Friday, October 31, 2014

Mythological Creatures Swap - SENT

I loev mythological creatures...which could explain why I have joined 3 swaps that involve them these last few months.

My partner for this swap listed mermaids as one of her favorite mythological creatures and I knew that I had to make her a doll.  This doll took so much time and hand work.  I definitely bit off almost more than I could chew, but I am so in love with her!

I also sent her a small mermaid pouch to hold her new swap cards, vintage yarn that reminded me of mermaid hair (too  bad I didn't find the yarn before I made the doll's hair), some candies, and a cute dragon ornament that met at Cost Plus World Market and knew needed to go live with my partner.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Teesha Moore Patches - Sent

It has been a while since I've swapped on Craftster. My first swap back was another round of Teesha Moore style patches.  Many years ago I made a few for a swap, but I have never received any of my own. Soon that will change.
Both of my partners have received as I was super excited and had my patches sent long before the send out date.
For Golden Sunshine I made 2 snow patches as the first one just wasn't looking right to me but could make a good filler patch in a bag or journal cover.

I also went with her kawaii theme and made her this bear thinking about cookies.

And a happy sushi.

My other partner,  milkeway, loves Captain America,  Pokemon, and Harry Potter so I made these:

Helicopter Mom : Clipping my Blades

Every year the kids school holds a fun fest near Halloween.  They charge $10 per kid and the money goes right back to the school.  Classrooms are set up as impromptu fair booths and the kits play limbo, musical chairs, and toss the toilet paper into the toilet seat glued onto a box.  That last one is a favorite.

The kindergarten classrooms had a fun bracelet making station that Troy and I decided to check out.  He made himself a bracelet from an orange pipe cleaner and blue on orange beads.  GO  BRONCOS!  I found myself reaching over to help numerous times.  Or reaching for the color he needed next.  I was totally being THAT helicopter mom.

I hate helicopter parenting.  I am not the mom that follows my toddler around the playground in fear he might step on a rogue pebble or fall off the beam that sits 6 inches above ground.  I feel it is important for kids to discover the world in their own way and for them to test their physical limits.  Granted, I am not going to let my small child climb an 8 foot chain link fence or jump off a platform 10 feet in the air.  I do  believe in safety.  My child going down a slide while I watch from the sidewalk and cheer him on is safe.  If he lands on his butt at the bottom, I am there if he needs me.  More than likely, he will get a confused look on his face, process what happened, and then get up to it again.  In that rare (and awful) chance he gets hurt, I am right there to get him the help  he needs.  KIDS GET HURT.

So why I am reaching for my son's hands to help him put beads on a pipe cleaner?  Why am I handing him the beads when he has full motor functionality to grab them himself?  I wasn't in any hurry.  He wasn't asking for help.  What was I doing?

It is hard for me to see my little boy grow up I guess.  But my helicopter blades needed some clipping.

So I busied myself making my own bracelet.  If he needed help, he knew I was right next to him.  I encouraged him when he showed my his progress and I showed him the pink and white bracelet I was making.  He really seemed to enjoy me doing the project with him and seemed more relaxed when I eased off his project.

It really reminded me that I need to pay attention sometimes.  I don't want to be a helicopter and it doesn't benefit my kids.  So I am clipping my blades.

I even let both the kids carve their own pumpkins...with kid safe knives...while I looked on and encouraged them.  And I helped them when they asked for it.

Friday, October 24, 2014

5 Myths About Living With a Chef

Cuisinier tete2

The day I announced to family and friends that I was dating a chef, I began to hear all of the common myths.  I believed most of them at the time.  But, as time went on, I began to realize that I was wrong.  Living with a chef has it's perks (especially when you love and genuinely care for them) but don't let people fool you.

The top 5 myths I heard about living with a chef:

You will eat so good!

Steak dinnerAnd some nights I do.  We have nights where we plan out an amazing menu and cook together and enjoy our awesome creation.  But, that is when he is home.  Chefs are hired to cook other people dinner, not their adoring and quite beautiful girlfriend.  When he is busting his ass on the line during dinner rush, I tend to have sandwiches or reheated soup.  Unless the kids are here.  Then we have something kid-friendly like tacos or brinner.  

You won't have to do ALL the cooking.  

Don' get me wrong.  My chef  helps out in the kitchen.  But, I do the majority of the cooking.  Again, those dinner rushes keep him at work while the kids and I fend for ourselves.  And when he is home to help with dinner, we are usually tired and come up with the extravagant meal of "Pasta and Sauce".  Occasionally we throw a salad in there if it doesn't require too much chopping.

I bet you will eat a lot less junk food...
Junk Food


Okay.  Less junk food?  You are kidding right?  He gets home after a long day of fixing meals for other people and he heads straight for the pizza rolls.  "Frozen waffles can be dinner right?"   I actually consume far more junk food now than I did before he moved in.  He often doesn't have a chance to eat at dinner time, sustaining himself on Red Bull through his shift, and after the rush he just wants to pack up and go home.  

