Monthly Archives: October 2011

Sparrow Month Three

What can I tell you about our little Sparrow?

He smiles at us now.

He is the first baby I’ve had that actually can be put down in a bed to sleep all on his own. Snuggling and rocking and all that only seem to make him fuss and make matters worse. I’m serious! I lay him down he grunts a bit, finds his comfortable position and he goes to sleep. It’s amazing.

He also tends to prefer hanging out in the stroller most of the time instead of the Ergo. It’s weird.


Filed under Family, Parenting, Ramblings

Tink, Peter and a little lost boy


This year Bean was very opinionated about our choice of costumes. I kept coming up with ideas and she kept shooting them down.

Bean: What are you doing?
Me: Browsing Pinterest trying to figure out Halloween costumes. I was thinking Fox and the Hound. Sparrow can be the owl, Sprout can be the fox and you can be the hound.
Bean: I don’t want to be the hound!
Me: Do you want to be the fox?
Bean: No! I want to go with something else. Come up with a new idea, Mama.

Next year Sprout might have an opinion too so this might be our last year of a family theme for costumes. It’s kind of sad for me because Stephen and I have coordinated our costumes every year that we’ve dressed up. It was hard enough trying work with his very strong opinions and now I’m going to have two more to add to the mix!

Oh well, I’ll live it up while I can. I finally figured out something that Bean approved of, though about halfway into making the costumes she completely changed her mind and said she really wanted us to do a Tangled theme. I vetoed it.

Anyway, this is probably too much writing about costumes. Here are the pictures:

For Bean’s costume I used a dress she had that was similar to the shape of the Tinker Bell costume as my template. Then I cut leaf shapes from felt and layered them. My inspiration for this was from the Tinker Bell movie that we recently watched. I embroidered each leaf’s veins with gold embroidery thread and then sewed them together. I layed the whole thing back on top of felt and cut out one solid piece to be the backing/liner (the embroidery thread was “too pokey” against Bean’s skin). I used some translucent sparkly gold ribbon for the straps.


I used a pair of her TOMS to make the felt slippers, but this trial run for photos showed me those things are not going to hold up for Trick-or-Treating. My plan now is to temporarily attach the pom-poms to her actual TOMS.


I bought the wand at Gymboree and the wings I got at JoAnn’s, both were on clearance too. She’s also wearing a pair of green bloomers that we already had.

For Sparrow’s costume I used a Simplicity fleece PJ pattern.


I used one of his hoodie rompers as a template for making the hood. I used ears from the Simplicity pattern to attach to my hood. I also added a tail to the body of the costume.

For Sprout’s costume I used a tutorial I found on Pinterest available here to make the hat and shirt.



For the belt he is wearing one of Stephen’s wrapped around twice. I got the leggings at Gymboree in the girls section (shhhh don’t tell him he’s wearing girl pants!).

I happen to think my kids in my homemade costumes are the cutest things ever, but I am a little biased.


Happy Halloween or Harvest Fest or whatever it is you do or don’t celebrate. We’re really looking forward to it this year.


Filed under Craftopia, Family, Parenting, Photography

Bean on factory farm feed lots

“If the fence is too small, then the animals don’t have enough room to move around. Then they can’t get the grass they’re supposed to eat because they stomp on it. Their pee-pee and poo-poo goes into the ground and makes it yucky and muddy. So you have to make the fences bigger and give the animals grass, it’s what they’re supposed to eat.”


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Filed under Family, Natural Living, Parenting, Politics

Banana Bread French Toast


Last time we were in Bakersfield, we were at our favorite breakfast place and I was trying to figure out what to order the kids that they would eat. They were hopped up on treats from Grandma and being extra picky. I saw Banana Bread French Toast on the menu and decided that would probably work.

The kids ate every bite. This was of course because it wasn’t really French Toast. Big cubes of warm banana bread drizzled with syrup and dusted with powdered sugar would probably get any kid to eat. It wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for.

But I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the concept since.

