Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Baby Sweater

I've been looking for a plain and simple sweater for Baby Girl that you would maybe find at Baby Gap except I had no intention of paying $30+ for one. (Also, Baby Girl is her official name as of right now. Cute, right? Until she's like 30. Then not so much probably. But by then she can pick her own name.)

I finally decided to attempt crocheting one last night. Turns out these things are pretty easy to crank out... As for size, I was comparing it to a 3 month hoodie that we already have for her. This involved lots of trial and error and crocheting for an hour then pulling out rows of work, which would've driven my husband crazy if he had been home. But I think I was pretty pleased with the end result...
5.5mm hook; half-double crochet
I'm thinking of adding some toggles maybe? Or a hood?
Source: zara.com via Stephanie on Pinterest

Or a collar with some buttons?



I guess the possibilities are endless and I still have a ways to go before I get a sweater that's as cool looking as these ones (although I think those are knit and I'm way better at crochet so I might never get one as cool looking as those...).

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Fancy Salad

I went to a baby shower for a friend at church on Saturday and was tasked with bringing a green salad. My mom makes a fancy salad for like every family gathering so I called to get the recipe for the dressing. I say fancy salad because it has things like baby spinach and cheese that costs like $15. Okay, I exaggerate but it is much fancier than a regular plain-lettuce-with-ranch-salad that I'm used to.

I used a Spring Mix (or as my mom said "The mix that has spinach and purple lettuce"), strawberries, walnuts, feta cheese and the dressing. My mom insisted it was so good I'd get asked for the recipe and wouldn't you know it, I totally did...

Fancy Salad Dressing
1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup of olive oil
1/2 cup of mayonnaise

Side note: if you switch out the dressing for a raspberry vinaigrette, that's also super yummy!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Girltalk

Wow... look at me! 2 posts in one day! Actually not a real post, just popping by to link to the Girltalk blog. Carolyn Mahaney and her lovely daughters are doing a series on the internet/technology. The first part is already very convicting... Click here to read!

Epiphanies and Jessie's girl

Things that happen when you wake up at 3:45 in the morning and can't fall back asleep:
  • You check Facebook as if the rest of the world is also alive and doing things that early in the morning. (They're not.)
  • You lower the brightness setting on your phone because the screen is starting to burn your eyes. 
  • Your baby starts kicking you like crazy just in case you were thinking of dozing off. In fact, it feels more like she's doing the wave in there and bouncing off the walls.
  • You shift to your left side.
  • You have an epiphany about nursery decor.
  • You watch 30, 45, 55 minutes go by. 
  • You have to pee again (which is incidentally what woke you up in the first place). 
  • You shift to your right side. 
  • You inexplicably have the song "Jessie's girl" in your head which annoys you to no end. 
  • You try to remember the weird dream you had so you can freak your husband out later.
  • You ponder the great mysteries of life. 
  • You shift to your left side again. 
  • You wonder if this is your body's way of preparing you for having to be awake and feeding a newborn at this unholy hour. 
  • You start thinking about a house you looked at with your husband and where you would put all the furniture if this house became yours. 
  • You look again at the clock and realize an hour and a half has gone by. 
  • You try to think of baby names. 
  • You think about the used glider you're getting and how painful it's going to be to sand all those dowels. Too bad your nursery epiphany means the glider has to be stained. 
  • You remember that your mother suffers from this "waking up at 4 in the morning" business and pray that it's not hereditary.
  • You just start to doze off when your husband's alarm goes off and you decide you didn't really need that sleep anyway. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Woman's Intuition

I like to feel free in the kitchen.

Maybe it's the rebellious middle child in me but I just don't usually follow recipes very well. I go with my instincts and hope for the best. Today I made Sloppy Joe's and while I used a recipe inspired by PW, I didn't really follow it at all. I basically used all of the same ingredients but made up my own measurements.

The thing is, food always taste much better to me (and to the hubs, which is really most important) when I follow my instincts. In fact, life is just generally much better when I follow my instincts. Not just in the kitchen. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that my instincts have saved my life more than once. Except the time my instincts made me hit a parked car while riding my bike on my 8th birthday and fly over the handlebars, landing on my face. Not cool, instincts. Not cool.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Pizza, Pizza

Every Friday night, I make homemade pizza. It used to be that every Friday night we'd buy a pizza but since we're on a budget, I've undertaken the task of making a pizza at home that's just as good as the restaurant stuff.

