Sunday, April 26, 2009

My fitness tip

I've been inspired by Bertie's blog, and wanted to share with all of you my favorite diet and fitness tip. It is...

Chocolate cake.

I love sweets, especially cake. I can't seem to stop eating them. So, I've found a way to have my cake and eat it, too. Usually, when I crave cake, I bake a cake. Then, after I've satisfied my craving, there is still all of this cake around that I am now obligated to eat, or pawn off on some other unsuspecting soul. Not good for the waistline. Also, it takes a while to make a cake, so by the time I'm done, I've probably also eaten some "appetizers" (not to mention half of the batter), or I've just gotten lazy and gone to the store to buy cake. Still, with the inevitable pile of leftovers.

Then, a few weeks ago on my favorite forum, one of the wonderful ladies posted a recipe for a cake that was one serving and you make in the microwave in a mug. Hallelujah!! My prayers have been answered! Now, while I generally frown on baking in the microwave, I tried it out, and while pretty good, it was more of a steamed pudding then a cake. I've been playing with the recipe since then and have found a recipe that is yummy, chocolate-y and has the texture of actual cake. Best of all, it only takes three dishes (mug, tablespoon, whisk) and is ready in 5 minutes!

Microwave chocolate cake
4 T flour
4 T sugar
2 T cocoa
pinch baking powder
few grains salt
1 egg
3 T milk
3 T oil
small splash vanilla
3 T chocolate chips
3 T pecan pieces

Mix together the dry ingredients in your microwave safe mug (You can use the whisk). Whisk in your egg until completely combined, then add the oil and milk and whisk together. Then whisk some more. You want to beat it a bit to incorporate some air. Add the vanilla and whisk. Sprinkle the chips and pecans on top and fold them in once or just pat them into the batter. If you mix them in too well, they'll all end up at the bottom. Of course, the chips and pecans are optional, but they're really good!
Pop that mug in the microwave and cook at 1000 W for 3 minutes. (That is 90% power on my microwave.) It puffs up significantly. Don't be alarmed. Now let it cool for a few minutes. It comes out of the microwave really hot!Get a big glass of skim milk and enjoy!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

What is wrong with this picture?

If you're wondering, this is Logan's toy box. Well, one of them - the kid has way too many toys. I was tidying his room in preparation for nap time today and glanced in. All seems in order, right? Toy camel, peg pounder thingy, baby doctor kit, toy truck, PVC pipe, Elmo doll... PVC pipe???
Who knows? I think he swiped it from my sewing room when I was making my dressform. I just hope we don't end up a made for TV movie where all the neighbors say, "He was such a nice boy..."
And just in case you haven't had enough cuteness in your day today - Myra is posing just for you.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Developmental Leaps

Apparently, when Myra decides to do something she does it ALL the way. On Sunday, she decided it was time to be mobile, so she's crawling, pulling to stand, cruising a little, and can walk holding on. She's also taking big girl baths in the regular tub now and she and Logan both love it! Logan tries to get in with her and has to be forcibly retrained from stripping down and hopping in. I don't think she's quite ready for his level of play, though...Of course, she's also ready for big girl literary endeavors...
She thinks Edward is a hottie - see that big grin!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Child's Prayer

So our little boy likes to say the prayer. It's at the same time heartwarming and a little funny. And he insists on saying it every time, mostly in the same way.
His pattern:
Thank you..(and here you must choose from the list below)
Big Present
Hantie Bebbs
Unka Steven
Car movie/jingly/Lightning/or any other toy in sight
Go get daddy (my personal favorite)
Bless us...
Sleep well
(see list above, it's mostly the same thing)
In name Jesus Christ

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Wood shop and time

For some time I have felt the yen to create things. However, on a resident's budget (both in $$ and in time) you have to be careful what you choose. Specifically, I have to do something that I can work on for a while, then walk away for days with no adverse consequences. I need something where materials are cheap. And I need to be able to produce things both nifty and useful. So I chose woodworking.

First things first: workbench. I went through the scrap pile at a worksite to find a few odds and ends:

I had a design in mind, and had just enough to do it. Instead of one big piece of plywood for the top, I had a lot of 1.5' x 1.5' squares, which I assembled into the tabletop.

