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Soupy Sunday: Roasted Garlic Soup February 20, 2011

Filed under: food — ravennagirls @ 5:16 pm
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This soup is for you if:

The cold temperatures are giving you a cold….

You buy enough garlic to feed an army and then attempt to use it before it sprouts…

You just love garlic, like a lot….

Then really you will love this soup as much as we do.  I mean, do people not love roasted garlic???  {if so, why not?  really honestly??  Not judging, just curious!}

To start, you begin by roasting your garlic.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Take 4 whole heads of garlic and peel off some of the paper outer layer.  Don’t peel the cloves.  Slice 1/4″ off the top of ea garlic head.  Place all four heads in a piece of foil in a baking dish.  The cut side should be on top.  You then drizzle about 1 teaspoon of olive oil over each head.  Bake these, uncovered, but slightly wrapped up in the foil for a whole hour.

Your house should now smell heavenly.

Cool slightly, just so you can hold each head comfortably.  Don’t let them get all the way to cool though, or the garlic cloves stubbornly won’t come loose.  Press the whole head with your hand all at once to release the garlic pulp.  Go in there with a chopstick and pry a bit if you need to….

For the rest of the soup you will need:

1 T olive oil

1 c chopped yellow onion

2 stalks celery, chopped

3 1/2 cups chicken stock

1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 t dried thyme

1 t salt

pepper to taste

1 bay leaf

1/2 cup milk (we used 2%)

grated parmesan for topping

NOW, warm the oil in your big soup pot.  Add the onion and celery and saute until tender.  Then add the garlic!


Next, add the stock, beans, thyme, salt, pepper and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer without covering for 15 minutes.

This is not the most colorful soup… but it is oh-so tasty.

Remove the bay leaf.  Then – Blend in your food processor or with your new immersion stick blender that Santa your little sister got you for Christmas.  Return the soup blended to the pot.  Now add the milk and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Serve, sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top, and eat, preferably with a crusty piece of bread, YUM.


Now, I don’t believe that either of us took  this soup to work for lunch like we normally do with our Sunday Soups…. But it sure made terrific dinners on crisp busy weeknights.

: )


Recipe adapted from The Big Book of Soups and Stews by Maryana Vollstedt.




Lil Love Monsters February 18, 2011

Filed under: crafty — ravennagirls @ 11:08 am

One day, I was happily reading my google reader.  A bit of sunshine popped up with a new entry and I clicked.  When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer homemade fleece love monsters!  How cool! and so CUTE!

Now, I had already been to Joann’s once that week and remembered that fleece and flannel were super discounted… so I went back for some monster specific type fleeces.

Basically I needed two base colors and a bit of white and black for the face.

I didn’t use a pattern or anything…. I just started sketching one day.  I thought about some cool monster features…. Like one eye!  and the babies….  Mainly, how Ethan often smiles SO big, and how Kaylee’s smiles begin on the side of her mouth all slyly.    I think their smiles are both so…. them.

So I sketched a girly monster with longer hair and a Kaylee smile.

And then an Ethan monster with spikey hair and a huge grin.

I scanned the pen sketches and opened them in photoshop, because I am a huge nerd.  The monsters got some color and were then used on the little cards that I made.

One night i sat down with the sketches and the fleece… and well winged it.  Ha.  They came out a teeny bit bigger then I originally wanted, but after seeing them with the babies they seemed to be a good size.  I mean, they are not much smaller then the actual kids themselves so they can’t carry them around just yet….

but eventually….

I’m deeming this my first successful sewing project without a pattern.  : ) Pretty fun!  I as usual, could not have done it without B’s patient help….since me and the needle threading thing are still not usually friends.

To sum up this post….

fleece is easy to sew with and hides user error

monsters are really cute

Monster arms are the perfect size for babies to chomp on

My love for K and E is MONSTERous.  : ) Happy Valentine’s Day & 6 month birthday, darlings.

Being a god-mother is pretty awesome!

Happy Friday, monsters!


Monthly Mantel – February February 16, 2011

Filed under: design — ravennagirls @ 1:13 pm

We have been dying to start a new little post series on RG where we feature our mantel.  We change it often enough, let’s be serious… But we didn’t just want a holiday to be the only reason we show you our mantel.

with pops of color from red tapers, and glowing tea lights in jars….

and these fun “woodland creatures” from the Martha Stewart line at Macy’s.   Most of them I got from my mom for Christmas this year.  They were simply too cute to put away so soon!

{yes, that one is a puffin.  we are aware that in the real world, it does not often hang with moose in the woods.  But Martha has it hanging with the woodland creatures, so why can’t we?}

We have turned the living room  into ‘winter’ wonderland…. So much Christmas stuff really never lets us fully enjoy winter.  The snow, the quiet, the cozy nights by the fire…  This year we put up our winter village on the bookcase.  Brightly colored houses with white roofs keep the outside from looking so dreary…


What do you have on your mantel/around the house these days? 

And, speaking of winter…. it looks like we might not be done yet…..

This excites me.  Evening with snow falling in front of the fire…. yes please!     I am skeptical thought, because apparently according to this its raining today… and its actually sunny.  so, who knows….


happy valentine’s day February 14, 2011

Filed under: celebrations,food — ravennagirls @ 9:43 pm
Tags: , ,

strange that valentine’s is on a monday this year…. did you have a great weekend?

