Happy Mother’s Day

The reason I am a Mother. My husband and our girls.

My husband and our girls are the reason I am a Mother, and I am grateful and thankful every day for all three of them.

poppy

My weekend is off to a good start. I took our youngest to a Tibetan Monk Mandala Ceremony yesterday.

mandala

It was a pretty incredible experience for both of us.

Tibetan Monks at the Mandala ceremony

Falafel was entranced. She loved the chanting. She said it brought her peace.

sand mandala

A highlight for me was when they swept it up. They actually gave out bags of it to the huge crowd that was there, so that we could place them wherever we thought needed the most help, or blessings. We have both decided to think about it, before placing them.

Blossoms

I have always been facinated with this ritual. I love the symbolism. It is a great reminder to appreciate what you have now, because the world is ever changing, and nothing lives forever. Life is so incredibly beautiful because of it’s impermanence.

Cottonwood

On the walk back to our car, I took photos of all the beauty I saw. Nature that may not be around in a week or even another day. I captured their images so that I can remember the delicate intricacy that made up these blooms.

Lone iris

To celebrate Mother’s Day, I look forward to us all being fully present with eachother. Well, that AND not doing any dishes. The kids always stress about what to get me, and really if I don’t have to do dishes, it is a good day.

poppies

I wish all of you a thoughtful, peaceful, beautiful Mother’s day with those you love.

Floral head garland for Prom

My daughter had the pleasure of attending a prom with her boyfriend, that her best friend invited them to, given by her friend’s church. For her outfit, I made The Bee a floral head garland, since the theme was “Enchanted Forest”.

  Floral head Garland for Prom

It was super simple to do with silk flowers, and I think it added a little bit of whimsy to her outfit.

Floral head Garland for Prom

Did you know that I was a floral designer for many, many years? It’s true! So glad to be able to use my skills for my kids.

Floral head Garland for Prom

More details on that stunning dress here.

Floral head Garland for Prom

I kept it fairly sparse, so that the brown covered wire would show through, and give it more of a foresty fairy look.

Floral head Garland for Prom

Floral head Garland for Prom

Their attempt at a Charlie’s Angels type pose. I love these two silly girls.

Floral head Garland for Prom

Her first corsage.

Floral head Garland for Prom

 Ack! When did my baby get all grown up?!

Anyhow, please leave a comment below to let me know if you want a tutorial on how to make this simple head garland, and like magic, I will!

What have YOU made today?

Comicon 2016

Emerald City Comicon 2016 recap

As you may know, I took our girls to Comicon on opening day. My poor husband had to work, and missed out on all the fun. Luckily I did end up taking a few photos.

Emerald City Comicon 2016 recap

Emerald City Comicon 2016 recap

Emerald City Comicon 2016 recap

Emerald City Comicon 2016 recap

Emerald City Comicon 2016 recap

Emerald City Comicon 2016 recap

Emerald City Comicon 2016 recap: Weta Workshop crew

Emerald City Comicon 2016 recap

Emerald City Comicon 2016 recap

Emerald City Comicon 2016 recap

Emerald City Comicon 2016 recap

Emerald City Comicon 2016 recap

Emerald City Comicon 2016 recap

Emerald City Comicon 2016 recap

Emerald City Comicon 2016 recap

Emerald City Comicon 2016 recap

Above in the photos, that was one of the nicest Storm Troopers ever. And those paintings? Made from jelly beans.

This was the first time we had ever gone to Comicon, and I think the best word to describe our experience is “overwhelming“. There were thousands of people and the convention center is huge. When we arrived, The Bee was impressed by the giant sign they had (and it was written on our passes) “Cosplay is not Consent“. It seemed to ease any anxiety she had about being out there in a tight costume. You never know what to expect from a large crowd of people. But what we got was respectful behavior from everyone. Seriously. I think the people were one of the highlights. She also had a lot of requests for photos! About every 5 feet or so, I would look around, and she was posing with someone else (so keep an eye out for her on social media everywhere). Even my Falafel was getting requests, especially from the little kid crowd. It was completely adorable. I got lots of compliments on my costume, but I was the designated pack mule for the day, so no photos of me. Believe it or not, there were three other Lady Thors there!

