Friday, September 30, 2011

A lot of updates

Well, it's been nearly a month since I've written anything and I have a good reason.  It's been the craziest month ever.  We moved into our very own house and, while extremely exciting, it's also come with a ton of work.  We spent the first couple weeks of this month packing and getting rid of carloads of stuff.  Then we moved in and the real work began.  We are still surrounded by boxes.  There are a lot of things that I don't want to pack until we do something else.  We can't set up our office until that room is fully painted (it's almost done, just a little touch up work left).  I don't want to unpack our bedroom until our closet is more organized and the bathrooms can't be finished until we actually redo the hall bath.  We have all of the basics out, but the rarely used stuff is still in boxes. 

In other news, we got a dog and then had to give her back.  She is an alaskan malamute and I love her so much, but we realized after we brought her home that we didn't have the time necessary to properly train her and give her the attention she deserves.  I wish we would have known that before because it would have saved us a lot of heartbreak.  She went back to her old owners, the people who own her parents and one of her brothers so for her it was just a short vacation and I'm sure she's fine now.  For us, it's been really sad and we both miss her a ton.  I think it will be a while before we attempt to get a dog again. 

So that's basically been our last month.  We are hoping things settle down soon, but I doubt it will since we have a few big projects to do around the house and then the holidays will be upon us.  Our weekends are quickly disappearing as we make plans that end up keeping us away from the house.  Hopefully since the weather is starting to cool down we'll be able to do lots of stuff here at home without being tempted to go out and play. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Moving Right Along

I know I haven't posted in a while.  It's been a crazy couple weeks.  DH and I have both been busy at work and at home.  A couple weeks ago we went to the zoo with my BIL, his girlfriend, and her daughter.  It was so much fun to go with a little one. 

Since then we've spent most of our time at home packing and cleaning to get ready for our move.  We are down to the final days here.  We've gotten rid of a ton of stuff, which feels awesome, but it still feels like we have so much to move.  I've spent most of my morning calling and changing over utilities so that we are ready to go when the final word comes in.  We should be getting our keys tomorrow and moving in on Friday.  I can't wait to start setting the place up and really making it feel like our own.

Hopefully once we get moved in things will quiet down a bit and I can spend more time posting about our home and showing off the changes we make to it. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Moving Along

We are moving along on the house. We started escrow a few days ago and DH and I spent last Saturday going through our house and getting rid of stuff. We took an entire car full of stuff to donate after we were done and we're still not finished. I love clearing out the clutter. I also packed up the first box that day too. That means a lot of my craft stuff is in a box for the foreseeable future. We are getting really excited about this move.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Moving Along

Over the last week or so we've done a few things to get ready for moving.  I went through my craft room last week and moved a ton of stuff out of it.  All stuff that I'm putting in the garage sale pile.  I'm glad we're finally going to get rid of some stuff.  Now I just need to get DH to go through his office. 

Also, I've been pretty sick.  The doctor thinks it's my gallbladder, but we spent the morning in the ER and they didn't think that was it.  They gave me some medication so I'm feeling quite a bit better now, but I think it's starting to wear off.  But I go back for another appointment on Monday and I'm really happy about that since it means we might finally have an answer. 

In the last week we also signed some paperwork so we could start moving on our loan and get that approved.  That was exciting because it means we're really buying a house.  We're also looking at a closing date of September 2nd, which is a few weeks earlier than we thought we'd be closing.  I can't wait to move. 

It's starting to feel like we really are buying a house.  Now we just need to get back in there and do a couple inspections.  I'm really looking forward to moving into our new house and turning it into our own space.  I'm also looking forward to having some color on the walls.  We've lived with white walls for so long and I'm looking forward to being able to change that. 

So that's all for the update.  Still no crafty projects, but in the next month or so we should be starting some work on the house. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

We Got It!

I got a text message from our real estate agent yesterday that we got the house!  DH and I are extremely excited.  We're waiting on the official approval letter and the final agreement from the current owners' second mortgage company, but that should all come soon and then we'll start escrow.  It looks like we'll get our keys and move in sometime in mid-September.  I can't wait to make it our own. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Mini-Trip

On Saturday DH and I got up early and we both had the urge to go somewhere, even if it was just for a day.  So we talked while we got ready and eventually decided to head to the beach.  He wanted to play with his metal-detector and I wanted to read a book on the beach.  It took us forever to get there because there was so much traffic and our GPS took us in the most roundabout way possible, but we made it.  While I read I saw I seal playing in the waves.  If I'd had a camera on me I would have taken a picture because he kept popping up really close to us.  Then, in the parking lot we saw one in a pond where they dock the boats.  He was playing too.  We also saw a tiny bunny.  It was cold and windy, but still so nice to just get away for a day.  Before we left, we stopped at one of our favorite restaurants and got clam chowder bread bowls.  It was a wonderful day. 

I have no house updates though.  We are still waiting and it sucks.  If they'd approved it right away we'd be moving in a couple weeks.  At this point we're looking at mid-September at the earliest.  I suppose the one upside is that it will probably be the first time we've moved when it wasn't 100 degrees out.  I'm just hoping to avoid rain. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Crafter's Block

Crafter's block can be a thing, right?  I think I have it.  I have the desire to be crafty and make something, but I feel like I'm lacking inspiration.  It probably doesn't help that everything I find that I want to make is either for the home or for a baby.  We still haven't heard about our house (although our real estate agent thinks it will be soon) and I'm not pregnant yet so I feel strange working on projects in either of those categories.  I think I might buy some fabric so I can finally start working on a quilt that was supposed to be for our bed until we upgraded and got a giant bed.  I don't feel confident enough to make a king size quilt at this point.  I also feel like I should probably finish the quilt for DH's new cousin (who got here almost 2 months ago) before I start another project.  I have a recipe to post soon, and hopefully I'll find a fun project to work on soon. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Happy Belated 4th

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.  I had to work for the first part of the day, but DH and I had a great afternoon with family and fireworks.  We are still waiting for word on the house we want, but it sounds like it should be coming soon.  I'm really hoping for some good news soon.  Our neighbors have been extra irritating lately so we're really looking forward to moving to a quieter neighborhood.  We also have plans for lots of projects when we move in so I'll be sharing those.  I think tomorrow might finally involve some craft projects that I can share.  I'm looking forward to getting some stuff done soon. 

