Monday, 30 April 2012

Megapixel Monday

We're off today to check out some professional family photos which we had taken earlier in the month. I'm so excited to see them!

Meal plan

Last week:
Monday: Slow cooker chicken dish I want to try I forgot the cream for this, so it didn't happen. We hade Steak and veggies I think.
Tuesday: I'm at my work function so Dear Husband will have something from the freezer
Wednesday: Steak and veggies I can't remember if we did this or not...
Thursday: Freezer Bolognese I cooked up new Bolognese from frozen mince, and Dear Husband had it for dinner on Friday night too.
Friday: I'm out so again Dear Husband will sort himslf out. See above
Saturday: Steak and veggies Chicken curry from the freezer
Sunday: Slow cooker chicken curry Dear Husband cooked beef stir fry.

This week:
Monday: Steak and veggies
Tuesday: Freezer Bolognese
Wednesday: Steak and veggies
Thursday: BBQ chicken in the slow cooker
Friday: Beef stir fry
Saturday: Hot chook from the shop
Sunday: Slow cooker chicken curry

Coming up tomorrow is my May knitting series. I'm so excited! See you back here tomorrow.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Daycare packing list - updated

I blogged earlier about Chubs' and my packing lists to make sure we have everything we need for work/ daycare. In theory, and generally in practise, these mean that I don't need to drop Chubs off without everything she needs (although I often forget to pack a wet bag for her...) and that I'm not overflowing with milk but missing pump parts.

In a few months the list have changed though. We have been able to get Chubs down to one bottle at daycare (although she still feeds 3 - 6 times during the day when she's with me and 2 - 4 times overnight.) I'm also able to cope with only one pumping session at work which frees up a lot of time (ie, 15 mins which is HUGE) during my crazy busy day.

Here's the lists which are current now. I've also made a few annotations...

Night before jobs

- Chubs lunch - bottles + teat, breakfase, lunch, two snacks, biscuits, rusks, dummy

- Mummy lunch

- Batteries on charge The catch here is to actually DO this, not just to write it on the list...

- Ice packs in freezer

Chubs' daycare bag
Night before

- Sheet bag – top sheet, bottom sheet, bunny rug , white hair brush

- Drawstring with 6 cloth nappies, wet bag Add the wet bag in! Don't forget the wet bag!

- Spare clothes – long sleeved romper, onesie, singlet, jumper, socks

- 3 disposable nappies

Morning of

- Lunchbox

- Blankie (in sheet bag)

Mummy work gear
Night before

- Breast pump bag with flanges, diaphragm, valve, 1 bottle, 1 lid, 1 sealing disk, motor, battery pack

- Lunchbox

- Book bag

- Computer bag and charger!!!!

- Anything else?

Morning of

- Computer

- Keys + nametag

- Lunchbox – lunch, ice packs

- Breast pump – add batteries which you remembered to charge last night, didn't you...

- Anything else?

Friday, 27 April 2012

Saving money on maternity clothes

Maternity clothes can really suck the budget, which is a shame since you only wear them for such a short period of time. Here's a few tips to save money since you can't actually go nudie from four to nine months. Especially if you're still at work, it's still important to feel good about what you're wearing. Trackydacks and oversized t shirts really get old after a while.

A fairly obvious one is to not buy too many clothes. You won't get to wear them again after a few months (unless you follow some of the tips below.) I'm not fashion forward by any stretch of the imagination, so wearing the same clothes again and again didn't bother me too much, as long as I looked and felt well put together.

21 weeks

Have a think about what sort of clothes you need. Do you need work clothes, or more casual park clothes? I had no trouble finding t shirt type clothes frugally, but I really needed some more formal corporate wear. I found it hard enough to appear professional when I was vomiting constantly all day, so wearing proper business clothes was important to me. There's no point spend lots of money on t shirts if you're at work most of the time, and vice versa. Don't bother buying a nice formal dress if you don't have an event to wear it to.
Borrowing maternity clothes from a formerly pregnant friend or relative is a great option if it's available to you. I didn't know anyone from whom I could borrow, but many of my clothes are currently on loan to another friend who just had her little bundle a few weeks ago.

