Thursday, April 7, 2016

74 - Making babies and food, no time for anything else

I just found this post in my drafts and though 8 months has passed since I wrote it and forgot to post it, I thought why not now.

So the title of this post pretty much sums it up. Beau Daniel, our beautiful baby boy, joined us 9 weeks ago. He arrived one week late and I have a whole new appreciation for mothers who carry past 40 weeks. Hate to say it but that was one of the most miserable weeks of my life. With my first two boys one came a day late and the other a day early, no complaints. I tried all the classics to make him come, long walks, stripped membranes, sex, spicy food. All of it a no go. When it did finally come, the birth was fast and the pain, awwww, they say you forget. I never have and I've done it thrice. After giving birth 3 times without any drugs or intervention I questioned my sanity. Really Georgia, what were you trying to prove!! But then my midwife placed him on me and all was right in the world. Our family suddenly felt so complete with the arrival of this plump and perfect little boy. Abel and Ansel love him and show it often. For Abel that means snuggles and cooing to him. While Ansel generously loans both his special "bankies" and babies to Beau. Not uncommon for me to find Beau all but buried under this pile and have to remind Ansel that the baby really and truly must breath. The big boys have their hard moments when Beau is screaming endlessly in the carseat or needing so much of my time, but overall it's been wonderful.

And while I have not found a single moment for things like knitting, sewing, etc; I have cooked because that one's not optional. Nothing difficult, no time for that. Here are a few things we've had lately:

1.Chicken w/Artichokes & Peppers / 2. Proscuitto, Mozzarella, & Arugula Sandwiches / 3. Arugula Salad w/Nectarines, Toasted Pecans, & Goat Cheese

Friday, May 8, 2015

73 - Weeknight Dinners (and a third kid, no biggie)

Haven't made mention of it here, but we are expecting baby #3. In fact he is due in three weeks. The boys are excited and of course I am too, but just like all mamas, I've got a serious case of mommy-guilt. I worry Ansel is too little grasp what's really going on and that he"ll be crushed when he realizes he has been dethroned as baby of the house. So what has this guilt driven me to, maybe a few extra cookies, ten more minutes at the park, and endless trips to the Chicago Children's Museum, the pool, the zoo, and on and on. Not that those are bad things, in fact they've been really great! But I feel the exhaustion settling in and it might just be time to slow down. I know the boys will feel a little stuck at home at first, but eventually we'll find our groove again. I need to give myself permission to rest and nest.

As my pregnancy has progressed, and our adventures have abounded, I have kept dinner pretty basic. Not too many new recipes have made their way into our rotation, but here are couple super fast meals and one slow cooker meal we also loved.

I served the the Skillet Shrimp & Orzo with sauteed broccoli rabe, basic but good. Don't skip the basil! I can"t recommend enough serving lots of toppings with the Chicken & Beans. We had shredded cheese, avocados, cilantro, sour cream, and pickled onions. Oh, and soak those beans overnight, don't care what the recipe says, they need it.  Luke likes his with charred corn tortillas. Pickled onions are easy peasy to make. There is a write below on how I make them. The last meal doesn't have a link to a recipe, just a simple pasta. I'll be honest that it isn't the healthiest meal, but it's delicious and makes a ton! The picture doesn't really do this meal justice. Every person who has eaten this at our house asks for the recipe. See below for that as well.

Pickled Onions Recipe (great on all foods Latin)

1 Medium Red Onion
1-2 Limes (depends on size and juiciness factor)
1 tea Sugar
1/2 tea Salt
1/2 tea White Vinegar

Half and slice onion very thin. Place in a bowl with juice from the limes, sugar, salt, and vinegar. Toss till fully coated and cover. I leave them at room temp mixing them every once in a while for an hour or so. They keep in the fridge for around 5-7 days.

Rigatoni w/ Kale & Sausage

1 lb Rigatoni
1 lb Spicy Italian Sausage (casings removed)
2 Garlic Cloves
1/2 teaspoon Dried Rosemary (1 teaspoon if fresh)
1 1/2 cup Dry White Wine
1 cup Heavy Cream
Large Bunch of Kale (stalks removed and torn into pieces)
Shredded Parmesan (for serving if so desired)

Put a large pot of water on to boil and cook rigatoni according to package instructions. In a large pan saute sausage until browned and cooked through. Add garlic and rosemary for an additional 1-2 minutes. Pour in wine to deglaze all the good brown bits. Cook the wine for a few minutes then slowly stir in the heavy cream. Once the sauce starts to simmer add the kale to the pan. Cook till the kale begins to wilt. Add the rigatoni and stir until sauce coats it. Turn off the heat and allow the pasta to cool slightly so the sauce thickens. Serve!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

72 - Quick & Easy Slippers / A Free Pattern from Georgiabean

Quick & Easy Slippers
Copyright GeorgiaBean 2015

I made these for my four year old son who wears a US 9-10 in toddler sizes. They are quite stretchy though and will probably fit him for quite some time. The leather soles are optional but make them sturdier though less stretchy.

Size - US 9-10 Toddler

Bulky Weight Yarn (I used wool)
US#10.5 Straight Needles & Set of DPN

Using straight needles cast on 12 sts.
Knit 4 rows.
Row 5 - k1, m1, k to last 2 sts, m1, k1 - 14 sts
Knit 3 rows.
Row 9 - k1, m1, k to last 2 sts, m1, k1 - 16 sts
Knit 3 rows.
Row 13 - k1, m1, k to last 2 sts, m1, k1 - 18 sts
Knit 3 rows.
Row 17 - k1, m1, k to last 2 sts, m1, k1 - 20 sts
Knit 15 rows.
Loosely bind off all sts.
Sew up the heel seam by folding the bound off sts in half.
Sew from the toe up till where the increases end.
You will have the basic slipper shape and now will create the cuff doing the following:
Pick up 17 sts around the opening using the double-pointed needles.
Purl 1 round.
Knit 1 round.
Purl 1 round.
Bind off loosely.

