Monday, October 20, 2014

Harry Potter Quidditch Costume

Here is the next installment of our Halloween O' Book Characters. I have already shared the Elephant and Piggie Costumes based on Mo Willems delightful children's book series. Now I am sharing this Harry Potter Quidditch costume.

I mean if you are going to do a book character Halloween theme, there has to be a Harry Potter. Oldest loves Harry Potter. The Harry Potter was the first real big series that he read. He actually started the series so early that I had to stop him for a year or so at book four. He has now read them all. He has seen all the movies.

He thinks Harry Potter is pretty awesome. So last year when I promised him that he could choose his costume, he immediately said, "I want to be Harry Potter."

As Halloween finally approached, I talked to him about forgoing the traditional Harry Potter costume and trying to put together the Quidditch Harry Potter.

He was all for it. So I started looking up pictures of Harry Potter in his Quidditch uniform and used that as my guide to creating the costume.

This costume has a lot, like a lot, a lot of pieces.

The Quidditch robe is burgundy cotton lined with yellow cotton. I did alter a robe pattern to make it. I then made a very simple patch out of felt.

I used felt for the name and Harry's number.

The Quidditch uniform wouldn't be complete without the leather protective gear. I used boating vinyl and biased tape to imitate the leather gear.

My little Harry Potter proudly sports the traditional Gryffindor colors. The Gryffindor Quidditch uniform sports a burgundy and gold sweater. Since I can't knit AND because I didn't want to spend $40 on a costume sweater, I whipped up this bad boy using fleece.

I paired it with cream pants made from flannel.

Then we added in some store bought Harry Potter glasses.

And you have the perfect Harry Potter Quidditch Halloween costume. Okay, so maybe almost perfect. We decided to forgo adding a broom to the costume. After all, who wants to carry around a broom while trick or treating.

Not this Harry Potter.

He is pretty awesome all by himself.

I have one more costume left. I am excited to show that one to have to finish start it. Ha!

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Pinteresting Wednesday: Fabric Bow Headband

I have been seriously MIA lately. Like someone should be putting my face on a milk carton. I was looking at my posting history over the last couple of months and I almost couldn't believe how little I have existed on my blog.

Don't worry! I mean I know you are worried and all.

I am existing, I am just existing like a chicken with my head cut off. Running here and there. Running everywhere...wait did this just turn into a Dr. Seuss book? Why yes, yes it did. I have been projecting, cooking, costuming, mommaing, driving, cleaning, oh you know the list goes on.

Amidst of some of my to-doing, another item of my Pinterest board got done. Since you know I used to do that whole A Pinteresting Wednesday thing. This week I am bringing it back. I am bringing it back because this Fabric Bow tutorial from Craftaholics Anonymous is easy and produces the very cutest little bows ever.

Head on over to get her tutorial.To make some fabric bows I just needed was to find some cute scraps and some headband elastic. I whipped these up like super duper fast. They are just the cutest! THE cutest.

Of course I do not currently have a fabric bow headband wearing child at my house, and I am not announcing the arrival of one. So these sweet little gems went straight to my friend's adorable little baby girl.

Just like that I have crossed something off my Pinterest list. About time too. That list is getting out of control.  I just can't seem to help myself from pinning all the fabulousness out there. This recent dive back to A Pinteresting Wednesday has me excited to cross of more projects and harness more inspiration. Woot!

With Christmas coming, I think I am going to be seeing a lot more of my Gifts For Others pin board. Which of your pin boards is you favorite? Do share. I am always looking for more awesome pin boards to follow!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Meet This Mormon

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We belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, otherwise known as "The Mormons". We are proud of this part of who we are! We are excited to team up with over 65+ of us strong... to extend an invitation to see a film. A film entitled "Meet The Mormons". This film is not meant to be an "in your face" - you must join our church film. It is simply designed and produced to uplift and inspire you through six stories of those of our faith who have followed promptings to follow Christ more fully in their lives. We hope you take the opportunity to enjoy this film. We hope your hearts are made light as you feel the goodness that comes from following our Christ and Savior. All proceeds from the film will be donated to The American Red Cross. So not only will you be uplifted and inspired, your money will be going to an amazing charity!!

