August Foodie Pen Pal Reveal

Ahhh it’s August 31st! And that means it is Foodie Pen Pal reveal day. Did you know tonight is a blue moon? Pretty nifty. Good things come in pairs…and I am going to count these two bits of information as a pair, even though they are in no way related to one another 😉

The Lean Green Bean

This month I sent off a package to Mel, (her guest blog is below), and Alicia of Live Alicia Live sent me a box of goodies.

Alicia was so generous with her package!

Alicia lives in Florida and I mentioned that I LOVE Key lime pie. Her note explained that she wanted to send me one from Publix – best Key lime pie ever I was told – but the laws of physics forbid it. Her note cracked me up! So instead she sent me the mix to make my own 🙂

Also included with the key lime theme were these really yummy looking cookies, and not key lime but bright green Izze drinks. Those will give me some much needed energy on first few days of school!

Other snacks that promptly made their way into my snack drawer at work are these snickerdoodle cookies and bars. I’ve never had either of the bars, which is always a plus. I love finding new products through FPP!

Alicia also sent some loose tea that is local to her area. I love local favorites!

And finally, she sent a gift for Baby Spinach! How sweet is she?

Thanks so much Alicia!

And now I have Mel’s guest post. I spaced taking a photo of what I sent, but I’ll let her descriptions paint a picture for you 🙂

Thank you so much Leila for my first foodie pen pals package! It was such a nice housewarming piece of mail to receive during my first week back at college. My roommates and I have HUGE sweet tooths, so the “reduced guilt” brownie mix is perfect for us. The fig bars were also up our sweet alley and were quickly eaten. We also immediately devoured the Jalapeno Cheese Puffs from Trader Joe’s, they were such a delicious light snack with a spicy bite. Anything from Trader Joe’s is always delightful, so the freeze dried mango and classic trail mix were also delicious (although I have a tendency to pick out all of the dried fruit.. so now it’s just a bag of almonds to be snacked on!) The freeze dried mango had such a different and interesting taste! The rice pilaf mix will be great for one of our family apartment dinners that we have each week, it looks delicious! Thanks again, Leila!

You’re welcome Mel!

Are you interested in joining Foodie Pen Pals for September? You don’t have to be a food blogger (or any kind of blogger) to participate, everyone is welcome! Please click here and fill out the form no later than Tuesday, September 4th. Lindsay will send matches on Wednesday, September 5th. The spending limit is $15, and boxes need to be mailed out by the 15th of the month.

Crib Bedding for Dummies

If you’ve been a reader for a while you know I received an awesome sewing machine for Christmas.

You may have also noticed I haven’t posted any projects. There is a reason for that. Up until last week I hadn’t made any. My machine is so nice and has so many flashy upgrades that I was afraid I’d break it! But after an extensive bedding search, and really only being happy with the $312 pre-tax, pre-shipping option, I decided I needed to break down and finally learn how to use my machine.

After googling and browsing pinterest I was convinced I could do it, but that I’d like a bit of guidance. Luckily the hubs asked his mom for advice when purchasing my machine, and she recommended the new version of her machine. So I asked her if she’d be willing to help me, and she happily agreed. I ordered fabric through Amazon, not really thinking about the fact that my prime membership 2-day shipping wouldn’t apply to orders fulfilled by outside sources (darn!), and emailed Gayle the patterns I wanted to combine.

Once my fabric finally arrived we got started.

Thanks to a Jo-Anne’s 40% off coupon, I purchased the Nu-Foam baby bumper inserts, which are a breathable, washable, non-toxic foam alternative. They had a very easy pattern included, which I used. The only difference is I chose not to stitch the ties in at their half way point, which would have resulted in A LOT of bows. Instead we sewed them in at one end and tied two bumpers to the crib with each others ties, rather than each bumper being tied on individually, if that makes sense.

Turns out the yellow/white chevron I bought was a large weave, like linen, instead of a tight weave like the two grey/white fabrics #problemswithonlineshoppingaddiction. So after measuring, cutting, and ironing 24 2″x20″ pieces of fabric we determined the ties would stick straight out instead of laying nicely, and decided to abandon ship and switch to a softer/tighter weave. The in-laws live far enough from town that it wasn’t a quick trip to purchase new fabric. So we tried a closer fabric shop at Diamond Lake, owned by Gayle’s friend, and luckily she had a great alternative!

Round two of measuring, cutting, and ironing 24 2″x20″ pieces of fabric! This was by far the longest process of the entire project. Each swatch needed to be folded in 1/4 of an inch on both sides and ironed down. Then folded in half and ironed again. The ends of one side needed to tucked in, and then stitched around the perimeter. The other side was sewn into the bumper, so it didn’t need to be finished. I managed all the setting up, and Gayle did all of the sewing.

Then we moved on to the bumpers. We ironed, measured, and cut out 12 pieces of fabric, and called it a day. The two patterns I chose needed to be cut very presicely, otherwise the lines wouldn’t line up correctly and we’d have to start all over. It was a LONG process!