I use this recipe for breadsticks except I reduce the yeast amount to 2 1/4 tsp (or 1 packet) instead of a tablespoon. I just realized that the first few times I made it, it was yummy but you could really taste the yeast. Here's some of my "perfecting the pizza" tips:
  • Use Preggo Pizza Sauce in a jar. I've tried Ragu and it's just not that good. I use about 3-4 teaspoons per 12" pizza.
  • Use mostly mozzarella cheese but add a little bit of cheddar cheese on top. When it comes out of the oven, you can also add parmesan right away which I think tastes delish.
  • Add any toppings you want but keep in mind the pepperoni usually shrinks so if you like lots of it (like I do) then really load it on. 
  • That recipe usually yields enough for a thicker crust 12" pizza and some breadsticks. You could definitely get 2 whole pizzas out of it, but they'll have thinner crust. (You can freeze the dough for a few days and thaw it out a few hours before you want to make the pizza.)
  • Use parchment paper on a baking sheet. I don't spray the sheet like she does in the recipe; I just flour the parchment paper and roll out the dough right onto it.
  • 425 degrees for 11-12 minutes and then letting it sit for 5 minutes before slicing it up makes the cheese settle enough so it won't just slide right off.
  • Dip the pizza in ranch mixed with Frank's Original Red Pepper Sauce (used for buffalo wings). This happens to be a particular favorite of mine. 
For the past few weeks, I've only made pepperoni but today I branched out and made my husband's favorite: Hawaiian. (Note: I still made my own little pepperoni section because I really, really love pepperoni pizza.) This pizza is just oh-so-yummy and I think I've finally perfected it to our liking. Now go try it yourself!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Planes, trains and automobiles

A few weeks ago, my husband said he needed to check the cars. I said "For what?" He looked at me and just shook his head. Evidently you're supposed to do regular checks on stuff for your car to keep it in good condition. I always went with the "Use it until it breaks, then pay someone to fix it" method but whatev. Or when something breaks then you decide if you really need it. I drove 2 years without a working thermostat/compass in my truck because let's face it: I'm a girl. I've spent my whole life not knowing which direction I'm going and that's what the sun and the mountains are for. And the north star. Plus $300 to fix it sounded a bit ridiculous. I'll note that an hour on a Saturday and a manual is what it cost for Brian to fix that. Yay husbands!

Anyway, I'm at the tire store today. I've gotten so used to my husband handling all things relating to cars that I forgot how nervous it makes me to deal with it. I'm sure these guys aren't trying to take advantage of me but I feel a little bit helpless when they start telling me things that might as well be in Greek. Then I call my husband and try to relate what I just heard without leaving out important things. It's just a simple patch today but I just feel like girls get swindled when it comes to things they don't know about. If I went to a clothing store and someone tried to sell me a $900 dress because I need it, I'd laugh in their face because I know better than that. But sell me on $1,500 tires and scare me with stories of blowouts and the like? What do I know? Absolutely nothing.

Monday, May 14, 2012

What's in a name?

Well yesterday was my first official Mother's Day, technically speaking. I don't feel very "mother-y" quite yet since all I do is carry this baby around all day and it's really not much of a task since she hardly weighs over a pound. But just the same I was wished "Happy Mother's Day" from friends and family and was spoiled by my husband just like I am every other day. Don't be jelly...

This time next year though... I'll have a 9-month-old baby girl.

Hopefully by then we've picked a name.

Seriously, what kind of a mother am I? I don't even have a name picked. I feel like every girl has some name that they've always loved and thought "Someday I'll name my daughter that" but not me. Fail.

I think people are beginning to think that we're keeping the name a secret... we're really not. We're just that picky. I also start to feel bad when people suggest names and I try to nicely decline, but inside I shudder. Why is it so hard to find a name that I like???

The likely ending? We'll panic at the hospital and pick a name that we'll regret but she'll be stuck with it for life.

