And the dish ran away with the spoon (again!)

Ok, we are hooked on Hey Diddle Diddle here. Yesterday when we were out running errands Hazel turned to me (while we were holding hands) and said, "Let's run away. You are the dish and I'm the spoon." She repeated this a few times during the day. I decided it was time to make her The Runaways. I found the pattern at Happy Together. I changed a few things like adding arms and using 100% wool felt instead of fleece. Hazel loves them. I should also note that I did not follow the instructions carefully and wish I had on the spoon more so if you are going to do it, follow her instructions. Overall they were pretty easy to make and I know she will love them at least while she is on this kick. I'm thinking I may try to make a dish and spoon costume for Halloween. Hopefully this year she will be willing to put her costume on. Last year teething made it impossible to dress her up.

I updated these adorable guys with some needle-felting. You can check them out here.

Fun filled crazy day...

My job this week is to try to keep Hazel entertained and quiet during the mornings and early afternoon so Steve can sleep since he is working the overnight shift to help restore power to the people of Massachusetts (and Rhode Island and maybe New York). Last night or this morning I should say Hazel woke me up at 1 a.m. wanting to sleep in my bed and have some milk. Steve woke us up at 2 a.m. coming in. He somehow finished all his work for the night early and was allowed to come home. So this morning after breakfast and play time, Hazel and I took a walk and then ran errands though Steve was up after our walk. Oh, and we went to our local library for story time. After story time we went to the very small weekly Farmer's Market. This summer Hazel discovered corn-on-the-cob and loves it, so we bought some. We also got some peaches (I hope they are better than the ones I have been getting at the grocery stores because I have not been impressed this year with them), apples, cucumbers, kale, honey, and an apple pie for Steve and apple cider donuts. For the most part donuts do not excite me anymore. I think they are ok, but not worth the calories, however I love apple cider donuts. I think this fall I may look into making some. I just googled some recipes to try. I remember making homemade donuts when I was a child as a fun activity, so hopefully we can start a fall tradition.

On our walk this morning Hazel and I collected acorns. Hurricane Irene seems to have forced many down a bit early. Some are on her nature table along with some leaves we collected yesterday on our short walk (and pinecones, shells, rocks, etc.) The rest I'm hoping to use in some fun crafts. So far I have come up with acorn fairies, acorn people, acorn pumpkins, acorn wreath (though this looks like it would be for older kids), and of course just gluing along with fall leaves and pine cones to make a wreath or napkin rings. Do you have any good ideas for acorn crafts?

One of the errands today was a trip to Michaels. I bought some wooden frames and Mod Podge. I bought some small squares of tissue paper awhile ago. I'm going to have Hazel Mod Podge the tissue paper onto the frames and then seal it with another coat. I'm thinking this may be some Christmas presents. We'll see how they turn out.

I'm also looking for some good ways to make clothespin dolls. I found in my supplies a package of different race colored clothespins. Hazel is wanting to use them for fairies or something, so I think I may be doing some of that soon as well. I think the next fairy I want to try though is with wool roving. I bought some more wood beads for the heads.

Well that is where my mind is. Have a great night!

How to ride out a hurricane...

Well Hurricane Irene came and went. We spent the day home trying to keep busy. The only time the tv was on was to check the weather and when Hazel was sleeping.

And the dish ran away with the spoon
One of our first activities was to make Hey, diddle diddle mobiles. We got the print out from Free Kid Crafts. You need to print out 2 for each mobile, but one needs to be the mirror image. I did this by saving it as an image and putting it into Word and flipping the picture with the rotate tool. Then we colored and cut out. We added in the arms and legs to the dish and spoon and gave them extra long strings to run away on.

The little dog laughed to see such sport
The cat and the fiddle...the Cow jumped over the moon

Next we danced. Hazel finally wore her Beatrix Potter twirly skirt (and wore it today to nonni's house).
Where the pattens came from
And during nap time I finished a new outfit for her. I made the pants Saturday night. And finished the top yesterday. Unfortunately we had a potty training accident before we went out today in it. These patterns came from Little Girls, Big Style by Mary Abreu. Very cute clothes to make for girls sizes 2-6. Definitely recommend this book if you like these styles.

