Saturday, June 11, 2011

Back!

Well, I did have the intentions of posting while on my trip to see my parents, but as you can see, nothing came of that plan.

I had a wonderful trip with Katherine. We stayed with my family in Upstate NY while Matt attended a conference in NYC about church growth, chastity and how to deal with those who are addicted to internet pornography. Heavy hitters, huh? He told me that he has had a marvelous time.

Basically, his trip would not have happened if I didn't stay with my parents. There is no way that I was ready to handle Tues-Sat, still working, taking care of Katherine and being ready to give birth at any time.However, I was really looking forward to seeing my parents, brothers and old friends.

I just got back tonight. Matt is coming back in the late-afternoon tomorrow. I can't wait to see him!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

What has happened to my memory?

I have always been somewhat absent minded, but I took it to new extremes today.

We have been planning on visiting Matt's family in Queens. This trip had to be cancelled and rescheduled and rescheduled for the past two months, I think. It is terrible. At least we finally reached a time when we were all free.

I scurried about this morning making sure everything was attended to. I very carefully packed Katherine's clothes (accounting for the inevitable leaks) and was happy that it finally fit on one big bag. I went all out- I cleaned so we could come home to a nice house, watered plants, washed dishes, everything.

Since I have to drive home by myself for the first time (NOT A FAN) as Matt is saying in the city for a conference this week, I wanted to have some great car music. In addition, I am leaving the day after I get home to go to my family in Upstate NY. Lots more driving= I need new music. I worked for a while looking for new songs to get from iTunes. It was great until with the slip of a click... I deleted my ipod. Yes, all of my hard work of organizing songs (a multi-year creation) was wiped out. I felt that sinking feeling like you get when you accidentally run over your pet. I put some music back on it, but it really needs a lot of time to be thoroughly replaced.

We got on the road. I am not going to list each delay we had, but it was a lot.  While driving I realized that I left Katherine's clothes and pack of diapers at home. I also realized that I left my ipod at home. However, the worst of all was that when I called to say we would be late, I found out that we were supposed to visit next week.

Thankfully, in the end, it all worked out. They were free, so we could still come. Matt bought Katherine some diapers and we will get her some new clothes tomorrow. When I opened my bag I found out that I actually did pack my ipod.

Wow.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Thrift store finds

So, I was super excited to have had a marvelous shopping experience. Actually, it wasn't marvelous, but two great finds made it up. First of all, I DIDN'T get this gorgeous vintage pillowcase that would have been an adorable summer dress for Katherine. Sigh. All I could think was that all of the germs of Pennsylvania were on those sheets. Though this might be true, that is what washing machines are for: ten cycles (just kidding).

The maternity clothes was also a bomb out. I can usually find at least one really good thing, but it was cleaned out for my size. Of course there were some insanely hideous looking alternatives which made me wonder why they were ever made in the first place- do people think this looks good? I almost took pictures.

At any rate, when I came to the housewares section, I was pleasantly surprised.



This lovely hand painting was about two dollars.

Next I found bags of thread for about three dollars each- these bags were large and STUFFED with thread. Here lies the third problem of the day: I only bought one bag. Still, that one bag was pretty decent. When I got I found these cool, ancient wooden spools:


So that was that! I really should go back for that pillowcase and thread...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday.

I am working on a new project that I shall hopefully be able to post later. My goal is to finish it today. This delayed me:

I didn't even mean to give her patriotic food.
I have been trying to teach Katherine what "done" and "more" mean. After eating for a while she threw her arms in the air and said "da" or something like that. She kept repeating the "d" sounds and was acting like she was done. Normally I would have bribed her with cool utensils so I could keep sewing but she seemed so adamant about being done. If her "da" sounds could have meant by some miracle that she is learning how to tell me when she is finished (her meals can take a loooong time) I didn't want to spoil it as it was blossoming, so I brought her to the computer/tv/fun room to play.

