Monday, February 21, 2011

Happy Family Day!

Today is Family Day in many Canadian provinces, and I thought I would share one of our favorite family treats! We all love popcorn, but we don't have space for an air popper. We also don't want to eat all the chemicals in microwave popcorn!

So here is our solution:
2 paper lunch bags (doubled up)
1/3 cup organic popcorn kernels

Double up the paper bags, add 1/3 cup kernels (or so there is one layer laying flat on the bottom of the bag). Fold over the top and tape down. Microwave for about 2 minutes, or until popping slows to 1-3 seconds between pops. Add butter and salt and voila! Chemical free, fast and fun.

You can also decorate the outer bags with everyone's names and make custom popcorn. Herbs, Parmesan cheese, pepper, cayenne, seasoning salt or sugar would all be fun to try out.

Enjoy- and Happy Family Day!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal with Flax and Maple

I made some great oatmeal for breakfast this morning and thought it was about time that I posted a recipe on the blog! I added flax, a ton of cinnamon and just a little natural sweetener to make this a perfect start to your day!

Serves 2-4
1 Cup Oatmeal (I use plain quick oats)
1/8 Cup Ground Flax
Handful of dried apple rings, diced (or substitute fresh apple if it's on hand)
1 Tbsp Cinnamon
2 Cups Boiling Hot Water
Real maple syrup to taste

Combine all the dry ingredients and stir. Add hot water and stir. Let sit 1 minute, or until water is absorbed. You can also tweak the consistency by adding water/oats. Top with a drizzle of real maple syrup, or honey.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Easy Dinosaur Costume Tutorial

Daniel's preschool had Dino Day last week and I somehow missed them memo about dressing up or bringing along a dinosaur toy. Naturally, I chose the ridiculous option of making a costume myself the night before. Much easier than buying a $2 toy...right? Besides, I'm pretty sure there were at least 3 dinosaurs at Halloween.

I wanted it to be cheap, quick and fun so I decided to make the costume on a hoodie (we got ours at American Apparel) so I could take it apart and put the sweater in his closet.

You will need:
Hoodie in color of your choice
Stiff felt in contrasting/co-coordinating color (minimum cut, 0.2 m was plenty)
Regular felt (not flimsy craft felt) to match hoodie (0.2 m)
Stuffing (wool or recycled polyfil are best)
Enough elastic to go around your child's waist OR 2-3 safety pins

1. Fold the matching, soft felt in half. Cut a tail shape approx 4" tall and 20" long.

2. Cut triangles out of the stiff felt. I cut a 3" strip out of the felt and cut triangles with a base that is slightly smaller than the sides. Aprrox 3x3x2.5". Pin the triangles into the fold of the tail.

3. Trim the end of the tail to the edge of the last triangle and sew the triangles onto the tail. Stuff the tail.

4. Pinch the opening of the tail closed perpendicular to your seam and pin. 

5. Sew the tail shut. The beauty of using felt is that there is no turning. That's part of the reason this project is quick! You can either use safety pins to fasten the tail onto your child's pants, or sew a length of elastic (1 inch shorter than your child's waist measurement) onto the tail. I sewed mine on the under-side of the seam that closed the tail up.

 6. Cut more of the same size triangles out of the stiff felt and cut a small slit in the center of the bottom side of each triangle. You will need 4-6 depending on how big they are and how big the hood is.

7. Line each triangle up, one at a time, on the center seam of the hood. One side of the slit goes on the left of the seam, and one side on the right. Sew with a running stitch, and NO back stitching, along each side of the split to fasten the triangles. This is the hardest part.

I didn't back stitch and used a running stitch is so I can easily rip it out after. If you want yours to stay on forever, by all means do it differently!

8.  Next, I cut out little claws to attach onto the sleeves. Same thing, running stitch and no back stitching.

9. Now to embellish! I used small and large circles on the back and chest only. I tried using a fabric spray adhesive to keep the felt on the hoddie, but it wouldn't hold. I think if I could have found a thinner felt in the same blue, the spray adhesive would have worked. Instead, I sewed just a few stitches in the center of each circle so I could take them off easily.

Sparkly felt, an oval-shaped tummy on a pullover sweater or multiple colors would be fun too.

And here's my little dinosaur all dressed up. Ironically enough, he was the only one with a costume! Maybe I need to drink less coffee!

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