Thursday, December 18, 2008

Off to Washington for a white Christmas!

We are all packed and ready to go. All we need now is an airplane. David is so excited about seeing snow, and if it weren't for his three finals in less than two days he might have already left without us for Washington. We have big big family plans for this little girls first awake Christmas and Hannukah. Also I can't wait to touch base with all my friends <3 We will definitely post pictures and stories when we get back. I can't wait to hear everyone's Christmas stories too!

As far as the crafty night I was talking about a few posts early, it is looking like Friday night will be our night. I'm thinking about starting with just twice a month. Hopefully we can have our first craft-together The second Friday in January im thinking 7pm. Even if it will just be Jenny and Me. But of course everyone is welcome. Just bring any portable craft project you are working on, knit, crochet, needle felt, hand sew, embroidery, jewelry... whatever! If you haven't got a project to work on but still want to come bring yourself and maybe we can help you find a new project. Let me know if you are interested.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 12, 2008

birthday parcel <3 <3 <3

love love looooooooooooooooove surprises. especially surprises with cookies and chocolate. oh bailey, you know me too well.
another homemade christmas gift to check off the list. (the list that seemed to go on forever)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

handmade christmas 2008

here is a peek at what i've been doing

PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketbellas beanbags setcaffine sleevecranberry orange vodkaPhotobucket

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

2 weeks... really?

So it has been two weeks since i've last posted anything, and really, it has just flew by! After a rocky morning, im sitting sipping a very strong cup of coffee hoping to "start over" after nap time. Im trying to slow things down and really enjoy all the wonderful things going on around me. Also, being more mindful of my everyday interactions is top on my list. Deep breath.

Handmade Christmas is proving to be more work than I orginally planned for. I still get excited about coming home from work and finishing up a project or two at night. It makes me feel like one of santas elfs. If only I had some elf friends to work with.

Im thinking about starting up a craft club here in the Meyerland area. I miss my crafty friends in Washington and comparing and sharing projects. This will be top priority after Christmas break. Also I plan to start doing more embroidery. I love seeing pictures of peoples homes with their work hanging in embroidery hoops all over their walls. (If anyone is interested in join, and possibly meeting Thursday or Saturday nights please comment here or get in touch with me. Basicly we will get together to work on our own projects, compare notes, chat, and show off our handmade goodness.)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

making baking fun

So sometime last week, or the week before, I had a serious pizza dough making disaster. Since then I have been doing a lot more baking (if you know me, you know Im not a baker). I've been sticking with recipes I know well to build up my baking confidence and this morning I felt like venturing out.

Homemade crackers! and boy were they good! I skipped the holiday spice breakfast muffins all together and went straight for the crackers. mmmmm....

autumn crackers
autumn crackers

This is my attempt to sticking with the small local business thing. I don't know of any local cracker companies, do you? I have decided to go to Whole foods and pick up some locally made tofu. I am seriously craving some tofu-E goodness.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Spicy Pumpkin Raisin Bread (from Enduring Harvests)

1 1/2 cups fresh pumpkin, cooked and pureed, or canned solid-pack pumpkin puree
1/2 cup honey, maple syrup, or sugar
1/2 melted butter or corn oil
2 eggs, beaten slightly
1/2 cup milk
1/2 raisins or currants
1/2 cup butternuts or black walnuts, chopped
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 fine yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350
Place the pumpkin puree in a medium sized bowl and add the honey, meted butter, and beaten eggs, stirring well with each addition. Stir in the milk, then add the raisins or currants, and butternuts of black walnuts.
Measure the dry ingredients into a large bowl and make a big well in the enter. Carefully pour in the blended wet ingredients, stirring carefully and blending well without overworking the batter.
Pour the batter into a well-greased 6x9 inch loaf pan. Bake for one hour or until a toothpick or knife insert in the center or the load comes out clean. Remove to cooling rack for 10 minutes, then slide a clean blade around the edges f the loaf to loosen it. Turn the steaming loaf onto a board or rack to cool completely. Serve hot or wrap up and serve days later for great flavor and fragrance.