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Happy Birthday

Happy birthday to my wonderful husband!  I am so lucky to have him in my life. 

Since this mostly ends the craziness of June (it'll last until the 4th though), I might actually be able to be back here soon and have something to post other than an update.  Maybe even something I've made.  I've got an itch to be crafty and make something. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

An Update


We had my birthday party last weekend with a bunch of family over.  I got some awesome gifts (including a sewing book that I'm really excited to use to make a new purse) and got to spend time with family, including my brother-in-law's new girlfriend. 

We also found out that our offer on the house got rejected, but we decided to meet the bank at what they wanted (since they weren't willing to take anything else) and we're waiting on final word that we got the house, but it's pretty much good to go.  I can't wait.  DH and I keep thinking about the house and all the projects we want to do once we move in.  I'll share pictures once it's officially ours. 

Also, DH's cousin finally had her baby, but I still haven't finished the baby quilt.  The binding hates me so it's sort of been sitting in a corner waiting for me to try again. 

This is the busiest month of the entire year for us so I may not have projects to share for a while.  I keep thinking I'll have time and then stupid things like laundry get in the way. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

My birthday!

Yesterday was my birthday.  While I wasn't expecting it to be too thrilling because I had to work and we are planning to have family over on Saturday to celebrate, DH put a lot of effort into it and made me feel really special. 

I got off work late (I work swing shift) so we only had a couple hours together.  I had requested a tri-tip sandwich from our local BBQ place, but they were closed when DH tried to go.  So he went to a nice restaurant in town and convinced them to make a tri-tip sandwich, even though it's not on their menu.  He also bought me some super chocolate ice cream (I don't remember what it's called, but it was awesome) and a cake from the bakery.  It was a lemon blueberry cake on bottom with lemon cheesecake on top.  It might be the best thing I've ever eaten. 

I also got to open my present, which was a brand new ipod touch.  I've never had a new ipod before (always got them used from my dad) and he had it engraved.  He knew my old one kept freezing and it was making me crazy. 

I also brought some cupcakes into work.  I didn't take pictures because they were very plain and I was running late.  Everyone was really nice (I think it was because I loaded them with sugar). 

So overall I had a great birthday.  And I still get to celebrate more because DH took tomorrow off so we can do something fun together and I get to see family on Saturday.  Now I just have to figure out what to get DH since his birthday is only 2 weeks away. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Catching up

It's been a while since I posted so I thought I'd give a little update.  I haven't had a moment to blog lately because things have gotten hectic.  My schedule got switched to full-time, which I am really excited about, but it means less time at home to do fun projects.  Also, we put an offer on a house and we've been dealing with that craziness (still waiting on a reply from the bank). 

Last Friday my MIL and I went to a couple fabric stores so she could try to find some fabric to make curtains.  I explored the fun gadgets they had and came home with a couple things that I'm excited to play with.  Hopefully I'll get the chance soon.  I also saw a purse pattern there that I loved, but I'm cheap and realized I could easily make my own without the pattern so I have that project in mind now. 

Also, the countdown is on for my birthday.  It's on Wednesday and I'm excited.  DH ordered my present last night (but I don't know what it is) and I'm planning to make some cupcakes for work that day.  I haven't decided on the flavor, but I'll share them once they're done. 

I'm really hoping to have some time to craft so that I can actually share some stuff on here soon. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Cleaning up at Grandma's

My great-grandmother passed away about a month ago.  She was an awesome lady who lived to 94 and I am fortunate to have had her in my life for almost 24 years.  Yesterday the immediate family all got together at her house so that we could all pick out whatever we wanted to remember her by.  While it was sad to go through her things, it was also a lot of fun to spend time with that part of my family and laugh about the old memories and the crazy stuff she kept.  She even left notes for my cousin not to throw out some spin art that she made when she was probably 10 (which was over 30 years ago). 

I had a great time hanging out with one of my cousins who I hardly ever get to see.  I also took home a few items that belonged to my grandmother.  The main one was one of her platters.  She had a huge collection of dishes and china and pretty much everything you can possibly imagine you might one day need for a fancy dinner party.  In the back of a cabinet we found a gorgeous silver platter that is in desperate need of some polishing, but is otherwise ready to go.  I've been wanting a platter so it's nice to have one of hers. 

DH picked out a few nicknacks while we were there, but the most important thing that we picked out were two of her paintings.  She proudly displayed her artwork on her walls, so they are paintings that I've seen my whole life.  The one that DH picked out wasn't one of my favorites, but it was his, so it's now hanging over our fireplace.  The other one we took home is a beautiful painting of a sunset with lots of oranges and blues.  It sat in her dining room and I remember looking at it during holiday dinners.  I'm happy to have it in my house, it just needs a home now. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Freezing

I'm not sure what is going on with this weather, but it really sucks.  It's now June 3rd and it has been gloomy and rainy for several days now with no real chance of it letting up any time soon.  My sweaters should all be in hiding right now, but instead I'm shivering because it's so incredibly cold outside.  I'm ready to be warm.  I'm not asking for 100 degree weather, but the ability to wear flip-flops without freezing my toes off would be nice.  The one bright side is that if we continue our pattern of only moving during the summer it might not be so bad this time. 

