In pursuit of passion iced tea.

passion iced tea

Today was a no-nap day. Between the no-napping and the constant chorus of “Why? Why? Why?” and “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” I thought I was losing my mind. I was also trying to get some extra chores done and it seemed like every single member of my household was resistant to me making any progress, even the cats. Sometimes I just want to throw up my hands and leave for a day and see how they fare without me.

So I did. Sort of.

I was arguing with Toby over something or other and he was using his Jedi mind tricks on me where he scrambles my thoughts. No matter how valid my points are (and believe me they are!) I cannot make an argument go further than a sputter with him. I hate it when he does this to me. You don’t even know how many times I’ve wished I had my own personal moderator to plead my case.

I think I’m quite good at debating. I use to argue circles around my ex and I come from a long line of outspoken German-Irish hotheads. I’m not usually one to hold my tongue so this sputtering makes me mighty uncomfortable. I guess I married my match and it is so frustrating.

There I was arguing and losing hopelessly. Bug was interjecting her two cents every other second and the floor was distracting me with the zillion and one threads left on it from my latest fix-the-couch-cushions sewing project. I think the cat even threw in a yowl. I just couldn’t take it anymore so I flipped.

I quietly screamed, “I need a break!” I grabbed my purse and stomped out of the house in a huff.

Now, I don’t usually do this. I used to all the time before Bug was born but now with our new arrangement where I am the primary caregiver for our child, I can’t just up and have a temper tantrum whenever I choose to. I miss those temper tantrums. I miss dropping meaningful expletives and slamming doors. I’m just one pent-up angry misunderstood woman these days and I can’t even blog about my feelings because my whole family reads and I need to keep things upbeat and cheerful or else I get worried phone calls.

So I sat in my car and thought about where I should go. To the movies? To Santa Barbara? Mexico? I didn’t know what to do. I drove around the block and thought in blessed silence. I still didn’t know what to do so I kept on driving. I got as far as the local theatre and checked the movie showing times before the guilt set in.

I could hear Bug’s voice in my head saying, “You don’t need a break from me, do you mommy?” I thought of her crying and missing me. She would be scared and what if Toby didn’t really know how to comfort her? I know he’s a good dad and technically they would be fine for at least a day without me but I just knew I wouldn’t be able to enjoy a movie while I was worrying about her in the back of my mind.

And what about Toby? What if he had work he was planning on doing? What if my silly outburst put him even more behind schedule than he already is? We’ve been under some financial stress lately (like everyone these days), what if I was compounding our problems?

So I turned around and headed home. Some huff. I didn’t even last fifteen minutes.

When I got home you’ll never guess what I found. The furniture was all rearranged and Toby was on the floor with the vacuum cleaner up-ended. He had replaced the overflowing bag and was extracting five years’ worth of hair from the roller. Not only was he going to vacuum the whole house but he was fixing my poor tired vacuum cleaner too. Bug was nowhere to be found because she was “hiding” from Daddy and the big scary vacuum. Her laughter gave her away though and I found her naked under the covers in her room. Silly kid. She didn’t miss me at all.

I walked back into the living room and sputtered. Tears were leaking out of my eyes. I tried to explain myself to Toby but he cut me short.

“I love you Bren,” he said. “Go get yourself a passion iced tea.”

A passion iced tea? I don’t even like passion iced tea. But I didn’t argue. They only sell passion iced tea at one place that I know of and that place is Starbucks. So I left and went to get myself a passion iced tea. I also got two shots of espresso but Toby doesn’t have to know about that. I figured I was going to need it since today was going to be a very long no-nap day.

I sat in the sun outside Starbucks and drew in my book until my tea was gone. It was nice. I unloaded all my negative thoughts into my book. I drew myself fat. Then I drew myself with really really really long legs as if that would solve all my problems. I drew and drew and drew. And then I missed my family so I went home. Home to a freshly-vacuumed clean house.

If only every no-nap day could end like this.

Tie-dyed eggs two ways!

my pretties

We made tie-dyed eggs yesterday. It was SO fun! I definitely recommend following this beautiful tutorial from I found the link via goodyblog. Those parenting websites are great for finding fun things to fill up dull afternoons.

