Welcome!

Hi, I'm MamaGoose!

Loving wife to my amazing husband and best friend, stay-at-home mom to my crazy, can't-sit-still, preschool daughter (aka Goose, born Aug '09) and my gotta-get-into-everything, crawling son (aka Handsome, born Dec '12)... the loves of my life and my reason for living!

A little about me... I started blogging back when I was pregnant with Goose as a way to keep all friends and family updated on how both I and baby were doing throughout the pregnancy. After she was born, I created a blog dedicated to Goose and all of her adventures growing up, but while I was blogging for her I decided I might as well create a family blog. So when she turned one I ended her blog and created a new family blog to take it's place.

Even though I'm not the greatest blogger, and I tend to forget about it every now and then, it's something I really enjoy. I love sharing my own experiences and reading/following the experiences of others. All I have to say is whomever invented blogging, thank you!

Anyway, some of my favorite blogs to follow are craft and cooking blogs. I consider myself a crafty person and a cook-in-progress, and I've been wanting to start my own craft/cooking blog for awhile. I just never got around to it until recently, I have to say that my main motivation was the sewing machine I got for Christmas in 2011. I'm still learning how to use it, but what a great way to share my sewing experiences than on my very own blog!

Please don't forget I mentioned that I tend to forget about my blog... or more correctly that I get caught up in life and before I know it, days, weeks, or even months have past between my last post! I promise I will post as much and as often as I can though!

I hope you enjoy my blog of my many adventures in crafting, cooking, and life!

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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Yummy Meat & Potato Casserole


I just wanted to share one of our favorite dinners!  (A recipe I found on cooks.com a year or two ago.)We haven't had it in awhile so I decided to make it last night for dinner.  I had forgotten how good it really was!  =0)

The original recipe says to use lamb stew meat, which I've tried since lamb is DaddyGoose's favorite, but since I'm not a fan of lamb I've also tried making it with beef stew meat and chicken, and it's just as tasy!  Also, the recipe says to use a large casserole dish, which to me means 9x13, but I've found that it fits best in either a glass 8x8 or a 2.5qt round dish (as pictured). And I wanted to mention that it says 4 servings, but DaddyGoose and I can easily eat the whole thing in one dinner.  So if you are feeding more than 2, I would reccommend doubling the recipe!

And now the moment you've been waiting for... the recipe!

Meat & Potato Casserole

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 30min (give or take a few)
Cook Time: 2 hours

Ingredients:
  • 2 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs. Stew Meat (lamb, beef, chicken, other?)
  • 1 Onion, sliced or chopped
  • 2 Carrots, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. Flour, all-purpose
  • 1/2 c. White Wine (sub w/ White Grape Juice, Apple Juice or Chicken Broth)
  • 1 c. Beef Stock
  • 1 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • 1 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 tsp. Dill Weed
  • 4 c. Potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (about 1/2 a med potato)
  • 1 Tbsp. Butter, melted
Directions:
~ Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease casserole dish.
~ Heat oil in skillet over med heat.  Add meat and saute until browned.  With slotted spoon transfer meat to casserole dish.
~ Add onions and carrots to fat remaining in skillet, and saute 2 min.  Stir in flour and cook 1 min.  Gradually stir in wine and stock.  Bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat.
~ Stir in tomato paste and sugar.  Season with salt and pepper.  Spoon mixture over meat in dish, then stir in dill weed.
~ Arrange sliced potatoes over contents of casserole (in single layer).  Brush with melted butter, then cover with foil or lid.
~ Bake for 1 1/2 hours.
~ Increase ove heat to 400 degrees, remove lid, and bake 30 more minutes until potatoes are tender and golden.

It is a VERY time consuming dish, so it's best for the weekend or a day when you don't have plans, but it is worth the wait!  I promise!

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Pillow for My Kindle

 
 


Just wanted to share the Kindle Pillow I made myself!  I got the idea from Kim at A Sewing Bloggery.  Her tutorial is for an iPod, but I really wanted one for my Kindle so I just made her pattern bigger!  Instead of using 5", I used 9"... which by the way means a LOT more rice!  It turned out great though and works great for when my Kindle is charging (no pic but the pillow is the same width as the Kindle so it fits on its side or upright), or when I'm reading in bed!  Daddy Goose was even impressed and asked if I could make one for his iPad!

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Monday, July 23, 2012

BabyGoose

Well, for those who haven't noticed my new ticker, we are expecting baby #2!  We are very excited by this unexpected surprise and are anxiously awaited his/her on December 18, 2012!

So our first BabyGoose has officially graduated to the name Goose, and #2 is now known as BabyGoose!  Goose still gets confused, but the other day when I called a monkey she turned and looked at me and said, "No Mama, I Goose!"  lol So I think she's accepted the name!

