Saturday, March 1, 2014

Pull-string-to-Open Packaging Stitch Tutorial

I have been wondering how they did a Pull-String to open Packaging stitch for awhile. You know the rice bags and Potato bags that you can pull the string an it opens the top.
…yet there are no tutorials I could find on how to do this. So here is my rough diy:

You will need:
a package you would like to close on one side
a sting 4.5x the length of the side you plan to do the stitch
a 3/2.10 mm crochet hook
needle whose eye your string fits through
piece of paper 3"x 1"
and Awl or something you can use as an awl

Select the edge of the package you plan to stitch

Using the Awl, Make holes across the top of the side you have chosen.
Evenly space them and don't make them too far apart

Make a slip knot at one end of your string
put the embroidery hook through the first hole

Catch the slip knot's loop and pull it through the hole

insert the hook through the next hole and catch the string. Pull the loop through the hole. 

Make a slip stitch by pulling the loop of the string through the other loop

Repeat the process above by putting the hook through the hole into a slip stitch

Slip stich all the holes until you are at the end
Pull the string from around the package side and slip stitch

Chain stitch 3 and keep your hook in the last loop so your stitching won't come out
Take your 3" x 1" piece of paper and fold it in half
Poke a hole with the awl in the center of the fold

Put the end of the string through the hole and tape down. Fold the paper back over it.

Cut slits half way down the sides through both papers like so.
This will be used to hold your loop.

use the hook to pull out the loop so it is a bit bigger.

put the piece of paper in the loop and in between the cut marks like so.  pull gently so it tighten down

There ya go


Pull up on the loop gently

Release it from the notches

Pull the string to open the package

Monday, February 3, 2014

My new favorite food!

Salmon pot pie. 

I had been meaning to make prevention magazine's salmon pot pie for some time now. 
....I was hardly disappointed.
Didn't have any half and half so I used coconut milk.

Here is the link to this fabulous dish

Salmon pot pie:

Love, I 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

BONK! Eczema Crème

Perhaps you all remember the below post: 
(refer to the bottom of the post for additional comments….
ie. why this recipe is BONK….and how to make it better)

Xire poor little dude!

Now his eczema is not as bad as some but I am beginning to see patterns in his eruptions…they happen when it gets cold. You know, I was told by my doc to see if he was allergic to anything, but to tell you the truth, I stopped looking past Milk and Gluten. He doesn't have an issue with either. We use allergen-free detergent so i know it couldn't be that…But I do know this little guy's skin hates chemicals. Get a wipie to his skin and there will be a hard-to-rid eczema visitor.
My sons are blessed from their father with Asthma, Allergies, and (for Xire, not Post) Eczema. I am not sure that his issues are solely genetic based...I'll have you know, I love blaming it on Salt Lake City's Inversion and Pollution problem (look into that on your own time). His case is just comparatively worse than his older brother, Post's.
For treatment, I was told by the pediatrician to mix Hydrocortisone and Petroleum jelly. This seemed to work for a bit and then not work at all and i have researched and found the same effects with other sufferers of Eczema. I've used diluted Apple Cider Vinegar….no luck. It is true every person's case is going to be different. I do like California Baby's eczema cream but still with that it comes back when I stop. So maybe that is going to be how it is, especially for the winter months. Colloidal Oatmeal baths seem to help him tolerate his skin. (note here: no wonder he hates when his brother touches him)

So, where was I….oh, COLLOIDAL OATMEAL!
I want this stuff on my son's skin. It makes him happy.

Back to Hydrocortisone. Use it if you like it but I am switching. I'm not so into placing steroids or other...  ummmmm stuff like that… into my body, let alone on my largest organ: My Skin. Why would I for my little boys?
If there is an alternative, there is a way.
Speaking of your largest organ:
Petroleum Jelly… where does it come from? Oil refining. So, big deal, no big deal? You decide that one. What I am concerned with is my little boy's skin. Petroleum jelly prevents the skin from breathing, taking in the moisture it needs…further more it is damaging to the skin and prevents cell regeneration damaging your skins connective tissue, elasticity, and the collagen-- whose job it is to prevent the absorption and spreading of environmental toxins, pathogenic substances, etc. So if my son has an issue with chem's then why do i want him to be more susceptible to them? Damaging his future health. We all know how polluted the world is and this would provide him with the unfortunate opportunity to suck in all that nasty stuff through his skin ten fold. So, to hell with petroleum jelly on my baby's skin.

