18 Nov 2011, 8:30am
weekend:
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  • What’s new

    Top of the list is: Handmade Goodness Giveaways Project! Please be sure to ENTER. Just click the link (when there is one) at the top of the most recent post! This project is in an effort to promote local and independent artists. Crafters, photographers, designers (of all types) -- man, woman or child all are welcome. Each giveaway will feature a different artist with a different talent, please join, if you will! Contact me: mommyhobbies [at] gmail [dot] com
  • In my napsack stash

  • This Weekend: Take Off Your “Worried Shoes”

    ::Please, don’t forget to ENTER the Handmade Goodness Giveaway!::

    Put on your imagination cap instead

    Then, flip your wig

    Look into the eyes of despair with determination, then, slowly, raise your wooden spoons — like a ninja

    Be on the look out for hairy friends.  They, uh, can be distracting, although, it *is* nice to have someone by your side

    Once your *worried shoes* are off.  Have fun!!

    It’s not worth living life wearing shoes that take you to sad, mad, or bad places.
    Simply take them off and tell them they are no longer welcome.  Yes, yes, sir-eee.  Good. Bye

    Have a worry-free weekend, all!

    17 Nov 2011, 9:48am
    giveaway Mommy Hobbies:
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    7 comments

  • What’s new

    Top of the list is: Handmade Goodness Giveaways Project! Please be sure to ENTER. Just click the link (when there is one) at the top of the most recent post! This project is in an effort to promote local and independent artists. Crafters, photographers, designers (of all types) -- man, woman or child all are welcome. Each giveaway will feature a different artist with a different talent, please join, if you will! Contact me: mommyhobbies [at] gmail [dot] com
  • In my napsack stash

  • Handmade Goodness Giveaway: Set Of Note Cards

    I’m so excited about this giveaway.  I’m a native Californian and am proud of it!
    Growing up in the valley, nestled at the bottom of the foothills in Northern California I took for granted the amazing nature and incredible getaway spots.  But goodness, the memories I have when our family did go to enjoy God’s green earth.  Yosemite, Coloma, Redwoods, the North coast, Bodega Bay, Napa Valley…oh, yes, I have fantastic memories.

    When Robin sent me these beautiful note cards I got a little nostalgic…they’re gorgeous.

    Each photo has a message and captures Northern California so well.

    A set of 11 note cards for any occasion.

    To enter::
    Please, just leave a comment here on my blog and go to The Master’s Light Photography and tell them I sent you!
    Spread the word :)   Remember, let’s support fellow crafters and creators this holiday season.  Robin and her husband are so talented and would love for you to drop them a line or book a session with them.

    And, if you don’t already, please, follow me on FaceBook!

    16 Nov 2011, 9:17am
    Chronicles Of A Stay At Home Mom:
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    3 comments

  • What’s new

    Top of the list is: Handmade Goodness Giveaways Project! Please be sure to ENTER. Just click the link (when there is one) at the top of the most recent post! This project is in an effort to promote local and independent artists. Crafters, photographers, designers (of all types) -- man, woman or child all are welcome. Each giveaway will feature a different artist with a different talent, please join, if you will! Contact me: mommyhobbies [at] gmail [dot] com
  • In my napsack stash

  • Chronicles: The Feeling Of Togetherness

    The past couple of weeks I’ve had an undercurrent of emotion flowing through my mental body (that would be my brain…).   Knowing that D is just about done with school has a lot to do with it.  We moved back East nearly 4 years ago so my husband could go to school for accounting.  It has not been easy on so many levels and in so many different ways, but next spring will be his LAST semester.

    Our lives have revolved around papa’s study time.  We take what we can and enjoy every second because there isn’t much to go around.  Last night, I took the kids out on an unusually late evening shopping trip.  It was 7pm!  We left while papa stayed and studied.  But before we did, Cy said, “Mama, let’s go, but I don’t want papa to go.”  I asked him why and he said, “Because papa has to do his school stuff, I don’t want him to go so he can do his school stuff.”  Even my little boy knows how important it is for papa to study.

    I can’t even really express the peace I’ve been feeling knowing that we are on the right track.  We came here with a goal in mind and we’re achieving it.  It’s getting easier for me to think straight and organize my life, to feel confident as a mother, to appreciate certain talents I might have.  All of these pieces in my life are starting to come together instead floating around out there waiting for me to “get a grip”.  Life lessons have equipped me to grab these parts of myself and line them up.  Hence, my overwhelming sense of “togetherness”. 

