Tuesday, July 28, 2009

It's Done!

This is only my 800th experimental diaper...I am FINALLY happy with the pattern! As you can see It is a one size fits all deal.

Kyle is rockin' it on the medium setting. I did put my wing snaps too far from the edge on this one though. So, there is a minor flappage issue, but no biggie...

For all the diaper sewing geeks out there: this is a welt opening pocket with a bamboo fleece inner.

Bento Picnic.

Today, I packed up a cute bento picnic lunch for the boys, and we headed down to the little park behind our condo. The park sits between our place and the BART Station("Bay Area Rapid Transit" for you non-northern California readers). Jayson loves to watch the trains go by, so it's always a fun little excursion.

I made some PB&J sandwiches with the awesome pomegranate jelly my grandpa makes every year. On a side note: He also makes an apple pie that will change your life! I still need to get his recipe and do a post about it.

Grandpa, if you are reading this: We are running low on jelly. Hint, hint.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Cookin' with Kyle

Shake it Like a Polaroid Picture.

Jayson has been asking me if he can sew. So, I came up with this little project for him. It's the paper plate shaker that we all know and love, with a stitchy twist.

1: Have your lovely and well behaved child, decorate two paper plates. You can get MUCH more involved in this step than we did. You can get crazy with glitter and paint and all kinds of stuff. Jayson was OK with just coloring it. Take note of his time-saving technique.
2: Here are your fabulously decorated plates.
3: Add some dry beans/ rice/ macaroni to one of the plates.
4: Glue your plates together. I used hot glue, because I love my glue gun.

5: It should look something like this.
6: Poke or punch holes evenly around the edge.
7: Have the aforementioned well behaved child sew around the edge with yarn and a blunt-tipped needle.
8: Ta-Da!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Redneck Macaroni Salad.

Macaroni salad has a way of showing up at nearly every family get-together we have. My mom and sister both make a mean macaroni salad. My salad skills in no way compare to theirs, but here is my attempt at the ever-present side dish.

Redneck Macaroni Salad Recipe

1 lb. elbow macaroni, cooked, drained and rinsed.
5 sweet pickles, finely chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
about one cup sliced or chopped black olives
6 boiled eggs, peeled and coarsely chopped

For the dressing, mix:
1 cup mayonnaise
dash paprika
salt & pepper
sugar to taste
dill pickle juice (brine), to taste. Yep, that's the secret ingredient...pickle juice.

You will need to adjust the seasonings to your taste, as NO ONE knows the exact proportions. It's more secret that the KFC chicken recipe. Maybe some day, someone will actually write down the exact amounts of stuff they put in. Until then, you will just have to do what we do and gain 10 pounds by testing, and re-testing mayonnaise laden dressing every time you make the salad.


In a massive bowl, mix the macaroni, pickles, onion, eggs, olives and dressing.

Makes enough to feed about 100 hungry rednecks.

Charity: If you have corrections to this, let me know. This is how I made it yesterday, and it was pretty good. But, it wasn't as good as the one you made on the 4th of July! That was legendary macaroni salad.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Good Things Grow On Small Trees.

We got a calamansi tree! I've been wanting one forever. I decided last weekend that I absolutely needed to have one NOW! So, we drove down to Fremont in over 100 degree weather, and picked one up. It's just the cutest little tree ever! It even came with fruit and blossoms on it. INSTANT GRATIFICATION!

Git 'Er Done!

So, what's the big deal about calamansi? Well, what other fruit makes an awesome dip for lumpia/seafood/anything deep-fried AND cures the common cold? ...Yeah, that's what I thought.

Super Dip
soy sauce + a squeeze of calamansi juice.

Lime-onade AKA Best thing ever, when you have a cold.
calamansi juice + honey + hot water

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Carnivorous Plants: Fun for the whole family.

Yesterday, Jayson and I wanted to make a puppet. We originally wanted to make a T-rex. That didn't go so well....Then I thought, "you know what would be awesome?...A Venus Fly Trap puppet." Not only are Venus Fly Traps super cool, they are also WAY easier to make than a T-Rex!

You too can make a Venus Fly Trap puppet with the quick tutorial below. Fire up your glue gun and dig out those googley eyes!

1: Cut out an elongated circle with wiggly edges. This is the "head" of the fly trap.
2: Run a line of hot glue about 1 1/2" from the center line, then fold in half.
3: It should look like this.
4: Cut a half circle from the folded shape. Your hand will have to fit through here, so make it large enough.

