Posts made in January, 2011

Goodbye Maternity Leave

Posted by on Jan 22, 2011 in Blog | 1 comment

The time has finally come for me to return to work. I always knew it was inevitable but last week, especially, I was stressing about it. How will Lex do without me for such a long period of time? Will he take bottles? What if he always wants to be held and they call me to come pick him up?

I have been preparing Lex and myself this past week. Now he takes bottles just fine and I think he’s ok with chilling in the various baby-holding devices we have. I have got to put my worries aside and trust that he will be ok. And he will be. He’ll be in the hands of professionals, and I’ll just be a phone call away.

I wish that I could be a stay-at-home mom, but it’s just not feasible for us right now. When I was pregnant I thought I would be uncomfortable leaving him with others when he was so little, but I’m surprised at how quickly he has grown. I also thought I’d feel guilty about not being with him all the time, but I have to work–plain and simple. And we’ll still have two full days together as well as the evenings. Plus he’ll have a day all alone with Daddy each week.

I’m looking forward to getting us into our new schedule, and making the necessary adjustments. I know it’s going to be rough at first but we’ll figure it out.

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Dreaming

Posted by on Jan 18, 2011 in Blog | 1 comment

For the past few days, I’ve found myself day dreaming of a lot of things but especially of building this…

and this…
and a bunch of other stuff!
I recently discovered ana-white.com and I cannot get enough of it. Ana is amazing! She thinks up all these plans for magnificent furniture and then provides them for free. Her Facebook page is also great. There’s a fabulous community of builders who help each other with the plans and suggest new ones and different variations.

I have been so inspired by her blog and by all the fan photos. She makes it sound really easy to do. I’ve signed up on her site and already have a list of things to build. The husband has been dying to get some power tools ever since we moved into a house with a garage, and now I’m totally on board.
I love feeling the gears in my head turning, thinking of what kind of furniture I’ve always wanted and how to make it happen. I can’t wait to get my tax return so I can buy some power tools and lumber and get started.
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Yummy Pork Chops

Posted by on Jan 14, 2011 in Recipes | 0 comments

 

I have always been afraid to cook without a recipe. I like structure– clear, precise instructions on how to do something correctly. I guess I was afraid I would mess up and ruin whatever it is I was trying to make. However, in the last couple years I have become a little more adventurous and traveled off the beaten path so to speak. I began throwing stuff together without much guidance. This was a big step for me. :)

I began cooking pork chops on a regular basis, and one day my husband tells me that he likes them cooked with cream of mushroom soup. I’d never heard of such a thing, but apparently it’s pretty popular. I asked his ex-wife how she used to make them and looked up a few recipes online. Then, I just went for it. The result is a nice, juicy pork chop with a sauce that works great as a gravy for mashed potatoes.

Mushroom Pork Chops

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 center cut pork loin chops
Lawry’s Garlic Salt to taste
1 can Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup

Warm the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.

Season the chops with the garlic salt on each side and then add to the skillet. Cook until slightly browned on each side but not fully cooked.

Reduce heat to medium. Add the can of cream of mushroom soup. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer until fully cooked, about 15 to 20 minutes.

You can also add sliced fresh mushrooms when you add the soup to make it heartier.

Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

2 baking potatoes
1/4 cup of butter
1/4 cup of milk
1 tablespoon Lawry’s Garlic Salt

Peel and cube the potatoes. Place in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender.

Drain the potatoes and place in a large bowl. Add the butter (I like to cover with the hot potatoes so it starts to melt faster), milk and garlic salt.

Mix with a hand mixer until creamy.

Serve with Mushroom Pork Chops and green vegetable of your choice.

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Curtains from Bedsheets

Posted by on Jan 12, 2011 in Blog, Feature, Tutorials | 1 comment

 

When we first toured our house, I instantly fell in love with the room that is now the nursery. Just look at these windows!

There are a total of six. Buying curtains for six windows would cost more money than I wanted to spend. A friend of mine told me how she uses flat sheets as curtains–cheap, easy, and you don’t even have to do any sewing. But with the dimensions of these windows (32″ x 46″ each), that still would not work out. So, I went to a local flea market and found two matching king size fitted sheets. Flat sheets would have been easier to work with, but I was lucky enough to find two of the same color. At only $3 each, I couldn’t pass it up.

In order to make the sheets workable, I ripped the corner seams out and cut off the elastic. Then, I laid them out of the floor and tried to figure out the best way to get all the panels I needed (six from each sheet).

Let me say right here that I am not a spatial thinker. When it comes to measuring things, and really any sort of geometry at all, my mind gets all befuddled and I have to think really hard about it.  I thought I had it figured out, and started cutting and ripping. Too late I realized that I had messed up and now I have a Frankenstein panel, put together from two smaller pieces.

I cut out the pieces I needed. The easiest way to do this is by cutting a little at the end of the fabric and then ripping the fabric the rest of the way. This way you get straight lines and correct measurements.

Now the fun part: ironing! I really don’t like to iron, but it makes sewing the hems so much easier.

I used my sewing/knitting gauge to make sure I had the measurement right throughout. I did a three inch hem at the bottom and the top and a half inch hem on the sides.

After ironing the three inch hem, I went ahead and pinned it to get it ready to sew.

After ironing all the hems, it was time to sew them! It was very simple. I started out with the top seam. I sort of eye-balled the seam allowance at about half an inch.

Then, I sewed a line of stitches an inch from the top to create a casing for the curtain rod.

I used a quarter inch seam allowance on the sides.

What I love most about sewing is that you really can’t screw it up too badly. If you’re like me and tend to daydream a little while sewing and make a mistake, you can just rip out the seam. My seam ripper is my best friend.
After sewing up the sides, you’re done! Super easy and super cheap. They may be simple, but they do the job. I must say I’m quite proud of my little curtains. :)
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New

Posted by on Jan 11, 2011 in Blog | 0 comments

This past year was full of newness for me. I got my first sewing machine and have been slowly learning to sew. I found out in April of last year that I was pregnant. That opened up a whole other world of newness for me, one that I have slowly started to get the hang of since November when my son was born. I moved to a new house. I got married. I have become financially independent of my parents. It was really the first year that I truly felt like a grown up.

And now it’s a new year. Of course with a new year comes new resolutions. I have one all-encompassing resolution: to start keeping promises to myself. To those who know me very well, I am somewhat notorious for saying that I’m going to do something (i.e. lose weight, start a blog, write a paper) and then not following through (or maybe not even starting). This is the year that stops!

Yes, this blog is part of that resolution. The past year I have been devouring craft and food blogs. I love reading about new projects and new recipes. I have been so inspired by all you bloggers out there that I’ve decided to finally strike out on my own and share my projects, too.

I’ve called this blog The Newbie because that’s what I am when it comes to many different crafts like cooking, sewing, building, collage, you name it. But I see the amazing things that all these people do and I want to do it all! So here we are. This will be a place that I share what inspires me and all the trial and error that will inevitably go along with all this newness. Welcome!

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