Here's a pic of our BabyGoose at 10weeks!


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Make Mine Meatless!

We had such an yummy dinner tonight that I wanted to share!
So this month we've started the famous Dave Ramsey's Envelope System, and to get a hold on our grocery spending we've also started dinner meal planning as well.  We are on our third week and are doing very well!  It's been a much easier change than we thought it would be

Anyway, back to meal planning... So I was reseaching meal ideas and came across the idea of "Meatless Mondays."  I liked the idea, so I added it to the calendar.  The first week I found a recipe for Black Bean Burgers, and although they were good, they weren't something we wanted to add to our favorite recipes list.  Then last week was way boring with baked potatoes and baked beans.  I was about ready to dump the "Meatless Mondays" idea but tonight I decided to give it one more go, and it was a very simple but very yummy meal that we are looking forward to having again in the future!  So I guess we'll keep you around for now "Meatless Mondays"!

Bean, Cheese, Lettuce, Salsa and Avacado Tostadas & Grilled Mexican Corn


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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Laundry on Vacation

We just got back from an awesome 2 week vaction!  We drove to San Diego for a few days.  The time inbetween was either spend driving (total of 4 days) or pit stops to visit the in-laws (we stopped and stayed with them both on the way to and on the way back).  It was a great vacation!

Anyway, weeks before we went I started planning stuff that needed to be packed.  I wanted to pack lighter than we normally pack because I knew we would have access to laundry at both the in-law's and the hotel, so I searched online for some ideas on how to minimize our bulk.

In the midst of my packing search I found some other great DIY (do-it-yourself) travel ideas that I took advantage of and wanted to share!


The first one I'd like to share was super easy to make and turned out to be very convienent... Reusable Dirty Laundry Bags!  I got the idea from HERE, but she did way more work than I wanted to so I ran with the idea and did my own thing!  It was so easy and I finished all three in less than 10min.

My Dirty Laundry Pillowcase Bags -- I went to ARC and purchased 3 pillowcases (at $1 a piece) so we could each have one in our suitcase.  I hate the smell of thrift stores, so I washed mine first before doing anything, but you don't have to!  I flipped the cases inside out, took my seam ripper and undid the stitching at the top of the pillow where the fabric is folded over.  This will be your casing.  Flip it right side out, grab a string or shoe lace (I bought some at Dollar Tree for another project, so I had extra on-hand) and feed it through the casing and tie the string together at the end.  And you're done!  Super easy, right?!  And best part is I made 3 for $5 and we can use them over and over!


The next one is one that I'd like to think I came up with myself, since I haven't seen the idea anywhere before.... Reusable Laundry Detergent Sheets

As I've mentioned in other posts... at least I think I have... I have been interested in the whole DIY homemade cleaning supplies amongst other things.  I've made homemade laundry detergent and love it!  One of the things I've been wanting to make is the homemade fabric softener.. the kind where you dip your rag in the liquid then throw it in the dryer with your wet laundry.  My problem is that right before finding the idea I had just purchased a huge box of dryer sheets so I've been waiting to use them up.

Anyway when I was getting ready to pack toiletries, one thing I knew I needed was laundry soap.  And that's when the thought came to me!  Why not use the rags for laundry detergent instead of fabric softener?   So I went and grabbed one of the many baby washcloths I had in the closet to test my idea out.  First I poured my 1/4 cup detergent in a bowl and stuck my washcloth in to see if it was big enough to soak it all up... it was!  I had a load in the washer ready to be started, so I threw it in and waited.  The rsults were just as good as if I had just thrown in my cup of detergent.

So when I packed I dipped my washcloths in the detergent, put them a ziplock bag, then to make sure they wouldn't leak, I threw them in my mini-wet bag.  This made doing laundry on our trip so much easier!  No more worrying about a container of laundry detergent spilling on our trips, because we will be doing this every trip from now on!

*If you try this, I'd love to hear how it goes for you!

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Homemade Baby Wipes

It's been a couple months now that I have been making homemade baby wipes, and I am for certain not going back to store-bought wipes!  Not only is making my own wipes super easy, but now I know exactly what I'm putting on Goose's precious bottom, and we're saving money too!  It's a win-win!

