Saturday, September 26, 2009

sewing and shooting

Lately, I have just been devouring anything I can read on photography. I so want to improve my skills, and have been having fun practicing what I've read about when I take photos of my girl and play around in photoshop. I think having a baby and wanting to document her childhood is what inspires a lot of people to learn more about the subject. My only problem with taking all these photos is that we have tons of Cora and her dad, and even more of just Cora, but very few of me and the girl. E is a little hesitant to use my camera. I'm excited, though, because we had professional photos taken last weekend. Meghan Stewart is a friend and colleague of Naomi's, and she takes gorgeous photos. Maybe I can learn a little something from her!

Thank you for the kind words on Cora's quilt. I'm still struggling with those pants, though. Ripping and moving the seams was the project I took to a sewing party last week at Katy's house. Hopefully I'll get some time to finish them up when E is watching football this weekend!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

a meatless main dish

As a mostly non-meat-eater married to a meat-lover, sometimes it's hard to find dishes that make us both happy. Last night we had one that always does the trick: garlicky pasta with roasted butternut squash and sweet potatoes with goat cheese medallions, a tried and true recipe based on this one from Cooking Light. Well, this dinner definitely qualifies as a meal, not just a side dish.

I've been in the mood for fall-ish food lately, which included pot roast--or my idea of it--last week. While I was pregnant, I decided to eat chicken once in a while for extra protein. We've continued to occasionally treat ourselves to the free-range chicken at Whole Foods ($$, but worth it to me), and so that's what I used for the 'pot roast'. The chicken plus celery, carrots, onion, and sweet potatoes all went into the crock pot. Concerned it might get dry and could use some flavor, I added about 1/2 can of vegetarian french onion soup. It was pretty good, and everything was so tender like I'd hoped, but the extra liquid really wasn't necessary. Next time, I'll just do the chicken and veggies. Is there a certain way to season pot roast? I'll have to do some more research.

I guess feeding Cora keeps me pretty hungry! I'd love to hear any fall cooking ideas you might have!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

kitchen express

In the last few weeks since I checked out Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express from the library, we've probably tried at least six recipes from it. It's a different kind of cookbook, in that it contains a ton of ideas--over 400--for making quick meals, arranged by season. I say 'ideas' because the recipes don't include a list of ingredients, and many don't even give exact quantities. It's more like a blurb on how to prepare each of the dishes. Some people might not like this organization, but I thought it was a great way to get some inspiration for some quick, inventive meals. I would love to add this book to my kitchen library!

My favorite recipes from it have been Mediterranean Poached Eggs (eggs on toast with a tomato, mushroom, olive and capers mixture) and Curry in a Hurry (a yogurt+curry powder base). Tonight we tried these Flatbread Pizzas with Figs and Goat Cheese--yum! It called for fresh fig slices, but I'm embarrassed to admit I have no idea what a fresh fig looks or tastes like, so I went with my familiar dried ones. I also added arugula, but the balsamic vinegar (in the directions) is what made it. Why haven't I been drizzling it on everything all along?

This is one of those cases when I serve what E considers a snack or a side dish as our meal, and I think he's right this time. This would make a great appetizer, but I needed 2 pizzas to make a dent in my hunger!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

so nice

When I first discovered the world of craft blogs a few years ago, one thing that really surprised me was how kind everyone was to each other. Up until then, I had concluded that when people have the chance to be anonymous (like when driving or surfing the internet), they tend to be less polite, even rude. Lately, I've had a few interactions that have reminded me how great it is to connect with like-minded people online, and how helpful craft bloggers can be.

I ran across Ayumi's blog, Pink Penguin, and loved the unique look she had given her site. I love her aesthetic, both online and in the crafty things she makes. I emailed her, and she was so sweet to reply with information on how she's created her look--with digital scrapbooking tools, which was an exciting new thing for me. I played around and learned so much about photoshop. Thanks, Ayumi!

Julie and Alicia led me to My Sparkle, a new-to-me blog with a post on co-sleeping that I really appreciated. I looked around Danielle's blog and saw a t-shirt project that I really want to try, but what caught my attention most was her photography, especially of her daughter. Once again, I emailed Danielle, and she gave me some great tips that I'm using when I take and edit photos of Cora. Thank you, Danielle!

At first, I only read blogs, too shy to comment. One day, a post on a bag at Soulemama struck me, and I left my first comment. Now I'm brave enough to email anyone:), and I am so glad to be a part of this open and sharing community!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

cora's quilt

It's finished!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

tiny frustrating pants

I'm still around--just started back to work, and things are busy!

I'm in need of some sewing sympathy. Remember the tiny pants I made for Cora a while back? My idea in making those was that she'd wear a uniform of a onesie + pants to daycare everyday. Comfortable for playing and covered enough for napping, I figured. Well, she needed a few more pairs to make a week's worth of 'school clothes', so I started 2 pairs last weekend. I decided to use the pj pants pattern from Little Stitches for Little Ones since I wanted to make a bigger size (she's already outgrowing the first pair!). I debated, but settled on cutting out the 9-12 month size and planned to roll them up for a while.

The first bit of frustration was self-inflicted, which I can handle. When you're sewing assembly-line-style, and you make a mistake (like sewing the legs to each other!), you make it over and over. So seams had to be ripped, over and over.

Of course I then had some trouble with my machine, but that's also somewhat caused by me since I've refused to upgrade to a newer one.

But what finally pushed me over the edge was the fit, now that they're almost done. Even after letting out all the seams, these barely fit over my girl's cloth diapered bum! I guess I'll finish them, and even if they don't work now, they might be cute as jams once she's out of diapers! Uggh.