day 21: Ginger & Lentils

Alright, is it just me?  I am having such a hard time getting going. Totally not motivated to do anything. Like I didn’t fold laundry for a week (so not the norm!), we all just walked over the mountain until yesterday when I snapped. Yes snapped.  Hubby knows the “look” I rarely get, basically “get the hell out of the way, our place is a freaking disaster and I am cleaning.” Funny that he and kiddo “hide” in our room while I cleaned, dusted, folded, put crap away, etc. It’s all good, it’s not the norm.

We are taking a break today from the canvases, because, well they are not done and I want to share a recipe and a trick I have learned in the past year of being vegan.  Can you believe it, it’s almost been a year of being vegan, amazing!

Do you know what this is?

IMG_5850Ginger! The oh so yummy root… I love ginger! Although I hardly used it before become vegan because it is tricky to work with.  That all changed with I read an great tip about cooking with ginger that works! Freeze it! What? Yes freeze it…

This has been in the freezer for a bit

When you get the ginger home, peal it and cut it into roughly 1″ pieces.  Put all the pieces into a container and pop it in the freezer. When you need ginger simply take it out and grate it, I use a micro-plane, into your dish.

IMG_5852Above you can see grating un-frozen ginger is a bit messy and you don’t get as much ginger.

IMG_5856However frozen ginger… a big pile of yummy ginger! What did I make with all this yummy ginger, Curried Lentils.  I adapted a recipe from Martha, here you go:

Curried Lentils (this makes a ton, we keep it in the fridge for up to a week for quick yummy lunches)

  •  1 pound lentils, cooked
  • 2 cups rice (white or brown), cooked
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 inches of ginger, grated
  • 3 tablespoons curry powder (you can use more or less)
  • 1 large squirt of sriracha (tablespoon-ish)
  • 1 jar/can of tomato sauce, 24 oz-ish ***
  • 1 lime
  • Cilantro, handful
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Red Pepper flake, pinch
  • Olive oil

*** I like to use canned tomatoes, you can find ones with out all the chemicals and sugars added, sometime even the herbed ones and whirl them in the food processor to make a sauce.

Directions:

1. Heat saucepan and add a swirl of olive oil, add onion and cook, stirring frequently until beginning to soften, add ginger cook until onions are starting to turn brown. (roughly 10 minutes total)

2. Add curry powder, cook until you can smell curry, about a minute

3. Add tomate sauce and lentils, stir to combine, let simmer for 15-20 minutes, until thickens up a bit. Add rice, lime zest & juice and chopped cilantro, stir, simmer for about 5 minutes.  Serve and enjoy!

I guess I should have taken a photo of the Curried Lentils but I was too busy eating to do that, and honestly they don’t really look all that pretty but they sure are tasty!

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read them all!
read them all!

day 19: Series of Canvases- heart hands

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Vintage Revivals: Color Blocked Family Silhouette Art with Scotch Duct Tape

When I saw this on Pinterest, it was an absolute must for me to do.  Kiddo always gives hearts with her hands when leaving friends and family, it’s so precious, I just love her.  Then I decided to do a series of canvases, this was on the top of my list.

The tutorial Vintage Revivals created is awesome! The only thing was for me when I started this today I didn’t have colored duct tape and I wanted to do it now….so I painted it.  I used the tutorial and made a template of kiddos hands, then I just traced and painted it onto the canvas.

IMG_5844Here is my finished canvas, I think it turned out okay.  Can’t wait to get the other six canvases completed… maybe I will start another one now, no ones needs dinner right?

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day 19, read them all

day 18: A series of 9

I have been wanting to create a series of canvases to hang above the sofa for awhile now, and it’s about time I get to it, improving our little world with a bit of new “art.”   With all of the fun ideas I have pinned, it’s about time to try them out, so here is my version of the re-pinned many times Chevron glittered canvas. And since the image I pinned (along with many of you) didn’t have a link to how to do it, I am going to share with you how I did it.  It takes a bit on math, but if you can use a ruler, you got this.