Fortunately, everything else is going well.  We got some good news about the house we want.  It's not a guarantee, but our odds are at least a little bit better of getting it.  I'm hoping to hear something soon.  Here's hoping the bank really wants to sell us that house before they have to go through the foreclosure process on it. 

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day

I hope everyone enjoyed their Memorial Day. DH and I certainly did. We made an offer on a house we love and we're really hoping it goes through. Unfortunately, we didn't know about any of the local events going on today until after the fact. Oh well, it was still a wonderful day.

For any of our military members reading this, I want to say thank you for all that you do.

Enjoy the rest of your day off. I hope to be back with some more craftiness soon.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A New Kind of Book

I just realized that I never posted about the most recent book that I finished.  It's called Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Ultimate Guide.  I'm not pregnant yet, but I got it because DH and I are officially trying and I wanted to be prepared.  It seems great for childbirth, but it quickly skips through pregnancy and doesn't go very in depth in the newborn section either.  So, while it will be helpful eventually, I have a while before that section will be all that useful. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Frog Jump

Have you ever heard of the Calaveras Frog Jump?  It's a big deal in that area and Mark Twain even wrote about it so it gets a lot of publicity around the state.  Yesterday, DH and I decided to go.  It was awesome!  I forgot to take pictures, but you can find videos online.  The frog jump finals (yes, it actually involves frogs) are going to be on the Jay Leno show on Friday.  I don't usually watch the show, but I'm excited to see if I can pick out DH and me.  

Anyway, it was a lot of fun and we ate a ton of food and played a few games.  DH even won a stuffed frog for me.  I did manage to get kicked in the back by this idiot walking behind us on the bleachers (he's also the same guy who spilled food on me), but outside of that, it was a ton of fun.  If you're ever in the area in May I'd definitely recommend it. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ordering From Amazon

Normally, I have great luck when I order things from Amazon.  I have a feeling we're going to have an issue with this latest order though.  I purchased two things and, since I was recently a student, I currently have Amazon Prime for free.  This means free 2-day shipping, which is amazing.  Unfortunately, I don't think it will make it here in that timeline.  Last night, I checked to see where my package was.  Phoenix, Arizona.  That didn't seem that bad and I figured by morning it would be somewhere in California, maybe even local and ready to go out.  I was wrong.  This morning I find that it is somewhere in Kentucky.  Amazon, in case you're unaware, that's the opposite direction of California.  I'm hoping that somehow they pull it off, but the last time this happened, it showed up a week later.  I was really wanting my stuff to arrive tomorrow. 

Thursday, May 12, 2011

House Hunting

We've looked at a handful of houses over the past couple days and I have to say this is going to be difficult.  The houses that we like and are in decent shape are just out of our price range.  Some of the others are complete disasters.  We saw two houses that we barely even stayed in because they were so bad.  So it looks like this process is going to take us longer than we thought.  We did see one house that we like and we could afford, but we aren't entirely sold on it.  It's basically a back-up house at this point.  So I guess we're just going to wait and see what happens for now.  Here's hoping that we find something good relatively soon. 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Sewing for my Mom

I finally finished the bag I've been working on for my mom for Mother's Day.  It has a few issues because it was my first time working with interfacing, but overall I'm fairly happy with it.


The fabric is from a Joel Dewberry line, but I can't remember the name of it.  It was fitting for my mom and I got almost 1.5 yards for under $5.  It was a very exciting deal.

As you can see, it has a tie closure at the top.


I designed it to be like a beach bag or picnic bag so I didn't think it needed a zipper or anything like that.

I hope she likes it.  I'm very excited to finally get to spend a Mother's Day with her.

An Anniversary

Today marks 6 months of blogging for me, which means I reached my goal.  That doesn't mean I'm going to stop though.  Thank you to everyone who has checked this place out.  It means a lot to me. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

House Hunting

We are officially in the market to buy a house!  For the past few weekends DH and I have gone to look at the outside of houses we found online, but we found one last weekend that we wanted to see inside.  We happened to be driving downtown and noticed that the local office of a major real estate company happened to be open so we thought we'd see if they could help us out and answer some questions we had.  The meeting went great.  Our real estate agent even took us to see the house (which was a complete disaster) and he gave us the contact info for a broker who could help us get pre-approved.

We weren't sure what would come of the meeting.  DH and I were both nervous that they'd basically tell us they couldn't do anything for us.  We were wrong.  We qualify for pretty much what we had already figured we could afford.  That got DH really excited so last night we drove past a couple houses that we really want to check out.  Hopefully we'll get to check them out sometime this week. 

I am so excited to get this process moving.  We could have a new home by the end of the summer!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Awesome Day

Today was wonderful.  DH and I spent the day together and had minimal plans.  From my earlier post, you can see that we decluttered a bit.  Then we went to lunch at a great new restaurant that we found.  They also have a little bakery so DH got a lemon bar and I got a lemon cupcake.  It was delicious.  It just might be the best lemon cupcake I've ever had. 

On our way home we noticed that the real estate office we drive by all the time was open (not something we expected on a Sunday) so we went in and talked with a real estate agent and even got to see inside one of the houses we had seen online.  The house sucked, but the experience was great.  We are very excited to get started on the house process.

Then we went for a walk so we could get outside and feed some ducks.  What we found instead were geese.  Tons and tons of geese.  So we fed them for a while and even found a mama goose on her nest.  That alone was exciting, but after feeding her at her nest so she wouldn't have to get up, she stood up to show us her brand new baby.  We could also see that two of the other 3 eggs had little tiny cracks from little chicks trying to make their way into the world.  She let us watch the baby for a little while then decided the show was over.  I wish I'd had my camera because it was amazing to see.  We were able to get surprisingly close.

