Tag Archives: mom

Leaf Garland Tutorial

About 10 years ago we planted our first Virginia Creeper vine at our previous home. Known for being a fast growing and hardy plant (likely to survived our snowy winters) my husband selected it mostly for its vivid fall color change. We loved it and it grew several feet in the first year!

So when we moved to our new home 6 years ago, we agreed on side of the house needed a good climbing vine to give our “cape-cod, Victorian cottage in the mountains” a little romance. I stopped by the local nursery and selected several vines. Upon my return home, I excitedly planted them and when my hubby returned home was informed that they were NOT what he wanted. They were not Virginia Creepers (I think they were English something or others which in my mind some how correlated with Virginia-yup that is how my brain works-eek!)

So we agreed to see if the new vines survived. I suspect he poured salt on them or something because not one of those vines survived the winter leaving us with no vines the next spring. The new homeowners of our old home agreed we could stop in and take a few slips to replant.  We have successfully transplanted the Virginia Creeper vines which are now thoroughly taking over the one side of the house giving it a charming feel that all “cape-cod Victorian cottages in the mountain” should have. And now that we are into fall, the foliage is changing from green to yellow to red…just beautiful. The hubs was right again! (don’t tell him I said that).

So today my boys ran into the house with handfuls of large red and yellow leaves. They wanted to do something with them. Still in a fog of sickness, I just couldn’t get into any king of major art project. So we made leaf garland….here’s how you can make your own!

Time: 10 minutes-maybe
Yarn (I think jute string would have been better but was too sick to go rummaging for it!)

1. Cut approximately 3-4′ of string/yarn

2. Begin making a knot (my husband, the master knots-man would know the name of this knot, half-hitch maybe?)

3. Slip stem of leave into open knot.

4. Tighten string around stem.  Repeat a few inches down the string. I would make the knot and then the boys slide the stem in place and tighten the string themselves. They really like doing things for themselves!

5. Continue until you have made a garland to your desired length.


I love you more than…tea

There are several children’s books with the theme of “I love you more than_________” fill in the blank. I love you more than the stars shine. Or I love you higher than the tallest mountain. I love you more than ___________fill in the rest with something extreme, big, or that you relish more than anything in the world. In our family that would be chocolate. My boys inherited their excessive delight in all things chocolate from a long line of choco-holics, their dad and both grandmothers to name a few.  Therefore they often tell me “mommy, i love you more than chocolate.” aahhh.

Oh, did you notice that my name was left out of the choco-holics list. Well that would be that my fondness for sweets lies more with fruity chewy candies than with chocolate…did I just here some gasps from readers that I dare hold fruity candies above the greatest of all sweetness, chocolate. Yes, i bow my head and admit that while I do enjoy a piece of chocolate or a sampling of chocolate desserts, it is not my be-all, end-all desserts.  So I tell my boys, I love you more than fruity chewy candy and they know I mean I love them a whole heck of a lot!

that’s the wrapper of the tea i am sipping as i type this

However, maybe I should say I love them more than …. tea?  A dear friend visited with her daughter the other day and we sat on the deck sampling some fresh zucchini bread and sipping hot tea. I think she was taken back by my selection of teas (see photo-there some teas missing in this shot) upon opening the cupboard. I admitted to drinking at least 2-3 cups of tea each night to which she was a bit surprised.  That evening as I sipped my cup of tea, both boys age 3 and 5 requested their own cup. I was truly touched and took a mental snapshot of the three of us cradling our individual cups of blueberry tea as we sat at the table and nibbled on something (what we nibbled I can’t remember-drats “mom brain” strikes again).

Among many things I’ve inherited from my “Bappa”  (grandmother), her calves, athleticism, word morphism (using words that are similar to the word you should use but in turn change the meaning of the sentence resulting in hilarity) I also acquired her English thirst for black tea with a spot of cream and sugar and often find mid afternoon a perfect time to sip a cup or two.  Maybe I shall put on a large brimmed hat and where lace gloves next time. Yes that would be much more English of me.

I raise my dainty little tea-cup and saucer to the man (or maybe it was a woman) who first thought of drying plants and steeping them in water to concoct a delectably soothing drink, tea.

Yes boys, I think I do love you more than tea, more than zingers, Earl Grey, Constant Comment, Darjeeling, Lipton, Green, Chai or any other kind of tea.  Yes, mommy loves you a whole whole lot!

Cool Playdough

With my oldest son off to kindergarten I have more hours alone with my little man who is 3.  I admit it would be easy to get lots more work done with only one in tow, I am trying to be more present with him and enjoy our solo time together…like the early days with my first son.

Today we created play dough!  Here’s an easy and fun recipe I found at http://www.playdoughrecipe.com/


  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • Food coloring


  • Mix the flour, salt, cream of tartar and oil in a pan.
  • Mix the water with the food coloring.
  • Add the water/color-mix to the other ingredients, stir well.  (it will be really runny…that’s where the next step comes in)
  • Cook on medium heat for 4-5 minutes, while constantly stirring.
  • When the mixture becomes “doughy”, remove from heat and start kneading. (the dough will be hot, so mind your hands)
  • When desired texture is achieved, the play dough is finished, enjoy!

When all done we put the playdough in a ziplock bag, pressed out all the air and stored it for later use…maybe when big bro comes home?