Saturday, August 31, 2013

Fabric Flower Headband Time

Guess what day it is??

That's right - College Football Game Day!  And not just "any" college football, but more importantly - 

Notre Dame Game Day!

And the first one of the season at that!!

Now, I am a big fan of ND and all, but I still sometimes need me a little project-o to do whilst watching the 3 + hour game.  Today, I decided to finally (Finally!) make Miss Mia a flower headband.  (Something I thought I would have done 6-ish months ago or so).

And here she is in all her glory!

Her new trick is shoving her fist in her mouth, so I wanted to document that here. (i.e. I don't have many pics without her fist in her mouth).

If you want to learn how...Thiss is howw we doo iiiiit:

-Matching string
-Good Fabric Scissors
-Hot Glue & Gun (optional but helpful)
-Um I think that's it
-Oh! The TV tuned into ND / your fave team!

Step #1: Find some fabric and get to cutting.  I decided to use an old, super soft t-shirt my husband was going to donate (sorry Goodwill).  It's the perfect fabric for flower and headband making - stretchy, soft, good color, good condition, etc.

I cut up the t-shirt first so it's easier to cut in nice straight lines.

Step #2: Cut a long strip and fold it up into about 4-6 layers (or however many your scissors can handle).  This should match about the size of flower you want to end up with.  I like to secure with a pin to help the process go smoother but you don't have to if you are a Professional.

Step # 3: Cut out some petals.  For most flowers I make it takes 11 petals.  Sometimes I do the 5-clover type, sometimes the circle type, but this time I did 4-clover just because it's a small-ish flower and the style of the round petal is different.  

They do NOT need to be perfectly symmetrical - I personally don't like to spend the energy on something nobody will notice, but it's up to you!  I also like the slight variation in size.

Step # 4: This is where your creativity and practice comes into play.  Take 1 petal (A) and fold it in half (B).  Then fold it in half again (C), and sew to another petal (D).  This "other petal" will be the base you sew all petals to.

Step #5:  Keep going around 3 more times so you have sort of a circle.  Again, this first layer does not have to be perfect.  

Step # 6: Add a second layer with 4 more petals, placing the middle of each one on top of where two others meet.  If that sounded confusing, see pic below...where these two petals meet (see arrow), place another petal smack dab on top.  Then keep going around with the other 3 doing the same thing.

Step #7: Take your final two petals and sew them right in the middle - it doesn't matter where they face.  You will stand them up in the next step..

Step #8: Take your hot glue gun (or if you are skilled enough with a needle and thread you can do this sans hot glue...but the hot glue is just so dang easy!) and your flower.  Manipulate the petals to where you want them - stand up the middle ones, adjust some ones below, fan some out, etc. and decide where the glue will go.

I've found that the best way to utilize the glue is to stick 3 petals together with one dot - it helps them all stand up.  For example, the arrow below is pointing to a place where I put a dot of glue to hold the petals up.  Do this a couple times till it looks the way you want it (this flower took just 3 extra dots of glue to hold the petals up).

And your flower is done!  Now it's time to make the band and stick it all together.

Step #9: Cut out a band of fabric as wide as you want.  Measure your baby's / friend's / own head to know how long it needs to be.

Step #10: Connect the fabric to make a headband.  I chose to use hot glue, plus some extra sewing for added security.  You could probably do just one or the other.

Step #11: Hot glue the flower to the band in the same spot you glued / sewed the band together.  Tadaa!

Now, back to the game.  GO IRISH!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Beet salad, please?

Today has started off pretty swell.  The evidence:
-- The 3-month-old slept in till 8:35! (obediently fulfilling my request from the night before)
-- I finally mopped the floor (hate Hate), which is inevitably followed by the declaration - "I am awesome" 
-- Mia and I Skyped with my parents who are celebrating their wedding anniversary today (Go Mom and Dad!)
-- My husband lined up a sitter and a restaurant for Date Night!  I love just showing up to date nights...feels like the early days or something.
-- I made an awesome lunch with surprise left-overs from the fridge.  I only say surprise because I had forgotten about them...silly me.

I thought it worth sharing because it was GOOD.

First, I remembered I had salad dressing leftover from last night..

My old cooking friend Martha gave me this recipe for a dressing, so I shook it up in an old olive jar I stole from our kitchen recycle bin a month ago.  It has been waiting for a life-after-death purpose ever since, and dare I say I found it.  

The picture makes it look huge, but it only holds about a cup and a half of dressing.

Then I found some grilled chicken, carrots, lettuce, feta, and some cooked beets from earlier this week, which brings me to a quick point about beets and taste buds that I feel called to share.

So, I used to HATE beets.  Beets and bueno.  But then one night I found myself at a dinner party, politely eating a beet / goat cheese / spinach / balsamic vinaigrette salad.  It wasn't bad, and I was curious about the fact that it wasn't bad, so I kept trying that salad combo every now and again.  Little by little, I started really liking beets.  Now, you guessed it, we are Bffs.

This situation reminds me of an experiment I read once where a nutritionist wondered if there were "reallly" foods we didn't like, or if not liking them was just the result of us not eating them enough (it was a book about parenting and raising non-picky children).  