I had to post this to make sure I don't lose it!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Crisabella's (crazy) good idea of only shopping small business or local for a whole month

so why wouldn't i accept a challange? life would just be too easy without these hoops i make myself jump through.

So it has been one week since we hopped on board. (we are late for everything) SO far everything with the exception of groceries seems to be in normal working order. I have a feeling farmers markets and local (NOT whole foods) grocery stores will take me awhile. I don't have any plan to go back to big business(whole foods) if I can make this work. So I have to make this work! Last week I went to the Centeral City Co-op
farmers market at Discovery Green Park(Which is currently in a lot of trouble with nursing mamas of Houston - another post.) I liked this farmers market a lot but it just isn't really practical being downtown and only open during rush hour traffic. Saturday I headed over to the Urban Harvest
farmers market which I loved! It felt more like a farmers market should. What does that mean? Im not really sure. Bigger. More diverse? Maybe. The only problem I had with it was that most of it isn't organic. What is more important organic or local? I don't know! You tell me! The best part about the Urban Harvest market, if you ask me, is Cheesy Girl. All her cheeses are 100% Vegetarian meaning she doesn't use animal rennet. Infact I believe she said she didn't use any rennet. I don't know how that is possible in the cheese making processes but I don't really care either because her goat cheese was soo delicous.

I know this would be easier in my home town of Federal Way WA because we have a lot more small business earth/health friendly grocery stores. Its time for me to stop being lazy and find what I can do here! Atleast I know I can keep up this small and local business only challange when I get to Washington this winter AND this summer. Ohhh me. I need to start thinking about Houston more.

Also we searched far and wide... just kidding, David insisted on going with a small local DSL provider. We have been anti-comcast and anti-att for what feels like forever so this seemed like the natural choice. It fit in well with our small business challange. (Yey, David is all about this challange!) Twenty five bucks a month for a fast not throddled DSL line seems very reasonable to me. Thank you... uhh I forgot your name you silly small business! If anyone is interested in knowing the name of the company I can ask David.

P.s. it has been cold here. i think its real cold. (not the fake kind i usually laugh at people for wearing big coats for here in houston) im not sure, it has been a few years since i've felt real cold. it's been as low as 42 outside and 60 inside. if you have some insight on this, please fill me in!

P.s.s. I making the challange next month.... I think it will go something like this.... No meat eating! ok ok Thats too hard maybe only small farm meat eating. ok ok I will give it more thought!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Mama and baby's day home together

So we were instructed to stay home all day from 8am to 8pm to wait for the dsl man to come hook up our dsl. Normally mama and baby would be itching to get out around 11am. This was not the case yesterday. We had a day of what we, in preschool, would call parallel play. We both played, sometimes with the same things, independently next to each other. I think it might have been the weather that had us both in such mellow moods. It felt like a real Western Washington kind of day which put me in a mood I can't really describe.

Things just slowed down.
seattle like day in houston

I did a little baby hat knitting
homey comforts
(more pictures to be posted as soon as I wrap up the finishing touches)

and Isabella did a little baby one year old home destroying
exploring kitchen drawers

then I started some mama home destroying
thinking room
(I swear those piles are organized)

All in all, we had a good day home together and Im wishing we could spend more days like this. Im loving this little giggly, curious, mama-running-to little girl my baby turned into.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

cleaning the sewing/crafting/thinking/tv/guest room

Yes we just had a birthday and have no shortage of clothes. But I couldn't help myself. I was putting away all my fabric, fabric scraps, fabric accessories, and old clothes needing to be re purposed into their new home, (yes! they have a home! in a room devoted to them!) when I came across this old shirt and instantly saw something new.

old tshirt

So I am not a pattern follower or a very good direction taker. I took a chance sewing knit for the first time and it came out... not horrible!

repurposed tshirt dress

She wore the dress all day and rolled around in some dirt, spilled passion tea down the front of her and mama didn't even a blink an eye because really that dress didn't cost a thing. I'm on a re purposing old t-shirt mission now.