One of the highlights for me, personally, was seeing some of the weta workshop crew. They are just amazing, and in my book, are complete rock stars of the movie magic world. I was frozen in awe. My kids were laughing at me.

Overall, we had a very memorable day. This Spring Break has been so much fun!

Have you ever gone to a Con?

Free Printable Natural Egg Dye recipes

Cutting it close again this year, we just dyed our eggs yesterday, and I thought I would share the recipes and methods we used, as they have evolved slightly over the years. I am so glad that today I can share my free printable Natural Egg Dye recipes, with you.

Free Printable Natural Egg Dye Recipes by Falafel and the Bee

Brace yourself for a long informational post.

Free Printable Natural Egg Dye Recipes by Falafel and the Bee

Free Printable Natural Egg Dye Recipes

We tried something new this year. Onion Skin dyeing with imprinting plant material.

Free Printable Natural Egg Dye Recipes by Falafel and the Bee

We gathered up a bunch of pretty leaves and flowers in our yard.

Free Printable Natural Egg Dye Recipes by Falafel and the Bee

I placed the flowers and leaves around the uncooked egg, and covered it with a piece of old tights and knotted the end.

Free Printable Natural Egg Dye Recipes by Falafel and the Bee

Place onion skins along with the wrapped eggs in a pot and cover with water. I added 1 TBSP of vinegar. Bring to a boil. Reduce to low and cover for 20 minutes.

Free Printable Natural Egg Dye Recipes by Falafel and the Bee

Remove from stove, carefully pour out water, and run cold water over eggs. When cool, snip the tights off.

Free Printable Natural Egg Dye Recipes by Falafel and the Bee

Please excuse my daughter’s dirty fingernails and fake arm tattoo.

 What we didn’t realize is that the pattern on the tights would make an imprint too! We both liked it even better than the imprint left by the flowers and leaves.

Free Printable Natural Egg Dye Recipes by Falafel and the Bee

Next we made a Turmeric dye (and we even dipped the imprinted ones in it too).

Free Printable Natural Egg Dye Recipes by Falafel and the Bee

This one is the easiest out of all three and produces such lovely yellow eggs! First boil your eggs. Cool and place aside.

Free Printable Natural Egg Dye Recipes by Falafel and the Bee

In a pot, boil 4 cups of water, 1 TBSP vinegar, and 1 TBSP salt. When it comes to a boil, remove it from the heat (or else it will boil over- believe me) and add 4-6 TBSP of turmeric and stir to dissolve. When it is cool, place your eggs in. We placed ours in the fridge for a few hours to set. Be careful with this one since it stains everything it touches! Take out and dry eggs in egg carton (if you have it) and place whole thing on towel so it doesn’t stain your counter or table.

  Free Printable Natural Egg Dye Recipes by Falafel and the Bee

Last, we did my personal favorite, and the smelliest one of all. Red cabbage!

Free Printable Natural Egg Dye Recipes by Falafel and the Bee

Boil eggs and cool. Place aside. Take a whole head of red cabbage and chop it up roughly. Place in large pot with 4 cups of water (or enough to cover), 1 TBSP salt, 1 TBSP white vinegar. Bring to a boil. Then reduce to simmer, and cover for 30 minutes. At this point you may want to open some windows or air out your home because it will smell like boiled cabbage (unless you like that sort of thing, and in that case, enjoy!).

Free Printable Natural Egg Dye Recipes by Falafel and the Bee

Drain out cabbage pieces, and cool liquid. Once cooled, place your boiled eggs in and put in the fridge for a few hours or until desired color is achieved.

  Free Printable Natural Egg Dye Recipes by Falafel and the Bee

The two dark eggs were brown eggs that we dipped in blue.

Free Printable Natural Egg Dye Recipes by Falafel and the Bee

Admire your incredibly beautiful eggs.

Free Printable Natural Egg Dye Recipes by Falafel and the Bee

All three recipes are on this handy dandy printable so you can dye eggs without your electronic device.

