Monday, June 27, 2011

BOOK CLUB {for girls}

So, my daughter is in a little book club for girls. WHAT A GREAT IDEA! Not my idea, but I am glad she has gotten to participate. I got to host today, and our book was, "Little House In The Big Woods," by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I have to admit... I was a little nervous about what do to. They have to make EVERYTHING in the book. But, one thing was for sure... Mary and Laura LOVE their dolls! Their mom would make them paper dolls, and before Laura got a doll of her own, she had an old dry corn cob wrapped in a piece of fabric. SAD! My how things have changed! Part of the book talks about how they had to kill the pig for food, and the girls were so excited that Pa made them a balloon ball out of the bladder. I thought about giving each girl a balloon, and telling them it was a pig bladder, but decided against it {wink!}

So, instead of giving each girl a dried out corn cob and a piece of fabric, I decided we would make corn husk dolls. It is the first thing we did.

These are what I used. I got them at the grocery store.

I soaked them for about 10 minutes before the girls got here, and them laid them on a large towel I spread on the table. Soaking them made them pliable. I found all sorts of tutorials on line for how to make the dolls, and kind of did a hybrid of them all. The girls would choose and hold the pieces they wanted, and I would tie the twine where it needed to go. We also used twist ties for inside the arms and the first tie for the head.

They turned out SO CUTE, and the girls made all sorts of accessories and hair for their dolls. They spent over an hour doing this. I was surprised how much they liked it. I had them each write their name on a punched label I made in advance.

While the dolls were drying, we made button toys. (Where you hook a button on string and spin it by pulling your hands apart, and putting them back together in a rhythm.) This game is addictive. I had to do it with cute bakers twine and bright buttons, although I am sure the pioneers and others did it with wood or shell buttons, and whatever string they could find.

While they were playing with their button toys, my mom told the story of a sweet little old lady in her neighborhood that would always wear a pioneer bonnet. This cute woman was born in the 1800's. She copied her bonnet from her grandmother's bonnet. (Her grandmother came across the plains.) My mom copied her bonnet, and brought 3 others she had made. My mom talked about the importance of bonnets, and each girl got to try one on. I think they loved it! Thanks mom! You're the BEST!

As they were leaving, they each got a paper doll set I made for them, and tied in paper using baker's twine and a punch with a 1 cent label. I talked to them about how they didn't have fancy packaging in stores, and how Laura and Mary loved paper dolls. I also talked to them about how amazed they were the first time they went to a store, the way it was described in the book.

I didn't cut all the dolls out, but basically just cut the sheet into smaller pieces.

I found the paper doll printable HERE. It was the closest I could get to the time period.

It was a great day, and a privilege to be with these cute girls!

Have a Happy and Creative Day!


I'm linking!

Friday, June 24, 2011

FALAFEL The perfect dinner on a hot summer night!

For my summers between college, I worked at Cedars Of Lebanon. I always loved the food, and to this day, I wish I had paid attention to how it was made. I was craving falafel the other day, and came across this fabulous recipe from

It was an instant hit with my husband and kids. We had it again tonight, and the kids were so excited! It is perfect for a hot summer night. And, perfect when you don't love meat. The leftovers are great to put over lettuce for a lunch salad.

I also wanted a baked falafel, instead of deep fried.
This recipe is pan fried and then baked.


  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil


  1. Wrap onion in cheese cloth and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Set aside. Place garbanzo beans, parsley, garlic, cumin, coriander, salt, and baking soda in a food processor. Process until the mixture is coarsely pureed. Mix garbanzo bean mixture and onion together in a bowl. Stir in the flour and egg. Shape mixture into four large patties and let stand for 15 minutes.
  2. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  3. Heat olive oil in a large, oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Place the patties in the skillet; cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side.
  4. Transfer skillet to the preheated oven and bake until heated through, about 10 minutes.
After making the falafel, you serve over pita and lettuce, and top with sesame tahini sauce. I got my tahini at a local grocery store, and added water as the directions stated, and a little lemon juice and sea salt. It is alright. I am still on the lookout for something a little more fresh! If you have a great source or recipe you use for tahini sauce, I would love to see it!

Have a Happy and Delicious Day!


I am linking to:

Tatertots and Jello

Thursday, June 23, 2011


I mentioned the mini-classes my kids are involved in the last post. Well today, I hosted for my daughter and three of her darling friends. I remember the way my mom taught me to cross stitch, was using gingham. So, I decided to do the same thing with these girls.