    I truly believe there is nothing worse than a scattered mind.  It was so tiring being a disjointed fragment of what I should/could be.  Glad I’m getting it “together” and developing a solid, confident “grip”.

    15 Nov 2011, 9:25am
    Of Food and Love romalise:
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    6 comments

  • What’s new

    Top of the list is: Handmade Goodness Giveaways Project! Please be sure to ENTER. Just click the link (when there is one) at the top of the most recent post! This project is in an effort to promote local and independent artists. Crafters, photographers, designers (of all types) -- man, woman or child all are welcome. Each giveaway will feature a different artist with a different talent, please join, if you will! Contact me: mommyhobbies [at] gmail [dot] com
  • In my napsack stash

  • Of Food And Love: The Ways Of A Two Year Old

    I’m so glad that I blog about my children.  Because, honestly, I think I might forget half of their wonderful little antics.  They grow so fast and I mix my memories.  “Did Cy do such and such or was that Roma?”  Up until recently, I could not have told anyone exactly what my little girl was like.  She was just a little parrot of her brother.  He loves blocks.  She loves blocks.  He loves soldiers.  She loves soldiers.  He loves peeing on the driveway.  She loves peeing on the driveway.  (this is true)  My children were just a symbiotic little unit, no distinguishing features of their own really…they just worked together, round and round.  Until a couple weeks ago… 

    My children are SO alike and SO different it’s scary.  I catch myself shaking my head in disbelief, wondering how someone so little and full of life came from my womb.  Cy, as we all know, is a stick of dynamite with turbo thrusters.  And now, as you will all soon discover, Roma is emerging as my sneaky, determined, self-sufficient, spunky little weeping willow.  I call her a weeping willow because this girl can throw on the waterworks!  If I even raise my eyebrow at her funny, she is in tears.  Sometimes it’s hard to punish her because she’s so cute.  She will slump her shoulders and hang her head, the lower lip pops out and the tears flow.  She whimpers and sniffles and I’m standing there in the middle of her performance gripped with emotion.  Yes.  Moved, quite nearly, to tears myself.  Little actress, who in the next breath will whip around, and change the subject mid wail.  I.lie.not.  Then, like a little princess she will ask for a tissue for her “eyeths”.  (she has a lisp, just like Cy does)  She will dab at her eyes until the tears are gone and quickly move on with her life.  Just like that.

     

    Several times I’ve caught her in the fridge and I don’t just mean, the fridge door is open and she’s standing there, I mean. IN.the.fridge.  She is tucked in, with the door almost complete shut, sucking down Cy’s school drinks.  Her eyes are red-rimmed because she’s hardly catching a breath.  She knows that those are not to be touched, so she’s drinking it as fast as she possibly can.  Or, I’ve caught her under the bed, my packet of gum in her hand, furiously stuffing pieces into her mouth, wide-eyed, chomping madly.  Last night, she came into the front room and shoved her head under the couch pillows and was happily munching on apples.  We have a strict no eating anywhere other than the kitchen rule, here.  

    But aside from her spunky behavior she is also very aware and concerned for others.  I stubbed my toe the other day and was grumbling my woes she came to me and asked if I was “ok, mama? you ok?”  So sweet.  She cries if Cylas cries… although she doesn’t even know what she’s crying about!  She laughs if Cy laughs and he’ll bark at her sometimes, “Roma! Why are you laughing? You don’t even know!”  She likes her privacy in the bathroom, “mama, you goway pleasth.”  But you can be sure I’m standing outside the door to make sure our whole roll of toilet paper doesn’t end up in the toilet, on the floor or in various other places.

    My sweet, sweet baby girl.  She’ll be three this month and I wonder where her babyness has gone off to.  I catch glimpses every now and then, but she’s slowly leaving that world behind.  “No” is a the new spotlighted vocab word along with “Oh, commonnn” and “because, whyyy”.  Who are you?  And what did you do with my baby??