Sometimes avoiding doing your chores makes beautiful things! (Im pretty sure that is how Isabella was made too)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

In my life time:

08 election

Over come with joy. It's time for change!

Monday, November 3, 2008

In search of seeds!

Oh my goodness we have green beans! Don't ask me how these little guys made it through a hurricane and a transplant and look so pathetic and small yet are still producing food for me. Boy were they delicious! I can't wait to try again hopefully without the troubles we faced this time around.
first green beans big
Noah had been begging me all day to pick and eat the green beans and kept asking me when he could help me plant some new plants. It was so heart warming to see him so excited about something so simple like growing green beans. (Do you think he could have gotten that from me?) I can't wait to share that with Isabella when she is old enough.

Things are calming down here, finally. I almost feel like things are back to normal. The chances of us being in Washington for the summer is looking greater and greater. We will know for sure by Nov. 11th! I really am looking forward to spending more time with my family and friends. My sister said she might come home form Israel after all and Bailey may be home from Germany by then. David is going to have a really hard time getting me back to Houston.

Tomorrow is election day! I'm embarrassed and excited to say this will be my first voting experience. I felt no passion about the last election and felt like a vote for either candidate wouldn't have been in my interest. This last year has proven to be a political growing experience for me. I am very excited about my vote for president and very excited about voting locally. I guess this officially makes me a Houstonian(Firefox says this isn't a word psh).

Happy voting everyone!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Hello Halloween, you snuck up on me!

After recovering from family in town, in-laws, Isabella's birthday, getting settled into our new place, and the stomach bug, Halloween kind of snuck up on me! Isabella wasn't quite ready for trick or treating this year and I have to keep telling myself she probably didn't mind that she didn't have a super cute homemade costume. I still can't help but wish I had my marbles together and whipped something up. Oh well. There is always next year. I think im going to get started soon. Our original Idea was to go as geishas and David was going to be a Japanese business man. Buuuuut the wig didn't fit and the makeup looked HORRIBLE and of course I didn't have a backup plan AND I didn't try anything out until 15 minutes before we were walking out the door. Thank goodness for David and his great last minute ideas!

Here are a few pictures of her first Halloween party and what we did end up wearing:
halloween small 5
Our quick but still fun game of "pumpkin pumpkin, who has the pumpkin?" Isabella is helping mama.

halloween small 4
Our halloween portrait. Frightening!

halloween car ride
Can you guess what we are? and I mean besides ridiculous.

I went as a hippie artist, David is my corporate sponsor and Isabella is our love child. I know it is a stretch. We had a really hard time this year.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It never fails!

Less than 30 minutes after I put the diapers in the wash Isabella poos! No more blogging. It is diaper changing time!

Friday, October 24, 2008

I must have fallen asleep

My little precious baby girl just turned one. ONE! Can I even call her baby anymore? She got new big girl shoes, new big girl pants and new big girl shirts. She looks twice as big as she did running around in nothing but a diaper. I miss the baby she was already and am very much looking forward to meeting the little girl she turns into. Mama and papa bought her two new toys for her birthday. We couldn't decide on her one birthday gift from the both of us. I can't help but think this will be how it is every birthday.

Tomorrow we go for our first professional portraits. I'm bringing along her hand crafted birthday rocking chair. (will be posting pictures soon) I think we have already filled up many a memory cards between all our visitors! We've been busy these last couple of days with Isabella's Grandma, Nanna, Bubby and Zaidy who are all in town buying, playing and napping with her (and giving mama a well needed break.) Her Monkey Jeff just showed up tonight and we are getting ready for a big family birthday party!