I have to share here because it’s super-fun and super-easy and it would be tragic if you didn’t rush out and try this yourself. (I mean if you’re into silly crafting like I am of course.) It wasn’t very messy, so don’t let that scare you away. I think the only offensive thing might be the stinky ties that I bought at a local thrift store. They were cheap and stained but boiling water kills germs so no worries there.

silk ties from the thrift store

First you get some ties and deconstruct them so that you can use the silk (they have to be 100% silk ties, no poly-blends). The directions are much better in the linked tutorial above so I’m just going to gloss over the steps quickly and add my two cents. You pretty much can only use the bottom portion of the tie because that’s the only spot big enough to wrap up an egg completely.

I also had some silk pajama pants that someone had given me ages ago to make lumpy cats out of so I used those too and they worked marvelously. Anything silk will work. I really wanted to cut up one of my Chinese silk shirts but I love my shirts too much so they stayed in the closet. Maybe someday I’ll buy some kimono silk just for egg dying. That would be really really pretty for eggs with Asian flair.

wrapping up the eggs

Next we wrapped up the eggs in the silk and tied them with a piece of string.

Actually I left out a funny detail. Earlier in the day I had boiled a whole dozen eggs, thinking I would get a jump start on the process. Then later when Bug was taking her nap, I finally sat down and read the directions. That’s when I noticed that the recipe called for RAW eggs. Doh. I always do this. It pays to read ahead.

I hemmed and hawed over what to do and finally sent off an email to the site asking them what I should do. I never expected a response because I’m a blogger and I hardly ever get to my emails in a timely manner. I figured I was screwed.

What do you know, a few moments later an email popped into my inbox saying not to worry about re-boiling the eggs because the only concern would be that they would be inedible which they are anyway because the dyes from the ties could be toxic. Good to know! So I’ve learned three things: it’s okay to re-boil eggs if you don’t intend to eat them, clothing dye can be toxic to eat and it’s really nice to answer your emails right away. I’ll have to work on that last one.

boiling the tied up eggs

After the eggs were tied up in their silk squares, we wrapped them again with scraps of an old t-shirt that I also bought at the same thrift store. Thrift stores are so handy! I need to shop them more often. This whole craft (plus a bunny rabbit that Bug refused to put down) cost me about six bucks. I’m sure you could spend way less but for some reason my thrift store sells ties for two dollars instead of fifty cents. I guess it’s a high end thrift store. Ha ha.

hugging "Katchew"

adding the dye

While we waited for the silk-tied eggs to boil for 25 minutes, we made the other kind of tie-dyed eggs—the scary kind with real food coloring that gets all over your hands and turns you into a swamp monster for 24 hours. I’ve never had much luck with putting drops of dye in water and then dunking eggs. I’ve never bought one of those kits either. When I read about this method of just squeezing drops of food coloring directly onto the eggs and then swirling them around in a colander, I was sold. It worked great and the color was very vivid, which I love.

whirled eggs

As you can see, we used some neon green dye liberally. Like Bethany twittered, it is pretty ironic that the bright green toxic-looking eggs are totally harmless to eat, while the soft pretty-looking tie-dyed eggs are probably not a good idea to eat. I don’t think they will kill you or make you sick but I also don’t think they would be FDA-approved. I know it’s a waste of eggs but I think it’s worth it for the pretty centerpiece they will be later.


arranging the eggs

Twenty-five minutes is a long time in Toddlerland so we also made some cookies while we waited for the eggs to cook and then cool.

she's so much more sophisticated with her cookie making

Besides, I like to go big when I make messes. And like I said, the silk dyeing wasn’t all that messy.

the suspence is killing us

Finally, the eggs were cool enough to touch and then the unwrapping process began. This is by far the best part of the whole project. You just never know what the eggs are going to turn out like. Some were bright and pretty, others were soft and muted. In some places the patterns took perfectly while in other places (where the fabric was likely folded) the colors swirled.

muted stripes

This was from a dark colored purply-blue striped tie.


This was from an M.C. Escher tie. I sort of felt bad about cutting this tie up but it was stained, probably from somebody dripping gravy on it during a Sunday dinner so I got over that.

this one turned out!

The pink tie turned out the most exciting, I think.

egg art

all done!

All in all they were super fun. I’m going to be collecting silk ties from now on. If you have any neat ones, save them for me!