Author Archives: Kara

Lavender Lemon Cookies

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Well, that “once a week” thing lasted for a grand total of one week. Oh well.

Anyway, I love lavender. I always have it around in essential oil form and use lavender shampoo. Last summer we managed to even get over to a lavender festival in Santa Fe with Dan’s aunt Wendy. We made lavender wands, sniffed lavender candles, and tried out lavender chicken samples. YUM. Over by the music (though their music was sadly not about lavender) there was a table selling lavender lemonade and cookies. Boy, did those sound good! After paying out our couple of bucks for some aptly themed refreshments, I was sorely disappointed that the lavender could barely even be noticed in the cookies! I vowed at that moment that I would find a truly lavender cookie recipe and make it myself.

Skip forward a year and add in a unhealthy addiction to Pinterest. I happened to stumble upon a wonderful recipe on this blog, which is an adaption of a recipe from this blog over here. Anyway, I broke out the butter and lavender and got baking.These are finally the true lavender cookies that I was craving. They are buttery, lemony, and floral- all without being overpowering. One correction on the original, though. I was impatient in waiting for the second batch to cool before dipping them in the icing and they came out just as nice as the others, even though they were still warm from the oven. These cookies are a big hit with everyone, even the two year old. I am sure we will be munching on these with some tea tomorrow morning. And afternoon. And evening- if they make it that far.

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The Pact

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About a week ago I was talking to my best friend Bridget. It went something like this…

B: So i am thinking of starting a blog…any suggestions on what program to use?
Me: I like wordpress a lot. Blogger is easy, too.
B: Okay, I will have to check them out. I have never been good at blogging, because I lose interest or I am doing because someone else is doing it, ie myspace, livejournal, etc.
Me: I have the same problem.
B: I feel like if I start this one, it should be a goal of mine to stick with it
Me: We could attempt to keep each other going on it. Set a goal like 1 post by Friday each week or something like that.
B: That is a GREAT idea! Be held accountable…
So as of this week, I will be posting at least once per week. If not, Bridget will be on my case 😉 From now on, expect at least once recipe, craft project, tutorial, picture of my garden, mommy moment (you may be hearing about the glories or potty training- fair warning), or something else of my choosing every week. Since goals need to be both specific and time oriented, here is the official wording:
I will post something in my blog every week by Friday for one year from today.
Taaa-daaaaa! Simple goal that I will stick to because B is holding me accountable…and I will be doing the same for her. B’s goal, however, is a bit bigger than mine. She will be posting once a day for a year. Whoa. Now…I almost felt like, since we are after all in a blogging pact, I should be doing the same in posting daily, but then I realized that I barely remember to brush my teeth every day. There are some days where I wonder if I actually showered…or was it just a memory of yesterday (or the day before!). Between the toddler, the puppy, the husband and the job, I barely know which way is up most days. If I can’t keep up with my normal daily routine, then daily blogging is just not a feasible goal for me. B is brave, so I will help her out in blogging daily and I will go for once a week. And I will only bug her on Fridays about not posting enough. Since this is a big undertaking for both of us, we really could use your help, too:
  • Check out B’s blog Zen and the Art of Being Type A. She’s a really cool person and I know you will like her.
  • Subscribe to my blog (it’s over in the right sidebar). You’ll get an email whenever I post…and if I don’t do at least one a week, you can harass me about it, too!
  • Comment! We need to know someone is reading what we write (someone other than our moms at least HI MOM!)

So go head on over to B’s blog and let her know that you love her so that she will keep posting every day. And then go subscribe to me so I don’t feel lonely. Oh yeah. and let me know you love me, too…because I am really going to need your help to keep up with this new goal!

Spring Cleaning 2012!

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I’m so in productive mode this week. Yesterday Ash and I worked our way through 6 loads of laundry, did a weeks worth of dishes, and cleaned and reorganized my bedroom so that it is now puppy proof. Whew! We’ve been busy. Life gets so hectic at the end of the school year, so it really feels good to have a clean house (don’t judge me by my livingroom, that’s on the to-do list for today!)

‎...and true to lore, legend says all that kept them from being overrun by the laundry monster was two adorable villagers. The laundry's last cry was "THE CUTENESS! IT HURTS!!!" - S.F.

