30 April 2009

Sweater woes...

I have been loving open front cardigans lately. Anthro had a nice array of them, just in time for the indecisive weather we've been having. You can never be sure how the temperature might change while out, and then what the temperature will be like inside wherever you will be. These are great because they are warm, but not too warm, can be worn over almost anything, and are easily stashed away in a purse.
Last week, I found this pattern. Since I have already spent money on buying a few from Anthro, I decided to try my hand at making one. They seem simple enough, right? I bought some wonderful yarn from KnitPicks - a pima cotton and modal blend. Perfect texture and weight for spring/summer. I got the yarn and cast on this past Saturday and had the whole back piece of a size small finished by Tuesday! Yesterday, I started on the left front piece and... DOOM! The pattern all of a sudden gets confusing; lots of "AT THE SAME TIME"s and weird stuff that doesn't seem to match up. So I drew out the instructions, row by row and what do you know? The math doesn't add up. Fortunately, I do have the back piece to use as a guide and I was smart enough to record exactly how many rows I did, where I made increase and decreases. New plan; use the back to make the fronts. Do you think it'll work?

29 April 2009

Rain, rain, wash the pollen away!

Our summer days have been temporarily replaced by rainy, somewhat drear-some weather. The silver lining is a great one; the rain is going to relieve us of the 1600+ ppi pollen count. Phewf! In celebration of the hot weather yesterday (and knowing the forecast for today), T and I decided to have our old favourite summery dinner. We came up with the recipe for this delicious and nutritious tuna pasta in college. It's the perfect, light, cool summer meal; especially when followed by some slices of yummy watermelon. Here's the recipe:

Tuna Pasta (college style)
Makes 6 large servings

1 box whole wheat twirly pasta (or some other shape that will hold the sauce well)
2 cans tuna, drained and rinsed
1 large bell pepper (any colour) diced
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
2 T dijon mustard
3 T French mustard (the kind that comes in the yellow squeeze bottles)
1/4 c Italian dressing

To Make:
1) Cook the pasta according to box instructions.
2) Meanwhile, drain and rinse the tuna, and dice the pepper.
3) In a large bowl (enough to hold all the ingredientes), mix the 2 mustards with the dressing.
4) Drain and rinse the pasta in cold water, then add all of it to the dressing bowl.
5) Toss to coat and then add the pepper pieces and peas.
6) Serve at room temperature, or chilled. Enjoy!

27 April 2009

Is it summer already?

Not quite, but it certainly feels like it! We had record highs this weekend, and it was great! My "babies" got an extra half hour outside on the playground today, so they are tuckered out. I hope this weather keeps up so that they can keep getting extra play time.

T and I spent a very nice weekend together, getting a lot of errands done in preparation for the Big Project (the new floors - yay!). We checked out a nice, little, year-round farmer's market in Oakton. We got some yummy, local, organic sausage for us, Virginia wine and a head of hydroponically grown lettuce for our shed-ful friend. In fact, I'm hoping to use this tutorial to see if I can keep the lettuce growing!

Yesterday, we packed away our winter clothes, purged some and took a load of items over to our local thrift store. It felt great to pack the car full of things we no longer need! One of the things was T's old stereo from high school. It was great until the volume dial ceased to understand how to lower the volume. We also listed more than 50 books on Amazon. Many of the books are good summer reads - we've already sold 12!

The warmer weather is certainly a nice change. It's starting to spark my creative juices; so be on the look out for some new projects coming soon.

22 April 2009

Spring is shedding season

Sometimes after a difficult day, the best thing to do is to just go home and pet the bunny. Bunnies are good at giving their humans fresh perspective and the petting is really very therapeutic. This evening, Tuzi reminded me that Spring is shedding season. That means he's getting rid of his old coat and getting a shorter, softer, new one. He wants me to get rid of my old, heavy winter worries and move on to sunnier, happier new thoughts. Don't focus on the unknowns and potentially bads, think about all the wonderful things this new season will bring!

Spring is also the season for cleaning, and T and I have begun preparations for a massive, overhaul-style cleaning of our apartment. We got the go-ahead for replacing all of our wall to wall carpeting, throughout the whole place, with beautiful new hardwood flooring! Not only will it be great for my newly developed (and hopefully soon to be going away) asthma and allergies, but it will also vastly increase the attractiveness of our apartment. Sure, the week our apartment is turned upside down and packed away will be crazy (especially since I'll be working still), but it will be SO wonderful to be on the road to long-term continued healthiness. Just in time for summer!

16 April 2009

Little things

Sometimes, when the weather is dreary, you have to focus on the little things to keep away the grouchies. Take this photo for example. This orange thing is a little piece of plastic that you pull off of an ink cartridge before you put it in the printer. Doesn't it look so happy? It's like a little orange guy, so happy to have a function in life; even though he'll probably get tossed in the recycling bin.

In other news, I've started to feel like my crafty mojo is coming back. It got pretty "quashed" for a while there when other things were occupying my time (and mind). Even though the past few days have been rainy, it's been good for crafty ideas. Besides that, T and I bought some really wonderfully scented candles at Anthro over the weekend which have been making our house smell like spring.
Anyway, here's one of the fruits of my newfound craftiness. Sorry for the less than lovely photos; it's naptime so I'm working with less than lovely photographing conditions. A little bunny pouch for storing goodies and keeping bags tidy. I borrowed the tail idea from this great pattern. I made one of those pencil pouches for Madre's birthday last week. It turned out quite well. Unfortunately, the lining of the pouch is pretty small so it doesn't hold a whole lot of pencils. I made another one last night for my friend Emily, and I tried to fix that a little. I made the ears little pockets, with opeinings at the top for storing all important chapstick. :) You get a sneak peek of something else I'm working on too; see it up there in the top right corner? Any guesses?

I made a new ironing board cover for myself last night also. The old one was pretty yucky. Somehow it acquired brown stains which would occasionally transfer themselves to whatever was being ironed. Besides that, the padding was pitifully thin causing the grid underneath to show through with vigorous ironing. The new cover is made completely with thrifted materials; pretty (partially sun faded or bleached?) pink print decorator's fabric and some kind of cotton string. I'll have to get a photo of it tonight.

Finally, as promised many moons ago, here's a link to our photos from Disney. I'm working on grabbing the professional PhotoPass ones from the Disney site.

07 April 2009

I'm so excited!

I received an acceptance letter from the Montessori certification school I applied to for this summer! I didn't send in my final piece - the dreaded Personal Statement - until the Weds. we left for Disney World. But I got a call from the Center Director last Monday hinting that my packet would be in the mail soon. Thursday night, T brought up the mail with my packet in it! I've already ordered all of my books, minus one that is out of print which I am considering just borrowing.
So, I have another full school year of getting "love letters" (and drawings) from little friends! I can't wait to get started making my original lessons and reading everything about Maria Montessori and her genius program. These days, since I've been back to my regular schedule of being with the children in the afternoons, I realise how much I did miss them. Some of them can be a handful at times, but we haven't had any major outbursts (yet... I hope I haven't just jinxed us) and it's so relaxing to watch them napping. The best part is waking them up one by one and seeing each one wake up with a big smile; refreshed and ready to play the afternoon away!