Before we made it very far we noticed a fish in the pond that was at the top of the water and seemed to be struggling.  First, we thought it was sick, then DH noticed that it had a lure stuck in its mouth and on its side, which was why it looked so strange.  He found a large stick, pulled it to the edge of the pond, and (with a little help from a stranger passing by) saved the fish.  I am so proud of my husband and his desire to help people and animals. I think the mama goose appreciated it too because she showed off her baby one last time. 

After all that we came home and DH cooked a wonderful dinner.  We had our first corn on the cob of the season (one of my favorite foods of summer) and BBQ chicken.  I love having a husband that can cook. 

Overall, it was one of the best days I've had in a while. 

Clearing the Clutter

One of the things I've wanted to do for a while now is get rid of all the old clothes we don't wear.  My dresser was fine, and I only had a few things in my closet to get rid of (I just went through my stuff a couple months ago), but DH's stuff was getting unmanageable.  I could barely fit stuff into his dresser or closet so I convinced him to go through it.  At first, he was doing good, then he started coming across shirts with memories and it became a little more difficult.  After finally convincing him I would use the shirts he just couldn't part with (but really needed to) to make him a quilt he gave in and we now have a ton of space in both sides of our closet (we share a large one) and our dressers.  I love it.  It also gave me a chance to reorganize and I now I have a couple new projects to work on.  It feels so good to declutter the house. 

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Painted Onesies

Between my super baby fever and the fact that everyone around me is pregnant I wanted to do some sort of baby craft and I'm procrastinating on the baby quilt.  So, I decided to do some painted onesies yesterday.  They are so simple.  I couldn't believe it.

First, I used my Cricut to cut out some cute shapes out of freezer paper (make sure it's shiny side down).  Then, iron it onto your onesie.  Put some sort of paper inside the onesie, under the design so that you don't have paint going through the fabric.  Fill in the design with fabric paint.  I used puff paint, but painted it on with a paint brush.  I tried a foam brush on this one, but you can see where it pulled at the fabric.


 I used a regular brush on this one and I think it turned out much better.






Then let them dry for several hours and peel off your freezer paper.  Be careful when peeling because it sticks and can peel up the fabric paint if you aren't careful.  Next time I might try peeling it off while the paint is still wet.  

Here's the final product:



Now I just need to figure out who to give them too so I can get them out of my house.  They aren't easing the baby fever at all.

I will be linking this up to Fabric Tuesday at Quiltstory and Whatever Goes Wednesday at Someday Crafts.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Enchiladas

About a week ago, I found this recipe for cheesy chicken enchiladas.  Last night I decided to try them.  They are awesome.  DH loved them too so I think this recipe will become part of our regular rotation.


I didn't follow it exactly.  I used half cheddar and half pepper jack.  That's partly because we didn't have Monterrey Jack and partly because I'm not a big fan of it.  I also used canned chicken because I was feeling lazy.  Oh, and my pan only fit 7 tortillas.  I don't think it's a true 9x13.  The only change I would make for next time would be using purees peppers.  My cans had tiny little hard pieces from parts of the pepper you wouldn't normally eat so I'm going to try it with a puree. 

I'm actually looking forward to lunch so I can eat another one of these and I don't usually like leftovers so that should tell you just how good they are.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Strawberry Jam

Recently, I found this blog post about making strawberry jam and was inspired to try it out.  Conveniently enough, my grocery store was offering a buy 1, get 2 free deal on boxes of strawberries so I knew I had to do it.  I am so glad I did.  It was really simple and the flavor is awesome.  I might add a little less sugar next time (I prefer my jam with a little tartness), but this recipe is still awesome.  The recipe that is shown at the bottom of her post made about 6.5 jars worth.  I can't remember what size they were, but they're small.  Not baby food jar small, but smaller than most of the others there.  It's still enough to last us quite a while. 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A New Purse

I've been wanting to make a purse for a while and I had the fabrics picked out for the outside, but couldn't decide on the lining.  I've had a lot of free time this week so I finally made a decision and drew out what I wanted.  I put it all together today.


Both fabrics are from the Sanibel line by Henry Glass.  I love this line. 

The lining:


It's not the greatest picture (taking pictures of the inside is always difficult), but it at least shows you the adorable turquoise polka-dot and that there are pockets in the same green fabric as the outside.  I need to work on my pocket skills, but I'm really happy with how this one turned out.  Now I just need to take all my stuff out of my other purse and switch over. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Garden

 When we first moved into our place we had a nice little garden out front, but over the course of the last couple months we kinda let it die.  I wasn't thrilled with most of the plants that were in there to begin with and this winter was really bad so we never went out there and took care of it.  It looked like this at the start of last weekend



Yes, that is a fish tank you see.  We use it as the travel tank for our bearded dragon.

A view of the side


We wanted to fix it up and I wanted to grow some food plants, especially tomatoes.  So we made a trip to Lowes and bought a bunch of supplies.


And at the end of the day it looked like this


The purple plant at the top is freesia.  I couldn't tell you what the others are.  I couldn't find zinnias and these were pretty so we planted them.

This is the food part of our garden.  On the left is strawberries (which have grown and now have flowers on them) and tomatoes on the left.


The empty looking corner actually has garlic bulbs, then leftover irises we didn't want to move, and a tiny little zucchini plant.


It looks so much better out there now and I love that we will have fresh food grown from our own garden this summer.  Once we finally buy a house we'll be planting a lot more.  If you haven't tried growing your own fruit or vegetables before I highly recommend it.  The taste is so much better than the stuff in the grocery store and it's much cheaper to buy the plant and just pick what you need from your garden.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

New Dishes

Ever since we moved in together DH and I have been using old plates.  Really old plates.  They were the set his parents got as a wedding gift.  They weren't technically dishwasher/microwave safe either.  We actually had a plate crack down the middle while in the microwave one time.  The worst part is that since we didn't have the whole set (his roommates broke a lot of them before we got together) we had a ton of mismatched pieces.  Even with all the mismatched ones we still ran out all the time because we didn't have very many of anything.

