Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Grapefruit Tree Update

I ate a grapefruit last month and decided to make the seeds into trees if possible.

Here is what we started with:
Then I did some interesting things with the seeds. This is how I sprouted them.

I transplanted the grapefruit seeds/seedlings into a few containers and kept them in the kitchen. It's still too cold outside at night (it's supposed to get down to 32 degrees tonight) so they are relegated to our kitchen window ledge. Here is the plant that is doing the best:
Absolutely beautiful! I can't wait to see it in a few more weeks! I'm hoping it will be ready to transplant outside when we find a house to buy....

My pea plants are GROWING!

First I soaked and planted the peas.

Then they started to grow.

And grow some more.

And now they are climbing their stakes and are looking like they are on the verge of flowering/bearing peas!

Sewn Tote Bag

I love sewing tote bags or grocery bags. I use them for everything from shopping to traveling to carting things around for work.

I made this one with all kids of left over fabric and patched it together. Each side is different.

One side:

The other side:
You can wrap it up and throw it in your purse. I put two thin pieces of fabric on one side so I can roll the bag up and tie it together.
I keep them in my car just in case.
I like using upholstery fabric. It's really durable and comes in beautiful prints. You want to make your stitches at least double back or have them be triple stitched since they will be holding weight from groceries and other things. I also reinforce the edges of the inside of the bag with a surge stitch in addition to the triple stitch.

Aquatic Park San Francisco

I had never been to Aquatic Park in San Francisco before last weekend. My husband wanted to go swimming in the bay and it was absolutely beautiful out for a February, so we made the trek into SF.

Parking was a bit difficult since it was a Sunday, but if you have patience, there is a lot of free street parking in that area. I sat on the grass and read my kindle, snuggled in my Snuggie and down jacket. It is still February people!

I started to get a little paranoid that people would think I'm homeless since I was laying on grass in a park, but I tried to override that paranoia by focusing on reading and/or taking in how gorgeous the view I was looking at was.

On the left you can see out to Alcatraz and on the right a huge boat in the very calm Marina.
All the way to the right are viewing stands to watch the water. Almost like bleachers at a high school football game. And there is a crazy watch tower thing that I didn't explore that really could be anything.
I rarely spend time in San Francisco anymore. Between the crowds, the parking situation, and the traffic, it is something I want to tackle less and less. But I have to say, I will watch the husbando swim again here. It was beautiful and peaceful and well worth another trip!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Spring Blossoms

They are almost too small to see but everything is starting to bloom again! 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Home baking Home making

I started being obsessed with making bread a few weeks ago. I call it "stress baking." I wish I had a more productive stress relief mechanism. I've tried to do stress cleaning but I tend to get bored and/or want to nap. My stress relievers tend to be things I can do in front of the tv (sewing, crocheting, not writing our wedding thank you cards) while watching Real Housewives of Somewhere or Cold Case reruns. My husband hates Cold Case. I also watch the Liquidation Channel which used to be Gems TV and hosts all kinds of shiny things, none of which I would ever buy.

Lately the stress baking has taken the form of bread. My previous post showed a recipe and beginning stages for bread from the Marin Homestead blog. I've been making this recipe every few days now. It's so easy!

Here is a photo of the before oven phase:

Here is a photo of the baked bread goodness post oven:

Up close and personal:

In other news, my grapefruit trees that I planted from seed are sprouting and doing well! Here is one of them:
It's it gorgeous! I wonder how long until it is a real tree? I have to say that I love citrus in general, but grapefruits are my favorite. Cannot wait to plant this little one in the ground outside...though not until it's heartier.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Baby Rabies

I have dreams where I am 7 centimeters dilated and about to give birth. I am not, nor have I ever been, pregnant. But I want to be. And I want to fill my home with children. I have the dreaded baby rabies.

Baby rabies is a condition that first appears around the age of 25 in women, and starts to obsessively take over the woman's rational mind as she nears 30. Jack Bauer is screaming "WE ARE RUNNING OUT OF TIME!!!!!!!" everyday in your ear.

I thought I would be farther along in my career by now. I thought I would have been married for years by now. I thought I would have bought a house by now. I thought I would have had millions of dollars by now. I thought I would have popped out a few kids by now. But none of this is my reality.

As I approach 29 (ACK--6 months to go)....I can't help but think that this is my time to have a baby. I feel like my parents were so much farther along by the time they were my age. I know I don't want to rush this decision since it will change my life, my husband's life, my family's life, and I will be responsible for this new life I'm bringing into the world long past the age of majority. I know I will be exhausted, and have days where I don't have time to shower, and have to give up part of my career. I feel this very overwhelming need to cradle and love a baby though that is overpowering my rational brain that says that my career needs to be my focus.

There are many stages in life. I think I am ready for mommyhood. I officially have the baby rabies and they are incurable!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Ralph and Izzie's Backyard Beagle Adventure

This isn't so much a beagle adventure as it was just a lazy afternoon with two beagles. Our in-laws also have a beagle and she came to spend the weekend with us. Ralph is an only child and likes being an only child, but sometimes they get along really well.

