Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Work and Lunch

So going back to work has been pretty good.  I'm still trying to remember everything I'm supposed to do after being out for 2 and half months.  Luckily I left really good notes for my backup, which I am now using!  As for my job being discontinued later this year I have applied for a position at another store, and have several leads for jobs outside the company.  I think I'll be okay, but most likely will have a drop in income.
Now for the lunch!  Last August I was visiting my sister in New England and one of her favorite past times is yard sale-ing.  We hit up several while I was there, my best find was a laptop lunch system for $1, these usually run for at least $20.  Now it is the old style, but hey it was a buck!  So for the 2 days I've been back at work I've made my lunch the night before and put it into the lunch box.  I must say I find it more fun to have this Obento style box than a regular lunch bag.  I'm not the most creative with it but hope to find lots of ideas I can replicate online.  If I find I like it a lot I may invest in the 2.0 system.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Enjoyment

Today is my last day before I return to work.  I am making sure to get lots of snuggles in with H and L.  I haven't been away from H for more than a few hours so far.  I hope we both do well. 
Lately I've been rereading the book French Women Don't Get Fat, one of the main points the author talks about is enjoyment being increased by savoring what you have.  She talks about the first few bites of the meal being the best.  I wonder if my first few snuggles back from my first day of work will be more fulfilling than my all day snuggles of today.  One does need to learn to balance.  It will be an adjustment being a full time worker and mother of two.  Probably about the time I get it under control it will be September 30th and I'll be out of a job.  Must be positive, must be positive!  Everything will work out, this doesn't mean I can sit back, but everything will work out.  That will be my mantra.  Tuesday is the meeting where I find out the specifics about my layoff.  As my husband said, it could be worse, there could have just been no job to return to.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Yogurt

It seems like every so often I get this insane need to make yogurt.  I don't really eat it much so buying a yogurt maker is not a good investment for me.  Plus every yogurt maker I've looked at has had lots of people complaining about hot spots.  I was doing an internet search the other day and found these awesome instructions for yogurt in a slow cooker.  I tried doing this once before on my own but it didn't turn out right.  Yesterday I made some and it is perfect, although I prefer a thicker greek type yogurt so I am going to put my yogurt in a coffee filter in a colander and let it thicken today.  I used my favorite yogurt for the starter.  In fact my entire batch of yogurt costs less than the starter!  I still love you Siggis!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Redundancy

I am not even back at work yet from my maternity leave and find out my position is being eliminated at the end of September.  Well I guess the job search is on, as well as the monetary lockdown until my husband and I know what will happen.  So I guess I'll be writing about what I have been already as well as the job search in a down and out economy.  Wish me luck, I have a feeling I'll need it.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spa Day!

I won a gift certificate to a spa at a company party.  I forgot about it.  I just looked at it last week and it was about to expire!  Since my free time is soon to end (returning to work Monday) I called and made an appointment.  I decided to get a facial since I've never had one before.  Oh. My. God!  It was wonderful!  I am now trying to plan a way to save enough money to go back, it's a huge expense but, I'm worth it right?  I don't think I've ever felt so pampered.  I also got a manicure, and L doesn't know what to make of Momma's colored nails.  I hope the manicure lasts until at least Monday, I'd like to show up to work looking put together once.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Misperceptions

I don't know what made me think of this as L and I were staring out the window at the winter wonderland, but I did.  Many years ago I went to buy some shoes at Payless.  At this time in my life I made very little money, about $6.50 an hour.  It was barely enough to pay rent and bills, let alone luxury items like new shoes.  So going shopping for these shoes was a large expense for me.  The salesman wasn't very nice and kept making comments like why was I slumming in his shoe store?  Shouldn't I be buying shoes somewhere a little more upscale?  I would have left, but it was the only Payless around that I knew of, and as noted I couldn't afford much more.  I don't remember what shoes I had on that day, but I remember I was wearing a purple cotton tank top, the kind with a built in bra, I'd bought it at least 3 years previous, and a pair of navy blue gauchos from the thrift store.  I don't know why that man was so rude, I don't know what about me made me appear to have more money than he thought his customers should have, I also don't know why he didn't want the sale... but I wonder how often I've thought the wrong thing about someone.  Perhaps this almost decade old memory on this quiet wintry spring day is to help remind me that most things are not how they first appear.  Everything is seen through your own lens, and only darkly at first.  I need to remember to be open, and patient.  A good thing to keep in mind as I return to work next week.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Snow, Snow, Snow

Yesterday was an absolutely beautiful day, I finally got around to hanging the diapers on the line and they are all nice and sun bleached now.  It's amazing how the sun just takes those stains right out!  I took L and H outside and played.  Now today, outside, it's coated in white and we're supposed to get about 10 inches.  Oh well, that's spring in Colorado.  It was 4 years ago we moved into our house, the week before we moved in was dry and sunny, the day we started moving the temperature dropped and it snowed.  I had to wear one of my husband's garage jumpsuits to stay warm.  Of course the day after we finished it warmed up again and all the snow melted.  So I am sure in 2 days the snow will be mostly gone.  As I said spring in Colorado...