At various times we picked up a couple cheap bowls to add to the set, his brother brought dinner to our house and left his plate behind, and we both had roommates leave various dishes behind when they moved out so we acquired them.  It was a disaster to fit into the dishwasher because nothing fit together. 

We've wanted new dishes for a while but have had a really hard time finding a set that we both liked, was microwave and dishwasher safe, and didn't have really deep bowls (they're hard to fit in the dishwasher).  Well, we finally found them. 





It's this set from Corelle.  I don't know the name of it, but the red stripes are really cute and they fit really well with all the red in our kitchen.  


I can't tell you how happy I am to have new dishes.  They fit together in the cabinet and in the dishwasher.  They also aren't ridiculously heavy (did you know plates from the 70s could also be used as weights?).  And since they're Corelle they're designed to withstand dropping without cracking or chipping.  I suppose they might if you threw them at the ground, but my mom has similar dishes and she has dropped them without any issues.  The set she has is older than me and still in great condition.  So I imagine we'll have these for a while. 

Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to go eat some ice cream out of one of the bowls.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

One Year

One year ago today I married my best friend.  I love my husband more than anything and I'm so lucky to have him.  It has been a great year and we've had a lot of exciting stuff happen (moving and new jobs are probably at the top of that list).  I can't wait to see what the next year brings. 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Anniversary Trip

This weekend DH and I took some time off so we could go on a vacation to celebrate our anniversary.  On Friday we left early so that we could go to the San Francisco Zoo.  We got there just in time to see them feed the grizzly bears, which was awesome.  One of them attempted to catch a fish right in front of us (she didn't get it).  It was amazing.  We saw lots of other animals too like giraffes


He was going to town on this leftover branch from the morning feeding.  Because we were the only people there to watch this show (which was really only about 7 feet away) we skipped the feeding later in the day.

We saw gorillas.


It doesn't really look like it in this photo, but this guy is huge.

We also saw kangaroos.


These guys are super lazy and this is one of the only shots I got of one standing.  There was a really loud bang right before this that made every kangaroo jump up.  There are also peacocks everywhere at the zoo.  They go in and out of a bunch of different animal habitats.

This guy was also massive


One of my favorite things to see.  He was enormous and he kept moving around.  Seeing one of these in the wild would be terrifying.

We got to see them feed the penguins, which was great.  I love penguins so this part was very exciting for me.



Unfortunately it was hard to get a decent picture because there were so many people around. 

Finally, we saw this big guy.


He's a new addition to the zoo and we got to him right at the end of his display time.  They were draining his pool because apparently that's the only way you can convince a 4000 pound hippo to get out of the water and go to bed.  We waited quite a while before he finally gave up and walked inside.  It was totally worth the wait to see him get up and move around.

DH and I both got really sunburned while we were there.  Fortunately, it was a bit on the chilly side so we had sweaters on.  It's just our faces that are burnt.

After our trip to the zoo we went to Pier 39 and had some dinner and got some treats at a shop called Chocolate Heaven.  If you're making a trip to San Francisco I highly recommend it.  They had some delicious treats, including a handmade smores candy that we devoured tonight.  After that we drove to Sausalito where we had intended to spend the night.  When I told DH that the GPS said we were only 42 miles from Bodega Bay he convinced me that we should drive up there.

Last year at this time DH went away with his friends for his bachelor party.  They ended up staying in this really nice hotel that he's been talking about taking me to ever since.  We found it late at night and got the last room.  It was worth the drive.  The Bodega Bay Lodge is wonderful.  The people are nice, the restaurant was delicious and the hotel room was amazing.  We had a great view of the bay and the ocean.  It has spa services on site and a heated pool and spa.  If you're looking for a romantic getaway this is the place.

This morning we got up and spent some time on the beach, ate a clam chowder bread bowl at The Tides restaurant (that's the restaurant from the movie The Birds), and then decided to cut our trip short and head home.  DH has some work stuff coming up this week so we decided to come home so it would be easier on him.  We were ready to come home anyway.  The zoo and a ton of driving exhausted both of us.  We had a wonderful time and I get to check some things off my list and we still have tomorrow to enjoy together (which is our actual anniversary).  It was great to get away just the two of us and spend some quality time together without having to worry about schedules.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A New Bed

A couple weeks ago DH and I made the decision that even though we didn't really want to spend the money, we desperately needed a new bed.  Neither of us were sleeping through the night because we kept running into each other.  We needed something bigger.  So we went out in search of a bed.  We mostly thought we'd just get an idea of what we were looking for and wait a little longer, but we found one that was perfect and had a price we could live with too.  Today, it got delivered and I am so excited to sleep on it tonight, although I might need a ladder.  It's really tall. 

The new (much larger) bed, necessitated us getting some new sheets and a new comforter.  So we picked up our comforter at Bed, Bath and Beyond (yay, gift card!) and some sheets from Target.  It's finally set up, but since none of our furniture matches, there is nothing on our walls, and it still looks more like a couple college students live in our bedroom, I won't be sharing any pictures.  I will, however, share some when it starts coming together and looking like an adult bedroom. 