Seek out suitable non maternity clothes which you can wear after your baby is born. For the second trimester you may be able to get by on regular shirt a size or two larger than you usually wear, which may just be enough to get you by if you're finishing up at work early. It's best to avoid larger sized normal pants, though - they will be all the wrong size in all the wrong places. Maxi dresses and loose fitting tops may fit around your growing belly, especially if you alter any accessories like belts or straps. Keep an eye on the length of tops - often the top will be wide enough for your bump but not long enough. A belly band may help to extend the coverage.

32 weeks

As well as buying non maternity clothes for pregnancy, some maternity clothes can also be worn as regular clothes post pregnancy. Many of my pregnancy t shirts are just normal t shirts with a bit of extra length, and often maternity jeans can be adjusted and worn as normal jeans later.
Many maternity stores, online shops and department stores have maternity clothes which are also nursing tops. I've found the peep holes and/ or false front on these tops very very useful and most of my nursing tops have extra fabric in the belly - I've bought many of them after the bump was well and truly out, though.

Buying second hand was also a big saver for me, and not just financially. As I said above, I had trouble finding affordable corporate wear, so second hand eBay clothes rescued me there. I have no desire to pay $100 or more for a blouse - let alone one I was going to wear for only a few months - and these were the only ones I could find new. The second hand ones I got were of excellent quality and have been passed on to others as well. It is a bit hit and miss - I did get some items which we're suitable, but I think that's more to do with the pitfalls of online clothes shopping than the second hand nature of my clothes.

36 weeks (with an ice cream!)

If you're handy with a sewing machine, you may like to sew some new clothes or modify some existing clothes to suit your changing body. I don't have the seamstress skills to modify clothes - I probably would have ended up with a ruined outfit, but if your sewing skills (or a helpful friend's) are up to the task, then this would be a great saver. Some people sew maternity clothes from scratch, but to be honest I don't think that I would want to invest as much time into a project that I could only wear for a few months. Also, I was so sick during my pregnancy that it took everything I had to get me through the day doing the bare minimum; there was no way that sewing projects were going to get a look in. There are many other women, however, for whom this would be an excellent option, and despite what I just said I do find the idea of wearing an outfit you created around your body as you create a new person quite romantic and warm and fuzzy.

What other maternity clothes ideas do you have?


Thursday, 26 April 2012

Easy baby beanie or warm hat: Tutorial

This cute - as little beanie is a nap time project, if you can knit very fast! You may get it done in an hour, but most probably won't. Because it's so small, however, it's easy to bundle away and pick up again tomorrow.

This free pattern is a good project for beginners and for knitting for charity.

You will need:
- circular knitting needles, 6mm
- 8 ply yarn or two strands of 4 ply yarn. Doubled up baby yarn is excellent for this project.
- yarn needle and scissors

Knitting skills required:
- cast on
- knit stitch
- purl stitch (for ribbed brim only, not required for rolled brim)
- knitting in rows (for ribbed brim only, not required for rolled brim)
- knitting in the round
- decreasing

Cast on 54 stitches onto the circular needles.

ribbed brim (solid colour yarn)

rolled brim (varigated yarn)

For a rolled brim:
Knit one row. Join the knitting, being careful not to twist it. If you are new to knitting in the round, I recommend the ribbed brim. Keep knitting every row.

For a ribbed brim:
Work in rows for the first 8 rows.
Row 1: knit 2, purl 2. Repeat along row.

Row 2: purl 2, knit 2. Repeat along row.
Row 3, 5, 7: repeat row 1
Row 4, 6, 8: repeat row 2
Join the knitting, being careful not to twist it.
Row 9 and on: keep knitting in rounds

For both brims:
Knit main section
Keep knitting in the round until work reaches 12 - 15 cm. When it doubt, make it a bit longer as the brim can always be folded up if needed.

For both brims:
Begin decreasing
Decrease 9 stitches evenly across row. Continue to decrease in line each row until work can't get any smaller on the needles.

For both brims:
Finish crown
Cut yarn leaving a 50cm tail. Thread the yarn through the yarn needle. Slip each stitch off the needles on to the yarn needle. Pull tight to gather crown and tie off.

For ribbed brim
Finish brim
Use the yarn needle and the beginning tail to sew the short seam between the ribbing sides.

For ribbed brim
Finish brim
Secure beginning tail, trim, and roll up brim.

