This is the summer of baking.. instead of bathing suits.
Cooler days invigorate me to crank on the oven.

You may recall that I like my baking to be 'stupid easy' and let me 'wing it' with extra ingredients.
Thus, a recipe like this is my kind of simple, sweet, fun.

A handsome baker guy I married told me about a trick of throwing tea grounds into my shortbread to enhance the flavour.  That's right, just empty a dry (unused) tea bag into the shortbread ingredients and roll out as usual.

Earl Grey Vanilla is a personal favourite.
In this pictures you'll see I used my other delight - Bengal Spice - which makes a hint of chai infused/gingerbread flavour.

Happy baking!

Mel ;o)



A.musing.mama! 4.1.

...don't even get me started.
But surely, surely I am not the only parent who deals with this one?

The notion of 'time economics' doesn't seem to translate well with our kids... in that, if I have to put in a certain amount of time preparing an activity for the kids to do (pool, crafts, games... etc) I have this crazy notion that they should actually play with it for more than a nano-second.

Like I said, don't get me started!

Happy weekend'ing friends,
Mel ;o)

You can catch up on all the previous comics HERE!


confessions (of a mama) part.21.

I used to have a love.hate relationship with this place.
Loving the (rare) moment it was clean, hating the (usual) moments it was a mess.

I used to get really overwhelmed by the task of keeping our house decent'ish.
House cleaning always seemed like a necessary evil in my life.
I would clean it with the power of *rage*...rubbing the dirty spots clean while muttering dirty words under my breath.
This ol' house often taunted me like the Hydra monster of Hercules... for every head I cut off, three more sprang from it's root.
Like a continual game of whack-a-mole... the dust bunnies and grime kept popping up their heads.  Sometimes I'd catch myself begrudging the little mess-makers around me.  "If only they would just clean up their toys right away" "If only he would just put it back where it came from".
Sometimes I'd catch myself wishing for a natural disaster: "If only a house fire would do the cleaning for me!".
So, needless to say, keeping this house clean really showed the dirt in my heart.
Because I used to love when I thought my heart was clean, and I hated when I saw the sin festering there.  I'd get overwhelmed by the mess.  For every sin I thought I conquered, three more sprang up.

The problem was, I was trying to do it all with my own elbow grease.
As if I could rub my heart clean by pretending perfection.

"We have all become like one who is unclean,
    and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment."
(Isaiah 64:6) 

Back to house work.  Guess what the winning solution was?

I used to just let the dishes pile up all day, and then in an overwhelmed heave of exasperation I'd clean them late into the evening. 
Now I do a bit in the morning, after lunch, after dinner.
Small, manageable piles.
The art of home maintenance.

It takes only a few minutes to sweep.
Fifteen minutes to wash a floor.
Another fifteen to clean the bathroom.

Instead of sitting on the couch feeling guilt and anger over the mess, I just had to get up and 'crack on' and see how quickly they could be dealt with.
What freedom!

Maintenance works for most levels of our lives.
Keep in touch with people regularly.. it's easier than putting them off for months and trying to reconnect.
Keep in communication with your partner.. it's easier than festering in silence and isolation.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle.. it's easier than the heart-attack to restart.

Keep the path to your prayer room well worn... it's easier to go to God quickly when your heart is kept soft.


I'm still learning the value of such a word in my life too.

Mel ;o)


A.musing.mama! 4.0

Surely our daughter isn't the only contortionist couch-potato out there?

The daily face-plants, head-bangs and bruised elbows are usually the result of her falling off some chair or couch she's been teetering curiously from.
I think she lacks the physical ability to actually 'sit still' some days... (so I'm not sure how that's going to work if she gets into school this fall).  Maybe my next sewing project should be velcro-bottomed jeans for her.

Mel ;o)
 You can find all the (forty+) previous comics HERE!


going batty...

First: Azriel
Second: Hudson
Third: Talia
The legend continues.
We're just all a bit batty around here.

comically yours,
Mel ;o)


the making of Marigold:

It was a perfectly drizzly gray morning to whip up a sewing project today.
While the boys were out, and the babe slept... Azriel and I dove into my sewing corner and made this fun dolly.

The perks of being a 'craft hoarder' is that all you need is at your fingertips!
After a very fast sketch of what she wanted her doll to look like, I let her pick through my fabrics to decide which would *match* her drawing.

Obviously I did not have purple yarn on hand.. so she's an orange head. 

We've decided to call her Marigold.
Sewing with kids is really frantic fun.  You can talk to them about the importance of "patience" and "hard work" to get a good result.  The joys of creating instead of buying toys.
You just need to let go of the quality control in favour of quality time with your kiddo.

I think she turned out pretty sweet for a couple hours of cutting/stuffing/sewing/painting.  It was getting tough to do the final stitches when Azriel just kept hugging me and squealing "Oh mama, she's just SOOOOOO beautiful!!!"

win. win. 

(And yes, I totally was thinking of this website while we brought her drawing to life!)

Have a creative day friends,
Mel ;o)



A.musing.mama! 3.9

That moment when the kids catch you being a hypocrite...
The old: 'do what I say, not what I do' nonsense.
Because as much as I have to daily plead the case for 'sharing is caring' and 'do to them what you want done to you'... I need to remember it in my own heart too.
(Those who recall my choco-holic confession may understand this dilemma for me)!

Mel ;o)

You can find the previous comics right HERE: