I am on

2015/12/24

Part of My World

If you are a parent of a toddler who is always on the run, and you are reading this blog, you are probably on break. Either your kiddo is napping or its your spouse's turn to watch over that precious little tyke. Either way, I am happy for you. I know how overwhelming it can be to keep your house your sanity intact and chores all at the same time.

I don't know about you, but for me, cooking is therapeutic. It becomes a challenge only when my toddler never stop shadowing all the time. I somehow managed to become a kitchen ninja with a baby below eye level, I must keep an excellent reflex and be extra cautious in the kitchen to avoid tripping with knife in my hand.



Sometimes I lose my grip. It could be frustrating that my baby is always in my way. It is impossible to finish dinner on time. and that just freaks me out! She wont leave me alone even when I put the cartoons or puppet shows and her toys laying everywhere. She is always in the kitchen when I am in the kitchen. Until one time, I decided to stop and observe.

I knelt down to look at her eyes. She looked back at me with a sly smile, then walked towards me and gave me a hug. Then I understood this is the age for milestones of learning and discovery. She opens and closes the kitchen cabinets not to annoy me, but because she saw me doing so. On that moment I reminded myself, I'm not only his mother,but I am also her first teacher. I took her in my arms and showed what was in the mixer and how it works.





I held her hand as we both pressed the pulse button of the food processor.

I showed what was cooking on the stove and said we don't touch it. It's hot.

I opened the dishwasher and let her pick up a couple of spoons with her tiny hands and showed where to put them away.

Then I sat with her as we watched the chicken tenderloins cook to golden brown. I watched her. There I saw so much curiosity and questions in her eyes, but I know she was learning on her own and I was there to supervise making sure she was safe in the process of consuming such discoveries.

I do not expect my daughter to work in the kitchen. She is going to pick the destiny of her own. I was only there to teach the best of my knowledge.

However, this simple act is a small process of building a relationship with her. There will always be dirty dishes, dirty kitchen, clutter in the living room because this a house and we live in it! But i will take every chance to let her know I will always be there every step of her way. It starts by letting her take part of what I do.




2015/12/21

Tried and Tested: Alton Brown's Sugar Cookies


The halls are all decked with boughs of holly here at Castle Lemon. The Christmas preparation will not be complete without the sweet smell of freshly baked sugar cookies filling the house comfort and joy.
I admit, I have failed many times in making the perfect cookies. I won't say I have perfected the art of frosting but, I am getting there. It is only a matter of time and more practice to get a hang of it. So far this is what I have accomplished.

With these cookies, I used Alton Brown's Sugar cookie and royal icing recipes. I made a little modifications by adding some flavors.


I mixed some raspberry puree with my red frosting. That way, I had a jump start with color and added red food coloring until it reached my desired hue. I noticed the color gets darker when it dries. To be honest, the raspberry taste was too subtle. Perhaps, I should have experimented by adding some raspberry flavoring?


However, with my blue frosting, I added peppermint extract. I thought it tasted good,

Frosting could be a little tricky. The consistency of royal icing for flooding and outlining should be right. Get easy on adding water to the icing mixture when thinning.

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2015/11/22

First Frost Wreath

I was inspired to create something since the appearance of the first frost. Equipped with an offer i cannot refuse and a coupon, now my window frame is adorned with the magic of frosted wreath that I kept small and simple.


With thanksgiving just around the corner, I hope everyone who are traveling be safe and warm. And to all parents on the road with children. May you keep your sanity. 

It is not easy keeping kids occupied but i believe they are capable of finding ways to entertain themselves.

Here is little M killing boredom



2015/11/12

DIY Palette Wood Giant Clock



This is a long overdue to brag about me and my father-in-law's craftsmanship made from wood palette. My hubby had a hankering for a big wall clock when we moved to a house we are renting. Moving from an apartment to a house is quite a change. Our walls felt empty for the lack of decorations. Timely, my father in law had wood palettes to spare. And what could fill up our empty wall but a giant clock!

While dad cut up the wood for me and I did the paint and distressing. We are quite a team, dad and I.






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2015/11/10

Mrs.Butterworth Snow Angels





The song "Hark the Heral Angels Sing" repeatedly played in my head over and over again while I work on this project. Some of you may say it's too early for such songs, but as for me and my house, Christmas is slowly creeping in.



This is a simple craft that you can do with your kiddos, plus teaching them how to recycle in creative way.
One morning while having my breakfast, I see  Mrs. Butterworth looking at me begging for a makeover. I thought I give her wings and paint her white (from the inside). I thought I'd make an angel of her as she give a heavenly taste to my pancakes!



It is up to you how you want to design your angel figure. I looked for available materials I already have in hand and put them all together! I wanted a simple white with a little gold tone.

Are you inspired to make your own? Please take a photo and send it to me. I love... love to be inspired by your works! I willbe bragging about it here at Castle Lemon

Happy Creating!

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2015/11/03

Capturing Eyes


One of my favorite bonding time with my baby is capturing bonding moments, be it on feeding time, playtime or bath time. 


Casual moments matters too. What could seem look simple could potentially be a lifetime memory.



 As I was gaining more understanding exposure (photography), my baby's eyes gave me a thought.

One thing I learned about Michelle Duggar is "Capture their eyes, you capture their heart". Sometimes when we are frustrated with our kids, we forget the power of kindness and resort for anger which can make us parents loud, scary and annoying. Weshould know. We all felt that way about our parents before.

If you are reading this, I pray that today that you find the peace channel it to your child/ren and beat any anger or frustrations.

Happy Capturing!


2015/10/29

DIY Princess Leia Wig

What up lovely people!

                         

Our family is invited to a fall festival w/ a little bit trick or treating. Though my baby is not old enough to glutton over a pile of candies, I thought it would be nice to enjoy the company of friends with their kiddos and it would be fun to dress-up my baby with cute costume. It was a last minute decision to go, so I had to make a quick trip to a near Hobby Lobby.
I want this to be fun for my husband as well. My husband is an avid fan of starwars, why not dress his princess as Leia.

It is easy to find Princess Leia dress but not the wig I want.

So for this DIY wig attempt, I used...well...this.



 I found a pair of black stockings at a thrift store. For my baby's safety, I sanitized the stockings before making the wig. I cut across this dotted line to hold the shape of the head. Don't throw the leg part. You will need these for later! Sew both sides back to make wig base.


I cut 3-4 feet strands of yarn good/thick enough to cover head. I used dark walnut color. It may look darker than it appear on photos. Line up the middle of the yard and run it on sewing machine, this way, the fold is more distinct and sturdier.



 Now make a pony tail on both sides. Remember the legs? Now cut the end and roll it to make a sock bun!


Secure both buns with bobby pins if needed.



Thanks for stopping by.

May the force be with you!

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2015/10/08

I'm a photomom

I did it! I accomplished my baby's monthly photos with consistency! And yes, I took my baby's photos. 


Many asked me who had been taking pictures of Mirabella. Yep. It was me. I don't have the luxury of hiring a professional photographer. So I made the best of what I have for her photos in the comfort of my home. 


As a stay home mom, I want my creativity to flourish by doing the best out of small things.


 The success of my photos is mainly a team effort. I make photo time with my baby enjoyable, more like a baby-mommy bonding time. It's not the photos that makes these moments, but memories in the process, such as making her smile and laugh, and return became music to my ears.

I was asked if I am thinking of becoming a professional photographer. I just said, if there is an opportunity, I can't see why not!



2015/09/28

Pink Parisian Princess Party

Yesterday was another milestone for me and my baby. My Mirabella June is now ! Others may agree with me throwing a party can be expensive and stressful, but there's nothing we wouldn't do for the ones we love dearly.

I chose Pink and Gold Parisian Princess theme. I chose this theme mostly for my mother-in-law believe it or not. Yes. That's how much I love her.


I have to mention that my Jonathan and Cody were to proud of their skills. They made the fruit on sticks and veggie cheese on a stick. They also helped me with the sandwiches!



Pinterest may seem to show how easy to put everything together. I learned it was a LOT of work.
Eventhough we live a comfortable life, we are on a budget for our little Princess' party. I was the party planner, the baker, a carpenter, the designer, the decorator, the shopper and the cook.


The baking and making the cake is a different experience for me. It was tiring but I find it enjoyable! I made a white cake with raspberry buttercream frosting with my homemade marshmallow fondant. I found this raspberry buttercream frosting that is just...WOW.




Craft stores and Party stores were my bestfriends during these times.
 I hung monthly pictures of her on our light fixture. I cannot believe how much she has grown!

But eventhough the party went well, there's always this tiny voice in me that says, "I could have done better". 







In reality, it wasn't my works or the decorations or the food that made the party but  the family and guests who helped me put up everything together and shared good times and laughter that filled the house with such joyful noise. There's nothing I could ask for


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2015/08/21

Refinishing Chair w/o Pneumatic staple gun


The castle was without dining room chairs and its only days left until the Castle Crowe come for a visit so the hubby and I went for an afternoon stroll at stores to find some chairs. Even in clearance chairs don't go very cheap so off we went to antique store to find something we could afford.






