen. Cool on a rack before cutting into squares.

I've made these twice so far. The first time, I didn't have any quick oats, so I subbed the instant oatmeal I had on hand. It was Maple Brown sugar. I didn't account for the fact that this is already sweetened and the bars turned out way too sweet!!'

Then I tried them with plain oats and peach preserves. Much better and less sweet! My husband and I tear them up. The kids....well, they're too used to store bought. They need to warm up to these. Punks.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Fibers on Friday

Happy Friday, guys!

I'm working on the NY Cardigan and I am LOVING it! It's moving along very quickly (for me) and it's really, really pleasant to knit. It's top-down, so you can try it on as you go. So far, it hasn't required a whole lot of looking down at the pattern. It's just an easy, pleasant, sit in front of the TV and knit, kind of project.

I'm loving the yarn, too. It's Knit Picks Gloss DK in fedora.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Meatless Monday: Baked Tofu

I have a Meatless Monday post! Actually I have two! I'll save one for next week :-)

This one is Baked Tofu. The recipe is from Natural Noshing. It's very very simple and delish, but I'm going to go into detail here about how I prepare my tofu. I think some people may be put off by preparing tofu because they don't know how to prepare it, or they've cooked it before without pressing it and maybe the dish wasn't as good as it could have been. So, here's how I do it:

You'll need 2 cookie sheets, two towels, paper towels, and a weighty object for pressing.

Line one cookie sheet with a dish towel. I always lay a sheet of paper towels on top of the towel to avoid lint on my tofu. Slice your tofu.

Layer your slices on the paper towel and cover them with another paper towel and dish towel.

Place the other cookie sheet on top (making sure it all makes good contact with the tofu) and place a heavy object on top to press the water out. I always just use my tea kettle with a fair amount of water in it.

Let it press for at least 15 minutes. Longer wouldn't hurt. When the time has elapsed you'll have nice, somewhat dry, tofu that is ready to take on the flavors of water marinade you're using.

This recipe was quite yummy, but I accidentally overcooked it because I sliced mine smaller than the recipe called for, but did not adjust my cooking time to compensate. So, while it was still delish, I did not take a picture, because it didn't look all that appetizing! Oops. So, here's the pic from Natural Noshings:

Easy Baked Tofu (adapted from


1 16 oz package organic, non-GMO extra firm tofu
3 Tbsp gluten free low sodium soy sauce, tamari or Bragg’s liquid aminos
2 Tbsp honey (agave or maple syrup can be subbed for vegan)
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp garlic powder
couple dashes of cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper

olive oil spray
chopped green onions/scallions for serving


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly spray a non-stick baking sheet with oil or use a silicone mat.
2. Slice tofu into 1/2-inch slices, and gently press excess water out of tofu (use tofu press or place between paper towels and put heavy weight on top for 10 minutes). Cut sliced tofu into 1/2-inch cubes.
3. In a bowl, stir together the soy sauce, honey, vinegar and oil. Stir in ginger, garlic powder and red pepper. Gently stir tofu cubes into sauce. Cover, and marinate at least 5 minutes.
4. Place the tofu on the baking sheet in a single layer. Spray tops with olive oil (I use the Misto) and bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes. Turn tofu, and bake until the tofu turns golden brown, about 20 minutes more or until develops a nice crisp crust. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Fibers on Friday: Two Beanies

Hi everyone! How I've missed blogging! We've been traveling too much. We've loved it, but we're done for a while! Thanks for hanging in there with me!

I like air travel. Strange, huh? My husband and I both agreed there is something about being just us...our little family together...away from home and all the things that call for gives time for just us...sitting waiting for our flight...sitting side by side on the plane doing's nice.

And then we get sick tummies. Inevitably. So, we've been home since Sunday but have been battling the ickies until today.

Also, the traveling was great for dedicating time to crocheting. Very portable! No issues getting a crochet hook through security (although I think knitting needles are fine now???) I actually knocked THREE beanies out. One I had to frog, though, so here are the other two. The girls set up their own poses for this photo shoot.

You may recall I'm sending these beanies off to Craft Hope for their latest project for the littlest warriors.. I hope that on a bad day for these kids, these beanies will warm their heads, their hearts, and maybe inspire a goofy little grin like those found on my little models.

Craft Hope Spreading seeds of hope one stitch at a time

Friday, February 3, 2012

Fibers on Friday: By The Skin Of My Teeth

It's Fibers on Friday!!

ON Friday, not Thursday night!

Why?? Because I was still knitting my socks on Thursday night!

I have no idea how this year's schedule was so hard for me. Last year I felt ahead of the game the whole time. Oh well! They're finished. Now I'm done with socks for another year. Yes, I will do this challenge every year :-)

I think the one on the right is a little shorter than the left. Oops. I guess that would be another benefit of knitting two at a time on circulars...maybe next year!

Next week I will be on vacation, so no Fibers on Friday. We'll be skiing in the Poconos....possibly wearing t-shirts and shorts at this point! At least they can MAKE snow!