Keeping up with a one year old is a whole new challenge. Wish me luck in staying patient and mindful in this next year.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Things we learn from children

I hear this a lot "We learn so much from our kids". I have always wondered what parents really meant by it and what kind of things they are learning. Things I've learned since having a baby: be more patient, slow down, plan ahead more(I'm still working on this one). Last night I learned something from her and not just, well, because of her.

isabella hard at work

We are near the end of what I call the worst move ever. No planning ahead. No packing. No organizing. No time. And little help. Last night as we finished packing up the last of the boxes at the old apartment, Isabella and I step outside to avoid a melt down while David loaded the cars. I quickly pick up a stick and some rocks and start showing Isabella different things she can do with them(Still in "hurry hurry avoid a melt down" mode). She quickly grasps onto the idea of playing with the sticks and rocks and continues, seemingly, on her own. As I slowly stand up to back away, she comes quickly to my legs and starts pulling on my pants whining for me to pick her up. I sit down again and this time really engage in playing with the rocks and sticks. Isabella and I sat there for 35mins at least piling up rocks and clearing paths. I thought to myself, this is really relaxing. This is the most relaxed I have been in probably a month. We were just sitting, playing, collecting, spilling, scraping, and piling and yet it felt so good. Good to not think about two rents for two months, or breaking leases, or job interviews, or grocery shopping, or anything other than sitting and playing. I look forward top more of these moments. I am going to need them these next two weeks.

potted garden

So our newly put together garden is being slowly taken apart and moved to our new apartment. We have no private courtyard but we do have three balconies. I know it seems excessive but I think I will be able to get a few potted vegetable plants going before it is too late. I transferred the basil without any problems and he seems to be as happy as ever in his new home. The green beans, I am afraid, will not be making it. They had a short and very inspirational life in our little garden and in some weird way I will morn them. Davids newly sprouted potatoes have not been transplanted yet because I ran out of containers. I will be updating more about my container gardening finds soon.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

update on our living situation/excuses for not blogging more

Ok so here is a shortened version of what has happened since Ike:

We leave two days before Ike to in-laws and stay for 5 days. Come home to water infested moldy apartment. Leave to friend's one bedroom apartment for 5 days. Go to hotel for 7 days (yey for space), and back to friend's apartment for 5 days. Move to other friends big house for going on a week and a half(yey our own bedroom AND a stove to cook with.)

[that is a lot of moving and relocating]

A week ago after battling with the apartment managers we have given up and found a new apartment. Hopefully we will be moving in this weekend! Finding this apartment was no easy task. Between home foreclosures (which are popping up all over the neighborhoods out here) and people being displaced because of the hurricanes, nice apartments at affordable rates in good neighborhoods are few and far between. and when we would find a nice one.... they have no openings for weeks. Normally I would never leave finding a new apartment to the last min. but we have no choice and no where to live somewhat permanently.

I am so torn on what to do about breaking our lease and losing our deposit at our current apartment. The owner and managers are in agreement that there is nothing wrong with our apartment and in fact went and washed all the mold off the walls and repainted them. They told me there was no mold there and that they did not want to see pictures because they were in the apartment already and saw for themselves.
They also informed me I am obviously making this up and over reacting. As a parent, I take my daughters health very VERY seriously and refuse to put her in a moldy apartment and even risk her getting sick or her allergies acting up again. I can't rent from people who accuse their tenants of lying and then try to cover up any evidence of the walls being soaked all the way through. I have tried being patient and giving them time and the benefit of the doubt but I feel like because we were not calling them nonstop from the beginning they are not taking us seriously. I never thought I would ever say or do anything like this but I really feel like we are being taken advantage of and we may be seeking professional legal help to fight them for our rent and our deposit.

Wish us luck with these new apartments. I will post pictures of it soon. It is a two story town home with two bedrooms and twice as many square feet. If anyone has a bed they are looking to get ride of.... we are now taking donations for the guest room/office/craft room. hehehe craft room!

Yey for fall and cooler nights and mornings. Yey for all the acorns and pine cones on the ground and pumpkins at the store. I can't wait to take Isabella to the pumpkin patch! Yey for local farms! I don't remember much of last fall, mostly because I was on bed rest a good portion of it. I know it wont be as beautiful as Western Washington but I do hope for some color!

