Monday, April 20, 2009

Ava's 14 month Photo Shoot

I am so excited to share some of these...My friend and very talented photographer, Sharyn Peavey sent me these pictures from Ava's 14 month yummy, I had to really exercise control to pick just a few for this post.
I love this one of Chris helping Ava put on one of my lime green shoes that she took from my closet...while she holds a pink one in the other hand... And this one of us from above, such an interesting angle that I never see us from...
And this one of me giving Ava a kiss, and her anticipating it with a scrunchy face...
This little concentrating face illustrates Ava's determination and will...
I love this of us just on the floor talking and looking at each other-a tiny moment that might have passed us by, if Sharyn had not captured it... Chris is helping Ava go down the stairs, I love the sweetness of this one, another moment that I would have missed because I would have been doing laundry, washing dishes or otherwise catching up...
And I just could stare forever at the little eyeballs and pursed lips in this one...
I love these historical collections of everyday times in our little family. I treasure each of these images so much already and I know we will cherish them in many years to come as well.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Yarn Affliction

My friend got me started using Cascade 220 yarn. Being new to the knitting craft, I take advice and recommendations from the seasoned knitters in my life. I really love the feel of this yarn, it has helped me make several sweet little projects. This same friend also told me about a web site and recent sale on Cascade yarn-and I followed her recommendation on this one too, and gorged myself on some new yarn for my stash.
It is probably unwise to buy yarn with no specific project in mind-how will you know if you have enough when you decide on a pattern-and what if you don't?!?
I have decided to focus on baby items and small knits for right now-there are so many new babes entering the scene and it is quick and easy for me as a relatively new knitter. The other benefit is that I can make these little knits with minimal yarn, allowing me to splurge on several different colors, because I only buy a few of each. The problem is that I am running out of good patterns for toddlers and babies, that are in the easy department and that aren't dated looking...anyone have any good sources for knitting patterns? I admit I haven't done my due diligence in searching online-I haven't put down the needles long enough to log any real computer time in a while...
I went all out on a 100% cashmere yarn too, but the color on the computer and the color of the actual yarn aren't the same. The actual yarn is a saturated pumpkin orange, not the softer orange I thought I was buying...oh well, I will find something to make with this little precious...
Completely not in the financial budget, but oh so within the happiness budget! I squealed with delight when the delivery man came up my driveway with this box-I ran out to meet him barefoot. I think he is going to expect me to jump into his arms if I keep running out to meet him like that. Perhaps I should cool it on the yarn ordering for a bit...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Treats

Easter marks the no turning back point on winter for me. We enjoyed a very busy day filled with family, friends, a very competitive egg hunt, and too much food and candy.
In preparation, Ava and I made my mother's sugar cookie recipe and glazed the cookies with thinned out royal icing. I gave Ava some little craft paint brushes and let her paint a few cookies-much to her delight and my needing to clean up afterward!
What a nut.
Yes, our daughter loves sunglasses. The Easter Bunny delivered several pair in her basket and she proceeded to wear all of them...while reading a book. Indoors.
We brought in some quince and forsythia branches last week, in hopes that they would bloom by Sunday-and they did!
Our Easter egg dyeing left all of us with stained finger tips, but it was fun to dye eggs with our child-a vision I have had for years and years. We blew out raw eggs, instead of using hard boiled, I wanted to hang them from branches for the week before Easter.
Ava and I made a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and decorated it with jelly beans, coconut and malted eggs-delish!
Moist and Scrumptious Carrot Cake: The only substitution I make is adding a 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce to the recipe below-extra moist!
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3 cups shredded carrots (about 5 medium-I use the food processor for this)
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees, grease and flour bottom and sides of rectangle pan (13" x 9" x 2"), or one 8 " round and one 6" round cake pan.
2. Mix sugar oil and eggs in large bowl until blended, beat one minute, stir in remaining ingredients except carrots and frosting, pour into pan(s)
3. Bake rectangle 40 -45 minutes, rounds 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack
4. Frost with cream cheese frosting
Cream Cheese frosting:
One 8 oz. package cream cheese-softened
1/4 cup stick butter-softened
2 tsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
1. Beat Cream cheese, butter, milk and vanilla in medium bowl with electric mixer on low speed until smooth
2. Gradually beat in powdered sugar at low speed, 1 cup at a time, until smooth
Refrigerate left over frosting
Happy Spring- finally!