13 December 2013

Home Schooling Children

Homeschooled: How American Homeschoolers Measure Up

Out of all of you, who home schools their children, and what are your convictions, opinions and reasons for home schooling your children?

I'm interested.

Trees Hide

09 December 2013

Gluten Free Brownies

These brownies are adapted from one of the best brownie recipes in the world. That is, if you like a fudgy brownie, unadorned with any fillers. These have a crackly top, with a discernible texture as your teeth bite down. And beneath them? Pure, smooth chocolateness.

12 (if people have the restraint to not eat more than one brownie)

8 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (or as dark as you can stand it)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan. Chop the chocolate into small slivers. Slice the butter into one-inch pieces. Combine the two flours together.

2. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil, and then turn it down to a simmer. Place a large metal bowl over the top of the saucepan. Put the chocolate and butter into the metal bowl and stir, occasionally, as they both begin to melt. As they come to a full melt, stir and stir, vigorously, until you have a cohesive mixture.

3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the sugar and eggs, whisking vigorously until they are creamed together, with a silky consistency. Add the vanilla extract and salt and stir well. Add in the gluten-free flours and stir. Finally, pour in the melted chocolate-butter mixture and stir, carefully, with a rubber spatula, until the mixture has become smooth.

4. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan. Smooth the top with the spatula. Slide the baking pan into the oven and set the timer for 25 minutes.

As the brownies are baking, fill the sink with ice cubes and 1 inch of water. When the brownies are finished baking, remove the pan from the oven and place it immediately into the ice-water bath. (Don't let any water splash up onto the brownies!) Let the brownies stay there until they have cooled completely.

These brownies taste best the next day, after an entire night of refrigeration. That makes the top crunchy, the insides decadently chewy. However, I'm sure no one would suffer if you ate the brownies immediately, either. Except, perhaps, for those not eating them. YUM!

Recipe source

Trees Hide

06 December 2013

Corkscrew Reindeers

I was reading the Our Home magazine today, and I saw these adorable little Christmas decor reindeers made from corkscrews!!! Now, anyone who knows me will know that I love things that have been made from recycled or found items, and these I would TOTALLY make!

Now, all I need to do is FIND some corkscrews!! Twigs and twine would be easy enough to source out.

What about you? Do you make any Christmas decorations?

Trees Hide

05 December 2013

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

As you may or may not be aware, we have taken strides to remove gluten from our diets to see if this will affect Alexander and Isabel’s behaviour and/or learning focus.

It’s been a bit of a transition for us, since Alexander is such a picky eater and he LOOOVES carbs. But we’ve found a few substitutes that he accepts.

While browsing around for some gluten-free recipes, I found this little gem: Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies. My kids love cookies, so I think I will try the recipe this weekend.

gluten free chocolate chip cookie

Ingredients & Directions:

Whisk the dry ingredients in a bowl:
- 1 cup sorghum flour
- 1/4 cup brown rice flour
- 1/2 cup tapioca starch/flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tsp zanthan gum
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

In a separate bowl, beat to cream:
- 3/4 cup organic coconut oil
- 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
- 1 tbsp bourbon vanilla
- 2 eggs, beaten

Add the whisked dry ingredients to the creamed brown sugar and beat to combine.

Add in 3 to 3 1/2 cups of gluten-free rolled oats (I'll be using quinoa flakes). Start with 3 cups, and add more if desired.

Add in 1 cup dark chocolate chips. Stir by hand to combine.

So I will try the recipe this weekend, and I will update you all on Facebook to let you know how it all went.

Recipe source

Trees Hide

02 December 2013

How to Create a Blog Button with a Grab Code Text Box

I had searched for a solid hour, trying to find the best way to put in a button on my blog. I had accidentally changed the html for the one I had and couldn't figure out how to fix it, so I was stuck trying to figure it out all over again.
I had searched a few that gave me an almost-right code, but the text wouldn't show up in the text box for whatever reason, so I had to continue searching. And then, I found the EASIEST way to do it. It's a template that generates the code for you!