While changing over the sheets before bed last night, I made an alarming discovery. There have been a number of diaper leaks over the past 2.5 years and our mattress was getting pretty gross. The only thing standing between us and baby pee was a thin piece of fabric. EW. So this morning, I broke out the Bissell Green Machine Pet and got to work searching for a decent cleaning solution that wouldn’t hit my chemical/fragrance sensitivities as I sleep. I love my Green Machine- it totally saved our microfiber couches from Ash’s flu about 2 months ago- but the stuff it comes with for cleaning leaves a terrible after-smell and really made my eyes water for a few days. Luckily I found exactly the recipe I was looking for on a blog called Surviving the Stores. Whoa. It definitely works! My mattress now has just a light scent of YL Lavender oil and the pee stains are almost all gone! If you have one of these awesome little contraptions, try out the solution. Cheaper and healthier than anything that you will find in the store.After all that cleaning, we celebrated with a banana milkshake. YUM. I don’t like bananas, but this I love. I think it’s a keeper for the upcoming hot summer.

Yum, banana!

Banana Milkshake

Ingredients

  • ripe banana
  • big spoonful of peanut butter
  • chocolate syrup
  • almond milk
  • splash of vanilla extract
  • ice

Directions

We use a Magic Bullet, so that’s how the directions are written. Feel free to change it to suit your blender. Peel and break up the banana in the blender cup. Add in a big spoonful of peanut butter and as much chocolate syrup as you like (we did about 1tbsp).  Add in a few drips of vanilla to round out the flavor. Toss in some ice and then fill up with almond milk. Blend. Enjoy.

Twisting the Twine

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Spray painting tubes is kind of hard. Paint flies everywhere and so much less gets on the project than needs to be. I was not about to try to cover the stabilizing legs in paint after how frustrated I was with the rest of the chair already. These chairs are also going to spend a significant amount of time outside, so the metal bar pressing up against bare legs in 116 degree mid-summer heat would not feel good. My answer? Twine!

It took a while to figure out how to get it tight and even, perhaps longer than it should have since I had Ash’s “help.” I really like how the twine color accents the lighter creams in the fabric and adds a bit of fancy to the chair. Definitely not looking like they came out of 1989 anymore.

Here’s a close up of the paint, twine, and fabric together. Pretty nice match considering it was all chosen from memory. I think these are going to look really nice once the flowers start coming up all over the yard.

Ashton loves modeling the chairs- even if they don’t have seats yet! I’m hoping to start tearing those apart tomorrow. It shouldn’t be too difficult, right? Dusty fabric and rusty staples….perhaps it will be a nap time project.

We are quite happy with the results so far.

Spray Paint

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At heart, it seems like an ingenious idea: mix paint and texture in a can. The effects are awesome and it seems oh so convenient. Press and spray. Viola! I was so excited this morning as I purchased the 2 cans of paint that the guy at Home Depot recommended. The excitement, however, didn’t last long.

After 20 minutes of spraying, I discovered a few things about spray paint…

  • It is an expensive goopy mess. If it isn’t sprayed just right, with just a thin enough coat, then unsightly drips fall down your project.
  • Sensitive to funky smells? Spray paint is the stinkiest paint I have EVER used. I mean knock-you-out smelly. So much so that even though a paint mask I was feeling dizzy as I added texture and color to the chairs.
  • This stuff is wasteful! So much paint is lost to the drop cloth- a problem that I have never had with a paint brush. I think there were times where my toes had more brown on them than the chair legs.
  • My finger got a cramp.
  • Two cans was not enough paint. I had to go out and buy 4 more just to get the chairs mostly covered.

Six cans of paint and a headache later, the chair metal is almost all a rusty brown color. The effect is actually really cool. While I will probably never use the stuff again, I am quite pleased with how are turning out so far…even if it is winding up to be more expensive than I had originally planned. I have a feeling we will be keeping these things around for quite some time.

Next step: Twisting twine along the stabilizing bars. Stay tuned.

Introducing: The Chairs

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I have been on a crafting and creating kick the past few weeks. It’s been my sanity-saver lately. When the stress of family, keeping up with chores, work, etc etc etc has started to get to me, I have been diving into projects to keep my mind and hands busy.

So when I saw that my friend Julie had put out a set of 4 dining chairs for the garbage men, the lightbulb went on in my head: I can re-finish these chairs for the porch! Into the back of the car they went.

I didn’t know this until a few days later, but the chairs had belonged to Julie’s grandmother and it had been hard for her to put them to the curb in preparation for her big move. I am really excited to give these  chairs a new life with some spray paint and lovely fabric. I can’t wait to see how they turn out!