Some of my favorite websites

31 07 2008

On Swap-Bot, I was in a swap where we shared five of our favorite websites. I spend way too much time on the computer and there was no way I could limit myself to five! I thought it’d be fun to share some of my favorite sites here as well.

She is an artist and photographer and has wonderful craft projects that involve the whole family. I have an almost three-year old who loves crafts, and I’ve found a lot of inspiration for activities on this site. She has a book called “The Creative Family” which I received for my birthday, and it has some wonderful ideas in there! I want art, crafts and nature to be a part of our daily life, and this helps me to accomplish that and reminds me to involve my daughter in all that I do! She has a free pattern for her Gratitude Wrap, and I have already made several of these this week to give as gifts!

This is the site I hang out on the most. Like I said, I have an almost three-year old and an almost four-month old. This website has given me ways to carry my children close to my heart. This became more important when my son arrived. It freed up my hands to chase after my daughter! Plus, there is a great General and Parenting chat section in the forums, where I’ve received great parenting advice and learned so much. There are weekly photography challenges in the Special Interest section and learned how to make my own cleaning supplies in the Simple Life section. And I learned about all different kinds of carriers and through this site met some local moms who now get together once a month.

This Blog, “Because I Said So” is written by a mom and she does a great job of sharing what being a mom is like, and I laugh at almost every blog entry! We plan on having more kids, so it gives me a glimpse of what life will be like, and reminds me that in the midst of testing and tantrums, there are special moments and to not take life so seriously and look for ways to see the bright spot in every accident and hardship.

I LOVE “Sew, Mama, Sew”! They have fun projects and the tutorials are always well written and easy to understand. It’s fun and inspires me to break into my fabric stash and try something new!

I have really enjoyed reading this blog! This family has been traveling across the US in a RV that runs on veggie oil! Since they have small quarters, they really have to think about what they use and buy, since they don’t have space for a lot of “stuff”. She’s a great photographer, and it’s been really neat reading about the people and places they have met along the way!

This is a mom that I met on thebabywearer. She has some really quick and fun craft projects, and I’ve enjoyed making them and giving them as gifts! I LOVE how she decorated her tiny balcony and it’s helped me think of quick and cute ways to decorate our place, since we recently moved into our home and I can start over and rethink how I decorate space.

This is a blog I found about a week before I gave birth to my little guy. I couldn’t continue, as it made me worry too much, but then I remembered it and looked it up when my little guy was two months old. I recommend starting at the beginning and catching up. He is also a great photographer and finds beauty in unusual places and notices things that most people would walk right on by. His wife was put on bed rest and had to give birth early. She had to stay on bed rest another day, while the baby girl was in the NICU. When she got up the next day to go hold her daughter for the first time, she collapsed, and died from a pulmonary embolism. This blog is his journey as he grieves for his wife and cares for his daughter as a single dad. His writing is honest, sometimes brutal, but also tender, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cried and laughed while reading the same blog entry. Just a warning, he does use some language, but if I was going through what he’s going through, I think I’d be using a few curse words too.

Here is another great craft blog! I love crafts and trying new things! I just bought the Simplicity pattern that she mentions and I’m looking forward to making a few shirts this weekend!

And I’ll end with this one. Heather’s blogs crack me up! She has a funny way with words. I also love looking at her photographs and the commentary she puts with them. Again, there is an occasional curse word, just to let you know. I esp. like her descriptions of what she goes through with her dogs. Reading her blog always makes me smile!

Have fun checking out these websites and blogs!


After the Storm… a Beautiful Texas sunset!!

31 07 2008

Today was such a hectic day! I woke up in the middle of the night Tuesday night to get a glass of water. When I pushed on the ice maker on the fridge, a bunch of water came out! I opened the freezer door and realized the ice was melting and dripping all over everything. Then I began pulling out stuff and realized it was thawing!! Oh No! I wrote a note for Jake and he woke me up around 8am to let me know what research he’d done and the calls he’d made. We decided that I’d go get ice and try to salvage what food I could by putting it in the ice chest. And then I’d run some errands to go price new fridges. The repair companies told Jake that it’s a good chance it could be the compressor, in which case it’d cost close to $600 to repair it. We paid somewhere around $700-$800 for it almost five years ago, so we’ll need to decide if we want to put that much money into it, or if it’d be worth it to buy a new one.

I went to Walmart to get ice, and then began the long day of driving. I went to the Saturn dealership to get extra keys made. They told me on the phone it’d take 10 min. It took more than an hour.

