Archive for category she’s crafty

Martha on my mind

At this very moment, I’m sitting on the floor, next to a pile of clothes, all of which I can’t wear tomorrow.  You see, I should be in bed resting up for an (exciting day that will start at 6am no less) but no, this is quite typical for me.

I have closets full of clothes, but nothing to wear.  I know, it’s the same song and dance for so many others, but I literally can’t wear most of these clothes tomorrow.

Why, you ask?  That’s because I’m headed to the Martha Stewart Show tomorrow, the blogger show to be a little more specific. (YAY!)  Why can’t I wear them? Other than my wardrobe being so outdated because I’ve been living in yoga pants for the past year, the show requested that we not wear black, gray or muted colors.

Uh, yeah, that’s my entire wardrobe.  I have every shade of black: pants, shirts, sweaters, socks–everything.  This shouldn’t be so hard, right! Rrrrrrrright.

I’m sure I’ll figure it out…eventually.

TheMarthaStewartShow

Now back to the Martha Show, those that know me well should know that I love being crafty and creative.  I’ve always considered Martha’s recipes, crafts and projects the pinnacle.  At weddings, I used to be able to spot Martha Stewart inspired crafts or decor–I had every issue of Weddings from 2001-2004.  (Yeah, I got married in 2003, I just couldn’t get enough!)

Suffice it to say, I think Martha rocks.

2009 Christmas Card

Today, I have Martha’s Pate Brisee memorized by heart.  If I’ve baked for you, it’s likely you’ve had it and never even knew it, but I bet a Martha fan might.

I’m an obsessive DIYer by choice, and quite honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I see cards, paper goods and now, even websites, and think, “I can do that myself!”

Sometimes I can’t, but I’ll teach myself until I can.  I’m crazy like that.

fresh fruit tarts

So, once the whole Martha Show started making waves about their upcoming Blogger Show, I couldn’t NOT go.  Many of my NYC-area blogging friends are going and it’s sounding like it’ll be a fabulous time.  I’ll be sure to update my FB status and of course Twitter with fun updates!

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that going to see a Martha Show is a dream come true.  Let’s just hope that I find something NOT black to wear.

And at this hour, that I get up on time!!!

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Ever wonder what I do with all these broken gadgets?

I get resourceful and craft, of course!

As you might already know, Captain Destruction, AKA Jackson, has a penchant for chewing, eating, breaking, shoving edible items in the electronic gadgets in our home. Nothing is sacred anymore.

While working on my cousin, Kris’ wedding invitations (yay!!), I noticed another pair of chewed up ipod headphones in the trash. I remembered seeing a tutorial on how to make a Blackberry-esque photo frame for father’s day—y’know because so many daddies love their crackberries more than their babies ;)

So, that’s when I got all crafty and literally dusted off my crafting supplies. Jack and I played with glue, one of us might have tasted it, along with the foam and this is what we came up with:

Ipod picture frame

The headphones also serve as the hanger. Chewed up headphones have a new purpose: crafty and green.
Now the broken dvd player and all those other fun items? Um, we’ll see what I can come up with!

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Good fodder

Thank God it’s Friday!  With all that was going on this week, I can hardly believe it’s already Friday.  Last night when I took down the recycling, since paper collection is on Thursday nights, I had to recount all the days in my head just to make sure that I had the correct day.  ha.  I haven’t had a week like this in ages…

We live in area where upon meeting you, people sum you up on where you went to college, what degree you have and yes, what you do for a living.  It’s just a very career-oriented place, with many of us sacrificing space for proximity to our workplace.  But on the other side of the token, I think the general perspective is so different back home.  Some go to college, you get a job, buy a house, have a family and go about your business.  It’s clear cut, making little room for diversion.  It’s honorable but quite different than how I’d also envisioned things for myself.

All I’d ever wanted was to write and be creative, but in a capacity where I had no boundaries in doing so.  I wish I could verbalize the fiery passion that I have for this.  But it’s always been there, and there’s no denying it, which is what landed me here.

