Friday, September 28, 2007

Belly, Cake, Mail

Dear Baby:
Please come out soon -- but not too soon. I'm tired of being tired and heavy and puffy with water. I'm tired of having achy joints and ligaments. I'm tired of waking up at 3am to take Tums. I'm tired of being hot and uncomfortable. I'd much rather be able to hang out and take care of you. So please come soon. How does next Sunday sound?
love, Your Mommy

Yesterday was John's birthday and I made him this coconut cake. I actually started it on Wednesday. It was a long process, but the results were worth it - it was very yummy. I got the recipe from a food blog that I read regularly: Creme Puffs in Venice. She always has the yummiest stuff.

And, I got some mail! This package arrived from Christen with lots of fun things -- a sewing and a knitting book, a piece of darling fabric (with birds on it, of course), some trims (Christen -- where did you get those??) and a couple of Stamper's Sampler magazines which Christen is the Managing Editor of. Fancy, right? She's famous. I feel so cool just knowing her. And this package was so much fun to receive! Thank you lady!

Alright, I'm off to lay on the couch -- I feel especially light-headed and yucky today -- to look at the gray sky out the window. That's right, it's totally overcast and cool! I'm so happy. Just yesterday we had the air conditioning back on. Crazy weather.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I Think Anthropologie is Trying to Kill Me (Or, Please Give Me My Body Back ASAP)

Oh my. So, does anyone know any sort of magic spell or potion that will get this baby out and give me back my body from a year ago -- instantaneously?

I made the mistake of going to the Anthropologie website last night and about died. The new fall stuff is like...a dream come true. I've always like their clothes but this is just over the line, I tell you. Unfortunately, these clothes and my post-baby body will be coinciding at the exact wrong time. I think this may be punishment for some past indiscretion.

Okay, is that not the perfect color of orange? And shouldn't I be wearing that while walking around Northern Utah in the leaves and drinking a chai from Citrus and Sage? Yes, is the answer to that question.

Clearly my body isn't cut out for those skinny jeans, but the yellow top and the jacket are just too much. Give me!

This is the outfit I'll wear when we go out for lunch and yarn shopping.

That's me going to a holiday party.

I think this ensemble speaks for itself.

So really now, I'm not joking. If you have some sort of secret body-restoring potion and several thousand dollars, please send them my way.

Much appreciated.

In other news, I got my superbuzzy order today! Woot!! And a package from my mommy with baby stuff. Yay! I love mail. Have I mentioned that?

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Pillow Covers Saga Continues and Then We Eat Some Cookies

So, life is pretty funny. After spending over 3 months looking for the perfect pillows for our new sofa, I ended up trying to just make something similar to what we were looking for. They were pretty good, not perfect, but we were happy with them.

Well, yesterday we stopped by, on a whim, Restoration Hardware just to see their new fall stuff. We parked directly in front of the open store doors and both of our jaws dropped. The pillows on the sofa just inside the door were EXACTLY what we had been looking for all of these months. I was actually kind of mad that I had spent so many hours looking online for pillow covers and then so much time and some money making pillow covers only to then, less than a week later, find exactly what we'd been looking for this whole time. *Sigh*

So we bought the covers and they're amazing. The weirdest thing about all of this though, is that those four covers were the ONLY ones in the store -- we bought the displays. We looked in their catalogue and online and they're nowhere to be found. Spooky, right? It's like we were in some sort of alternate dimension and were supposed to find these. Eek!

Anyone need 4 brown and white pillow covers? Cheap as free!

Hopefully you won't hear any more about pillow covers from me ever again.

Okay, changing subjects now. As soon as September hits, I want to make and eat anything and everything pumpkin flavored: Raviolis with Pumpkin Sauce, Pumpkin Bread, Pumpkin Scones, Pumpkin Lattes, Pumpkin Pie, etc. So, on Saturday I had to make these cookies. They're pretty much the best cookies ever -- really they're more like little cakes. I found this recipe in Martha Stewart Living in the October 2004 issue and had it sitting in a binder full of recipes to try until last year when I finally made them. And my goodness. They are dangerous little devils. I was going to link to the recipe for ya'll but I can't find it. It's on the Martha Stewart website somewhere but I am too lazy to go through the 1600 results it came up with. They are well worth searching for though. (EDIT: Morgan found the link! Go here for a recipe for heaven!)

Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing

And one more thing before I'm off to bed, this darling butter dish that Ruth gave me for my birthday. It's from Anthropologie (of course) and I've gently caressed it and wanted to buy it for probably the past year, every time I go there. But, I already had a butter dish so I passed. Girlfriends are the best for buying you things you don't actually need and wouldn't buy yourself. This dish makes me smile every time I make toast. :)

I probably use more butter now than I used to.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Oh Autumn!

"To be interested in the changing seasons is...a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring."
- George Santayana

I love that quote. And though I truly do love the changing of each season, I must admit that I am ardently in love with Autumn. And this year the first day of Autumn seems especially magical to me as it lands on my wedding anniversary. It couldn't be more perfect.

I'm not sure what we're doing today to celebrate -- just being together with no distractions. No computers or cell phones or other people. I'm so looking forward to it.

So, with that being said, I'd better get off of the computer and into the shower so we can leave. This is our last anniversary without kids -- such a weird thought.

What do you think of the new fall colors around here? As soon as fall hits, I'm ready to be wrapped up in orange and brown and gold, sweaters, hot drinks and cold hands, pumpkin flavored everything and shuffling through crunchy leaves. I love you Autumn.

And most of all, I love you, John. Happy Anniversary.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


It's like the blanket is cloud-shaped!

Here's the quilt that I made on Thursday. I'm so so happy with it. It's probably one of my most successful sewing projects to date. I did a really good job on it, if I do say so myself.

The pattern is from Amy Karol's book Bend-the-Rules Sewing. It's SO good. This is the second pattern I've used from this book and I love it even more now. The directions are so simple and easy to follow. And there are drawings -- which I desperately need.

Both fabrics are from, of course, Next projects on the list: two birthday presents for two lovely girls, a bath caddy for the baby, and hopefully my yarn from the UK will show up soon so I can finish the little sweater I have mostly done.

Today is looking to be at least overcast so I'm happy. Got to spend most of the day on the couch or in bed though and we're going to dinner at a co-workers house tonight. Woot. ;)

Have a fabulous Saturday and weekend! P.S. Tomorrow is officially Autumn! And in celebration, I'll have a whole new look here for the season. Yum.

Turn That Frown Upside Down

Yesterday was a hard day for me. The hardest yet. There is hopefully less than 3 weeks until this baby finally comes out and I was having a clothing crisis. As each day goes by I feel bigger and grosser and I truly have very few clothes that I can wear out in public -- and even the ones I can wear are pretty sad. Add that to my recent moodiness and emotional instability and you get kind of a mess.

I have (had) about 4 things coming up that I had to look somewhat decent for and I had nothing I could feel like I could wear that would both be comfortable and not make me look either inappropriate or just ugly. So, out I went to find something to carry me through the next few weeks.

I tried three different maternity stores -- with no luck. I ended up crying in the middle of Old Navy and went back to my car and cried some more. By the third store I was just pissed off. I was rude to the lady who worked there (I'm hoping she's used to moody pregnant girls. Sorry Mimi Maternity lady!) and left. I got a milk tea from Boba Loca and went home and got into bed, resigned to the fact that I was fat and ugly and wasn't going to leave the house for the next 6-9 months.

I get mine without the Boba

But hold on, here's where it gets better! After a couple of hours wallowing in my misery and watching several episodes of The Baby Story on tivo, my mom called. We talked for about 30 minutes and she commiserated with me about how hard being pregnant is at the end, etc. By the time we got off the phone, I started feeling good enough to take one more look in my closet to see if there was something I over-looked. And, hallelujah, there was. One sad pair of black pants that I had worn to work for a couple of months. They actually fit okay without being too tight on my belly and looked better than any of my other options. Phew!

Then, the next great thing that happened is...are you sitting down for this? was RAINING. RAINING yo! And this wasn't just some misty, 5 minute sorry excuse for a storm. It was actually pouring. I sat on the patio and watched and smelled the rain for about 20 minutes and it made everything better. My whole world was suddenly peaceful and happy and balanced. I love you rain.

That's rain! On my lemon tree! It's never been rained on before!

My belly is so happy to be out in the rain!

So, last night John's brother took us out for our anniversary (which is on Sunday). After miraculously avoiding traffic on the 101 and 405 by taking the coast and side streets, we got to dinner at Chan Dara (thai place in West LA) only 15 minutes late. The chicken curry also helped boost my mood, as did the amazing brownie/fresh fruit/ice cream dessert with a candle that Tim surprised us with. Yum yum.