Onion Skin, Turmeric, Red Cabbage Egg Dyes

Ingredients

    For Onion Skin:
  • Flowers, leaves, or anything you want to imprint
  • Old tights/ stockings (if you use one with a pattern, there is no need for anything else to imprint)
  • Onion skins (the more the merrier)
  • 1 TBSP white vinegar
  • Water to cover
  • Pot to boil in
  • Eggs
  • **********
  • For Turmeric:
  • 4-6 TBSP Tumeric, 1 TBSP salt, 1 TBSP white vinegar
  • 4 cups of water, pot to boil in, and eggs
  • **********
  • For Cabbage:
  • Whole head chopped red cabbage, 1 TBSP salt, 1 TBSP white vinegar
  • 4 cups of water, pot to boil in, and eggs

Instructions

    For Onion Skins with imprint:
  1. Place leaves or flowers on top of your uncooked egg then wrap with a piece of stocking
  2. Tie a knot in the end
  3. Fill a pot with onion skins and the uncooked egg bundles
  4. Cover it with water and add TBSP of vinegar
  5. Bring to a boil
  6. Reduce to simmer and cover for 20 minutes
  7. Remove from heat, and run under cold water until eggs are cooled
  8. Cut open on a towel (or surface you can get dirty)
  9. Let dry
  10. For Turmeric:
  11. Hard boil eggs first and cool. Place aside.
  12. Boil 1 TBSP salt and 1 TBSP white vinegar together
  13. Remove from heat and stir in Turmeric.
  14. Allow to cool, then add your eggs
  15. Place in fridge to dye for a few hours or until desired color is achieved.
  16. Take out and dry eggs
  17. For Red Cabbage:
  18. Hard boil Eggs first and cool. Place aside.
  19. Boil chopped cabbage, 1 TBSP vinegar, and 1 TBSP salt.
  20. Reduce to simmer and cover for 30 minutes.
  21. Drain out cabbage pieces, and cool liquid
  22. Once cooled, add your eggs to dye
  23. Place in fridge and leave for a few hours, or until desired color is achieved.
  24. Take out eggs and dry
http://www.falafelandthebee.com/2016/03/25/free-printable-natural-egg-dye-recipes/

Free Printable Natural Egg Dye Recipes by Falafel and the Bee

I love that we use all natural ingredients. I feel better about my kids handling them, and even eating them. Please let me know if you use my recipes! I would love to see how yours turn out.

Happy Egg Dyeing!

Chalk on the Wild side review with Valentine Chalk printable PDF

I was given Chalk on the Wild Side to review (*affiliate link*), so the first thing I did was hand it over to my youngest! I knew she would be the perfect judge of what this book had to offer.  I told her to look in it to see if there was anything she wanted to make.

Chalk on the Wild Side Review with free printable PDF

Um, yes. EVERYTHING.

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

Chalk on the Wild Side Review

We settled on a few projects to start with. The first we made was the multi-colored chalk. It turned out to be perfect to use for Falafel’s classroom valentines! I came up with a free PDF printable for those of you who want to do the same.

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

The chalk was super easy to whip up, and the only thing we didn’t already have in the house was plaster of paris.

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

We packaged them individually in these tiny cello bags, and stapled the tent card on the top.

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

The directions in the book are very clear with great photos. Our 10 year old had no problem following them. We did it together, but let her lead. That makes all the difference, sometimes.

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

There are more than 25 different projects to make and multiple recipes to follow. My child was ecstatic reading the possibilities.

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

Her classroom doesn’t allow sweets to be passed out with the Valentines, so this is a perfect alternative!

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

The next project we tried out was the chalk dough.

Chalk on the Wild Side Book review: making chalk dough

This one was also right up my girl’s alley. She LOVES getting her hands into it!  Messy?? Then YES.

Chalk on the Wild Side Book review: making chalk dough

She got to make this one all by herself, and she was beyond thrilled.

Chalk on the Wild Side Book review: making chalk dough

Even though it was not warm out, she played outside with this stuff for a good long time. It is crumbly, but if you press it together, it sticks.

Chalk on the Wild Side Book review: making chalk dough

The projects in here are not just for Summertime! There are some indoor chalk projects, bathtub chalk, as well as some that you can even use in the snow.

