Tuesday Was a Good Day

Tuesday was my first day off after working all weekend and Memorial Day.  J and I had plenty of errands that took us all over Central Pennsylvania.

First we went to Jo-Ann’s to pick out fabric to make a Princess Elsa cape for J.  J has been taking a small blanket and tying it around her neck like a cape.  Which gave me the idea to make her a true cape with velcro, etc.  I found this pattern on Pinterest.  J was very good in the store.  She helped me find the perfect shade of Elsa blue and a sparkly overlay/sheer.  I think picked out a pretty pink satin for the other side, thinking one side could be fore Elsa Princess and the other side could be a super hero side.    J was so good that she got to pick out a treat, pop-rocks.  I haven’t had these things since I was a kid and J totally got a kick out of them.

Next we ran over to Old Navy.  I had to return a pair of maternity shorts that I had bought online.  I was looking for a regular pair of jean shorts but all they had were ones that had a rolled edge.  J found some cute hats that we had to try on and asked me to take a picture of us.  How can I refuse cute hats and selfies?!

But first let me take a selfie

But first let me take a selfie

I found a cute onsie for the baby and a shirt for J on the clearance rack.  Then off to SAMs club for groceries.  I spent WAY too much money here but I was able to get Matt’s Father’s Day present.  He has been lamenting that we no longer have a Keurig to make “good coffee.”  We got spoiled living with Mom and Dad.  The only downside of just having a Keurig is not being able to make a pot of coffee for a crowd or a thermos to take to work.  There had to  be a solution.  Why wasn’t there a machine that could do both?  Brew a whole pot of coffee and make a single cup if you only want one?  Enter  the Hamilton Beach Two-Way FlexBrew Coffee Maker!  It’s like they read my mind!

Coffee Heaven!

Coffee Heaven!

I got it for a steal!  They are advertising it online for $99.99 with a $10 mail in rebate.  I got it for $79.00 at SAMs club!  That’s a $20 savings!  Not to mention this station that does both is $50 cheaper then the cheapest Keurig.  I felt like a queen walking out of there.  I got Matt a box of 54 Starbucks Pike’s Place K-Cups and two t-shirts from American Apparel that were also on sale to round out his present.  J did an awesome job sitting in the cart and helping me pick out groceries.  Matt decided that he wanted his present early, so we set it up Tuesday night.  We were both very excited about having coffee in the morning.  Once we actually use it for a little bit I’ll write an official review about it, but so far we like it.

Mom and Dad asked to have J spend the night since they were only going to be watching her one day this week.  So after her nap Dad came to pick her up.  I decided to make a fancy dinner for Matt and I since we weren’t going to go out for a date on Tuesday night when we both had to work the next morning.  For dinner I made Greek Chicken on the grill, tzatziki, and rice.  I picked up some Kalamata olives and feta cheese for sides.  Then for dessert I made Baklava using a recipe I found on Pinterest.  You can tell I’m not a true blogger, I didn’t take any of the pictures before I ate all of it.  LOL!  It must have been pretty good, there were no leftovers!  I did manage to get a picture of Matt and I before we chowed down on the couch and watched The Heat.

Another selfie!

Another selfie!

It was a perfect night.  A full tummy made for a great night of sleep!  Not bad for a Tuesday if I do say so myself.

Would y’all want tutorials or a blog about the Greek/Persian food I made?  Let me know.  Enjoy the rest of your week!

 

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Hair Today Gone Tomorrow

I recently chopped all my hair off.  So I am going to tell you my “Curl Story” and a little bit more.

I was born with CURLY hair.  I had a halo of curls my entire childhood.  I never knew how to care for them and my mom was totally overwhelmed with them.  I grew to resent them.  I want long straight hair like other girls at school.  Not frizzy wild hair that never actually looked curly to me… just frizzy.  If I couldn’t have straight hair I wanted hair like this:  Picture.  Beautiful well-formed curls that flowed down my back like a Botticelli model.  People always told me that they loved my hair but for some reason I didn’t believe them.  All I saw was frizzy hair and it drove me NUTS.

5th Birthday

5th Birthday

Getting my hair cut was always an ordeal.  Most hair stylist don’t know how to handle curls (VERY CAREFULLY!!) and cut it the same way they cut straight hair.  I can’t tell you how many times I left a salon upset that my hair wasn’t perfect curls or magically straight.  I called it the wedge, the pyramid, the bell… I could go on and on.  Curly girls know what I am talking about.