So that means two more things crossed off my list and a comfortable night's sleep, which I am ridiculously excited about.  I'm also pretty happy that we now have a reasonable guest bedroom.  It's not put together yet, but it should be ready to go soon and I'm very happy about that.  Now if only we had our own house and I could paint and change things around and really make it feel like ours. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Random Road Trip

On Saturday DH and I decided to go for a drive.  Even though it had been sunny and gorgeous for several days beforehand, it was rainy and gloomy on Saturday.  We still wanted to get out of the house though.  We picked a city that is fairly close, but not somewhere we'd spent any time.  We saw the signs to Yosemite, but decided it was too far.  Until we made it to the first city we picked.  At that point the sign said we were only 24 miles away, so we went for it.  It was so worth the drive.  Because it's still early in the season there weren't as many people as we've seen there before.  There were still a lot of people, but nothing like it is in July. 

We saw Half Dome:


and Yosemite Falls:


and sweet little deer.


It was a great trip.  I can't wait to go back again once it warms up a bit and we can ride our bikes around in the valley. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Etsy Reviews

I've received all of my packages from Etsy so I thought it was time to show off what I got and also let you know how I felt about each company I bought from.

First, we have Poppyseed Fabrics.  I bought this awesome dinosaur fabric from them.  I've been looking at it for a while.


It was shipped the same day I ordered it and arrived really quickly.  The seller included an invoice, which I appreciated so that I could make sure I'd gotten what I ordered without having to go back to my email. 

Second was Fabric Closet.  I ordered these two fabrics:



The polka dot one is from the new Riley Blake line that I love and the second is by Sandi Henderson and after eyeing it forever it went on sale so I had to have it.

I had another good experience, although this one didn't come with an invoice.  While not enough to keep me from ordering from them again, it would have been nice to have.  This one didn't ship until the next day, but still arrived quickly, even though she's in Colorado. 

Next up is Ladybug Quilt Shop.  I picked up two more fabrics from the Sanibel line by Henry Glass.


Again, I had a good experience.  This one didn't ship until two days after I ordered it, but since I could drive to her house in about 3 hours it still got here really quickly.  Again, no invoice. 

Last is probably my best experience.  While the others were by no means bad, this seller just seemed to put the extra effort into it.  I ordered these colorful babies from Zipit.


In addition to high quality items (which all the sellers had), she threw in a little something extra.  It's a cute little zipper pull that was attached to one of my zippers.


She also included a 10% discount on a future order, an invoice, and sent me a message within a couple hours after I purchased my items.  While this package took the longest (because the seller was in Wisconsin), it was shipped within the first couple hours.  It still only arrived a day after the others.

Overall, I'd have no problem ordering from any of the sellers again, but I'm very excited to have found Zipit and I'll probably be ordering most of my zippers from them from now on. 

Who are your favorite Etsy sellers? 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Etsy Review

I'm finally going to buy some of the fabric I've been looking at on Etsy.  Since I can't seem to find one retailer who carries all of the ones I want, I'm buying from four different stores.  So I decided to turn it into an opportunity to review these stores and share that info with you in case you're looking to buy from some of the same stores.  I'll be placing my order today and then sharing info with you along the way. 

The stores are:

Poppy Seed Fabrics
Fabric Closet
Ladybug Quilt Shop
Zipit (this one isn't fabric-it's zippers)

Feel free to follow me so that you can get updates as I post them.

Nachos

Tuesday night DH and I decided to have nachos.  Our recipe was inspired by this blog post.  I was feeling lazy though and didn't feel like looking up the actual recipe so I just winged it. 

Here's my version:
  • 1 large can of cooked chicken
  • bag of chips
  • salsa
  • can of black beans
  • shredded cheese
I started by throwing a can of cooked chicken into a pot.  I broke it up because I wanted shredded chicken and these fall apart really easily.  Then I added a can of black beans, drained.  Then about 1/2 to 1 cup of salsa.  I let that heat up while I put chips on a plate.  We used whole grain chips and they were delicious.  Once heated, spread it over the chips and add some shredded cheese on top. 

They were really good.  Definitely something I'd make again.  This meal also convinced DH that nachos were more than just a snack food and could make a legitimate dinner. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Bee Season

I finished another book.  It took me a while to find another one I wanted to read.  I read Bee Season by Myla Goldberg about a young girl who stuns her family when she wins her school spelling bee.  My only issue with this book was the number of errors still present, but after I finished it I noticed that the back of the book says that it's not really intended for the public because it's an un-edited copy.  I have no idea how my library got it, but they did.  Outside of that (which isn't the fault of the author), the book was awesome.  Goldberg's ability to tell a story is phenomenal.  She has a style that really sucks you in and gives just enough detail to make you feel like you can see what she's talking about without making you feel like it's just a bunch of long descriptions. 

I hope she has other novels so that I can read more of her work.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Have a wonder St. Paddy's Day.  I didn't do any crafts or cupcakes or anything this year.  I was feeling lazy and instead of using the Girl Scout Thin Mints to make something like I planned, I've just been eating them.  I think I'm ok with it.  Maybe I'll make a chocolate mint cupcake soon, but that won't happen today.

Today, I get to finally see my best friend.  We haven't been able to get together since back in November.  That's way too long when we used to see each other at least every other week and at one point lived together.  I am very excited.  I may also be coming home with some goodies since I plan to do some shopping while I'm there.  I can't wait. 

For the rest of you, enjoy your green beer, shamrocks, and leprechauns today.  And don't forget to wear green so you don't get pinched.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Celtic Faire

On Saturday DH and I were trying to come up with something to do when we remembered that the Celtic Faire was in town.  I'd never been to one and it had been many years for DH so we decided to go.  It was ok.  I was a little disappointed.  It seemed a bit unorganized.  The food was good, but the rest of it just seemed lacking.  We still had fun watching the Highland games and checking out the costumes.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Borders Added

I finally got a chance to add the borders to the baby quilt. 






