Monday, February 28, 2011

New Quiet Book Pages

Ah . . . now that felt good! I came home on Friday night and pulled out some crafts and just kept going all weekend. It's been a long time but the creative juices are flowing now. I decided to work on some new quiet book pages that I have been thinking about for a long time. First up:
ABC's - This is a little pocket that will hold some ABC flashcards (once I run by the store to get them laminated).123's - this is ABC's brother page. This little pocket will hold some number flashcards as soon as they are laminated.Barn - this is one of my most favorite new pages. I got this idea from Homemade by Jill and The Crafty Chicks. The barn doors open and there is a trough/pocket for the finger puppet animals to stay.
Colors - this pages matches colors with their words.Dinosaurs - this is another new favorite for me and the boys. The dinos stay inside the pond when they're not being played with. This is another idea from Serving Pink Lemonade (she has tons of great felt ideas!) and then I found the cute dino templates from a google search. Love it!
I need to make a quick trip to the craft store for some gray felt and another page will be ready to show. In addition, I have two other pages nearly finished - just some sewing on of velcro and making some aliens. Can't wait - too cute! I'll post them as soon as the details are finished.
I've been dreaming about new quilt ideas so stay tuned - I'm feeling a new quilt coming on.

Monday, February 21, 2011

New Game Finds

I come from a game-loving family. We played lots of board games growing up. Even when my boys were really little, we played whatever games we could. Now as they are growing up (too quickly I might add), we are adding lots of new games to our game closet. I wanted to highlight our two newest additions. They were hard to find! I had to win a tight bidding war on eBay for this first one.
May I present - Looping Louie. This is a game from 1992. I vaguely remember seeing commercials for it on TV way back then (YouTube has lots of videos including old commercials . . . too many people with too much time on their hands). Anyway, my brother-in-law and his wife have had this game since it was first out. My boys love to play it. It's just their speed. Basically, Looping Louie in his little airplane flies around in a circle trying to steal your chickens. You have a paddle to swat him away and if you're good, you can swat him right on to your opponents chickens. There are four paddles. The last one with a chicken still in their hen house wins. It is still available in Germany and the only one that was reasonably priced that I could find on eBay was straight from Germany. I got to put all the sticker decals on myself so it was new right out of the box. Definitely worth the eBay battle! On an additional note - just for fun sometime, google Looping Louie and check out all the National Tournaments for adults for this game. It really has quite the cult following! Makes me laugh.While I was searching all over for Looping Louie, I found this game that is just like it - Bobbin' Bumblebee. The bumblebee (named Robin according to the directions) flies around trying to steal your honey discs. The last player with honey wins. I didn't get a close up picture of it, but the paddles on this game are little honey dippers - very cute! The bee is a little harder to flip around than Louie, but still it's a lot of fun. I wasn't going to buy it after I won the Looping Louie bid, but the boys begged for it. Now I'm glad I have both. This one came from eBay as well from a game store in England. It took nearly six weeks to get through customs - thank you terrorists who want to send packages to the US through the mail :-).

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Simple Valentine's Craft

I manged to squeak in one new Valentine's craft this year . . . the month is just getting away from me. Too many things are competing for my time right now.

This heart garland is super easy. The hardest part was finding double sided scrapbook paper in Valentine's colors. I ended up taking two regular sheets of paper and gluing them together. Anyway, you just cut out a whole bunch of hearts from double sided paper. Put two together and sew them down the center one after another forming a chain. Once they're all sewn, open them up so they are 3-dimensional. Hang it up and you're done. Fast and easy - just my speed right now.
Here's a close up showing the papers. I went to the only real scrapbook store that I've known about and walked in the doors to find some paper . . . . and when I looked up - the whole store was empty (with an unlocked door mind you - but what was there to steal I guess). Scrapbook stores make me hyperventilate anyway! Too overwhelming for someone who doesn't scrapbook.

Oh - and I just registered to do a fun event this spring . . . a non-competitive women's only bike ride right in my own backyard (so to speak). Some of my favorite neighbor ladies and I are heading out to start training. I'm super excited! Nothing like committing to something to get you out of the house and exercising! We're trying to talk our husbands in to volunteering - ha! Ok - now I'm off to "bring home some bacon".

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Lemon Pudding Cake

I hate weeks like these last few . . . I want so badly to have time to craft, but I just can't seem to fit it in. I have a list of a thousand things to start . . . two new quiet book pages, valentine's crafts (yes, it's next week), and some sewing projects. Work is completely crazy and the boys all need some love and attention. And any free time I find myself with gets taken up by sleep. So the list of things to do will move to this week. I did drag myself up off the couch this afternoon to do a little baking. I had seen a recipe on Cooks Country for Lemon Pudding Cake. I had all of the ingredients except for fresh lemons - so bottled lemon juice will just have to do. Can you say Yum!
So with no further adieu . . . the recipe.
Lemon Pudding Cake
1/4 C Flour
2 t Cornstarch
1 1/4 C Sugar, split
5 T Butter unsalted, softened
2 T Lemon Zest, grated
1/2 C Lemon Juice (about 4 lemons)
5 Eggs, separated
1 1/4 C Whole Milk, room temperature
2 qts Boiling Water
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease 8" square baking dish.
Whisk flour and cornstarch in bowl. On medium high speed, beat 1/2 cup sugar, butter, and lemon zest until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Beat in egg yolks, one at a time, until incorporated.
Reduce speed to medium-low and add in flour mixture. Mix until incorporated.
Slowly add milk and lemon juice, mixing until just combined.
Using a clean bowl and whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes.
With mixer running, slowly add remaining 3/4 cups sugar until whites are firm and glossy, about 1 minute.
Whisk 1/3 of whites into batter, then gently fold in remaining whites, one scoop at a time, until well combined.
Place kitchen towel in the bottom of a roasting pan and arrange prepared baking dish on the towel.
Spoon batter into prepared 8" baking dish.
Carefully place pan on oven rack and pour boiling water into pan until the water comes halfway up the sides of the baking dish.
Bake until the top surface is golden brown and the edges are set (center should jiggle slightly when gently shaken), about 60 minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack and let cool at least 1 hour.
Lightly dust with powdered sugar and serve.

This will definitely be a repeat recipe in our house. A great lemony-souffle, custard dessert that is super easy! And boy do I love lemony desserts!