Saturday, January 30, 2010
Janome reminds me of something you'd yell if you were jumping off a cliff and cannonballing into water below.
But that isn't it at all. It's actually the type of sewing machine I got for Christmas. Remember?
In typical Chris fashion, he thoroughly researched all the sewing machines on the market today (even went into a few stores to try them out!) and decided that this is one of the best out there. And I love my Janome! So needless to say, he was quite disappointed that we were well into January and I hadn't tried it out. I was just intimidated to try and do everything from the instruction manual all on my own! Last Sunday I decided to give it a shot. I managed to get my bobbin wound and needle threaded and even attempted a few practice stitches on some leftover fabric. The next day, I attempted my very first project.
This is an apron that was given to me by my Kindergarten teacher. My Mom gave it to me when I was home for Christmas.
I thought it would be a very simple first project. So I got fun fabric and ribbon, used my little apron as a pattern, and made this for Kaylee! The entire project took less than 30 minutes. The one I made doesn't have a pocket in the front and I did a rolled hem instead of stitching along the edge, but overall, I love it. And Lizzie- I put it in the mail on Wednesday so it should be there soon!
Saturday, January 23, 2010
My Mom really liked the blog about our new china cabinet, but she was curious to see how I managed to fit all our china and crystal into the small corner cupboard. Mom, this is for you:
This picture is missing the large plate stand that goes on the second shelf (the plate stand was still wet from paint).
Here's an old pic from before we painted where you can see the plate stand and plate. Can you tell that the plate stand was black? Now it's the same color as the painted cabinet and it blends in much better.
And the bottom. The decanter (is that the right word?) and little cordial glasses belonged to Chris' grandfather. The bottom door hides the rest of the china.
I really loved using milk paint! Still wondering what else I can paint with it...
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
but you can't take the Texas out of the girl. Yes, I still miss the Lone Star State. And though my husband will never understand it, and though I do love New England, a part of me is still deep in the heart of Texas. So a few nights ago we were making Ina's roasted potato and leek soup (DELICIOUS, by the way!) and I was washing the leeks. I've found the best way is just to let them soak in cold water so the dirt falls to the bottom, drain it, then give them all a rinse.
While I was rinsing my leeks, I noticed :
There was Texas soil right there in my kitchen sink! I had a little moment. Made me feel just a tiny bit closer to home. :)
(I don't have any pictures, but we just finished a pot of Mexican chicken soup that might just be my new favorite soup recipe. Hearty, easy, and YUMMY. We only used half the chicken the recipe called for and added extra celery and carrots. I was a little sad when I finished the last bowl! Do not be turned off if you click on the recipe link- the soup is much more colorful in person.)
Monday, January 18, 2010
I've heard new parents talk about how hard it is to keep up with the mess a toddler can make. I never thought I'd experience it before I had children, though! When Bailey isn't playing with his toys, I gather them all up and put them back in his "toy box". And, every single time, he follows right behind me and takes them out again. Every. Single. Time. First he takes out his plastic burger, and then awhile later, when I'm not paying attention, he'll take out his little snowman. Before I know it, it's all back out! Oh well. We love him.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
We LOVE the china and crystal we picked out for our wedding registry. Love it! But sadly, their home for a long time was a corner in the dining room...still in boxes. I know, it was a terrible thing to do to such lovely dishes and stemware. We really wanted some sort of china hutch or cabinet to display them in, but didn't want to spend a fortune and didn't want something huge, since our table is fairly large and my dresser is serving as a buffet in the dining room as well.
Chris found an unfinished wood store in Brookfield where we got a great deal on a maple corner cupboard. It was simple (I didn't want anything too ornate) and a 1/3 the cost of anything we'd found in stores or in a catalog. We got it right before Thanksgiving but just got around to painting it last weekend. We painted it a neutral color (called "linen") using milk paint. The milk paint was great! We'd definitely consider using it again. And we're really glad we chose not to stain it- it would have just been too much dark wood in the dining room.
FYI- I grossly underestimated how long it would take the paint this small cabinet! 4 hours for the first coat and 2 hours for the second...I'll know better next time! :)
Don't worry, the boxes are empty! We decided to put them in the attic just in case (knock on wood) we ever have to move again.
Doors off, sanded, and ready for paint!
What do you think?? We're happy with it!
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Though it's always hard to leave Arkansas, it was nice to be back in CT with my boys. For about an hour anyway. Chris made it to the airport around noon, we drove from Newark back to Newtown, half un-packed, half re-packed, then were back in the car. See, he had heard that the New Hampshire/Vermont regions were expecting a TON of snow for New Years. Chris' parents were in Colorado visiting his sister Caroline, so why not spend the rest of our vacation up in the mountains with all that fresh snow? Sounded like a plan to me.
