27 March 2012


Between doctors appointments today, Misha and I had a little crafternoon.*

We wanted to take on a project that could be completed within the afternoon and required only materials that could easily be carried to Misha's abode. Where did we seek inspiration? Blogs and Pinterest, of course. We ended up deciding on this lovely cushion tutorial.

When I looked for fabric, I discovered that I've hoarded quite a bit of home decor fabric (which will need to be seriously thinned as part of the craft room downsize), including the scraps from our kitchen curtains. This worked out well as my cushion used about 3/4 of the curtain scraps. What do you think?

Good company. Good project. Good final product. Good day.

*A term Misha created to describe our afternoon of crafting

25 March 2012

Weekend in Photos

What a weekend...

What was life like before Amazon delivered our groceries to our door?
Our laundry cabinets arrived. We have two of these for 2520 beautiful square inches of storage. 
Our (new) door between the (new) laundry room and garage is now grey.
Spring. Finally.
More spring.
26.5 weeks pregnant and so in love with my husband.
Date night at Mistral Kitchen. Duck and teres major. Yum.
New normal. Love the Yogi Mother To Be tea.
I decided to revisit our wedding album - still love it. Thanks, Aaron and Meg (Evantide Photography)!
Sunday morning. Oh, how our lives have changed.
Chocolate indulgence cookie from the Essential Baking Company. Yum.
Before George caught his flight, we had another burger-tastic Sunday night. 
I finished the Ikea tea towel bibs. Gender neutral? Good enough to be a gift? I'm still decidedly undecided on both fronts. 
The rain is supposed to return tomorrow. Just as well that I have a to-do list a mile long and a craft room full of fabric and paper. What's on your agenda for the week?

20 March 2012


Happy first day of spring!

With the tile complete, I have a lovely list of items that need my attention today before we can move on to the next part of our renovations. I'm not exactly looking forward to them, but it'll move us one.step.closer. What are you doing today?

19 March 2012

Weekend in Photos

This was an a-typical weekend in our house as George was working most of the weekend, and I felt under the weather. Nonetheless, here it is:

These never left my side, though I felt better on Sunday than Saturday. 

Preview of the entryway and laundry room floors...

Preview of the (ungrouted) shower surround...

Preview of the bathroom floor...

I sewed a fitted sheet for baby's crib thanks to this tutorial. Yes, our daughter will sleep on a bed of sharks, rays, and cleaner fish.

George made delicious lamb burgers. YUM!

George saved us from missing Girl Scout cookie season.  It's a good thing these goodies only come around once a year. 

Esquire's Most Life-Changing Burger Joint

Remember this fabric? And this tutorial? And, yes, that is my first ever quilting.

I hope the new owners of these burp clothes and the bibs above enjoy them.

I have just a few packages to take to the post office. Destinations: New Zealand, Tonga, Maryland, and Ohio. 
Happy Monday! Have a good week!

13 March 2012

More Pulled Pork

I mentioned in my weekend recap that I made pulled pork from this fantastic recipe over the weekend. I love when food gets better with time, causing me to actually get excited about leftovers. This one really does it for me. The citrus and lime flavors are still going strong, and there are about a million ways to vary the sliders. Mmmm...yum...

12 March 2012

The Name Game

The natural progression of pregnancy-related questioning goes something like this:
  1. When are you due? / How far along are you? 
  2. Are you finding out the gender? / What is the gender? 
  3. Do you have a name yet? 
Accordingly, I think it's worth my time to share what we're considering in picking a name for our daughter. 

First, let me give a little background. Going into the pregnancy, I was probably more excited about picking a name than anything else. For years, I have made George play the baby name game in which we each spout out potential names while rejecting or approving each name. It was a lot of fun until there was a speck on the screen and rice-sized embryo in my uterus that would one day walk around with the name. So, until we found out that we were having a girl, we really didn't discuss names. Since knowing her gender, however, the pressure has been on. Looking at all of the decisions involved in preparation for a baby, I believe that the name is the most significant. 