We also would like to take a moment and share our personal testimonies, stories of our own personal conversions, and our own stories of how following our Savior, Jesus Christ has changed our lives. The light of the gospel of Jesus Christ offers a joy and hope that only following him can provide. We hope as you click through and read our stories and testimonies of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, you will feel uplifted and encouraged. We are by you! We love connecting with our readers, that is why many of us do what we do! Please be kind and considerate in your comments. It takes great bravery for us to open our hearts and our mouths to share with you such a tender and personal part of who we are. We share because we feel strongly the need to share the peace and the hope that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I'm A Mormon #1
Anita | Live Like You Are Rich, Landee | Landee Lu , Tara & Devin | Salt & Pepper Moms , Mallory & Savannah | Classy Clutter Kelli & Kristi| Lolly Jane
McKenzie | Girl Loves Glam , Pam & Lisa | Over The Big Moon , Melanie | Forty Eighteen , Sky | Capital B Adell | Baked in Arizona 

I'm a Mormon #2
Andie | Maybe I Will , Shatzi | Love and Laundry , Robyn | Create it Go , Rachel | R & R Workshop
Tiffany | Feel Great In 8 , Katelyn | What Up Fagens? , Brittany | BrittanyBullen , Ginger | Ginger Snap Crafts , Stephanie | Crafting In The Rain
Chelsey | Cee Me Be , Amber | Crazy Little Projects , Kallie | Smitten By, Elyse, Kristen, Lauren, Steph, Kendra & Camille | Six Sisters Stuff Annette | Tips From A Typical Mom
Kierste | Simply Kierste , Tayler | The Morrell Tale, Jennifer | My Daylights , Cambria | Live To Be Inspired, Danielle | Today's The Best Day 

I'm a Mormon #3
Nat & Holly | My Sister's Suitcase, Britni| Play.Party.Pin , Montserrat | Cranial Hiccups , Heidi | A Lively Hope , Ashley & Meegan | Flats to Flip Flops

I am so excited to be joining a great group of bloggers not only the celebrating the release of a very inspiration movie, Meet The Mormons, but also in sharing a bit about ourselves, our beliefs, and who we are.

My name is Larissa. I am a wife. A mother. A daughter. A sister. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in other words I am Mormon. On the blog I frequently mention being Mormon, serving in the church, and my gospel beliefs. However, today I want to go a little deeper and share with you what I believe and know, why I believe, and how believing has influenced my life.

I am sharing from the heart today, and I hope something I write touches your heart.

The gospel of Jesus Christ brings joy to my life. All that I have I owe to the gospel and my knowledge that Jesus Christ is my Savior and that I have a Heavenly Father who loves and knows me personally.

I am here on Earth as a Daughter of God to experience sorrow, joy, trials, and success. I am here to learn and recollect about who I am and Whose I am. I have the ability to choose good. I know that the ability to choose is a gift. Every day I am faced with choices I have to make. I have guidance in those choices through the Holy Spirit, the scriptures, and counsel from living prophets. This means that I am not left alone having to figure out what to make of the world around me. Heavenly Father loves each one of us so much that He is constantly showing us the way towards joy and happiness.

I know that the scriptures, including the Book of Mormon, are the word of God. The Book of Mormon was translated by Joseph Smith under the direction of the Savior. The scriptures bring me peace, and I know that the peace comes from the counsel I receive from reading them.

I know my Father in Heaven hears my prayers, as I know He hears all His children. Nothing is too small to go to Him. After all, He is our Father.

I know the Temples of the Lord are houses of God. They are a sanctuary from the storms of the world. In the temple I can make promises and commitments that allow me to be with my husband and children forever. Families are forever. How amazing is that?!?

I know there are living prophets on the earth. I know their counsel comes directly from the Lord. Since I know my Savior loves me, I have faith and trust in this counsel. I gain courage from the knowledge that the Lord speaks to modern day prophets.

I am not perfect, nor am I expected to be. However, I can be perfected over time through the Atoning sacrifice of my Savior. He died so that I may live. Live with both Him and my Father in Heaven. I may overcome my mistakes through repentance and I can avoid sin through obedience to God's commandments. Commandments that are life preservers keeping me afloat amidst the storms of the world.

I also have the example of my Savior. I can be who I am meant to be and act how I am supposed to act by following His example.  My Father in Heaven sent His son to Earth so that we can return to live with Him because we are His children.

I am a Daughter of God. All I need to know, all the peace and comfort I ever need is met with that statement.

I came to know all of this for myself through my own experiences, prayerful conversations with my Father in Heaven, scripture study, and personal revelation. No one can take this away from me. My beliefs and knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ are personal.

When you know who you are and Whose you are, there is a power, a peace, and complete joy. Life is still life, but knowing who I am has made it more full. This knowledge has helped me find more joy in happy moments, and peace and comfort in moments of hardship.

If you have any questions, is a great place to learn more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I am so grateful to have the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life.  The gospel makes me happy. Thanks for letting me share with you what makes me happy.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Cauliflower Corn Chowder

Every so often we order a basket of fresh fruit and veggies from Bountiful Baskets. If you haven't ordered from Bountiful Baskets before, it is a like a jackpot of fruits and vegetables. In your order there is half fruit and half veggies, but you never know what exactly you are going to get.

We never ever have a problem eating the fruit. We know how to throw back our fruit. However, we don't always know what to do with the vegetables. I wish I could tell you that we eat all our vegetables happily. Um...we don't. Oh we still eat them, just not always happily. Hang head in shame now.

