Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Winter Book Review

I have not been reading a whole lot, but have liked most of what I've actually read before falling asleep every night so I wanted to share.

The Rosie Project, Graeme Simsion : This book was really funny. It was like a funny, adult version of "Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night." It didn't say it but I assumed the main character had autism so I automatically liked him. He also said things out loud that I think but know better than to say; which was funny. It was a good quirky love story and a very easy read, I read it in 2 days.

Yes Please, Amy Poehler: I took this book on vacation with us and had to force myself to put it down and people watch because I didn't want to finish it in one day. I honestly laughed out loud on the beach reading this book. I was thinking I might not be able to relate so some of the book, but Amy is so down to earth I didn't feel like she was famous or out of touch. My favorite parts were about her childhood, which seemed a lot like mine; normal, and boring enough that she had to imagine crazy scenarios to keep herself entertained. I also liked reading more about the cast of Parks and Recreation because I love that show. It was hilarious and I own it in hardcover so if you want to borrow it let me know.



Pregnancy Books-

Labor Day: True Birth Stories By Today's Best Women Writers: This has been my favorite pregnancy book so far. I've read 2. It's essays about birth by female authors. Everyone is different so it was interesting to read different perspectives and stories. The main thing I took away from it is that you can make plans for the birth until the cows come home but they might not do you any good. After reading this book my "birth plan" is as follows; Step 1: Have healthy baby. Step 2: Don't die. Step 3: Go home. My only complaint about this book is that there are some really sad stories included (miscarriage, stillbirth, failed adoptions) and they aren't marked in the book so you may accidentally read a really sad story and end up crying for 30 minutes. I ended up looking up the sad ones and marking them to I wouldn't read them. This sounds kind of immature right now, and maybe later I'll go back and read the other ones later, I just know I am not in a place where I want to read about sad baby stuff and set off my worrying mind. Aside from that I loved this book and would recommend it to friends who are pregnant.

Belly Laughs, Jenny McCarthy: I am slightly ashamed to admit I read this book, since I don't love (or even like) the author. It was written in 2004 before she went all anti-vaccine so there was none of that in the book. A very quick read about funny, embarrassing, and gross stuff during pregnancy. Things you're embarrassed to ask your friends but read and think "I'm glad I am not the only one." Other things I read and though "Thank goodness that's not happening to me....let's hope it doesn't." Some of it was pretty unrealistic considering she's mega rich and obviously has/had a housekeeper etc. to help her out. I did not have any belly laughs reading this book, but it was short so I got through it. If nothing else it was good for the "I'm not the only one" effect it had.

Up next is "Not That Kind Of Girl" by Lena Dunham.

Lauren

Thursday, February 19, 2015

ABC Sampler

This feels like cheating since I finished this project over two years ago. I gave it to my mom and she was nice enough to frame it for me. and save it until the right time. We went to visit and she gave it to me to add to Sprout's room. It's a bit "girly" if Sprout is a boy, but I figure I will be the only one to remember what the room looked like at the beginning anyways. I'll be the one who is awake in the room the most. Also, when I was little my mom had a painting in my room of a mother holding a naked baby and you could see the baby's chubby butt.  I think it was a Mary Cassatt painting, but I am not totally sure. I distinctly remember finally being old enough to say "hey, I don't want a picture of a baby's butt in my room anymore." Wouldn't want to deny the child that experience in exerting his or her opinion about room decor.


It's a kit I bought, that is now only the pattern from Posy Gets Cozy. I really like how the frame turned out. My only wish is that I had added the year next to my initials. People keep asking if the baby's room will have a "theme." Not so much, unless "things I think are cool" is a theme.

Lauren

Monday, February 16, 2015

Log Cabin Quilt

I cannot remember who had the idea for us to sew a quilt together me or Charlie. In September after pinning a lot of patterns we decided to go with a Log Cabin pattern and Charlie helped me do the math and pick out the fabric we both liked. I sewed 29 blocks and he sewed one. Then I realized around block 34 that there wasn't enough fabric so we bought more and I finished the 48th block, bringing my total to 47 and Charlie's to 1. He did help me lay them out over Christmas and decide on a pattern.


We should have done more research on how to sew a long cabin quilt because I messed it up and the blocks ended up not matching perfectly. I should have started each block with a solid as the first color, but instead I did half the blocks starting with solid and half starting with a print, which kept me from getting super bored, but also screwed up the pattern and resulted in blocks that do not match. I'm pretty sure no one would notice but me. Can you tell?