I made them each an embroidery pouch to keep everything in when they were finished. I decided to do this literally one hour before they came.

Luckily, I had a bunch of cloth napkins I had started (and not finished) making. Did you know - I LOVE cloth napkins, and have many drawers bulging with them? I think they add so much to a meal and make your table look and feel beautiful!

Anyhoo... The edges were all serged and pressed. All I had to do was finish the two short edges, press everything how I wanted it, and sew down two sides. It really didn't even take 1/2 hr. I think they make better embroidery pouches than napkins anyway.

Each girl got a hoop. I got them each a 6" hoop from Ben Franklin. They were $1.09 each. My daughter picked a bunch of floss, so they all got to choose pieces or whatever color they wanted.

Last night, I marked a pattern for each girls name with a pencil on the gingham. It did take a while to figure out how large to do the letters, but after I figured it out, it was easy. I used graph paper for practice before marking the fabric up.

When the girls got here, they each got this felt which I stitched beforehand. They stuffed it with batting, and I stitched it closed to make a pincushion.

We don't want to lose any needles!
I already had the scraps, buttons, thread, and pins, so it cost me nothing, and added a cute touch.

Most of them had finished their name by the time the class was over.

Aren't they darling?!? What a fun day. I love being a mom, and getting to know my children's friends. The thing I liked best, was sitting with the girls on the floor in the family room basically the whole time, and just listening to them talk about their cute little lives.

My daughter said it was the best craft she has ever made. She wanted to make one for her brother, so I found a piece of mini hounds-tooth fabric, and marked his name on there for her. She is almost finished. Wow... who knew she would like it so much?

Have a Happy and Creative Day!


I am linking to:

Tatertots and Jello

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

PIRATES!!! Arghhh!

My amazing friend Kami organized summer mini-classes for kids in the neighborhood, and I knew I wanted to participate. This is where a bunch of moms decide on a time and place every week or every other week for their kids to get together for 1 1/2 hrs. Today was my day to host, and I decided to go with a PIRATE theme...

I had to control myself. It was hard... really hard.

The boys got here, and we gave them each a hat (from the dollar store, 6 for $1) Then, we read, "Pirates Don't Change Diaper's."

Then, we put together, "I SPY," jars. This was some of the stuff in them:

I got the idea from my SUPER AMAZING AND TALENTED friend Kassi.
Kassi... you really need a blog!
Here is Kassi's:

It was for girls, and cuter than mine. Here's mine:

I just used jars, fabric, and ribbon I already had, because I didn't want to spend any more money. And, these were for boys, so I didn't want to make them too froufrou.

After that, the boys made pirate ships out of popsicle sticks. (Also from the dollar store, and I spent a total of $2.) They glued them with Elmer's glue, and then I went over them with hot glue, so they can float in water if the kids want to do that.

My son says the "hole," in his pirate ship is so the pirates can see the treasure in the water below...

Here is a close-up of Brady's ship.

At first the boys were really worried about making them but they had so much fun, and the ships were really creative!

It was a swash-buckeling time! (Is that really a word?)

Then, I had a treasure chest for each one of them - also from the dollar store, 4 for $1. Inside, I put leftover stuff from the I SPY jars, and a ring pop for each boy. I was worried about ring pops for boys, but they LOVED them, and looked very pirate-like when they wore them! They took turns hiding them for each other, and played hot and cold to help each other find them.

I also made each boy a, "Booty Bag." I couldn't resist! I saw the fabric at Wal-mart, and it was $4.44 a yard. I got 3 bags per yard, and they were SUPER EASY to make! I told them that when a pirate goes swimming, he always needs a place to keep his booty, or his towel and sunscreen. One boy told me a booty is really a butt... yup! ;)

Aren't they SO CUTE! The fabric was my inspiration for the whole mini-class.

Have a Happy and Creative Day!


I am linking to:

Tatertots and Jello

Monday, June 13, 2011

Last Minute FATHER'S DAY Idea & Printable

We were at Dollar Tree the other day, and saw a few fireworks.
I knew they would be perfect for Father's Day!
After all, what boy, young or old, doesn't love fireworks?

This is what I started with, and it cost me $4.

This is what I ended up with...
This one is my favorite!

Here's the printable for you.

Have a Happy and Creative Day!

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