Your kitchen will always be so clean.
Dirty dishes
This is NOT my house...but I feel like it some times.  And it makes me twitch.

At work, the kitchen is always clean.  There are strict standards and rules that are followed to keep food safety and a maximum.  While we do keep many of these rules at home (storing raw meat on the bottom, keeping the fridge at certain temps, etc.,) the dishes often pile up and are left for the next day.  At work, he can't get away with that.  He can't leave the next shift crew with a dish pit full of dirty dishes and pans.  That just wouldn't fly.  But at home he leaves a sink full of dirty dishes for the next day almost every day.  I have always been bad about being too tired after dinner and leaving the mess.  But now we have added to that.  Let's not even discuss my kitchen floor...

You will save so much money not eating out so much.

A chef in a grocery store is like a kid in a candy store.  The mentality of "let's try ALL the foods" can sometimes to lead to a jaw dropping total at the checkout.  If we do not plan out our meals for the week and stick to that list, we end up spending a lot.  I am so vigilant about it, that I sometimes don't purchase enough food for the week.  Then one of those crazy hectic days filled with school, work, therapy, and errands comes around and the kids and I are parked in the fast food parking lot.  Or a Kids Eat Free night so mommy can have a beer with dinner.  

So, there is a little truth to these statements, but I am not living like the rich and famous with a personal chef.  I do get to eat a lot of awesome food made from scratch (in part because I love to cook as well) but most nights we are throwing together noodles and leftover sloppy joe meat while praying that the kids will eat it without complaint (and hopefully eat a few carrots with it) Or grabbing a plate full of pizza rolls for lunch as I type a blog post about my chef boyfriend.....

There could be a list like this for all professions.  Doctors, brew masters, and accountants all have things that outsiders would think transfer from their profession into their home lives.  The point is that we love our partner and encourage them in their chosen field.  Even if that means taking dish duty again.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Persephone's Blanket Finished

This kid has so many handmade blankets.  Her grandmother crochets and mommy has crafty ADD.  But I saw this yarn and knew that Miss Perry needed another blanket.

The yarn is Baby Bernat in Little Petunias (looks like Neapolitan ice cream) and Baby Bernat in white with a size N hook.

I simply started out with a grany square and just kept going.

I did 7 rounds with the Neapolitan yarn, 3 with white, 2 with Neapolitan,  3 white, and finished with a round of Neapolitan. 

It is super soft and Perry loves it. And of course she has taste tested it.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Halloween Swap Received

I received my package from my partner in a Halloween swap on Ravelry.  She sent me great goodies. 

The candy was immediately confiscated by Steven and a fight ensued over who the gloves belong to. 

And Athena has claimed the shawlette. The colors are so pretty and so much time went into this craft.

But the's all mine.  Well, probably to make the kids Halloween stuff.
I have her package all taped up for a week now and ready for my lazy butt to get to the post office.  

Thank you for the awesome package!  It totally made our day.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Tuesday Coffee Chat: Beauty and the Past

ETA:  I'm a nidiot hopped up on cold meds.  This week is about gratitude...I'm a moron and will write up my thoughts on that.

For a woman who swipes on some eyeliner and the occasional spritz of body spray, I sure do post a lot about BEAUTY on my blog.  It seems to be a topic popping up everywhere this month...and with Halloween around the corner, perhaps we should be talking about it a lot.  We should be focusing on how beautiful a person's spirit is, not how her rack looks in her "Sexy _______ Costume".  I mean, is there really such thing as a sexy lobster?  And Snow white was not made with garter belts and thongs in mind.  Fight me if you want, but she wasn't.  Just No.

Beauty is the word of the day with Rory Bore's Tuesday Coffee Chat

So what do I have to say about beauty today?  I have a story of my past.

I have naturally dark black hair and light skin.  A little like Snow White.  My mom used to tell me that my hair made me look like her and strangers in the store would tell my mom how beautiful my hair was.

Then I went to school and the kids realized it was different.  Very few kids in my school had darker hair and if they did, they had darker skin.  I was not the little blond suburban white girl.  I was the "freak" with dark hair.  Kids at my school picked on me for a lot of reasons, my hair just happened to  be one of them.

As I started the 5th grade, I bore a striking resemblance to Wynona Ryder.  This was also about the time the kids at school were allowed to watch BeetleJuice.  The mean kids used to yell "BeetlJuice" three times in hopes that I would go away.

That is some mean shit huh?

Anyway, all those years of being told I was ugly and different really wore on me.  I tried to change my appearance, my attitude, and anything else I could to simply fit in.

Needless to say, it never worked.

And not only am I okay with that now, I LOVE it.

