Friday, January 30, 2009

In Defense of a Mama's Body...

I used to be pretty content with how I looked. How my body was shaped, curves in the right places, hair just so, pedicured toes. Contentment had settled over me. I would never be a size 2 but I was OK with that.
Pregnancy changes a lot of things...not to mention two pregnancies.
There are lumps and rolls where there used be none.
A road map of stretch marks has appeared.
My nails are more brittle.
My feet are shaped differently.
My hair has a different feel.
There are circles under my eyes perpetually.
And gray hairs have been making a more regular appearance.
To say that I haven't struggled or felt sorry for myself would be a lie.
Sometimes I look in the mirror and see the baby spit-up, the haggered look and the ill fitting cloths and think, "whow, were did I go?"
When I have those moments it a certain little boy always walks in, smiles and says, "Hi Mama." Or a certain little girl smiles her big muppet grin as I walk by...and I forget.
I look at the beautiful gift of two healthy, beautiful babies I have been given and if it cost me my figure, then I consider that to be a very low price indeed. I will get used to this new me. This new lanscape of my body is something to be proud of. Look at the sweetness it gave me? That is not to say that I will stop trying to take care of myself and that I will start just letting myself go...no. However, this body will continue to age and wither away, but what I have been given in return is worth more than anything. And I did not go anywhere, I'm still the same woman who loves to bake, knit, sew, garden, sing, dance, nurture, laugh, and hope. I just changed in appearance a bit, I like to think I have improved.
I will embrace my rolls and lumps, the road map of stretch marks and the brittle nails. Because each everyday I am blessed to wake up and see my beautiful babies. I'll exercise and eat my veggies, but I won't beat myself up too much if I bake brownies and then eat half of the pan while sharing bites with a two year old with a killer sweet tooth. That sounds just about perfect if you ask me.
There is nothing more beautiful then a Mama.
Remember that.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Your immediate attention is required...

Stop what you are doing right now (I guess you must be reading this blog, but, I think you're picking up what I'm laying down) and read this blog post:

http://allsorts.typepad.com/allsorts/2009/01/cpsia-blogin-day.html

You may have heard bits and pieces about "saving handmade," you may have noticed the picture link on my side-bar and maybe you don't think you really care either way, but this effects all of us. We all should be concerned about this poorly planned and implimented bill by Congress. I think in a way their hearts were in the right place, I want to protect my children too, they just went about it the wrong way. I can't say things any better then Jenny did on the link above.
Take a minute, read it, and call your Congressman. When you're done with that you may return to whatever you were doing previously... :)
*thank you*

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Musings on the State of Things...

So we're locked in the middle of winter...sheesh.
My hands are dry and cracked from the hot showers and space heater under my desk. I feel more compact in the winter and not in a good way, from all of the moisture loss. It is like my body is pulling in on itself as if I am trapped inside a foodsaver bag. So the water cooler is my BFF lately.
Along with all of the baked goods that I can't seem to stop making and eating, ahem...I am munching on veggies and fruit. Partly because I am in the mood, but mostly because I am wanting to lose more of the baby weight...boy does it really hang on too. Breast feeding is great for helping with this, but, when one consumes an entire box of donuts in one sitting, one tends to whipe out any progress made. On a side note, Elijah refers to these round, deep fried beauties as "do nots." I couldn't have said it better myself...yet, they call to me. Their siren song calls to me on Saturday mornings and I have had a hard time saying "NO!" Who can resist a maple bar? Honestly! Anyone that tells you no, can't be telling the truth...they're wickedly addicting. So therefore the veggie and fruit are a must if I am ever meant to be happy with the size and shape of my butt again.
Dear winter...you have lasted long enough, surely. I am ready for the smell of the thawing earth as tulip and crocus bulbs make their upward journey to splash the world again in color. I am ready to put on flip flops and let me toes breath. I want to stop having to dip myself in lotion each morning to fortify my skin. So anytime you want to pack up your snow, ice, below zero temps and head out, Winter, that would be fabulous! It's been fun, but, you have to go!
Kindest Regards,
Sarah :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Baking...

These are seriously yummy. Good enough to eat three in one sitting without blinking...yes, that good. I should know, I have done it a couple of times in the last three days. I had made the recipe in it's original cake format, but, this time I went with cupcakes which worked out brilliantly. I just had to tweak the time a bit and keep an eye on them. It's also a ridiculously easy recipe to make. Got any old bananas that sit forlornly on your counter going black? This recipe is for you! It's David, Elijah and Mama approved!