{hearts around our house}

it is rainy here today, and I am drinking a whole lot of coffee…

B and I did quite a lot this weekend, while also managing to get in a little relaxation time, time with friends, and going on a small adventure.  oh, so needed!

I spent my Saturday night baking my small group girls their valentines.  Nothing is better than an edible valentine, in my opinion….

i baked these with my message in a cookie cutters.  then some simple powder sugar frosting and some red sugar….  Wrapped up in bags with ribbon to hand out…

I heart my small group girls, it’s true.

I heart all you readers too!  [and so does b!]


hope your day is filled with laughs and a glass of red and a little treat!


Security Envelope Valentines February 13, 2011

Filed under: crafty,Uncategorized — ravennagirls @ 11:57 pm
Tags: ,

The other night, I found some random supplies and decided to throw together some Valentines as simple little treats for my friends. Here’s a quick little pictorial. These could be easily adapted for other holidays depending on the type things you have lying around. They are SUPER quick and would make a great teacher valentine if you’re last minute like I usually am.

I’ve had some security envelopes stashed away to use as backgrounds and paper accents, and they were perfect for this! One envelope made 7 valentines.

The tape is japanese fabric sticky-back tape from Daiso (the japanese dollar store). You could also use Washi tape or follow this tutorial to make your own fabric tape.

I freehanded hearts from the fabric tape. Don’t worry too much about getting a perfect heart shape, they will be more whimsical this way 😉

After placing the hearts on each patterned flag, I used a red pen to integrate the heart into a message. Some of them said ” You’re a Sweet ❤ ” or had the heart in a thought bubble. Then I glued each paper flag to a regular #2 pencil, covering the logo. I always like giving a little useful giftie, and who doesn’t get excited about a crisp new pencil?

A goofy but cute little treat! Enjoy whats left of your day and give someone in your life a little extra love on this special day.


{PS – can anyone teach me how to insert a cute heart into my post in wordpress? I’ve searched, but I’m HTML illiterate and am not able to make it work. Something tells me the ❤ is a little outdated these days. . .}


a very merry half birthday to …

Filed under: friends and family,photo — ravennagirls @ 6:32 pm
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KAYLEE and ETHAN!!!!!!

Can you believe that just six short lil months ago….we blogged here about their birth?

I have been waiting for just this very day to show you the little project that Dana, the babies and I are now halfway through…

How it all started:

Before the kids even were born, both B and I spotted THIS little project of Young House Love‘s.  B even emailed it to baby mom Dana.  We all were like cuuuute, but then the babies birth happened …

It was/is really important to me that K + E know me from a young age and that I spend time with them.  In the early months, mom and dad needed some help too.

So, on the approach to their first month – birthday… I re-emailed Dana the Young House Love project… and said I want to do this for you.

Over the past six months, picture taking has kind of become our little thing.   Okay, fine, slight obession.  Those kids are just so cute, I cannot help myself!  Plus I have been excited about getting more experience in the taking pictures of real people realm. {and I will be the first to say that taking pictures of two babies is challenging. no really challenging.}

But practically, it has become pretty perfect.  I cannot describe to you how excited I get to go spend the day with Dana and the babies.   It’s really perfection.  The kids are awake and happy and the light is great as good as you get in a NW winter.   They nap after their strenuous modeling, and B comes over from work to eat lunch with us.  Dana and I get to chat in the afternoon and play board games until the babies awaken.   It has become such a fun little activity and one that is going to give us so many memories.  Sure, there will be the physical giant picture hanging on the wall for the rest of time, for mom + dad to stare at and admire how little their babies once were.  But, really, I feel so privileged that Dana has allowed me to share some of those real time memories with her.  Like… Ethan nearly punching Kaylee, the stage Ethan went through were laying on his back made him really cry,  the first time they laid there and smiled up at us, Dana singing them goofy songs to get them to smile for the camera, all those times when holding a baby resulted in me having to change my clothes too, dressing them in Christmas outfits and waking them up from a nap because the we were losing the light, photographing under the motto “well, at least they aren’t crying…”  , and a whole lotta snuggling.  I imagine the next six months of this project will involve its own challenges, I’m guessing over increased mobility…

So before you lose interest over reading how fun this has been for me…

Here you go, Kaylee + Ethan, month-by month.   Please click on them for an enlarged view. 🙂


And, my so far all time favorite pictures of each kid……


thanks babies.  :0)

While I did physically hit the shutter on each of these… I literally could not have done it without a huge assist from Dana.  The babies smile more often when someone’s job is making goofy faces at them and singing….

and happy 6 months!


Ten on Ten February February 10, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — ravennagirls @ 9:47 pm
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I have long admired the Ten on Ten project started by Rebekah of a bit of sunshine. The concept? “Take a photo every hour for ten consecutive hours on the tenth of each month. Document a day of your life and find beauty among the ordinary moments.” I’ve always that since most often the tenth falls on a work day I wouldn’t have much to share. But, I decided to give it a try anyway, and it actually changed my perspective on the day. It was fun to set a reminder throughout the day to take a look around and find pretty non-office-related things. Enjoy!

Stay tuned for more installments in this project – I really enjoyed it! Head over to a bit of sunshine to see the rest of today’s ten on ten.