Friday, October 21, 2011

Crafty Friday

  Again, I will start with the weather update- it's cold here. Yes, I spend last night in my sweater, I have officially opened fall season in my house. But, still hoping few dozens of tomatoes in my garden will ripen in my garden before the first frost.
  So today I'm having Super Crafty Friday, two sets of wish flags all done, one birthday crown in making...and yes, I'm planning in my head  pattern for a flamenco dress.Maybe I should start listening to some Spanish tunes for a inspiration. Back in day, I used to be very impressed by 'Madredeus', amazing Portuguese band that have been featured in Wim Wenders movie 'Lisbon Story' ... Yes, I can tell, all the memories rushing back right now when I'm listening to that, so yes it is not exactly Spain, but close enough to make me think of flamenco-like ideas. It would be great to get more recommendations, because during Halloween we might have a flamenco dance-off. 

 So besides overwhelming dress project, I have something little and sweet to work on- birthday crown for my friend's girl. She is a sweet pink loving girl, so the crown will be pinkish with cute little flowers, and I have found these cool tutorials on how to make felt/fabric flowers .It looks like fun, and pretty much sure Amelie will be working on this project as soon as she sees it. Pintrest is endless source of inspiration and ideas, check it out diy flowers.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Time for Fall - Halloween Countdown

   I've been waiting for fall many weeks already. I can't deny that I do enjoy those crazy hot days that we keep on having here. It almost makes me feel like we are on vacation in some sort of  imaginary land. Yes of course, it does feel nice to still be able to pick fresh tomatoes and basil form the garden in October! , but my inner sense of seasons is totally freaking out right now. First of all, I'm over dressing my kids, which is very bizarre situation, because consciously I'm really telling myself not to do that, and I'm still throwing sweaters at them every morning. Second, I can't really enjoy making and eating apple pie or pumpkin pie the way it is supposed to be done. And the most frustrating part is that I have been totally neglecting the fact that Halloween is almost next week ! I have fabrics for one flamenco dress so far, a really good looking pile of cute fabrics , now I have to put it together. That will be Maya's costume, and she needs it for next Friday.

             Hopefully tonight my Halloween fairies will give me some good inspiration for a pattern .

 Amelie's request for Halloween is a can-can dress...hmm, not necessary my first choice of outfit for a growing lady, but I do have to admit it is a cool dress, and I'm personally a big fan of ruffles.So far we have a head piece for her outfit, that's a big plus. Picking up fabric for this one will be a little bit challenging, because her vision is slightly different then mine ...and I do want to make her wear cool traditional  bloomers as well . Stay tuned for end of this story.

  And about the boys. I must say I'm totally impressed with Oliver, he got himself an astronaut outfit  in September! He has been ready to go trick-or-tricking since long time ago. And Gavin still can't make up his mind, he is torn between cowboy, dragon and pirate. He does have props for all the dress ups, but I wouldn't be surprised if he will  just combine all of then into one.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Long Summer Weekend in October

  We had the most sunny, summer-like Columbus Day Weekend ever. Apple and Pumping Picking during 80F weather was definitely sort of exotic experience, and I must say I wouldn't mind have that kind of weather for few more weeks. But also, on the other hand apple pie tastes better when is a bit rainy and cold outside. It's interesting how our taste buds are wired to the weather conditions.

     So yes, Saturday was a day of adventures on 'Milk Pile' farm. Lots of apples were pick that day, many delicious apple doughnuts were eaten paired with yummy apple cider, amazing local raw cheese and handmade potato curly fries!( sweet potato variation is my fave). After that little feast, we were lost in corn maze for about an hour, and actually between 7 kids that we had in out jolly group Gavin managed to be really lost for a few minutes :).Yes, this little man likes to wonder off on adventures of his own.

       After Apple Picking we had a more of the grow-up kind of adventures -Wine Tasting. Yes, it is a harvest season in the full bloom and we needed to embraces that as much a possible. 'Duck Walk' Vineyards were just on the way out from the apple orchard, so there was no way out without stopping by, I mean really there was no other way.

