Thursday, November 26, 2009

I Will Pay For This, I'm Sure

Umm, a roll call of the hideously-bad-for-me-yet-delicious food I consumed today:
  • fried turkey
  • cornbread dressing
  • Gulliver's Corn
  • sweet potato casserole (no marshmallows--that is sacrilege)
  • Green Beans Almondine
  • macaroni casserole
  • cranberry sauce (homemade & Ocean Spray --I love food that retains the shape of its can)
  • roasted garlic mashed potatoes
  • Parker House rolls
  • deviled eggs
Aaaand, for the desserts: (I've only had 1 dessert so far--this will not be the case by tomorrow)
  • chocolate pie
  • caramel bread pudding with vanilla ice cream
  • apple pie with crumb topping
  • pecan pie
  • carrot cake
  • pumpkin pie
I will now go and wallow on my bed, if I can fit through my bedroom door.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Free at Last!

I refuse to waste very many words on the parents of these 8 children, so I'll merely say this: I am incredibly glad these kids aren't being forced to support their family anymore.  Fame is fleeting, and I hope it flies far away from them so that they can have a shot at a normal life.  If anything, I hope when they are older and watch the footage from their "reality show", they'll realize they had nothing to do with  the break-up of their parents' marriage.  Such a depressing end to a family, and such a shame it was offered up as "entertainment" to the rest of the country.    

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop: Diary Entry from my 13 Year-old Self


Awesome writing prompt from Mama Kat a diary entry from when you were 13.  Since there's no possible way to locate my diary from 1987, I'll have to think back.  I haven't matured much past the age of 13 so it probably won't be very hard.

Dear Diary,

I really hate my new haircut.  It was my 13th birthday present (I'm a TEENAGER now!!!!).  It's really short, like a super-short bob with short bangs.  It makes my face look round and fat.  Since my hair's straight, I've been tucking it behind my ears, so it's a little better, but not much.  My aunt took me to this fancy place in the mall, which was cool because I've never been to one of those places, but now I'm totally sure that Davis will never even look at me again.  I really wanted tickets to see Madonna, because she has a concert exactly on my birthday, but I had to get the haircut instead.  I'm going to try and fix my hair before Monday, because I will die if I have to see Davis looking like this.


Oh my gosh, I am going to kill myself!!!!!  I begged my aunt to help me fix my hair and she said OK and took me to another hair place (not the cool one at the mall) and she said she thought it would help if I got a perm.  What do I know, so I said OK.  MY HAIR LOOKS LIKE A POODLE.  My bangs were so short the lady could barely get the little perm roller thingie in them and now my bangs are LIKE A FRIZZY LITTLE PUFFBALL exactly like those fancy poodles you see.  I went home and cried so hard I threw up.  Now I'm going to the mall to try and find a hat.  There is no fixing this hair.  I want to die.  I'm going to see Davis tomorrow!!!!

There is no explanation for why the adults in my life allowed this abomination to be done unto me.  Just so you know, during the summer I turned 13 I gained about 15 lbs., started my period, and got this awful hairstyle.  I wore a hat for the rest of the summer, a la Molly Ringwald in Sixteen Candles, but I started a new school in the fall and they wouldn't let me wear the hat.  Eventually, my hair grew out and it was actually kind of cute, but when that perm first set, it was baaaad.

And, Davis?  Was an 18 year-old boy who never even knew my name, except in my vivid 13 year-old stalker/fantasy life.  I doubt I ever even said hello to him.  He sure was purty, though, I remember that.  Man alive, thirteen sucked. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

More Felt Food Fun

A few more little felt cakes, made the same way as my first tutorial.  These were made with smaller styrofoam rounds, but all the other steps are the same.  I love making felt food, primarily because it's such a quick process from start to finish.  Being a little ADD, I love a project that I can finish in one sitting.  And, the very best part, the total cost for these three cakes was (excluding needle & thread) about $6.  Can't get better than that for a handmade, one-of-a-kind toy!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Timesaving Thanksgiving Recipe

OK, I have a thing for corn.  I detest creamed corn out of the can, but any other form of corn, and I'm all over it (well, except for high fructose corn syrup, but that's a post for another day).  I make this corn only at Thanksgiving, because otherwise I would weigh 350 lbs.  It is the most fattening corn dish you're ever going to have, but man, is it good.  Whipping cream, butter, white flour and parmesan cheese?  How can you miss?  Plus, this sucker can be refrigerated for up to 4 DAYS before baking.  Perfect to whip up the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and have one less thing to worry about when you're trying to thaw the turkey.

