Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cellular respiration is not my cup of tea. Chemical reactions and by-products and energy output? Blech. Just give me a pig to cut open, please. But that's unfortunately what I'm studying now, which means I am burned out. But my dear MacKenzie kindly helped me take a study break this morning for some easy-peasy craft time. And I must say, I feel better; fresh and smarter-er.

We started with some color theory:

And continued on to luminary design:

Kenzie was actually super good about keeping the paint inside the jar, and not on her brand new pillowcase dress. In hindsight, a smock woulda been a good idea.

So simple project is as follows:
Paint inside of mason jars orange (mine were the cute faceted jelly jars, but any will do).
Paint outer rim of jars green for the stem.
Draw spooooky faces on jars. I think Kenz takes the prize for this one.
Drop in a tealight and turn out the lights.

She is such a doll.

We also made some spider-webs to munch on for brain-food. These went well with my morning coffee- nothing beats sweet and salty! (And please excuse the bad cell phone photography, which, isn't too bad considering, eh?)

It's just melted chocolate (I used a mixture of peanut butter, milk, and white) poured over broken pretzels, and allowed to harden. The fridge will help speed things up ;)

Well, that was a nice break. Back to the grind, and wish me luck tonight!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

'Tis the season.

One of 'em, anyway.
Autumn in Hawaii is odd. I'm from the land of changing leaves and early Mountain freezes and apple pickin' in our warmest sweaters. I don't miss much about Virginia, other than family and friends, and I wouldn't trade living here in Paradise for anything, but there is something so bittersweet about October in the Islands. Everyone decorates for Fall, but the orange and browns are all faux. The air gets crisper and nights chillier- but not quite crisp or chilly enough. We all go to Haunted Houses and pumpkin patches, but the sand still in our slippahs from the morning's surf session takes a bit of the authenticity away. It's still wonderful, just a little less....real feeling. A little odd.
Anywho, all that being said, Happy Fall! I do love this time of year, regardless of where we are.
I love spiced lattes and carving pumpkins and making Halloween costumes. We like to spark up our little firepit on the deck and hang out at night after the kids go to bed. It's usually cold enough to bring a quilt, so now my quilts all smell a bit like woodsmoke. It helps ;)
We've decorated some. I have a big bag of spooky Halloween decorations in the garage, but in true Domesstic fashion, I opted for just a Autumn color-scheme this year. This way, I can leave them up until Thanksgiving! Score.

I love these paint sample pennants! I made a couple for Asher's Birthday party, and still have one hanging in our hallway, unwilling to part with it. These Fall ones hang across our front deck and garage and have awesome color names like "Spicy Gingerbread" and "Crisp Grannysmith." Cute! I wish I had used a sturdier ribbon so it didn't furl so much, but I still think they are lovely. Bonus- they are free!! And the looks you get when stuffing handfuls of samples into your purse at the hardware store are half the fun.

Kenzie and I made some Jack-O-Lanterns. These are ridiculously easy, and really look bright and happy in our entryway. The green vine cutting exercise was really a learning experience for me, as well. Learning how to be patient with my daughter as she attempted it, that is.

I made some starburst-esque things with the leftover cuttings of paint samples. I like how the tulle looks, but the wind likes to tangle things up. I think just ribbons would work better in the future, something with a bit more weight.

And our one spooky contribution this year. Spooooooky.

Here is Asher admiring all of our hard work.

And today we took the obligatory trip to the pumpkin patch. Despite being a bit guilty about the slave labor and baked alive in the Hawaiian sun, we had a great time! Asher and MacKenzie really enjoyed walking the rows of pumpkins, and while Asher was happy with all the pumpkin varieties, it took Kenz a looong time to find her perfect Princess pumpkin. We skipped the hay ride because of long, unshaded lines, but did check out the petting zoo. I am now convinced we need a chicken. Seriously, I've been Googling chicken care and everything! If only we weren't leaving so soon. I'd have some free-range chicks and yummy fresh eggs and annoyed neighbors in a heartbeat.

Tell me this kid wasn't made to be in a pumpkin patch?! Of note, that cute romper was made by my grandmother for me when I was a little girl. So thankful my mom saved it for me.

A contender, but it didn't make the final cut.

Two happy kids in a tire.

Mr.'s watermelon pumpkin. He has grand plans for its future carving.

Here Asher finds the ever-elusive white pumpkin. He got a bit sad that he couldn't play with the "ball-ball".

Another wonderful thing about this time of year is the food. All of that squash and 'winter' vegetables and curries and spices. Mmmmm. The other day I made a twice baked acorn squash that made me want to cry it was so good. The neighbors probably had a good laugh that night, with my husband and I both moaning our way through dinner. It was basically squash, mixed with coconut milk, raisins, cranberries, cashews, honey, curry, and cumin.

Mix it all up and bake it in the acorn squash 'shells' with some parmesan on top. Holy yum. I served this with a spicy cranberry glazed salmon and herbed brown rice. It felt so decadent, but still fairly healthy. Nice when things work out like that ;)

So coming up I'll show-and-tell the Halloween costumes for this year, and also share three baby quilts I've been working on. Time to get some sewing-related stuff on here, huh?
Enjoy your crisp Fall weekend, wherever you are!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Well, aren't we fancy!

Fancy a cup of tea, love?