So last night I made the banana bread and this morning I turned it into bona fide egg-dipped French toast. And the kids still ate this version too.

For the Banana Bread
•3 mashed bananas
•3/4 cup sugar
•1 1/2 cup flour
•2 tsp baking powder
•1/4 tsp salt
•4oz cream cheese, softened
•1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
•1 egg

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine ingredients. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake 55-60 min.

Let cool, slice.

For the French Toast
•3 eggs, beaten with a splash of milk
•Banana Bread slices
•butter for frying
•sliced almonds and powdered sugar to garnish, optional

Dip the slices in the egg mixture quickly and transfer to hot pan or griddle prepared with butter. Fry on each side until golden. Remove from pan, garnish with almonds and/or powdered sugar and serve.


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Filed under Gourmet Lisa

Pumpkin Patch 2011


Filed under Family, Photography

Story time


Henry it’s not talking time, it’s story time. Now I’m going to read you a story about Curious George so be quiet and listen.

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Filed under Family, Photography

Pumpkin Raviolis

Today was the kind of day you wish you had a photographer living with you to document it all perfectly with perfect pictures. Someone to stand over your shoulder as you experience an important moment with your kids so that you don’t have to juggle iPhone and Rebel with flour, egg dough and ravioli filling covered hands.

I kind of took family tradition today and gave it a little bit of my own Autumn-loving twist.

Raviolis are kind of a big deal in my family. My dad has been making them pretty much every year that I can remember. Sauce, dough, filling all passed down from his mom. It’s usually a two day affair resulting in hundreds of raviolis that we then eat and package up to give to pretty much everyone we know.

I had some pumpkin puree on hand that I wanted to make the best of. I’d bought an organic Japanese pumpkin at the farmer’s market last week. I roasted it and I already used some of it to make my own pumpkin spice latte syrup (!!!).

I’d been browsing Pinterest for some fall recipes and saw a few different butternut squash ravioli recipes and then I saw some in the store at Trader Joe’s too.

So I decided that was how I would use my pumpkin puree.

I used a 15oz container of Ricotta cheese and added about the same amount of pumpkin puree, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, 1 heaping tbsp chopped fresh parsley, and I grated a fist-sized hunk of asiago cheese into it.

The dough was just a basic egg dough recipe from my Jamie’s Italy cookbook. My grandma’s recipe makes like hundreds of raviolis. I wasn’t really wanting to make that many just for us to have for dinner tonight. I halved Jamie’s recipe and it still made more than we could eat in one night, but I did have a lot of filling leftover so maybe I should have made the full amount.

Once the pasta dough was ready I got my kids in on the action. It was seriously giving me goosebumps doing this with them. So many memories flooding into my brain. I started off taking some iPhone pictures and then ran and got my Rebel. Every piece of technology is now full of flour fingerprints, haha.

This is the only picture I got of Ethan helping out. Definitely wish I’d had my own personal photographer peeking over my shoulder today.

Want to know how awesome of a job my kids did? We had ZERO “bombers” which are what we call the exploding or leaking raviolis that didn’t get “forked” just right. I think there have been bombers in almost every single batch of raviolis I’ve ever had/made so, yeah, it’s a pretty big deal for that not to happen.

So family tradition is that we eat our raviolis with a meaty (and I mean meaty!) red sauce, but I knew that just would not work with these. Instead I made a little white wine sage sauce. First I sauteed 5 sage leaves (from my garden, love!) in a tablespoon of butter. Once the butter was pretty close to browning and the sage leaves were getting a little crisp around the edges I poured in some white wine (two buck Chuck) and some cream. I let that come back up to a good simmer then stirred in a bunch of Parmesan cheese and some chopped fresh parsley before taking it off the heat.

The results were so insanely amazing. I love it when experiments turn out to be completely delicious.

And even better? The kids loved them too. Sprout here had two!

Pumpkins, rainy day, fun times with the kids. It doesn’t get any better. Autumn bliss I tell you.


Filed under Family, Gourmet Lisa, Parenting