The original recipe I started using I found at White House Black Shutters.  But I found that 4 cups of water was too much and I had to squeeze out each wipe before using.  I also noticed a little mold in the bottom of my containers.  After doing some online research I learned that it was because I wasn't using them fast enough.  My solution was to switch to distilled water instead of tap water, and I also started making 1/2 batches at a time to make sure I use what I make.
So enough babbling, here is the recipe I use to make my wipes, using similar steps as White House Black Shutters:

Homemade Baby Wipes
Makes 1/2 Batch

Supplies:
  • Container with lid - I got mine at the Dollar Tree, but I don't reccommend it
  • 1/2 roll Paper Towels - cut full roll in half with sharp knife, save other 1/2 for later
  • 1 1/2 cups warm Distilled Water
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 2-3 drops Baby Shampoo - I use California Baby Tea Tee & Lavendar Shampoo/Bodywash
  • 1 drop Baby Lotion - Optional.. sometimes I do this and sometimes I don't
Directions:

1. Mix water, oil, shampoo and lotion in the container.
  
2. Add paper towels and lid, aking sure it is well sealed.
   (Make sure the cut side of teh paper towel is on the bottom.)


 
 3. Flip container upside down for at least 5min.








 4. Flip right side up and remove cardboard center. Use!

(Pull wipes from the center.)









Let me know if you try it and what you think!

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Friday, March 30, 2012

Pin Cushions

Wow!  I knew I was falling behind with keeping my blog updated, but I didn't realize that it's been over a month since my last post!  I have so many things to share!  We'll start with my pin cushions!I know I'm not the only one who hates the darn tomatoes or strawberries or whatever they are supposed to be.  At my first sewing class I actually got a blue one as part of a free beginners sewing kit, so I guess it was a blueberry?  Anyway, I think they are ugly, so I wanted to make something prettier to help keep me in a good mood while I'm working on projects, so off to Pinterest I went to look for some good ideas!

And this is what I found!  Too cute, right?!


So off to the store I went to get some cute fabric for mine.. I ended up getting a few fat quarters for $.99/each at walmart.  And I wish I had pictures from start to finish, but I dont, sorry!  But here is what I made:


I think it turned out pretty good! My first time sewing a cube, so I can't complain too much, but the one this I didn't care for was that it wasn't very sturdy.  I wanted something that would sit on mmy table without rolling over, so back to Pinterest I went where I found this tuna can pin cushion, and thought PERFECT!

upcycle-tuna-can-pincusion

The easy part was making tuna salad for lunch, but the hard part was cleaning the darn can!  I tried soap and water like suggested, but my can still stunk of tuna, so then I tried vinegar.  Still no luck.  Then I tried lemon juice, then bleach, then baking soda, and still the can stunk of tuna, so I gave up and threw the darn can away! 

So I moved to Plan B, which was using a plastic yogurt container instead.  It was easy to clean, and easy to paint!  I was worried that it would be hard to paint because of the smooth surface, but to my surprise it was very easy.  I just used black craft paint and a brush and painted it on like you would on any other craft project.  It took about 3 coats to make it look even, but even still it only took maybe 15min.  After the last coat was dry, I sprayed it with a semi-gloss sealer to help prevent the paint from scratching off.  I followed the same directions used by Kara in the original post, except instead of shoving fiberfill into my fabric, I decided to just put a thin layer of fiberfill then put my ugly "blueberry" inside, tied it up, glued it into my yogurt container, and it fit perfectly!  Then, as Kara also did, I added some ribbon and buttons with hot glue to finish it off!

(Please ignore the white thread!  It kept sticking, darn static!)

Now my ugly "blueberry" is cute as a button, and I love, love, love it!  Goose calls it a cupcake and says "Yum Mama!" everytime she sees it!

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Taste the Rainbow II

Speaking of rainbows, I guess now would be good a time as any to share the Christmas gift I made for my mom's fiance!

I joined BabyCenter.com when I was pregnant with Goose, and within BabyCenter there is a group called Crafty Mamas which I joined.  A couples months before Christmas they started a post called "Homemade Gifts" where I found this gift idea...
So what is the gift you ask???  Jolly Rancher Vodka! 


Here's how I made it:


Supplies:
  • Jolly Ranchers
  • 5 Mini-Vodka Bottles
  • 1 Large Bottle of Vodka
  • Goo-Gone
Directions:
Step 1
Empty out our mini-vodka bottles and use Goo-Gone to clean off the labels, and wash them with soap and water.  Alternatively, you could also purchase empty clear glass flasks for this.  I personally could not find inexpensive glass flasks, so that's why I opted to go this route.

Step 2
Unwrap your Jolly Rachers and place in your flasks/bottles.  I used 3 of each color for my 2.5oz bottles.  Next, fill your bottles with vodka.  Make sure to leave some space at the top because as the Jolly Ranchers dissolve, it will fill the bottle more.  Now you just let them sit on the counter until the candy dissolves!

Here's what they will start to look like:

And what they will look like when they're all done!
You may have to shake them a little to make sure they are mixed well.  I can't remember exactly how long it took for the candy to dissolve, but I'm preetty sure it took a couple days.  And like I shem!aid, I'm not an alcohol drinker, so I didn't try these when they were done, but if you are a Jolly Rancher lover and love your vodka, then I'm sure you would love them combined!  (I know my mom's fiance loved them!)

