Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Spring Sewing and Baby Love...

I have been motivated to do a little sewing lately.
A few things I can't share as they are not yet with their intended recipients.
However, I will show off my new bag...
The picture is not the greatest. I made the bag in nearly 2 seconds from a lonely vintage pillow case. It's perfect for spring. I feel hip and funky as I carry it around.

And now just a few recent snap shots of my babies.
Evelyn is nearly 8 months old. She is just about sitting up on her own and chattering constantly.

I think Elijah has hit a growth spurt. He is eating really well at meals and is sleeping longer during his naps and at night. He is still doing amazingly well with potty training. I'm so proud of him.
He is such a delightful, happy boy.
For that matter she is such a happy girl.
To say I am blessed is an understatement.
David has started his new job. I ahve to give him kudos for losing his job and finding a new one that pays more in the worst economy since the Great Depression. An amazing and talented man I am married to. He has been traveling for the last three weeks, which is hard for me. I struggle getting me and the babies out the door each morning, David is a big help when he is home. And I just miss him when he is gone. It is true that things change in a marriage over time. You get comfortable and you have to be careful not to become too complacent. We have our hills and valleys like anyone else, but the truth is that he still makes me laugh. I still get giddy when I am on my way home to him. I still find him to be smoking hot. I don't talk about him much in this blog, David is a very private person and it is not my place to share his stories here. It's my blog not his, but he is well and working hard. I love you Sladkey Malchek...3 kisses.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Donut Muffins...

Have you heard about these donut muffins yet? Seriously yummy!
I found them via Beauty that Moves...A lovely little blog that I am enamoured with.
I baked a small batch this past weekend and they were a big hit by my men.
They whipped up quickly and filled the house with a lovely aroma as they puffed up in the oven. I found myself stopping and turning on the oven light to take a peek in the door. The tops these babies produce are impressive. They are like cake donuts in muffin form...brilliant.
Sunday was extremely rainy and on the cool side....so these were perfect.
Bon Appetite!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Stairs of Change...

Photo Credit: Manganite

"Sunlight creeps in between the curtains
Lose the sheets there’s no time for sleep
I lie, I pretend ‘til I’m almost certain
It’s a beautiful world"
~Carolina Liar
I work at the top of an old building and I take the stairs up to that fourth floor everyday. I could take the elevator, but I choose to take the stairs for the health benefits. These stairs are steep, by the last flight I am always winded. Students walk into my office out of breath everyday...athletes, dancers, and academics alike. They are not the easiest stairs to take and that is why I push myself to do it.
Over the weekend I got to the point that I love when I start taking care of myself. It happens about two weeks in after I have started eating better and exercising. I start to feel strong and healthy. My body is beginning to work for itself as apposed to against. I know that this wouldn't be possible yet, but I feel like I could go successfully run a marathon, lift 500 pounds and swim laps with ease. I think it's just my body's way of saying "thank you...finally, you got a clue. Now let me show you what I can do." I have more motivation and excitement about even everyday things. I am sleeping better and I love it! Once I reach that first two week mark I know that I am on my way to forming the new changes into solid habits. I know this sounds like I am making this change often, in truth it has been since before I got pregnant with Elijah that I was making any kind of effort to take care of myself.
My two pregnancies threw me off balance. My whole body changed, any woman that has been pregnant can attest to that, and I have had trouble regaining my balance. I decided I didn't want to always feel tired and run down. I was done with looking in the mirror and not being happy with what I was seeing.
I have a sense of renewal and energy that motivates me to keep it up. Plus, it's great fun to be able to run around the house with my 2 year old and not feel exhausted. So here's your challenge, join me...start taking better care of yourself and let's see what wonderful things may come of it!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Babies Room...




I have also been able to work on Elijah and Evelyn's room. We moved them in together and it has been hugely successful so far. I wanted to make it comfortable and cute as well. David got the walls painted a sweet pale orange. I figured it would go well either boy colors (blue, green) or girl colors (pink, purple) and it does.
I was so excited to put up the bird mobile that I made for Evelyn and to get Elijah settled into his big boy bed. I got the bedding at IKEA. It's a duvet cover that is a nice large size as well as soft and cozy.
The framed words that you see above were created at www.wordle.net. I just imputed Elijah and Evelyn's names and nicknames and then wordle randomizes them with different colors and fonts. I played with them until I was happy with color and layout. I printed them and then proceeded to to frame them in two vintage frames that I had gotten at an antique store. I find that vintage frames are easy to locate and I like them so much better then new ones that I can readily buy. They usually come without glass, but, I just take them to my local craft store with a framing shop and they cut glass for me.
There are a few other things that I am working on, but are not finished just yet. I will share as they are completed.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Guest Room...

Here is a look at the newly finished guest room. David painted it a lovely pale yellow and I was able to play by putting it all together. The bed was made by my Dad for me when I was 16. I had gone on a YWAM trip to Minsk, Belarus and when I got home six weeks later, my room had been completely re-done. He had also built me a hope chest which I had filled to the brim with linens and goodies that I was able to put to work when I got together with David. I remember my awe when I walked into the room for the first time. I felt so blessed...I love that bed and I will keep it forever.
On the walls of the guest room are vintage fashion and clothing prints from textbooks and newspapers. There are what I hope are homey touches with books, comfy pillows, and soft sheets to make anyone feel at home. Anyone want to come stay?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Easter

First time dying eggs...
Beautiful...
After the hunt...
Smiles...
The loot...(thanks to Uncle Todd and Aunt Nicole)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Project...completed



These pictures are truely horrible...my apologies.
Thye also make the new blue of the master bedroom look funky, but, honestly it's fun and fresh.
Anyway, I needed something to do with my earrings and necklaces. They had always seemed to be in a tangled heap that drove me nuts. So I bought an unfinished frame, painted it, and stapled wire screen to the inside. My staples were too long and broke through to the front. Not one to give up, I cut out paper flowers and decopaged them to the front to hide the staple points...you can't tell from these pictures, but the flowers make the frame look hand painted. Very cool. I then attached a sawtooth picture hanger to the back and added four small hooks to the front and voile! Done. It fits my needs perfectly and I am happy with how it turned out.
Happy!