Having Jeff along made things even more exciting for the good times and tolerable for those tough times…but things for us have been far from predictable.  We’re in our early 30s now, a time when most of our peers are enjoying their homes, a pair of cars in the driveway and working their way towards the 2.5 kids—or whatever that statistic is nowadays.

For the time being, we’ve shelved hopes for the house in place of pursuing our careers and starting our family.  It’s what some people choose to do.  We have family and friends who don’t “get it” and question our tiny space and how our rent is as costly as mortgages.  That’s fine, but again, I’ll gladly take these life experiences before the house, the 2 cars and whatever else it is that most people think we need to be successful.

Here’s the thing, people.  There’s a method to our madness.  We live within our means–at least we try.  We don’t have to be bailed out of a mortgage that we can’t afford.  And most importantly, we’ve both been given so many awesome opportunities because of this path we’ve chosen. Jeff’s skyrocketing as usual; there’s no surprise there.  And for me, well, I hope to continue to share as things progress. I am behind on posts for Babyrific, but there’s so much I need to share.

This week was the culmination of so much for me.  It’s not just some “little business” that I thought up while I was watching Oprah and snacking on cheese puffs.  For those that don’t “get” why we do the things we do, it’s weeks like this when things come full circle.  I’m doing it, ya’ll.  I’m carpe diem-ing.

The launch of my new site, though still in its early stages, is something that I’d been working toward.  I’m fortunate to be home with my kid, but I maintain the 9-5 workdays (with a little napping siesta every now and then.) But ever since I left my office job 6 months ago, THIS is what I’ve been working toward.  It’s just the beginning, but I finally have that running start.

And as I’ve said to many of you already, I couldn’t have done this without your help.  The encouragement, the belief and the inspiration–all of it has helped me reach beyond my comfort zone.  I am so grateful for the support system that I’m lucky enough to call friends and family.  And a big, big shout out to my kickass husband and all of you that have been boosting me up with the comments and frequent visits to the new site.  Thank you.

I’m not moving mountains here or saving lives, but I’m fulfilling that fiery passion and working it all out.  The small apartment, city street parking, frequent trips to the laundromat with the kid in tow?  Trust me, it’ll be good fodder for that best seller one day.

A girl can dream…

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Mama likey: Written in Thread burp cloths

In our tiny kitchen, I have a monogrammed kitchen towel that hangs on our cluttered gruntdal shelving.

The towel, pristine and neatly folded to showcase an embroidered moniker, is just for show. Instead of using it to wipe your hands like it’s meant for, this kitchen towel sits at eye level as a simple reminder. Yeah, that means no touchy!

It’s displayed on the shelf, not just to show off the nickname a colorful friend gave me, but to serve as a reminder of the kitchen we hope to have one day–the sort of kitchen where I could hone my baking prowess and perhaps, if we’re lucky, fit more than 2 people.

burp cloths
This special kitchen towel, much like the Mets burp cloth (I received after sharing news of finally getting pregnant) was fastidiously embroidered by a good friend of mine. A few years ago, my friend began an embroidery side job and within no time, it became a flourishing business. Dena’s embroidery business, Written in Thread, offers a myriad of embroidered products. But my favorite goody to date is the stack of custom appliquéd burp cloths she did for us.
When she mentioned that she recently started offering this new design, I couldn’t NOT hop on board. I ordered my burp cloths a few weeks ago and received the final product just few days after I ordered. She’s great to work with, offers meticulous service, offers excellent products and as I mentioned, ships promptly.

The fabric featured on the burp cloths were my scraps from Jack’s closet nursery, but she offers a plethora of fun choices for boys and girls, and on t-shirts too.

Monogrammed tagsIf you’re on the market for a unique gift idea, check out Written in Thread’s product gallery. With wedding season right around the corner and babies galore, you can’t go wrong with a customized gift. I love giving personalized gifts, especially to new brides and new moms. I mean, who doesn’t love seeing their name (or their baby’s name) in print?

When you do contact Dena, tell her I sent ya!