Our final craft of the day was to make flower fairies. We got the instructions from Family Fun. Hazel loved doing this though she needed a lot of help. We made three each and she took them with her today to show Nonni. I'm thinking she can use them in her fairy garden to play. Plus it used up some of the extra supplies we had from the fairy garden.
Flower Fairies
Now the hard part of the hurricane (or any storm) is on me. I have to entertain Hazel and keep her quiet while her poor father sleeps since he worked overnight. The one draw back of working for the power company is when the storms hit he is called in. Oh, well. Today she is with Nonni (his mother) and tomorrow I'll make some playdates or something. The weather is beautiful now, so I'm off for a walk. Enjoy!

Hurricane Irene

We are preparing for Hurricane Irene to hit New England. Yesterday I picked a few flowers from the yard. I knew the gladiola wouldn't last through the wind and rain and then picked a sampling to remind us of the beauty of nature during the worst of the storm. There are forget-me-nots, lavender, black-eyed susans, hydrangea and the gladiola.

I've also been sewing away. Here is a quick preview of the skirt I made for Hazel the other night. I'm working on a cute outfit right now.
Stay safe and dry!

Fairy Garden with the Three Little Pigs

Three Little Pigs and Their Houses
Hazel decided she wanted the Three Little Pigs and their houses to live in her fairy garden, so we got creative. Using little wooden bird houses we made the Three Pigs' houses. Our plan is to change the decorations for the seasons. So soon the flowers will change to leaves and then snow, etc.
Fairy Bed and Hazel's Must-have wagon
We glued stones and made the stream and sand paths around them. We figured it was appropriate to have characters from a fairy tale in a fairy garden.
Table is set for tea
Stay tune for the autumn changes!

Hey, Diddle, Diddle...And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon

Hey, diddle diddle
The cat and the fiddle
The cow jumped over the moon
The little dog laughed to see such sport
And the dish ran away with the spoon.

Hazel has fallen in love with Hey, Diddle, Diddle and many versions of the story in different books we have read. In particular she loves the dish and the spoon. In one of the stories (more about the cow than anything) she likes to point out where the dish and spoon are in every picture. So I got to thinking about how easy it would be to make a dish and spoon with her.

Supplies needed are a paper plate (I used a small one), a plastic spoon, three pipe cleaners, small googly eyes (optional) and larger ones (also optional), glue and/or tape, and crayons, markers, paints, stickers, etc. to decorate.

The Spoon:
Cut one pipe cleaner into two pieces: 4 inches and 8 inches roughly. Use the 4-inch piece to be the arms on the spoon by wrapping it around the spoon a few times. Then use the 8-inch one to be the legs. Wrap it around the bottom of the handle and bend it to look like legs and feet. Glue the small googly eyes on the top of the spoon (or draw eyes) and draw a mouth. Decorate as child wishes.

Hazel's creation
The Dish:
Glue one pipe cleaner across the back of the plate to be the arms. Bend the last pipe cleaner in half and twist the top to be legs and then glue to the bottom of the back of the plate. You may want to tape both of these to secure until the glue dries. On front glue on googly eyes (or draw them) and draw a mouth. Then decorate the plates. I used a cow sticker and drew on a moon for the cow jumping over the moon. Unfortunately I didn't plan so I didn't have dog and cat stickers.

Finally I attached the hands of the dish and spoon since they are running away together.

Books to use besides any Mother Goose book:

Please note I provide the link to Amazon only so you can see the book and whether it is available new. In no way am I supporting that you buy it there. Also, I listed these in the order of my favorites among them.

Now, we are off to the library for Move and Groove. Enjoy your day and stay safe this weekend especially those of us on the East Coast.