Then we had fun at Babies ‘R Us picking out some items for a baby shower I’m going to this Saturday. Then we went to Whole Foods to get some fun goodies. I had to keep reminding myself to not get anything perishable.

Then we headed to Sear’s Outlet, which is where we bought the fridge last time. You can find good deals, but then you have to factor in getting a truck and loading the fridge and hooking it up. Last time, we didn’t have to worry about disposing of an old fridge, which is something I don’t think Sear’s Outlet will do.

Then off to Home Depot to price fridges, then my mom’s place for dinner. Eliana stayed with my mom while I went to Lowe’s.


The repair man comes Thursday morning. Jake and I have prayed about it and have a plan for at what point to go ahead and fix it, and at what point to go ahead and get a new one. I’ll keep you posted!

A storm came through the area, although it only sprinkled at my mom’s house. The sky was an erie yellow color. I am glad I had my camera with me to take pictures! I would not have been surprised to hear the tornado sirens go off with the way the clouds were looking!

Here are some of the many pictures I took! Some were taken while driving, which explains the softer look to the clouds. Also, I did minor cropping on some of the pictures to eliminate signs or light posts or power lines. But I didn’t alter the colors. This is what the sky really looked like!

I’m thinking about using one of these images in this week’s photo challenge. The topic is “Intricate” which certainly can describe Texas weather! Or maybe, inclement is a better term for it. I still have a few more days to try out some of my other ideas.

Oh, and exciting news…. I got to be the one to pick the challenge theme! The image I posted of Eliana’s hands in the sprinkler was voted number one! Yay! Several have said it is a tough but creative topic. I sure agree! There have already been some creative entries and I can’t wait to see what else people come up with!

Wine Tasting

29 07 2008

So I guess I’m the new winery in town. At almost every feeding today, DS would close his eyes, cross his ankles, sniff my nipple and then lick it. Then he’d latch on and take just a few sucks, pop off, and smack his lips. He’d pause for a few seconds and do it again. It was almost as if he was thinking, “Hmmm… a bold herb scent reminiscent of roasted chicken. Also, a strong finish of chocolate with a hint of berries.” And then he’d finally latch on and nurse. He’d do this on each side, I guess to check if it tasted different?

“Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries”

26 07 2008

This week’s photo challenge theme is “Song or Album Title”. I spent some time coming up with some ideas, but wasn’t sure where to begin. While at the grocery store, I bought some cherries. As I was eating them, I thought to myself, “Isn’t there a song about a Bowl of Cherries?” I looked it up on youtube and sure enough, there is!

There are several versions of this song, but I liked this one, since it’s got the sound of the 20s and 30s and is peppy and upbeat.

So I washed the rest of the cherries, piled them into my teal blue Dryden pottery bowl and went out into the front yard to take some pictures. I wasn’t sure if I should focus on the cherries, the bowl, or split it. But I didn’t take too much time trying to decide, as I started getting bit by ants!! I haven’t had time to experiment with them some more, partially due to time restraints (I’ve been working on house and crafting projects) and also because someone in the house REALLY likes cherries, and there aren’t very many left!

Here my two favorite. I entered the first one, but I like the composition of the second one better. I was hoping to retry the composition of the second one in the backyard so that the grass would be greener, and I also would have turned the bowl so that the crack didn’t show.

“Life Is Just A Bowl Of Cherries”

I’m looking forward to seeing what photos everyone else comes up with. We’ve been discussing them, and have agreed that it’s a tougher theme!

Coos, Squeals and Hiccups

26 07 2008

David is a pretty laid back little guy. But there are times where he gets real smiley and starts cooing and talking away. My mom is staying the night, and he started talking and cooing to her. In the midst of his excitement, he got the hiccups! He just kept going and going and so I had to grab my camera to catch some of it!

There are several swap projects I’m working on, but I’m waiting to post pictures until after they’ve been sent and received. It’s been really fun trying new patterns and to learn some new things!

I received my small and scrappy quilt in the mail yesterday and I LOVE it!!! It’s a charm quilt, which means that every single piece of fabric in the top is different. Alicia Wells From Olalla, WA made it, which is so fun, as we have friends that live in Olalla and I’ve been there several times! It’s has four patches mixed with alternating squares and it’s been lots of fun looking at all the different fabrics! It also has scrappy binding, which is a nice added touch!

It’s hand quilted, which always amazes me. It’s something I’d love to try sometime, and a small quilt is a perfect way to try it!

My favorite piece of fabric is of the Russian nesting dolls!

I’m looking forward to hanging this up on my wall! It’s my first quilt swap I’ve done and I’m excited to have something made just for me on display!! Thanks again, Alicia!!!