Supplies you will need:

  • Canvas (I am using an 8 x 10, so all dimensions will be for this size)
  • Paint, background & stripe color
  • GLITTER! (I matched my stripe color and glitter)
  • Decoupage glue, or other thin glue
  • Blue painters tape
  • Ruler & pencil (if your background is a dark color, use a white pencil)
  • Paint brushes

Alright so here we go

background

Paint your canvas the background color

layoutFor the 8 x 10 canvas, divide the canvas vertically in half, then 2″ on each side, make sure to keep your lines straight and perpendicular. For the horizontal lines, start at the bottom and measure 2″ up draw your line and repeat all the way up. Next draw a diagonal line, starting at the upper left square, from top to bottom, repeat in the next square bottom to top, repeat pattern for entire canvas.

tapetrick

Start to tape off your diagonal lines.  Here is a super trick that will make your points super sharp.  Cut your tape at an angle away from the line that connects to the line you are taping.  What? That was confusing, see the picture above, pictures speak volumes right (that might not even be the saying).

tapedoneWhen you are done taping, it’s time for trick number two…

paintoverPaint over your tape lines with your back ground color.  Doing this will help you have super sharp and clean lines, because any paint that leaks under the tape will be the back ground color. This works for walls too, it’s a must.

firstlayerWhen the background paint is dry, paint on your stripe color.  Wait again for it to dry then it’s time for ….

glitter

Glitter! Paint overtop of the stripe color a thin-ish layer of decoupage glue and sprinkle on the glitter. Make sure to be working over paper or on a tray to shake off the glitter to use on the next stripe and to attempt to contain the glitter from getting everywhere. I work on one stripe at a time. When this is dry it’s time to remove the tape.

perfectlineIf you did everything perfectly, which is tricky, you will have perfect lines like this. 🙂

pinatoverLast step, I know it seems like forever… Paint over the remaining layout lines that you taped over at the beginning and your done!

done

Ta-da! Glittered Chevron Stipes Canvas and Kiddo’s canvas for A Series of 9. I think we are off to a good start.  signature

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day 18, read them all here!

day 16: Oh how I love projectile…

sick1Vomit….ya not really.  I think it must happen to all parents at one time or another. The kiddo is playing, turns around and projectile vomits right into your lap. Stunned at the fact that 1. your kiddo seemed perfectly fine five seconds ago and 2. you are now covered in vomit, you can’t move for a few seconds. Kiddo starts crying and saying she has “exploded” you come back to the current situation and waddle with her to the bathroom carefully not to drop any of the vomit on the carpet (newly cleaned I might add).  As you are saying, “It’s okay honey, do you need to throw up anymore” you are slowly breathing, focusing on anything in the world that does not remind you that you are covered with gross, knowing that any minute you will vomit from the pure fact that you are covered in vomit.

Okay, you get the idea, it’s been an interesting evening. That being said, I have to declare an improvement in my world! Before kiddo, just the discussion of vomit, barf, throwing up would have caused me to pray to the porcelain bowl pronto.  Not today! Not sure I should be proud of this improvement, but I am.  I know this entry is possibly grossing you out, but I know you like to read about what is really going on in my world. And since the vomiting continues, all projects for the evening are, obviously, on hold, bleaching everything in the living room is now top priority.

Fingers crossed, tomorrows improvement will be of the fun canvas I have almost finished painting, not gross at all.

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improving day 14: That’s RIGHT!

So today I have been wondering what to write about today.  It’s one of those days that I feel I didn’t “do anything,” I am tired and still have a meeting to go to tonight.

What did I actually do, dropped kiddo off at pre-school, went to the market, came home put away the groceries, switched the laundry, went to friends house for coffee and blogging talk, picked up kiddo, went to Michael’s craft store, went to Cost-co, came home unloaded Cost-co and put it away, made lunch, went to friends for play date, came home made dinner and now sitting at laptop watching Dora the Explorer trying to blog before I have to leave for my meeting.  I guess I did do quite a bit.

While at play date, my dear friend Liz, was talking about an artical she read that circulated Facebook.  It’s about a women with out children wondering what stay at home moms really do all day, and why when they have a free moment they just want to be alone.

Here is the article, read it:

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“Tell Me About It” by Carolyn Hax from the Washington Post (unknown the date that this was published)

Stay at home mama’s doesn’t this make you feel better about those days when “I didn’t really do anything.”  It has for me, I will be improving the way I feel about the “I didn’t do anything today” days.  It kind of makes me feel like yelling “That’s right, I didn’t “do anything today, but I did everything today!”

