Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Bold & The Beauties + Jamba What?

{More Flying the Coop}

Two more mobiles are on their way to decorate the room of a special wonder soon to enter the world, and a "big girl" beauty turning three. The first is a custom order similar to some you may have already seen on my blog before.

So many people enjoy the bold colors and patterns of these fabrics. Perfect eye-catchers for precious, creative developing minds.

Another one going out is for a little Georgian {as in Atlanta} dear who loves pink, green, and polka dots. The big girl is turning three and Grandma wanted to dress up her room with something sweet to match her granddaughter. Thus...

{I wish pictures could really capture how playful and fun these mobiles are.} Each bird has its own personality, but each carries the theme of pink, green, and polka dots, just for little Julia.

{Jamba What?!}

The kids and I had a blast enjoying the sunshine today. It's amazing what a mood booster the sun is. Despite having to go to a doctor's appointment for Little Dude, running to the post office, and stopping in a few stores in a hunt to find little dude undies {really, no one carries them in SLO?!}, we had a great day and thank God for all of the beauty He gives us.

In need of some fuel, we stopped in at Jamba Juice. I'm usually not a huge fan of "Jamba" as their drinks tend to be just calorie bombs. {Huge comment: Most of their ingredients are excellent, it's just the quantities that they come in - heavy, heavy carbs - that are too infrequently balanced out with enough protein to make it a good snack/meal.}

Our usual is their "Bright Eyed & Blueberry" as it doesn't have sherbet or juice {"extra" calories} and it's made with soy milk and non-fat yogurt giving it the most protein in any fruit drink they make {according to my research a few years ago, mind you} without adding protein "boosts" {why have powder when you can eat the real thing?}.

We ran into my friend Sharon with her sweetie-pie son Ian at Jamba and they were enjoying a new Fruit & Veggie Smoothie. Very cool to see vegetables in a smoothie - finally! It passed the Ian test so we went for it.

The kids tried the "berry upBEET" and I had "orange carrot karma" and I asked them to add non-fat yogurt to give the drinks some protein. They were really good! Calories were only 180-230 per 16 oz servings {the kids split that}. Not sure how much beet or carrot was actually in them, but the nutrition profile says they provide over 200% the RDA {for adults} for Vitamin A and over 100% for Vitamin C with very little sodium or fat and a descent amount of fiber. Ingredients look good too. A good snack/meal choice in my book, on occasion.

So, now you know my humble opinion. Enjoy the sun!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Going "Anthro" on Ya + Hiding

{Going "Anthro" on Ya}

An order came in from a woman on the East Coast that wanted birds to match her child's room that "looks like a page out of "Anthropologie". She wanted muted greens, blues, yellows, and natural tones. Nothing too modern; something sweet; and a mobile that would be perfect for her Anthropologie little boy. The result? A new look.

I bought a Christmas tree ornament from Anthropologie a few years ago and it hangs in my son's room year-round.

Isn't it sweet? It was an inspiration for my first birds, and now is the inspiration for this new style of Cookie+Curly bird mobile.

{These mobiles are so darn hard to capture on camera. You just need to be there... or order your own.} This mobile is hand-wrapped with soft, off-white lamb's wool yarn with thin brown speckled accents.

And this little one needed wings in order to stay in flight.

I love doing custom orders {most of my business} as everyone has such wonderful ideas for their perfect mobile {colors, branches, size} and it inspires me so much!

What's your order going to look like?

I resorted to hiding. I hate to admit it as I'm not a huge fan of parents hiding foods not eagerly eaten {i.e. vegetables} in welcomed foods, but my little Princess is going through a phase of refusing almost all vegetables and it's driving me CRAZY!! Crazy. 

So, I tried it. Frozen spinach, warmed/thawed and blended into blueberry Kefir. You actually can't taste the spinach at all so, moms, go for it if you need to. My little, sweet Princess, however, knew it. She has a remarkable way of finding new textures in foods and... well... spitting them out. And in her adorable voice she exclaims, "I not like this."