Nightgown versus Pj's

On Monday, I came home to discover water all over our bathroom floor. It ends up to be a problem with our central air conditioner. We haven't been running it too much since the repairman cannot come until next week and luckily it hasn't been too hot or humid, though that may change today. Hazel always seems hot and sweats. Unfortunately I think she gets some of this from me. I notice after sleep that she is covered in sweat. I figured without our full air conditioner it might be cooler for her to have a nightgown.

I looked for a very simple pattern since I didn't have much time to work on it before I left for my tutoring job and since she did not have a nap I knew she would be asleep when I came home. I chose the pattern from Making Children's Clothes by Emma Hardy. I chose it for its ease. I used the fabric I had left from a dress I made for her earlier this summer. She loves wearing monkeys ever since we went to the bouncehouse place called Monkey Joe's. This nightgown took me at most 90 minutes including tracing the pattern. I did not add the bow to the front yet, more due to time to find which ribbon to use, etc., but she is happy with it and did not wake up this morning sweaty even though we did not have the air conditioner on as high as we usually do.

Well we are off to make the stick house for Hazel's Three Little Pigs in her fairy garden. Look for pictures tomorrow. Have a great day!

Banana Oatmeal Cookies

So after being away, I realized my dear husband did not eat any of the bananas I left him. If he has cereal he wants a banana, but I never know when he will want cereal. Anyone else have a similar problem? So we had four very ripe bananas. Instead of making muffins or bread, I thought I would look for a cookie recipe. Well I did a google search and found several that looked good. I took them and combined, added and adapted to my recipe. Here are links to where I started: Oatmeal Banana Cookies, Old Fashion Banana Cookies, Banana-Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies. And here is my recipe:
Banana Oatmeal Cookies
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs beaten
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (Mashing is a good job for a little one)
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup flax seed meal
1 cup chocolate chips (I used mini since it was what I had) (optional)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 cup raisins (optional)

1. In electric mixer beat butter, shortening and sugars.
2. Add eggs and mix well. Then add banana and mix well.
3. Combine flours, baking soda, spices, rolled oats and flax seed meal in a separate bowl. Then add to mixer and mix well.
4. Stir in chocolate chips, nuts and/or raisins.
5. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375.6. Drop by the teaspoonful and place an inch apart on cookie sheets covered in parchment paper (for easy clean up). Bake 12-15 minutes watching carefully. Reduce heat if browning too quickly.

I find refrigerating helps to form balls and Hazel can form balls, but cannot drop by the teaspoon, but this dough was too mushy (I used more than a cup of banana since I had so many). The cookies are delicious though!If I make them again, I think I would leave out the chocolate chips. They takeover the taste.

Oh, and hopefully you will not have to clean up the mess I had. Poor Hazel fell off her stool taking with her most of the eggs. Luckily I had already cracked two and was able to save one, but egg is not fun to clean up off the floor.

Enjoy your day!

Baking and Walking and Party Preparing

This will be my last post for a few days. I have to help my mother plan for a big family reunion, so Hazel and I are packing up and going for a visit leaving Steve home to work, take care of the cats and rest. Yesterday was so beautiful out so Hazel and I walked to Bed Bath and Beyond and Kohls to run our errands. It is probably about a mile each way. Hazel of course was in her stroller. Luckily she didn't need a bathroom until we got to a store. Then we went to the library to return some books and pick up some books on fairies. Then we went to run the heavier and further errands. After nap time we made the dough for the cookies from one of my favorite blogs: Creating a Family Home from a post a few days ago. We baked them this morning. Now it is time to pack the car and get ready for seeing family. Have a good rest of the week and weekend!