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Mama likey linkys

or should it be linkies?

I’m on deadline this week, so it’s a bit fitting that I’m also delirious. I’m delirious not because of the workload, but because a certain somebody decided that 5:00 am would be a good time to sing and dance. Good God, kid. The birds weren’t even up yet! I suppose, if I had to choose, singing and dancing is better than crying and wailing ;)

Anyway in my quest to expand other horizons, I’m hoping to finally update my blogroll but before I do, I wanted to share some links that I love. Like the packrat I am, I have Post Its full of links crowding my computer screen. Well on my way to having a fluorescent pink and yellow-colored computer screen, it’s a good thing I added the Stumble Upon toolbar to remedy the situation.

As if I needed to reinforce how much time I spend on the internets, I thought I’d share a few of those sites:

I’m a big fan of Green Mom Finds. Products, news, eco-friendly finds, giveaways? It’s like the holy grail of green living.

Teensy Green is another green-influenced site chock-full of great products, baby friendly finds and a fountain of information.

My sewing machine has been collecting dust for the past few months, but with the kid drooling by the buckets, I hope to work on more sewing projects like these. Aptly titled, Happy Things, this site is definitely a inspiration for creativity with a collection of great projects.

Married to a tech nerd geek who, coincidentally,kitchencontrap.jpg works for a big box store, people automatically assume our kitchen is filled with the most beautimus kitchen appliances and gadgets. This is soooo not the case when you can only fit one person in the space at a time. How in God’s name would I be able to fill it with any more gadgets? A girl can still dream via Kitchen Contraptions.

Remember when I was working on the closet-nursery and referencing Apartment Therapy Baby? Well, as the main site grew, so did its design and spinoff sites. ATB is now Ohdeedoh and their Green Living site is Re-nest.

1000places.jpgOh, and because I’m due for a beachy vacation one day soon, The Official Site of 1,000 Places to See Before you Die is a reminder of one of the reasons why I’m ok with leaving the boy every day. Besides helping to take care of our family, working to see the world is a dream that will never die :)

I’ve got plenty more where these came from, but back to work I go. Enjoy!

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Brownies and baby weight

I have a secret.

I ate brownies for breakfast this morning. I’m not talking like one square. More like, half the freaking pan. I’m not apologizing or anything. I’m just sharing because they were damn good.

traderjoesbaking3.jpgLet’s get something straight here: Before I got pregnant with our giant baby, I never ate breakfast. Instead, I had 2 cigarettes and 2 cups of very potent coffee to wash it all down. Healthy, right? So, once the whole world advised that I should eat healthier, I obliged…except, the healthy stuff kinda got lost in the mix. Oops. At least I gave up the cigarettes and actually ate breakfast. (the baby “craved” sausage, egg and cheese on a roll from the deli.)

So, now that I have Jack and nurse him EVERY 2 hours on the dot, I’m always huuungry. I eat everything in sight it seems like. But can I brag for a second? My voracious eater is my best weight loss regimen EVAH.

During my pregnancy, I gained almost 40 lbs. And between us, I weighed A LOT.  I thought for sure that I’d be featured on Maury one day and Jeff would have to hire a crane to remove me out of bed.
Much to my surprise, I am happy to report that a few weeks ago, I got back down to my pre-pregnancy weight. Yay me.  Seriously though, that’s not saying much. Actually, that’s not saying a damn thing!! I still have a long way to go before I don a bathing suit, or a skirt for that matter. The weight is generously redistributed thanks to gravity. Jeff’s been saying that he’s watched the weight just melt off. As sweet as he is, when you’re in sweats all day, how can you tell? So, when I wore a non-maternity dress for the first time this YEAR over the weekend, I actually felt good in my own non-pregnant skin.

I’ve been secretly patting my back since I shed all the baby weight even though it hasn’t been that ‘easy.’ Breastfeeding on demand for 2 months has been the hardest job I’ve ever had in my life, ya’ll. (Again, can you tell we just got back from Va. with the ya’ll.) Mama deserves a brownie or 5!