"The wedge"

Aaron and I Lake Tahoe 

When I got to middle school there was a girl, Carol, with perfect curls.  I loved her curls.  I wanted her perfect blond curls.  I asked her how she took care of it and discovered mouse.  Then came crunchy curls.  I had crunchy curls for a long time.  I still had frizz but it was better than it was.  I also began to realize that I touch my hair too much and that my hair looked better when I didn’t touch it.  I am bad about that.  I like running my fingers through my hair.  When it is curly I get nervous about it, which makes me touch it, which makes it look worse.  Just writing that sentence made me run my fingers through my hair.

Sarah Long Hair

Perfect example of brushed out curls

In high school I discovered the blow dryer.  I loved rainy days because my mom would blow dry my hair for me in the very early morning hours.  It was quite the process.  It would take at least 45 minutes to do.  Which now seems ridicules to me knowing now that the moisture in the air would lead to frizz (my enemy).  I would be so happy with my hair until I stepped out doors and then I would be a poodle again.  Grrr.  So off and on for the next 5-10 (gulp) years I would go for various amounts of time blow drying my hair and alternating with curly hair.

I was very lucky.  My curls were resilient.  No matter how much I blow dried them I could wash them and then they would be curly again.  No problem.

In 2006 I found a hair stylist who knew how to cut curly hair, gave me a GREAT haircut that actually showed off my curls and made them look beautiful.  He also told me not to wash my hair as much with shampoo.  I was used to this with blow drying my hair.  I would go several days making a blow dry last for up to a week so I didn’t have to blow it out again.  This made my curls better but there was always a point in there where it would just get too greasy and I would have to wash my hair.

In 2008 I moved back to Pennsylvania and I was determined to figure out how to care for my curl.  I had to find a way to make peace with them.  To make them look pretty.  I wanted to be happy with them.  I discovered the Curly Girl Method in 2009.  I could go on and on about this but I won’t here.  If you like more on this leave a comment and maybe I’ll write another post about my experience with it.

I had pretty curls for the first time in my life.  I was so happy about it I couldn’t stand it.  I loved people telling me they loved my curls because I agreed with them.   I was still occasionally blow drying my hair but only for special occasion or event.  For some reason straight hair means dressed up, grown up or fancy to me?

I got pregnant with my daughter in 2010 and my locks got longer and longer and thicker and thicker.  I loved ’em.

I had my daughter in August of 2011 and I knew from the moment I saw her that she was going to have curly hair and I wanted her to love it.  I never wanted her to feel ashamed of her curly hair like I did.  I wanted to show her how to take care of it and make it look pretty.  I wanted her to never feel the out of control-ness that my frizzy hair made me feel.

I have shampooed her hair 2 times in her life (she is just over 2 now).  I have threatened my family and my husband’s family with death if they shampoo her hair.  My husband washes her hair with conditioner so lovingly it breaks my heart when I see him gently combing out her conditioned curls.  I love making her curl perfectly formed.  I love hearing people compliment her curls.  It makes my heart swell.

A little over a year ago I discovered the flat-iron and curling iron.  DHUN DHUN DHUN.  I noticed that my curls weren’t as curly.  I was in-between cuts and I thought “well, I’ll just flat-iron it/curl it.”  So for about the next 6-7  mos I was a slave to the flat-iron/curling iron.  In June 2013 I decided to do a dark red wash in my hair.  Now I knew that red is really hard on hair but I didn’t think much of it.  My hair is resilient, right?  I had done red before no problem.  I can abuse it and it will keep bouncing back, literally.  WRONG.  I fried my hair.  BAD.  I was mortified.  I had never had fried hair.  I was heart-broken.  My curls felt like straw and my hair was thinner and it wouldn’t curl.  Now this was just a 28 day ammonia-free rinse.  I went back to the Curly Girl routine immediately thinking that would help.  Nope.  My curls were stringy and greasy.  I tried new products and old products and got the new Curly Girl book and nothing helped.  I tried this for months.  It got better but it wasn’t back to normal.  I started to notice that if I didn’t use a diffuser on it and scrunch it, I would hardly have any curl at all.