Nature Walk

After the rain stopped today, Hazel and I went outside. Our mission was to find some sticks for her stick pig house and to jump in the puddles. After a bit of jumping and finding many wet sticks, we changed shoes and went for a walk. Hazel pushing her toy lawn mower around the small loop of our neighborhood. As we walked, Hazel found things to be amazed by, starting with leaves. I explained to her she could bring them back home and put them on her nature table. I started a nature table for her a few months ago (as suggested by many Waldorf readings I have done), but she has shown no interest in it except to take everything off so she can play with the silk scarf on it. As I explained to her again about her nature table, she finally took interest in it. To her collection she added three different types of leaves, a bird feather and a rock and a very wet pinecone which we left in the garage to dry, plus I found a few more sticks which were drier. Of course since she was pushing her lawn mower, I got to carry all of it, but over all it was a great short slow walk (.4 mile) with Hazel finally taken interest in nature again. Of course the wind blew once and she immediately thought we should be home, but besides that one time, she wanted to be out looking, and exploring. I'm hoping tomorrow or Thursday to take her someplace with more trees/woodlike for more exploring and of course to the beach this weekend.

We also added legs, ears and tails to her pigs. I'll post pictures soon.

Have a great day!

Three Little Pigs

Brick House
 Hazel and I started working on a new fairy garden yesterday, when she said to me, "I want to make the pigs' houses." So off we went to JoAnn's for more supplies. We bought small $1 wooden bird houses (we already had one for the fairy garden), scrapbook paper with bricks and with hay and some hay. Tomorrow when it is dry we will go looking for sticks for the third one. I also bought a bag of pom-poms and googly eyes to make pigs. This is what we got done this morning. More to continue this week.

While running errands I ran to the Dollar Tree to buy some pipe cleaners and felt to match our pigs.
Straw House

Beginning of the three pigs

This will be the stick house

Saturday Baking: Banana Almond Butter Muffins

This morning Hazel and I made some muffins. We had four very ripe bananas to use up so we tried a recipe for peanut butter and banana muffins. However when I went to get the peanut butter all I could find was almond butter, so we went with it. I adapted the recipe from Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld. Steve and I both liked them. Hazel did not, but they may have been too hot when she tried them. I also found that Steve and I only ate one each and we were basically full unlike some of my other muffins that take two or three to fill us. They are overly moist due to the amount of bananas so I don't recommend paper muffin cups.

Banana Almond Butter Muffins

Course: breakfast
PointsPlus™ Value:    6 (Weight Watchers info)
Servings:  12
Preparation Time:  15 min
Cooking Time:  20 min
Level of Difficulty:  Easy


  4 large banana(s), ripe and mashed   
1 cup(s) packed light brown sugar   
  1 cup(s) shredded carrots, pureed   
  1 item(s) egg white(s)   
1/2 cup(s) almond butter   
1 cup(s) whole wheat flour   
1 tsp baking powder   
1 tsp baking soda   
3/4 cup(s) uncooked old fashioned oats   


1) Preheat oven to 350 and spray a muffin pan with cooking spray. I had Hazel use the potato masher to mash the bananas while I pureed the carrots in my little food processor. (I had shredded carrots that needed to be used up but would have used a whole carrot.)
2) Combine banana, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, carrot puree, egg white and almond butter in large bowl. (Hazel loves to pour the measured ingredients in and mix.)
3) Mix dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and baking soda) in plastic bag.
4)Add dry mixture to bowl and mix well. Then add additional 1/2 cup of brown sugar and stir only a couple of times.
5) Spoon into sprayed muffin pan and put in preheated oven 350 for 20 minutes. 
6) Cool on rack.

Sundae Scoop
Happy Weekend! I shared this recipe on Sundae Scoop and Muffin Monday.

Library Book Review and More Books

Today we went to our local library for the Move 'n Groove program. Hazel loves it. It gets her listening to music, singing, playing with instruments (maracas, rhythm sticks) and scarves, dancing, jumping and marching with other kids and their parents. While there we also usually update our Summer Reading Program, check out books and visit our library friends. (I use to volunteer at the library so just about everyone knows us there.)

One book we have been enjoying reading lately is The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney. The only words the book has are the sounds of animals. The pictures are amazing. It is a new twist on the old story and I really enjoy making the story up with the pictures.