Ta da, all done!

This is the uncropped version of the above photo.
It was too cute not to post :)

These make a great inclusing in a baby gift pack, or you could give them to someone in need. If you want to make a larger beanie, try these instructions.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Party box

Chubs had her first invitation to a friend's birthday party recently. I also hosted my first kiddy birthday party for our beautiful niece, and I'm planning Chubs' upcoming party too. Needless to say I've got kids' parties on the brain! We've also had several other functions and adult's parties too, so I'm all cake-d out for the time being, but I think I'll recover quickly :)

I found myself starting a party box for all the leftovers. I've kept disposable tableware and cutlery before but I never seem to check what I have before I buy more since I need them so infrequently. I looked at my stuff today and I had three packs of disposable butter knives, each with one or two which had been used. I don't throw out left over balloons et cetera, but do you think I can ever find them again the next time I need them months or years later?

My new solution - the party box. I've put in all the left over disposables as well as party decorations like balloons, streamers, candles etc. I don't think I'll 'stock up' - it's only a small box intentionally since I really don't need heaps of party gear but it will help me to make use of what I do already have.

In it at the moment are streamers, balloons, candles, paper napkins and the like as well as all those knives - not buying them for a while!

I hope my system will allow for a better use of resources. Do you have the need for a party box? Does it work for you?

Monday, 23 April 2012

Monday musings

Well, our fortnight of 14 family events has drawn to a close and I think I can draw breath now before the next lot begins! This week I have a work function on Tuesday night, then Wednesday is a public holiday for ANZAC Day.

I spent a lot of time making kindy sheet sets over the last week. I think that a good way to maximise my time is to cut a lot of sheets out in one go, then sew separately. I had some Chubs free time this week to sew, but I spent much of it cutting and pinning. Cutting and pinning is something I can do when she is napping or asleep for the evening, but I really need her out of the house to sew since the sewing machine wakes her up. I got 14 sheet sets cut out and pinned on Saturday night, so I can sew them next time.

The laundry system fell down last week but otherwise seems to be going well. It's still the putting away that it the rate limiting step.

I did get a chance to go bridesmaids dress shopping Chubs-free on the weekend. We think we may have found a dress that suits the six of us (eeeep!) and will suit the bride's dress and the boys, too, but there's at lease one more shopping trip in store. It was heaps of fun though and we did see some beautiful dresses.

You know, I really don't know why I do meal plans, since I don't think we've stuck to one yet! Last week's plan:
Monday: steak and veggies - yes, the only meal of the week we stuck to the plan on!
Tuesday: Bolognese I have no idea what we ate on Tuesday, but I don't think it was bolognese. I will keep thinking... ETA It may have been steak.
Wednesday: out Nanny Tops came over to babysit so she had some freezer chicken curry and we had Thai at the restaurant for our family function.
Thursday: slow cooker chicken curry - I cooked up some Bolognese during nap time, but Dear Husband came home with a hot chook from the shop. This is exactly what the meal plan is supposed to avoid. We ate the chicken on Thursday night and had the Bolognese on Friday night.
Friday: chicken stir fry See above
Saturday: hot chook from shop Steak and veggies since we found a big pack of nice steaks at the shops
Sunday: beef stir fry Steak and veggies, we had steak left over from Saturday

This week:
Monday: Slow cooker chicken dish I want to try
Tuesday: I'm at my work function so Dear Husband will have something from the freezer
Wednesday: Steak and veggies
Thursday: Freezer Bolognese
Friday: I'm out so again Dear Husband will sort himslf out.
Saturday: Steak and veggies
Sunday: Slow cooker chicken curry

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Applique bib - tutorial

This is a lovely nap time or one evening project if you want something which can be done in a short space of time.

What you will need:

- bib to place your design on
- two small scraps of coordinating fabric -10cm by 10cm (4 in) will be plenty
- sewing machine and coordinating thread
- scissors
- circles to draw around, pencil

Firstly, draw and cut out two circles of different sizes of each of the fabrics. I used the tea cup and demitasse cup from our dinner set which gave nice proportions.

Pin the smaller circle on top, making sure it is centred.

