Saturday, May 8, 2010

partied out

After two parties in two weeks, even the decorations looked tired! We celebrated C's first birthday last week, and today we hosted our baby group (12 babies!) for a Mother's Day brunch.

Summer has officially arrived in Florida, and there is so much to do! Things like swimming, bike riding, walking! in the grass, eating ice cream, gardening and taking lots of photos have been filling our days, and there is much more to come. With all of this fun, blogging hasn't been a priority, and the break has been nice. I may be back once the weather cools off. We'll see.

Have a great one, and stay cool!

Monday, April 12, 2010

old shoes

I'm a girl who loves shoes. I like a lot of shoes, but sometimes I fall in love with a certain pair after I buy them, and I get really sentimental about them. Then, when they wear out, I just can't let go. It may seem silly to some (my husband!) to photograph and blog about old shoes, but I thought it would help me keep a part of them even though it's time for them to go.

Both of these pairs were bought while traveling, so attached to them are fond memories of those trips. I might even call this pair my favorite of all time. I bought them on a day trip to Kobe, one of my favorite cities in Japan. I saw them early in the day, and as we wandered around the city, I continued to think about them. We almost couldn't find the shop again, but I'm so glad we did. I wore them long after my pinky toe started poking out the side.

And when someone asked where I got these, I loved to answer, "in Singapore." It was another case of second thoughts--I left the store without them and then went back later. That's how I know I love a pair of shoes: I just can't get them out of my head. For a while, I had to pack back-up shoes every time I wore these because they kept breaking and I'd end up walking around school like I had a limp. This time, E says they're beyond repair.
indigo by clarks: brulee

And that 'can't get them out of my head' thing--that's how it is with my latest shoe purchase. They're last year's design, so I searched the internet (kind of obsessively) until I found them in my size. I love these almost as much as the two pairs I'm parting with.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

come with us

Up until a year ago, when C came into became my world, this blog was a record of my creative life, with some random thoughts thrown in. I rarely posted photos of me, and even fewer of E, I guess because I felt a little shy. Since my sweet girl's arrival, she has become my favorite photography subject, and I've included her in the blog quite a bit. But a few events have spoken to me recently, and I've decided to move the focus of the blog back toward current crafty endeavors. For those of you who enjoy keeping up with C and our little family, please add me as a contact on flickr, where I'll be posting family photos. I hope that even if we're just blog friends, you'll continue to follow us over there!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

my dduk bok gi

For years now, I've been asking my Korean students to bring this dish to our end-of-semester potluck--and they usually do, and every time I ask how to make it, they assure me of how easy it is. Even though they've explained what goes into it, I still needed to find a recipe. That took some time--I didn't think to spell it with two d's.:)

So this is my version, without the fish cakes (tofu instead), and with "ovalettes" in place of the pinky finger size dduk (rice cakes). The sauce and veggies turned out perfectly spicy, but I think we might want to eat it with noodles next time (udon?) since the dduk were a little too different/chewy for E.

This is yet another perk of my job--being exposed to some underappreciated ethnic foods. And next week is this semester's party! Yum.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

outfit improvement

My friend Julie really has a knack for putting clothes together in a stylish way. I loved it when she told me about the "outfit game"--you know, when you go through your friend's closet and suggest pieces to wear together. Somehow, we've never done this, but I do always admire her clothes combinations at work. (And she really has gotten comments on student evaluations about her nice clothes!) She recently posted some very tangible fashion advice on her blog--the rule of threes--and it has helped me turn over a new leaf when getting dressed.

Since it's getting warmer, I decided to make a short sleeved layering piece. My mom picked up this 1/2 sleeve tee from Target for $2, and it was a little too small, so cutting it down the middle and adding a strip of cotton was a good solution. It was also quite long, so I shortened it and added the scraps as a ruffle. I'm halfway through making another of these in fuschia.

On a related note, Julie and I also just discovered academichic, and I love their style tips. There's a category called 'teaching outfits' that I need to check out. After reading about body shapes and belts, I've started wearing one, something I've always steered clear of since my waist is not so tiny. I'm having so much fun putting together old things in new ways--it feels like I have a new wardrobe!

Monday, March 29, 2010

no future as a foot model

I do have another patterning project in the works, but I got sidetracked after an unsuccessful shoe shopping trip for C. I was kind of frustrated at the prices of baby shoes. I mean, she doesn't even walk yet, but sometimes I want to put something cute on her feet. Then I had an idea: I'll make some!

These were quick to put together with some linen and cotton plus a few layers of batting and interfacing for the soles, and ribbon for the straps.

I thought I had designed them so that she couldn't get her foot out, but I was wrong. As soon as I put the sandals on, she was doing all kinds of dancing (right out of one of them)! Oh well. A few cute photos with these and her Easter dress and we'll be good.:)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

patterning 2: what? didn't you see the liberty skirts?


Of course you knew I'd blog about more Liberty purchases from Target when I talked about adding pattern to my life. I think I've changed my mind about Liberty prints, or at least the ones they chose for the Target line. I love how bold and colorful they are.

before--I liked how the dress matched the azaleas!

