Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sewing and Knitting for Their Delight


Ah! I have made Ted Teddy - upon his request (5-year-old boy) and Cooks (3-year-old girl) each a little something. Something to make them feel special and loved by mom.

It was about time to knit Cooks something since last winter I only managed to make Teddy a hat. So I went for something small and useful, naturally. She liked it and stuffs it with toys and whatever she thinks appropriate regardless of its weight ; of course I have to just breath, relax and try hard not to think of the hours put into it.

As for Ted, I'm in love with his tote. I'm constantly reminding him of how special it is and he has to hear me more often than he would like saying "please don't leave it where everyone's going to step on it." The reason why it is so special, to me anyways, is that it's made from a pair of old jeans and an old shirt. 

I love re-purposing and reusing stuff so instead of throwing away those jeans with holes on the knees I kept them and when the perfect old shirt came along I whipped this up. Maybe some day I will write a tutorial on how I made it. 

Oh yeah, I thought I shared this with you because I'm so excited! I was a winner from the giveaway organized by sew mama sew and will get this lovely goodies in the mail anytime next week.

photo from mooncalf's blog
Thank you so much mooncalf!

And just to keep the creativity going and make another little person happy I'm thinking of making Fats (2-year-old girl) something but have not decided yet what that should be. 

Any ideas?

Children's real names are not given. A little gesture of my part to respect their private life a little.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My Banana Bread Recipe


Today I want to share a treasure of mine: my banana bread recipe. I call it 'mine' because I got ideas from here and there and customized it to suit my family's needs and likings.

I make this banana bread with the same flour I talked about before and it's delicious! You can customize it to your liking, it's a very flexible recipe. I've made it with walnuts as well and it adds a touch of crunchiness that's irresistible. The recipe calls for 1 1/2 cup of sugar but I use between 1/2 to 3/4 cup and nobody has complained so far. The one thing that my family can't do without is chocolate chips. I use 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips. 

The best part is that making this bread is a family joint adventure.

Enlarge to read recipe:

Enjoy with your favourite beverage or alone.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Schedule it is!


Formal Homeschooling is around the corner. It's been on our minds a lot the last couple of days since we started acquiring the books we'll be using. I'ts overwhelming to think about it and I hope and pray that doing it will bring joy and balance to this household.

I'm thinking right now that I need to start, seriously, working on organizing my time and daily activities so that when formal homeschooling starts I don't have to worry about how I will do everything else related to keeping a house and nurturing a family. The idea is that if I have a few years of good home-keeping habits up my sleeve then they won't get interrupted by formal homeschooling once it starts.

I want to clarify that I use the term formal homeschooling since I believe that before the age of seven children should be allowed to have plenty of unstructured play instead of actively pursuing academics. They should be read classic children's books everyday to instill in them love for literature. So aside singing ABCs songs my children won't be taught in a structured way for about two more years.

Going back to my rant about schedule and good home-keeping habits. I'm thinking about  what a household needs to run smoothly:

  • Nourishing meals and snacks
  • Cleanliness and organization
  • Well-fed, well-rested children
  • Clean clothes
  • Happy mommy and daddy
And this wee list includes all the basic things that need to be prioritized before pursuing anything else.

I'm hoping to:
  • Come up with new healthy recipes to add to our repertoire
  • Assign specific tasks to each day of the week
  • Cut down on time guzzlers, i.e. the internet
  • And, make sure I leave time to do the things that keep me going
I need help from my creator to get my act together. I want to, specifically, work on a schedule. I dread the word but let's face it I can't possibly escape from it if I want to succeed on this path of mine.

So schedule it is!

Somehow I want to work this in it:
  • Cooking
  • Reading to kids
  • Exercising
  • Cleaning and laundry
  • Grocery shopping
  • Sewing and knitting
  • Blogging and Internet (sparingly)
  • Personal reading
  • Gardening and outside keeping
  • Playing and doing crafts with kids
  • Outdoor activities
Some of these will need to happen everyday, others once or twice a week. Hopefully, I can assign them to specific days and make a chart to post on an easily accessible place (fridge door.) I also want to keep an agenda to jot down appointments and things of the sort to not lose track and avoid planning things that conflict with priorities. 

I can't wait to work on such schedule for the sake of my sanity and the happiness of this family. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Farmer Within- The Sequel

Bismillah (In the name of Allah)

My post "The Farmer Within" somehow got deleted.

I had shared my love of maybe one day living on a farm and my experience with gardening in a small backyard in the city. I had also said that I would give container gardening a try. Somehow 'blogger' thought inappropriate or perhaps too cool and took it away :( Not cool considering I blog at the most twice a month.

Oh well, time to re-invent my post and perhaps add a kick to it.

I planted, with the help of my little troop, basil, white beans, chamomile, cucumber and oregano.
I had a beautiful hibiscuits plant that left outside through the winter and, of course, did not make it; and a pepper plant that was my joy in the garden last summer.

I'm using the pots where they were and a few more for my little gardening adventure. I will share photos of them when/if they germinate. I consider this a baby step towards my dream of growing some of my own vegetables.

Have you considered growing your own vegetables or herbs? Even if you live in the city you can do it. Container gardening is for the city folk since it can be done even on balconies. Bet you heard of it already. All you need is some containers, soil, some sunshine and a bit of time to tend, water and feed your plants. I'm no expert by any means but am eager to try and learn from this experience. As a bonus, I can involve the little ones in this project and teach them that vegetables don't grow on shelves in the grocery store but on plants. It can be an mazing learning experience.

I love it!