Oh and most of all.... YEY for fall arts and craft projects!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Isabella loves being outside. I know, what kid doesn't?

This post was inspired by a conversation I was trying to have with Crisa today. We have the hardest time starting and finishing a conversation with 12+ kiddos under the age of 4 running around.

When I was growing up going to grandmas house meant:

10+ acres (excluding the neighbors land)of forest to roam through
wild strawberries and fresh blue corn
visits from dozens of different birds all easily viewed from the breakfast table
pretend houses/forts/schools made from trees
life threatening ice skating
snow covered hills
deer and rabbit tracks with the occasional siting
what seemed like endless trails and tire swings
cows, horses and chickens within walking distance

Since this wont be available to Isabella through her grandparents I feel like it is very important for me to introduce her to nature and a more natural kind of living.

The longer I live in the city the farther away I feel from my "roots." Roots as in where I belong. I hope to seek out new skills this year. I really want to learn to grow my own food (someday care for my own animals) and finally cross over to buying more directly from local farmers and less from grocery stores importing from all over the world. I guess I'm trying to make a new years resolution.

I am always more refreshed mentally at the start of autumn. The middle of winter is really a horrible time to make a year long resolution. Anyone else? A new autumn resolution?

[more Ike]
I have to add there has been a highlight to Ike. We have gotten to know our neighbors a little bit more and even spent a couple hours laying on a blanket in the front lawn visiting. I look forward to seeing them next time our power goes out!

We check out of the hotel tomorrow. It has been nice to have a large room to our selves with free already made breakfast, but i definitely will not miss eating out of a microwave. Back to Mirna's we go. Yey for stoves and home cooked meals! delicious flour tortillas! and home made beans!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

6 Days After Ike

I decided I NEED something fresh. Anything. I'm not picky, just something not from a can, a box or a bag. And this is what I find in the produce section of Super Target, a block from the hotel:


I ended up buying a veggie tray with what some people might call fresh veggies. bleh! Everyday the stores get more and more full and restaurants are slowly opening. It depends on what part of town they are in. Montrose is still closed for the most part and without power.

The power came back on at our apartment and we have been informed that the owner will be repairing the damages and has already started! They say its OK to live in the apartment while they are repairing but I don't think we will move back in until after the repairs. It is just too wet and too moldy for anyone let alone a baby with allergies. So we are going to stay in the hotel until Tuesday and probably go back to Mirna's apartment (because she makes the best food mmmmmmmmmm) until they finish.

ike hotel fun

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Time for a mental break from Ike

I am dieing for a creative outlet! I sculpted David's muffin and banana breakfast into a lily this morning while thinking why did I leave my sewing machine in Austin?!? No creative outlet and a unliveable apartment equals a nesting itch I just can't scratch. I decided to further torture myself by buying a Martha Stewart's Fall magazine and drool at all the adorable do it your self projects. It made me yearn for fall that much more. I can't wait for pumpkin carving, costume making, fall colors, and layer wearing!


Bailey and Scott are headed back to the states! yey! yey! yey! They might even be back by Christmas! We might see them in a couple months! Who can think about hurricanes and moldy apartments when Bailey and Fall are on their way?

Apartment PIctures. Yuck!


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Our First Glances

Upon our arrival we discovered the bedroom and closet were very damp(as we expected.) My clothes along with everything else in the closet were wet and sitting in the heat with no ventilation for 3 days. Needless to say this did not smell pleasant. The bedroom was under 2+ inches of water for a day or so. The floors will definitely have to be replaced. Our upstairs neighbor's ceiling is in his bed. They have patched up the roof with a tarp to keep more moisture from coming in, but mold has already started to form where the water was sitting. We don't have it nearly as bad as he does.
The clothes and shoes are washable, along with my curtains and other cloth things that were damages. We do have insurance so hopefully that will cover everything that isn't washable. Our bed frame, dressers, laptop(recently reformatted so we have everything on another hard drive), a few pieces of artwork, a stroller, two printers, a antique spice dresser, mattress and something else I can't remember will hopefully be covered by our renters insurance. As of now we do not know where we will be living but have more than enough friends to mooch off of until we settle.