Ralph is a rescue and acts more like a human than a dog a lot of the time. Izzie is a regular old dog with tons of energy and isn't afraid of anything. Izzie is a great addition to our family because she shows Ralph how to be a dog. She basically taught him how to have fun on this hill. Now he is boofing up a storm outside, checking out quail and deer, sniffing the plants, and rolling.
Thank you Miss Izzie!

Updated Pea Plants

My indoor peas are going crazy! My earlier post showed my peas growing from seed to plant. Now they are starting to climb!

My outdoor peas are also starting to come up. What a difference between planting inside where it's warm, and outside where we've had multiple frosts.
My friend Lara and I planted a ton of plants this weekend in pots in the yard. Our soil is terrible so containers are kind of our only option besides bringing in a backhoe. And...we rent so I doubt our apartment complex would be into that. Here are some photos of what we planted:
We planted flowers, soybeans, lettuce, broccoli, sunflowers, and onions. Hopefully something will grow!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Today I am older than I was yesterday. Today I am one day closer to getting pregnant. Today I am more frustrated with work than I was yesterday. Today I am more in love with my husband than I ever have been.

Today I did laundry. Today I stripped the bed and put fresh linens on. Today I baked bread. Today I ate breakfast at 2pm. Today I saw my therapist and I cried. Today I walked my dog (lots). Today I washed dishes. Today I watched the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Reunion. Today I sauteed onions and fresh garlic. Today I made and drank a cocktail. Today I thought about writing my novel. Today I looked for houses online to buy. Today I avoided my phone. Today I hated my job. Today I loved my husband, my mom, my sister, my nephew, my friends, my dog, all my siblings and family, and my garden. Today I listened to podcasts to avoid doing work. Today I danced in the kitchen with my dog to Lady Gaga. Today, Ralph and I were as free as our hair/fur. Today I thought about meandering a different path....

Tonight I will not obsess about the horrible things I have to do tomorrow (work). Tonight I will enjoy my husband. Tonight I will snuggle my dog. Tonight I will go to bed early. Tonight I will read my trashy vampire book. Tonight I will sleep well without having nightmares about malpractice insurance or death.

Tomorrow I will tackle the appointments I have. Tomorrow I will leave the house wearing lawyer clothes. Tomorrow I will not cry. Tomorrow I will dance in the kitchen again. Tomorrow I will be happy.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Couch Cover Tutorial

So, we've had these "red" couches in our family for over thirty years. They are very nice Hendredon couches. But they have been moved now to many houses and have been jumped on by a few generations of kids, etc. They are great couches, but the color wasn't doing it for me and neither were the feathers coming out of the pillows. At first I started with taking out the interior pillows inside the velvet casing and re-sewing new muslin innards and re-stuffing the disgusting down feathers that were inside. I have to say I did start thinking about naked geese that were freezing because of people needing pillows and blankets. And then I started thinking that these pillows had NEVER been washed. That means over 30 years of dust and dirt and dog hair and drool from napping, among other things. I tried washing the innards and the pillow casings but the feathers still poked through.

Here's what the original couch looked like when we moved into our new place:
And here is Ralphers snuggling on the couch:

Then my genius sister bought a slipcover for the couch online. It looked so clean and new, we bought one is well in the same color, tan.

Here it is...totally transforming our living room!
I decided to make our own pillow covers because we wanted something washable because of the dog and our tendency towards spilling stuff all over ourselves/our things.

I suggest buying pillow forms from JoAnn Fabrics so all of your pillows are uniform and fresh! I used to use the fluff and stuff and make my own pillows but the pre-made once are so much nicer.

You can use any type of fabric. I used one of JoAnn's Keepsake Calico fabrics. I LOVE any type of fabric with circle patterns, and this one also had the added benefit of hiding the dog hair.

Start by measuring your fabric over your pillow so it will cover it and you have some wiggle room for surging. I suggest getting a pillow that fits within the inseam of the fabric so you don't have to buy as much fabric. Also, the smaller pillows are cheaper as well.
Cut the fabric to size for your first pillow and sew the first side up, like you're going to make a sack with the name of the pillow fabric and other information line at the top (leave that unsewn for now...that is where your velcro is going).

Sew and surge each side. Turn your pillow case right side out. Turn over the lip of the unfinished edge of the pillow and tack sew on velcro to one side and sew.
Sew the opposite velcro on the other side. When it sticks together the pillow should look like this:
This is what our couch looks like now...quite the transformation with a couch slip cover and some fun and easy sewing:
And it's even Ralph approved!

Awesome Bread Recipe!

I've been searching for an easy bread recipe for some time now. I have tried wheat bread, regular bread, Irish Soda bread (which looked AMAZING and tasted like a salt lick). Isn't it beautiful:
So...I found this blog called Marin Homestead which has great recipes and DIY for your Marin Eichler home. I stumbled upon this recipe of hers for easy bread, complete with photos!

Here are my photos from rising to baked! It is QUITE tasty! Thank you Tammy!
Make sure you use a big enough you can see, this guy started to go EVERYWHERE.
This is about 1/4 of the dough starter that I shaped into sort of a round large roll. The rest I will bake tomorrow and post updated photos. I want to try a braided roll of bread!