Monday, March 22, 2010

Marketing

I really don't know much about it, except that I'm a sucker for it.  My husband laughs at how easily I am influenced.  I try to be thrifty, but I also love cute.  I have a noted Hello Kitty habit...  Our kitchen is filled with mostly store brand items, and the majority of that organic.  I have worked on buying utilitarian over cute, but sometimes I fail.  I was grocery shopping the other day and needed more vegetable oil, I don't use it much but have been baking more muffins lately.  I was about to grab the large store brand jug when I saw this beautiful little can.  It was 1/2 the size and cost more, but I convinced myself by saying it's organic.
Isn't it darling?  I posed it with my new measuring spoons and one of my new measuring cups I received last week.  It absolutely inspires me to cook more.  I guess it's like clothes, when you wear the ones you like the most, and besides I can always buy the cheaper oil later and refill the can!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bibs

Last summer I had a chance to go to IKEA, we won't have one here in Denver until fall 2011.  They have these awesome bibs there, we call them Dinner Armor around here.  Well they are wearing out, and I don't think they'll make it to be passed down to H.  I am now experimenting in making some of my own.  I want them to be brighter and more girly for the wee one.  I'm only in the early planning stages but I have found some beautiful fabric in Heather Bailey's Nicey Jane line.  The laminates are wonderful!
I'm going to use this for the first bib with some red bias tape around the edges.  If it works out I'll be making some more out of the other patterns.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Hoppin' down the bunny trail

So I've finished sewing L's bunny.  Haven't decided on what to do for a face, or if it will have a face.  I've cut the pieces for H's but haven't started stitching yet.  Look's like I may get them done before Easter!  Thanks to my visiting family for watching the kids and letting me get some crafting on.
On a different note, we were eating hot dogs last night and L held one of his pieces up and exclaimed "Finger yummy!".

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

More Gifts

As I mentioned before my birthday is coming up, today was another gift getting day!  I received a beautiful charm to put on my charm bracelet to celebrate H's birth.  I also received some awesome measuring cups that look like coffee mugs and some measuring spoons that look like good silverware.  They are so cute!  I can't wait to wash them and get baking!  Now I get to pick what restaurant I want to have my birthday dinner at.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cool Gadget

Okay, so I've known about these things for about 10 years, but haven't gotten around to buying one until Sunday.  I'm not lazy, I've just been in the planning stages for quite some time with this one, just ask my husband, I have lots of things stuck in the "planning" queue.  Anyway if you buy clothes at the thrift store, or just want to make some of your clothes that pill look better you need to have this.  Just be careful you don't cut a hole in your coat!  I've gone fuzz ball shaving crazy, it's fun and practical!

Monday, March 15, 2010

And on it goes!

So my parents are now gone, and my mother-in-law and niece are here for the week.  It's nice to have the company, and the help!  Only 2 more weeks and then I am back to work.  I better enjoy my time off!  Also try to finish off a few more of my many craft projects!  I only need to sew together H's sweater, I guess it's now or never since she is in one big growth spurt right now!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Movies

We've been watching alot of movies with my parents.  I'm shocked at how much they haven't seen.  They saw When Harry Met Sally for the first time last night!  I thought I was behind the times when I saw it for the first time 10 years ago.  It's been a lazy few days, sad to see them leaving tomorrow.  I wish we had family closer, not just for the obvious free babysitting but also so the grandparents could see L and H grow.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Pot Holder

I'm just finishing off a few projects while the family is here.  This pot holder is made from a pattern from Handmade Home: Simple Ways to Repurpose Old Materials into New Family Treasures.  It's just a few odd scraps and left overs, excellent way to use up a few pieces of fabric.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Hello Kitty

I am a huge Hello Kitty fan, but don't have much time for collecting these days.  My birthday is coming up very soon, and since my parents are here this week we had a little celebration.  I got an awesome Hello Kitty sweatshirt, coffee cup, and ring.  I'm all adult now, really, it's a stainless steel travel mug...Well I keep telling myself I'm an adult!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pretty Fabrics

Lately I've really been into fabrics.  My favorite craft store is Fancy Tiger, they have some of the prettiest fabrics in town, not to mention beautiful yarns, amazing books, and all the spinning and felting supplies you could want.  Sometimes I see a fabric and I just buy it, and find a project later.  I made this little kimono for H from a pattern out of Weekend Sewing: More Than 40 Projects and Ideas for Inspired Stitching. It is made from a wonderful flannel,  I'm trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my fabric since this only took up 1/2 a yard!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

If it's not one thing...

