Monday, August 27, 2012

Lev's Birth Story

As you may have figured out, much to my surprise and delight this little guy showed up three weeks early on Saturday August 11th! Motherhood feels amazing and I'm loving every single moment with him. Isn't he just perfect?!
If you're interested in our birth story just click "read more" below.
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Simple Carrot Salad

This is my entire carrot harvest of summer 2012.

Looks kind of sad when you think of it like that, but I prefer to appreciate the fact that I got one big bowl of sweet crunchy fresh carrots rather than none at all. The glass has been pretty well half full around these parts lately, thanks to this little beauty:
With him strapped to my chest or asleep on Daddy, I've finally been able to venture back into our overgrown forgotten garden and harvest some goodies, rip out some oldies, and plant some newbies.

The bebe has also been such a great reminder to slow down and stop and smell the roses. Life takes on such a different pace with him around and everything holds such a different meaning.
Which is why I just devoured and enjoyed this little carrot salad for what it was in the moment, and nothing more.

The recipe is from Everybody Likes Sandwiches, check it out here.
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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Knitted Panda Bear Hand Puppet

Well this might not be the most handsome Panda Bear on the block but he's still pretty darn cute. Kind of got a gnarly goofy thing going on. Hopefully my son will be charmed by him rather than freaked out. Fingers crossed!
I used a pattern from Susan Anderson's book "Itty Bitty Toys" , a machine washable merino yarn, and then lined it with a bright turquoise cotton. 

I'm already thinking he needs a little friend. Maybe a cat, a rabbit, or a pig? So many cute possibilities! 

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Striped Fingerless Gloves

I think it's about time I knit myself something, don't ya think? I've been making so many handknit goodies for this baby o' mine and the closer I get to his arrival I realize I should really starting making myself a few sweet little things for fall, because clearly I'm not going to have much time to do this in the coming months.  

I've been wanting to make fingerless gloves for quite some time now. I love the idea of a glove that is perfect for crisp fall days and I'm imagining that there'll be plenty of cool walks that will require free fingers to care for baby. My husband also made a good point that if my fingers do get cold I could probably slip then within the folds of a wrap as I wear baby around.

I used a pattern from Purl Bee (surprise! surprise!) and some merino that I originally bought for a baby blanket. I ended up altering the pattern and added some decreases to make it more of a fitted glove.
I was iffy about the length but they are actually the perfect length to meet the short sleeves of my favourite denim jacket. 
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Monday, August 6, 2012

Peach Icebox Cake

It's probably no surprise that I've been seeking out ways to keep cool lately. Despite still baking a fresh loaf of bread every other day, I'm really trying to keep the oven turned off during this heat.
I made a variation of this cake about a week ago that was so lackluster it's a wonder I tried again. I built it in a small but high sided dish (thinking it would be easier) and ending up using WAY too much whip cream. I used both peaches and plums and yet the cake was so bland and boring I couldn't quite believe it. 
This cake on the other hand is far from boring, far from bland and really quite delightful. I made it for dessert last night and am kicking myself for not having leftovers to snack on right now. 
Somehow despite all the cream this ends up tasting so light, and fresh while the coconut and almonds really round out the flavour. Pair that with a soft and pillowy texture, and in my books you've got a winner!

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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Soft Letters

I have a confession. 
I'm starting to get nervous. 

There are only 4 weeks until I become a parent and my life changes forever. 4 WEEKS!?
I feel like I've been waiting for this time in my life to come for years, yet now that I'm faced with it I CANNOT wrap my head around it. There was a while there around the 3rd-4th month of pregnancy, that I was rather freaked out and nervous about giving birth. Now I feel like labour and delivery aren't even on my radar of anxiety but the thought of caring for a child every second of the day has become my main source of butterflies.
I know this will pass and I'll be filled with all the excitement that is deep down under the anxiety, but it's still a tough pill to swallow at the moment. Thankfully I do have 4 long weeks left to enjoy as simply a wife and not yet a mother, and I plan doing more things for me while I still can.

But on the topic of more things for the babe...
This was another project inspired by Lotta Jansdotter's book "Simple Sewing for Baby". I've always been drawn to the idea of having a baby's name spelt out on a wall in their room and these fabric letters just felt more me, than say wooden letters. It was such a super simple and quick project that gives his room just a little more personality. 
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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Nursery Wall Decor

My baby's room is quickly coming together and it feels so great. With four weeks (or more!) to go until he arrives, I'm quite happy to have his room generally finished. Today I browsed Pinterest for more fun nursery craft ideas as the walls are still a wee bit emptier than I'd like. I found this great polka dot print idea on Apartment Therapy and decided to bring this idea into my son's room.

I had these tiny little canvases stashed away in my craft room for whats felt like years (can't even remember why I bought them in the first place) that seemed like the perfect vehicle for the paper polka dots.

I've put these on the wall near our changing table and hopefully the playful pops of colour will captivate his attention while we get down to the dirty business of all those diaper changes.
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Friday, August 3, 2012

Zucchini Chocolate Muffins

Zucchini season has hit my backyard and I couldn't be happier. I think in the last two weeks I've harvested 7 big beautiful zucchinis. Not a bad start eh? Most of them I have been diced and frozen but I've also made a batch of one of our guilty summer pleasures: Zucchini Fritters with Whipped Feta and how could I resist the allure of chocolate zucchini muffins? I was really looking for a recipe that was slightly healthier...but still quite chocolatey. It was truthfully hard to find but I think this was pretty much what I was looking for.

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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Knitted Teddy Bear

Here it is! My son's first teddy bear! Isn't it the cutest thing ever?! I've always wanted to make knitted baby toys and am not really quite sure why it's taken me so long. I found a great book last year by Susan Anderson called "Itty Bitty Toys" that really sparked an interest in me. She has the cutest patterns for simple hand puppets that I'd really love to make. Also one of my sisters-in-law sent me a great book on knitted toys that is sure to keep me busy for quite a while.

I used a Debbie Bliss pattern for this bear (found on Ravelry but can also be found in her book "Simply Baby") that I ended up really enjoying. The first part of the pattern was written quite strangely and I had to rip it out at least 4 times before I finally figured out what I was doing wrong. But other than that it knit up quite quickly and easily. There were many reviews on Ravelry stating that seaming it together was annoying or difficult but I really thought it was fine. I didn't want to overstuff it, but there are a few places (like it's head and snout) that could be fuller. 

I can just imagine this little bear being dragged along on all my son's adventures.

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Mushroom & Sausage Risotto

When you're home alone do you have different behaviour than when your partner is around? The question makes me think of Carrie from SATC and her "Secret Single Behaviour" theory, demonstrated by her eating saltines with grape jelly while standing in her kitchen reading fashion magazines. I truthfully don't think I have any remaining "Secret Single Behaviour" left after 7 years with my husband. I actually think that I had lived alone for long enough before meeting and moving in with him that it wasn't that easy to hide anything that would could have been considered "secretive" anyway.
But nowadays when the rare occasion comes along that I'm alone for days if my husband is away I have developed a new type of SSB: I eat food that I know he hates.
Like tuna sandwiches! And mushrooms!

I bought myself four baby portabello mushrooms at the market this week anticipating a few lonely meals but really had no specific dish in mind for them. Thankfully a little quick browsing on one of my go-to recipe blogs provided me with the perfect use for them.
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