A set of four antique dining room chairs caught our attention. The seller salvaged it from being thrown away. He said they belonged to his grandparents. He is over 50 years old and he remembered seeing them looking old eversince he was little. I am guessing around 20's?



$40 bucks. SOLD!

Here's a confession. I have a big respect for antique furniture and I just don't want to slap it with paint. I wanted to leave it as it was and refurbish the yucky cushion. Even though the chairs felt sturdy but it wasn't in a mint condition. They had slits and cracks that needed wood filler to be safer. I tallied some votes and painting it won. Sorry chair. :(

I primed the chairs with cover stain primer. It's less work without sanding. I don't want overwhelming white. I got a couple samples of paint at Home Depot with a shade of  silver birch. I mixed it with plaster of Paris and water for a chalky finish. The picture doesn't show the actual color but it has a hint of gray.

Art takes time. With this kind of paint, don't rush it. Soaking the brush and slapping it on the the chair is a bad idea. It creates drop marks! However, if you are aiming for a distressed look and sand your project, it is okay.



The wood where the cushion should be was too hard for my limp staples. I did not have a pneumatic staple gun ( I wish I do), so I had to figure out a way to use my standard staple gun.

Cut some palette woods and glued them onto the wood to make a frame because palette wood is workable with standard staple gun.

There's no way salvaging the chair's original foam. It has been there for years and years, and who knows how many bottoms had sat there. So it was time for a new one.

This was an unexpected yucky surprise. On my journey to the center of old chair I found a lair of ancient roach eggs. So off to the dumpster you go!
The foam I used was 3 inches thick, so when I had to stand on top of it while refurbishing the cushion to achieve the shape I want. And for the fabric, I went to this amazing fabric store called Fabric & Fringe Warehouse in Marietta that specialize furniture fabrics.  They have a TV lounge for husbands while I lose myself from their fabric selections! I found this fabric in clearance. 7 yards for 30 something bucks? No brainer.


All in all, it cost us 140 to have these 4 unique dining room chairs! They are super soft and the Crowe clan has a chair to sit on!

Until next DIY!

Sincerely yours,
Castle Lemon


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2015/08/08

DIY Farmhouse Bench

Hello fellow bloggers and blog lovers! Here is another project I wanted to share to you today.

Hubby and I agreed to have a farm bench for our dining room. We don't have seating in dining room and we have a big family coming for a visit soon (wow, that rhymes!), so we decided to get a bench because I wanted to have a rustic feel for our dining area.




However, we were on a tight budget. My motto is, "If you can't buy, it, build it", thanks to my dad-in-law's expertise and cool manly tools, he helped and taught me the ways of carpentry by building a bench.

O yeah. Don't I look good with tools. I sure like to think so.
Some women love their shoes. I like a fine piece of machinery.

There are a number of tutorials you can find in Pinterest. We used this DIY Farmhouse bench tutorial for this particular bench because it is very simple and has a sturdier design. I customized mine, depending how long my table is. We went for a darker shade of stain. I used Varathane 3X Ash wood stain and finished it with Varathane Triple thick polyurethane (Gloss)


I hope you like  my little project. Till next project! Keep Inspired!

2015/06/28

Old Shutter Towel Basket



I have another old shutter lying around the house so I made a towel basket for the bathroom as for my hubby's request. If you are a fan of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, you'll recognize this quote.



I found this galvanized basket at Hobby Lobby store where they were marking their spring collections from 70% to 80% Off.

So I hope you like my another shutter project.


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2015/06/21

Share Your Father's day Memories



We celebrate  those men who are closest to our hearts. Please join us in celebrating Father's Day by sharing or commenting on this post your most precious memories with your fathers.



Here is my little girl greeting her first hero.




2015/06/10

Shutters Nightstand and Wall mounted Mason Jar lamp Project

I am a few days away from receiving  guests for this summer. I want our guest room to be as presentable as it can be in a very little resource we have. Its not impossible when you have imagination and a little help from Pinterest. If you click the link, you will find a DIY tutorial for shutter nightstand.


I found a cool inspiration of wall mounted rustic mason jar lamp. However, it was for sale for $85.00 on Etsy. I do not have the luxury to pay such amount. I'm not saying it is ridiculously overpriced. I support local business owners but, I just can't afford it plus I love the challenge.

I bought a cord and socket set at Home Depot, but only candelabra bulbs can fit in it. Price. $6.27

This project does take a little bit of your time and patience.  I had to figure a way run the wire through the pipe. 


 I have a few old shutters my mother in law found at the antique store back when we went for a vacation to Florida. I thought they could be of use as a night stand or shelf, however you want to call it.

That's me and my awesome mommy in law in the picture.


So that's conclude my little project. I hope you enjoyed your visit!


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