She deserved it- it was such a long liturgy today. We spent most of it outside because it was boiling hot inside. I thought I would either go into labor, throw up in front of everyone or pass out, haha (maybe not that dramatic). Plus, Katherine was all out of sorts. There were a hundred million people there today for the pilgrimage so there was barely a place for her to be. Any how, it all worked out. Then this happened:

Sweet, right? Sure. She has seemed to have forgotten about since she she has come home (we can only hope). She loved her nose for a while though. Sigh.


Tomorrow is the main part of the pilgrimage in which hundreds of people will come for the day. A lot of friends who graduated last year have already come for it, so tomorrow will be a lot of fun. Also, there will be a local homemade ice cream booth which I am dead set on spending my life savings on.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thursday's pretty things

I have decided that I love Pinterest. I still have a few free invitations if this inspires you to get one (just leave a comment). It makes posting random pictures from the internet to my blog so much easier.

Here are some of my recent favorite pretty finds! (All re-posted form Pinterest)



Source: etsy.com via Rebekah on Pinterest






  



Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The last few days- plus a cry for help.

In case you wondered where I was- our internet died on Friday. :( It was tough, but we survived no internet until today. Thankfully, it was nothing major- a shorting line. It was fixed for free- yay, Verizon!

You may think that with all of this time on my hands (my work is online) I did some awesome craftalicious work. Nope. Nada. Even though I had high ambitions of sewing up a storm, I mostly took a well needed break.

I did do a lot of gardening. It was so nice. I love planting seeds and plants in the spring. It takes me back to my childhood. Landscaping our backyard is a work in progress. I will take some pictures and post them later. There really isn't a lot to see right now.

I do have a question for anyone who reads this. This is my dilemma: I put way to much of my heart into the flowers in the front of the house. Without fail, people steal (sometimes throwing in the mud, pulling up by the roots or strewing on the sidewalk) my beloved hydrangeas, gladiolas- anything within reach. I can't begin to describe you how upset this makes me. Yeah, I was that person who was crying in the street. For realz. Outside of installing some hardcore electrical shock system (my favorite), do any of you have an idea that might discourage this from happening this year? I was thinking about a little sign that says "Look, don't touch" but that might inspire this sadism to extreme measures to spite me. Of course, I also thought about hiding out on the porch and jumping out at the person. I know I am taking it too seriously when I suspect every person I see on our sidewalk and even listen by the window as if the kids are going to talk about stealing my flowers when they walk by. How sad. I have to confess this, haha.

Seriously though, any ideas? My plot is too small for a fence. 

I will note that I have now been planting flowers that are bushy and not likely to be savagely dismembered. However, I have a lot of older stock that is incredibly tempting... and it is about to bloom...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Pinterest

Would anyone like an invitation to Pinterest? Normally you have to apply for one and wait a few days. However, I have a few free invitations, so if you want one, leave a comment and I will send you an invitation right away. I will take comments until I run out of invitations (I think I have five).




I really like Pinterest. I haven't been able to figure out how to repost my pins to my blog, so if anyone reading this knows, comment or email please! I only have a few pins so far- it is a great way of remembering things that inspire you. I think I only have clothes posted right now. :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Enchanted Dream Ruffle Skirt Tutorial (Made from a sheet and other things)


Just about anywhere you look, you will see some designer's version of a ruffle skirt. Bouncy and full, they add feminine charm to any outfit while still remaining a light and breezy option for summer.

I've been wanting one myself. I discovered this weekend that it really isn't that complicated to make. Though this skirt is my own design, I was inspired to try one from this tutorial.

I thought you might like you try making one yourself. I will add a disclaimer- it takes a long time to sew the necessary ruffles... a long time. It was worse for me because as I was designing this skirt myself I would make mistakes and have to rip stitches. I don't own a seam ripper, so I picked them the hard way. Thankfully, that fits the slogan of nearly all of my projects: I make mistakes so you don't have to.