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

This book is definitely one that we will keep as a boredom buster and a reference. A great addition to our crafty library.

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

*Even though I recieved a copy of this book in exchange for a review, all opinions are mine, mine, mine.

Walking the red carpet with Kung Fu Panda 3

About a week ago, my Falafel and I (and her friend and friend’s Mom) had the privilege of attending the pre-screening red carpet event for Kung Fu Panda 3!

kungfugirlsm

We all had a blast!

kungfuglassm

We were at Lincoln cinemas in Bellevue (which was a bit of a hike for us), and there was an actual red carpet for us to walk down! We even had our photos taken. We felt like celebrities.

kungfu6m

There was a lot to look at outside the theater.

kungfu5m

The girls were given panda ears and popcorn.

kungfu2mm

Did I mention we saw it in 3D??!

kungfucoolm

These two didn’t want to take off the glasses even after the film.

Kung Fu Panda 3 comes out January 29th in the theaters. If you don’t know what it is about, here is a little summary:

KUNG FU PANDA 3

Directors: Jennifer Yuh Nelson and Alessandro Carloni

Producer: Melissa Cobb

Cast:  Jack Black, Bryan Cranston, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, J.K. Simmons, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, Kate Hudson, James Hong, Randall Duk Kim

www.kungfupanda.com

#kungfupanda

In 2016, one of the most successful animated franchises in the world returns with its biggest comedy adventure yet, KUNG FU PANDA 3. When Po’s long-lost panda father suddenly reappears, the reunited duo travels to a secret panda paradise to meet scores of hilarious new panda characters.  But when the supernatural villain Kai begins to sweep across China defeating all the kung fu masters, Po must do the impossible—learn to train a village full of his fun-loving, clumsy brethren to become the ultimate band of Kung Fu Pandas!

I cannot say anything, yet, about the film, but I am so happy we went to see it! I love these films, and this one did not disappoint. I am actually excited about seeing it again!

Warrior Cat Birthday party wrap up

Warrior Cats Cupcakes

Warrior Cats Party

Warrior banner

This was our most laid-back birthday party ever. There were only 3 guests. I did not plan a single activity. I made a few components (this, this, and this), plus food, painted their faces, and released all four of them into our yard to plan and play Warrior Cats for an hour! When they came in tired and freezing and wet (yes, I threw them out there in the cold pouring rain), I served hot hibiscus tea and Warrior cupcakes. Then when we still had 30 minutes left (what was I thinking making it 3 hours??!!), my husband brought out a HUGE piece of white cardboard he had in the garage, and let them draw all over it. That was a hit!

At the end of the day, we had one very celebrated, happy Warrior Cat 10 year old.

Whew.

And that concludes the formal Birthday Parties for our girls. After age 10, they can invite one or two friends to an activity (movies, bowling, skating, etc), but no party. One of my more brilliant ideas, if I do say so myself.

What are your Birthday traditions and rules?

20 years

It is our 20th Wedding Anniversary today!

oldphoto

Us when were dating…waaaaaay back when.

weddingm

On our wedding day 20 years ago today.

It was the day of the “Blizzard of 96” as it was to be known as. I remember drinking a lot of champagne, and eating no food, and how very strange and surreal it all was. The person that was going to play music for our ceremony, drove into a snowbank and didn’t make it. The Unitarian Minister was hitting on every single woman in the place. My mother accidentally lit her nail on fire. No one liked our choice in music. One of your groomsmen slipped on the ice while carrying my djembe drum, and put his head through it. The day after, we were snowed in our little 1 bedroom apartment with 4 other people and our 3 cats. It was something I don’t think anyone will ever forget. And honestly I wouldn’t change a thing. It was a day and we have funny stories. It is every day after that counts.

njvisit30m

And us after 20 years of marriage (and two kids).

I feel very fortunate to be able to celebrate this day with the man I love, and have loved for more than two decades. I cannot imagine having a better partner to navigate this life with. You are a good father and a loving husband, and I am so very thankful we still like to be around eachother.

Happy Anniversary, Jim! I love you.