5:It should now look like this.
6: Cut a rectangle, so that when it is rolled into a tube with a 1/2" overlap, it will fit into the hole you just cut in your wiggley shape. Add glue and roll into a tube. This is the stem of your fly trap.
7. Cut another piece of felt to fit the inside of your fly trap. Glue down just around the edges, as you will need to be able to get your hand in here.
8: Cut out a leaf shape like this.

9: Run a line of glue down the center of the leaf.
10: Fold the leaf in half. Press together along the crease. When the glue has cooled, open it up.
11: Glue the leaf to the bottom of the tube. Glue at the bottom only.
12: You should now have something that looks like this.

13: Cut out pieces for a fly, and get some googley eyes.
14: Make a fly
15: Glue the fly into the mouth of the fly trap.
16: Hand sew the head to the stem. Make sure to sew the little flaps down to the sides of the stem.

Enjoy your new super awesome puppet.

Click on any of the pictures for a closer look.

Monday, July 20, 2009

If I were Hank Hill, I would say: I make cloth diapers and cloth diaper accesories...

I've done some cloth diaper related posts, but today, we are going to talk cloth wipes. If you are already using cloth diapers, using cloth wipes is a no-brainer. Even parents who use disposable diapers may opt for cloth wipes, as they are much better for baby's skin. Disposable wipes generally contain loads of chemicals that have no place on a baby's butt.

There are two major ways of using cloth wipes: 1. Wipes are placed in a container or wipes warmer and pre-saturated with wipe solution. 2. Wipes are stored dry and then squirted with wipe solution just before use. I do the latter, as homemade wipe solutions don't contain any preservatives, this could lead to things getting yucky. I mix up just enough solution for a few days, to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria.

After use, wipes are just thrown in the diaper pail and washed with the diapers.

How to make your own cloth wipes:

Wipes can be made with one or two layers. They also come in a variety of sizes. I like 7" x 7". You may also choose to round off the corners or leave them square. There are also many ways to make wipes, depending on the equipment that you have available to you.

Regardless of your sewing method, you will start of by cutting your fabric into squares. Pin your two sides together if making double sided wipes.

Serged Method: This is a quick and durable method, and my favorite. Just serge around your fabric squares, and BAM! wipes!

Sewing machine method: I am really not into turning and top-stitching wipes. It's just to bulky and labor intensive. Here is what you can do instead: Stitch around the wipe, about 1/2" from the edge. You can use a straight stitch, or any decorative stitch. Then use pinking shears to trim the edges.

Hand sewn method. Simply blanket stitch around the edge of the wipe, using embroidery floss. If you are using flannel, you should press your edges under, as it just frays like crazy. This is definitely the cutest method of the three. It does take a while, but it's a portable, little project, that you can do just about anywhere. You could actually use any edging stitch that would keep your fabric from fraying, so the options are limitless.

You can use two different fabrics on your two layer wipes. Good fabrics include:

Baby Terry
Cotton Knits
Diaper Twill
Cotton or Bamboo Fleece

My homemade wipe solution:

There are a lot of different recipes for wipe solutions out there, unfortunately, a lot of them have like a hundred ingredients. Mine has three.

Fill a squeeze bottle with warm water. Add 2-3 drops of baby wash. Add a squirt of baby lotion or aloe gel. Replace the lid and shake until the lotion has dissolved. Done.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

How to eat soup when it's 9 million degrees outside.

This how you eat soup when it's flippin' hot outside. This is a hot soup, but eating it during summer won't make you want to die, like, say...beef stew would.

Chicken and Hominy Soup with Lime and Cilantro


1 tablespoon canola oil
6 Green onions, sliced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 (49.5 oz) can of chicken broth
1 (14 1/2 oz) can diced tomatoes in juice
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cooked and chopped. (I like to season mine with chili powder and cumin, then toss them in the turbo broiler.)
Hot sauce to taste
1 (29 oz) can hominy in juice
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 Lime


Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add cumin and paprika, stir spices constantly for about a minute. Add broth, hominy with juice, green onions, tomatoes with juice, 1 tomato can filled with water and chicken. Add lime juice and hot sauce to taste; bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes. Garnish with cilantro just before serving. Enjoy.

Tune in next week for a second installment of summer friendly soups. The lovely Penelope will be making us the Vietnamese beef noodle soup known as Pho. (Pronounced "Fuh"...like you almost said something really naughty, but stopped yourself, because there were children present.)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Aunt Flo Calling?

I just finished stocking my Etsy shop with Kiki Pads! I must say, they are ridiculously cute...