If you want to add the leather soles flatten out the slipper and trace the sole shape. Stitch in place.

I realize these instructions are pretty basic so if something seems unclear feel free to ask for clarification.

71 - A Baby Shower

There is something so exciting about your friends having babies, especially when you feel like you're the only with with littles. Few of our friends have young children, mostly older kids or couples without. We've had to make an effort since having our kids to meet new people with kids so we have adults in our life relating to baby world and playmates for our boys. That being said we couldn't have been happier for our dear friends Kyle and Linn to welcome their sweet boy this last fall. Along with two other lovely ladies I hosted a shower for them. We tried to keep the event light and fresh, brunch, lots of flowers, and white decor. Here are a few photos from that special day with the lovely mama above... 

photos by xoazuree

Thursday, October 2, 2014

70 - Making my Own Leather Clutch

I signed up for a beginner leatherwork class last week. The description said the class offered the option of making a clutch, belt, or cuff. I have plenty of belts and haven't worn leather cuffs in probably a decade. But a clutch was something I wanted and so that seemed perfect.
 Well, until I got to the class and saw what they were teaching. Asymetrical (and not in a good way), grommet and stud riddled items that I would never use. I'm sorry to say this, but talk about tacky and dated. I tried not judge too harshly and just focus on learning the techniques and I did learn a couple things. Thankfully when it came time to start our items we were allowed to pick our own leather. I steered clear of the shiny turquoise and found a lovely oiled natural brown. I fudged the pattern to make it more me, bigger, straight lines, simple. I skipped the grommet edges they were they insisting on and told the instructor I would just glue my edges and sew them down at home. She was skeptical, I wasn't. Once I got the clutch home I stitched up the sides. I monogrammed mine despite my initials being a bit unappealing and overall was very happy with my finished product.
Just the right size for a few essentials and fits perfectly in my Madewell tote for those times when I need to carry more.
Despite my disappointment with some elements of the class I'm still glad I went. I brought my sweet momma along with me and we had fun together.

Friday, September 26, 2014

69 - Party Decorations, White Of Course

Obsessing a little over white, painting every room in my house multiple shades of it at different times, collecting and rejecting immense amounts of milk glass, buying white things for my house that I know have no place in the presence of toddlers, and such, is bit of a thing with me. So when I took on hosting my dear friend's baby shower this last month I couldn't help myself...white it would be, at least for the handmade decorations. I kept it pretty simple and clean (I'll share photos from the actual shower soon), and well inexpensive can't hurt either. A couple boxes of white straws, white floss, and that's it. Here's what I wound up with:

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

68 - Best Baby Booties / A Free Pattern from GeorgiaBean

Best Baby Booties Pattern
Copyright GeorgiaBean 2014

This a pretty basic pattern that should be accessible to most knitters. I find it stays on baby's feet much better than many other patterns I've made for my littles. I'll try to add a larger size when I get the time. Also I traced the sole shape and size and added leather soles to these.

Size 0-3 months

set of 5 dpn - #US6
bulky worsted weight (I prefer cotton, bamboo, or very soft wool since it's a baby knit)

Cast on 24 sts. Place 6 sts on each of 4 needles. Join for working in the round.

Work k2, p2 ribbing for 6 rnds.
Purl in the rnd for 2.25".
Next rnd (eyelet rnd): m1(using a yo), p2tog, p1 for entire rnd.
Purl for 2 rnds.

Place the first 12 sts of the rnd on one needle and work only these stitches for the next 14 rows.
Row 1: k1, p1 for 12 sts, turn.
Row 2: p1, k1 for 12 sts.
Repeat these 2 rows 6 more times - 14 rows total.
Next work across the 12 sts as follows and then pick up sts along the edges of the gusset and beginning working all sts in the rnd again.
Row/Rnd 15: k2otg, p1, k1, p1, k1, p1, k1, p1, k1 p2tog, pick up 9 sts along the edge of gusset, purl 12 sts from other needles, pick up 9 sts along the other side of the gusset. (40sts)

Take a moment to arrange the stitches on 4 needles as follows, 1st needle - 10 sts / 2nd needle - 10 sts / 3rd needle - 10 sts / 4th needle - 10 sts

Purl for 4 rnds.
Rnd 5: p2tog, p6, p2tog, p10, p2tog, p6, p2tog, p10 (36 sts)
Rnd 6: p all sts
Rnd 7: p2tog, p4, p2tog, p10, p2tog, p4, p2tog, p10 (32 sts)
Rnd 8: p all sts
Rnd 9: p2tog, p2, p2tog, p10, p2tog, p2, p2tog, p10 (28 sts)
Rnd 10: p all sts
Rnd 11: p2tog, p2tog, p10, p2tog, p2tog, p10 (24 sts)
Rnd 12: p all sts
Rnd 13: p2tog, p10, p2tog, p10 (22 sts)

Divide sts onto 2 needles - 11 sts on each (22 sts total)
Working in reverse kitchner st (or grafting for garter st) to seam up the sole.
Here is a link to reverse kitchner st instructions.

Cut 6 lengths of yarn as long you want you want your ties to be. Tie a knot at the end of three strands and braid until there is only 1.5" left and tie a knot. Repeat with the other 3 strands. Trim the ends to be even. Weave the braids through the eyelets and tie a bow. You're finished!

NOTE: I typed this up on a very tired brain and wrote a few numbers down incorrectly. I updated the math and all should be right. So sorry if you started this pattern already and it wasn't coming out quite right.