Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hats and scarves for cold kids, a tutorial

These are the scarves and hats that I made for the kid's school. Some were given to kids who needed them, and others will stay in school for kids who forget or loose their warm things. They were so quick to make, and really cute.
For the scarf, cut a 9" wide strip of fleece the width of the fabric, then fold in in half lengthwise to create a double layer of fleece that's 4.5" wide by 54". Then, topstitch along the sides and 4" from the ends. Make cuts on the unsewn ends about 3/4" apart to create fringe, being careful not to clip your topstitching.
I made the hats two different ways, depending on how much fleece I had left. About half the hats were doubled fleece, and the others were single layer, but with a wide fold on the bottom so that there was doubled fleece over the ears. 
For the single layer fleece hat, cut a 21"x18" piece of fleece (measurements are approximate, since I made some slightly smaller and some slightly larger so that we'd have various sizes of finished hats). Fold the fleece in half to make a 10.5"x18" rectangle, and sew a seam on the long side to create a tube. Fold up the bottom approximately 4" and topstitch to hem. Make cuts approximately 3/4" apart and about 3" long all along the top of the hat on the raw edge. Then, cut a 10"x1" strip of fleece and use it to gather the top of the hat evenly just below the fringe, creating a pom pom and closing the top of the hat securely.
For the doubled fleece hats, it is pretty much the same process as the single layer hat, but using a 21"x24" piece of fleece. Fold the fleece in half to make a 10.5"x 24" rectangle, and sew a single seam up the long side to create a tube. Then, instead of just making a hem, fold the entire lower edge to meet the top edge, doubling the tube and hiding the raw edges of the seam. Then, cut the fringe, and tie the top in the same way as the single hat.
Feel free to use this tutorial to make hats for yourself, your family, or anyone else. Consider making up a few sets for someone in need in your neighborhood.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Chocolate covered Christmas bean balls

The kids wanted to make Christmas cookies. I've made gluten and dairy free sugar cookies that looked good, but am not thrilled with the way they taste. I decided to do some poking around on the internets and see if I could find another treat that we had ingredients for. A large pot of garbanzo beans had just finished cooking when I came across this recipe for vegan chocolate chip cookie dough truffles. They are grain-free, full of protein, and covered in chocolate. Three things that make them worth a try in my opinion. They were really quick to make in the food processor, and not a lot of mess. After scooping the dough onto a cookie sheet, they did need to firm up in the fridge for about 15 minutes to be able to handle them enough for dipping into the melted chocolate. If we make them again, I'll definitely make them smaller so the dough-to-chocolate ratio is better, and they are more bite sized. The taste is pretty good, possibly a bit "healthy" tasting, but if you didn't know there were beans in there, you'd never know there were beans in there. The girl gave a big thumbs up, but the boy is on the fence (however, he's not feeling well enough to want to eat chocolate, so his vote won't count here.)

Thursday, December 20, 2012


It's been a crazy busy week, and I've been working on loads of projects in the evenings after the kids go to bed. I've asked the mister to be in charge of lunches for the past few days so that I can get some more work done, and don't have photos.
I found out that there are some families with children at the kids' school who are having a hard time staying warm and fed. A few of the parents have been scrambling this week to assemble warm clothing and grocery gift cards to get them through the holidays. I've been working on fleece hat and scarf sets, and have a pretty good pile going. It's a really quick sew, and they turn out pretty cute. I'll see about putting together a quick tutorial when things setting down a bit.
An exciting and unexpected thing heard from the boy today: "Papa put way, way, way too many chips in my lunch today. Two or three would have been plenty." Coming from a kid who was so carb craving just a few weeks ago, that is huge!! There was a small handful of chips in their lunches today, and the boy ate a few of his, and then brought the rest home to snack on later. So proud! The girl is still getting over her tummy bug, and her appetite hasn't fully returned.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


-Rice & beans
-Sliced apple
-Glutino pretzles
-Sunbutter for dipping

At a loss for lunch, I suggested we try packing rice and beans and the kids agreed. I know that they tend to dry out and aren't as tasty when cold, but thought it would be a good thing to try anyway. They would have been better if I'd been able to leave the beans a bit wetter, but they were leftovers and had already been drained. The kids did say that they weren't that yummy when they aren't warm, and the boy thought that it makes a better dinner than lunch. I was really proud of him for being willing to experiment with a meal that he's not used to eating in his lunch, and eating it even though it didn't taste the way he expected. Yay for new found flexibility!!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Nutty and Noggy

