28 September 2008

Apple Doughnuts

A couple weeks ago we went to the Apple Orchard and Bella was so excited about apple doughnuts. She talked about them (all day!), she ran to put them into the basket, then she gobbled an entire one in the car on the way home. I can't say I blame her, they are delicious!

So, I thought we'd try to make our own. We browsed around and printed out a recipe. Then found the old doughnut cutter. We mixed up the dough, patted it out, and Bella used the cutter.

Making Apple Donuts

We fried them up. Then coated them in cinnamon sugar.

Cinnamon Sugaring Apple Donuts

Didn't they turn out pretty?

Apple Donuts

And a little tasty too.

Donut Taste Tester

They weren't as good as the apple orchard's. I thought they had an oily aftertaste. Maybe the orchard uses lard? Or maybe my oil was a little old? (entirely possible). They weren't as much work as I thought they would be, so maybe I will try again using shortening instead of peanut oil. But until then, we are heading back to the apple orchard for our fix!

A Play Smock for Claire

I had long been wanting to make this very cute little smocket for someone (pattern by Mayfly). And when my little niece Claire turned 2, I thought of it right away. She is adorable and sweet enough to wear things her auntie makes her.

Smocket for Claire Smocket for Claire

In the pocket, you can see I made little button barrettes (and slipped in a sucker). I hope those little buttons stay glued to the barrette. I wasn't sure how that is done and there is precious little how-to-make-button-barrettes info on the internet. The fabric is Kokka Menagerie's tiny smiling elephant print, from Crafty Planet (of course!). It's reversible, with a pocket on one side and a twill tape bow on the other. I wasn't too thrilled with the fit when I first tried it on Bella for size. The 'ties' at the shoulder were impossible to tie and the armholes were cutting into her pits. She quickly became very irritated with me, and I eventually had to bribe her with candy corn to let me try it on her again. I switched the ties to snaps, which turned out ok, but I'd draft it up differently next time to account for snap usage. (Also, I would have bought snaps my first trip to the fabric store instead of needing to go a second time and dropping Brent and Bella at the library, going to the fabric store next door, getting a phone call after 5 minutes, "She peed," super fast snap buying, and running back to the library. sheesh.)

My current project is finishing the dang Wildflower sweater from Lucinda Guy. What a drag of a project that is turning out to be and I can't imagine how much candy corn I will have to feed Bella to get her to wear it. She already told me she "No like it" and I should "Give it to baby Claire." Well!

21 September 2008

Renaissance Princess

What a cute wee lass!

If that isn't just the cutest little Faire goer you ever did see!

And of course we match.

Renaissance Costumes

I made my costume from an old Simplicity pattern and Bella's is from the Costume Connection Renaissance Common Woman and Girl pattern. The Costume Connection pattern was so much more logical, I am almost done with Simplicity for good. I honestly don't know how the major pattern companies can still get away with their crap instructions when there are such clearly, cleverly written alternatives out there now. I sewed Bella's in a size 5, which is a bit of a stretch since she is a 2T right now. But I can let out the hem and she can wear it for several Faires to come!

We mostly pulled Bella around in the wagon. I greatly enjoyed assuming every overhearing of the word "cute" was in reference to her. She ate some fish'n'chips and then she was so excited to get her face painted. She waited patiently in line and then (unprompted) told the face painting lady that she wanted a rainbow.

Face Painting!

We watched the daily parade, which was very exciting with music and animals. Then we went to my FAVORITE part, the Hobbit Hole!

Bella waiting to go through the Hobbit Hole:

Waiting to go in the Hobbit Hole

After you walk through the Hobbit Hole/House, you go on the Enchanted Forest hike. I adore the little fairy houses tucked in the woods, each with their poem story. And the waterfall at the end with the little windows peeking out beside it. sigh. Is it too much to ask for my backyard to look like that? Here's Bella and Brent on the hike:

Renaissance Princess

Then we looked around the shops a little more. I didn't buy anything this year, but I decided that must be because I have bought everything I wanted in the past, and most shops bring the same stuff year after year. Also, I think the best potter there has either changed hands or changed styles. (Or maybe I'm just spoiled by Evla now.) He is now the "Pottery Dude" and there were no signs of the sweet animal themes that I loved. I bought the cutest bunny bowl there once!

