Posts Tagged ‘ how to ’

Baby Food


Is it bad that I want to steal food from my 7 month old daughter? It can’t be bad, can it? Those pears are just so good!

Making baby food really isn’t that bad when it turns out so good. Pear puree = delicious. Who knew that pears cooked in a little water and then blended up could be so so nummy? Babies, that’s who.

Carrots get the same treatment. Also good. Roasted sweet potatoes pureed with a little water? Yes, please. Although I’m afraid I must revert to my childhood ways and say, “Dem peas is nasty. Bleck.”

My Gramma Jane got me this great “how-to” baby food book.

And even if the basic recipes are just “cook veggie, puree with water” it has some great big kid recipes too. Not sure I’ll be making “pan-roasted salmon  with lentils, rice, french beans, and spinach pesto” anytime soon…but hey, a girl can dream, right?

If you’re not making your own baby food, good for you. You may actually have some free time to take a shower. If you are making your own baby, even good-er for you. Just make sure you don’t eat it all.

This Lotion Smells Like Fire, or “How To Make Lotion”

Now, this lotion that I’m going to share with you doesn’t actually smell like fire, but that’s what one of my friends little boys said after he put Vicks Vapor Rub all over his face. “This lotion smells like fire!” Yeah, I imagine it would. I imagine his nose was runny for a while too. For some sick reason I never get tired of the lotion smells like fire line.

This lotion doesn’t have any fire in it. It’s pure and simple and baby friendly. I had seen a lot of lotion recipes online, but I never did have all the right ingredients at the right time. So I made this up one day during Amelia’s naptime.

It’s a very precise recipe.

Whipped Shea Butter

Scoop some shea butter into a bowl. Add some coconut oil.

lotion ingredients

Soften these two ingredients by microwaving very gently, or placing the bowl into a bowl of hot water. Add a squeeze of sweet almond oil.

Now dump the liquid into your KitchenAid mixer and whip it, whip it good.

You can’t really tell from the photo, but I used the whisk attachment that came with my blender. It takes at least 5 minutes, but the oils start to turn white. As the air is whipped in, it thickens up just like whipped cream does. If you’ve ever made homemade whipped cream, you can make whipped shea butter. Even if you haven’t ever made whipped cream, you can make whipped shea butter. Otherwise known as…lotion that doesn’t smell like fire.

Here’s my finished product.

This was my second batch. The first was a little too stiff – not enough almond oil. It worked fine, I just had to soften it up in my hands a bit before I could rub it on Amelia. This batch is just about right, but it’s teetering dangerously close to too runny. It’s perfect if I store it in the fridge. Which is a good idea anyway, to prevent the growth of green fuzzies.

And there you have it folks! Lotion.


How to: Messy fabric flowers

I’ve obviously decided that our baby needs some accessories. Flowers, to be precise.  Sorry for the lack of diverse blogging material, but the only other thing going on around here is waiting. And trust me, that’s not even half as interesting as it sounds.

When my friend Sarah (who shares my love of hot glue) told me about these flowers she’s making, I had to make some for myself. I’m not about to be left out of any project that involves scrap fabric and hot glue. These babies are so easy to make that she literally texted me a picture and a “how to.” One of my new favorite text messages. Here’s her tutorial:

Just taking strips of fabric, hand stitching the bottom and pulling the thread tight to make a ruffle.  Then just make it into a circle, stitch it closed, and start on the next smaller ruffle. Oh yeah, hot glue the layers together.

Ah, we speak the same language. I knew exactly what she meant.

I made these two using scraps from my braided rug project and buttons from the bottom of my sewing bag. I wish I had a few more colors other than hot pink, teal, and yellow, but that is what JoAnn’s is for. Next time I’m at my mom’s house I am raiding her scrap bins! It’s a little ridiculous to buy scraps, but what can you do? A girl’s gotta make flowers…..

How to: Flowers

Another waiting for baby project. This was so fun and easy. I love playing with fire.

Holding the little squares of satin over the flame makes them curl up at the edges.

Stack up different sizes and voila! A flower.