Gulliver's Corn

16 oz. pkg. frozen corn
1 1/2 c. whipping cream
1 t. salt
1 t. sugar
3 T. flour
3 T. melted butter
3 T. parmesan cheese

1/2 c. parmesan cheese
2 T. butter

1) Butter baking dish & sprinkle with 3 T. parmesan.

2) Bring whipping cream to a boil; reduce heat and add corn.

3) Simmer 5 minutes, then stir in salt & sugar

4) Make a paste with the 3 T. butter and 3 T. flour; stir into corn & cook until thickened.

5) Pour into the buttered baking dish, sprinkle with topping ingredients

6) Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

This is some dang good corn, y'all.  I always have to double the recipe because my family looooves it.  Hope yours does, too!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Handmade Christmas--Felt Fun

I'm dedicated to making some gifts for my girls this year, in hopes that they'll be a) cheaper, and b) a happy memory for them to look back on.  I've made felt food off and on for the last couple of years, and it's so much fun and easy, too!  If you're interested in how to make this cute little cake, keep reading.  I've never done a tutorial before, so bear with me.

Overall, this is a super-cheap little toy.  Many people use expensive wool felt, but I'm poor, so I use the 5 for $1 stuff you get at your basic Hobby Lobby/Michael's kinda joint.  True, my felt food may not last years, but I'll just replace as needed.  First:

I picked up these styrofoam rounds at Dollar Tree.  They're about  4 3/4" across, and 3/4" thick.  You'll need both of them.


You'll need 2-3 pieces of felt.  Trace your styrofoam round onto your felt and cut out the circle.  You'll need to do this twice, as this is your cake top and cake bottom.  I used a sewing marker with disappearing ink.

Cut two strips of felt 7 1/2" long and 2 1/4" wide.  The sewing is about to begin, so if you're not familiar with the blanket stitch, go here.  It's the best one I've seen online.


Using the blanket stitch, stitch the ends of the felt strips together to make a circle.  Then, take one of the felt circles you cut out and stitch it to the bottom of the circle just made.  This can get tricky, but once you're about 1/4 of the way around the circle, it gets easier.  Voila:

At this point, you're going to fit the styrofoam rounds down into the felt shape you've created.  Now, if you're using the cheap felt like I am, you have to make sure you don't stretch it all out of wack.  The felt has a little stretch to it, but just tug gently to get the rounds inside.

Now, you have two ways to give the top of your cake a little fun "smooshiness" to represent frosting.  I cut three (I only showed 2 in the picture) circles from some thin quilt batting I had in my stash:

You could also just sew on the top felt circle, leave a little gap, and stuff it with Poly-fil or something like that.  At this point, you've got a cute little cake that's got a pretty sturdy bottom & sides:

Now you're ready to decorate.  You can pretty much do whatever you'd like at this point.  I've seen a lot of cute decorating kits where you cut out felt shapes and let your child decorate the cake however they'd like.  If you'd like to do the piped icing I did, here's how.  So easy!

Cut three leaf shapes out of a contrasting felt color, about 1 3/4" long.  You'll need 3 shapes for each "pipe".

Stack the three leaf shapes on top of one another, and sew them together down the middle (using a standard straight stitch).  Then, just sort of separate the individual pieces & kind of fluff them out to resemble icing.

You'll need to make 10 of these to fit around the top of the cake (cut a total of 30 leaf shapes).  Sew the individual pieces together, end to end.  It just takes a few stitches to secure them.

Stitch the circle of icing to the top of the cake.  Just a couple of stitches per individual "pipe" will work, you don't have to go crazy.

I tried to do another ring of piped icing around the bottom, but it didn't look right to me.  Instead, I cut two
7 1/2" long, 3/4" thick strips of the contrasting felt, stitched them together into a loop, and fit them over the bottom of the cake.  I didn't bother stitching it to the cake; it fit pretty snug.  That's pretty much it! 

It still needs a little something on the top.  Since I've made one for each of the girls, I'm thinking their first initial on the top.  If you're adventurous, maybe you can figure out a way to write "Happy Birthday" on the top or something.  Anyway, enjoy!  And for more DIY fun, go visit A Soft Place to Land or Just a Girl sometime today.

