Thursday, December 29, 2011
My hope is that some of you will join me in this journey and that we can encourage each other to push through day by day, week by week, and month by month. I am sure this will not be easy, but I think the end results will be worth the effort. So, what do you say? Are you in? Sign up at http://www.mysimplerlife.com and the link to download the entire 2012 calendar will be emailed to you.
Week 1 of the 2012 Declutter calendar starts in the kitchen, one of my most favorite and most dreaded rooms in my home. Yes, I have a love hate relationship with the kitchen. I love it because of all the yummy goodness I bake there. I love it for the rich brown granite countertops, the black stone sink, and rich red cedar cabinets. I love it for all the fun photos plastered all over my refridge from friends and family. I love it for just the simple homey smells that are created there and then permeate throughout my home.
I hate the kitchen because I have an endless line of dishes that pile up in my sink. I hate the kitchen because no one ever wants to eat leftovers and they are left to go bad on my refrigerator shelves. I hate the kitchen because my floors never seem to stay clean, nor do the counters for that matter. I hate the kitchen because I wish I had twice as much room and cabinets to store my things.
Week 1 in Beth's calendar: dust cabinets, organize spices and go through freezer…those are just a few things on the 2012 calendar for the first week. I think I can do that! And I think by doing that I will be taking big steps toward making my kitchen a more enjoyable place to be.
Beth poses this question to start the year “Think about who you want to be this coming year”. Hmmm….I want to think on that. How about you? Any thoughts?
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Some of you know how I had pre-made a bunch of baby food for my little one. Pears, apples and squash all pureed, natural and sitting in my freezer read to serve up. I am thinking, wow, my baby is going to just love this food! She is going to eat it all up and beg for more....yeah, okay, things didn't go exactly like this.
The first couple times I fed her (Baby E) she seemed to really like it. Then, out of the blue, she wouldn't eat a bite. She instead made the funniest faces and repeatedly spit out the food. Shucks! That is not how this was supposed to go!
So what's a mom to do, you ask. After talking with her pediatrician and getting the "okay", I began lightly flavoring Baby E's food. It worked like a charm. She is eating away again, no complaints and no negative reaction from a little flavoring. Yeah.
Now, the run down of how her food is prepared. First I typically use about two ice cube portions of whatever pre-made food I have prepared (ie. squash or apples). These have already been pureed, mixed with either breast milk or formula and a little of the stock that developed underneath them as they were steamed.
Next, I mix about 1 ounce of water, or breast milk with a tiny bit of cereal until I get the desired consistency. I mix the cereal with the warmed food I heated up from the freezer. I then add a tiny little sprinkle of a sugar substitute. I use Truvia, which is very sweet so I am careful to only add a tiny sprinkle. I then add a dash of cinnamon, and I mean a tiny dash! You don't want to mask the flavor of the food completely. You do still want your baby to develop a preference for natural foods.
And that's it! That little bit of seasoning is all it took for Baby E to go from frowning and spitting out everything that touched her lips to gulping it down and begging for more! Happy baby = happy Mom!
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Here are some great places to find granny squares for this project:
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
I don't know how we have managed to collect all the junk we have over the years, but after 15 years together, my husband and I have amassed a house jammed packed full of everything under the sun...in several shapes and sizes! Okay, I just made us sound like hoarders! It's not that bad! But, if we don't get our acts together it might be in a few years! To be honest, I think we are going through what many families are going through at this stage of their lives.
My husband and I have been married for 15 years; we have three children and have been living in the same house for several years. Being settled in one place exacerbates the amassing of junk! Let me tell you! In the beginning of our marriage we moved a lot. Every time we moved we went through everything and tossed junk or unnecessary clutter. Now, not having moved in a while, all that clutter is still in our house…and growing! I am even posting pictures of our mess! Ahh..the agony! I know it's painful to look at, just imagine living with it! But not for long! It's time to clean up!
So that you have a better idea of what I am talking about, let me provide you with a list of areas where we need to de-clutter. I have a walk in closet that we can only ‘walk-in” half way because half of the closet is jammed with several suitcases piled up against the wall. The closet is filled with clothing, some of which hasn’t been worn in years, other items being saved for when I lose weight (come on ladies, you know what I am talking about!! Those size 4 jeans you wore before the kids arrived that you swore you’d get back into! It’s not gonna happen! Toss ‘em!). I have to be realistic. I am not in my 20's anymore and some of the clothing items I have from my 20's would be indecent on a mother of three! LOL! I am much more modest these days!
