Monday, November 17, 2014

Blogging Frequency

My assumption is that no one reads my blog.  I write for myself; It's kind of like my journal.  Maybe my daughter will be interested in reading about what I blogged about at some point.

I enjoy blogging.  It's like my cheap version of therapy.  I should do it more often.  If it matters, here's what's been keeping me from blogging.

  • Family sicknesses.  I think it's all going to be OK, but there's definitely been some health struggles in parts of our family.  I haven't wanted to blog about it, so I've been trying to get through it in other ways.
  • There's been a lot of divorce connected to us in some way.  1 couple in my family, 1 couple in Scott's family, and 2 couples that we're friends with.  Here's what it's made me realize.  Divorce sucks.  Being in a shitty marriage also sucks.  So, while you're in the marriage, try to ensure that the marriage doesn't become shitty.  I think that a lot of it is about momentum.  And, the couple can make things good or can make things bad depending on their actions and words.  
  • Work is challenging these days.  Not my actual work, but our environment and some changes that we're going through.  Again, I think we'll get through it and I don't need to discuss it here, but it's taking a lot of energy.
And, here's an update of what's going on with me these days.
  • Star is an amazing little person.  She's in her last year of preschool.  She's smart, she's social, she's verbal, and she's figuring out how to read and write.  
  • Scott and I are focused on Kindergarten tours and information nights to try and make a good decision about where she should go next year. 
  • I'm proud of my health and weight loss.  I've made some dietary changes and exercise quite a bit and the results have been showing.  I'm happy to be getting more healthy and fit.  I still have a bit to go, but I'm proud.  
Hopefully, now back to some sort of regular blogging schedule.

Camp Mommy 2014

I'm very delinquent in posting about Star's summer vacation.  Here goes...

Over here, you can see a review of Star's 2013 weeks off from preschool.

For 2014, I mixed things up a bit.  I see myself as her camp coordinator.  Kind of like Julie on the Love Boat.  I don't run the Bingo games, but I encourage people to attend the Bingo games.

She had 5 weeks (plus 2 bonus days, but who's counting?) off from preschool.  Here's what we did.

Week 1 - family trip to Portland.  We had a great time.  We stayed in the Pearl District at a fabulously modern hotel.  We took public transportation a lot.  One day, we rented a car and drove about an hour south to visit where I went to Law School.  We saw some of my old professors, and Star picked out my picture out from my class' composite picture.  Then we drove another hour out to the coast, and then up to Tillamoook and spent time at the cheese factory.  It was at that point that Scott remarked that it was now starting to feel like a real family vacation.

Week 2 and 3 - Camp Gan Izzy.  This is a truly amazing camp for those who are Jewish (or not Jewish averse).  They go on adventures.  They do stuff in nature.  They do craft projects.  They cook.  I honestly don't feel like I have as many hours in the day as they do in this camp.

Week 4 - A week of camp at her usual preschool.  This was actually quite badly run.  She was split up from her friends and overall, we were not happy with it.

Week 5 - Head Over Heels gymnastics camp.  Overall, we had a good experience at HOH.  The only problem is that the potties are too high for my vertically challenged daughter.  She'd run to the bathroom, get to the stall, realize that she couldn't get onto the potty, go back to the sink area, get a step stool and drag it back to the potty by which time she's had a complete potty accident.  One day, I packed 3 changes of clothes for her which turned out not to be enough.

She then had 2 bonus days where she did a mix of playdates and time at home.

Next summer, she'll be 5 years old and the summer camp options keep getting better as she get older!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Fake Cheesecake Yummy Yums

In the old days (2 years ago?) I would print out recipes and use cookbooks.  Then, I would make notes on my recipes so I'd know what I wanted to do differently next time.

Now, I do almost all of my cooking from Pinterest.  And, I haven't figured out a way to make notes on pinterest recipes.  So, my solution is to write a blog post and then pin this post.  If anyone has a better technological solution, I'd be happy to hear it!

