It is lame, I know, but this is the only photo I could find to accompany this post. It’s from a calendula flower that is blooming right now in our front yard. No pumpkins or any other sort of halloweeness this year, which is a little sad. It doesn’t help that this is David’s least favorite holiday. And, even though I bought a mixed bag of swedish fish/sour patch kids (fat free!) to give out, I’m afraid I’ve eaten most of it myself. Sorry kiddies. I’ll see if I can motivate myself to make a last minute jaunt to the store. I feel like a cop-out for not following my own post from last year. Anyway, hope everyone has some good old-fashioned and safe fun tonight!
Archive for October, 2008
Tags: baby, gender, pregnancy, test
Last week I won a blog giveaway on Droolicious for an IntelliGender Gender Prediction Test kit. According to the web site, you can take the test as soon as you’re 10 weeks pregnant. So, the question is, does it work? In my case, the answer is yes. After I inserted my first morning’s urine sample into the test container and waited the ten minutes, it did show a slightly orange tint, indicating that I’m having a girl (which I already knew from an ultrasound). A dark or smoky green color change would have indicated a boy.
Before I had my 20 week ultrasound I was really curious as to the gender of my baby, but I don’t know if I would have paid the $35 for the test. However, for those who really want to know, and are willing to take the results with some skeptism (just in case), this might be a fun, early trimester activity.
Tags: animal, bear, handmade, sewing, softie, stuffed, swapbot, teddy
Here is the softie for the swap I mentioned earlier. The pattern is from the book Sew Pretty Christmas Homestyle. It turned out pretty good for a first attempt. Sewing such small, rounded corners was quite a challenge. The fabric is the same dot print used on the art cards that are also part of the swap package, and I used non-toxic fabric paint for the eyes and nose. The set is going to my partner’s new nephew, whose room is done in baby blue and brown, and she is a big fan of polka dots. Hope they like it!
Tags: Art, bird, cards, elephants, fabric, felt, flannel, notecards, tree
I made this set of little notecards today as part of a swap package. They were inspired by all the cool fabric art and cute graphics I’ve come across lately. I cut the shapes out of scraps of flannel and craft felt and glued them in place. The other part of the swap package will consist of a softie, which I’ve never made before. I’m not sure if my sewing skills are up to something like that, but I guess I will be finding out soon!
Tags: baby, craft, Design, directions, diy, gifts, handmade, how to, instructions, projects, tutorial
A while back I started a page devoted completely to cool baby craft tutorials. There is a tab below the blog header that links to it. It contains a mix of my own tutorials and other people’s projects. So far there are tutorials for baby hair clips, appliqued onesies, felt baby shoes, burp cloths, kimono wrap, diaper and wipes pouch (poopy clutch), knit hat with earflaps, LED baby booties, diaper cake and embellishing baby tees. I hope to add more as I come across them on the net, so check back if you’re interested, or let me know what some of your favorite ones are and I’ll add them to the list.
Tags: chanterelles, collecting, harvesting, mushrooms
While we were at the coast this weekend, we also went mushroom hunting for Chanterelles. It is a surprisingly fun past-time, especially with friends. You get to spend time outdoors, hiking in the deep woods, keeping your eyes peeled for little spots of color along the ground. Then you get the thrill of the find, sometimes falling upon a whole group at once. And later, once the little beauties are all checked over, cleaned, trimmed, and sliced, they get cooked up for dinner. We had them sauteed in butter and parsley this weekend, but the leftovers will likely find themselves into omelets, mushroom risotto, and other tasty dishes (like maybe mushroom turnovers with sour cream, a recipe from my new copy of Everyday Food).
Another cool thing about mushroom hunting is that you see things that you might have missed if you weren’t trying to look at everything so carefully. I’ve seen these little snails along the ground before, but I’ve never seen this little red woodland lizard that Marcy found. They are tiny things, and easily overlooked, but they all share the forest. It is cool to think about.
On our way home from the coast, we stopped along a side road off the highway, in an area that looked to be promising. We pretty much came on several batches right away, and stayed for maybe an hour. I was pretty exhausted and sore after hunting around the day before (imagine me for a moment, 34 months pregnant, clumsy and awkward, climbing over fallen logs, and up steep hillsides. Then imagine Marcy doing the same thing with a 6-month old strapped to her chest. At least we survived unhurt, unlike my poor husband who actually sprained his ankle). At this new place, however, it was almost like they just popped up on their own. I was hardly trying and there they were. So we borrowed Alex’s dehydrator and are giving that a whirl. After a few more harvests like this one, we’ll have mushrooms to last the winter.
Tags: craft, fashion, maternity, pregnancy
Hah! I totally got a kick out of seeing this shirt! They should make it in pink, too. From MuthaCrafter.
Before heading off to the coast this weekend to celebrate Marcy’s birthday, I decided to bake a cheesecake to bring along. Never having made cheesecake before, I used Our Best Cheesecake recipe from the back of the Honey Maid Graham Cracker box, to keep things simple.