I spent $1.50 on these 4 different fabrics, but only used a fraction of it. These flowers are practically free! And if you’ve researched bows and headbands for baby girls lately, you know that’s a pretty good deal.

I found this project at the same website as the paper wreath. Thanks, Jones Design Company!

How to refinish your old chairs



Can you see the improvement? After another fruitless morning of sanding and scrubbing (without running to Home Depot for some stronger chemicals), I broke down and looked at Craigslist. My intent was to kill time while waiting for the mailman to bring me my Home Depot gift card. But then I started looking for CLEAN wooden chairs that I could repaint without all the trouble I’m having with mine.

Enter this table.  I didn’t mean to find it for a ridiculously low price yesterday. I did mean to buy it once I emailed the link to Dave and he called immediately to ask if I had called on it yet. We’ve been thinking about buying (new) this exact table for about 3 years. When the owners said that they could also deliver the table (last night! same day delivery!) we knew it was meant to be. No more scrubbing gunk off of old chairs. Our new, used table is only 2-3 years old…no gunk allowed.

So there you have it. If you’re interested in some sturdy, gunky chairs… can find them on Craigslist.

How to make an herbal tea

As previously mentioned, I’m a chronic self-diagnoser. I avoid the doctor’s office like the plague. Flu shots- I don’t get ’em. Cough syrup – don’t take it. Not me, I like to fight off sickness the old fashioned way – with herbs.

This morning I woke up a little stuffy and with a little tickle in my throat. We all know what that means, especially when you’ve been around somebody that has a cold.

Here’s the tea that I’m drinking to prevent this from turning into a full fledged head cold.

Steep all the herbs together in just boiled water for 5-10 minutes. Strain and drink.

As you can see, I put all my herbs into the little strainer thing, set it in a 1 qt jar, then fill the jar with the boiled water. When the tea is ready, I just remove the strainer and pour some tea into my mug.

Let’s take a quick look at the properties of these herbs (as they relate to colds).

Mullein– good for all respiratory illness, helps loosen mucous and expel it from body

Elderberry- boosts immune system (similar to Echinacea), fights flu

Red Raspberry Leaf- high in vitamin C. This herb is in known as the “woman’s herb” and is wonderful in relieving many female problems and regulating hormones. It also tastes great, so I add RRL to most teas that I make for myself.

Licorice- anti-inflammatory, muscle relaxer, reduces the urge to cough, loosens mucous, boosts absorption of the other herbs it is used with.

These herbs have numerous other uses, but I’m just interested in fighting a cold right now. I’m also taking raw garlic (a natural antibiotic) and tonight I’ll make a new batch of tea with chamomile or lavender (both of which aid sleep).

So here’s to sipping tea and fighting colds! May the best woman win.

If you’re interested in learning more about herbs, is a great place to start.

How to make Dulce de Leche

How to make it the easy way, that is.

I’m usually a proponent of making everything the hard way, but on this particular day, I wanted some dulce de leche, and I didn’t want to go the store or spend hours in the kitchen. So I cheated. And I documented it, so everyone will know that I cheated.

Here’s what you need to make dulce de leche (the easy way)

  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk

That’s it! Seriously. Oh, and a microwave.

Pour the sweetened condensed milk into a large microwave safe bowl. Very large, if you have one. The milk will foam up considerably at first.

Microwave on medium (not high) for 2 minutes, then whisk.

Microwave again on medium for 2 minutes, then whisk.  Continue microwaving and stirring for 6-8 minutes, or until milk looks like this.

See how it’s starting to look a little curdle-y? Stir it up and nuke it again. Next it will look like this.

Mmmm, curdled milk.  Don’t worry, your whisk will whip it back into (smooth) shape.

The milk has almost turned into dulce de leche at this point, but I gave it one more minute in the microwave just to be sure. I wanted it a little more golden and caramel-y.

Ah, perfect. Be careful, the dulce de leche is ridiculously HOT. It hardens up pretty fast as it cools though, so get it into a jar and then do this.

And this.

And, forgive me, this.