    Kids had amazing ...time rolling down the hills for about 2 hours, which gave the grow-ups a nice amount of time to relax and enjoy some delicious wine with amazing cheese ( yes, we do LOVE cheese ). We were a little bit stunned that  no other entertainment but simplest joy of rolling down the hill made our bunch of kiddos so happy and free.
  Next day, Sunday, was even more sunny and hot, so  we went on discovery hunt at the Nature Center that has been recently opened , absolutely peaceful preserve right by the Great South Bay. After a nice hike we had a nice rest stop right by the beach ,it felt like we were on little summer vacation. No taste of fall whatsoever .

   And last day of amazing 3 day summer vacation, even thought it was super hot, we decided to make the apple pie. It was very difficult to ignore 40 lb of apples sitting in our fridge. We made two big apple pies from Martha Stewart recipe  Old-Fashioned Apple Pie  and went to the beach ! again! for some sea glass hunting, of course some kids went for some swim and mad splashing.

  By the time we were back, the pie was ready to eat :).

  That was perfect weekend easing summer into fall. And now I'm back to brain storming for Holiday Season, my little Etsy store needs some designs asap.... I think I need to hired some elves soon.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Recovery Day

 There was no post yesterday. Mama was at the dentist  getting very first brand new implants...Yep, officially I have joined 'old people' club. It was a very interesting experience considering the fact that 4 years ago I was supposed to get them. Somehow, I was able  to skip procedure,well but how long can you actually survived without proper teeth :( . They say, that mother looses one tooth per kid, so far I have 4 kids and two missing teeth, future doesn't look so bright any more.

   So because of yesterday's jaw drilling adventures, I was thinking maybe for once I would  be a little bit tired to do anything, or at least use the dentist excuse for skipping house chores !! or make somebody make me a dinner...oh, wonderful imagination and very entertaining wishful thinking. It sounded so great in my head, but for some really unknown reason I have a tendency to forget my self-nurturing wishes. The moment I heard  my kids asking me for little tiny favors and  tiny little requests, I just went back to all-ready-to-go mama state of mind. Yep, totally forgot about my 'recovery' excuse ! AGAIN! Obviously that plan wouldn't  work for next day as well...

  So today we cleaned the house,made a bunch of play dough, which actually has such a great calming effect on my very active boys, and made  tons of mini pumpkin/ chocolate chip  muffins. And also we had a wonderful playdate with old friends.


  Yes, that was my recovery day, and I think that exactly what I really need to recover : great company, good eats and happy kids. Really great recipe for a great day.

  For those interested  in making homemade play dough, we really love this easy recipe :

  Quick Modeling Dough  from MaryAnn f. Kohl 'Mudworks'


1 cup cold water
1 cup salt
2 teaspoons oil
3 cups flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
powdered paint or food coloring
1.Mix water, salt, oil, powdered paint/food coloring.
2. Gradually add flour, cornstarch, till the whole mixture looks like bread dough.
3.Knead few minutes.
4.Explore dough freely :).
Store in air tight container for several weeks.If dough gets too mushy add some flour, if it is too hard knead for a while with wet hands.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Music for the Season

    It is time to stay indoor, find the inner 'me',tune to the nature's rhythm, get ready for hibernation and eventually  transformation of body and soul. Fall and winter are a very powerful seasons for our  inner growth.

  One of the most significant changes that happens in my family is the increase of indoor time. Well, in our small house with 4 growing kids, inner growth is a quite a 'show' to watch, but music is one of the very best things that helps keep everyone in the same state of mind and energy. So currently I'm on the new music hunt. I do love diversity in sound and bit, but so much of popular songs are very disappointing, especially lyric wise, not that great for little minds. I think once you get off regular, main stream broadcasting, it is pretty easy to find amazing, lovely and inspiring  tunes. YouTube or my beloved  BBC radio offers so much, but one thing that is sort of important and challenging is to find music appealing in lyrics to the grown ups and kids. After almost 10 years of listening to songs about spaghetti, dinosaurs and farm animals , I'm  really looking for middle ground.