The next morning Gayle couldn’t sleep and got up at 4:30 and pinned all the bumpers and ties. When I arrived I sewed them all, she ironed the inside seams so they laid flat when turned inside out, and we stuffed the bumper inserts inside. The bottoms needed to be hand sewn, which Gayle tackled all but one. I am a reallllllly slow hand stitcher!

Then it was on to the crib skirt. I loved the idea of not having a center piece of fabric, and instead just sewing the sides and front. That way I’ll be able to easily adjust the length when we change the mattress height. So I decided on this super easy tutorial (and her crib dimensions are the same as mine, score!). But I decided I wanted a “window” of the second grey fabric, like this one. And I LOVED the idea of attaching the crib skirt with velcro. Brilliant!

We, again, ironed, measured, and cut the chevron fabric. Then we cut a 24″x24″ square of the link fabric for the center window. It was way more than we needed, but better to be safe than sorry. The window was sewn on first, and then we cut off the extra fabric. We decided where we wanted the top of the skirt to be, ironed and pinned it, and then sewed across the top. At this point I brought the skirt home and attached it to the crib so I could measure exactly where the hem would be, as well as where we needed to fold over and sew the ends.

Two days later I drove out to the in-laws again and we folded, ironed, pinned, and sewed the sides and bottom of the front panel. Then we ironed, measured, cut, folded, ironed, pinned, and sewed the sides. Phew!

Before starting this project I thought, oh, these directions are so easy, it is basically just sewing 4 sides of fabric under. And while that is the case, I had no idea how much time it would take! All in all I think we spent at least 15 hours on this project, spread over 3 days. Part of the issue was needing to run out for more fabric, and part of the issue was lining up the patterns so they didn’t wind up wonky. I spent $60 on fabric, but used only about $30-$40 of it (I overbought so I could make mistakes and not stress). And since I am on summer break and didn’t have to attempt this during the school year, I could take my time, not stress out, and do it right. Basically, it was a labor of love 🙂

While it isn’t the bedding I originally fell in love with, I have to say, I love this even more! I am SO happy with how it turned out. And I found the perfect yellow (after ordering 3 options) to match the ties.

Wow, that was a MUCH longer post than I thought it would be, haha. Woops!

Do you sew? What are your favorite easy projects?

33 weeks

 

How Big is the Baby?

Sources vary, but somewhere around 19 inches long (she may or may not still be growing length wise) and between 4.5 and 5 pounds. She is roughly the size of a pineapple. Yum, pineapple sounds SO good right now!

 

How I’m Changing

My belly button is almost flush with the rest of my tummy. I’ll be an outie soon. I’m starting to swell in my fingers, which I know is more heat related than water consumption related. I’m drinking somewhere around 130 ounces a day, possibly more. But the plus side to swelling is I am wearing my great-grandmother’s engagement ring because it now fits!

 

How I’m Feeling

My sciatic pain is more frequent, like a dull glute ache. Also, nausea is back! Gahhh, I thought I was free from it, but apparently not. And heartburn is intermittent. I’ve been having some pregnancy insomnia, which is killer by the way, and around 4 or 5 in the morning I’ll be starving. I can’t find something that works well as a snack to help me fall back to sleep. I’ve attempted nuts, which would be my top choice, but they give me killer heartburn (at least in the early morning hours, not in the afternoon or evening, weird!).

 

What I’m Eating

Lots of zucchini and yellow squash. And this week our tomatoes finally turned red! The hubs made a very tasty pasta sauce with them and I have some bruschetta plans in the very near future. But I honestly don’t have much of an appetite, which I think it mostly due to the heat. I’m slugging water like crazy!

 

Odds and Ends

My second baby shower was this weekend, and my parents came into town for it. I finally snapped a picture of me with Grandpa Spinach. I’m glad we did because otherwise we wouldn’t have one together with me pregnant.

 

I received the yellow rug I ordered for the nursery, only to be very disappointed. Online it looked like a buttery yellow, but in person it was more dish-water/mustard yellow. I love mustard yellow, but it isn’t the hue I’m going for. Luckily I ordered it from JC Penny, so I could return it to the store without a hassle or paying for return shipping. But the yellow rug hunt of 2012 continues.

 

And finally, I started setting up my classroom yesterday. I planned to meet up with the teacher who I’ll be job sharing with this year, but she texted me Sunday night to say she needed to reschedule because she had her baby! I moved into her classroom, so I spent the whole day trying to figure out where to put my stuff, and where her stuff was located. Hopefully I don’t screw up her organization system too much! Unfortunately I really overdid it. I was there from 9-4, in 97 degree heat and the building isn’t air-conditioned. Only three of my six windows open (the others are painted shut I think), so the heat was pretty stifling. I came home and had to lie down for 2 hours afterward. Luckily today I woke up to rain and 65 degrees! My classroom was much more bearable!

Things I can’t wait to eat again: I’m getting excited about pumpkin beer season 😉

# of times I get up to pee each night: varies, the other night it was 8 or 9! But usually 3-4

Days until my next appointment: 1 week

Total weight gained: 18.5 pounds

Exercise: setting up classroom and early morning walks are all I can handle with the heat

Cravings: water, bubble water made in my soda stream mixed with limeade

Aversions: most warm foods…too hot

What I miss: lying down without heartburn and sleeping through the night