Here is what you need to enter into the template:
1. Your Title. (name of your blog, website, etc)
2. The link to where you want the picture to click through to (your blog, website, etc)
3. The link of your image (hosted on flickr or photobucket)
And that's basically what you need! You have the option of choosing the size of the text box and font colour, etc, but it's more or less done for you!
Easy-peasy, lemon squeezy!!
Trees Hide

22 November 2013

The Challenge

I was reading an article in the magazine put out by Goodness Me, the health food store in my area. The article was about how food can affect the development and behaviour in your child, and I was immediately hooked.

My son, Alexander, is autistic. He is high functioning, but there are things in school where he is behind, naturally. I want to do my part in giving him the best - I want his development to be encouraged along. Now, I'm not entirely sure what will do it, but after reading this article, I'm going to run a little experiment with the food we feed both Alexander and Isabel.
Now, Alexander is the kind of boy that likes his routine. He likes eating more or less the same thing every day; it gives him a sense of comfort. He is also really picky about the vegetables he eats - he doesn't eat any, unless they are mashed potatoes, smothered in butter. That is going to change - sorry, buddy. Isabel loves meat and veggies - she's not a fan of starches to begin with. Here is what we are currently feeding them.
- Smooth & Creamy yogurt
- Honey Nut Cheerios
- vitamins: multi vitamin, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Omega 3,6,9s
Lunch (to school - nut free):
- sandwich with butter and jam (whole grain bread)
- unsweetened apple sauce
- Black Diamond cheese string
- banana chocolate chip mini loaf (from Costco)
- whatever we are eating, which usually is grilled chicken breast with steamed veggies and some sort of starch, like quinoa or rice, sometimes potatoes or sweet potatoes.
- he likes bananas, hard-boiled eggs, Bear Paw cookies, gluten free pretzels and apples - to name a few.
So for the next four weeks - starting November 25 - I will be taking out the wheat and most dairy from their diet and replacing it with gluten and dairy free options. Here is what I'm thinking:
- Shakeology - vegan chocolate flavour
- vitamins (same as above)
- sandwich with butter and jam (gluten-free bread)
- unsweetened apple sauce
- hard-boiled egg
- gluten free pretzels
- we'll probably remove rice from most dinners, replacing it with quinoa. But other than that, we don't need to change much else.
- grapes, almonds, apples, bananas.
This does mean that we will have to hide the gluten-filled food and cheese sticks for a while, but I'm sure we can find a space to put them. Isabel won't be happy, but this might be a good thing for her too.
At the end of every week, I will post about how the week went and if there was any significant changes in my kids. 
Trees Hide

31 March 2013

A change.

Hello, all!

I'll just come right to the point, since I am a pointy person. *groan*

I am going to be taking a break from blogging full time for a while. I'm not entirely sure how long that "while" will be, but I know that I need this change. I will still be blogging every once in a while, but it certainly will not be on a regular basis - and it will most likely be only pictures of my kids and my favourites from Etsy that I would like to save for my own enjoyment.

So as of now, I will not be accepting any sponsors, since I will not be giving them their money's worth of volume for advertising their shops/blogs. This also means that I will not be hosting any more What You Made link-ups until further notice. I had such a great following for my little link-up, and I am so grateful for all you who did link-up faithfully.

I really love blogging, and I hope to come back at it full time in the future. But right now is not that time.

See you around!

Trees Hide

28 March 2013

This week my favourites have been pretty random. I see a pretty picture, I like it. I see an interesting concept, I like it. lol. Scatter-brained much?

Trees Hide

27 March 2013

What I Made Link-up 55

This past week has found me getting more books ready for binding. I have had this pile of falling-apart vintage books on my to-do shelf since September, and I figured that now would be a good time to get them ready.

Anyhoo. Last week's most viewed link was of this adorable Easter hair bow from GelasRaineBows:

Here are some other sweet little bows made by Gela:


Trees Hide

26 March 2013

Today we're having a chat with Chelsea from Notional Notions.

Tell us a bit about who you are. I'm originally from California but I studied art in Texas and then moved to Italy for two years. I love to travel and have a hard time staying in one place or sticking to a singular medium. But overall, I'm a pretty easy going lady.