Now stitch the smaller circle to the larger one. To do this, set your sewing machine to the widest zig zag stitch and the shortest stitch lenght. When you stitch it, line out the outside of the zig zag with the edge of the smaller circle. If you have the edge of the smaller circle in the middle of the zig zag, then it probably won't catch all the way around. (This is because of the circular cut and where the bias lies.)

Remove the pins, pull the threads through to the back and tie off. You need to do this now, since you won't be able to get to the back later.

Pin the two circles onto the bib. Make sure that the design in centered. I may have skipped this step on the green bib...

Sew the larger circle to the bib using the same method as before. Pull the threads through to the back, tie off and trim.

A beautiful bib, all finished in less than an hour. I teamed this green one with a drawstring bag to make a cute gift.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Purple carrots

A while ago we found purple carrots at the supermarket. I had seen them before from a relative who grew them, but I'd never seen them for sale in the supermarket before (or since).

The tasted like normal orange carrots, but creamier and a little bit sweeter. These were very, very juicy. They had a texture like beetroot as well - softer than orange carrots but still firm.

I cooked them up for Chubs by microwaving them with a little water, then I blended them up with the stick mixer and froze in ice cube trays. You can see how the pigment leeched into the water - it looks like beetroot juice here.

Chubs loved them and they froze well. I can't belive how strong the pigment is. As well as staining my hands, when mixed up it's practically impossible to see any other vegetable. Tonight she had purple carrots, pumpkin, green beans and chicken. When I mixed it together it looked like purple carrots with tiny bits of very purple chicken; the pigment is so strong.

That day I also bought some purple sweet potato - it must have been the day for purple vegetables at the supermarket! When I peeled the purple sweet potato, it was white on the inside.

It tasted much more like normal potato than orange sweet potato. To be honest, I wasn't too fussed on it. Chubs didn't mind it, but I only ever gave it to her when it was mixed with other veggies.

What less-than-common foods have you discovered?

Friday, 20 April 2012

Op shop suprise!

I've blogged about our awesome op shop/ thrift store before and I was not disappointed today. I got all of the following for $28.50.

- Baby activity walker for $5 in very good used condition. I really wanted one of these for Chubs so this was perfect.
- Black pinstripe trousers for work which fit perfectly. I often struggle to find well fitting pants so this was great.
- Brown and silver Zara blouse
- Blue and white striped blouse
- Chunky brown cardigan - perfect for breastfeeding. It will let me give my chunky grey cardigan a break this winter!
- Black leather shoes in good condition in exactly my size.
- Lightweight black cardigan - again I'm wearing a lot of cardigans at the moment since they are breastfeeding friendly.

A very good haul for $28.50! I didn't find anything for Chubs today, but Dear Husband found some good clothes for him earlier in the week including two jackets - one linen and one leather for $10 each - and a few shirts. My niece also found some things for herself and her daughter, as did my sister in law. The Vinnies had half price off all clothing this week and we certainly found a few bargains.

Money saving tips to remember for op shopping:
1. Is this an impulse buy? Do you really need it? Just because it's at an op shop doesn't automatically make it frugal.
Exception to Rule 1 - the proceeds from most op shops go to helping people; that's why they're run by charities. Sometimes I will spend more money at an op shop and view it as a donation, rather than a purchase.
2. Does it fit? No matter how good the condition and quality and how low the price, if it won't be worn then it's a waste of money.
Exception to Rule 2 - if it 's for a child, it's ok if the child can grow into it, but don't buy too far ahead.
3. Is the condition good enough for the price? Does it have all the pieces, or enough pieces to be functional? Sometimes things were given away, or priced low, for a reason. This is again why you shouldn't donate crap.


Thursday, 19 April 2012

Packing list for a weekend away

Over Easter, we were offered a last minute opportunity to go to the beach for the weekend. It was wonderful (despite the car breaking down and illness all round.)

We went to the Gold Coast which is about a one/ one and a half hour drive from here depending ont he traffic. It took us longer, taking two calls to RACQ roadside assistance to get there. Because we drove, we didn't have to worry too much about how much gear we took. I didn't know what shops were nearby or where they would be, I didn't want to pay convienence store prices and it was a public holiday so we took all our food down with us. We went shopping on Thursday here for food including a bag of ice and then we put all the cold food in the esky.