Then we went to a movie where we ended up being a few minutes late (we parked on the wrong side of the mall and I had to waddle about a mile to get to the other side). One good thing about being pregnant though is that people are way nicer than usual. We had to crawl over like 20 people to get to our seats smack dab in the center of the aisle (assigned seats) and as I apologized for our climbing over everyone (as the movie was starting, mind you) people just smiled and said "it's okay!". Highly unusual for Los Angeles.

The movie we saw is called Into the Wild. It was really well made but the story is super sad of course and I ended up bawling at the end. If you can find it playing near you (it's limited release), I recommend it (warning: non-sexual nudity and some language).

It was still pouring as we drove home and luckily we made it back safe (I think being pregnant or just having kids makes you ponder your own mortality a lot more. I'm always paranoid of dying lately. Or maybe it's just because I'm old now. :) ). And, one more thing that made my day so happy after all, was coming home to find a beautiful bouquet of roses from John. He also gave me a great foot massage. He really is the best guy ever, and not for the roses or the massage, but just because he's my best friend and soul mate and I feel so lucky that he chose me.

I love you chicken tender.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Almost Jacket Weather -- Praise Be!

Today was incredible.

Fluffy clouds!? No way!

1) We had weather. That's right. Here in Southern California. The air actually FELT and the sunlight actually LOOKED like autumn. It was almost disorienting. And apparently, we're supposed to experience things like cloudy skies and MAYBE rain for the rest of the week! These past two days we have done such unlikely things as turning off the air conditioning, opening windows and I actually wore a jacket this morning. Craziness I tell you. 67 degrees what?

A baby lemon!

2) My lemon tree is growing a lemon. This is an event I thought would never take place. I'm not known for my plant raising abilities and for a tree under my care to actually grow something is nothing short of a miracle. Keep it up champ!

And finally...

3) I have two finished projects to show off plus I'll have another tomorrow once the happy sun comes back up and I'm able to take some pictures. I'm a sewing/knitting fool over here, I tell ya. Of course, I was very naughty today for being up so much and now my poor feet are paying the price. I'll have to spend all day tomorrow on the couch to make up for it -- but what is one to do when motivation strikes? That's not something easily ignored.

Pillow covers!

A) You may recall our pillow conundrum (here and here). Well, after seriously months of searching and discussing, I finally ended up making these - a variation on John's vision that I made come to life. I like them, but if left to my own devices, they aren't what I would have come up with. Which may be a good thing? However, I am relieved to finally have something on the naked, pokey inserts. And I'm very happy that John likes them.

Don't look at these too carefully!

B) And here we've got some little booties I knit up. They are from the Sublime pattern book and yarn that Lisa gave me. I actually finished them a couple days ago and hated them (I do, however, love the buttons. They were salvaged from a vintage sweater that fell apart). I have a problem with rarely being satisfied with things I make because I know all of the flaws they have. However, being a couple days removed from these booties, I am happier with them now. Time heals all memory of imperfections, I suppose. :)

See ya'll tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Misery Business

I think I need professional help. Actually, I don't even want to be cured. But, I must admit that I have a serious fabric addiction. Half of the time I spend online I spend looking at fabric. And making lists of the fabrics I want. 90% of the time I don't actually buy anything...but my goodness do I have a sickness.

Thanks to the day of my birth, I recently came into some money. I was intending to save it for post-baby clothes but of course that didn't happen. Here's what I ordered today from good ol' Superbuzzy. The fabrics were too perfect and I was scared they'd disappear if I didn't snatch them up immediately.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

I can't talk about what this fabric is for yet, but my goodness, it's just too much for me.

And another goodness-gracious moment is this band Paramore. John and I listen to them almost non-stop and we're going to see them play in November (if I can handle leaving my one month old baby). They're just simply the best band out right now. They make me positively giddy. First of all, they're adorable. Second of all, they have REAL songs. What a concept, right? Third, Haley's voice is amazing and I want it. Do yourself a huge favor and go listen.

Okay, Really Now

Seriously people, why am I still awake at this hour? It's 2:30am and I mentally feel like going for a walk, doing laundry and running some errands. Physically though I hurt all over and am exhausted. But my mind just will not let me rest. It's so aggravating.