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day 13: garrr-nola

yummyOh how i am loving a bowl of granola for breakfast lately. So tasty and fills you up! Yummy.  You know what I don’t love about granola…the cost! Geez it’s expensive for what it is… plus being gluten free always adds at least an extra dollar, right?  I thought i should be able to make granola, it can’t be hard at all…and guess what, it’s not. It’s cheaper and it’s better for you.

After searching through our collection of vegan cookbooks, I found some recipes, but nothing that was perfect. So I made one up and I am going to share it with you:

granolaSimple Right. Now let me explain my “ish” measurements.  I say “ish” because this is granola, and really I don’t think you can mess it up.  If you would like less oatmeal, go for it.  More almonds, go for it. Maybe you only have 3/4 of applesauce let in the jar…that will work. Its all good, it’s granola.

Ready for the oven
Ready for the oven

storageStore your Granola with cranberries and almonds in an air tight container, it only lasts about a week in our house, we all devour it, but I would think it would last up to two weeks.

bowlNot only is this home made granola super healthy, notice NO oil, it’s cheaper to make your own, I have calculated it costs about $2 to make the same amount that you buy in a box for $5. Not a huge difference, but a savings for a better granola.  It’s whats for breakfast in our house.

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Day 13….ready them all here

improving day 11 & 12: Pinterest, Pinning, Pinned It

pinterest

Okay so I didn’t blog yesterday. Why… because I got stuck in reading blog after blog after blog about Pinterest, blog traffic through Pinterest, how to get you blog photo to be popular on Pinterest, how to organize your pinterest boards, how to write you pinterest profile, then a few hours on pinterest until 1:30 in the morning. Writing about everything I had just read wasn’t going to happen.  Not only did everything I just read need to stew in my mind for a bit, but I could barely keep my eyes open.

So this morning, I started my day the same as always, being woken up to:

  • “MOMMY! I want to watch a show”
  • “Well good morning kiddo, let’s just wake up first, get some coffee, juice and see what happens”
  • “I am awake, and I would like a show please”

I give in so I can make a pot of coffee, wash my face, wake up a bit (when did I loose that kiddo thing of waking up ready to go now?) and join kiddo on the sofa to watch some fantastic cartoons, sip my coffee hoping it will remove the sleeping dust from my mind and switch on my laptop.  Emails, bank accounts checked…on to Pinterest. Yep I am a addict.

60728294946157907_0DxrwHRJ_cI also want to improve my blog and become a successful blogger,  You know the ones who’s projects and images are all over Pinterest.  How do they do that? This is where my late night research, from the night before, began. Want to know what I learned?  I am going to share the things that stand out in my mind today, here you go:

Number 1: Make sure ever post has an eye-catching image (okay so not this post, but it will happen).  Something people would want to pin.  This is one of the areas I feel I seriously need to improve. Photographing is tricky, but I now have a pile of books about it, I will improve one way or another!

Number 2: When writing your diy posts, make them as “you need to make this” as possible. Do this my using awesome photos (geez) of the final product, super easy to follow directions and talk about dollars “It only costs $5 to make this awesome do-hickey” People tend to like thinking they could make that with little dollars.

Number 3: Pinnable images should be like “mini magazine covers.”  Right back to photos…it does make sense, the first photo of your posts needs to be eye catching so that people will read the post and fingers crossed “Pin It.”

Number 4: Make it easy for readers to “Pin It.”  There are simple and tricky ways of doing this.  Wordpress has the option to have the pin-it button on every post, but there are ways to have the “pin-it” button right on your image.  I will be working on figuring this out, and will share with you how to do it, once I get it.

Number 5: Follow and comment on others blogs and pin boards.  Get social. It’s what it’s about, in a way.  I don’t really think of commenting as a “social” moment, but I understand what this tip is getting at.  You have to “play to game, to get the game” right?

Number 6: Make your pins a reality and blog about it. If you are actually doing what you pin (congratulations! so am I) you should share that you did it. Start a board entitled “I pinned it and did it” or something like that. You can even blog about it if you want.

So there you have it, a beginning to getting your blog posts out there in the pinning world.  I am going to improve on all of these and maybe spend a little less time pinning…HA HA HA.  Off to start one of the thousands of projects I have pinned, I am sure I will be sharing it with you.signature

 

 

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This is day 11&12 of 31 day’s of improving our little world…it’s my world I can combine days right?

Improving day 10: I am so happy….

because today the carpets were cleaned! WOO HOO!