So one of my purchases was this dress, which has now become a much more wearable skirt and bracelet. And we also got the matching baby dress.:)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

patterning my world 1

I wouldn't say I'm afraid of color (although one of my favorites is grey), but I do stay away from patterns in lots of areas of my wardrobe and home decor. I guess I worry that I'll get tired of the design, so my world is full of solid color pieces. But suddenly I'm craving pattern, so I decided to do a series of posts on a few projects I've taken on to add some pretty patterns to my surroundings. The first is these photos + frames.

I've been meaning to frame some of the photos we had taken back in September, and one day last week I was headed to buy some 50% off frames from Joann when my partner in crime had other ideas (she wanted to nap). So I rethought my plans for framing and figured out a way to use the frames we already had in that spot, along with some scrapbooking paper I use for card making. It was fun to choose which patterns to use, just like choosing fabric for a patchwork project. Before, these floating frames displayed all the temple and museum tickets we collected in Japan. It really brightened up the wall, and they are a nice distraction from all those CDs.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

back home

Our short stay at the beach was a nice break from the ordinary. We enjoyed some couple time while my mom and dad watched Cora. It was chilly, so our swimsuits never made it out of the suitcase. That's alright, though, because Cora preferred not to have her skin touching the sand. And E and I both weren't feeling so great. We'll try again soon when the weather is warmer!

Pick me up quick! I don't like this stuff on my feet!

Hanging out at G.G.'s (my mom) with her new favorite toy and modeling a new top from Alicia and Afton.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

goat cheese and honey

During the warmer months, Jacksonville has a weekly arts and farmers market, and this weekend was the first of the season. It's not far from our house, and it's always fun to look at what the crafters are selling and see if there are any good deals on produce. We've seen the farmer from our old CSA farm, Magnolia Farms, there before, but this time we were excited because she was selling her awesome goat cheese. And she had brought one of her baby goats! I was so glad we stopped by her booth because the CSA season is longer and more reasonably priced now, so we're considering buying a share.

So of course we bought some goat cheese. I wanted to make a meal where the chevre would be the star, and I remembered the warm goat cheese salad from one of our favorite restaurants, bb's. I really should look at restaurant menus more--they're great inspiration! Anyway, this salad has dates, red onions, walnuts and goat cheese toasts on mixed greens, all drizzled with honey. Honey and goat cheese=a winning combination.

Monday, March 8, 2010

almost set

I found a cute suit for Cora! There were several at Target that I liked for her, some really sweet ones for babies. But when I saw this one, the only one like it, the print caught my eye. I'm not sure if it's that babyish of a swim suit, maybe more grannyish, but it's perfect on her. It's from Target's line by Liberty of London, famous in the fabric world for their floral prints. I'm not usually a big fan (too feminine for me), but I love the colors and scale of this one.

Now I've thought of about half a dozen more things we need for a trip to the beach with a baby. I'm not sure if that list includes a new suit for me, but now I want to go back and look at Target!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

headed to the beach

We're going on a little vacation next week.

And I'm making a sun hat for Cora. Now all she needs is a swim suit. I love shopping for tiny clothes!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

our valentine

Here are more of the photos taken at our baby group Valentines party. Cora never sits still for long, but Kate got some great shots of her on the go!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

trying out kokopax

I've still been searching for the perfect carrier. Now that Cora's 20 lbs, she's really too heavy for long periods in a sling, the moby, and the baby bjorn. We've tried (and returned) so many carriers in this hunt for one that's comfortable for baby and both parents. My latest trial runs have been with the kokopax and the beco carriers. I had trouble finding any objective reviews of the kokopax when I was considering it, so I figured I'd share my thoughts here.

The kokopax is a frame carrier in great prints, which makes it look less like hiking gear than most other frame carriers. It's pretty comfortable once you get it on, but that's not easy if you're alone. We really wanted to like this one, but there were just too many things working against it: not washable, bulky when not in use, puts Cora at the perfect height for hair-pulling (not a problem for Dad!), and the difficulty lifting it and baby onto your back. Luckily, I was able to buy it with return insurance, so sending it back should be easy.

And, while not perfect, I think I have found a carrier that I really like. The beco is similar to the ergo, but with a better fit for E and me. It can be used as a front carrier and it's easy to slide a bigger baby around to wear on your back. It comes in nice prints, too. I feel like I can finally get things done around the house again--vacuuming, doing dishes, straightening up--and Cora's happy, too!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


lots of things are making me happy right now:

This tv series, on DVD. As wonderful as the books, filmed beautifully, and with lots of memorable lines that keep getting repeated around our house. I love Grace Makutsi!

These photos of Cora and her friends. One of the group photos even made the local news!

A new camera, with an old lens. I'm having so much fun playing around with depth of field!

Pioneer Woman Photography assignments. I loved the bokeh and sunset photos, and I was even brave enough to submit a shot of Kobe in the current dog portrait contest.