So, what do you use on your nipples when they hurt?
I use Lanolin
What do you use to water-resist your wool diaper covers?
What the heck is that stuff?
Clue: Vegans are against the stuff……..yep, so it must be animal based. Lanolin is the waxy residue found on Sheep skin/wool that protects it from the elements. However, the collection of lanolin does not harm sheep, it is collected from sheared fleeces. (If you are against lanolin you can use shea or coconut on your skin).
This waxy gem melts at about 104F so rubbing it on your body reduces it to liquid allowing your skin to better absorb its moisturizing abilities. Lanolin can penetrate through the skins outer layers and actually nourish it from within forming a barrier that doesn't suffocate the skin like petroleum.
So I have hit home for that one….in case you missed it:
Let's tackle Hydrocortisone alternatives: is awesome and they specifically have an article on alternatives to hydrocortisone. Check it out. I've already known the powers of Calendula and Comfrey for Eczema.
The list of a few:
Licorice root

All in all I made my son his own Eczema cream from what i know:

Eczema Crème

Ingredients and quick need-to-knows:
Colloidal Oatmeal Tea
       heals, protects, moisturizes, soothes minor skin irritations, reduces itching, reduces redness, helps elasticity
Calendula Oil
       wound-healing, soothing, anti-inflammatory, minor ani-microbial
Comfrey Oil
       healing, reduce inflammation
Neem Oil (Optional)
       soothes skin irritations and dryness, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, reduces redness
Tamanu Oil
       healing, anti-neuralgic, anti-inflamatory, anti-microbial, anti-biotic properties, anti-oxidant, aid in the regeneration of skin, reduces scar appearance
Roman Chamomile Essential Oil
       Anti-inflammatory, Anti-spasmodic, analgesic, good for sensitive and inflamed skin

Here is how you make it:

1 oz Calendula Oil
1 oz Comfrey oil
.25 oz Lanolin
10 g Beeswax
1/2 t Tamanu oil
1/2 t Neem oil (optional)
15 (to 45) Drops of Roman Chamomile Essential Oil ***
8 oz glass jar
Electric Beater
2 Glass measuring cups*
1 Sauce Pan

1. In a sauce pan, fill with 1" of water and place on stove.
2. In a glass measuring cup, measure out all ingredients except the essential oil.
3. Place measuring cup in your sauce pan, you have made a double boiler (very important to heat your oils this way and you don't want to scorch them). Turn on to medium heat and wait for oils to melt together.
4. After melted, remove measuring cup from pan and add essential oil while stirring.
5. Place measuring cup in freezer for 2 min. or until it begins to for a skin onto. Remove.
6. Have your Colloidal Oatmeal Tea ready because you are going to add it slowly while you are beating your oils. Turn on you beater and starting beating your oils while slowly adding the colloidal oatmeal tea. make sure you are scraping the sides with a spatula, your want your crème to be consistent. It will only take a minute to mix it all.
7. Pour into a glass jar.


*Use glass, ceramic, or stainless steel when working with herbs or you may be changing to effectiveness of the herb you are using.

**Colloidal Oat Tea: In food processor add 2T of Steel Cut Oats. Process until a fine powder consistency like flour….this is colloidal oatmeal. In a measuring cup pour boiling water and slowly whisk in colloidal oatmeal. Cover and let steep for 5 min. drain liquid through a sieve or cheese cloth into a glass bowl.

***You can use whatever essential oils you like but I used Chamomile for its healing properties toward eczema. I also only used 15 drops because he is a little tike and it is best not to over fragrant what goes upon their skin, due to sensitivity. The Tamanu and Neem Oil can be considered stinky to some so if you don't like the smell of these oils, up your drops in the EO department; this is why it mentions 'to 45'

You can use this even if you don't have eczema on your dry skin or irritated skin or if you just need some lotion.

Ps. it will only last about a month and even better in the fridge

Additional comments

Colloidal Oat Tea = Oat milk = fermented lotion in 3 days
Neem Oil = Stinky unpleasant business

Here is a better way:
Use the above recipe except sub oat tea for oat infused olive oil; Sub water for aloe gel (the real stuff)

You  can make Oat Infused Oil by filling a jar with steal cut oats, then cover the oats with olive oil until it covers the oats by a 1/2 inch to an inch. seal the jar tight and place it in a sunny window for 2 weeks… The longer you leave it in the sun the more potent your oil will be. In fact this is a really good way to do all infused oils.