My sewing area looks like a tornado whipped through and tossed everything around into a big heaping mess. I tried to keep it all organized, but when my supplies grew larger than the containers I purchased to hold them, it all just started spilling out over the sides and onto the floor. That means two things to me; one, I need to cut back on spending on craft items and two, I need a better system for organizing what I do have!
I have a laundry basket in the hall filled with socks that have not been matched up with their pair. Who knows where the other sock is, probably paired up with the missing pair to another sock! My son does the laundry and he just won’t pair up the socks! I need to come up with a better system!
My garage is a nightmare! I have a few boxes and large furniture items sitting out there waiting to go to Goodwill or the dump….who ever will take them. I have boxes upon boxes of decorations, keepsakes and other misc. items that I know I could do without. What I really want is a nice clean and organized garage that I would not be embarrassed to let my neighbors see every time I take out the garbage.
My backyard is a mess of moss, barkchips, mud, leaves and cypress tree needles. Nothing I plant will grow under the trees, so I have just given up...and it shows. It is embarrassing! I want a backyard I can enjoy and spend time in when the weather is nice.
Okay, I think you are getting the picture! So, what to do? I recently happened upon a website through a link on Pinterest. It’s Mysimplerlife.com and is an ongoing blog and instructional website on living simply written by a gal named Beth. On her site I found her month by month Declutter and Organization Calendar. There Beth has created a day by day list of tiny tasks you can do to get your house in order in one year. Here is a link: http://www.mysimplerlife.com/2011.htm. This idea struck a chord with me and I knew I needed to get on board and simplify my life!!
So, here is the good news; you can follow me and my journey to declutter and simplify life because I am going to blog my journey week by week here. I am doing this with hopes of inspiring others in similar situations as mine that you too can do this! In fact, why not join me, download the calendar and follow along! Comment as you do and let me know how you are doing each week. Maybe together we can motivate one another to keep going all 365 days long! Ahhh, that is a daunting thought! Let’s just take it day by day!
Stay tuned! I will start ramping you up for this after Christmas! Join me!
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Here's a couple of my boards just to give you an idea.
If you never plan to complete any of the projects you find on here, or never plan to do anything useful with web ideas you find, this place can be an incredible time waster. However, I have every intention of using the ideas found here. In fact, I have already used several recipes, made items from ideas found here and have plans for the future use of many things I have found. This site really just shows how lucky we are to have the Internet! Can you imagine having to find all these ideas without it? How many books you'd have to find, how many magazines you'd have to browse through? Yes, the Internet is amazing and so too are the many awesome blogs out there where most of these Pinterest ideas have been generated from!
Here are a few awesome blogs I have found through Pinterest:
And that is just to name a few!!!
Check it out for yourself! www.Pinterest.com
Monday, November 7, 2011
Step 1: First, I needed to make sure my sweater was going to be big enough to cover the down pillow. Here's the down pillow with the old cover.
Step 4: Place the sweater pieces, right sides facing, around the outside of 3 sides of the square with about 1/2" seam. Leave one side open for inserting the zipper.
Step 5: For me this step was salvaging the old zipper from the other pillowcase. If you are doing this too be careful removing the zipper anddo not let the zipper slide get near the ends of the zipper and become detached. In fact, if possible I highly recommend that you sew the ends of the zipper on either side together to prevent the slide from coming off all together! They are very hard to get back on!
Step 6: Once you have your zipper ready, use your zipper foot to insert the zipper on the open side of your fabric. If you are unsure how to insert a zipper you can find a good tutorial at http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/3728/sewing-in-a-zipper.
Step 7: At this point I turned my pillow case inside out and sewed the corners of the unfinished side just up to the zipper to give it a more finished look.
Here is it all done! It is a nice addition to the other comfy pillows on my couch!
Hmmm...what to re-purpose next? Ideas?
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Monday, October 31, 2011
This past week a "nurse-in" was held at the Bridgeport Village shopping mall here in Oregon after a security guard told two mothers who were breastfeeding their babies that they needed to move to a private nursing room and not nurse in public. KGW News Channel 8 online writes, "the security guard told (them) to cover up, or go somewhere else to nurse." The two moms were seating next to a children’s play area, where I assume they had kids playing. The two moms quickly defended their legal right to nurse in public, as is their right in the State of Oregon. The management of the mall quickly apologized to the women and stated that it is not their policy to prevent mother’s from nursing their children in any location within their shopping area and that the security officer was in the wrong…more or less.