Tell us about your craft and how you got started. I've been drawing for as long as I can remember but I really got adventurous with my craft in college. That's where I fell in love with bookmaking and watercolor illustration. But I've tried everything from Intaglio printmaking and welding to tattooing and children's book illustration. I like being a Jane of all trades, master of none. 

Where do you get your inspiration from? Everywhere, and that's no exaggeration. My art space, "the bubble," is typically a gigantic mess because I've gathered so many postcards/books/photos and ideas from places I've traveled to (and hoping to travel to one day!). 

Who is your favourite artist/creative person? Hard to pick just one, it usually changes depending upon what I'm working on. A couple I've been loving lately are Janice MacLeod's travel letters/illustrations, Stephanie Brown's tattoo work and designs, and the lettering work of Jessica Hische

What do you love most about what you do? I love getting my hands dirty, this is likely why I struggle with the digital art realm so much! My art bubble may be messy but that usually means I'm happy and creating. 

What do you do when you're not creating? For my 'real grown-up job,' I teach art lessons. Which is a pretty awesome alternative to not making my own work; getting to hang out with kiddos and essentially just play and watch them create. It can be pretty amazing watching what they come up with! 

Thanks for sharing with us today, Chelsea!
Trees Hide

25 March 2013

I gathered each of these items into my favourites on Etsy in about 5 minutes. I like searching my activity feed and the newly listed area to find awesome items.

Trees Hide

23 March 2013

It snowed only last night, but I really think that spring is almost here! Call it a gut feeling.
Now that spring is here, I have to look at updating my accessories. I don't want to update my wardrobe until I get to my goal weight, so I'm sticking with accessories. Beside, they are much more fun!
I already have an Ika Bag, and I LOVE IT!!! I have to get another one for warmer weather, since the one I have is tweed/wool.
I also already have a few cowls from Sew Ecological, but I just LOVE this one! It's actually in my checkout cart right now...
This flower pendant is beautiful! Another item in my cart...
I already am wearing flats for casual days at work, and they are so comfy! And these certainly look comfy too!
I love the tuplips in the basket, and the basket itself is such a unique shape...
Trees Hide

22 March 2013

A collage of my children.

I made this collage for my left desktop at work; but I thought it was so cool, that I had to share it with you guys too. Now you can see what I see every day while I'm at work!

Trees Hide

21 March 2013

Farewell to Google Reader... What now?

Google Reader is going away in July. GASP!

Don't worry. If you read this and other blogs through Google Reader or GFC (Google Friend Connect) you have plenty of other options. Here they are!

1. Follow through Bloglovin' 
Many blog lovers already use this platform to follow their favorite blogs. I get an email every morning of all the blog posts that were posted since the day before - it's awesome!!! It is ridiculously easy to add your subscriptions too - BONUS!

Set up an account and import blogs HERE.
Follow Trees.Hides. HERE


2. Follow through Feedly
Feedly is claiming to have a way to seamlessly import your blogs when Reader goes away so that you won't even notice the transition. If you sign up for a Feedly account now and start using it everything should transfer without any fuss. 

Get Feedly HERE


3. Subscribe by Email
If you're like me and read a ton of blogs, this is NOT the option for you. My inbox would be a nightmare. If you only follow a few favorites, then this is a good option. Just head over to the right sidebar near the top of the blog under "Subscribe" and on the link 'via email'.


4. Follow with Facebook
Most blogs have a Facebook page that they use to interact with readers and promote posts. Most of my posts that I post here on my blog is available on my Facebook page minutes after I post it. If you are active on Facebook just "like" all the blogs you follow and you can click on the links to read the posts.
****I don't recommend following by Twitter alone. It's easier to miss important posts there. ****

Trees Hide

20 March 2013

What You Made Link-up 54

I have been binding when I get a chance, and here is one that I bound last week. I shared it on my Facebook page too, in case you follow me there as well.

I also have a few more pages that have been folded into signatures and pierced, ready to be bound into the covers - I really love the coptic stitch, don't you?

Last week's most viewed link was this gorgeous silver celtic tree of life pendant from Bridget Fainne:

Here are some of my favourite's from Kate's shop:


Trees Hide