Sunday, January 29, 2012

I'm getting soooo excited...

...about my current embroidery project!  Its the first of a "series" that I've been wanting to do for at least a few months now and its coming along really nicely.  I'll post a picture in a few days when its finished.  If you're curious, go take a look at Andrea Zuill's blog and her Etsy shop to get a feel for my inspiration.

(this is one of the patterns that I'll be doing...  ISN'T SHE AWESOME???)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

...remember when I mentioned changes?

...I didn't forget!  I swear!  This year, rather than having a New Year's resolution, which I surely would have broken by now, I decided to make some life changes and set realistic goals for myself.  Some of these changes are definitely much bigger than others...

The first one was changing my eating habits and, in turn, my family's as well.  We are now "flexitarian," so to speak....  not in the fancy "the only meat we eat is free range, organic, no antibiotic, etc." sort of way (I wish we could, but with a family of five living on one income, we just plain can't afford it).  We are simply limiting our meat-based meals to every-other dinner or less.  That was an easy enough change, given that we're all pretty open to trying new foods.  :o)

My next change is challenging myself to drink more water.  I want my eight cups a day.  I feel better when I drink it, and I start to lose weight, which boosts my self-esteem.

Another change was having my no-more-babies surgery.  Done and recovering.  No more worries, yay!

Other changes include being more active, playing more (especially with my kids), starting to compost come springtime, and completing at least one challenge from my inspiration jar each month.

....which brings us to the inspiration jar itself...

Things it's filled with are:

  • poach an egg
  • make croissants
  • make pot stickers
  • make pirogi
  • make myself a skirt
  • make myself an apron
  • finish Rye's doll (I started crocheting a doll for her a year ago and *need* to finish it!)
  • make moussaka
  • finish O's painting (same deal as Rye's doll)
  • finish my zebra painting (yeah, this is something I started in high school -it's about time I finish it)
...I'm sure I'll keep adding to this list as time goes on, too.

Oh, and I have to plan our September wedding.

Looking at all of it here, it looks like a lot...  but I know that if I break it all down I can totally do it.  And I'll do it all well, goshdarnit.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I did it my way....

....of course, you have to sing the title of this post in a swanky, Sinatra manner.

Broccoli Salad (my way)

  • one bunch of broccoli, chopped (be sure to use your stems, too!  Just peel them and chop them up along with everything else)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (or twice as much, 'cause they're awesome)
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • a tiny bit of onion, sliced as thin as possible then chopped as teeny-tiny as possible...  picture the onions that were on the McD's cheeseburgers you ate as a child (::gag::, I know, but I'm not suggesting that you eat the crap, just remember what one of the toppings looked like)
Mix all of that stuff together and toss it with this dressing:

  • 1/3 c mayo (homemade is best, but anything without high fructose corn syrup will do)
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar (regular white will work fine)
  • a pinch of sugar or a drizzle of honey
  • here's the kicker: 1/3 c blueberry Greek yogurt 
I loved it.  The kids loved it (except for O, but he doesn't like much lately- he's three).  My fiance loved it, which means it was a hit.  

This one is a keeper.

(please excuse the bad picture...  the good camera is apparently angry at me, so I had my fiance take one with his phone.  Also, I was too lazy to work on presentation and make it all food-porny and stuff.  This is as good as it gets tonight)

...and just for fun...  

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!!!

Well, here it is, a little after noon on New Year's day and I'm finally getting moving...  Though it's not like I had all that much recovering to do from last night.  I stayed home with my kids, my mom came over and I babysat my niece.  All in all it was a quiet night.  I even got to give my fiancee a New Year's kiss...

I realize that it's been a little while since I've posted and I have to catch you up on how our crafty Christmas went!  I managed to finish most of the gifts that I had planned...  with the exception of the rag rug for the girls and O's bean bag chair.  Which was fine, they each still got a total of four handmade gifts from me alone.  I made them each slippers, a robe, an embroidered pillow (which was also what I made for family members) and two sketch books based on Amy Karol's idea.  The only change that I made was using plain poster board instead of backer board, which made them a little less sturdy, but a little bit less expensive.

Rye's robe

Moo's robe

O's robe

Rye's pillow and Moo smiling over hers

O and Moo's pillows

Kitty Gramma's pillow

Rye's initial reaction to the sketchbooks.....  
"a blank book?!?!  Ooooh, it's a sketch book!" (then came the smile)

My mom (Kitty Gramma) made them all kinds of stuff!  Oh, let's see if I can remember it all....  O got a hobby horse (from this tutorial).  They all got really cool overnight bags- I want one, they're so neat!  She also made them growth charts that match the quilts she made for them last Christmas, and the girls got a wall hanging for their room that ties together both of their quilts.
The girls' wall hanging

Rye's overnight bag

Rye's growth chart

Moo's overnight bag

Moo's growth chart

O's overnight bag

O's growth chart

My Gramma (Puppy Gramma) made the girls their super cute corduroy jumpers that they're wearing in the photos.  (She said that O will get something handmade from her soon)

I got a toasty fleece circle vest thingie from my future mother-in-law.  It's adorable.

I made my fiancee a pair of slippers, a simple fleece blanket (the kind where you tie knots around the edges), and two hot/cold rice bags (video tutorial here).  All of it was camo themed.
rice hot/cold packs

The kids also got TONS (too many, if you ask me) of toys from us, the grandparents and Santa.  Moo didn't get the bike she wanted.....  yet.  But all three kids got helmets and a promise that they will get to pick out their own bikes.  Rye got the Barbie kitchen she asked for, and O even got the dress-up bin he asked for.

It was a good Christmas.

....back to New Year's stuff...

I don't like the idea of "resolutions."  They're stupid promises that people make to themselves and end up breaking weeks, or even days later.  I'm not down with that.  I've been through enough broken resolutions in the past that I'm not going to waste my time with them.  So this year, I'm going to try something new.  I'm going to make some major lifestyle changes.  I think that that's as far as I'm going to go with that topic for now...  I'll share more in a future post.  Just remember "CHANGES."

....and now it's nearly 4:00 and I'm *finally* posting!  Eh, at least I got around to it today...