What you need:




You will never guess it but, the foundation of this skirt is... another sheet.
This one had several stains. I think this one was candy.

 You will also need some long strips of various fabrics that match your color scheme. I used nine strips. It was petty easy with a rotary cutter. Most of them were around 3"-5" high. I didn't measure the length as long as it was at least the same or longer as my skirt.I would recommend trying various lengths so you can have varying ruffles. Also remember that lace is in this season. I cut up an old stained curtain.

You also need thick elastic- enough to go around your waist. Mine was about two inches.

Step Two:
Cut out your skirt. I cut a rectangle that was 24" x 55."  (About 2 feet by 1.5 yards) I am a small/medium and it fits me well. If you take advantage of the pre-made hem from the sheet you can save a whole step!

Step Three: 


Ruffle all of the longer strips. Sew a hem if needed.

Sew the strips to the skirt. I would recommend using a ziz-zag stitch to prevent fraying.

This will take a while.

You are probably still sewing.

You might be done now.



Step Four:

This is the sewn back.
Now you have to sew the sides of the skirt together. Make sure all of your ruffles are even. Pin super carefully and baste it once (so you can make sure it is even) before sewing a secure seam. I finished the seam by covering it with a strip of leftover ruffle. You don't really have to do this.


Step Five:

Cut out the elastic (so that it fits around your waist with a little stretch).
Pin the top of the skirt over the elastic band and sew it up!

You might be done...

(Optional) Step Six:

I cut out another piece of the sheet to be an underskirt lining. I did this mostly because the skirt is white and I didn't 't want to have to wear a slip all of the time in the hot summer. I just cut out a rectangle that was somewhat smaller than the skirt. Again, I took advantage of the pre-made hem from the sheet. I sewed the sides and attached it to the leftover raw-edge from the waistband. This also covers the raw edge and finishes the skirt nicely.
You can't tell from the picture what is going on, lol. 


You are finished!



After spending hours on this I learned a valuable lesson about not becoming obsessed.


Here is another look that you can get from the same pattern:
The fabric for this skirt was chosen and arranged by my friend. I did most of the sewing using the above pattern. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Fabulous Friday

What made today fabulous? To be honest, parts of today were pretty difficult. Most of it centered over our car being in the garage ALL DAY. It is still there. The mechanic never called us, though he was supposed to. I don't know what happened. While I was in the middle of being incredibly frustrated over it, Matt tried to remind me that who knows the circumstances.

I am still kind of bothered about it, but one thing I have learned is that God can use little things like that to cause a much better outcome. I try to remind myself that when I get behind a super annoying slow driver. Maybe if I was a few seconds slower I would miss an accident or something. I don't mean to sound particularly morbid, but really, how many time have you or someone you knew been seconds/moments away from an accident? So really, it helps keep perspective.

WELL for me the best part of today was F-I-N-A-L-L-Y getting my hair cut (The salon was in walking distance). I used to have it maintained in layers all of the time. However, since I have been trying to grow it out, I have refrained from doing much with it. Well, it has been too long (time, not length, lol.) so I finally had it done.I got the OK from Matt to try layers and bangs again, but I was nervous because since my hair is so much longer now than what it used to be; I didn't know what to expect.


Years ago...
Ah, college days.



So, I look a lot better in the before picture. Hey, it was college, 'K? It was years ago. I would kind of have liked more extreme layers, but I still love the new cut.

1.5 babies later.


I think the subtle layers will be easier to put my hair up. I like vintage hairstyles and they do not often work well with layers. Another reason that I am super excited is that my hair has been tangling SO EASILY. Seriously, it gets super matted in the back in a matter of hours. I think I should go bohemian and get dreads or something. Since getting it cut this afternoon, I have had barely any tangles.

*******
This is totally off subject, but these are just too adorable. I took them today. She is sick with whatever I had earlier this week.

