Liberty of London

I have literally been waiting months for the new collection that Target has brought to its stores. It is called Liberty of London and obviously it is from London. It’s a complete collection from clothes to home decor…what I love about it is that they specialize in actually making textiles (not just creating collections, but also designing fabrics). Much of their products look similar to items that you find at Anthropologie, etc., but at a much more reasonable price! Almost all of their home decor has already sold out on-line, but I’m sure you can still find some things at your local Target. They are supposed to be continuing to get more things in stock coming soon. I am hoping that it is popular enough that they will decide to carry the brand longer than their usual month or so. Here are some of my favorites of their products!

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A Fresh Start…

Despite my sense of impending doom, we are trying gardening again this Spring. After our results of last Spring/Summer being well disappointing (five cherry tomatoes. One rotten pepper. An ambush of mint.) we are going to clean out and try again this year. Right now our vegetable bed is a series of sticks and rotten vegetables. I suggested a compost pile, but my husband feels confident we can fix the issues and start anew. So now I am attempting to grow some seedlings a series of little pots and cups, hoping that they will grow and then be transferable to the garden. Unfortunately it seems as though we are living in Seattle these days…constant drizzle, cold weather, and gray skies abound. My plants are not doing so well. I have moved them from the window to under the fluorescent lights in our kitchen to try to get them some artificial sunlight, since there is no actual sunlight.

I have started with rosemary, basil, tarragon, parsley, and cabbage (donated by my Mom). I am going to attempt to post once a week showing the growth of the plants (if there is any!) and hopefully (fingers crossed) we will have better success this time around.

Plant window lookout
Cabbage leaf
Basil
Pot of seedlings
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Doggy Sitting

We are watching my parents’ dogs for a few days and our little mini cupcake was quite overjoyed at the prospect of having not one, but two dogs to watch. We are currently recovering from croup (him) and bronchitis (me), so there is a lot of coughing and sneezing going on at our house. Now instead of us watching the dogs, they have been following our mini cupcake around constantly. Paddington parks himself outside his room while he sleeps and is at his side constantly checking on him. Which our mini cupcake loves! He has been thrilled to have the doggies be at his side, and he is constantly trying to bring them interesting toys and sitting with them on the couch patting them.

Hello, the baby is coughing...are you going to do anything about that?
Snacktime
Poor baby...coughing and sneezing is no fun.
Patting the doggy
Bathtime

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Chocolate Brownie Crunch

I really should stop making desserts of this nature. At least they don’t last long! Despite my husband’s plea for a “plain” brownie I can’t seem to help, but add, add, add. And this is just another example of that! This past weekend I made Pat and Gina Neely’s Chocolate Brownie Crunch. It has Twix bars in it. Sure they have to call it a chocolate caramel wafer, but I knew what they meant. And it has walnuts. And it’s topped with ganache. And it’s delicious! As I said before, I’m not the best at coming up with my own desserts, let alone successfully executing a dessert from a recipe. However, I can pass along my dessert triumphs and this was definitely one of them! Not a piece was left by the end of the weekend. And now I’m going to go exercise. HA!

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Spring Craft: Lace-Up Rainbow

I have been trying to figure out a craft to do for St. Patrick’s Day. I found that there are not a lot of crafts out there, especially for toddlers for St. Patrick’s Day. I made this craft myself, and basically the end product is something that can be played with. Right now my mini cupcake is very into strings and laces, he loves to poke the laces through the holes in our sneakers. I figured this would be a fun little item for him to play with and it also helps him learn his colors!

So here’s what you will need:

Foam paper (I got a huge stack of multi-color foam paper at Hobby Lobby for around five dollars…good for future crafts)

A one hole punch

Scissors

A four leaf clover cookie cutter (Unless you are good at drawing, then you can just make it yourself!)

Shoe string, or cord ribbon

Some sort of arc tracing object (I used a 8×8 round cake pan…again I do not succeed with doing any sort of free hand drawing)

And here’s what you do!

First gather roygbiv foam paper (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet). I did not have a true “indigo”, so I used a lighter purple instead.

From the paper cut out arcs from each color, and then trace and cut out two shamrock shapes (I used a darker green for the shamrocks).

Put a hole punch in the center of each shamrock, and then a hole punch within each arc at each end. In addition put a few hole punches throughout each arc and on the shamrocks.

As you can see from the picture above, after you have created your hole punches, you then string together the rainbow. Now here’s the trick to keep it all in place. Tie the cord on one side of a shamrock with two to three double knots (one right on top of the other). Then string through all of the colors on one side. On the other side tie another double knot and then leave string hanging. Repeat with the other side…it should look like this…

And this…

And your knots should look like this…

See how there is cord hanging off of the other side? That’s the lacing cord for the finished product. To finish the ends so they don’t fray you can do one of two things. You can simply cut the ends, you can place a quality tape around them (I wouldn’t recommend this for toddlers as it can fall off and they might try to eat it…mine would!), or you can do what I plan to do and that is to get my Dad to torch the ends so they stay tight and will not fray (you’ll need a quality blow torch and oh yeah someone experienced to do that!)

Once you are finished, get practicing on that lacing! Or wear it as a hat. That’s what my mini-cupcake did. HA!

Tip: This should only be played with under supervision as it does have long strings and several pieces.

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