Enjoy!
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Taste the Rainbow

On one of my random browsings on Pinterest I came across this awesome Rainbow Bread, so I pinned it.  DaddyGoose had been really into making homemade bread lately, and has made both white and rye bread.  I've been feeling left out, so yesterday I took the plundge and not only made my first loaf of homemade bread, but it was my first time using a bread machine, and my first attempt at making rainbow bread. 

All I can say is wow!  It turned out way better than I was expecting it to!  The crust was a little on the hard side, but the inside was perfect.  And the "hardest" part was mixing the different colors into the bread.. Actually, it wasn't that difficult, more time-consuming than anything.  I think I'll make some more this weekend for Jocelyn's Princess Valentine's party!


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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Book me!

Well, since my class yesterday I've been itching to sew something else, so I did!  I searched online for some simple projects that didn't use alot of fabric (since I really only have scraps that I got after raiding my mom's sewing drawer), and I came across this fabric heart bookmark.  I gave it a whirl, and I had the hardest time!  I thought I would have no problem around the curves, but it was so hard.  I'm sure with practice I will eventually get it, but needless to say, my bookmark did not turn out well at all!  (Hence the reason there is no picture!) 

So since that didn't turn out as planned, I wanted to try something else that would hopefully come out better.  I started searching again and found this checkbook cover.  I figured it only had straight stitches and only used 2 pieces of fabric (well 4 if you include the interfacing), and since I learned about interfacing in my class yesterday, I figured I'd give it a try!

The results... I am very happy with how it turned out!  I cut my fabric a little crooked, and therefore my stitching is a little off, but oh well!  It's only my 2nd project, right?!  If I make one again, I think I will make it wider and longer so my checkbook and register can fit in it better, so that it can stay closed on it's own.  Or maybe I'll get adventurous and figure out a way to put a tie or a button on it!



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I'm finally sewing!

I finally had my first sewing class yesterday, Sewing 101 at Joann's, and all I have to say is that I am in LOVE with sewing!  It was a 2 1/2 hour class and I learned a TON!  About fabric, thread, needles, and tools, etc.  Plus we made a small bag for our project, and the best part is there was only 1 other lady in the class so I had a lot of one-on-one help learning about MY sewing machine!

Here's my beautiful sewing machine!  It's a Singer Brilliance and a gift from my mom for Christmas. Thank you mom!  I know I'm just beginner, and I don't remember anything about the type of machine I used in home ec, but the features I love on my machine are the automatic needle threader, the automatic reverse button, and of course the 99 decorative stitches I have to choose from!  I don't know if I will ever even use them all, but I love having options.  =0)

And here is the project I made in class!  It's a small draw string bag.  I'm not sure what size it is after sewn, but the pattern we used was a basic 8.5x11 sheet of paper.  It has a lot of imperfections, but I am very proud of my first project!  It's great for holding all my little sewing supplies!

I'm already signed up for Sewing 201 in a couple weeks, and can't wait to learn more!  I'm really itching to make something else, so I'm most likely going to find a simple project to practice with, or maybe I'll make another bag, who knows!
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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

52 Reasons Why I Love You

DaddyGoose is a hard man to get gifts for, and it doesn't help that Christmas in December, his birthday is in January, and Valentine's Day is in February!  We decided to skip getting each other gifts for Christmas, and he told me not to get him anything for his birthday, so I had been thinking really hard for what to get him for Valentine's Day.  Then I came across this 52 Reason I Love You idea on Pinterest and decided it was the perfect idea!  Not a huge gift, but it has huge meaning. 

Instead of using an old card deck, I decided to make my own cards online (make your own card deck), then I hand-wrote my reasons on the cards for a personal touch.  I finished them this morning and I am very happy with how the whole project turned out!  I hope he loves it!
Front





Back
Happy Valentine's Day DaddyGoose!  I love you!

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Zoo Lunches

Because the weather was so nice last week, we decided to take a field trip to the zoo! And DaddyGoose was able to get the day off to go with us! As always, I packed our picnic lunches in our awesome EasyLunchBoxes! I LOVE these lunch boxes. We've only had ours about a year, but I don't regret buying them at all because we use them ALL the time! I love not having to pack a million different containers because everything fits nicely in one little box.   AND their website offers a ton of great lunch ideas in case you ever get tired of eatin gthe same thing!  Anyway, enough babbling, here's what I packed us the night before:

BabyGoose had a PB&J "moon" sandwich with cheese crackers, cantelope, string cheese and a juice box. DaddyGoose had a turkery and cheese sandwich with on white breat with a string cheese, chips, and a waterbottle. And I had a turkey and cheese sandwich on french bread with crackers, a mini salad, raspberry vinegarette dressing and a waterbottle. Yum!


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