In addition to thinking about all the things I want to get done, John has a bad tooth ache and I'm afraid my tossing and turning will wake him up. Now that he's finally been able to fall asleep, I don't want to compromise HIS rest. Add in worrying about some friends and family and it's just a recipe for disaster around here. I soooo want to be asleep!!!

Since we're here, I guess I'll show you the kimono robe that I made for Ruth's birthday present. The pictures aren't great cause the lighting was bad and I didn't have a model to wear the robe seeing as how I'm approximately the size of a sea lion at the moment. But, it'll give you an idea.

The pattern is another from Amy Butler's In Stitches. I was initially really intimidated -- this is probably the most complex thing I've ever sewn -- but I just took it step by step and it actually was quite simple. So, I felt pretty cool. Also, this is the fabric that I bleached out -- it was WAY too bright yellow. And this is what the robe is supposed to look like (photo from the book):

Doesn't it make you want to drink some chai and watch the rain? I wish that's what I was doing right now...

Friday, September 14, 2007

Now I Feel Special

Wow. Some people are just too cool. Check out this little video that our most awesome-est friend Ryan made for my birthday today (he also happens to be an amazing video guy). Wow. And his sweet, sweet wife called today and she and her kids sang happy birthday to me, too. Thank you Ryan & Kelly! You really are the best in the world!

36 Weeks and Counting

Photo courtesy of John and his mad skillz.

I Love Getting Mail A Lot

Getting things in the mail really is one of my most favorite things ever. I almost wish that email, texting and instant messaging didn't exist so that we'd all be forced to write good old fashioned letters and cards more often. Though, knowing most people, I'd probably never actually hear from anyone.

So, I just have to order things online to get mail. Seems like a good enough reason to me...but I'm sure John would beg to differ. :)

Here are my fabulous fabric orders I've received recently. This one is from Cia's Palatte and both are Denyse Schmidt prints. And both are WAY brighter in real life than online. I did bleach out the yellow one before using it for its intended project (which I'll post about after it's gifted) and it made a big difference. I like the bright pink though.

These next fabrics are from Superbuzzy. Some baby boy fabrics and some for gifts.

The one finished project out of all of this that I can show off now is this apron I made for Nellie's birthday. The pattern from Amy Karol's (aka Angry Chicken) new book Bend-the-Rules Sewing. I LOVE this book. The patterns are so simple but darling and different. Not to mention all the great tips she has at the start of the book -- a couple of which have already really improved my technique.

Not the best picture ever but I had to get it taken and packaged for the post since it was already 2 weeks late. Ooops!

More finished projects soon!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Most Excellent

So I've determined that bed rest is one of the best things that's ever happened to me. For example, it's 3 o'clock in the afternoon and I'm sitting on the couch, eating dark chocolate and watching Pride & Prejudice (in my Top 3 Movies Ever). I mean really now. What more could one ask for?

But really the best part about not working is that I finally have time to do the things I love and want to do...pretty much whenever I want to do them! It's a dream come true. I will always look back fondly on these several weeks between not working and the baby showing up.

I've got lots of pictures to share since it's been so long since I last wrote. So...

First thank-you gifts for the lovely ladies who hosted and helped with my baby shower. I didn't get a photo of the sleeping masks I made but that's them sticking out of the mugs. The pattern is another from Amy Butler's In Stitches and the fabric is just a sweet cherry pattern for the front with a green-blue on the back and ivory ribbon ties. Kind of silly, but fun. All girls love just pretty little things, right?

Next is the Debbie Bliss garter-stitch blanket (from Baby Knits for Beginners) that I've been working on since like, oh, last Christmas. I've actually had all the squares done for a couple months but was dreading the seaming. Luckily, I brought everything with me when we spent the weekend at our good friends' house and I had no choice but work on it. It's not perfect and I almost wish I could do it all over but I guess it's alright. I added a single crochet border to try to even everything out. I like all the colors anyway. Thank goodness that's over with.

And last for this post, a Christmas stocking. These felt stocking kits are something from my childhood -- my mom made all 7 of her kids a stocking and they've always been one of my favorite Christmas memories. When we got married, I made stockings for both John and I and they've hung from our mantel each Christmas. I'm so excited to add another this year. Name has been blurred out since we haven't yet announced the name to anyone.

And hey, what is up with it being so hot still? Dang Southern California. This time every year I get really homesick for good ol' Utah seasons. It's called AUTUMN, California. Perhaps you've heard of it? *sigh*