In honor of this upcoming election season, we had our own little tea party. (giggle..) It was one of those slow afternoons when Mr. and I wanted nothing more than to nap study on the couch. And one of those slow afternoons where the two children were systematically dismantling the toy bins, and rapidly getting bored with it. We saw them eyeing the glassware and knew we had to intervene. I initially set up a plastic tea set for them inside, with water and cookies to make a good, fine mess. But then I remembered that we have a lovely Chinese (Japanese? ) tea ceremony set that, as far as I'm aware, had never actually been used. So, I set the hubs to work cleaning the grime from the cups and boiling the water and got the kids in proper tea attire. One MUST dress for tea, afterall.

Kenzie was feeling the Steampunk vibe, apparently. (BTW- I LOVE the Steampunk look. I couldn't rock it myself, but how fun would it be to wear bustles and corsets and little mini-hats?? Oh, and those tiny eyeglasses? Dahhhling.)

We didn't have any loose tea leaves, so we picked some mint from the front, and voila, now we're makin' memories.

Above you'll see Mr. 'seasoning' the teacups. This was all very authentic.
He Googled it, afterall.

And about halfway through the ceremony, we were discussing the types of mint leaves being used. Turns out I had picked sprigs of Mojito mint. Hmmm.... Mojito...


Ok, we couldn't help ourselves. It was almost 5, afterall ;) They were surprisingly tasty! And a weee bit strong.
Don't judge.

Lack of nap aside, it was a lovely afternoon- good family time with no money spent, no gas used, and no broken glassware. Even Asher had a ball! See?

Mojito Recipe, Domesstic style

Mojito mint sprigs, several (8?) leaves per tea cup sized portion
Three glug-glug-glugs of Agave nectar, total
Two to three glugs of Rum per tea cup sized portion
Lots of lime juice. Lots.

Muddle ingredients in wooden bowl.
Pour into tea cups. Feel very fancy, and increasingly tipsy.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Quarter life crisis.

I am sitting here embarking on yet another attempt to anchor myself to this little blog, when laundry, dishes, counters, bathrooms, clutter, toys, homework, and my daughter's Medusa-esque hair CLEARLY should be winning my time. But, I have something important to share. And it takes precedence to toilets (doesn't everything?).
However, it's been awhile. You have missed me so. So to catch you up...
A quick Cliff Notes on life here.
Mrs. got knocked up. Had Baby Boy. Named him Asher Vaughn. He's really (I mean Really) cute. And he's now one. Had a big-ol party and four teeth and some zombie walking. Mr. got a new job. Or will have a new job. We move in February. To California. Northern. Where it is cold, all the time. But there's wine, so I can drink my way through it. Daughter is as precocious
as ever. She tolerates her brother. When her hair is combed, she is also really cute. And really smart. Unless it's a puzzle. She likes to read and sing and talk. And talk and talk and talk. Mrs. is back in school. She wants to "be something". Her classes are medical-like. Maybe she'll be a nurse? Who knows. She's working very very hard to get her A's and is actually enjoying it. When she doesn't have a test the next day. Mrs. has very little time to sew or craft anymore, but there have been a few projects. Maybe some pictures can be arranged. Mr. and Mrs. and the two munchkins are well and happy and are working on that white picket fence to complete this rosy picture.

Wait. Rosy picture? Well and happy? What's with the quarter life crisis tag line, huh? Well, sometimes 'happy' doesn't feel like enough. Lately, I've been wanting more. Oh, poor bored housewife, I know. But it's good, for this spurred my initial decision to go back to school, and that's a very good thing. But lately that restlessness has been creeping back. Convertibles aren't very family-friendly, and God-knows I don't need hair plugs.
Solution? (Pay attention, other SAHMs. This can save you so much heartache.)
It's revolutionary.
Life changing.

Red lipstick.
Ok, so as most of my friends know I've been sucked into the world of Mad Men and my masochistic jerk of a boyfriend Don Draper. (But, I'll change him, s'alls good.)

Loved the escapism of the show, but seeing those women, always perfectly coiffed, demure and stylish and not covered in the breakfast, lunch, AND dinner (of yesterday) was getting me down. I felt so unglamorous. Before I was a mommy, I needed to look good for my job. I wore heels and stockings and mascara and jewelry. And my underwear matched my bras. I was kinda sexy. That was who I was when Mr. fell for me. And, somewhere from then to now, I became someone who wore nursing bras long after I stopped nursing, long pants because I didn't have time to shave, and a ponytail, everysingleday. Someone who looked nothing like this:

Then, a revolution. In the amount of time it takes to put on a pair of ratty yoga pants, a tank top, and Chapstick you can instead put on (secondhand) designer jeans, a bright blouse, and Red Lipstick. Add a fancy clip to your ponytail and a sandal instead of rubber flip flops, and you no longer scream "I have young children, I haven't had an adult conversation in a week, I think I may have poo under my fingernail, and yes, I am aware that my son just pulled my elastic-waisted shorts down." Seriously, SAME amount of time!
So what if I look like a hooker in my push-up bra and Red Lipstick at the gas station? Who cares if no one wears stockings in Hawaii because they are flippin' HOT? I wanna wear this flirty skirt, darnnit (and I still don't have time to shave). Even if I don't actually plan on leaving to go anywhere. Maybe the UPS man will stop by.
And if he does, I'll be ready.

Caring about how I look again has been good for me. I do fear it is affecting my daughter, though. She spent about forty minutes in the mirror this morning, wetting, combing, rewetting, recombing her hair. And then she asked to wear some of my lipstick.

I told her when she's a mommy, I'll buy her a tube of her very own.