After a few decades, I embraced who I was (outside and inside) and realized just how beautiful I am.  My dark hair and light skin is unique and even my butt chin that I used to hate is beautiful.

Tipping the Server

I feel that the custom of tipping your waiter or waitress (or server, whatever you call us that bring you refills of soda and plates of pancakes) is a well known one in our society.  In fact, most people know that a common tip is between 10% and 20% depending on how well the waiter did his job.  

And by his job, I mean HIS job.  His job is not to cook the food,  So if you ordered no tomatoes, don't expect him to dig around in your breakfast skillet to search for tomatoes.  Trust me, you don't want him to stick his hands in your food.  It is his job, however, to bring it back to the kitchen, have it fixed, and notify a manager of the mix-up.  Please don't decide to not tip him because of a kitchen mistake.  You want to save a buck?  Ask the manager about a discount although there are many who won't give it to you.

And if the kitchen is taking FOREVER to get your food (this sucks for all of us), don't blame the server.  Perhaps there was an accident in the kitchen, or maybe the host sat too many tables, or any number of other reasons that your well-done steak is taking more than 3.4 minutes (ok, that's a little snarky).  The point is, did your waitress refill your drinks?  Stop by the table to apologize and give you an update?  If she did, she did her job.  

If you get served crappy food, that is also not the servers fault.  If they fixed the situation for you, they did their job.  Tip them.

I also expected that people who tip knew what a tip was.  It is monetary.  Cash money.  Or credit card tips that turn into cash money.  Thanks for the pen with your business logo on it, but that doesn't pay the mortgage.  Thank you for your awesome note about how fabulous I am.  That doesn't put food in my kid's mouth.  The stickers promoting marijuana are cute, but they don't put gas in my car.  

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the pen.  And I appreciate the note, but...

CASH MONEY!!  It pays the bills.

This is not a tip:

However, this is. 

This adorable little elephant was given to me as a tip on top of a few more dollars.  And it MADE MY DAY.  Cash money and a cute little elephant that danced on the counters and my co- workers shoulders all day.  Awesome sauce.

The tip that was left for me was a nice tip.  The cash money equaled about 18% and the elephant was something to make me smile.  

I plan on passing this along to a server, bartender, or other tipped employee that I want to make smile.  

That's What She Said: Coco Chanel and I finally have something in common

That's What She Said 2

It's that time again.  That's what she said...ha!  That will never get old.

I enjoyed this month's quote, and while I went back and forth between two ideas to post, I ultimately decided with this one as I sat in my daughter's OT office waiting room being started at by one of "those moms." 


I know why people stare. I do. It usually doesn't bother me.

I'm not your typical soccer mom in mom jeans ushering kids out of a mini van with my family represented in stick figures across the back. Instead of tasteful necklaces,  I have a huge piece of art tattooed across my chest. Instead of dainty diamonds in my ears, I have huge earrings  in the 1/2" hole I guaged into my ear lobes.

I sit here waiting for Athena to finish her OT  session in a Misfits shirt and ripped jeans. My hair is in a messy "don't give a shit after work" bun and I believe I smeared my makeup a few minutes ago when a rogue eyelash hit my eye.

But I am comfortable. I am me.

When Athena was first born,  I changed. I wore pastels, knit shirts from Eddie Bauer,  and Nike running shoes. The few tattoos I had at the time were tastefully covered and I only wore one pair of small studs in my ears.  I tried to look like all the other moms I knew.

And I was uncomfortable.  

It showed in my actions.  It showed in my inability to start conversations and hold them. It showed in how I carried myself. I seemed shy and awkward.  That is not who I was.

It took a few years, and some reconnection with some old friends, but I slowly realized that I was happier,  more comfortable,  and far more beautiful when I acted like and dressed like me. I was confident and walked with poise and grace. I didn't fumble through conversations or care if my shirt was of the name brand variety. In fact,  I was proud and smiled telling people I acquired my Ramones shirt from a thrift store with a $3 price tag.

I preach all the time about inner beauty and showing how beautiful we are by sharing kindness. It's important to me that little girls (and boys) grow up not valuing physical looks. Showing your beauty through kind acts or a bright smile is easier when you are comfortable in your own skin. Knowing who you are and not being afraid to show it and not caring if other people think you are beautiful on the outside is the best way to be comfy with yourself.

So what if you have a less than desirable physical feature.

I have a butt chin. Yup. A butt (or sometimes refered to as testicles) right on my face. I have heard it all and even made jokes myself. But I realized that my chin is apart of me. My grandma has this chin. My beautiful daughters hsve this chin. And it is a unique feature that only adds to our beauty.

So what if you are an oxymoron.

As I sit here, I am crocheting a pastel blanket for Persephone.  I wear the same outfit to scrap book retreats.  I might be part little old lady amd part punk rock.  But my baby is going to be very warm under her blanket that mommy lovingly made for her.