New running shoes and our jogging stroller, although I neither run nor jog.

And lots of time with friends and my sweet, sweet girl.

What are you enjoying these days?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

baby boy

When my friend Kris asked me to make her a sling for her baby-on-the-way, I was sooo excited. It just made me so happy that she wanted to try something that I truly believe in. I hope that she'll enjoy wearing her baby as much as I did (and do) with Cora! Saturday was her baby shower, and I gave her the sling, along with a few more goodies--a nursing cover and some burp cloths--made from leftover fabric.

BUT I had already wrapped it when I thought to take photos. (Why does that always happen?) Instead of undoing it all, I just pulled out the burp cloths that I trimmed in the fabrics she chose. She's having a boy, and his nickname is Cleatus (the fetus). I can't wait to find out his real name! Only a few more weeks.:)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

i've moved!

A few posts back, I mentioned that I had registered for my blog. I realized recently that after making the move, some people might not be getting the feed if they're subscribed to the old blogger site. I hope you'll keep following me over at the new address, and there's a cool little gadget in my sidebar to help you update your subscription. Thank you for reading!

Monday, February 15, 2010

kitchen nightmare (and delights)

So after a Valentines Day kitchen disaster (think cutting board colliding with head, giant bottle of olive oil shattering on counter), I'm looking up a bunch of recipes that were torn out of magazines and stored in our recipe notebook (which soaked up some of that oil). A couple of the oil-sopped recipes have become recent favorites, so I thought I'd share. Until a few weeks ago, both of these had been waiting in the stack of "recipes to try" forever. One is from Cooking Light, October, 2000--I mean, did I even cook back then?

We have a tradition of making cheese fondue for Valentines Day, but since Cora and I are on a low-dairy diet, we made sweet and spicy peanut fondue with tofu and pineapple cubes and blanched broccoli, carrots and green beans. It was too salty the first time we made it, so we cut back the soy sauce and hoisin sauce a bit from the original recipe. The photo above is today's lunch of leftovers--yum.

For a quick lunch, I've been enjoying creamy tortilla soup. I think I would call this avocado soup instead because that's what makes it creamy. As much as I love avocado, I had never eaten it warm, but this is tasty and satisfying, and it's easily halved for a smaller portion. E and I laughed at the recipe's suggestion to save time by using corn chips instead of making your own tortilla chips. Of course! I'm actually glad that I had to search for this recipe because I have several recipes that came from the same book, and I think I'll get Quick-fix Vegetarian from the library again now that I know the title.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

photo session

This weekend, some friends invited us over for lunch and a baby photo session. Audra and Patrick have a baby about Cora's age, and Audra takes the most amazing photos of him. It doesn't hurt that he's super cute, but she has the best ideas for poses, props, and locations. So she let us take advantage of some of the set-ups she had come up with. The photo in my last post was from that day, and so are these. We had so much fun, mostly because Cora is not one to sit still for the camera! Oh, well. We still got some cute shots. I should have taken some photos of lunch. We're still talking about how good the food was!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

this girl

This girl is having some trouble sleeping. Her grandmothers are great at getting her to nap, but some days it takes me forever to get her to sleep. Maybe she just wants to stay awake to have more fun with her mama!:)

It seems to relax her when I sing 'Hush little baby', but after going through all the lines about 14 times, I get bored with the original words and start to change it up a little. Problem is, I'm no good at making up rhymes. So I stick with changes like 'Mama's gonna buy you a diamond sapphire ring/dog named Rover Clover.' I even looked up alternative lyrics, and found some that I might incorporate. Any other suggestions of rhyming lines that would be more interesting to sing? I need help!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

crib rail covers

Cora doesn't know what to think about the new rail covers for her crib. They sure aren't as satisfying to chew on.

But I don't think she's too unhappy with them. The covers are simple pads with two layers of cotton batting, one cut narrow just to run down the middle of the pad (just because I'm cheap). I secured the first one with heavy duty snaps, which look so professional, but then I got all paranoid about the little pieces coming apart, so the other three are held on with velcro. And the fabrics coordinate with the ones in her room, in case she and her crib ever move back in there.:) I'm in no hurry.

We didn't buy a crib bedding set, but I wonder if the for-looks-only bumpers (which they recommend against using) could be repurposed into rail covers. If you already have them, that might be an easy and pretty way to protect the crib from tiny teeth.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

she's got teeth...

...and she knows how to use them. Not for chewing food, but her crib! Yeah, two teeth, and we're already missing paint in multiple places on the crib.

Here's a closer look. Good thing we had it tested for lead! Alicia had the same issue a while back and came up with a great-looking and functional fix. I'm so glad she's just 8 months ahead of me in this adventure!

She's so excited to be jumping on her mattress in these photos, her tongue doing crazy stunts as usual, but little does she know, those rails are being fitted with covers to prevent her from snacking on them. They've now been sewn and installed.

And did you notice that she's modeling her Corvette onesie? It's super cute with her pink flames babylegs!