KGW online also held a poll asking readers what they thought about public breastfeeding and these were the results as of 10/31/11 @ 5:00pm.
Do you think breast-feeding in public is inappropriate?
Total Votes: 2417
Are you surprised to see that 65% of readers do not believe that public breastfeeding is inappropriate? I find these statistics very refreshing! That is 1564 people who understand that breastfeeding is not a ‘dirty’ deed, a shameful act, a sexual or necessarily a non-modest exposure of the body. Thankfully awareness of the needs to protect a woman’s right to feed her child through nursing wherever and whenever her child is hungry is growing!
Many moms opt to nurse discreetly. Meaning, they use nursing garments or cover-ups to provide a bit of privacy. There are so many products out there to assist with this. There is Hooter Hiders, the The Bebe Au Lait and the Breast Friend Nursing covers, and a slew of Boutique creations and sewing patterns to make your own. Breastfeeding in public has become so easy and convenient! For me, this is the way to go. While I do not have issue with women who choose not to nurse discreetly, I feel by doing so it is showing respect for people around you who are uncomfortable. And while their discomfort may be due to their own insecurities and issues of misunderstanding about nursing, for me, it still makes sense to try to ease what could be a stressful situation by taking a simple step to reduce the discomfort of these people. So, yes I will and do nurse in public, but I do what I can to reduce exposure.
For women who do opt to nurse openly (meaning exposing their breasts), I think it is important for them to consider their setting at the time. While they have a legal right to nurse openly anywhere, that doesn’t mean that they should necessarily always choose to do so. I think some woman nurse in all locations impartially just to make a point. And while I am glad they are standing up for their rights, I also feel that our rights are not given to us with the intention that we might use them to make others feel displaced. Am I making sense? Modesty goes a long way!
I have heard arguments that women should nurse in bathrooms, or in empty rooms or just away from all other people….all of which sound like hiding to me. First, bathrooms: nasty, smelly, germ ridden bathrooms. Would you as an adult want to eat there? Then why should you expect an innocent little baby to have to eat in the bathroom? Furthermore, very, very few bathrooms have a place to sit other than the toilet seat. Let's say you’re out to dinner, your baby starts to cry out of hunger and your dinner guests suggest you feed the baby in another room. Hmmm. Meanwhile, your drinks arrive, then your main course, your food is getting cold, and you are still trying to feed a fickle baby who is having difficulty latching on. Finally, you finish nursing, return to your table to find your meal is cold and everyone is just waiting on you to eat. Why was this mom just made to miss out on what could have been a normal dinner with family and friends? Because she had to feed her child or because some people at the table had some serious insecurity issues? We treat the mom and baby as though they were temporarily plagued with leprosy.
Anyway, I am glad these events take place because they help bring more awareness to the value of breastfeeding, and nursing in public. In the end, moms who nurse in public are nourishing their child in the best way they possibly can. We should be thanking them! The more we see women nursing in public, the more accepted it will be. Women should not be embarrased using their breast for their God given purpose. I think somewhere in time people forgot the the breast was actually designed for something non-sexual. As a society we need to develop a much deeper appreciation for this God given gift and encourage moms to nurse wherever and whenever and never make them feel as though they need to hide when doing so.
KGW Article: http://www.kgw.com/home/Breast-feeding-moms-stage-nurse-in--132862418.html
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
My plan had been to start feeding her in a month, but now I am thinking, based on her reaction, she's ready for solids now. Lucky girl, I just finished preparing two trays of pureed baby food from scratch. I decided to start making my own baby food this time around after reading about exposing babies to processed food early in their lives and how that process flavor helps develop their pallet ...or lack thereof. Many people in the know stress the importance of allowing our babies pallets to develop with food as fresh and natural as possible with the hopes that they will be more inclined to make life long choices for healthier, fresher foods instead of process foods.
All this aside, it just makes me feel better to make my baby's food. I know exactly what went into it; there is no question as to preservatives, over processing...yada, yada, yada. I know this isn't for everyone. Let's face it, it does take a little time to do. But if you can spare 30-60 minutes every week, you can easily make your baby's food too. It's super easy!!!
I started with freshly picked apples I got from a farm that does not use pesticides. I peeled, cored and chopped these and placed them into a pot with a steamer tray, and a little water. I steamed them for about 20-25 minutes, then placed them into my food processor finely pureed them with some breast milk and some of the fluid from the pot I just steamed them in. Cooled and poured into my food storage tray and placed it in the freezer. That's it! Done!