I made a frame to support it, and cut out the ends so that everything is somewhat close to flush.

I then added the legs. I did double legs on each corner, just because I felt like it. Logan assisted.

The table was not as rigid as I'd like, so I added lower leg braces.

It's more or less done. I leveled it by cutting off the legs, as the floor of the garage is not level. At some point I'll add a vise to the edge as well.

Now, of course, I'd be needing some tools. Slim budget = Craigslist. Found a guy in Waco with a woodshop who can't work in it anymore. He had a ton of stuff, including a lot of stuff I couldn't fit in my garage. I picked up a router, a scroll saw, some clamps, and a vise for a song. These were most emphatically used tools, and he hadn't cleaned them in a while. Please note the spider carcass on the router below:

And the rust on the tabletop of the scroll saw.

All these things cleaned up nicely with a little sandpaper and windex. I also found a dozen scroll saw blades in the side compartment, and they are still fully functional. I also managed to make the table completely perpendicular, which it was not on arrival. All in all, a good day.

My first project will be this dinosaur puzzle I found on a website. Logan will love it!

The darndest spots...

Since Myra has been desperately trying to get around she's managed to get herself into some interesting pickles. Still, always with a smile! She's one happy baby.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sewing Blog

I decided to stop cluttering up the family blog with all my sewing stuff, so I created a separate blog, just for my crafting. If you'd like to keep up with what's going on in my sewing room, check it out at Kadiddlehopper.

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Trials I don't want

So I found out a couple of days ago that a friend of mine has a tough decision to make. He's newly married, and they got pregnant on the honeymoon. However, the triple screen came back abnormal and the ultrasound suggests Trisomy 18.

I can see all you doctor-types wincing. Trisomy 18 is BAD. Often, there's some question as to whether what is delivered is actually human. Average lifespan is measured in hours, and never in the history of Trisomy 18s has anyone lived longer than a week. They often die in utero and cause all types of problems for the mother, including her own death.

So he and his wife decided to terminate the pregnancy, and for once this avowed abortion-hater has reason to pause. I just can't bring myself to condemn or even really question this decision. All I know is that's a decision I never want to have to make.

We pray for him and his wife. Often. As I hope they would do for me.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Some Sewing firsts

I've been looking for adventure lately, but it's hard to white water raft or bungee jump with a baby and a toddler, so I decided to try a few new things in the sewing room. I've been promising Mitch a pair of dress slacks for some time, but while basic pants are easy, slacks are very detailed and involve techniques I've never done before. So, I decided it was time to stretch myself a little. It took me a while to find a pattern that I liked (flat front, straight leg) which also had the things Mitch needs (pockets both front and back, comfy and indestructible), but I finally did. This is Burda 7841. So, now I had no more excuses, and it was time to dig in. It took me the better part of 2 weeks (one week almost entirely on the welt pockets in the rear), but they are finished and look fabulous! The only problem is that despite tissue fitting and re-drawing the pattern, they are too snug in the rear. Apparently European men do not have butts! While I am highly annoyed at my failure, I'm not really discouraged. I learned a lot making these pants, so I don't think that they were a complete loss. Anyone need some pants with no butt? My second "adventure" was this sleep sacque for Myra. It is only adventurous in that it is the first thing that I have made with a pattern that I drafted entirely on my own. It fits her well and was perfect last night when the temp was freezing. You win some...
And finally, I found the cutest pattern for booties online, and after a fruitless search for shoes that matched Myra's peach Easter dress, I decided to try my hand at baby shoes. I had some white pleather left over from a Halloween costume and a little bit of trim from the dress, so even if it was a total failure, at least I wasn't out anything but some of my time. Fortunately, after some alterations to the pattern, since Myra's feet are narrow like Mommy's but fat like a baby's, they actually turned out really well! I'm definitely going to do this again, but perhaps next time with a more forgiving material. Pleather was an enormous pain. Next time - felt.
And now, on to a retro dress from 1952 for me! I'm completely restructuring the bodice so that I can nurse in it - more adventure!! I hope it works out.