Craftsy Mystery Knit-Along

Ohhhhhh, I'm so excited! I've never done a knit-along or a knit-a-long.

It's, correctly, "knit-along" right. Because we're not knitting someting long - so "knit-a-long" actually makes no sense. Sooooooo

Regardless, I'm a knit-along virgin! So ... when Craftsy's e-newsletter (which you should sign up for if you don't get it cause it's AWESOME) came to me today and I actually read it - I JUMPED on the July knit-along.

Check it out, doesn't it look fun just based on the picture!!!! Come on knitters - you KNOW you want to join! It's onlly $30 for the pattern and yarn for a one-size-fits-all accessory. I'm excited, are you excited?



Drama Queen Diet (a.k.a. Medifast)

It's hard to admit when you have a "problem".

A week ago, on 5/21/2012 - I admitted that I have an f-ed up relationship with food. I used food to celebrate. Reward. Nourish - yes, but not in a healthy way. If I felt bad, I would eat - then I felt bad because I ate because I felt bad. See - vicious cycle of madness.

I'm not 100% sure where or when I went awry. Maybe I was so used to pretty much eating what I wanted and not gaining weight. Or, fertility treatments. Or, it was pregnancy. Or, thyroid. Or, turning 30. Or, turning 35. Or, ... enter myriad excuses here.

Last Monday I weighed 197.8#. That is makes me obese according to my BMI and at substantially higher risk for pretty much EVERY disease than someone who has a "healthy" BMI.

It's not okay to be overweight. It's not. It's unhealthy. It's bad for you. Period. You can read more about BMI and the diseases associated with obesity here.

I REALLY like my life. I'd like to live a long time.

So, on 5/21/2012 I started Medifast. It's strict, it's what many would deem extreme calorie restriction - and you can read about Medifast here if you want. Or, don't. Either way, I followed the program of 6 meals per day perfectly. Not. One. Cheat. Not. One. Slip. I drank the water. I ate the meals. I weighed & measured my food.

And, you know what? I didn't feel deprived (much). I wasn't hungry. Was it hard? Sure. I'd rather eat ice cream and nachos and sit on my ass and be a size 2. But it was simple. And, for the first time in a long time I feel free. There's so much life left over when you're not obsessed with food.

Today, 5/29/2012 was my first Medifast check-in, and I weighed 190.0# on the button. (I'm pretty sure if I'd skipped breakfast I could have broken into the 180s ... oh well, next week.) That's 7.8# gone. I didn't lose it - I didn't accidentally drop it somewhere. No. I friggin' SHED it. I evicted it. I said: "Goodbye you unhealthy cellular baggage. It's time to let the skinny girl out."

That's me and the kiddo at The Aquarium here in Houston - I'm really looking forward to ditching that spare tire. Ick.



Spidey PJ Pants

We have a serious, serious love of superheros around here. W was just barely three when (in August) he declared from the backseat, "For Halloween, I want to be Spiderman. With muscles. (That's him there, in the requested costume which he wore CONSTANTLY until it fell apart. Then he got another one the following year. Which he wore until IT fell apart.)

Now nearing his sixth birthday, his love for Spidey has not waned. He loves other superheros as well, but his heart belongs to Spiderman. To that end, I have collected all things Spiderman for years - and I buy gobs of Spiderman fabric when I find it in sale, or when I find a version of Spiderman fabric we haven't seen. Enter the 5 yards of this Spiderman-themed fabric I bought at the Quilt Show two years ago. I was going to back a quilt with it, but never got around to it.

At the moment, W's growing out of his long pants at an astounding rate, and thus we've got a serious shortage of pajama pants - so I got this fabric out of my stash (like in February) months ago to whip up some jammie's for him.

Well, I finally got around to some "whipping" last weekend - and here is the result:


 I will post more on the process of making the pants later. Here is a link to the kids pj pants tutorial from My Cotton Creations.


My Cotton Creations



CGM Picks: Gifts for Kids

As as mom, and co-owner of a small (by modern, American standards) home, I've shyed away (read: refused to own) a play house that lived in our real (small) house.

This tablecloth play house is ingenious. If my son weren't already 4' tall (and if our dining room wasn't in storage for reasons to be discussed later), I might buy this.

I always liked "toys" that encouraged imaginative play - this looks like a great option. My only complaint is that it doesn't come in more traditional boy-ish colors. My almost-six-year old refuses to use pink as it's a "girl color". Whatever.

Other picks from the Gilt Groupe kids sale today:

 The doorway puppet theater and the portable beanbag hopscotch - adorable. Again, the former encouraging imaginative play and the latter an oldie but goodie - I loved hopscotch as a kid. Maybe, I still do ... should look into that.

Note: Clicking the links or images will take you to Gilt where you must request an account or sign-in. It's easy - everyone can do it!



Disclosure: I am a member of Gilt Groupe and shop / buy from them regularly. They offer all members the opportunity to participate in their referral program, from which I may receive up to $25 compensation if you join & purchase from Gilt via CGM.


Homemade Kitchen Cleaner

I am never buying kitchen cleaner again. I had recently converted to Caldrea cleaners, because (a) I'd found a ton of them at a local TJ Maxx for el cheapo, and (b) they were the yummiest smelling, eco-friendly-ish cleaners I had found for less than $9.99/bottle at William-Sonoma, oh, and (c) the bottles/lables were pretty cute, and I'm a packaging whore, and that matters to me.

But - I had also recently stocked up on all the necessary ingredients for making pretty much any home cleaner that I would want to make - I have all the requisite essential oils, glycerine, vinegar, baking soda, washing soda, borax, etc. So, when I started to run out of my last bottle of Caldrea Plum Nutmeg (which was the least yummy smelling of the bunch) I made some of my own.

First, I started with this book The Naturally Clean Home: 150 Super-Easy Herbal Formulas for Green Cleaning by Karyn Siegel-Maier.

In it is an ultra easy recipe for an all-purpose kitchen cleaner/degreaser she call's Lemon Blast Cleaner, which calls for:

  • white vinegar

  • borax

  • lemon juice

  • eucalyptus, lemon, lime or orange (I used eucalyptus) oil

  • liquid Castile soap

  • Cirrus seed extract (I use grapefruit seed)

Now, I'm not going to give you the exact recipe - becuase it's not mine. It's from the book - but if you buy the book, or get it from your local library, you'll need the above items on hand. I found that this receipe worked fine, but smelled nasty. I thought it would smelly like lemon and eucalypus - but it was like sour vinegar.

So, I added two full droppers of Lavender essential oil, at approximately 10 drops per dropper, and another full dropper of eucalyptus oil. And, the result of THAT is the best smelling cleaner I have ever had the pleasure to clean with. AND, it SERIOUSLY cleans the counters. It cuts grease and food and everything else from the stove to the counters. I use it on our granite countertops and they absolutely don't have a streak on them.

Love. It. LOVE. IT.