Finally, in October I bit the bullet and decided to get my hair cut.  I was expecting to get it cut off and end up with my bouncy full curls back.  I was wrong.  My hair has changed.  I have a little wave now but not enough to make “real” curls.  But I am determined to take care of my hair.  I am still using shampoo, only because I have to.  My hair gets so oily in just a day or so that I look like a greaser if I don’t wash it every day.  My hair is thinner then it ever was.  I am using only natural, curly girl approved products on my hair.  I moisturizer like it is going out of style.  I finally have soft hair again.

But I am going to pout now.  It isn’t fair that I finally learn how to take care of my curly hair and now it’s gone.  I know that I have, probably, done it to myself but that still doesn’t seem fair.  I would give a lot to have my thick curls back.  I hope that they will come back.  Perhaps my body needs a rest or is changing or with the next baby they will come back.  Who knows.

I consider myself a pretty healthy person.  My mother in-law is convinced that it’s my thyroid, but I’m not showing any other signs of thyroid problems.  I eat well, most of the time.  I get enough rest, except for when I don’t.  I exercise, when I can (I also have a very active job).  Hell I take vitamins!  A LOT of them to make up for what I don’t eat enough of.  I guess after writing this post, it is time to call the doctor and see what they think.  Perhaps it is time for a good once over.


***Update***

So I wrote the above blog in November.  I was at a point that I figured that I would NEVER have curly hair again.  That I was destin to have normal wavy boring hair. 

I did have my thyroid checked when I first found out I was pregnant and it was low.  I had it checked again in the second trimester and it was normal, so who knows what is going on with that. 

But I am happy to announce that my curls are BACK!  I have been using the curly girl method religiously.  I don’t use shampoo at all.  I gingerly blot my hair with cotton t-shirts.  I only use alcohol free gel and a leave in conditioner in it.  I don’t touch them once I dry them.  I haven’t blow dried them straight once since they have come back.  I only use a diffuser on low heat to quick dry them.  I am like a fanatic.  I am so happy that they are back I have been telling people about it non-stop.  I have converted at least one girl at work. 

Prayers answered!  My only fear at this point is that I am going to lose them again after I have this baby.  Hopefully that last round was just a warning from the curly hair gods.  Warning me that they can be taken away just as quickly as they can be given.  Yes ma’am!  You got my attention!

Memorial Day- 2014

Summer is here!  The beaches and pools are opening this weekend.  Ice cream is cold.  Grills are hot.  Shopping sales are going non-stop. 

But let’s take a moment to remember what this holiday is really about.  Memorial Day is a holiday that celebrates men and women who have died while serving our country.

Arlington National Cemetary

I know that I forget this on a regular basis.  I have so much gratitude that I do not have to celebrate this holiday with a different meaning.  Matt, Aaron, and my other family members who have served have all come home. Many have not been so lucky.

Thank you to all those who have served, past and present. Thank you to all those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for this great country of ours. Thank you.

Now back to our regularly scheduled BBQ and Lemonade.

I’m a work in progress

So I was looking over all the post that I have written on this blog and I realized how much I enjoyed them.  I apparently turned this in to a chore instead of a labor of love.  I do this with most things.  Anyone else have this problem? 

So today I will try again.  First blog post since March.  What?!  How is that possible?  I swear I haven’t been that busy or at least I didn’t think I had been that busy. 

Does anyone else have to keep trying again? 

So updates about life and me since March. 

We found out in mid-April that we are having a BOY!  He is measuring 2oz bigger than average and about 2 days ahead of schedule.  Oh goody!  LOL!  We still don’t have a name.  Nothing fits.  It isn’t like when I was pregnant with my daughter and just knewthat her name was Jacquelyn.  I am trying not to stress out about it.  I know he will have a name by the time he is born.  Maybe we will let him pick his own name after he is born, like Picabo Street.  Just kidding! 

Craft-wise I really haven’t done a whole lot.  I have been pinning like crazy on Pinterest. That counts as being crafty, right?!

I am having a hard time crocheting and I don’t know why.  Not physically, I’m just not interested in it.  I have plenty of projects started just no motivation to work on them.  As we speak I have all my supplies in my locker and could be working on a granny square afghan for my mom.  Instead I am working on this blog and doing research for my spray tanning company.  I think it is because I was sooo sick over the winter with what I now know was morning sickness and a horrible stomach flu that I equate crocheting with nausea. Opps. I guess I’ll have to force myself to work on it and prove that it doesn’t make me nauseated.