And a close-up:


They aren't perfect, but I was pretty pleased with how easy it was to add them.  I need to get some yarn to tie the quilt and then I can finally put it all together.  I am so excited to see it coming together.  I really hope that the new baby and her parents like it. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Vacation

I requested time off for an actual vacation.  This is the first time I've done it outside of my honeymoon.  DH and I are trying to plan a weekend trip for our anniversary in April.  I can't wait.  I just can't think of anywhere to go.  Any ideas within northern California? 

Friday, February 25, 2011

5 Years

Five years ago today my husband and I officially started dating.  Two years ago today we got engaged.  It also means that we're just a few weeks away from our first wedding anniversary.  I feel so lucky to call him my husband. 

Instead of being at work like I was supposed to I called in.  Not because it's our anniversary, but because we were getting so much hail that it was piling up.  DH left work early because he was worried about getting stuck there.  He probably had 3 inches of hail on his car when he got home.  Now, however, the sun is out and I feel ridiculous for missing work.  Oh well.  It's supposed to freeze tonight anyway so it would have been dangerous for me to drive home. 

So, instead of me working, we're spending the evening together.  Now if we could only come up with an idea for dinner.  We're not really doing a big celebration, especially since we didn't even think we'd have more than a couple hours together today, but I don't mind.  I'm just happy to be with him. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Camera Case

I found this tutorial over at Sew, Mama, Sew a while ago and finally bought some batting that I didn't already have other plans for today and decided to finally make it.  I'm always afraid to take my camera places because I don't want it to get scratched up or otherwise damaged in my purse.  Now I don't have to worry.

It was really easy to make.  Her directions were great and it came together in less than an hour from the first cut to taking pictures of the final product.  I did make a few changes to it.  I didn't have elastic that was thin enough so I changed it up and sewed on some Velcro.  I didn't really measure how far I wanted the fold to go, I just estimated and found I spot that I liked and that fit my camera. 

For the Velcro, I used this stuff:


Cheap and easy to use.  I cut one inch of both pieces.


If you change the size of your pouch you might want to adjust the size of the Velcro too. 

I discovered an awesome sewing tool also.






Technically it's a crocheting hook.  But this one is really long and worked great for turning the camera cover inside out.  I added it to my sewing box so that I'll have it on hand whenever I'm working on a project.

Here's the final product:


It's holding my cell phone in the picture and could easily be used for that too, but I like it for my camera.  It fits better too. 

I apologize for both my lack of posting (which I plan to improve soon) and also for the off lighting in the pictures.  We're expecting another huge snow storm starting tonight so the sun has been hiding all day.

I'm going to be linking up to Fabric Tuesday over at Quiltstory

Saturday, February 19, 2011

New Fabric

It snowed again last night.  Even more than last time.  So DH and I decided to go out and see what the rest of town looked like.  We stopped at Wal-Mart and I picked up some white flannel so that I can finally finish the baby quilt for DH's cousin.  Then we went to the fabric store and I looked around for a while and decided that I really did want the fabrics I had seen last time.  Plus another one that I found.  So I picked up these


As it turns out my store now carries more designers than just Moda.  The outer two are by Henry Glass & Co. and the middle one is Michael Miller.  I'm thinking about turning the pink one into a purse and lining it with the brown polka-dot one.  I'll share that when I finally get a chance to make it. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Snow

It snowed again last night.  They were predicting it, but everything was fine when DH got home from work.  He was craving Chinese food so we called our favorite restaurant to place an order.  When we left to go pick it up there was already an inch of snow on the ground.  By the time we got to the other side of town it was snowing like crazy.  This morning it's still all over the ground, but the rain is back so it's getting slushy.  I love it though.  It was so much fun to watch it snow.  Not so much fun having the power go out for a good chunk of the evening, but it's back on now and I'm enjoying the fact that there's plenty of time for the roads to clear before I have to go in to work. 

Now if only I'd bought some of the super pretty fabric I saw at the store yesterday (I just found out our local store sells Moda fabric).  Then I'd have something to work on right now.  I need to make a shopping trip soon so that I can work on a few different things I want to make. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Today is Valentine's Day and I hope you're having a wonderful day with someone special.  Our plans for tonight include DH making dinner (hopefully the rain will hold off a bit so he can grill) and spending the evening at home.  I got off work early because we had orientation.  Now I'm just waiting for my husband and enjoying my little break.

We celebrated a bit back on Saturday.  We did a cave tour in a nearby town, which was really frightening.  There were some really cool parts, but it mostly freaked me out.  Then we went to the casino and had what was supposed to be a really nice dinner, but it ended up being pretty disappointing.  We did a few other things throughout the day and had a lot of fun together.

I didn't make anything special for Valentine's Day this year.  Normally I do. 

A couple years ago I made these:


And last year I made these:


But this year I just didn't have the time.  I tried to make some lemon cupcakes on Thursday, but they had no lemon flavor at all and they collapsed so only a couple of them got eaten.  I didn't feel like trying to replace them.  If DH requests something tonight I'll make it for him, but since we have Thin Mint ice cream in the house I think I know what we'll be having for dessert. 

What are your plans for tonight?  Do you go all out for V-Day or is it mostly forgotten? 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

An Update

Sorry I haven't been posting much.  Between getting sick and starting work I haven't had much time.  I promise to be back a lot more often soon. 

Some exciting news for our area:  We're getting a Joann's.  We have a building that's been empty for a while and there's been a lot of talk about what could possibly fill that space.  The city announced yesterday that Joann's will be coming in the fall.  It seems so far away, but I'm so excited.  It fulfills the one gap I really felt like we had here.  I will finally be able to get fabric without driving for over an hour or paying an insane amount for it.  I'm sad that our little shops will suffer a bit, but they have a different sort of feel and selection to them so I think they'll still survive. 

I'm loving my new job.  It's a lot to learn, but I think I'm picking it up.  The people I work with are really nice.  DH and I now work at the same place, but in different departments.  He was working on some stuff for my department so that was a little weird to see him at work.  It was nice, but also strange.  Neither of us were quite sure how to act. 