Well, the concoction passed Little Dude's inspection and it went down no problem. He even asked for seconds. God bless him. Broccoli, however, wasn't quite the hit for him tonight. Although I almost held back tears when little Princess gobbled up a good amount of broccoli on her own. Tears. The simple pleasures in life.

I usually only use marinara/pasta sauce for dips for vegetables {to maximize the veggie intake} however I think my kids have gotten tired of that. At VONS today though, I was reminded why I don't buy other dips or dressings - They're all full of fillers, sugar, fat, and things I can't pronounce! The best one I could find was this "All Natural Ranch Yogurt Dressing" under VONS' private label. 

Still tastes a bit fake to me, but it helped some broccoli go down. I'm going to look into making my own dip. What do you buy/make?

P.S. Thank you for all the email responses to my Blog. Please feel free to add Comments below here though as some of you sound like you're in the same boat and would appreciate hearing what each other has to say.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Autumn Has Fallen and Needs Help Up

Buy a Little - Help a Lot

15% proceeds go to a special 4-year old in need 

A group of us wanted to get together for a fun, Springtime boutique, but then something very devastating happened. My son, Calvin's, preschool crush, Autumn, was diagnosed with cancer. She had only been 4 for a short while when an unpleasant surprise hit her and she had to have her kidney and a tumor the size of a cantaloupe removed from her abdomen. I can't imagine all that she and her family are going through. You can read more here.

In an effort to show support for her and her family, 15% of all proceeds from our boutique will go to Autumn's family. Now that you know "Why", here's are the rest of the details...

* 1724 Farrier Court, SLO {near Costco}
* April 7th {Thursday} 6:30-9:30pm; April 8th {Friday} 8:45-11:45 am

* Cookie+Curly {your favorite :)} with bird and butterfly mobiles, stationary, and more.
* "natty threads" by Natalia Wellman {chic handmade items like plush dolls, fabric envelope handbags, appliqued tees}
* Aloette by Kristen Jones
* "head trip" by Glory Van Horn {precious handmade headbands for all ages}
* Stella & Dot by Summer Kabaker {boutique-style jewelry}
* Frames by Sabrina {paper covered & sealed frames by a 10 year old entrepreneur}

I'm so glad so many of you enjoyed The Stitch Market {the next one's around May} and the Holiday Hoopla. Your support for Cookie+Curly and your interest in other crafty-gals was overwhelming. Thank you! I really hope to see you at this one too.

If you think you can come, I'd love to know. And, bring friends! Perfect for Girls' Night or after dropping the little ones at school.

Hope you're all well!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Amy, one of the sweetest, selfless, and most enjoyable friends I have, has a son, Wyatt, who just celebrated his third birthday this past weekend. To help celebrate, I made him a cape. {Every three year old boy needs a cape. Every three year old girl needs pom-poms &/or a boa.}

The basic design came from this blog, but I made some adjustments I thought ended up being good moves for the end product.

1. Find an image you like or free-hand your design of choice.

2. Trace the image onto fusible webbing {I used Wonder Under} - One for each color. Because the black of the cape was going to show through the {cheap} yellow felt which would be the background of the "Super W", I made an extra triangle of Wonder Under for some white fabric to be the base layer under the yellow felt.
3. Cut out the Wonder Under, not being exact at all, and follow the directions to iron it onto the fabric of choice.

4. Use an exacto knife and cut out the different piece of the applique. {white triangle, yellow triangle, red "Super W"}. Note: Initially I was going to do an orange background and this fun polka dot fabric for the "W". It didn't look right.

5. You'll need 2 yards of fabric for the cape. I chose black on one side {for the drama in every three year old} and a fun Superman print for the other. Fold the fabric in half, measure 6 inches down, mark that spot, and then measure at least 20 inches {I did 22 inches} down the seam. Mark that spot. Then draw your cape - I used my kid's chalk - and cut it out.

