Lentil Stew with Spinach and Red Potatoes

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With a forecast of freezing rain for the new few days, we need something warm to eat this week. Lately, we can't get enough of this stew. It's pretty hearty for a vegetarian dish, perfect for the cold days ahead.



* 1/2 cup olive oil

* 2 garlic cloves, minced

* 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper [ground red pepper also works]

* salt

* 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth

* 1 cup brown lentils

* 4-5 red-skinned potatoes, scrubbed clean and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

* 8 cups baby spinach

* 1 tablespoon lemon zest

* 1 tablespoon lemon juice

* 4 tablespoons feta cheese

1. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium-low heat, stir in the garlic and cook until golden, but not brown.

2. Add the cayenne pepper and cook for another minute.

3. Add the broth and lentils. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Add the potatoes and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes (until the potatoes and lentils are tender).

5. Stir in the spinach, lemon zest, and lemon juice, cook 5 more minutes.

6. Sprinkle with feta and eat. – from the The Pink Ribbon Diet (lots of wonderful recipes in here).

Post by Darcy : bedtimemonsters.blogspot.com


Creating a Shared Room for Brother + Sister


A few weeks ago we welcomed the newest member of our family!  Baby Theo (short for Theodore … aka Teddy), was born on January 6th, weighing in at just under 9 pounds. We're over the moon. He's cute as can be, and actually looks a lot like his big sister Caitlin did when she was born. I've been posting pics to instagram occasionally if you want to take a peek.

When I started my Maternity leave over the holidays, I realized I still needed to think through how I was going to handle our living space with a new baby in the mix.  We currently rent a small two bedroom apartment, so room sharing is a must.  Our plan is to keep Theo in our room until he's old enough to sleep through the night, but it won't be long before he'll be moving in with Caitlin.

I've loved Caitlin's room since designing it as a nursery before she was born (you can see the old room pictures here), but I wanted to update the space to something more gender neutral and functional for both a baby and active pre-schooler.

While searching for crib bedding, I found my inspiration in the Beaucoup de Fraises crib bedding set from The Land of Nod.  The sheet has a sweet, gender neutral vintage pattern, and the navy blue in the quilt adds a friendly touch of 'boy' to the original aqua, pink and yellow color palette.
In order to make space for both a crib and a twin bed, we had to move out the dresser and changing station into our bedroom, but this opened up room for an additional bookcase.  It was originally a dark wood color, but I painted it white with a cheerful pop of yellow on the backing.  It's great added storage for books and toys.  Caitlin's bed has a pale pink quilt cover, so I added a navy and white striped throw to tie it together with the crib bedding.
With Theo being a winter baby, I thought it would be fitting to add some woodland details to his side of the room.  Earthquake safety is an issue in California, so I created a gallery area in the space above the toy chest, and left the wall above his crib simple- just a wooden 'hello' sign purchased from Oh Dier on etsy and a handmade owl mobile gifted to us by a friend.  The large fox print and ceramic reindeer were more great finds from the Land of Nod. The print is titled 'Theodore Collects Firewood' and designed by blogger Ez Pudewa at Creature Comforts. When I saw it I knew it would make a special addition.
I designed the 'B is for Baby' print myself and it's available as a download in my etsy shop with custom color options also available.  The remainder of the artwork and items you see in the room are things we already owned, some of which are even handed down from my own childhood.
If you're having a similar challenge designing a space for two genders or ages, I highly recommend using simple accents of color for a fun and cohesive space. Trying to divide up the space up can often make the room smaller, so instead think about using eccletic mix of gender neutral decor and toys.  If you're on a budget, scour your home for found objects and consider adding paint to make old items new again.

Post by Becca: CAKE

Hudson’s Room Inspiration

The minute I started working on his sister's room, my eight-year-old has begged me to start his room makeover. Well, it's finally his turn. I've had this plan floating around in mind for quite some time now, and the second I laid eyes on that Meteorite Quilt the whole room fell into place. Take a look:

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Hudson's favorite color is red, he loves outer space and science, and he specifically requested the red gummy bear night light. I painted the walls Silver Gray by Benjamin Moore–see that swatch in the upper left? I think it should be a pretty great backdrop for all the fun stuff happening here. 
Like most guys his age, Hudson is reeeeally into Legos. So my game plan centers entirely around his Lego storage and display needs. Santa was kind enough to DIY him a Lego work table of his very own. If I can get ahold of my contact at the North Pole, maybe we can share the quickest tutorial ever with you. I'd like to fit in a large bulletin board somewhere above the workstation so he can hang up his construction plans.
I think this room is going to fit his needs perfectly. Can't wait to see how it comes together.


