Saturday, February 2, 2013

Easy Fix for Potty Seat

This was one of those things that bugged me daily but I never did anything about it.  I would kick around the seat, move it to the side, on top of the wastebasket, behind the toilet, etc.  It was always in the way and there was no where it seemed to fit.

I took a shot that the handles on the side would fit with a Command Hook and bought a pack.  Now my daughter hangs it up about 60% of the time after she is done and it is easily put away in a second by anyone who uses the bathroom next.  

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Halloween Costumes 2012: DIY Luke and Leia

We are a family of nerds and we are raising our kids on the same path.  They both love Star Wars (among other nerdy entertainment) and it was not hard to convince them to  be Luke and Leia for Halloween.  My main criteria for Halloween is that they cannot be a ghoul or "evil" thing but can be any other character from a movie or book or history.  Also, if I have to make it I try to push them towards something more simple or something I know I can handle.

Making Luke

Image Source

Given that my boy is 2 and a quarter years old, I didn't think complete authenticity was going to be a big concern.  He is more of a big picture sort of guy :).  I thought that making it all wouldn't be too hard but on the off chance I might find a karate gi, I went to the Goodwill and looked around.  I was quickly greeted by a white karate top that was a size too big but only $3.  I shortened the sleeves a little and it fit great.  I had an old cream colored pillowcase that wasn't getting used and made a pair of pants out of it.   This was done by folding a pair of my son's pants in have at the crotch and tracing the outline on some paper.  I then laid the pattern on the fold of the fabric and cut out 2 pieces then sewed them together.  I added some elastic at the waist and didn't even hem the legs because they would be shoved into the boots.  For the boots I had planned to make boot covers like the ones shown above. Instead I opted to use my daughter's old brown "ugg" style boots and they worked fine.  I bought a little brown pleather and cut the right size for a belt and added a little Velcro to close it.  We already had a couple light sabers so that was set and I let his hair grow out just to let him have that shaggy 70's Luke hair.

Making Leia

It is always more complicated making girl clothes.  For one, they notice detail and you can't get away with faking something as easily. Also Leia isn't a simple outfit, it is a drapey dress with a mock turtleneck,  hood and belt so you can't just pick that  up at the Goodwill.  My niece also wanted to be Leia and she is 10 months older than my daughter.  My mom and I collaborated to figure out how to make the dress without a pattern.  She had a bolt of white stretchy knit from an estate sale that she got for $5 a while back with the thought that "I can make something out of  this."  Well the opportunity presented itself.

I found a tutorial HERE for an adult size Leia costume and used that as the starting point.  As you can see below the tutorial called for cutting the fabric out of once piece of material.  It makes a kind of "snow angel" shaped cut out.  We used an old sheet to do the first cut out then laid that on the main fabric to make the dress cut out.  We made it roomy because it has some drape and because the belt would allow for some adjustments.

The sewing was just 2 seams up the sides for the main dress part.  Because the fabric doesn't fray, we didn't bother to hem the sleeve ends or the bottom of the dress (so much easier).  Without a collar and the hood the dress easily fit over the girls heads because of the stretch.  The collar was just a rectangle of fabric with a bit of lightweight interfacing sandwiched inside.  The hood was a rectangle of fabic sewn up the back and gathered to fit the neck (shoulder to shoulder).  After the collar and hood were attached we added 2 hook and eye closures to the neck.  Then we found out a bit about construction.  The neck that easily slipped onto the girls without the collar/hood combo would not fit over their heads with it.  Ahhh the fun of pattern-less sewing.  So we were lucky that the back of the dress was now hidden by the hood and we cut a small slit in the neckline to allow to their noggins to get through.  Problem solved and only the people who read this post will know about it. :)

The belt was more white fabric (not stretchy but a soft polyester remnant we picked up.)   I made a pattern using my daughters waist as a guide for the height and width of the belt.  I allowed for 1/2 an inch seam allowance and had the belt itself only go around to the sides of the girls.  Inside I used heavy interfacing to give it more structure.  After the belt was done and sewn, I added some sport elastic (about 1 1/4 inch wide) to the back to make it easy to pull on and off without a closure.  The front design on the actual belt was metal and I was not going to go that far with it.  We found some silver sheets of duct tape (I had no idea they came in sheets until we found the stuff at Jo-Ann's) and I cut out the front pentagon and side octagons with little circles in the middle of each.  They stuck really well to the fabric and will be fine for costume/dress up purposes as long as the kids don't experiment with peeling them off.