I have been looking in to embroidery machines. I am dying to buy this one. I can’t stop thinking about all the cute monogrammed things I could make as gifts and for myself/the house. I can’t cough up enough dough at this point to actually buy one so I keep pinning things on Pinterest so I don’t forget when I finally buy my machine.

We had a wonderful unexpected visit from my mother in law, Lisa, last week. She helped us put in a vegetable garden and small flower garden in our backyard. Matt has been seeding the yard constantly in an attempt to get all the bald spots where we ripped up concrete last fall. It is starting to come together. We have had one fire in our fire pit and have enjoyed our new Adirondack chairs on the back porch. We have had one family BBQ with the new grill. Matt loves the charcoal grill. Nothing fancy just a good old fashioned round Weber Grill.

Weber Grill

We are loving Game of Thrones on HBO. It is getting so good this season. I am sad that there are only a couple episodes left. Any other GoT lovers out there?

Other than that we are just doing life. Living each day as they come. Life is good. Real good. Maybe that’s why I haven’t had time to blog about all of it. I’ve been too busy living it.

And then a little plus sign showed up….

In the middle of all the drama with the pipes at our house I decided to take a pregnancy test.  I was about 5 days late and with all the insanity I hadn’t started my period.  I figured more than likely it was related to the stress but we had been trying to get pregnant.  So I needed to know.

And a little plus sign showed up!  I was shocked.

I had all these cute ways I was planning on telling Matt this time.  When I found out I was pregnant with J, I cursed and almost fell off the toilet.  Then went out to the living room to Matt saying “My boys can swim!”  LOL!  Such a goof-ball!  This time I wanted it to be special.  I wanted it to be memorable.  I had seen so many cute things on Pinterest that I was dying to try.  And then life happens.

I walked in to the bedroom where Matt was on the phone with a possible contractor to fix the pipes.  I was waiting till he was finished on the phone before I was going to tell him but he turned and saw me standing there with the test in my hand.  He nodded his head and mouthed “And?” I shook my head yes and he said “Holy shit you’re pregnant.”  I’m sure that was quite a shock for the contractor on the phone.  LOL!

I walked downstairs to talk to my mom who was cleaning.

She said “And?”

 “I told you.”
“that’s a good thing right?!”

“Of course!  I knew I was.”

I got a big hug and  grin from her.

I then walked outside to tell my dad who was taking down Christmas lights.

I said Dad “you want a surprise?”
“The insurance company isn’t going to over the cost of the repairs?!”

“No dad, I’m pregnant.”

“Oh Jesus Christ!!!”  He turned and ran off the porch.

I just stood there dumbfounded.  He then came back and said congratulations.  It was a little unnerving though.  Dad is really excited he just doesn’t handle surprises well.

When I went back upstairs J stopped me and said “You have a baby in your tummy mommy?”  I told her a I and that she was going to have a baby brother or sister.  I asked if she wanted to touch my tummy and she said yes and then patted my tummy.  It was precious.  J is going to make a great big sister!

I then of course had to make all the notifications to the family members.  I asked all of them if they were sitting down before I told them.  All of them are excited.  I am so grateful for my family.  They are so supportive of us it is just amazing!

After the appropriate family members were notified, I had to tell my best friends.  I have several.  I am lucky like that.  Each one of them said that they screamed when I sent them the picture of the test.  Nickie was at work (at a bank) so I can just imagine how that went with the customers.  LOL!   Several said they were grinning like Cheshire cats.  This baby is so loved already.  We are so lucky.  I am so grateful.

By my calculations I was about 5 weeks when we found out and Baby Dees is due in September.  We are super excited and can’t wait to meet the little bundle of joy!  This has been a blessing with so much other stress going on in our lives.

Gratitude on Thursday- Friday Style

This week I am grateful for…

1.  Crocheting.  Now that I have learned I can’t stop.  It is easy for me to get lost in a project and it keeps my hands busy.  I feel productive when I am crocheting.

2.  My Hubby.  He has been amazingly supportive and loving recently.  I am truly blessed in the Husband department. 

3.  Baked potato soup.  I made my mother in-law’s recipe last night and it was a huge hit.  It is like comfort in a bowl.  Matt even complemented me on getting the texture just right.  He said that leftovers today were just as good!  Gold star for Sarah! 

Would you guys be interested in a tutorial/the recipe for the baked potato soup?  Let me know!