The recipe below is borrowed almost entirely from here with a few of my modifications.  The original recipe called this a cheesecake, but I think that's a bit of a stretch.  They are good, but not like cheesecake.  
........................................
Vegan (or almost vegan), Gluten Free, No-Bake
Serves: 12
INGREDIENTS
  • Crust:
  • 1 cup pitted dates (soaked in warm water for 10 minutes then drained)
  • 1 cup raw walnuts, almonds, hemp seeds in some combination
  • Filling:
  • 1.5 cups raw cashews, soaked in water 4-6 hours then drained
  • 1 large lemon, juiced (scant 1/4 cup)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted.  (I think the combination of the coconut milk and the coconut oil made the flavor too cocunut-like, so I think I would eliminate the coconut oil next time.)
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup honey or agave nectar (Scott feels like honey is healthier than agave nectar.)
  • Optional Flavor Add-Ins:
  • 2 Tbsp salted natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup wild blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • Any other berry
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Start this recipe the night before you want to eat it.  The cashews need to soak for 4+ hours.  And, once it is all assembled, the yummy yums need to sit in the freezer for 6+ hours.  
  2. Put crust ingrediants in a food processor and blend until a dough forms - it should stick together when you squeeze a bit between your fingers. If it's too dry, add a few more dates. If too wet, add more almond or walnut meal. Add a pinch of salt.
  3. Scoop the crust into the muffin cups in heaping 1 Tbsp amounts and press in firmly with fingers. Set in freezer.
  4. Add all filling ingredients to a blender or food processor and mix until very smooth. I did half a recipe at a time.  In the first half, I did the peanut butter add-in and in the 2nd half, I did frozen blueberries.  
  5. Add your add-ins.
  6. Divide filling evenly among the muffin tins. Freeze until hard - about 6+ hours.  Do not skimp on time.  After 4 hours, my peanut putter version was not completely set, but my blueberry version was.  The following morning, they were both fabulously set.  
  7. Once set, get them out by loosening them with a butter knife. 
  8. Transfer the uneaten treats to a pyrex and keep that in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.  

Thursday, May 1, 2014

crib / toddler bed, mattress, mattress cover and sheet set

Our daughter has used this for the past 3 years.  She first used it as a crib with the mattress in the high position, then with the mattress in the low position.  And, then we took the front panel off so it was a toddler bed.

She's now moved on to a big girl loft bed, so we're selling her much loved crib/toddler bed.

Included is:

  • Ikea Gulliver crib - http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80248525/
  • An Ikea mattress
  • 2 mattress covers
  • Custom sheet set from an etsy seller - 2 small pillow cases, 2 fitted sheets and a quilt.  We no longer have the bumper, but you could order one from the same etsy seller.  She's fabulous.  https://www.etsy.com/shop/CottageBelles
  • 2 small pillows 
The crib is currently disassembled.  It's not in perfect condition.  And, my daughter has added a few stickers which you can probably take off with some effort (Or, you could move the panel that used to be in the front to the back.)







Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Daddy's Boxers Quilt

I love my husband's underwear.  He wears super cute, colorful boxers.  Love love love.

A few years ago, some of his boxers got old and ripped.  He asked me if I wanted them for some craft project.  Yes, I did.

I began envisioning a quilt called Daddy's Boxers Quilt.  I could picture our daughter bringing the quilt with her to college.  But, first I had to make it.

I test-sewed through many designs before I landed on the one that I wanted to execute.  I knew I wanted to incorporate a star motif somehow.  I tried some English paper piecing, but the rigidity of the paper piecing didn't work with the well worn fabrics.



Eventually, I came up with a crazy quilt design with a few stars thrown in.

The back of the quilt has a few more stars that didn't fit with the theme of the front, and it has a fabric that was passed down to me - probably from my great Aunt Ruth.

As for the quilting, I mainly did zig zags on the crazy quilt part with some decorative stitches.  On the orange accents, I did a swirly free motion design.  And, on the stars, I stitched in the ditch, and then echoed that to emphasize the star shape.  



My daughter, Star, loves it.   She loves snuggling under it, touching the fabrics and tracing her finger over my quilted designs.  I still can picture her bringing it to college with her in about 14 years. 


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I'm not usually one to complain...

...but it has been quite a bad few weeks.
  • My workplace is struggling.  A lot.  It's a hard environment right now.
  • My dad is sick.  In the hospital.  Long story.
  • There's a bump on the back of my neck that needs to be cut out and sent to pathology.
  • Star and I both had lice.  We had a lice checker come to the house last night to remove the lice from our heads and put a non-toxic spray thing in our hair.
Bring it on, universe.  

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Stitch Fix #2

I updated my post about my first attempt at Stitch Fix so you can see the picture of what they sent me.  I wasn't excited to try them again, but Jenni sounded like she understood me, and she said nice things about my Pinterest board, so I gave them another shot. 

My second box from them was definitely better than the first, but I didn't like anything enough to add any of the pieces to my closet.  Here's what I got.

A black maxi skirt (which is one of the things T+P sent me too!)

A green cardi.  Cute sweater.  I almost kept this, but it was a bit boring and didn't add anything to my existing wardrobe.

A pink(ish) fake leather jacket.  This was kind of awesome, I have to admit.  If I lived a different kind of lifestyle or had a different kind of budget, I would have totally rocked it.  But, I couldn't justify its addition into my life.

A red patterned fake wrap dress.  Again, this was a good try.  But, the slit up the front was so high, I think people could see parts of me which are not work appropriate to show. 

A tribal looking dress.  Cute shape, but I didn't like the tribal pattern.

So, overall, box #2 was way better than box #1, but it still seemed like a waste of time for all of us.  I'm not sure I'll try again.