  So here it is my newest discovery Katie Herzig and her album "The Walking Sleep", totally awesome. And this  first truck is already really big hit with my kids, perfect tune for a winter dance off  You really have to check out her music, and specifically this video !! comes with an amazing tutorial for princess dress :)....And her it is one more tune from Katie, my personal  fav "Lost and Found"  Enjoy :)

  And now  I'm off to take care of my lawn. It stopped raining. It's time to put down some seeds and make it all nice. Also my vege garden needs some loving today. Lots of basil this year, time to harvest and freeze some pesto.So in that case we have the Pesto Day. If you are in neighborhood feel free join us for some yummy pesto, with our garden tomatoes! ( yes,we still have tomatoes growing).

  And as it comes to the recipe, well I always go with instinct on this one, I have no secretes here :)

   Pesto Recipe 
   2 handfuls of basil
   1 handful of parsley ( great vit. C and minerals)
   1 or 2  garlic cloves
   pinch of salt
   1 handful of walnuts ( or almonds)
   1/2 cup of grape seed oil/ olive oil combo , if you have walnut oil that will work wonderful as well , also at the end  you can adjust amount of oil to your liking

 Mix it all in food processor or you can even use immersion blender, anything that mushes ingredients into pulp will do the work.
  I add Parmesan cheese as a final touch after pesto is mixed together with pasta. And of course you can make it as cheesy as you want .

  Enjoy :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Cold day equals brain storming for Christmas Season

   It is totally freezing outside today. I mean, I was really considering putting a warm jacket on ! I really want to embrace coming fall, but I still have a fresh memory of kids splashing in the bay few days ago, it is a little bit difficult to let go of the summer.
   So here it is the easiest way to adjust to dropping temperatures is to think ahead, I mean really ahead - forward all the way to Christmas. Yes, idea of frost and snow will definitely help me to accept the low temperatures. And besides that I need to stock up my Etsy store with some Christmas goodies. So here it is my newest addition to my Holiday Collection - Christmas Stockings.

Christmas Stockings  stitchinnetka
  Also there is a big pile of 24 for tiny socks for Advent Garland to be finished

    That will be coming to my store as well, hopefully before Advent starts. Now I'm brainstorming for new  ideas/ designs that I can bring to life  for Holiday Season. Pintrest ,without a doubt, is one of the best inspirations and resources for that. If you would like to get hooked on some amazing visual adventures,check it out, highly recommended addiction  .

    If anyone of you, my dear readers, has some cool ideas to share or  a special request for Holiday Season, please let me know. I love to be inspired and motivated :)

 And for now, I'm off to the kitchen- it will be a Banana Bread today, tiny bit over-lapping with remains of  Pumpkin Pie Day. Isn't it great when two amazing days can overlap ?!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday - a new beginning

 It is officially autumn here.It's cold, rainy and I love it.We made pumpkin pies over the weekend, now I'm brewing some chai tea and going over my knitting stash in search for a perfect yarn for the very first scarf this season.

    Last weekend was a perfect closure for oh-so-loved summer.We had a Pumpkin Pies Day for opening fall season. Oliver was pretty much the head baker, and I was his right hand assistant. And as usual pies were extraordinary.

  We did some outdoor art session with all the kiddos trying to capture the perfect essence of summer, lots of very contemporary pieces from Oliver and Gavin and some more traditional, classic approach from Amelie and Maya.Yes, the art perspective is very different for 4 year old and 9 year old.

    Since Halloween season is approaching so fast, we are brain storming costume ideas ...we might have couple of robots this season.

   Saturday was a pretty exciting and productive day for sure, and  kids ended up having swim in the bay.
It was a great way to say goodby to sunny summer days.
  And Sunday brought the big finale- Pot Luck at the CSA farm celebrating Autumnal Equinox. 

happy dance and Restoration Farm