Thursday, August 30, 2007

Pay it Forward

I found out about this on Surviving's blog.

This is a Pay It Forward Exchange. Basically it is about doing something for someone else without expecting anything in return.

Here is how it works! I’ll send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange! I don’t know what that gift will be yet, and you may not receive it tomorrow or even next week… but you will receive it within 365 days, that’s a promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


I have come to love sewing. It's so - what's the word - flip dictionary where are you? - rewarding? No, satisfying. No, it's more than satisfying. I don't know. It's fun, productive, useful, sentimental in a way (i love doing things my great grandmother who i never knew might of links women together throughout history. I love that. I guess that's what i was looking for. The feminist movement was nice and all. But women have proved themselves in the man's world. And that's nice and dandy because open doors and paychecks are always good but it's also a good feeling to do what women were doing hundreds of years ago. It makes me feel good and it feeds my soul. And it's useful. Okay, mushy soapbox speech over!

Today i hated sewing. I was doing my first tote bag for the little man and i had to tear out the top seam 8 times. Yes, i really said 8. I was having a real stupid moment - but i'll blame it never having sewn something with that many layers or handles. I think it was an obstacle illusion or something but when i quit thinking and finally followed the instructions without my head getting involved i saw what went wrong, eight times. The inside pocket was sewn on the wrong side and i had the straps not tucked inside so they kept not coming out when i turned the thing. Now it's lovely and cute but i still look at it and can't believe i spent an entire naptime making it. I had a couple other things planned with it. I did make another 4 bibs. Oh, i didn't share that yet. I'm making bibs galore. And changing tpads and all kinds of other baby/kid stuff for baby presents and gifts for the older kids as well as pajamas for LD. Also getting ready to make stuff for my neices and nephews for the holidays, stuff for the little man for Eid. I love making bibs though. You can do so many in an hour and it's awesome to see something beautiful/cute on a bib instead of the same ole same ole. I'm trying to get some stuff together to start an Etsy store. Been working on building up my stash against my husband's will which takes some creative planning and attack methods. The Art of War has been very useful. ;-)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Cooking stuff

Okay, so i tallied the shopping receipts and it looks like we spent $230 for a month. This is pretty good considering we had to start over with condiments and things like that. I can break down what we buy next month along with the menu. I will do the whole month of September on my food blog that will break everything down. I'm just too busy until then.

Today is a good example though of how i cook and use my freezer. By the way, i have a small freezer. I never specified what i had and i only have a small side by side fridge and freezer but i can pack that puppy full. Anyway, here's what's happening today.

I thawed all my chicken breasts - 4 or 5 large ones. In the crockpot I have chicken and northern bean soup stewing for LD. I made a big batch which he'll eat today and tomorrow (once each) and then i freeze the rest in LD size portions (those glad to go snack cups). I also got done making mac and cheese which i do the same except i put them in baby food jars. That's what i do with kitchery too. I make rice and lentils and he'll eat it like that with a little butter or i'll add different stuff to it. All of this is in the top shelf of the freezer. I'm going to post a picture soon of my freezer so you can see how i do it. in another pot i have plain northern beans stewing in chicken stock and herbs. He eats those as a snack. In another pot i'm boiling chicken breasts which will be used for chicken pot pie later today. In another i have butter chicken going. A big pot because quite frankly i'm addicted to the stuff. I've been on a burnout of pakistani food for a while now but that is one dish i always look forward to. And there is one breast left which i will make sweet potato and chicken (thick) soup. This feeds my kid for basically the next week along with stuff we have for dinner. It fills in the gaps and gives him good lunches. I always cook like this. I will spend an entire day in the kitchen and the next four just doing small stuff. It's easier for cleanup, thawing of meat and time. I don't like spending nap time every day cooking but love doing it once a week. It feels good to provide. On a sidenote. Today i used a lot of chicken stock and there's always leftovers. Here's what i do with it. I freeze it in those snack cups too (they are 1 exact cup - how perfect is that?). Any remaining i freeze in ice cube trays and once frozen i transfer to a freezer bag.

I cook this same way when i thaw out chicken on the bone too. I thaw it all out and allocate it to three dishes. Cut onions for all that. And then continue making three pots of food. It saves a lot of time which i'm very short of these days. This house just won't come together or stay neat for me. It's a hard house to keep clean and i can't quite figure out why.

Here's a funny tidbit that cracks us up. LD loves the song Old MacDonald and also loves chicken. He always asks what i'm cooking and when i say chicken i feel like i'm ruining his innocence because of old macdonald. But lately he sings "old macdonald chicken e-i-e-i-o mmmm chicken lol. My kid is definately not a vegetarian and i don't think he'll be wearing a t-shirt that says "i don't eat my friends" like i did.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

What I've been doing....

