Sunday, March 16, 2014

Moving on

moving on 

This link above takes you to my Pinterest board... all about moving on with less.

We have decided to move back to the United States. We are in the process now of applying for a work visa for Mark. The only way we know how to do this affordably, is to sell almost all of our belongings and do it on a budget.

It really is something else learning to live with less. I have already given away half of all my cookbooks and will need to eventually give them all away. 

Thank goodness for blogs. I will be posting my favorite recipes from my favorite cookbooks as a way to catalog them, find them quickly - it will truly become my online recipe box. Thank goodness I finally received my own very first iPad. It makes looking up recipes so much quicker. I used to have to print everything out or at least, write down the list of ingredients on a pad of paper so I could prepare my meals without having to walk back and forth to my computer while preparing a meal in the kitchen. 

iPads really make life a bit easier. 

I am just bummed because I just bought 3 new books. Plenty and two cake books that I don't really want to give away, but the more stuff I save, the more stuff I have to haul around.

I am selling or giving away all of my baby clothes. It literally took me about 8 years to organize them perfectly each in their own plastic storage box by size and now, I am going through each box and selling the very best clothes and giving away the other, not quite so new looking clothes.

I am giving away my paintings, and trying to decide what to do with all my stuff - like my wedding dress. Yes, it's true I don't wear it anymore, but I don't want to just give it away. It's MY dress. 

I am glad we have at least a year to go through all our clutter, beloved possessions and such to decide what must go and what can stay... I need a whole year to do it.

In the meantime, I am glad to get rid of some of the girls clothes... I am so sick of doing all this laundry. I think my girls need to learn to have less. It will certainly save them a lot of money in live :)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Baby Dakoda & Crafty Things

I just realized it had been quite some time since I blogged. Well, I was waiting for a baby to arrive. He came very late. Almost two weeks late so I decided to have him evicted in the hospital so there wouldn't be any other surprises or disappointments. 

We decided on the name Dakoda. I get mixed responses - from that is such a cool name, or such a fine name... to...  you know that's a girl's name, too?!

And I say, yeah, I know, but we are spelling it with two D's - and pronounce it so... then we can have nicknames like Koda, or Kody, or whatever. 

Siembra has taken to calling him Dakody. It's cute. She absolutely adores him. She is constantly poking him in the face. I really have to keep my eyes on her around him. She is poking him out of love, of course, not to hurt him - she says: Dakoda is my best friend. It's very sweet.

So, I have been busy... er relaxing... er recovering from this new birth. Fourth child takes a toll on the body. Especially when that child comes via induced labor. That was one of the most painful child births I have experienced thus far. 

Initially I was thinking, I will never do that again... but it's funny how within a few hours of holding and adoring ones new baby you start to think... well, maybe in a few years - we shall see.

I definitely learned from that birth experience that if I ever have to be induced again - to take it slower. Be patient. I wasn't this time. I said, give me more of that drug to speed up this labor process. I wanna get this going. I want this baby here already. So they did. And then it starting to be very painful and I wanted some pain medication and they said, you are doing great - ignoring my requests for medicine and then Mark turned to me and said it was going too fast now so I couldn't have any.

That was my big mistake... I never talked to any of the doctors or nurses before that whole procedure started - I never discussed with them how I would like pain medicine... I wasn't prepared. Oh my goodness... they said I was only pushing with his head stuck in the birth canal for 8 minutes. 8 whole minutes - doens't seem like much... but it was definitly the worst 8 minutes of my life. 

I will not make that mistake again... I will be prepared and have access to pain meds when I want them. If I ever get pregnant again. I feel like we will have another baby in the future... but I don't know what the future holds. No one knows. Anything could happen. I could have a total breakdown - or I could handle it. I don't know. I think I would like more children though... we shall see.

(All photos above by Mark... I really like this style of b&w he is experimenting with right now... very classy)

When I  have a chance, when this beautiful baby boy sleeps, like right now - I actually have time to crochet - which is something I love to do again. But right now I am typing this instead of crocheting. But anyway, I will crochet today.

Kids are back in school after a two week fall break and I have time to myself again. It's great... and I am so happy they get to see and play with their school mates again. I know they missed their friends.