This is where I used the guidance of the Puking Pastilles blog but I made mine wider and longer.

6. Fold the second fabric choice in half and place the first fabric on top of it. Cut out another cape.

7. Choose which side will have the applique {you can do both sides but an applique would get lost in the print I chose for the second side} and place the first layer of the applique {here, the white one} where you want it to be on the cape - I centered it and measured about 4.5 inches down from the neckline.

8. Follow the directions and iron the first layer {white} onto the cape. Continue to layer, adding the second layer {yellow} and then the third {red}. Note: Cut the bottom layers a tad bit smaller than the top layer so they can't be seen on the sides of the top layer.

9. Sew the edges of the applique fabric down using a zigzag stitch and matching thread.
Bad lighting. Sorry.
Bada-bing, bada-bang:

10. Knowing how my son treats capes, I wanted to make sure the neckline and straps were durable so I ironed on a mid-weight fusible webbing onto the "arms" of the cape.

11. Pin the right sides of the capes together and make a 1/4-1/2" seam around the cape. Be sure to leave a gap for turning the cape inside out - I forgot!

12. Be sure to clip all curves in the fabric to ensure that the fabric lays flat once turned inside out.

13. {Optional: Iron the fabric flat.} Again, sew around the cape to finish off the edges. I used red thread for both sides - Make sure you coordinate thread for both fabrics.

14. Velcro always itches and irritates my kids so instead of using velcro for the closure I hand-sewed on two black snaps. An initial challenge for a three year old to learn, but age-appropriate and totally doable. Adjustable too.

15. Final product...
The wind makes the black fabric look weird here
and with the extra fabric I made a reusable gift bag for the cape.

While I wasn't able to go to the party as my little dude and I are STILL sick {come on!!}, my husband took some precious pictures of Wyatt in his cape. I think he liked it!

This project did take more time than I expected, but it was well worth it and the second one will take a lot less time. Let me know if you try it out!


Simple Sweetness + Winner, Winner

{Simple Sweetness}

Blankies and blankets continue to go out to all of those adorable little ones celebrating births, and birthdays. Remember: Dollar shipping and free pacifier "leash" when ordered through Cookie+Curly's website.

{Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner}

I have gotten so drained trying to figure out dinner for my kids lately. For this reason, I'm on a mission to revamp the kid's usual dinner routine {results will be shared upon completion} but in the meantime, I'm sticking to serving what I know will go down well. I'll do anything to avoid another night of tears because they don't want to eat what I made. {Doesn't happen ALL the time, but enough so that something has to change.}

SO, these are my sure-to-be-eaten chicken fingers that relieve my do-I-HAVE-to-figure-out-another-dinner woes.

1. Preheat oven to 415F
2. Mix 1 egg, 1 Tbsp honey, & 1/3 c milk, 1 tsp of mustard (optional) in a shallow dish
3. In another dish, crush about 2 c bran flakes (or any other whole grain cereal)
Mmmmm... Looking yummy, right?!
4. Cut boneless, skinless chicken breast into strips good for little hands to hold

5. Dip chicken strips into wet mixture, then into the dry mixture. Place the fingers on a baking sheet lightly coated with cooking spray, or lined with parchment paper.

6. Cook 10-15min (depends on heat of your oven)

Since the oven was at the right temperature, I also made Sweet P. Fries

I rarely serve food with ketchup as we usually use tomato/marinara sauce instead, but on this occasion I did provide Trader Joe's ketchup. 

I never thought I was a connoisseur {I had to look that one up} of ketchup, but once I tasted this one I got hooked. It's sweeter, organic, and has less sodium per serving than traditional ketchup. Try it!

Next up on the blog... A step-by-step how-to on making a super awesome cape for a super awesome little kid.