So, what's in a name? A lot. They last a long time and make a big impression. No pressure, right? Uh huh. 

Below, in no particular order, are some things that George and I are considering: 
  • Popularity, especially during a particular time period. There are names that are common across decades and even centuries, but other names are extraordinarily trendy for a short time before fading and leaving holders of the name with a date stamp. Ideally, I'd like to find a name that is known but has never been so trendy that it's associated with a particular time. For this reason, I'm skeptical of any name on the top 100 list (for US or New Zealand) and won't even consider names in the top 25.
  • Gender specific versus unisex. How many times have you wanted to refer to a person (client, potential employer, potential employee, etc.) with the formal greeting of Mr. or Ms. So-And-So but you couldn't do it because it was unclear whether the person in question was a man or woman? Apparently my experiences with this situation have made an impression on me because, although I generally avoid gender specific clothes, toys, and the like (more on this in a separate post), I would like to find a gender specific name for our daughter. 
  • Professionalism. Would you be comfortable with your doctor having this name? How about your pilot? We want our daughter's name to allow her to be taken seriously. If she decides that she needs to be a punk rocker, she may need to find herself a stage name. 
  • Ability to age. The name we pick will have to be applicable to a baby, toddler, young child, adolescent, teenager, adult, and elderly person. In other words, it'll need to grow with her.
  • Spelling and pronunciation. We'd like to find a name with a clear spelling and pronunciation. I've witnessed professors actively avoid calling on students with difficult to pronounce names. Our daughter will have enough trouble with her surname and whatever accent she develops that we'd like to avoid spelling and pronunciation confusion. 
  • Compatibility with surname. Of course the first name has to jive with the middle and last names and, perhaps more importantly, directly with the last name. There are theories about first names with a certain number of syllables matching well with surnames of a different number. I think it's easy to over think this one. While we'll try to find a name that doesn't come out sounding too harsh when mixed with our surname, I think we'll have to be a bit flexible given our three-syllable surname. 
  • Nicknames. A lot of names can (and will) be shortened or altered to a common nickname. We'll either try to prevent it with a name that can't be shortened or choose a name with a nickname that we can tolerate (all the while waging a battle to have her called by her given name). 
  • Initials and monograms. Of course, we'll need to be mindful of what her initials and monogram spell. 
  • Close associations. When family members or close friends or colleagues have a particular name, it may be best to avoid it. We're implementing this one on a case-by-case basis. 

Do we have a name yet? We are quite certain that we have a middle name. After yesterday, we have a strong contender for first name. We'll likely continue to discuss names and go into her birth with an intended name and a few back-ups so that we have options in the event that she does not look like her intended name. And, no, we will not be sharing the name until she is born. Some friends gave us the advice that people are less likely to be critical (at least openly) of a name once it's tied to a particular human being; we think they're right. You can rest assured that we are taking the naming process very seriously, and hopefully our daughter's name will serve her well. 

11 March 2012

Weekend in Photos

It was a good weekend, though an hour shorter than usual. The next time we have a time change, we'll have a 3+ month old baby. Eek.

Saturday breakfast burritos

Sunday's dinner marinating in the fridge (amazing pork recipe)

24.5 weeks

That's not the paparazzi. That's my husband stalking our local birds and squirrels. 

Rainy Saturday

Elemental is awesome. I wonder if we'll get a chance to go back before baby comes...

I can't keep my eyes off of these pretties that arrived from New Zealand on Friday. They'll eventually live on the wall in our new bathroom. 

I'm so glad that my husband likes dill pickles as much as I do (pregnant or not). 

I whipped up a bib (using this extraordinarily helpful tutorial) and a burp cloth (from this tutorial). Now I have to decide whether they're good enough to be given as gifts. 