Monday, April 20, 2009

Shake Rag Alley Part 3

While on my fabulous weekend away I happened to meet two wonderful ladies. I ended up sitting by them and we chatted and laughed a bit here and there throughout many of the lectures on Saturday. So here is my shout out to Dawn and Eileen, thanks for letting me crash your lunch! I loved talking with both of you...we must meet up again in Wisconcin sometime!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Reset Button...

Our Easter was spent with family. It was lovely. However, I fear I over indulged. There were ever so many tasty things to eat...I lost my willpower...completely. After stopping for a fast food lunch on the way home, I knew I needed a change. My body needed a reset. Then and there I decided when I got home I would roast a sweet potato and steam some brown rice. That was my dinner (Elijah shared the rice with me, that boy loves rice) and it was the start of bringing me back to good. So often I find my body craving good, whole food. Nothing fancy or complex, but simple and pure. It lets me know when I have over done it. Many times I choose not to listen...I am trying to work on that. Do you find that you know when it is time to take a step back and nourish yourself?
I have cut out the coffee, removed most of the Easter candy from the premises, and exercise is back on the daily menu. I feel sore, but full and content from good foods and positive exercises. This reset business is tricky, but oh so worth it.
Thanks friends for all of your sweet comments. How blessed I am.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Shake Rage Alley Part 2





Couldn't you just move right in???



After dinner I walked the gounds of Shake Rag. This nest of goodness is filled with art and a creative spirit that soaks into your skin as you stroll around. It can't be helped...really. The snow was lovely although I was a bit disappointed that it was so unseasonably cold for my Garden Getaway. However, after my walk, I tucked myself into my room. I lounged among the feather pillows reading etc. And while I was enjoying my time enormously, I missed my babies and my sweet man. This weekend away, while refreshing and renewing to my soul also reminded me of the three blessings that were waiting for me at home.

But before I could go home, I had two more workshops to attend on Sunday. I will post pictures soon once I am able to get each item in their proper place. The first workshop was making a felted wren's nest. It involved felting, Mrs. Meyers Soap, beating up wool roving in knee high stockings and a delightful teacher named Nonda. My second workshop was creating a bent willow trellis. Wow! I never imagined that I would be able to create something so incredibly cool. I have this longing to go collect more black willow sticks and make more. By the end, my muscles were sour from the bending and twisting of willow branches, hammering and sawing. I am very proud of my piece. Once it is placed in the yard I will post a picture.

Soon after loading my final goodies into my car and drove south and homeward...a wonderful weekend indeed...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Mindfulness...

There is something beautiful about this time of year.
I feel this pull to the earth, to get my hands dirty. Lately I have been feeling this stronger need to use what we have; to take care of what we currently own. And if new purchases are made, we should opt for quality and low impact even if that means spending a little more.
There is something so organic about mixing up a wood furniture polish made from olive oil and lemon juice and then working it into the dry and thirsty wood. The motion not only nourishes the wood, but also my body as I move and bend to get all the nooks and crannies. There is something so gratifying about using my hands to knead bread, knit, plant seeds, hug my children.
I also feel this need to use my body in a better way, to exercise and take better care of myself. I am trying to be mindful of every movement and to take deep cleansing breaths. I've started doing yoga again, which is so good for both the lungs and muscles. I can contemplate scripture while I inhale and exhale...a favorite thing to do. My creator gave me this body to use and I want to use it well. I feel a renewed sense of stewardship over myself and this earth...both gifts that I often neglect.
I call it living deliberately, mindfully...worshiping my savior in my day to day.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Shake Rag Alley part 1...

My sweet man knows me.
He knows my likes and dislikes.
He knows my domestic self and my hippie green self...
and loves me still.
So he sent me away.
I had a lovely weekend.
It was my Christmas present from David.
A weekend...away...by myself...to the Garden Getaway Weekend at Shake Rag Alley in Mineral Point, Wisconsin.



This sweet little spot exudes rest, peace, and quiet.
Everything a girl could need was within walking distence.
I spent my two days in gardening lectures and hands-on workshops.
I drank Champagne and ate organic chocolate.
I read, knitted, slept, and played Professor Layton's Curis Village on my DS.




I ate amazing meals by candlelight.
I drank a locally brewed beer that was deep and smokey.
The corn souffle was to die for.

Creole Bread Pudding.
Now you see it...
Now you don't...
Then it began to snow...yes, in March and on a gardening getaway weekend and after a long cold winter...but, it was still a wee bit magical none-the-less.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Communication Issues...

AAarrrrggghhhhh...
I am having computer problems. The poor dear no longer wants to talk to the internet. So I am out in the cold...for now.
The post on Shake Rag Alley will have to wait.
I do have good news that I had planned to share in nice long posts, but since I am at work, bullet points will have to do...
~ David got a job!
~ Elijah is potty trained!

Life is beautiful, good, wonderful, and amazing!
I will be back as soon as I can...