-Half sunbutter and strawberry on Rudi's gf bread
-Raw nut & fruit bar
-Enjoy Life chocolate chip cookies
-Noggy smoothie (So Delicious coconut milk nog, organic cashews, frozen banana)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Feeling good

-Wellshire turkey ham and Earth Balance mayo on Rudi's gf bread
-Favorite smoothie in the sili (again!)
-Honest kids apple juice

I wanted the kids to keep hydrated since they had been sick for a couple of days, and they don't tend to drink a lot of water at school. I had a request for a second day of their favorite smoothie, which is great since it has protein and fruit, as well as some extra hydration. I tossed the juice pouch in there for good measure. This is the first substantial lunch since catching this nasty little bug, and I'm happy to see my littles eating well again.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sick day cuddles

 -Favorite smoothie (in the sili)
-Half sunbutter & strawberry on Rudi's gf bread
-Apple pie millet, based on an oatmeal recipe I found on pinterest (we can't eat oats)
-Homemade trail mix with cashews, golden raisins, goji berries, & a few mini vegan chocolate chips

This ended up being a home lunchbox since the kids didn't feel well and stayed home from school. The girl loved the apple pie millet, and I'm thrilled to be able to add a new grain to our menu. The boy still isn't sure about it, but tried it twice. I'm so proud of all his tasting! He also didn't want the sb&j, but his belly was bothering him. We ended up making a huge nest on the living room floor with pillows, blankets, and the crash pad, and hanging out in front of a couple of movies all day (we did some reading too). They got some much needed rest, and I got my fill of hugs and cuddles.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Ready for fancy lunches again

This one is actually from early last week. The boy had been asking for pizza with a spider made of olives, so I did an extra fancy version for him. I made the web by meticulously placing individual strands of daiya shreds, and the spider is a halved olive with miniscule slivers of olive for the legs. I made sure to remind them that spiders have 8 legs,but it's too hard to get 8 legs out of an olive half.
The sili has their favorite smoothie, strawberry cashew, and up in the corner is a half of a peanut butter bar.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Missing Pipik

Instead of taking pictures of fancy lunches, today I'm just missing my dog.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The week of eating less, and eating more

Day after thanksgiving lunch
-Mashed potatoes
-Pumpkin muffin
-Grain-free bread (so good!)
-Boiled egg

-Honest Kids lemonade
-Dried cherries and coconut macaroon
-Baked pumpkin french toast
-Bell&Evans organic frank

Only one lunch, since the boy stayed home sick
-Dried apple chips
-Pumpkin muffin
-Dried cherries and coconut macaroon (left over from the day before)
-Baked pumpkin french toast (also left over)

-Glutino pretzels
-Clemintine halves
-Sunbutter and strawberry jam sandwich on Rudi's gf multigrain bread

Only 3 lunches last week since we had some sort of bug that passed from one of us to the other. Both kids had a few days of very light eating, and stayed home from school. By Friday, we were all back to normal, and ready to tackle the weekend. The boy has been on a trying new foods kick. Since thanksgiving, he's tasted fresh cranberries, brussels sprouts, french toast, mashed potatoes, black pepper (on eggs and potato), hot cereal, polenta, clementines, corn, and shrimp. The most amazing thing? All of those have moved to the "yes list" except for the fresh cranberries and brussels sprouts. These are all things that he's liked in the past, but hasn't been able to eat recently. Though he's had a self-limited diet for years, within the past 8 months or so, he's been loosing foods pretty dramatically, and was down to about 9 foods that he'd consistently be able to eat. However, during the past 2 weeks, he's made a major turnaround and is willingly tasting, and even requesting new foods. I'm crediting the yeast protocol we've been doing for the past month. The first two weeks were really rough, with lots of behavior issues, poor sleep, and a constant desire for sugary foods. It was fairly consistent with what we expected to see during the yeast die-off period. After that, we started to see an increase in his patience, fewer outbursts of frustration and anger, and much more flexibility (of routine) then is usual. He's been making lots of progress, and I'm very excited to see where we'll be able to go from here.