Christina Williams is a blogger and graphic designer living in Salt Lake City, Utah. She's a night owl and a bookworm, as well as a mother to three children ranging in age from two to eight. She shares her latest DIY and design projects along with her adventures in parenting on her blog, Just Call Me Chris.

Things to Make – 20 (Easy) Painting Projects With Kids

We've had a lot of snow this winter, so if you're looking for some easy art projects to keep the kids entertained while indoors – here are 20 suggestions (click on each project's title for more detailed instructions):

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1. Tissue Paper Tie-Dye – Fold the tissue paper into triangles and wrap with rubber bands (click here to see how to fold). Dip into different colors of paint then unwrap and watch the designs form.

2. Salty Watercolors – This is one of our favorite super easy projects. Use glue to draw designs on thick watercolor paper. Next, sprinkle salt on the glue. Finally "paint" over the salty glue, the color travels slowly through the designs – both fun to watch and fun to look at.

3. Watercolor Nature Prints – Collect interesting items outside (old leaves, acorns, branches, etc). Pour liquid watercolors onto a stamp pad (or use a regular stamp pad) and stamp the natural materials to make fun quirky designs.

4. Marbleized Paper Using Shaving Cream – Combine liquid watercolor paint and shaving cream in a pan, make designs using popsicle sticks or a fork. Press thick watercolor paper into the shaving cream and then wipe off. Voila, art.

5. Marbleized Paper Using Oil – Mix watercolor paint and vegetable oil (click here for the correct ratios). Fill the bottom of a pan with water and using eyedroppers add the oil/paint to the pan, swirl to create designs. Press thick watercolor paper into the designs, then let dry.

6. Winter Trees – Pour brown liquid watercolor paint into a small container. Use paintbrushes to draw a tree trunk on the page. Then add a few drops of paint at the top of the trunk. Use straws to blow the paint away from the trunk, thus making branches. Fun.



7. Secret Agent Messages with Lemon Juice – Paint with lemon juice on paper. The juice dries clear, but if you cook the paper at 350 degrees for a few minutes, your super secret spy message "magically" reappears.

8. Condensed Milk Paintings – Combine condensed milk and liquid watercolors/food coloring. Paint. The colors will look super glossy and thick.

9. Saran Wrap Painting – Paint with watercolor paints on thick paper. Cover with saran wrap and move the saran wrap around to make designs. Let dry, then remove the saran wrap. Lovely.

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10. Toddler Googly-Eyed Monster Art – Ask a toddler to paint. Then have him/her attach two google eyes to their painting. All of a sudden abstract art becomes a monster.

11. Painted Snow Scenes – Use oil pastels or crayons to create a snow scene (my kids drew snowmen). Then paint over the sky with watercolors. You can also add salt to create the illusion of falling snow.

12. Valentine's Day/Heart Banner – Cut out a series of hearts from construction paper. Have the kids decorate the hearts using paints/markers/crayons, etc. Tape the hearts to a string and hang somewhere. Celebrate.

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13. Q-Tip Printmaking – Use a roller brush to thinly spread paint on a pan. Draw designs using q-tips. Then press a sheet of (thick) paper onto the design. Voila – a print.

14. Potato Stamp Prints – Carve a stamp out of a potato. Dip in paint. Create.

15. Paint Photographs – You can also use Sharpies to draw in details.

16. Paint a Cardboard Box – Create a castle. Or a boat. Or whatever you want.

17. String/Kitchen Painting – Dip the strings in paint, then use the painted strings to create designs of paper. Once your child tires of the strings you can also use: sponges, forks, superhero figurines and whatever else you find around the house.

18. Firework Painting – Twist four pipe cleaners to create a star shape. Dip in paint. Add glitter to make the night really sparkle.

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19. Suminagashi Marbleized Paper – Purchase a sumingashi kit (Amazon sells one for $13.50, just click here). The effect is very similar to liquid water colors and cooking oil (#5 above), but with the kit the colors are much more vivid and the designs are more pronounced.

20. Watercolor Pencils & Crayons – For a change of pace, Watercolor Pencils and Watercolor Crayons can be so fun to create with. Draw as you normally would and then paint with water.

Post by Darcy : bedtimemonsters.blogspot.com