Knowing cheesecakes tend to be tempermental, I read several online pages of tips – letting all the ingredients come to room temperature, measuring precisely, mixing until the batter was lump-free. Then I poured the satiny cream into our fancy French springform (which I got as a wedding gift, years ago, but had never used), and slid it into the oven to bake. By the end of it’s two hour cycle… WHAT?! Instead of the smooth, creamy whiteness I expected, the top of the cheesecake had turned BROWN! How had that happened?! I had no idea. Bummed, I put the mess into the fridge to think about later.
That night, I woke up realizing my mistake. I should have reduced the temperature to 325 degrees for a dark, non-stick pan, instead of 350 for a regular silver pan (ahem, just like the directions said). One small, but serious miscalculation, almost leading to tragedy…
How to Rescue an Overbaked Cheesecake… by Adding Another Layer
When I got up the next morning I was determined to save the cheesecake. (David’s suggestion was to buy some cherry topping to hide the top, but that seemed too easy). Instead, my solution was to bake an additional cake, and add it as a new layer.
I think any additional cake layer would work, but I chose Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake for the contrast. My only variation was using Droste cocoa powder instead of Hershey’s, for a darker color and richer flavor. Then I made chocolate ganache.
After carefully removing the overbaked cheesecake top to reveal only the white, I layered ganache on top for looks, flavor, and to work as “glue” to adhere the next layer. With a serrated knife, I carefully leveled the chocolate cake and placed it on the cheesecake, finishing with more ganache on top for decoration.
What a relief! The new two-layer cake was even more beautiful than I had expected. I seriously couldn’t believe it turned out so well after such a sad beginning. And most importantly, the birthday girl was very pleased, making the little extra effort completely worth it!
Tags: clothing, fashion, maternity, shopping
Somehow I fell into window shopping online tonight. So dangerous. I just love the fabrics and styles that are coming out right now for fall. Especially in dark or charcoal grey, one of my favorite colors to wear. Oh man. If I had a normal figure right now I would be spending so much money. First of all, check out the awesome dress below from Anthropologie. I hardly ever wear dresses, but I would find a reason to wear this one. Can you imagine? With some tall black boots? Oh boy, I’d feel like a million bucks. Love the shape and pleated asymmetrical details. If I was slightly less sane I would go wild and buy one now, with the hope that someday, after baby is born, I might have a defined waist again.
Yes, some really nice things out there. And to be fair, there are some wearable and semi-reasonable maternity finds, too. Like this well-designed coat and sweaters from Old Navy. Quite a surprise to find them there, if you ask me.
From Old Navy Maternity: Wool-Blend Swing Coat, Cable-Knit Crossover Cardigan, Pleated Sweater Coat
I tried the coat on the other day, before David noticed the $88 price tag. Since I mostly work from home, I have no reason to buy a maternity coat that I’ll only wear for a few months. More likely, I’ll be wearing David’s jackets and coats, at least until I can fit into my own again. Sometimes I forget that my body won’t simply bounce back to its pre-pregnancy size the minute baby is born. Luckily I was reminded recently, that I will likely be wearing maternity clothes for at least a couple months after baby. So I guess that is a good enough reason to buy a few nice, warm pieces to supplement my borrowed goods, since there is only so much I can stand of looking like a sack of potatoes.
I know its seriously early to start thinking about kid or even toddler rooms, but I just love this idea from BHG – chalk board painted walls. The perfect (and manageable) response to a kid who says ” I want to paint my room black.” This would work particularly well for us, because we already have a chair rail along the walls in our soon-to-be nursery. And in the case of a younger child, you could always paint the lower wall instead. According to BHG, the trick is to pair the black paint with brighter hues to bring in color and light, and to add some black accessories. Love it. Via Ohdeehoh.
Tags: baby, crafts, swap, swap bot
Find yourself making all kinds of handmade baby items? This is the chance to share your talent!
Each swap partner will make something handmade (and useful) for their partner’s baby. This could be burp cloths, handmade disposable diaper, onesie or t-shirt, bib(s), booties, quilt or blanket, diaper changing mat, etc. The important thing is that the item is handmade with care in some way – sewn, embellished, knit, embroidered, etc.
In the comments section (on the swapbot page), you can state if you have a boy or a girl and provide their name, if you’d like. Partners may not make a specific request, but can include one thing that they WOULD NOT want to receive. If you choose to make something that needs a specific size (clothing or diaper), then it is important that you message your partner.
Tags: cards, craft, punch, thank you
It has taken me a while to write and send out thank you cards for the shower gifts we’ve received. To me, writing a thank you card is serious business. I really want each one to be heart felt, and to let the giver know how meaningful their gift truly is to me. Each card has unique thoughts, and because of this I usually only complete 2 or 3 once I finally sit down to write.
Originally, I bought baby specific cards, but they’re almost all gone. Plus, it is more interesting for me to use different cards, instead of the same ones each time (even though I know they are going out to different people). That is where my new Martha Stewart butterfly craft punch comes in (on sale at Michaels a few weeks ago). We’ve had these cheap, generic thank you cards hanging around for a while. All it took was a few pieces of scrap paper and voila! a new look to otherwise plain cards. I’ve done both glued and sewn versions, as shown above. Also, if you haven’t already seen them, butterfly collages are a really fun way to use this punch, too.