Here are some projects I have been working on lately. An autumn afghan in the colors: sage green, plum purple, pumpkin orange, and cream. I am also applying applique crochet leaves to it in the shape of oak and maple. It's going to be beautiful. It will be a gift for my sort of half-sister.... which I will picture later.

I also made a couple of cute froggy hats. That one turned out cute. Pattern found here: RisC Handmade

(photo by me - via phone)

I am also finishing up a baby blanket with applique crochet seahorses. The applique patterns come from an etsy store called GoldenLucyCrafts. I have to say I am very impresses with these patterns. So many times in my life I have tried to make and follow patterns in books or on the back of yarn wrappers just to be disappointed because I just couldn't figure out what the pattern was explaining. I love that the patterns you buy from these accomplished crocheters like GoldenLucyCrafts have explained it step by step with photos for each row in the pattern. It makes making and crocheting "complicated" patterns fun and possible.

(photos by me with phone)

Until next time... it may be a while... Happy crocheting to all you loves of yarn and crafty things out there :)

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Pinterest - August (even though it's September now)... and baby update.

So, since I've gotten into Pinterest - pinning crafts and recipes, I thought it would be good to share what works and what doesn't work out so well. I have been crocheting like a crazy old granny lately because I needed something to do to focus while I waited for my baby to be born.

I am now, surprisingly 41 weeks pregnant and going...

First time that has happened with me. I'm told it's because the baby is a boy. All my girls where 5 days late... but this is almost too much to take.

Anyway, my midwife "swept the membranes" or "stretched my cervix" this morning. This caused a little bit of blood loss... and some obvious discomfort but so far... no contractions... and I suspect it won't do much either.

So, if by morning, nothing progresses, then I am to call the hospital gynocologist and make an appointment for an echo on Thursday morning... and then I can call the midwife and she can come in the weekend and try and break the waters in hopes that it starts the contractions... and then, if nothing happens, they will induce at 42 weeks. 

A bit annoying because I just wanted this boy to come naturally like his sisters but so far... he's just hanging upside down like a little bat - doing nothing. He kicks and seems quite cozy right where he is.

So, imagine my surprise - I could get a lot of stuff made for family and friends in the meantime. Like I said, I have been a mad mamma jamma crochet lady.

I have tried out a few Hello Kitty kids beanie with ear flap hats, bucket hats, monkey hats, and so forth.

Sock Monkey beanie earflap cap
I made this one for my nephew Max. It was difficult because the link goes to a website where you can buy it... but I wanted to make it. So I used another pattern and just sort of figured it out on my own. I hope it fits him. Might be a little on the big side, but his head will grow into it no doubt.


This is so cute. I made two different ones, roughly using this free Ravelry pattern - but you have to be a member to use their patterns... but it's free to sign up! This pattern was for an adult head, so I had to make some adjustments... again, I hope I figured it correctly so they will fit the boys I made them for - here are the ones I did:

There are lots of really cute variations I have seen pictured at and also all over Pinterest.

Miss Potter
This has got to be one of my most favorite hats so far. It reads a little funny, but it's a nice big bucket hat that fits big heads - like mine! Plus, it's just really cute. I made one that looks like the one pictured here, and then I made a dark gray and butter yellow one for my sister-in-law and then I amazingly am still pregnant so I made another one for my bestie in Baltimore - in medium blue and light yellow. I will probably make a few more this year in different colors, because it's just a really nice hat. Love it.

Hello Kitty hat pattern
All the girls love Hello Kitty... can't really go wrong with this one... but I found the pattern to be on the small side. I added several rows to make sure it would fit my niece... but in the end, I ended up making a whole new hat for my niece by roughly copying another Hello Kitty hat similar to this one that was given to my middle daughter as a gift last year. I am going to make another HK hat this year for another niece for Christmas - I am glad I have gotten a lot of practice... hers should turn out the best with all the practice I've had. Maybe the pattern isn't all that bad... it just depends on if your people and big heads or little heads. My people have big heads, so a lot of these hat patterns don't work out so well for me. It may have something to do with the yarn as well. I have seen some patterns using a thicker yarn - I suppose that makes a difference.