Monday, November 9, 2009


My girls are starting to argue.  I imagined that having my girls 5 years apart would cut down on that sort of rivalry, but it looks like I was waaay off base.  Gone are the days when Sissy would look at her little sister lovingly and sigh, "Oh, Mama, isn't she cute?  She's cuter than all the other babies in the world!"  Now there's a lot of "Mom, she's in my room!  Get her out!"  Not to say that Sissy doesn't still cuddle Sassy and mommy her, but the bloom is off the rose, so to speak. 

Sassy is now almost 2 1/2, and her little (or should I say BIG) personality is emerging.  She is sweet-natured and loving, but has a hot temper and knows exactly what she wants.  Sometimes when Sissy wants to snuggle, she gets an emphatic "NO!" and sometimes even a push.  Of course, Sissy is outraged, and proceeds to huff away to her room.  She's no slouch in the "knowing-what-you-want" department either, I might add.  I keep telling myself that one day God will use these strong personalities in an amazing way.  Right now, their primary function seems to be to make me tired.

I know in my heart that all of this stuff is normal.  I know siblings fight, and it's all part of the deal.  It's still hard sometimes to let that idealized notion of sisters go.  I just need to go ahead and embrace the noisy, fussy, sweet, messy business of sisterhood.   

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Friday Faves--Favorite Kids' Toys

So, favorite kids' toys?  We are NOT video game folks around here, but we broke down and bought a Wii a couple of weeks ago and every one of us loves it.  I can wholeheartedly say it offers exactly what it promises:  interactive family fun.  It's been a great way for Sissy to spend some fun time with her daddy, who is most grateful not to have to play Barbies anymore.

Anything and everything by Melissa and Doug.  Sassy got the Slice and Bake Cookie Set for her birthday, and all 4 of us play with it.  We've asked Santa for the Bake and Decorate Cupcake Set, so we'll see.  A tried and true toy for around the 9-18 month range is the Playskool Ball Popper, which is loads of fun.  Sassy played with it so much she lost all the balls and we had to find new ones.

Sissy has mostly outgrown the toy stage, so this year we've had to branch out.  I don't have a link, but we picked up some great art supplies at Michael's last week, and each was under $5.  So for the price of a cheap piece of $20 plastic junk, we were able to buy her a set of pastels, real drawing pencils, real watercolors, and watercolor pencils.  If I can find a cheap easel, we're on the way.

Since I'm a little bit crafty, I've made some felt food for the girls as well.  It's so much more fun than plastic food, and even Sissy (who's 7 1/2) loves to play with it.  I'm hoping to post some tutorials soon, but there's adorable stuff like this and this if you don't have the inclination to make your own.  Go get your Christmas shopping done so you can actually enjoy this year, OK?!  Go see Missy to get more toy tips!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday--Christmas is Coming!!!

I don't know about you, but we're cutting back around the S and S household this Christmas.  We have L O T S of family, and I usually go overboard trying to make sure everybody gets something, and that the gift reflects their personality/interests...then I run out of time and start mass-buying Starbuck's gift certificates.  Sigh.  This year, I'm setting a budget, and that's it.  So, in honor of having more time than money I'm directing everyone here.

There are 2 years' worth of archived projects, plus new ones every day this month.  I managed to make some of these last year, and people actually used them.  Ok, I didn't actually make the cute tote bag, I made the rice heat therapy bags and buckwheat cold therapy bags.  Super easy, and super cheap.  Stitch some up and cross some folks off your list this month.

For more to help soothe your upcoming holiday headaches, go see Kristin at We Are That Family.

Mommy Secrets

I volunteered to be Sissy's room mother this year (we've stopped homeschooling...more on that later).  Obviously, like many moms I want to be involved and helpful, but it goes a little deeper.  My mother, for lots of different reasons, wasn't able to participate much in our lives at school, and it always bothered me.  So, of course, I'm dedicated to doing everything "right" now that I'm the mom.

Only, I can't.  Really, I'm ill-equipped for room-momming.  It's hard!  Calling other parents and asking them to do stuff...I can do it, but I hate it.  Making elaborate snacks/treats for parties?  No fun.  Chaperoning field trips?  Happy to, but the teacher in me is always evaluating whether or not it's really a "worthwhile" educational experience.  And there are all these other moms who seem to be doing it all enthusiastically.

Hello, my name is Jennifer, and I'm a bad room mom. 

What is your guilty mommy secret?  Please comment so I can move on from my June Cleaver guilt!