Sunday, March 31, 2013

A very special Easter dress

Is there anyone still out there who's been following my blog for a very, very long time? Do you, perhaps, remember, a certain birthday antiquing excursion? Maybe an embroidered collar? And the finished baby dress that followed?

Nearly six years after I first bought the fabric for this tiny dress, I have a sweet little girl to wear it. God is good!




I also made her cloche hat this past week. The pattern comes from the Etsy shop eVINTAGEpatterns. It's made for felt but I was easily able to use fabric -- periwinkle blue linen-look from my mom's scrap box, and plain white cotton (lightly interfaced) for the lining and the bow. I'll have fun with this pattern this summer, I think!


Such fun to have a daughter!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Spring light

Spring light

I love the beautiful light we're getting as the days lengthen into springtime.

lacy curtains

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." --John 8:12

Thursday, March 21, 2013

My blue-eyed beauty


She's as beautiful as a delicate china doll.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Irish scones

I don't know if this is a Thing or not, but this year I made my Irish soda bread in scone form. In years past, I've been struck by how crumbly the bread is when I slice it, and I thought it would be easier to consume if they were already baked into single-portion sizes. They are perhaps a little too easy to consume, as they're already gone and it's not even St. Paddy's Day yet! Thankfully, my grandma's hosting dinner tomorrow and I hear there'll be more Irish soda bread on the menu.

Irish Scones
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c. sugar, plus some for sprinkling
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 c. butter, plus some for brushing tops
  • 1/2 c. raisins
  • 1 tsp. caraway seeds
  • 1 egg
  • ~1/2 c. buttermilk or soured milk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a bowl, mix together flour, salt, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder. Cut in butter, then add raisins and caraway seeds. Crack the egg into a liquid measuring cup and add enough buttermilk to equal 3/4 cup. Add the egg mixture to the dough. Mix until blended and knead dough. On a floured cutting board, shape into two flattened rounds and cut each round into six triangular wedges. Brush the tops with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until tops are golden, 10-12 minutes.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Beauty tips for busy moms

Yesterday I found myself having to get ready for the day in a hurry, and I ended up employing almost all of the timesaving tricks I've managed to find in the past few years of motherhood.

  • Dry shampoo. My favorite brand is Dove, as I find the Suave brand makes my hair kind of tangly. With dry shampoo, I can wash my hair every-other-day and, in a pinch, even go two days without washing.
  • Curling wand. I picked up a travel-sized curling wand last summer and it is a helpful styling tool. The curls last really well. It gives my hair some body and texture to style into an updo on day-old hair. I have very thick hair so it takes me about 20-30 minutes to curl my hair, so I don't do this all the time.
  • Straightening iron. Pregnancy has left my hair sort of wavy, sort of straight, so if I just let it air dry with no styling it looks pretty awful. This is what I try to do on days I don't have time to curl it. I can straighten my hair in about 10 minutes or so, and then that will last into the next day.
  • Good quality bobby pins. I learned the hard way that it's better to just plunk down a little extra money for a product that works. I've been buying my bobby pins at the drugstore for years. I finally bought some more expensive ones at Sally Beauty Supply and the difference was immediately noticeable. It saves me time when I don't have to struggle to get my updos to stay in place.
  • Good quality haircut. A good haircut also makes hairstyling easier and faster.
  • Simplify. I've always been an all-or-nothing kind of gal when it comes to makeup, but I am learning to just do what counts when I'm in a hurry. For me, that is under-eye concealer, eyeliner and mascara, and some natural-colored lipstick. It definitely makes me look more lively and awake than nothing at all.
I could write about clothes, too, but dressing as a mom is a topic complete unto itself. :) What are your timesaving beauty tips?

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Welsh rarebit... for breakfast

I made Welsh rarebit for St. David's Day dinner yesterday, and yep, even enjoyed some leftovers this morning for breakfast. My favorite recipe comes from Alton Brown at the Food Network. I always use Boddington's Pub Ale for the beer and Double Gloucester for the cheese. A nice quality loaf of rye from the bakery also makes this into something special.
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup porter beer
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 6 ounces (approximately 1 1/2 cups) shredded Cheddar
  • 2 drops hot sauce
  • 4 slices toasted rye bread
In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and whisk in the flour. Cook, whisking constantly for 2 to 3 minutes, being careful not to brown the flour. Whisk in mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper until smooth. Add beer and whisk to combine. Pour in cream and whisk until well combined and smooth. Gradually add cheese, stirring constantly, until cheese melts and sauce is smooth; this will take 4 to 5 minutes. Add hot sauce. Pour over toast and serve immediately.