Monday, February 25, 2013

Conversation #16

Me: What's so funny?

Him: I'm listening to the radio. They're talking about a study on NPR that was done on raising kids. They say that taking care of kids ranks even with vacuuming in terms of enjoyment.

Me: Uh oh, I've never been a big fan of vacuuming.

Monday, February 18, 2013

I've Just Been Busy

It's been hard to focus on actually getting a post finished. I think I have four different ones started right now. I just get side-tracked easily. I've been doing a lot of web searches for free baby clothes patterns. The last three weeks have been filled with cutting, pinning, and sewing all sorts of tiny things. I've been lucky to get to do everything in both boy and girl versions, which makes it even more fun. (I can't post the boy versions though because they are a gift).

Here are a few of the adorable tiny things I've made lately.

Baby diaper covers. Pattern here.

Newborn baby pants. Pattern here.

Baby kimono shoes. Pattern here (though I added a slight modification with the addition of some 1/4 inch elastic around the top for a better fit).

I have probably made 15 other bibs, but only two with this pattern.
The others are just the regular snap behind the head shape with this pattern.
I'll probably share those in a different post.

Friday, February 15, 2013

He Loves Me

I told Nathan a week ago that I had gotten him a Valentine's Day gift "just in case he wanted a heads up so he could start thinking what to get me." I offered up the idea of getting me a cookie bouquet, but after he researched it, he said "no way was he paying $70 for some awful cookies." Instead, he had decided he was going to make me Valentine cookies, macarons, in fact.

I thought he was crazy to tackle something so daunting as his first ever attempt at making cookies, but he was set on it. I had gotten a cookbook on macarons from my mom for my birthday, so I handed the book over last week. He studied up every night, made his grocery list and did the shopping for them last weekend. He had originally planned to make them on Sunday, but we couldn't find almond flour and powdered egg whites, so they took another day to locate.

Each night Nathan continued to study the recipe and directions, while our kitchen counters have been covered in all of the preparations since Sunday. He tackled the lemon almond cream filling on Tuesday night, accidentally making a double batch (good thing it's tasty on all sorts of things) and using every bowl in the kitchen.

His plan was to make the cookies on Wednesday night, but then he had to work late, so they became the Valentine's evening project. Last night he came home early from work, had his snack, and got down to work.

He mixed and scraped vanilla beans, blended and even added food coloring to make them pink.

Then he had to pipe it out into disks and bake it in the oven at multiple temperatures. Once the cookies cooled, he still had to pipe in the filling. Overall the whole macaron making process was a multi-hour project, but the finished product was delicious!

Nathan was disappointed that some of the cookies ran together in the oven and didn't look perfect, but I loved them all.

The Chair

Recently I tackled painting the flowered armchair we had in the spare bedroom that is now the nursery. The flowers were just too much, but Nathan didn't want to replace it. Since the chair is not worth getting reupholstered (and I couldn't face doing that chair again myself), I read online that you can paint upholstered chairs, so I thought I'd give that a shot.


It took a LOT of fabric medium (the stuff you mix with the paint to make it less crunchy) and even more time, but I don't hate how it turned out. It feels a bit like vinyl though not quite that bad. It's not perfect, and I don't know that I'd tackle that again, but I think the chair will work for now. (Plus, if Nathan hates it than I can convince him that we should get a new chair, so I'll win either way).

In it's spot. This nursery is definitely cozy, aka super small.

Here are a couple of pictures of the nursery in progress, but almost done. I still have a few pictures to hang up, and Nathan is going to put shelves up along the top of the room (on the walls with windows) for books and stuffed animals. Once those are done, I'll make sure to share the full view.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Just a Minute: January 2013

reading…I just reread Cloud Atlas; I feel like I got a lot more out of it the second time. Though I wouldn't say it's a favorite, I am still so impressed by the author's creativity and ability to write five widely different stories that all tie together. It's such a unique novel that it is totally worth a read. I am now in the middle of The Weird Sisters. Really enjoying it. My mother-in-law suggested it because it's about three grown sisters who move back in to their parents' house in Columbus. My sister-in-law said it sounds like hell.

watching…Downton Abbey was heartbreaking this week (ages ago now). I just knew things were going too well to last. Harbour Lights by A Silent Film. Lovely music, not sure where I first heard it.

sewing...I am ankle deep in making bibs. Some I've made for friends who are having babies, but I've also made our little one quite a few. It's a pretty relaxing way to wind down after work, especially since most of the time reading just puts me right to sleep.

White half, what white half?
bakingI've been making cookies about once a week to give to the neighbors. I totally recommend Oatmeal Carmelitas, by the way. The lemon sugar cookies were also pretty tasty though I thought they were the best straight out of the oven. For the last two weeks of January I was craving a Black and White Cookie, but that's the kind of thing you come across in a random bakery and that whole time I did not. I finally caved and made some last week, and then wouldn't you know I found them in two different places (mine were pretty good anyway though).

Tipsy Laird Trifle-delicious!
celebrating...Our third annual Burns Night was a success. It took me a couple of days to fully recuperate but it was worth it. I never seem to take pictures during the actual dinner. I wish I had because I made a fancy tower of haggis, neeps, and tatties with a scotch cream sauce. Mine looked a bit like this only better.

Mine had the haggis on the bottom,
then the potatoes, then the turnips.