Beet Soup and Ballet Shoes

I know, I know.  A very unlikely combination.  But trust me, in my case, they have gone hand in hand.

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First, the beet soup.  It is a favorite of mine.  My fathers side of the family is Polish.  And this is a classic Polish dish.  Many know it as beet borscht.  Except I don’t serve mine with sour cream.  It’s mashed potatoes and bacon all the way.  Here’s the recipe:

Beet Soup

1 bunch sweet beets, greens cut and discarded

4 C. beef broth

1 1/2 lbs. Yukon gold or Russet potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed

3 strips bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled

red wine vinegar

salt and pepper

Wearing kitchen gloves and an apron, peel the beets and cut into long, thin, julienne style strips.  (Trust me, you want the gloves and apron.  Beet juice will ruin clothing and stain skin for days.)

Put cut beets and beef broth together in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes or until the beets are fork tender.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Peel and cut potatoes.  Boil them until tender and mash adding salt and pepper to taste.

In a pan, cook bacon until crispy. Crumble the bacon and mix into the mashed potatoes.

Now, serve up the soup.  Add red wine vinegar to each bowl to taste.  Everyone won’t like the same amount of tartness. Then add a scoop of the bacon mashed potatoes and enjoy!

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** Now if you weren’t smart enough to wear an apron or use gloves, you now know that beet juice stains.  So this is where the ballet shoes come in!

I have had 2 pairs of pointe shoes in a closet for months.  I found them on clearance.  I wanted to dye them and decorate my daughter’s room with them.  I just haven’t gotten around to it. 

Until I made beet soup.

And saw the gorgeous color of the soup. 

And ruined a white shirt.

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I knew right then and there that I could use the left over soup to stain the ballet shoes.

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They came out the most gorgeous deep pink color.  And they are totally non-toxic.  Vegetable dye at its best!  It’s not smelly or hazardous.  It’s fantastic!

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I sewed on the ribbon (it really brought back some memories) and hung them over the side of my daughter’s headboard.  Voila!

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Day 25–Art Files

Don’t you just love it when your children come home with a backpack full of artwork they did at school?  They are bursting with pride and can’t wait to show you all of their special creations.  The difficult part is that all of them are precious and can’t be thrown out.  And must be pulled out at a moments notice so you can prove that you didn’t throw them away. 

If I didn’t create a system for corralling all of this artwork it would be taking over my house.  So I created Art Files.  They stay in a hall closet (more on that closet soon) that is easily accessible, they stack on top of one another and they hold all of the important artwork and school work.

I bought 2 stackable cubes from Target for about $3 each.  I bought hanging file folders from Staples.

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I put their names in stickers on the front of each bin.  And labeled each folder with the month of the school year.

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Viola!  They easily stack into a corner of the hall closet.  I pop stuff in there that needs to be kept and can retrieve at a moments notice, like a good mom!

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Girl Power Art

As I have been decorating my daughters room, I have found that I am very picky when it comes to art.  I like signs, things with words, meaningful words.  And for a little girl you can’t always put up Barbie (although I did), princesses and ballerinas.  I want my daughter to grow up feeling confident and being classy.  She isn’t in to sports, so the usual “girl power” stuff won’t work.  (Sorry, Nike!)  She is a dancer and an artist, a true performer in all ways.  And, of course, a girly girl.  Only dresses and skirts – every day!  She even wears faux pearls with her school uniform! 

 

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I started off with spray paint in the colors of her room.  Just the accent colors though, because her room is PURPLE!  I got some pre-cut mats and white frames from Hobby Lobby.

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I found some quotes that I liked and some cute girly silhouettes and made my own art using Microsoft Word.  All the clip art was free. 

Here are the quotes –

“Keep your head, heels and standards high!”

“A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous!” – Coco Chanel

“Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.” – Winnie the Pooh

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Then I sprayed the frames and mats in varying colors.  Once they were dry, I set up shop at the kitchen table and just using scotch tape, I stuck my MS Word art to the back of the mats.

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I placed them in the frame and hung them up.  Viola!  I think the total project cost me $50 and took about 90 minutes (not including drying time). 

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I will share my daughters room in its totality when I’m done.  I have some other tricks up my sleeve!  Smile