    14 Nov 2011, 1:00pm
    Mommy Hobbies running:
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    5 comments

  • What’s new

    Top of the list is: Handmade Goodness Giveaways Project! Please be sure to ENTER. Just click the link (when there is one) at the top of the most recent post! This project is in an effort to promote local and independent artists. Crafters, photographers, designers (of all types) -- man, woman or child all are welcome. Each giveaway will feature a different artist with a different talent, please join, if you will! Contact me: mommyhobbies [at] gmail [dot] com
  • In my napsack stash

  • Running: How I Started Running II

    Did another long run Saturday morning.  You ever find yourself staring longingly at the roads while you’re driving and imagine yourself running them instead?  Embarrassingly enough, I do.  More often than I’d like to admit, too.
    Saturday I finally ran the roads I’d been dreaming about and they kicked my tail.  The first 4 miles were so tough, my legs felt tired and I dropped from an 8:30 pace down to a 10:10 pace.  Those durn hills!

    My mind started playing tricks on me and I felt like I needed to use the restroom.  stupid, stupid.  I talked myself out of the mental bathroom I had created and just pushed on, to mile 5, mile 6 and by that time I was feeling, like, completely amazing.  My legs loosened up and the roads got a bit easier.  How did I get to 7 miles so quickly??  I literally ran like a banshee through that last mile and was kickin’ happy to reach my destination.  Got a few bugs in my teeth for the smile on my face.  It was no matter though.  Oh, did I mention that I had no idea how long my route was to be?  I picked a spot on the map and just ran…try it.

    But on to more tips and tricks.
    Before my runs, my really long ones, I make sure I’m hydrated.  A couple days before I’m set to run I drink and drink and drink.  Water.  I make sure my diet includes very little meat and a lot of carbs.  Pasta or breads :) )   Salads are good too.  Too much meat does a number on the intestines.  No joke.  From all those carbs I get what I need for my brain and body to function.  The sugars in those carbs keep me fueled and away from feeling physically and mentally fatigued.
    If you’re planning to run more than 75 minutes, make sure you bring along some water, to sip, and maybe some shot bloks, or a protein bar to nibble.  Otherwise, it’s safe to just rely on the glycogen our body has stored up to get you through your run.  No need, really to eat before your 3 mile, 5 mile or even 6 mile run (depending on the pace you keep).

    The key to keeping your body healthy, and I’m just learning about all this myself, is proper foods, stretching, hydration, proper running form and rest.  My knees KILL me after a longer run if I haven’t a maintained proper running form.  My shoulders are low and loose, back is comfortably straight, no leaning forward or hunching.  Knees don’t lie.   I can immediately tell if I was slacking on my form as soon as I stop running.
    As far as which vitamins to take, I’m not sure there is a set rule on this.  I do know, however, that a healthy diet of whole foods can give what is needed to help maintain your body.  Find foods rich in calcium, for your bones, iron, for fatigue, and sodium and other electrolytes.  I do take fish oil, as a standard, however.

    Hope this helps!  If you’re looking for support from other mother runners, please consider hooking up with the ladies over at “Run Like a Mother: The Book” on FB.  What a wonderful group of fellow mother runners.

    14 Nov 2011, 8:33am
    Mommy Hobbies sewing:
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  • What’s new

    Top of the list is: Handmade Goodness Giveaways Project! Please be sure to ENTER. Just click the link (when there is one) at the top of the most recent post! This project is in an effort to promote local and independent artists. Crafters, photographers, designers (of all types) -- man, woman or child all are welcome. Each giveaway will feature a different artist with a different talent, please join, if you will! Contact me: mommyhobbies [at] gmail [dot] com
  • In my napsack stash

  • Sewing: The Perfect Holiday Season Shirt

    Sometimes, I feel a little pathetic sharing with you all my “sewing” projects.  I’m not a full on seamstress, so my attempts to sew are merely reflections of others’ ideas.  I see something cute and I find a way to duplicate it with my own twist or just plain copy it!  Of course, I’ll always have a link back, if it’s there, or just confess that the idea wasn’t mine, but I just HAD to try it out.

    This idea, I’m sure, has been done a million times over and a thousand times better, but I didn’t see this on someone else’s blog, I saw it HERE and it inspired me.  Just a heart.  It was so incredibly cute and simple that I dug around in my fabric stash and pilfered through Cy’s t-shirts to make this happen.

    I cut my heart from a soft, fuzzy flannel material.  I free-handed it to keep with the idea of simplicity.   If I wanted perfection, I would have asked D :)   He’s the artist in the fam.  It was much easier to manipulate than jersey, which tends to shifts and bunch under the sewing foot.  Me and flannel get on really well.

    15 minutes later I had the perfect little shirt for the holidays.  Really.  What says holidays more than a heart??  Nothing.