She still loves the bird I made her. Though to be fair, there were only two other toys on the floor when this was taken. However, even when she has other toys, she plays with this a lot. It probably wouldn't have anything to do with me whispering in her ear while she sleeps that Moma's toy is the best on of them all.
If you want to be a super cool mom and make a bird, this is how you do it from scraps.



I have no explanation for this except it made me laugh a lot.

Monday, May 9, 2011

What I/we wore Sunday on Monday (Maternity Fashion)


I have been meaning to post more maternity fashion, Not that I am a fashonista myself, but I thought it might be give other mamas some ideas.

"Flapper-ish"

Me:
Cardigan- Forever 21
Lacy top- Target (This is not a maternity shirt)
Lacy skirt- Thirfted
Cami: Forever 21
Old shoes that I hope you don't pay too much attention to: The Shoe Depot
Long necklace: Burlington Coat Factory

Katherine
Cardigan:- Sorry, but it is  gift from our family in Belgium, so I can't tell you where to go <3
Dress: Gift
Leggings: Osh Kosh B'gosh
Shoes: Are actually socks that are a gift.

Since most of these things are gifts, old sales or thrifted, this post isn't much of a help, but it was fun for me to make.

However, this might be great for you. You can't see my hair very well in this picture (which is probably good), but it was made from this tutorial from Casey's Elegant Musings. She has an amazing site filled with lots of fun vintage ideas. This is an Edwardian/Victorian inspired braided updo. It is incredibly easy to do.

A pretty ricebag for your aching muscles

Ok, I am not going to lie. I have been using a sock filled with rice, tied off with a hair tie. Beautiful, huh?

Plus it gets smelly when I overheat the rice. Yuck. As you can probably tell by my blog, I like pretty things. I had been meaning to make a nicer rice bag for a long time, but never felt like sewing one when my machine was out. Finally, I did.

You need

1. Some pretty flannel (I used a simple creamy white for the backside)
2. Rice (some people recommend corn or buckwheat)
3. Dried lavender

Organic lavender from Paula Jean's Shop
(As a side note, I would recommend this shop. It is organic, so you don't have to worry about pesticide residue. Also, I love to know that I have used an independant shop that is promoting small businusess rather than excessive corporations.)


To make the bag

If you have ever sewed anything in your life, you can easily make this bag. It doesn't need photo instructions. Just cut out a rectangle the size of your choice from both flannel prints.  Sew it up but leave one of the narrow sides open to turn and fill with rice. I added three lines in the middle (After turning!) to keep the rice from all falling to the bottom. Add your lavender and rice alternatively in small amounts. I used somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 a cup of lavender. Once you are finished turn in the raw edges and sew it closed. Presto!




It was so simple. Now when I heat the bag it smells so much nicer. The scent of lavender is supposed to be quite relaxing, so I imagine that it could also help your muscles to relax as well. I put mine in the microwave for 2-3 minutes. Be careful though, I have burned holes in my "sock bags" before! ( I think I put them in for much longer though)

Enjoy!




Mother's day recap... Happy Mother's day to me...

  Mother's Day



It was a great day. I was ready to bask in my own motherly glory and extract my dues. Sadly, since I can't convince Katherine to do anything for me. I told Matt he had to be her proxy. This started a debate since last year of should a husband be required to give a Mother's day gift to his wife? We know various people who have differing opinions.


Well, Matt got me some delightful lotions from Mary Kay
Mary Kay Mint Bliss: Energizing Lotion for Feet & Legs
This was one of them- or something like this. It is in the other room and I am t-i-r-e-d.
 
Katherine DID give me a gift and that was the gift of relaxation. She took an epic nap. I watched an eposide from Monk and took a nap myself. It was amazing.

After that we went to our friends' house down the block. They made Reubens and I made a cake.

It was great!
I hope you all had a lovely, lovely day!

After church we took some pictures...


Matt took a lot of "candid" shots. We have a joke argument that they are horrible, but he thinks they are the best. This is one of them.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

My take on sippy cups- what works for breastfed babies.