Banana Cake With Quick Caramel Frosting
Ingredients
Solid vegetable shortening for greasing the pans
Flour for dusting the pans
1 package (18.25 oz) plain yellow cake mix
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 medium ripe bananas, peeled and mashed (about 1 cup)
1 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil, such as canola, corn, safflower, soybean, or
3 large eggs
2 tsp creme de banane liqueur (optional)
Quick Caramel Frosting
1 cup chopped pecans (toasted)

1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two 9 inch round cake pans with solid vegetable shortening, then dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour. Set the pans aside.
2. Place the cake mix, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Add the mashed bananas, water, oil, eggs, and creme de banane (if desired). Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes more, scraping down the sides again if needed. The batter should look well blended and the bananas should be well pureed. Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Place the pans in the oven side by side.
3. Bake the cakes until they are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of each layer comes out clean, 30 to 32 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for ten minutes. Run a dinner knife around the edge of each layer and invert each onto a rack, then invert again onto another rack so the cakes are right side up. Allow them to cool completely, 30 minutes more.
4. Prepare Quick Caramel Frosting. This will take only 5 to 10 minutes; therefore, time the frosting preparation so that the cake has cooled enough and is ready to frost.
5. When the cake layers are cool, transfer one layer, right side up, to a serving platter. Frost the top layer with the warm frosting, working quickly because it will firm up as it cools. Place the second layer, right side up, on top of the first layer and frost the time and sides of the cake, making sure to work quickly with clean, smooth strokes. While the frosting is still warm, sprinkle the toasted pecans on top of the cake so that they cling to the frosting. Let the cake cool at least 1 hour for easier cutting.* store the cake, covered in plastic wrap, at room temperature for up to one week. Or freeze, in aluminum foil, for up to six months. Thaw the cake overnight on the counter before serving.
Serves 16
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Baking Time: 30 - 32 minutes
Assembly Time: 20 minutes

Quick Caramel Frosting
Ingredients
2 Tbls Butter
3 Tbls Brown Sugar
3 Tbls Sugar (white)
3 Tbls Cream
1/2 tsp Vanilla
Mix in a saucepan, bring to a boil. Cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Pour over cake.
Note: I did not use the creme de banane or the pecans. Also, I think that the frosting recipe could be doubled as there wasn't really enough to frost the sides of the cake. I just poured over the top, which worked well.

Monday, January 19, 2009

This is where I've been...

Lots of delicious reading...maybe only five pages get read at a time...But, reading none the less. Plus, there has been knitting, cleaning, and a few other projects in the works.

Baking...these are pumpkin butterscotch cookies...amazing! (to quote Elijah)
The next couple of pictures are a wee bit of a Christmas re-cap...

I made capes and knit scarves for the my niece and cousin's little girls to go with the Black Apple dolls I had made for their birthdays.

Mug Cozies were big on the list this year...to quote my neighbor, "my mug is wearing a sweater!" Yes, indeed...
Evelyn was Christened the Sunday before Christmas...

Her candle.

MAking faces and wearing the gown that I sewed for her. I was pretty pleased with it...vintage cotton, hand crocheted, antique lace. She was lovely.

Then there has been a lot of this...
We are a bit done with the snow...but, Elijah is in love with it and loves to help his Daddy in any way he can.

Then there has been a lot of this...

Evelyn is full of smiles and is cutting her first tooth. I think she would get up and run after her brother if she could. She wants to be up and about.
So I have been here, lurking more then anythying. I do check in with my blog buddies but, I have been a bit remiss in commenting...I have just been enjoying the reading. Plus, there has been a lot on my plate lately and a lot on my mind. Time to think has been a treasure to me and all of that is now leading me to action...big things coming.








Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cleaning Anyone?...

I got a lot out of this post over at 144 Inches of I-Cord...and this one too!

Woot! I'm gonna go get my vinegar and baking soda...
My toilet needs a scrubbing...ahem.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I'm here!...

Oh I have had so many grand plans for this poor, neglected blog...
I miss writing and posting, but between illness, travel, sleepiness, and playing with my Christmas lovelies the blog was...
pushed to the back burner
shoved in a closet
put on probation
got waylaid
kicked to the curb
(Take your pick)
I hope that your Christmas and New Year's celebrations were wonderful. I will be back soon with pictures and stories. I have new projects in the works and many happy little things going on. Plus, I want to do a holiday recap of the handmade giftsI made and gave this year and to dish on the fabulous books and goodies I received from the Sweets in my life. Check back, I promise to quit being such a stranger.
Plus, note the new link on the sidebar...click on it to help save handmade toys...