    In hindsight, I should have tried to taper the sides a bit, considering it’s her brother’s size 4t.  But she was diggin’ it.  I used my fancy schmancy double needle to give it more of a polished look.  The stitching is yellow.

    I paired it with some leggins I made her and red shoes.  No holiday party is complete without some cute, red flats.

    Let the holidays roll!  I’m on a mission to complete a few more simple shirts like this.  I will try to challenge myself with possibly gathering the sides, tapering the waist and arms or adding some flounce.  We’ll see where it takes me. If you have any projects you’re working on do share!

    11 Nov 2011, 8:32am
    weekend
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  • What’s new

    Top of the list is: Handmade Goodness Giveaways Project! Please be sure to ENTER. Just click the link (when there is one) at the top of the most recent post! This project is in an effort to promote local and independent artists. Crafters, photographers, designers (of all types) -- man, woman or child all are welcome. Each giveaway will feature a different artist with a different talent, please join, if you will! Contact me: mommyhobbies [at] gmail [dot] com
  • In my napsack stash

  • This Weekend: Be Understanding

    Of the girl with the messy do…

    You don’t know the hours she spent wrestling with it to look just-so.

    And of the little boy who thinks it’s perfectly normal to dress in plastic bags

    And run to the neighbor’s to play

    Look kindly on the little girl who thinks it’s ok to wear gloves on her toes.  For her, it’s normal :)

    Be understanding of the scarecrow you find stuffed in an odd, morbid like position behind your stove…who knows the trouble he has seen and why he chose to hide himself there.

    Be understanding, and choose to smile today.  Acknowledge thoughtful gestures and return them in kind.

    Have an understanding weekend, all!

    10 Nov 2011, 12:30pm
    Mommy Hobbies:
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    3 comments

  • What’s new

    Top of the list is: Handmade Goodness Giveaways Project! Please be sure to ENTER. Just click the link (when there is one) at the top of the most recent post! This project is in an effort to promote local and independent artists. Crafters, photographers, designers (of all types) -- man, woman or child all are welcome. Each giveaway will feature a different artist with a different talent, please join, if you will! Contact me: mommyhobbies [at] gmail [dot] com
  • In my napsack stash

  • Sewing: How To Hem Pants

    I NEVER thought I would be posting something so easy yet so mentally challenging.  I am such a newbie at this that it’s laughable.  But, the other day I had a lady approach me with six pairs of pants to hem.  I was so nervous, but I smiled and said no problem.  I kept thinking, “well, I’ll just go really slow and if I mess up I won’t charge her”.  It’s sort of intimidating having people trust you with their clothing, especially if you’re green behind the ears!

    I’ve seen noticeably “hemmed” pants before and didn’t like how they looked.  Pants just aren’t the same, especially jeans, if they don’t have that lumpy, telltale little hem down at the bottom.  It’s a complete eyesore to see a pair of jeans lopped off and sewn up.

    A while back I found a tutorial that I was so impressed with and decided to stash it away for the future.  Bingo.  You can find the tutorial HERE.  It’s so, so easy and the pants look amazing.

    There are only three steps.

    First, find how many inches need to be taken off the pants and divide that number in half. (so if 3 inches need to be taken off, cuff the pants to 1.5 inches)(in this instance, 2 inches needed to be taken off so I pinned the cuff at 1 inch)

    Second, sew directly above the original hem.  I used my zipper foot.  It allowed me to see where I was sewing much more easily than the standard foot.( you can see where I sewed, directly above the original hem)

    Third, flip the pant hem down and press.  It honestly looks good as new and the original lumpy, standard hem is still intact. 

     

    Never thought a tutorial would make me feel like a genius, but this one did.  Hope this helps!

    10 Nov 2011, 8:50am
    make it yourself:
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    2 comments

  • What’s new

    Top of the list is: Handmade Goodness Giveaways Project! Please be sure to ENTER. Just click the link (when there is one) at the top of the most recent post! This project is in an effort to promote local and independent artists. Crafters, photographers, designers (of all types) -- man, woman or child all are welcome. Each giveaway will feature a different artist with a different talent, please join, if you will! Contact me: mommyhobbies [at] gmail [dot] com
  • In my napsack stash

  • MIY: Homemade All-purpose Cleaning Spray

    My mom was the one who introduced me to this.  She used to own a house cleaning business and eventually, my younger sister and I took over, cleaning huge homes in the foothills of northern California.  When we first started using this cleaning spray it was with the regular, unscented alcohol, mixed with ammonia and diluted with water.  It had an incredibly strong smell and if we didn’t dilute the mixture enough we would choke ourselves out with the fumes.  Later, when the wintergreen alcohol came out, we made the switch and it was much more bearable.
    I use this cleaner all over my house and have no need to ever buy commercial cleaning products again.