So what if you have extra weight.
I like to be comfortable.  I feel more beaitiful  in fitting jeans than I do squeezed oike a sausage into the latest trend. I feel like an apple with stixk legs in leggings, so I don't wear them. And I don't care. I'll wear my boot cut jeans and let my smile shine. Leggings don't make me smile.

I hear someone say something every so often about my appearance,  and I hold my tongue to not snark back something about thiers,  but I am usually greeted warmly and people feel comfortable around me...despite my tattoos or "ugly piercings" or black clothing. 

And I treat each of those beautiful beings as I would like to be treated.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Tuesday Coffee Chat : Salty or Sweet?

Rorey Bore and Tuesday Coffee Chat  is at it again.  This week we are chatting about the all important question of:

Salty or Sweet?  

The answer is YES PLEASE.  

I love pretzels with chocolate.  Or a salted caramel sauce on a grilled peach.  Ever had Mole sauce?  Oh ya.  Now I am hungry.  *excuse me, I need to grab some Preztel Crisps and a sweet spinach and artichoke hummus to finish this post*

Over the years I have endured teasing as I sat in study group alternating between a bag of skittles and a bag of pretzels. Or as I added a little sugar to my potato chips in the cafeteria in middle school.  But I never endured being teased about my love of salty and sweet (or food in general, really) more in my life than I have during pregnancy.  

During all four of my pregnancies, I was teased about the old wive's tale about pregnant women craving pickles and ice cream.  I  never really understood where it came from as I watched my aunt drink pickle juice from the jar.  Or as I dug a spoon into the pint of Ben and Jerry's Phish Food.  I am not a fan of ice cream.  Ever.  Yet, I ate my weight in ice cream over the course of my last pregnancy.

I also craved pickles.  Kosher Dill or those spicy pickles.  I ate them by the jar.  I even considered pickling my own for a while...and I still might.  

In the beginning of my pregnancy-before we had really made a large announcement-I sent a text to Steven from the grocery store.  It said "did I really just do this?" with a picture of the shopping cart.  A jar of pickles sat next to a tub of ice cream.  I wanted to post something so ironic and funny on Faccebook, but we weren't sharing our good (and surprising) news with anyone just yet.  

This had me wondering.  What was in the pickles that my body craved?

It was explained to me by a midwife that pregnant women crave sodium and the pickles satisfy that. Or at least that is how the wives tale has stuck around for so long.  

Totally made sense to me.  I was probably craving ice cream because of the need for the vitamins that are prevalent in dairy...and the sugar.  I have a sugar addiction.  

But I still can't stand the idea of eating those things together.  

However, in the 4th or 5th month of this last pregnancy, I had Steven go to the store and buy pregnancy-approved sushi, cupcakes, and chocolate milk.  

So maybe that was my salty and sweet....

Monday, October 6, 2014

Harry Potter Swap Sent

A very sweet and talented Craftster did not receive her Harry Potter package and I was lucky enough to be able to step in and send her a parcel full of Harry Potter crafty goodness.

Her favorite class at Hogwarts is Divination, so I sent her crystal ball earrings and a set of crystal ball stitch markers.  These never could have been made without the help of my talented boyfriend.

I figured that during class she would need a mug rug to set her tea cup on, so I painted Always (her favorite quote) with a Deathly Hollows symbol for the A and machine quilted it in gold thread.

I wanted her to stay warm on her way to class, so I made her a Slytherin House scarf.  It is super long and cozy and I know have several requests at home for similar house scarves.

I wanted to add a little extra something to the package, so I sent her a HP themed charm bracelet filled with owls and a feather and fun yellow glass beads.  I also made (with help) these owl earrings (with Slytherin colors) to help her speak with Hedwig (or her own pet) whenever she needed.

I had so much fun making this package and have been told that she loves everything.  Swap anxiety gone.  I am such a swap-a-holic.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Instant Crafty Gratification

In a swap on Ravelry, I claimed a young mom in Poland for a onesie with an applique tie.  I made a few for my son years ago, so I headed to the store for some plain Gerber long sleeved onesies and pillaged the scrap bin for the perfect fabric.

I carefully drew a tie shape on my iron-on stabilizer and got it right on the third try.  Cut it out, ironed it to the onesie and then did a short zig-zag stitch all the way around.  It turned out adorable!

But that wasn't enough for my crafty desire.  I wanted more and I had two long sleeve onesies staring at me in their blankeness.

I found this adorable iron on in a box that came out of the craf room and knew it had to be used.  I ironed it and gave it a few securing stitches.

Then I found this iron-on (in the same box, somehow) and ironed it to the other onesie.

Not terribly impressive or skillful, but I love them.  I got some almost instant gratification and it put me in the crafty mood.