Now wait a minute…isn’t it funny that having your wall to wall carpets cleaned can make one so happy.  When did this thinking switch?  I know that the kiddo could careless, in fact she is hating it at the moment because she can’t have any snacks in the living room. I am pretty sure that when I was in my 20’s I didn’t care about clean carpets.  Well maybe a little bit since I am an Interior Architect, so I am always focused on interior details.  I can tell you what restaurants have the worst moulding details if you would like…. can’t help myself I notice these things.

Back to the wonderfulness of clean carpets, it so nice to not see where the mac n’ cheese spilled in the dining room, or where the cat brought in the dead mouse, or where I spilled blue paint.  I don’t think anyone stopping by could see these spots, but I sure could.  Or all the glitter on the floor in kiddos room, it was pretty and sparkly for a day or two, then it made me bonkers.

So tonight the carpets are perfect. Makes me so happy, as sad as that might me.  I think I will ask hubby to make me a bourbon, sit on the lovely clean carpets and contemplate my next diy project. Cheers!

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This is day 10 of improving out little world, to read them all, click here

Improvement day 9: Sketchbook envelope

PicMonkey CollagefinalToday I finally dusted off my sewing machine.  I have not touched it since the day before my first craft show December 3rd, almost a month. There are many sewing projects swimming around in my head and sketched out in many sketch books that I want to get to, so it was time to dust off the machine and go for it.

Does this happen to you, you have a lovely sketch book in your handbag and it gets destroyed by the endless kiddo items, the lost fruit snack, leaking juice and other odd ball things that end up in your handbag?  So many sketchbooks have been ruined in my world. I thought maybe, just maybe, a fabric envelope like pocket could be the answer. Here is what I came up with- if you make one yourself I would love to see what you made!

fabrics
Tricky part, deciding which vintage fabric scrap to use

Here is what you will need to make the Sketchbook envelope for a 5 x 7 sketchbook:

  • Fabric- 12″ x 16″ piece for the outside of your envelope
  • Felt- 12″ x 16″
  • Oilcloth 12″ x 16″ I used this as the lining, you could you this as the outside and fabric as lining if you choose.
  • Velcro – the sew on kind
  • Sewing machine, scissors, pins, etc.
  • Pattern- draw on a large piece of paper the following: a large rectangle 9 3/4″ x 14 1/2″ and round the corners on one of the short sides using a glass or can, whatever you have on hand. (see picture below)

layout

Once you have your fabrics chosen, cut out your fabric, felt and oilcloth.

PicMonkey CollageMyles

As a side note our cat, Myles, loves to play and attack fabric and string.  This makes it tricky to sew sometimes… and this is partly why I changed fabrics pinned

Pin the three layers together, so that the right sides of the fabric & oilcloth are facing each other and the felt is on the bottom.  Stich all the way around (1/4 seam) leaving a 3″ opening on one of the long sides to turn right side out.

turnBefore turning, clip the felt as close to the stitching line as possible. Turn your project right sides out, this can be a bit tricky with the oilcloth, but it will work, just be patient. Make sure to get the curves and corners turned as cleanly as possible. Lightly press if you are into that, not me with this project.

velcro

Top stich all the way around (1/8″ in from edge). Lay your velcro into place, centered and pin into place.  Remember one piece goes on the oilcloth side the other on the fabric side. The piece that goes on the fabric is about 3/4″ down from edge. Stitch around velcro.

pinsides

Next fold the bottom of the piece up to create your pocket.  The pocket will measure 5″ from the bottom.  Pin and stich the sides closed as close to the top stitching as you can and make sure to back stich at the top and bottom.

penpocket

Lastly, stich your pen pocket, by sewing a line 1.25 inches from the right side, again back stitch at the top and bottom.  The easy to do this (for me, there might be a better way) align a ruler with your needle and measure to the right 1.25 inches, place a mark on your machine.  When you sew line up the edge of the fabric with this mark, you should have a perfectly straight line when you are done.

PicMonkey CollagefinalTa-da a perfect improvement to the sketchbook in the handbag issue. At least for me.  And it only took an hour! I have a feeling I might be making variations of this for other handbag items, maybe one for the kiddos snacks?  Or maybe a little first aid kit? Humm…. off to sew a bit moresignature

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This is day 9 of 31 days of improving our little world, too read them all, click here