    This will clean, and quite thoroughly:

    windows (with no streaking)

    kitchen counter tops (granite included)

    bathroom countertops

    outside of the toilet (all the way down to the base)

    linoleum flooring

    tile

    light fixtures

    switchplates

    inside the fridge

    My list could go on and on.  This is an eco-friendly and pocketbook friendly way to clean your house.

    Mix 1/3 bottle of wintergreen alcohol and fill the rest of the spray bottle up with water.  That’s it!  If you choose, you can add about a 1/3 cup of ammonia for a deeper clean. (make sure the ammonia is non-sudsing)

    Enjoy!

    9 Nov 2011, 3:44pm
    Mommy Hobbies running:
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    1 comment

  • What’s new

    Top of the list is: Handmade Goodness Giveaways Project! Please be sure to ENTER. Just click the link (when there is one) at the top of the most recent post! This project is in an effort to promote local and independent artists. Crafters, photographers, designers (of all types) -- man, woman or child all are welcome. Each giveaway will feature a different artist with a different talent, please join, if you will! Contact me: mommyhobbies [at] gmail [dot] com
  • In my napsack stash

  • Running: How I Started Running

    *and other bits of information*

    From the time I was 16 I gravitated toward running.  Late nights spent burning calories off my 110lbs frame.  I stopped running for a while and it wasn’t until I moved back East nearly four years ago that I got back in the groove.  But this time, I was accompanied by a cross-country runner who knew what she was doing and gave me pointers on how to master this beautiful sport of running.

    My first mile back on the roads was the most grueling and stomach churning.  I nearly puked in the last three-tenths of the mile but my little buddy wouldn’t let me stop.  She said, “puke, but keep moving.”  I dry-heaved and stumbled but I didn’t stop.  I completed 1.2 miles with a huge gasp and dropped to my back on my front lawn.  It was horrible.

    But it wasn’t until a few months after I had our second child that I made the real break-through.  We were on our nightly walk as a family and I was pushing our baby girl in a huge cumbersome stroller.  For some reason I got this crazy thought in my head to start jogging.  So I did.  I ran up and down these hills with a huge stroller and didn’t quit.  That was when I knew I wanted to do more.

    My first few runs were only a mile.  I didn’t follow any type of plan or schedule but my own.  I would increase my runs by a half-mile every couple of weeks.  I can’t remember if I ran everyday, but I know that I ran a lot.

    The Couch to 5k program suggests running every other day just so the muscles get a break.  When you start putting a new kind of stress on your body, it’s better to ease into it.  I, too, would run every other day and then I would cross-train on my days off.  I would do yoga, Zumba or lift weights.  It’s important to cross-train, to strengthen the core.

    After every run, I stretch, which is PARAMOUNT, because stretching helps to remove the lactic acid build up in the muscles and reduces the soreness.  It also helps improve flexibility and prevent injury on future runs.  Don’t ever underestimate the power of a good stretch.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve neglected my stretching regimen and regretted it because my next run was horrible.  My legs usually feel like large pieces of concrete and I slog through my run…blech.

    One of the hardest things to do is to pace.  My first year and a half of running, I ran “naked”.  That simply means without any type of device telling me my pace, distance, calorie burn…nothing.  It was just me and the hills.  I soon learned that my runs were the most rewarding if I could pace myself with breathing.  In through the nose, out through the mouth and in steady intervals.  This is how I learned to find my pace.

    If I could keep a steady rhythm with my breathing without have to *suck* or *heave* my breath in, then I was good.  On the other hand, if I could carry on a girly-girl convo while running, I wasn’t pushing hard enough.  My breath needed to be just enough to keep me going.  Proper breathing is so important.  Your muscles need the oxygen to keep moving and you need it to stay standing!

    I hope this helps.  Any other questions, please ask!  I’m not a pro and am just learning about all of this myself…but I love sharing what I’ve learned.

    *next up :: foods to eat for a better running experience, and how I keep my knees from cracking off my body. hah*

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