Sewing Projects ~ Getting Honest Vol. 2

It’s been a while since I did one of these and some stuff has happened. I did finish that blue and white quilt though!

  1. curtains for my reading nook (this room has been done save curtains since MAY)
  2. quilt an antique double wedding ring top I have
  3. tree stump cushions for Baby C’s room
  4. soft letters & numbers for Baby C
  5. dino-fy a hoodie

I also need to start prepping for #memademay2018. I think I did pretty good on my No Fast Fashion Summer challenge. I did buy 3 things, which is more than 0 but way less that I would have purchased without this challenge. One was a sports bra that I desperately needed, one was a t shirt that came with a race entry and one was a Wonder Woman t shirt I found that I would worried I wouldn’t be able to find again later (I get that’s an excuse but I also didn’t just go shopping when I wanted to check out…and I stayed off Nordstrom.com).

Here’s the list of items I want to have ready for no later than 1 May 2018.

  • 1 tank top (I already have the fabric!)
  • 2 t shirts
  • 2 dresses (ideally, at least 1 with sleeves)
  • 2 pj bottoms
  • 1 raglan tee

I know that list is not enough to wear *only* clothes I made for the whole month. I might start with just week days but right now I only have some costumes and a blouse so this would still be a huge step forward.

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What I Read: Aug ’17

The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us From Violence by Gavin de Becker; This is another book that our librarians have put up in the ‘adult books in the children’s section’ and I picked up on a whim I suppose. I am really really glad I did – de Becker does not mess around and addresses something I’ve noticed and worried about in our American society for years without a real name for it. America is violent – violence happens here all the time. In our homes, in our streets, and in greater numbers than other places in the world. These are facts. de Becker posits that we all have an intuition that is always watching and keeping us safe. He tells several true stories about how it has saved lives – or how ignoring it to be polite has cost lives. This is a must read for all women to keep ourselves safe and it is a must read for all men to understand the threats women are constantly under.

Race Report: The Hoot Half/10k

I signed up for this 10k at Roots and Rocks in Alum Creek State Park back when I was first getting back into running again and thought maybe M would want to do it with me but, life with a little dude makes trail running *together* essentially impossible. So I ended up running it alone, with my two dudes cheering me on at the start and finish.

I thought the course was pretty well marked but M was surprised to hear there were no pin flags, especially at intersections. I did have to point out a few twists and turns to other runners – I guess M’s natural navigator awareness has rubbed off on me more than I would have thought! Packet pick up was a total joke and I will never make the drive to Fleet Feet before one of their races again if it isn’t required.

That said, I would totally run another race at Roots and Rocks again.

I ran along several parts of the trail with other MRTT-ers (Mom’s Run This Town) and even though we had never met before this race, they were super friendly and welcoming. I think they could smell the ‘new to trail racing’ fear on me and were extra helpful.

I hit 8 miles the previous weekend so knew I could handle the distance and have hiked much more technical things with M so knew I could handle the terrain; it was simply putting them together that was a bit tougher on my legs than expected. We’re two days out and my quads are still pretty dang sore! All in all, I would highly recommend this race if you’re in the greater Columbus area.

Dispatches From Suburbia, Vol. 2

There is a Metro Park one mile and one half from my front door. I can run to it – I can walk to it – we can bike to it. I can take my kid to one of the F O U R playgrounds there in 2 or 3 actual minutes. I meet my running partner twice a week for an ‘easy’ 4 mile loop. If you live here, you know which park I’m talking about. Don’t stalk meeeeee.

There are six (6) full service grocery stores within a five (5) minute drive.

There are no gardens. Why are there no gardens? Our street has one house that has a bunch of native grasses and quirky yard art. Everyone else (including our yard…mostly) is all yews and boring hardscape. I can’t tell if it’s because 1/3 of the neighbor still lives in the house they bought in the 1950s and why change what ain’t broke or people can’t afford it or no one cares. But every single neighbor who sees us outside at home, comments on our garden. It’s 3 x 8. My cucumbers are a crisp yellow pile, yes, ok, whatever. But my tomatoes are aces.

Ohio State Fair 2017

We LOVE THE  FAIR! By the time the Ohio State Fair closes this year, I’ll have been 3 times. We were able to see all of the highlights including the Ohio Natural Resource Playground, the Bobcat display, the butter cow, the FOOD and the Cardinal Building. This year the fair had it’s share of tragedy but I also won BEST IN SHOW in Cookies for my dulce de leche bar cookies and I could not be prouder! I made the a few times to prep and brought them to my family’s annual Fourth of July party and they were a huge hit. I’m tickled – but have literally no idea how to top these for next year!