My daughter is a brunette so the hair color wasn't as issue.  However the MASSIVE amount of hair in Leia's cinnamon bum's was not going to work.  I had some toddler size brown socks and cut off the toes.  I rolled them into donut shapes and used them to make 2 sock buns on the sides of her head after making pig tails at the top her her ears.  A lot of pins and hair spray later and we have a Leia-ish hair do.  


Under the dress I had my daughter wear some white knit pants and an undershirt and she just wore her athletic shoes so walking would be easy while trick or treating. (which we do downtown during the day more than worrying about dong it at night when bedtime is upon us.)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Evil Food Craving: Navajo Fry Bread

This is so easy and yummy and that is what makes it evil.  I had this in high school when we used to go to missions trips to the Navajo Nation and do a VBS week with the children there.  There was a trailer on the land where we stayed and in it older women would make food and sell it daily.  The Fry Bread was awesome especially when it was fresh out of the pan.  This bread can be a side dish.  It can also be used as a tortilla for Navajo tacos (drooling already.)  People also put powdered sugar or honey on it for a sweet snack.

Here is the recipe.  It makes 4-5 small 6 inch or so bread rounds.

1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp powdered milk
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup water
oil for frying (I use canola but the Navajo would most likely use shortening)
extra flour for your hands

1) mix all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl.  While you are prepping put about 1 inch of oil in a skillet.  I just use my 10 inch pan but a cast iron one would be good.

2) Separate the dough into 4-5 balls.  I like doing 5 because I make the kids slightly smaller and have an extra to nibble on :).

3) flouring your hands, work the ball (not kneading it) into a flat-ish circle about the size of your hand fingers to palm.  Its kind of like a pizza dough so stretch press and turn it to get it to the size you want.  Make sure there is at least 1 small hole in the center somewhere (about an inch or so) this helps it not puff up and the oil gets to the top side.

4) Check your oil and see if its hot enough.  I don't use a thermometer I just see if it sizzles when I drop a little bit of dough in.  Place your dough in carefully and let it cook for about a minute on each side until it is a nice golden color.

5) Place on a paper towel and sprinkle with some salt.  These are best when you eat them right away but are still good it they are made ahead and served with the meal.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Evil Craving Food Series: Peanut Butter Pie

peanut butter pie

or Peanut Butter Cheesecake

1 premade cookie crust or graham cracker crust

1 c. creamy peanut butter
1 c. sugar
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese at room temp.
1 tbsp vanilla
3/4  c. whipping cream (I used extra creamy cool 

Beat peanut 
butter, sugar, cream cheese, 2 tbsp 
butter and vanilla in a large bowl until smooth 
and creamy. 
Beat cream until soft peaks form. Fold in 
whipping cream into peanut butter mixture. 
Spoon into crust. Refrigerate 6 hours. Add extra 
whipped topping if you want. Other options are 
chocolate sauce drizzled on it or chocolate chips 
either on top or in it. :)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

"Soilove" love

Soilove Laundry Soil-stain Remover New
I have previously mentioned that Soilove is awesome.  But I had an experience this week that has made me love this more.

Have you ever had that moment when you hear something clicking in the dryer only to investigate and find the chapstick or lipbalm you left in your pocket?  Well if you have, you know the sinking feeling you get as you check through the clothes and find which have been damaged by the pure, lip softening oils that have been melted and tumbled through the load.

I had several items of clothing with smatterings of Burts Bee's Pomegranate Lip Balm on them (it has the added fun of a pink hue so it stands out more than just a clear chapstick.)  I was sooooo bummed.

I went online and read how to get it out and there were many suggestions involving Dawn or solvents.  I did not have any Dawn left and then I thought of Soilove (which definitely has a solvent smell to it.) I put it on all the spots I could see and rewashed.  Things had improved, but were still visible so I reapplied the stain remover and washed again and after that load I couldn't see any spots.

Due to my stress and panic I didn't think to take pictures, but I was seriously excited and relieved when those spots were gone.  I have also used this on other stains with success (berries on light clothing for example.)  It is sold several places, but your best bet is the 99 cent store where a bottle is 99 cents as opposed to 1-3 dollars in other stores or even more online.

I still don't know what's in it but it says it can "Safely remove blood, grease, ink, beverage stains, food, grass, perspiration and most other stains. For all colorfast fabrics."  I might have to ditch the expensive stain fighters and stick with this stuff. :)

***Edited to add: I did notice that I had either missed spots or some were too bad to fix and there were some items of clothing lost to the evil lip balm, but I still stand by that it gets out baby poop like magic (the only other thing I found that works really well is sitting it in the sun after I wash it to bleach/dry)


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