It's going to be a busy week for us. I hope it's a good one for you and yours! 

07 March 2012

Disaster Plan

Impending parenthood makes you think about all sorts of practical (and not so fun) things, like estate planning and disaster preparedness. The latter was my project for today.

The American Red Cross has lots of disaster preparedness resources, including this checklist on its website. Locally, King County has a great website, which suggests that everyone prepare for three days in three ways. I've taken both of these and common sense into consideration when planning for a disaster.

First, I made a kit for the car, which includes the following:

  • A pair of old shoes (and socks)
  • List of emergency contacts
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Whistle with built-in compass 
  • Trash bags
  • Tissues
  • Paper and pen
  • Knife
  • Poncho
  • Some emergency thermal blankets
  • Basic first aid kit 
  • Antibacterial wipes 

It all fits neatly into a little 6 quart/5.7 liter container, which will live in the trunk. All that I'm missing are some jumper cables.

For home, the kit is designed to help us get through in the event of an earthquake, sudden major storm, extended power outage, terrorist attack, and the like. The kit includes the following:

  • Tarp and light tube tent
  • Gloves
  • Duct tape and nylon string
  • Wrench for utility shut-off
  • Emergency candles and waterproof matches
  • Protective masks
  • Water purification tablets 
  • Flashlight and spare batteries
  • Emergency instant lights
  • Toilet paper and tissues
  • Hand sanitizer, alcohol swabs, and baby wipes
  • Deodorant, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, and feminine hygiene products
  • Ponchos and emergency thermal blankets
  • Trash bags
  • First aid kit
  • Pens and paper
  • Manual can opener
  • Knife and some plastic spoons
  • Whistle
  • Basic backpack (to take the survival show on the road)

Of course, I've also prepared copies of essential documents (passports, driver licenses, marriage certificate, car titles, insurance statements, insurance cards, list of doctors, list of emergency contacts, and last year's IRS 1040).

The whole home kit fits comfortably inside a 10 gallon/37.9 liter tote.

We still need to add sufficient water for George and me (and whoever may be staying with us at the time) for 3 to 5 days as well as food for the same period of time. The handy calculator on King County's website will make it easy to calculate exactly what we need. It makes sense for us to add some other items, too, like solar power station and cell phone chargers. Once the baby comes, we'll need to add her essentials (identification paperwork, diapers, wipes, baby food, pacifier) to both kits.

How have you prepared for a disaster? What's in your kit?

04 March 2012

Weekend in Photos

Hello from Sunday evening. After inexplicably waking up early and going through the day without caffeine or a nap, I'm definitely ready for an early night. Nonetheless, it's been a good weekend.

This is when I realized that I'd made a mistake on the meringue. Fortunately, my banana cream pie was still edible. 

Our entryway got a makeover. By makeover, I mean that George stripped up the sticker-like flooring and trim in preparation for new tile, trim, and closet doors.

We've spent a lot of time at Go To Your Room over the past few months. Today, we ordered the last of the major nursery items: a big, comfortable chair for rocking our sweet baby girl. Now let's hope that our chair and previously ordered crib and dresser/changing table arrive before our daughter. 

We did not manage to get our lawn cut.

I have so many happy plans for my new fabric.

We checked out a new (to us) local consignment shop, where we found the exact bathtub bucket we wanted, a lightweight swaddle, four onesies, four pairs of pants, a swim coverup, a dress, a wool jumper, a sweater, and a fleece vest...all for the bathtub's list price. 

As I put the finishing touches on our babymoon reservations, my bump refused to get out of the way.

This is my daily regimen; however, with my (drooping) energy level and restless legs, I have a feeling that iron supplements will soon be joining the party.  

This is all that remains of the Oreo cheesecake I made on Friday. Happy 100th birthday, Oreo!

Thanks for another amazing recipe, Pinterest. This one is creamy arugula pesto mac and cheese. Yum. 
How did you spend your weekend?