Our cats are in Austin with David's mother so they don't have to worry about being moved around so much. Everyone who has offered to house us has a big dog. We decided it will be easier for them, us, and the people who house us.

It will probably be at least a week before we know if they are going to repair the apartment or not. either way when things get settled our property management will be finding us a place to stay. We are already looking into new apartments as a last resort. We really really have it good at our place. Great baby-friendly neighbors, great location, quiet, and no cockroaches!

More pictures coming soon of the upstairs neighbor's apartment. The camera was left at a friends house.

Isabella is taking more and more steps. Check out this video and stop thinking about that stupid hurricane!

Video of Ike's trail

Here is a look at our drive way and parking lot:


Monday, September 15, 2008

Ike update

Our neighbor called us late last night to let us know the roof is caving in and the stairwell to the apartments above us is collapsing. We are headed back now (8am Sept. 15th)to salvage what we can. Isabella is going to stay with Mirna(Jacob's speech therapist who specializes in children infant to 3 years) for a few hours while we go look at the apartment. Mirna has power and water so Isabella wont be in any danger. We plan on taking a lot of pictures for insurance purposes and will be posting them as soon as possible. There is no gas shortage in Houston and we have places to stay with power. My dad has found us a hotel near home for 4 nights Thursday-Sunday with internet so I'll be updating Thursday at the latest.

Wish us luck!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Yikes it's Ike!

I'll be using this blog for the time being to update family and friends on our hurricane situation.

We left early Thursday to avoid evacuation traffic and made it to Austin painlessly. No traffic and no gas shortages at the time we left. We have stocked up here in Austin on water and nonperisable foods for when we do return. We are going to wait in Austin until we know there will be no problem obtaining gas and the road ways are clear.
As of now our apartment is not liveable. Our neighbors who stayed behind have checked out our apartment and informed us that there is a few inches of water in our bedroom due to structural damage to the apartment above us. We do have a place to stay in Houston when we do go back until our apartment is put back together.
We can't get a hold of our insurance company until atleast Monday and even then are not sure flooding is covered in our renters insuance package. I will continue to post here to keep everyone updated to save airwaves for people who need it for emergency.

ike driveway damage

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Garden Update

Its only been two weeks and I've almost completely lost motivations for this new garden of mine. How sad. Jenny gave us some organic bush bean seeds and I am desperate for them to sprout and motivate me. Again. I've promised myself I will water those little seeds everyday until they sprout! I've also planted a small 4in basil plant in there and boy was he happy for his watering today. I guess I was thinking the amount of rain we had two weeks ago would hold him over. Obviously, I have a lot to learn about gardening.

Isabella and I were getting stir crazy today so we walked over to the Children's Museum. We spent 3 hours! yes 3! in the tot spot and definitely got our 5 dollars worth! I can't believe how much has changed in the last month with her. She is so independent and social! This picture is of her doing my favorite thing:


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

weekend fun

What a crazy weekend!


It started with a birthday bash! Quickly followed by a drive to Austin. We spent the weekend with my in laws. Well, I brought my sewing machine and spent most of the time with it. Finally ended with no hurricane in site and a nice drive home in the middle of the night. Thank you husband for being such a great driver so I could be such a great sleeper.

I made a couple more tops and am strongly considering opening an sellers account for simple baby dresses and reusable produce bags and whatever other simple projects I happen to fall upon. My (borrowed) working machine and I are getting along swimmingly and i am feeling like I need to treat it to a good professional cleaning.

fall dresssummer dressdress

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sew Fun

I swear I didn't plan this....
Yesterday Isabella gave up her morning nap and decided to sleep for 3 hours (3 HOURS!) in the afternoon. Not knowing how long she would nap I worked as fast as I could on this.... and ALMOST finished before she woke.

reversable shirt 4reversable shirt 2

reversable shirt 3reversable shirt
More crafts to be posted soon.