You can read the recipe here and the write up (!) at the Columbus Dispatch. Here are some of my favorite snaps from this year’s State Fair.

C and the cows!
my traditional gyro at the Ohio Sheep Improvement Assoc booth in the Taste of Ohio building
morning sun
the skyglider!
C loved the Bobcat ‘playground’
my winning entry!

What I Read: July 17

*Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera: I picked up this book as part of Read Harder (drones on and on) and I really enjoyed it. “Juliet Milagros Palante is leaving the Bronx and headed to Portland, Oregon. She just came out to her family and isn’t sure if her mom will ever speak to her again. But Juliet has a plan, sort of, one that’s going to help her figure out this whole “Puerto Rican lesbian” thing. She’s interning with the author of her favorite book: Harlowe Brisbane, the ultimate authority on feminism, women’s bodies, and other gay-sounding stuff.” (via) I really enjoyed this and found some of the perspectives on white feminism to be convicting.

The Whole Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind, Survive Everyday Parenting Struggles, and Help Your Family Thrive by Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson: Just trying to head into toddlerhood with more tools, hold me.

*Gaddafi’s Harem: The Story of a Young Woman and the Abuses of Power in Libya by Annick Cojean: I read this for the ‘war’ story for Read Harder and while it’s a bit a stretch, I could not stomach another tome on the Civil War. “Soraya was a schoolgirl in the coastal town of Sirte, when she was given the honour of presenting a bouquet of flowers to Colonel Gaddafi, the Guide, on a visit he was making the following week. This one meeting – a presentation of flowers, a pat on the head from Gaddafi – changed Soraya’s life forever. Soon afterwards, she was summoned to Bab al-Azizia, Gaddafi’s palatial compound near Tripoli, where she joined a number of young women who were violently abused, raped and degraded by Gaddafi.” (via). This story was a tough sit and it took me a while to get through it – but it is an important story. Even if I cannot do anything about this suffering, it is important we look, hold space and acknowledge it.

Woodland Critters 1st Birthday Party

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We celebrated our little dude turning one recently with both sides of our family in town. I knew that I wanted to do a woodland / forest animal theme and fell down a Pinterest rabbit hole. I ordered the most adorable invites and a matching t shirt for the birthday boy from Zazzle and got some sweet foil balloons that were a fox, a raccoon and a hedgehog.
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I knew we’d be hosting guests so I made a 5 layer chocolate cake (and a smaller smash cake) with chocolate buttercream and a half batch of yellow cupcakes with bright red buttercream and froze everything double wrapped in plastic two weeks ahead of time. That way, the day before the party, I just had to defrost everything (leave the cakes in the plastic until completely defrosted!) and decorate.
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Our niece helped me decorate the cakes and because the lions share of the work had already been done, we were able to just hang out and decorate. I read several posts about making a tree stump cake and decided that using tempered chocolate would be the easiest. I bought 60% cacao knowing the cake and buttercream would be sweet sweet sweet. I tempered a whole bag and then spread it out on wax paper and then rolled it out onto wax paper. I rolled it up in a paper towel roll and let it freeze solid. Once it is was solid, I unwrapped it and it broke into curved shards. If I use this technique again, I’d only temper half a bag and spread it thinner as it was fairly difficult to get it to break apart in it’s thickest parts. You can see, it was a hit!
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What I Read: June ’17

March: Books One, Two and Three by John Lewis: Crucial, critical reading. I loved seeing this story and while I would not call myself a ‘graphic novel gal’ there is something about this medium that really serves this story. It is one thing to read words describing the Jim Crow era and it is another to visually see that violence – and yet another to have lived it.

You’re Doing A Great Job by Biz Ellis and Theresa Thorn: I read this in an evening and it was quick and pithy. Worth checking out from your library if you love the podcast.

*Not Your Sidekick by C. B. Lee: This was loaned to me by a friend for Read Harder and it was an interesting and quick read. “Welcome to Andover, where superpowers are common, but internships are complicated. Just ask high school nobody, Jessica Tran. Despite her heroic lineage, Jess is resigned to a life without superpowers and is merely looking to beef up her college applications when she stumbles upon the perfect (paid!) internship—only it turns out to be for the town’s most heinous supervillain.” (via). I’m glad I read it – it isn’t something I would have ever picked up on my own but was a fun read.