Monthly Archives: June 2014

Pickle Party

pickling party

This afternoon I hosted a pickling party at my house. Each person chose and was responsible for one type of vegetable pickle. I pickled zucchini, which I had never done before (hot cumin squash pickles from this book). We also had okra and radish pickles, and carrot pickles cancelled at the last minute due to a sick babe.

We chopped and chatted. Mimosas were poured, muffins were eaten, and, other than one very well behaved little baby, we were kid free–what a rare treat.

This was the first time in my five or so years of canning that I have had a jar break in the canning process–and not just one, but three. I absent mindedly told my friend to tighten the lids of her radish pickles. Three of her four jars cracked clean around the bottom almost instantly upon hitting the water. That will be the last time we make that mistake–what a mess!

All in all, it was a successful and fun day, and something I look forward to doing again in the near future.

pickling party

pickle party

pickle party

pickling party

On the First Day of Summer

picnic

It would be nice if I could say I had planned a special solstice picnic, but the truth is, I actually forgot that summer had not officially begun (around here, our summers start early and end late). Our morning was filled with errands and the busy day to day goings on that far too often take precedence over outings and family fun.

With all we had to do, I was able to pull together a few simple things to pack in a basket and bring to the park. A simple black bean and tomato salad accompanied by some sourdough bread with goat cheese, as well as a variety of olives, made for a delicious and incredibly simple picnic supper.

Lucy played out doors for a few hours, Russ and I relaxed and enjoyed the mild early summer weather, and I made a decision to do this as much as possible this summer. I don’t think there is anything I enjoy more than eating outdoors in nature.

picnic

picnic

picnic

picnic

swinging

The Years Are Short

The days are long, but the years are short. Wiser words were never spoken.

Our days lately have been challenging. I have heard many parents say that three was the most difficult age with their children, and so far I am in full agreement. Is it possible to adore and despise this stage, all at once? On the one hand she is learning and growing so much, she wants to help me every step of the day–she is my little sidekick. I love seeing the wheels turning in her hearing her questions about why things are the way that they are. Then suddenly, out of the blue a behavior will appear and it has me wanting to pull my hair out. Lately it has been spitting. She thinks it is the most hilarious thing to spit in the house, on the furniture, on her toys, hanging off the edge of the bed, anywhere that she is and the thought comes into her head. We have had several talks about it already, and like many of our past conversations about why we do or don’t do a certain thing, we end with her agreeing that it is best that she doesn’t spit in the house. Then twenty minutes later she does it again.

Deep breaths. All day long.

This age is a lot of fun though, and I try to remind myself to slow down and quit waiting for this or any stage to pass. We do projects together, painting rocks has been our most recent (and her favorite) craft lately. We have also been doing a little embroidery on burlap, which she will be interested in for approximately 90 seconds before moving onto another activity, yet she still asks for it. There is a lot of fun happening around here–in between wiping up toddler spit off the floor!

painting rocks

chickens

cutting flags for bunting

Polka Dot Geranium Dress

made by rae geranium dress

I have a confession to make. In my ten plus years of sewing I had never sewn a single button hole. In the past I have picked out patterns that didn’t have buttonholes, just so I wouldn’t have to learn how to do them. Well, that changed today.

Last weekend Lucy and I made a quick trip to the fabric store to pick out some fabric for a dress for her. I wanted to make sure it was something she loved, since she is notorious for not wearing clothes that mama sews. She first picked out the blue polka dots, but quickly changed her mind when she saw the red. I decided to get both and sew them up at the same time. My girl loves polka dots!

This is the Geranium Dress from Made by Rae. It was an absolute delight to sew up and came together quickly. The instructions were easy to follow, and the pictures were very informative and useful. By the time I got to the buttonholes I was feeling confident and ready to learn. I have an old machine (from about 1960), so I watched this tutorial and read this post before getting started. Once I got my buttonhole attachment set up on my machine I was shocked to see just how easy it was to use–even on a 50+ year old machine!

I loved this pattern so much that last night I went online and ordered some sweet strawberry fabric so that I can make matching geranium dresses for my girls.

made by rae geranium dress

made by rae geranium dress

made by rae geranium dress

made by rae geranium dress

made by rae geranium dress

made by rae geranium dressP

The Second Girl!

kumquat tree

ultrasound pictures

An exciting past few days here. We found out this morning that we will be adding a second girl to the mix come October. We are over the moon, and obviously would have been no matter what, but I am so happy that we are giving Lucy a sister. Sisters are pretty amazing people.

I had two lists of sewing patterns to order, one for a baby girl and one for a baby boy. Needless to say we went with the girl list, and now there are three lovely Citronille patterns on their way to me. After our appointment Lucy and I had a lunch and yarn date. Lucy helped me pick out a beautiful maroon and pink yarn to start knitting some more feminine things for this little girl.

On the subject of sewing and projects, I finished the top of Lucy’s quilt. I will probably take a little break from it to work on some clothes for the girls (!!!). How nice it is to have the luxury to know just that much more about our little babe.

picking strawberries

quilt top

kumquats in basket