Here's the packing list that I worked to, for Dear Husband, 10 month old Chubs and me. We were staying in a holiday apartment with a kitchen - obviously if we were in a hotel room or camping or something it would be different.

4 onesies/ outfits
3 ls rompers
1 jumper
3 pair socks
Shoes (not because she needs them, but because they are cute!)
2 bunny rugs
Sun hat
Swimming hat
Swim ring

Three beach towels
Nappy bag
Disposable nappies (I didn't take cloth)
Pack of wipes
Porta cot
Bed rail
Sheets for porta cot

Some jars of baby food - it was 'bad mother food' while we were on holidays :)
Small plastic containers
Face washer
Water bottle


My clothes and gear
Dear Husband's clothes and gear

It was a lot of gear and the car was full, but we did use it all. There wasn't anything that I though we shouldn't have bothered with, although we certainly could have culled a lot more if we needed to for space reasons.


Wednesday, 18 April 2012

What's in a name bib: tutorial

I made a few bibs like this recently as gifts. They are super easy and super cute! I put the names onto bibs, but like the Heart Two Heart shirt you could put it on a shirt, a bag or anything else which would suit.

You will need:
- Something to place the name onto (a bib, a t shirt, a bag etc)
- knit fabric to cut up. An old t shirt is perfect, as long as the fabric isn't too thin or stretched. This is great for a t shirt which has a stain or a hole in one area only.
- thread in a coordinating or contrasting colour
- sewing machine or needle to hand sew
- scissors
- ruler (optional)

Firstly you need to cut out your letters. You could print off a template if you like; however I just free handed it, I cut a strip 7cm wide and then cut the small letters out of that (in this case, a, r and r). Out of a 10cm strip I cut out the large letters (H, y).

Arrange the letters on the bib until you're happy, then pin them. I recut a few letters to adjust the proportions until I was happy.

Stitch around the outside of each letter. I used a sewing machine, but you can hand stitch it if you like. My pi day shirt shows you what the hand stitching can look like. The knit fabric won't fray, which is why this works well.

Take out the pins, pull the threads through to the back and tie off.

Ta da! You're done.

Please let me know if you tried this tutorial, and if there's anything else you think I should add to it.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Nap time projects

I am going to start posting tutorials, ideas and suggestions for nap time projects. I find that I frequently put off creating, since I no longer have big chunks of time to get things done in. I really enjoy crafting, and it's a bit of 'me time' that really helps me to feel better in myself the rest of the time.

I love making things for Chubs. I hope that when she's older she looks back at photos of her wearing a shirt with her name on it, an embroidered bib or a beanie I knitted her and that she realises that they were made for her with love.

Sewing with the machine isn't really a nap time project for me since the sewing machine is in Chubs' room, but if you have an area somewhere else then it might be.

The washing up and vacuuming that you should have been doing during nap time instead of crafting? You're on your own there :)

Please be sure to leave a comment if you have a nap time project that you would like to share!
First project: Heart Two Heart shirt.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Monday madness

I'm preparing for a crazy week here, on the back of another crazy week. We have a lot of family visiting for various reasons, so let's see if I can come up for air!

Menu plan (week beginning Monday 2 April)
Monday: Beef stir fry Monday fell apart in a pretty spectacular way, so it was freezer Bolognese.
Tuesday: Slow cooker chicken curry. I plan to make a double batch and freeze one. Tuesday was worse than Monday, so this just didn't happen. We had freezer Bolognese again.
Wednesday: Microwave rissoto. I've found a recipe which claims it's 'impossible to mess up'. Let me at it and we'll see :) I didn't try it. I put on the double batch of chicken curry instead. We got dinner for Wednesday night, one full dinner with rice for the two of us in the freezer, another single serve in the freezer and some extra rice in the freezer.
Thursday: A slow cooker something. I want to try some new slow cooker recipes, so I will see what I can find.

Friday: Chicken stir fry Saturday: Oh my gosh, we've made it to Saturday without having any bolognese! Better have some here. At the last minute we were offered an opportunity to have two nights at the beach, which was way too good an offer to pass up. We packed up quickly, bundled Chubs and all her paraphenalia into the car and headed off. It was glorious.
Sunday: Scavenge Chubs and I were both sick, so on the way home from the beach we went to the medical centre then home via the takewaway shop.