I’ve got a long way to go and now that I have the ok to go back to the gym, I hope to continue losing the excess weight. We’ll see how it goes.

Back to those delicious brownies…since I was in an especially Christmassy mood last night, I decided to bake! So, right before the Rockefeller Tree Lighting came on, I whipped up a batch of Trader Joe’s Truffle Brownies since our kitchen is bare. It’s like heaven in a box. Everything from TJ’s is awesome, but those brownies blow Betty Crocker out of the kitchen.

If you go to Trader Joe’s I recommend stocking up before I buy all the boxes myself– on the way to the gym of course!

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Channeling boredom

Well, we’ve got a week left, folks…that is, a week until the beginning of a whole new chapter. If things go the way the dr. says, we’ll hopefully be with child, this time next week. yay! I’ve been having irregular contractions– nothing crazy. Other than that, I’m still very pregnant and enjoying frequent daily naps.

At my Va. baby shower in July, I remember asking my mom’s friend about her daughter who was about to have her baby any day. My mom’s friend in the most eloquent way possible, smiled at me and said, “well, how do you say… ah, BITCHY?”

I cracked up. But I now know what she meant. As wonderful as it is, everyone’s still an expert on my pregnancy. As bored as I’ve been at home, I must say, it’s a good thing I took off when I did. I can’t even begin to imagine how I’d function at work, nevermind the endless peanut gallery comments from strangers on the streets and trains.

Anyway, I’m still cranky and exhausted but have been trying to stay busy with tying up loose ends with work. Tomorrow’s my ‘last’ day of work for a few months. It’ll be a nice break to say the least.

——-

Since everything around us delivers, including the grocery store to the liquor store, I wasn’t going to cook meals in advance and freeze them. My mom insisted she’d take care of stuff like that when she arrived. Since I’m by myself from 7am-7pm every day, I’ve had all this time to cook. It’s really no wonder why I keep gaining weight. I cook as if I’m preparing for Armageddon. But hey, it makes me feel better to channel the boredom and frustration this way.

Earlier in the week, Jeff and I went to the Farmer’s Market and loaded up on some organic veggies including, Jersey tomatoes (yum), zucchini, onions, cilantro, serrano peppers and some other stuff. So over the past few days, I felt inclined to cook a lot. I’ve made homemade applesauce to go with pork chops. I don’t like applesauce btw, but Jeff loves it. I also made some spicy homemade salsa, hoping it would make me go into labor. (this salsa reminds me of my good friend Mary!) And today I was craving lasagna so I made 2 pans of it– one to eat for lunch/dinner and one to freeze for Jeff and whomever else needs to be fed while I can’t cook.
nestingfood 001Homemade salsanestingfood 003nestingfood 004

Ah, the novelty of having all this time and solitude won’t last long at all, this I know. I guess I better enjoy it while I can! Next week should be an interesting week.

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laboring, but not the real kind

As much as I hate to see summer come and go, this year I couldn’t be happier to say goodbye to the heat and humidity. Back home, one of the best things about Labor Day was seeing the tourists finally go home. Up here, all the shore kids come back. Parking (and the neighborhood) was nice while it lasted!

The weather was picture perfect for the long weekend, but I can’t say that we enjoyed it too much. On Saturday, I was in so much pain and discomfort, I napped intermittently. I think Jeff had his own sympathy pains and napped alongside on the couch. Sunday was a more productive day, however. We got up early and started to do all thing things we said we would, including shampooing the carpet, more cleaning, rearranging furniture and finishing up the baby’s room. Jeff did all the laboring and dirty work, so of course things turned out beautifully. The carpets are all clean and ready for baby to dirty it up all over. Also, in preparation for some new couches next weekend, we rearranged the placement of our entertainment center and the existing couch.

And finally, the most of my laboring had to do with the baby’s room. I’m a very picky person, but I know what I like. So, like our wedding and anything very personal, and due to the fact that I couldn’t find anything I liked that would work with our space and budget, I did what any crafty and resourceful person does– I opted to DIY.

more nursery
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