Overall things have been going pretty well.  I'm just ready to get back to sewing and crafting and for things to slow down a bit. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

I just finished Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.  I just love her writing style, even when it's non-fiction.  This book is her family's true account of their year of eating locally grown foods.  They're each allowed one luxury item, but they still try to get it in the most sustainable way possible.  Everything else they eat is either grown themselves or purchased from local sources. 

The book is very inspirational.  It made me want to start focusing on eating things that are grown in my area and eat seasonally.  It also encouraged me to try to grow my own food so I'll be planting a few things come spring time.  I don't think I could kill my own meat though.  I would have a really hard time with that part.

There's a ton of information in this book.  I learned a lot and I've done a ton of research on the locavore movement so just about anyone would find at least a handful of things they didn't know before reading this. 

I also love her argument against vegetarianism.  I won't give it away, but it's a very interesting read.  I'd recommend this book to just about anyone interested in healthy eating or food in general, although it would be nice to see a lot of people read it and maybe make some changes in their eating habits. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Seriously?

I managed to avoid getting sick since August.  Despite the fact that I was only working one day a week I had no significant illnesses (other than some allergy issues) for about 5 months.  Then, I start a job that I am really excited about and I have to call in on my second day because I have a kidney infection.  The worst part is that the nausea comes and goes so I'll be feeling fine and think I have energy to do something and should go into work, but then I either end up feeling weak or feeling like I'm going to be sick.  I actually wanted to go to work today (I don't think I've ever been able to say that) and I can't because I'm afraid I'll throw up at work.  Fortunately they're very understanding.  I have antibiotics so I am determined to make it to work tomorrow.  Here's hoping it kicks in enough to make me feel better by then. 

Unfortunately I also don't have the energy to craft, but I do have a few things to share in the next couple days.  Stay tuned. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Immunity

I completed another item on my 101 list, but it wasn't intentional.  For my new job I had to have my titers checked for a bunch of diseases including chicken pox (which I apparently am very immune to), and some others that I can't remember right now.  As it turns out, I am still sufficiently vaccinated against everything so I don't need to get any boosters (yay!). 

Pieced Together

I finished piecing all the rows together.  Just a few steps left and it will be finished!


Here's what I have so far.  It still needs a border (and a lot of other steps), but the bulk of the work is done.  It's so exciting to see it looking like a real blanket now.

A close-up view:


As you can see I definitely need to work on lining up my corners.  The hardest part about that is that not all of my squares ended up the same size.  They're a little off in some places so they wouldn't line up no matter what I tried.  I think I need some sort of seam allowance guide on my machine.  It doesn't have anything on there to help me visualize the 1/4" that I needed.  I think that will be a treat for myself sometime soon.  Or maybe I'll get DH to get it for me for Valentine's Day. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Rows are Sewn

All of the rows are sewn for the baby quilt.  They are also pressed and ready to be trimmed and sewn together.  The plan is to do them tomorrow since tomorrow is my last day before I start my new job.  I'll post it if I manage to get it finished.  Here's where I am so far:


I rearranged some of the rows after I sewed them together and I like it a bit better this way.  I'm so excited to see it finally come together.  I might also try to hunt down some more flannel tomorrow so that I can finish the whole thing.  We'll see how it goes. 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Rows

I worked on the rows for the baby quilt today.  First, I did this:


And now I'm at this point:


It may not seem like a lot, but considering that it's my first it seemed like a big deal for me.  I think I'll finish the other five and then it will be time to go out and find some fabric for the border and the backing.  I thought I'd have the other quilt going way before this one so I'm not fully prepared to put it together.  It's exciting to see it all turning into a real blanket instead of just a pile of fabric. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Baby Blanket

Remember this fabric that I showed you a few days ago?


I finally did something with it since I'm feeling better (though still very congested).  I cut it into 5.5" squares yesterday and today I laid it out.


Now I just need to sew it.  It's going to be a baby quilt for DH's cousin's little girl.  I took out the frog fabric.  It just didn't look right with all those pinks and no other blues.  I'll save it for another little one. 

I guess this is going to be my first quilt since I actually have all the fabric I need for it.  I'm going to tie this one though.  I'll let you know how it goes. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sinus Infection

I haven't been crafting because I'm pretty sure I have a sinus infection.  Every time I stand up my head starts throbbing and my sinuses feel like they're on fire.  I'm hoping that I'll feel better by next week so that I can start working on more stuff.  I still have a ton of quilt squares to cut, but I don't have the energy to stand up for very long.  Hopefully I'll be up and running again soon.

Monday, January 24, 2011

New Goodies

This weekend DH and I went to visit my mom and since she lives very close to much better fabric stores than we have here, I decided to go check them out.  I ended up only making it to her Joann's (which is about twice the size of the other one I've gone to), but I also raided her fabric stash and brought home some pieces that are new to me. 

First, I picked up some flannels.


The hearts are from when I was little.  The snowflakes are one that I picked out when I was about 15, but never ended up using it. 

There's also some pink gingham (also from when I was little).


And some pink eyelet fabric:


Please forgive the wrinkles.  I haven't washed these yet and they were living in boxes for many years.

While at Joann's I picked up a few more fabrics for the quilt I'm going to make for our bed


and some fat quarters too.


Finally I made DH help me pick out a bunch of fabric for his cousin's baby.  We just found out she's having a little girl so I was excited to pick out some girly fabrics.  These are all flannel because I thought a baby blanket should be soft.


The green stripes didn't show up very well (third from left), but they look really cute in person. 

I know this upcoming week is going to be super busy, but after it calms down a bit I'm hoping to be able to really get started on both of these. 

I'll share the progress as I go.