This last bunch of healthy goodness had a bunch cauliflower. Add that cauliflower to a fridge already full of veggies and you have this chowder just calling your name.

Well not really, that would be weird. No one wants to eat food that call's their name. Who am I kidding, I would eat this chowder even if it called my name over a bull horn.

It is that good. Good and packed full with vegetables.

This chowder might also be topped with bacon. BACON people. That is a vegetable right? Shh, let's just pretend. Bacon is a vegetable. Bacon is a vegetable. Bacon is healthy. Eat five servings of bacon a day. Okay maybe that is too far.

This chowder is amazing. My boys all ate it. All of them had seconds and one of them had three bowls. THREE. That right there is a momma miracle. I do feel the need to mention that the subsequent bowls didn't have bacon on top. That right there is saying something.

It is saying this Cauliflower Corn Chowder is amazing. That is what it is saying.

Cauliflower Corn Chowder

4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 medium onion, diced
2-3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 head of cauliflower, roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup flour
4 cups chicken sodium
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
salt and pepper

Cook bacon first. Set aside.

Heat a stock pot over medium high heat and melt the butter. Once the butter is melted add in the garlic, onion, carrots, and celery. Stir frequently until the vegetables are tender. Which should take 4-5 minutes. Stir in cauliflower and bay leaf. Stir occasionally, making sure to not break up the bay leaf. Cook until the cauliflower is tender, about 5-6 minutes.

Stir in the flour and stir while cooking for 1 minute. Then slowly add in the chicken broth and milk. Stir constantly for 3-4 minutes while it thickens slightly. Stir in the corn.

Bring the chowder to a boil. Then reduce it to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 12-15 minutes. Remove the bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper.

Top with bacon.

Adapted from: Damn Delicious

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

How to Can Applesauce

We love canning applesauce over here. We also love eating applesauce over here. Hence the necessity of canning applesauce.

Last year was the first year we attempted to can our own applesauce. What we found out was that homemade canned applesauce is the very best thing ever. We also found out it is easy to make. We also found out we should have made more, because we ate it all up super fast. And by we, I mean our children, also known as the bottomless pits.

So this year we made double. We probably could have made triple, but I didn't want to buy more jars. Ha!

Now that we have partaken of the goodness of homemade applesauce we feel we should pass on the love. So today I am walking you through How to Can Applesauce.

We can about 60 pounds of apples at a time. I recommend canning at least 20 pounds. We can either pint and a half jars or quart jars. Twenty pounds will yield about 4-6 quarts.

First is the preparation. Before I start canning I get everything ready. I wash the jars in hot water. I line them up on a cookie sheet and keep them in the oven set on the lowest temperature. Next, wash the rings and the lids. Then put them into a saucepan of simmering water. Keep them there until ready to use.

Now that the jars are ready rinse the apples.

Quarter the apples. Remove the stems.

Fill one or two stock pots 2/3 full of water. Bring to a boil. Add apples into the water in batches. Cook until the apples are soft. About 10-15 apples, depending on the the crispness of the apples.

Once they are cooked, remove them from the boiling water with a spider. Place them in a bowl and let them cool off slightly. While they are cooling, put in more apples into the boiling water.

After the apples have cooled slightly it is time to mash it all up. If you are going to make canning applesauce a regular thing then I kind of insist you get yourself one of these glorious machines.

This is a Victorio. A Victorio is a food strainer and sauce maker. It is also one of the best inventions ever. A Victorio strains through the cooked apples and separate it from the skin and core.

The sauce comes out this part.

The left over stuff comes out the shoot. Make sure you have bowls under both the sauce part and the shoot.

We cook the applesauce in 4 quart batches. Put 4 quarts of applesauce into a stockpot. Add in 3 Tablespoons of lemon juice. Stir in 2 cups of sugar (you can use more or less depending on the sweetness of the apples). Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat stirring constantly.

Remove a few jars from the oven. Ladle the sauce into the jars. Remove the air bubbles. Wipe of the rim of the jar. Remove a lid and ring from the water and secure in place.

Repeat the above process until all the apples have been turned into sauce.

To process the jars, use a water bath canner. You will can the jars in 7-8 jar batches. Fill the water bath canner with enough water that there is about an inch of water coverage over the jars. Cover. Bring to a boil.

Once the water comes to a boil, process the jars for 20 minutes (adjust for altitude--check altitude adjustment chart HERE). Turn off water and let the jars remain in the water for 5 minutes before taking them out. Take out the jars and let them cool. Check the seal after 24 hours. Lids should not pop and down if they are sealed correctly.

Now you have all the applesauce goodness you could want. Well at least until your kids eat it all gone.

An alternate recipe is to use Jello to flavor the applesauce. The flavors we use are strawberry, peach, and mango. Add in one box of Jello when you add in the sugar and decrease the sugar to 1/2 cup.

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