Sounds like a plan.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Crocheted Scarf

I finished the second scarf and I'm now working on a third. I learned a new stitch called the puff stitch and I'm still deciding if I like it. What do you think? Would you buy this scarf?
In other news, I am working on lots of these all summer long to build up some inventory for the winter and then they will go on sale! I'm trying to figure out pricing and all that jazz but I would love to hear your thoughts! Like how much would you pay for a hand-crocheted scarf? Any preference on color or infinity vs. regular? All good things I need to know from my target market :)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Baby Bump Update

25 weeks
Hey look! I got dressed AND put on makeup! I almost look put together... I could've done my hair but let's face it: photo shoots in bathrooms are not that fancy. Also, I had to hold the phone in my right hand so I could put my other hand on my hip so that my arm wouldn't look fat. I know. It's weird. But I can't be the only girl who does this.
Officially starting to show. Here's what happened: we flew down to So Cal on Saturday for a family baby shower. I didn't look like I was pregnant. I had only gained 15 lbs this whole pregnancy. My grandma insisted I was having a boy because if it was a girl, I would be more "pancon" (which is "big bellied" in Spanish). Then I ate 48 mini tacos and some cheesecake. Then I proceeded to continue eating, non-stop, the whole time we were there. We went to Disneyland and I had popcorn AND ice cream. In a dipped waffle cone. All weekend long I ate the worst junk food: pizza, ice cream, tamales, buffalo wings and of course, the legendary Original Tommy's Chili Burger.
If you don't see the shack... take it back.
We came home and here's the update: I literally gained 5 lbs being in LA. I've been told that I'm finally showing and it now hurts to bend over too far. I really think my belly doubled in size over the weekend. Insta-baby-bump. But after that first, fat fry dipped in greasy chili, I knew it was totally worth it.

Updates
  • Pounds gained: 20
  • Clothes no longer fit. Not that it really matters because I've been wearing maternity clothing since before I was pregnant (because they're cute clothes, not because I'm fat). 
  • What is a craving? Is that an excuse to have junk food? Because if so, then I crave everything.
  • Baby update: a little over a foot long and weighs just about a pound and a half. She got lots of clothes from the baby shower but surprisingly not much of the necessities. It's ok because, as my daughter, it's more important that she look good anyway. Which is why after college I lived off of Ramen noodles and coffee and spent the rest of my money on clothes. She is squirming and kicking like CRAZY and it still weirds me out. The dreams have toned down a bit but there's still random weirdness. Like I dreamt that my little sister tried making mashed potatoes and she just stuck 2 potatoes in an empty pot (without water) and put it on high for 30 minutes. Oh and then after receiving like 8 pairs of adorable socks from my aunt at the shower, I dreamt that the baby was born really big (like a 6 month old - that makes 2 times I've had the "born as a 6 month old" dream) and none of the socks fit her and I was really concerned about how cold her feet would be. Yeah. Weird.

Friday, May 4, 2012

TGIF.

Oh my goodness... Seriously? Where does the time go? It was just Tuesday yesterday. Except that yesterday was Thursday, today is Friday and tomorrow we get on a plane to spend a few days with my family in lovely So Cal. YAY!!! I am so excited to see everyone and they're excited to see the non-existent baby bump. {I've decided that the rest of my body must be increasing in proportion to my belly which is why people keep saying "You look tiny!" or "You don't even have a belly!" That must be the reason...}

Have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I've just decided.

Cream cheese belongs in dessert and that's it. Please don't use it in your meals. It doesn't have the right flavors and never ends well. I should really listen to my gut instinct more often...

(In case you're wondering where this comes from, I tried this Sour Cream Noodle Bake recipe but after reading all the comments decided that cream cheese sounded better than cottage cheese and turns out all those people were wrong. My thinking was, cottage cheese would make this recipe pretty much exactly like lasagna, so why not mix it up a bit? Wrong. Also, I thought the recipe was a bit bland as I was making it but decided that following the recipe was a better idea than listening to my gut instinct. ALWAYS listen to your gut instinct. Mine happens to be a particularly large gut from making delicious food so I knew I should've trusted it.)