I didn't post a menu plan for the week beginning April 9th. I did bake a cake though - for non domestic me, I think that's pretty impressive! As I said we had lots of family staying, celebration dinners, meals out and the like. Here's the plan for this week:

Monday: steak and veggies
Tuesday: Bolognese
Wednesday: out
Thursday: slow cooker chicken curry
Friday: chicken stir fry
Saturday: hot chook from shop
Sunday: beef stir fry

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Cot safety

The way that Chubs' room is set up means that her two nappy bins (one for rubbish/ disposables and one for cloth nappies to be washed) have to be between her change table and her cot. When we move her cot down, I was worried that one of the bins was within one tiny arm's reach, and I didn't want Chubs to be able to reach the plastic bag, pull off a section and play/ chew on it, all while I though she was sleeping soundly.

I moved the cot awy from the nappy bins a bit, but I was worried that the nappy bins could get bumped and work their way back closer to the cot. I could remember to check it every nap time and every evening, but I think that this is the sort of thing which gets forgotten when Mum is sick, or tired, or in a rush or there's a change to the routine and I wasn't happy with that risk.

We buy our wipes in bulk. I place these boxes between the bin and the cot as a spacer. It give me somewhere to store the wipes, but I also keep the boxes there when the are empty. It makes the other side of the cot a bit squeezy and it drives me nuts that the cot is off centre, but Chubs' safety is way more important and this will prevent her from getting a mouthful of plastic.


Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Slow cooker chicken curry

We eat this meal about once a week, and we love it. It's easy, fairly cost effective and reasonably healthy, although it probably should have less carbs and more veggies. It does use a packet mix - the only thing that I can make from scratch is an infected mosquito bite.

- 3 chicken breasts, diced
- 4 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 4 large potatoes, diced. (We leave the skin on, since we don't mind the taste, it's more nutritious and I'm lazy, but you could certainly peel them if you prefer.)
- half capsium (bell pepper), finely diced
- 400g tin coconut milk (not cream)
- packet of slow cooker curry mix

Pour the coconut milk into the slow cooker and mix the packet mix powder in. Cut the chicken breasts and dd those too. Cut the vegetables and add them to the slow cooker. Leave on high for four hours. Serve with jasmine or brown rice.

This makes four very generous portions. I generally make it with fresh chicken so that Deah Husband and I can have dinner for one night, and put another night's dinner in the freezer. I often get a fifth serve depending on how hungry we are.

I know that this isn't a ground breaking recipe, but it works for us and we have it pretty much every week.

Thursday, 5 April 2012


I won't be posting over the Easter weekend. I hope that you all enjoy a weekend of relaxation, reflection and celebration. See you next week!

Tutorial: Heart Two Heart shirt

On my sewing day I couldn't resist making this little gem for my precious baby girl. It's quite simple and would be a great project for a beginner.

You will need:

- Something to put the design on: a shirt, a bib, a bag - anything that will work. I got this purple one for $3 on sale at a department store.
- Knit fabric in two colours - old t shirts are perfect, as long as the fabric isn't too stretched, thin or worn. This is a great use for the still-good portions of a stained or torn t shirt.
- Thread in a coordinating colour
- A sewing machine or a needle for hand sewing
- Scissors
- Pins
- An iron if you want to iron your garment before you take a photo for your blog so you can't see the creases. Obviously this is optional.

Choose a simple design like a star, a letter or (in this case) a heart. If you have a working printer (which I don't) you could be super and print out a template. Alternatively, you could get handy with a ruler and a protractor to make your design - the maths nerd in me loves this option. I chose to be all artistic and whimsical (read: slack) and free hand the heart.

Cut out two of your design - one a bit smaller than the other. The way I did this is to cut them both the same size, and then trim one down. Embrace the wonky look here - this isn't a perfect polished project.

Pin the smaller one on top of the larger one. Both piece should have the right side facing up. If you like ironing, feel free to iron here, or not.

Leaving a small gap, stitch around the inside edge of the small shape. I used a sewing machine here, but for my pi day shirt I hand stitched the lettering if you want to see what that looks like.

Take the pins out, pull the threads through to the back and tie off. Do this step now, since you won't be able to later.

Pin the design onto the shirt (or bag or bib or whatever you are using).