I know I've mentioned before that Bailey can't have soft, fuzzy chew toys. This is another prime example of why. Still, I do break down and buy them from time to time because I know how much he loves it.
We went snowshoeing around the lake at the AMC lodge. Snow shoes are super fun! I was sort of expecting to float on top of the snow...that is not actually how they work. You still sink into the snow, but it's much easier to get out and move onto your next step. You're attached to the snow shoe around your toes but your heel is free...it's sort of like walking around in a pair of enormous flip-flops.
Three of Bailey's favorite things: Chris, snow, and being off leash. We call this Bailey's way of "attacking us with love." :)
We ended up cutting the walk a little short when we noticed that these snowballs kept getting stuck to Bailey. :( We left CT in such a hurry I forgot to pack a sweater for him.
Walking in the snow makes both of my boys sleepy.
The snow has started! This was Saturday morning. We took our snowshoes up to Lower Falls...or Upper Falls...one of the falls. Chris is showing you just how extreme he is.
That's right, ladies, he's all mine.
There were quite a few snowmobilers where we were so we climbed up this little hill (easy in the snow shoes!) and walked along the train tracks for awhile. Can you find him?
I think my husband has seen one two many "extreme" skiing films...
Chris and Bailey went sliding on the golf course later that evening. I am getting much more used to the cold, but once I'm inside and all toasty and warm again...I like to stay that way. So I took this pic from inside the condo. :)
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
It was a Hasty and a hasty Christmas for Chris. Our flight left Newark around 7:00 in the evening and we made it to my parents' house around midnight. Chris was able to stay Saturday and Sunday and then took a flight back early Monday morning (he used up most of his vacation for the honeymoon). I left on New Year's Eve. I hadn't seen anyone since the wedding so it was wonderful to visit with my family!!!
We opened presents with the family when we arrived at midnight but Kaylee quickly went to sleep. Here she is opening them the next morning.
Aww...there's love here.
My youngest nieces Kaylee and Lauren. The whole fam was in the middle of an intense game of Catchphrase here.
At Grandma and Pop's house for the BIG family Christmas.
Grandma with my newest nephew, Dean Thomas. Isn't he sweet?
Kaylee was "reading" The Best Nest to Grandma. She used to read us this book when we were little, and now Liz has read it to Kaylee so many times she knows it by heart. :)
I'm sad Chris had to miss this. My parents took us out for sushi in Russellville (yes, there's sushi in Russellville!). It was an all-you-can-eat-buffet type place. You were supposed to go to a little window, request the type of sushi you wanted and then they'd make it for you. So we were all surprised when the manager brought over this boat of sushi at no extra cost!! Apparently my parents are good customers and they were excited to meet the rest of their family.
Some of my favorite ladies
Cousin, BIL, Brother (and Kaylee took this picture! not bad for a 5-year old)
Me and Pop
It was so great to see everyone!! It better not be another 8 months before I visit with you all again.
And now, just because it's so cute...
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Chris and I didn't fly out to Arkansas until Christmas evening. Not only was the airport relatively calm (for Newark anyway) but we loved spending our first married Christmas morning together just the two of us. Since none of you were there, here is how it went down:
Our Christmas tree! Chris didn't wrap his presents for me or place them underneath the tree until Christmas Eve. As of last night all the ornaments are off the tree, but it's still up in our living room.
Relaxing after the Christmas Eve service at church.
Christmas morning! I made Chris open these first because I knew he needed work pants but I also knew he wouldn't be overly excited about them. :)
One of my Christmas presents from Chris really threw me for a loop at first. Forgive me, though, I didn't even realize I was being recorded.
Ready to go camping in the White Mountains! I love it!
One of Chris' favorite presents- a vice for his workshop! His Porsche will thank me.
Hmm...did Chris buy this for me or for him?
My favorite gift!!! Thanks so much Christopher, I can't wait to use it! (Of course, there's that tiny matter of actually learning how to use a sewing machine...)
We wanted to have a nice Christmas meal but didn't want lots of leftovers or a big cleanup (since we knew we had to leave for the airport mid-afternoon.) The solution? Cornish hens! We already had two in the freezer , and thanks to the Barefoot Contessa we had a great recipe for stuffed cornish hens. Don't they look cute?
I did feel a little gluttonous consuming an entire bird...our baked potatoes wouldn't even fit on our plates!
Like the wedding china and crystal? We love any excuse to use it! :)
Merry Christmas from our family to yours!