Friday, October 4, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 31)

Joining in the action, as I only do about once a month...

 Easter lily in October!

We got a lily last Easter to decorate the dinner table.  After it had finished blooming, I moved it to the front porch to join our other potted plants, since the leaves were still nice and green.  Over the summer, the original plant slowly died, but it left some babies behind in the pot.  One of those babies has gotten huge (it must be at least 2 feet tall!), and just the other day, decided to bloom!  It's back on the dinner table, since the nights have been getting chilly.  It's so strange to see and smell a flower that I so much associate with spring.

I whipped up a batch of this homemade pumpkin cream for my coffee the other day.  Once I realized last year that most store-bought "creams" were really just flavored corn syrup, I've been trying to stick with regular old half-and-half and sugar for my coffee (I don't have an issue with corn syrup per se, but I prefer the real stuff!) .

If it looks kinda like Caesar dressing here, that's only the salad dressing bottle fooling you!

Here's the amended version I used - none of which was organic as in the original recipe:

1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3+ tablespoons pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice + extra cinnamon
4 tablespoons Maple Syrup Corn syrup [ok, so I still used corn syrup.  I just hate maple flavor]
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk milk, cream, pumpkin, syrup, and pumpkin spice together over medium heat. When it gets steamy remove from heat and add in the vanilla. Use a strainer to transfer the cream into a jar or pitcher [removes a lot of the excess spices]. Let it cool down and chill it the refrigerator. 

I realized after the fact that I probably could have avoided buying whipping cream, and just used *two* cups of half-and-half, since that's exactly what I ended up making by mixing cream and milk.  Duh.  Oh, well.  Also, I suggest mixing up your own pumpkin pie spice (look up recipes online), since it's way cheaper than buying it.  The pumpkin cream was pretty tasty, but not as sweet as the store-bought ones.  I still added a little bit of sugar to my coffee to make it nice and unhealthy :-)

My cousins are teaching me to quilt!  I ended up going the expensive route and buying a "jellyroll" of pre-matched fabric for the first time around.  I just don't have a stash of spare fabric built up yet, and I really don't know what I'm doing.   I'm going to make a quilt for Stella, since Sly already has one that a friend gave him for his baptism.  I picked what I'm hoping is a simple pattern: Pandora's box.  Pretty, right?

Quick question for other parents: I think Sly has reached the minimum weight/height to be moved up to a booster seat in the car.  Are there any advantages to using one now, or should we just keep him in the convertible car seat until another kid needs it?

EDIT: I since found out that it's considered safer to leave them in the 5-point harness until they are 4 years old (and in some States, illegal not to).  But I don't have another Quick Take to take this one's place, so I'm leaving it.  ha!

I was all gung ho [spellcheck isn't liking that expression] about celebrating the liturgical year in July.  But with the exception of The Assumption in August, I've been pretty bad about sticking with it ever since.  There were two special Masses (one in the new rite on Oct. 1st, and one Latin Mass on Oct. 3rd) for St. Therese that I was hoping to get to this week, but things came up both evenings that prevented us.  The best I've managed to do is tell Sly on a few occasions, "Do you know what feast day is today?!"  and then asking him again before bed if he remembered.  Ugh.  

I think I need to go re-read Around the Year with the Trapp family and The Year & Our Children for inspiration.

I went to a children's consignment store to try to find some black dress shoes for Sly.  They didn't have any, but I was suckered into picking up winter boots for both kids.  Stella can't even walk yet (13 months and growing!  Come on, little girl!), so it's hard to picture her really playing in the snow in a few months...but they were cute, and only $1.50.  I couldn't resist!

I've been asking other moms I know - who have been pregnant during the winter - how they dressed for the cold weather while pregnant.  Both my kids were born in August, so all my current maternity clothes are designed for very hot weather.  Most of the women have given me the response "I was so hot even during the winter that I just wore short sleeves the whole time - you should be fine with what you have."  Forgive me for my skepticism, but I know that I am one of those people who is always freezing in the winter even when everyone around her feels that the temperature is pleasant.  I do expect I'll have to supplement my maternity wardrobe to some extent.

I looked through my winter tops, and unfortunately, they're mostly tight-fitting things like turtlenecks or fitted sweaters.  I don't think any of them will work for me very long at all.  Another issue is that my standard winter "bottoms" are a long skirt with thick tights underneath.  I *might* have enough elastic-waisted skirts to scrape by....but I know my tights won't be fitting anymore with the big belly.  Maternity tights cost $20 a pair, which is out of our price range....maybe I should just wear sweat pants under my skirts all winter, and tuck them into boots when I go out of the house so no one knows!

Quick Takes is hosted at Conversion Diary


  1. I was pregnant twice in winter. Cardigans really made a difference! I did not have a lot of money (husband in seminary) to spend on clothes either. Cardigans allowed me to wear t-shirts and still be warm. I am typically a cold person too. I wore my normal tights and they were fine(second trimester). I did splurge and get a maternity tights from Old Navy - they were great. Anywho, it wasn't terrible! (or expensive)

  2. I didn't wear short sleeves during the winter when I was pregnant! I did wear a lot of pants though. Maybe a couple pairs of leggings in a size or two up would work for wearing under skirts//dresses?

  3. Also we may not be the same size, but I would be more than willing to lend you a few maternity sweaters if they would work for you. :)

  4. I had Matthew in March and Noah in May. You are welcome to all of my maternity clothes. I know they are so expensive and my mom bought most of mine. I have them all in one happy bin. When can I get them to you?

  5. Which store did you get those boots at? So cute! I need to get some for Juls!

  6. Regular leggings worked for me until well into the third trimester. It really depends on where you're carrying (high vs low) and where the waistband of the leggings sit. If they sit just over your hips and you carry high-ish, they work. For me I wore them with Pippa until she dropped, and with Mary-Alice until June (she was an August baby) and that was more the weather meaning they weren't necessary than anything else.

    I bought one pair of maternity tights to wear for a special evening and at the end of that special evening they already had a run!!!! I was so mad. They were like $25!

    One thing I didn't like about winter pregnancies, to warn you... when you're all bundled up in a bulky coat, you look more "generally huge" than "pregnant and womanly". I'm so tall and long-torsoed that I carry small anyway, so when I wore my big military peacoat I just looked gi-mungous. That was the one consolation of being 8 months in July this year, at least people actually could tell it was pregnancy and offered me their seats and so on (although they were usually shocked when they asked me the due date and I said "August"...).

  7. Last pregnancy I whipped up some of these cardigans. They were just a quick naptime project and saved me from throwing out three good sweaters that had shrunk (or maybe I just got bigger?).
    I loved them for pregnancy and am still wearing them now postpartum.

  8. These are cute and practical! I'm not the most experienced sewer (maybe I should say "seamstress", because that sounds like I mean the place where the drains empty!), but I might be able to tackle one of these.

    1. I'm inexperienced as well, but aside from the buttonholes this is just a straight line project. Of the three I did, the one I like best is the one I made with the toggle buttons, like her first example, which avoids the buttonholes altogether. In addition to being easier, using toggles will give you extra room in the front which is good for pregnancy, and especially good if you're starting with sweaters that are too small to begin with, which I was.