Saturday, January 11, 2014


Upon watching Disney's Ratatouille, Post insisted on eating the dish featured in the film.
So…..of course…….
With a twist of Rasta, deletion of eggplant, and the elation of tastebuds this recipe popped out of my brain.

Ratatouille with Goat Cheese Soufflé and Peach Basil Sauce

1 Yellow Squash, Sliced 1/16" tin
1 Zucchini, Sliced 1/16" tin
1 Red Pepper, Seeded and Sliced 1/16" tin
6oz Tomato Sauce
1/8 t Berbere Spice
1 T Garlic, minced
1/4 t Oregano, Dried
Olive Oil

- Preheat Oven to 375F
-In a Bowl, mix tomato sauce, garlic, and Berbere spice. Pour into a Pie Dish or oven safe ware
-Starting from edge of dish begin alternating vegetables in a spiral until you reach the middle of the dish.
-Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with oregano, salt, and pepper
-Cover with parchment paper that is cut to fit the inside of the dish, this will prevent the vegetables from browning or burning from heated olive oil.
-Place in oven and cook for 40-55 min. Veggies will be under and sauce super bubbly. 

Goat Cheese Souffle **While Ratatouille cooking**
1/2 c Goat Cheese
1T Grapeseed oil
2 egg whites, beaten until fluffy
1/4 t Thyme, Dried
Pinch Lavender, Dried
Pinch Sage, Dried
Pinch Oregano, dried
Pinch Fennel Seed, Dried and Ground
Pinch Mint, Dried

^^^Refer to above recipe for preheat temperature. 
I am combining all the recipes so it is out on the table at the same time^^^

-In a bowl mix Goat cheese, oil, and herbs
-In a separate bowl, Whisk egg whites until fluffy.
-Add egg whites to Goat cheese mixture and beat with whisk until completely combined.
-In whatever soufflé dish you plan on using, I actually use a muffin tin with muffin papers in each, spoon out mixture until it fills half way.
-Bake 20 min. until golden brown atop**
**Place in oven when Ratatouille has about 20 mins left to go**

Peach Basil Sauce ***After souffle in the oven***
1/4-1/2c of Peach, Frozen or Fresh
2 T Sugar
1 t Basil, Chopped

-In a glass dish combine ingredients and place in microwave for 1.5 min.
-Transfer peach mixture into a food processor and process until sauce consistency and combined

Serve altogether!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Get well sauce

It seems that this time of year many things tend to be going on:
School starts
Daycare starts
Allergies begin
Asthma is irritated
And we
Get sick

So today I made a wellness sauce....

2+ c of applesauce
2t grated ginger....or more
Juice of a whole lemon 
1t turmeric
Large dollop of coconut Milk (optional)
2T chia seeds
1T raw apple cider vinegar
Pinch of cinnamon

1. In a sauce pan, combine apple sauce, ginger, lemon juice, turmeric, and coconut milk. Heat on medium until simmering the. Turn down to low for 3 min. Remove from heat.
2. Mix in apple cider vinegar, chia seeds, and honey. Serve warm and top with cinnamon 

Ummmmmm so so good.

Seems to me we also need an update on the size of Irie 

She is not 6 months yet and nearing or beyond 65lbs. This is her silly snuggle face. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Treat dispenser

So I am tired of:
1. Opening a bag of treats
2. Certain people in my house liberally, and for no reason, giving the puppy treats

So..... I made a treat dispenser out of 2 jars and a miniature wooden drawer set.

You need:
2 jars
2 small pieces of fabric
1 drawer set
Super glue

1. Trace the lid of the jar on top of the drawer set
2. In the center dremel out a hole
3 superglue the fabric to the back of the drawer and then the other end to back wall of the drawer set. This serves as your blocker of the dispenser when the drawer is opened.
4. Only use the 'o' part of the jar. Glue it to the outlined hole so that when you screw the jar on the jar is upside down.
5. Done

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Irie the Black Russian Terrier!

Dear Marina, 
Irie is doing great!
We made it home at about 2p our time. 

Me at 5a ready to Drive!
Woke up around 5a to prepare every last detail for my trip and headed out at 615a. 
Right outside Bellingham, Wa
What a gorgeous drive to Canada. Made it over the line no problem and into your beautiful country! Had no problems getting there and in fact was there early so I had a moment to breath while i waited for her to arrive at the pick up spot.
The gentleman went to go get her for me and i could see her cage but couldn't see her. I said, "Irie. Baby girl." and then i saw her head poke up and look my way as he carried her towards me. I lugged the big girl in the 'big girl' cage to my car; and, Marina, you weren't kidding she is not a small one. 