Stitch around the larger design, attaching it to the shirt.

Finish off the threads, take out the pins and enjoy!

This Heart Two Heart shirt tutorial is brough to you by Chubs, who is as snug as a bug in a rug in hers!

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Applique tip

I got as close as I think I'm going to get today to my sewing day. There was still far too much housework done, but on my rare baby free day I did manage to get in a few good hours of sewing.

All of my baby free sewing day was spent sewing for my baby though, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Today's tip comes from the School of Trial and Error.

When you want to use applique to put a design onto something, make sure you match the thread to the design, not the background. I've done plenty of applique before, but I've never notices this before. I must have always matched the thread to the design by chance, or maybe I haven't used such an obvious colour contrast before.

In this case I was making a bit for a friend's baby girl, Rochelle. The design is an 'R' in navy with small white flowers on a yellow bib, and I used yellow thread to do the applique. Didn't work well.

It's too easy to see though the applique and all the threads. I went over it again with a wider stitch and a shorter stitch, but it didn't improve much.

The navy design is still peeking through the light coloured thread.

I was able to finish the bib and I still think it looks sweet, but after that I switched to matching the thread colour to the design. I made several other bibs and shirts doing this, and it stopped the peek-through a lot more.

Here's the final bib, all ready to get wrapped up and drooled on!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Operation tidy up

I'm off work today, but Chubs is off to daycare. My project for the day - clean up the crap. Our place is in a disgusting state. We make the places on Hoarders look well organised and tidy.

No computer today. (I'm actually writing this Monday night and will schedule it to be posted on Tuesday morning.) No distractions, just cleaning, sorting, tidying, ruthless decluttering and rearranging.

I do feel like I'm coming down with a cold, but I can't give in. These non work days are few and far between - four days every twelve weeks, to be specific. Of those four days of 'holidays', one and a half will be spent at work, one (today) cleaning, one day at a function and hopefully that leaves some time for me. I really hope that nothing goes wrong and that I can have my first day off in almost a year!


Monday, 2 April 2012

Monday matters

It was quite an eclectic weekend here. I went wedding dress shopping with a friend of mine which was lots of fun. Two of the other bridesmaids had been doing double duty, since they are bridesmaids for other brides, so I'm sure they were all poofy-dress-ed out by the end of the day. Grocery shopping, some freezer cooking, housework and laundry and I got lots of things crossed off the to-do list. We also visited some family. I got some knitting done while driving. I have a project for the blog coming up in May about knitting, so I'm doing some more prep for that!

Well, last week was a bit of a write-off!
Monday: Slow cooker curry I didn't get the slow cooker on in time, so Dear Husband used the chicken to make a stir fry.
Tuesday: Beef stir fry A bit of a stir fry double up, but no complaints here.
Wednesday: Bolognese from the freezer All good
Thursday: Chicken stir fry I had a chicken curry in the freezer since I made a double batch last week, so I defrosted that which was yummy. Sometimes the sauce separates a bit but it is easily mixed back, and I think the chicken is more tender second time around.
Friday: I have a meeting so I'll just snack and leave Dear Husband to scavenge Dinner was arranged for me at the meeting, and Dearh Husband had a voucher for a free pizza which he redeemed with much excitement.
Saturday: Scavenge We had decided to have beef stir fry, and I made some bolognese for the freezer. At the last minute things changed so we decided to just eat the bolognese. I'd made three serves, so we ate two which left one for another day.
Sunday: Bolognese from the freezer We were planning on having the beef from last night. I had cooked up six serves of fresh bolognese for the freezer, but Chubs wasn't cooperating and again we decided to dig into the bolognese. Still, I got another two dinners for both of us in the freezer, and we'll have the beef on Monday.

This week's plan:
Monday: Beef stir fry :)
Tuesday: Slow cooker chicken curry. I plan to make a double batch and freeze one.
Wednesday: Microwave rissoto. I've found a recipe which claims it's 'impossible to mess up'. Let me at it and we'll see :)
Thursday: A slow cooker something. I want to try some new slow cooker recipes, so I will see what I can find.
Friday: Chicken stir fry
Saturday: Oh my gosh, we've made it to Saturday without having any bolognese! Better have some here.
Sunday: Scavenge
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