Hazel is also beginning to enjoy some of the classic tales. Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks and the Three Bears are the first two we have been reading. We read The Gingerbread Man awhile ago and she liked it (however Steve does not so I haven't taken it out again). Today we tried Little Red Riding Hood, but she did not like the beginning of the version we had. We did however buy The Ugly Duckling at the used book store and she liked that story.

After the library we went to the used book store at the mall. I had an idea for Hazel's birthday party (I know, I'm planning way too far ahead, but I like to do these things) and wanted to look for some books to use for decorations. I found them and more and discovered that they were having an anniversary sale of 50% off all used books (they do sell some new books there as well). I spent under $6 on children's books (around 60 cents each) and a little more getting the newest from my favorite authors that I haven't read since having Hazel. Now I can start reading for pleasure again. And we found Hey Diddle, Diddle by Kin Eagle for Hazel since we returned it to the library and a Caillou book (she loves Caillou from when we let her watch tv).

On a very positive note, today was a good day in potty training. We only had 2 accidents. One at the mall (not sure when it happened but when she told me she needed to go she then told me her pants were already wet from prior) and once at home with Daddy. I think we are getting close to being trained at least while awake. Nap and Nighttime are a very different story, but that will come with time, I'm sure.

Have any good toddler books to share?

Hazel's Fairy Garden

The arbor entrance to the large garden

Large garden overall view

Busy Weekend, Relaxing Monday

We had a very busy weekend for us. Saturday Hazel's best friend had his fifth birthday party at Pump It Up. Then Sunday our good friend's baby got baptized. Today Hazel and I went to the Christmas Tree Shop to look for more supplies for our fairy garden and to the library. Oh, and we have been potty training this weekend as well. We have had more successes than accidents so I think we are almost there.

Here are some pictures from this weekend.
Hazel ready to cook in her kitchen.

Hazel at Pump It Up

Our family at the baptism party

Sundae Scoop and Chair Covers

 So today, I linked my fairy gardens to I Heart Nap Time I Heart Chocolate Sundaes Sundae Scoop.Check it out.
The chair that really needed covering
I Heart Nap Time Link
Steve's Office with the two chair covers
Last night I made some seat covers for the chairs in Steve's office. I will post pictures later after I take them. They were simple and just cover the mess where the cats scratched the fabric. I made one for both chairs so they would match. I think it looks good and he seems happy with them.

I also had a field day at Joann's. They are having their Founder's Day Weekend sale. Their flannel was on sale for $2.99 and McCall patterns for $1.99. I only buy the patterns when they are on sale for $1.99 or $.99. I'm ready to start sewing Hazel's fall clothes. I'm working on a pair of pajamas for her now.

I'll will add more pictures later. Enjoy your weekend. It is pouring here, but we need the rain, so it is all good.

Fairy Gardens

So the past few weeks I have been enjoying posts on The Magic Onions of pictures of people entering the Fairy Garden Contest. Now this seems like it should be right up my alley with my love of dollhouses and miniatures. But of course I haven't really done anything with them in over 2 years due to Hazel. Well, I pulled out some stuff and made a few up. I think I may work some more on them and have Hazel help tomorrow or over the weekend. But here are some of the ones I came up with.

First some outdoors using real flowers and a few dollhouse extras.
 In this one, I imagined the fairy living outside with her canopy being made of spider webs. She even has a fire to cook her tea over.

In this one she uses the plants to make different rooms in her home. In front you have her kitchen/main room. Then hidden behind the flowers is her bed.

This one I did inside. Her carpet is flowers with tree and dirt underneath. Her garden is surrounded with beautiful trees and flowers and she has a bed/couch made of a shell and pine needles for cushioning and ivy leaf blankets. She also has some visitors from the forest: a red fox and some bunnies. They came at the right time for tea.

The table is set for tea for two.

views of the flower border

Her bed/couch
I'm sure I will do another post with more pictures and ideas. Enjoy!