First I've been dealing with getting our phone lines back up, satellite service back up, et cetera et cetera. I was giving LD his snack the other day and there was an intense thunderstorm. I got a little worried when the booms were so loud i was jumping and the hail started coming down. I grabbed him out of his chair to go to the basement and just as i did i saw a flash of light and then a squealing sound and then the sound two metal things make when grinded against each other and then all the power went off. Yup, house got struck by a bolt of lightening. It fried my computer outlet but not the computer thank God,our satellite and phone still don't work. Everything was a little weird after that. Our clock started showing time weird and when we opened it up there was battery acid everywhere, the microwave was showing squigly signs. Weird. But thank God it was just this stuff and not us and the house didn't start on fire. LD and I were both so scared. I was shaking and no doubt that got him fidgety. The bugs here already have him on edge. He's always running to us saying "bugg. Buggy! Bug. Uucky." I thought bugs in GA were bad. Here they are not as big but much more plentiful. Anyway, on to the fun stuff.

Some pictures of the past couple of months crafting. I did a little embroidery (it's my first time), a close up of the sushi plate.

I killed a cactus while keeping an orchid alive. How can i kill cacti so easily but get a orchid that was on its last leg to resprout with five babies?

We fixed up Little Dude's "big boy room" which he loves but still won't sleep in and fixed up his play room too. There was an ugly bench cushion in there that made the room so dark and it was just ucky so I made him a fun new car themed one (don't look too closely at it though, i had to idea what i was doing) but it really brightened up the room.

And best of all making cool baby stuff. Made some little baby shoes with leather bottoms (leather came from a removeable collar from an old jacket that wasn't used anyway - after not being able to find small pieces anywhere). Made the bottoms of a khameez set, cute little yoga type pants, boy pajamas for my guy all made from old shirts. Love how the pockets and hems can work out if you do it just right cutting out a lot of work. :-)

I made a new apron for me.

Also working on two, make that three now, blankets. I am also making newborn/basinet "quilts" from quilted pillow shams. Seems like everyone i know is having a baby.

I also came up with a great recipe for Pesto Shrimp Cavatappi that i fashioned off a restaurant in Denver that I've been craving for years. Good stuff. Will post on the food blog later.

I learned a way to distract LD for a few minutes so i can cook - he is always under my feet in the kitchen now. Always wants to know what I'm cooking, what each thing is, taste of it. The boy is gonna be a chef i tell ya. He loves food.

That's about it. The house is almost done. Well except for all the broken stuff. I can't wait to have my washer back. I'm working on four book reviews too. That's just crazy and really cutting into my crafting time. Now i have to stay up late to craft and use naptime for reading.

I promise to post soon on homemade cleaners that are safe for tots, the menu planning, and the other stuff i promised before. I haven't been as good as i normally am about sticking to my menu and husband's been doing some of the shopping. I want to get an accurate read on exactly how much we spend per week. Until then...

Friday, August 10, 2007

...but there's always Ebay!

Found some goods on Ebay and went to another store that was closing and found fabric at last. Gonna spend the day at "the Shore" - i just might be a local now talking like that. I'm excited I got the little dude unafraid of water at the kiddie pool so am excited to see him running from the ocean waves - oh how i loved doing that as a kid. I would spend all day out there. The boardwalk should be fun too. Now all together...

Happy birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you... ;-) It's tomorrow though not today.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Post and they will come?

Where o where have i been? Lemme tell you. I don't know if anyone's out there anymore or not lol. Maybe i'll just start a craft blog and forget this one...

Anyhooooo, well, i've been crafting. Awesome awesome crafting. Oh, and shopping for crafting supplies. With a lack of any sort of thrift store i've had to get creative, and well on the road too. One thing i did is quit dreaming that i'll fit into those clothes of pre-little dude days. So i've extracted those items from my closet and am reconfiguring them (thanks mystery egg for those book tips...oh and the tres leches cupcakes...omg, those are sinful! Are you still a loyal reader lol? i miss your blog... maybe i should email you instead of putting in this long segue ;-) Okay, so i've been refashioning clothes and stuff and it's way cool people if you haven't done it. I've made pants for little ones (girls too...hope i have a not preggers people, just hopeful in the future so these awesome pants can be put to use). I've just scored the motherload by driving a godforsaken distance looking for thrift stores while they were not to be found...addresses no longer good BUT found a craft store going out of business. No fabric left as it's the last days but found some awesome patterns for 3/$1 - did you read that??? The ones that are marked 11-15 bucks! I got some belting. Just ask me what i'm gonna use that for? not for belts i can tell you. I scored a large amount of black felt for 60 cents. Wicker and cloth lined baskets for $3-5 which i totally needed and was not wanting to pay $30 for. I wanted a really large brown one to hold little dudes toys on our first level. I got it and it's big enough to hold library books, toys, whatever. Happy happy happy dance. I got buttons, embroidery floss, knitting needles and a few craft books. But i was fabricless still. Sad but happy day. I heart my sewing machine. So happy to come in here after the ld starts snoring. I've been wearing him out at the pool and bug hunting. As soon as he goes off to dreamland so does momma....crafting heaven.

Oh, and i found a kazillion cute patterns for old ugly ties. I raided my husband's stash from 1980 or something. When lacking fabric, hit your closets. I have some clothes in there i just didn't want to get rid of. Now i don't have to. The good thing is they are usable again so i'm not hoarding.

That's all i've been up to. Taking care of my guy and trying to give him all my time because he's still having a hard time. But naptime, oh lovely naptime, is a dream.

Pictures of my adventures will come soon.