So he did an experiment on himself, and for a month ate foods he hated, over and over.  Apparently at the end of the month he was craving those foods he previously disliked, and confirmed for himself that all foods are just acquired tastes, and we can learn to like just about anything (within reason), it just takes repeated exposure to your taste buds.

A controversial topic among picky eaters, I am sure!  But I say - give those foods you don't like a chance! (or 10)!


I am a believer.

Happy Saturday!

Friday, August 23, 2013

My Grandpa Joe

So I have gone back to work - part time.  Yes I miss Miss Mia, and yes I'd love to be able to sit at home, play with her, and watch Ellen.  BUT - I am glad in many ways to be back.

One of the things I love about where I work is that we stop every day at 3pm-ish and say a quick 15 minute prayer together.  On Thursdays, we add on what we call "Thursday check-in" where we all go around and answer a random question, and also add anything we need to tell the group work-wise.  

Yesterday's question asked "Who do we admire, and why?"  I thought I would elaborate on and share my answer.

One of the main people in my life that I admire is my late Grandpa Joe (my dad's dad).  He was a simple, humble farmer from South Dakota.

No this is not my grandpa.  But it IS my sister Maddy on our farm!  I helped farm a few summers in college with my grandpa, and this rusty red tractor is what he used to come check on me with out in the field.  You know, making sure I wasn't in any danger and/or slacking off.

Here's what I remember about him, and the ways that I would like to emulate him in my life:

1. He had an amazing faith.  It seemed like he always believed that God would provide for him no matter what.  And in a business that is contingent on the weather, he never seemed to stress about it.  He put in the hard work, and trusted that he would be taken care of come drought, hail, or beautiful rain.

2.  He LOVED my grandmother.  I will never forget this as long as I live.  Once, when he was in and out of the hospital during his final years, I walked into the hospital room and there was grandma, sitting on the bed with grandpa, kissing.  Practically making out!  They were still so in love, and that was so cool.  

3. He had a great sense of humor.  He was often teasing my grandma or his grandkids about something, and had a few inappropriate jokes up his sleeve.

4. He worked incredibly hard, and he took care of his family.  Sun up, to sun down.  At Christmas, he and my grandma would hand out envelopes to every kid and grandkid with cash in it.  We later found out that he would save money little by little all throughout the year and put it in the freezer till Christmas, no doubt with much sacrifice.  

While I remember a lot about my grandpa, these are those that always stick out.  I hope at the end of my life I can look back and feel at peace with how I loved and laughed.  I hope I can look at my work and life and say I put forward my best effort.  And I pray my faith stays strong even during hard times.

And of course - I hope my husband always, no matter where we are, takes me up on a little spontaneous make out sesh! 

Who do you admire and why?

PS.  I think it's so important to think deeply about and celebrate the people in our lives that we look up to!  If you are a blogger and want to link up a similar post, I'd be happy to link it here...just shoot me an email!  

Monday, August 19, 2013

She Thinks I'm Funny

Once, when I was living at the Place called Maggie's, I said something >super< funny and one of the moms there laughed in one of those, surprised that was funny, sort of laughs.

I immediately responded, "I don't know if you know this about me, but I am Very Funny."

Well, no more explaining it to people, folks!  This weekend, my baby girl laughed at me.  And it was definitely one of those, I always knew you were funny, sort of laughs.

Speaking of milestones, she has also turned 3 months! (recently enough for me to mention it)! (and post a pic)!

Can I get an Amen! for clearing the newly newborn stage!! (I don't know when she is officially not a newborn...6 months?) I don't know. Anyway.

I know there may be a few moms out there who will  be cursing my gratitude for leaving this time that is arguably superior to the "no" phase, or the "eating electrical cord" phase, but I always thought - and have now confirmed - that I am not a newborn type of person, even now with my own person.  I am a laugh-at-my-jokes kind of baby/toddler/kid person.

And we made it.  Phew.  Thank you 3-months-and-older Baby Jesus.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Rap and I'm Back

My dad was in town a few weeks ago and after driving in my car a few times he asked me, "Um, do you listen to rap?"  (my dad doesn't say the word 'um' but that's how it sounded in my head.)

This is him hanging with Mia back in the day (i.e. 2 months ago)

I said sheepishly, "Well....sometimes, yes."

So there it is.  I do.  Sorry dad!
Not that that's all I listen to of course, by a long shot.  I prefer Mumford over almost anything most times. But a dose of some hip hop and rap every once-in-a-while for my workout or jammin in the car does a mama right.

The other day I was listening to my FAVE song on Macklemore's new album.  (this guy shops at thrift stores, raps about being clean and gives Reaganomics and Malcolm Gladwell shout-outs.  Who doesn't like that in their rappers?) Anyway, I have heard the song many times before, and have even thought extra about this lyric a few times, but this time it finally got to me.  In the second line he says,

"Don't die holdin' on to your words."

This line has been taunting me for long enough! I thought.  It's time to get that blog back up.  So here we are...I have a lot of words in my head and it's time to get them out.  As you can probably see on this site, I blogged a few years ago and decided to include it here.  Check that out if you're interested below, or start fresh.  We'll be celebrating all things healthy, happy and for the home.

Yep, that could mean just about anything.

Now go enjoy a great song!
(disclosure: this song is mostly clean)