Don't look too close....here's a cute dog on a quilt picture to distract you! 


Then we (I) did the math and we bought the backing fabric. Over a snow day I laid it all out and realized the back was too small so I added some scraps from the quilt to add the last few inches I needed. Moral of this story is that we are both bad at math when it comes to making quilts. Thanks heavens for scraps and fabric stores.

I thought about hand quilting it, then I realized it's a king sized quilt and came to my senses. It's tied, which is super fun and easy and not nearly as time consuming as hand quilting. Sewing the binding took me at least 5 days because my eye kept twitching and a kind sized quilt = a whole lot of freaking binding!

To be 100% honest this quilt is finished about 10 months faster than I thought it would be, so math issues aside it's a total success. I would not have picked out all of the fabric, but I really like how it all turned out. 

Have you finished anything way ahead of schedule recently? 

Lauren 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

"Maternity" Josephine Tunic

I have had this fabric for over a year waiting to make this tunic. I am very glad I waited because I used it to make  a "maternity" Josephine. Not many of my clothes fit right now, so it's nice to have something new to wear. I saw the idea on Rae's blog when she was pregnant.


The pattern calls for you to sew the tucks all the way to the bottom of the garment, but she modified it to only sew past the bust to allow for a little bumpage. I did the same since there is officially bumpage here. Students started commenting, so I must be showing.


I'm excited to try sewing more clothes for "maternity" wear. I'd like to use patterns I already have but am not 100% sure how to go about modifying those patterns. I'll keep you posted on my progress, or frustrations.








Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Lazy Person Problem

I want to win the $500,000 powerball, but I don't want to drive to the store to buy a ticket.




Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Habits Updates

All the way back in November I posted about the 5 daily habits I was trying to make become habits. Now into February I'm still working on them. It's getting easier, but not so easy they all just happen on their own.

Create: This is either great or really terrible depending on the week. At first I thought that the most important part was having the supplies ready to create something. Not true, you can have all the crap you need and still not be interested in the project. Key example: quilling, I have everything you'd ever need to make 100 quilling projects, but do I? No, quilling takes forever and I am not that interested in it (*side note, I should probably get rid of all my quilling stuff*) The most important part of trying to be creative everyday is to be excited about creating, whatever it is. If I am not into a project I am not excited to do it and will find excuses not to do it. Another hinderance is when a project gets finished and I don't have another idea of what to move onto. I had a period of four days after I finished Sprout's Blanket that I did nothing because I had no idea what to work on next.



Floss: This habit got derailed in December because two things happened. One I went away for the holidays and forgot to bring floss. Seems dumb right, but seriously it's floss, and I never remembered I was missing it until right before bed which made me just give up the pursuit of it before I even started. Moral of that story, pack it in your travel case! Problem two in my flossing, I got the flu and had no energy to get out of bed never mind floss my skuzzy teeth. Once I got better and got home I was right back on track and haven't missed a day. This is my easiest habit thus far, probably because it takes the least amount of time.

Read: One thing the holidays made me realize is that if you get out of your normal routine it's super easy to stay out of it. I didn't read at all over vacation and then it took me a while to get back into it. I've been reading a few books about babies, but nothing serious. I think I should check out a book from the library to give myself the time pressure to finish a book again. Any suggestions?

Exercise: For the most part I am successful at this. Being pregnant has made me more liberal about what counts and what doesn't. Hint, if I got off my butt for 30 minutes it counts. I have been doing my exercise classes, and doing "interval training" on our treadmill while watching Friends re-runs on Netflix. "Interval training" is a fancy term Charlie came up with for how I walk for one scene of Friends and then run for the next, then walk, then run. I also count walking the dogs if it takes more than 30 minutes. I have not run outside since the beginning of December and I don't even feel bad about it. I am paranoid about falling on the ice and snow. I read (on Pinterest) that doing squats makes labor and delivery easier so I try to do 50 a day, which works out to me doing about 50 a week, but you know. Too bad it's not the thought that counts in terms of exercising.

Be Kind: Last year it was "have patience" which matched with my one little word. This year my word is kind so I figured I'd put that as my habit. Like I said, when I am not "kind" it last for a few days and takes me a while to get out of my funk. When I am kind it's easy to keep the momentum rolling. Being kind mostly in terms of giving myself a check is if I said primarily nice things, didn't gossip or swear, was nice to Penny, Blaze and Charlie, and was kind to myself.


Lauren 
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