Ok, so I will admit it. Katherine is over ten months old and has just mastered a sippy cup meant for four month olds. I did attempt to get her to use one once when she was four months, but it didn't go so well. She only needed it for some prune juice (another story in the poop chronicles- that I, thankfully, never wrote). SO, I never pushed it until now. Our little boy is due in a month and a half. Frankly, I don't want to be nursing two babies full time. Sure, Katherine's diet is focused around a lot of table food, however, up until now all of her fluids are from nursing. I plan on letting her nurse as long as she wants to (?), but on a cut back schedule.

Trying to find a sippy cup for a little girl who has nursed without a bottle for months and who hasn't had a pacifier in a good amount of time is not easy for us. Maybe Katherine is just picky. I don't know.

My blog isn't good enough (someday!) to have sponsors, so I am not getting anything from this. I just thought it could be useful for other nursing pacifier-less moms who pull out their hair trying to get their babies to use a cup without a huge mess.

Spoiler: the best cup is at the end, so just skip to it if you don't care about the others

Cup trial number one: Advent Magic Trainer Cup

Avent 7oz Magic Trainer Cup Twin Pack "colors may vary"
I gave her the Advent cup. I am sure this will be a great cup for her when she understands the concept of a sippy cup. The problem is that she has to suck quite hard to get anything. If I take the stopper out it leaks everywhere. The other downside to this cup is that the handles are not attached to the bottle. I am assuming this is some sort of "transition from a bottle" phase but since she wasn't used a bottle, it is just annoying to get the lid screwed on tightly enough AND to get the handles in the right position. It is an odd shape to wash as well.

Out of five stars, I would give it a 2.5

Cup trial number two: Nuk Graduates
NUK Gerber BPA Free Fun Grips Soft Starter Spill Proof Cup 2 Hand le, 6 Ounce, 2 Pack, Horizontal, Colors May Vary
I liked this one a lot at first. She still couldn't figure out that she was supposed to suck it. She chewed it a lot though (Like the other). However, I did get her to use it by taking out the stopper. It has a more controlled flow so if she knocked it over or held it upside-down it didn't get terribly messy. It is easy to wash, Since the handles are connected at the base it is easier than the Advent cup. Still, I was looking for something that she could pick up when she wanted that I wouldn't have to worry about a constant potential mess with.

Out of five stars, I would give it a 4

Cup trial number three: Tommy Tippee Sips Weaning Cup




Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature First Sips Weaning Cup - 4m+ - 5 Oz. (Pink)
This cup advertises that it is closer to nature. Phew, I was excited about that. The inside valve looked impressive- more impressive than the others. It is just as easy to wash as the Nuk. But the important part? The nipple was still too hard for Katherine to do anything more than gnaw on.

Out of five stars, I would give it a 4

Drum roll here...

The winner: Nuk Learner Cup W/ Silicone Spout
NUK Learner Cup BPA Free Silicone Spout, Single Pack, Colors May Vary

This cup stands out among all of the others that I could find. I got it from Wegmans and I know you can get it from Amazon because that is where I got the picture. The spout/nipple is shaped like a cross between a bottle nipple, pacifier and a sippy cup top. It is as pliable as a bottle nipple. I am not going to lie, I had to get Katherine to watch me make sucking motions so she would imitate me (I tried that with the others as well). Presto! She sucks a sippy cup! She loves it. I am sure that since she understands how it works she will easily adapt to the other cups. The soft nipple/spout was what made all of the difference. The downside to it is that if she drops it the plastic attracts hair, fuzz or dirt. Still, I think it is well worth it.

5 stars!

Now I am a happy mama. If you are having problems with getting your baby to use a cup I would suggest trying to give your baby only water at first. I have heard some people recommend milk or juice so that the experience is more rewarding, but frankly, I didn't want to deal with that much mess. I am very satisfied.
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