23 07 2008

When you take as many pictures as I do, it’s inevitable to end up with some “not so great” photos. Plus, when you are working with an infant and a toddler, it increases the odds of bad photos. I know that people usually post all the perfect pictures of their kids and delete the bad. But for some reason, I hold onto the bad, because they crack me up.

For fun, I’m posting some of my recent favorite bad photos.

“I’m giving you until the count of three to get that camera out of my face!”

I love how it looks like she’s thinking, “Ugh! Do I have to hold it?!”

Trying to get a decent picture to frame for Jake’s birthday.

“OMG Woman! Put that camera down and SAVE me!”

Eliana: “He’s Cwying.” Um, yeah. I noticed. Thanks for pointing it out.

“Who is this person and why do they want to talk to me?”

Introducing the Yawn Smile! And check out that outfit!

She picked it out and put it on herself. I keep trying to tell her that it’s a long shirt, but she insists it’s a dress and refuses to wear pants or shorts with it. I LOVE the fuzzy blue socks with the pink sparkly shoes that are on the wrong feet!

“Woah! There are those hands again!”

Ahhh…. I giggle every time I look at these pictures!

Sticker Crazy

23 07 2008

Eliana LOVES stickers. When we are shopping and she sees a rack of stickers, she insists on looking at them and asks if we can buy some. Sometimes I’ll indulge her and let her pick one out, but most of the time I say that we can look at them but need to put them back.

My aunt sent down a package with summer clothes, and included in it were some Thomas Train stickers and Alphabet stickers. I think Eliana was more thrilled about the stickers than the clothes! She wanted to put them in her sticker book, so we found it and she had a blast putting them into her book.

Eliana in a new shirt and skirt from Aunt Denise. The headband really completes the outfit, LOL!

But I’ve learned to monitor the sticker fun. There were stickers in another package from my aunt. Eliana wanted to put them in her book and I asked her to bring it to me and then I’d help her. Eliana never brought it to me, and I got distracted and forgot about it. Until I saw this….

She had put them on the side of Jake’s bookcase! Luckily, they were easy to take off and she was able to transfer them to a page in her sticker book.

I’m in a weird mail art postcard swap on and I have been getting some really fun and creative items! Here is a card that I’m going to use as a bookmark. It has pictures of quilts all over the front and the back and has a verse on each side. I love that it’s laminated, so it’s a little more toddler-proof!

First side

Second side

I’ll add some more later once I get some pictures taken.

I was also recently in a Red, White, Blue Fat Quarter swap. I posted pictures of what I received in an earlier post. I thought I’d post a picture of what I sent. My swapee also enjoys beading, using stickers, sewing and drinking tea. I found a tea called “Rose Petal White” at a local tea shop, so I thought that was a perfect fit for this swap. I had some items in my stash that I included, like buttons, beads, and alphabet stickers in the theme colors, and picked up the thread, iron-on embellishments, ribbon and more stickers at Walmart. (I just have to say that I am THRILLED that my closest Walmart has a fabric/craft section!!!) It was so much fun finding items that matched the swapees profile and swap theme! In fact, I went ahead signed up for the next two Fat Quarter swaps!!

And now for something completely random. I saw a thread on my favorite website ( about people posting pictures of the contents of their fridges. It was interesting to see the different fridges, esp. as the ones in Europe are so much smaller. I thought I’d join in and take a picture of my fridge too.


Fridge and Freezer

My favorite item in the fridge? It’s hard to see, but it’s on the bottom shelf in the door of the fridge to the far left. It’s a glass bottle of Limpca, which tastes like a mixture between Sprite and Squirt. I bought this on my last day in India and had to pay a hefty deposit for it in rupees. Usually, sodas cost 10 rupees, but I paid 30 rupees so that I could take it with me (about 70 cents.) I’ve had this bottle for nine years now! It’s getting a little on the brownish side, so I won’t be drinking it anytime soon, but every time I see it, I smile and it brings back a flood of memories!

Eliana really wanted to take pictures with my camera. I figured why not, and was actually pretty pleased with the results!

I really like this next one, because it looks like the top shelf of the freezer is on fire!

And there was another thread regarding pictures of what’s under our sink. Since the camera was already in the kitchen, I figured I’d do this one too.

Once I get some other projects done, I plan to get this organized and put things into bins or wooden boxes. I’m in the process of using up cleaners and plan to replace them with greener alternatives and even make my own cleaners. You can see my two pairs of rubber gloves in the back left… one pair is pink and one pair is teal, and they have really fun cuffs. These gloves make me smile and help me enjoy cleaning just a smidgen more!