I looked at her in the cage for a moment and she looked back at me. I don't know what I was looking for. Maybe I was looking for Marley's eyes. I opened the cage and we continued to have this silent moment of recognition as though we were saying, 'is it really you?' Then I gently pulled her out and checked to see if there was a mess for me to clean...honestly she was still very clean. Still very very clean. I wiped her down and then fed her. Then there was another silent moment, 'mama, I gotta go potty and i am not gonna go in this car." I put on her leash and helped her down. she must have really needed to go because she only walked about 10 feet before she decided sniffing might take to long to find a spot....she might as well just go. ha. 

We walked in circles in this little grassy area before we decided to head out. I was putting all the stuff in a bag when she was sitting in the back seat (her crate was in the back. I have a station wagon.) when I noticed her scaling the seat and then....there was another silent moment, "mama I can't get in my crate; the door is shut." Yes, she loves her crate. She loves it very much. I don't think any animal i have ever known has liked a crate. So i set the passenger seat reclined and set the crate up, door open, so that she could climb out and get on the seat or get on my lap if she wished. 

Well, needless to say she decided it was time for a nap and climbed in her crate to sleep the rest of the way out of Canada. I think the longest part of the trip was when I was waiting to get checked through the border into the U.S. One Hour....I looked over....Irie is sleeping. Time is ticking....I looked over.....Still sleeping. The car in front of me was searched. But I was smart, Usually I am looked at suspiciously being that I have tattoos and dreadlocks. In fact on my way back into the states from Costa Rica years ago I was searched, why? Because I had dreadlocks and I had to use the restroom. So back to my story, I was smart. I put my hair up into a bun and when it is like this no one can really tell that I have dreadlocks; I also, wore a cardigan to cover my ink. So when It was my turn the only comment i got from the officer was, "what is this?" as he referred to my marriage document.
"It is my marriage certificate showing that my name has changed"
"Anything to declare?"
"I bought a dog in Canada."
"Ok, ma'm, have a nice day."
He didn't even ask to see her paperwork! And i was through. Made plenty of stops to stretch my legs and let Irie out to use the bathroom. The last stretch she sat the whole way on my lap with, her head in the crook of my arm, asleep. 

When I arrived home the boys were thrilled. I had already briefed Post on the how we talk to Irie, Play with Irie, Love on Irie. He was prepared and honestly I am very impressed with the care and love he shows her. 

He talks soft, he doesn't run, he brings her her toys (all of them in a mountain!), and gives her fresh water, he asks if she needs to go potty. This boy has missed his dog. He asked me tonight if Irie was gonna get sick and then go see her Oma (our word for grandma). I told him no she is all better as long as we are loving and kind to her. I think somewhere inside he thinks maybe, because he was younger and couldn't quite grasp all of Marley, if he is mean or not well behaved then 'Marley' is going to leave him again. Poor kiddo. He will understand one day that she was here for the time that she needed to be. He was about to have a conniption before bed if we didn't read her a train book.
Xire, now that he is older, is so loving and adorable towards Irie. he sweetly pats her and kisses her and throws her ball. These children are so thrilled about her toys and that they can play with her with them. Including, the fact that that is ok. =) WONDERFUL!
Irie ate a full day's meal and, probably, then some. She has played her little heart out, used the restroom, multiple times, napped napping on my feet while I write this. She has taken to her 'den' (her crate) well and knows i won't leave her in there for long. She has taken a bath and took it like a pro. I noticed she sits on command, comes, and understands a gentle but firm no. Bravo!

She is much more calm versus Marley. Not so excitable. She is a bit shy at first and stays close to measure someone up, Doesn't jump right into the action like Marley. I think Marley was having trouble for a while in the beginning and I didn't see it and this made her distant. She didn't like to play fetch like Irie. She did like to run a lot and she loved to jump face first into the English Ivy. She was different. But all of her love and everything she put into and got out of this family is there. I see her energy shining all over Irie like 'Fairy Dust' (literally) and it puts me at peace. And she is showing me that I can love again and that she wants it to be for Irie.
I love this wonderful soul. I love how my children love her. I love you both for helping her come into this world.
Thank you, I am forever grateful!
Love, Heidi