Crochet Projects- January 2014

I feel like I wasn’t as productive this month as I was in December.  Perhaps it was the unbearable sickness that I have been dealing with for the past two weeks.  You can read about that here

This month I completed…

Camo Hat for Nick

Nick's Hat

Nick’s Hat

While I was in Kentucky crocheting my heart out my brother in-law, Nick, decided that he needed a hat like Cameron’s.  I started working on this and couldn’t get in to it.  So I started working on Emily’s ear-warmer.  Once I got back in the swing of things I was able to finish this one quickly. 

Camo ear-warmer for Emily

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I had the idea for this one when I was working on Nick’s hat.  It just seemed like a good idea.  I can’t tell you how many times I took it out though.  It was getting all wonky.  Yes.  That is a technical term.  LOL!  I like the final product and I hope Emily does too!

Baby hat for Carson

20140131-094458.jpg

I had a little camo yarn leftover and I just couldn’t resist.  I know it isn’t a traditional baby hat, but I’m not gonna lie I hope that they get a family picture in them! 

Ear-warmer for Amy

20140131-094539.jpg

During all the drama with the pipes (you can read about that here) Amy sent me this pin on Pinterest.  No message just the pin.  I took the hint and asked her is she was dropping a hint.  She just shrugged.  LOL!  No shame!  I whipped this bad boy up in an afternoon.  I don’t even think it took me an hour.  I had Amy pick out the buttons and the next day I was at work I finished it off.  I love it! 

Hat with HUGE flower for Jeana

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When I was making J’s green hat Jeana kept talking about how much she wanted one.  I kept her at bay for a while but finally broke down and just made her one.  It wouldn’t be complete without a GIANT flower.  Jeana loves it.  I think it’s a little over the top, but who am I to say. 

Ear-warmer for Lori

While I was crocheting away at work, Lori was admiring my handy work.  She was too shy to ask me to make something for her, so Jeana did.  LOL!  That girl cracks me up.  I made this ear-warmer during one night shift.  I am still waiting for Lori to bring me buttons so I can finish it… but I am considering it done until further notice. 

Skull hat for Russell

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So I found a pattern on the internet and figured I’d try it out.  I am not in love with this hat but it was made with love and I guess that’s all that matters.  It is HUGE!  I may have to rework this one to make it actually work to my taste.  I hope Russ can wear it at least once during the Polar Vortex.  LOL!

Hunger Games Cowl for me

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I found this pattern on Ravelry and decided that I needed to have it.  I picked the yarn out last month with the huge haul from Jo-Ann’s.  I started working on it just before I got sick while I was at training.  I apparently have such a large stitch that I had to take it out and cut the pattern basically in half!  Work stopped on it while I was sick.  You know you are sick when you don’t even feel like crocheting…

Cranberry Fingerless Glove

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This was my first attempt at the crocodile stitch.  I love it.  I found this pin on Pinterest and wanted to make them for J.  I then went on Ravelry and found a pattern that I could use to try out the crocodile stitch.  While I was making it all I could think was I should take these out so I can make a pair for Gigi (my Grandmother, whose birthday is at the end of February).  I kept going thinking I would make a cranberry pair for someone else. 

Teal Fingerless Glove

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This is the same pattern as above.  I knocked this bad boy out in about 2 days.  I love it.  But now that I have made two of the same gloves I don’t feel like making the matching pair.  I should have made the first glove in the teal to start with.  Lesson learned.  I wonder if I could get away with giving Gigi a miss matched pair….?

Striped hat for baby Carson

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Just when I thought I was finished for the month I banged out a little hat for baby Carson.  Emily had asked me to make a blue and white stripped hat with a pompom for him.  I had put it off for a while but finally just needed to complete something quick one night.  I used this pattern from Repeat Crafter Me changing the colors from red and white to blue and white.  I found a video on YouTube to show me how to make a pompom.  I can’t find the video now, of course… But if you google it I’m sure you’d be able to find something.    

Once I told Emily that I had completed the blue and white hat she asked if I could make a grey hat for Carson.  Apparently a lot of his outfits are grey as well.  LOL!  I have started it… I’m not sure I’ll finish it tonight, but I’m gonna give it a go while I’m watching Season 1 of Downton Abbey

I am quickly falling in love with this show.  Anyone else following it?  I hear they have season 4 on TV right now.  I can’t wait to get caught up.  I love binge watching TV series!  It’s awesome not having to watch commercials and wait for a week for the next episode. 

So what projects have you completed this month?  What TV shows are you watching?  Happy Crafting!