Knotted Beanie
I purchased this pattern via Etsy a few months back. I have made this hat two or three times. The thing that bugs me is my hats don't turn out as cute as this photo. I think it's because this hat is made with a thicker yarn - and that knotted ribbon area never looks as good on mine... kinda bugs me.  Cute, still. And the pattern comes with six sizes... the other thing that is difficult with this pattern is making it look good on the other side - attaching the braided pieces together... it's not easy. But I do like the 1920's look of it.

Okay, okay, that's about it... as far as recipes, I don't think I tried too many this time. I've just been making some oldies but goodies and lots of easy things like frozen pizza... I just want this baby to come asap... please pray he comes quickly and healthy, too.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pinterest July - What worked out and what didn't...

I had about 400 pins in my crafty stuff/crochet board so I've been doing some reorganizing. I just wish that I could have sub-folders within the same board because there is not a really good way to let your followers know to follow a new board when you go and change stuff around. 

I added about 5 or 6 new boards as follows: Crochet hats, Crochet afghans, Crochet - home decor, Crochet Techniques, Crochet Clothing, Crochet Bags - maybe there was one more... 

Well, it's the point that I've been pinning so many crochet projects and inspiration that it got to be so much that it needed a reorganization. 

I've been nesting... I have 6 weeks until my baby boy is born. 

Here are some projects that I pinned: 
Pretty as a Package by Connie Stults
I made this little hat 3 times - in three different sizes... maybe it was the type of yarn that I used, but all three hats were way off on the size. The 0-3 month size fit loosely on a 6 month baby. I made the small adult size first, for my daughter - and it was even way too big for my big head. Then I made the Toddler/Child size and it was too big for my toddler/child. I like the pattern, but some of the math needs to be reworked. Like instead of increasing it 10 stitches at a time, maybe 7 or 8 would make it fit better.

Chevron Baby Blanket by Lisa at Good Knits
This was a great pattern, very easy, no complications. I made almost an identical one for my future baby boy. It is nice because it matches with just about everything in his little crib - even matches the blue owl print of the small crib sheets.

Rick Rack Rainbow Baby Blanket from Red Heart Yarn
Even though I already made a wee little blanket for my boy, I just really liked this sweet picture and have plenty of yarn in my stash... so I am currently working up this one - perhaps as a gift for someone else expecting as well... no matter which colors you choose this works up nicely. I am using teal blue, minty light green, as well as yellow and baby blue. I'll post photo when it 's done.

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cream Pie
First let me just say: Yummy! I had been wanting to make this for a while, I waited until a friend who likes peanut butter visited - well worth the wait. I didn't use cream cheese in mine, I used Greek Yogurt with 10% fat... perhaps it's even better with cream cheese. It was not suitable for keeping at refrigeration temperature - it was much too wobbly for that. I had to keep mine in the freezer.

I did feel like it was too sweet. I would definitely cut back on the powdered sugar next time, like just completely omit it from the chocolate layer because the chocolate dessert syrup is plenty sweet enough.

I may even use the idea of this pie to just completely overhaul it and make an ice cream pie from it. Like for a super easy treat just beat some peanut butter into softened vanilla ice cream for the middle layer and then put softened chocolate ice cream on top and then just freeze it until ready to serve.

My husband wouldn't even try it. He asked me why I keep making American desserts?! Ha ha... well, I am American :)

Root Beer Float Fudge by Real Mom Kitchen
This was the other American treat Husband was referring to. It was really, really sweet. Reminded me a bit like Penuche fudge. Very sugary. It did taste like Root Beer though, and I liked the marshmallow topping. I shared it with some Root Beer lovers and they took to it kindly :)

Would I make it again? No. Too much sugar. I prefer the chocolate fudges - smooth and creamy when it comes to fudge. But it was nice to serve with my 4th of July BBQ - gotta do some things American around here... since I didn't have any fireworks.


That's it for this months Pinterest Post. My husband says I'm a crazy Pin Lady now, but I say, I'm just getting organized and I feel good about that. It's so easy to find recipes that I kept in old folders on the computer in the favorites here and there. I really like Pinterest - it's like having a favorites folder on Food Gawker, but now everything is in one place whether it's recipes or craft ideas, or just about anything under the sun you can think of. Just goes to show, if you are gonna post something online - include photos so people can Pin the post - because it doesn't work without a photo!


See my other Pinterest Posts:
Pinterest Crafty Ideas and Recipes that Rocked (June)
Best of Pinterest (May)