Thanks for reading, and for telling your friends about Cookie+Curly!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Favorites + A la carte


It seems no little girl wants to be without this print! As my most frequent selling print, I thought I'd spread the word and make sure you all knew about this sweet fabric that turns into a wonderful "best friend" blankie, lounging bud and stroller blanket. 
Starling in Pink Blanket & Blankie Set

The pictures really don't do it justice - It's even cuter! And the quality of the cotton is incredible too so not only is the white minky on the back super cuddly, but the cotton on the front is smooth and soft... just like the little one it's made for.

{The sweet doll in the picture is from Crafty Mama Creations, a seller at the most recent Stitch Market boutique.}

{a la carte}

You probably assumed I was going to mention something about nutrition here. Well, sorry to disappoint. I just wanted to show you some pics of an order that went out to New Mexico today, as a reminder that anything you see on Cookie+Curly's website can be ordered "a la carte" or just how you like it.

A. Small placed this order as she has a large, fun bird cage, but she had yet to find the perfect focal points for the cage. Soon, these Cookie+Curly birds and butterfly in Purple Pazzazz will find a new special home there. Looking forward to seeing pictures!

So, see something you like and want it just a little bit different? Just let me know and I'll set up a custom order for you.

And, so you're not feeling like I'm neglecting my foodie side, I'll get some posts up this weekend answering some of your questions. In the cue: cleanses, helping kids make better food choices, spinach and chocolate (a different approach), and {What's for Dinner, Kid's Style}. 

Keep emailing me questions - I so enjoy hearing what's on your mind!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

With This Ring... + Local Vino Rojo

{With This Ring...}
Recently I blogged about an idea I had for a girl friend's baby shower. One of you thought your girl friend would enjoy similar treatment and ordered a batch for a shower this week - I'm so glad! 

Recap: Each girl attending the shower has the opportunity to have a ring in a little, reusable handmade sachet. But the ring comes with a "price".

Every ring comes with a card with a design on its front. Under the design is an attribute of the baby-to-be. Every time you wear the ring, you are committed to praying for a certain quality of the child: strength, courage, self-confidence, faith, inner peace, sense of humor, gentleness, patience, joy...

It's special at the shower, when everyone is focused on the baby and mom, but once the shower is over, life sometimes moves on. When friends have a ring from your shower, they think of the mom/baby often and thus can pray for them often. I just love the idea.

If you find yourself in charge of party favors for a shower, consider this idea. Just let me know:
- How many rings/cards
- Design on the front (or boy/girl)
- Preferences, if any, of attributes
Bulk prices are discounted!
{Local Wine}

Any of you in love with reds? Red wine, that is. Peloton Cellars is a local winery run by cyclists, triathletes, and parents who find time in their busy days to create incredible wines. 
Their whites are good but I'm partial to reds. And, they were just awarded a gold ('07 Zin), two silvers ('06 Cab Sav; Criterium), and a bronze ('07 Syrah/Shiraz) at the 2011 San Francisco Chronicle's Wine Competition. My personal favorites are the Zin and the Syrah. Yum!
They don't have a tasting room so you have to order online. They also taste at boutiques and other events so just check in with their website or email them to see what's coming up next. Totally worth making the effort.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

It's Good to Be Back

Wow, who knew one could be so sick?! I'm still left with a gnarly cough but my head and body actually functions now. I forgot what that felt like. I'm so thankful my family didn't get this bug, and I pray no one else ever does. 

Well, before my world was rocked, I had the privilege of speaking to Visalia's Team in Training group that is training for "America's Most Beautiful Ride". It's a Century ride around Lake Tahoe in June - Looks amazing! I got to talk to them about nutrition so that they could optimally fuel themselves during their training and during the event. A very fun group of people to meet. Thank you for having me!

Immediately after that, a big shipment of Cookie+Curly bird mobiles went out to Baby Itra in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Here's a little peak at some of the birds now hanging out in the Middle East.

I love thinking about Cookie+Curly being enjoyed way on the opposite side of the world as me!

That reminds me, I'm thinking it would be fun to put together a map of where all the Cookie+Curly products land. Let me know where you are and I'll be sure to put you on the map!

It's good to be back.