I'm just having one of those evenings. The kind where you could just tear your hair out, or bang your head against the wall. My only consolation right now is that others have been here before me. Like in this article.  It also gives me hope.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Here comes Peter Cottontail...

Family traditions are important.  It's something I've really been thinking about since I read The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections.  I've been thinking about traditions my family had, asking my husband about things he remembers from his childhood.  One thing I had already started was making an Easter bunny every year.  My parents bought us one every year, and I loved all my bunnies.  I got pink, my brother blue, and my sister yellow, all identical otherwise.  Last year's bunny for L was crochet and he still plays with it today, already so loved that the pompom tail is gone.  I am starting on bunnies for both kids, it is a pattern of my own invention but based off of some bunnies I saw at Target last year.  Knowing I have years of bunny making ahead, I keep a mental note of cute but easy to replicate bunnies I see at stores.  I'll post pictures again when I have a finished product.  The picture is of L's, the ears will be the solid color at the top and H's will have the body made of the flower fabric with the fabric on top being the ears.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Family is Coming!

So this is our last weekend as a foursome for a while.  First my parents arrive for a week and then my mother-in-law and niece the next week.  I'm looking forward to some meals in a restaurant, no dishes!  Also maybe a morning to sleep in....  I'm sure the visit will go by in a flash, and before I know it I'll be back at work. 

Thursday, March 04, 2010

It'll be OK

Sometimes I get really stressed out by things, bills, time, dirty dishes.  I just need to step back and take a deep breath.  Everything has a way of working itself out, that isn't to say that I don't need to keep working to take care of things on my end, but I don't need to worry.  I am not a christian but this verse seems to ring true:
           "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34
I need to slow down and take each day as it comes.  I don't know how many times I've been told as a parent of an infant you just need to let go of some things, the clothes can wait an extra day to be washed, the floor may not get mopped as often... and yet I still need to tell myself to stop and listen. It's okay to spend a day in bed with your kids, in fact I highly recommend it, perhaps that is what I'll do tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

A Little Bird

It really feels like spring here today.  I saw a bird on my tree, just hopping around like it's no big deal.  I took L out in the backyard to play and he was confused by the fact I didn't make him put on a jacket.  Now I'm just waiting for the flowers to bloom.  I really love the Forsythia, I want to plant one but can't decide on where.  All I have to do is buy some at the store and it will root by itself in the water...  You'd think after 4 years in this house I'd have a spot to plant it!  I guess I'll just enjoy everyone elses'.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Projects, projects, projects...

I like most crafters have many projects going.  I'm working on a sweater for H, which I need to finish soon or it will be too small for her to wear.  I started working on a sweater for L but had to frog it and want to find a new pattern for him (any suggestions?).  I am working on a cross-stitch stocking for H, I've already finished one for L.  I'd also like to make a stocking for myself and my husband, but it's a lot of work!  I have the fabric and pattern for a skirt for myself.  I'm reading several books that have projects I'd like to make.  I love the idea of a braided rug made from the fabric of worn out clothing and sheets.  What are you working on?

Monday, March 01, 2010

Soup!

My little L has a bit of a cold, and everyone knows chicken soup is just the thing for that.  Yesterday I made some from scratch.  Making stock is so easy.  I'm not sure how long ago but I was watching Nigella Lawson and she said that a really easy way to make chicken stock is to freeze the carcass of a store bought rotisserie chicken after you are done with it.  I've done this several times now, it's like getting a free meal out of something I buy anyway!  I just thaw the chicken in the fridge and put it in a pot of boiling water with some bay leaves & other spices plus whatever produce I have in the fridge that is still good but doesn't look as appetizing as it could.  Let simmer for a few hours and there you'll have some of the best stock you've ever eaten!  Freeze whatever you don't need for that night's soup.  Here's a picture of yesterday's stock cooking.  Happy eating!