This process was so easy I decided to go ahead and process an Acorn squash I had as well. I peeled the squash, cut it into quarters and removed all the seeds and pulp from the center. I baked the squash for about 55 minutes at 350 degrees in the oven. At this point I still was not happy with the softness of the squash and chose to take an additional step and chop and steam the squash for about 10 - 15 minutes longer.. Perfect! I then pureed this, added some breast milk, powdered formula, and liquid from the steaming pot. Oh, sweet perfection!!
So that was it...the squash was done, cooled and ready to go in the freezer and my little Baby E started to fuss. I crossed my fingers and spooned a little of the heavenly orange concoction into her sweet little mouth. To my, and her delight, she LOVED it! She ate way more than I thought she would and filled that empty little belly of hers! Best of all, I feel so good about what went into her little body! All natural and healthy! Yeah!
Doesn't that look yummy? It is...yes, I tried it! Can't feed it to the baby unless I know it taste good first! I plan on coming up with new recipes as time goes on, so stay tuned!! :-)
Friday, October 14, 2011
I am a small purse kind of girl. Why, you ask. Because if I carry anything bigger than a wallet I fill it up with receipts, wrappers and anything else that fits in it that I don't feel like carrying! Can you relate?
Due to this all too common habit we women have, the clutch purse has become an excellent choice to lug around our necessities. Just as with my diaper bag (http://eolababy.blogspot.com/2011/10/amazing-lucky-baby-diaper-bag.html) I took my time finding the "perfect" pattern. I settled on one I found at Tipnut.com. (http://elily00.wordpress.com/tutorials/wallet/). I loved this patter because it filled every need I had in a purse; a place for my credit and bank cards, a place for cash and change, a place for business cards, and my tiny lip gloss and even a place for my cell phone. Yes, it fits all that in a little clutch! The pattern did not call for one, but I added a strap for added convenience.
It took me a total of about 5 hours to make this clutch. That's it. And it was SUPER easy. If I can do it, so can you!! Definitely use medium to heavy weight interfacing as often as possible to add strength!!
Now the big question was what fabric to use. I finally settled on a Joel Dewberry fabric in his Aviary 2 design. A feminine fabric that wasn't too girly that my husband would be embarrassed to carry! It worked out perfectly!
I just love this bag!
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
About a month ago we participated in an event to assist a photographer friend with her adoption of two children. Basically she offered her amazing services at a discounted rate for a one day photo shoot to raise funds for the adoption. I was thrilled! Her studio is called Kazuri Images http://www.kazuriimages.com/ and if you are looking for a superb photographer in Oregon/Washington I highly recommend her! Here's a little peek of our photos.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
I got the idea and basic instructions from this blog:http://createstudio.blogspot.com/2009/06/two-sided-burp-cloth-tutorial.html
Isn't this duck so cute??!! You can buy this now at JoAnn's. It is part of their waterproof baby collection just recently placed on the shelf! The fabric sold in this collection is the same type of fabric you find on many infant car seats and strollers. Oh, the projects that are rolling around in my mind!!!
Monday, September 12, 2011
Love this Dress!!!! I used a cotton acylic yar blend. It should fit Baby E at about 12 to 18 months. It's 100% cotton. I got the pattern from a book called Baby blueprint crochet, by Robyn Chachula. I have got to make more of these so Baby E has some to grow into!!! http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/baby-blueprint-crochet-robyn-chachula/1101304152
A human is a human no matter how small and no matter what stage of development one is at, and as such is entitled to life and respect. Humans at an early stage of development may not look like you or I, but they look exactly as God intended them to look at that stage of their life.
* No, I have never had an abortion. I am only sharing my views on this horrible procedure.
These days I have to stay busy to keep sane! So I line up project after project! Currently I am making several musical baby blocks made from cloth and filled with noise makers. The out side is lined with colorful fabric, photos, number, shapes and letters. I hope Baby E finds them to be fun and educational.
I used 100% cotton material and one-sided fusable Peltex for the walls of the blocks. Inside I am using bells of different sizes, beans and...I haven't thought of another sound maker just yet, but I am working on it.
My next project: a cloth wallet. (and to finish the sweater I have been working on!)
Update (10/14/11): I finished the blocks!! Whew! Sewing these shut was not easy! The Peltex was so thick. Anyway, I filled the final blocks. One I filled with a few plastic bags. That makes that neat crinkle sound that babies just love. The last block I filled with barley. Yeah, I guess that rules out throwing this in the washer. Surface wash ONLY!
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Friday, July 22, 2011