Anyway, we all needed a rest, so we headed back to The Children's Realm for the Queen's story hour. The Queen told great stories, just off the top of her head, with animal noises and voices and everything. Then we got a caramel apple in a dish, some soup in a bread bowl, made-our-own magical wand, and called it a day. We were there a total of about 4 hours, which seemed pretty quick, but we were exhausted. I think we had tapped out most of the kid-friendly entertainment and been sufficiently baked up by the sun. Without kids, you can spend most of your time there sitting in the shade, watching shows, and doing a little shopping. But it was worth it to go watch Bella be a little maiden, running around in her little dress. So cute!

16 September 2008


Everyone is eeking out the last bits of summer, milking this beautiful weather for all the fun it is worth. I can see their point. The days are numbered.

But it doesn't stop me from staying inside and decorating for Halloween...

All Spookied Up

And working on my Halloween Quilt...

Simply Spooky 2

And going to the Apple Orchard...

Apple Donuts at Pine Tree Apple Orchard

So while some may eek out the last days of summer, I am eeking out the first days of Fall!

15 September 2008

Ouch. Again.

Tonight we had a little scare, although I knew just what to do from last time! Bella somehow took a header down the stairs in our house. We are thinking it was just a few stairs, but she says it was just ONE. (We didn't see it). She appears to have (freakishly) landed on the metal part of her pony tail holder, the part that pinches the elastic in the middle and is crimped closed. So we jumped in the van (putting her little pillow behind her head) and went to good ol' urgent care. We saw the same doctor and nurse as last time Bella fell! They cleaned her up and put a staple in, she hardly cried at all. As usual, the most exciting part was picking out stickers!

Then we came home and watched Sesame Street, even though it was way past bedtime:

After head stapling

We were supposed to wake her up around 11 PM to make sure she was "coherent, rational, and knew basic facts." We decided she is none of those things normally when she is woken up, so we would have no way of distinguishing a head injury. We just let her sleep.

Hopefully, as Alison suggested, Bella is apparently getting all her head injuries out of the way nice and early on!

Although it was a freak thing, I feel weird about using those pony tail holders anymore. I switched back to the baby ones that are soft all the way around. Maybe this means I can start buying these, with bunnies and hedgehogs? For safety's sake?

03 September 2008

State Fair: Day 10

Today was a glorious fair day. Beautiful weather and TWO trips to the Fair!

Bella and I went in the morning and met up with Uncle Dave and Nick. We were basically just in time to hop on the frenzy-train and ride the Space Tower with Nick. I discovered that, yes, it is still high and nauseating. Good to know. Nick was so enthused it was unbelievable. At the bottom he wanted to know the history of my relationship with the Space Tower: Had I ridden it before? When? When did I first ride it? Was it blue THEN? Did it go as high as it does now? Did it spin?!

It was decided the best way to stop the stream was to fill the hole with pancakes. I'm pretty sure they were some kind of cult pancakes, since it was the booth of the something-something Eastern Star. But hey, it was pancakes.

A good sign.

Then, after some spin-a-painting and Giant Slide fun, Bella and I called it a day. She was crabby and had quite possibly had enough of the Fair.

But never fear, I hadn't!! We got a babysitter for the evening and I convinced Brent to have a date night at the Fair. Oh, what fun. We romantically split an order of the deep-fried loaded tater tots on a stick and meandered through buildings. We bought Bella a bear marionette (shhhh! surprise) and split some of the Hawaiian noodles from the bazaar. The ones that have the menu: "Noodles-$6." And that's all that's on it. They were good, lots of vegetables like broccoli and carrots and squash, so we patted ourselves on the back for our healthy fair eating. After that I was starving for a glass of milk. Quite difficult to find after 9 pm, but don't worry, I'm not a Fair expert for nothing. I got my milk.

Then we met up with a whole crowd of friends, and proceeded to laugh at their amusement with the manure pit signage behind the cattle barns. Pictures of boys squatting by the "No Dumping" and "Use Manure Pit for Dumping" signs are so hilarious when you're 5, er, 35 years old. GROAN!

The fireworks were kind of late, which made us late for the sitter. But she was cool and didn't seem to mind. I said my good-byes to the Fair, since this will be my last visit. Until next year, Fair, thanks for all that you give us.